SANTA YNEZ, Calif. (July 17, 2006) – Former two-time WBC lightweight champion Stevie Johnston will go mano-a-mano with former WBA super lightweight champion Vivian Harris in the main event of a spectacular card which will also feature top-rated welterweight contender Joshua Clottey risking his world ranking in accepting the challenge by undefeated contender Richard Gutierrez in a 12-round welterweight battle.
Promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC (www.garyshawproductions.com), both fights will be televised live Saturday, July 29, on HBO's "Boxing After Dark," from the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez. The live telecast will begin at 10:30 PM/ET (delayed west coast broadcast will begin at 10:30 PM/ PT.)
Johnston fills in for Mike Arnaoutis, Harris' original opponent, who withdrew from the fight claiming he had suffered an injury in training. A battle of Top-10 contenders, Harris and Johnston have a combined record of 65-5-2 (35 KOs). The winner of this bout will be thrust back into world title contention.
Johnston, (39-3-1, 18 KOs), from Denver, CO, captured his first world title when he dethroned WBC lightweight champion Jean Baptiste Mendy in Paris winning an exciting split decision in 1997. Johnston successfully defended his title three times during his 16-month reign, before losing it to Cesar Bazan in 1998 via a heated and grueling split decision that demanded a rematch, a rematch Johnston won, along with the title eight months later. Johnston successfully defended the title four times during his second reign as world champion, which again lasted 16 months, before losing it via a majority decision to Jose Luis Castillo. In the rematch, Castillo retained the title by way of a disputed draw that saw judge Ken Morita's scorecard changed from 115-114 in Johnson's favor to 114-114 after the fight changing Johnson's victory to a Draw. Johnson, currently world-rated No. 7 by the WBC, is riding a four-fight winning streak, including a 12-round unanimous decision over Steve Quinonez in January.
Remaining tickets, priced at $45, $65, $85, $105, and $145, can be purchased at the Chumash Casino Resort box office, calling Star TicketsPlus at (800) 585-3737.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV