BROOKLYN (February 12) - The co-main event to the Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavoris Cloud IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship on Saturday, March 9 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn is set as undefeated Florida knockout artist Keith "One Time" Thurman and former World Champion Jan "Mr. Sympathicus" Zaveck will do battle in a 12-round bout for Zaveck's WBO Intercontinental Welterweight Championship, which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
"I've been patiently waiting for my time," said Thurman. "That time is March 9 and I'm going to go through Zaveck and then get my title shot. This is my year, no question about it and I'm going to let the world know it."
"I miss having a championship belt around my waist and this is the next step to getting it back," said Zaveck, who held the IBF welterweight title for nearly two years from 2009 to 2011. "Thurman is a talented young fighter, but my experience will be my ticket to victory on March 9. Nobody can stop me on my way back to the world title."
"Keith Thurman is the definition of an exciting fighter," said Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. "He is on the fast track to a world championship, but first he has to get past a very tough customer in Jan Zaveck on March 9 which will be no easy task."
With a 95 percent knockout ratio, Clearwater, Florida's Keith "One Time" Thurman (19-0, 18 KO's) has become a wildly popular fighter over the last few years. A former amateur star with over 100 wins to his name, Thurman turned pro in 2007 and he has been knocking opponents out ever since. The owner of nine first round knockouts, the 24-year-old dispatched all of his foes in 2012 including then-unbeaten Brandon Hoskins, respected contender Orlando Lora, and former World Champion Carlos Quintana. Now he looks forward to imposing his knockout will on Zaveck and setting himself up for a world title shot later in the year.
A native of Slovenia, now fighting out of Magdeburg, Germany, 36-year-old Jan Zaveck (32-2, 18 KO's) has long been a top welterweight, winning several regional titles in Europe before stopping Isaac Hlatshwayo in three rounds in December of 2009 to win the IBF Welterweight World Championship. Zaveck successfully defended his crown three times before losing it to Andre Berto in September of 2011 in a pitched battle, but a March 2012 win over Bethuel Ushona, putting Zaveck right back in title contention. He will stop at nothing to secure a victory on March 9 to earn a shot at becoming a world champion once again.
Hopkins vs. Cloud, a 12-round fight for Cloud's IBF Light Heavyweight World Championship, will take place Saturday, March 9 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Don King Productions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T and Ford. The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $85, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, are available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-745-3000.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV