It’s a new year with new hopes for various promoters in the Southern California region as two nights of prizefighting take center stage.
On Thursday, Jojo Diaz (25-0, 13 KOs) defends the NABO featherweight title against Victor Terrazas (38-4-2, 21 KOs) in the 10-round main event at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. The Golden Boy Promotions event will be televised by ESPN.
Two days later “Superfly 2” takes place at the Inglewood Forum.
Here’s a look at the Golden Boy fight card:
The southpaw speedster Diaz (pictured) is locked in for a world title bid perhaps against old amateur foe Gary Russell Jr. who holds the WBC world featherweight title. Russell too is a southpaw with speed. If the collision occurs it would be a blur of fists with each possessing outstanding footspeed and hand speed.
But first Diaz, who hails from the small industrial town of South El Monte, population 20,000, faces Mexican veteran Terrazas who has more than enough talent to topple the local fighter’s world title dreams.
Terrazas, 35, has victories over Fernando Montiel and Cristian Mijares, both former world champions. Any time you can beat a former world champion you have to have talent. After losing a world title bid to Leo Santa Cruz in 2013 the Mexican from Guadalajara took three years off. He’s had three fights since returning in 2016.
Diaz, 25, has knocked off two undefeated opponents in back-to-back sessions in less than a year. Both ended in unanimous decisions but it’s obvious that he wants a knockout win. Power has never been Diaz’s strength; it’s speed and more speed that have propelled the former U.S. Olympian to the forefront.
With ESPN televising the main event look for Diaz to go for that knockout.
Vergil Ortiz (8-0, 8 KOs) is one fighter who specializes in knockouts and looks to crack open a ninth consecutive can of whup ass. So far no one has heard the bell past the third round.
Ortiz, 19, has that wiry type of build and electric shock kind of power that he seeks to put to use in pursuit of the vacant NABF Junior super lightweight title. Opposing him will be Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-3) of Los Mochis, Mexico.
Rodriguez, 25, was swimming along fine with an undefeated record. Then he was matched against the big dogs like Ruslan Provodnikov and Taras Shelestyuk. He’s been stopped three times in a row. This is his last chance to reverse the trend.
Chimpa Gonzalez, Manny Robles Jr., Genaro Gamez are the other prospects slated to showcase their skills and move up the prospect ranks. It’s the big step-up for all the fighters who are facing stiffer competition this year. All have been passed over recently by Ryan Garcia who fights in Fantasy Springs next month.
Tickets are available. For more information call (800) 827-2946. Doors open at 5 p.m.
The last time these super flyweights gathered it was electric. 360 Promotions Tom Loeffler has reloaded with a heavy duty fight card.
WBC super flyweight world titlist Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs) or whatever name he uses will be facing Mexico’s feared Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) in the main event on Saturday Feb. 24, at the Inglewood Forum. HBO will televise.
The Thailand southpaw slugger usurped former king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and looks to cement his standing as one of the best fighters pound for pound. He can crack and furthermore he’s a lefty that can crack.
Lefties always have an advantage because they’re not common. And when a lefty has knockout power it’s even more of an advantage because one slip up and you’re dust in the wind like Gonzalez discovered in Superfly I.
Estrada, 27, can hit too. The Mexican veteran from Sonora out-classed Carlos Cuadras in their duel at StubHub Center and won’t be standing around waiting to get hit by Sor Rungvisai. Expect a chess match that erupts into a firefight. Both guys have good chins and both have surplus power.
A battle for the vacant WBA flyweight title pits Brian Viloria (38-5) against Artem Dalakian (15-0). Viloria has been fighting 18 years as a professional in weight classes that don’t often see longevity in its ranks. This will be his third attempt at reclaiming a flyweight world title. He has had three world titles in the past and now is 37. His foe Dalakian is only 30 and undefeated. It’s a very even match.
Donnie Nietes (40-1-4) defends the IBF flyweight title against Juan Carlos Reveco (39-3). Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1) fights McWilliams Arroyo (16-3) for the WBC International super flyweight title. Other bouts are included.
A female bout has been added with recently signed Louisa Lawton (7-0) out of Australia meeting Mexico’s Anahi Torres (16-17-1). Don’t go according to their records. It all depends on styles. If the Aussie favors nose to nose fighting then she will be colliding with one of the tougher women in the sport.
Torres, 28 has clashed with Lourdes Juarez, Yesica Bopp and Seniesa Estrada. Those three are among the top light flyweights in the world.
Lawton, 32, is a former WBO light flyweight world titlist who vacated it after winning it. Now she meets Torres for the WBC International light flyweight title. It should be interesting.
Tickets are still available. For more information call (800) 745-3000. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.
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