Diego De La Hoya will reportedly get his first crack at a world title later this summer, facing Ronny Rios for the interim WBA featherweight belt on July 13th. The WBA’s current championship roster features “super” champ Leo Santa Cruz, “regular” champ Can Xu, and “gold” champ Eduardo Ramirez. Xu faces Shun Kubo this upcoming Sunday, so clearly he’s so inactive that an interim belt is necessary.
The venue is unknown, but Joel De La Hoya suggests it could be part of the Rey Vargas-Tomoki Kameda undercard in Carson.
The 24-year-old De La Hoya (21-0, 10 KO) had struggled mightily with the super bantamweight limit in recent years and saw his April featherweight debut cut short by a clash of heads. He once weighed in at 128.5 for a 124-pound catchweight fight, so he’s not out of the woods yet, but he’s a skilled young fighter with a solid body of work.
Rios (30-3, 14 KO) spent the majority of his career at 126, where he rebounded from a knockout loss to Robinson Castellanos with a breakout upset of then-unbeaten Jayson Velez on the Canelo-Cotto undercard. Down at 122, he unsuccessfully challenged Rey Vargas for the WBC belt and fell in an eliminator against Azat Hovhannisyan two fights later.
This is honestly a good matchup and not too egregious a title fight by WBA standards. Rios can fight and De La Hoya’s been treading water since a career-best win over Randy Caballero in 2017.