NEW YORK – In his first bout since his memorable battle with World Boxing Council/International Boxing Federation (WBC/IBF) Champion Erik Morales, former IBF junior lightweight champion Carlos “Famoso’’ Hernandez will return to the ring to face former North American Boxing Federation (NABF) champion Juan Carlos “Ranchero’’ Ramirez on the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams undercard Saturday, Dec. 11, from The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
The Hernandez-Ramirez 10-round bout joins the previously announced World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight title fight between popular, undefeated champion Miguel Cotto and former World Boxing Association/World Boxing Organization (WBA/WBO) 140-pound kingpin Randall Bailey in an outstanding televised undercard.
In addition, current FECARBOX champion and former World Boxing Union (WBU) and International Boxing Association (IBA) titleholder Carlos Navarro will face former North American Boxing Association (NABA) champion Frankie Archuleta in a 12-rounder for the vacant WBC Intercontinental junior lightweight title. Roberto Duran Jr., the namesake of legendary Roberto Duran, will be featured in a six-round bout in the top non-televised undercard match.
In the pay-per-view main event, WBC Heavyweight Champion Klitschko (34-2, 33 KOs) will make the first defense of his heavyweight title against Williams (32-3, 27 KOs), who is coming off an impressive fourth-round knockout over former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
Hernandez (40-4-1, 24 KOs), of West Covina, Calif., became the first boxer of El Salvadorian descent to win a world title when he recorded an eighth-round technical decision over David Santos in a bout for the IBF junior lightweight title on Feb. 1, 2003. A national hero in El Salvador, where both his parents were born, the well-conditioned Hernandez made one successful defense – a 10th-round technical decision over Steve Forbes on Oct. 4, 2003 – before losing a 12-round decision to Morales in a heated 130-pound world title unification bout on July 31, 2004. Hernandez gave an all-out performance and fought courageously, but fell by the scores 115-113 and 119-110 twice.
Ramirez (34-6, 14 KOs), of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has gone 5-1 since losing a crowd-pleasing slugfest to then-undefeated, then-WBA/WBO 130-pound champion Acelino Freitas on March 15, 2003. In a gallant effort, the exciting Ramirez got credit for a knockdown in the second, but went down twice in the third and the bout was stopped 19 seconds into the fourth. Ramirez has defeated former world champions Jesus Salud, Hector Acero-Sanchez and Cesar Soto. In his previous world title challenges, he lost to WBC titleholders Erik Morales and Luisito Espinoza. Ramirez is coming off a sixth-round TKO over Jose Sarabia in his last outing on Oct. 22, 2004.
Ramirez (34-6, 14 KOs), of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has gone 5-1 since losing a crowd-pleasing slugfest to then-undefeated, then-WBA/WBO 130-pound champion Acelino Freitas on March 15, 2003. In a gallant effort, Ramirez got credit for a knockdown in the second, but went down twice in the third and the bout was stopped 19 seconds into the fourth. Ramirez has defeated former world champions Jesus Salud, Hector Acero-Sanchez and Cesar Soto. In his previous world title challenges, Ramirez lost to WBC titleholders Erik Morales and Luisito Espinoza. The former NABF champion is coming off of a sixth-round TKO over Jose Sarabia in his last outing on Oct. 22, 2004.
Navarro (23-3-1, 20 KOs), of Los Angeles, was considered the best amateur pound-for-pound fighter heading into the 1996 Olympic Trials. The two-time U.S. National champion and 1994 Goodwill Games gold medallist lost to Floyd Mayweather and failed to make the U.S. team. After turning pro on July 25, 1996, the older brother of top-ranked flyweight and 2000 U.S. Olympian, Jose Navarro, won his initial 19 starts. Along the way, he captured both the California state and WBU titles. In his last start, the talented Navarro scored a seventh-round TKO over Luisito Espinoza on July 9, 2004.
Archuleta (23-4-1, 13 KOs), of Las Vegas, New Mexico, won a 10-round split decision over five-time world champion Johnny Tapia in his last start on March 5, 2004, in Las Vegas, New Mexico. A tough competitor who makes for scintillating scraps, Archuleta captured the NABA 122-pound crown with a third-round TKO over Osvaldo Guerrero on June 21, 2002. Archuleta has battled such impressive fighters as former WBC featherweight champion Kevin Kelley and unbeaten Rocky Juarez.
Cotto (21-0, 17 KOs) will make his first title defense when he takes on Bailey (28-4, 27 KOs), an offensive-minded slugger with explosive punching power.
Tickets are priced at $650, $400, $200, $100 and $50 and are on sale now at the Mandalay Bay Box Office and all TicketMaster outlets. To order tickets by phone, call (702) 632-7580. Tickets also are available through K2 Promotions at 323-954-8055.
The Klitschko vs. Williams pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and made available to more than 50 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For more event information log onto www.HBOPPV.com