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INSIDE THE RING: San Antonio’s boxers headed to ESPN showcase

Kendo Castaneda and Joshua Franco are headed back to Las Vegas

World champ Joshua Franco returns home to San Antonio
World champ Joshua Franco returns home to San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – The boxing world continues to schedule big fights as the end of 2020 approaches. Here’s the latest on San Antonio’s top fighters.

FRANCO CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH

San Antonio’s latest champion has his next fight set.

Joshua “El Profesor” Franco will face Andrew Moloney in a rematch on Saturday, November 14 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. This will be the first title defense for Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs) after he defeated Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision in late June to win Moloney’s WBA World Super Flyweight championship belt.

According to ESPN, who first reported the rematch and later confirmed with Franco’s camp Wednesday night, Moloney’s team exercised the rematch clause. The title fight will be the co-main event heading into the Terence Crawford and Kell Brook bout live on ESPN. The undefeated Crawford will be defending his WBO welterweight title.

Franco has already been training at his camp in California for a month. To watch Franco’s first interview after returning to San Antonio a world champ, click here.

CASTANEDA RETURNS TO LAS VEGAS

Kendo Castaneda is hoping the third time’s the charm when he enters the ring Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Kendo “Tremendo” has fought through a tough year. Castaneda’s only defeats both occurred in 2020. He’s hoping this next fight turns it all around.

“It would be a great positive outcome coming out of this victorious and be righteous,” Castaneda told KSAT 12 Sports. “I’m hungry to beat this young man.”

Castaneda (17-2, 8 KOs) will be facing Josue Vargas (17-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight bout Saturday night on ESPN and ESPN+.

“Vargas hasn’t really been tested like this, going up against fighters like me, someone who causes trouble to elite fighters,” said Castaneda. “Regardless of defeats, I gave those guys a great run for their money; they had to work hard for their victory. I want to show this guy what it is to fight a top contender."

The Holmes High School alum has made numerous changes since his last defeat in July. “Tremendo” left his job at FedEx to concentrate completely on his boxing career. He moved his training camp to Houston for five weeks to work with fighters including Regis Prograis and Miguel Flores. He also has a new team in his corner.

“I’m going with Regis’s trainer Bobby Benton and Aaron Navarro," said Castaneda. “They have great lions in Houston. Aaron has always been a great friend of mine. Bobby and I clicked right away, same with Regis. We ran everyday, we trained, we sparred. It was all something to feed off of.”

“I wanted to invest with myself and get a greater outcome,” Castaneda added about his training camp moving to Houston. "I wanted to get a different experience and work with world ranked fighters in my weight class.”

Castaneda left for Sin City Wednesday night with his new team and hopefully, the start of a new win streak.

“It’s been a long time coming to feel like this again. I have not felt this positive, this great, this conditioned to be where I wanted to be,” Castaneda said. “I’m just ready to go, this is the one to watch for sure. Kendo is right where he needs to be. It’s a major comeback for sure."

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 17 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email dvillanueva@ksat.com


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