World class boxing will return to the Orange County area as local hero Ronny Rios (29-2, 13 KOs), one of Golden Boy Promotions' outstanding talents, heads home to take on the explosive Armenian contender Azat "Crazy A" Hovhannisyan (13-2, 10 KOs) in the 10-round main event of the March 9 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at the Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif. ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 9:00 ET/6:00 p.m. PT and on ESPN2 at midnight ET/9:00 p.m. PT. ESPN 3 will live stream the fights beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 PT.
Rios, 29, is a long-time staple of the Golden Boy Promotions stable who has scored wins against the likes of Jayson "La Maravilla" Velez, Efrain Esquivias and Andrew "El Chango" Cancio. The pride of Santa Ana, Calif. earned his first world title opportunity against Rey Vargas for the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship in the HBO-televised co-main event to Cotto vs. Kamegai in Aug. 2017. Though unsuccessful in what was a spirited effort, Rios will use his hometown advantage to remind fans why he is one of the best contenders of 122-pound division.
Hovhannisyan is a fiery contender who is hungry for title glory. In his last fight, Hovhannisyan fought with an injured right hand across 10 rounds of grueling action to win the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Bantamweight Title on the undercard of Linares vs. Campbell in Sept. 2017. This all-action fighter will without a doubt have the support of the Armenian community as he invades the home turf of the local favorite.
In the televised co-main event, a family affair will be in full effect as Rios' younger brother, power-punching prospect Alexis Rocha (10-0, 7 KOs), returns in an eight-round welterweight fight against a soon-to-be-announced opponent. Rocha will return after his devastating performance against Pascual Salgado on the Nov. 16 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN in Cancun, Mexico. Rocha defeated Salgado via first-round knockout with a left hook to the liver, a shot that landed with the calculated help of a composed but dangerous style.
Marvin Cabrera (6-0, 5 KOs) of Los Angeles, Calif. will participate in an eight-round super welterweight bout, and Joseph Aguirre (19-0, 10 KOs) of Cancun, Mexico will compete in an eight-round lightweight affair. Opponents for both pugilists will be announced shortly.
Ticket and door information, along with a complete undercard of action, will be announced shortly.
Rios vs. Hovhannisyan is a 10-round super bantamweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, "THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING" and Hennessy, "Never Stop, Never Settle." The event will take place on Friday, March 9, 2018 at The Hangar at The OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif.ESPN Deportes will air the fights beginning at 9:00 ET/6:00 p.m. PT and on ESPN2 at midnight ET/9:00 p.m. PT. ESPN 3 will live stream the fights beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 PT.