It's fair to say that the hardcore fans have been really enjoying the lower weights in recent years with many of the best fights from the last decade coming in weights often avoided by US TV. Today however there are rumours that HBO 2 may be set to air a lower weight extravaganza on March 8th in a card that could give many smaller fighters the biggest exposure of their career and help to expand the fans base of both the fighters and the divisions they compete in. Better yet it's also likely to be a relatively cheap cost for the channel.
For a while we have known that Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0, 5) would be defending his IBF Flyweight title against Zou Shiming (6-0, 1) in Macau on March 8th. It now seems possible that the card will be packed with fellow smaller men and could end up featuring a trio of world title bouts.
The first of those is the much rumoured WBO Light Flyweight title fight between Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes (34-1-4, 20) and former unified Minimumweight champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr (16-2-1, 11). This bout has been hinted for weeks and although not yet confirmed it does seem to be very likely. The big question is whether it will be on this particular show or on an ALA promoted show in the Philippines.
A second rumoured title bout would see unified Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (31-2, 22), the current holder of the WBO and WBA "super" titles, rematching the insanely popular Brian Viloria (35-4-0-2, 21). The men first met back in April 2013 on the show that was headlined by Shiming's debut and a rematch on another Shiming headlined card would allow HBO and Top Rank to sell a possible “winner Vs winner” bout some where down the line. An alternative to a "winner Vs winner" scenario is that HBO use it to build towards a rematch between Estrada and the unbeaten Roman Gonzalez (41-0, 35), a bout almost every fan seems to want.
As well as the 3 world title bouts there is also a host of rumours about other men being involved on this card. Those men include former multi-weight world champion Nonito Donaire (33-3, 21), who would certainly add some star power, and Jerwin Ancajas (22-1-1, 14).
If this show comes off as the rumours are suggesting we may well end up with a real showcase of some of the best talent below Featherweight. If that happens then we really can't complain.
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