ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito will headline the Feb 18 edition of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights Main Events Special” from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, it was announced today by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. Margarito will defend his crown against WBO #2 contender Sebastian Lujan in the 12 round main event. Should he emerge victorious on Feb 18, Margarito will square-off against WBO-Interim welterweight champion Kermit Cintron in a highly-anticipated welterweight showdown in April. The Feb 18 co-feature bout will pit WBC #5 ranked welterweight contender Joshua Clottey against NABF-Interim champion Steven Martinez in a 10 round contest. The ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights Main Events Special” broadcast will begin at 9:00 pm ET.
Margarito (30-4, 21 KO’s) won the vacant WBO welterweight title on March 16, 2003, when he battered Antonio Diaz for 10 rounds, forcing Diaz’s corner to throw in the towel at the 2:17 mark of the round (TKO 10). The 26-year-old Tijuana, Mexican successfully defended his title three times before challenging champion Daniel Santos on September 11, 2004, for the WBO jr. middleweight crown. Margarito lost a technical decision after suffering a head-butt induced cut that forced the bout’s stoppage in round nine (L 9). Margarito is ranked #1 by Ring magazine.
Lujan (22-1-1, 14 KO’s) has won 17 of his last 18 bouts. The sole blemish on his record during this time-span was a No Contest on July 24, 2004, against Alejandro Jesus Benitez (NC 2). The 25-year-old Buenos Aires, Argentina native is ranked #2 by the WBO. In his last bout on November 20, 2004, Lujan stopped Cesar Alberto Leiva in one round (TKO 1).
Martinez (46-5-1, 28 KO’s) has won nine of his last 10 bouts. The 33-year-old San Antonio, TX native captured the NABF-interim welterweight title in his last bout on November 1, 2004, by stopping Grover Wiley (TKO 4). Martinez has fought several recognizable 147-154 pounders in his 17-year pro career, such as former world welterweight champion Vernon Forrest and former NABF jr. middleweight champion Tony Marshall.
Clottey (27-1, 20 KO’s) has won his last seven bouts. The 19-year-old Accra, Ghana native who now resides in the Bronx, NY is ranked #5 by the WBC. Clottey has stopped 11 opponents within the first four rounds. In his last bout on July 24, 2004, Clottey knocked out Christopher Henry in five rounds (TKO 5).
Kermit Cintron was scheduled to headline the Feb 18 fight card against Steven Martinez; however, rather than risk re-injuring his right hand and jeopardizing his April showdown against Antonio Margarito, Cintron decided to forego the bout.
Margarito was originally scheduled to defend his crown on Feb 18 against Carlos Baldomir; however, although he initially agreed to the terms, Baldomir later withdrew from the title bout.
The evening of boxing is being presented by Main Events, in association with Bally’s Atlantic City. The Margarito-Lujan bout is being presented by Main Events and Top Rank, in association with Bally’s Atlantic City.
Tickets, priced at $75, $50, and $25, can be purchased at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall Box Office, Bally's Show Desk, by calling TicketMaster at 1-800-736-1420, or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.