By Francisco Salazar
Bragging rights are up for grabs amongst junior featherweights who are friends and reside in the Phoenix area.
Unbeaten Carlos Castro will square off against Alexis Santiago in a 10 round bout tonight at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
Castro (19-0, 8 knockouts) stopped Basilio Nieves in the fourth round of his last bout on Oct. 14, which also took place at the Celebrity Theatre. All but two of Castro's bouts have taken place at the venue.
Santiago (21-5-1, 8 KOs) has not fought since Aug. 22, when he lost a 10 round unanimous decision to former world bantamweight titleholder Juan Carlos Payano.
The 27-year-old Santiago has lost his last two bouts after winning his previous 10 bouts.
In a 10 round featherweight bout, undefeated Francisco De Vaca will face former world title challenger Christian Esquivel.
De Vaca (17-0, 5 KOs) won a 10 round unanimous decision over former fringe contender Victor Proa in his last bout on Sept. 2. Like Castro, all but two of De Vaca's bouts have taken place at the Celebrity Theatre.
Esquivel (30-12-1, 23 KOs) was stopped by Shinsuke Yamanaka in November of 2011 in his only attempt at a world title belt.
In his last bout on Oct. 20 against Isaac Zarate, Esquivel was cut by an accidental clash of heads in round two, a cut severe enough that halted the action that led to a technical draw.
40-year-old Fidel Hernandez (17-4, 10 KOs) will square off against Cesar Barraza (3-0-1) in a six round light heavyweight bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at FSalazarBoxing and on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing