The Friday Faceup

WBC world super-flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada.
Photo: Chris Farina

The dust has finally settled from an eventful last weekend. New unified world lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez delivered his pre-fight prediction and now basked in the glory, and former champ Vasiliy Lomachenko has returned to the Ukraine to lick his wounds to hopefully come again. There’s been talk of a pre-fight shoulder injury to Loma, probably believable, but nothing should detract from Lopez’ accomplishment and standout performance.

The Loma-Lopez fight televised in the US on the ESPN subscription channel reputedly took in 4 million viewers. Many will have been new to the sport and seen a 23 year old fellow American (with Honduran heritage) register a victory that showed his superstar and sporting crossover potential. Also in so doing, will have seen him prevail in a very competitive and riveting fight, which in moments, also showed the undoubted class of Lomachenko, the Ukrainian future hall-of-famer.

Boxing as a consequence, certainly on the world stage, is currently in a good place.

We’ve also had announcement in the UK of Matchroom Boxing securing the SSE Arena, Wembley for a number of big back to back heavyweight weekends, with stellar support cards in the run up to Christmas. Added to this, the further build up for big fights across the globe and British world title contenders preparing in earnest for title shots and eliminators in the US over the next few weeks (Kell Brook and Luke Campbell respectively).

To cap a good week we have some fantastic world championship events lined up this weekend.

Top of the list is the Matchroom Boxing and Zanfer co-promoted triple ‘world’ title card from television studios in Mexico City tonight (23rd Oct). This features WBC super-flyweight title holder Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3, 27 KO’s) against compatriot and former champ Carlos Cuadras (39-3-1, 27 KO’s). It’s a rematch three years on that is sure to be a toe-to-toe contest.

The 115lb/8st 3lb division is red hot at the moment with some stellar names still vying for superiority.

One such name is in the chief support with the return of Nicaraguan future hall-of-famer Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KO’s) defending his WBA super-flyweight title against Mexican Israel Gonzalez (25-3, 11 KO’s).

WBC champ Estrada is considered by Ring magazine as being #9 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and one of his few defeats was against four division world champion ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez nearly eight years ago. If both come through tonight as expected, then look out for a long overdue and mouthwatering rematch between the two. Mexico v Nicaragua.

The card is finally topped off with the WBC flyweight title contested between champ Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1, 12 KO’s) and Moises Calleros (33-9-1, 17 KO’s). As ever, any fight between two Mexicans in the lighter weight classes is sure to be a humdinger.

The event is unfortunately unavailable mainstream in the UK but will be televised on the DAZN streaming service in the US.

On the domestic front it’s a quiet weekend before the big events in the lead up to Christmas.

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