LAS VEGAS, NEV. - Eyes on the prize baby. Eyes on the prize.
Undefeated former lightweight champion BRANDON “Bam Bam” RIOS and World Boxing Association (WBA) interim lightweight title holder RICHARD ABRIL will be fighting for more than the vacant WBA lightweight title and guaranteed purses Saturday night at Mandalay Bay, they will be fighting for a $50,000 bonus that will be awarded to the winner.
The Rios vs. Abril rumble is the co-main event to three-division world champion and Méxican icon JUAN MANUEL MÁRQUEZ (53-6-1, 39 KOs), of México City, going for his fourth world title in as many different weight divisions when he rumbles with World Boxing Organization (WBO) European junior welterweight champion SERGEY FEDCHENKO (30-1, 13 KOs), of Kharkov, Ukraine, for the vacant WBO interim 140-pound world title. Márquez vs. Fedchenko and Rios vs. Abril headline a world championship pay-per-view event that’s so big its main events are originating from two different countries!
Márquez vs. Fedchenko will take place in México City’s brand new Arena México, while Rios vs. Abril and two other exciting fights will take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Tomorrow! Saturday, April 14. Boxing fans at Mandalay Bay will also see the Márquez vs. Fedchenko world title fight live, via closed-circuit, on a jumbo screen. The Márquez/Rios world championship event will be produced by Top Rank and distributed Live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“Prizefighting is part of boxing’s heritage. In the early years of modern professional boxing, offering a bonus or “prize” to the winner of a fight was a tradition. It added more excitement for the fighters and the fans,” said Todd duBoef, President of Top Rank, the promoter of Saturday night’s world championship pay-per-view event. “We wanted to bring the prize aspect back into fight game and this seemed to be the perfect platform to do it. After personally witnessing their animosity toward each other throughout fight week, I think Rios and Abril will be looking at the $50,000 bonus more as the spoils of victory than as a performance incentive. They can’t wait to go for it and one-up each other!”
“When I win my title back on Saturday night you can call my bank account Rios Grande,” stated Rios (29-0-1), of Oxnard, Calif. “I know he’s going to try and run from me all night like Forrest Gump. ‘Run Robert. Run.’ But on Saturday night I’m going to turn Forrest Gump into Forrest Chump.”
“You know why Rios is called ‘Bam Bam?’ Because he has pebbles for brains,” said Abril (17-2-1, 8 KOs), a Cuban expatriate now living in Miami, Fla. “He has to pay a guy to teach him to eat right? I learned how to do that when I was three. He’s an idiot. I’m going to break his mouth, break his heart and break his piggy bank. Come on down Bam Bam. The prize is right – FOR ME!”
Rounding out Saturday’s pay-per-view card at Mandalay Bay will be a 10-round battle between Top 10 junior welterweight contenders “Mile High” MIKE ALVARADO (32-0, 23 KOs), of Denver and MAURICIO HERRERA (18-1, 7 KOs), of Riverside, Calif.; and a 10-round lightweight fight between undefeated Top 10 contender MERCITO “No Mercy” GESTA (24-0-1, 12 KOs), of Cebu, Philippines, and OSCAR CUERO (15-7, 12 KOs), of Cartagena, Colombia, whose last seven victories have been by knockout.
Today’s Official Weigh-In is open to the public. It will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Doors Open at 2 p.m. PT with the pay-per-view fighters stepping on the scale at 3 p.m. PT.
Remaining tickets, priced at $250, $150, $100, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges, are available at all Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Mandalay Bay at (877) 632-7400 or Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com .