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Albert Bell faces William Encarnacion on Saturday in hometown of Toledo

Bell on the attack against Mark Barnaldez. Photo by Mikey Williams/ Top Rank
Fighters Network

Albert Bell is biding his time and waiting for an opportunity to fight for a world title belt. That opportunity could depend on what happens in the next week or two.

Bell has to take care of business first Saturday night, as he squares off against William Encarnacion at the Glass City Convention Center in Bell’s hometown of Toledo, Ohio. The 10-round bout will headline a nine-bout card that will stream live on ($19.99, 7:45 p.m. ET/ 4:45 p.m. PT).

The 30-year-old is ranked No. 10 by The Ring at 130 pounds.

In his last bout on September 3, Bell defeated Nicolas Polanco by unanimous decision. The win over Polanco took place over four months after Bell defeated Nicaragua’s Martin Diaz by decision over eight one-sided rounds.

Bell (22-0, 6 knockouts) has not had many offers or opportunities come his way. He was signed to Top Rank, but both sides split amicably late in 2021 after reportedly many of the junior lightweights Top Rank promotes refused to fight Bell.

Promoter Vick Green is optimistic Bell will eventually fight a top contender at 130 pounds. There were preliminary discussions between representatives of Bell and Chris Colbert, but nothing concrete materialized. 

Bell is ranked No. 3 by the WBO and, with that high ranking, there is a possibility he could face a top fighter in a world title eliminator. Archie Sharp, as at this time, is the mandatory challenger to face titleholder Emanuel Navarrete.

“We’re waiting to see what happens with the Oscar Valdez (who is ranked No. 2 by the WBO) fight against Adam Lopez (on May 20) and what the WBO will rule on,” Green told The Ring Thursday night. “I know the plan is to have Navarrete defend the belt against Valdez. I know Albert and Sharp talked over social media. I’d love for the WBO to have that fight as an eliminator, if they do order Navarrete to defend the belt against Valdez.

“As for Saturday, Albert is not looking past Encarnacion. Albert is focused on that fight.”

Encarnacion (20-4, 16 KOs), who resides in San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic, stopped Anyelo Munoz in the second round of his last fight on November 4. Encarnacion had lost his previous three fights, to the likes of Abraham Nova, Adam Lopez, and Tomoki Kameda.

The 34-year-old is promoted by Belgica Pena.

In the co-feature, lightweight Raynell Williams of Cleveland, Ohio will face John Mark Alimane in an eight-round bout.

Williams (14-1, 7 KOs) defeated Ryizeemmion Ford by unanimous decision in his last bout on November 12. The 34-year-old, who represented the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games, has won his last two bouts since losing by knockout to Joshua Zuniga in December 2017. 

Alimane (8-3, 4 KOs), who resides in Manila in the Philippines, has lost his last two bouts, both by knockout, to Dominique Crowder and Elon de Jesus, respectively. 

In junior lightweight action, Tyler McCreary (16-2-1, 7 KOs) will square off Jake Bornea of the Philippines in a six-round bout. Both McCreary, who also resides in Toledo, and Bornea (14-4-1, 7 KOs) hope to break winless streaks. Fighting for the first time in almost two years, McCreary has lost his last two fights, while Bornea is winless in his last three.

Another Toledo resident, unbeaten super middleweight prospect Antwun Jones (11-0, 5 KOs) will face Brazil’s Gilberto Pereira dos Santos (16-12, 12 KOs) in an eight-round bout. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]