Belmar Preciado is among many around the world eager to put 2020 well in the rearview mirror, though he gets end the year with a shot at redemption.
The fringe junior featherweight contender headlines the fall season finale of Boxeo Telemundo, as he faces Mexico City’s Rodolfo ‘Fofo’ Hernandez. Their scheduled 10-round bout airs live this Friday on Telemundo from a crowdless Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, marking the network’s eighth show in the past 11 weeks.
“We made it to the finish line,” Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala Jr., president and owner of All-Star Boxing quipped to BoxingScene.com. “It’s been a lot of work but I couldn’t be prouder of the effort put forth by everyone to make these shows happen during the pandemic.”
Preciado (20-3-1, 13KOs) appeared in the series’ summer season, though landing on the wrong end of a significant upset. The Colombian boxer found himself in a featherweight shootout with Dennis ‘El Martillo’ Contreras before being taken out in the 5th round of their war on August 29 in this very venue. The bout came more than five months after missing out on a crack at unbeaten featherweight Michael Conlan, with their St. Patrick’s Day clash in New York City scrapped due to the first wave of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Now comes one last shot at ending his 2020 with something better than a whimper.
“As always grateful to God for this new opportunity,” noted Preciado. “I worked very hard all this time, and it is time to show the result of the work.
“This time I am in my (natural weight division), much more concentrated and motivated, the confidence that the public has given me has made me very happy.”
Hernandez (30-9-1, 28KOs) has suffered knockout defeats in each of his past two starts. Interestingly, he owns an earlier career win over Contreras and sees an opportunity for an upset on Friday.
“I'm in fantastic shape and looking to shine in this fight,” vows Hernandez, who fights in the United States for the first time as a pro. “I'm grateful for this opportunity and very excited to fight in America.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox