Photos: Felipe Leon
WBC#6/IBF#9 ranked and current NABF strawweight champion Mario “Dragoncito” Rodriguez (14-6-3, 8 KOs) expressed confidence as he stated he was more than ready to headline this Saturday night’s main event in a ten round clash against the durable Armando “Chiquita” Vazquez (20-8, 4 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico, at Thursday’s final press conference at the “Perro Salado,” a popular billiards hall and bar in Tijuana, Mexico. The night is presented by Box Latino and held at the Pico Ballroom of the Caliente Racetrack and Casino. The racetrack, once the playground for several Hollywood celebrities after its initial inauguration in the late 1920s.
“I am ready to fight. I want to give a great showing,” Rodriguez of Guasave, Mexico, said. “I haven’t fought in some time and I am anxious to get climb into the ring.”
Rodriguez didn’t mention his opponent who did not make it to the press conference. In his last bout, Rodriguez pulled the upset when he defeated the experienced Gilberto Keb Baas by way of fifth round stoppage on short notice back in February.
In the co-main event, another world classified fighter is featured in the heavy-handed Javier “Cobra” Mendoza (17-2-1, 14 KOs) who is ranked #3 by the WBO, #8 by the WBC and #8 by the IBF in the junior flyweight division. Mendoza will face Arcadio Salazar (7-11-2) of Agua Prieta, Mexico, in an eight rounder.
“I am prepared for this fight and looking forward to a world title opportunity later this year,” the affable Mendoza of Tijuana stated. “First we have to get through this fight and let the best man win.”
Carlos Mera, executive director of Box Latino, quickly mentioned that there is talks to face Rodriguez and Mendoza after these stay busy skirmishes and in the near future with the winner earning that much coveted world title shot.
When asked for his opinion in facing Mendoza, Rodriguez said, “We are friends outside the ring but inside we are rivals. I would welcome the fight. He’s a junior flyweight and I am a strawweight but I am willing to fight in his division. It is up to our promoter and see when they offer the fight.”
Mendoza did not seem as enthusiastic as he quickly responded that he would be willing to explore the option in facing Rodriguez.
Also present at the press conference was the executive director of the Tijuana Boxing Commission who expressed, “Tijuana is quickly climbing back up to be the capital of boxing in Mexico. Box Latino for quite some time was presenting cards in other parts of the country but the commission as well as the city is glad that they are back in presenting quality cards here in Tijuana.”
The rest of the card was also announced which includes super bantamweight Erick “Tepeyac” Cebreros (1-0) going after his second win against Enrique Flores (0-10-1) while heavyweight Juan “Buffalo” Rodriguez (1-0, 1 KO) will face Roberto Rodriguez (1-0). Juan Urias (0-0-1) and Artemio Garcia (1-2) will battle it out in the flyweight division. Super bantamweight Cesar De La Mora (3-2-1, 2 KOs) is also scheduled against the always dangerous TBA.
All the support fights are scheduled for four rounds and all the participants hail from Tijuana.
The official weigh-in is scheduled for 1pm, Friday, at the offices of the Tijuana Boxing Commission.