Rungvisai-Chocolatito II set for Carson, Calif.


Former pound-for-pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez’s chance for revenge against junior bantamweight world titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on Sept. 9 will come at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler announced Thursday.

“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 [for the stadium], and we look forward to another memorable event on Sept. 9,” Loeffler said.

Loeffler pointed out that he was able to work out plans for the all-junior bantamweight tripleheader with six other promoters.

“Additionally, I’d like to thank the team at the StubHub Center and Dan Beckerman of AEG for their help in presenting this event,” he said.

Beckerman, the president and CEO of AEG, which owns the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the nearby StubHub Center, was the key to booking the site.

The tripleheader (HBO, 10:15 p.m. ET/PT) was announced a few weeks ago, but did not have a site. Loeffler wanted to put the card on in Southern California, but he was also looking in Las Vegas because of a potential conflict with another top-level card headlined by the featherweight world title rematch between Los Angeles rivals Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs) and Abner Mares (30-2-1, 15 KO), which was in the works for Sept. 9 on Showtime at the Staples Center.

Beckerman, a boxing fan, stepped in and worked with the promoters of both fight cards to situate Sor Rungvisai-Gonzalez II at StubHub Center on Sept. 9 with Santa Cruz-Mares II moving to Oct. 7 at Staples Center, though that fight has not been finalized.

“For the good of the sport and for the benefit of boxing fans, whether they’re viewing it at home or in person at the venue, I approached both promoters and worked it out with them to coordinate these two great events,” Beckerman told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m thankful to the promoters and their broadcast partners for this solution, which is the best outcome for all, most importantly the fans who won’t have to choose between these two outstanding fight cards.”

On March 18 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, on the Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs undercard, Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai (42-4-1, 38 KOs) authored a huge upset in a bloody fight of the year contender when he got a controversial majority decision against then-undefeated, four-division world champion Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs) to reclaim the 115-pound world title he had once held.

Due to the controversial nature of the result, Gonzalez petitioned the WBC to order a rematch, and it did.

The card will also feature the long-awaited U.S. debut of junior bantamweight titlist and Japanese star Naoya “Monster” Inoue in a prelude to a possible showdown with Gonzalez that has been talked about for the past few years. Inoue (13-0, 11 KOs) will defend his world title against Cleveland’s Antonio Nieves (17-1-2, 9 KOs) in the co-feature.

In the opening bout, former world titlist Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1, 27 KOs), of Mexico, will face countryman and former unified flyweight world titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada (35-2, 25 KOs), 27, in a world title eliminator to become the mandatory challenger for the main event winner. Both have previously lost competitive decisions to Gonzalez in action-packed fights.


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