Fast-rising junior welterweight prospect "Mad Max" Maxim Dadashev will take on a former world titleholder for the second bout in a row when he faces former lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco on Sept. 14 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, Top Rank announced on Monday.
The scheduled 10-round fight will serve as the co-feature for the previously announced Top Rank Boxing on ESPN main event for hometown junior welterweight world titleholder Jose Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs) making his first defense against contender Antonio Orozco (27-0, 17 KOs).
Dadashev (11-0, 10 KOs), 27, a Russia native fighting out of Oxnard, California, is coming off a 10th-round knockout of former lightweight world titlist Darleys Perez on June 9 on the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
DeMarco (33-6-1, 24 KOs), 32, a southpaw from Mexico, has won two fights in a row following a three-fight losing streak to name opponents Jessie Vargas, Rances Barthelemy and Omar Figueroa Jr.
"DeMarco is a skilled veteran and a former world champion who I have a lot of respect for," Dadashev said. "I am ready to fight for a world title soon, and DeMarco is in my way. I will put on a spectacular performance for the great fans in Fresno and for everyone watching on ESPN."
Top Rank also unveiled the rest of the undercard, which will stream live on ESPN+ beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the main card to air on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
In the top preliminary bout, 2012 U.S. Olympian and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jamel Herring (17-2, 10 KOs), of Cincinnati, will face the Philippines' John Vincent Moralde (20-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round bout for the junior lightweight regional title.
"I'm just honored and excited to be back for this card," Herring said. "As some may know, Jose and I were Olympic teammates, but we haven't fought on the same night since our amateur days. It's great to reunite with a close friend again. I'm really motivated to fight for my first title as a professional. Though it isn't for a world title, a big win here will catapult me higher in the rankings and a step closer to a world title.
"I'm also motivated for this fight because Moralde got a victory (in May) over one of my training partners (Ismail Muwendo) in his last outing, so I feel as if we must get that victory back. I look at every fight as a title fight, and let's not forget I'm fighting in front of my Marine Corps family, so it's a must that I put on a great performance."
Also appearing on the card will be Japanese junior welterweight Hiroki Okada (18-0, 13 KOs), who recently signed with Top Rank, against Argentina's Cristian Coria (27-6-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
"I'm so excited about signing with Top Rank," Okada said. "Ever since I signed, I've been training harder than ever. This is such a great chance, and I am going to do my best to make the most of it."
Also on the card:
• Junior lightweight prospect Gabe Flores Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs), an 18-year-old from Stockton, California, will see action in a six-round bout against 25-year-old Roger Gutierrez (7-1-1, 4 KOs) of Pacoima, California.
• Russian welterweight prospect Alexander Besputin (10-0, 8 KOs), who is coming off a third-round knockout at the Save Mart Center on May 26, will face Alan Sanchez (20-3-1, 10 KOs), of Fairfield, California, in a 10-rounder.
• Fresno native Isidro Ochoa (5-0, 1 KO) will face Victor Morales Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs), of Vancouver, Washington, in a six-round lightweight bout.
• Costa Rica's Bryan Vasquez (36-3, 20 KOs), a former two-time interim junior lightweight titleholder who recently signed with Top Rank, will fight Carlos Cardenas (23-14-1, 13 KOs), of Venezuela, in an eight- or 10-round lightweight bout.
• Junior featherweight prospect Santos Ortega (2-0, 1 KO), of Sacramento, California, who last fought July 7 at the Save Mart Center, will fight Sebastian Baltazar (1-1, 0 KOs), of Tacoma, Washington, in a four-rounder.
• Indio, California, junior lightweight Ruben Rodriguez (3-0, 1 KO) will face an opponent to be determined in a six-round fight.