Vargas-Soto to battle on April 26

Former two-weight World champions Jessie Vargas and Humberto Soto will clash in a vital showdown for their World title ambitions on a blockbuster bill at The Forum, Los Angeles on Friday April 26, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Vargas and Soto will meet at 151 pounds as they both look to add a third weight class to their World title CVs later in the year at Super-Welterweight.

Vargas (28-2-2 10 KOs) kicked-off the live American shows on DAZN in an entertaining Welterweight showdown with Thomas Dulorme in Chicago in October, with the fight ending in a draw. The Las Vegas man has now identified World honors at 154lbs as his next target, with Mexican talent and WBO ruler Jaime Munguia top of the hitlist as he defends his title against Dennis Hogan two weeks before Vargas and Soto meet, live on DAZN.

Soto (69-9-2 37 KOs) breathed new life into his career with a great win over Brandon Rios in a tear-up in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico in February. The 38 year old is chasing the 70th pro win of his remarkable career, and could force his way into a clash with fellow countryman Munguia.

“I’m excited for my return to the ring on April 26,” said Vargas. “Humberto Soto is the opponent and I’m preparing accordingly with my coaches to give my fans an entertaining fight as always.

“Soto is an experience World class fighter who challenged me immediately after his win over Brandon Rios. The challenge has been accepted and on April 26, I plan to come out victorious.”

“The odds were against me in my last fight against Brandon Rios and I know that this fight will not be any different,” said Soto. “This gives me extra motivation to prove everyone wrong again and to add a third loss to Vargas’ record.

“I am extremely happy for this new chapter in my career and I am not going to waste this great opportunity! Like I said before, this is a do or die fight!”

“Vargas vs. Soto completes a huge card in LA on April 26,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Soto was outstanding in defeating Brandon Rios a few weeks back in Mexico and goes into this fight full of confidence attempting to upset the odds again.

“Jessie will take this fight at 151 pounds as he makes the transition to 154 pounds and can’t afford an upset as he targets Jamie Munguia later this year. With Rungvisai vs Estrada, Roman vs. Doheny and now Vargas vs. Soto, this is a show fight fans do no not want to miss.”

Vargas’ clash with Soto is part of a huge night of action on Matchroom Boxing USA’s first show in Los Angeles, topped by two massive World title fights as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1 41KOs) and Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3 26KOs) meet in a rematch for Rungvisai’s WBC and Ring Magazine titles and WBA Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman and IBF king TJ Doheny meet in a unification battle.

It’s Vargas’ first fight under hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach, who will see his charge Scott Quigg (35-2-2 26KOs) continue his path to becoming a two-weight World champ.

Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr is set for a breakout year and will fight for his first title on the bill. Sims (17-0 16 KOs), who is in action in Peterborough, England on Saturday night live on DAZN and Sky Sports, clocked three stoppage wins in the second half of 2018, and will look to convert that momentum in style in first the UK and then in LA.

Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6KOs) and Diego Pacheco (2-0 1KO) landed wins in Tijuana, Mexico this weekend and will fight on the bill, while Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to his blossoming stable of young USA talents, Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, will make his pro debut on the card.

Tickets are on sale now prices from just $25 – to charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.fabulousforum.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and also at the Forum Box Office.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

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Rios: ‘My main target is to get a title shot’

Brandon Rios says his clash with Humberto Soto is the final hurdle between him and a fourth World title fight as they clash at the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez in Tijuana, Mexico on Saturday February 23, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW PRICED FROM $165 (MEXICAN PESOS) HERE 

Rios returned to action in stunning fashion in Kansas in November, stopping Ramon Alvarez in the ninth round of a pulsating contest live on DAZN.

‘Bam Bam’s’ return to the ring has been inspired by a promise made to his daughter to become a World champion once again, and a big all-Mexican clash with Soto is just the type of fight that will light a fire under him to produce a performance to land a huge fight next.

“It feels nice to fight back in Mexico,” said Rios. “Especially right now with everything that’s going on, all the politics. Not only that, but it’s good to give the Mexican fans a great show, they get see me live which is awesome.

“I’m fighting a guy that lives in Tijuana. He’s from Mexico, so I’m pretty sure the crowd’s going to be on his side, 100 per cent, but it feels good to be back out in front of Mexican fans. I’m ready to go and show the world that I’m ready to get back to the top again.

“I have some fans from LA going over the border to watch the fight, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to have more support. Anything can happen though, at the end of the day it’s not about who has what, it’s about me and him in the ring.

“The main decision for me to come back was when I was watching a fight on TV and I told my wife ‘Baby, that can still be me. I can still do that shit. I know I can still do that shit.’ I just had bad camp, bad habits. She told me ‘I’m going to let you do what you want to do, you’re a grown man. But if you come back, you’ve got to promise me you do it right.’ None of the half-assed shit, with the dieting, and all that. So, I thought about it for about a day or two, and I had the urge for it.

“I got my first fight and it was great, and the second one with Danny Garcia which wasn’t all that –  shit happens in boxing. And then I got to meet Eddie Hearn who gave me a three-fight deal thanks to him.

“Nobody was really paying attention to me anymore, and Eddie gave me an opportunity, and I really appreciate that. I’m fighting my second fight with him, and I can’t wait to go again.

“My main target is to get a title shot. Not only the reason why, is because I promised my little girl. She does karate. I told her, if you become a black belt, you give me that title. When I become a champion again, I give you my belt.

“We made that promise, and I don’t want to break her heart, so that’s why I want to be a champion again before I retire. I keep my word. Every day, I kid you not, she says ‘Dad, remember you promised me?’ Every day. I come to the gym today, she’s asking me if I’m bringing back a title. That’s 100 per cent my drive.

“You know what, it could be soon. It could be my next fight, who knows with Eddie Hearn. For now I’m just concentrating on this guy. I’m ready for whatever falls next.

“Soto is a veteran, he’s 30 years old. he knows some tricks, he’s a former three-time World champion, so we’ve got to be ready for whatever he brings. That’s why I’m working so hard to correct the mistakes.

“Working with Matchroom Boxing and being on DAZN, they’ve giving me fights back-to-back which is great. I haven’t got that wasted time, rested time, they’re giving me fights right away. I’m grateful and happy to be a part of the team. I’m ready to get back to the top.

“It’s going to be a great fight. You’ve got a three-division former champion Soto comes to fight, very talented and very skillful, he’s a big counter puncher. Then you’ve got myself, Bam Bam, who comes to brawl and always gives the fans a good show, but what always makes a perfect fight is a counter and brawler. There’s always going to be punches thrown, always something going to happen.”

Rios and Humberto clash in an all-Mexican affair, in association with Zanfer and Paco Presents, on a huge night of action in Tijuana.

There’s a stacked undercard in support of the main event, led by the rematch between Jose ‘Gallito’ Quiniro (20-2-3 9KOs) and Joel Cordoba (7-4-2 1KO). The Mexicans shared a draw in a Christmas cracker in December and will return to the same venue as that clash to find a winner this time.

Alexis Espino makes his professional debut on the card, with the 19 year old Las Vegas native and decorated amateur itching to get life in the pro game underway on a proud night for his Mexican family. Diego Pacheco (1-0 1KOs) made his debut in this arena in December with a stoppage win, and the talented teen fights for the second time in the pros on Saturday.

A trio of unbeaten Mexicans complete the current line-up in the shape of 2016 Olympian Joselito Velasquez (7-0 6KOs), Omar ‘Pollo’ Aguilar (11-0 10KOs) and Sulem Urbina (8-0 1KO).

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Rios-Soto set for February 23 in Mexico

Matchroom Boxing USA will promote its first show in Mexico as Brandon Rios and Humberto Soto will clash in an all-Mexican affair at the Municipal Auditorium Fausto Gutierrez Moreno in Tijuana on Saturday February 23, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW PRICED FROM $165 (MEXICAN PESOS) HERE 

Rios vs. Soto is in association with Zanfer and Paco presents.

Former World Lightweight king Rios (35-4-1 26KOs) returned to winning ways in style in November, stopping Ramon Alvarez in the ninth round of their high octane clash in Mulvane, near KS, pocketing a 26th win inside the distance in his 40th pro fight.

‘Bam Bam’ will look to further his claims for title shots in 2019, and the American-Mexican believes the love from the fans will roar him to victory and onto his goal of regaining his World title stats as he boxes in Mexico for the first time since September 2009.

Former two-weight World ruler Soto (68-9-2 37KOs) has other ideas though, with the Mexican hero heading into the bout on the back of two wins on his return to the ring in 2018. Soto, Los Mochis born but whom now calls Tijuana home, admits his glittering career is on the line on February 23, and that means ‘La Zorrita’ will put everything on the line against Rios.

“I’m grateful to Eddie Hearn for getting me on a card early in the year,” said Rios. “I want to stay active so I can get closer to my goal and becoming a Champion once again.

“Man, I’m excited to fight in Mexico, I haven’t fought there in ten years. The Mexican fanbase has supported me since day one and everything I give in the ring is for my family and my fans, who have never let me down.

“I’ve been staying busy in the gym, so I’m ready to give the fans a great fight. The fights the fans love to see!”

“I cannot wait for February 23,” said Soto. “I am so excited for this great opportunity in a city that feels like my second home.

“I know that this fight is a ‘do or die,’ that is why I am very motivated and training really hard. We know that we have a tough opponent in Brandon Rios, a true warrior, but so am I. This will be a war and I will be ready to win!”

There’s a stacked undercard in support of the main event, led by the rematch between Jose ‘Gallito’ Quiniro (20-2-3 9KOs) and Joel Cordoba (7-4-2 1KO). The Mexicans shared a draw in a Christmas cracker in December and will return to the same venue as that clash to find a winner this time.

It’s a huge night for two youngsters making their first strides in the paid ranks. Alexis Espino makes his professional debut on the card, with the 19 year old Las Vegas native and decorated amateur itching to get life in the pro game underway on a proud night for his Mexican family.

Rangy teenage sensation Diego Pacheco fights for the second time in the pros after a first round KO win on his debut in Tijuana in December. Pacheco cleaned up in the amateur ranks as an eight-time national champion and number one ranked Middleweight in both America and Mexico, and the 17 year old turned over on the back of recent stand out victories in the 2017 National Junior Golden Gloves and the 2018 USA Junior Olympic Nationals.

A trio of unbeaten Mexicans complete the current line-up in the shape of 2016 Olympian Joselito Velasquez (7-0 6KOs), Omar ‘Pollo’ Aguilar (11-0 10KOs) and Sulem Urbina (8-0 1KO), with more to action be added.

“I’m excited to be in Tijuana on March 23 for our first Mexican show with a real old school shoot-out between Brandon Rios and Humberto Soto,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Brandon stole the show in Kansas recently on DAZN against Ramon Alvarez and there should be real fireworks in this one.

“It’s a stacked card with a tasty rematch between Jose Quiniro and Joel Cordoba, unbeaten Mexicans in Olympian Joselito Velasquez, Omar Aguilar and Sulem Urbina, and the return of our 17 year old star Diego Pacheco along with Robert Garcia trained Alexis Espino who will also make his debut on the card.”