By Carlos Costa
PANAMA CITY, Panama - An exciting international boxing card on April 20 in Panama will mark the return of former 2-division world champion Celestino "Pelenchín" Caballero of Panama in a 12-round WBC Silver Featherweight (126 lbs - 9 st) title fight against the undefeated WBC International featherweight champion Viorel Simion (16-0, 7KO's) of Lehliu Gară, Romania.
The winner becomes mandatory challenger to the regular WBC featherweight crown now on the head of veteran slugger Daniel Ponce de León (44-4, 35KO's) of Chihuahua, México, who is due to defend his coveted golden/green belt from the dangerous fists of undefeated Puerto Rican rising star WBC #5 featherweight Jayson Vélez (25-0, 20KO's) on March 2 in New York.
The 5' 11" Celestino "Pelenchín" Cabellero (36-4, 23KO's), who already defeated Ponce de León back in 2005, gets back into fighting mode after more than a year absence as result of conflicts with promoters and schedules, being his last outing a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Japanese challenger Satoshi Osono (23-2, 17KO's) in December 2011 in Yokohama, Japan.
"I'd fight Ponce de León or Mickey García, if they are willing to take the risk," said Caballero during training here in Panama.
The 36-year-old Panamanian vacated his WBA Featherweight title last year and is the current #1 Featherweight fighter by the WBC. His April opponent, Viorel Simion, is WBC #3.
Currently under contract with the promotion company of recording artist Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Caballero is scheduled to fly back to Las Vegas to continue his preparation at the Floyd Mayweather Gym with his trainer Jeff Mayweather.
The Caballero-Simion card at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama on April 20 will feature thrilling international rising stars as jr. middleweight prospect Nick Klappert (15-1, 10KO's) of Brandenburg, Germany, who three weeks ago knocked out Tanzanian Said Yazidu in Luxembourg.
Moreover, in the line up stands out unbeaten knockout artist Zapir "Zap" Rasulov (25-0, 23KO's) of Buynaksk, Russia, in his second consecutive lightweight fight in Panama; this time the Russian will be battling for the vacant IBO Inter-Continental belt.
The tough Russian's last skirmish was a brutal round 1 knock out triumph over Colombian Joel Cassiani last March at the Roberto Duran Arena in Panamá.
Zap Rasulov, 25, is handled by his long time German promoter Mario Pokowietz of Power F. Boxing (also the manager of unbeaten WBA middleweight world champion Gennady "GGG" Golovki), and trains with the Panamanian stable of boxers "Los Roqueros" under the guidance of the experience 50-year-old Panama trainer former fighter Francisco "Tolete" Arroyo.
In addition, the exciting Caballero-Simion card will showcase Iranian welterweight warrior Mohamadreza "Shazzan" Hamze, 24, in his fourth professional fight.
"Shazzan" Hamze, promoted by Promociones y Eventos del Istmo, will fight for the first time in Panama after his unanimous decision win over Thai kick boxer Suwichanon Boonpamual three weeks ago in Bangkok, Thailand.
This exciting international boxing show will take place at the famed Roberto Duran Arena and will be televised by Panama's TV Max Channel 9 in a production of Rogelio Espiño, whose company Promociones y Eventos del Istmo, received last week the award to "Panama's Best Promotion Company of Year."