Heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev, currently ranked No. 1 by the IBF, will be tested against Bogdan Dinu in a 10-round showdown on Saturday, March 23 at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, Calif.
In the co-main event, Jessie Magdaleno and Rico Ramos will face off in a 10-round featherweight bout with the potential of world title suggestions.
Pulev (26-1, 13 KOs) is nearing a chance for a second world title shot, has won six straight since the Klitschko loss back in 2014, most recently defeating Hughie Fury by unanimous decision in front of his home base at the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria last October.
“I’m excited to be fighting at The Hangar and on ESPN as I continue my quest to become the heavyweight champion of the world,” Pulev said to the press. “I have a great team behind me, and I am focused and ready to take care of business on March 23.”
Dinu (18-1, 14 KOs), a one-time top amateur from his native Romania, will be making just his second ring appearance in the United States. He is looking to rebound from a fourth-round stoppage loss to Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller last November.
“I know this is a big opportunity for me to get to the top of the heavyweight division,” Dinu said to the media. “I am happy to be fighting in the United States against a really top heavyweight in Pulev. When I win, I will be considered a top contender.”
Magdaleno (25-1, 18 KOs) will be fighting for the first time since being defeated by Isaac Dogboe for the WBO junior featherweight world title from him last April in a Fight of the Year contender. Dogboe had rebounded from a first-round knockdown to halt Magdaleno in the 11th round. Magdaleno, who had trouble making the 122-pound limit for the fight, hopes a win over Ramos propels him toward a featherweight world title picture.
“I haven’t fought in a long time, but I am ready to show the fans that I am the same guy who won the title not too long ago,” Magdaleno said in a press release. “I feel comfortable in my new weight class, and now that I’m back, the goal is to become a two-weight world champion.”
Ramos (30-5, 14 KOs) seized the WBA super bantamweight title on July 9, 2011 in Atlantic City with an amazing one-punch knockout of Akifumi Shimoda in the 7th round. He lost the title that following January to Guillermo Rigondeaux via sixth-round knockout. Ramos has been on a win streak since a 2015 knockout loss to Claudio Marrero, winning six in a row while fighting at both super bantamweight and featherweight. He won a pair of fights in 2018, including an eight-round unanimous decision over Daniel Olea last September..
“I’m thrilled to be fighting on ESPN,” Ramos said to the media. “I would like to thank Top Rank for the opportunity to showcase my skills on boxing’s biggest stage. I’m preparing my best to give the fans a great show. This fight will get me one step closer to becoming a two-time world champion.”
#PulevDinu is heading to The Hangar in Costa Mesa on March 23 ?
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 27, 2019