By Ryan Maquiñana
Fresh off his upset victory over Luis Cruz, junior lightweight contender Juan Carlos Burgos returns against former world champ Cristobal Cruz in the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights main event on Feb. 24.
The headliner will see a matchup of Tijuana, Mex., natives. Burgos (28-1, 19 KOs) annexed both the WBO Latino and WBC Silver 130-pound titles on the Pacquiao-Marquez III undercard last Nov. 12.
Cristobal Cruz (39-12-3, 23 KOs) is 0-1-2 in his last three, with losing his IBF world title to Orlando Salido sandwiched in between technical draws to Ricardo Castillo and Art Hovhannisyan.
In the co-main, junior featherweight prospect Efrain Esquivias fights Alex de Oliveira. Esquivias (15-0, 9 KOs), of Carson, Calif., took a step up in competition last month and scraped by veteran Fernando Beltran Jr. by majority decision.
Meanwhile, de Oliveira (19-1, 13 KOs), of Sao Paolo, Brazil, is on a three-bout winning streak that includes an eighth-round knockout of Diego Loto for the WBO Latino interim 122-pound belt.
Also on the card, bantamweight Isaac Zarate fights Joshua Berrelleza. Coming off a successful points victory over Anthony Briones in his pro debut, Zarate (1-0), from South Los Angeles, has been Brian Viloria’s main sparring partner for the past three weeks in preparation for his WBO flyweight title defense against Giovani Segura.
Berrelleza (1-0), from Riverside, Calif., is a former highly touted amateur who also won his debut, a four-round unanimous decision over Albert Tovar.
The card will be promoted by Thompson Boxing.
The site is yet to be determined, but sources have advised BoxingScene.com that the show will likely take place in Southern California.
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.