Jaime Munguia got a new date and a new opponent for his upcoming return to the ring yesterday, and now he’s got a supporting cast as well. In addition to his clash with D’Mitrius Ballard, April 23rd will see heavyweight prospect Arslanbek Makhmudov face journeyman Nagy Aguilera and Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza challenge Ibeth Zamora for the WBC flyweight title.
Heavyweight monster Arslanbek “Lion” Makhmudov makes his U.S. debut in the co-main event April 23 #MunguiaBallard— Golden Boy (@GoldenBoyBoxing) April 9, 2021
+ Marlen Esparza will challenge Ibeth Zamora for her WBC flyweight world championship! pic.twitter.com/299t6mYgC1
The 6’5.5”, >260-pound Makhmudov (11-0, 11 KO) has ended eight of his 11 pro bouts inside the first round, including rapid finishes of Sam Peter and Dillon Carman in his last two efforts. There’s a reasonable chance he does the same to Aguilera (21-10, 14 KO), who falls short against capable opposition with clockwork regularity and who ended a three-year layoff last November with a six-round decision over 24-46-8 Terrell Jamal Woods.
“The ‘Lion’ is coming to destroy everyone in the heavyweight division,” said Arslanbek Makhmudov.
”Training camp is going great,” said Nagy Aguilera. “The time off really helped me heal. People don’t know I had a lot of injuries in my career but no excuses. I always showed up to fight. I am coming to win. I’m not coming to lay down.”
Zamora (32-6, 12 KO), BoxRec’s #1 woman at 112 pounds, has lost just once in nearly nine years, a 2017 split decision over Esmeralda Moreno that ended a lengthy reign as WBC light flyweight champ. She beat Chaoz Minowa for her current title in 2018 and, after shaking off the rust with a gimme, defended it last December against Gabriela Sanchez Saavedra.
Esparza (9-1, 1 KO) fights for the third time since a bloody 2019 loss to Seniesa Estrada, most recently defeating Shelly Barnett on last month’s Shields-Dicaire undercard.
“I am so excited for this world title defense against Marlen Esparza,” said Ibeth Zamora. “It will be my first fight in the United States, so this is a great chance to show everybody what I am capable of by fighting on a massive stage on a Golden Boy event live on DAZN. I´m proud to bring my title and defend it against a fighter with Esparza’s experience. I am fully confident that my skills will help me come out on top, and I will prove to everybody why I am the WBC reigning flyweight champion and the best in the division.”
“I’m excited,” said Marlen Esparza. “I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to the WBC and Golden Boy for the opportunity to fight the world title. It’s been a dream and vision of mine to fight representing the WBC. I want people to see another great fight. I’m proud to be on the stage again with a great fighter, and I know there are a limited amount of major women’s fights, so I’m honored to have this opportunity. I am training hard and I am bringing my best. I can’t wait for the opening bell!”
The DAZN opener pits welterweight up-and-comer Blair Cobbs (14-0-1, 9 KO) against James Bacon (26-4, 17 KO). Over on the Facebook Watch undercard, Ferdinand Kerobyan (14-0-1, 9 KO) meets veteran Brad Solomon (29-3, 9 KO), and Ireland’s Aaron McKenna (11-0, 7 KO) takes on Carlos Ortiz (12-5, 12 KO). In addition, Evan Sanchez (8-0, 6 KO) and Yahu Blackwell (3-1, 2 KO) fight TBA and Chris Ousley (12-0, 9 KO) welcomes Sanny Duversonne (11-3-2, 8 KO) back to the ring.