Hometown favorite Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr., (20-3, 17KOs) of Albuquerque, N.M, who will be moving to the lightweight division, will return to The Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino, in Santa Fe, N.M. this Saturday, Jan. 30. Maldonado Jr. is scheduled to face the battle tested and lightweight titlist Michael “Cold Blood” Clark (44-14-1, 18 KOs) of Columbus, Ohio in an eight-round battle in front of a sold out crowd. This will be the second time “The Atrisco Kid” will fight at the resorts after a first-round knockout victory over Lowell Brownfield in September 2015.
“Being in a new weight class will be fun,” said Fidel Maldonado Jr. “I’ve fought at lightweight before so I know how to make the weight. I’m excited about this new chapter of my career and will be looking to bigger fights and a world title at this new weight.”
One of the brightest young stars on the Golden Boy Promotions roster, Albuquerque’s Fidel Maldonado is a crowd-pleasing warrior eager to make his mark on the scene in 2016 on his way to a world championship. A decorated amateur, “The Atrisco Kid” showed his punching power in five consecutive first-round knockouts after his professional debut in 2009. In his 12th professional bout in October 2011, Maldonado went the distance for only the second time and defeated Eric “La Maquina” Cruz for the vacant WBC Youth Silver lightweight title.
Two fights later, Maldonado was upset by Fernando “El Guerrero Yaqui” Carcamo via second-round technical knockout and suffered a consecutive loss via split decision to fellow prospect Michael “The Artist” Perez; however, his gutsy effort earned him even more fans. Just two months after the grueling Perez bout, Maldonado got back to his winning ways with a decision win over Trenton Titsworth, kicking off a six-fight winning streak that saw him defeat the likes of Jorge “Koky” Romero, Luis Ramos Jr., John Nater, Nelson Lara and Fernando “Picapiedra” Silva, establishing him as a fighter on the verge of the world rankings.
A January 2015 loss to Amir Imam in a back and forth war, which has Imam his the canvas for the first time in his career, and won Ring Magazine’s 2015 Round of the Year, slowed Maldonado’s progress, but in September a first-round finish of Lowell Brownfield has the Albuquerque native looking toward championship gold once more.
Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Michael “Cold Blood” Clark has had a long career full of accomplishments and action. A professional since 1993, Clark won his first 24 bouts consecutively and gained the International Boxing Council Lightweight Title before a big shot at the WBO Lightweight World Championship in 1999 against Artur “King Artur” Grigorian.
Suffering his first loss at the hands of Grigorian, Clark continued on his journey in search of world championship gold and obtained the NABF Lightweight title beating out Steve “The Mongoose” Quinonez in 2003 and defending the title against Antonio Rodriguez that same year.
In 2005, Clark fought in the WBC Lightweight Title eliminator but suffered a loss to Sirimongkol Singwancha. Rebounding from the loss, Clark went on to secure victories over Mauro “Punos de Oro” Lucero, Leavander Johnson and Jason Pires and the USA Ohio State Lightweight, NABA Lightweight, the NABA Super Lightweight and the USA Ohio State Welterweight, and the USNBC Welterweight titles from 2008 through 2013. More recently, though, Clark has lost his last six bouts and will be looking for a fresh start in 2016.