LOS ANGELES, December 8 – Four of the top super lightweights in the world will put their skills and wills to the test Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, but before the televised fights begin, an elite eight who will put their combined 94-0 record on the line in stellar undercard action.
Stepping through the ropes this weekend in action-packed undercard fights will be some of boxing’s top stars including former World Champion Joan Guzman, 140-pound phenom Frankie Gomez, heavyweight Seth Mitchell, lightweight Sharif Bogere, super lightweights Jessie Vargas and Jamie Kavanagh, featherweight Randy Caballero and middleweight Alfonso Blanco.
A former Super Bantamweight and Super Featherweight World Champion who never surrendered his titles in the ring, The Dominican Republic’s undefeated Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman (30-0-1, 17 KOs) will make his return to the ring in a 10-round super lightweight contest against Vancouver’s Jason Davis (11-7-1, 3 KOs). The owner of victories over world-class competitors such as Humberto “Zorrita” Soto, Jorge Rodrigo “Hiena” Barrios and Ali Funeka, the 34-year-old Guzman begins another title run this Saturday night against the upset-minded Davis.
Widely considered to be the most talented 18-year-old in the professional game today, East Los Angeles’ Frankie Gomez (7-0, 6 KOs) has earned knockouts in six of his seven victories. Gomez has also shown that he has the stamina to go the distance as evidenced by a six-round decision win over 26-fight veteran Ramon Montano in his most recent bout in October. On December 11, Gomez will face an opponent to be determined in a six-round welterweight bout.
Perhaps the United States’ best hope for future heavyweight title honors, former college football star Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (19-0-1, 13 KOs) has been tearing up the division, with 2010 being his best year yet. He is 4-0 with four knockouts in three rounds or less, including a first-round destruction of Derek Bryant in July. Mitchell will face his stiffest test to date in seasoned veteran Taurus Sykes (25-6-1, 7 KOs) who has squared off with Hasim Rahman, Samuel Peter as well as Alexander Povetkin and is looking forward to seeing if Mitchell has what it takes to make it in the big leagues in an eight-round fight.
Earning rave reviews for his exciting style and punching power, even from the likes of heavyweight legend Mike Tyson, Sharif Bogere (17-0, 11 KOs) is living up to the potential he showed as a five-time African Amateur Champion. Unbeaten as a professional, Bogere has defeated Jose Hernandez, Martin Tucker, Ilido Julio and Julian Rodriguez in 2010, and on Saturday, he hopes to make it five wins this year when he faces Chris Fernandez (19-10-1, 11 KOs). Fernandez, a native of Salt Lake City known as “Kid Kayo”, has reeled off three victories since a 2009 decision loss to former World Champion Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi. The two will do battle in an eight-round lightweight battle.
2010 will be noted as the year that Las Vegas’ Jessie Vargas’ (12-0, 7 KOs) elevated his game and made his first big statement to the boxing world. In the last 12 months, Vargas has turned back fellow prospects Rickey Kinney and Robert Luna Jr., as well as veterans Arturo Morua, Ernie Zavala and Pablo Sarmiento. On December 11, he will face another experienced foe in Ramon Montano (17-8-2, 2 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight fight.
Born in Ireland, raised in Spain, and now living in California, Jamie “The Nuisance” Kavanagh (3-0, 1 KO) has compiled some pretty serious frequent flyer miles over the years and with three wins in 2010, the former amateur star is earning his wings between the ropes as well. On Saturday, he battles Jacob Thronton (2-1) of St. Louis, Missouri in a four-round super lightweight bout.
With five wins, no losses and four knockouts, Coachella featherweight Randy Caballero hasn’t skipped a beat in his transition to the pros and given his performances thus far, he is well on his way to surpassing the results of his stellar amateur career. Hoping to put a “one” in his loss column is Glendale, Arizona’s Robert Guillen (5-8-3, 1 KO) who he will face in a four round fight.
In the evening’s opening fight, Caracas middleweight Alfonso Blanco (1-0) takes on Eloy, Arizona’s Gustavo Medina (1-2-1) in a four round clash. It’s the second professional outing for the 2008 Venezuelan Olympian who hopes to build a professional resume as impressive as his amateur dossier.
“Thunder & Lightning: Khan vs. Maidana,” a 12-round WBA Super Lightweight World Championship bout, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Khan Promotions and Universum Box Promotion and is sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. Top rated super lightweight contenders Victor Ortiz and Lamont Peterson will square off in a 10-round co-featured bout on the HBO World Championship Boxing broadcast which begins at 9:30pm ET / 6:30pm PT.
Tickets, priced at $350, $250, $150, $100 and $50 are on sale and available for purchase at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
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