CORPUS CHRISTI, TX -- The Lone Star State will play host to an exciting tripleheader featuring two world championship fights and a grudge rematch between former world champions that's been building for over six years. Two-time World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight champion ROMAN "Rocky" MARTINEZ will defend his title against undefeated former WBO featherweight champion MIKEY GARCIA; 2012 Fighter of the Year NONITO "Filipino Flash" DONAIRE and former two-division world champion VIC "Raging Bull" DARCHINYAN will be looking to settle each other's hash in a 10-round featherweight rumble and undefeated No. 1 and No. 2 contenders and one-time U.S. Olympians VANES "The Nightmare" MARTIROSYAN and DEMETRIUS "Boo Boo" ANDRADE will battle it out for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title This boxing extravaganza will take place Saturday, November 9, at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX. All three fights will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Foreman Boys Promotions, PR Best Boxing, Arthur Pelullo's Banner Promotions, Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing and Tecate, tickets to the Martinez vs. Garcia world championship event will go on sale This Friday! September 20, at 10:00 a.m. CT. Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25, plus applicable charges, can be purchased at the American Bank Center Box Office (Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm), all Ticketmaster Outlets (HEB Stores), ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
"This fight is a great opportunity to clear any doubts about my value as a world champion, "Martinez said to Primera Hora. "A win over Garcia will prove that I am a real champion and it will take me to the next level."
"I'm fighting a defending champion. It won't be easy but I think I have all the tools to beat Rocky," said Garcia. "I want to be champion again and Rocky is in my way. I will become champion again."
"This is a very important fight for me," said Darchinyan. "It gives me the opportunity to face and defeat an opponent who beat me in the past. This win will be sweet revenge for me."
"I am ready to go," said Martirosyan. "The last fight postponement might be a blessing in disguise because it is just making me hungrier and hungrier every day. I just can't wait to get into the ring and prove how badly I want this. I have been training very hard and have a great game plan with Freddie Roach. A lot of one-on-one with Freddie, combined with great sparring and training along with the likes of Miguel Cotto and George St. Pierre. That has been very inspirational and motivating. Andrade is a great fighter. I hope he is ready to go to war. We are on HBO and I plan on stealing the spotlight that night with a very exciting and entertaining win for the fans."
“I am looking forward to this fight and have been waiting for this fight ever since I walked into the gym at age 7”, said Andrade. “I always wanted to be champion of the world and on November 9th I will be crowned champion. I wanted to win an Olympic gold medal and since they took that from me, I am going to take this world title. I was a 2008 Olympian and he made it in 2004. It's great that the fans will get to see two Olympians battle on HBO. I know I will bring home the title."
"We are proud to present to the fans of Corpus Christi a fistic feats involving some of the greatest boxers in the world," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. "There are at least five fights on this card which could be the main event in any arena. This will be the most exciting night ever for boxing fans in Corpus Christi."
"In all three fights, fans expect big statements to be made in the ring," said Peter Nelson, director of programming, HBO Sports. "The night presents a fistic hat-trick of exciting match-ups in which the momentum can shift at any time."
Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KOs), of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, captured his first world title in 2009, knocking out defending champion Nicky Cook in the fourth round of a bout held in Cook's backyard, Manchester, England. Rocky successfully defended the belt twice -- both by knockout -- during his 18-month reign before losing it to Ricky Burns in Scotland in a hotly-contested battle that saw the close decision go to Burns. He bagen his second and current world championship tenure last year, winning the vacant WBO junior lightweight crown with a majority decision over Miguel Beltran, Jr. a toe-to-toe brawl that had the crowd on its feet from the opening bell. He has successfully defended his title twice since regaining it, a Draw against Juan Carlos Burgos and a split decision over Diego Magdaleno, last January and April, respectively.
Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., a 2010 graduate of California's Ventura County Police and Sheriff's Reserve Officer Academy, returns to the ring having won 15 of his past 17 bouts by knockout and has not gone the distance in over three years. He captured the WBO featherweight title in January, dethroning two-time featherweight champion Orlando Salido at Madison Square Garden via an eight-round technical win that had Garcia winning virtually every round against the seasoned veteran. He was forced to vacate the title in his first defense, for not being able to make the 126-pound weight limit. Though drained, he was still able to rise to the occasion and knock out former two-division world champion Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez in the fourth round last June. Garcia, 25, had a career-best year in 2012, knocking out one-time world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion and former world champion Mauricio Pastrana, in the seventh and second rounds, respectively. He ended his 2012 campaign by knocking out former World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion Jonathan Barros in the eighth round last November. Garcia is trained by his father Eduardo Garcia and co-managed and trained by his brother, 2012 Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior lightweight champion.
Donaire (31-2, 20 KOs), a native of General Santos City, Philippines, now living in Las Vegas, Nev., has been a consensus top-10 pound-for-pound fighter for several years. His 12-year, 30-bout winning streak came to an end in his last fight, losing a decision to undefeated Cuban sensation and WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rogondeaux in a title unification bout last April. Trained by 2012 Trainer of the Year and former world champion Robert Garcia, Donaire is himself the reigning Fighter of the Year. 2012 was a career year for Donaire, winning four world title fights -- all televised live on HBO. Highlights included capturing the vacant WBO junior featherweight title in February, winning a gritty split-decision battle over former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. He unified the title later that summer, via a dominant unanimous decision victory over defending IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula. Donaire followed that victory with another legacy-making knockout -- a ninth-round stoppage of WBC Diamond Belt super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka in October, ending Nishioka’s eight-year, 16-bout winning streak. Donaire capped the year in December, blasting out Méxican icon Jorge Arce via a third-round knockout. Career highlights for Donaire also include knockout victories of defending IBF / International Boxing Organization (IBO) flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan, in the fifth round, the first loss of Darchinyan's professional career, former WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko, in the fourth round, and defending WBC / WBO bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel in the second round, ending Montiel’s 25-bout winning streak while also claiming his third world title in as many weight divisions. That victory was named the 2011 Knockout of the Year.
Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KOs), a native of Armenia whose home base has been Sydney, Australia, is one of the lower division's most exciting fighters. A member of Armenia’s 2000 Olympic boxing team, he won his first world title in his 22nd professional bout, knocking out undefeated International IBF flyweight champion Irene Pacheco in the 11th round of their 2004 battle, ending Pacheco’s five-year reign. During his own three-year tenure as world champion, Darchinyan successfully defended his title six times – all by stoppage – against the division’s top contenders. After losing the title and his undefeated record to Donaire, in 2007, Darchinyan moved up in weight and claimed the IBF junior bantamweight crown, knocking out defending champion Dimitri Kirilov in the fifth round. He unified the 115 pound world titles in his next fight, knocking out WBC / WBA super flyweight champion Cristian Mijares in the ninth round. The first person to unify three of the titles in that weight division He successfully defended his titles three times during his two-year reign as unified super flyweight champion, including an 11th-round stoppage of Méxican icon Jorge Arce. Darchinyan vacated his titles in mid-2010 to campaign as a bantamweight, defeating former IBF bantamweight champion Yonnhy Perez, Evans Mbamba and Eric Barcelona, while losing competitive decisions to world champions Abner Mares, Joseph Agbeko and Shinsuke Yamanaka. Last September, Darchinyan made his debut as a super bantamweight, winning the NABF title by shellacking previously undefeated prospect Luis Del Valle. Darchinyan returns to the ring fresh from a fourth-round knocked out of Francisco Gallo in May. Darchinyan is currently world-rated No. 2 by the WBO and the WBC, No. 4 by the WBA and No. 5 by the IBF.
Martirosyan (33-0-1, 21 KOs), a native of Armenia who fights out of Glendale, Calif., is one of the super welterweight division’s most promising contenders. A member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, Martirosyan’s amateur resume boasts victories over future world champions Timothy Bradley, Jr., Austin Trout and Andre Berto. Trained by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, Martirosyan captured his first title in 2009, knocking out defending NABA/NABO champion Willie Lee. He successfully defended the title in his next fight, in 2010, a 10-round unanimous decision victory over former IBF junior middleweight champion Kassim Ouma. He added the NABF title to his trophy case with another 10-round unanimous decision later that same year, at Yankee Stadium, this time over previously undefeated Joe Greene, and captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver super welterweight title in 2011, via a seventh-round TKO of Saul Roman. Currently world-rated No. 1 by the WBO, Martirosyan returns to the ring fresh from knocking out Ryan Davis, his seventh knockout victim in his last 11 fights.
Andrade (19-0, 13 KO), of Providence, RI, has been a mainstay on television since making his professional debut following his stint on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. Co-promoted by Banner Promotions and Star Boxing, Andrade's aggressive style has attracted and created fans on both coasts of the U.S. One doesn't have to look any further than his recent record where Andrade has stopped five of his last seven opponents. In his last fight, Andrade pasted one-time world title challenger Freddy Hernandez for 10 rounds, winning every round on all three judges' card en route to a unanimous decision victory. Andrade is currently world-rated No. 2 by the WBO.