HBO Sports rings in the holiday season with an action-packed doubleheader from deep in the heart of Texas when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: NONITO DONAIRE VS. JORGE ARCE AND GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX VS. POONSAWAT KRATINGDAENGGYM is seen SATURDAY, DEC. 15 at 9:30 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT), from the Toyota Center in Houston, exclusively on HBO. The HBO broadcast team of Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Roy Jones Jr. will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: Dec. 16 (9:15 a.m.) and 17 (11:55 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Dec. 16 (4:45 p.m.) and 18 (11:00 p.m.)
In a junior featherweight title showdown, Nonito Donaire (30-1, 19 KOs) of San Leandro, Cal. takes on Jorge Arce (61-6-2, 46 KOs) of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico in a scheduled 12-round contest. A fierce fighter known for devastating speed, Donaire, 30, is one of the sport’s top performers and has not lost a fight in more than 11 years. Following his October TKO of Toshiaki Nishioka, this will be his fourth bout of the year. A popular veteran riding an 11-bout unbeaten streak, the 33-year-old Arce is a former multiple-division titlist fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Mauricio Martinez, and will also be making his fourth appearance of the year. In May 2011, he handed Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. the first loss of his career.
In the opening fight, Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) of Miami, Fla. takes on Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (48-2, 33 KOs) of Sakon, Nakhon, Thailand in another 12-round, 122-pound title fight. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Rigondeaux, 32, will be making his HBO debut. He represented Cuba in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, but didn’t turn pro until he was 28 years old, after defecting from Cuba in 2009. Also 32, Kratingdaenggym boasts a seven-bout winning streak spanning two years. The top-rated Thai fighter in the world, he most recently scored a unanimous decision victory over Danilo Pena in September. This HBO debut is also his first fight in the U.S.
Leading off the telecast will be the replay of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 4. The two elite prizefighters fought the fourth chapter of their spirited rivalry on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas and Marquez scored a resounding 6th round KO victory that has already emerged as a clear favorite for “Fight of the Year” honors.
A new edition of the boxing news and interview program “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley” debuts from Houston immediately after the live doubleheader at 12:30 a.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT).
All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.