Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa are in good company for their upcoming title clash.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Nery's WBC junior featherweight title defense versus Figueroa will headline the May 15 edition of Showtime Championship Boxing. The bout between unbeaten junior featherweights will serve as part of a tripleheader, with the undercard revealed on Thursday as part of the network’s announcement of its next nine boxing events.
Former unified junior featherweight titlist Daniel Roman will once again fight on the same card as Nery (31-0, 24KOs) and Figueroa (21-0-1, 16KOs), as he will face Tijuana’s Ricardo ‘Hindu’ Espinoza (25-3, 21KOs). Also on the show, Xavier Martinez and Abraham Montoya collide in a 12-round WBA junior lightweight title eliminator.
Roman returned to the win column on the same Showtime Pay-Per-View card last September which saw Nery and Figueroa preserve their unbeaten records. Los Angeles’ Roman (28-3-1, 10KOs) scored a 12-round unanimous decision win over former bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Payano (21-5, 9KOs) on the show, rebounding from the end of his WBA/IBF junior featherweight title reign following a 12-round split decision defeat to Murodjon Akhmadaliev (9-0. 7KOs) last January.
The hope for Roman—who is among the top-five contenders among all four major sanctioning bodies—following the win over Payano was a title shot, as his win over Payano was one of two WBC-ordered title eliminators. Instead, he will get to audition for an eventual shot at the winner of the evening’s main event between Nery—the reigning WBC titlist—and Figueroa, who holds a secondary version of the WBA title.
Espinoza enters riding a two-fight win streak following a 12th round knockout loss to John Riel Casimero in their WBO interim bantamweight title fight in April 2019. A move up in weight followed for Espinoza, including a 10-round unanimous decision over unbeaten Brandon Valdes last August in Kissimmee, Florida.
Martinez (16-0, 11KOs) is coming off of the most grueling win of his career. The 23-year-old from Sacramento survived a pair of knockdowns to edge out former featherweight titlist Claudio Marrero over 12 grueling rounds last October as part of a Showtime event from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The bout was his lone ring appearance since the pandemic, though coming as a title eliminator for the number-two position with the WBA.
Efforts to move one step closer to any of the WBA titles will now go through Montoya (20-2-1, 14KOs), a 26-year-old from Mexicali who enjoys a quick turnaround.
Montoya has won two straight since the pandemic, including an eight-round majority decision win over undefeated Alejandro Guerrero (12-0 at the time) this past February. The bout took place as part of Showtime’s ShoBox series which aired live from Mohegan Sun.
The evening’s main event will feature Nery attempting the first defense of his WBC junior featherweight title. Figueroa presently holds a secondary version of the WBA 122-pound title.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox