By Jake Donovan
The first quarter lineup is set for the 2014 season of Boxeo Telemundo, which debuts March 14 at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida.
Both ends of the televised doubleheader feature matchups pitting Puerto Rico versus Mexico, a favored theme of the series, which celebrates its 25th anniversary on air. In the main event, Puerto Ricos Jonathan Oquendo takes on Mexicos Guillermo Avila in a 12-round 122 lb. regional title fight.
In the supporting bout of the telecast, Jonathan Vidal (Puerto Rico) faces Antonio Tostado (Mexico) in a scheduled six-round bantamweight contest.
The main event works out well for both combatants, who were slated to fight in the first quarter of 2014 but have only recently landed assignment opposite each other.
Oquendo (23-3, 16KO) was the rumored opponent for Raul Hirales on a February 7 show in Mexico, also designed to carry the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico theme. However, promoter Fernando Beltran never properly finalized the fight, or the main event that was to pit Miguel Beltran Jr. versus Puerto Ricos Jose Chelo Gonzalez.
The show went on for Hirales and Beltran Jr., but Oquendo manages to land on his feet with something a bit closer to hometown advantage. The heavily Puerto Rican-populated city of Kissimmee will undoubtedly embrace Oquendo as one of its own, while the crowd at the Civic Center will certainly remember the last time his opponent rolled into town.
Avila (12-1, 9KO) was an unbeaten prospect prior to his Telemundo-televised showdown with Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. last September. The 21-year old gave Vazquez, a former 122 lb. titlist whod lost three of his last five contests, all that he could handle before landing on the wrong end of a disputed 12-round unanimous decision.
Promoter Felix Tuto Zabala hoped to secure a rematch for the 2014 season premiere, but couldnt get the two sides to agree to terms. For this reason, Vazquez Jr. was listed to face TBA for the March 14 edition, but is no longer on the show after he and Zabala had a falling out, agreeing to part ways.
While Vazquez Jr. is on the hunt for a new promoter, life goes on for All-Star Boxing, hard at work to load up the first four shows of the Telemundo spring season.
Were very excited about whats in store for the fans this year, Zabala exclaims. It means a lot to us to be involved with such a successful program now celebrating 25 years of providing televised entertainment to its community.
All-Star Boxing has become the series primary source of boxing content, with its events taking place in central Florida and Mexico City. The series traditionally ran once per month on late Friday evenings, but in 2013 changed formats to three separate seasons running in clusters of four consecutive weekends every three months.
The risk reaped major rewards, serving as the highest rated Spanish cable network boxing series of the year. There was no question that the same was in store for 2014, with the focus to continue on providing fan-friendly competition.
The first two editions March 14 and March 21 will take place in central Florida, before shifting to Mexico City for live televised action on March 28 and April 4.
The March 21 show takes place at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa, Florida. Unbeaten Matthew Villanueva returns to the venue, having scored an 8th round knockout of Daniel Lozano in their matchup of undefeated super flyweight prospects last October.
Villanueva will appear in his third straight Telemundo-televised bout since signing with All-Star Boxing last year. The Californian faces Mexicos David Carmona a series favorite in a scheduled 12-round regional title fight.
The full lineup for the spring 2014 season is as follows:
March 14 Kissimmee Civic Center, Kissimmee, Florida
Jonathan Oquendo vs. Guillermo Avila 12 rounds, super bantamweights
Jonathan Vidal vs. Antonio Tostado 6 rounds, bantamweights
Emmanuel DeJesus vs. TBA 6 rounds, welterweights
Luis Olivares vs. TBA 4 rounds, lightweights
March 21 A La Carte Pavilion, Tampa, Florida
Matthew Villanueva vs. Daniel Lozano 12 rounds, super flyweights
Manny Woods vs. Marquis Davis 8 rounds, super welterweights
Toribio Ramirez vs. TBA 4 rounds, featherweights
March 28 Foro Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico
Marvin Mabait vs. Alejandro Hernandez 12 rounds, bantamweights
April 4 Foro Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico
Julian Rivera vs. Jobert Alvarez 12 rounds, flyweights
Luis Olivares vs. TBA 6 rounds, lightweights
All shows will air live at 11:35PM ET.
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: @JakeNDaBoxTags: Jonathan Oquendo