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Gomez-Soto to be added to Canelo card

Junior welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez is poised to take on Humberto Soto in what should be the toughest fight of his career so far.

If the 10-round fight is finalized -- and contracts have been sent out to both camps -- it will take place as the televised co-feature on the HBO card headlined by junior middleweight star Canelo Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) against big puncher James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) on May 9 (HBO) at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The fight is the first for Alvarez under his new exclusive deal with HBO.

“We’re going to put Frankie Gomez in with Humberto Soto. We’re finalizing the deal,” Golden Boy Promotions vice president Eric Gomez told ESPN.com. “This will be a very interesting fight. It will be Frankie’s coming out party.”

Gomez (18-0, 13 KOs), 23, of East Los Angeles, was a stud amateur and is a super talented prospect, but he has had starts and stops in his career for various reasons -- injury and legal issues included. He has not fought since July, but in that fight he looked superb winning a 10-round shutout against Vernon Paris, who a step-up opponent for him.

Now he gets Soto (65-8-2, 35 KOs), 34, of Mexico, the epitome of an experienced, dangerous veteran. A former lightweight and junior lightweight world titleholder, Soto has won seven fights in a row since suffering a fifth-round knockout loss to huge puncher Lucas Matthysse in June 2012. In his last bout in September, Soto won a 10-round unanimous decision against John Molina Jr. in a mild upset.

“Humberto looked great against Molina. He took the fight to John Molina in a very good performance,” Gomez said. “Molina caught him with some huge punches but Humberto Soto took them on the chin like a man and kept coming and outpointed him. We expect that he will test Frankie Gomez.”