“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
The stars of boxing’s present and future will be out in full force at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 13, when Golden Boy Promotions in association with Khan Promotions and 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 champion Abner 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.
“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.by