LAS VEGAS—Undisputed world welterweight champion Zab “Super” Judah will meet his IBF mandatory challenger Cosme “Chino” Rivera in a world championship co-feature as part of the Felix “Tito” Trinidad vs. Winky Wright card Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Judah made the most of his rematch with then-undisputed world welterweight champion Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks in St. Louis on February 5 before 22,370 fans, scoring a ninth round technical knockout that made him the undisputed 147-pound king.
“I have heard Rivera has been talking big,” Judah said. “I have respect for any man that steps into the ring, but talk isn’t what gets the job done in boxing. I feel this is my time . . . Judah time.”
Judah (33-2-1 NC, 24 KOs), from Brooklyn, N.Y., has lightening-quick hands, power and a flashy style that has brought him to the forefront of the sport at age 27.
Rivera is the No. 1-ranked contender, having won the position by knocking out Hercules Kyvelos in the fourth round of an IBF elimination bout in Las Vegas on September 4, 2004.
“All of those boxing insiders who think this is going to be a one-sided fight haven’t followed my career,” Rivera said. “I can’t wait. Judah is wearing my belts. He’s never fought anybody with my heart and determination. I’m a Mexican and we’re all about heart. Nobody’s ever knocked me down. I’ve been waiting my whole career for this opportunity. I’m going to bring the fight to him.”
Rivera (28-7-2, 20 KOs), originally from Mexico but now fighting out of Los Angeles, is a lanky, hard puncher. At age 28, Rivera has not lost a fight since 2001—his last four wins all came by knockout—and he now enters his first world title match.
The physically gifted Judah showed maturity when he admitted after he defeated Spinks that he had not always shown the type of dedication necessary to reach his full potential until now.
“I have not worked as long and as hard as I have to let this slip away from me now,” Judah said. “Rivera better be ready to back up his talk or he’s going to be in trouble because I’m ready to go.”
Promoter Don King loves to stage big events, and he is delighted to add one of the biggest attractions in boxing to this card.
“I’m very excited to see Zab back in action,” King said. “I am very proud of Zab and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. I believe his finest hours in the ring are ahead of him.”
Judah vs. Rivera will be included as part of the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast according to HBO Senior Vice President of Sports Operations & Pay-Per-View Mark Taffet.
“Trinidad vs. Wright was already one of the biggest and most compelling events of the year,” Taffet said. “Now, with the addition of undisputed welterweight champ Zab Judah, pay-per-view boxing fans are in for a super night.”
Tickets priced at $1000, $750, $400, and $250 are on sale now and are available at any MGM Grand box office outlet. Tickets also are sold at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (Tower Records/WOW!, Smith's Food and Drug Centers, Robinsons-May stores and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
The event is being promoted by Don King Productions in association with MGM Grand and Gary Shaw Productions and will be produced and distributed domestically by HBO Pay-Per-View, available to more than 50 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will be broadcast internationally and on closed circuit by KingVision.
For room packages and availability and event ticket information about the MGM Grand, call (800) 929-1111 or (702) 891-7777.