An intriguing clash between once-beaten junior featherweights will headline tonight’s BXSTRS card.
Bryan Mercado will square off against Brandon Gamez at the Domo de la Feria in Fresnillo, Mexico. The eight-round bout will stream live on ESPN Knockout (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT).
Mercado (24-1, 19 knockouts), who resides in Mexico City, knocked out Victor de Jesus Albino in the fourth round of his last fight on September 23. He has fought with more aggression over his last several fights, stopping five of his last six opponents.
The 27-year-old Mercado has not lost since his second pro fight, which was by split-decision to Rigoberto Nava in September 2015.
Gamez (12-1, 10 KOs) has not fought since March 25 of last year, when he was stopped in the seventh round by Jorge Mata Cuellar in a clash of unbeaten prospects.
Only two of Gamez’s victories have been against fighters with winning records. The 28-year-old resides in the boxing hotbed of Los Mochis, Mexico.
In the co-feature, Yuliahn Luna Avila will make the third defense of her WBC World Female bantamweight title against Vanessa Taborda in a 10-round bout.
Luna (24-3-1, 4 KOs), who resides in Gomez Palacio, Mexico, last fought on June 17, defeating Jessica Gonzalez by unanimous decision. The fight was marred by fouls committed by Luna, who rabbit-punched Gonzalez several times during the fight and was never administered a point deduction by referee Jesus Becerra. After the fight, Gonzalez was diagnosed with Oedema in her brain due to the rabbit punches she received during the fight. Becerra was suspended three months by the WBC after a national uproar across Mexico, many who felt showed favoritism to Luna during the fight.
The 29-year-old won the WBC title belt in October 2020, defeating longtime world titleholder Mariana Juarez by unanimous decision. She has won her last eight bouts.
Taborda (11-14-3, 1 KO), who resides in Cordoba, Argentina, defeated Daniela Vivero by unanimous decision in her last fight on August 20. Prior to the Rivero fight, Taborda had lost three of her previous fights.
Junior lightweight prospect Rodolfo Bustamante (18-1-1, 11 KOs) of Culiacan, Mexico will face Guadalajara’s Miguel Angel Gonzalez (23-18-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing