LOS ANGELES (June 19, 2007)…The undercard of Hopkins vs. Wright “Coming to Fight” will showcase two exciting World Championship bouts featuring the United States debut of two of boxing’s most exciting rising stars. Veteran featherweight star and former WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Oscar “Chololo” Larios will have the opportunity to add another title to his extensive resume. However, he will have to get past the undefeated Venezuelan Jorge Linares as they battle for the vacant WBC Interim Featherweight Championship in a bout that will mark the U.S. debut for the young, powerful Linares. The other explosive bout set to hit the airwaves that night includes the American debut of undefeated WBO Interim World Lightweight Champion Michael Katsidis, of Australia, when he takes on the aggressive Filipino Czar Amonsot. Both bouts make up the featured televised undercard for Hopkins vs. Wright to be held Saturday, July 21st from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
A no-nonsense warrior who proudly lives up to the legacy established by the great Mexican Champions of the past, Guadalajara’s Larios (59-5-1, 37 KO’s) has been at or near the top for much of his 13-year pro career. A longtime Super Bantamweight World Champion who defended his WBC crown nine times before losing it in his rubber match with Israel Vazquez in 2005, Larios flirted with the 130-pound weight class in a hard fought loss to Manny Pacquiao last year before deciding the best weight class for his second world title run would be the featherweight division. Winner of three in a row since the Pacquiao fight, the 30-year-old Larios is ready to show that he still has what it takes to beat a young, hungry fighter like Jorge Linares.
“This fight is very important to me because if I lose, it could be the end of my boxing career,” said Larios. “I am ready to fight until the end to win this fight and another World Championship belt. As the fight was originally scheduled for May, I am in excellent shape and ready to put it all on the line.”
Despite being a native of Barinas, Venezuela , the highly touted Linares (23-0, 14 KO’s) has made his name in the boxing world while fighting in Japan where he rapidly became a fan favorite for his exciting style and stellar skill set. A former WBA Fedelatin and Fedecentro Champion, the 21-year-old Linares has won his last two fights by knockout and is currently ranked No. 1 in the world by the WBA, No. 2 by the WBC, No. 7 by the WBO and No. 9 by the IBF.
His U.S. debut against Larios will be his toughest test to date. Linares stated, “This is my opportunity to show the American fight fans my strength and ability in the ring. Las Vegas is a great place for my debut as so many great champions have fought on boxing’s main stage. I want to win this title for Venezuela like my countryman, the great Antonio Esparragoza did.”
WBO Interim World Lightweight Champion Katsidis (22-0, 20 KO’s) is one of boxing’s most exciting young fighters. A stellar amateur who compiled a record of 75-6 and represented his native Australia in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he has zoomed to the top after turning pro in 2001. A hard-hitting knockout artist who has won 13-in-a-row within the distance, the 26-year-old Queensland native won the interim title in February with a fifth round stoppage of Graham Earl in an early Fight of the Year candidate. On July 21st, he hopes to add to his resume with a win over the tough Amonsot.
Amonsot (18-2-1 10 KO’s) wants to achieve fame, fortune and capture a world championship…all in his U.S. debut. In his last bout against Korean Da Waoon Jung, he won by split decision and is hungry for a decisive victory in this international showdown in July. The skillful southpaw and WBO Asia/Pacific Lightweight Champion is ready to challenge Katsidis for the crown.
Hopkins vs. Wright “Coming to Fight” is for Hopkins’ Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight belt and will take place Saturday, July 21 st at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. “Coming to Fight” is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Winky Promotions, and sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Tecate Beer and Rockstar Energy Drink. HBO Pay-Per-View will televise the fight live at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT.
For more information please visit www.goldenboypromotions.com.
The Hopkins vs. Wright pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For your Hopkins vs. Wright fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.
Tickets for Hopkins vs. Wright, “Coming To Fight” are priced at $850, $650, $450, $250 and $100 and are now on sale. Tickets are available at any Mandalay Bay box office and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Macy’s stores and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the Mandalay Bay box office at (702) 632-7580 or Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
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