The highly anticipated “Superfly” series returns to the fabulous Forum as former world champion Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada takes on two-time title contender Felipe “El Gallito” Orucuta on Saturday, Sept. 8 for a 12-round toe-to-toe battle that will set up the WBC mandatory for the super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for a title. The televised bout will commence on HBO Boxing After Dark at 6:45 p.m. PT/ 9:45 p.m. ET.
Estrada (36-3, 25 KOs) delivered a spectacular performance against Rungvisai last Feb. but fell short of a victory in a tight majority decision. Most boxing aficionados felt it took Estrada a few rounds too long to adjust to Rungvisai’s overwhelming style; though he landed heavy shots in the later rounds, Rungvisai reciprocated with punches of his own that staggered “El Gallo.”
Coming off five consecutive knockout wins, Orucuta (36-4, 30 KOs) has the momentum and boxing ability to give Estrada a competitive fight. Should he continue his knockout streak, he would be the first to score a knockout against the former Mexican champion whose three losses have all come at the judges’ hands. Many would also argue Estrada’s level of opposition is far superior to Orucuta’s most recent opponents, which is what will give Estrada the edge.
“I’m training very hard for this fight in the mountains of Mexico and will be ready for victory and to put on a great show on September 8,” Estrada said at the initial press conference. “I’m very happy to be here. I wanted the rematch with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai; hopefully, that can happen at Superfly 4. I would also like to fight ‘Chocolatito’ and avenge my loss from 2012.”
The co-main event will feature three-division world champion Donnie “Snake” Nietes who will step in the ring with fellow countryman Aston “Mighty” Palicte for the vacant WBO World Super Flyweight title.
As the longest reigning champion in the Philippines, Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KOs) looks to become champion in yet another division, and eventually face names like Rungvisai, Estrada, and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
“I know Aston is taller and younger than me,” Nietes said at his media workout. “But I know how to fight tall fighters and my experience will be a big factor in the fight. I am happy for this fight and the exposure that it will bring me. There are a lot of good fighters in the super flyweight division and I look forward to fighting Juan Francisco Estrada if we both win on Saturday, September 8 at the Forum.”
A hungry contender, Palicte (24-2, 20 KOs) looks confident and enthusiastic about the opportunity. Having fought in the super flyweight division for the majority of his boxing career, being comfortable in his weight could serve as a significant advantage for the 27-year-old fighter.
“I am the stronger, faster fighter in this bout and I need to take advantage of my height and reach,” said Palicte. “I believe I can knockout Nietes and make a name for myself with this win. If not by knockout I will get a decision. This is a fantastic fight for all Filipino boxing fans and we will continue the great tradition of Filipino boxing.”
Filipino fans are some of the most devoted boxing fans, and regardless of who rises victorious, the Philippines will still have a champion.
In the T.V. opening bout,three-division world champion Kazuto Ioka (22-1-0, 13 KO’s), of Osaka, Japan, battles WBC Super Flyweight Silver Champion McWilliams Arroyo (17-3-0, 14 KO’s), of Fajardo, Puerto Rico in a 10-round title bout.
Arroyo comes from an impressive performance against former champion, Carlos “El Principe” Cuadras on the Superfly 2 card last Feb. and looks to defeat another champion in Ioka.
“There’s a lot of hype around Ioka but I’m the best fighter he’s faced,” Arroyo said at his media workout. “I had a great win against Carlos Cuadras, I was overlooked then and feel that I’m being overlooking now. None of that will matter on Saturday night when I’ll be victorious and ready to move on to bigger fights.”
A three-division world champion, Ioka is coming out of a short retirement to have his first fight in the U.S. and put on a fantastic show for fight fans.
“It would mean a great deal to me if I can become the first four-time world champion from Japan but first I have to conquer Arroyo.”
The undercards will be available for a live stream atand all 360 Promotions’ social media platforms starting at 4:00 p.m. P/T.