LOS ANGELES – Undefeated boxing legacy and fan-favorite Diego De La Hoya (13-0, 7 KOs) will make his first appearance of 2016 in the ring on Friday, February 19 as the main event on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar against former world title contender Arturo “Fuerte” Badillo (21-9, 19 KOs) at The Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
“Diego De La Hoya had a phenomenal year in 2015 and in 2016, I think we will see him to continue to rise in the sport and become a top contender,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Diego has had strong numbers for his televised fights, which is a great indication that the fans love him and will want to see more of him in the ring this year.”
In the televised co-main event of the evening, Carlos “The Solution” Morales (12-1-3, 6 KOs) will face Omar “Héroe” Tienda (14-2, 8 KOs) of Nuevo León, Mexico in a 10-round super featherweight bout. Fighting in the non-televised undercard but streaming live on RING TV, Joet Gonzalez (13-0, 6 KOs) of Glendora, Calif. will participate in an eight-round featherweight bout; Los Angeles fan favorite Nick Arce (6-0, 6 KOs) will face the battle tested Luis “Lichito” Lizarraga Jr. (5-7-1, 2 KOs) of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico in a six-round super featherweight battle; and opening up the night Francisco Esparza (2-0) fighting out of Fernando Vargas’ Feroz Fight Factory in Las Vegas will fight in a four-round featherweight bout. Opponents will be announced shortly.
Diego De La Hoya has thrilled fans with his impressive boxing skills since making his professional debut in 2013. Fighting with power, the Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico native has stayed busy in 2015 with an impressive victory over world title contender Manuel “Suavecito” Roman at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in February and defeating Ramiro “Zurdo” Robles in his first appearance at LA FIGHT CLUB in May. The rising star followed up with quick victories over Jose “Hollywood” Estrella in July, former world title challenger Jesus “Estrella” Ruiz in September to capture the WBC Youth Super Bantamweight Title, and Giovanni “Lloviznas” Delgado in November. De La Hoya will make his highly anticipated return to the ring for 2016 as he defends his undefeated status on February 19.
Arturo “Fuerte” Badillo made his professional debut March 24, 2007 in Sinaloa, Mexico with a spectacular knockout win in the first round over Adan Garcia. From that point on, Badillo had a series of wins and suffered his first loss on April 10, 2010 when he fought for the WBC Fecarbox Flyweght Title. Badillo bounced back from the lone loss and climbed his way up the boxing ranks quickly to fight for the WBA Super Flyweight World Championship in July 2011. Not succeeding in his first world title attempt, Badillo has continued on his search for victory staying consistently busy in 2015. Most recently, Badillo was seen in the ring against former IBF Super Bantamweight World Champion Jhonatan “Mo Mo” Romero. Badillo will look to get back on track with a tough battle against Diego De La Hoya on February 19.
A three-year professional, Carlos “The Solution” Morales got off to a shaky start in his career in 2012, but once the calendar shifted to 2013, “The Solution” has been unstoppable winning 10 straight bouts. Morales once again proved his rising star status last September when he knocked out the tough O’Nell “La Bestia” Negron in the seventh round of their eight-round bout at LA FIGHT CLUB.
Omar Tienda of Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, stayed active in 2015 and fought four times including his U.S. professional debut on Sept. 4 against Brazilian Olympian Everton Lopes, a entertaining bout that went the distance. On February 19, Tienda will return to U.S. soil to avenge his loss to Lopes with a win over Carlos “The Solution” Morales at LA FIGHT CLUB.
Rising prospect Joet Gonzalez of Glendora, Calif. has steadily climbed the professional ranks since his debut in 2012. In 2015, Gonzalez impressed fans with wins defeating Ali Gonzalez in April at LA FIGHT CLUB; Jose Angel “Pepe” Beranza in May; Miguel “Yaqui” Tamayo in August at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino; and Marcos “No Money” Rios in November at LA FIGHT CLUB. Gonzalez will return eager to add to his undefeated record in his third appearance at LA FIGHT CLUB.
Growing his fan base with each successive victory, LA’s Nick Arce has yet to let an opponent hear the final bell. Last year, the 19-year-old Arce stayed active fighting five times, each an impressive victory by knockout. The former amateur standout hopes to keep his winning streak going in 2016 with his first fight of the year on February 19.
22-year-old, Luis “Lichito” Lizarraga Jr. is becoming a regular at LA FIGHT CLUB having fought there twice in 2015. The young professional fighter has gone up against tough, rising prospects including Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez, Diego De La Hoya, Ivan “Striker” Delgado, Kevin “K-Smoove” Rivers Jr. and Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz. He will make his third appearance at LA FIGHT CLUB on February 19 looking to avenge his recent losses in the ring.
Las Vegas based Francisco Esparza, who trains with former World Champion and future Hall of Famer “El Feroz” Fernando Vargas, will seek his third professional win in a featherweight match scheduled for four rounds. Esparza made his professional debut against Carlos Gonzalez with a win in a four-round lightweight bout at LA FIGHT CLUB on Sept. 18, 2015 and quickly followed that up with another win over Jose Rodriguez on November 20.