NEW YORK -- 2012 Fighter of the Year and World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior featherweight champion NONITO "Filipino Flash" DONAIRE and undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight champion and former two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist GUILLERMO "El Chacal" RIGONDEAUX will collide on New York's biggest stage -- Radio City Music Hall! The Donaire vs. Rigondeaux world title unification battle, to determine the division's top dog, will take place Saturday, April 13 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Caribe Promotions, Tecate and Madison Square Garden, tickets to the Donaire-Rigondeaux world championship event will go on sale This Saturday! February 23, at Noon ET. Tickets, priced at $300, $150, $75 and $35, will be available for purchase at the Radio City Music Hall Box Office, Madison Square Garden Box Office, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com , www.radiocity.com and www.thegarden.com .
For Top Rank, this will complete its New York Promotional Triple Crown, having already promoted world title fights at the old and the new Yankee Stadiums and numerous shows at "The Mecca of Boxing," Madison Square Garden. This also marks only the second time Radio City Music Hall has ever hosted professional boxing in its 82-year history. The first fight was the Roy Jones Jr. vs. David Telesco light heavyweight world championship on January 15, 2000.
"The battle between the 2012 Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire against one of the greatest Olympian fighters of our time - two-time gold medal winner Guillermo Rigondeaux - promises to be a boxing classic," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. "It is fitting that this match is being held at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City."
"Coming off a spectacular year, Donaire wanted to keep the momentum rolling in 2013," said Top Rank president Todd duBoef. "Fighting Rigondeaux at Radio City is the perfect combination. We are pleased that two of the most skilled athletes in the sport are reaching for their biggest challenges on April 13."
"I am delighted that Nonito Donaire has finally agreed to challenge the 122-pound division boss Guillermo Rigondeaux," said Gary Hyde, Rigondeaux's manager. "I think Nonito's confidence must have been boosted by his 2012 victories, but when he feels Rigo's power, from angles he has never been hit from, the doubts which have haunted him every time he hears Rigo's name will be there again, but it will be too late to avoid Rigo then. Nonito will certainly move weights classes after this fight but not in the direction he was planning. This kid is going back down to 118."
"I'd like to thank the promoters and HBO for putting this fight together I think this is what the world wants to see the Top-Two boxers in the world in this weight class," said Rigondeaux. "This is what I came to America for. I decided to go with my old trainer Pedro Luis Diaz who helped me win two Olympic gold medals. Jorge Rubio is a great trainer he did nothing wrong I just thought for this fight I would go back to do the type of training that I've never done in this country. I feel stronger than ever. I think this will be a great battle Nonito is one of the top boxers in the world and a gentleman. I'm looking forward to getting in the ring with him. We are both at the peak of our careers. On April 13th the world will witness one of the greatest boxing exhibitions they've ever seen."
"See you on April 13, Rigondeaux," Donaire responded.
“Nonito Donaire enjoyed a sensational 2012 season and the boxing world has been eagerly awaiting his 2013 debut,” said Kery Davis, the senior vice president of programming, HBO Sports. “For Nonito to fight in the spotlight at Radio City Music Hall is a spectacular way to start the new year. While Guillermo Rigondeaux is making his HBO debut, keen boxing observers know this is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who is one of the best fighters in the world and can handle the bright lights of New York. This will be night that boxing fans can truly enjoy a world class event.”
“Radio City Music Hall is an integral part of the fabric of New York City and has hosted a wide variety of memorable events and live performances from Sinatra to Lady Gaga, the Tony Awards and One Direction, who have all become part of the Music Hall’s great history,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports. “We are thrilled to once more host championship boxing on the Great Stage of Radio City for what will be a spectacular night of boxing for all fight fans.”
Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs), a native of General Santos City, Philippines, now living in the Bay Area of San Leandro, Calif., is a consensus top-five pound-for-pound fighter. He enters this fight riding a 12-year, 30-bout winning streak, with 11 of his last 15 victories coming by way of knockout . He is trained by 2012 Trainer of the Year and former world champion Robert Garcia. Donaire will be making his 2013 debut as the reigning Fighter of the Year. He enters this fight off a career-best year, winning four world title fights -- all televised live on HBO. He began his 2012 campaign on February 4, where he captured the vacant WBO 122-pound title, winning a gritty split-decision battle over former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. He unified the title on July 7, via a dominant unanimous decision over defending International Boxing Federation (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 on October 16, ending Nishioka’s eight-year, 16-bout winning streak. Donaire capped the year on December 15, 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, former WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko, in the fourth round, and defending World Boxing Council (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.
Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs), of Miami, Fla., and now trained by Pedro Diaz, had a stellar amateur career, winning Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2000, World Amateur Championship titles in 2005 and 2001, and Pan American Games gold medals in 2005 and 2003, all at 119 pounds, before defecting from Cuba and embarking on a professional career which began in Miami in 2009. In only his seventh professional fight where both fighters scored knockdowns, Rigondeaux captured the WBA interim super bantamweight title, winning a tough split decision over the vastly more experienced former world champion Ricardo Cordoba in 2010. After successfully defending the interim title in 2011 with a first-round knockout of previously undefeated former European super bantamweight champion Willie Casey, Rigondeaux won the WBA world super bantamweight championship with a sixth-round knockout of previously undefeated defending champion Rico Ramos on January 20, 2012. Rigondeaux has successfully defended that title twice since then, blasting once-beaten Teon Kennedy in the fifth round, which included Kennedy suffering five knockdowns en route to the loss and winning a dominant unanimous decision over once-beaten contender Roberto Marroquin on June 9 and September 15, respectively.
WBO ANNOUNCES REFEREE AND JUDGES FOR THIS SATURDAY, FEMALE WORLD TITLE BOUT, OLIVERAS-CORDERO, IN ARGENTINA
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO- World Boxing Organization (WBO), by president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, announced today the referee and judges who will work this Saturday, February 23 in the world title bout between Alejandra Marina Oliveras and Dayana Cordero to be held at the Club Olimpo Bahia Blanca in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in an Osvaldo Rivero Promotions presentation.
For this bout, when Oliveras (28-2, 14 KOs) will make her fourth defense of the WBO featherweight title against Cordero (10-3, 7 KOs), the referee will be Jorge Basile, from Argentina.
Meanwhile, the judges for the Oliveras-Cordero fight are Brazilian Smeia Alakra, Paraguayan Marcial Paez and Argentinean Luis A. Romio. WBO supervisor for this bout will be Jorge Molina.
Argentina TyC Sports will broadcast this fight.
NEW YORK (February 21, 2013) - One of the best kept secrets in boxing, late replacement Evgeny Gradovich (15-0, 8 KOs), will be a live underdog on March 1 as he challenges International Boxing Federation (IBF) Featherweight Champion Billy "The Kid" Dib (35-1-0-1NC, 21 KOs), in the 12-round main event on ESPN Friday Night Fights, co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and 50 Cent's SMS Promotions, airing live at 9 p.m. ET from MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
In the 10-round ESPN Friday Night Fights co-feature, North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super welterweight champion Willie "The Great" Nelson (19-1-1, 11 KOs) makes his first title defense against Michael "El Magnifico" Medina (26-3-2, 19 KOs). The Nelson-Medina fight is being promoted in association with Rumble Time Promotions.
Australia-native Dib, who is promoted by hip-hop superstar 50 Cent, was originally supposed to fight Luis Franco who unexpectedly withdrew from the title fight. Gradovich immediately accepted the challenge without any reservations. "I train most of the time and I'm always in shape," Gradovich said. "To fight for a world title in only my 16th pro fight is quick, but I have good experience and this is a great opportunity for me."
Gradovich was discovered by rising Russian manager Egis Klimas, who first heard about his latest star from his most well known boxer, world light heavyweight title contender Sergei Kovalev. "Evgeny had more than 150 amateur fights and he was a member of the Russian National Team," Klimas explained. "I went with Don Turner to scout him at the 2009 Russian National Championships. Evgeny lost but Don said that he was really good and to sign him if I could. All of my Russian fighters are trained in North Carolina by Don (19 world champions) when they first come to America.
"I didn't build up his record. I had him fight opponents with equal records. If Evgeny was 5-0, he fought a guy with a similar record and so forth as he developed. Gradovich is a punching machine. He's going to pressure his opponent and throw a lot of punches, especially in good combinations. Being a late replacement won't be a problem. He'll have five weeks of training in Oxnard (CA) with Robert Garcia for this fight and he never blows up in weight between fights like other guys. We're not going to Foxwoods to meet 50 Cent; we're coming to take Dib's world title belt back with us."
Called the Mexican-Russian by other fighters in his gym because of their respect for tough style of fighting, Gradovich is living the American dream: promoted by Top Rank, managed by trusted fellow countryman Klimas, trained by Garcia, and fighting for the world title in only his 16th pro fight. "Yes, I am," he agreed. "I like this country a lot. I wouldn't be fighting for the world title now if I had stayed in Russia. Boxing is difficult in Russia but you can move forward in America. I have a good team here that helps motivate me. I've been working with Robert Garcia, who trains a lot of world-class athletes, for the past year and I think he's the best trainer in boxing."
Gradovich reports that Klimas, Kovalev and Turner will all be supporting him at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods on March 1.
Tickets priced at $200, $100, $75 and $40, may be purchased online at foxwoods.com, by calling the Foxwoods' box office at 800-200-2882, or in person at the Foxwoods' box office.