As if this year wasn't already going to be special for the 2018 season, the Boxeo Telemundo series takes on a different feel as it heads into its 30th year on air.
The longest-running active boxing series will begin its Spring season on February 23, airing live on Telemundo from the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. The main event pits a familiar theme, as Puerto Rico's Jonathan 'Bomba' Gonzalez faces Mexico's Ricardo 'Meserito' Rodriguez in a 10-round regional super flyweight bout.
For the 28-year old Gonzalez, this bout takes on new meaning. It will be his first bout since Puerto Rico was ravaged by back-to-back hurricanes in 2017, with many on the island still without power and basic necessities.
"This win will be for everyone in Puerto Rico," said Gonzalez (19-2-1, 12KOs), a southpaw contender now based out of the Bronx, New York fighting in the continental United States for the first time since 2014. "I'm always motivated anytime I enter the ring, but (February 24) means so much more with everyone back home fighting for a better way of life every day."
Kissimmee is part of the Greater Orlando area, which is second only to New York in terms of the largest base of Puerto Ricans living in the lower 48 states.
Rodriguez (16-5, 5KOs) hopes to end a two-fight skid, including a title-fight loss to unbeaten 115-pound king Naoya Inoue last May in Japan. The 28-year old from Los Angeles by way of Mexico suffered a shocking loss to late replacement Daniel Lozano in their rematch last October in the 2017 Telemundo season finale, which enjoyed its best year ever ratings-wise.
"It's been an honor to be a part of this great series and family," All-Star Boxing's Felix 'Tutico' Zabala Jr.—whose company has been the series primary content provider since inception 30 years ago—told FightNights.com. "Each year presents new challenges and the fans continue to tune in and support our product.
"Last year was filled with great memories, and we can't wait to see what the 2018 Spring, Summer and Fall seasons will provide."