Two-division world champion and pound for pound superstar VASYL "Hi-Tech" LOMACHENKO returns to a Los Angeles ring for the first time in over three years when he headlines an all-action card, Saturday, August 5, at Microsoft Theater, located at LA Live! Lomachenko will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title against two-time world title challenger and Top-10 contender MIGUEL "Escorpión" MARRIAGA. Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank.
The co-main event will feature three-time world title challenger and top-rated lightweight contender RAY "Sugar" BELTRAN defending his NABF and NABO lightweight titles against former two-time interim World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight world champion BRYAN VASQUEZ. The four gladiators boast a combined professional record of 102-12-1 (67 KOs).
Both title fights will be televised live and exclusively at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN app.
Beltran (33-7-1, 21 KOs), a native of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico who resides in Phoenix, AZ., was recently named the NABF Fighter of the Year. He enters this fight having won his last four fights by knockout. A two-time lightweight world title challenger and a former sparring partner of former eight-division world champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, Beltran still trains at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. with Pepe Reilly.
In his last fight, in the co-main event to the Terence Crawford - Félix Díaz world title fight on May 20, Beltran scored a sensational one-punch second-round knockout of Top-10 contender Jonathan Maicelo in a world lightweight title elimination bout that also had him retaining his NABF and NABO lightweight titles as well as claiming the vacant WBA International championship belt. It was also a fight that captured the nation's attention because not only was Beltran fighting for another world title shot but also a new life for himself and his family.
Winning his fight against Maicelo may prove to be the deciding factor in getting a green card via the "extraordinary athlete" status needed to qualify for the EB-1 green card typically available to certain sportspeople, entertainers, and masters of the arts and sciences. Recently, he has been in the U.S. under an athletic visa, but risked deportation when that document expired. It was story told by USA Today and followed by NBC News before the fight on "Today" and after on the "NBC Nightly News." Beltran is currently world-rated No. 2 by the WBO, the World Boxing Council (WBC).and the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
Vasquez (36-2, 19 KOs), from San Jose, Costa Rica, is a former two-time WBA interim super featherweight world champion. His professional resume features victories over Santos Benavides, Jorge Lacierva, René González, Jose Felix, Jr. and Sergio Thompson. He won the WBA interim super featherweight title in 2011, winning a dominant unanimous decision over Benavides.
He successfully defended the title the following year via a ninth-round TKO over Lacierva. Later that same year, he unsuccessfully challenged defending WBA super featherweight world champion Takashi Uchiyama losing by an eighth-round TKO. Vasquez recaptured the WBA interim super featherweight title the following year winning a five-round technical decision over González. Vasquez successfully defended the title once in 2014, during his one-year reign, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over then-undefeated contender Felix.
In 2015 he once again challenged for a world title, losing a unanimous decision to undefeated Javier Fortuna. for the vacant WBA super featherweight title. He successfully made his debut as a lightweight last summer, scoring a second-round TKO of Thompson. He is currently world-rated No. 1 by the WBA.