By Francisco Salazar
Darleys Perez will defend the interim WBA lightweight title against Jonathan Maicelo on January 9, promoter Gary Shaw told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday afternoon.
The bout will take place at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif. The bout will headline a Gary Shaw Productions card and will kick off the 2015 "Friday Night Fights" season.
Shaw also told BoxingScene.com that junior middleweight Francisco Santana will fight in the co-main event bout.
Perez (31-1, 20 KOs) won the interim WBA title on June 28, decisioning Argenis Lopez over 12 rounds. Almost four months later, the Colombian-born fighter knocked out Jaider Perez in the sixth round.
In his last bout on July 11 in Shelton, Wash., Maicelo (21-1, 12 KOs) won a 10 round split decision over Art Hovhannisyan. He is unbeaten in his last three bouts (one of them was a no contest) since losing by knockout in the eighth round to Rustam Nugaev in April of last year.
Maicelo, who was born in Peru, resides in North Bergen, New Jersey.
Santana (21-3, 10 KOs) resides in nearby Santa Barbara and has won his last nine bouts in a row. Santana's most impressive win in that stretch was a 10 round unanimous decision over Eddie Gomez on June 6.
ESPN2 will begin its telecast at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Salazar also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing