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Martinez-Arroyo, Braekhus-McCaskill helm Matchroom’s August 15th U.S. return

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Martinez-Arroyo is for the WBC flyweight title.

Matchroom Boxing’s Fight Camp won’t be its only August endeavor. One day after Felix Cash and Jason Welborn headline Week 3 in Eddie Hearn’s backyard, the promotion will make its stateside return with two title fights and a whole mess of touted prospects.

The main event sees WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1, 12 KO) take on #1 contender McWilliams Arroyo (20-4, 15 KO) in the former’s second defense and the latter’s third championship bid. Martinez had been linked to a potential unification clash with WBA champ Artem Dalakian, but that unfortunately seems to have fallen through. Arroyo, who’d previously lost flyweight title fights to Amnat Ruenroeng and Chocolatito Gonzalez, is 3-0 at 112 since a two-fight stint at 115 saw him upset Carlos Cuadras and drop a decision to Kazuto Ioka.

At 34, this is almost certainly Arroyo’s last chance at the big time, and going by past experience, he’s likely to give it his all against the fearsome “Rey”.

“I am so happy to be back in the ring again and I promise you another war on August 15,” said Martinez. “With the unification fights ahead of me, it is important to take care of my mandatory challengers and I expect a tough fight with Arroyo. I believe 2020 and 2021 will see me unify and become undisputed and I can’t wait to put a smile back on boxing fans’ faces.”

“I am thrilled with this opportunity that my promoters Miguel Cotto Promotions, H2 Entertainment, and Golden Boy Promotions have given me since I am ranked number #1 in the WBC, and I am following my dream of becoming a World champion,” said Arroyo.

“I think Julio Cesar Martinez is a great champion. The fans will see a fight full of action due to the styles of both of us. It is very good for boxing Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, and I am eager to take the belt.”

Second billing goes to Cecilia Braekhus (36-0, 9 KO) vs. Jessica McCaskill (8-2, 3 KO), originally part of Matchroom’s stacked April 18th Regis Prograis-Maurice Hooker show (RIP). Very solid crossroads bout between the dominant-but-fading Braekhus and the capable McCaskill.

“Finally, we have a new fight date, and I cannot wait to return to battle,” said Brækhus. “It’s been an extended camp in Big Bear with my new trainer Abel Sanchez, and I’m very excited to defend my world titles against Jessica on August 15. I know how tough of a fight this is and will be well prepared for victory.

“Thanks very much to Abel, the Matchroom Boxing Team, and Tom Loeffler for all of their support during these unique times. And to my fans in Norway, the United States and all over the world, thanks so much for continuing to inspire me, I hear you loud and clear.”

“I’m just looking to make history and shock the world as I usually do every time,” said McCaskill. “I’m expecting to knock out Cecilia. I don’t know what round, but this extra time we’ve got to train before the fight is definitely going to make us a lot sharper and a lot stronger and smarter overall.

“I’ve been in the gym every day for multiple workouts, and I can’t wait to show what we’ve been working on.”

Also in store is a clash between 2016 silver medalist Shakhram Giyasov (9-0, 7 KO) and Mexico’s Francisco Rojo (22-3, 15 KO). Giyasov smashed Darleys Perez in 41 seconds last time out and Rojo’s only loss since 2013 was a split decision against Ryan Martin, though Rojo will be ending a two-year layoff.

“I’m very excited to defend my title on August 15 against Francisco Rojo,” said Giyasov. “I know how tough of a fight this is and have already started training with Coach Diaz in Southern California to prepare for victory.

“Huge thanks to my team at World of Boxing and Vadim Kornilov along with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN for this tremendous opportunity.”

“What a wonderful opportunity,” said Rojo. “My gym is now open, and I will be well prepared. I showed American fans I could fight when I fought Ryan Martin in Las Vegas, and I’ll remind them again when I beat Giyasov.”

The extended TBA clan meets Nikita “White Chocolate” Abibiy (8-0, 6 KO), Raymond Ford (5-0, 2 KO), and debuting amateur elite Marc Castro (0-0).

“I’m excited to start my professional journey to becoming a World champion,” said Castro. “The extra time has just made me even hungrier to get my career going, and I cannot wait to showcase what I will bring to the pro game.”

“I’m excited to light up that ring, it’s been way too long,” said Ababiy. “I’ve been working hard behind the scenes, and I will be looking to steal the show on August 16 – White Chocolate is back!”

“Due to injuries and this pandemic, it will be eight months before I fight again,” said Ford. “It feels great to get back in the ring finally. It’s been hard during the pandemic, but I used this time to work on my craft, and it made me go harder in the gym. On August 15, I will show the world why I’m the BEST prospect in boxing.”