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Matchroom Boxing unveils fall schedule of events in U.S., Mexico
Rodriguez-Edwards flyweight unification fight leads the way
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Matchroom Boxing has unveiled a schedule of four fall events in the United States and Mexico to go along with cards that have already been announced for the United Kingdom, most notably the flyweight unification fight between Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez and Sunny Edwards on Dec. 16 in Glendale, Arizona.
Here’s a look at each of the shows Matchroom Boxing announced, including some of the undercard bouts also finalized, all of which will stream worldwide on DAZN.
Sept. 15: Fierro vs. Zamarripa
Lightweight contender Angel Fierro will defend his regional belt on Mexican Independence Day week at the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez Moreno in his hometown of Tijuana, where he will face southpaw countryman Brayan Zamarripa.
Fierro (21-1-2, 17 KOs), 25, has not boxed at home since 2019.
“I am very happy to return to my home Tijuana,” Fierro said. “But I am even more excited because I am very close to a world title fight. I'm very focused on giving a great show to my people.”
Zamarripa (13-1, 4 KOs), 25, has won 10 fights in a row and is stepping up in competition.
“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for, for a long time,” Zamarripa said. “I respect (Fierro), but this is my moment. I’m coming to his neighborhood, but this is my territory.”
Also on the card, featherweight Erika Cruz (15-2, 3 KOs), 33, of Mexico, will face fellow southpaw Melissa Oddessa Parker (6-1, 2 KOs), 36, of Spring, Texas, in a 10-rounder. The fight will be Cruz’s first since losing her WBA women’s featherweight title by decision to Amanda Serrano in an action-packed battle for the undisputed title in February.
Sept. 23: Hitchins vs. Zepeda
Junior welterweight contender Richardson Hitchins and former title challenger Jose Zepeda will meet in a 12-round regional title bout at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida, confirming a recent Fight Freaks Unite report.
Hitchins (16-0, 7 KOs), 25, of Brooklyn, New York, was scheduled to fight Montana Love on July 15 in Detroit on the card topped by welterweight champion Alycia Baumgardner’s rematch with Christina Linardatou, but Love (18-1-1, 9 KOs), 28, a southpaw from Cleveland, pulled out with a rib injury and declined to reschedule the fight.
In his last fight, Hitchins scored two knockdowns and brutally battered then-unbeaten John Bauza en route to a 100-88 shutout decision on all three scorecards on Feb. 4.
“I’m excited to finally be back in action and prove I’m the top dog of the 140-pound division,” Hitchins said. “I promise to put on a master class performance on Zepeda. This was the guy they were calling one of the top guys in the division, so after this performance this will show I’m ready for anyone.
“We tried waiting for Montana Love, but he found his way out of the fight like I expected his bitch ass would, so it’s on to bigger and better.”
Zepeda (36-3, 27 KOs), 34, of La Puente, California, has been a top contender for years and in November lost to Regis Prograis by 11th-round knockout in a fight for the vacant WBC 140-pound world title in Carson, California. In his only fight since, Zepeda won a shutout 10-round decision over Neeraj Goyat on March 25 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“This is it for me, my last opportunity and a big one,” Zepeda said. “I need to win to stay on track and soon fight for another world title. It's now or never.”
Also on the card, WBC/WBA women’s welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill (12-3, 5 KOs), 38, of Chicago, will fight WBO titlist Sandy Ryan (6-1, 2 KOs), 29, of England, in a unification fight.
McCaskill will be returning to welterweight to defend her belts after having dropped down in weight and lost a decision to Chantelle Cameron in an undisputed junior welterweight title fight in November. McCaskill got stripped of IBF and WBO belts. Ryan won the WBO belt since and McCaskill will seek to regain it.
“Glad to finally get back in the ring, it’s been too long,” said McCaskill, who hasn’t fought since the loss to Cameron. “I’m not going to lie — it’s been a bit frustrating, but now we are finally here. You know what they say, be careful what you wish for. See you soon Sandy.”
Said Ryan: “I respect Jessica massively as a fighter and what she has done in the sport but it’s definitely time for a new era and I believe I am that. It’s my biggest fight and it’s going to be in America, a place I’ve wanted to fight in since I turned pro. It’s been a dream of mine so I can’t wait to make my American debut and fight Jessica.”
In another bout announced for the show, middleweight up-and-comer Austin “Ammo” Williams (14-0, 10 KOs), 27, a southpaw from Houston, will face veteran Steve Rolls (22-2, 12 KOs), 39, of Toronto, whose only losses came by fourth-round knockout to Gennadiy Golovkin and 10-round decision to Edgar Berlanga.
Nov. 18: Pacheco vs. Coceres
After super middleweight up-and-comer Diego Pacheco won his last fight in July, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn promised him his next fight would be at home in the Los Angeles area, and that’s what will happen.
Pacheco (19-0, 16 KOs), 22, will face former world title challenger Marcelo Coceres (32-5-1, 18 KOs), 32, of Argentina, in a regional title bout at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California.
“I cannot wait to be headlining at home, Pacheco said. “I am looking forward to making a statement and delivering another great performance for all my hometown fans.”
Coceres is by far the most notable career of Pacheco’s career. In 2019, in Los Angeles, Coceres gave fits to then-WBO super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders before being stopped in the 11th round. In a 2021 fight, Coceres dropped Edgar Berlanga for the first time in his career in a competitive decision loss.
“Nov. 18, in his backyard, this is what warriors do,” Coceres said. “I have a lot of respect for Pacheco. He’s a good fighter, but he’s still young and he has time. This is my time now. I’ve been here before. I’ve been to war. Let’s see how the young boy does when his back is against the wall.”
Dec. 16: Rodriguez vs. Edwards
In late June, WBO flyweight titlist Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (18-0, 11 KOs), 23, of San Antonio, and IBF counterpart Sunny Edwards (20-0, 4 KOs), 27, of England, the two top 112-pounders in the world, signed for a unification fight.
But Matchroom Boxing did not specify the date or site until now: Dec. 16 at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, confirming a recent Fight Freaks Unite report.
“This fight will allow me to showcase my skills and prove to everyone that I am not only the best flyweight in the world but one of the best fighters in the world period,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez, a former WBC junior bantamweight titlist, gave up that belt to drop down to flyweight, where he won the vacant WBO title by decision against Cristian Gonzalez in April. Rodriguez suffered a broken jaw in the bout and will return for his first defense against Edwards.
“I am excited to be back in Arizona where I first became a world champion (in February 2022), and I will be 100 percent ready to put on a show on Dec. 16 and become unified world champion,” Rodriguez said.
After Edwards handily outpointed Andres Campos on June 10 in London in his first fight since signing with Matchroom Boxing, the announced plan was for Edwards to next have a unification match, which Hearn delivered on.
“I’m looking forward to being involved in one of the biggest flyweight world title fights in boxing history,” said Edwards, who will be making his fifth defense. “It’s the real No. 1 versus the real No. 2. I am really looking forward to becoming one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world on Dec. 16 in Arizona.”
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