- Superfly 2 puts the spotlight back on boxing’s best the best 115-pounders (Sat. Feb. 24).
- Not everyone is sold on champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, even though he defeated pound-for-pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
- On the undercard, Cuadras looks to get back into the title conversation vs Arroyo.
After the rousing success that was HBO’s SuperFly, it was only a matter of time until we witnessed the sequel. With ESPN leaping back into the market in partnership with Top Rank, and Showtime releasing a blockbuster 2018 schedule, HBO Boxing needs to step up their game.
The lower weight classes don’t always get the recognition they deserve, but there is so much talent around 115 that it’s impossible to ignore. SuperFly 2 pits the newly-crowned king, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, against former flyweight champ Juan Francisco Estrada. Also on the card is a chance for Carlos Cuadras to bounce back from his loss and force himself back into title contention.
Where’s the value? Let’s preview the odds provided by Bovada. (Learn the advantages and drawbacks of Bovada’s sportsbook.)
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (+115) vs Juan Francisco Estrada (-145)
WBC super-yweight champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs) faces Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) for the headliner of SuperFly 2 in a fight that will determine the trajectory of the entire division. If Sor Rungvisai wins, then super flyweight belongs to him and him alone. However, if Juan Francisco Estrada wins, the division remains open.
Before last year, Sor Rungvisai wasn’t on anybody’s radar. Prior to fighting Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez for the title, he fought three professional debutants. Almost no one believed he stood a chance against Chocolatito, who was considered the top pound-for-pound fighter at the time. But the unknown Thai boxer punched (and head-butted) his way to a controversial decision victory. Then he returned for a rematch and laid Gonzalez flat within four rounds. Usually, that would be enough to convince the boxing world that you’re a world-class fighter, but there are still a few question marks hovering over Sor Rungvisai.
The hard-hitting Thai fighter packs an unusual amount of power for someone his size, but he’s not a particularly technical boxer and his wins are usually quite messy. Still, he gets the job done.
Estrada, one of the most polished fighters around, scored an extremely close win over Carlos Cuadras at SuperFly (114-113 on all three scorecards), which placed him next in line to take on the champ. He had an extremely successful campaign at flyweight, picking up the WBA and WBO titles and defending his belts five times, and now he’s here to take over super flyweight.
There are those who don’t believe that Sor Rungvisai is a worthy champ, and the odds reflect that sentiment. He has a lot of power but very little technical finesse, and that could prove problematic against a fighter known for out-boxing and out-foxing his opponents.
However, Sor Rungvisai’s strength cannot be dismissed. It may not be pretty to watch, but his wild fighting style is extremely effective. I picked against him for the Chocolatito fights and was made to eat crow both times. It’s time to stop underestimating him.
Pick: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (+115)
Carlos Cuadras (-600) vs McWilliams Arroyo (+400)
Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs) defeated Sor Rungvisai back in 2014 to claim the WBC super flyweight title, and made six successful defenses before losing to Chocolatito. His quest to climb back to the top of the division hit a snag when he lost a title eliminator to Estrada at SuperFly, so now he’s opting for a tune-up fight against the little-known McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs).
Cuadras is expected to dominate the fight, and a good showing would put him in contention to face the winner of the headliner. Regardless of who wins the main event, it makes sense for Cuadras to be the next opponent. If it’s Sor Rungvisai, it’ll be a chance for the Thai champ to avenge his 2014 loss. And if it’s Estrada, then it’ll be a rematch of an extremely close and entertaining fight.
McWilliams Arroyo has an impressive highlight reel, but he hasn’t fared well against quality opponents. Chocolatito made easy work of him in 2016 and the Puerto Rican hasn’t fought since. It’s easy to see why he’s at +400 odds. His record leaves a lot to be desired and he’s battling two years of ring rust.
The payout is low, but it’s easy money. This is a fight designed for Cuadras to win.
Pick: Carlos Cuadras (-600)