For the second time in more than a year, Diego de la Hoya will prepare for a homecoming appearance.
This time around, it’s needed more than ever.
The 25-year old featherweight will land atop a Golden Boy Fight Night card slated for Dec. 14 in his hometown of Mexicali, Mexico. de la Hoya will face Venezuela’s Renson Robles in the evening’s main event, Golden Boy Promotions executive matchmaker Roberto Diaz confirmed to BoxingScene.com.
In the evening’s chief support, resurgent Venezuelan super featherweight Roger Gutierrez (23-3-1, 20KOs) will seek his fourth win in less than 12 months as he faces locally based Andres Tapia (16-7-3, 9KOs). Gutierrez has enjoyed a Comeback of the Year-level campaign, highlighted by a stunning 1st round knockout of previously unbeaten 130-pound contender Eduardo ‘Rocky’ Hernandez in July.
A comeback is precisely what’s required for de la Hoya (21-1, 10KOs) to reclaim his stride. The once rising junior featherweight contender has seen a far fall from grace ever since positioning himself for a title shot in 2018. Efforts to squeeze in one more fight prior to such opportunity prompted his handlers—including his promoter and 1st cousin, Hall of Fame former six-division titlist Oscar de la Hoya—to put together a fight in Mexicali for the first time in his career.
The occasion was to take place last November, only for de la Hoya to land in the hospital after suffering from dehydration, thus cancelling a scheduled bout versus Venezuela’s Edixon Perez. The show went on without him, though interestingly with Perez who dropped a 10-round decision to unbeaten Jose Durantes.
de la Hoya sought to rebound in 2019, but remains winless on the year. He finally landed a fight in Mexico, only for an April appearance in Monterrey resulting in a two-round No-Contest with Enrique Beranche in their featherweight bout. Three months later came the first loss of his career, suffering a 6th round stoppage at the hands of current Top 10 junior featherweight contender Ronny Rios.
In heading home, de la Hoya seeks his first win since a 7th round knockout of Jose. Salgado last June.
Robles (16-6, 9KOs) enters on the heels of a three-fight win streak, though is currently winless outside of his native Venezuela. All three occasions came against world-level opposition, dropping a pair of 10-round decisions to junior bantamweight contender Norbelto Jimenez and—in his lone other career bout in Mexico—suffering a 7th round stoppage at the hands of unbeaten former lineal bantamweight king Luis Nery last December.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox