Pacquiao-Morales III undercard all set!


Pacquiao-Morales III undercard all set!

PRESS RELEASE: Two big, fiery punchers  -- 'Mighty Mike' Arnaoutis, rated #1, and Ricardo Torres, rated #2 --  will battle for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Jr. Welterweight Championship on the Pacquiao vs. Morales III 'Grand Finale' championship boxing event at the Thomas and Mack Center on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Aranaoutis, 17-0-1 with nine knockouts, is from Athens, Greece. He now lives and trains in Atlantic City, N.J.  Torres, who was in that wild knockout war with Miguel Cotto, is 29-1, 27 KOs. He is from Barranquilla, Colombia.

"I am very excited about this world title fight. My matchmakers tell me Arnaoutis and Torres will be a real scorcher of a match," said Bob Arum of Top Rank.

Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia said "we are excited that Mighty Mike Aranoustis will have the  opportunity to fight for the vacant WBO vacant title. It will give the world an opportunity to find out what we already know, that Mike is the toughest and best Jr. Welterweight in thw world.

"Mighty Mike came to us from Cestus Management earlier this year and we promised them that by the end of the year he would fight for the world title," DeGuardia said. "We delivered on our promise and we are confident that Mike will deliver on November 18 and give the Greek Americans their only World Champ."


The WBO 140 pound title was vacated when champion Miguel Cotto moved to the 147 pound division. Cotto will box Carlos Quintana for the vacant WBA welterweight crown in Atlantic City, N.J. on Dec. 2.

Aranaoutis stepped up in class of opposition significantly in three fights in 2004, and rose to the occasion each time. He had a tremendous 12-round battle that ended in a draw against Juan Urango that August. Urango currently holds the IBF jr. welterweight world title. In Mike's next two fights against Jesse Feliciano (KO1) in October and Juaquin Gallardo (KO3) in Demember, he showed that he can be a devastating puncher.

Mike was very impressive in his two recent fights against previously undefeated opponents - Marc Thompson (14-0), and Jose Leo Moreno (12-0). Mike stopped both of them in the first round.

Regarding his nickname, Arnaoutis said, "When I first met (advisor) Mike Michael, I was in the Lennox Lewis center in London. One day when I was sparring with Steve Murray, a European contender, Mike saw the way I fought and called me, 'Mighty Mike.' That was in 2000."

Torres didn't receive much fanfare before challenging Cotto in September, 2005. Torres was a late substitute and complete unknown in the U.S. - he had never fought here before, and had only fought once outside of his native Colombia.

But he gained a legion of fans with his performance. It was a sensational battle, one of the best fights of the year - Ricardo scored a knockdown and staggered Cotto several times, but Cotto scored four knockdowns and knocked out Ricardo in the seventh round.

Boxing News reported, "Torres took the fight on three weeks' notice, after Gianluca Branco fell out. What a warrior."

The 'Grand Finale' undercard will include WBC Light Flyweight champion Omar Nino of Mexico in a defense over former champion Brian 'Hawaiian Punch' Viloria  of  Waipahu, Hawaii.

Super featherweight Juan Carlos Salgado, 16-0-1, 13 KOs, of Mexico City will make his Top Rank debut. Vanes 'Nightmares' Martirosyan, an unbeaten super welterweight, of Glendale, Calif., is scheduled for six rounds.

Pacquiao vs. Morales III 'The Grand Finale' is promoted by Top Rank in association with Wynn Las Vegas. Pacquiao vs. Morales III will be broadcast on HBO Pay Per View.