LAS VEGAS, NEV. (March 17, 2012) – Méxican legend and three-division world champion JUAN MÁNUEL MÁRQUEZ and undefeated former World Lightweight Champion BRANDON “Bam Bam” RIOS will headline a world championship pay-per-view event that’s so big its main events are originating from two different countries! Márquez will go for an historic fourth world title in as many different weight divisions when he takes on World Boxing Organization (WBO) European junior welterweight champion SERGEY FEDCHENKO for the vacant WBO interim 140-pound world title. Márquez-Fedchenko will take place in México City’s brand new Arena México. Rios will attempt to reclaim his old title when he rumbles with Cuban gladiator and World Boxing Association (WBA) interim lightweight champion RICHARD ABRIL in a battle for the vacant WBA lightweight title, Saturday, April 14, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.The Márquez/Rios world championship event will be produced by Top Rank and distributed Live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
The live pay-per-view telecast (SRP $44.95) will also feature a 10-round junior welterweight collision of top-10 contenders -- “Mile High” MIKE ALVARADO and MAURICIO HERRERA -- and open with undefeated Top-10 contender MERCITO GESTA of the Philippines, in a 10-round lightweight fight. Boxing fans at Mandalay Bay will also see the Márquez-Fedchenko world title fight live, via closed-circuit, on a jumbo screen. These warriors boast a combined record of 173-9-4 (110 KOs) – a winning percentage of 94%.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Tecate and AT&T, remaining tickets priced at $250, $150, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges, are available at all Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Mandalay Bay at (877) 632-7400 or Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
At a Miami, Fla. press conference earlier this month, the setting for this fight was set when Abril challenged Rios to fight him for the title. As the verbal exchange heated up, Abril slapped Rios across the face, screaming “You aren’t a real champion!”
“Rios won’t need a GPS to find me on April 14. All he’ll have do to is look up and see the referee holding my hand up in victory,” said Abril.
“He may not have thought I was a real champion when he slapped me but he’s going to know I’m a real champion on April 14 when I knock him on his South Beach,” said Rios. “I do give Abril credit for one thing. I know he’s going to show up for this fight.That will be his second mistake with me.”
“We have four great fights that will make for a very exciting event, including a legend from México in Juan Mánuel Márquez and undefeated knockout artist Brandon Rios who is trying to recapture his world title,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “The dual-site pay-per-view event will open at Mandalay Bay with Gesta, followed by Alvarado vs. Herrera and the Rios-Abril world title fight. The grand finale will send boxing fans to México City where they will get their first look at the brand new Arena México, and a projected full house, on hand to witness Márquez’s attempt at history. Top Rank owes a great deal to its sponsors, Mandalay Bay and HBO for its continued support of our event.”
“With Juan Mánuel Márquez, Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado all on the same fight card, boxing fans can look forward to a night of non-stop action”, said Mark Taffet, senior vice president, HBO Pay-Per-View. ”We’re delighted to provide the pay-per-view distribution for this event.”
Rios (29-0-1, 22 KOs), the former WBA lightweight champion, from Oxnard, Calif., enters this fight having won 10 of his previous 11 fights by knockout. Highlight victories on his resume include Miguel Acosta, Anthony Peterson, Urbano Antillon and John Murray, none of whom went the distance. Abril (17-2-1, 8 KOs), a Cuban expatriate who now resides in Miami, Fla., returns to the ring having won seven of his previous eight fights. He captured the WBA interim lightweight title last October, knocking down former WBA lightweight champion Acosta three times en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Márquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs), of México City, is one of only a rare few from México to have won world titles in three different weight divisions. The only man to go the distance with pound for pound superstar Manny Pacquiao three times, Marquez boasts a Hall of Fame resume highlighted by victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Manuel Medina, Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis. Fedchenko (30-1, 13 KOs), from Kharkov, Ukraine, enters this fight riding a 28-month winning streak, which has included WBO European title victories over Willy Blain and Demarcus Corley. He is world-rated No. 5 by the WBO.
Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs) of Denver, has won 10 of his last 12 bouts by stoppage en route to a career-high No. 3 world rating, in the World Boxing Organization (WBO). Notable knockout victims include Breidis Prescott, Ray Narh, Emmanuel Clottey and Cesar Bazan.Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs), from Lake Elsinore, Calif., enters this fight riding a two-year, five-bout winning streak, highlighted by victories over Ruslan Provodnikov (17-0) and Mike Dallas, Jr. (17-1-1). Herrera is currently world-rated No. 7 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
Gesta (24-0-1, 12 KOs), a native of Cebu, Philippines, fights out of San Diego. He returns to the ring with seven of his last 10 victories coming inside the distance, earning career-high world ratings of No. 7 in the WBA and No. 8 in the WBO.