Friday, July 19, 2024  |


Ricardo Espinoza takes next step towards title fight against Ricardo Nunez

Photo by WBO Boxing/Twitter
Fighters Network

Bantamweight contender Ricardo Espinoza is eyeing a world title shot later this year. For that to happen, he needs to notch an impressive victory on Friday night.

Espinoza will face Panama’s Ricardo Nunez in a ten-round bout at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Telemundo will air the fight (11:35 p.m. ET/ PT).

At Thursday’s weigh-in, Espinoza weighed in at 118 pounds. Nunez weighed 122 pounds.

Espinoza (22-2, 19 knockouts), who resides in Tijuana, Mexico, knocked out Yeison Vargas in the second round on Nov. 30. Vargas entered the bout unbeaten.

The 21-year-old Espinoza’s last two bouts have appeared on the popular ‘Boxeo Telemundo’ series. His previous bout also ended in a second round knockout, dropping Daniel Lozano twice before the fight was stopped.

Espinoza is currently the mandatory challenger to face WBO titleholder Zolani Tete, who will square off against Nonito Donaire on Apr. 27 in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series.

Espinoza is holding out hope a fight with Tete or whoever holds the title after the tournament is over can be made.

“Since signing Ricardo, he has won two important fights by knockout to position himself as the mandatory challenger,” promoter Tuto Zabala told The Ring on Wednesday night. “He has a strong task this Friday against an experienced ‘Matematico’ Nunez.”

“After passing this test, we will wait for what the WBO and what path we will take. We would like to fight for a world title belt later this year.”

The 21-year-old Espinoza has won his 12 bouts since losing a close split-decision to Christian Nieto Ayala in May of 2017.

Nunez (29-8, 23 KOs) lost by technical decision to Carlos Cuadras in his last bout on Aug. 18. He has lost three of his last four bouts.

The 31-year-old Nunez challenged twice for a world title belt as a flyweight, losing to Moruti Mthalane in 2012 and Juan Carlos Reveco in 2013.

Unbeaten welterweight Derrick Cuevas (19-0-1, 14 KOs) of Puerto Rico will square off against former contender Ed Paredes (38-7-1, 25 KOs) in a 10 round bout.

In junior lightweight action, unbeaten Hairon Socarras (20-0-3, 13 KOs) of Miami, Florida will square off against former contender Carlos Ruiz (16-5-2, 6 KOs) of Mexico in an eight round bout.

Featherweight prospect Mussa Tursyngaliyev (8-0, 6 KOs) of Kazakhstan will square off against Michigan’s Vincent Jennings (6-5-2, 4 KOs) in a six round bout.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @FSalazarBoxing