Top Rank has a new co-feature for its ESPN show January 29 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
BoxingScene.com has learned that junior lightweights Rene Tellez and Luis Melendez will meet in a 10-round fight that night at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The co-feature January 29 was supposed to pit Joet Gonzalez against Adam Lopez, but Lopez withdrew from their 10-rounder due to managerial issues.
Top Rank announced Monday that Gonzalez (24-2, 14 KOs), of Glendora, California, instead will face Filipino featherweight contender Jeo Santisima (21-3, 18 KOs) in a 10-round bout ESPN+ will stream as part of the Jose Ramirez-Jose Pedraza undercard February 5 from Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
The Tellez-Melendez match will be Top Rank’s chief support prior to a main event that’ll feature 130-pound contenders Xavier Martinez (17-0, 11 KOs) and Robson Conceicao (16-1, 8 KOs) on January 29.
Mexico’s Tellez, 22, has won three straight bouts since he lost an eight-round unanimous to the Dominican Republic’s Michel Rivera (22-0, 14 KOs) in June 2019 at WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan, Iowa. That winning streak started when Tellez (16-1, 10 KOs) upset 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas (11-1, 10 KOs) by sixth-round knockout in December 2019 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Balderas, who signed with Bob Arum’s promotional company last year, is expected to return to the ring on the Ramirez-Pedraza undercard against an opponent to be determined.
Miami’s Melendez (17-1, 13 KOs) most recently out-pointed Cleveland’s Thomas Mattice (17-3-1, 13 KOs) unanimously in a competitive eight-rounder November 5 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The 23-year-old Melendez, a native of Puerto Rico, has won 15 fights in a row since he suffered his lone professional defeat – a four-round split decision to Elliot De Jesus (then 1-2) in November 2018 at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino in San Juan.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.