Los Angeles boxing fans, prepare to enter The Matrix! Two-division world champion and pound for pound superstar VASYL “Hi-Tech” LOMACHENKO returns to a Los Angeles ring for the first time in over three years when he headlines an all-action card, Saturday, August 5, at Microsoft Theater, located at LA Live! Lomachenko will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title against two-time world title challenger and Top-10 contender MIGUEL “Escorpión” MARRIAGA. The co-main event will feature three-time world title challenger and top-rated lightweight contender RAY “Sugar” BELTRAN defending his NABF and NABO lightweight titles against former two-time interim World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight world champion BRYAN VASQUEZ. The four gladiators boast a combined professional record of 102-12-1 (67 KOs).
Both title fights will be televised live and exclusively at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN app.
Tickets to the Lomachenko vs. Marriaga / Beltran vs. Vasquez championship event will go on sale Tomorrow! Thursday, July 13, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT. Priced at $130, $105, $80, $55 and $30, tickets may be purchased at microsofttheater.com, AXS.com, by phone at 888-929-7849 or at the STAPLES Center Box Office.
“Vasyl Lomachenko is the best fighter in boxing and Ray Beltran is the best story in boxing,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Both are in tough against Miguel Marriaga and Bryan Vasquez, who also have lots of world championship fight experience It’s going to be an exciting show for the fans at Microsoft Theater or watching on ESPN.”
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring on August 5th,” said Lomachenko. “I respect all of my opponents who are willing to step in ring with me and I will be at my best to show the boxing fans what boxing is all about it.”
“Thanks to our promoter Top Rank for bringing Vasily back to the ring so quickly after his great performance in April,” said Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager. “There is not much to say when Lomachenko steps into the ring. The way Vasily boxes is not unlike a symphony orchestra where all instruments are played beautifully. He is the best and most entertaining boxer.. I am looking forward to seeing him fight again on August 5th”
“I have respect but no fear of Lomachenko and I cannot wait to fight for his world title,” said Marriaga. “Fighting Lomachenko on ESPN opens the door for my present and for my future . I’m training very hard in Mexico City and I’ll be ready on August 5. I’m going to give him a real fight.”
“I’m excited to fight on ESPN because so many people will be able to see me. It reminds me of the old days when the best fights were on ESPN so it’s cool that Top Rank and ESPN are doing these shows together,” said Beltran. “As for my fight I always respect my opponent, but I’ve knocked out the past five and they had my respect as well. I expect Vasquez to come to fight, but I have a bigger goal to be a world champion, so August 5th is part of that journey and I will not let Vasquez or anyone get in the way of my goal. I’m sure Vasquez and I will make it a great fight for the fans.”
“Ray is as focused as ever on the big prize, a world title shot against Terry Flanagan, Mikey Garcia or Jorge Linares,” said Steve Feder, Beltran’s manager. “But Vasquez is a tough competitor and so we aren’t thinking past this fight just yet. We know it could go the distance, winning is all that matters. Ray’s on a mission, he’s ranked No. 2 breathing down the necks of the champions and was just named NABF Fighter of the Year. He’s feeling it. This is his turf and his ring and he’s determined to protect it. We are filing for the green card as we speak. This is Ray’s year in and out of the ring. Fighting on ESPN is a chance for Ray to get the exposure he’s been waiting for.”
“I think Ray Beltran is a great fighter, motivated and skilled. In one word to describe him in the ring, he’s an animal,” said Vasquez. This fight means a lot for me, fighting for my two idols Chiquita Gonzalez and Roy Jones Jr. who promotes me. Beltran is going to be the toughest fighter I have ever faced. The game plan to is be smarter than him. Speed? How can you use speed against a fighter who sparred with Pacquiao his entire career? We are going to have to be smarter since I am moving up to Beltran’s weight class but I am confident I am the better fighter — faster, smarter, more skilled.”
“Ray Beltran is a very powerful fighter and I really do believe if Bryan outboxes him then Bryan will be victorious,” said Roy Jones Jr., Vasquez’s promoter and a former four-division world champion. “Bryan needs to be smarter than Beltran and not let Beltran dictate how the fight goes. Boxing needs two warriors and Bryan and Beltran are exactly what people have been waiting for. Once victorious, this will re-introduce Bryan Vasquez to the champion circle.”
ESPN: Lomachenko vs Marriaga on Aug 5; Crawford vs. Indongo on Aug. 19
Vasyl Lomachenko to Defend WBO Jr. Lightweight Title against Miguel Marriaga, Saturday, Aug. 5, at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles
Terence “Bud” Crawford vs. Julius Indongo in Battle of Undefeated Junior Welterweight World Champions, Saturday, Aug. 19, at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska
Two-division world champions VASYL LOMACHENKO and TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD return to the ring in August, in separate world championship events on ESPN. Lomachenko will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title against two-time world title challenger and top-10 contender MIGUEL “Escorpión” MARRIAGA, Saturday, August 5, at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Two weeks later, Crawford, the 2014 Fighter of the Year, will risk his WBO, World Boxing Council (WBC) and Ring magazine world titles against undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) world champion Julius Indongo in a battle of undefeated 140-pound world champions. Crawford vs. Indongo will take place Saturday, August 19, at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Both events will be televised live and exclusively at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN app.
“ESPN is thrilled to bring these two new title fights to fans,” said ESPN executive vice president of programming and scheduling Burke Magnus. “There is a lot of buzz around boxing right now and much of it centers around these two great champions – Lomachenko and Crawford. We are excited and proud to showcase these two great events on our all our platforms.”
“Pound for pound, no one can match the talent of Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford,” said president of Top Rank Todd duBoef. “They drew the best ratings on premium cable this year, and now everyone will be able to see them when they defend their world titles in all-action fights in August, live on ESPN.”
Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs), of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, will be making his second world title defense of 2017. On April 8, he stopped former WBA super featherweight world champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa in the ninth round. It was the second most viewed fight on premium cable for 2017. Last year saw Lomachenko named “Fighter of the Year” by several media outlets. The greatest amateur boxer of his era and arguably of all time, two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko, started 2016 by becoming a two-division world champion just as he did with his first professional world title — winning world title No. 2 in a record least amount of fights — SEVEN! On June 11, 2016, he annihilated defending three-time WBO junior lightweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez via a cringe-worthy one-punch knockout in the fifth round. He followed that with his first defense of the WBO junior lightweight title, on Nov. 26, totally dominating Nicholas Walters. The previously undefeated former WBA featherweight world champion quit on his stool after the seventh round with his trainer and father Jobs Walters, telling referee Tony Weeks, ‘”No mas.” Not only was it a total domination but a boxing masterpiece painted on the canvas by Lomachenko. Lomachenko captured his first world title — the vacant WBO featherweight title — on June 21, 2014, winning a scintillating majority decision over the previously unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. It was Lomachenko’s third professional bout, tying him with Thailand’s Saensak Muangsurin for fewest fights to win a world title. Muangsurin won a junior welterweight title in 1975, also in his third professional fight. Lomachenko first gained international renown by winning gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Games as a featherweight and a lightweight, respectively. He retired from the amateurs with a 396-1 record.
Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs), from Arjona, Colombia, enters this fight having won 15 of his previous 20 fights by way of knockout. The only blemishes on his record, 12-round unanimous decision world title losses to WBO featherweight champion Óscar Valdez in a ferocious battle on April 22, and former WBA featherweight world champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters in 2015. Between those two world championship battles, Marriaga fashioned a five-bout winning streak, which included NABO featherweight title knockout victories against Guy Robb and Eduardo Montoya in 2016 to become the WBO’s No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger to Valdez.
Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs), of Omaha, Neb., is a two-division world champion who has won six of his last eight bouts by stoppage. In his 2017 debut which took place on May 20 at Madison Square Garden, Crawford successfully defended his titles via a 10th-round stoppage of former Olympic gold medalist and top-rated contender Félix Díaz. It is premium cable’s most-watched fight for 2017. Crawford unified the 140-pound titles in a battle between consensus Top-10 pound-for-pound fighters on July 23, 2016, successfully defending his WBO junior welterweight title for the third time by winning a unanimous decision over previously undefeated WBC super lightweight champion Viktor Postol. That victory also garnered him The Ring title, designating him the lineal champion. He made his first defense of his unified titles on December 10, 2016, stopping No. 1 contender and one-time world title challenger John Molina Jr. in front of a record crowd at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha. The consensus Top-Five pound-for-pound fighter will be looking to keep building on his star-making 2014 which featured three world championship victories as well as Fighter of the Year honors from the Boxing Writers Association of America and major media alike. Crawford, 29, captured the vacant WBO junior welterweight crown on April 18, 2015, via a devastating sixth-round knockout of once-beaten No. 2 world-rated contender Thomas Dulorme. His title defenses include stopping No. 2 world-rated contender Dierry Jean in front of a packed house at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha on October 24, 2015, knocking out Top-10 contender Hank Lundy in the fifth round on February 27, 2016, at a sold-out Theater at Madison Square Garden, and headlining his first pay-per-view on July 23, where he totally dominated Postol. Crawford began his career-best year on March 1, 2014, just 13 days short of the sixth anniversary of his professional debut. He captured his first world title, the WBO lightweight title, dethroning defending champion Ricky Burns on Burns’ home turf of Glasgow, Scotland. Scoring a powerful and unanimous decision, Crawford put the boxing world on notice with his virtuoso performance as he pulled out all stops in dismantling Burns, rocking the defending champion throughout the fight, while switching back and forth between orthodox and southpaw stances. He followed that with a dramatic and critically-acclaimed knockout victory of undefeated former world champion and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa on June 28, 2014, in a Fight of the Year nominee. It was one of the most-watched fights of the year with over 1.2 million viewers catching the live, first-time airing of the fight, according to Nielsen Media Research. He concluded 2014 on November 29 with a thorough shellacking of one-time world title challenger and No. 1 contender Ray Beltran, winning 11 of the 12 rounds. Crawford, who is friendly with Warren Buffet, is only the second Nebraska native to be recognized as a boxing world champion. Perry “Kid” Graves, from Rock Bluff, captured the welterweight crown, knocking out Johnny Alberts in Brooklyn, in 1914, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs), from Windhoek, Nambia, has become a unified world champion in true road warrior fashion. He captured the IBF junior welterweight title on December 3, 2016, knocking out defending champion Eduard Troyanovsky. In his next fight, on April 15, he unified the titles by shellacking defending WBA world champion Ricky Burns via a dominant unanimous decision. Both victories took place in Russia and Scotland, the home countries of Troyanovsky and Burns, respectively.