SUNRISE, Fla.—Boxing promoter Don King will present another tremendous international boxing event in South Florida when his “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” lands at BankAtlantic Center on Saturday, Feb. 14 featuring unified lightweight world champion—and Jacksonville native—Nate “Galaxxy Warrior” Campbell (32-5-1, 25 KOs) opposing International Boxing Federation mandatory challenger Ali “Rush Hour” Funeka, from East London, South Africa.
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre’ Pits WBO and IBF Lightweight Champion
Nate ‘Galaxxy Warrior’ Campbell Against Ali ‘Rush Hour’ Funeka;
Former Three-Time World Champion Ricardo ‘El Matador’ Mayorga
Faces Undefeated WBC No. 3-Ranked Super Welterweight Alfredo ‘Perro’ Angulo;
Interim WBC Super Welterweight Champion Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez
Defends Title Against Former World Champion Kermit ‘The Killer’ Cintron
Colorful crowd favorite and former three-time world champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga (28-7-1, 22 KOs), from Managua, Nicaragua, will appear against World Boxing Council No. 3-ranked super welterweight Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (14-0, 11 KOs), from Mexicali, Mexico. This match is an elimination bout to determine the WBC’s No. 1 ranking at the 154-pound limit and become the mandatory challenger to the organization’s champion.
Another bout of great importance at 154 pounds will be showcased when interim WBC super welterweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, takes on former welterweight world champion Kermit “The Killer” Cintron.
The BankAtlantic Center will be configured in a fan-friendly half-house configuration with only the best seats in the lower bowl and floor areas being placed for sale. In addition, promoter Don King has created a special “Valentine’s Day 2-for-1” ticket promotion where almost everyone who buys a seat will get an additional ticket for free, starting at just $25 (except a small number of golden circle seats).
“A two-for-one ticket offer and setting up the arena so all fans will be as close to the ring as possible are innovative and great ideas for this card,” King said. “This way, more of my Florida neighbors can afford to bring their sweethearts, family or friends to see this great night of boxing on Valentine’s Day at BankAtlantic Center.”
Florida Panthers President Michael Yormark is excited to have boxing at BankAtlantic Center, the Florida Panthers home arena.
“Don King is one of the biggest names in sports and we are honored to welcome him to the BankAtlantic Center,” said Yormark. “His track record for promoting world-class events speaks for itself. That said, it is a great thrill to bring boxing to the BankAtlantic Center for the first time, which once again reinforces our ability to successfully host nearly any type of event.”
Tickets priced at $200, $75, $40 and $25 (with all seats 2-for-1 excepting a limited number of golden circle seats) will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000, by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or at the BankAtlantic Center box office.
Campbell picked up his world titles in a tremendous, upset victory over then-unified lightweight champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz. Campbell outgunned and battered the previously unbeaten Diaz for 12 rounds on March 8 in Cancun, Mexico. He won the fight by split decision but there was little doubt among the Mexicans assembled in an outdoor bull ring that Campbell had made good on his pre-fight prediction to take his younger but more heralded opponent into deep water to defeat him.
His win culminated a made-in-Florida dream that saw Campbell escape from his violent upbringing in a Jacksonville ghetto, embark on an improbable career in boxing at the late age of 24 and reach the pinnacle of his sport.
The fast-handed and even-faster-talking new champion’s first defense of his titles was slowed by Joan Guzman, who failed to make weight the day before the two were scheduled to meet on Sept. 13 in Biloxi, Miss. Guzman said he was too weak to fight over the limit, scratching the match altogether.
The road gets no easier for Campbell, who must now meet his IBF mandatory challenger in Funeka. This will be the first time the South African has appeared outside of his country, but he was able to stop highly regarded Zahir Raheem in the fourth round when they met on July 25 to earn the right to face Campbell.
At his loquacious best, Campbell is still no match for the Nicaraguan boxer also appearing on the card, flashy Ricardo Mayorga, who is in a class by himself when at his trash-talking best. Mayorga, who often trains in South Florida but will make his first prizefighting appearance here, tends to batter opponents outside the ring verbally as well as physically inside the squared circle.
His meteoric rise captured the imagination of the boxing world when he dethroned reigning 2002 Fighter of the Year Vernon “The Viper” Forest twice in succession in 2003. He went on to face some of the most well known boxers in the sport including Cory Spinks, Felix “Tito” Trinidad, Oscar de la Hoya, “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas and, most recently, “Sugar” Shane Mosley.
Mayorga is a dangerous marauder who always comes to fight. Extra motivation may come from the fact that the young, undefeated prospect Alfredo Angulo, 26, thinks he can dispatch the big-fight veteran Mayorga, 35, in just his 15th professional appearance.
A win here for Mayorga would extend his notable career, while Angulo would benefit from beating, by far, the biggest name on his building resume. Known for his punching prowess, Angulo must first prove he will not be overly influenced by the withering verbal assaults he can expect from Mayorga designed to mine the depths of his being in search of the slightest weakness or trigger point—a ploy that his ensnared fighters of much greater experience and left them psychologically disheveled.
Another bout of significance at 154 pounds will also be featured when interim WBC super welterweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs), from Buenos Aires, Argentina, faces the highest profile opponent of his career in former IBF welterweight champion Kermit “The Killer” Cintron (30-2, 27 KOs), from Reading, Pa.
Martinez, 33, earned his interim title in his last appearance on Oct. 4 when he dominated Alex Bunema, making him quit after eight rounds. The former champion Cintron, 29, brings a title-fight experience and considerable skills into his first fight at 154 pounds.
The event is promoted by Don King Productions with a full undercard. Campbell vs. Funeka is presented in association with One Punch Productions. Mayorga vs. Angulo is a co-promotion with Gary Shaw Productions. Campbell vs. Funeka, Mayorga vs. Angulo and Martinez vs. Cintron will also be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
BankAtlantic Center was recently recognized by trade publication Pollstar as the No. 11 ranked arena in the United States and was also nominated for ‘Arena of the Year’ as part of the annual Pollstar Awards. Home to more than 185 events annually and the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, the BankAtlantic Center is consistently a top 15 worldwide venue according to Pollstar. The BankAtlantic Center welcomes more than two million guests each year and is also the home of Sawgrass Live presented by BankAtlantic and two monthly magazines Unrestricted and Panthers Insider.
Don King Productions has promoted over 500 world championship fights with nearly 100 individual boxers having been paid $1 million or more. DKP also holds the distinction of having promoted or co-promoted seven of the 10 largest pay-per-view events in history, as gauged by total buys, including three of the top five: Holyfield vs. Tyson II, 1.99 million buys, June 1997; Tyson vs. Holyfield I, 1.6 million buys, November 1996; and Tyson vs. McNeeley, 1.58 million buys, August 1995.
DKP has promoted or co-promoted 12 of the top 20 highest-grossing live gates in the history of the state of Nevada including four of the top five: Holyfield vs. Lewis II, paid attendance: 17,078, gross: $16,860,300 (NOTE: Also second-highest live-gate gross for any event in the history of the world.), date: Nov. 13, 1999; Holyfield vs. Tyson II, paid attendance: 16,279, gross: $14,277,200, date: June 28, 1997; Holyfield vs. Tyson I, paid attendance: 16,103, gross: $14,150,700, date: Nov. 9, 1996; and Tyson vs. McNeeley, paid attendance: 16,113, gross: $13,965,600, date: Aug. 19, 1995.