A few notes from the boxing world:
• Middleweight contenders Curtis Stevens (27-4, 20 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York, and France's Hassan N'Dam (30-1, 18 KOs), a former titlist, are close to a deal that will see them meet in a title eliminator in the return of boxing to NBC on Sept. 20 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The winner of the fight -- which has good potential to be action-packed -- will become the mandatory challenger for newly-crowned titleholder Sam Soliman of Australia. N'Dam has won three fights in a row since losing a decision in a world title fight to Peter Quillin in 2012. Stevens has won two fights in a row since being stopped in the eight round challenging titleholder Gennady Golovkin in November.
• Cruiserweight titlist Yoan Pablo Hernandez (28-1, 14 KOs), the German-based Cuban defector who has been out since November, will make his fourth defense on Aug. 16 in Erfurt, Germany. According to promoter Sauerland Event, Hernandez will face former titleholder Firat Arslan (34-7-2, 21 KOs) of Germany. Sauerland is waiting for the final approval of the match from the IBF. In January, Arslan was stopped in the sixth round of his rematch with titleholder Marco Huck but bounced back for a low-level win on June 7. Hernandez was supposed to fight Pawel Kolodziej on March 8, but the fight was postponed to March 29 and then canceled altogether because Hernandez was suffering from gastritis (a stomach lining infection) and unable to train.
• Welterweight prospect Jose Benavidez (20-0, 14 KOs), a star amateur who has disappointed Top Rank with some uneven performances as a pro, not to mention fighting just once in 2013, will fight for the third time this year on July 26 when he headlines a UniMas-televised card in his hometown of Phoenix. He has no opponent yet for his scheduled eight-rounder. Top Rank also announced that junior lightweight blue chip prospect Oscar Valdez (11-0, 11 KOs), the two-time Mexican Olympian, will fight in the co-feature, an eight-rounder against an opponent to be determined.
• Golden Boy announced that its card on July 18 (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes) at the Longshoreman's Hall in San Francisco will be headlined by former lightweight title challenger Mercito Gesta (27-1-1, 15 KOs) of the Philippines, who will take on Luis Arceo (28-12-4, 19 KOs) in the 10-round main event. In the junior welterweight co-feature, Jonathan Chicas (13-1, 6 KOs) of San Francisco will face Emanuel Robles (10-0-1, 3 KOs). Also on the card is Chinese heavyweight Taishan (yes, he goes by one name and is nearly 7-foot), who will make his pro debut in a four-rounder.