The start of this past decade saw a Boxeo Telemundo event play the Miami region for the final time.
The start of the next decade will see the long-running series return to its roots.
An old circuit favorite, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming will host the 2020 spring season premiere of Boxeo Telemundo. The event—which takes place Feb. 21—is headlined by a regional junior flyweight title fight between Puerto Rico’s Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez and Mexico’s Saul ‘Baby’ Juarez.
In addition to the long standing Puerto Rico versus Mexico theme in the main event, comes a return to where the series was first founded in 1989. The fall season of 2018 came close, marking the first of two Telemundo cards staged at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
As big plans are in store in 2020, it’s only right that it begins with bringing the show all the way home.
“Miami has been my family’s home for more than 35 years,” promoter Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala Jr. told BoxingScene.com, having moved to the area from Puerto Rico at age 13. “I always keep trying to bring the series all the way back home but wanted it to be the right fit.
“We found that perfect fit, with this show and we are very excited to bring the return of the Miccosukee Fight Series for the first time in (nearly) 10 years.”
The last such show to take place at the venue came in October 2010, headlined by then-rising Puerto Rican junior welterweight prospect Jesus Pabon in an 8th round knockout of Mexico’s Genaro Trazancos.
Juarez (25-10-2, 13KOs) was barely into his first year as a pro, the start of a career still in search of becoming the first member of his fighting family to capture a major title. His older brother Raul and father Raul Lopez were also pro boxers, with Saul arguably serving as the most accomplished though also at the must-win portion of his pro career.
The second generation boxer enters on the heels of an upset points loss to countryman and former titlist Ganigan Lopez last July, part of a rough recent stretch where the 29-year old is just 2-6-1 in his last nine starts. Among the skid are a pair of title fight losses, coming up well short on the cards versus long-reigning undefeated strawweight titlist Wanheng ‘TBE’ Menayothin in Aug. 2016 on the road in Thailand and to unbeaten Kenshiro Teraji last December in Japan.
Gonzalez (22-3-1, 13KOs) also enters on the heels of a bitter defeat, a 7th round stoppage versus record-tying three-division titlist Kosei Tanaka in August. The 28-year Puerto Rican southpaw was ahead on two cards before getting dropped and stopped in his first career title bid.
The setback snapped a four fight win streak, including three straight Telemundo-televised appearances in Kissimmee, Florida. The 2020 series premiere marks Gonzalez’s return to junior flyweight, having briefly fought at the weight in 2015 before campaigning full time at flyweight.
The announcement of this event comes shortly after confirmation of a Feb. 28 Telemundo bout in Kissimmee, Florida, with Yomar Alamo and Kendo Castañeda colliding in a battle of unbeaten junior welterweights.
Zabala’s All-Star Boxing—which is based in Miami and has served as the series primary content provider since its inception—plans to hold a press conference in the coming weeks to announce full plans for the 2020 season.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox