- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux will make the second defense of his belt against Robert Marroquin in one of the bouts that will be featured on the undercard of the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez middleweight championship fight on Sept. 15 (HBO PPV) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com.
In addition, Lou DiBella, who promotes Martinez and controls one of the televised undercard slots, told ESPN.com that his fight has also been finalized: middleweight contender Matthew Macklin against former junior middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine.
Rigondeaux, the two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist, looked sensational in his fifth-round knockout of Teon Kennedy -- whom he knocked down five times -- in June when he fought on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. undercard. However, Rigondeaux's promotional contract expired and he was in talks with both Top Rank and rival Golden Boy for a new deal.
According to Arum, Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs), 31, agreed to a new short-term deal to do the fight on Sept. 15 while they continue to discuss a longer-term agreement.
"Everybody has agreed to extend it so he can be on this card," Arum said. "He signed a bout agreement for the fight, so the fight with Robert Marroquin, that's a done deal."
Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs), who turns 23 this month, has been one of Top Rank's brightest prospects for the past few years. The Dallas product has won three fights in a row since suffering an upset decision loss to Francisco Leal in April 2011. Arum said Marroquin and his team really wanted the fight with Rigondeaux, who is somebody very few fighters are seeking to fight.
"Marroquin feels he can beat him and he really wanted this fight. He is up for this kind of challenge," Arum said. "Rigondeaux is probably one of the best fighters around, but one thing is even if he's one of the best fighters around, he's a little chinny and Marroquin can hit pretty good."
Macklin (28-4, 19 KOs), 30, an Irishman from England, will be fighting for the time since March, when he gave Martinez a run for his money -- including scoring a knockdown -- before being stopped in the 11th round.
Alcine (33-2-1, 19 KOs), 36, of Quebec, held a junior middleweight title from 2007 to 2008 and looked to be a faded fighter in recent bouts, but he scored a major upset by outpointing top middleweight prospect David Lemieux in December in their all-Quebec showdown.
"Alcine fought really well in his last fight against David Lemieux and I thought Macklin made a lot of fans with his performance against Sergio," DiBella said. "It think it's a really good fight. Alcine is a little older now so he will be more in front of Macklin. It's a very high skill level middleweight fight and it very well could create the next opponent for Chavez whether he loses or wins against Sergio."
Arum said the third undercard fight for the pay-per-view broadcast had not been finalized yet but he said, "We're putting another title fight together."
Originally, junior welterweight contender Mike Alvarado was being considered for the spot, but Arum said he is working to instead finalize a match for Alvarado against former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios. If the fight is finalized, Arum said it would take place on the undercard of unified junior featherweight titlist Nonito Donaire's fight in October.
Arum also said that there were about 4,000 tickets -- mostly in the $50 and $75 range -- remaining for the Sept. 15 card out of the approximately 17,000 available.
Junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux will make the second defense of his belt against Robert Marroquin in one of the bouts that will be featured on the undercard of the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez middleweight championship fight.