LAS VEGAS - As the summer heat sizzles in the Las Vegas desert, a group of young rising stars will take to the boxing ring in hopes of one day headlining their own Vegas card. Peter Quillin, Gary Russell Jr., Bryant Jennings, James Kirkland, Ronny Rios, Josiah Judah and Jamie Kavanagh will square off in separate non-televised bouts on the July 23 Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah undercard at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
In the main event, WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Amir "King" Khan and IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Zab "Super" Judah meet in a 12 round World Championship Unification fight.
In a 10 round middleweight bout, fans in attendance will see a fighter on the verge of stardom when crafty, unbeaten top contender Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (24-0, 18 KO's) faces New Hampshire veteran Jason LeHoulier (21-5-1, 8 KO's), a late replacement for Qullin's original opponent, Tarvis Simms, who was forced to withdraw due to injury. Quillin is coming off of one of the most impressive performances of his career in the form of his April 29 demolition of Jesse Brinkley via third round knockout.
Undefeated 2008 U.S. Olympian Gary Russell Jr. (16-0, 10 KO's) of Capitol Heights, Maryland has showed remarkable poise and ring knowledge at just 23 years old. The slick southpaw knocked out former World Champion Mauricio Pastrana in a single round and has defeated five foes since then, including the always tough Feider Viloria and the rugged Antonio Meza. On Saturday, Russell will square off in an eight round featherweight fight against fellow 23-year old Eric "El Loco" Estrada (9-1, 3 KO's) from Chicago, a former amateur star who is now looking to strike gold in the professional game. Winner of nine of 10 bouts since his debut in 2007, the Windy City native is coming off of a six round victory over James Lester in March.
A three sport athlete in high school (football, basketball and track), Philadelphia's Bryant Jennings (8-0, 4 KO's) found his true calling in boxing. After Jennings made it to the finals of the National Golden Gloves and PAL Nationals as an amateur, he has carried his success into the professional ring, where he is currently unbeaten in the heavyweight division. He will face Chicago's Theron Johnson (5-5, 1 KO) in a six round bout this weekend and looks to continue to make his mark on boxing's glamour division.
One of boxing's most fearsome punchers, middleweight favorite James "Mandingo Warrior" Kirkland (28-1, 25 KO's) bounced back from the only loss of his career against Nobuhiro Ishida in April with a first round knockout of Dennis Sharpe in June. The southpaw from Austin, Texas hopes to repeat his success in an eight round fight against Mt. Clemens, Michigan's Alexis Hloros (15-3-2, 11 KO's).
Santa Ana, California's Ronny Rios (14-0, 6 KO's) piled up the accolades as an amateur, winning two National titles and a National Golden Gloves crown and he hasn't stopped as a professional, most recently scoring an eight round unanimous decision win over fellow prospect 12-1 Georgi Kevlishvili in May. The 21-year-old featherweight will take on Nogales, Mexico's Noe Lopez Jr. (8-8, 5 KO's) in an eight round matchup.
In bouts scheduled for six rounds each, east coast super middleweight prospect Josiah Judah (9-1-1, 2 KO's) of Brooklyn will be in action against Poland's Rafal Jastrzebski (4-6-1, 1 KO), and in the lightweight opener, Irish fan favorite Jamie "The Nuisance" Kavanagh (7-0, 3 KO's) will put his perfect record on the line against Arvada, Colorado's Marcos Herrera (6-5-1, 2 KO's).
Khan vs. Judah, a 12-round WBA and IBF Super Lightweight World Championship Unification fight, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events in association with Khan Promotions and Super Judah Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and AT&T. The doors open at 2:30pm and the first fight begins at 2:30pm. The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. In the United Kingdom, the event will be broadcast live on Primetime Pay-Per-View, channel 480 on Sky for £14.95 at 3:00 a.m. BT.
Tickets priced at $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50 are on sale now and available for purchase at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.