Judah/Cotto: The Plot Thickens in The Garden!

NEW YORK (May 11, 2007) -- "Boxing Noir" is the only way one can describe the danger, the intrigue and the revenge elements of the pay-per-view undercard of X-Plosive! -- headlined by undefeated MIGUEL COTTO's welterweight title defense against former two-division world champion ZAB JUDAH. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Prize Fight Boxing, X-Plosive! will be broadcast live, Saturday, June 9, on HBO Pay-Per-View, from Madison Square Garden..

(Note: the Boxing Writers Association of America's 82nd Annual Awards Dinner takes place the night before, Friday, June 8, at The Copacabana in New York)

"We are loaded with compelling matches leading up to the main event when Cotto and Judah step into the ring at Madison Square Garden," said Bob Arum, CEO, Top Rank.

The pay-per-view portion of the X-Plosive! undercard is headlined by a battle of Top 10-rated super featherweights. With 37 KO victories between them and a world title shot at stake, HUMBERTO SOTO and BOBBY PACQUIAO, world-rated No. 3 and 6 by the World Boxing Council, respectively, will go at it with fists blazing. Pacquiao (27-12-3, 12 KOs), from General Santos City, The Philippines, and the older brother of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao knocked out former world champion and New York fan favorite Kevin Kelley at The Garden last year on the Cotto-Paulie Malignaggi junior welterweight title fight undercard.

"If it's one thing my brother Manny and I enjoy, it's fighting the best from Mexico," said Pacquiao. "Soto has something I want -- his world rating. He is the only thing that is standing between me and a world title shot and I am putting my all into my training to make sure I remove Soto as an obstacle to fighting for a world championship belt."

Soto (41-5-2, 25 KOs), from Los Mochis, Mexico, is riding a five-year, 19-bout unbeaten streak, which includes a 12-round unanimous decision against previously undefeated Rocky Juarez for the WBC interim featherweight title. He is clearly a powerful force in the heavier super featherweight division.

"I think Soto will win three world titles and become the most popular champion in all of Mexico," said manager Nacho Huizar, who handles Soto. "That's how strong Soto is."

Revenge is the theme for the immensely-popular undefeated welterweight contender JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ Jr. when he tangles with family nemesis GROVER WILEY in a 10-round welterweight bout. Chavez (31-0, 24 KOs), from Culiacan, Mexico, world-rated No. 11 by the WBC, is the son of Mexican icon and four-time world champion Julio Cesar Chavez. Two years ago Wiley (30-9-1, 14 KOs), from Omaha, Neb., tagged a loss on the elder Chavez in the final bout of his Hall of Fame caliber career. Chavez will be in his son's corner for this fight.

"Like father, like son. I'll retire the kid too," boasted the wily Wiley

"Revenge is a dish that is best served cold," the younger Chavez cooly responded. "And knocked out cold is how he is going to be served on June 9. Wiley has some unfinished business with the the family Chavez."

Opening the pay-per-view broadcast will be an intriguing battle of Top-10 junior middleweight contenders with a combined professional record of 45-1, 25 KOs. ANTHONY 'THE MESSENGER' THOMPSON goes mano-a-mano against YURI FOREMAN in a 10-round rumble. Thompson (23-1, 17 KOs), from Philadelphia, is world-rated No. 7 by the World Boxing Association and No. 11 by the International Boxing Federation. He has won eight fights in a row and the last two were spectacular victories over Robert Frazier and Mohammad Said. Foreman (22-0, 8 KOs), born in Gomel, Belarus and a former resident in Israel, is now fighting out of Brooklyn. World-rated No. 6 by the World Boxing Organization and No. 9 by the WBC, Foreman is a 2001 New York Golden Gloves champion. He is trained by Tommy Brooks at the Hall of Fame Gym in New Jersey.

Remaining tickets, priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50 including a $4.50 facility charge, may be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster Express (866-448-7849) and /

Article posted on 11.05.2007

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