NEW YORK (February 22, 2013) — World championship boxing makes its 2013 debut on EPIX next month with an exciting quadruple-header! World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight champion RICKY “Rickster” BURNS and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titlist MIGUEL “Titere” VAZQUEZ will collide in a world title unification to determine the division's top dog in the main event of a blockbuster four-bout card. “Best of Britain” will be televised live ringside from Wembley Arena in London, Saturday, March 16, beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT, exclusively on EPIX, the premium entertainment service. EPIX will stream the fights live on EpixHD.com and on the EPIX app on Xbox consoles and Roku players as part of a special free trial offer for boxing fans.
In addition to the Burns- Vazquez match, the EPIX “Best of Britain” live telecast will feature undefeated WBO light heavyweight champion NATHAN CLEVERLY defending his title against No. 1 contender ROBIN KRASNIQI; and undefeated No. 2-rated contender GEORGE GROVES will risk his record and rating against fellow Top-10 contender MOUHAMED NDIAYE in a rumble for the vacant European super middleweight title. The televised card will be rounded out with one-time world heavyweight title challenger DERECK “Del Boy” CHISORA making his 2013 debut.
These seven gladiators boast a combined record of 185-12 (84 KOs) — a winning percentage of 94%.
Last year, Burns (35-2, 10 KOs), of Coatbridge, Scotland, became his country's first two-division world champion in 20 years. He captured the WBO junior lightweight title in 2010, winning a thrilling 12-round decision over defending champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez despite suffering a first-round knockdown. It remains the only loss on the two-time world champion's resume. After three successful title defenses, Burns moved up to the lightweight division, winning the WBO interim title in 2011 over former champion Michael Katsidis. He is in his second year of his WBO lightweight title reign having successfully defended his world championship belt twice, against top-rated contenders Paulos Moses and Kevin Mitchell, who had a combined record of 61-2 when he fought them.
Vazquez (33-3, 13 KOs), of Guadalajara, México, enters this fight riding a five-year, 12-bout winning streak. He captured the vacant IBF lightweight title in 2010, via a dominant unanimous decision over Ji-Hoon Kim. He has successfully defended his title five times during his two-year reign. His last fight was a masterpiece, blitzing heralded undefeated contender Mercito Gesta via unanimous decision on the December 8 Manny Pacquiao – Juan Manuel Márquez 4 pay-per-view undercard.
Cleverly (25-0, 12 KOs), of Caerphilly, Wales, was British Commonwealth and European light heavyweight champion before he ascended the throne as world champion. After winning the WBO interim light heavyweight title in 2010, winning a close but unanimous decision over Nadjib Mohammedi, he was elevated to world champion a few months later where he has since successfully defended the WBO title four times since 2011 against opponents who had a combined record of 81-6-2 when he battled them. In Cleverly's last fight, which took place at Staples Center in Los Angeles on November 11, he blasted out Shawn Hawk in the eighth round.
Krasniqi (39-2, 15 KOs), a native of Serbia who fights out of Munich, Germany, is riding a seven-year, 38-bout winning streak. Only once has Krasniqi ever fought outside Germany — in Prague, Czech Republic in 2010. He enters this fight having won his last four fights by knockout. Those victories also earned him the WBO European and WBO International light heavyweight crowns as well and his WBO mandatory challenger position.
Groves (16-0, 12 KOs), of Hammersmith, England, has a trophy case that already displays the British and Commonwealth super middleweight belts. He will be looking to add the vacant European title to his resume. He ended 2012 with a masterclass performance — a unanimous decision victory over former world champion and Fighter of the Year Glenn Johnson, last December 15. Groves is currently world-rated No. 2 by the WBO and the World Boxing Association (WBA), No. 6 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 7 by the IBF.
Ndiaye (22-1, 13 KOs), enters this fight enjoying a five-year, nine-bout winning streak. A native of Senegal, Ndiaye trains and lives in Pontedera, Toscana, Italy. He has held the Italian and the European super middleweight titles. World-rated No. 8 by the WBC, Ndiaye has won his last three bouts by stoppage.
Chisora (15-4, 9 KOs), from London, went the 12-round limit in a valiant challenge of WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko on February 18, 2012 before losing the decision. The former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion will be looking to return to world title contention this year.
EPIX® is the newest premium entertainment network delivering the latest movie releases, classic library titles, plus original films, comedy, music and sports events on TV, on demand, online and on devices. Launched October 2009 as the first multiplatform premium network with online accessibility for subscribers through EpixHD.com, EPIX pioneered the development and proliferation of TV Everywhere for American consumers. EPIX was the first premium network to launch on Xbox 360®consoles, first on Android™ tablets and phones, first on Roku® players and soon to be the first to launch on PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system. EPIX is available to authenticated subscribers on hundreds of devices including Apple® iPads®, iPhones®, Kindle Fire tablets, Samsung® Smart TVs and Blu-ray™ players and more. Today EPIX remains the only premium service providing its entire monthly line-up from new Hollywood hits to original programs on all platforms and provides more movies than any other premium network.
EPIX is a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), available to over 30 million homes nationwide through distribution partners including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DISH Network, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FiOS.