Press Conference Notes: Rafael Espinoza and Sergio Chirino Ready for Friday’s All-Mexican World Title Showdown

Espinoza-Chirino, Andres Cortes-Abraham Nova & Troy Isley-Javier Martinez headline a stacked card from Fontainebleau Las Vegas LIVE on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

CLICK HERE for Photos (Courtesy: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO (Courtesy: Top Rank)

LAS VEGAS (June 19, 2024) —Two Mexican warriors are set to author another chapter in their country’s historic saga of championship battles.

Rafael “El Divino” Espinoza (24-0, 20 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBO featherweight world title against Sergio Chirino (22-1, 13 KOs) this Friday, June 21, inside BleauLive Theater at Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

In the 10-round junior lightweight co-feature, Andres “Savage” Cortes (21-0, 12 KOs) and Abraham “El Super” Nova (23-2, 16 KOs) will collide in a high-stakes battle presented in association with Murphys Boxing and 12 Rounds Promotion.

In a 10-round special attraction, unbeaten middleweights Troy Isley (12-0, 5 KOs) and Javier Martinez (10-0-1, 3 KOs) will reignite a fierce amateur rivalry.

Espinoza-Chirino, Cortes-Nova, and Isley-Martinez headline a stacked card streaming live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ and Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, tickets are on sale via

This is what the fighters had to say at Wednesday’s press conference.

Rafael Espinoza

“I’m excited, and I’m happy. My heart is jumping because this is another dream come true. This is another reason why I started boxing, and now, it’s happening, thank God. I’m very happy to be here with all my people, and I’m excited and waiting for the day to come.”

“The only thing that changed about my life is that now people call me a champion. I have also learned a lot. I have learned to enjoy the moment and to work as a champion. With me and my family, it has all been the same. They are with me, and that’s what is important.”

“Every time anyone has an opportunity like this, they come to win, and we’re conscious of that. And that’s why we worked hard. I’ve done all the work, and I do my talking in the ring. I don’t like to talk outside of the ring. So, the best man will win. The champion will win.”

Sergio Chirino

“We are happy because the opportunity for a world title is here. And we’re excited because, like any boxer, we want to achieve this dream. We’re here, and we’re going for it Friday night.”

“When there are two Mexicans in the ring, it is always a great show. And in this fight, there will be a surprise.”

“We came here to tell the same story Rafael did when he {won the world title}. So, we’re going to win that world title and be the first to do it from Oaxaca.”

Andres Cortes

“I spoke this fight into existence, and you gotta be careful what you ask for.”

“I believe in my team. I believe in my skills and everything I do. So, I’m ready for whatever.”

“I don’t think I’m a dirty fighter. At the end of the day, it’s a fight in there. So, you do what you gotta do.”

Abraham Nova

“I have incredible skills. I feel like I’m really underrated in my skill set. I had a lot of tweaks that I fixed from my past fights. I fixed some things in camp, and staying active has helped me in my training. I feel like my skills, experience, and the journey I’ve been on in my boxing career will prevail and show out Friday night to get that victory.”

“I need credible names. Andres Cortes is undefeated and has beaten some good names. This is the type of fight I need to get back in the mix to fight for a world title.”

“People can say whatever they want about me. His people can say stuff. My people can say stuff. That doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, our fists do the talking. Our fists do the work, and Friday night, you guys are gonna see me shine.”

Troy Isley

“This fight means everything to me. It’s a little get-back. He won the last two times. I’m here to show him that it’s different now. There’s new levels to this.”

“He’s in the way of my dreams. That title right there, I need it around my waist. He’s in the way, so I need to get him up out of there.”

“I’ve been there with the best. I’ve been working with ‘Bud’ Crawford. I got some rounds in with Carlos Adames, some champions. I’m not worried about anything he’s bringing to the table. I’m the better fighter at this level.”

Javier Martinez

“The feeling is mutual. This is the pros, so I feel like I’m better on this stage.”

“I never ducked nobody. They offered me the fight, so I took it. Simple as that.”

“I had a good training camp. I sparred some good sparring partners. I’m just confident. So, 10 rounds, five rounds, two rounds, I’m going to get it done.”

Steven Navarro

“I want to show the world that Bob Arum made an amazing choice by signing me. I’m just going up from here.”
Friday, June 21

FIRST BELL: LIVE on ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) 
Rafael Espinoza vs. Sergio Chirino, 12 rounds, Espinoza’s WBO Featherweight World Title

Andres Cortes vs. Abraham Nova, 10 rounds, Vacant NABO Junior Lightweight Title 

Troy Isley vs. Javier Martinez, 10 rounds, Vacant NABO Middleweight Title

Floyd Diaz vs. Francisco Pedroza, 8 rounds, Bantamweight 

DJ Zamora vs. Jose Antonio Meza, 8 rounds, Junior Lightweight

Steven Navarro vs. Juan Pablo Meza, 6 rounds, Junior Bantamweight

Albert Gonzalez vs. Conrado Martinez, 6 rounds, Featherweight

Bryan Polaco vs. Richard Acevedo, 6 rounds, Middleweight

Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Credit: Top Rank

(ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT)

    •  Rafael Espinoza 125.6 lbs. vs. Sergio Chirino 125.6 lbs
(Espinoza’s WBO Featherweight World Title – 12 Rounds)
Judges: Tim Cheatham, Max De Luca and Steve Weisfeld
Referee: Raul Caiz Jr.

   •  Andres Cortes 130.8 lbs vs. Abraham Nova 129.7 lbs
(Vacant NABO Junior Lightweight Title — 10 Rounds)
Judges: Glenn Feldman, Patricia Morse Jarman, Dave Moretti
Referee: Robert Hoyle
* Cortes weighed in .8 pounds over the junior lightweight limit. Only Nova is eligible to win the title.

•  Troy Isley 158.9 lbs vs. Javier Martinez 159.8 lbs
(Vacant NABO Middleweight Title — 10 Rounds)
Judges: Chris Migliore, Steve Weisfeld and Zachary Young
Referee: Tony Weeks

•   Floyd Diaz 117.8 lbs vs.  Francisco Pedroza 117.5 lbs
 (Bantamweight — 8 Rounds)

•   DJ Zamora 131.5 lbs vs. Jose Antonio Meza 131.2 lbs
 (Junior Lightweight — 8 Rounds)

•   Steven Navarro 115.7 lbs vs. Juan Pablo Meza 114.8 lbs
 (Junior Bantamweight — 6 Rounds)

•    Bryan Polaco 156 lbs vs. Richard Acevedo 156.3 lbs
 (Middleweight — 6 Rounds)