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Ponce De Leon vs Velez likely for Bernard Hopkins undercard on March 9

Daniel Ponce De Leon says he'll face Jayson Velez on March 9 at the Barclays Center, with Bernard Hopkins in the Showtime main event that night.

Josh Hedges

According to a report at, Daniel Ponce De Leon says he'll be defending his WBC featherweight title on March 9 against Jayson Velez, as part of Golden Boy and Showtime's card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Bernard Hopkins will return at age 48 in the main event that night.

Ponce De Leon (44-4, 35 KO) beat Jhonny Gonzalez for the title in a pretty disappointing bout on September 15 in Las Vegas, winning by technical decision after eight rounds. The fight figured to be a good style clash between a terrific boxer with power (Gonzalez) and a strong, awkward southpaw (Ponce De Leon), both of whom aren't afraid to mix it up, for better or worse. Instead, it turned into a very tactical battle, with a much slower pace than anticipated. But it was a good win for Ponce De Leon, too, and one that can't be discredited, really.

Velez (20-0, 15 KO) is a 24-year-old Puerto Rican prospect coming off of a mismatch victory over Salvador Sanchez II on December 1. It's very hard to tell what kind of challenge he is for the veteran Ponce De Leon right now, but he's got talent. It's a big leap in class for him, but it's also the fight he wants, which is respectable.

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