Promoter Don King has announced that former welterweight champion of the world Ricardo “El Matador” Maryorga will face former IBF welterweight titlist Michelle Piccirillo for the vacant WBC super welterweight championship as part of his “Global Glory” show at the United Center on Aug. 13. [Editor's note: the title was stripped from Javier Castillejo by the WBC for failing to make a mandatory defense]
The colorful Mayorga (27-5-1, 23 KOs), a beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking and hard-punching boxer from Nicaragua, has delighted fans with his free-spirited training regimen and his macho boxing style. Mayorga’s manager Carl King was successful in convincing Mayorga to bring in Yoel Judah, father and trainer of undisputed world welterweight champion Zab “Super” Judah, to co-train Mayorga along with Luis Leon. “Ricardo’s got all the power and heart that any trainer could ask for,” Judah said. “Now I’m going to work with him on defense, foot work and hand speed. Anyone in his way has got problems.”
Mayorga stunned fight fans in Reading, Pa., and watching live on Showtime when he dropped his hands to his waist, stuck his chin out, and allowed his opponent, then-WBA welterweight champion Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis, to pummel him when they met in 2002. “El Matador” took the best shots the champion had, and then responded by blasting Lewis with a right hand in round five that sent him to the canvas, scoring a technical knockout.
Mayorga fears no man, as evidenced in 2003 by the fact he agreed to next face then-WBC welterweight champion Vernon “The Viper” Forrest—who had shocked the world by defeating the then-seemingly invincible “Sugar” Shane Mosley twice in succession—but Mayorga unified the titles knocked him down in the first round and out in the third. Just like Forrest had done with Mosley, Mayorga agreed to an immediate rematch with Forrest and defeated him again.
Mayorga finished off 2003 by attempting to become the undisputed welterweight champion by facing IBF champion Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks. A slick boxer, Spinks was able to avoid much of Mayorga’s power and won a very close majority decision.
Undaunted as usual, Mayorga most recently participated in a middleweight slugfest for the ages with the legendary Felix “Tito” Trinidad at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Oct. 2, 2004. Mayorga knocked Trinidad down in the third round, but Trinidad proved too much for the brave Nicaraguan, scoring an eighth-round technical knockout.
Piccirillo (44-2, 28 KOs), from Italy, won the 140-pound Italian championship in 1996 and won the European Boxing Union welterweight title in 1997. He successfully defended his EBU crown eight times before receiving his first world title shot fighting Spinks for the vacant IBF title. The fight took place in Italy on April 13, 2002, and Piccirillo showed his mettle by winning a unanimous decision. Piccirillo granted Spinks an immediate rematch in the same venue on March 22, 2003, but it was the slick Spinks who won the decision in this match. Spinks went on to defeat Zab “Super” Judah to become the undisputed world welterweight champion. Piccirillo has moved up to 154 pounds and is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak.
Tickets priced at $25, $50, $100, $150, $250 and $400 can be purchased at the United Center Box Office, and at Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster online. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling (312) 559-1212. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions in association with the United Center.