Hearn planning Yafai vs. Nietes & Rungvisai vs. Estrada II on April 6
By Tim Royner: Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is planning a big mini-tournament in matching recently signed WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41 KOs) against Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26 KOs) in a rematch, and unbeaten IBF 115 lb champion Kal Yafai (25-0, 15 kOs) against newly crowned WBO champion Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) possibly on April 6 on DAZN.
The winner of those two fights would then meet up in a big unification fight with the WBA, WBC and WBO super flyweight titles being on the line in a huge unification match on DAZN. The only belt that wouldn’t be up for grabs is the International Boxing Federation 115 lb title held by champion Jerwin Ancajas, who is promoted by Top Rank, and fights on ESPN. You can believe that Hearn will do his utmost to get the eventual winner of the WBA, WBC and WBO super flyweight titles to go after
Right off the bat, you can probably the losers of the Yafai-Nietes & Rungvisai-Estrada II fights. Yafai, 29, is a good little fighter, but he’s not quite in the same league as the 36-year-old Nietes. Age has nothing to do with it. Yafai could be 23, and still be out of his class against the arguably more talented 36-year-old Nietes, who recently moved up in weight from flyweight to capture the vacant World Boxing Organization 115 lb title by beating Kazuto Ioka by a 12 round split decision on December 31.
Despite it being scored a 12 round split decision, the fight wasn’t close. One judge scored it 118-110 in favor of Nietes, and the other two had it 116-112 for Nietes and 116-112 for Ioka. Boxing News 24 saw Nietes winning the fight by a wide 118-110 score. In contrast, Yafai recently struggled to beat Israel Gonzalez (23-3, 10 KOs) by a controversial 12 round unanimous decision last November. It was a decision that was not a popular one with the fans, as Gonzalez appeared to be the better fighter of the two at the end.
Rungvisai, 32, already beat Estrada last year by a 12 round majority decision in Los Angeles, California. That was another fight where the scoring by two of the judges seemed to be off from the match that took place inside the ring. Rungivisai was the clear winning in appearing to win at least 10 rounds. However, he was fighting in a venue that favored Estrada in Southern California, so it’s surprising that two of the judges’ scores were way off. Rungvisai is now signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing stable. Hearn wants to make Rungvisai into a star in a short period of time. Hearn will need to work quickly with Rungvisai, because he’s getting up there in age.
Rungvisai and Nietes will likely meet up later this year with three of the four belts on the line. That should be an exciting fight for the boxing fans that tune in to see them battle on DZAN.
- Robeisy Ramirez on Isaac Dogboe: “It’s going to be a war” on Saturday
- Janibek Alimkhanuly defends against Steven Butler on May 13th on ESPN
- Robeisy Ramirez ready to dominate Isaac Dogboe on Saturday live on ESPN+
- Chris Colbert says No rematch for “sore loser” Rayo Valenzuela