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Carlos Cuadras helped start 'SuperFly,' and there's work to finish

Boxing's "SuperFly" series has become one of the sport's most novel undertakings thanks to its participants' appreciation for greater exposure and purses as well as their willingness to entertain.

No one personifies the 115-pound fighters' energy better than Mexico's Carlos Cuadras, who already has fought the best in the group and anticipates making a Saturday night push for more.

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"I'm very happy for this opportunity for us little guys to show everyone how good we are," Cuadras said. "A lot of people follow us now, so it's important to me to be involved in 'SuperFly 3, 4, 5,' whatever's coming next."

Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 knockouts) will meet Puerto Rico's McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs) as part of the Forum's "SuperFly 2" card on HBO.

The World Boxing Council has mandated that the Cuadras-Arroyo winner must next face the winner of Saturday's main event pitting champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai against Mexico's Juan Francisco Estrada.

As he entered a meeting room to speak to The Times this week, Cuadras crossed paths with Estrada and said, "I hope Estrada wins, and the next time it won't be close. I proved I can fight with him. I want to fight him for the championship because he beat me."

Estrada edged Cuadras by three scores of 114-113 at StubHub Center in September on the opening "SuperFly" card, but Cuadras delivered Sor Rungvisai his most recent loss, in 2014, a technical decision after eight rounds because of a cut over Cuadras' left eye from a Sor Rungvisai head butt.

Sor Rungvisai has knocked out 15 of 16 opponents since that loss, including his fourth-round decking of boxing's former No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, in September.

Cuadras' entertaining scrap in a unanimous-decision loss to Gonzalez in September 2016 — both men were cut while combining to throw more than 1,800 punches — sold 6,718 tickets at the Forum and proved the market existed for the lighter fighters' action-packed bouts.

September's card at StubHub drew 7,418 fans, and Saturday's crowd could near 8,000, according to an official monitoring ticket sales.

"I want to win this fight, win my championship back in 'SuperFly 3,' and then maybe defend the belt against Chocolatito in 'SuperFly 4,'" Cuadras said.

Aspiring to that forced the effervescent Cuadras, 29, to make a cold decision.

He fired trainer Jorge Barrera and hired Big Bear-based Abel Sanchez, the 2016 trainer of the year who has unbeaten middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan and cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev of Russia in his stable.

"I'm going to do what's best for me. This is my business. This is my life," Cuadras said.

"You have to make changes if you want to go to the next level, so you go to the type of trainer who's there. Abel gave me a lot of strength. We also talked a lot about strategy. That last fight, the strategy was missing. Now I have it."

While training alongside Gassiev for the cruiserweight's impressive 12th-round technical knockout to reach May's World Boxing Super Series final, Cuadras followed a similar regimen.

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"I did the same tough work all the fighters do up there and I feel great for it," Cuadras said. "In the last fight, I felt my body weakening by the seventh round and I was losing my rhythm."

This time, the mobile Cuadras has grand plans for Arroyo.

"He's never been knocked out before and I'd like to be the first," Cuadras said. "I'll put the pressure on and get him — maybe in round eight."

FAST FACTS

Main event: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 knockouts) vs. Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) for Sor Rungvisai's WBC super-flyweight belt

Where: The Forum

When: Saturday, first bout 3:45 p.m., televised portion begins at 6:30 p.m.

Television: HBO

Tickets: $30, $60, $100, $150, $250 at Ticketmaster, Forum box office

Undercard: Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs) vs. McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs), super-flyweights; Donnie Nietes (40-1-4, 22 KOs) vs. Juan Carlos Reveco (39-3, 19 KOs) for Nietes' IBF flyweight belt

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