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Khan To Meet Alexander; Thurman, Andrade Also In Action Dec. 13

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“ROYAL BATTLE,” A HARD-HITTING TRIPLEHEADER HEADLINED BY AMIR KHAN VS. DEVON ALEXANDER, SET FOR SATURDAY, DEC. 13 LIVE ON SHOWTIME® AT MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS

WBA INTERIM WORLD CHAMPION KEITH THURMAN DEFENDS AGAINST FELLOW UNBEATEN LEONARD BUNDU

WBO CHAMPION DEMETRIUS ANDRADE RISKS HIS TITLE AGAINST JERMELL CHARLO IN CLASH OF UNDEFEATED JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHTS

PLUS, FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONS ABNER MARES AND VICTOR ORTIZ TO BE FEATURED IN SEPARATE UNDERCARD BOUTS

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2014) – The stars of boxing’s present and future will be out in full force at the MGMGrand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 13, when Golden Boy Promotions in association with Khan Promotionsand The Great Promotions present a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader featuring a pivotal welterweight showdown and two world championship fights, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

In a pair of must-see, high-stakes welterweight matchups, British superstar and former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan of Bolton, Englandwill take onformer two-division world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” of St. Louis, Mo., while undefeated interim WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman of Clearwater, Fla., will defend against Leonard “The Lion” Bundu of Lazio, Italy.

Rounding out an action-packed night on the three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will be WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius “Boo Boo”Andrade of Providence, R.I., who risks his 154-pound belt against tough undefeated young star Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo of Houston, Texas. Charlo will make his first attempt at world title glory in a battle of unbeaten junior middleweights.

Featured on the undercard will be two separate 10-round bouts featuring former three-time, three-division world championAbner Mares and former welterweight world champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz. Mares, who will fight in a featherweight bout against an opponent to be determined, will look to build on his recent victory over Jonathan Oquendo. Ortiz is looking to make a comeback statement in a welterweight bout against an opponent to be named.

Tickets for the live event are on sale now and are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per person with a limit of four (4) at the $50 price range. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available at www.mgmgrand.com orwww.ticketmaster.com.

“Getting back in the ring is all I’ve been looking towards these last few months,” said Khan. “I want to show everybody that I’m a major force at 147 pounds and I’m ready to take on the best. This fight with Alexander has been on the table for a while, but it is finally happening and I plan on winning impressively to show that I am truly one of the best welterweights in the world.”

“I’ve wanted this fight for a long time and I’m ready to show that I’m worthy of this opportunity and the opportunities ahead after I win on Dec. 13,” said Alexander. “I’ve worked hard my entire life and now the pressure is on to really show what I can do.”

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and defend my title,” said Thurman. “I’m going to give all my fans the performance of a lifetime and prove why my name should be at the top of the welterweight conversation.”

“December 13 is going to be the biggest night of my professional career thus far,” said Bundu. “To be fighting in the United States, in the fight capital of the world — Las Vegas on SHOWTIME against one of the most promising American prospects is a dream come true. But Keith Thurman doesn’t scare me. I know that I have what it takes to win and truly make a name for myself throughout the boxing world.”

“There is no way I’m letting go of my belt,” said Andrade. “Jermell Charlo is a good fighter, but nothing is going to stop me from defending my belt and raising my hand in victory on Dec. 13. I am confident that this will be a fight fans won’t want to miss.”

“I am beyond excited to finally get a shot at a world title,” said Charlo. “This is what I’ve been waiting for. I’m ready to be a world champion. Nothing is going to stand in my way. Andrade is the champion and I’m not looking past him at all, but this is my time. I know it. The title will lead to bigger and better things and that is what I’m all about.”

“I am so happy to be back at MGM Grand after my recent win in July,” said Mares. “My ultimate goal is another shot at a world championship and a win on December 13 will help me get there. I plan on putting on a great performance and showcasing my skills once again.”

“I’m excited to get back into the ring,” said Ortiz. “I got caught in my last fight, but I’m ready to get back to work and improve my game. I know what it takes to win and that is what I plan on doing on December 13. I’m thankful for the opportunity and looking forward to giving fans a great show.”

“A huge main event with two former champions looking to take a major step back towards a title shot; undefeated fighters going head-to-head on the undercard; our last big show of the year -Dec. 13 at MGM Grand will have it all,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions. “Golden Boy Promotions is finishing 2014 strong and will move into 2015 continuing to make good on our promise to make the most exciting fights for boxing fans.”

“The Dec. 13 edition of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING delivers on our promise to televise stacked fight cards featuring big name fighters in meaningful fights,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “The main event, Amir Khan versus Devon Alexander, is a matchup between two renowned former world champions, each at a critical juncture in his career. In the co-feature, Keith Thurman, one of the brightest young stars in boxing, faces perhaps his toughest test to date in the highly regarded and undefeated Leonard Bundu, as each boxer battles for position in the ultra-competitive welterweight division. The opening bout on the telecast features two very talented undefeated rising stars, champion Demetrius Andrade and No. 2-ranked challenger Jermell Charlo. Each fight on the telecast will have a significant impact on the top-10 divisional rankings.”

Khan(29-3, 19 KOs), a 2004 Olympic Silver medalist who turns 28 on Dec. 8, has won his last three contests, all against former world champions. In his most recent outing, he scored three knockdowns en route to a lopsided 12-round decision victory over Luis Collazo in the co-main event on May 3. Before that, the popular, lightning-quick Brit defeated Julio Diaz via unanimous decision in April of 2013 and Carlos Molina in Dec. of 2012. A victory against Alexander would put Khan in a position to become a two-division world champion in 2015.

The 27-year-old southpaw Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs), is a former welterweight and junior welterweight world champion and is coming off of a 10-round unanimous decision over the tough Jesus Soto Karass last June. Fighting with a newfound passion and aggressiveness, Alexander was victorious by the scores of 99-91 twice and 97-93. A winner of five of his last six bouts, a stretch that has seen him defeat the likes of Lucas Matthysse and Marcos Maidana, Alexander believes that his technical artistry will put him back in the world title hunt soon.

Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs) has always been feared for his knockout power, but when he won the WBA Interim Welterweight World Title with a 10th round knockout over Diego Chaves in July of 2013, he was put in a position where the elite of the fight game would have to square off with him eventually. The 25-year-old Thurman has since made two successful title defenses with knockouts over Jesus Soto Karass and Julio Diaz, and he will attempt to achieve the same result against Bundu.

Bundu(31-0-2, 11 KOs), who represented Italy in the 2000 Olympic Games, is making his United States and SHOWTIME debut. The European and Commonwealth Champion, is coming off a hard-earned 12-round decision over previously undefeated contender Frankie Gavin on Aug. 1. Bundu was born in Sierra Leone before moving to Italy, where he has fought the majority of his fights since turning pro in 2005. He is ranked No. 3 in the WBC and No, 4 in the WBA and IBF.

A decorated amateur, Providence, Rhode Island’s Andrade (21-0, 14 KOs) turned professional in 2008 after representing the U.S. in the Olympic Games in Beijing. In November of 2013, the talented southpaw won the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World Title with a 12-round decision over Vanes Martirosyan and this past June, the 26-year-old successfully defended his title for the first time with a seventh-round technical knockout over Brian Rose.

Charlo (24-0, 11 KOs), 24, is the younger-by-one-minute brother of identical twin, Jermall, who is also a world-ranked undefeated contender at 154 pounds. A tall fighter for his division, Charlo has stepped up in class in some recent fights and is coming off two consecutive terrific points’ victories against Charlie Ota in a 12-round fight on May 24 and against Gabriel Rosado in a 10-round battle on Jan. 25. Charlo, also a top-notch amateur, won the bronze medal at the 2005 Junior Olympics. December 13 marks a milestone in Charlo’s career as he will do everything he can to capture his first world title.

Mares (27-1-1, 14 KOs) of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and fighting out of Downey, Calif. is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Johnathan Oquendo at MGM Grand in July. Prior to his impressive win, Mares suffered the first loss of his professional career to the hands of Johnny Gonzalez, but has since bounced back and is ready to fight. Mares found himself on the pound-for-pound list in 2013 after winning the WBC Featherweight title, adding to his accomplishments as he already held world championships at bantamweight and super bantamweight.

Ortiz (29-5, 22 KOs) is ready to show the boxing world that he still has what it takes to be great. The 27-year-old Ventura, Calif. native has made headlines in and out of the ring, not only as a fighter, but also an entertainer. A former welterweight world champion who has engaged in memorable battles against the best in the boxing business including Floyd Mayweather, Marcos Maidana, Andre Berto and Josesito Lopez. He has also crossed over into the bright lights of Hollywood as a member of the cast of ABC’s hit series “Dancing With The Stars” and most recently as part of the film “Expendables 3.” Now Ortiz will return to the ring for the first time since his knockout loss against Luis Collazo in January and looks to show the boxing world he’s serious about another run at a world title.

 

“Royal Battle: Khan vs. Alexander,” a 12-round welterweight bout for the WBC Silver Welterweight Title, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Khan Promotions and The Great Promotions and is sponsored by Corona Extra, AT&T and Mexico – Live It To Believe It! The event will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. and will air on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). In the co-main event, Keith Thurman defends his WBA Interim Welterweight World Title against Leonard Bundu, and in the televised opener, Demetrius Andrade defends his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against Jermell Charlo in a bout promoted in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Banner Promotions. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).

For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com and www.sports.sho.com, follow on Twitter at@GoldenBoyBoxing, @SHOSports, @AmirKingKhan, @TheRealDevonA, @KeithThurmanJr, @LeonardBundu, @boobooboxing, @TwinCharlo, @abnermares00, @viciousortiz, @MGMGrand and @Swanson_Comm follow the conversation using #KhanAlexander, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxingand www.facebook.com/SHOBoxing, or visit SHOWTIME Boxing Blog at http://theboxingblog.sho.com/.

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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.

Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

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Michael Dutchover

ONTARIO-Calif.-Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

Lightweight prospect Dutchover (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out southpaw Aguilera (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in the fifth round with a barrage of body blows that left the Costa Rican limp at the Doubletree Hotel.

For two rounds Aguilar used an awkward counter-punching style that had Dutchover a little tentative. But once he figured out that combination punching was the key, he opened up with barrages and floored Aguilar with body shots at the end of round four.

That signaled doom for Aguilar.

The fifth round saw Dutchover target the body with impunity as Aguilar tried holding, running and covering up with no success. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth signaled the fight over at 2:31 of the fifth round giving Dutchover the win by knockout.

In a bantamweight clash Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Mexico City’s Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-2, 1 KO) fought to a majority draw after six back and forth rounds.

Hernandez targeted the body against the taller Gonzalez who relied on long range counters. Both found success but neither could prove superiority after six turbulent rounds.

After six rounds one judge saw it 58-56 for Gonzalez but the two other judges saw it 57-57 for a majority draw.

Other bouts

South Central L.A.’s Ruben Torres (7-0, 6 KOs) extended his undefeated streak with a knockout over Mexico’s Eder “El Koreano” Amaro (6-6, 2 KOs) in a lightweight fight. But it wasn’t easy.

Amaro switched from southpaw to orthodox and was matching Torres for two rounds until the taller local fighter began blasting away to the body and head with precision. Many in the crowd cheered “Koreano” in unison but it couldn’t help once Torres zeroed in.

At the end of the fourth round Amaro could not continue and the fight was stopped giving a knockout for Torres.

Richard Brewart Jr. (2-0) mowed through Edward Aceves (0-5) flooring him with body shots in the first round then overwhelming him in the second. After seven unanswered blows referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:32 of round two giving Rancho Cucamonga’s Brewart the win by knockout in the super welterweight bout.

Southpaw David Ortiz (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds in a welterweight match against San Diego’s Mario Angeles (2-11-2). Ortiz lives in Bloomington, Calif. and is trained by Henry Ramirez. No knockdowns were scored.

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Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face

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Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo were scheduled to fight in Cologne, Germany, later this month (Sept. 29). Charr would be defending his WBA world heavyweight title, the “regular” version of it, not the “super” version which rests in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

The bout was quickly cancelled when it was revealed that Charr had tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. The test was performed by VADA, the anti-doping agency identified with Las Vegas neurologist Dr. Margaret Goodman.

The 33-year-old Charr, born in Lebanon but a resident of Germany since the age of three, won the belt in his last start with a unanimous decision over 281-pound Russian behemoth Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany. The title was vacant. Charr won the right to fight for it with a 10-round decision over Albanian slug Sefer Seferi. The victory over Ustinov elevated his record to 31-4. He has been stopped three times, by Vitali Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Mairis Briedis.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, as the old saying goes, Fres Oquendo wouldn’t have any luck at all. For various reasons, his fights keep falling out. Before long he’ll be drawing social security. Well, not exactly, but he turned 45 in April and hasn’t fought in more than four years.

Oquendo has competed for this belt before. In his last ring appearance in July of 2014, he lost a majority decision to Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. As a concession for taking the fight on short notice, Team Oquendo negotiated a rematch clause in the contract, but a shoulder injury prevented Fres from activating it. When the injury healed, he had to go to court to compel Chagaev to fulfill his obligation. But then the Russian retired, muddling the water.

The WBA was legally bound to find Oquendo a title fight and in desperation turned to ancient Shannon Briggs. But the Oquendo-Briggs fight, scheduled for June 3 of last year in Hollywood, Florida, fell out when Briggs’ urine specimen showed an abnormally high level of testosterone.

Fres Oquendo was dogged by bad luck even before these recent developments. His professional record, 37-8, is somewhat misleading as six of his eight defeats were razor-thin including his 2003 setback to Chris Byrd and his 2006 setback to Evander Holyfield. However, Oquendo, something of a cutie, was never a crowd-pleaser and in none of his narrow defeats was there a public clamor for a rematch.

The cancellation of Charr-Oquendo cuts the World Boxing Association out of a sanctioning fee, but one would think that the WBA honchos are actually rather pleased by this turn of events. The fight, more precisely the WBA’s world title imprimatur, would have brought more unwanted publicity to the Panama-based organization.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who has the largest platform of any boxing writer, has been a persistent critic of the organization which once recognized 41 “champions” in 17 weight classes. In 2009, Rafael wrote, “(The WBA) has become such an absolute farce that even somebody like me, who follows boxing closely, sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the nonsensical so-called world title belts the WBA has been doling out at an alarming rate. It almost reminds me of the ladies at Costco who hand out various samples on a busy Saturday afternoon.”

Rafael took note when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza promised to cull the herd by eliminating “regular” titles, and then became more caustic when Mendoza didn’t follow through. Recently, in one short, punchy diatribe, Rafael blistered the WBA as wretched, vile, and rancid.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Fres Oquendo who keeps getting stranded at the altar. No, he’s not fun to watch and a man of his age shouldn’t be taking any more punches, but he has always been an honest workman and by all accounts he’s a very decent man. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Chicago, Oquendo pitched right in when the island nation of his birth was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. He was personally responsible for relocating Puerto Rican boxing legend Wilfred Benitez and Benitez’s sister, his caregiver, to Chicago where their lives wouldn’t be as hard.

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Bob Arum Hails Terence Crawford (not Lomachenko) as Boxing’s Next Superstar

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Arum says Terence

Top Rank’s Bob Arum says Terence Crawford will become this generation’s Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao–elite boxers who became worldwide celebrity sensations. Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Pacquiao on the way to their historic crossover statuses expects big things from the undefeated Crawford over the next few years.

“He’s the best fighter in the United States, and he’s so charismatic,” said Arum. “He comes from middle America, and In the next year or so, he will be huge.”

Arum’s assertion is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Arum is also the promoter for Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. More importantly, Lomachenko seems to have a groundswell of support behind him both in the media and among fight fans.

Lomachenko has also been heavily featured through Top Rank’s television partnership with ESPN. While Crawford has achieved more in his career than Lomachenko (at least in my eyes) and, as noted by Arum, is a homegrown American talent, Lomachenko seems to be considered the more marketable commodity to that network judging by the amount of promotional materials ESPN has pumped out about the fighter over the last year.

The other reason Arum’s claim about Crawford is interesting is the performance of Canelo Alvarez over the weekend in his majority decision rematch win over Gennady Golovkin. Besides Mayweather and Pacquiao, Alvarez is the clear PPV leader among all of boxing’s current commodities, and his status as boxing’s new money fighter should only grow stronger after the best win of his career.

Still, Crawford is one of the few very elite fighters in all of boxing. He’s ranked No. 2 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

While Lomachenko and Alvarez are also candidates to become boxing’s next big thing, there’s no doubt Crawford is also one of the few boxers in the sport right now with the right things in place to become the next Mayweather or Pacquiao.

Omaha’s Crawford is in the midst of an historic run. When he stopped Jeff Horn in round 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June, Crawford captured a world title in his third different weight class, welterweight. This after Crawford had already captured two lineal boxing championships, as well as multiple alphabet titles, in both the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.

By any measure, Crawford is truly one of the best boxers in the sport. Not only does he look the part in the ring on fight night (something more and more writers seem to value most when voting for pound-for-pound lists), but the fighter has already accomplished so much in his career that it seems Arum is doing more than the fiduciary duty of promoting his fighter when he ascribes to Crawford such lofty praise.

Crawford, still just 30 years old, is already halfway to matching Mayweather and Pacquiao’s shared record of most lineal championships. Over the course of his career, Mayweather captured lineal championships at junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight. Pacquiao won his as a flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, and junior welterweight.

In order for Crawford to grab lineal championship No. 3, most believe he’ll have to go through welterweight phenom Errol Spence. While promotional entanglements might keep this superfight on the shelf for a while, Arum said he had no problem pitting Crawford against Spence in what would be one of the best matchups in recent memory.

“Absolutely,” said Arum when asked about working with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, who represents Spence, to make the fight. Could any response from him be more exciting? Crawford vs. Spence might be the next superfight in boxing. Both fighters are among the very elite, and unlike what ultimately happened with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, who fought each other well past their peak years, both would be in the prime of their careers.

Winning that fight would certainly go a long way to making Arum’s vision of Crawford’s future come true. And who knows? Maybe Crawford really is the next Mayweather or Pacquiao. Heck, for all we know, he could even be on his way to doing something more.

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