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Jonathan Gonzalez gets new opponent for October 27th ESPN+ main event

Leyman Benavides withdrew from the bout due to illness

Jonathan Gonzalez has his first WBO title defense set Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

WBO light flyweight champion Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez, previously slated to return on October 27th against Leyman Benavides, will instead meet no. 14 Gerardo Zapata after Benavides “fell ill.”

Nicaragua’s Zapata (14-1-1, 5 KO) was scheduled to rematch Azael Villar, whom he’d fought to a split draw on August 4th, in the co-feature. He previously suffered a two-round DQ loss to Rene Santiago in what was his first scheduled 10-rounder.

Like Benavides, he doesn’t pose much of a threat to Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 KO), but at least it gives the latter a tune-up after a bout with pneumonia scrapped a unification fight with Kenshiro Teraji earlier this year. Teraji made clear after his recent knockout of Hekkie Budler that he’s still interested in that fight, so a clean win from “Bomba” here should put the two back on a collision course before long.

“My team and I have seen the tape on him (Zapata) We are ready and eager to get back in the ring,” noted Gonzalez. “We saw Zapata is a southpaw, but he brings nothing new to the table, on Oct.27 Bomba will still be WBO champion.”

“Destiny has placed me here,“ states Zapata. “I won my last fight. Villar got a hometown decision which cost me the fight with Gonzalez but here we are I will not disappoint my people.”

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