Unbeaten IBF bantamweight world champion Randy Caballero (22-0, 13 KOs) was scheduled to make his first title defense of his title against Lee Haskins (32-3, 14 KOs) of the United Kingdom back in November. Caballero came in well over the 118 pound max weight limit and the bout was called off. Caballero was stripped of his title and Haskins was elevated to full champion from his interim world champion status. The bout was to take place on the undercard of the main event featuring Saul Alvarez vs. Miguel Cotto at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino, Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout was not going to be aired on the HBO PPV telecast.
It was a major setback for Caballero who had been sidelined for more than a year due to injury. Prior to suffering his injury Caballero was on quite a roll. He first defeated the much more experienced Kohei Oba in the latter’s native Japan by decision no less in a final world title eliminator in April 2014. Then about 6 months later he defeated then IBF champ Stuart Hall for the title in Monaco. It was a neutral site but much closer to Hall’s United Kingdom than the USA where Caballero is based.
Caballero has now moved up to the 122 pound super bantamweight division. He will take on Ruben Garcia of Mexico in a scheduled for 10 round super bantamweight matchup. The bout will take place in the city of Caballero’s birth in Indio at the Fantasy Springs Casino, in Indio, California. Garcia has not fought anyone near the level of a Caballero but has lost just once in 16 fights and that loss to an unbeaten fighter. The card will be promoted by Oscar De La Hoya Golden Boy Promotions and aired on Estrella TV.
The Indio area is a highly populated with Mexican nativesb or heritage of Mexico. Caballero himself is of Nicaraguan descent. World champion Roman Gonzalez who is also from Nicaraguan has recently burst on to the mainstream scene in boxing. His last few fights have aired live on HBO. This has brought out the support of the Nicaraguan community in Southern California. Caballero has an opportunity to ride this momentum in route to gaining his countryman’s fan support and his second world title in as many as divisions.