Newly crowned WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine Flyweight World Champion Marlen Esparza (12-1, 1 KOs) of Houston, TX, is set to defend her three world titles for the first time against her mandatory, former WBA Interim Flyweight World Champion Eva “La Ley” Guzman (19-1, 11KOs) from Maracay, Venezuela on Saturday, August 6 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX. The 10-round flyweight event will serve as the co-main event for Vergil Ortiz, Jr. vs. Michael Mckinson.
Also, on the card, Dallas, TX fan favorite Maurice “Might Mo” Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) will face Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (15-1-1, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia, PA, in a 10-round welterweight fight. Opening the DAZN stream, Bektemir “The Bully” Melikuziev (9-1, 7 KOs) of Indio, CA, will take on Sladan “The Miner” Janjanin (32-10, 24 KOs) of Boston, MA in an 8-round super middleweight event. All fights will stream live worldwide, exclusively on DAZN starting at 5:00 p.m. PT / 7:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. ET.
Also on the card and part of The Golden Boy Fight Night: Ortiz Jr. vs. McKinson Prelims on DAZN and the Golden Boy Boxing YouTube page, Alex “Chi Town Heat” Martin (17-4, 6 KOs) returns to the ring against the battle-tested warrior Henry “Hank” Lundy (31-10-1, 14 KOs). The 10-round super lightweight fight will be part of the preliminary bouts ahead of the DAZN broadcast hosted by Golden Fight Night’s Beto Duran and Texas rising boxing star Alex Rincon. Additional fights on the card will be announced shortly.
“I am ready for Eva Guzman. Mandatory defense or title fight, all fights are serious business for me!” said Marlen Esparza.
“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for to prove I am the best,” said Eva Guzman. “After this victory, the whole world will know I am the most dangerous fighter at 112 pounds.”
“Im ready to show the world I’m still a warrior,” said Maurice Hooker. “I’m ready to give them a fight they will always remember.”
“Blair the Flair is saying absolutely nothing. See you August 6,” said Blair Cobbs.
“It’s been a long time in training camp, the opponents pulled out, the dates rescheduled, so I am happy to finally have a fight and step back in the ring on August 6 on a big Golden Boy show,” said Bektemir Melikuziev.
Marlen Esparza was born to make history in boxing. Born in Houston, Texas, Marlen Esparza began her boxing career at 12 years old after growing up in a household that loved the sport. In May 2012, Esparza became the first American woman to qualify to compete in the 2012 Olympics in London, the first year that women’s boxing made its debut as an Olympic event. She would win the bronze medal in the women’s flyweight division. In 2017, Esparza became the first female fighter signed by Golden Boy Promotions.
In 2021, Esparza had a successful year, with an unanimous decision victory against Ibeth Zamora Silva for the WBC Flyweight World Championship and successfully defended her new world championship title against former world champion Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz. On April 9, as part of the undercard of Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe, Esparza faced her toughest challenge to date, taking on five-division world champion Naoko Fujioka. The fight pitted the #1 vs. #2 in the female flyweight division, granting them the honor of fighting for the first-ever Ring Magazine Female Flyweight World Championship. After 10-rounds of non-stop action from two of the mightiest female fighters in the flyweight division, the judges ruled in favor of Esparza unanimously, crowning her the new WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine World Champion.
An accomplished fighter since her professional debut in 2015, Eva Guzman has rapidly risen the ranks to a world championship by defeating some of the toughest fighters in the division. Her first big test came in 2018 when she faced Yaditza Perez for the IBA World Minimumweight World Championship. In 2021, she earned the most significant accomplishment in her career thus far, moving up in weight and fighting in Mexico for the first time against Isabel Millan to claim the crown as the WBA’s newest Interim Flyweight World Champion. The new title had also earned her the honor of becoming the new mandatory to fight Marlen Esparza for the WBA Flyweight World Championship, something she has dreamed of becoming since her professional debut.
Knockout sensation and the pride of Grand Prairie, Texas, Vergil Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs), will make his grand return to the ring on Saturday, August 6, taking on top 10 ranked, undefeated welterweight contender Michael “The Problem” McKinson (22-0, 2 KOs) of Portsmouth, Great Britain. The 12-round welterweight fight will take place at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and will stream live worldwide, exclusively on DAZN.
Ortiz-McKinson was originally scheduled to fight on March 19, but Ortiz was forced to pull out after being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis.
“I am very happy to be stepping back into the ring again,” said Vergil Ortiz, Jr. “I’m ready to show the world once again why I’m ready for a world title.”
“I’m getting what I deserve,” said Michael McKinson. “I was prepared to fight Ortiz, Jr. before; now, I have been given the opportunity again to prove I am the best in this division.”
“Vergil Ortiz, Jr. is the most exciting welterweight in the world,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO. “We are happy that he is back, healthy, and feels 100%. Fighting in his home state, I can’t think of a better way for him to make his comeback and put on another great performance for his fans. He is one step away from challenging any world champion and he will prove it on August 6.”
Vergil Ortiz Jr. boasts a perfect knockout undefeated record and is considered one of the most exciting fighters in the welterweight division. Originally scheduled to return to the ring on March 19 in Los Angeles against Michael “The Problem” McKinson, Ortiz, Jr. suffered a medical emergency that forced him to pull out of that fight. Fortunately, the fighter is now 100% healthy to return and is looking to make an impressive comeback in front of his hometown when he faces McKinson at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX. Ortiz, Jr. was last seen in the ring in a fantastic TKO victory against world title contender Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas in August 2021. In addition, he has faced and won against some of the toughest fighters in the division, knocking out contenders like Antonio “Relentless” Orozco, Brad “King” Solomon, and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker.
Ranked as one of the top 10 best welterweights in the world, Michael McKinson is an undefeated fighter ready to face any contender in the division. Hailing from Portsmouth, Great Britain, the 27-year-old made his US debut on March 19, defeating Alex “Chi-Town Heat” Martin after a last minute change due to the cancellation of Ortiz, Jr. vs. McKinson. Now a notable name in the boxing scene, McKinson has enjoyed an accomplished career capturing titles including the WBC International Silver Welter Title and the WBO European and Global Welter titles. Now, the UK fighter will be looking to show that he has what it takes to defeat Ortiz, Jr. in his home turf and prove he belongs among the division’s elite.