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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Williams

Luis Alberto Lopez Will Defend His IBF Title in Angelo Leo's Backyard in Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 10th

Press Release:

Mexico’s road warrior is about to enter a new enemy territory.

Venado Lopez will put his IBF featherweight world championship on the line against Angelo Leo on Saturday, August 10, at Tingley Coliseum in Leo’s hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In the 10-round junior welterweight co-feature, Lindolfo Delgado and Bryan Flores will lock horns in an all-Mexican showdown.

Venado-Leo and Delgado-Flores will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Sky Sports will broadcast the event in the UK & Ireland.

Venado (30-2, 17 KOs), from Mexicali, Mexico, is emerging as one of his nation’s most decorated champions. The 30-year-old powerhouse captured the IBF featherweight crown by dethroning Josh Warrington in his hometown of Leeds, England, in December 2022. He traveled again to hostile terrain in his first defense, stopping Belfast’s Michael Conlan via fifth-round TKO in May 2023. He returned stateside that September to beat division mainstay Joet Gonzalez by unanimous decision. In his last outing, he knocked out mandatory challenger Reiya Abe in the eighth round, handing the Japanese contender his first stoppage defeat. Venado is gearing up for his third world title appearance on enemy turf.

Leo (24-1, 11 KOs) has already made history as one of six New Mexicans to win a world title. When Leo defeated Tramaine Williams for the vacant WBO junior featherweight strap in 2020, he joined Bob Foster, Johnny Tapia, Danny Romero, Holly Holm, and Austin Trout as “Land of Enchantment” boxers to reach the professional mountaintop. He lost the title five months later to Stephen Fulton and spent more than two years out of the ring following a 2021 victory over Aaron Alameda. Leo moved up to featherweight and won three fights, including a convincing decision over former world title challenger Eduardo Baez in April.

The ESPN+-streamed undercard includes the following fights:

  • Undefeated flyweights and Albuquerque natives Abraham Perez (10-0, 5 KOs) and Matthew Griego (14-0, 10 KOs) will collide in the 10-round “Duke City Civil War.” Albuquerque has a rich history of all-ABQ showdowns, most notably the 1997 junior bantamweight battle between Johnny Tapia and Danny Romero.

  • U.S. Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (10-0, 10 KOs) returns in an eight-round heavyweight bout against Joshua Temple (13-3, 10 KOs). He will make his third 2024 appearance following his most significant victory, a fifth-round stoppage over then-undefeated prospect Brandon Moore last month.

  • Lightweight Alan “Kid Kansas” Garcia (13-0, 10 KOs) will put his unbeaten record on the line versus Donnie Reeves (9-9, 7 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Garcia began his 2024 campaign in February by toppling Tomas Ornelas in the first stanza before dispatching Gonzalo Fuenzalida in two rounds the following month. He decisioned Wilfredo Flores across eight rounds last month.  

  • Junior middleweight contender Vito Mielnicki Jr. (18-1, 12 KOs) will make his Top Rank debut in a 10-rounder. Mielnicki is 10-0 since the only defeat on his ledger. In his last performance, he tallied a one-sided unanimous decision over Ronald Cruz on the Canelo Alvarez-Jaime Munguia undercard.  

  • Ukrainian featherweight contender Arnold Khegai (21-1-1, 13 KOs) will see action under the Top Rank banner for the first time in a 10-round tilt against Belmar Preciado (22-7-1, 15 KOs). Khegai, who is ranked No. 1 by the WBO, will look to extend his winning streak to six following a third-round TKO against Jon Martinez in January.

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