The bill topper at The Hangar at the Orange County Fair & Event Center in California this Saturday sees unified super featherweight world champion Mikaela Mayer in action, and she defends her IBF and WBO belts against former world champion Jennifer Han.
Top Rank promote, with Sky Sports televising Mayer vs Han in the UK, and ESPN picking up the USA rights.
Mayer (16-0, 5 KOs) has made serene progress since turning professional after an Olympic campaign in 2016, and has had eyes on undisputed greatness at 130 pounds for some time.
When she claimed the vacant WBO world title in October 2020 with a landslide points win over Ewa Brodnicka, she looked on course for a showdown with the then-WBC and IBO queen Terri Harper, but injury to the Brit, and the subsequent loss of her title saw those plans go awry.
The 31-year-old defended her belt for the first time last June in a points win against Erica Anabella Farias, and her last fight came five months later, where she added the IBF strap to her collection in a thrilling win on the cards against Maiva Hamadouche.
Meetings with WBA champion Hyun Mi Choi or WBC holder Alicia Baumgardner could come this year, but first she must deal with Han (18-4-1, 1 KO) in a homecoming defence for the Californian.
The Texan is now in the back end of her career, with winning the IBF featherweight title her highlight, making four defences.
Han was last out in September last year, where she moved up to lightweight, but was ultimately outgunned by the excellent undisputed champion, Katie Taylor, who took a wide points win after dropping the 38-year-old in round eight.
Prediction: Mayer has her eyes on bigger prizes, but won’t look past Han here. The challenger will come to fight, but ultimately, Mayer should have the tools to deal with the challenge presented to her, and I expect her to retain by clear decision win.
Santillan battles Barraza
The co-feature comes at welterweight, where Giovani Santillan takes on Columbia’s Jeovanis Barraza over a scheduled ten rounds.
Santillan (28-0, 15 KOs) hasn’t been severely tested thus far in his career, and will be looking to step up after passing this test.
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Barraza (23-2, 15 KOs) was last in the ring in November last year, knocked out in the ninth of a ten rounder by Alexis Rocha.
Prediction: Santillan can also take victory inside schedule here.
Moloney twins return
Andrew Moloney (22-2, 14 KOs) is in action here, and the Aussie will look to move back into contention after an unsuccessful trilogy of contests with Joshua Franco.
Prediction: ‘The Monster’ won his comeback in December in his homeland, and and the bantamweight can take care of business against Gilberto Mendoza (19-11-3, 10 KOs) in their ten round attraction.
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Andrew’s brother Jason Moloney (22-2, 18 KOs) is also highly ranked with the governing bodies, and he may also need the duration, but should be able to diffuse Francisco Pedroza (17-10-2, 10 KOs).
Luis Alberto Lopez (24-2, 13 KOs) was last seen in a dominant seventh round knockout win against Isaac Lowe, and the IBF number one contender at featherweight should score another early win here against Raul Chirino (19-13, 12 KOs), who has been halted nine times in 13 defeats.
Olympic Silver medallist, Duke Ragan (4-0, 1 KO) is likely to need all six rounds to take care of Diuhl Olguin (15-21-5, 10 KOs) in their contest at featherweight, and at flyweight, Ragan’s Olympic teammate, Virginia Fuchs can take a points win on her professional debut over six against Randee Lynn Morales (4-3, 2 KOs).
18-year-old super bantamweight Floyd Diaz (3-0) takes a six round assignment, and he should need the duration before beating Blake Quintana (4-1, 1 KO), and Angel Hernandez turns over in a four rounder, and the featherweight should come through on the cards against Victor Saravia (1-2, 1 KO).