THREE ELECTRIFYING FIGHTS ADDED TO THE MAYWEATHER VS. MARQUEZ UNDERCARD INCLUDING
TWO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHTS & A FORMER UNDISPUTED WORLD CHAMPION
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 AT MGM GRAND LIVE ON HBO PAY-PER-VIEW®
CHRIS JOHN VS. ROCKY JUAREZ II
MICHAEL KATSIDIS VS. VICENTE ESCOBEDO
ZAB JUDAH VS. ANTONIO DIAZ
LOS ANGELES, August 18 – It's the biggest and one of the most highly-anticipated boxing events of 2009, so there was no question that when it was time to compile the undercard of the Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez super fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas Saturday, Sept. 19, it was decided to bring out the big guns with three spectacular televised undercard bouts on HBO Pay-Per-View®, including two world championship fights.
In the chief support bout, unbeaten Chris John will defend his WBA Featherweight World Championship against one of the most courageous warriors in the game, 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist Rocky Juarez, in a rematch of their February 28, 2009 fight which is seen as one of 2009's most compelling battles thus far. The WBO Interim Lightweight World Championship will be up for grabs on September 19 when Australian action hero and former Lightweight World Champion Michael Katsidis and 2004 U.S. Olympian and hot lightweight contender Vicente Escobedo collide in the ring in what looks like a can't-miss brawl. Opening the HBO Pay-Per-View portion of the card will be a 10-round matchup of welterweight veterans, as former Undisputed Welterweight World Champion Zab Judah takes on the always exciting banger, veteran Antonio Diaz.
“The Mayweather-Marquez fight card is definitely living up to the hype of Floyd's comeback,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “With three more excellent fights being shown on the telecast, fans are in for a great night of boxing from start to finish.”
“Mexican Independence Day Weekend is one of the biggest boxing weekends of the year and with the Mayweather-Marquez mega-fight as the headliner, we wanted to make sure that we have a full night of hard-hitting action which is what we have with the September 19 undercard,” said Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar de la Hoya. “In these three fights we have two World Championships, three current or former World Champions, three Olympians and an exciting rematch of one of this year's greatest fights. As a fan, I can't wait to see these fights and the fans will not want to miss this card whether it's live in Las Vegas or at home on Pay-Per-View.”
HBO Pay-Per-View's Mark Taffet said, “This outstanding undercard is the perfect complement to the Mayweather-Marquez main event and ensures that pay-per-view boxing fans will have a night of non-stop action on September 19.”
Long considered one of the most talented, yet underrated, champions in the sport, Indonesia's Chris “The Dragon” John (42-0-2, 22 KO's) finally broke through to the U.S. audience in 2009 with his exciting battle with Rocky Juarez. A world champion since 2003 who has defended his crown 11 times including victories over Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez and Derrick “Smoke” Gainer, John is eager to build on his newfound fame with a victory over Juarez on September 19.
“I thought I won our first fight but now I am going to show how much I appreciate being champion and beat him again,” said John. “It has always been my desire to fight in Las Vegas and on the big fight cards. September 19 I will be able to do this and show the whole world that I am one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport today.”
Hard-charging Houston native Ricardo Rocky Juarez (28-4-1, 20 KO's) has made a home for himself at the top of the featherweight division for many years now. The only thing missing for the 29-year-old is a world title and after just falling short in competitive wars with Humberto “Zorrita” Soto, Marco Antonio “Barreta” Barrera (twice) and Juan Manuel Marquez, Juarez put it all together in his first bout against John on February 28, 2009, only to have the judges score the fight a draw. The second time around, Juarez vows to bring everything he has to the ring as he looks to take home a world championship belt.
“I am very fortunate to have another chance at a world title and a chance to show the world why I feel like I did enough to win the first fight, said Juarez. “I am getting older and therefore it becomes even more important to reach my long-standing goal of becoming a world champion.”
The pride of Toowoomba, Australia, Michael “The Great” Katsidis (25-2, 21 KO's) has gained worldwide acclaim as one of boxing's most exciting fighters, punch for punch and pound for pound. The former interim WBO Lightweight World Champion, Katsidis has been in with some of the best in the world over his eight-year career, including Joel “Cepillo” Casamayor and Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz. Winner of two in a row, including an April stoppage of former World Champion Jesus “Matador” Chavez, the 29-year-old Katsidis is ready to regain his title with a win over Escobedo.
“I just turned 29 and that is a great age for boxing, fighting for championships and I feel I am peaking right now with my power and ability,” said Katsidis. “I think we are both going to pull out everything to win the title on September 19, but I plan to win and it's certainly going to be a great way to celebrate my birthday.”
At 27 years of age, 2004 U.S. Olympian Vicente Escobedo (21-1, 13 KO's) is hitting his stride as a professional and is ready for his first world title opportunity. A native of Woodland, California, Escobedo has drawn comparisons to Oscar de la Hoya for his style and demeanor both in and out of the ring. After a three-fight stretch that has seen him impressively beat the previously undefeated Dominic Salcido and former World Champions Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez and Kevin “Flushing Flash” Kelley, there is no question that he's ready for prime time.
“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to fight on this card as it falls on Mexican Independence Day and I will be fighting for all of the Mexican people out there,” said Escobedo. “It is for my first world title and I am training extremely hard because I know this is a great opportunity and my dream coming true. I can't wait for the fight and I am ready to win.”
A charismatic wizard in the ring known to his fans as “Super Judah”, Brooklyn's Zab Judah (37-6, 25 KO's) is a Former Two-Division World Champion who got to the top not only because of his blazing speed, but also because of his fight-stopping power. Owner of a resume that includes victories over Micky Ward, Junior Witter, Demarcus Corley and Cory Spinks, the 31-year-old from Brooklyn has readied himself for a run at another world championship and the first fighter in his way is Antonio Diaz.
“I appreciate the opportunity to be able to fight on Floyd's comeback show and I know I have a very tough opponent in Daiz,” said Judah. “I know he is the bigger guy but I intend to take advantage of his fighting style by boxing him all the way to the finish, whether it goes the distance or it's a knockout. I will beat Antonio Diaz on September 19.
Antonio “Toño” Diaz (45-5-1, 27 KO's) first made his name in the late '90s in the light welterweight division with wins over the likes of Cory Spinks, Emanuel Augustus, Ivan Robinson and Omar Weis. Not content with settling on this an impressive resume, Diaz moved up to 147 pounds to do battle against Sugar Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito, and after a three-year layoff from 2005 to 2008, he has won four in a row, putting him in fine form as he approaches the fight with Judah.
“I am looking forward to fighting Zab Judah and think it is a great challenge for me as I continue to comeback after my layoff,” said Diaz. “I have been feeling really good since I took the break and I am training very hard as my goal is to accept this challenge, beat Zab Judah and move on to the next challenge.”
Mayweather vs. Marquez: “Number One/Numero Uno,” is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Marquez Boxing Promotions and is sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, Quaker State, AT&T, Dewalt Tools, Affliction Clothing and Southwest Airlines. The explosive evening of boxing will take place Saturday, Sept. 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. and live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Tickets priced at $1,000, $750, $600, $300 and $150, not including applicable service charges, are on sale now and limited to 10 per person and ticket sales at $150 are limited to two (2) per person with a total ticket limit of 10 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets previously purchased for the July 18 date will be honored.
The Mayweather vs. Marquez pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Mayweather vs. Marquez fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.