LOS ANGELES – Good evening Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea, let’s go to press…..
BRADLEY-VARGAS II. The last time former two-division world champions Timothy Bradley Jr. and Jessie Vargas worked together at StubHub Center it was inside the ring on June 27, 2015, when they battled each other for the welterweight title. On Saturday, they will be outside the ring at StubHub Center as part of the Top Rank world championship tripleheader pay-per-view live telecast, calling the action and giving insightful reports. Bradley will join veteran boxing broadcasters Brian Kenny and Bernardo Osuna for the ringside call, adding his own expert analysis. Vargas will join Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher, filing exclusive reports and breaking news behind the scenes throughout the telecast.
WEIGHT WEIGHT … DON’T TELL ME! The Official Weigh-In will take place on Friday at StubHub Center’s Pitch & Hale Stage. Open to the public, gates will open at 2:00 p.m., with the undercard fighters stepping on the scale at 2:30 p.m. and the pay-per-view stars doing the same, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Fans and media should enter through the Southwest guest gates and park in the Visitor Lot – Lot 15. The weigh-in will be streamed live, via www.toprank.tv.
FROM GYM TO GEM. 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist SHAKUR STEVENSON will be making his pro debut on the pay-per-telecast, taking on Edgar Brito (3-2-1, 2 KOs), from Phoenix, AZ, in a six-round featherweight bout. Here is what Stevenson had to say today during his hour-long satellite tour: “Pressure makes diamonds and I’m going to be a polished one in the ring with lots of facets. I love fighting. It’s not a job to me. It’s a career. I’m excited to start writing this new chapter in my book. I can’t wait for Saturday night. I want to make a statement in this fight. I want a KO. I’ve had a pro style for so long that the adjustment for me has been easy. Now I do more running and sparring, but I enjoy that. I’m in the best shape of my life. I get asked a lot if I’m the next Floyd Mayweather. I have no interest in being that. I’m all about being the first Shakur Stevenson…the best Shakur Stevenson. After this fight, I’m going to celebrate my pro debut with a family dinner at In-N-Out Burger, then head to Colorado Springs to train with my friend TERENCE CRAWFORD.”
RALLY ‘ROUND THE FLAG! Making the second defense of his WBO featherweight title since winning it last July, ÓSCAR VALDEZ (21-0, 19 KOs), from Nogales, Mexico, the first boxer to compete in two Olympic Games is gearing up for a mandatory title defense. "When I was a small boy I dreamed of becoming a world champion. I worked all of my life to become a world champion and I want to be a champion for a long time. Marriaga is the toughest fighter that I have ever faced. I know how great he is and what he will be trying to take from me on Saturday night. I won't let him do it. This title belt means so much to me. I won't let him take my title belt. This Saturday, I'm going to defend the Mexican flag with great pride."
HAIL COLOMBIA! No. 1 featherweight contender and mandatory challenger Miguel Marriaga (25-1, 21 KOs), from Arjona, Colombia, had this to say about his challenge of Óscar Valdez: “I’m not here to go sightseeing. I’m here to go headhunting. I intend to knock that world championship crown off Valdez. He’s not invincible. I am prepared to go to war for 12 rounds. I’m in great condition. But if I get the chance to knock him out, I’m going for it. Colombia needs a world champion and I’m hungry to become one.”
ENGLISH LEATHER. GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMIREZ (34-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlan, Mexico, makes his long-awaited first defense of his WBO super middleweight title, against Top-10 contender Max Bursak (33-4-1, 15 KOs), of Kiev, Ukraine. The super middleweight champion with the matinee idol looks, Ramírez, had been sidelined for most of last year with an injured right knuckle. While he was recovering he made good use of his time to become proficient in English. Now, “Zurdo” is not only bilingual, he is also a bipartisan boxer – a southpaw who is now comfortable throwing the left and the right with equal power. "I know I'm going to be victorious because I have worked very hard in training camp. After making history by becoming Mexico’s first super middleweight champion, I'm ready to defend my world title for the first time. I have complete confidence in my punching power and have no fear of using it."
GO FOR THE GOLD! 2016 Olympic light welterweight gold medalist FAZLIDDIN “Fayzi” GAIBNAZAROV, from Uzbekistan, who recently signed with Top Rank, will make his pro debut on the non-pay-per-view undercard. Managed by Egis Klimas, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s (BWAA) 2016 Manager of the Year, Gaibnazarov will be battling Victor Vazquez (7-2, 3 KOs), from Carolina, Puerto Rico, in an eight-round junior welterweight bout. Gaibnazarov is the seventh 2016 Olympian to join the Top Rank stable, which includes fellow gold medal champion Robson Conceicao, silver medalist Stevenson, and top amateurs Michael Conlan, who had his own high-profile pro debut last month, Teofimo Lopez, Antonio Vargas and Jeyvier Cintron
Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) world champions ÓSCAR VALDEZ, GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMÍREZ and JESSIE MAGDALENO will headline an exciting world championship event in separate title defenses, This Saturday! April 22, under the stars at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Produced and distributed live by Top Rank Pay-Per-View, the telecast will also feature the pro debut of U.S. Olympic silver medalist SHAKUR STEVENSON, in a six-round featherweight bout. The live pay-per-view telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. and will be available on all conventional platforms, including all major cable and satellite systems, as well as Top Rank's digital distribution via www.TopRank.tv and mobile devices.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Tecate, All Star Boxing, Zapari Boxing Promotions and Antonio Leonard Productions, remaining tickets to this world championship tripleheader are priced at $128.50, $77.50, $52.00 and $36.70. They may be purchased online at AXS.com, by phone at (888) 9AXS-TIX, or by visiting the StubHub Center box office.