Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |


Luis Nery to square off against Froilan Saludar, July 8

Luis Nery
Fighters Network

Naoya Inoue and WBC/WBO junior featherweight titlist Stephen Fulton have garnered the attention of boxing fans for their upcoming clash later this month.

However one fighter hopes to face the winner and assert himself as the king of the 122-pound division.

Luis Nery returns to the ring on Saturday night, squaring off against Froilan Saludar, at Recinto Ferial, in Metepec, Mexico. The 10-round bout will headline a Zanfer Boxing card that will stream live on ESPN+ (9 pm ET/ 6 pm PT).

Nery (34-1, 26 knockouts), who resides in Tijuana, Mexico, is ranked No. 4 by The Ring at 122 pounds. Nery faced Azat Hovahannisyan, in his most recent bout, on February 18, in an all-out war that became a candidate for “Fight of the Year.” Nery would outlast Hovhannisyan, winning by knockout in the 11th round.

After the win over Hovhannisyan, Nery was hopeful a fight against Inoue in Japan would be in play for later this year. That would depend on what the WBC decides, including a title elimination bout between unbeaten Alan Picasso and South Africa’s Sabelo Ngebinyana, on July 15, in Mexico City.

The 28-year-old has won his last three fights since suffering the only loss of his career at the hands of Brandon Figueroa in May 2021.

Nery has already held a world title belt. He stopped Shinsuke Yamanaka in August 2017, winning the The Ring Magazine bantamweight championship and the WBC bantamweight title. Nery was stripped of The Ring championship after failing a pre-fight drug test and the WBC stripped Nery of its title after he failed to make weight for the rematch.

Saludar (33-6-1, 23 KOs), who resides in Polomolok, in the Philippines, stopped journeyman Crison Omayao, in a stay-busy fight, on October 29. In recent months, Saludar lost by decisions to Andrew Moloney and Daigo Higa.

The 34-year-old challenged then-WBO flyweight titleholder Sho Kimura, in July 2018, losing by knockout in the sixth round.

In the co-feature bout, fringe junior welterweight contender Carlos Sanchez, of San Felipe, Mexico, will face Marcos Gonzalez (23-3, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

Sanchez (24-1, 19 KOs) earned a sixth round technical decision win over Venezuela’s Alexander Duran, in his most recent bout, on April 5, in a clash many media and boxing insiders thought Duran did enough to win. The 28-year-old Sanchez has won his last two bouts since losing by TKO to Pedro Campa on March 19 of last year.

Gonzalez, who resides in Ciudad Juarez, defeated Josue Veraza by decision, in his most recent bout, on April 15. The win over Veraza took place over four months after Gonzalez lost by stoppage to prospect Hovhannes Backtov of Armenia.

In junior middleweight action, Jorge Garcia Perez (25-4, 21 KOs), of the boxing hotbed of Los Mochis, Mexico, will square off against Ricardo Banuelos (18-9-1, 7 KOs), of Tultitlan, Mexico, in a 10-round bout.

Fringe bantamweight contender Rashib Martinez (20-2-1, 9 KOs), of Monterrey, Mexico, will face Zapopan’s Ernesto Garcia Flores (10-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

In a swing bout, flyweight Luis Rodriguez (8-3, 3 KOs), who also resides in Monterrey, will square off against Juan Carlos Barrientos (5-2, 3 KOs), of Queretaro, in a four or six-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]. You can also follow Francisco on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.