LOS ANGELES — A pair of up-and-coming prospects coming off their first career defeats will meet in what suddenly amounts to a crossroads matchup. 

Jose Valenzuela, 23, and Chris Colbert, 26, will fight as a featured undercard attraction on the pay-per-view portion of the event headlined by David Benavidez and Caleb Plant on March 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime.

Valenzuela told BoxingScene.com in an interview Thursday during a press conference announcing the Benavidez-Plant fight that the bout against Colbert is contracted to take place at the lightweight limit for 10 rounds. 

“This is a huge opportunity,” said Valenzuela. “People usually don’t get second opportunities, but me and Chris have been given one, and I am taking this fight very seriously. I’m extremely focused. I took a tough loss. I learned a lot from it. I soaked it all in. It was a great experience. I’m ready to come back.” 

Valenzuela (12-1, 8 KOs) was shockingly stopped by Edwin De Los Santos  in September inside three rounds. 

Valenzuela never got comfortable in the fight, getting dropped in second and third rounds. Valenzuela also dropped De Los Santos, but his opponent laid more heavy leather and damaged Valenzuela to a point that forced referee Ray Corona to stop the fight while Valenzuela was still on his feet.

Valenzuela was outlanded 46 to 20 in the fight. 

Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs) is also looking to revive his career after losing a wide unanimous decision to Hector Luis Garcia last February. 

Colbert was outlanded 211 to 116 and was also knocked down in the fight.

Another bout set to be featured on the Benavidez-Plant card is a fight between undefeated junior middleweight contenders Jesus Ramos and Joey Spencer, as reported Tuesday by BoxingScene.com senior writer Jake Donovan. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.