- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Junior middleweight Deandre Latimore and welterweight prospect Jessie Vargas, both of whom are with Floyd Mayweather's promotional company, Mayweather Promotions, have been given coveted slots on Mayweather's upcoming pay-per-view undercard, Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions announced Monday.
While Mayweather will challenge Miguel Cotto for his junior middleweight title in the main event of the "Ring Kings" HBO PPV card on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Latimore and Vargas will be on in the two televised bouts that will precede the previously announced co-feature pitting junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez against former champion Shane Mosley.
Latimore (23-3, 17 KOs), a 26-year-old former title challenger from St. Louis, will meet former welterweight titleholder Carlos Quintana (28-3, 22 KOs) of Puerto Rico in a scheduled 10-rounder that will open the pay-per-view telecast.
Latimore's only title opportunity came in 2009, when he lost a split decision to St. Louis rival Cory Spinks.
Since then, Latimore has won three bouts in a row, including surviving two late knockdowns -- one in the ninth round and one in the 10th -- in a majority decision win against Milton Nunez on Feb. 24.
Quintana, a 35-year-old southpaw, held a welterweight world title for four months in 2008 when he upset Paul Williams via unanimous decision. However, Williams knocked him out in the first round of their rematch.
Quintana has only fought three times since 2008, including a shot at then-welterweight titleholder Andre Berto in April 2010. Berto knocked him out in the eighth-round, sending Quintana into a 10-month layoff, which he ended by stopping Yoryi Estrella in the ninth round of a junior middleweight bout in February 2011.
But Quintana has been off since.
Vargas (18-0, 9 KOs), 22, of Las Vegas, will meet former two-time world title challenger and first-season "Contender" star Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2, 12 KOs).
Vargas will be appearing on his second consecutive Mayweather undercard. Last September, he won a 10-round decision against Josesito Lopez in a junior welterweight fight on the Mayweather-Victor Ortiz pay-per-view before moving up to welterweight for a win in February.
Gomez, 31, of Mexico, has fought for world titles twice but is best known for knocking out the late Arturo Gatti in the seventh round in 2007 and sending him into retirement.
Gomez challenged Alvarez for his 154-pound title in September and gave him a tough fight before being stopped in the sixth round. In a 2008 welterweight title bout, Gomez was knocked out in the fifth round by Cotto.
Junior middleweight Deandre Latimore and welterweight prospect Jessie Vargas, both of whom are with Floyd Mayweather's promotional company, Mayweather Promotions, have been given coveted slots on Mayweather's upcoming pay-per-view undercard.