By Jake Donovan
Derrieck Cuevas is ready for his close-up.
The unbeaten welterweight prospect will headline his first major televised show, topping the July 12 summer season premiere of Boxeo Telemundo in a 10-round regional title fight versus Mexico’s Jesus Alberto Beltran live from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The bout extends an active stretch for the 24-year old from Puerto Rico, fighting for the fifth time in less than 10 months. The entirety of the stretch will have taken place at this very venue after having spent the bulk of his career in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.
“This is my first time headlining on a national stage,” said Cuevas (21-0, 14KOs), who has made two previous appearances on Telemundo undercards. “I want to show all my fans that I’m worthy of a world title opportunity after this fight.”
Cuevas’ active stretch comes the hard way, amassing 38 rounds in less than eight months in having gone the distance in each of his last four starts. He is coming off of an eight round decision victory over Albert Mensah this past May, which came 10 weeks after a grueling 10-round unanimous decision win over veteran contender Ed Paredes.
Beltran (17-2-2, 10KOs) debuts both in the United States and on Telemundo. The durable gatekeeper from Los Mochis, Mexico has fought exclusively in his home country, including a narrow loss to unbeaten Oluwafemi Oyeleye in his most recent outing last November.
His clash with Cuevas represents a step up in competition, although one which figures to go more rounds. Beltran—whose younger brother Miguel Beltran Jr. is a veteran super featherweight contender—has never been stopped in nearly nine years as a pro and has been down just once, hitting the deck in the opening round of an April 2011 clash with Francisco Haron, recovering to score three knockdowns en route to a 2nd round stoppage.
The summer headliner marks the third straight season in which the Telemundo series heads to South Florida, after more than a decade of playing exclusively in Central Florida and Mexico City.
“We’ve developed a great partnership with The Heavyweight Factory, our partners for this special Telemundo event,” Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala, president of All-Star Boxing told BoxingScene.com. “They do a terrific job of bringing big time boxing to this fan-friendly venue and it’s a pleasure to once again bring the series here.”
All-Star Boxing has served as the series’ primary content provider since its first launch in 1989. The past several years have been spent traveling 12 times per year between Central Florida and Mexico City. Having to take the short drive to Ft. Lauderdale is a welcomed change of pace.
“I have to admit, having a home game every once in a while is quite nice,” quips Zabala Jr., whose company is based out of Miami. “Years ago we regularly did shows down here, so it’s nice to be able to bring that back.”
The July 12 show kicks off a four-week summer series stretch. The July 19 and July 26 installments will air live from Mexico before closing out the season on August 2 in Kissimmee, Florida.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox