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Banner – Cruz vs Castillo on Dec. 19

Arthur Pelullo’s Banner Promotions and Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves will present a sensational world championship fight card on Saturday, December 19, 2009, at El Palenque in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico. Featured fights will be televised on Televisa and worldwide.

In the main event scheduled for 12 rounds, International Boxing Federation featherweight world champion Cristobal “Lacandon” Cruz, 39-11-1 with 23 knockouts, now based in Tijuana, Mexico, will make his third defense of the title against IBF No. 15 ranked contender Ricardo “Piolo” Castillo, 38-7 with 25 knockouts, of Mexicali, Mexico.

The 32 year-old Cruz was born in Jiquipilas in Mexico’s southernmost state of Chiapas. He defended the IBF title last July 11 in Tuxtla Gutierrez with a 12 round unanimous decision win against Jorge Solis – it was Cruz’ first fight in his home state since January, 2002, and a close, exciting battle. He won the vacant IBF world title with a 12 round decision against Orlando Salido in October, 2008, and has now won five fights in a row.

Castillo, now 30 years old, is a two-time world title challenger in the junior featherweight division. He moved up to featherweight in July, 2008, and is 4-1 in his five fights since then. He won the vacant North American Boxing Federation featherweight title in January, 2009, and won the vacant Mexican national featherweight title in his last fight last July. Ricardo is the younger brother of former two-time World Boxing Council lightweight world champion Jose Luis Castillo.

An exciting undercard of fights is being planned, and will include in separate bouts jr. featherweight contender Alex De Oliveira, 16-0 with 12 knockouts, of Guarulhos, Brazil in a 12 round bout for the WBC CABOFE super bantamweight title; Daniel Estrada (21-1-0, 17 KO’s) from Mexico City challenging Emilio Bojorquez, 15-1 with 11 knockouts, from Tijuana, for the WBC lightweight Youth world title.

Also on the undercard will be WBO No. 6 ranked jr. middleweight contender “Mean” Joe Greene, 21-0 with 14 knockouts, of Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., in a 10 round bout; light heavyweight prospect “Irish” Michael Sweeney, 8-0-1 with 5 knockouts, of Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland; super flyweight Susana “Toloquita” Vazquez of Toluca, Mexico; as well as a 10 round fight for the Mexican featherweight title featuring Tuxtla Gutierrez hometown favorite Analy Hernandez. More bouts to be announced.

All bouts subject to change without notice.

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