Cesar Juarez Battles Former Champion Ryosuka Iwasa on Feb.16
Mexico’s Cesar Juarez battles former champion Ryosuka Iwasa of Japan in a 12-round IBF Super Bantamweight title elimination match and undefeated IBF Junior Flyweight Champion Carlos Licona of Mexico clashes with South Africa’s DeeJay Kriel in non-televised action presented by Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, February 16 at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
Action will also see 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas (6-0, 5 KOs) in a special six-round lightweight attraction, former title challenger Hugo Centeno, Jr. (26-2, 14 KOs) meeting Oscar Cortez (27-3, 14 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight bout and Ivan Redkach (21-4-1, 16 KOs) dueling Tyrone Harris (26-13, 16 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight match. The Balderas fight is a swing bout for the FOX and FOX Deportes telecast that will air live if time permits.
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now, and can be purchased at AXS.com.
Juarez (23-6, 17 KOs) has worked his way back into title contention since losing to Isaac Dogboe in a super bantamweight championship match last January. The 27-year-old from Mexico City fought three more times in 2018, scoring two stoppage victories and a unanimous decision over Jorge Sanchez most recently in September.
Iwasa (25-3, 16 KOs) won the IBF Super Bantamweight title with a TKO victory over Yukinori Oguni in 2017 and successfully defended it with a unanimous decision over Ernesto Saulong last March. The 29-year-old from Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan most recently lost the title by unanimous decision to T.J. Doheny in August.
Mexico’s Licona (14-0, 2 KOs) was very busy in 2018, fighting four times and winning the IBF Junior Flyweight title with a split decision over Mark Anthony Barriga on December 1. The 23-year-old from Mexico City, Mexico will be making his first title defense against the 23-year-old Kriel (14-1-1, 6 KOs). Fighting out of Johannesburg, South Africa, he will compete for the first time in the U.S. and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Xolisa Magusha in March.
Non-televised undercard action also features unbeaten prospect Jose Gomez (11-0, 4 KOs) facing Jorge Luis Guzman (5-2-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super featherweight bout, undefeated super featherweight prospect Jerry Perez (10-0, 7 KOs) meeting Ivan Benitez (12-2, 4 KOs) in a four round match and a six-round super featherweight clash between Neri Ariel Romero (11-0, 7 KOs) and Roxberg Patrick Riley (13-1, 7 KOs).
Rounding out the card is undefeated super lightweight prospect Julian Rodarte (14-0-1, 6 KOs) competing against Miguel Mendoza (23-15-2, 22 KOs) in an eight-round match, Philippine featherweight and former world champion Marlon Tapales (31-2, 14 KOs) stepping in for a 10-round attraction and the pro debut of Shon Mondragon in a four-round super bantamweight fight.
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ABOUT SANTA CRUZ VS. RIVERA
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Rafael Rivera is a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX
Deportes event that will see featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz take on
Mexico’s Rafael Rivera in the main event Saturday, February 16 from Microsoft Theater
at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features unbeaten former champion Omar Figueroa battling hard-hitting John Molina Jr. and a matchup between unbeaten prospects Sebastien Fundora and Donnie Marshall.