The Superfly 3 card has been finalized with Juan Francisco Estrada set to square off with Mexican countryman Felipe Orucuta in the 12-round main event of the tripleheader, promoter Tom Loeffler announced on Thursday.
The third installment of the series, which focuses on the talent-rich 115-pound weight class -- known as junior bantamweight or super flyweight -- will take place on Sept. 8 (HBO, 9:45 p.m. ET/PT) at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Loeffler had hoped to make a rematch between Estrada and world titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who edged Estrada by majority decision in a slugfest that headlined Superfly 2, also at The Forum, on Feb. 24.
But when Sor Rungvisai opted to instead take an Oct. 6 defense in his home country of Thailand, Loeffler turned to Orucuta, 32, who has won five fights in a row but came up short in two junior bantamweight world title fights.
He lost both to Omar Narvaez, by split decision in 2013 and majority decision in 2014. Orucuta (36-4, 30 KOs) fought Narvaez both times on his home turf in Argentina.
"Our first two Superfly cards were among the most well-received international boxing events over the last year," Loeffler said. "Since our last Superfly card in February, boxing fans and media have continuously asked me when the next card is taking place. The fights that have been presented in this series have provided nonstop action and an unparalleled in-arena atmosphere for boxing.
"Juan Francisco Estrada and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai battled in one of the best fights this year in February with both fighters proving to be two of the most valiant warriors in boxing. Against the hard-hitting Orucuta, Estrada will be facing a determined challenger seeking his own path to a world title."
Estrada (36-3, 25 KOs), 28, a former unified flyweight world titleholder, had his 10-fight winning streak end against Sor Rungvisai. Estrada also starred on Superfly 1 last September when he dropped former titlist Carlos Cuadras in the 10th round and won a hard-fought unanimous decision, 114-113 on all three scorecards.
"I am very excited to return for a third Superfly event card and look forward to giving the fans another thrilling fight," he said. "I need to win so I can get a second shot at the WBC title and a rematch against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. I am training in the mountains of Mexico City to be ready for the fight on Sept. 8."
Said Orucuta: "Juan Francisco Estrada is a great boxer and one of the best fighters from Mexico. It's an honor to fight him and I will be well prepared for victory at Superfly 3."
Also announced were the other two bouts on the card. In the co-feature, Donnie Nietes will go for a world title in a fourth weight division when he fights Filipino countryman Aston Palicte for a vacant 115-pound belt. Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KOs), 36, who is unbeaten since 2004, has won world titles at strawweight, where he made four title defenses; junior flyweight, where he made nine; and flyweight, where he made one.
He is the Philippines' most decorated fighter other than Manny Pacquiao over the past decade and made his only flyweight title defense by one-sided seventh-round knockout of former titlist Juan Carlos Reveco at The Forum on Superfly 2.
Not long after, Nietes vacated the belt to move up in weight to seek a title in a fourth weight division against the 27-year-old Palicte (24-2, 20 KOs), who is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. They will fight for the belt Japanese star Naoya Inoue gave up to go up in weight.
Opening the telecast, three-division world titleholder Kazuto Ioka (22-1, 13 KOs), 29, Japan, who has won belts at strawweight, junior flyweight and flyweight, will exit a brief retirement and make his United States debut against two-time flyweight world title challenger McWilliams Arroyo (17-3, 14 KOs), 32, of Puerto Rico, in a scheduled 10-round bout.
Arroyo, whose title fight losses came by decision to Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez in 2016 and Amnat Ruenroeng in 2014, appeared on Superfly 2 and won a majority decision over Carlos Cuadras.
Jul 26, 2018
Dan RafaelESPN Senior Writer