LOS ANGELES- There is no rest for a true world champion, and on Saturday, June 18, WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez, fresh off of his title-capturing win March 5 over Matthew Hatton, will return home to the Arena Vicente Fernandez Gomez (VFG) in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico to defend his crown for the first time against top contender Ryan Rhodes of England.
HBO's Boxing After Dark will televise this 12-round World Championship bout, which is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions in association with Hatton Promotions, beginning at 10:30 pm ET / PT. The co-feature will be a showdown of two of the top young junior lightweights in the world, when unbeaten Adrien "The Problem" Broner battles Jason Litzau which is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Roy Jones Jr.'s Square Ring Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.
"I am very excited that my first world title defense will be in Guadalajara," said Alvarez. "I promise I will work extremely hard to give all of my fans a great performance on June 18. Ryan Rhodes is a very dangerous opponent, but nothing will get in the way of me winning this fight."
"I have waited a long time for this opportunity and I intend to take it with both hands," said Rhodes. "I respect Canelo as a fighter and I know he is an exciting prospect, but he has never fought a super welterweight as good or as experienced as me and I fully intend to bring the belt back to England."
"One of the first things Canelo told me after he won his world title was that he didn't want to sit around waiting," said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "He wants to fight, he wants to be an active champion and we're going to give him every opportunity to do that. I know that Ryan will be coming to seize the opportunity to win a world title, but I have every confidence that Canelo has what it takes to not only win on June 18, but also to reign as a world champion for many years to come. To add to the main event, we are very excited about bringing Adrien Broner to Mexico to show his skills against Jason Litzau in what is sure to be an all-action fight."
Rhodes' promoter and president of Hatton Promotions, Ricky Hatton added, "My brother Matthew showed that Canelo can be hit, but unfortunately that night, he just was not big enough. I expect that Ryan, who is a natural super welterweight, will come through and become Hatton Promotions' first World Champion."
Gareth Williams, CEO of Hatton Promotions said, "We have had a great working relationship with Golden Boy Promotions for a number of years and it is great to be working with them again. I hope Ryan will build on the performance from Matthew (Hatton) and become the first of hopefully many Hatton Promotions World Champions."
"In a very short period of time, Canelo Alvarez has emerged as a terrific attraction and a very entertaining prizefighter," said Kery Davis, Senior Vice President of Programming, HBO Sports. "Ryan Rhodes is very capable of giving him quite a battle on June 18 and the scenes from the hometown crowd in Guadalajara should make for a festive telecast."
Unbeaten in 37 professional fights, Canelo Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KO's) has been the biggest story to hit the boxing scene in years, and it's no surprise why. He is just 20 years old, and the Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico native has the type of talent and charisma that only comes along once every generation in boxing. After a 2010 campaign during which he defeated Jose Miguel Cotto, Luciano "El Principito"Cuello, Carlos "Tata" Baldomir and Lovemore "The Black Panther" N'dou, Alvarez won his first world championship in March when he scored a near shutout victory over Matthew "Magic" Hatton at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The hard-hitting Alvarez has been anointed by many as the next great Mexican boxing star and he plans on continuing on the road to that lofty title against Rhodes.
Southpaw Ryan Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO's) is a 16-year veteran who has not tasted defeat in almost five years. In that span, he has turned back ten opponents and has knocked out his last four foes, including an impressive stoppage of Jamie Moore in 2009 for the European Boxing Union title three fights ago. Now finally getting his shot at world championship gold on June 18, the 34-year-old native of Sheffield, England is not about to let the opportunity he's waited for his entire career slip away. Following his recently signing with Hatton Promotions, he is ready to prove to his new team that he has what it takes to beat anyone at 154 pounds.
A 21-year-old boxing prodigy, Adrien "The Problem" Broner (20-0, 16 KO's) is rapidly becoming one of the sport's most talked about young fighters and for good reason. A former amateur star from the fighting city of Cincinnati, Ohio, Broner blasted out opponent after opponent after turning professional in 2008, with nine foes falling in a single round. In 2011, he has begun building his resume even further with wins over John Revish and former World Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon in a bout that earned him the WBO Intercontinental Junior Lightweight Championship. Now, he will set his sights on a fellow contender when he tries to take out Jason Litzau.
After surviving a harrowing childhood, 27-year-old Jason Litzau (28-2, 21 KO's) has continued to inspire with his performances in the ring. A crowd pleaser who is known for his punches in bunches style, Litzau has been laying it on the line when the bell rings since 2002. From 2009 to 2010, "The American Boy" started putting everything together with five straight wins, including a victory over perennial contender Rocky Juarez and a stirring upset win against former World Champion Celestino "Pelenchin" Caballero that captivated the attention of the fight world. Needless to say, Litzau wants to challenge for a world title at 130 pounds in 2011 and knows a win over Broner can help get him there.