Tom Loeffler of 360 Promotions and HBO rounded out the “Superfly 2” tripleheader on Thursday. They didn’t add a fight in the super flyweight division but, hey, close enough.
They dipped one division lower — just 3 pounds, from 115 to 112 — and added Donnie Nietes, the world’s No. 1 flyweight, in a mandatory title defense against former world titleholder Juan Carlos Reveco to the “Boxing After Dark” card on Feb. 24 (HBO, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT) at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
“That’s the best fight we could make for the show,” Loeffler said. “These two are legit, two top flyweights fighting each other, and Nietes has headlined two shows in Los Angeles in the past.
“We’re very proud to add one of the Philippines’ longest standing warriors and [three]-time world champion Donnie Nietes to this tremendous event as he defends his world title against [former] world champion Juan Carlos Reveco. In the last couple of years Nietes has looked very impressive headlining events in Los Angeles and we look forward to a huge turnout of local Filipino boxing fans for this world title defense against the upset-minded Reveco.”
Nietes, 35, is the Philippines’ most decorated fighter in recent years other than the great Manny Pacquiao. Nietes is unbeaten since 2004 and has won world titles in three weight classes: strawweight, where he made four title defenses, junior flyweight where he made nine, and then last April he faced Thailand’s Komgrich Nantapech for the vacant flyweight title and won a unanimous decision.
Nietes (40-1-4, 22 KOs) will be making his first defense against Reveco (39-3, 19 KOs), 34, of Argentina.
“Fighting in Los Angeles for the third time in front of the great Filipino fans, along with fighting on HBO, is a great honor for me,” Nietes said. “I know how tough Reveco is, but I’ll be well-prepared to defend my title on Feb. 24.”
Reveco has won world titles at junior flyweight and flyweight and has won three fights in a row since losing a flyweight title rematch in December 2015 to Kazuto Ioka, who had taken his flyweight belt in their first fight earlier that year. Reveco is coming off a lopsided unanimous decision against Nantapech in September in the world title eliminator that earned him the shot at Nietes.
Reveco will be fighting in the United States for the first time when he faces Nietes and said he’s looking forward to it.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to finally fight in the United States and against a great champion in Donnie Nietes,” Reveco said. “I know there will be a huge amount of Argentinean fans at The Forum for the fight, and I look forward to winning the IBF flyweight world title in front of them.”
In the main event of “Superfly 2” — super flyweight is the alternate name for the junior bantamweight division — junior bantamweight world titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 KOs), a 31-year-old southpaw from Thailand who twice upset Roman “Chocolatito Gonzalez last year, will make his mandatory defense against Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs), 27, a former unified flyweight titleholder.
On the Sept. 9 “Superfly” card at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Sor Rungvisai knocked out former four-division champion and former pound-for-pound king Gonzalez in the fourth round of their rematch in the main event. In the opening bout of that tripleheader, Estrada outpointed former titlist Carlos Cuadras in a title eliminator to earn the shot at Sor Rungvisai.
In the “Superfly 2” co-feature, Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs), 29, of Mexico, will return to face former two-time title challenger McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs), 32, of Puerto Rico, in a scheduled 10-round bout.
There is also another flyweight world title fight on the card, though it won’t be part of HBO’s coverage in the United States. In that bout, former two-division world titleholder Brian Viloria (38-5, 23 KOs), 37, a Hawaii native fighting out of Los Angeles, will face Artem Dalakian (15-0, 11 KOs), 30, of Ukraine, for a vacant belt.