By Jake Donovan

Former bantamweight titlist Joseph Agbeko returns to the ring for the first time in 17 months, facing Philippines’ Juanito Rubillar this Saturday, May 30 at El Paso County Coliseum in El Paso, Texas.

The scheduled 10-round bout headlines a new monthly series from Roy Jones Jr’s promotional company (Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions), to air via tape-delay on LATV (Latino Alternative Television). All cards—including Saturday’s premiere—will feature local talent in supporting capacity, whether in showcase bouts or matched against Jones’ fighters.

“What better way to showcase local talent than to present it in El Paso,” said Jones Jr.. The former four division champ remains active in the ring, but has provided a more concentrated effort on the promotional side in recent times.

A similar show was staged in Arizona this past March, headlined by local favorite and middle-aged heavyweight Billy Wright. The hope is for the same formula to work in border-town El Paso.

“RJJ intends to bring the excitement and thrill of boxing back to El Paso and what better way to do that than show off our fighters, hand picked by Roy himself and place them against local talent of El Paso, TX”, stated Keith Veltre, director of Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions. 

Agbeko (29-5, 22KOs) has not fought since an abysmal showing versus Guillermo Rigondeaux in Dec. ’13. The HBO-televised junior featherweight championship bout cast both fighters in a negative light, more so for Agbeko, who landed just 48 punches over the course of the night, just three above the CompuBox mark for fewest amount of punches landed in a 12-round bout. 

A comeback bout was planned in March for the former bantamweight titlist, slated to take place in his native Ghana. The intention of the fight—in addition to returning to the ring—was to move towards another crack at a junior featherweight title, but was delayed and ultimately canceled altogether, leading to this weekend’s opportunity.

Standing opposite corner will be 38-year old Rubillar (49-22-7, 24KOs), a former title contender at junior flyweight and junior bantamweight who has been out of the ring since Aug. ’13.  

The card is scheduled to air June 5 (10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT) on LATV. Also to be featured on the broadcast: 
  • New Orleans’ Desmond Brock (8-3, 3KOs) squares off against Mexico’s Pedro Torres in an eight-round junior welterweight contest
  • Montenegro middleweight prospect Milorad Zizic (11-1, 5KOs), who looks to bounce back from his first career defeat as he faces Rahman Mustafa Yusubov in a scheduled 6-round affair
  • Albuquerque’s Archie Ray Marquez (15-2, 9KOs), once a promising prospect who returns following a 28-month hiatus in meeting fellow New Mexico product Colbert Lozoya in a 6-round junior welterweight bout

Fight week activities include separate meet-and-greet opportunities with Jones Jr. The former champ will appear along with his stable of fighters Thursday at Wolves Den Gym in El Paso (3:00–5:00 p.m. local time) and Friday (11:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m. local time) at Titled Kilt, also in El Paso. 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox