By Robert Coster
In what will be the last big 2017 card in the Dominican Republic, up-and-coming WBA #9, WBC #15 jr welterweight Alberto Puello (13-0, 8 KOs) will be put to the test against countryman Francisco Contreras (30-7, 24 KOs) on December 22nd in Santo Domingo.
The hard-hitting, 5’10” Contreras, once himself a bright prospect, is confident that he will put a stop to Puello’s rise. “The bout is at 140lbs, a perfect weight for me. Also, I’ve been training hard and I’m in tip-top shape. I know that a victory is a must to revive my career. I am going to knock him out,” he said.
For his part, Puello says, “I’ll box if have to, I’ll slug if I have to. One thing is sure, I’m going to finish the year with a bang- with Contreras on the canvas!”
In another anticipated contest, WBA #2, WBC #8 jr bantamweight contender Norberto “Meneito” Jimenez (27-8-4, 15 KOs) faces Renson Robles (12-2, 6 KOs) of Venezuela in a rematch of a fierce battle they had in 2016, with Norberto winning the decision. Jimenez, a crowd favorite, hasn’t lost a fight in 6 years and seems in position to challenge for a world title next year.
Also, lightweight prospect Mitchel Rivera (11-0, 7 KOs) faces tough Manuel Botti (23-1, 18 KOs) in an intriguing battle that should be action-packed.
Dominican featherweight Yenifel Vicente (30-3, 22 KOs), based in the US, returns to ring action after a year layoff against gritty Venezuelan Jesus Vargas (16-10, 12 KOs).
In a fight of unbeaten young fighters, lightweights Jhomar Medina (17-0, 15 KOs) and Juan Carlos Cordones (6-0, 2 KOs) will square off.
The card will be held at the Los Prados Social Club in the Dominican capital and be promoted by Manguita Promotions.