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Franco vs Moloney 3, Elwin Soto vs Felix Alvarado unification being worked on

A pair of title fights in the lower weight classes are being negotiated and put together.

Terence Crawford v Kell Brook Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez sat down with ESPN KnockOut yesterday to discuss the company’s upcoming plans, revealing a number of interesting tidbits. He confirmed that something would be announced “very soon” regarding the WBA-mandated trilogy match between Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney, claimed he’s discussed Patrick Teixeira and Vergil Ortiz Jr potentially facing Terence Crawford, and said there’s a “very good chance” that IBF super featherweight champ Joseph Diaz Jr. fights WBA “world” champ Roger Gutierrez next if the former defeats Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov next week.

The most concrete piece of information, however, concerns the light flyweight division. Gomez says they’re putting together a unification bout between WBO champion Elwin Soto and IBF champion Felix Alvarado. Both men are “ready” and they’re looking to stage the match in “April or May.”

Soto (18-1, 12 KO) definitely figures to be the underdog, as his reign has been less than stellar. “La Pulga” (“The Flea”) took the belt from Angel Acosta in 2019 with a controversial comeback stoppage and has since defended it with narrow decisions over Edward Heno and Carlos Buitrago; Bad Left Hook had Soto winning neither, scoring the former for Heno and the latter a draw.

Alvarado (36-2, 31 KO), unbeaten since consecutive losses to Kazuto Ioka and Juan Carlos Reveco more than six years ago, has been rather more decisive in his wins. He crushed Randy Petalcorin for the belt in 2018, took a wide decision over Reiya Konishi in his first defense, missed out on a unification with Kenshiro Teraji due to illness, then roared back to action last month with a stoppage of DeeJay Kriel.

Matchroom recently acquired the services of WBA “super” champ Hiroto Kyoguchi, so there’s presumably very little stopping the winner of this from unifying further by the end of the year. Toss Teraji in there once he’s off suspension and you’ve got yourself a red-hot division.

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