THE RING’s No. 6-rated junior lightweight Adrien Broner will make the first defense of his WBO belt against the magazine’s No. 9-rated contender Eloy Perez on a Feb. 28 HBO-televised card.
Both fighters have signed and agreed to the fight.
The main event will feature former WBC/IBF junior welterweight titleholder and THE RING’s No. 4-rated 140 pounder Devon Alexanderagainst No. 3-rated Marcos Maidana, RingTV.com has learned.
The 22-year-old Broner (22-0, 18 knockouts) took only 1:43 to vanquish Martin Rodriguez (34-3-1, 19 KOs) for the WBO’s vacant belt in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati on Nov. 26. Broner’s victory ended Rodriguez’s unbeaten streak at 13-0-1, with nine knockouts.
In June, Broner dispatched of Jason Litzau dismantling him with 11 unanswered blows over the final 16 seconds of a first-round knockout victory in June. Prior to that, Broner had scored a unanimous 10-round decision triumph over southpaw Mexican former WBO super bantamweight titlist Daniel de Leon in March, winning all but one round on the card of judge Tony Crebs, who scored it in his favor, 99-91.
Perez (23-0-2, 7 KOs), who turned 25 on Oct. 25, was recently named NABO Fighter of the Year, and is coming off his second straight knockout, scored in the sixth round over Ira Terry (24-7-0, 14 KOs) on Oct. 28.
Prior to that, Perez came up with an impressive second-round knockout of Daniel Jimenez (20-4-1, 12 KOs), who had won three straight bouts before falling to Perez in their Solo Boxeo Tecate main event on Sept. 2.
Perez also has a victory over feared lightweight prospect Dannie Williams(19-1, 15 KOs), a winner of eight consecutive bouts, six of them by knockout, since being out-pointed by Perez in a thrilling 10-rounder in September of 2009.
Perez had been considered to face Broner for the vacant WBO 130-pound belt before facing Terry but the deal fell through, according to Perez’s manager, Kathy Garcia.
In the main event, the hard-hitting, 28-year-old Maidana (31-2, 27 KOs) is coming off fourth-round knockout of Peter Petrov (29-3-1, 13 KOs) in September.
The triumph over Petrov was Maidana’s second straight win since rising from a first-round knockdown during a unanimous decision loss to WBA/IBF junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan(26-1, 18 KOs) last December.
The 24-year-old Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) lost his WBC junior welterweight belt following an 11th-round technical decision loss to Timothy Bradley(27-0, 11 KOs) in January.
But Alexander has bounced back with a 10-round decision win over hard-hitting RING No. 5-rated junior welterweight Lucas Mathysse(28-2, 26 KOs) of Argentina in June.
Prior to facing Bradley, Alexander struggled through a decision over former titleholder Andriy Kotelnik in August of 2009, and claimed that extreme weight loss contributed to what he considers to have been less-than-stellar efforts against Kotelnik, Bradley and Matthysse.
Kotelnik scored a split-decision victory over Maidana in Febraury of 2007