Julio Cesar Martinez-McWilliams Arroyo headlines Matchroom’s US return on August 15
Julio Cesar Martinez will defend his WBC flyweight title against mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo on August 15, Matchroom Boxing USA announced Monday afternoon.
The 12-round bout will take place at an outdoor venue in Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma and will stream live on DAZN.
Martinez (16-1 I NC, 12 knockouts), who resides in Mexico City, successfully defended his WBC title on February 29, dropping Jay Harris once en route to a unanimous decision victory. The fight card, which took place in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas, also marked the last Matchroom Boxing USA card before the COVID-19 pandemic derailed sporting events worldwide.
The 25-year-old won the vacant WBC title in his previous fight on December 20, battering Nicaragua’s Cristofer Rosales before stopping him in round 9. Martinez hopes he can unify the division later this year or in 2021 after getting by Arroyo.
“I am so happy to be back in the ring again on August 15,” said Martinez, who is ranked No. 3 at 112 pounds by The Ring. “With the unification fights ahead of me, it is important to take care of my mandatory challengers and I expect a tough fight with Arroyo. I believe 2020 and 2021 will see me unify and become undisputed and I can’t wait put a smile back on boxing fans faces.”
Arroyo (20-4, 15 KOs) last fought on December 7, stopping Juan Medina of the Dominican Republic after the end of round 5. The 34-year-old, who resides in Fajardo, Puerto Rico and is the twin brother of McJoe Arroyo, has won his last three bouts since losing to Kazuto Ioka in September 2018.
“I am very happy with this opportunity since I am ranked No. 1 by the WBC and I am following my dream of becoming a World champion,” said Arroyo. “I think Julio Cesar Martinez is a great champion the fans will see a fight full of action due to the styles of both of us. It is very good for boxing Puerto Rico vs. Mexico and I am eager to take the belt”
Arroyo’s other defeats have come at the hands of Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in 2016 and Amnat Ruenroeng in 2014.
In the co-feature, Cecilia Braekhus will defend her undisputed welterweight championship against Jessica McCaskill in a 10-round bout.
The Braekhus-McCaskill fight was originally scheduled to take place on April 17 in Oxon Hill, Maryland, but the card was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Braekhus (36-0, 9 KOs), who resides in Bergen, Norway, defeated Argentina’s Victoria Bustos by unanimous decision in her last bout on November 30. The 38-year-old will be making her 12th defense of the undisputed championship against McCaskill, who she is not overlooking.
“I cannot wait to return to battle,” said Braekhus, who is trained by Abel Sanchez in Big Bear Lake, California. “I’m very excited to defend my world titles against Jessica on August 15. I know how tough of a fight this is and will be well prepared for victory.”
McCaskill (8-2, 3 KOs) last fought on October 12, defeating Erica Farias of Argentina by unanimous decision. The Chicago resident has won her last three bouts since losing to Katie Taylor in December 2017 and plans on not leaving the outcome of the fight in the judges’ hands when she faces Braekhus.
“I’m just looking to make history and shock the world as I usually do every time,” said McCaskill. “I’m expecting to knock out Cecilia. I don’t know what round, but this extra time we’ve got to train before the fight is definitely going to make us a lot sharper and a lot stronger and smarter overall.”
Also on the card, hard-hitting junior welterweight prospect Shakhram Giyasov (9-0, 7 KOs) of Uzbekistan will square off against Mexico City’s Francisco Rojo (22-3, 15 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
Highly-decorated amateur Marc Castro will make his make his pro debut on August 15. He was also scheduled to fight on the April 17 card in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Middleweight Nikita Ababiy (8-0, 6 KOs) and featherweight Raymond Ford (5-0, 2 KOs) will round out the card in separate bouts.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing