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Rey Vargas to defend WBC junior featherweight title against Tomoki Kameda on July 13


WBC junior featherweight titleholder Rey Vargas will defend his WBC junior featherweight title against mandatory challenger Tomoki Kameda on July 13, Golden Boy Promotions has announced.

The 12-round bout will take place at Dignity Health Sports Park (formally known as the StubHub Center) in Carson, California and will be streamed live on DAZN

On the undercard, unbeaten Diego De La Hoya will square off against former world title challenger Ronny Rios in a 12-round junior featherweight bout. Featherweight contender Joet Gonzalez will take on Manuel ‘Timo’ Avila in a 10-round bout.

Unbeaten junior lightweight contender Eduardo Hernandez of Mexico will square off against an opponent to be determined in a 10-round bout.

Vargas (33-0, 22 knockouts), who resides in the Mexico City area, overcame a knockdown at the hands of Venezuela’s Franklin Manzanilla to win by unanimous decision on Feb. 9 in Indio, California. The victory over Manzanilla was Vargas’ fourth successful defense of his WBC title.

The 28-year-old Vargas is co-promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Promotions Del Pueblo, who has promoted Vargas since 2012.

“This is going to be a hard and complicated fight,” said Vargas. “Kameda is a difficult opponent who has been a world champion. Above all, he has a thorn in his side that he’ll want to take out because I beat him in the amateurs several years ago.”

“This is an interesting fight. He is a quick fighter and he’ll look to take advantage of that, but thanks to God and my corner, we are already working to counteract the strategy of this Japanese fighter. God willing, we will walk away with our hand (up) in victory.”

Kameda (36-2, 20 KOs), who splits his time between his birthplace of Tokyo and Mexico City, became the mandatory challenger by defeating Abigail Medina of the Dominican Republic on Nov. 12.

The 27-year-old Kameda has won his last five bouts since losing back-to-back close decisions to then-WBA bantamweight titleholder Jamie McDonnell of England in 2015. Kameda also held the WBO bantamweight title before his fights against McDonnell.

“This is going to be a great battle,” said Kameda. ”I know Rey Vargas very well. We fought in the amateurs during my time in Mexico. I look forward to getting my revenge against him and becoming a two-division world champion. I know Vargas is a tall fighter with long arms, but the Mexican style that I possess will give him a lot of trouble and make for a great fight for the fans!”

Kameda is handled by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), where he has fought on a handful of fight cards.

The Ring ranks Vargas No. 2 at 122 pounds while Kameda is ranked No. 6.

The clash between Diego De La Hoya and Ronny Rios will be the co-main event.

De La Hoya (21-0, 13 KOs) fought to a no-contest in his last bout on Apr. 13 when veteran Enrique Bernache was not allowed to continue due to a cut from an accidental clash of heads.

The 24-year-old De La Hoya, who is the younger cousin of Oscar De La Hoya, was scheduled to fight on Nov. 17 in his hometown of Mexicali, Mexico, but had to withdraw from the fight after fainting from attempting to make weight the day before the weigh-in. He is currently ranked No. 3 by the WBA and No. 5 by the WBO.

Rios (30-3, 14 KOs), who resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Ana, stopped Daniel Ole after the fifth round of his last bout on Apr. 26. The fight came 13 months after his knockout loss to contender Azat Hovhannisyan.

Gonzalez (22-0, 13 KOs) is coming off an impressive knockout victory over former junior bantamweight titleholder Rodrigo Guerrero on Mar. 30. The 25-year-old Gonzalez, who is managed by Frank Espinoza and resides in Glendora, California, has stopped seven of his last eight opponents.

Avila (23-1-1, 8 KOs), who resides in Northern California city of Fairfield, fought to a split-decision draw against Jose Santos Gonzalez in his last bout on Mar. 21. Avila’s only defeat came at the hands of Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz in May of 2017.

The 21-year-old Hernandez (28-0, 25 KOs), who is ranked No. 9 by The Ring, knocked out Ibrahim Mgender in the second round. Hernandez is co-promoted by Golden Boy and Promotions del Pueblo.

Also on the card will be a 10-round bout between welterweight prospect Alexis Rocha (13-0, 8 KOs), the younger brother of Ronny Rios, and Berlin Abreu (14-2, 11 KOs) of the Dominican Republic.

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