Erik Morales vs Lucas Matthysse & Vargas/Lopez Added to Mayweather Undercard
The “STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz” pay-per-view telecast is now complete with four star-studded fights from two sites all taking place Saturday, September 17 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions announced today that Erik Morales vs. Lucas Matthysse and Jessie Vargas vs. Josesito Lopez have been added to the mega-event, which is being produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.
photo by Gene Blevins/LA Daily News
The out-of-this-world night of boxing will kick-off with a super lightweight bout featuring undefeated rising star Vargas in his HBO Pay-Per-View debut against hard-hitting Lopez, followed by the first of the night’s three world title fights as Mexican boxing legend Morales will face power punching Argentine Matthysse for the WBC Super Lightweight World Championship. The pay-per-view telecast will then go live to STAPLES Center in Los Angeles with Mexican boxing phenom Canelo Alvarez taking on Alfonso Gomez for the WBC Super Welterweight World Championship, followed by the main event welterweight championship mega-fight, Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz, live from Las Vegas.
Fans in attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas will be able to see the Alvarez vs. Gomez fight live, while those in attendance at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles will see Mayweather vs. Ortiz and Morales vs. Matthysse live. Following the showing of Mayweather vs. Ortiz at STAPLES Center, fans in attendance will see two special post-fight concerts performed by Los Tucanes de Tijuana and El Gran Silencio.
“The addition of Morales vs. Matthysse and Vargas vs. Lopez to the September 17 fight card makes ‘STAR POWER’ without a doubt the biggest night of boxing in 2011,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Mayweather Promotions is very excited about Jessie Vargas’ pay-per-view debut on such a huge event to really get his name out there and show the world what he can do.”
“Now that we have a complete pay-per-view card, the stage is set for the world to witness a real supernova of boxing,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Three title fights in one night is something that we are very proud to bring to boxing fans around the world. Each of these championship fights could stand alone as their own main event and fans will be able to experience them all in one night. Adding undefeated Jessie Vargas in his pay-per-view debut and the legendary Erik Morales, who is fighting to make history as the first Mexican boxing warrior to win world titles in four weight classes, really strengthens the entire ‘STAR POWER’ event.”
Tickets for Mayweather vs. Ortiz, Morales vs. Matthysse and Vargas vs. Lopez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena are priced at $1,250, $1,000, $600, $300 and $150, not including applicable service charges. Ticket sales are limited to twelve (12) per person at the $1,250, $1,000, $600 and $300 price levels with a ticket limit of two (2) per person at the $150 price level. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
STAPLES Center tickets for Alvarez vs. Gomez are priced at $300, $150, $75, and $50, are on sale now and available for purchase online at ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000. Tickets are also available at STAPLES Center box office.
A three-division world champion and future Hall of Famer, Erik “El Terrible” Morales (51-7, 35 KO’s) ruled the boxing landscape for years, thrilling fans with his classic battles against Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera, Paulie Ayala, Wayne McCullough and In-Jin Chi. But when he returned from a nearly three year layoff in 2010, many wondered if the Tijuana native still had what it took to compete with the elite. Those questions were answered loud and clear with a three fight winning streak in 2010 and a Fight of the Year candidate in April of 2011, when he went to war for 12 rounds with Marcos Maidana before losing a razor-thin majority decision. Now, the 34-year old warrior is back in the ring and back in Las Vegas to face the concussive punching Matthysse as he vies to become the only Mexican fighter in history to win world titles in four weight divisions.
“This fight is the chance of a lifetime,” said Morales. “I have waited for this moment my entire career. To have the opportunity to win world titles in four weight divisions on Mexican Independence Day and on a night like this is a dream come true. I am going to train harder than ever to make the Mexican people proud and to be victorious on September 17.”
One of boxing’s hardest punchers, Lucas Matthysse (28-2, 26 KO’s) of Trelew, Argentina has made former World Champions Zab “Super” Judah and Devon Alexander see stars in his last two fights, knocking each of them down, only to lose both fights by controversial split decisions. The 28-year-old’s new role as the people’s champion is a good one for the crowd-pleasing standout, who has been delivering stellar performances from the time he turned professional in 2004. A former WBO Latino and WBO Intercontinental champion who counts “Vicious” Vivian Harris, DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley and Rogelio Castaneda Jr. among his vanquished foes, Matthysse, who has won 93 percent of his fights by way of knockout, is amped up and ready to trade blows with one of the sport’s modern greats, Erik Morales, on September 17.
“I cannot wait to get in the ring and fight Erik Morales,” said Matthysse. “I will do anything and everything I can to walk away from this fight as a world champion. I will work harder because I don’t want to pass up this magnificent opportunity.”
Jessie Vargas (16-0, 9 KO’s), who grew up in Los Angeles, now resides in Las Vegas and trains at the Mayweather Boxing Club with recently hired trainer Robert Alcazar, is coming off of an impressive second-round knockout win over veteran Walter Estrada on July 8. His extraordinary performance set off a national buzz among boxing writers and fans that the young prospect is on the fast track to boxing greatness. Appearing in the opening bout in his pay-per-view debut, Vargas has the chance of a lifetime to make his name and talent known around the world against a stiff test in Josesito Lopez.
“Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions have given me an amazing opportunity to fight on the biggest night in boxing this year,” said Vargas. “On September 17, I know I will be ready to show the world that all of my hard work and preparation has led to this opportunity. I am so excited to be a part of this event and I look forward to beating Lopez and keeping my undefeated record.”
Riverside, California’s Josesito Lopez (29-3, 17 KO’s) may only be 27-years-old, but he’s old school when it comes to his approach to the sport of boxing. This attitude has led him to nearly 30 pro wins, with his only losses coming via narrow decisions. Currently riding a seven-fight winning streak, Lopez showed off his veteran savvy in his most recent victory in January, when he tarnished hot prospect Mike Dallas Jr.’s perfect record by scoring a seventh round knockout.
“I am very excited to be a part of this event and to show the world that I am a force to be reckoned with in the ring,” said Lopez who is co-promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions and Goossen Tutor Promotions. “I haven’t lost a fight in over three years and I don’t plan on losing this one. Jessie Vargas might be undefeated now, but he won’t be after September 17.”
Added Lopez’s promoter Ken Thompson, “In Josesito Lopez we have one of the slickest, fastest fighters in the world. He’s the NABF champion and is in the position that he is today because he has worked hard and is on his way to becoming the super lightweight champion.”
“STAR POWER” is a mega-event taking place on Saturday, Sept. 17 from two world-class cities with three world titles at stake. Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz will face off in a 12-round fight for Ortiz’s WBC Welterweight World Title from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Canelo Alvarez and Alfonso Gomez will do battle in a 12-round fight for Alvarez’s WBC Super Welterweight World Title from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Also live in Las Vegas, will be Erik Morales vs. Lucas Matthysse in a 12 round fight for the vacant WBC Super Lightweight World Title and an opening fight featuring undefeated rising star Jessie Vargas against top contender Josesito Lopez. The mega event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, DeWALT Tools and AT&T. Alvarez vs. Gomez is presented in association with Canelo Promotions and Morales vs. Matthysse is presented in association with Box Latino Promotions and Arano Box Promotions. “STAR POWER: Mayweather vs. Ortiz” will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.