El Nuevo Dia, the leading Puerto Rican newspaper, has reported that a strawweight unification bout between "Iron Boy" Ivan Calderon and Muhammad Rachman is in the works. No deal has been solidified as of yet, but it seems like both sides are interested in making it happen. Apparently Rachman has said he would be willing to go to Puerto Rico to fight Calderon in his own backyard.
Calderon won the WBO 105-pound belt in only his 16th pro fight. Since then, he has defended it eleven times for a 27-0 overall record. Although he has headlined several televised cards from Puerto Rico, most of his exposure has come on HBO PPV undercards. In my opinion, Calderon is the slickest boxer in the sport, even moreso than Floyd Mayweather. Not only has he never lost a fight, this guy rarely ever loses a round. Of course, he isn't too well-known, since he fights at the lowest weight class in boxing.
As for Rachman, he's never fought outside of Indonesia, so I don't know much about him. He does have an impressive 61-5 record, and has scored knockouts in his last two title defenses.
It's a shame that guys from these lower weight classes have never gotten the recognition they deserve. When I first started watching boxing, fifteen years ago or so, one of my favorite fighters was Ricardo "Finito" Lopez, who fought at strawweight for the most part of his career. I still think Lopez was, and still is, very overlooked. This guy finished his career undefeated, at 51-0-1 (with the draw coming in a fight that had to be stopped because of a headbutt), made over 20 title defenses, and won 4 world titles. Personally, I would rank him among my top 10 fighters of the last 20 years.
"Finito" aside, this fight could be a very big step for Calderon. I hope that if it can be signed, one of the boxing networks will pick it up. I think it'd be a great fight for HBO's Boxing After Dark series, for instance. If that's asking too much, perhaps the Versus network could pick it up. But, really, I don't think it's asking too much of HBO. There are some guys at these smaller weight classes (such as Calderon, Viloria, Cazares, Darchynian) that are very exciting to watch. Personally, I would much rather see a competitive strawweight or flyweight fight rather than another Calvin Brock-Timur Ibragimov snoozefest any day of the week. You hear that, HBO?