Matchroom Boxing have announced a stacked start to their 2022 schedule on DAZN with Jessie Vargas and Daniel Jacobs headlining against Liam Smith and John Ryder respectively on the opening two weekends.
Matchroom confirmed on Friday that former world champions, Vargas and Smith will finally meet on February 5 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai facing Carlos Cuadras for the vacant WBC Super-Flyweight title on the card.
Vargas fights for the first time since a unanimous decision loss to four-weight world champion, Mikey Garcia in February 2020, whilst Smith is coming off an October stoppage win over local rival, Anthony Fowler.
Former middleweight titlist, Jacobs who edged past Gabriel Rosado in November, will make his UK debut on February 12 when he meet Ryder, who has secured two wins since a controversial defeat to former super middleweight champion, Callum Smith. The clash takes place at Alexandra Palace, home to the recent Darts World Championships.
Lawrence Okolie, who teased a move to heavyweight earlier this week will make the second defence of his WBO cruiserweight world title against Michael Cieslak on February 27, at a venue to be confirmed.
Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez will run it back for a third time on March 5 at the Pechanga Arena, San Diego for the WBA ‘super’ super flyweight title, following a thrilling rematch almost a year prior and the scores level at 1-1.
Leigh Wood will make a maiden defence of the WBA ‘regular’ featherweight crown he secured with a stunning final round knockout over Can Xu at Fight Camp in July when he clashes with Michael Conlan at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham on March 12.
A week later welterweight duo, Vergil Ortiz Jr and Michael McKinson will risk their undefeated records on a show promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, at a venue to be confirmed.
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Ortiz Jr saw off former world title challenger, Egidijus Kavaliauskas in August, whilst McKisnon eased past Przemyslaw Runowski in August.
WE GO AGAIN WITH KIKO…
FUNNY OLD GAME THIS BOXING🥊
WARRINGTON VS MARTINEZ 2
SATURDAY 26th MARCH 🗓
FIRST DIRECT ARENA, LEEDS 🏟
IBF WORLD TITLE! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/sHRi4URlLI
— Josh Warrington (@J_Warrington) January 7, 2022
Martinez stunned Kid Galahad to claim the belt in one of the upsets of 2021 and faces Warrington, who was held to a technical draw with Mauricio Lara in September.
The pair will battle at the First Direct Arena, Leeds – the same venue that staged their first outing.