Undefeated heavyweights Gerald Washington and Oscar Rivas will square off in a 10-round bout that will open a "Showtime Championship Boxing" tripleheader on Feb. 27 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, Showtime announced Tuesday.
The fight will open the previously announced card (10 p.m. ET) headlined by featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KOs) making his first defense against former junior featherweight titlist Kiko Martinez (35-6, 26 KOs) and junior featherweight titleholder Julio Cesar Ceja (30-1, 27 KOs) facing Hugo Ruiz (35-3, 31 KOs), the man he knocked out in the fifth round to win the vacant belt against on Aug. 28, in a rematch.
"The heavyweight division has been revived and Gerald Washington and Oscar Rivas are two guys to keep your eyes on. Both are undefeated and hungry to earn their shot at a world title," said Tom Brown, whose TGB Promotions is putting on the card.
Washington (16-0-1, 11 KOs), 33, of San Jose, is a former college football player at Southern California and also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills on their practice squads. He did not start boxing until 2012. He is coming off a split draw against Amir Mansour in October.
"I'm thrilled to be fighting so close to home in front of all my friends and family," Washington said. "Oscar Rivas is a hard puncher but he's never faced anyone as big and strong as I am. I'm anxious to get in the ring and continue to prove myself on my way to a world title opportunity."
Rivas (18-0,13 KOs), 28, a 2008 Olympian from Colombia who is now based in Montreal, will be facing his most notable professional opponent.
"I'm very excited to be fighting Gerald Washington in my first fight in Southern California," said Rivas, who will be boxing in the United States for the second time. "I know that he is a very tough, strong fighter. I will be prepared to come out victorious and stay undefeated as I head towards my goal of becoming a world champion."