Young Prospects Saying Hello to the Big Stage Saturday Evening
If you talk to boxing insiders, they will tell you that one day, unbeaten Southern California standouts Carlos Molina and Ronny Rios will headline an event in Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center. On Saturday, May 22, fight fans can get an early look into the future as Molina and Rios step through the ropes along with Mexico’s Freddy Hernandez in separate bouts on the “Once and Four All” Vazquez vs. Marquez IV undercard.
In an eight round junior welterweight bout, Molina will face Tijuana’s Humberto Tapia and in a junior lightweight bout scheduled for six rounds, Rios meets Guadalupe De Leon. Also featured on the undercard will be welterweight contender Freddy Hernandez’ in a ten rounder against Oscar Leon of Colombia.
Unbeaten in 11 pro fights, Norwalk, California’s Carlos Molina (11-0, 6 KO’s) has been the King of his hometown over the course of his young pro career and the 24-year-old is getting better with each outing, making it clear that he is on his way to the top in the crowded junior welterweight division. Fresh from a four round win over Hensley Strachan in February, Molina will square off against Tijuana’s Humberto Tapia (15-12-1, 8 KO’s) on May 22. Tapia, also 24 years old, is no stranger to facing top fight prospects, having stepped in the ring with the likes of Hylon Williams, Danny Garcia, Rock Allen and Brandon Rios, and this experience makes him a tough test for Molina.
Owner of a stellar 28-1 (18 KO’s) as a professional, Mexico City’s Freddy “El Riel” Hernandez has paid his dues and is ready to take on the best the welterweight division has to offer. Unbeaten since 2005, the WBA Fedelatin, IBA and WBC Latino champion has defeated the likes of DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, Ben “Wonder” Tackie, Roberto Garcia and Norberto “Nito” Bravo over the last three years, earning him a number 11 world ranking in the WBC. Looking to stop his ascent to the top is Colombia native Oscar Leon (28-12, 18 KO’s), a southpaw with the type of world-class experience to give any contender a run for his money.
A national amateur champion at the age of 17, Ronny Rios (10-0, 5 KO’s) knows what it’s like to deal with pressure, so it’s no surprise that three years later, the Santa Ana, California standout has made an immediate mark in the pro boxing world and has made it look easy in the process. Already 2-0 in 2010, with wins over Willshaun Boxley and Andres Ledesma, Rios hopes to keep his perfect record intact when he takes on Weslaco, Texas’ always tough Guadalupe De Leon (8-10, 4 KOs).
Following three epic battles, three-time World Champion Israel Vazquez and two-division World Champion Rafael Marquez will face off in the fourth installment of what is perhaps the greatest boxing trilogy of all-time on Saturday, May 22, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). In the co-feature, Yonnhy Perez will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight World Title against unbeaten top contender Abner Mares.