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Marlen Esparza, Maurice Hooker, Bektemir Melikuziev join Ortiz vs McKinson

Marlen Esparza will be defending her flyweight titles

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Golden Boy has revealed the undercard lineup for its August 6th Vergil Ortiz Jr vs Michael McKinson show, which features a title fight, a decent welterweight matchup, and the latest from a recovering prospect.

The co-feature sees Marlen Esparza (12-1, 1 KO) defend her WBC and WBA flyweight titles against Venezuela’s Eva Guzman (19-1-1, 11 KO). Guzman’s got a pretty record, but 13 of those 19 wins came over opponents without a single pro win; her only semi-notable victory came against Isabel Milan for the interim WBA belt last year.

If Esparza still has her sights set on a rematch with Seniesa Estrada, this doesn’t figure to be much of a tripping hazard, especially not when compared to her recent win over Naoka Fujioka.

“I am ready for Eva Guzman. Mandatory defense or title fight, all fights are serious business for me!” said Marlen Esparza.

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for to prove I am the best,” said Eva Guzman. “After this victory, the whole world will know I am the most dangerous fighter at 112lbs.”

Up at 147, Maurice Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KO) returns to action against Blair Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KO). Both men are coming off of losses, Hooker to the aforementioned Ortiz and Cobbs to Alexis Rocha. “Mighty Mo” figures to be the favorite, as he was right there with Ortiz for much of their fight, but odds are this’ll be plenty fun regardless.

“Im ready to show the world I’m still a warrior,” said Maurice Hooker. “I’m ready to give them a fight they will always remember.”

“Blair the Flair is saying absolutely nothing. See you August 6,” said Blair Cobbs.

The opener pits Bektemir Melikuziev (9-1, 7 KO) against Sladan Janjanin (32-11, 24 KO) at 168. Janjanin’s a pretty bog-standard warm body for European fighters, and was notably the last man to lose to Martin Murray. But hey, Melikuziev got blasted by Gabe Rosado not too long ago, so a soft touch is understandable.

“It’s been a long time in training camp, the opponents pulled out, the dates rescheduled, so I am happy to finally have a fight and step back in the ring on August 6 on a big Golden Boy show,” said Bektemir Melikuziev.

Alex Martin (17-4, 6 KO) vs. Hank Lundy (31-10-1, 14 KO) will be on the Prelims