Press Release: Relentless combatants square off when HBO World Championship Boxing resents Ricky Hatton vs. Paul Malignaggi and James Kirkland vs. Brian Vera live this Satuurday, November 22, 2008 (10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT), from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton (44-1, 31 KOs) of Manchester, England returns to the States to battle Brooklyn’s Paul “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (25-1, 5 KOs ) in a scheduled 12-round world junior welterweight championship fight.  Enormously popular back home, Hatton is an aggressive brawler who enters attack mode at the opening bell, swarming his opponent with persistent punches.  Raising his profile in America last December when he lost to Floyd Mayweather in a welterweight showdown, Hatton now returns to his natural weight of 140 pounds and seeks to reassert his dominance in the division.

Affable Paulie Malignaggi is known for his flashy style in the ring, where he displays quick combinations and a huge heart, and a larger-than-life personality outside the ropes.  Earning a 140-pound title in 2007 when he decisioned Lovemore N’dou, Malignaggi never backs down from a challenge, and now intends to prove that he’s the best at 140 pounds.

Two Texans clash in the opening bout, as hard-hitting James Kirkland (23-0, 20 KOs) returns to HBO to face rugged contender Brian Vera (16-1, 10 KOs ) in a ten-round middleweight contest.  Undefeated Kirkland is an exciting knockout artist, with 18 of his 20 knockout victories coming in the first three rounds.  Vera is fresh off an impressive victory over highly-regarded prospect Andy Lee.

HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition. The executive producer is Rick Bernstein; producer, Thomas Odelfelt; director, Marc Payton.