Junior bantamweight world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, one of boxing's pound-for-pound best, will make his mandatory defense against Juan Francisco Estrada in a much-anticipated rematch on April 26.
They will return to The Forum in Inglewood, California -- where they waged an action-packed fight on Feb. 24, 2018 -- in the main event of a DAZN-streamed card, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced Tuesday.
The co-feature of the card, also announced Tuesday, is another significant fight as junior featherweight world titleholders Daniel Roman and TJ Doheny will meet in a unification bout.
Hearn will host a news conference to kick off the promotion on March 5 in Los Angeles.
When Sor Rungvisai and Estrada first met last year, Sor Rungvisai won a hotly contested majority decision in the headline fight of the "Superfly 2" card.
In his next fight, Estrada, (38-3, 26 KOs), 28, a former unified flyweight titlist from Mexico, outpointed Felipe Orucuta in a title elimination bout to earn a mandatory rematch with Sor Rungvisai, who will be making the fourth defense of his second 115-pound title reign.
After the fight with Estrada, Sor Rungvisai returned to his native Thailand -- where he became a national hero thanks to a pair of victories in title fights against Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez -- for his next two bouts. Now Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41 KOs), a 32-year-old southpaw, is on his way back to the United States for the first fight of the promotional deal he signed with Hearn last month.
"I am extremely excited and honored to be back fighting in the U.S. again," said Rungvisai, who fought three times in a row in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018, including both wins over Gonzalez and Estrada. "Estrada is a great fighter and we had an amazing fight last year. Our Round 12 was awarded round of the year by WBC. That is an evidence of how entertaining the previous fight was.
"I believe that this fight on April 26 will be even more entertaining. I am training extremely hard in Thailand and I am confident I will be the winner on April 26."
Roman (26-2-1, 10 KOs), 28, of Los Angeles, had been ordered to make a mandatory defense against Murojdon Akhmadaliev, but he was given an exception by the WBA in order to face unify with Doheny, his IBF counterpart.
Roman will be making the fourth defense of his 122-pound belt and is happy to be coming home to fight after winning his title in Japan, making his first defense there and also making defenses in Frisco, Texas, and Chicago.
"This is the biggest and most important fight of my career," Roman said. "I haven't been shy about wanting to unify the division. This is the fight that I've been asking for since I became a world champion [in September 2017]. I need to deliver on my goal of becoming the best and a win against another world champion puts me in that conversation.
"It will be a new experience for me because I'm not fighting a challenger. I'm fighting another belt holder. It's exciting in a lot of ways. I'll be at my best because I'm planning to add another title on April 26. It feels pretty damn good to fight in front of my hometown fans. My last five fights have been away from home, but I don't feel any added pressure in this homecoming of sorts. I know I have a job to do. Nothing is easy at this point. It's going to be a heck of a fight. Two world champions fighting for control of the division. What more could you want?"
Doheny (21-0, 15 KOs), 32, an Ireland native fighting out of Australia, also won his belt in Japan, doing so by controversial decision over Ryosuke Iwasa in August. He made his first defense via 11th-round knockout of Ryohei Takahashi on Jan. 18 in New York in his first fight since signing with Hearn.
"This was my ideal scenario," Doheny said. "Get the voluntary defense out of the way [in January], then go straight into the unification, so great work from my team, and Eddie Hearn with Matchroom Boxing USA for getting this fight on. It's unbelievable. It would mean the world to me. It's just another boxed ticked. After I won the world title, the next goal was to become a unified champion. I'm looking forward to achieving that."
Don't expect much trash talk from Roman and Doheny. That is not their style.
"We met in the ring after the fight in New York, and there was a lot of respect for each other. That's the way it should be," Doheny said. "We're two world-class fighters, two world champions in the division. A fight like this doesn't need any false hype. I think that when you've got two world-class fighters like this that's enough of a selling point for a high-caliber fight like this.
"Danny's a great fighter. He adds a lot of pressure. He's a great puncher, great punch selection, he's got it all really. It's going to be a great fight between us, and I won't be surprised if the fans get to see a bit of a war. Fighting Danny in his home city, that doesn't bother me. I've been fighting on the road my whole career, so it will be no different to me. It's me and him in the ring, and it's going to be all action."
The card will also include former junior welterweight and welterweight world titleholder Jessie Vargas, who is moving up to junior middleweight. Hearn had talked about Vargas next facing British star Kell Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) but Vargas will take an interim fight in what could be a prelude to that bout.
Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs), 29, of Las Vegas, will face an opponent to be determined in his first fight with trainer Freddie Roach after parting ways with Mike McCallum. Roach will also have former junior featherweight world titlist Scott Quigg (35-2-2, 26 KOs), 30, of England, who is now fighting at junior lightweight, facing an opponent to be determined on the card.