By Ramon Rodriguez
As July 16 approaches, Golden Boy Promotions eagerly anticipates showcasing their stellar “NeXt in Line” card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada live on HBO pay-per-view.
“We’re putting our muscle behind this along with HBO so it’ll turn out to be a blockbuster,” said GBP president Oscar de la Hoya when asked about the show that will be headlined by the Bernard Hopkins-Jermaine Taylor world middleweight championship bout. “We were originally hoping for 150,000-175,000 pay-per-view numbers but there are indications that it may do even better than Gatti-Mayweather [around 350,000 buys]. The odds show that this is an even fight. We’re breaking records when it comes to passing media credentials around the world; we’ve found out that this show is surpassing my fight with Bernard Hopkins. And ticket sales are excellent—we’re expecting 15,000-16,000 people. The indications are outstanding.”
In the main event, Hopkins, the undisputed middleweight champion, looks to extend his record of twenty middleweight title defenses against heir apparent Jermaine “Bad Intentions” Taylor. The fight has been nearly five years in the making since Taylor turned pro following the 2000 Olympics. On the undercard there will also be several excellent matches that Golden Boy Promotions is excited about. “We’ll have Abner Mares, the return of Vernon Forrest and of course the rematch between Oscar Larios and Wayne McCullough,” said de la Hoya. “We can’t wait—we’re definitely ready for it.”
Larios, the WBC super bantamweight champion, is out to prove to the world that his first fight with Wayne McCullough was not as close as people remember. “Larios has been a champ for eight defenses and he wants to prove that he can knock out McCullough since great fighters like (Erik) Morales couldn’t,” said De La Hoya of Larios, who comes from Guadalajara, Mexico. “The first fight was action-packed—a candidate for fight of the year. In his first fight Larios tore some ligaments in his arm and now he wants to prove to the world that he can get this knockout win. If he gets past McCullough, he’s willing to move up in weight to fight Manny Pacquiao, Erik Morales and even Juan Manuel Marquez—and no one wants to fight him.”