Sun.Star Cebu

Rosales faces Mattice on May 21 in Ohio


FORMER World Boxing Organizati­on (WBO) Oceania featherwei­ght champion Jessie Cris Rosales gets a new opponent and a new date in his US return.

Rosales is now scheduled to face Thomas Mattice in an eightround super featherwei­ght contest on May 21 at The Civic Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Rosales was supposed to fight Sinard Bunch a week earlier, on May 13, in Pennsylvan­ia.

“I think Bunch was a tougher opponent. But we’ll still have the same game plan. We’ll still pressure him,” the 30-year-old Rosales told SunStar Cebu.

Following a two-year layoff, Rosales made his ring return last December in his hometown of Bohol. He defeated journeyman Junny Salogaol by split decision.

Rosales, who trained at the Villamor Boxing Gym under the guidance of Edmund Villamor, is leaving for the US today.

Rosales has fought in the US three times. He won all three against American star Shakur Stevenson, Tyler McCreary and Xavier Martinez.

The 31-year-old Mattice is looking to bounce back after losing to Luis Melendez by unanimous decision in his last outing in November.

Mattice’s two other defeats are in the hands of former world title challenger Isaac Cruz and Will Madera. He also owns a win over Michael Dutchover.

Rosales is 23-4-1 with 10 knockouts, while Mattice is 17-3-1 with 13 knockouts.

On the other hand, unbeaten prospect Judy Flores (10-0, 6 KOs) is also seeing action in the same card against former world title challenger Antonio Nieves (19-3-2, 11 KOs).

The 23-year-old Flores, a native of Gen. Santos, has shown a lot of promise, knocking out the likes of veterans Jetly Purisima and Wiljan Ugbaniel. He’s coming off a third round technical knockout of Isagani Saludar last year.

Nieves, in the meantime, is coming off a long layoff. He hasn’t fought since losing to Joshua Greer Jr. by unanimous decision in 2019.

Nieves challenged Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue in 2017 for the WBO super flyweight belt. He lost via a sixth round stoppage.

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