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Prospects galore coming to unique Sunday L.A. Live boxing card April 9

Prospects galore coming to unique Sunday L.A. Live boxing card April 9
Olympic boxing bronze medalist Misael Rodriguez, left, receives the National Sports Prize from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City on Jan. 24. (Jose Mendez / Associated Press)

Seeking to reaffirm Los Angeles as boxing’s star-making home, promoter Richard Schaefer is packing his April 9 card at L.A. Live’s the Novo with young fighters whose potential, at least for now, seems boundless.

The Fox Sports 1-televised card will feature the pro debuts of U.S. Olympian Carlos Balderas, a super-featherweight, along with middleweight Misael Rodriguez, a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist from Mexico, and Lithuania's welterweight Eimantis Stanionis, a Freddie Roach-trained product.

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"I want to make L.A. their home base," said Schaefer, promoting the card headlined by a bout between veteran Riverside welterweight Josesito Lopez and Mexico's Saul Corral as "Opening Night."

"Each has the opportunity to be a world champion. They each have the ingredients thanks to their style, background, charisma to be real superstars and I see Los Angeles as the most important market in boxing.

"Los Angeles has always had a star to carry the sport. There is clearly a void. I feel these guys will become big attractions in not only L.A. and California, but the U.S. and the world."

The Sunday card, with televised fights beginning at 6:30 p.m., offers $30 general-admission seats.

Maricela Cornejo, a former title challenger working on a second shot under new trainer Joel Diaz in Indio, will also make her debut with Schaefer on the card. Cornejo will walk out with the daughter of late Mexican singer Jenni Rivera, Chiquis Rivera, who will sing that night.

"It's a Sunday — nobody has really ever done that," Schaefer said. "I want to try different things and see how they resonate. There's still no conflict with work, like on Saturday, and I want families to come and grow with these fighters. There's an MLS game leading into the fight on FS1.… I want eyeballs on these guys."

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