The televised undercard of the “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas and “Sugar” Shane Mosley “SHOWDOWN” will treat boxing fans to two career-defining battles. WBO Bantamweight Champion Jhonny Gonzalez defends his title against the legendary Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, and undefeated Calvin Brock puts his unblemished heavyweight record on the line against Zuri Lawrence. “Showdown” is presented by Main Events and Golden Boy Promotions, will take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9pm ET / 6pm PT.
In the twelve-round WBO championship bout, one man is a boxing legend and a future hall of famer, the other is a knockout artist with his sights set on creating his own memorable legacy when WBO bantamweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez and former world champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson meet at boxing’s crossroads.
In the ten-round heavyweight bout, undefeated 2000 US Olympian Calvin Brock, ranked in the top ten by the three major sanctioning organizations and The Ring magazine, tests his will upon upset-minded Zuri Lawrence, who boasts of numerous wins over top competition, including most recently Jameel McCline.
One of boxing’s hottest fighters, Mexico City’s Jhonny Gonzalez (31-4, 27 KOs) has been on a three-year tear through the 118-pound division that has seen him rack up 17 consecutive wins without a loss, including 15 KOs. The current WBO bantamweight champion, the 24-year-old Gonzalez is coming off a devastating seventh round stoppage of veteran Ratanachai Sor Vorapin last October in which he won the world title and he expects that a career-defining victory over Johnson will catapult him straight into the boxing world’s stratosphere
Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson (44-4, 28 KOs) really needs no introduction to fight fans. A former flyweight (seven title defenses) and super flyweight (three title defenses over two reigns) world champion, Johnson is a virtuoso between the ropes, and even though he is coming off the loss of his super flyweight title to Ivan Hernandez in September of 2004, his 2003 victory over current world titlist Fernando Montiel and subsequent knockout win over Luis Bolano seven months later proves that the pride of Washington, DC still has plenty of gas left in his tank.
Brock (27-0, 21 KO’s) is ranked in the top-10 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), the International Boxing Federation (IBF), The Ring magazine, and ESPN. The 30-year-old Charlotte, NC native was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team. Since turning pro on February 11, 2001, Brock has knocked out 16 opponents within the first three rounds. Brock captured the biggest win of his career on April 23, 2005 at the sold out Caesars Palace outdoor arena, when he climbed off the canvas to out-punch and out-hustle former world-title challenger Jameel McCline to earn a unanimous decision victory. Brock has stopped three of his last five opponents.
Lawrence (20-10-4) scored the biggest win of his career in his last bout on October 21, 2005, when he decisioned former world title challenger Jameel McCline. The 35-year-old Poughkeepsie, NY native holds victories over 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist Paolo Vidoz; Nigerian King Ipitan, who at the time of the bout held a record of 19-1-1; and current top-ten ranked heavyweight Ray Austin. Prior to the McCline bout Lawrence unsuccessfully challenged Sultan Ibragimov for the WBO Asia Pacific Heavyweight Title on April 22, 2005.
Tickets, priced at $800, $600, $400, $200 and $100, are available at the Mandalay Bay Theatre box office and at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (Tower Records/WOW!, Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Robinsons-May stores and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the Mandalay Bay box office at (702) 632-7580 or Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com
The Vargas vs. Mosley pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST on February 25, has a suggested retail price of $44.95, will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 50 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For your daily Vargas vs. Mosley fight week updates, log onto www.HBOPPV.com