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KO to Drugs double card to take place in Argentina on June 9 and 10

Fighters Network

The 39th edition of WBA KO Drugs will be a two-day event on Casino Buenos Aires, Argentina on June 9 and June 10. Both shows will be shown live on TyC Sports in Argentina, while the June 10 show will be broadcast internationally by DAZN.

On the Friday show there are six fights scheduled to take place, notably with Jose Matias Romero facing Rene Tellez Giron at junior lightweight topping the bill. Former standout amateur heavyweight Ivan Dychko will take on Ariel Esteban Bracamonte. American featherweight Dominique Frances meets Braian Arguello.

Also, in action Ramon Quiroga meets Afolabi Shittu at junior bantamweight, Noel Cepeda takes on Eliu Canario at junior featherweight and Gabriel Diaz collides with Robert Daniels Jr. at super middleweight.

While the Saturday offering will see five more fights. Amongst them is an intriguing looking matchup between Ring rated junior flyweights, Daniel Matellon and Carlos Canizales. Mayerlin Rivas will put her WBA junior featherweight title on the line against Nazarena Romero and rising prospect Franciso Veron will meet fellow unbeaten Timor Kerefov at middleweight.

Rounding out the undercard, Brian Arregui takes on once beaten Mexican Diego Carmona at junior middleweight and Lucia Perez will fight vastly more experienced Marisa Portillo at welterweight.

Romero (26-3, 9 knockouts) won his first 24, where all but one took place in South America. The 27-year-old claimed the national 130-pound title but has found his form drop off recently when he’s stepped up in class in America, losing to Isaac Cruz (UD 12), Michel Rivera (UD 10) in lightweight contests. In his most recent outing, he dropped to 126-pounds and was stopped by Robeisy Ramirez (TKO 9).

Giron (17-2, 11 KOs) turned professional at 16 in his native Mexico. He upset previously unbeaten Aram Faniian (UD 10) in Ukraine but lost his own unbeaten record to Rivera (UD 8). The 24-year-old impressively stopped 2016 U.S. Olympian Carlos Balderas (KO 6). However, he lost to the talented Giovanni Cabrera (UD 8), though has since got back in the win column.

Dychko (12-0, 11 KOs) was a highly decorated amateur, winning bronze at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He claimed silver at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships. The now 32-year-old turned professional in 2017 but has struggled to build momentum. He holds wins over perennial gatekeepers like Maurice Harris (KO 1), Ray Austin (KO 3) and Aleksandr Ustinov (KO 1).

Bracamonte (12-10, 6 KOs) has lost when he’s fought at any real level but has shared a ring with some good names including Evgeny Romanov (L UD 10), Demsey McKean (PTS 8) and Jarrell Miller (UD 10). However, the Argentine fighter has been stopped six times and Dychko will go in confident of scoring the stoppage.

Francis (13-0, 9 KOs) was a good amateur domestically in America before transiting into a professional in February 2019. Since the 22-year-old from Miami has dominated his opposition, which admittedly hasn’t been great. His last three fights have taken place in Colombia and he looks ready to move the level of his opponents up.

Arguello (6-2, 3 KOs) lost on his debut and in his most recent outing. The Argentine fighter shouldn’t be too much of a threat to Francis.

Matellon (13-0-2, 7 KOs), The Ring’s No. 7 rated junior flyweight, was a Cuban amateur stalwart, initially a nearly-man, always reaching the later stages of the national championships before finally claiming the prized top spot in 2010. Matellon decided to turn professional and now fights out of Panama, where all but one of his fights have taken place. The 35-year-old has wins over Kenny Cano (UD 11), former WBC titlist Masamichi Yabuki (SD 8), Luis De La Rosa (KO 1) and former IBF strawweight beltholder Jose Argumedo (UD 12).

Canizales (25-1-1, 19 KOs), The Ring’s No. 9 rated junior flyweight, first caught the eye when he left his homeland to face WBA titleholder Ryoichi Taguchi (D 12). He returned home and claimed three victories before traveling overseas again and making a name for himself in Asia by defeating Reiya Konisha (UD 12), Bin Lu (TKO 12) and Sho Kimura (UD 12). The 29-year-old was surprisingly stopped by unheralded Bermudez (TKO 6) but has returned with three wins, notably stopping faded former WBC titlist Ganigan Lopez (KO 4).

Rivas (17-4-2, 11 KOs) turned professional in 2007. The Venezuelan lady lost her first two world title attempts against Daniela Bermudez (MD 10) and Yazmin Rivas (UD 10). The now 35-year-old won the vacant Interim WBA bantamweight title and after one defense was elevated to full champion. She reeled off four successful defenses in Venezuela before stepping up to 122-pounds. She initially lost to Marcela Acuña (SD 10) but rebounded strongly to annex the vacant WBA thrown by beating previously unbeaten Laura Ledezma (UD 10) and, most recently, made her maiden title defense against Karina Fernandez (RTD 3).

Romero (13-0, 7 KOs) turned professional in 2018. In her 10th fight she claimed the Argentine and South American junior featherweight titles besting the more experienced compatriot Laura Griffa (UD 10). Since then, the 28-year-old has added a WBA regional title to position herself on the precipice of a world title opportunity.

Veron (12-0, 10 KOs) represented Argentina at the 2020 Olympics. Since turning over the touted prospect has moved through the ranks notably taking Leonardo di Stefano Ruiz’s unbeaten record with a fifth-round stoppage in his American debut.

Kerefov (13-0, 7 KOs) was a respected amateur, who shared the ring with current WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol. He turned professional in Russia in 2018 before moving operations to America in 2020. Since then, he has won five fights in America against middling opposition. This fight marks a step up for both fighters.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].