Eddie Hearn often says "This is the best card I have ever done" before most fights. However, this thriller of a card in San Antonio is right up there with the best, as it boasts three huge world title fights and is headlined by one of the newest talents on the block in Jesse Rodriguez, who defends his WBC super flyweight title against the veteran Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
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Rodriguez is 15-0, and it's fair to say he burst onto the scene in a big way last time out. Rodriguez was signed by Matchroom in February and was scheduled to have his first bout under the promotional banner on the Carlos Cuadras Vs Srisaket Sor Rungvisai card on March 5th. However, Sor Rungvisai would pick up an injury at late notice for the Cuadras bout, and Rodriguez would be named the late replacement to fight Cuadras for the vacant WBC title. In a fantastic youth vs experience bout, Rodriguez would drop Cuadras in round three, before going on to pick up the WBC title by unanimous decision in just his 15th fight.
Sor Rungvisai has won the WBC title twice in his 56-fight career. The first of his world titles came way back in 2013 when he stopped Yota Sato in eight rounds in his home country of Thailand. Sor Rungvisai would lose his title a year later to Carlos Cuadras by technical decision. Sor Rungvisai became world champion again in 2017 when he got a shock majority decision victory in a super close fight with pound-for-pound superstar Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez to regain the WBC title. There was an immediate rematch of this bout, and Sor Rungvisai would leave no doubt this time as he would knock Gonzalez out in four rounds.
Sor Rungvisai would make a successful defence of his belt against Juan Francisco Estrada by a razor-thin majority decision. However, Sor Rungvisai would rematch Estrada a year later, where he would lose the belt by unanimous decision. Since the Estrada defeat, Sor Rungvisai has competed three times in his home country, picking up wins in every bout.
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Uzbek star Murodjon Akhmadaliev returns to defend his WBA and IBF world super-bantamweight titles in Texas this Saturday, as he faces off with Ronny Rios. Akhmadaliev won these titles when he defeated Daniel Roman by a split decision in just his eighth fight. Akhmalidev has made two successful defences since, defeating Ryosuke Iwasa by knockout in five, and a unanimous decision victory over Jose Velasquez. Rios holds a record of 33-3 and has 16 knockouts to his name. Riso has had a shot at a world title in the past but was unsuccessful against Rey Vargas in 2017.
Undisputed welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill returns, as she puts all the belts on the line against Alma Ibarra. After an unsuccessful challenge at Katie Taylor's lightweight belts in 2017, McCaskill bounced back at super lightweight and would become unified world champion, defeating WBC champion Erica Farias, and WBA champion Anahi Sanchez. McCaskill would next go on to shock the world, as he moved up to welterweight to take one of the greatest female fighters of all time, and undisputed champion Cecelia Braekhus. McCaskill would hand Braekhus her first loss, as McCaskill won by majority decision. McCaskill would rematch Braekhus and would win once again, this time by unanimous decision. McCaskill stopped Kandi Wyatt in seven rounds last time out to defend her belts. Alma Ibarra holds a record of 10-1, with her only defeat coming to Raquel Miller in an unsuccessful challenge for the WBA interim super welterweight title. Ibarra has since strung three wins together, including a victory also over Kandi Wyatt.
The rematch between Julio Cesar Martinez and McWilliams Arroyo for the WBC world flyweight title was due to be on this card, but an injury to Martinez has had the bout called off. This means Raymond Ford's clash with local undefeated rival Richard Medina will be elevated to the main card. Ford is 11-0-1 and has been touted as one of Matchroom's top prospects. Medina is 13-0 and competes for his first title this weekend, as the WBA Continental Americas, and IBF North American titles will be on the line.
One of Eddie Hearn's first signings to his Matchroom expansion to the USA returns this weekend, as Nikita Ababiy will look to move to 12-0 as he squares off with Noe Larios Jr. Finally, the first fighter of Joe Calzaghe and Darren Barker's fighter stable International Sports Group Jesus Martinez returns this weekend, as Martinez looks to build on his impressive debut victory, as he squares off with Keven Monroy in San Antonio.
This card is one not to be missed, and it all goes down in the early hours of Sunday morning this weekend, live and exclusive on DAZN.