Houston Boxing in August
There’s nothing in the world
like Texas heat in August. On Saturday, August 22nd, four of boxing’s
best will square off at Houston’s Toyota Center in an event that will
raise the temperature of a sweltering summer of boxing even higher – HBO’s
Boxing After Dark.
In the main event, former Undisputed Lightweight World Champion and hometown hero Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz takes on former 140-pound world titleholder Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi of Brooklyn, New York, while the co-featured bout sees heavy-handed Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero challenge for a world title in a second weight class when he takes on IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Malcolm Klassen.
Boxing’s most exciting pound for pound fighter, Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz (34-2, 17 KO’s) has accomplished a lot in the sport for a young man of just 25 years old. A former WBA World Lightweight Champion who defended his title five times before adding the WBO and IBF World Titles to his resume with technical knockouts of Acelino Freitas and Julio Diaz respectively, Houston’s finest is coming off an epic war with Juan Manuel Marquez in February when he got knocked out. “Ever since graduation, I’ve just been in the gym and I can’t wait to get back into the ring,” said Diaz who just recently graduated from the University of Houston – Downtown in a political science. ”Malignaggi is a slick opponent and a good test, but I’m confident that with my fans in Houston behind me, I’ll win the fight in exciting fashion.” Houston’s Diaz will enjoy a hometown advantage and he’ll also get a weight concession as Malignaggi will not be able to weigh more than 138 ½ pounds at the weigh in. Malignaggi will drop an extra 1 ½ pounds. Smart move by Team Diaz after Juan Manuel Marquez demolished him in an action packed fight, choosing a lighter-hitting type.
A brash Brooklynite who has been to the top of the boxing world as a former Junior Welterweight World Champion, Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi (26-2, 5 KO’s) is more than flash in the ring. Owner of wins over Lovemore N’Dou, Herman Ngoudjo and Edner Cherry, the 28-year-old Malignaggi has also gone to battle against boxing superstars Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, but he knows that no fight is more important than the one ahead of him on August 22nd as it could lead to a another world title shot for him if he beats Diaz.
Hailing from Hammanskraal, South Africa, Malcolm Klassen (24-4-2, 14 KO’s) is the latest in the line of hard-nosed South African fighters to ascend to the peak of the boxing mountain. A ten-year veteran who rebounded from a rocky start to his career to win 11 of his last 12 bouts, Klassen came to the attention of the boxing world in 2008 with his win over former Five-Time World Champion Manuel “Mantecas” Medina and followed that with a seventh round technical knockout of South African boxing legend Cassius Baloyi in April that earned him the IBF 130-pound championship.
A ferocious puncher whose last 16 wins have come by knockout, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (24-1-1, 17 KO’s) has the type of power that can change the direction of a fight in a split second. A native of Gilroy, California, the popular Guerrero knows what it’s like to compete at the game’s highest level, having won the IBF Featherweight World Title twice. Now competing at 130 pounds, Guerrero – who is fresh off of an eighth round stoppage of veteran Efren Hinojosa in June – is ready to join the select few who can claim to be a world champion in two different weight classes.
“An exciting evening of boxing like this is what the Boxing After Dark series is known for, and I can’t think of any place better to have it than at Toyota Center in Houston,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. ”The fans in Houston are knowledgeable and enthusiastic and we’re giving them plenty to cheer for with their hometown fighter Juan Diaz taking on Paulie Malignaggi and Robert Guerrero looking to win another world title against Malcolm Klassen. This will be a great night for Houston and for boxing.”
Both bouts, which are presented by Golden Boy Promotions, with Diaz vs. Malignaggi being presented in association with DiBella Entertainment and Guerrero vs. Klassen being presented in association with Branco Sports Productions, will air on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:45 pm ET/PT (8:45 pm CT). Doors open at 3:30pm and the first bout begins at approximately 3:45pm CT. Tickets, priced at $250, $125, $70, $45 and $25, go on sale on Friday, July 10th at 10am CT, and may be purchased online at www.ToyotaCenterTix.com, by phone at 1-866-4-HOU-TIX and at select Houston area Randalls locations. Tickets will be available at the Toyota Center Box Office beginning Monday, July 13th at 9am CT. You have the opportunity to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the public. The Toyota Center Insider presale is available Wednesday, July 8 at 10:00 AM until Friday, July 10 at 10:00 AM.
For more information regarding the August 22nd event, please visit www.goldenboypromotions.com
Also, Savarese Promotions recently announed Thursday Night Throw Down, the first of many high quality boxing events in Houston. Savarese Promotions, owned and operated by former heavyweight champion Lou Savarese, claims to be a company that focuses on promoting high quality events in a professional atmosphere, supporting both the athlete and the sport. A portion of the night's proceeds will benefit Casa El Buen Samaritano.
Don’t miss the main event, August 6th at Hilton Americas Houston. Zack Page, the only one to defeat "Mean Gene" will fight Eugene Hill in a rematch for the heavyweight title. Houston locals, Cliff English and Chase Shields take the ring for some hometown competition. Other fights featuring Terrance Woods vs. Anthony Greeley, Gerardo "Tin Tin" Ibarra vs. Jerron Lockette, Chris "Hollywood" Hernandez vs. Mike Wagendlast, Steve "Freight Train" Collins vs. Brad "The Vanilla Gorilla" Bowers, Lanardo Tyner vs. Davey Armstrong and Tiffany Junot vs. Kimberly Ann ConnorCheer them on ringside : General Admission and VIP seating available.