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Aguiniga returns August 17

By Francisco Salazar

Unbeaten former bantamweight and super bantamweight contender Jose Aguiniga will fight on August 17th in San Francisco, Aguiniga’s manager Armando Renteria told Fightnews.com over the phone on Sunday afternoon. The unbeaten Aguiniga will fight in the opening bout of the ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” season-ending telecast. No word yet on which venue the fight card will take place. Aguiniga was penciled to possibly face Gilberto Sanchez-Leon, but Renteria told Fightnews Tuesday morning that he has been scratched from the fight. “ESPN approved Jose last week,” said Renteria, who also runs El Dorado Entertainment in Oxnard, CA. “We are trying to nail down (an opponent).”

Aguiniga (33-0, 15 KOs) rose through the ranks of the lower weight classes in 2004 and 2005. Promoted by Top Rank at the time, Aguiniga had beaten the likes of Gerardo Espinoza, Hugo Ramirez, and former world title holder Cristobal Cruz. The 10 round split-decision victory over Cruz in July of 2004 was one of the better 10 round bouts of the year.

However, Aguiniga has not fought since his April 2007 eight round majority decision victory over Joe Morales. Aguiniga stepped away from the sport to deal with marital and monetary issues, as well having difficulty making weight. During a five-year period, Aguiniga worked full-time to support his two children and played in the local recreational soccer leagues of Oxnard.

Aguiniga decided to return to the gym last year with his older brother Mario as his trainer. He returned to the ring on February 25th, where he looked sluggish in defeating Juan Ruiz by unanimous decision. However, Aguiniga weighed close to 139 pounds that night, but dropped down to 136 for his May 26th bout against Eduardo Arcos. In that bout, Aguiniga looked sharper in stopping Arcos in the seventh round.

Before his fight against Arcos, Renteria said that Aguiniga began working with nutritionist Shannon Torres-Gilman. Renteria said that Aguiniga has looked noticeably thinner.

“The contract weight for this fight will be between 130-135 pounds. I don’t think Aguiniga will have any problem making weight.”

Aside from being trained by his brother Mario, Aguiniga is also trained by Ruben Juarez. Aguiniga trains out of Joseph Janik’s Knuckleheadz Gym in Ventura and La Colonia Gym in Oxnard.

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