Junior featherweight prospect Diego De La Hoya will take on Erik Ruiz in the 10-round main event of the Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN card on May 18 at the Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona, Golden Boy Promotions announced Monday at a news conference at the casino.
The card will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET. It will also stream live on ESPN3.
De La Hoya (17-0, 9 KOs), 22, of Mexico, a first cousin of Golden Boy boss and International Boxing Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya, said he is looking forward to being in the main event spotlight on the new series.
"I'm excited and thankful to be headlining Golden Boy Promotions' new venture with ESPN in Tucson," he said. "I have a tough opponent in Erik Ruiz, but I'll be more than ready for him. I know ESPN is expecting great matchups from Golden Boy, and this fight is no exception."
Ruiz (16-6-1, 6 KOs), 26, of Oxnard, California, has faced far more accomplished opponents than De La Hoya has, but he is coming off a 10-round unanimous decision loss to former junior featherweight world titleholder Rico Ramos on March 11.
A win against De La Hoya would be huge, and Ruiz knows it.
"I am thrilled to be getting the opportunity to fight Diego De La Hoya," Ruiz said. "I've had many ups and downs in my career, and I know a win against Diego can help erase some of those bumps. This fight has given me a renewed motivation. Only in boxing can one win change your life, and a win against De La Hoya can change mine for the better. This will be a great fight for the fans."
Oscar De La Hoya said when the ESPN series began last month that Golden Boy would take fights all over the country rather than have events mainly near its base in Los Angeles. The debut card was in Southern California followed by last week's card in Las Vegas, and now a show is scheduled for Tucson with others likely to take place in cities such as New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and various locations in Texas.
"We are thrilled to be adding Casino Del Sol Resort as one of our designated ESPN stops as an effort to ensure that fight fans around the country have the opportunity to see top talent give all they have in the ring," De La Hoya said. "Diego is a natural in the ring. On the other hand, Erik Ruiz will look to vindicate himself and will not hold back on Diego."