Ring City USA, the new sports media startup that debuted its Thursday night boxing series in November 2020, announced their undercard today for its March 18 event, the next fight night of the boxing outfit’s three-event residency in Puerto Rico. The three-fight main card will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network in the United States and Puerto Rico, and on Twitch for fans outside of the U.S, live from Albergue Olimpico (Olympic Center) in Salinas.
The six-fight event is headlined by another chapter in the iconic Puerto Rico vs. Mexico ring rivalry as Alberto Machado (22-2, 18 KOs) of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, battles Angel ‘Tashiro’ Fierro (17-1-1, 13 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico, in a ten-round lightweight bout. Machado was previously slated to fight undefeated prospect Hector Tanajara who was forced to withdraw due to illness.
In the evening’s co-main event from Puerto Rico, Jose ‘Chiquro’ Martinez, (21-1-2, 14 KOs), of Las Marias, Puerto Rico, clashes with three-time world title challenger Israel ‘Jiga’ Gonzalez (26-4, 11 KOs) of Los Cabos, Mexico, in a ten-round bantamweight bout.
The 28-year-old Martinez looks to stay in the win column following a second-round knockout of Yeison Vargas in February 2020 in San Juan, P.R. His last four victories have come by knockout.
Following a hard-fought twelve-round decision loss to pound-for-pound great Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in October 2020, the 24-year-old Gonzalez defeated Samuel Gutierrez just two months later in December 2020 in San Lucas, Mexico. Martinez has also challenged world champions Khalid Yafai and Jerwin Ancajas for their title belts in the last three years.
A six-round light heavyweight fight will round out the main card on NBC Sports Network featuring Irish’ Joe Ward, (2-1, 2 KOs), of Moate, Ireland, who will look to avenge his pro debut setback against Marco ‘El Muneco’ Delgado, (7-1, 5 KOs), of Turlock, Calif.
Fighting at Madison Square Garden on October 5, 2019, Ward suffered a severe knee injury in the second round which delivered Delgado a technical knockout victory. Ward has bounced back with two first round knockouts taking place in December 2020 in Mexico. Since the victory over Ward, Delgado has continued his winning ways with a six-round decision over previously undefeated Burley Brooks in December 2020 in Arlington, Texas.
Headlining the Twitch undercard broadcast, which begins at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT, three-time world title challenger Maricela ‘La Diva’ Cornejo, (13-4, 5 KOs), of Los Angeles, Calif. faces off against Alma Ibarra (7-1, 4 KOs) of Monterrey, Mexico.
In the last three years, Cornejo has twice come up short against unified Super Middleweight World Champion Franchon Dezurn-Crews in her quest to win a world championship. Sandwiched between the two world title fights, Cornejo was victorious in a tremendous performance against veteran Erin Toughill on January 27, 2019 in front of her legion of hometown fans in Los Angeles.
A winner of her first seven fights, Ibarra looks to return to the win column following a hard-fought ten-round decision loss to undefeated WBA Interim Junior Middleweight Champion Raquel Miller on November 23, 2019.
In an eight-round flyweight battle, former world champion and knockout artist Angel ‘Tito’ Acosta, (21-2, 21 KOs), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, battles Gilberto Mendoza (17-9-3, 8 KOs) of Modesto, Calif.
The 30-year-old Acosta made three successful defenses of his world title before losing to Elwin Soto in June 2019. In his last fight in October 2019, Acosta stopped Raymond Tabugon in the fifth round. The upset-minded Mendoza hits the ring following a hard-fought decision loss to top undefeated Mexican prospect Sergio Rios Jimenez.
Rounding out the card in a six-round junior lightweight battle, top undefeated prospect Edwin ‘The Chin’ Valentin (9-0, 8 KOs) will fight in his hometown of Salinas when he faces veteran Hector Marengo (7-14-4, 4 KOs) of Arecibo, Puerto Rico.