By Jake Donovan
The 2019 spring season of Boxeo Telemundo is set to launch with a familiar rivalry and at a series regional favorite.
Puerto Rico’s Yomar ‘Magic’ Alamo returns to the Telemundo circuit for the second straight time, as he takes on Manuel ‘La Tormenta’ Mendez—a Mexican-American based out of California—in a 10-round regional super lightweigh title fight.
The bout will take place at the Osceola Heritage Park Events Center in Kissimmee, Florida, the venue becoming a recent rotation favorite but the location a major part of the series’ rich history, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
“To be working with Telemundo for more than 30 years is a dream come true for me,” All-Star Boxing Inc. head Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala Jr. told BoxingScene.com of his involvement in the series virtually throughout his adult life. “The response we’ve always gotten from the fans in Orlando, Kissimmee and throughout central Florida is overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s become a cornerstone of our series and a proud tradition that we always kick off a new season in this area.”
Alamo (15-0, 12KOs) made his Telemundo—and Florida—debut last summer, scoring a 4th round knockout of Wilfrido Buelvas last July in Kissimmee, Florida. The bout was his first anywhere in the lower 48 states, having spent all but one other fight in his career in his native Puerto Rico.
His next adventure represents a welcomed step up in class.
Mendez (16-4-1, 11KOs) has never shied away from a tough challenge at any point in his eight-year career. The 28-year old has fought almost exclusively on the West Coast, earning a reputation as a stiff challenge for any rising prospect and contender in the 135- and 140-pound weight divisions.
His Telemundo debut comes on the heels of hard-fought losses to unbeaten Jonathan Navarro and highly touted prospect Sonny Fredrickson, the fights taking place in the span of barely more than a month. Among his career highlights are pair of wins over previously unbeaten Gilberto Espinoza (9-0 heading into their June ’18 clash) and Vitor Jones (13-0 before Mendez knocked him out in the 1st round of their Nov. ’16 battle).
“Whenever we do Puerto Rico versus Mexico in the main event, both fighters know they will be in for a real fight,” Zabala notes of the decades-long formula.”That ‘0’ that “Magic” Alamo brings into the ring might as well be a target, because Mendez is no doubt ready to bring ‘La Tormenta’ (“The Storm”) to Florida.”
Details for the full undercard are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
The February 22 show serves as the starting point of four consecutive Fridays of boxing on Telemundo, which changed formats earlier in this decade from monthly entries to three seasons boasting four events each. The switch has resulted in a considerable ratings spike.
“We are currently the #1 Hispanic Boxing program on T.V. and look to continue this great relationship for years to come,” notes Zabala.