Junior welterweights Emanuel Taylor and Karim Mayfield were both on the doorstep of a major fight but each lost their last outing against a quality opponent.
In February, on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights," Taylor dropped a decision to Chris Algieri, who went on to win a world title in his next fight when he edged Ruslan Provodnikov in a controversial decision on June 14. Had Taylor (17-2, 12 KOs) beaten Algieri, he probably would have gotten the title opportunity.
Mayfield (18-1-1, 11 KOs) got the chance to fight on HBO in his last fight on March 29, but he lost a competitive decision to Thomas Dulorme.
Now Taylor and Mayfield are each in dire need of a victory, which adds intrigue to their 10-round showdown scheduled to take place on July 18 at The Paramount in Huntington, New York, and headline "Friday Night Fights" (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET).
The Paramount is Algieri's home arena, so the card will also include a tribute to the new titleholder, who is from Huntington and sold out the arena several times on his way to the title.
"Taylor and Mayfield is a true crossroads fight with the winner getting right back in the upper tier of the world rankings," Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia said. "Each is coming off a tough loss and looking to gain the terrific momentum their careers previously held.
"We are also going to pay special tribute to our new champion, Chris Algieri. He made his bones fighting at The Paramount, selling it out numerous times and his story of winning the title over Ruslan Provodnikov on June 14 has captured the interest of boxing fans all over the world."
The eight-round co-feature will involve Brooklyn, New York welterweight prospect Cletus Seldin (13-0, 10 KOs), known as "The Hebrew Hammer," making his national television debut against an opponent to be determined.