LOS ANGELES (July 12, 2013) - At a press conference in Los Angeles on Thursday,
Golden Boy Promotions formally announced a world championship doubleheader that will take place Saturday, Aug. 24, at StubHub Center (formerly The Home Depot Center) in
Carson, Calif. and which will be televised live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
In the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Three-Time and Three-Division World Champion Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO's), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will defend his WBC Featherweight World Championship against former Two-Division World Champion Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO's), of Mexico City.
Former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz(24-0-1, 14 KO's), of Los Angeles, by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico, will challenge WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor "Vikingo" Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO's), of Guadalajara, in the opening bout of the telecast.
Two of boxing's most exciting practitioners, Mares and Santa Cruz participated in the press conference at El Paseo Inn Restaurant while Gonzalez, who was scheduled to attend but did not due to a problem with his flight, spoke briefly to assembled media members via SKYPE.
This will be the eighth consecutive appearance on SHOWTIME for Mares (including last May 4 when he dethroned Daniel Ponce De Leon via a ninth-round technical knockout to capture the WBC 126-pound crown on SHOWTIME PPV) dating back to his SHOWTIME debut on May 22, 2010. Five of Santa Cruz's six fights since June 2, 2012, have been on SHOWTIME. The other came on The CBS Television Network.
Tickets priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, go on sale this Saturday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. PT and will be available online at AXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. PT to 6:00 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 877-234-8425.
What the boxers, Golden Boy Vice President and Matchmaker Eric Gomez, who emceed the press conference, and Mares' manager Frank Espinoza said Thursday:
Abner Mares, WBC Featherweight World Champion
"This is going to be a tough fight for both of us, but a great fight for the fans. I want tough fights and I want to fight the best. I want to give the fans nothing but great fights. I proved against Ponce De Leon that I could carry my power to this weight class.
"Jhonny Gonzlez and I go back a long ways. We were once both trained by Nacho Beristain. I was one of Jhonny's sparring partners in Big Bear, Calif., before his fight against Israel Vazquez, but that was a long time ago (2006) and look at where we are now. I'm the champion and defending against him.
"I'm really looking forward to this fight and this challenge. Jhonny's a tough boxer-puncher. He has almost 60 pro fights. I know he's coming with everything he has.
"I really want to thank my beautiful wife and two children, my promoter, Golden Boy, who signed me and made me a three-time world champion, my manager, Frank Espinoza, who's been with me every step of the way, and SHOWTIME. Without SHOWTIME, people would have never heard of me.
"I hope to continue to make a name for myself on August 24 and look forward to fighting again on SHOWTIME in front of my hometown fans."
Jhonny Gonzalez, Former Two-Division World Champion
"I just want to thank Abner Mares for taking this challenge and taking this fight. Abner Mares is a great fighter and that is why he's the world champion."
Leo Santa Cruz, Former IBF Bantamweight World Champion
"I feel very happy and motivated to get the opportunity to become a world champion again. I always wanted to be a world champion in multiple weight classes that fans would remember and always follow. It's an honor to fight for the WBC title. It was always one of my dreams.
"I'm training very hard because I know this is going to be a dangerous fight. I'm fighting a very tough guy who likes to keep the pressure on.
"I think taking some time off between fights has helped me a lot because I feel re-energized. I feel very strong.
"The only pressure on me when I fight is the pressure I put on myself to please the fans. They're who I fight for. I want them to see tremendous action and great fights each time [I fight]. I really want to give them what they want. I never want to disappoint them.
"When I hear fans say they like me, it only encourages me to work harder and show them what I've got. I have a long ways to go, but the hard work has been paying off so far and I think I'm doing OK."
Eric Gomez, Vice President & Matchmaker, Golden Boy Promotions
"This is a one-punch knockout fight.
"Abner Mares has always said, 'just line the fighters up,' and that's what a matchmaker loves to hear.
"Abner's been on a phenomenal eight or nine fight run. I don't think anyone in boxing has had one like it. When you have an Abner Mares fight, you just know it's going to be an exciting fight.
"We sold out in Carson the last time (Marcos Maidana vs. Josesito Lopez and Alfredo Angulo vs. Erislandy Lara) and hopefully we'll sell out again. StubHub Center is one of the very best venues in the world to see fights."
Frank Espinoza, Mares' Manager
"To get to the level where we are, you fight the best, and Abner has fought all the best and that's why he's considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Jhonny Gonzalez is just another one of those great fighters, a former world champion, who we'll face. Abner's fought anybody and everybody.
"Stubhub Center is going to be filled with fireworks. You'll feel the adrenaline and not just with Abner and Jhonny. What an amazing undercard. It's going to be an incredible night."
Mares vs. Gonzalez, a 12-round fight for Mares' WBC Featherweight World Championship, will take place on Saturday, August 24 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, sponsored by Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Also featured will be a 12-round world championship showdown between WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor Terrazas and former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz. SHOWTIMECHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is available in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP). Mares vs. Gonzalez is presented in association with Promociones Del Pueblo. Preliminary fights will air onSHOWTIME EXTREME®.
The newest member of boxing's pound for pound fraternity, Hawaiian Gardens, California's Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO's) earned his spot there the hard way, battling through adversity and some of the best fighters in the world over the last eight years. A member of the 2004 Mexican Olympic team who originally hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Mares won his first world title in 2011 when he defeated Joseph Agbeko for the IBF Bantamweight World Championship. Mares won the WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship against Eric Morel less than a year later and, in May of 2013, the 27-year-old knocked out Daniel Ponce De Leon, capturing the WBC Featherweight World Championship. On August 24, he will look to add to his already stellar resume by defending his belt against Gonzalez.
A knockout puncher who has struck fear into the hearts of opponents for years, Mexico City's Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO's) is a fan favorite who has won world championships at bantamweight and featherweight while beating the likes of Mark Johnson, Fernando Montiel, Irene Pacheco and Mauricio Pastrana. Since moving to featherweight full-time in 2009, Gonzalez has gone 14-1 with 12 knockouts, with his only loss in the form of a technical decision to Ponce De Leon in September of last year. The winner of two straight who most recently scored a fourth round technical knockout win over Akihiko Katagiri, the 31-year-old veteran plans on testing Mares' chin this August when he attempts to get the title which he lost to Ponce De Leon back.
Unbeaten in his last 11 bouts, Guadalajara's Victor "Vikingo" Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO's) is one of Mexico's most underrated fighters, but with a win over Santa Cruz this August, the world will know his name. The owner of a 2011 win over Fernando Montiel, Terrazas won the WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship this past April by decisioning Cristian Mijares. On August 24, he makes his first defense.
Boxing's latest action hero, 24-year-old Leo "Terremoto" Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KO's), of Los Angeles, made quite the impression in his super bantamweight debut in May, stopping Alexander Munoz in five rounds. It was a great start at 122 pounds for the former bantamweight king originally from Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico who successfully defended the belt he captured in June 2012 at StubHub Center three times over the span of three months before seeking bigger game at super bantamweight.
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