The 2017 debut of Boxeo Telemundo continues to grow with anticipation, as the February 24 spring season premiere comes with plenty of flavor that blends in well with past tradition.
The main event - which airs live from the Tony Rosa Community Center in Palm Bay, Florida (Friday, Telemundo, 11:35pm ET/PT) - pits a series regular versus an unbeaten rising prospect in a series-long Mexico vs. Puerto Rico storyline, as Mexico City's Ricardo Rodriguez takes on unbeaten Boricua super flyweight Carlos Narvaez. The scheduled 10-round bout comes with a regional title at stake, the significance of the matchup being that the series has produced several world title challengers in this weight class.
It's possible the winner of this headlining attraction could walk down that same road.
"Ricardo Rodriguez has shown time and time again that he is better than his record and with each win continues to move closer toward that world title picture," promoter Felix "Tutico" Zabala Jr. told FightNight.com in building up the main event. "He's beaten a number of tough fighters along the way on this series, and has another one in Carlos Narvaez, who doesn't know how to lose."<.p>
Rodriguez (15-3, 4KOs) makes his ninth series appearance, the most recent coming in a repeat win over David Quijano at this very same venue last October. Overall, he is presently 6-2 on the Boxeo Telemundo circuit. The lone two defeats came at the hands of David Carmona, another series favorite who one year ago delivered arguably the toughest test to date in a points loss to super flyweight titlist and pound-for-pound entrant Naoya Inoue.
Narvaez (15-0, 6KOs) fights for the first time on Telemundo, and just second overall outside of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic along with his first scheduled 10-round contest. His lone previous ring appearance in the lower 48 states came in a Nov. '14 points win in San Antonio, Texas. Friday's bout will be his first since an eight-round decision victory over Juan Carlos Herrera last August in Catano, Puerto Rico.
Gracing the undercard is a pair of 2016 Rio Olympians. Teofimo Lopez - who hails from Queens, but represented his parents' native Honduras and now fights out of Florida - will square off versus Mexico's Francisco Medel (10-7, 6KOs) in a four-round lightweight bout. A bit closer to home, Kissimmee's Antonio Vargas - who represented the United States in the 2016 Rio Olympics - makes his pro debut as he faces Puerto Rico's Luis Villegas.
"I can't say it enough how excited the All-Star Boxing team is about this show," said Zabala. "Every season premiere comes with a lot of anticipation from our team and we're proud of every show we present. But this one feels really special. We hope the audience feels the same when all is said and done."