Junior lightweights Alberto Machado and Carlos Morales will square off in the 10-round main event of the Aug. 18 edition of “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN,” Golden Boy Promotions announced Tuesday.
The fight will take place Complejo Ferial de Puerto Rico in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where Golden Boy will co-promote the card with Miguel Cotto Promotions. When Golden Boy signed Cotto — the Puerto Rican star and former four-division world champion — in May, part of the agreement entailed Golden Boy putting on cards in Puerto Rico with Cotto’s company. This will be the first one.
The card will air on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET, with undercard bouts still to be announced.
“Everyone at Golden Boy is excited to go to Puerto Rico and stage a great card with our wonderful partners from Miguel Cotto Promotions and ESPN,” Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “This is going to be the beginning of a wonderful relationship that will help revitalize the great historic tradition of boxing in Puerto Rico and give residents an incredible sporting option.”
Machado (17-0, 15 KOs), 26, of Puerto Rico, and Morales (16-1-3, 6 KOs), 27, of Mexico, will add another chapter to the one of boxing’s most storied rivalries: Puerto Rico versus Mexico.
“I feel honored and extra motivated for this great opportunity that Miguel Cotto Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions are giving me to perform on ESPN,” said Machado, who has knocked out 12 opponents in a row. “Carlos Morales is a tough Mexican fighter who is young and hungry like me. I will train as hard as I can to give the fans a great fight and another classic Puerto Rico versus Mexico rivalry. This will be another test for me on my journey to become Puerto Rico’s next world champion.”
Morales has won 16 fights in a row after beginning his career 0-1-3.
“I understand I am going into the lion’s den in Puerto Rico and facing a really good fighter, but I have worked too hard to take a step backwards,” Morales said. “I am going to train harder than I ever have before, and I know that at the end of the fight, I will emerge victorious.”
Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) is training for his first fight since signing with Golden Boy. He will challenge Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-3-2, 24 KOs) for a vacant junior middleweight world title on Aug. 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. But he is also involved in his promotional company and said he is looking forward to it putting on cards in Puerto Rico with Golden Boy.
“We are really pleased and excited to work together with Oscar and Golden Boy Promotions to bring ESPN to Puerto Rico,” Cotto said. “This is a special show for me because I performed on ESPN many years ago and it brings the perfect stage for the up-and-coming talents to show their talent.”