Unbeaten junior welterweight Nestor Bravo could easily look beyond his fight against Jair Valtierra, 16-2 (8 KO’s), Saturday evening at the Caribe Royale in Orlando.
The current NABO champion, Bravo’s ranked #10 in the world by the WBO and has a perfect record of 21-0 with 15 knockouts. It’s not that Bravo doesn’t envision becoming a world champion in the near future but rather that he recognizes the importance of winning impressively against a young and hungry opponent.
“First and foremost, (the fight in front of me is always) the most important of my career,” said Bravo, who resides in Orlando and is originally from Arecibo, Puerto Rico. “Valtierra is a young and hungry fighter who believes he can beat me. I’m expecting the best version of Valtierra and we’ve put together multiple game plans so we can win impressively on Saturday evening.”
“We’re proud of Nestor and his recent accomplishment of winning the WBA/NABO title last October,” said Amaury Piedra of Boxlab Promotions. “Now we kick off 2023 with a title defense against a tough Mexican in Valtierra who was the WBC Latin Champion. Nestor is ranked in the top 10 in the WBO and we believe the sky is the limit for him. He’s got a great work ethic, power, good movement and defense and is truly entering his prime. This is the year of Nestor Bravo and we’re ready for anyone in the top 10 and current champions, be
it Josh Taylor, Teofimo Lopez, Arnold Barboza, Liam Paro or Alberto Puello. We’re ready to put on a show this Saturday and then calling out the champs to see where we go next!”
The ten round Bravo-Valtierra bout serves as Bravo’s first NABO title defense and headlines Boxlab Promotions “Night of Champions II”. The fight will air via tape delay Sunday, February 26 on CBS Sports Network at 10:30 PM ET.
2016 US Olympian Antonio Vargas faces his toughest foe to date when he challenges Mitchell Banquez for the WBA Continental Americas bantamweight title. Fighting out of Kissimmee, FL, Vargas is 15-1 with 8 wins by KO. Banquez, who hails from Venezuela and resides in Fort Lauderdale, FL, has an excellent 20-2 professional ledger with 14 of his victories coming by KO.
Vargas-Banquez is scheduled for 10 rounds.
WBA Fedecaribe lightweight champion Idalberto Umara, 8-1 (5 KO’s), puts his belt on the line against experienced Devi Julio, 24-12 (15 KO’s), of Colombia in a ten round contest. After dropping a controversial decision in his pro debut, the Cuban born Umara’s dominated inside the squared circle, winning virtually every round he’s fought.
19-year-old junior welterweight sensation Elijah Flores battles heavy-handed Mexican Juan Aguirre Herrera, 7-6-2 (5 KO’s). in a six round bout. Fighting out of Woodlands, CA, Flores is 4-0 with 2 KO’s. Last October, Flores stepped up in competition and won an thrilling six round decision over Rashield Williams (6-1) at the Caribe Royale.
The Vargas-Banquez and Umara-Julio fights will air on the CBS Sports Network telecast, with Flores-Aguirre serving as a swing bout.
Undefeated junior middleweight sensation Jeovanny Estela faces well-respected Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis of Lancaster, CA in a six rounder. Representing Orlando, FL, by way of Puerto Rico, Estela is 10-0 with 3 wins by knockout. A pro since 2004, Pendarvis’ record is 21-14-2 with 9 KO’s and he’s faced many top fighters from 140 to 168 lbs.
Middleweight powerhouse Darrius “The Hawk” Jackson of Orlando looks to score his fifth knockout in as many fights when he meets 23 fight veteran Mario Aguirre of Mexico in a six round contest. The 18-year-old Jackson was a multi-time amateur champion and is the younger brother of Derrick Jackson.
“Once again Caribe Royale is proud to host its Championship Boxing series. For the second straight event, multiple titles from the WBA and the WBO are on the line featuring the WBO’s 12th ranked junior welterweight contender Nestor Bravo. It’s great to have Central Florida’s fans back at Caribe Royale for another action packed event, says Caribe Royale Managing Director, Amaury Piedra. “We look forward once again to working with CBSSN and Boxlab Promotions on this event.”
In the co-featured bout, 2016 US Olympian Antonio Vargas (15-1, 8 KO’s) of Kissimmee, Fla. Squares off against Michell Banquez (20-2, 14 KO’s) of Fort Lauderdale by way of Caracas, Venezuela in a ten-round fight for the WBA Continental Americas bantamweight title.
A winner of his last five fights, four by knockout, Vargas is taking a significant step up in competition. The 32-year-old Banquez has impressive victories over Hector Betancourt (11-1), William Riera (9-0-1), Prince Patel (19-0-1) and Joahnys Argilagos (8-0).
Opening the CBS Sports Network telecast is Cuban standout Idalberto Umara (8-1, 5 KO’s) against heavy-handed Colombian Devi Julio (24-12, 15 KO’s). Scheduled for ten rounds, Umara’s making the first defense of his WBA Fedecaribe lightweight title.
The undercard features local favorites and rising prospects including Adrian Pinheiro, Jeovanny Estela, Darious “Hawk” Jackson, Elijah Flores, Yoenis Tellez, Freudis Rojas and the debuting Shamara Woods.
Doors open at 6 pm and the first bout begins at 7.