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Monday, July 22, 2013
Gonzalez-Segura set for August

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

Puerto Rican flyweight prospect Jonathan "Bomba" Gonzalez will take on the most notable opponent of his career when he faces former junior flyweight champion Giovani Segura of Mexico on Aug. 17 on a card in Carolina, Puerto Rico, that also will feature Olympic medalists Felix Diaz and Yudel Jhonson.

The 22-year-old Gonzalez (13-0, 11 KOs) said he hopes to beat Segura (29-3-1, 25 KOs) in their scheduled 10-round bout to avenge the two knockout losses that countryman and former junior flyweight champion Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon suffered at the hands of Segura.

"Segura caused a big hurt in Puerto Rico when he beat -- two times -- our champion, Ivan Calderon, and I want to heal those hurts, no matter if [it] is a KO or a decision win," Gonzalez said. "I am going to win and after this bout become a world champion."

Gonzalez said his plan is to pressure the 31-year-old Segura, known as one of boxing's best knockout artists, although he is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision loss to former junior flyweight titlist Edgar Sosa on May 18.

"Segura is a tough fighter, but we have our plans to face him," Gonzalez said. "The people said [will I] be ready for the pressure Segura will [apply], but I ask Segura if he is going to be ready for my pressure."

The winner of the bout could get a world title shot against unified flyweight titlist Juan Francisco Estrada, who first defends against Milan Melindo on Saturday in Macau, China.

Also on the card are a pair of southpaw Olympic medalists, 2008 gold medalist Diaz of the Dominican Republic and 2004 silver medalist Jhonson, a Miami-based Cuban who did not turn pro until 2009 after defecting.

"Now we have a more international card with fighters from Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, United States and Puerto Rico," promoter Ivan Rivera of PR Best Boxing Promotion said. "Felix Diaz and Yudel Jhonson, two great prospects who were good amateur fighters for their countries, will fight for their first time in Puerto Rico."

Diaz (13-0, 7 KOs), a welterweight who is coming off a third-round knockout win of Ricardo Veras on June 8, will face an opponent to be determined in a scheduled 10-round bout.

Jhonson (14-1, 9 KOs), a junior middleweight who has won two fights in a row since losing his undefeated record by unanimous 10-round decision to Willie Nelson in May 2012, also does not yet have an opponent for his scheduled 10-rounder.

In another fight, featherweight Jonathan Oquendo (22-3, 15 KOs) of Puerto Rico will be in an eight-round bout against Brian Ramirez (10-4, 5 KOs) of Los Angeles. Oquendo has been out of action for 10 months since suffering a seventh-round knockout loss to former junior featherweight titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in October 2012.

"But he is training hard to be in good shape for this fight and seeking a good place in the featherweight division," said promoter Peter Rivera, Ivan's brother.