Roberto Arriaza headlines at the Doubletree Hotel
Odds are, as Roberto Arriaza faces Juan Ruiz, this Friday night at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California, the fight will go on longer than Arriaza’s most recent outing. On March 16, the undefeated welterweight scored a stunning, 20-second stoppage over Sammy Valentin.
And just like that, the Nicaraguan opened a few eyes.
“That division (welterweight) for us is very interesting,” said Alex Camponovo, the general manager and matchmaker for Thompson Boxing Promotions. “We have Arriaza; he’s number nine in the WBO. We have Giovanni Santillan, who fought a couple of weeks ago and was able to retain his NABO title by knockout against (Alejandro) Barboza. We have Taras Shelestyuk, who we have with Banner Promotions, with Artie Pelullo, who’s also highly rated in that division.
“So a lot of things can happen. I mentioned it before but it’s a little bit of a logjam on the top with (Terence) Crawford, (WBO beltholder Jeff) Horn, (Manny) Pacquiao and Top Rank has another kid over there that is highly rated (Egidijus Kavaliauskas) also. So it’s going to take a little time before we see how things shake out.”
Crawford will challenge Horn on June 9, while Pacquiao is facing Lucas Matthysse (who has a portion of the WBA title) on July 14.
Arriaza is 28 years old with a mark of 16-0 (13).
Camponovo says, ”(Arriaza) is a tremendous puncher, raw talent, very powerful but he’s going to fight a very tough guy in Juan Ruiz (20-1, 12 KOs), who had a tremendous amateur career background, fought all over the world. Didn’t have a very good outing versus Alexander Besputin last November but he’s a very decent guy with one loss on his record.”
There is some talk of a “ShoBox showdown” between Santillan and Arriaza, who are both represented by Thompson Boxing. Camponovo has spoken to Gordon Hall, the executive producer of the series. “We had a little bit of a conversation. Obviously we have to see how things develop next week but that’s something I’d like to present to the fans, in the very near future, in the late part of summer.”
But he makes it clear: “The caveat for the fight would be that the WBO allows us to fight for an eliminator.”
This week you’ll hear from Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez and trainer Robert Alcazar on “The 3 Knockdown Rule,” with Mario Lopez and Yours Truly.
On this card, Friday night, Michael Montero will be pinch-hitting for me on the stream, alongside Beto Duran. This show will be streamed on Thompson Boxing’s Facebook Live page and its website ThompsonBoxing.com at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT…Also on this card is a bout between featherweights Erick Ituarte and Carlos Carlson and two bright prospects Michael Dutchover and Ruben Torres…Main Events has announced that the Sergey Kovalev-Eleider Alvarez match-up, for Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title, will take place on August 4, at the new Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol is expected to be the co-feature on his HBO broadcast…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.