SAN ANTONIO, TX – 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 for three world titles, the inaugural Ring Magazine Flyweight World Championship, the first-ever in the women’s flyweight division, and the WBC and WBA Flyweight World Championships. The historic three-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 Goldenboy 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 Marlen Esparza is seeking to make history again as she fights to be the first woman crowned as the Ring Magazine Flyweight World Champion. Esparza will not only be defending her world championship, but she will also be seeking to unify the division 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.
History will be made on April 9, when WBA Flyweight World Champion Naoko Fujioka fights for the unification of the flyweight division and the inaugural women’s Ring Magazine Flyweight World Championship. 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.
“King” Gabriel Rosado of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a world-class warrior with an exciting style that has won him the admiration of boxing fans worldwide. He was last seen in the ring in one of the best performances of his career, facing the undefeated Jamie Munguia at the Honda Center last November. Although the decision was not in his favor, he received massive acclaim for his performance. Earlier in 2021, Rosado scored a sensational knock-out victory over previously undefeated fighter Bektemir “The Bully” Melikuziev, a victory that proved Rosado still was a force to be reckoned with in the sport. Now moving up to super weight, a weight class more comfortable for the boricua fighter, Rosado is ready to climb the ranks in the division when he faces Shane Mosley Jr. on April 9.
Second-generation fighter, Shane Mosley, Jr. of Pomona, CA, is looking to get in the ring and score a victory after a controversial loss via majority decision to Jason Quigley in May 2021. The 31-year-old is willing to leave it all in the ring on April 9 and is looking for a fresh start fighting for the first time at super middleweight. A victory against Rosado, an experienced warrior, and world title contender, would establish Mosley, Jr. as a true rival in the super middleweight division.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.