WBC No. 1 middleweight contender Marco Antonio Rubio (52-5-1, 45 KOs) takes on Minnesota's Matt Vanda (44-13, 24 KOs) this Friday at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas as part of the WBC's 49th annual convention.
Mexico's Rubio, who is 9-0 with 8 KOs since losing a February 2009 bout with Kelly Pavlik, stopped Canadian prospect David Lemieux in seven rounds earlier this year to become the WBC's mandatory top contender. In his 11-year career, Rubio has been in the ring with the likes of Lemieux, Pavlik, Kassim Ouma, Grady Brewer, Jose Luis Zertuche, Rigoberto Alvarez and Enrique Ornelas among others.
Vanda, whose career highlight is a near win over in 2008 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and a unanimous-decision rematch loss four months later, has lost four of his last six bouts. However, the rugged club fighter from St. Paul has only been stopped once in a 15-year career that has featured bouts with Chavez, Peter Manfredo Jr., John Duddy, Yori Boy Campas, Sebastien Demers and Anthony Bonsante.
On the line for Rubio is a Feb. 4 title shot at WBC middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Chavez, who is in attendance for the WBC convention, confirmed to Latin American media the date, venue, and his desire to face Rubio, should he defeat Vanda Friday.