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Matchroom Boxing Announces Upcoming Schedule

Matchroom tonight announce four events in the USA and Mexico as part of a stacked second half of 2023 live worldwide on DAZN.

Headline amongst those is the confirmation of the date and venue for the hotly-anticipated Flyweight unification clash between Jesse Rodriguez and Sunny Edwards, which lands at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday December 16.

The unbeaten pair meet in a mouth-watering battle to determine the top dog in the division, with WBO ruler Rodriguez and IBF king Edwards defending their titles for the first and fourth times respectively and both appearing in their first unification bouts.

Rodriguez (18-0 11 KOs) will return to the state that he landed his first World title back in February 2022 when he defeated Carlos Cuadras to land the WBC Super-Flyweight strap. The San Antonio star defended that title twice with wins over Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Israel Gonzalez before becoming a two-weight champion on hometurf in April by seeing off Christian Hernandez, and the 23 year old is excited to be meeting Edwards in the winter.

“I want to thank Matchroom, Teiken and my whole team for making this fight happen,” said Rodriguez. “This fight will allow me to showcase my skills and prove to everyone that I am not only the best Flyweight in the world but one of the best fighters in the world period.

“I am excited to be back in Arizona where I first became a World champion, and I will be 100 per cent ready to put on a show on December 16 and become unified World champion.”

Edwards (20-0 4 KOs) finally gets the blockbuster showdown that he’s been craving after becoming the IBF champion in April 2021 with a trademark classy win over Moruti Mthalane in London. A pair of successful defenses in Dubai followed in December against Jayson Mama and in March over Muhammad Waseem before victory in defense number three followed in his adaopted Sheffield hometown over Felix Alvarado.

The 27 year old had a successful debut under the Matchroom banner in June when he saw off spirited Chilean challenger Andres Campos in London, and Edwards is looking forward to proving he is the best in the division on his first fight in America.

“I’m looking forward to being involved in one of the biggest Flyweight World title fights in boxing history,” said Edwards. “It’s the real #1 versus the real #2. I would like to thank Eddie Hearn, Frank Smith, Matchroom Boxing and my team for getting me in this position, and I’d also like to thank Bam and his team for accepting the fight, and I am really looking forward to becoming one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world on December 16 in Arizona.”

One month before that, one of the hottest young fighters in the sport will headline at home for the first time in his blossoming career as Diego Pacheco takes on Marcelo Coceres for the WBO International and USWBC Super-Middleweight titles at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles on November 18.

Pacheco (19-0 16 KOs) was at his scintillating best in his last outing in July where he blitzed the dangerous Manuel Gallegos inside four rounds in Monterrey, Mexico – ending matters with a vicious attack after flooring Gallegos in the fourth with a trademark bodyshot and became the first man to stop the Mexican later in the round.

That was a second headline turn for the rangy South LA man having previously pummeled Jack Cullen into submission again in four rounds in Liverpool, England in April, and now the 23 year old earns a shorter trip to top the bill, doing so in the shadow of the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood where he grew up.

“I cannot wait to be headlining at home November 18 at the YouTube Theater,” said Pacheco. “I am looking forward to making a statement and delivering another great performance for all my hometown fans.”

Standing in Pacheco’s way of another impressive showing at Super-Middleweight is former World title challenger Coceres (32-5-1 18 KOs). The Argentine returns to the city of his biggest night, where he met WBO ruler Billy Joe Saunders for the World title in November 2019, and the 32 year old is set to provide Pacheco with the biggest test of his career to date.

“November 18, in his backyard, this is what warriors do,” said Coceres. “I have a lot of respect for Pacheco, he’s a good fighter, but he’s still young and he has time. This is my time now.

I’ve been here before. I’ve been to war. Let’s see how the young boy does when his back is against the wall.

“I’m bringing everything into this fight. I can’t afford another loss at this point in my career. This is make or break and I’m leaving everything I have in the ring come November 18.”

Back-to-back weekends in September provide plenty of excitement in Tijuana and Orlando.

Angel Fierro continues to hammer on the door for a World title shot, and he’ll look to add more weight to those claims when he defends his WBO NABO Lightweight title against Brayan Zammaripa on Friday September 15 at the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez Moreno in Tijuana, Mexico.

Fierro (21-1-2 17 KOs) is sitting pretty at #4 with the WBO, and the 25 year old gets a hometown outing as he looks to build on his growing reputation for exciting performances.

‘Tashiro’ was at his explosive best in his last outing with multiple knockdowns leading to a seventh round stoppage win over Eduardo Estela in Culiacan – a fifth KO in his last six fights – and a run he’ll be looking to improve upon against Zammaripa (13-1 4 KOs), the Baja California man who has recorded ten wins on the bounce since his sole defeat in 2016.

“I am very happy to return to my home Tijuana,” said Fierro. “But I am even more excited because I am very close to a World Title fight. I'm very focused on giving a great show to my people.”

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for, for a long time,” said Zammaripa. “I respect Tashiro, but this is my moment. I’m coming to his neighborhood, but this is my territory. Civil War is coming September 15 and I’m leaving with Tashiro’s belt. Viva Mexico.

Erika Cruz (15-2 3 KOs) will return to action on the card following her thrilling battle with Amanda Serrano for the undisputed Featherweight crown in New York in February, and ‘Dinamita’ will look to get back on the path to regaining her World champion status over ten rounds against Melissa Oddessa Parker (6-1 2 KOs)

“I am 100 per cent prepared,” said Cruz. “That night the national guard and I will be celebrating our Independence Day with one more victory for the Dinamita!”

The following weekend, a stacked bill takes Matchroom back to Florida and sees World-rated Super-Lightweight Richardson Hitchins takes on Jose Zepeda for the WBC Silver and IBF North American Super-Lightweight titles at the Caribe Royale in Orlando on Saturday September 23.

Hitchins (16-0 7 KOs) shone in his last outing in his home city, putting New Jersey’s John Bauza on the canvas during a shut-out win at Madison Square Garden, and the Brooklyn ace now lurks with intent at #6 with the WBO and #7 with the IBF in the 140lb rankings.

Zepeda (36-3 27 KOs) represents a significant barrier to Hitchins’ plans to move into World title contention though, and the Californian, who has challenged for World titles at both 135 and 140lbs, will be eyeing Hitchins’ lofty standings to reignite his own World championship plans.

“I’m excited to finally be back in action and prove I’m the top dog of the 140lb division,” said Hitchins. “I promise to put on a master class performance on Zepada. This was the guy they were calling one of the top guys in the division, so after this performance this will show I’m ready for anyone.

“We tried waiting for Montana Love, but he found his way out of the fight like I expected his bitch ass would, so it’s on to bigger and better!”

“This is it for me, my last opportunity and a big one,” said Zepeda. “I need to win to stay on track and soon fight for another World title, it's now or never. I want to thank Matchroom very much for this opportunity, my brother Renee and my manager Rick Mirigian for getting this multi-fight deal worked out. I'll be ready come fight night.”

The Welterweight division will move one step closer to crowning an undisputed champion on the night as Jessica McCaskill and Sandy Ryan meet for three of the belts.

WBA and WBC champion McCaskill (12-3 5 KOs) is no stranger to undisputed status, having ripped all the hardware at 147 from long-reigning ruler Cecilia Braekhus in August 2020 and then holding onto the belts in a rematch the following March. The Chicagoan defended the belts twice more against Kandi Wyatt and Alma Ibarra before the lure of becoming undisputed champion at a second weight saw her drop down to 140lbs to take on Chantelle Cameron in Abu Dhabi in November, with the Briton coming out on top on that occasion.

WBO belt holder Ryan (6-1 2 KOs) will look to make it back-to-back losses to Brits for McCaskill, as the Derby talent puts the title she won in her last outing against Marie Pier Houle in Cardiff, Wales in April. Ryan, who holds wins over former World champions Anahi Sanchez and Erica Farias, steps straight into the biggest fight in the division in her first defense and can add two belts to take her collection up to three in just her eighth pro fight.

“Glad to finally get back in the ring, it’s been too long,” said McCaskill. “I’m not going to lie it’s been a bit frustrating but now we are finally here. You know what they say, be careful what you wish for. See you soon Sandy.”

“This fight is everything to me the level of it the best vs. the best in the Welterweight division,” said Ryan. “I respect Jessica massively as a fighter and what she has done in the sport but it’s definitely time for a new era and I believe I am that.

“It’s my biggest fight and it’s going to be in America, a place I’ve wanted to fight in since I turned pro. It’s been a dream of mine so I can’t wait to make my America debut and fight Jessica. AND THE NEW!”

A third fight for the bill in Orlando sees Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams press his claims for World title action at Middleweight as he tackles Steve Rolls.

Williams (14-0 10 KOs) is back in the States having taken out River Wilson-Bent in eight rounds in London in April – his third fight in England – and the Middleweight contender is right on the cusp of landing a World title shot sitting at #2 with the WBA, #10 with the IBF and #11 with the WBC.

Rolls (22-2 12 KOs) will test those ambitions to the fullest though, having shared the ring with Gennadiy Golovkin and Edgar Berlanga in his 24-fight career, and the Canadian will look to get back into contention himself with the WBA International and IBF North American titles on the line.

“I’ve learned the significance of rest and patience since my April victory,” said Williams. “This period of down time has allowed my mind and body the proper space to process all of the many lessons I’ve received in my previous 6 bouts. Tremendous advancement has occurred in all areas of my life. September 23 will be a display of brilliance, dedication, and laser focus. Don’t miss it!

“I’m looking forward to fighting on September 23,” said Rolls. “I know that Ammo is coming to fight, but I’m going to do whatever is necessary to get my hand raised at the end of the night. He has never fought anyone as a pro with my experience, and I think that experience will play a big role in me winning this fight."

Information on ticket on-sale dates and further undercard news for these events will be released soon.

These events are added to a stacked offering from Matchroom on DAZN, with more to come including:

Leigh Wood vs. Josh Warrington, Saturday October 7, Sheffield

Jack Catterall vs. Jorge Linares, Saturday October 21, Manchester

Chantelle Cameron vs. Katie Taylor II, Saturday November 25, Dublin


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