Two interim title fights to support Hopkins-Wright

19/06/2007

Two interim title fights to support Hopkins-Wright

OSCAR LARIOS TO FACE JORGE LINARES

Press Release: The July 21, 2007 undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Winky Wright world light heavyweight championship bout will showcase two interim title bouts.  Veteran featherweight star and former 122-pound champion Oscar "Chololo" Larios will have the opportunity to add another title to his extensive resume but he will have to get past the undefeated Venezuelan Jorge Linares as they battle for the vacant WBC interim featherweight belt. The bout that will mark the U.S. debut for the young, powerful Linares.  The other interim title bout that night includes the American debut of undefeated WBO interim lightweight titlist Michael Katsidis, of Australia, who takes on aggressive Filipino Czar Amonsot.  Both bouts make up the featured televised undercard for Hopkins-Wright from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

A no-nonsense warrior who proudly lives up to the legacy established by the great Mexican Champions of the past, Guadalajara's Larios (59-5-1, 37 KO's) has been at or near the top for much of his 13-year pro career.  A longtime WBC 122-pound champion (he defended his WBC crown nine times before losing it in his rubber match with Israel Vazquez in 2005), Larios flirted with the 130-pound weight class in a loss to Manny Pacquiao last year before deciding the best weight class for his second world title run would be the featherweight division.   Winner of three in a row since the Pacquiao fight, the 30-year-old Larios is ready to show that he still has what it takes to beat a young, hungry fighter like Jorge Linares.

"This fight is very important to me because if I lose, it could be the end of my boxing career," said Larios.   "I am ready to fight until the end to win this fight and another world championship belt.  As the fight was originally scheduled for May, I am in excellent shape and ready to put it all on the line."

A native of Barinas, Venezuela, the highly touted Linares (23-0, 14 KO's) has made his name in the boxing world while fighting in Japan where he rapidly became a fan favorite. The 21-year-old Linares has won his last two fights by knockout. His U.S. debut against Larios will be his toughest test to date.   Linares stated, "This is my opportunity to show the American fight fans my strength and ability in the ring.  Las Vegas is a great place for my debut as so many great champions have fought on boxing's main stage.   I want to win this title for Venezuela like my countryman, the great Antonio Esparragoza did."

WBO interim lightweight titlist Katsidis (22-0, 20 KO's) was a stellar amateur who compiled a record of 75-6 and represented his native Australia in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He has zoomed towards the top after turning pro in 2001.  A hard-hitting knockout artist who has won 13 in a row within the distance, the 26-year-old Queensland native won the interim title in February with a fifth round stoppage of Graham Earl in an early Fight of the Year candidate.   On July 21st, he hopes to add to his resume with a win over the tough Amonsot.

Amonsot (18-2-1 10 KO's) wants to achieve fame, fortune and capture a world championship…all in his U.S. debut.  In his last bout against Korean Da Waoon Jung, he won by split decision and is hungry for a decisive victory in this international showdown in July. 

Hopkins vs. Wright "Coming to Fight" is for Hopkins' world light heavyweight title and will take place Saturday, July 21 st at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. "Coming to Fight" is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Winky Promotions, and sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Tecate Beer and Rockstar Energy Drink.   HBO Pay-Per-View will televise the fight live at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT.

Tickets for Hopkins vs. Wright, "Coming To Fight" are now on sale.  Tickets are available at any Mandalay Bay box office and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (Smith's Food and Drug Centers, Macy's 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 or www.ticketmaster.com.