VERONA, NY. (Sept. 25, 2017) Panamanian southpaw Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales (22-1-0, 8 KOs) will head to New York for his second fight in the U.S. and third defense of his WBA Super World Super Featherweight Title against unified NABO and NABA Super Featherweight Champion Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (18-0, 15 KOs) in a 12-round main event at Turning Stone Resort Casino. The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 21 and will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:05 PM ET/PT.
After spending his entire professional career fighting in his home country of Panama, the 26-year-old Corrales traveled to Tokyo in June 2016 to take on the then-undefeated Takashi Uchiyama, a man who had defended his WBA Super Featherweight title more than ten times. In a stunning upset, Corrales destroyed Uchiyama in only two rounds, and defeated Uchiyama once again via split decision victory in their December 2016 rematch. Corrales then made his U.S. debut against the tough Mexican Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos in Los Angeles on July 15, winning by technical decision in a tough war that had both men visiting the canvas.
“I am very excited to fight for a second time on HBO, but this time in the headlining bout of a great event,” said Jezreel Corrales. “I know that Alberto Machado is a strong fighter, but I too am strong and intelligent. I know that my style of fighting will give him a lot of problems. I’m confident that I will defend my title for the third successfully.”
Machado, a 27-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts power in both hands. After almost five years climbing up the super featherweight rankings, Machado earned the NABO Super Featherweight Title against Juan Martinez via stunning first-round knockout. Machado then took on NABA Super Featherweight Champion Carlos “The Solution” Morales, defeating him soundly via 10-round unanimous decision on Aug. 18 in the main event of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. Machado will look to take advantage of his first title shot in his first HBO appearance.
“I am very happy and ready to face the great champion Jezreel Corrales,” said Alberto Machado. “I know that it won’t be an easy fight, but I am more motivated than ever to take this title to my family and to Puerto Rico, who really needs it during this time of grief. This fight is for my son, my family, and for Puerto Rico. I know that a victory would bring happiness to Puerto Rico after the destruction caused by hurricane Maria. HBO is the television channel that each boxer wants to be on in order to keep moving on to better things, as was done by great Puerto Rican boxers such as Miguel Cotto, Felix “Tito” Trinidad, and Hector “Macho” Camacho.”
The Corrales vs. Machado fight will be preceded by Ryan Burnett’s World Bantamweight unification battle with Zhanat Zhakiyanov at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
Burnett won the IBF crown in style with a dominant win to dethrone Lee Haskins at the Belfast venue in June, and the unbeaten 25-year-old has wasted no time in setting about collecting more belts by stepping straight into a unification clash.
Zhakiyanov will be a familiar name for American fight fans having landed the WBA Super title against Rau’shee Warren in an entertaining encounter in Ohio in February. The Ricky Hatton trained hard-hitting Kazakh has boxed all over the world to plunder 27 wins with 18 inside the distance, but Burnett says this is his time and a huge Belfast crowd will roar him to unify the division and impress the fans watching on HBO.
“I’m thrilled to be making my US TV debut on HBO,” said Burnett. “This is a massive fight for the city – the first ever unification fight in Northern Ireland – and it’s an honour to be the man stepping through the ropes to make history.
“I know Zhanat is a tough challenge for me but I believe that I have the momentum behind me from beating Haskins and I won’t be denied on October 21. I would love to be in a huge fight in America one day and I intend to impress the American fans who will love the atmosphere in the SSE Arena.”
“I'm so pleased for Ryan and for US fight fans that HBO will broadcast this great fight live across America,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “I believe Ryan can be a huge star on both sides of the Atlantic and this is the beginning of showcasing his talents and what better platform than a major unification fight. The atmosphere in Belfast is going to be electric and viewers can expect a great night of boxing.”