By Rafael Soto
On Saturday night, at 11 p.m. ET from the Gasmart Stadium in Tijuana, Mexico, former WBC bantamweight world champion Luis “Pantera” Nery (26-0, 20 KOs) will fight Jason “Dillinger” Canoy (27-8-2, 19 KOs) in a scheduled 12-rounder for the vacant WBC silver bantamweight title. In the co-feature, Kenia Enriquez (20-1, 9 KOs) will defend her interim WBC light flyweight world title against 19-year-old knockout artist Norleidys Graterol (7-0, 7 KOs).
Nery, a southpaw power puncher, is returning to action following a pair of controversies. He won the WBC bantamweight title in August 2017 with a devastating fourth-round stoppage against longtime champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, but tested positive for the banned substance zilpaterol.
Nery claimed contaminated meat was the cause of the positive test, and he served a six-month WBC-mandated suspension. Following a knockout victory against Arthur Villanueva, he met Yamanaka in a rematch for the vacant WBC bantamweight world title in March.
He missed the bantamweight limit by three pounds and knocked out Yamanaka in the second round.
Nery, only 23 years old, returns to action intent on recapturing bantamweight world championship glory. Canoy, from Balamban, Cebu, Philippines, is coming off a closely contested unanimous decision loss to Hiroaki Teshigawara in February for the WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight title.
A 10-year pro, Canoy has never been knocked out as a professional. Nery, meanwhile, is riding a seven-bout knockout streak.