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Moralde to return to US in April

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DAVAO CITY — Five-time Philippine national champion boxer, John Vincent Moralde, will be making his return to the US to face his next challenge — unbeaten super featherweight prospect Xavier Martinez.

The bout will be part of the three-fight ShoBox: The New Generation to be telecast live from Sam’s Town Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada at 10 p.m. ET/PT on April 5.

In September last year, Moralde, with 21 wins, 2 losses, and 11 knockouts, faced former Olympian Jamel Herring for the vacant USBA super featherweight title, losing a 10-round decision. He returned to the ring in December and recorded a second-round TKO victory over Elmer Colve.

Finishing up his six-week training camp, Moralde has sparred against top contender Romero Duno to prepare for Martinez.

Martinez, who has 13 wins, and 9 knockouts, was born and raised in Sacramento, California. He was introduced to the Sweet Science at the young age of seven and has been mentored by his current trainer, Ray Woods, ever since.

Martinez had a successful amateur career, winning the Jr. Golden Gloves in 2010, competed at Nationals in 2012 and 2013, ranking No. 4 and No. 3, respectively. Martinez, who finished his career with more than 95 amateur fights, looked up to Diego Corrales and Floyd Mayweather as he was growing up.

He draws inspiration from Corrales, whom he said always carried the heart of a warrior in the ring and he learned hard work and discipline from Mayweather.

At only 21 years old, Martinez has his eyes set on his first title shot.

The ShoBox tripleheader is headlined by top 122-pound prospect Angelo Leo (16-0, 8 KOs) squaring off against Filipino Neil Tabanao (17-4, 11 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

In the telecast opener, undefeated Mayweather Promotions 130-pound prospect Andres Cortes (10-0, 6 KOs) and once-beaten Jahmal Dyer (9-1, 5 KOs) square off in an eight-round bout.

Moralde said he sees Martinez as “a very promising prospect, and he is also talented.”

“Nonetheless, I bring a lot of quality experience to the table. Be ready for an upset on April 5. I will be leaving the ring as the winner,” he said. (PNA)