LOS ANGELES, August 10 – One man is a boxing legend and a future hall of famer; the other is a knockout artist with his sights set on creating his own memorable legacy. On Thursday, September 1, in a bout to be televised live on HBO Latino’s “Oscar De La Hoya Presents Boxeo De Oro” from the beautiful Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona, former world champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson and top bantamweight contender Jhonny Gonzalez will meet at boxing’s crossroads.
And only one will emerge victorious.
This 12 round NABO bantamweight championship bout, which headlines an evening of world class professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions, will air on HBO Latino beginning at 10pm ET / PT.
In the televised co-feature, unbeaten junior featherweight prospect Jonathan Oquendo makes his United States television debut when he battles Elvis Martinez in a six round contest.
Doors open at 5:00pm and the first bell rings at 6:00pm.
One of boxing’s hottest fighters, Mexico City’s Jhonny Gonzalez (29-4, 25 KOs) has been on a three-year tear through the 118-pound division that has seen him rack up 15 consecutive wins without a loss, including 13 KOs. The current NABO bantamweight champion, the 23-year-old Gonzalez is ranked in the top ten by three major world sanctioning bodies, and he expects that a career-best victory over Johnson will catapult him straight into a world title fight.
Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson (44-4, 28 KOs) really needs no introduction to fight fans. A former flyweight (seven title defenses) and super flyweight (three title defenses over two reigns) world champion, Johnson is a virtuoso between the ropes, and even though he is coming off the loss of his super flyweight title to Ivan Hernandez last September, his 2003 victory over current world titlist Fernando Montiel and subsequent knockout win over Luis Bolano seven months later proves that the pride of Washington, DC still has plenty of gas left in his tank.
A native of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, junior featherweight Jonathan Oquendo (5-0, 3 KOs) has followed a stellar amateur career with an impressive run in the pro game thus far. Fresh off a second round stoppage of Tim Carrizales on July 16, the 22-year-old – who is the first Puerto Rican boxer to be signed by Golden Boy Promotions – will be facing a stern test on October 1st in Dominican veteran Elvis Martinez (10-11-2, 4 KOs).
Also featured on the October 1st show will be a pair of highly regarded prospects who are impressively making their way up the boxing ladder.
Featherweight Aaron Garcia (5-0, 2 KOs) has impressed boxing observers with his wide array of skills and a veteran’s ring savvy. In his last bout, the 23-year-old from Vista, California made short work of Carlos Mota, stopping him in two rounds on July 14.
Garcia will face an opponent to be announced in a six round contest.
Light heavyweight Otis Griffin (7-1-2, 4 KOs) has already amassed quite a following due to his stint on the reality television show “The Next Great Champ.” Griffin, a former professional Arena football player who won the competition and subsequently earned the WBO eight round light heavyweight crown by stopping James Sundin in February, is now chasing after the WBO world title held by Zsolt Erdei. On October 1st, Griffin will try to get one step closer to his dream when he squares off against tough Philadelphian Tyrone Glover (11-8-3, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.
Tickets are priced at $25 to $100. Call 520.393.2799 or 866.DDC.WINS for more information or visit www.goldenboypromotions.com online.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV