Tevin Farmer to face Francisco Fonseca for third title fight in 4½ months

Junior lightweight world titlist Tevin Farmer wanted to be a busy fighter, and he will be just that.

Farmer will make his second title defense against Francisco Fonseca on Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York, Lou DiBella, Farmer's co-promoter with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, told ESPN on Sunday night.

"Terms have been agreed to on both sides," DiBella said.

The fight will be Farmer's third world title bout in 4½ months, an unusually active schedule for a top-level fighter.

The bout will take place on the undercard of unified middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez's step up to the super middleweight division to challenge secondary world titlist Rocky Fielding in the first fight of Alvarez's record-shattering, five-year, 11-fight, $365 million deal with sports streaming service DAZN.

Farmer (27-4-1, 6 KOs), 28, a southpaw from Philadelphia, traveled to Australia and easily outpointed Australia's Billy Dib to win a vacant 130-pound world title Aug. 3. Soon after, Farmer and DiBella worked out the co-promotional deal with Hearn, and the fighter returned on Hearn's Oct. 20 card in Boston, where he savaged James Tennyson with body shots and knocked him out in the fifth round to retain his title for the first time.

Light heavyweight world titlist Artur Beterbiev had been expected to defend his title against Joe Smith Jr. on the Alvarez-Fielding undercard, but Beterbiev was coming off a rough first title defense in a fourth-round knockout of Callum Johnson on Oct. 6 and ultimately decided to pass on the opportunity to fight Dec. 15. That opened the door for Farmer to be added to the card.

"Three world title fights in 4½ months -- that's what Tevin wants to be doing and he's getting the opportunity," DiBella said. "Beterbiev coming off the card created an opportunity for Tevin. The last fight with Tennyson, he came out with no wear and tear and this is something Tevin wanted to do and an opening was created. I'm thrilled he will get the opportunity to fight at the Garden on the Canelo card, and it's not too far from home for him so his fans can come out to see him. I think this is a pretty cool situation."

Fonseca (22-1-1, 16 KOs), 24, of Costa Rica, suffered his only loss, to Gervonta Davis, by eighth-round knockout in August 2017 on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor pay-per-view undercard in Las Vegas.

Davis has been stripped of a junior lightweight title for failing to make weight the day before the bout, which went ahead with only Fonseca eligible to win the vacant title. Fonseca has since won three fights in a row, all by knockout. Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) has since regained a junior lightweight world title and has been an opponent Farmer has been calling out.

"Fonseca had a fight canceled and he was already in training so this is a good situation," DiBella said.