‘Bam’ leads quadruple header in San Antonio
Matchroom and DAZN announce two new shows today as Hiroto Kyoguchi will defend his WBA Super and Ring Magazine World Light-Flyweight titles against Esteban Bermudez at the Arena Coliseo in Mexico City, Mexico on Friday June 10, live worldwide on DAZN, in the latest installment of Matchroom and DAZN’s fight series in Mexico, in association with Canelo Promotions and Clase Y Talento.
Then Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez will defend his WBC World Super-Flyweight title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on Saturday June 25 at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, live worldwide on DAZN (except Uzbekistan & Thailand) and leading a stacked quadruple header of World title action.
Kyoguchi vs Bermudez
Kyoguchi (15-0 10 KOs) puts the titles he ripped from Heikie Buddler in December 2018 on the line for the fourth time and makes a welcome return to the ring after his entertaining battle with the pocket rocket Axel Aragon Vega in Dallas in March 2021 came to an end when the challenger was forced to quit the bout with a hand injury in the fifth round.
The Japanese, who previously defended the titles in successive points wins over Tanawat Nakoon and Tetsuya Hisada in June and October of 2020 in his homeland, fights in Mexico for the first time in the paid ranks and does so against a hungry contender.
Bermudez (14-3-2 10 KOs) holds the WBA Regular title after handing a first career defeat to defending champion Carlos Canizales in stunning fashion – flooring the belt-holder towards the end of the sixth round before wiping him out with 23 seconds left in the session. The 26 year old will be fired up to elevate to Super champ and rip the coveted Ring Magazine strap from Kyoguchi, and the defending king knows he’s in for a big test on June 10 as he covets unification bouts down the line.
“It was always my dream to fight in Mexico because the Mexican style has influenced me a lot,” said Kyoguchi. “It is a great opportunity to show my boxing in that country against a rival like Esteban Bermudez. Regarding the unification fight, I think it is my mission as absolute champion.”
“He is a very good champion but kind of weak because too many injuries – I’ve been waiting a year for him to fight me!” said Bermudez. “I live from boxing, and I’ve needed this fight to happen for a long time. I’ve been at training camp for this fight, and he is coming to my home town, the title is going to still here.”
Rodriguez vs Rungvisai
Two weeks later, focus switches to a monster card in San Antonio, as Rodriguez (15-0 10 KOs) makes the first defense of the belt he won in stunning fashion in February, flooring former World ruler Carlos Cuadras en-route to becoming the youngest current World champion in just his 15th pro-outing. ‘Bam’ will get a hero’s welcome on his home turf when he steps through the ropes in San Antonio for the first time as king of the world and only the third time in his career, boxing on his doorstep in his third and fifth fights in June 2017 and March 2018 respectively.
The 22 year old could hardly face a stiffer test when putting his belt on the line for the first time, coming up against former two-time Super-Fly kingpin Rungvisai (50-5-1 43 KOs). The Thai star was set to face Cuadras in a long-awaited rematch for the title in San Diego, only for Rungvisai to fall ill and be replaced at late notice by the new young champion. The 35 year old has a chance to get his hands on the coveted green and gold strap for a third time, having first held the belt in 2013 and then reclaiming it against Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez three years later.
“Fighting a guy like Rungvisai is going to bring me to a whole new level,” said Rodriguez. “He's a great fighter but this is my time now. You have to take risks in this sport, that's what special fighters do. They said it was a risk me challenging for a World title fight on short notice and now they say it's a risk taking on a fighter like Rungvisai but this is what I want. These are the types of fights you need so you can be remembered by the fans long after your career is done.
“I've always said that me and my brother are going to bring the big fights back to San Antonio and this is just the start of it. We are so proud to be from this city and we get that love back from the people there so this will be a special night.”
“Jesse might be the youngest current World champion, but this is a fight where he can prove he already belongs with the very best in boxing,” said trainer Robert Garcia. “We have a lot of respect for Rungvisai, we know what he is capable of, and he is a great, great fighter but I also know what Jesse is capable. I have so much belief in him, and I know he is ready for this.”
“I am very excited for this opportunity to fight for the WBC World title,” said Rungvisai. “I will be at my best to win the WBC World title and become the first three times WBC World champion in the history of Thailand. Thank you so much to Matchroom, DAZN, and the WBC for this opportunity.”
Rodriguez and Rungvisai lead a stellar night of action with three more World title fights on the bill, with Julio Cesar Martinez and McWilliams Arroyo picking up where they left off from their curtailed firefight for Martinez’s WBC World Flyweight title, where both men hit the canvas in the opening round and Arroyo touched down again in the second, before the action in New Hampshire in November had to be halted after Arroyo suffered a nasty cut from an accidental headclash.
Arroyo (21-4 16 KOs) has been out of action since that night, while Martinez (18-2 14 KOs) bravely rolled the dice to take on modern great Chocolatito as the headline act on the night Rodriguez won his belt.
World title clash number three on the bumper card will see IBF and WBA World Super-Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev defend his titles against Ronny Rios. The pair were set to meet in New Hampshire in November, but COVID ruled Rios out and he was replaced by game late challenger Jose Velasquez. Akhmadaliev (10-0 7 KOs) retained his belts with a near-shutout on the cards, going the distance for just the third time in his 10th pro bout, and second as a World champion. Rios (33-3 16 KOs), the mandatory challenger for the WBA crown, goes for glory for the second time in his 36-fight career after challenging Rey Vargas for the WBC strap at 122lbs in August 2016.
The fourth bout on the card has the most belts on the line, as undisputed Welterweight ruler Jessica McCaskill makes the third defense of all her marbles at 147lbs. McCaskill (11-2 4 KOs) ripped the straps from long-standing ruler Cecilia Braekhus on the streets of Downtown Tulsa in August 2020 and saw off the Norwegian in a rematch for her first defense in March 2021. The Chicagoan recorded the fourth stoppage win of her career in the second defense of the belts in December, ending Kandi Wyatt’s challenge in the seventh, and will face an opponent to be named soon in San Antonio.
Mexico’s undercard is shaping up nicely, supporting what promises to be an explosive main event is a cast of hot talents led by Jorge Casteneda meeting Mexico City’s Eduardo Hernandez for the WBC Silver International Super-Lightweight title. Texan Casteneda (15-1 11 KOs) has upset the apple cart in his last two bouts, first handing a majority decision defeat to unbeaten Otha Jones III in Florida in April 2021, and then travelling to London, England to take another ‘0’ by beating Youssef Khoumari in October, again via majority decision.
Supporting what promises to be an explosive main event will be a cast of hot talents led by Jorge Casteneda. Texan Casteneda (15-1 11 KOs) has upset the apple cart in his last two bouts, first handing a majority decision defeat to unbeaten Otha Jones III in Florida in April 2021, and then travelling to London, England to take another ‘0’ by beating Youssef Khoumari in October, again via majority decision, and his opponent will be announced soon.
Diego Pacheco (14-0 11 KOs) continues to be a must-watch talent and the 21 year old ticks off another major milestone as he stretches his legs over the ten round distance for the first time, against an opponent to be named.
“June is looking red hot with two fantastic shows,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Kyoguchi-Bermudez is a great fight. Hiroto is hunting down unifications at 108lbs, but he is going to have his hands full with Esteban, who has proved that he has devastating power – it’s going to be a great night in Mexico City.
“As for June 25 in San Antonio – what can we say? It’s a quadruple header of World title action, with four bouts that could headline any card. I’m thrilled to see Jesse get the chance to headline at home as a World champion, and what a foe to face in the Thai legend Rungvisai.
“Martinez-Arroyo is a long-running saga that both men want to end in emphatic style, MJ is one of the very best World champions out there and is looking to produce that statement win to lure his fellow champions into unifications – and after an amazing run of fights for women’s boxing in recent months, which continues this weekend in New York with Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano, the undisputed Welterweight ruler will want to show that she’s one of the very best out there.”