Dennis Contreras has advanced from veteran spoiler to headlining act.
The 28-year old featherweight from Guadalajara will return to the Telemundo circuit, as he will face Miami’s Hairon Socarras atop the March 12 show at White Sands Rehabilitation Center in Plant City, FL. The bout will mark the third straight on the network for Contreras, whose Telemundo debut saw his career soar to new heights.
“’El Martillo’ Contreras has earned this opportunity following his terrific wins over Belmar Preciado and [Carlos Efrain] ‘Stich’ Flores,” Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala, Jr., president and owner of All Star Boxing told BoxingScene.com. “This is another terrific matchup for El Martillo and a dangerous challenge for Hairon Socarras who has a lot to lose. Credit to both of them for accepting this fight.”
Contreras (23-10-1, 21KOs) made a splash in his 5th round knockout win over Preciado at Osceola Heritage Park (OHP) in Kissimmee, Florida last August, in what was easily the best fight to air on Telemundo in 2020. The back-and-forth war saw Contreras rally back to close the show in emphatic fashion, registering his second straight upset win. The heavy-handed featherweight handed the first loss to Fernando Garcia, scoring an eight-round decision in their May 2019 clash.
Following the win over Preciado, Contreras returned to OHP where he handed Flores his first defeat in a one-sided 6th round knockout win last October.
The same show saw Socarras (23-1-3, 15KOs) bounce back from his lone career defeat. The 28-year old Cuban export ended a year-long layoff with a 3rd round knockout of Julio Buitrago, scoring his first win in 17 months. Wedged in between was a 9th round knockout loss to Ryan Walsh in the quarterfinal round of the MTK Global “Golden Contract” tournament.
Socarras turned pro in 2011 with a lot of career promise but is now on borrowed time. A defining win has yet to grace his résumé as he prepares for arguably the biggest puncher he has faced to date.
“This fight has all the elements to provide the fans with fireworks,” insists Zabala. “A loss for either fighter will provide a significant step back in their careers. That is what will bring out the best of these two warriors come March 12.”
The show serves as part of the three-event Boxeo Telemundo spring season series, which debuts March 5 at OHP. Whereas the spring and fall seasons of the long-running series took place behind closed doors, all three spring shows will permit fans in attendance, albeit in compliance with health and social distancing measures.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox