Caleb Plant/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions
Middleweight prospect Caleb Plant has big dreams, but he has a ways to go before he can realize them. He’ll try to take a step in the direction of his goal when he tangles with hard-hitting Juan De Angel (18-4-1, 17 KOs) of Colombia in the 10-round main event Tuesday from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa. (on Fox Sports 1).
Plant, 24, speaks like he expects to have his hands full.
“Like all fights at this level, it’s going to be a tough fight,” he said. “I’m expecting to see a hungry fighter who has nothing to lose. I, myself, have everything to lose, so I’m going to make sure I’m at my best when we step in the ring. De Angel has held some regional belts, so I know he has some tricks up his sleeve. One thing I will do is dictate the pace.”
Plant, whose moniker is “Sweet Hands,”
is 13-0 with 10 knockouts
. He has fought most of his bouts at just above the middleweight limit of 160 pounds, but it sounds like he wants to eventually challenge for a middleweight title.
“The middleweight division has plenty of talent,” said Plant, of Ashland City, Tenn. “Gennady Golovkin has a stranglehold on the division at the moment, but I’m gunning for him and anyone else that’s in my way. First I have to get past this fight and then continue my march toward that world title.”
Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte tonight (Friday) will square off with Juan Luis Hernandez of Mexico in the featherweight main event at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The Golden Boy Promotions card will be televised by Fox Sports 1 at 7 p.m.
Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, has a record of 14-0 with nine knockouts. He is a very good prospect and it won’t be surprising at all to see him fighting for a world title within the next couple of years. Diaz is just 22.
Hernandez, 32, is 17-4-1 with nine knockouts.
Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. of Albuquerque stopped late substitute John Nater of Puerto Rico after four rounds of their junior welterweight main event Monday night at Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio. The Golden Boy Promotions/Leija*Battah Promotions card was televised on Fox Sports 1.
The hard-hitting Maldonado (18-2, 15 KOs), just 22, decked Nater in the third and fourth rounds on the way to his fourth consecutive knockout. Nater did not answer the bell for the fifth of the scheduled 10-round bout.
Nater, 23, is 13-5 (10 KOs). He was a replacement for Steve Forbes, who could not pass a pre-fight medical examination.
Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr., a hard-hitting southpaw from Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday will take on John Nater of Puerto Rico at Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio. The Golden Boy Promotions/Leija*Battah Promotions card will be televised by Fox Sports 1.
Maldonado, 22, is 17-2 with 14 knockouts. That computes to a 73.6 knockout ratio, and he has stopped his past three opponents inside the distance.
Nater, whose full name is John Gregory Nater Jimenez, also has some pop. He is 13-4 with 10 knockouts. He has stopped his past two opponents in the first round. Nater is 23.
Victor Ortiz of Ventura had not been in the ring since June 2012, when his jaw was broken by Josesito Lopez in the ninth round at Staples Center. His return was not a happy one.
Southpaw Luis Collazo on Thursday night caught Ortiz with a clean right hook near the end of the second round, and knocked out Ortiz officially at 2:59 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Ortiz took a couple of more minor punches on the way down, went to both knees and never came close to rising.
Collazo, 32, of Brooklyn, is a former welterweight champion. He is now 35-5 with 18 knockouts. Ortiz, 27 on Friday, is also a former welterweight champion. He is now 29-5-2 and has lost three consecutive bouts.
If you are a real boxing fan, you are going to love Friday night because three different cards will be televised on three different networks.
Closest to home, Antonio Orozco (18-0, 14 KOs) of San Diego will take on Miguel Angel Huerta (27-11-1, 18 KOs) of Mexico in the junior welterweight main event on a Golden Boy Promotions card at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (on Fox Sports 1). Julian Ramirez (9-0, 6 KOs) of Pasadena will take on Derrick Wilson (10-5-2, 3 KOs) of Fort Myers, Fla. in the featherweight semi-main event.
Over in Shelton, Wash., Thomas Williams (15-0, 10 KOs) of Fort Washington, Md. and Cornelius White (21-2, 16 KOs) of Houston will square off in the light heavyweight main event from Little Creek Casino Resort (on ESPN2).
Also, Curtis Stevens (25-4, 18 KOs) of Brooklyn and Patrick Majewski (21-2, 13 KOs) of Atlantic City via Poland will fight in the middleweight main event from Resorts International in Atlantic City (on NBC Sports Network).
Josesito Lopez of Riverside will be back in the ring for the first time in six months when he takes on Mike Arnaoutis in the welterweight main event Dec. 13 at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (on Fox Sports 1).
“It’s great to be back in the ring, especially in front of my Southern California fans,” said Lopez, 29. “Arnaoutis is a tough guy and I know he’s going to give me a fight, but that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Lopez last fought June 8 and was stopped in the sixth round by hard-hitting Marcos Maidana at Home Depot Center. Prior to that, Lopez challenged super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for his title and was stopped in the fifth round on Sept. 15, 2012 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Lopez earned the fight with Alvarez after the biggest victory of his career, a ninth-round TKO of former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz on June 23, 2012 at Staples Center. Lopez broke Ortiz’s jaw.
Lopez is 30-6 with 18 knockouts. Arnaoutis, of Queens, N.Y., is 34. He is 24-9-2 with 11 knockouts. A former contender, he has lost six of his past eight fights. But he’s talking big.
“Josesito Lopez is a true warrior and with our styles, this is going to be a fight no one will forget,” he said. “I can’t wait for the first bell to ring and I’m not going to stop swinging until my hand is raised.”
Former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz will return to the ring Jan. 30 against former champion Luis Collazo at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Fox Sports 1), according to a report on BoxingScene.com
Ortiz has not fought since having his jaw broken by Josesito Lopez in a ninth-round TKO loss in June 2012 at Staples Center.
Ortiz, of Oxnard, was supposed to come back Dec. 14 against Alfonso Gomez, but Gomez pulled out with an injury.
Ortiz, 26, is 29-4-2 with 22 knockouts. Collazo, of Queens, N.Y., is 32. He has a record of 34-5 with 17 knockouts.
Manuel Avila of Fairfield puts his undefeated record on the line Monday night when he takes on Jose Angel Cota of Mexicali in the 10-round featherweight main event from Sports House in Redwood City (on Fox Sports 1).
Avila is 12-0 with four knockouts. Cota is 15-9-1 with 11 knockouts.
The semi-main event will feature Louis Rose (8-1, 2 KOs) of Claremont going against Paul Mendez (14-2-1, 6 KOs) of Salinas in an eight-round super middleweight bout. Rose is on a three-fight winning streak after suffering his only loss in December in Hollywood.
Former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver last fought in June 2012, when he had a draw with Lateef Kayode in a cruiserweight fight at Home Depot Center in Carson. But he tested positive for steroids afterward, and he was suspended for a year by the California State Athletic Commission.
Tarver, who will be 45 on Nov. 21, will make a comeback as a heavyweight when he takes on Mike Sheppard in a 10-round fight Nov. 26 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. (on Fox Sports 1).
Tarver is anxious to get back in the saddle.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring and showing the world that the ‘Magic Man’ is better than ever and ready for the big fights,” he said. “This is the perfect opportunity to make a statement at home and I can’t wait.”
Tarver, of Tampa, Fla., is 29-6 with 20 knockouts. Sheppard, 38, is from Palestine, West Virgina. He is 21-15-1 with nine knockouts.