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Thomas Mattice faces Isaac Cruz in ShoBox headliner on Feb. 14

Thomas Mattice (center) upsets Michael Dutchover (Photo credit Amanda Westcott-SHOWTIME)
Fighters Network

Lightweight prospect Thomas Mattice will square off against Isaac Cruz Gonzalez on Feb. 14, it was announced Wednesday morning.

The 10-round bout will take place at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and will headline a four-bout ‘ShoBox’ (Showtime) telecast.

The clash between Mattice and Cruz features once-beaten lightweights who could be a win or two away from securing a significant bout in a deep division.

Mattice (15-1-1, 11 knockouts), who resides in Cleveland, Ohio, notched his most impressive victory as a pro in his last bout on Sept. 20, stopping Michael Dutchover in round eight in Dutchover’s hometown of Midland, Texas. A punch opened a cut over Dutchover’s eye during the fight, a cut that a ringside physician deemed was too deep to continue, thus awarding Mattice with the knockout victory.

The 29-year-old has won his last two bouts since suffering his only loss as a pro to unbeaten Will Madera on Feb. 1 of last year. Despite the victory over Dutchover, Mattice believes an impressive performance over Cruz will open opportunities for him.

“A win would be huge for my career and put me in a great position,” said Mattice, will be making his sixth appearance on the popular series on Feb. 14. “It would put me in the conversation with the top dogs in the division. I have to put on a great performance and let all those top fighters know that I’m here and ready to fight anyone.”

“It’s a must-win for me, but it’s a big fight for both of us. He is ranked No. 7 by the IBF so this has the feel of a big fight. I think a win would put me in the top-10.”

Cruz (18-1-1, 14 KOs), who resides in Mexico City, will be fighting for the second time in the United States. In his last bout on Dec. 7 in Brooklyn, New York, Cruz defeated Miguel Perez Aispuro by unanimous decision.

The 22-year-old is unbeaten since suffering his only loss as a pro in February of 2016, a span of 14 fights. His most impressive victory to date was a third-round knockout of former lightweight contender Jose Felix, Jr. in November of 2018.

Rounding out the telecast:

– In the co-feature, junior featherweight prospect Raeese Aleem (15-0, 9 KOs) of Las Vegas will square off against San Antonio’s Adam Lopez (19-3-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

– In a clash of unbeaten junior welterweights, Montana Love (12-0-1, 6 KOs) of Cleveland will face Houston’s Jerrico Walton (16-0, 7 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

– In the opening bout of the telecast, Detroit’s Derrick Colemon (11-0, 8 KOs) will square off against Joseph Jackson (15-0, 12 KOs) of Greensboro, North Carolina in an eight-round junior middleweight bout.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV 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, and He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing