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Eric Mondragon, Kevin Piedrahita square off in Long Beach tonight

by Francisco Salazar |

A road showdown between the top lightweight prospects could steal the spotlight tonight in Southern California.

Eric Mondragon and Kevin Piedrahita will be performing at Thunder Studios in Long Beach, California. The six-round fight will precede the big fight between Tayden Beltran and Cesar Villarraga.

Both fights will air live on FOX Deportes, Fubo Sports, Stadium and Gray Television (11 pm ET/ 8 pm PT).

On Friday’s scale, which was at the contracted weight, Mondragon weighed 132.5 kilograms. Piedrahita came in at 131.7 pounds.

“Mondragon vs Piedrahita is a fight that boxing fans will not want to miss,” said Alex Camponovo, President of CBN Promotions and longtime Matchmaker and General Manager of Thompson Boxing. “Both fighters are at an important point in their careers, and their hunger to win will make them explode in the competition. This is what boxing is all about – skill, heart and the pursuit of greatness.”

Mondragon (9-1-1, 4 knockouts), who lives in nearby Maywood, last fought on March 30, defeating Jenel Lausa by unanimous decision. Lausa’s victory came nearly a year and a half after his first professional loss at the hands of undefeated Haven Brady.

Mondragon, 25, fought on a Top Rank card inside ‘The Bubble’ in June 2020, fighting for a majority decision against Mike Sanchez in a fight where both undefeated men were knocked out. Mondragon understands the importance of this fight, but believes he is one to watch at 130 pounds.

“This fight is an important moment for me,” said Mondragon, who made his debut as a champion in April 2019. “I’m determined to show that I’m part of the elite in the junior lightweight division, and I’ll do anything to come out on top. A win on Saturday will be an important step forward in my career. I had a good training camp and I will be ready to go.”

Piedrahita (9-1, 8 KOs), a native of Pereira, Colombia and now living and training in Las Vegas, Nevada, stopped Johan Rodriguez Arreguin in the third round of his last fight on April 19. In his previous fight on November . 3, Piedrahita stopped former lightweight Pedro Hernandez Martinez in the fourth round.

The 24-year-old has won his last four fights since losing to Lisandro Barazarte in an unbeaten fight in July 2022. Piedrahita is confident in his abilities and is determined to come out victorious against Mondragon.

“I trained hard for this fight,” said Piedrahita, who is produced by Shane Shapiro. “Winning is the only way. Beating Mondragon will put me on the map and open doors to great opportunities. I’m here to make a statement and show the world that I’m a better fighter now after my first loss.”

The fight between Beltran, who lives near Huntington Beach, and Villarraga is scheduled for eight rounds.

Beltran (8-0-1, 4 KOs) weighs 134.9 pounds. Colombian-born Villarraga (10-9-1, 5 KOs) weighed in at 134.3 pounds.

Doors will open at 5:30 pm, with a Watch Party where fans can watch the Copa America soccer match between Mexico and Jamaica on the big screens inside the venue.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has handled boxing in Southern California and internationally since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. They can be reached at [email protected]

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