Cherry, Rhodes look to get back on winning track on June 28

There are many ways to put together a thrilling boxing match. One that’s often overlooked: Match two talented fighters who are desperate to rebound from stinging defeats—and desperate to avoid losing back-to-back fights for the first time in their careers.

Edner Cherry and Luis Cruz

Edner Cherry connects with a right to the jaw of Luis Cruz in July. Cherry won by ninth-round knockout for his 10th straight win before losing to 130-pound world champion Jose Pedraza in October. (Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions)

Such is the scenario that Edner Cherry (34-7, 19 KOs) and Lydell Rhodes (23-1-1, 11 KOs) find themselves as they prepare to square off June 28 in a scheduled 10-round bout from the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Cherry-Rhodes serves as the main event of another edition of Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays on Fox Sports 1 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Also featured will be a 10-round battle between undefeated 130-pound sluggers Omar "Super O” Douglas (16-0, 11 KOs) of Wilmington, Delaware, and Cuba native Alexei Collado (19-1, 17 KOs).

Cherry, 33, carried a 10-fight winning streak (including seven KOs) into his 130-pound world title fight against Jose Pedraza on October 3, then took the defending champion the full 12 rounds before dropping a split decision. It was Cherry’s first defeat in more than seven years and just his third loss in 18 fights going back to May 2005.

Each of Cherry’s last three setbacks came against current or former world titleholders Pedraza, Tim Bradley Jr. (unanimous decision in a 140-pound title fight in September 2013) and Paulie Malignaggi (unanimous decision, February 2007).

“I’ve learned that when you fight for a title, you have to knock out the champ,” Cherry said. “I am still pushing toward a world title. I’m not giving up.”

In Rhodes, the Bahamas-born, Florida-based Cherry will be facing a 28-year-old opponent who found his way into the squared circle after a career as a mixed martial arts fighter. Rhodes—who was born in Spencer, Oklahoma, but now makes his home in Las Vegas—won his first 23 boxing matches over a 3½-year stretch.

However, after fighting Jared Robinson to an eight-round split draw last June, Rhodes ran up against hard-hitting Russian contender Sergey Lipinets in October, losing a 10-round unanimous decision. He’s looking to bounce back in a big way June 28 against what he realizes is a tough opponent.

“I have been waiting for a fight like this for a long time,” Rhodes said. “Cherry is a warrior who has never been stopped. I will be the first person to stop him. I have to go out and dominate against a guy who has fought many world champions. I believe if I do that, it will push me toward a world title shot.”

Said Cherry: “I know Rhodes is a good fighter, and I am preparing for a tough fight. ... This is what boxing needs—two great fighters going at it.”

Douglas, 25, is returning to action for the first time since December 29, when he earned a narrow majority decision over Frank De Alba in a Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays clash, also at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center. The victory over De Alba capped a 3-0 year for Douglas, who has gone a career-long 10 rounds in each of his last two bouts after stopping 11 of his first 14 opponents.

Collado, who was born in Cuba and lives in Miami, is coming off a second-round stoppage of Geyci Lorenzo on February 20 in the Dominican Republic. That was the 28-year-old’s first fight in 22 months, following a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Rod Salka in April 2014.

For a complete look at Cherry vs Rhodes, visit our fight page.

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