Yoelvis Gomez will take a noteworthy step up in competition in just his sixth professional fight.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the hard-hitting Cuban southpaw has agreed to meet Mexican veteran Jorge Cota in a junior middleweight match that’ll be part of the Jermell Charlo-Brian Castano undercard March 19 in Los Angeles. Showtime is expected to televise the Charlo-Castano show from Crypto.com Arena, the venue formerly known as Staples Center.
That “Showtime Championship Boxing” broadcast could include four fights, an uncommon occurrence for non-pay-per-view events. Beyond the Charlo-Castano and Gomez-Cota fights, that telecast will include a 12-round, 154-pound WBO elimination match between Australian contender Tim Tszyu (20-0, 15 KOs), a son of legend Kostya Tszyu, and Terrell Gausha (22-2-1, 11 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Encino, California.
Jorge Ebro, a reporter for El Nuevo Herald, first reported Friday on Twitter that the Gomez-Cota contest was likely to land on the Charlo-Castano undercard.
The 24-year-old Gomez (5-0, 5 KOs) is one of the most promising prospects in boxing. He stopped usually durable veteran Clay Collard (9-6-3, 4 KOs) in the first round of a fight FOX televised Christmas night from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Cota (30-5, 27 KOs) has lost by knockout or technical knockout to Jermell Charlo (34-1-1, 18 KOs), Erickson Lubin (24-1, 17 KOs) and Sebastian Fundora (18-0-1, 12 KOs) since March 2017. The 34-year-old Cota is a dangerous puncher, however, who has much more professional experience than Gomez.
Castano (17-0-2, 12 KOs), who owns the WBO junior middleweight title, and Charlo, the IBF, WBA and WBC champion, fought to a controversial, 12-round split draw July 17 at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
New Jersey-based judge Steve Weisfeld scored Castano a 114-113 winner that night. Nevada’s Tim Cheatham scored their back-and-forth fight a draw, 114-114.
Puerto Rico’s Nelson Vazquez oddly scored what was a much closer contest 117-111 for Charlo, who somehow won nine rounds on Vazquez’s card.
Argentina’s Castano, 32, and Houston’s Charlo, 31, both pushed for an immediate rematch.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.