by Francisco Salazar
A lot has changed for Romero Duno over the last 15 months.
The hard-hitting Filipino lightweight has gone from opponent to fringe contender, and a victory tonight could lead him towards bigger paydays.
Duno will square off against Mexico's Gilberto Gonzalez at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. The bout will follow the lightweight clash between unbeaten Oscar Duarte and gatekeeper Rey Perez.
Both 10 round bouts will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).
Duno and Gonzalez came in under the lightweight limit. Duno tipped the scale at 134.6 pounds, while Gonzalez weighed in at 134.8 pounds.
Back on Mar. 10 of last year, Duno (16-1, 14 knockouts) was brought in as an opponent to face then-unbeaten Christian 'Chimpa' Gonzalez, who was favored to win. Duno ended up dropping Gonzalez twice before stopping him in round two.
In his last bout on Jan. 27, Duno knocked out Yardley Armenta in the opening round. He has won his last seven bouts.
Duno will face a stiff challenge in Gonzalez, who has not fought since losing by unanimous decision to Mercito Gesta on Apr. 1 of last year. Duno expects a difficult challenge from Gonzalez.
"I am really excited about (tonight's) fight," Duno told Boxingscene.com after the weigh-in. "This is another fight between the Philippines and Mexico. It should be fun."
Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Roberto Diaz believes both fighters will take the action to one another, where fight fans watching on television or in person will be in for a treat.
"Duno versus Gonzalez is a can't-miss fight. Both are knockout punchers. Gonzalez likes to trade, while Duno can trade, but can move and box as well. I think this (fight) is who hurts who first."
"I believe Duarte and Perez will fight in the center of the ring, trading punches until one falls. I have high hopes for Duarte because he is so strong in the ring."
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing