LOS ANGELES, CA (May 22, 2006) – Superstar Manny Pacquiao from The Philippines and Mexican buzzsaw Oscar Larrios will go mano-a-mano in a 12-round championship bout in the historic Araneta Coliseum, which hosted the Ali-Frazier III, The Thrilla in Manila, nearly 31 years ago. Pacquiao, a world champion in three different weight divisions, will be defending his WBC International super featherweight title and mandatory challenger position against former world champion and No. 1 contender Larios, Saturday, July 1 (Sunday, July 2 in The Philippines) in the main event of a card which will be televised live on Pay-Per-View in the United States, beginning at 9 P.M. ET / 6 P.M. PT from The Philippines.
Pacquiao, 41-3-2 (32 KOs), from General Santos City, returns to the ring fresh from his dramatic and historic victory in January where he dealt future Hall-of-Famer Erik Morales his first-ever knockout loss, stopping the three-division world champion in the 10th round, utilizing his secret weapon – the savage punch known as “Manila Ice.” The Morales-Pacquiao II broadcast was purchased by over 350,000 viewers making it one of the year’s most successful pay-par-views as well as an early contender for 2006 Fight of the Year. Pacquiao has gone 15-1-2 in his last 18 bouts with all his victories coming by knockout, including a sensational stoppage of world champion Marco Antonio Barrera. A former WBC flyweight and IBF jr. featherweight champion, Pacquiao is the No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger to WBC 130-pound champion Barrera and a consensus Top-3 Pound-for-Pound fighter. He is trained by Freddie Roach.
Larios, 56-4-1 (36 KOs), from Guadalajara, Mexico won his first world championship in his 49th professional bout, May 17, 2002, knocking out nemesis Israel Vazquez in the 12th round to earn the WBC interim super bantamweight title. Less than six months later, he knocked out undefeated WBC super bantamweight champion Willie Jorrin in the first round to solidify his place as the division’s king. Larios reigned supreme over the super bantamweights for the next three years, successfully defending his title seven times, including two victories over former world champion Wayne McCullough and top-rated contenders Nedal Hussein, Shigeru Nakazato, Napaporn Kiatichoke and Kozo Ishii. Despite being the WBC’s No. 1-rated super bantamweight contender, Larios is looking forward to moving up in weight and challenging one of boxing’s best in Pacquiao and is confident that the extra weight will give him the muscle needed to do the job Morales couldn’t – knocking out PacMan! Larios is trained by Edison Reynoso.
The Pacquiao-Larios pay-per-view will be distributed live to the U.S. by In-Demand, making it available to DirecTV subscribers and virtually 99% of the Pay-Per-View cable homes through Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, Charter, Adelphia, Cablevision, Bright House and Mediacom. Philippine-based ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, the largest and the only multi-media and entertainment conglomerate in The Philippines, will broadcast the fight live around the globe. ABS-CBN programs are also viewed worldwide through The Filipino Channel (TFC), which reaches North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Guam, Japan and other parts of Asia.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV