Yesterday, reigning WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) and USBA Middleweight Champion Luis “Cuba” Arias (17-0, 8 KOs) participated in a media workout at the historic Tropical Park boxing gym in Miami. Both fighters are preparing for championship defenses on the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast of Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Rigondeaux will face interim WBA title holder Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs), while Arias takes on rising prospect Arif “The Predator” Magomedov (18-1, 11 KOs). The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
The fighters put on a showcase that included shadow boxing, heavy bag, mitt work and stretching. They were joined by Roc Nation Latin artist Victoria La Mala, who will be the national anthem performer for June 17.
Below is what the fighters and La Mala had to say during the media workout:
Guillermo Rigondeaux, WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion:
“Training has been going excellent in Miami, we have been preparing for a great battle with Moises Flores. I respect Chucky, he’s a great fighter and these are the types of big fights that are great for boxing. Nothing better than two undefeated fighters putting their records on the line.
“Flores is going to come prepared for the fight of his life and so am I. We never underestimate anyone and two undefeated warriors will be getting in the ring for an exciting fight on June 17.
“I have been constantly avoided by all the fighters in my division. I am the best in the world at 122 pounds and one of the top pound-for-pound fighters. I can’t wait to show the world that I am still the best. I thank Flores for having the courage to get in the ring with me unlike many top contenders that have avoided the challenge. Tune in June 17 to watch two fighters bring all that they have to the ring. It’s going to be an exciting co-main event on this year’s biggest boxing card.
“I’m happy for the opportunity to be part of such a big Pay-Per-View event, one of the biggest anticipated fights of the year – Ward vs. Kovalev 2. I’m very grateful to fight on such a big platform, and I want to let boxing fans know to expect nothing but an exciting fight. My opponents feel my power and run after the first round. Chucky Flores is a brave undefeated boxer that is coming with all he has, and we’re ready to show why each of us is the best come June 17.
“I’ve had everyone in my division run away from any mentions of me in the ring with them. My team is first focused on the Flores fight, and we’re ready to come and fight the best names in my division so that we can give the fans what they pay big Pay-Per-View money for, big exciting fights.
“I’m grateful to be a part of such a close community here in Miami, FL especially my boxing family at Tropical Park Boxing Gym. Miami is my home and I have all the support with me down here. I’m thankful for all the support that my fans brought during my training camp here in Miami. We have been able to bring boxing back here in Miami and make a great impact on the community, especially all the families that come to the park.”
LUIS ARIAS, USBA Middleweight Champion:
“June 17, I start cementing my name and legacy in this game! I’m ready to steal the show and prove that I stand amongst the best in the division.
“I’ve stepped up all levels of training. I train six days a week with two hours of boxing, one hour of strength and conditioning, and run 3.5 – 5 miles on average. I’m also working with one of the top nutritionists, Chris Alergi. He helps me with what to eat and how to monitor my weight. Can’t wait to show all of my progress on June 17.
“My message to Magomedov is simple…I hope he comes ready. He better be doing ‘em sit-ups. I’m coming!
“When I step in the ring, it’s not just about getting a win anymore. It’s about winning and looking good. I’ve built up my record. Now, I’m looking to put on an A-class performance. That’s what is going to make me stand out.
“My goal for the second half of 2017 is to put myself in top ‘contender’ position for what is probably the most stacked division in professional boxing. GGG, Canelo, Lemieux…bring them on!”
VICTORIA LA MALA:
“It’s an honor to be singing the national anthem at such an anticipated boxing event. Being from a Mexican family, I grew up watching boxing and am a huge fan of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. I can’t wait to cheer on my Roc family–Andre, Rigo and Luis–on June 17.”
Reigning WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) will face WBA interim titleholder Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) in a long-awaited mandatory 12-round WBA title defense that will tarnish one fighter’s perfect record. Rigondeaux vs. Flores has officially been added to the Pay-Per-View undercard of Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 17. The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
“I would like to thank Roc Nation Sports, Caribe Promotions and HBO for the opportunity to fight on the biggest Pay-Per-View card of the year. It will be a night of great boxing that fans will not want to miss out on. It’s going to be a chance to show HBO what they want to see. Some say I’m not exciting but it’s not my fault that once my opponents feel my power, they start running and stop throwing punches. Regardless of that, I’m going to give them what they want. I will be standing in the middle of the ring toe-to-toe and putting on a show for the fans. This is where I’ll show the world what my fans got to see in my last fight in the UK against [James] Dickens,” said Rigondeaux. “I want to thank Moises Flores for having the courage to step in the ring with me and accepting the mandatory challenge unlike many great fighters in my division. Moises is an exciting Mexican fighter who will bring a fight. I will be ready to exhibit why I am one of the best pound-for-pound boxers and the world’s best at 122 pounds. I’m ready to give fans the best fight out there, and the best is to come the evening of June 17.”
“I’m very excited to have my world title fight with Guillermo Rigondeaux rescheduled for Saturday, June 17 on HBO Pay-Per-View,” said Flores. “I’d like to thank my team at Probox Management and TGB Promotions along with HBO for providing this opportunity. I never stopped my preparations from the original date and look forward to making the Mexican fans proud when I defeat the great Rigondeaux.”
“Roc Nation Sports is thrilled to add Guillermo Rigondeaux’s championship defense against Moises Flores to the Pay-Per-View undercard of Ward-Kovalev 2: ‘The Rematch’,” said Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy Michael R. Yormark. “We know these two champions are ready and eager to put on a big performance on boxing’s biggest stage and undoubtedly, ahead of the most anticipated fight of the year.”
“TGB Promotions is proud of this world title opportunity for Moises ‘Chucky’ Flores as he takes on one of the premier fighters in the sport, Guillermo Rigondeaux,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Chucky is well prepared and looking forward to making the Mexican fans proud of their new World Champion on June 17.”
Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs), was one of the most celebrated amateur boxers in Cuba before defecting and making his professional debut on May 22, 2009 in Miami, Florida. High expectations had no ill effect on Rigondeaux as he tore through his next five opponents. On November 13, 2010, in just his seventh pro fight, Rigondeaux faced Ricardo Cordoba for the vacant interim WBA World Super Bantamweight title and left the ring with the belt after scoring a split decision victory. Rigondeaux turned his attention to supremacy in the 122-pound division and accomplished what many considered the unthinkable by knocking out WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Rico Ramos on January 20, 2012, becoming a world champion in fewer than 10 professional bouts. On April 13, 2013 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Rigondeaux scored his biggest victory to date by defeating WBO and Ring Magazine World Champion and 2012 Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire. Rigondeaux came away with the victory by unanimous decision after out landing and out punching Donaire throughout the fight to unify titles. In November of 2015, Roc Nation Sports announced that it had signed Rigondeaux to an exclusive promotional agreement and featured him on the HBO Pay-Per-View undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez mega-fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, where he defeated veteran Drian Francisco via a 10-round unanimous decision. Prior to beating Francisco, Rigondeaux was stripped of his title belts due to inactivity, but remained the WBA champion in recess. In May of 2016, Roc Nation Sports announced that Rigondeaux was reinstated of his WBA belt ahead of a 12-round WBA World Super Bantamweight championship showdown against number 13 rated WBA super bantamweight contender Jazza Dickens on July 16 at the Cardiff Ice Arena in Wales. In his first ever appearance in the United Kingdom, Rigondeaux gave fans a thrilling knockout against Dickens. The southpaw landed a big left hook, shattering Dickens’s jaw, halting the fight in the second round with a referee’s decision. Rigondeaux will be raring to go on June 17 in his title defense against interim champion Moises Flores.
Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) learned the fight game growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico, and spent the early years of his professional career building up his résumé in his home country. Now established as a title contender at 122 pounds, Flores looks to climb to the top of the division with his considerable talent. Flores is exceptionally tall for his weight class, measuring in at 5 feet 9 inches. As such, he tends to have a reach advantage over most of his opponents, although Flores isn’t one to merely fire punches from a distance and box from the outside. He likes to mix it up, and his record reflects that, with most of his opponents going down by knockout. Flores made his pro debut in August 2008 with a second round knockout of Oswaldo Salgado in Guadalajara, Mexico. He fought exclusively in Mexico over the first six years of his career and made quick work of most of his opponents. Flores made his U.S. debut in September 2014, winning a six round unanimous decision over Pablo Batres in Mesquite, Texas. He then gained a seventh round technical knockout of Mexican veteran Mario Macias in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in November 2014. That victory set up a 122-pound title shot against interim WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Oscar Escandon in Carson, California, in April 2015. In an electrifying, all-action brawl, Flores earned a split decision to win the title. In his last two fights, Flores was able to defend the interim WBA World Super Bantamweight title against Luis Emanuel Cusolito, while also adding the IBO World Super Bantamweight title against Paulus Ambunda. Flores looks forward to claiming the full rights to the WBA World Super Bantamweight title on June 17 when he faces current champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in a 12-round championship showdown.
Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, sponsored by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and Powered by Monster. The championship event takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” are available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office.
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