Marlen Esparza to Fight Lucia Nunez in March

Marlen Esparzais ready to rumble…

The 30-year-old Mexican American boxer will box on Golden Boy Promotions’ “Thursday Night Fights” series (DAZN/RingTV.com, 10:00 pm ET) on March 19 at the Avalon in Hollywood, California.

Marlen Esparza

Esparza joins a card that includes Joet Gonzalezand Lamont Roach, all coming off decision losses in world title bouts.

Esparza (7-1, 1 KO), who was a 2012 U.S. Olympicbronze medalist, will face Lucia Nunez(7-10), 29, of Mexico, in a six-round, women’s junior bantamweight bout.

In Esparza’s last fight, on November 2 in Las Vegas on the Canelo AlvarezSergey Kovalevundercard, she lost a ninth-round technical decision because of a bad cut from an accidental head-butt against rival Seniesa Estradafor a vacant interim women’s flyweight title.

“I’m ready to get back in the ring,” Esparza said. “There were multiple factors that made this last fight a real learning experience, but this next round of professional boxing is just the beginning of much more. I’m looking forward to coming out with the new strategies that I’ve been learning and switching up my game a bit.”

Gonzalez (23-1, 14 KOs), 26, of Glendora, California, will square off with former world title challenger Chris Avalos (27-7, 20 KOs), 30, of Lancaster, California, in a 10-round featherweight fight.

Gonzalez will be fighting for the first time since he faced bitter rival Shakur Stevenson for a vacant featherweight world title on October 26 in Reno, Nevada, and lost a near-shutout decision.

“I can’t wait to step back into the ring,” Gonzalez said. “I fought for a world title, so I know what it’s like to be at that level. Now, I’ll be coming back with an even stronger desire to become a world champion. This March 19, I will not disappoint.”

Avalos has lost two fights in a row but has vast experience, including in losses in world title bouts to Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz and to Oscar Valdezin a nontitle bout.

“We’re coming to win,” Avalos said. “We’re back on track. The old Chris Avalos is back. (Gonzalez) may think I’m a joke. You may think I’m washed up. But I’m coming to kick your ass. Keep your hands (up) or you will see what happens.”

Roach (19-1-1, 7 KOs), 24, of Washington, will face Neil John Tabanao(17-7, 11 KOs), 25, of the Philippines, in a 10-round junior lightweight bout in the co-feature.

Roach will be in the ring for the first time since he lost a competitive unanimous decision as the mandatory challenger for 130-pound world titlist Jamel Herringon November 9 in Fresno, California.

“I’ve been itching to get back in that square to show that I’m the best at 130,” Roach said. “My last fight was just a glimpse, but this year it’s all the way up with me.”

Tabanao is coming off three 10-round decision losses in a row, all against undefeated fighters.

“I’m looking forward to this fight against Lamont Roach Jr.,” Tabanao said. “I know that he’s coming off his first loss and that he wants to fight for a world title again. However, I more experience than he, and I know how to score an upset.”

Santa Cruz to Defend His WBC Super Bantamweight Title Against Jesus Ruiz

Leo Santa Cruz is ready to repeat-peat-peat-peat…

The 26-year-old Mexican boxer, the reigning WBC Super Bantamweight champion, will be making his fourth title defense against Jesus Ruiz later this month, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

Leo Santa Cruz

The fight will take place on January 17 (Showtime, 10:00 pm ET) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Santa Cruz, who won the IBF Bantamweight title in 2012 and defended it three times before vacating it to move up in weight, where he claimed another title, will be facing his second low-level opponent in a row. But he’s hoping to move on to bigger bouts after disposing of Ruiz.

“I feel great about my upcoming fight with Ruiz. He is a strong fighter, undefeated in the past two years and the kind of opponent I want to fight,” Santa Cruz said. “I want to put on a great show on January 17 and show boxing fans that I am a strong fighter ready to go to the next level and take on the top, tough fighters in the division: [unified champion] Guillermo Rigondeaux, [titleholder] Scott Quigg, [titleholder] Carl Frampton and [former titleholder] Abner Mares.”

Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs), 26, who lives in Los Angeles, is coming off a one-sided, second-round blowout of journeyman Manuel Roman, his former sparring partner, in September.

Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs), 25, also from Mexico, has won five fights in a row, but all against lesser opposition.

“I know many believe I have no chance, but I am well prepared and ready to give my all,” Ruiz said. “I am ready for war and ready to leave it all in the ring like a true Mexican warrior.”