Golden Boy signs Anselmo Moreno

Updated: August 4, 2011, 1:09 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Bantamweight titlist Anselmo Moreno of Panama, who is looking to fight in the United States, signed with Golden Boy Promotions, the company announced Wednesday night.

Nicknamed "Chemito," the 26-year-old Moreno has made eight defenses of the 118-pound belt he has held since winning a unanimous decision against Wladimir Sidorenko in May 2008.

"Anselmo Moreno is one of the most underrated boxers out there today and we're going to make sure he gets the fights and the recognition he deserves in the coming years," Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said in making the announcement. "To remain a champion as long as he has is an amazing feat these days. Now we're going to get him into the mega-fights that will let him show his talent in front of fight fans around the world."

Moreno's name has been mentioned prominently by rival promoter Top Rank as a potential opponent for unified titleholder Nonito Donaire, although his signing with Golden Boy makes that fight a bit more unlikely as he will probably go in another direction.

"I'm honored to be part of the Golden Boy Promotions team, with so many great fighters and champions," said Moreno, a southpaw. "I'm going to fight my heart out every time I'm in the ring and I'm going to give the fans the fights they want to see."

Moreno's first fight with Golden Boy has not been determined. In his last fight, Moreno stopped former flyweight titlist Lorenzo Parra in the eighth round on June 17 to retain his title in front of a hometown crowd.

The lone blemishes on Moreno's record came in 2002 -- a four-round draw in his sixth fight and a four-round split decision loss in his eight bout.

Moreno (30-1-1, 11 KOs) owns a number of wins against notable opponents, including two apiece against Sidorenko and former interim titlist Nehomar Cermeño, former junior featherweight titlist Mahyar Monshipour, former junior bantamweight titlist Felix Machado, and Tomas Rojas, who later became the junior bantamweight beltholder.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.