LOS ANGELES – The welterweight division’s two most exciting fighters, three-time welterweight champion ANTONIO MARGARITO and three-division world champion SUGAR SHANE MOSLEY, plan to open 2009 with an explosive world championship fight. Margarito’s World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title defense against Mosley, one of the era’s top pound-for-pound fighters, will take place on Saturday, January 24 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be televised live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
Margarito vs. Mosley is promoted by Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. Tickets priced at $300, $150, $75 and $50, go on sale This Friday! December 12 at 10 a.m. PT at all TicketMaster outlets, by phone at 213-480-3232 and online at www.ticketmaster.com. STAPLES Center Box Office will begin selling tickets on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. PT.
"I have being looking for the biggest fights for a long time, and this one against Mosley is one of them,” said Margarito. “As I proved with Miguel Cotto, I have never ducked anyone in my career and I'm looking forward to showing the fans again why I am the best welterweight in the world. I fear no one. This fight will be my moment to shine and I will not let it pass by.”
“I’m glad Margarito decided to step up to the plate and fight me,” said Mosley. “If Margarito thinks he is the bigger puncher than I, he is delusional. I will definitely win this fight, especially with the type of fighter he is. He is going to end up getting knocked out because he’ll come right at me and I’ll catch him.”
"In his memorable fight against Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito proved his courage, ability and demonstrated that he is a true champion. His next test is against the dangerous future Hall of Fame champion Sugar Shane Mosley. We at Top Rank are convinced that Antonio will do well in this new challenge," said Bob Arum.
"I always say that great fights happen when the best fight the best," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. "In Margarito vs. Mosley we are expecting a great fight because we have the two best welterweights in the world facing each other. Making a great fight even greater is the fact that it will take place in Los Angeles where both fighters have huge fan bases and that it will be broadcast on HBO rather than pay-per-view."
"Margarito vs. Mosley is an exciting way to kick off a new season of World Championship Boxing on HBO," said Kery Davis, senior Vice President of programming for HBO Sports. "It's an action-packed showdown between two of the sport's best fighters."
"This world championship fight card features two great champions with strong ties to southern California, making it an ideal match-up for STAPLES Center," said Dan Beckerman, Chief Financial Officer, AEG. “Hats off to Richard Schaefer and Bob Arum for putting together a fight that the fans have been asking for and that they deserve."
Antonio Margarito (37-5, 27 KOs), from Tijuana, Mexico, returns to the ring on the heels of his career-defining victory over Miguel Cotto on July 26, 2008. Considered a major underdog when it was announced that he’d be challenging the undefeated WBA welterweight champion Cotto, Margarito withstood a firestorm of punches from the Puerto Rican superstar while retaliating with his own barrage of nuclear-like arms, stopping Cotto in the 11th round. The victory not only produced his third world championship belt in the welterweight division, but it also solidified his position as one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters. Margarito’s first world title reign began in 2002, when he stopped Antonio Diaz in the 10th round to capture the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship belt. He successfully defended it seven times during his five-year term, including victories over current world champion Joshua Clottey, former world champion Andrew Lewis and top contenders Kermit Cintron and Danny Perez. He captured the International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight title on April 12, 2008, by knocking out defending champion Kermit Cintron in the sixth round. Margarito vacated that title in order to challenge Cotto and now looks to further solidify his spot in boxing history with a win over Mosley on January 24.
Sugar Shane Mosley (45-5, 38 KOs) of Pomona, Calif. is arguably the most accomplished fighter of his era and certainly a shoo-in first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee. He returns to the ring fresh from his 12th-round knockout victory of former world junior middleweight champion Ricardo Mayorga on September 27, 2008. Mosley, who has won six of his last seven bouts since 2005, boasts victories over world champions Mayorga, Fernando Vargas (twice) and Luis Collazo during that streak. Mosley first came to prominence when he defeated defending IBF lightweight champion Philip Holiday in 1997 to claim his first world title. He successfully defended that title eight times, all by knockout, before vacating the title to move up to welterweight two years later. In 2000, Mosley won an exciting 12-round split decision over WBC welterweight champion Oscar de la Hoya to claim his second world title in as many divisions. Mosley successfully defended his new crown three times before losing it 18 months later to Vernon Forrest in 2002. Just a year later, in 2003, Mosley once again moved up in weight and captured the WBC/WBA super welterweight titles in a rematch with De La Hoya, this time winning a unanimous decision. In addition to becoming a three-division world champion, he also became the only man to claim two professional victories over the legendary “Golden Boy.”