Antonio DeMarco to defend title again

Lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco of Mexico, who won a vacant title with a thrilling come-from-behind, 11th-round knockout of Jorge Linares in October, is set to make his second title defense. DeMarco will face countryman Alejandro Sanabria (32-1-1, 24 KOs) on Aug. 4, promoter Gary Shaw said Friday.

The fight will take place in either Mexicali or Tijuana, which is where DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs) lives.

"I am ready to fight," DeMarco said through a translator. "I have been in the gym working lightly but soon we will pick up the pace. Sanabria is a strong fighter. I know I will have to be at my best but I am not worried. I am sure my team will put together a good strategy for the fight. I am happy to be fighting in Baja California, something I have not done in a long time, so I am looking forward to it."

In March, DeMarco made his first title defense, a fifth-round knockout of Miguel "Mickey" Roman in Los Mochis, Mexico, where DeMarco was born.

With a victory against Sanabria, Shaw hopes to move DeMarco into a bigger fight.

"After this, I would love for him to fight again in the United States," Shaw said.

Shaw listed several fights he said he would be willing to make for DeMarco, including against former featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa (who is moving up in weight), a unification bout with Miguel Vazquez, top contender John Molina Jr., rising prospect Darley Perez, former interim titlist Michael Katsidis and interim titleholder Richard Abril (who is coming off a highly controversial decision loss to Brandon Rios in April).