On Friday, Sept. 15, one day before the highly anticipated battle for middleweight supremacy between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, WBA Interim Featherweight Champion Claudio Marrero (22-1, 16 KOs) will make the first defense of his title against Jesus Rojas (25-1-2, 18 KOs) in the 12-round main event of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas. The ESPN3 livestream of the undercard bouts begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, followed by the main event at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN Deportes and streaming live on ESPN3 and on ESPN2 at 1:15 a.m. ET/10:15 p.m. PT.
Marrero, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, captured the Interim WBA Featherweight Title with a devastating first-round knockout of Carlos Zambrano in April 2017. Though suffering his only defeat against Jesus Cuellar in 2013, Marrero has scored six victories since then, five of them by knockout.
Rojas will return after an impressive eighth-round technical knockout victory against the previously undefeated Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez. The native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, has taken on the likes of former world champion Jorge “El Travieso” Arce and Jorge “El Pilón” Lara of Mexico (who will take on Joseph “JoJo” Diaz in the co-main event of Canelo-Golovkin). Rojas will look to take yet another step towards the top of the 126-pound division with a victory over Marrero.
In the co-main event, Boston’s Rashidi “Speedy” Ellis (18-0, 12 KOs) will make the second defense of his IBF North American title against Juan Carlos “Merengue” Abreu (19-3-1, 18 KOs). Ellis earned his crown with an impressive first-round knockout victory over Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez in December 2016. In his first defense, Ellis fought in a toe-to-toe battle against John Karl Sosa en route to a majority decision victory in April 2017. Ellis faces a tough challenge in Abreu, a veteran of the Dominican Republic with tough fights against Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano and Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto on his resume.
Ryan “Kingry” Garcia (10-0, 9 KOs) will open up the ESPN Deportes transmission in an eight-round fight for the Junior NABF Super Featherweight title against Miguel Carrizoza (10-2, 2 KOs) of Nogales, Mexico. Garcia, a young prospect of Victorville, Calif., is coming off a spectacular first-round knockout of Mario Antonio Macia and will look to earn his seventh knockout victory in a row on Sept. 15.
Horacio “Violento” Garcia (32-3-1, 22 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico will take on fellow
countryman Diuhl Olguin (11-7-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super bantamweight rematch. In their first encounter, Garcia lost via an upset unanimous decision in July of this year. In the night’s swing bout, Alexis “Laberinto” Salazar (11-3, 3 KOs) of Tlaquepagque, Mexico will take on Evan Torres (6-4, 5 KOs) of El Paso, Texas in a scheduled six-round middleweight fight. The bout will be a rematch of their May 2017 fight, which Salazar won via close split decision.
Opponents for former IBF champion Jose “El Tecuala” Argumendo (20-3-1, 11 KOs), who will participate in an eight-round minimumweight bout, and Philadelphia’s Damon “No Smilin'” Allen, Jr. (12-0-1, 5 KOs), who will return in an eight-round lightweight fight, will be announced shortly.
Marrero vs. Rojas is a 10-round featherweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with TGB Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD; Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle; and Interjet.
The event will beheld at the MGM Grand Marquee Ballroom in Las Vegas on Friday, Sept. 15. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. PT, and the first fight begins at 3:30 p.m. PT. The ESPN3 livestream of the undercard bouts begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. on ESPN Deportes and streaming live on ESPN3 and on ESPN2 at 1:15 a.m. ET / 10:15 p.m. PT.
Tickets priced at $10, $25, $50 and $75 for Marrero vs. Rojas will go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 10:00 a.m. PST. *Receive VIP seating to the Canelo vs. Golovkin Weigh-in with the purchase of a $75, $50 or $25 ticket, subject to availability. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the TicketMaster Contact Center at (800) 745-3000 or MGM Resorts Contact Center at (866) 740-7711. Tickets will also be available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.mgmgrand.com and various MGM Resorts Box Offices. All ticket prices do not include service fees or applicable service charges.