Former bantamweight world titleholder Rau’shee Warren and former junior bantamweight titlist McJoe Arroyo will square off in a junior bantamweight title elimination bout on July 29.
The fight, announced on Thursday, has been added to the undercard of the Adrien Broner-Mikey Garcia junior welterweight showdown that takes places a week from Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Warren-Arroyo will not be part of the Showtime telecast (9 p.m. ET) that includes Broner-Garcia and the middleweight title elimination fight between Jermall Charlo and Jorge Sebastian Heiland, but there is much at stake regardless for the winner. The Warren-Arroyo victor will become the mandatory challenger for 115-pound world titleholder Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1, 18 KOs) of the Philippines.
“Both Rau’shee Warren and McJoe Arroyo are Olympians and former world champions. They are also all-action fighters,” said Lou DiBella, who is co-promoting the card with Mayweather Promotions. “This is a can’t-miss fight that makes a great boxing card even better.”
Warren (14-2, 4 KOs), 30, of Cincinnati, won a majority decision against Juan Carlos Payano to win a bantamweight world title in their rematch 13 months ago. In February, Warren lost the belt by split decision to Zhanat Zhakiyanov in his first defense and then made the decision to drop down in weight to pursue a title in the junior bantamweight division.
“I’m hungry to get back in the ring and get myself back into world title contention with a win on July 29,” said Warren, the only three-time U.S. Olympic boxer, having represented the country at 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games. “I know that I’m going to be a world champion again and that all starts with this fight. I’ve been working hard in the gym and getting comfortable at the smaller weight. I’m going to be ready to perform when fight night comes.”
Arroyo (17-1, 8 KOs), 31, who was a 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian, won a 10-round technical decision against Arthur Villanueva in July 2015 to win a vacant world title and then lost it in his first defense, getting soundly outpointed by Ancajas in the Philippines last September.
This fight with Warren will be Arroyo’s first since he lost the belt nearly a year ago as he aims for a rematch with Ancajas.
“I’ve been training a long time for this matchup as we awaited the official fight date,” Arroyo said. “This is a good opportunity for me and I am going to be at my best to win this fight and get a world title opportunity. I know Warren is a good boxer, so I will be in great shape.”