By Francisco Salazar
Sept. 9 cannot get here soon enough for boxing fans.
The 'Superfly' card, also known as the best fight card of 2017, will take at the Stubhub Center in Carson, California and will air live on HBO (10:15 p.m. ET/ 7:15 p.m. PT).
The three-fight telecast will be headlined by the 12 round bout between WBC 115-pound titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 knockouts) and Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez (46-1, 38 KOs). The fight is a rematch from their March 18 clash in New York City, a fight that Sor Rungvisai won by controversial decision over Gonzalez.
It is a high-anticipated clash between the two fighters, along with the all-Mexico clash between boxer-punchers Carlos Cuadra (36-1-1, 27 KOs) and Juan Francisco Estrada (35-2, 25 KOs) in a 12 round bout. As if the fight card cannot get any better, highly-touted Naoya Inoue (13-0, 11 KOs) of Japan will defend his WBO 115-pound title against Antonio Nieves (17-1-2, 9 KOs).
Inoue will be making his U.S. debut.
Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports, believes the highly-anticipated fight card could exceed the high expectations boxing fans have on the action the card could deliver.
"All (six) fighters are going to be hungry because there's a lot at stake," Nelson told BoxingScene.com in a recent interview. "All of them have a lot to prove."
"All three bouts are 50-50 fights and it is anyone's guess (who will win each fight). So to have three fights that will go any direction, where after the fights are over, you can mix and match these fighters in any way and come out with great fights.
The Sept. 9 card will be the first of three consecutive weekends of programming on HBO networks. The following weekend, Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) will face Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) in a 12 round middleweight bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. HBO Pay-Per-View will broadcast the card.
On Sept. 23, Jorge Linares (42-3, 27 KOs) will defend his WBA lightweight title against Luke Campbell (17-1, 14 KOs) at The Forum in Inglewood, a suburb of Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, HBO was criticized for not broadcasting enough regular HBO telecasts. There was also the fallout between HBO and Top Rank, which negotiated a deal to have ESPN broadcast their fight cards.
With money that would have been earmarked for Top Rank now free to be used by other promoters, HBO could purchase more quality fight cards to broadcast later this year and in 2018.
Not only is Nelson satisfied with the programming for this month, but for what could be broadcast in the immediate future.
"To have this card on Sept. 9 be the appetizer for Sept. 16, the best fight that can possibly be made in boxing with Canelo (Alvarez) and (Gennady) Golovkin, where fans have been dying to see this fight for the last two years, are now going to get what they're asking for."
"It's a great privilege for the network to be involved with the athletes of this caliber."
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing