Unbeaten 2012 U.S. Olympian Michael Hunter (10-0, 7 KOs), middleweight Paul Mendez (20-2-2, 10 KOs) and featherweight contender Claudio “The Matrix” Marrero (19-1, 14 KOs) will compete in separate bouts that highlight undercard action on Saturday, February 27 from Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The event is headlined by a Showtime tripleheader featuring undefeated Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz making his first featherweight title defense against Kiko Martinez. In the co-feature bout, Mexican warriors Julio Ceja and Hugo Ruiz will meet again in an awaited super bantamweight title rematch and opening the telecast, heavyweights Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington and Oscar “Kaboom” Rivas will put their unblemished records on the line in a 10-round matchup.
Hunter will compete in an eight-round cruiserweight bout while Mendez will enter the ring in a 10-round middleweight affair against Joshua Okine (22-4, 15 KOs). Marrero takes on Jonathan Arellano (16-6-2, 4 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight attraction.
The action continues with 27-year-old Ceferino Rodriguez (20-1, 11 KOs) of Spain in an eight-round welterweight bout against Mexico’s Ernesto Ortiz (10-3, 7 KOs) plus 29-year-old South Korean brawler Min Wook Kim (14-1, 11 KOs) in a super lightweight contest against Mexico’s Jose Luis Rodriguez (14-6, 9 KOs).
Rounding out the night of fights is unbeaten 25-year-old Los Angeles-native Anthony Flores (9-0, 5 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout against Daniel Nava (7-3-2, 3 KOs) while Leo Santa Cruz’s cousin, Antonio Santa Cruz (1-2, 1 KO) enters the ring in a four-round bantamweight fight against California’s Jorge Perez (2-0, 1 KO) and undefeated Mexican Rey Vargas (25-0, 20 KOs) in featherweight action.
Since turning professional in early 2013 following the London Olympic Games, the 27-year-old Hunter, fighting out of Las Vegas, NV, has continued to shine. With four victories in 2015, the last three by knockout, he will be looking to march again into the win column to kick off his 2016 campaign.
Fighting out of Delano, California, the 26-year-old Mendez looks for his seventh straight victory when he gets in the ring on February 27. He comes into this fight off of victories over David Alonso Lopez, Santiago Perez, Raul Casarez, Andrik Saralegui and Ernesto Berrospe twice. He takes on the experienced Okine, who was born in Ghana but who fights out of Silver Spring, Maryland.
After winning a silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games, in addition to several other amateur accolades, the Dominican Republic’s Marrero won the first 14 outings of his pro career. The 26-year-old brings a five-fight winning streak to the ring and in his most recent bout he delivered a sensational one-punch knockout victory over former world champion Rico Ramos. Marrero takes on the 28-year-old Arrellano out of Commerce, California.