In a card that featured seven current and former world champions across 112 and 115 pounds, “Super Fly” didn’t disappoint. Fans saw a headliner that featured two of the best fighters in the world throw down in a thriller whose final frame is the front runner for round of the year. They saw a middle-of-the-pack contender secure the biggest win of his career. They saw an aging master do his thing, as well as see a fighter fulfill his dreams of winning his first title. It was-ahem-super fly.
In the headliner, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai continues his remarkable streak and retains his WBC Superflyweight title against former unified flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada in a hard fought majority decision. It was a battle between Rungvisai’s power and skill against Estrada’s countering abilities. It had the stylistic makings of a great fight on paper. It translated beautifully in the ring, culminating in an unforgettable twelfth round with both fighters putting all of their will and pride on the line. In the end, it was Rungvisai who got the 115-113 and 117-111 scorecards in his favor that overruled the draw of the third. This scribe had it dead even when the final bell rang. Hopefully the rematch can materialize later on in the calendar year. One can only hope it delivers as much as this one did. It wasn’t Sung Kil Moon vs Nana Konadu or Robert Quiroga vs Akeem Anifowoshe. It’s still one of the best fights at 115 has ever produced.
In the co-main event, former Puerto Rican amateur world champion and current contender McWilliams Arroyo returned from nearly a two year layoff to outpoint former champion Carlos Cuadras. Arroyo’s quality and technique overcame Cuadras’ volume and natural athleticism. His first fight since acquitting himself well against Roman Gonzalez in a losing effort, Arroyo made the most of the moment and scored a majority decision with scorecards of 95-95, 97-93, 98-92.
Donnie Nietes, the longest reigning world champion in the sport, successfully retained his IBF flyweight title against former WBA flyweight champion Juan Carlos Reveco. A master of making his opponents miss and disrupting their rhythm, Nietes smoothly outboxed Reveco from the opening bell. At the end of the sixth round, Nietes rocked Reveco right before the bell. He was out on his feet but his corner allowed him to come out for the seventh round. Nietes put an end to the fight less than minute into the fight. Having held a form of a world title since 2007, the 35 year old Nietes is finally making a splash on American airwaves. His competition has been less than his pedigree as a fighter and his extraordinary consistency. The ideal next move would be a unification clash between rising youngster and WBC belt holder Daigo Higa, who was watching live at the Forum.
Artem Dalakian wins the vacant WBA Flyweight championship over the aging, four time world champion Brian Viloria. Dalakian awkwardness and movement were too much for the 37 year old Viloria, who has seen better days.