FORT WORTH, TEXAS: Seasoned slugger Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (33-7-1, 23 KOs) will take on rising contender Jonathan “Thunder” Navarro (17-0, 9 KOs) in a 12-round fight for the WBC Silver International Super Lightweight Title in the new co-main event to Ortiz Jr. vs Hooker. The action will take place Saturday, March 20 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN worldwide, including the U.S. and Mexico.
Highly touted heavyweight monster Arslanbek Makhmudov was originally slated to return in the co-main event, but he will now return in April against a very big challenge. Details for Makhmudov’s return will be announced in the coming weeks.
“This co-main is a Golden Boy special — two guys who can crack, don’t take a step backwards and are always going for the knockout,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “With both guys having been off for more than a year due to Covid-19, each is hungry for a win and to position themselves in the mix at the top of the super lightweight division.”
Cano is a 31-year-old contender from Tlalnepantla, Mexico, who is coming off wins against
Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares and Roberto “Massa” Ortiz. This young veteran of about 15 years has also defeated the likes of Ashley Theophane, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera and Ruslan Madiev, and he has participated in great battles against “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Paul “The Magic Man” Malignaggi and Erik “El Terrible” Morales. Cano will inch closer to a world title shot if can beat Navarro.
“I am very happy to be returning on such an important card on March 20” said Pablo Cesar Cano. “I am delighted for the chance to be active once again, especially because of all that has happened due to the pandemic. I am motivated, and I have a positive mentality. I’m going to make sure I train very hard to be at optimum shape on fight night.”
Navarro is a 24-year-old rising contender who scored his biggest win yet in 2018 when he beat then-undefeated prospect Damon Allen Jr. via technical knockout. Since then, he has scored two impressive wins, though he has been inactive since October 2019. Navarro plans to return to the ring and make a big statement in order to put himself in line for a world title shot.
“I am very excited for this fight,” said Jonathan Navarro. “You’re not going to want to miss it. This fight will be a big step up for me, and it will bring me closer to becoming a world champion. We are working very hard back at camp and making sure we are prepared for Cano. I’m coming to make a statement in the 140-pound division. I will let everyone know that I’m coming for a belt very soon!”
As announced previously, the Ortiz vs. Hooker undercard will be stacked from top to bottom with highly competitive matchups.
Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz (31-3, 4 KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico and former flyweight champion Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (19-0, 8 KOs) of East Los Angeles, California will meet in an epic 10-round fight for Ortiz’s WBA Minimumweight World Title.
Luis “Matador” Hernandez (21-0, 19 KOs) of Chihuahua, Mexico will participate in a 10-round super lightweight battle against Alex Martin (15-3, 6 KOs) of Chicago, Illinois.
George Rincon (10-0, 7 KOs) of Dallas, Texas will return in an eight-round super lightweight fight against Alex Martin(15-3, 6 KOs) of Merida, Mexico.
Hector Valdez (13-0, 8 KOs) of Dallas, Texas will face Alberto Torres (11-3-3, 4 KOs) of Sacramento, California in an eight-round super bantamweight battle.
Oscar Acevedo (7-0) of Garden City, Kansas and James “Crunch Time” Willkins (9-1-0, 6 KOs) of Staten Island, New York will meet in an eight-round super featherweight bout between two Golden Boy prospects.
Tristan Kalkreuth (7-0, 6 KOs) of Duncanville, Texas will return against a soon-to-be-announced opponent in a six-round fight in the cruiserweight division.