Rafael Marquez Returning on 7/16
Despite his previous cancellation of a July tune-up to prepare for a possible fall shot at Toshiaki Nishioka, Rafael Marquez is now once again fighting next month, as he'll co-feature on big brother Juan Manuel's fight card in Mexico. Rafael (39-6, 35 KO) will still be facing Eusebio Osejo (19-9-2, 7 KO), a non-threat out of Nicaragua who would just be there to sharpen up the contender ahead of a big fall bout, be it Nishioka or possibly Yuriorkis Gamboa (Marquez prefers Nishioka).
Brian Vera and James Kirkland on 6/24 Solo Boxeo Tecate
A nice little Solo Boxeo Tecate is set for June 24, with Brian Vera (18-5, 11 KO) in the main event, and James Kirkland (27-1, 24 KO) in the co-feature. Vera is coming off of a February "upset" of Sergio Mora, while Kirkland was of course demolished in the first round against light-punching Nobuhiro Ishida on April 9 in one of the year's biggest stunners. There has been talk of Kirkland and Ishida rematching, and as Ishida's name value has come back down to earth by not landing fights against Sergio Martinez or Paul Williams, I'd expect that could still happen later this year. Kirkland is back working with Ann Wolfe now, and he and Vera recently sparred, which Vera said was good. The two, both based in Austin, fought in 2008, with Kirkland dominating the game Vera and stopping him in eight.