PRESS RELEASE: 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. On Thursday, September 1, in a bout to be televised live on HBO Latino’s “Oscar De La Hoya Presents Boxeo De Oro” from the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona, former 112 and 115-pound world champion Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson will move to the 118-bound division to face bantamweight contender Jhonny Gonzalez. The twelve-round regional title bout will air on HBO Latino at 10pm ET / PT. In the televised co-feature, unbeaten junior featherweight prospect Jonathan Oquendo makes his United States television debut when he battles Elvis Martinez in a six round contest.
One of boxing’s hottest fighters, Mexico City’s Jhonny Gonzalez (29-4, 25 KOs) has been on a three-year tear through the 118-pound division that has seen him rack up 15 consecutive wins without a loss, including 13 KOs. The 23-year-old Gonzalez holds a regional title and is ranked in the top ten by three major world sanctioning bodies. Ranked #13 by Boxingtalk, he expects that a career-best victory over Johnson will catapult him straight into a world title fight.
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 last September, 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. He is rated #10 by Boxingtalk at 115 pounds.
A native of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, junior featherweight Jonathan Oquendo (5-0, 3 KOs) has followed a stellar amateur career with an impressive run in the pro game thus far. Fresh off a second round stoppage of Tim Carrizales on July 16, the 22-year-old – who is the first Puerto Rican boxer to be signed by Golden Boy Promotions – will be facing a stern test on October 1st in Dominican veteran Elvis Martinez (10-11-2, 4 KOs).
Also featured on the October 1st show will be a pair of highly regarded prospects who are impressively making their way up the boxing ladder.
Featherweight Aaron Garcia (5-0, 2 KOs) has impressed boxing observers with his wide array of skills and a veteran’s ring savvy. In his last bout, the 23-year-old from Vista, California made short work of Carlos Mota, stopping him in two rounds on July 14. Garcia will face an opponent to be announced in a six round contest.
Light heavyweight Otis Griffin (7-1-2, 4 KOs) has already amassed quite a following due to his stint on the reality television show “The Next Great Champ”. Griffin, a former professional Arena football player who won the competition is now chasing after the WBO world title held by Zsolt Erdei. On October 1st, Griffin will try to get one stop closer to his dream when he squares off against tough Philadelphian Tyrone Glover (11-8-3, 2 KOs) in a six rounder.
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