EPIX TO UNIFY
THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLES!
The Klitschko Brothers and Povetkin to Defend Their Belts
on Three Consecutive Saturdays, Beginning Feb. 18.
EPIX and EpixHD.com
Snag Exclusive U.S. Rights for Live Telecasts
NEW YORK, NY (January 19, 2012) – They may not be stepping into the same ring to unify their titles but their upcoming title defenses will be televised live in the U.S. on the same network.
World heavyweight champions VITALI KLITSCHKO, ALEXANDER POVETKIN and WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO will defend their respective championship crowns over three consecutive weeks, beginning February 18, and all three world heavyweight title fights will be televised live in the U.S. exclusively on EPIX, the multiplatform premium entertainment service. EpixHD.com will stream the fights live as part of a special free trial offer for boxing fans.
The EPIX heavyweight championship extravaganza will begin on Saturday, February 18 with Vitali Klitschko defending his World Boxing Council (WBC) title against Top-10 contender Dereck Chisora at Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany. On Saturday, February 25, the undefeated Povetkin will defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) belt against world cruiserweight champion Marco Huck in the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, Germany. The grand finale will take place on Saturday, March 3 in the ESPIRIT Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany, and will feature unified champion Wladimir Klitschko defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and WBA super crowns against two-time world cruiserweight champion Jean Marc Mormeck.
These six gladiators boast a combined record of 207-12 (161 KOs) – a 94.5% winning percentage and a 78% victory by knockout ratio.
As has become the custom, EPIX will once again present the closed-captioned simulcast of the three world heavyweight championship fights on a jumbotron in Times Square (Broadway between 44th and 45th Sts.)
“EPIX was pleased with the fan reaction to its exclusive live U.S. telecasts of Vitali Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin’s heavyweight title fights last year. Now to be able to televise live an unprecedented three-week block of the best in the heavyweight division is as exciting to EPIX as it is to U.S. boxing fans,” said Travis Pomposello, EPIX CCO and executive producer of EPIX Sports.
Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 KOs), of Kiev, Ukraine, is a three-time heavyweight champion. He claimed his first world championship belt, the WBO title, in 1999 when he knocked out defending champion Herbie Hide in the second round. He successfully defended that title twice – both by knockout – before losing it to Chris Byrd the following year. Klitscko’s second reign began in 2004 when he won the vacant WBC title by knocking out one-time world champion Corrie Sanders in the eighth round. After successfully defending the title that same year, knocking out Danny Williams in the eighth round, Klitschko retired. Four years later, in 2008, Klitschko returned to the ring, stopping defending WBC champion Samuel Peter in the eighth round and beginning his current reign which is now in its fourth year and has included seven successful title defenses against world champions Tomasz Adamek, Shannon Briggs and Juan Carlos Gomez as well as top-rated contenders Chris Arreola, Odlanier Solis, Kevin Johnson and Albert Sosnowski. Only Briggs and Johnson made it the distance.
Chisora (15-3, 9 KOs), of London, returns to the ring after a career-best performance. Last December, in a fight that was televised live in the U.S. on EPIX, Chisora, an underdog fighting outside his native United Kingdom for the first time, out-boxed undefeated No. 1 heavyweight contender Robert Helenius over 12-rounds in his native Finland only to have the judges return a narrow split decision victory to Helenius to the outrage of fans and media alike. Chisora, the former BBBoC British heavyweight Champion and Commonwealth (British Empire) heavyweight champion boasts consecutive knockout victories of Danny Williams and Sam Sexton, who had a combined record of 54-9 when he defeated them.
Povetkin (23-0, 16 KOs), of Russia, captured the vacant WBA heavyweight title last August, winning a gutsy unanimous decision over former WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev, who entered the fight as the No. 1-rated contender. Povetkin, the 2004 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, has an impressive resume which includes a knockout victory over former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd, and unanimous decision victories over one-time heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers and former U.S. Olympians Jason Estrada and Larry Donald. Povetkin, who has been promoted by Sauerland Event throughout his entire professional career, enters this fight having won four of his last six bouts by knockout, which includes his most recent title defense, an eighth-round stoppage of Cedric Boswell on December 3. All of Povetkin’s heavyweight title fights have been televised live in the U.S. on EPIX.
Huck (34-1, 25 KOs), of Berlin, Germany, enters this fight riding a four-year, 15-bout winning streak. He captured the WBO cruiserweight crown in 2009 with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Victor Ramirez. Huck has successfully defended that title eight times, five by knockout.
Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs), of Kiev, Ukraine, is a two-time world heavyweight champion. Wladimir began his first title reign in 2000 when he captured the WBO heavyweight title via a unanimous decision over defending champion Chris Byrd. Byrd suffered two knockdowns in that battle. Klitschko’s two-year title reign included five successful defenses – all by knockout – before losing the belt to Corrie Sanders in 2003. Klitschko returned to the world championship throne in 2006, this time as IBF champion, when he dethroned Chris Byrd in a title rematch. This victory was even more emphatic than the first one with Klitschko stopping Byrd in the seventh round. Since that fight, Klitschko has taken on and defeated all comers while unifying the title with victories over WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov, and WBA champion David Haye. He enters this fight riding a eight-year, 14-bout winning streak.
Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs), of Pantin, France, captured the WBA cruiserweight title in 2002, dethroning the legendary Virgil Hill who could not answer the bell for the ninth round of their championship fight. His four-year reign as champion included three successful defenses and a title unification victory over WBC champion Wayne Braithwaite. After losing the titles to IBF champion O’Neil Bell in 2006, he regained the WBC and WBA crowns one year later, defeating Bell in their rematch. Since losing the cruiserweight titles to David Haye in 2007, Mormeck has moved up to the heavyweight division where he has been undefeated and is now world-rated in the Top-10.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV