Last Saturday, Golden Boy Promotions announced its August 16 Showtime tripleheader from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
IBF welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter will defend against Kell Brook in a main event to be supported by a rematch between WBC super middleweight titleholder Sakio Bika and Anthony Dirrell and a defense by WBC lightweight beltholder Omar Figueroa Jr. against Daniel Estrada.
“From the championship fight between Shawn Porter and Kell Brook to Omar Figueroa’s defense of his lightweight title against Daniel Estrada to the rematch that fans demanded between Sakio and Anthony Dirrell, Golden Boy Promotions continues to deliver on the promise of a simple premise – bringing the best fights to fans of boxing,” said Oscar De la Hoya, president and founder of Golden Boy Promotions.
“The StubHub Center’s reputation as the home to some of the best fights in boxing is only growing, and we’re proud to put on three more great fights that will only help cement that reputation.”
Porter (24-0-1, 15 knockouts), 26, was last in action for a fourth round stoppage of two-division titlist Paulie Malignaggi in April, which followed his unanimous decision over Devon Alexander for the belt in December.
“I think I have the edge on Brook with everything,” said Porter, a former sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao. “I’m faster than he is, stronger than he is, quicker than he is, more athletic and if you put all that in one fight, I’m going to be the winner.”
Brook (32-0, 22 KOs), 28, has scored four consecutive stoppage wins, including one in the fourth round over former titleholder Vyacheslav Senchenko, who retired Ricky Hatton with a ninth round knockout in November 2012.
“I’m confident I’m going to win. I’m planning on bringing Porter’s belt to the United Kingdom with me,” said Brook, who is coming off a tougher-than-expected eighth round knockout over Mexican welterweight champion Alvaro Robles last March 15. “I am fitter than ever and ready to go. I have been in training for a long time, so August 16, it’s the perfect date for me.”
In December, Bika, 35, battled to a draw with the switch-hitting Dirrell, 29, with Bika having been dropped in the fifth round and penalized a point for a foul.
“I feel I was fighting the referee [David Fields] as well,” said Bika, 35. “The body shot was a legitimate shot, not below the belt line. I got him on the belt line. Dirrell just wanted to milk it. I was the busier fighter and now I just want to fight the best ahead of me.”
Dirrell, however, was equally as confident.
“This fight has been on my mind since I heard the decision from our first fight. I’m just real excited to get it. I know I can beat Bika. I know I have what it takes and that’s what it is,” said Dirrell.
“It just takes hard work and dedication to stay focused on the game plan. I could have done better the first fight. I don’t feel like he was hitting me with more shots than I was hitting him with but I still think I won it. This time, it will be convincing.”
The 24-year-old Figueroa is coming off a split decision win over Jerry Belmontes in April to defend the belt he won after flooring Nihito Arakawa twice during a unanimous decision victory in July of 2013. Figueroa’s only blemish is a split draw with Arturo Quintero in November 2010.
The 29-year-old Estrada has won nine consecutive fights, including five by knockout. He also holds a win over Arakawa from November 2012, which came by tenth round technical decision after Estrada was caught in the eye by an accidental elbow.