That was relatively quick. 

After fighting in early March, Karlos Balderas is already stepping back in the ring this weekend in Las Vegas.

The Santa Maria native and 2016 U.S. Olympian is scheduled to fight Saturday on ESPN+.

Balderas is back in the ring about 11 weeks after fighting in Fresno as he'll face Colombian Ruben Cervera in a bout that figures to be a difficult one for both fighters. 

This will be Balderas' fourth bout since August of 2021, when he ended a nearly 20-month layoff amid the coronavirus pandemic. He's looking for his fourth straight knockout. 

Cervera figures to be a worthy opponent. The 24-year-old Colombian is 13-2 in his career with 11 KO wins. He's been knocked out once in his career.

Balderas is 12-1 with 11 knockouts. His only defeat was a stunning knockout against Rene Tellez Gillon in December of 2019. Balderas competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and made it to the quarterfinals of the lightweight tournament. He then signed with RingStar Sports and promoter Richard Schaefer when he turned professional, winning his first nine pro bouts. 

But after suffering the loss to Tellez Giron, he switched up his lifestyle and his team, moving to Los Angeles to train with former pro Buddy McGirt and signing with Bob Arum's legendary promotion, Top Rank.

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Since signing with Top Rank, Balderas has scored three straight KO wins. He knocked out Aelio Mesquita in the second round in Fresno two months ago after stopping Julio Cortez in the fourth round in November of last year. In his first bout with Top Rank, he knocked out Fidel Cervantes in the second round in August of 2021. 

Saturday's bout is scheduled to go eight rounds, which would be the longest of Balderas' career. 

Cervera has won three straight bouts since back-to-back defeats in 2019. Cervera beat Luis Carlos Lugo with a knockout and then scored a unanimous decision over Clay Burns in July of 2020. In his last bout, Cervera knocked out Rennard Oliver in Las Vegas in September of 2020. 

At Friday's weigh-in, Cervera came in at 130.8 pounds while Balderas weighed in at 132.8 and had to re-weigh at 132.4 pounds. 

The ESPN+ broadcast is slated to start at 2:15 p.m. Pacific and Balderas' bout will be one of the later headlining bouts on the broadcast. There is then a three-bout main event card that will be broadcast on ESPN, starting at approximately 5 p.m. 

The main event features Janibek Alimkhanuly taking on Danny Dignum for the vacant WBO Interim Middleweight World Title in a 12-round bout.

Jamel Herring and Jamaine Ortiz will clash for the NABF and USBA Lightweight Titles in a 10-round fight. Tiger Johnson faces Agustin Kucharski in a six-round welterweight bout that opens the ESPN broadcast.


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