New York, NY...It's the biggest against the best and it doesn't get much better or brighter. Boxing's biggest star, undefeated Floyd "Money" Mayweather, and its newest star, WBC Welterweight World Champion "Vicious" Victor Ortiz, will align their super powers when they meet in "STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz." The mega-fight, which will be contested for Ortiz's WBC Welterweight World Championship, will take place Saturday, Sept. 17 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Star Power, promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions, and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWALT and AT&T, falls on Mexican Independence Day weekend and is already being touted as boxing's biggest and best match-up of 2011. It's a contest of galactic proportions that will have fans worldwide waiting in a Milky Way of anticipation for one of the most intriguing and exciting fights in recent years.
One of the most recognized athletes in the world today, the highly decorated Mayweather, who is undefeated as well as a six-Time and five-division world champion, announced his return via Twitter (@floydmayweather) earlier this month and is being commended for pursuing a fight against the young, hard-hitting southpaw Ortiz, 10 years his junior and undoubtedly one of his most challenging contests to date.
"I am excited to get back in the ring because Victor Ortiz is a great challenge for me," said Mayweather, who will be returning to the ring after a 16-month layoff. "Ortiz is a young, fast, and very strong champion so this is not going to be easy, but I will prepare myself with the same dedication I have always had for my fights and show fans around the world that I am the best boxer in the world today. I am also looking forward to fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend. I love all my fans and know I have a lot of Mexican fans cheering for me too."
Ortiz, who captured his current WBC Welterweight title with a dazzling performance in a victory over Andre Berto April 16, said, "I have always said that I would be the first fighter to beat Floyd Mayweather and now that I have my chance, and to do it on a weekend that celebrates the independence of the Mexican people, is an amazing blessing for me. I have worked so hard to become a champion and to show the world that I am the best. I am not going to let anyone take that away from me. I'm confident that I will walk away from this fight with my belt and a new title...the first to defeat Floyd Mayweather."
"The excitement surrounding Floyd's return has been amazing and is always an indication of his popularity and drawing power among fans worldwide," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "I wasn't surprised when Floyd said he wanted to fight Ortiz because he likes to be challenged when he fights and Victor, with the skills and heart of a young lion, is exactly that type of challenge he relishes. I have no doubt that the stars will sparkle, shine and collide in that ring on September 17 and that the sports world is going to be in for a great fight. We welcome Floyd's return as his fights are always sensational."
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, said, "The stars aligned for this true mega-fight and there is no doubt that September 17 will be the biggest boxing event of 2011 anywhere in the world. When Floyd Mayweather fights, everyone watches as he continues to set the bar for most pay-per-view buys and this fight will be no different. He is also going to be challenged by a very special talent in the young, strong and highly motivated World Champion Victor Ortiz, who knows that a win over the pound-for-pound champion will catapult him into superstardom. It's a showdown of two great champions colliding and one that I can't wait to see."
"The MGM Resorts family is very excited to welcome the return of Floyd Mayweather to the MGM Grand on September 17," said Richard Sturm, president of Sports & Entertainment for MGM Resorts International. "This championship event marks Mayweather's first fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in more than 15 months and continues our tradition as the leader in the sports and entertainment industry."
Mark Taffet, Senior Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View, agreed and said, "The return of Floyd Mayweather is big news for the sport of boxing. He is a major attraction and must-see TV. Fight fans will be excited to see him put his experience, style and undefeated record on the line against the youth and punching power of the fast-rising Victor Ortiz."
The undefeated, six-time world champion in five weight divisions, Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) remains boxing's biggest attraction, wowing crowds and generating tremendous box office and pay-per-view numbers each time he steps into the ring. Three of his last four fights generated more than one million pay-per-view buys, including his record-shattering bout against Oscar de la Hoya in 2007, which generated 2.44 million buys, the highest performing pay-per-view event in history. In his last ring appearance on May 1, 2010, Mayweather dismantled Sugar Shane Mosley in a lopsided unanimous decision victory. Mayweather is no stranger to fighting on the traditionally boxing rich Mexican Independence Day weekend, as prior to his sensational win over Mosley, he took on Mexican boxing star Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19, 2009, and beat his opponent in spectacular fashion. During his extraordinary career, he has amassed wins over world champions including Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.
In addition to his boxing accomplishments, Mayweather has become a crossover star, appearing in HBO®'s Emmy® Award-winning reality series "24/7" four separate times, providing cameras with an all access look at his training and personal life. His name never leaves the conscience of boxing or sports fans as news of his career continues to trend worldwide, a testament to his nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers, the latest indication of a famed person's popularity.
Twenty-four-year-old "Vicious" Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) is the definition of a new and shining star. From a tumultuous childhood that left him in foster care at the age of 13 to a meteoric rise above obstacles to become a world champion, Ortiz's story both in and out of the ring is one to be admired. Introduced to boxing by his father at the age of seven, Ortiz and his siblings soon had to deal with life on their own after both parents abandoned them when Ortiz was 12 years old. Resilient and determined to make something of his life, Ortiz found salvation in the ring and saw boxing as a way towards future success.
Ortiz's grit and determination has shown up throughout his boxing career. A highly touted amateur, he turned pro in 2004 and has persevered through its highs and lows to become the champion he is today. He is currently riding a six-fight undefeated streak including his previously mentioned sensational win over Berto. The hard-punching southpaw came of age during their 12-round battle when he sent Berto to the canvas in round one, got off the canvas himself in the second round and survived a knockdown in the sixth round only to come back to drop Berto at the end of that round in a definite Fight of the Year candidate. Ortiz, a Ventura, Calif. resident who hails from Garden City, Kansas, also holds victories over former World Champions Carlos Maussa, Nate Campbell, Vivian Harris as well as high profile opponents Antonio Diaz, Mike Arnaoutis and Jeffrey Resto.
Both fighters have also agreed to drug testing under the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency protocol, which includes random blood and urine testing.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena is home to concerts, championship boxing and premier sporting and special events. The Arena offers comfortable seating for as many as 16,800 with excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art acoustics, lighting and sound. Prominent events to date have included world championship fights between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather and George Foreman vs. Michael Moorer, as well as concerts by The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, U2, 'N Sync, Sting, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Jimmy Buffett and the Barbra Streisand Millennium Concert. The MGM Grand Garden Arena also is home to the annual Academy of Country Music Awards and the Frozen Fury NHL pre-season game which features the Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche.
The Mayweather vs. Ortiz pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Mayweather vs. Ortiz fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com .