By Lee Bates
PR Best Boxing Promotions led by Ivan and Peter Rivera have a busy early schedule as they begin 2009 with a splash in the international market. Already with two world champions in their stable Juan Manuel Lopez and Ivan Calderon, they hope to add two more champions by the end of March. Both Lopez and Calderon are set to defend their world championship early in the year, while Roman “Rocky” Martinez and Jose “Carita” Lopez will challenge for world titles on March 14 and 28 respectably. Ivan Rivera also announced today that they have sign Puerto Rican 2008 Olympian Carlos Negron to a promotional contract.
The 22 year old, 6’6″, 180-pounder figures to grow into a heavyweight in the future as he is set to begin his career as a light heavyweight. Negron represented Puerto Rico in the 2008 Olympics in China, winning one bout and losing in the second round.
PR Best Boxing Promotions has had some very good signing out the Puerto Rico Olympian Boxing program, in 2000 they signed Miguel Cotto and Ivan Calderon, in 2004, Juan Manuel Lopez and Alex “Pollo” De Jesus and Negron figures to followed in the same footsteps at these former Olympic boxers. Negro had an amateur record of 93-6.
“We are very happy to have Negron with the company. We believe that he is a very special boxer and expect big things from him,” said Ivan Rivera, President of PR Best Boxing.
First up will be Román “Rocky” Martínez (21-0-1, 12 KOs), of Vega Baja, who will take on Nicky Cook (29-1, 6 KOs) of England for the jr lightweight championship of the WBO at M.E.N Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday, March 14. “It’s a fact that I’m going all the way to England for this title fight but I’m coming back with the world title and will make my first defense in Puerto Rico.” stated a confident Martinez.
On March 28, at the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseo in Bayamon, Jose “Carita” Lopez (38-7-2, 32 KOs), of Trujillo Alto, will face Pramuansak Posuwan (45-1-1, 24 KOs) of Thailand for the WBO Interim jr bantamweight championship. It will be Lopez fifth attempt at a world title but his first in Puerto Rico. “The fight is almost here and now its just a matter of me getting in the ring and winning the world title in front of my native Puerto Rico,” stated Lopez.
On April 25, Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez (24-0, 22 KOs ) of Caguas, will put his WBO jr. featherweight championship on the line against two-time world champion Gerry Peñalosa of the Philippines (54-6-2, 36 KOs) at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon. “Penalosa is a very dangerous fighter who has never been knocked out. I’m am training very hard for this fight and look to be the first to knock him out,” said Lopez.
And on May 23, Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon (32-0, 6 KOs), of Guaynabo, will put his WBO jr flyweight title on the line against interim WBA jr Flyweight champion Cesar Canchila (27-1, 21 KOs) of Colombia at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon. “I’m very confident that my inactivity will have no affect on my performance as I have kept myself in the gym and been working very hard diligently. The public wanted unification and now were going to give it to them.”