Jose Valenzuela was prepared to face a former titleholder for the second straight time.
He now faces a rising prospect who is arguably an upgrade in competition.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Jezreel Corrales has been pulled from his bout with Valenzuela this Sunday after being unable to secure a travel visa from Panama in time to fight. Corrales is replaced by Dominican Republic’s Edwin De Los Santos, who—according to Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) representatives—has been on standby for the past two weeks in anticipation of the development.
Boxing podcaster Broadway Joel—best known as The Voice of Dominican Boxing—was the first to report the development.
De Los Santos (14-1, 13KOs) steps well up in class and in a year where he suffered his lone career defeat. It came in an eight-round split decision to William Foster III on a January 7 ShoBox card in Orlando, Florida. The 22-year-old Dominican southpaw quickly rebounded, blasting out unbeaten Luis Acosta in the second round of a fight that also aired on Showtime’s ShoBox series on March 11 in Deadwood, South Dakota.
The switch leaves Valenzuela to at least face another southpaw, though it is where the similarities end between De Los Santos and Corrales (26-4, 10KOs). De Los Santos boasts a far more fan friendly style, while the 31-year-old Corrales—a former WBA junior lightweight titlist—isn’t shy about slowing down the pace of a fight to a crawl.
It is also easily argued that Corrales is past his best days, which would have produced the threat of providing more of the same for Valenzuela following his latest win. ‘El Rayo’—a training stablemate of unbeaten former two-time super middleweight titlist David Benavidez—is coming off a first-round knockout of badly faded former WBC 130-pound titlist Francisco ‘Bandido’ Vargas on an April 16 Showtime PPV event in Arlington, Texas.
The piece-meal ten-round lightweight contest will open a four-fight Fox Sports Pay-Per-View telecast from Crypto.com Arena. Headlining the show, former unified titlist Andy Ruiz (34-2, 22KOs) faces former two-time title challenger Luis Ortiz (33-2, 28KOs; 2NC) in a scheduled 12-round WBC semifinal title eliminator.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox