CHICAGO (September 14, 2005) – Dominic Pesoli's 8 Count Productions and Bob Arum's Top Rank Inc., along with Miller Lite and TCF Bank, present VIVA MEXICO, a celebration of Mexican Independence Day, this Friday, September 16, at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom
Headlining this internationally televised SOLO BOXEO DE MILLER/UNIVISION event is the first ever Chicagoland appearance of legendary warrior and five-time world champion Johnny “Mi Vida Loca” Tapia. Tapia, 55-4-2 (28 KOs), of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will face Sandro Marcos, 26-13-2 (21 KOs) of Oaxaca, Mexico in a ten round featherweight bout.
Tapia is currently ranked # 6 by the WBO and # 13 by the WBA and is continuing to aim for another world title shot. His seventeen year Hall of Fame career includes wins over world champions and contenders, including Hugo Soto, Danny Romero, Carlos Hernandez, Jorge Julio, Cesar Soto, Manuel Medina and Carlos Contreras. He also has fought former world champion Paulie Ayala twice, losing very both all-out wars by decision.
Tapia's last bout, a battle with Frankie Archuleta on April 15, 2005, saw Tapia avenge an earlier loss to the younger, physically stronger up-and-comer. Despite a closed left eye, Tapia would gut out a decision, closing the show in championship style by sweeping the last three rounds.
Thirteen year veteran Marcos has battled world champions and contenders Carlos Hernandez, Roberto Garcia, Jorge Paez, Harold Warren, Jose Luis Castillo and Antonio Ramirez.
The co-main event features Raul “The Cobra” Martinez, 9-0 (6 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas taking on Miguel Martinez, 41-24-1 (31 KOs) of Tijuana in an eight round bantamweight bout. Lightning-fast Martinez is promoted by Kathy Duva's Main Events. In his most recent bout, the 23-year-old, two time U.S. National Amateur Champion and 2004 Olympic Team quarterfinalist, won a unanimous decision over Benito Abraham before a hometown crowd in San Antonio. Prior to that, Martinez opened the Main Events/ESPN PPV on April 23rd of this year beating Jose Alfredo Tirado at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. Half of his six knockouts have come in the first round.
Miguel Martinez is coming off a unanimous decision win over world title challenger Tatsuo Hayashida in his last bout. His career includes battles with Johnny Tapia, John Michael Johnson, Melchor Cobb Castro, Jorge Arce, Jorge Eliecer Julio, Heriberto Ruiz, Diego Morales and Alejandro Montiel.
The terrific undercard features the long awaited return to the ring of super middleweight KO artist Oscar Bravo, 22-2 (19 KOs). Bravo was last seen in Chicago on February 25th of this year pummeling Joseph Brady to a first round knockout. The heavy-handed Bravo will face Rico Cason, 16-15 (4 KOs) of Nashville, Tennessee in a scheduled six-rounder.
Also on the undercard is Chicagoland fan favorite, super bantamweight slugger Francisco Rodriguez (4-0, 4 KOs). Francisco's last bout was a stunning second round knockout over Danny Esquivel this past June at the 8 Count Productions' “Fists of Freedom.” Rodriguez will face Kevin Hudgins, 3-2 (1 KO) of Pensacola, Florida in a six round bout. The Rodriguez/Hudgins bout is a rematch of their bout earlier this year that saw Francisco winning by TKO in the first round. Many thought was a quick stoppage of a bout that promised action from start to finish.
Female sensation Rita Figueroa, 4-0 (2 KOs), will also return to the ring in a scheduled four-rounder. Rita's last bout was a first round knockout win over Jasmine Davis this past June 25th at the Aragon Ballroom. Rita will battle Maria Nava, 1-2, of Little Rock, Arkansas in a scheduled six rounder.
Rounding out the card is super featherweight newcomer Barbaro Zepeda, originally from Atlanta, GA, now based in Chicago. The 21-year-old Zepeda's last bout was a brutal six round war with unbeaten hot prospect Frankie Tafoya in June at the Aragon that had the huge crowd on their feet throughout the battle. Zepeda will face Cliff Walker, 0-1-1 of Denver, Colorado in a six round bout.
The Aragon Ballroom is located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago at 1106 W. Lawrence Avenue. For further directions to the Aragon Ballroom, please visit their website at www.aragon.com.
Tickets are on sale in advance by calling 312-226-5800. Doors open at 6pm with the first bell at 7pm.