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Kid Diamond vs Antonio Pitalua for the NABF title headline first VERSUS Fight Night Live Telecast of the Yea

STAMFORD, Conn. (January 4, 2007) – VERSUS, in collaboration with leading boxing promoters Top Rank, today announced that a NABF Lightweight Championship battle between Kid Diamond (23-1-1, 14 KOs) and Antonio Pitalua (41-3, 35 KOs) will headline the network’s first live Fight Night telecast of the year on Thursday, January 11 at 9 p.m. ET from the New Alhambra Arena in Philadelphia.

Hosted in the “City of Brotherly Love,” the 12-round bout aims to eliminate leftover holiday good-will as Antonio Pitalua looks to unseat Almazbek Raiymkulov, better known as “Kid Diamond,” for the interim NABF Lightweight Championship.

As an added bonus, Fight Night viewers will be able to score the bouts from home through the VERSUS website at VERSUS.com. These viewer scores will be posted throughout the telecast. Scoring from home debuted on the VERSUS November 16 Fight Night telecast headlined by Bobby Pacquiao’s stoppage of Hector Velazquez.

Hailing from Kyrgyzstan and currently residing in Las Vegas, NV, Kid Diamond is coming off a stirring 7-round, TKO victory over Jairo Ramirez (televised on VERSUS) for the Interim NABF Lightweight belt in Las Vegas on September 14, and is looking to defend his title for the first time. He represented his native land in the 2000 Olympic Games, and after he turned pro in 2001, Diamond won his first 20 fights. He is best known for the 12-round draw he fought against former WBA super featherweight world champion Joel Casamayor in June 2005, a fight many onlookers thought he had won. His only loss came via upset TKO to Nate Campbell in the (October) 2005 WBC Lightweight title eliminator.

Antonio Pitalua (41-3, 35 KOs), a native of Colombia and now currently residing in Mexico City, is trying to regain his championship challenger status. Pitalua seeks to win his 10th fight in a row (previous nine all KOs) since his last loss in November of 2001 against former three-time world title challenger Arnulfo Castillo. Pitalua is an aggressive fighter with devastating punching power.

“We are pleased to come right out of the gate with an electrifying bout for the first live Fight Night telecast of the year,” said Marc Fein, Senior Vice President of Programming for VERSUS. “We look forward to continuing to provide boxing fans with more exciting matchups in 2007 and showcasing the exciting young stars in the sport like Kid Diamond and Anthony Thompson.”

Featured on the undercard on VERSUS will be a 10-round junior middleweight showdown between Philly native Anthony “The Messenger” Thompson (22-1, 16 KOs) against Robert “Pushup” Frazier (37-7-4, 1 ND, 15 KOs). This is Thompson’s second ‘Fight Night’ appearance.

Wally Matthews, a veteran boxing writer who has covered the sport for two decades, and Bob Papa, who has called boxing for ESPN and currently for NBC, will host. Michael Buffer, the tuxedoed announcer who coined the catchphrase “Let`s get ready to rumble!” will again serve as the ring announcer for the live fights.

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