Junior featherweight contender Carlos Castro will return to action tonight.
The unbeaten Castro will face former world title challenger Jesus Ruiz in a 10-round bout at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
Castro (24-0, 10 knockouts) became a staple of staple of the fight scene in his hometown of Phoenix, fighting several times at the Celebrity Theatre. He last fought there two years ago, stopping Alexis Santiago in round 10.
In his last bout on Oct. 12, Castro stopped Daniel Lozano in the opening round in nearby Chandler.
The 25-year-old, who signs a promotional deal with Top Rank in June 2018, notched the biggest win of his career thus far on Feb. 10 of last year, defeating contender Genesis Servania of the Philippines by unanimous decision. Servania’s only defeat leading up to the Castro fight was a decision loss to then-WBO featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez.
Castro is ranked No. 8 by the IBF and No. 9 by the WBO.
Ruiz (41-8-5, 29 KOs), who resides in Nogales, Mexico, last fought on July 13, knocking out Arturo Zamora in round 2. He has won his last five bouts since losing to Randy Caballero by unanimous decision in March 2017.
The 30-year-old Ruiz’s most significant bout took place in January 2015, when he was stopped in round 8 by then-WBC junior featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz.
In the co-feature, Alexis Zazueta will square off against former world title challenger Juan Palacios in a six-round junior bantamweight bout.
Zazueta (12-0, 5 KOs), who is originally Sinaloa, Mexico and now resides in the Phoenix area, defeated Jesse Ruiz by unanimous decision in his last bout on Oct. 12. The 24-year-old has won his last three bouts by decision after stopping his previous two opponents.
Palacios (29-9-2, 22 KOs) has not fought since August 2017, when he was stopped in the second round by unbeaten Alexandru Marin. The Managua, Nicaragua resident, who twice challenged for a world title belt at 105 pounds, is winless in his last eight bouts.
Welterweight Saul Bustos (11-0-1, 6 KOs) of Los Angeles will face Nicaragua’s Ariel Vasquez (14-26-3, 9 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Jesus Ibarra (9-0, 4 KOs) of Apache Junction, Arizona will square off against Saint Louis’ Abdur-Raheem Abdullah (3-3) in a six-round featherweight bout.
Three more bouts will round out the Iron Boy Promotions card.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene 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, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing