By Jake Donovan
Bantamweight contender Jesus Rojas is planning a ring return. Inactive since June 2012, the Puerto Rican knockout artist has signed with Universal Promotions and will end his extended hiatus with a tune-up fight on March 22 in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Rojas was last seen in the ring nearly getting himself disqualified in a title bid versus then-bantamweight titlist Jorge Arce in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Surviving an opening round knockdown, Rojas came out early in the second determined to earn the champ’s respect. However, an accidental double foul – a low blow and headbutt all in one fell swoop – caused Arce to turn away and wince in pain. Rojas didn’t pick up on the timeout, launching a punch behind Arce’s ear, causing him to go down and for the fight to end in a no-decision.
The bout marked Rojas’ lone title shot, coming on the undercard of Timothy Bradley’s controversial split decision win over Manny Pacquiao.
An opponent has not yet been determined for Rojas (18-1-1, 13KO), who will appear on the undercard of a show topped by unbeaten super featherweight prospect Jose Pedraza in his first scheduled 12-round affair.
Should Rojas emerge victorious, a possible next step in his career would be a showdown with another returning Boricua bantamweight. Talks have emerged of a potential clash with Jose Nieves, who hasn’t fought since a 1st round knockout loss to Shinsuke Yamanaka last August in Japan.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox Tags: boxing