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Golden Boy prospects face tests

15
Jan

Golden Boy Promotions prospects won’t be coddled on March 7.

Three of its top young fighters – Victor Ortiz, James Kirkland and Robert Guerrero – will all face stiff competition on the HBO card if everyone signs on the dotted line. The site has yet to be determined.

Ortiz (23-1-1, 18 knockouts) is scheduled to face veteran Vivian Harris (29-3-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight bout, although the deal hadn’t been finalized as of Thursday. Harris is a former junior welterweight title holder.

Kirkland (24-0, 21 KOs) will face hard-punching contender Joel Julio (34-2, 31 KOs) in a 10-round junior middleweight fight almost certain to end in a knockout. In his last fight, Julio acquitted himself well but lost a decision to WBO junior middleweight champ Sergiy Dzinziruk in November.

And Golden Boy has extended an offer to former two-weight class titleholder Jesus Chavez (44-4, 30 KOs) to fight Guerrero (22-1-1, 15 KOs) at a catch weight of 132 or 133 pounds if “The Ghost” can beat Edel Ruiz on Jan. 24.

Are the young fighters ready for these challenges?

“We’ll find out,” Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez said. “The thing is, we have so many kids and times are tough now. Dates are very, very valuable. If these guys are going to fight on HBO, they’re going to have to step up.

“And that’s the way it should be. When you’re fighting on HBO or even Showtime, that’s the major leagues. You can’t get any freebies.”

The Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao undercard was criticized after hot prospects Ortiz, Juan Manuel Lopez and Daniel Jacobs finished off their overmatched opponents in less than five rounds total.

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