Aston Palicte to face Jose Martinez on January 31
Aston Palicte fell short of his goal of winning a major title in his most recent fight. Rather than take a stay-busy bout afterward, Palicte accepted a fight that could put him back in the world title picture.
Palicte will face unbeaten Jose Martinez on January 31 in a 12-round WBO junior bantamweight title eliminator at the Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine, California.
In his most recent bout on September 8, Palicte fought to a split draw against former three-division titlist Donnie Nietes in an all-Philippines clash. Both were fighting for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title.
Nietes will again fight for the vacant WBO title on December 31 in Macau, China, against Kazuto Ioka.
The 27-year-old Palicte, who is originally from Bago City in the Philippines, is currently in the Los Angeles area, where he is now training alongside former eight-division champion and current welterweight contender Manny Pacquiao.
Palicte (24-2-1, 20 knockouts) is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. Promotions, which signed him to a deal in 2016.
“Aston is well ahead of schedule,” matchmaker Guy Taylor told RingTV.com on Monday evening. “He’s running and training alongside Manny. I’d be very surprised if this fight (against Martinez) goes the distance.”
Palicte is ranked No. 2 by the WBO at 115 pounds. The Ring Magazine ranks Palicte at No. 9.
Martinez (20-0-2, 13 KOs), who resides in Los Marias, Puerto Rico, has not seen action since March 24, when he fought to a split draw against Mexico’s Alejandro Santiago. They previously fought to a majority draw in November of 2016.
The 26-year-old Martinez is ranked No. 4 by the WBO.
Palicte has faced the better opposition throughout his pro career, which makes Taylor believe the hard-hitting Filipino will be too much for Martinez.
“I expect the very best Aston Palicte come January 31,” said Taylor.
Brandon Cruz (6-0, 4 KOs), who resides in nearby San Diego, will face Fort Worth’s Edward Vazquez (5-0) in a six-round junior lightweight bout.
Junior flyweight Amaris Quintana (12-3-2, 4 KOs), of San Diego, is also scheduled to fight on the card.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.
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