By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has advised BoxingScene.com that his company finalized a Showtime televised tripleheader for March 15th at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The event will be co-promoted with Puerto Rico Best Boxing.
In the main event, WBA/WBC 140-pound champion Danny Garcia (27-0, 16KOs) will defend his titles against Mauricio Herrera (20-3, 7KOs).
Garcia is coming off a career-defining victory over Lucas Matthysse, which took place as the co-featured attraction to the record breaking Mayweather-Canelo Pay-Per-View on September 14th in Las Vegas.
Herrera, who defeated Ruslan Provodnikov in 2011 and gave fighters like Mike Alvarado and Kareem Mayfield all they could handle - has won two fights in a row since the loss to Mayfield, including a wide decision over puncher Ji-Hoon Kim last May. Herrera has never been stopped and always comes to fight.
Schaefer is excited to showcase Garcia in Puerto Rico and views the event as the first of many major shows for Golden Boy in the country. Garcia has been asking Golden Boy for a Puerto Rico headliner for a long time and Schaefer felt the time was right to start Garcia's campaign in the country.
"This is something that Danny wanted for a long time. He has been asking for a fight in Puerto Rico. We felt the time was right. He has a very strong Puerto Rican heritage. Both of his parents were born in Puerto Rico. His grandparents are from Puerto Rico. Danny used to visit Puerto Rico all the time when his grandparents were still alive. The last time he went there was three years ago, when his grandparents passed away," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
"I think it's going to be very exciting for Danny and for the sport and exciting for Puerto Rico. I'm really thrilled that there is going to be a meaningful fight in Puerto Rico against a guy like Mauricio Herrera, who beat Provdonikov. Herrera is a guy who knows how to be a spoiler. He did that with Provodnikov and that's what he wants to do here. Herrera has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and he gets that opportunity on March 15, where the Puerto Rican vs. Mexican rivalry will be showcased."
Also featured on the card, a crossroads rematch between former champions Daniel Ponce De Leon (45-5, 35KOs) of Mexico and Juan Manuel Lopez (33-3, 30KOs) of Puerto Rico.
In 2008, Lopez captured his first world title with a shocking first round TKO of Ponce De Leon to capture the WBO super bantamweight crown at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The win jump-started the career of Lopez with HBO.
Lopez has gone 3-3 in his last six fights, with two TKO defeats to Orlando Salido and a knockout loss in his last fight against rising star Mikey Garcia in June of last year. Ponce De Leon is one fight removed from a TKO defeat to Abner Mares.
The rematch takes place at super featherweight, with both careers at stake.
Also on the show, heavyweight banger Deontay Wilder (30-0, 30KOs) will face his toughest opponent to date in the form of Malik Scott (36-1-1, 13KOs).
Scott, a 6'4 lanky fighter with boxing ability, went to a controversial draw with Vyacheslav Glazkov in June of last year - where many felt he won - and then saw himself a victim of a highly controversial six round TKO loss to Dereck Chisora in July - where Scott beat the count, but the referee still ruled it as a knockout. Scott returned last week in Washington and stopped Grover Young in two rounds.
Wilder and Scott are good friends, but both promise to leave their friendship at home when they step into the ring.