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Undefeated WBO featherweight champion Rafael Espinoza will face WBO world number two Sergio Chirino at the BleauLive Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

The fight has the makings of a fierce war between two warriors determined to win by any means necessary; they will give it their all in the ring.

For Espinoza, it is the first title defense since his surprise win over Robeisy Ramirez last December. For Chirino, it is the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of winning a world title.

Rafael Espinoza (24-0, 20 KOs) is the tallest featherweight champion of all time at 6'1″. He has a difficult first defense when he faces a very hungry fighter with a strong amateur background who is technically skilled and has decent power.

Espinoza has a 6.5″ reach advantage and will use it throughout the fight. To be truly effective, he will need to be disciplined and use his jab at long range throughout the fight. Espinoza has a tendency to get sloppy and fight inside instead.

When he does that, he gives Chirino the opportunity to box him from the inside. Espinoza is an orthodox fighter and that is his strength; sometimes he switches to the southpaw to give his opponents a different look.

In his fight against Robeisy, his change of stances would cost him dearly as he suffered a knockdown and sprained his ankle. He could have lost the fight on the spot, but Espinoza pulled out all the stops, finished the fight and took the win.

Espinoza threw nearly 1,000 punches in that fight and said at Wednesday's press conference that he had completed a full training camp, was feeling good and was ready to throw more punches this time around.

To be successful, Chirino must neutralize Espinoza's high punch rate. Chirino's average punch rate of 47.3 punches per round is significantly lower than Espinoza's average punch rate of 77.4 punches (Compubox).

On defense, Chirino must effectively intercept, parry and roll Espinoza's strikes and then attack Espinoza's big body on offense to slow him down.

Sergio Chirino (22-1, 13 KOs) typically likes to fight from the outside, as he tends to have a reach advantage over his opponents. At 5'9, he's a fairly large featherweight. In this fight, he'll need to fight from the inside to be successful. That strategy shouldn't be hard to find, as Espinoza also likes to fight from the inside.

Chirino has stated that he believes he can drop Espinoza, as others have done in the past. It will not be an easy task, as Espinoza's volume and power can cause difficulties. Only four have made it to the end with Rafael.

This match could be a battle of attrition, with the winner being the one who can last 36 minutes. Neither will give up, and both are willing to give it their all to get the win.

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