Last July, Nonito Donaire cruised past Jeffrey Mathebula to unify two of the junior featherweight world titles. However, before Donaire's next fight, an October bout against former titleholder Toshiaki Nishioka, Donaire vacated the belt he won against Mathebula.
That vacancy will be filled when Mexico's Alejandro Lopez (24-2, 7 KOs) and Colombia's Jhonatan Romero (22-0, 12 KOs) meet for the belt on Saturday night (UniMas, 11:30 ET/PT) in Tijuana, Mexico.
Romero spent the first few weeks of his training camp in Colombia and the last five training in Los Angeles.
"I know that Alejandro Lopez is a guy that likes to move a lot in the ring," Romero said. "He shifts a lot and relies more on his boxing ability. I have gotten the appropriate sparring. I can adapt better to my opponent. I'm physically in top condition and I'm excited about the possibility of becoming a world champion because Colombia currently doesn't have one.
"This is a world title fight, and I have prepared properly physically and mentally. I have to take it to him not only because of his style but also for the fact that he is fighting in his own town. I have not only worked on my attributes inside the ring but also my head game to make sure that I can get the results that I want."
Romero got into position to fight for the belt with a decision win in a September elimination bout against Efrain Esquivias. Lopez won his eliminator in October by outpointing former titlist Takalani Ndlovu.
Romero said he has watched video of Lopez and believes he knows how to fight against him.
"I know what he is capable of, but based on my experience inside the ring, it is a completely different story," Romero said. "I am not concerned about what he does but more so about what I will do to get that championship title.
"I am known for my movement and my ring generalship. Take my word for it: I am going to take it to him. I have been given the opportunity to fight for a world title and my mission is to do what ever it takes to get it. I'm ready for this. Colombia is ready for this. My team has prepared me. I just have to seize the moment."