Rungvisai-Estrada & Cuadras-Arroyo in 27 days
By Tim Royner: WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras vs. McWilliams Arroyo will be battling it out in 27 days from now on the SuperFly 2 card on February 24 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. These 2 fights will be televised on HBO Boxing.
Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs) will be looking to cement himself as a star for HBO with his title defense against former WBA/WBO flyweight champion Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) in the main event. Estrada, 27, is a very good fighter, and he’s coming off of a very close hard fought 12 round at SuperFly on September 9.
If Cuadras hadn’t run out of gas down the stretch, he probably would have won the fight going away, as he was clearly getting the better of the weaker Estrada in the first half of the fight. Estrada won by the razor thin margins of 114-113, 114-113 and 114-113. Estrada is going to need to fight better than that for him to beat Rungvisai, because he’s a step above Cuadras at this point. Rungivisai did lose to Cuadras by an 8th round technical decision in May 2014, but the fight was cut short due to Cuadras being cut over his left eye from a clash of heads. It looked like Rungvisai was taking over the fight at the time of the cut stoppage. Rungvisai has improved since then. It’s difficult to picture Cuadras being able to hang with Rungvisai to beat him again.
Rungvisai has beaten Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in his last 2 fights and looked very good in both of them. He stopped Gonzalez in the 4th round at SuperFly 1 last September. Rungvisai had too much firepower for Chocolatito, who looked over-the-hill even before the first punch was thrown. Gonzalez did not look like he wanted to be there.
Former WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs) is now being trained by Abel Sanchez out of Big Bear, California. Sanchez is working on the 29-year-old Cuadras’ conditioning to try and keep him from gassing out in the second half of his fights like we’ve been seeing from him in his last 3 fights against Juan Francisco Estrada, David Carmona and Roman Gonzalez.
Cuadras lost to Gonzalez and Estrada. He arguably was beaten by Carmona as well. Even if you want to call it a win for Cuadras, he looked REALLY bad against Carmona. Things are not looking good with Cuadras’ career right now. If Sanchez can’t fix Cuadras’ stamina problems, then he might be finished as a championship level fighter. Cuadras can still be a good contender, but his days as a champion will be over with.
Cuadras will be fighting the tough McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBC Silver super flyweight title. It’s a 10 round fight for some reason. I guess he World Boxing Council is fine with it being only 10 rounds for their WBC Silver 115 strap. Arroyo hasn’t fought since his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Roman Gonzalez on April 23, 2016. Arroyo was also beaten by Amnat Ruenroeng by a 2 round split decision in September 2014 and Takashi Okada in June 2010. This doesn’t figure to be an easy fight for Cuadras, especially if he gasses out like he’s been doing. Sanchez thinks he can turn Cuadras’ career around, but I don’t know if he can.
Cuadras might need to think about moving up in weight to the bantamweight division. That might help fix his stamina problems. It could be that Cuadras is fighting in the wrong weight class at this point in his career. He looked huge after he rehydrates for his fights, and it might be that he’s draining himself too much to make the 115 lb. weight limit for the super flyweight division. I don’t know if Sanchez has explored the idea of Cuadras moving up in weight or not. If Cuadras’ stamina issues persist, then a move up in weight might be something for him to think about.
Also, on the undercard is IBF flyweight champion Donnie Nietes (40-1-5, 22 KOs) defending his title against Juan Carlos Reveco (39-3, 19 KOs), and former 2 division world champion Brian Viloria (38-5, 23 KOs) mixing it up with Artem Dalakian (15-0, 11 KOs) in a battle for the vacant WBA World flyweight title. Viloria is a very good fighter. Viloria is up there in age at 37, and it’s hard to imagine him winning a world title at his age. The good news is Viloria has won his last 2 fights since being stopped in the 9th round by Roman Gonzalez in October 2015. Viloria’s wins came against low level opposition in Miguel Cartagena (15-3-1) and Ruben Montoya (14-4-1). Viloria didn’t fight at all in 2016, but he came back to fight twice in 2017. The 30-year-old Dalakian, who comes from Ukraine, has recent wins against Luis Manuel Macias, Jozsef Ajtai, Silvio Olteanu and Robert Kanlas. The World Boxing Association sees something in Dalakian for them to rank him at No.1. It’s unclear what they see in him, because his resume is filled with only weak since he turned pro 7 years ago in 2011.