Yesterday, reigning WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) and USBA Middleweight Champion Luis “Cuba” Arias (17-0, 8 KOs) participated in a media workout at the historic Tropical Park boxing gym in Miami. Both fighters are preparing for championship defenses on the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast of Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” on Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Rigondeaux will face interim WBA title holder Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs), while Arias takes on rising prospect Arif “The Predator” Magomedov (18-1, 11 KOs). The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Photos by Juan Carlos Fong.
The fighters put on a showcase that included shadow boxing, heavy bag, mitt work and stretching. They were joined by Roc Nation Latin artist Victoria La Mala, who will be the national anthem performer for June 17.
Below is what the fighters and La Mala had to say during the media workout:
Guillermo Rigondeaux, WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion:
“Training has been going excellent in Miami, we have been preparing for a great battle with Moises Flores. I respect Chucky, he's a great fighter and these are the types of big fights that are great for boxing. Nothing better than two undefeated fighters putting their records on the line.
“Flores is going to come prepared for the fight of his life and so am I. We never underestimate anyone and two undefeated warriors will be getting in the ring for an exciting fight on June 17.
“I have been constantly avoided by all the fighters in my division. I am the best in the world at 122 pounds and one of the top pound-for-pound fighters. I can't wait to show the world that I am still the best. I thank Flores for having the courage to get in the ring with me unlike many top contenders that have avoided the challenge. Tune in June 17 to watch two fighters bring all that they have to the ring. It’s going to be an exciting co-main event on this year's biggest boxing card.
“I'm happy for the opportunity to be part of such a big Pay-Per-View event, one of the biggest anticipated fights of the year - Ward vs. Kovalev 2. I’m very grateful to fight on such a big platform, and I want to let boxing fans know to expect nothing but an exciting fight. My opponents feel my power and run after the first round. Chucky Flores is a brave undefeated boxer that is coming with all he has, and we're ready to show why each of us is the best come June 17.
“I've had everyone in my division run away from any mentions of me in the ring with them. My team is first focused on the Flores fight, and we're ready to come and fight the best names in my division so that we can give the fans what they pay big Pay-Per-View money for, big exciting fights.
“I'm grateful to be a part of such a close community here in Miami, FL especially my boxing family at Tropical Park Boxing Gym. Miami is my home and I have all the support with me down here. I'm thankful for all the support that my fans brought during my training camp here in Miami. We have been able to bring boxing back here in Miami and make a great impact on the community, especially all the families that come to the park.”
LUIS ARIAS, USBA Middleweight Champion:
“June 17, I start cementing my name and legacy in this game! I’m ready to steal the show and prove that I stand amongst the best in the division.
“I’ve stepped up all levels of training. I train six days a week with two hours of boxing, one hour of strength and conditioning, and run 3.5 – 5 miles on average. I’m also working with one of the top nutritionists, Chris Alergi. He helps me with what to eat and how to monitor my weight. Can’t wait to show all of my progress on June 17.
“My message to Magomedov is simple…I hope he comes ready. He better be doing ‘em sit-ups. I’m coming!
“When I step in the ring, it’s not just about getting a win anymore. It’s about winning and looking good. I’ve built up my record. Now, I’m looking to put on an A-class performance. That’s what is going to make me stand out.
“My goal for the second half of 2017 is to put myself in top ‘contender’ position for what is probably the most stacked division in professional boxing. GGG, Canelo, Lemieux…bring them on!”
VICTORIA LA MALA:
“It’s an honor to be singing the national anthem at such an anticipated boxing event. Being from a Mexican family, I grew up watching boxing and am a huge fan of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. I can’t wait to cheer on my Roc family--Andre, Rigo and Luis--on June 17.”
Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight World Championships, is presented by Roc Nation Sports, Main Events, Andre Ward Promotions, Krusher Promotions and Corona Extra, sponsored by Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Jetlux, Life10 Water, Zappos and Powered by Monster. The championship event takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets for Ward-Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” are available on axs.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center box office.