The best card of 2017 finally has a home—one befitting of the slew of potential Fight of the Year candidates to come of the evening.
A night of super flyweight title action topped by the anticipated rematch between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Roman 'Chocalito' Gonzalez will be showcased September 9 at the famed StubHub Center in Carson, California. The venue already has a young history of producing some of the best fights in recent memory, which only makes it appropriate for the location to house a rematch to a leading Fight of the Year contender in 2017.
The winner of the super flyweight title fight rematch will already know its next opponent, which will come in the evening's chief support between former champs Carlos Cuadras and Juan Francisco Estrada. Also on the bill comes the U.S. debut of unbeaten Japanese wunderkind Naoya Inoue, whom defends his portion of the super flyweight crown versus Cleveland-bred contender Antonio Nieves.
“Since we announced this extraordinary triple header a couple weeks ago, the fans have demanded it take place at their favorite venue for action, and we are excited to confirm the show will take place at the StubHub Center” said Tom Loeffler, whose K2 Promotions serves as the lead promoter for the eagerly awaited event. “We look forward to another magical night on September 9 for what many fans and media feel is the best card of 2017.
“This event will be a little less than four years since we promoted the Gennady Golovkin vs. Marco Antonio Rubio fight at The Stubhub Center, one of the most remarkable evenings in recent years that broke the boxing attendance record and we look forward to another memorable event on September 9.”
Securing the location wasn't easy, given a potentially competing card that evening. The long-discussed featherweight title fight rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares was rumored to land on that date, with the Staples Center in Los Angeles eyed as the hosting location as was the case for their first fight.
Such a scenario would've meant two events taking place barely 30 minutes apart—strangely the exact same scenario that came with Santa Cruz-Mares I, which aired live on ESPN opposite an independent Pay-Per-View telecast topped by Shane Mosley's repeat knockout win over Ricardo Mayorga at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Fortunately for boxing fans as well as the staff at the California State Athletic Commission, there are no hard choices to make on September 9. Santa Cruz-Mares II will now move to October 7, a full four weeks after "Superfly" will have the town to itself.
Strangely, securing the venue turned out to be more challenging than the surprisingly easy task of piecing together a tripleheader involving six different boxers from around the world.
“I have to give a great deal of credit to the six promoters I worked with to put this event together; Teiken Promotions, Nakornloung Promotion, Ohashi Promotions, Salita Promotions, Promociones del Pueblo and Zanfer Promotions," notes Loeffler. T"he cooperative spirit of all parties was the key in putting together this outstanding, world-class international card.
“Additionally I’d like to thank the team at the StubHub Center and Dan Beckerman of AEG for their help in presenting this event.”
The evening's main event will mark the first defense of the second title reign for Sor Rungvisai, who regained the belt in a stunning—albeit controversially scored—upset of Gonzalez, whom suffered his first career knockdown and defeat in their blood-soaked 12-round war this past March.
The Thai veteran previously reigned as a super flyweight titlist for just over a year from May '13 to May '14, before conceding his crown to Cuadras via technical decision. In turn, Cuadras registered six successful defenses before falling short to Gonzalez in their action-packed 12-round affair last September at The Forum. He most recently appeared on the same show as Sor Rungvisai-Gonzalez I, scoring a lackluster 10-round decision over David Carmona with both bouts serving in supporting capacity to Golovkin's unanimous decision victory over Daniel Jacobs to move him within two defenses of tying the all-time middleweight title mark held by Bernard Hopkins, who helps run Golden Boy Promotions.
Golovkin pursues his 19th title defense will be versus Golden Boy's star client Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez with their bout taking place one week after "Superfly", airing live on HBO PPV from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. While this bout will top the most anticipated genuine boxing event of 2017, the night will have a lot to live up to on the action front considering its lead-in one week prior.