Berto vs. Ortiz II on February 11; Perez-Ahunanya on 12/30
LOS ANGELES (December 19, 2011) - In April 2011, Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto gave boxing fans one of the best fights of the year, with both men hitting the canvas twice before Ortiz rallied to victory and captured Berto's World Boxing Council (WBC) Welterweight World Championship.
Article posted on 20.12.2011
On Saturday, February 11, these rugged and determined fighters will meet once again, this time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., in a highly anticipated 12-round welterweight rematch live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
"Ortiz vs. Berto II: Repeat or Revenge" is presented by Golden Boy Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and SHOWTIME. Coming off of its groundbreaking promotion during the blockbuster SHOWTIME PPV® event featuring Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley in May 2011, SHOWTIME will again receive promotional support from the network's parent company, CBS Corporation, whose assets include the CBS Television Network and local radio and television stations, among others. The Ortiz-Berto rematch marks the first time that SHOWTIME and CBS will join forces in support of a boxing event televised live on the premium network.
Both fighters have agreed to be subject to Olympic style drug testing which will be administered by the Volunteer Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and will include random blood and urine tests.
"For me, the first Berto-Ortiz fight was the 2011 Fight of the Year and one of the most memorable fights of the last several years," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "Immediately after, like most every other boxing fan, I couldn't help but hope for a rematch. Now that I am in the position to bring this fight to the loyal SHOWTIME subscribers, and to do so with the support of our world-class colleagues at CBS, I couldn't be more proud to make this special announcement."
"I'm prepared to go to war again with Berto," said Ortiz.
Berto said, "I am looking forward to this fight. It's a fight that I want and it's a fight the people demanded. These are the types of fights that make boxing so great. I am so hyped and excited to get ready to make another classic, but bottom line...Ortiz has to GO!"
Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions, said, "After the April fight between Ortiz and Berto, the first words out of everyone's mouths were, 'When are they going to do it again?' Well, I'm proud to say that February 11th is the date for the most anticipated rematch we've seen in a long time. When you put these two fighters together in the ring, there will always be fireworks. I can't wait to see them do battle a second time."
Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment, said, "Berto-Ortiz I was a 'Fight of the Year' candidate and boxing fans can expect more of the same in this meaningful rematch. This fight is the perfect way to open up what is expected to be a great year of boxing in 2012."
Tickets, priced at $300, $150, $100 and $50, are now on sale and are available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Everyone anticipated an action-packed fight the first time that Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto stepped into the ring back on April 16 with the WBC Welterweight World Championship on the line. What ensued was nothing less than spectacular as the pair stormed out of the gate, setting a fast pace that would continue for the entire 12-round contest. Midway through the first round, Ortiz staggered Berto with a sneaky right hand, then backed him into a corner and followed up with a barrage of punches which forced the defending champion to take a knee in order to recover. Berto wasted little time returning the favor, sending Ortiz to the canvas with a counter right hand at the end of the second round. The exciting battle continued round after round, and in the sixth frame, Berto landed a right hand that dropped Ortiz. As soon as the action resumed, Berto was all over Ortiz, looking to close the show. With Ortiz trapped against the ropes and Berto throwing caution to the wind, Ortiz threw a left hook that caught Berto flush on the chin, dropping him for the second time in the fight just seconds before the bell. The back-and-forth action continued for the second half of the "Fight of the Year" candidate. In the end, Ortiz had captured the title with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory, winning by scores of 115-110, 114-111 and 114-112.
The star of Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) has been on the rise for the last few years, but in 2011, the native of Garden City, Kansas finally put everything together for the entire world to see. The owner of wins over Mike Arnaoutis, Nate Campbell and Antonio Diaz, Ortiz stepped it up in April 2011 with a 12-round decision win over Berto that captivated the boxing world and earned him the WBC Welterweight Championship. Five months later, Ortiz lost a controversial bout to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, but with his rematch against Berto looming, the 24-year old now has the perfect opportunity to get back to the top of the division.
A member of the 2004 Haitian Olympic team, Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs), like Ortiz, has been leading the charge of boxing's next generation, thrilling fans with exciting fights and blistering knockouts. Crowned a world champion in 2008, the 28-year-old Berto successfully defended his WBC crown five times against the likes of Luis Collazo, Steve Forbes and Juan Urango before losing it to Ortiz in April. In September, Berto put gold around his waist once again by stopping Jan Zaveck in five rounds for the IBF title. He would soon vacate the title in order to take the fight he has been clamoring for since April and now he's looking forward to evening the score with Ortiz on February 11.
Garcia vs. Johnson, Perez vs. Ahunanya on 12/30
CORK, IRELAND (December 20th, 2011) – Unbeaten Irish based Cuban duo Luis "El Leon" Garcia (11-0, 9 KO's) and Mike "The Rebel" Perez (17-0, 12 KO's) are promising a double dose of seasons beatings when they make their US debuts on the undercard of Jermain Taylor's return at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California on December 30th.
Garcia's takes on fellow undefeated prospect Alexander "The Great" Johnson (12-0, 5 KO's) in a bout which will be broadcast live on ShoBox: The New Generation on the Showtime network while Perez meets Friday "The 13th" Ahunanya (24-8-13, 8 KO's) in a heavyweight bout scheduled for ten rounds.
Garcia and Perez are part of the Team Thomas stable based in Cork, Ireland which also includes a third undefeated Cuban, current world number 13 super bantamweight (WBA ratings) Alexei Collado (15-0, 14 KO's). All three were World Junior Champions in the amateur ranks prior to relocating to Ireland to launch their pro careers.
Garcia is confident that he can shine on his Stateside debut and leave an impression on the Shobox viewers. "I'm excited to give US fight fans a chance to show what I am about and to prove that I am ready for anyone in the light heavyweight division," revealed Garcia who celebrates his 24th birthday on Friday.
Garcia's last outing saw him record an impressive second round stoppage win over former two time World Champion Byron Mitchell and with Europe's best light heavyweight's running scared Garcia has turned his attention to the World stage.
"I have had a few fights fall through this year because it's very difficult to find opponents for me in Europe. Johnson has accepted the challenge, he's unbeaten and ambitious so it's a good fight for the fans and the winner will definitely be part of the New Generation.
"It's an important fight for me and I am determined to make the most of the opportunity. My fiancee is expecting our first child just a few days after the fight so it is tough to leave her at home while I go the US for this fight but I am making the sacrifice for my family's future and hopefully I will be back home in Cork in time for the birth."
Perez's bout with Ahunanya will give him the opportunity to showcase the punching power which saw him blitz the competition earlier this year to win the first ever International Prizefighter. Perez defeated Kertson Manswell, Gregroy Tony and Tye Fields en route to lifting the trophy in the one night event in London. In fact Perez needed a combined total of just 96 seconds to win the semi final and final and in his 3 fights he beat opponents with a combined record of 79 wins (69 KO's) against just 5 losses.
Perez might be in for a longer nights work in California with the ultra durable Ahunanya having dropped a points decision to Chris Arreola in his last fight this past July. The Las Vegas based Nigerian has also gone the distance with renowned puncher David Tua and current WBA Champion, Alexander Povetkin. Ahunanya also has a number of impressive scalps on his record having previously burst the unbeaten bubble of Alonzo Butler, Shane Cameron and Nate Jones while his record includes draws with Franklin Lawrence and Dominick Guinn.
Perez has been preparing for his US debut by sparring highly touted American prospect and Olympic medallist, Deontay Wilder and veteran contender Larry Donald. While Ahunanya is the next obstacle in his path his ultimate aim is a fight with either of the Klitschko brothers.
"The Klitschko's are easily the best guys out there right now at Heavyweight but there is no serious competition for them out there and I want to change that," stressed Perez. "They are excellent boxers but they are not the most entertaining to watch. The only fireworks during their fights are during the ring entrances and I can guarantee when I fight them there will be fireworks. A lot of guys just want to fight the Klitschko's for a big payday. They don't come to win but I will. For now I'm just concentrating on this next fight but I would love the opportunity to take on either of the Klitschkos."
Although the weather in California in December might be a little closer to the Cuban climate then a cold winter in Ireland neither Perez or Garcia has any long term ambitions to move Stateside. "Cuba is always in our hearts but Ireland is our home now said Perez. We all have family and friends here now, I have a little baby daughter and an Irish fiancee so I'm proud to fight with the Irish and Cuban flags. We have been made very welcome here and have great support from the Irish fans."
The Team Thomas trio of Garcia, Perez and Collado are all coached by the vastly experienced Colin Morgan. The Guyanese native relocated from New York to Cork 18 months ago having previously worked with World Champions such as Wayne Braithwaite, Guillermo Jones, Elio Rojas.
The December 30th event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment with Garcia V Johnson the first of three live bouts on the Shobox telecast. The main event sees the return of former undisputed middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor as he faces Jessie Nicklow while in the co-featured bout super middleweight contender, Andre Dirrell faces Darryl Cunningham.
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QUIGG LEFT ‘GUTTED’ BY MUNROE
SCOTT QUIGG admits he was “gutted” when domestic rival Rendall Munroe dropped down to bantamweight.
British super-bantamweight champion Quigg makes the first defence of his title against Cwmbran’s Jamie Arthur (18-5) in Premier Suite at Bolton's Reebok Stadium on Saturday February 4.
Quigg (23-0) hoped that Munroe would be in the opposite corner, but his Hatton Promotions stable mate has switched weight divisions ending hopes of a fascinating battle.
Bury’s Quigg, said: “I was a bit gutted when Rendall decided to move down from super-bantamweight.
“It was a big fight and although I hold the British title, beating him would have proved that I am the number one domestically.
“Rendall had held the European title, challenged for the WBC belt, fought the very best and I felt I couldn’t call myself Britain’s number one until I beat him.
“Of course, now he has moved down I can rightfully claim to be number one in this country having taken the British title from Jason Booth.”
Arthur, 31, who hasn’t boxed since losing a split decision against Booth in February, is a former Commonwealth champion.
Quigg, 23, who took the crown from Booth in October added: “The only domestic super-bantamweights I feel can show me something in the ring is Carl Frampton and Jamie.
“He has a good pedigree and beaten boys like Robbie Turley and Kris Hughes who were the other guys we were looking at defending against.
“Jamie has boxed at featherweight and I will not have an advantage in size like I did against Jason.”
On the undercard of the Sky Sports televised card. Manchester’s Beijing Olympian Joe Murray meets fellow unbeaten hopeful Chris Male for the vacant English featherweight title.
Hatton Promotions hopefuls Jez Wilson and Tom Doran clash in a battle of light-middleweight hopefuls. The card will also include Craig Lyon.
Boxing starts at 6.15pm and tickets priced at £35, £55 and £75 VIP ringside. You can buy by calling 01925 755 222, Ticketmaster 0844 847 2500, Ticketline 0844 888 9991 or online www.hattonboxing.com
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