Promising junior lightweight Lamont Roach Jr. is going on the road to take on the best opponent of his career.
Roach will head to former world-title-challenger Orlando Cruz’s turf to face him April 19 at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan. They will square off in the scheduled 10-round main event of a Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN card (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, 9:30 p.m. ET), Golden Boy announced Friday.
Roach (16-0, 6 KOs), 22, of Washington, D.C., is coming off a lopsided 10-round decision against Rey Perez in anther Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN card on Nov. 30 and he is looking to build off that victory by taking down the vastly experienced two-time world-title-challenger Cruz.
“I’m excited for this fight, and I’m ready to perform at a high level on ESPN again,” Roach said. “This fight is going to put me exactly where I need to be to show that I’m ready to be on a championship chase.”
Cruz (25-6-1, 13 KOs), 36, has dropped two fights in a row but is easily the most formidable opponent of Roach’s career. Cruz suffered an eighth-round knockout loss challenging then-lightweight-world-titleholder Terry Flanagan for his belt in November 2016 and then lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Jose Lopez in June.
“I can say that this training camp has been one of the best of my career,” said Cruz, boxing’s first openly gay fighter. “I feel blessed by God, who gives me strength and health to stay on top of my game. I will be 110 percent ready for this fight and to have a strong win April 19 in Puerto Rico.”
Golden Boy Promotions is once again partnering with Puerto Rico-based Miguel Cotto Promotions to present the Puerto Rican-heavy card.
One of those fights will be a 10-round all-Puerto Rican lightweight bout between Lopez (24-6-1, 12 KOs) and Mexico’s Miguel Gonzalez (21-4, 18 KOs). Also, Magdiel Cotto (8-0, 7 KOs), of Puerto Rico, will face Elie Augustama (6-7, 3 KOs), of Haiti, in a six-round middleweight fight.
In another 10-round fight, welterweight Luis Hernandez (16-5, 9 KOs), of Puerto Rico, will square off with the Dominican Republic’s Juan Abreu.