Luis Alberto Lopez will defend his IBF world featherweight belt against former two-time world title challenger Joet Gonzalez at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on 15th September.
Lopez won the IBF strap when beating Britain's Josh Warrington in Leeds last year and the Mexican has since made a successful defence when stopping Michael Conlon in Belfast in May.
Gonzalez has twice come up short in his bid to become a world champion, losing to Shakur Stevenson in 2019 and Emanuel Navarrete in 2021. However, that loss to Navarrete was a Fight of the Year contender and the Californian certainly deserves another crack at the big time.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of the Texas tussle.
|What||Luis Alberto Lopez v Joet Gonzalez|
|Where||American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas|
|When||04:00 (UK time), 16th September, 2023|
|How to watch||TBC|
|Odds||Lopez 1/7, Gonzalez 9/2|
The fight is scheduled to take place in the US on Friday, 15th September, 2023.
The main card will get underway at midnight UK time. The main event between Lopez and Gonzalez is expected to get underway at 04:00. Fight fans are set for a late night, but exact timings will depend on the duration of the undercard bouts.
The bout will take place at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The entertainment complex boasts an auditorium, convention center and arena and the venue is home to the Corpus Christi IceRays ice hockey team and men's and women's NCAA basketball teams.
The arena has a maximum capacity of 10,000 for sporting events and concerts and there is bound to be a large Mexican following supporting the Mexicali-born Lopez.
The bout will be broadcast live on ESPN in the US, and although no UK broadcaster is yet to pick up the rights to the contest, that may change as we move closer to fight night.
Lopez is a red-hot 1/7 favourtie and the Mexican is well-fancied to hold on to his IBF world featherweight belt in Texas. Gonzalez is a shot to wrestle the title from the champion and the Californian looks to face a tough task.
The IBF world featherweight belt that Lopez collected when beating Warrington last year will be on the line in Texas. El Venado has already made one successful defence when stopping Conlon last time out and the 29-year-old will be in no mood to hand over his belt.
Gonzalez has twice fallen short when challenging Stevenson and Navarrete for their world titles. However, the 29-year-old put up a good show against Navarrete and the Californian gets another shot at an elite-level title.
Lopez has won 28 of his 30 professional contests and El Venado has shown major improvement in recent times.
The Mexican was beaten by Abraham Montoya in 2018 and Ruben Villa in 2019, but since then the 29-year-old has recorded 11 straight victories and the step down to featherweight has seen a major turnaround in his fortunes.
Lopez got the better of Isaac Lowe at the York Hall in 2021 and the Mexicali-born fighter was then given a crack at Warrington’s IBF world title. El Venado duly took his chance and the 29-year-old then made a seriously impressive first defence against Conlon in May.
Gonzalez has suffered three defeats in his 29-fight career, but they have come in high-level contests.
The Californian has been beaten by the super Stevenson, Navarrete and Isaac Dogboe, but the 29-year-old has never been stopped and there was certainly no shame in those defeats.