Saturday, April 25, 2009
Calderon to defend title at the Garden
By Dan Rafael
World junior flyweight champion Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon of Puerto Rico will defend his title June 13 at New York's Madison Square Garden against hard-punching Rodel Mayol of the Philippines, promoter Top Rank announced Saturday.
Calderon, long regarded as one of the best technicians in boxing and a pound-for-pound list entrant, has only fought in New York once in what was his third professional fight. Now he will have a chance to perform at the Garden on the eve of the annual Puerto Rican Day parade in New York.
"It has always been my dream to fight at Madison Square Garden in New York and to do it the night before the National Puerto Rican Parade, makes it even more exciting for me," Calderon, 34, said. "It will be a night to remember."
Welterweight titleholder Miguel Cotto, one of Calderon's close friends, will defend his belt against Joshua Clottey in the main event on HBO. Calderon's bout is not slated to be part of the domestic broadcast.
Calderon (32-0, 6 KOs), a former strawweight champion, will make his fourth defense of the 108-pound title. He is 16-0 in world title fights.
"We know how much Ivan wanted to fight at the Garden and we are very happy to be able to provide this opportunity to one of the best pure boxers in the world today," said Top Rank president Todd duBoef.
Mayol (25-3, 19 KOs), 27, is a former strawweight and junior flyweight title challenger who will be fighting in the United States for only the second time.
Dan Rafael is ESPN.com's boxing writer.