Exclusive: Leonard Ellerbe: Juan Heraldez Can Beat Jose Ramirez And Maurice Hooker

Even though WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is headlining a Barclays Center boxing card on May 18, the undercard will feature a number of prospects in action, including Juan Heraldez, whom Leonard Ellerbe believes is ready for a world title shot now.

Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, spoke with Fightful on Heraldez, who is facing former world champion Argenis Mendez. Heraldez, an unbeaten junior welterweight prospect, is taking a big step up in competition prior to past opponents and Ellerbe believes Heraldez is ready to face bigger names, starting with Mendez.

“The timing is right. He’s right where he needs to be. He’s been progressing and coming along really well and he wants to be tested. I feel very comfortable with putting him in this fight and I think he’s going to pass with flying colors. I fully expect him to knock Argenis Mendez out come this Saturday night,” Ellerbe said.

Despite Heraldez being just 16 fights into his career, Heraldez is already being groomed for a future world title opportunity. Ellerbe further praised Heraldez and added that he not only thinks Heraldez is a title contender today, but even favors him in a hypothetical matchup against a couple of the division’s current world champions. Ellerbe singled out two specific champions he thinks Heraldez would beat at this moment: WBC titleholder Jose Ramirez and WBO titleholder Maurice Hooker.

“I’m going to be very honest with you. He’s on the fast track. I feel very comfortable that if an opportunity came to put him in with Jose Ramirez and Maurice Hooker tomorrow, I would have no problem then. He’s been asking me, he wants to fight Hooker. I consider him the best of the bunch. He’s ready to go… I know what he’s capable of bringing and I have no problem putting him in there with any 140-pounder. Again, I would have zero problems putting him in front of Ramirez and Hooker right away. I think he can beat both of those guys tomorrow,” Ellerbe said.

Heraldez vs. Mendez will be the opening bout of the Showtime Championship Boxing card from the Barclays Center on May 18. Fightful will have live coverage of the fight, as well as the rest of the card headlined by Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale for the WBC heavyweight title. You can check out the full interview with Ellerbe, which includes the details on WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis’ next fight, at the top of the page.

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