The Alamodome on April 9 will be a night full of exciting action as popular fighters make their grand return to the ring for the first time in 2022.
Houston’s Marlen Esparza (11-1, 1 KOs) will take on Tokyo’s Naoko Fujioka (19-2-1, 17 KOs) in a 10-round fight in a showdown for the WBC and WBA flyweight world championships. The historic two-title showdown will be featured as part of the undercard for Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe in San Antonio, Texas, live, worldwide on DAZN. Also, part of the DAZN live stream, “King” Gabriel Rosado (26-14-1, 15 KOs) of Philadelphia, PA, will face-off against Shane Mosley Jr. (17-4, 10 KOs) of Pomona, CA in a 10-round fight for the WBA Continental Americas super middleweight title.
“I am training hard and excited for my return to San Antonio,” said Marlen Esparza. “We are both champions, and we get to fight for the first-ever ring magazine women’s flyweight world championship. Fireworks are what you can expect on April 9.”
“I am grateful to Golden Boy and everybody making this fight happen,” said Naoko Fujioka. “I believe that my last victory against Sulem Urbina opened the door for this bigger opportunity to fight Marlen Esparza and unify world titles. I’ve never been more excited. I am ready to go to her backyard and win!”
“I’m excited to get back and start the new year with a bang,” said Gabriel Rosado. “I’m back at 168, where I feel more comfortable. I won’t take Shane Mosley Jr. lightly, this is a big step-up fight for him, and I expect him to be at his best. I’m looking forward to making a run at the super middleweight division, and Shane Jr. is in my way. I respect his father, who is one of the best to do it. So this fight is nothing personal, it’s strictly business, and I plan to get the job done and put on a show for the fans in San Antonio, Texas! Get your popcorn ready, the ‘King’ is back!!!”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to fight on such a great card, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring,” said Shane Mosley, Jr. “This is going to be my first fight in 2022, and I am ready to show fans an exciting show on April 9.”
“We are excited and proud to put on a fan-friendly undercard for the anticipated matchup between Ryan Garcia and Emmanuel Tagoe,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “We always want to keep the fans in mind when we put together fights, and I know they will be glad to witness history in the making when #1 world-ranked Marlen Esparza faces #2 Naoko Fujioka for the inaugural Ring Magazine Flyweight World Championship. Both fierce fighters will also put their WBC and WBA Flyweight World Championships on the line for the honor of being crowned the unified female flyweight world champion. Also on the live stream, exciting warriors, Gabriel Rosado and Shane Mosley, Jr. will face off in a fan-friendly bout. This is a major test for both fighters as they both move up to super middleweight in a bid to forge a new path in the sport. I am so excited for this event; I can assure fans that San Antonio will be the place to be on April 9.”
2012 Bronze Olympic medal winner and current WBC flyweight world champion Esparza is seeking to make history when she faces WBA flyweight world champion Naoko Fujioka on April 9. Esparza is coming off a decision victory over former two-time world champion Anabel Ortiz in December 2021.
Fujioka is a five-division world champion, the first in Japan, and has faced tough opposition in her rise in the sport, beating the likes of Isabel Millan, Irma Sanchez, and Yosaka Valle. She was seen in July 2021, defeating Sulem Urbina, successfully defending her WBA flyweight world championship for the third time.