Superfly: Flyweight tournament of champions set September 9

It's hard to recall another recent boxing card with more talent per pound than this de facto super flyweight tournament in September.

Roman Gonzalez (left) suffered his first defeat in March to Srisikat Sor Rungvisai of Thailand. The pair will fight a rematch September 9. Photo: Ed Mulholland, HBO Boxing

SAN DIEGO, June 17, 2017 –  The super flyweight division is among boxing’s most exciting divisions, but it is sometimes overlooked by fans in favor of the bigger men. It’s been filled with many of the sport’s legendary stars. , will add another chapter

Fans need to sit up and take notice on Saturday, September 9. A super flyweight tripleheader “Superfly” is now confirmed. It will air on HBO’s Boxing After Dark at 10:15 pm ET/PT.

The venue is still to be determined. Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions said there is interest from multiple venues in hosting this card, and that K2 is currently working through the locations and will have a site and ticket announcement shortly. Most observers expect the fight to take place in the Los Angeles area, at either The Forum, or possibly the StubHub Center in Carson.

Srisikat Sor Rungvisai and his team were elated at his upset decision victory in March at Madison Square Garden. Photo: Ed Mulholland, HBO Boxing

In the main event, WBC super flyweight world champion Srisakey Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 KOs), of Si Sa Ket, Thailand, defends his title against former champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, (46-1-0, 38 KOs), of Managua, Nicaragua, in a rematch of their March fight. Sor Rungvisai dealt Gonzalez his first loss in a much discussed and disputed decision.

“I would like to thank WBC, HBO, and K2 promotion for this opportunity,” said Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. “I’m honored to share the ring again and defend the WBC Super Flyweight Title against Roman Gonzalez. He is a legend and the best fighter I have faced.”

“I’m training hard to be the winner of this rematch,” said Sor Rungvisai. “Boxing fans around the world will get to see another great fight between us, and I will win and take the WBC World Championship title back for everyone in Thailand.”

Gonzalez, who celebrates his 30th birthday today, said “I’m ready to go back into battle and reclaim by WBC Super Flyweight Championship from Sor Rungvisai on September 9. I know what I have to do to become victorious and with God’s help I will be champion once again.

“As always thanks very much to Mr. Honda, K2 Promotions and HBO for this opportunity.”

Co-featured on the card is the highly anticipated United States debut of Naoya “The Monster” Inoue (13-0-0, 11 KOs) of Yokohama, Japan, one of the most dynamic young talents in boxing today. Inoue will defend his WBO super flyweight title against American contender Antonio “Carita” Nieves (17-1-2, 9 KOs) of Cleveland.

Opening the telecast, popular former WBC super flyweight world champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras (36-1-1, 27 KOs) of Mexico City will battle countrymen and former flyweight world champion Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada (35-2-0, 25 KOs) of Sonora, Mexico.

In a statement, Loeffler said, “We’re very excited to present this fantastic triple header featuring the top five super flyweights in the world. With the great history of memorable bouts in the super flyweight combined with the extraordinary talents of these six fighters in these two world championship fights along with the world title eliminator, the fans will truly be the winners of this event.

“Boxing fans will have the rare opportunity to see if the new champion, Sor Rungvisai can repeat his performance with another victory or if ‘Chocolatito’ will prove that he still belongs at the top of the pound-for-pound list by avenging a controversial loss.”

Loeffler thanked Peter Nelson of HBO “for his continued foresight and interest in the lighter weight divisions which has influenced this tremendous event with the top five fighters in the super flyweight division being showcased.”

Roman Gonzalez suffered significant cuts due to head butts, yet he still managed to finish the fight. Photo: Ed Mulholland, HBO Boxing

Gonzalez and Sor Rungvisai fought to a controversial majority decision in the challenger’s favor by scores of 114-112, 114-112 and 113-113 in a fight on the short list of 2017 “Fight of the Year” in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden. Gonzalez, recognized by many despite the loss as among the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world, was dropped in the first round, and suffered numerous cuts. Nevertheless, battled back in a vicious fight including hard-hitting action from both men, marred by a number of head butts due to the aggressive styles of the orthodox champion and southpaw challenger. The World Boxing Council (WBC) ordered an immediate rematch.


Naoya Inoue, 24, is among the most popular fighters in Asia and has a growing worldwide fan base for his skills and style. Despite just 13 professional fights, he has already made five defenses of the WBO super flyweight title he won in a second round knockout of Omar Narvaez on December 30, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.

Earning his nickname “The Monster” from his heavy handed knockouts, Inoue is seeking to grow his fan base from the huge Asian community of U.S. based boxing fans. Inoue kicked off his 2017 campaign with a third round stoppage of Ricardo Rodriguez on May 21 in Tokyo, Japan.

Naoya Inoue is among the most exciting young boxers today, here scoring a knockout win over Warlito Parrenas in 2015. Photo: Naoki Fukuda

Inoue said of his title defense and first bout in the United States, “It’s been my dream to fight in the United States and I’m very excited to be defending my title against Antonio Nieves on September 9. I look forward to putting on a great performance for the fans.” Inoue has appeared ringside at several fights in the U.S.

Nieves aspires to join the long history of world champions of Puerto Rican heritage. Undefeated through the first six years of his professional career, Nieves suffered his first loss in a 10-round split decision to Nikolai Potapov on March 10 in Detroit, Michigan.

“I’m very excited to face Naoya Inoue for the WBO super flyweight title on September 9,” said Nieves. “This is my first world title opportunity and I’m very grateful to HBO, Tom Loeffler and Tim VanNewhouse for making this possible.”

Carlos Cuadras (left) won a narrow decision over David Carmona of Mexico, a closer fight than expected. Photo: Ed Mulholland, HBO Boxing

Former WBC Super Flyweight Champion Carlos Cuadras suffered the first loss of his  eight-year career last December by a narrow unanimous decision to Roman Gonzalez at The Forum. Nevertheless, Cuadras won a lot of new American fans for his aggressive style and his outgoing, fun-loving personality outside the ring.

Most recently, Cuadras won a hard fought 10-round unanimous decision over fellow Mexican David Carmona on the same card with Gonzalez and Sor Rungvisai March 18, 2017 at Madison Square Garden.

A former unified flyweight world champion, Estrada is best known for his action packed 12-round battle with Gonzalez on November 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, losing a close decision. Estrada also holds wins over former world champions Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura and Hernan Marquez.

Carlos Cuadras takes boxing seriously, but never himself. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/K2 Promotions

Cuadras said, “I can’t wait to get back in the ring on September 9 against Juan Estrada. He’s a very tough fighter but I will be victorious and put on a show for the fans, then I want a fight with whoever is the champion ‘Chocolatito’ or Sor Rungvisai to get my belt back.”

“Cuadras is a great champion and we will have a great fight but he is just the first step towards me becoming the best super flyweight in the world! See you September 9,” said Estrada.

If your boxing juices aren’t flowing for this de facto super flyweight tournament yet, you need to go see a fight doctor. It’s hard to recall another boxing card with more talent packed into small packages than this one. Credit to K2 for staging this imaginative and entertaining event.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.

Copyright © 2017 by Falcon Valley Group


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