Rigondeaux vs. Flores, De La Hoya vs. Salinas Added to Cotto-Kirkland PPV Undercard
Two action-packed fights featuring world champions, emerging stars and fierce rivalries have been added to the televised pay-per-view undercard of Miguel Cotto vs. James Kirkland “The Return” on Saturday, February 25 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. The event, sponsored 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 co-feature bout will spotlight reigning WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) in a mandatory 12-round WBA title defense against WBA interim titleholder Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs). Both fighters are eager to contend for the top super bantamweight status and upset the other’s perfect record.
“I would like to start by thanking HBO, Roc Nation Sports and Caribe Promotions for making this fight happen. I’m very excited, it’s my first fight back in the states in over a year. I want to show the world and my loyal fans that I am still one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world,” said Rigondeaux. “I will be defending my title on February 25. I’d like to thank Moises Flores for having the courage to face me in the ring. He is a tough fighter and will have all his fans in Texas cheering for him. It’s going to be a battle so fans, get ready to see me in action.”
“I’m very excited to be facing Guillermo Rigondeaux on Saturday, February 25 on HBO Pay-Per-View,” said Flores. “I’d like to thank my team at Probox Management along with HBO for providing this opportunity. I’m training hard and look forward to making the Mexican fans proud when I defeat the great Rigondeaux.”
“Just when we thought the Cotto-Kirkland event could not get any more exciting for sports fans – Roc Nation Sports is thrilled to announce Guillermo Rigondeaux’s championship defense against Moises Flores on the televised undercard,” said Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy Michael R. Yormark. “One of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters, Rigondeaux is coming off his most impressive performance to date, shattering James Dickens’s jaw in Wales last June. The bout with Flores is set to be even more exciting as Ford Center at The Star looks to open its professional boxing account with a fight card for the ages.”
“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.”
The televised undercard will also include WBC Youth World Super Bantamweight Champion and Golden Boy Promotions top-flight prospect Diego De La Hoya (16-0, 9 KOs) against Cuban pugilist Yoandris “El Nino” Salinas (21-2-2, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight contest. De La Hoya, already a Dallas-area fan favorite, drew a unanimous decision against veteran fighter Orlando Del Valle at AT&T Stadium on the undercard of September’s Canelo-Smith showdown. Salinas seeks a big return to the ring following 18 months away from boxing because of a hand injury.
“I want to be at the top, and leave a legacy behind that makes people look at me as one of the greats – and that comes with accepting tougher fights like this one,” said De La Hoya. “Salinas has fought a number of great fighters, but with my discipline and hunger to become the best I can be, I will put it all on the line to come out victorious! I want to thank everyone at Golden Boy Promotions, Roc Nation Sports for the opportunity, and my manager Joel De La Hoya for giving me the chance to put on a great show for the amazing fans in Texas.”
“Diego may be undefeated but I’m here to show the world that I’m back and still a contender” said Salinas. “Everything is bigger in Texas and the Texas fans can expect a big show on February 25 when we go toe-to-toe. This fight is about pride and a victory on the undercard of Cotto-Kirkland puts me one step closer to my goal of winning a world title.”
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 Nov. 13, 2010, in just his seventh pro fight, Rigondeaux faced Ricardo Cordoba for the vacant WBA World interim 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, 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 Feb. 25 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 a rangy 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 Feb. 25 when he faces current champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in a 12-round championship showdown.
On September 12, 2013, 19-year-old Diego De La Hoya (16-0, 9 KOs) made his professional boxing debut, stopping Luis Cosme in three rounds to introduce the next generation of De La Hoya boxing, a family best known for the body of work turned in by Diego’s cousin, Oscar de la Hoya. A former member of the Mexican National Team with over 250 amateur bouts to his name, De La Hoya also won a silver medal in the Mexican Olympic Nationals. While expected to make a run at the 2016 Olympics, the talented prospect instead decided to turn professional, leading to a flurry of anticipation amongst fight fans and the boxing media. Currently training with Joel Diaz in Indio, California, De La Hoya followed up his win over Cosme with 10 more victories through the midway point of 2015. De La Hoya’s string of victories earned him a 10-round championship bout against Jesus Ruiz at September 2015’s LA FIGHT CLUB, where he defeated Ruiz via unanimous decision for the vacant WBC Youth World super bantamweight title. The Mexicali native kept rolling, and in his last fight of 2015 at the Hard Rock Casino and Resort in November, De La Hoya topped Giovanni Delgado via unanimous decision. De La Hoya then picked up where he left off, opening his 2016 campaign in the main event of LA FIGHT CLUB on February 19 with a fourth round knockout of Arturo Badillo. Part of the freeview of Canelo vs. Khan on May 7, 2016, De La Hoya displayed his power against Rocco Santomauro. Both fighters entered the ring with high energy and intensity, yearning to maintain their undefeated status. By the second round, De La Hoya sent him to the mat with a massive body punch – after Santomauro got back up, he was met with a series of combination punches from De La Hoya, trying to finish Santomauro off, though eventually cut off by the bell. The fight turned into an all-out brawl, as both hungry fighters entered into heated exchanges of punches throughout the bout. De La Hoya was able to get Rocco various times in the head, wounding Santomauro with a cut over his eye by the end of the sixth round, and was on the offensive with consecutive blows to the head. Santomuaro’s corner decided to call the fight in the seventh round at 1:59, landing De La Hoya a very impressive technical knockout victory, pleasing the crowd with the show. In his last outing, De La Hoya made his pay-per-view debut against Orlando Del Valle on the undercard of the Canelo vs. Smith fight that drew more than 51,000 to Cowboy Stadium outside Dallas, Texas. De La Hoya defended his WBC Youth World super bantamweight title with a unanimous decision victory.
Yoandris “El Nino” Salinas (21-2-2, 14 KOs) is a Cuban boxer fighting out of Miami, Florida. Salinas made his professional debut on Dec. 4, 2009 against Felix Flores at La Covacha in his adopted city of Miami. Amassing an undefeated record in his first 21 fights, Salinas was given the opportunity for a shot at a world title on November 5, 2013 against Scott Quigg at the O2 Arena in London, England. Contending for the WBA World super bantamweight title, the fighters went the distance for a draw. In his most recent fight on Aug. 8, 2015 vs. Manuel Avila, Salinas retired in the sixth round due to a hand injury.
Cotto vs. Kirkland is a 12-round junior middleweight fight presented by Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions and Ford Center at The Star, and is sponsored by Corona Extra. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets priced at $304, $204, $154, $104, $79, $54 and $29 not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale now and available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 and the AT&T Stadium box office.