WBA and WBO flyweight champion Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada (25-2, 18 KO) is one of the best young champions in the sport. At 24 years old, he’s already had 27 fights and captured two world titles.
Because he competed as a flyweight, his impressive resume flies under the radar in the boxing community.
On Saturday night, Estrada will defend his titles against tough Filipino Richie “Magnum” Mepranum (27-3-1, 6 KO) in the champion’s home town of Sonora, Mexico.
Can Mepranum come in and pull the monumental upset?
When: Saturday, April 26 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Puerto Peñasco, Mexico
The Book on Mepranum
Though Mepranum doesn’t bring a wealth of punching power into the ring, the 26-year-old is a shade taller and experienced. This is his second opportunity to win a world title.
He was knocked out by Julio Cesar Miranda in 2010 when both fought for the vacant WBO title.
Mepranum was just 21 years old then.
He’s hoping more maturity and experience will guide him to a better result this time around.
The Book on Estrada
Having an opportunity to fight in front of his hometown fans was important to Estrada. Per Rafael Soto of Zanfer Promotions (in Spanish)—the organization that promotes both fighters—Estrada turned down potentially more lucrative sites to have this bout on his home turf.
In an interview with Soto, Estrada couldn't hide his excitement:
I am very motivated and excited. I can not believe that what we dreamed many times is becoming a reality, and now I will defend my titles in front of my people. I thank God for all that he has given me. We will make a great defense and a great party for me and all.
As a rising star in the sport, it may have been a smarter decision to have the bout in the United States. It’s possible a stateside location could have led to TV coverage.
That would have generated more exposure for him.
In any case, Estrada is looking to make Mepranum just another link in his chain of victims.
Mepranum is a slick puncher, with a slight edge in length (5’6” to 5’5”), but he isn’t as explosive as Estrada.
The champion has very good power, especially as a counter puncher. He’s always aggressive, but because he’ll be eager to make a statement in front of his fans, Estrada will apply even more pressure to Mepranum.
I’m betting Magnum lacks the firepower to keep the champion at bay. Estrada will retain his title with a seventh-round TKO.
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