Promoter Tom Loeffler's "Superfly 2" card continued to come together on Tuesday, with the announcement of the opening bout of the Feb. 24 tripleheader at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Former world titleholder Carlos Cuadras and former two-time title challenger McWilliams Arroyo will square off in the scheduled 10-round opener of a "Boxing After Dark" card (HBO, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT) that will feature three bouts in the junior bantamweight division, which is also known as the super flyweight division.
"We're very excited to add this classic matchup of Mexico versus Puerto Rico to the 'Superfly 2' HBO tripleheader in what will be one of the most entertaining boxing events of 2018," Loeffler said.
The card -- headlined by the previously announced fight between world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 KOs), 30, of Thailand, and mandatory challenger and former unified flyweight titlist Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs), 27, of Mexico -- is a follow-up to the exciting card Loeffler put on Sept. 9 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
In that tripleheader, Sor Rungvisai scored a crushing fourth-round knockout of former four-division world champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez in their rematch, and Estrada narrowly outpointed Cuadras in a title eliminator to earn a shot at Sor Rungvisai.
But Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs), 29, of Mexico, fought very well in losing 114-113 on all three scorecards in an entertaining fight, making HBO's decision to bring him back for "Superfly 2" a no-brainer.
"Carlos Cuadras has proved to be one of the most exciting and most popular fighters in boxing over the last couple of years with his action-packed fights being telecast on HBO," Loeffler said. "His close fight with Roman Gonzalez last year at The Forum was a fight of the year candidate, as was his war with Juan Francisco Estrada at the first 'Superfly' event on Sept. 9."
Cuadras is happy to be in yet another high-profile fight in one of boxing's deepest weight classes.
"This is exactly what I want, to fight the best fighters in the division on the biggest stages," Cuadras said. "I love fighting in Los Angeles and for this fight I'm planning on training in Big Bear Lake, California, with [trainer] Abel Sanchez. If I win this fight I'll be one step closer to getting my title back."
Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs), a 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian, has had two cracks at a world title, losing by split decision to Amnat Ruenroeng in Thailand in 2014 and in his last bout, a near-shutout decision to Gonzalez at The Forum in April 2016.
Arroyo, 32, will be coming off a 22-month layoff when he meets Cuadras, but he said he is ready to go.
"My fight with Chocolatito was a great experience," Arroyo said. "I loved fighting at The Forum with its loud and passionate fans and history of great fights, particularly in the lower weight classes. I can't wait to get to Los Angeles to face Cuadras."
Said Loeffler: "With previous fights against Chocolatito, Cuadras and Williams both know what it takes to face the best in the world."
Loeffler is working on the third bout for the card and he said it could involve either Japanese star Naoya "Monster" Inoue (14-0, 12 KOs), 24, who made an impressive United States debut by knocking out Antonio Nieves in the sixth round to retain his 115-pound belt on the "Superfly" card in September, or world titleholder Khalid Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs), 28, of England.
Inoue would need to come through a title defense against France's Yoan Boyeaux (41-4, 26 KOs) on Dec. 30 in Yokohama, Japan, to be considered.