ESPN’s Salvador Rodriguez reports that WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar “El Rey” Martinez (17-1, 13 KO) will make his return against countryman Joel Cordova (12-4-2, 3 KO) in Mexico City on June 26. Martinez withdrew from three fights since August of last year, including two against mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo.
Arroyo (21-4, 16 KO) requested a voluntary defence of the interim belt he won in February, which leaves Martinez to make one of his own against Cordova. For what it’s worth, Cordova is unbeaten in his last nine (7-0-2), and one of his earlier losses came against Mauricio Lara.
But if Martinez’ health problems are resolved, he should roll through this one and set himself up for some exciting matchups in the near future.
A unification bout between WBA champion Artem Dalakian and WBO titleist Junto Nakatani is reportedly under discussion, and newly minted IBF champion Sunny Edwards is coming off a stellar performance against Moruti Mthalane. Add to that the Jay Harris-Ricardo Sandoval IBF eliminator and we have all the makings of a competitive division in which the champions are incentivized to fight each other.