- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Top Rank still hopes to make a featherweight title defense for Mikey Garcia against former titlist Juan Manuel Lopez, but the scheduling of the bout is unclear as the promotional company works with HBO for Garcia's next date. Top Rank had hoped for him to make his first defense against Lopez in May. However, Lopez, who is co-promoted by Peter Rivera, is being lined up to fight a second tune-up since being out of the ring for nearly a year. That bout is probably going to take place on April 20 in Mexico City, Top Rank's Carl Moretti told ESPN.com. It would be on the undercard of the fight between Victor Terrazas and Cristian Mijares, who meet for a vacant junior featherweight title. If Lopez fights April 20, it means he would not be available to fight Garcia in May. So the fight could be pushed back to June or perhaps Garcia will make a defense in May or June and then meet Lopez later in the year.
• The heavyweight title elimination fight between Cristobal Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs) and Bermane Stiverne (22-1-1, 20 KOs) on April 27 now has a home. It will take place at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., promoter Dan Goossen told ESPN.com. Arreola, who is from nearby Riverside, Calif., is a bit of a draw there. The winner of the bout will become the mandatory challenger for titleholder Vitali Klitschko. Arreola-Stiverne will open an HBO split-site tripleheader. The other two bouts will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) will have a homecoming fight against England's Martin Murray (25-0-1, 11 KOs) in the main event with welterweights Luis Carlos Abregu (34-1, 28 KOs) of Argentina and Antonin Decarie (27-1, 8 KOs) of Montreal meeting in the co-feature.
• The October junior welterweight fight between former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios (31-0-1, 23 KOs) and Mike Alvarado (33-1, 23 KOs) was one of the best fights of 2012 and one of the best fights in recent years. They battled hard in violent fashion until Rios stopped Alvarado on his feet in the seventh round. It was so good they are meeting again on March 30 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, this time with a vacant interim 140-pound title at stake. The first fight was so good that HBO, which aired the fight and will also broadcast the second bout, will debut "Road to Rios/Alvarado II," a 15-minute show that will preview the rematch. It will premiere Saturday night at 12:15 a.m. ET/PT, or immediately following the conclusion of the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Ruslan Provodnikov telecast -- whichever comes first. The special will look back at the first encounter and profile each fighter.
Top Rank still hopes to make a featherweight title defense for Mikey Garcia against former titlist Juan Manuel Lopez, but the scheduling of the bout is unclear as the promotional company works with HBO for Garcia's next date.