2010 is now upon us and boxing's hottest series is revving up for another spectacular year, as HBO Plus' "Next Boxing Generation" visits Mexico City for the first time on Saturday, February 20, for a hard-hitting night of world-class boxing at the Foro Scotiabank featuring fights sure to set the Mexico City night ablaze.
The main event will see former Junior Featherweight World Champion and current featherweight contender Daniel Ponce De Leon battle Puerto Rican standout Orlando Cruz in a 12 round WBC Latino Featherweight Title bout.
In action in the co-featured bout will be two of the junior welterweight division's most devastating punchers - Argentina's undefeated Lucas Matthysse and Brooklyn's former World Champion Vivian Harris - as they collide in a bout not likely to last the scheduled 10 rounds.
Undefeated Mexico City natives junior welterweight Pablo Cesar Cano and super middleweight Marco Antonio Periban will put their unbeaten records on the line against opponents to be announced in separate non-televised bouts.
Former Junior Featherweight World Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (37-2, 31 KO's) has been quietly moving up the ranks in his new division at featherweight, putting together two big 12 round decision wins over Marlon Aguilar and Roinet Caballero that have him knocking on the door of a 126-pound title shot. Currently ranked third in the world by the WBA and WBO, De Leon must first get by Cruz if he is to keep his dreams of winning a featherweight title alive.
A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Orlando Cruz (16-1-1, 7 KO's) first made his mark in the boxing world with 179 amateur wins and a berth on the same 2000 Olympic team that launched the careers of World Champions Miguel Cotto and Ivan Calderon. Now on the verge of making his move up the professional ranks, Cruz hopes to deliver his best performance yet on February 20, topping the one he put on when he knocked out 30-0 veteran Leonilo Miranda in January of 2009.
The younger brother of former welterweight title challenger Walter Matthysse, 27-year-old Lucas Martin Matthysse (25-0, 23 KO's) has pounded out his own niche in the fight game thanks to crushing punching power that has led to knockouts 23 of his 25 wins. Born in Trelew, Argentina but now living in Buenos Aires, Matthysse tore through Florencio Castellano (KO4) and Luis Jose (KO2) in his last two bouts, setting the stage for a big showdown with Vivian Harris.
When the list of the most exciting junior welterweights is compiled, you can expect to see the name of Guyana native "Vicious" Vivian Harris (29-3-1, 19 KO's) to be prominently featured. The former World Champion claimed the WBA crown in 2002 with a second-round stoppage of Diosbelys Hurtado and went on to defend it three times in 2005. Since then, Harris is unbeaten in five of six fights, including wins over Stevie Johnston and Juan Lazcano. He begins his run for another shot at the championship on February 20.
"Next Boxing Generation," which was launched in August of 2008 by Golden Boy Promotions in association with HBO Latin America Group, features the top up and coming Latin American fighters in boxing today in exciting bouts that will appeal to fans across all demographics. The series has seen fights take place throughout Mexico as well as in Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Puerto Rico, the United States and Uruguay.
A full slate of undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
De Leon vs. Cruz, a 10 round featherweight bout which is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Producciones Deportivas de Ricardo Maldonado Jr., will air live on the HBO Plus service in Latin America beginning at 8:00 pm local time.
Tickets, priced at 300 pesos, 200 pesos and 100 pesos are on sale and available for purchase by calling Ticketmaster in Mexico City at 53259000 or by visiting the Foro Scotiabank Box Office.