Martinez-Martinez to lead Nov. 16 ESPN card


Unless it’s a draw, betting on Martinez to win the fight is a sure thing.

Puerto Rico’s Jose Martinez (19-0-1, 12 KOs) and Colombia’s Jesus Martinez (23-2, 11 KOs) will meet in a scheduled 10-round junior bantamweight fight that will headline a “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” card on Nov. 16 at the Poliforum Benito Juarez in Cancun, Mexico, Golden Boy Promotions announced Thursday.

The card will air live on ESPN Deportes beginning at 9 p.m. ET with same-day taped coverage on ESPN2 beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET. There will also be a live stream of the full card beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

The card was initially scheduled to take place in Puerto Rico, but it had to be moved because of the devastation on the island from Hurricane Maria last month.

Jose Martinez, 25, will be fighting for only the second time outside Puerto Rico.

“I feel very grateful for this great opportunity,” he said. “Preparation has gone very well, even though there are only a few boxers training on the island. But I have a lot of determination, and with the adjustments we’ve made in camp, I’ll be in great condition. These tough times in Puerto Rico have motivated me because I’ll be fighting for my island, my town and for all the Puerto Ricans.”

Jesus Martinez will be fighting outside Colombia for only the second time and having his second fight in a row in Mexico. The first time boxing there, on March 11 in Mexico City, did not go well. He suffered a fourth-round knockout loss to Luis Nery, who later in the year won a bantamweight world title.

“I feel very happy for this opportunity,” Jesus Martinez said. “I am ready, and my experience will be the key to the victory. I am confident that I will have a great win.”

The card will also include appearances by two of Golden Boy’s top prospects against opponents to be determined in scheduled eight-round bouts. Welterweight Alexis Rocha (9-0, 6 KOs), 20, of Santa Ana, California, will fight in the co-feature, and Dallas junior welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr. (7-0, 7 KOs), 19, will open the telecast.

The card in Cancun comes as Golden Boy Promotions and promoter Cancun Boxing are beginning a new partnership to bring additional shows to Cancun in 2018.

“Boxing and Mexico have been synonymous for decades, and we are looking forward to doing many shows together with Cancun Boxing in the future,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “Just as the Nov. 16 show promises fireworks from top-to-bottom, so will all of our shows in the fighting city of Cancun.”

De La Hoya will be working with Cancun Boxing CEO Pepe Gomez, who has been putting on regular boxing shows there for years.

“I am pleased that Golden Boy Promotions and Cancun Boxing have come together,” Gomez said. “I celebrate the fact that Golden Boy will return to our Quintana Roo tourist destinations. I am sure that for many years to come we will be working together.”


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