Pacquiao-Algieri PPV Undercard Packs Plenty of Int’l Intrigue

By Top Rank - 09/18/2014 - Comments

MACAO (September 18, 2014) — World champions VASYL LOMACHENKO and JESSIE VARGAS and China’s most iconic athlete, undefeated Top-Five contender ZOU SHIMING, will be featured in exciting battles on the MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO vs. CHRIS ALGIERI World Welterweight Championship pay-per-view undercard. Promoted by Top Rank® and Sands China Ltd., in association with MP Promotions, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, Banner Promotions and Tecate, the Pacquiao-Algieri world welterweight championship event will take place Saturday, November 22, at The Venetian® Macao’s Cotai Arena, and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.

Six different nations will be represented by the eight fighters on the live pay-per-view telecast.

Lomachenko, of Ukraine, will make the first defense of his WBO featherweight title against No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo of Thailand. Vargas, of Las Vegas, NV., will be defending his WBA super lightweight title against former world champion Antonio DeMarco, of Mexico. Top-five contenders Zou, of China, and Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym, of Thailand, will be battling in a 12-round WBO flyweight world title elimination bout. These six gladiators boast a combined record of 142-5-3 (79 KOs) — a winning percentage of 95% and a victory by knockout ratio of 56%.

“We are very proud to present these three significant international fights on the pay-per-view undercard. Boxing is a worldwide sport and this card reflects that,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

“I am very happy and excited to have become a world champion in my third professional fight,” said Lomachenko. “I just followed the plan for the world title fight against Gary Russell – work the body, make him fight as much as possible and then go to the head. Russell was very fast and I had to take my time. I felt I hurt him a few times and I did not feel his power at all. That was a big win for my country and I know that they enjoyed it very much.”

“My opponent, Antonio DeMarco, is a tough, rugged fighter who comes to fight,” said Vargas. “I know this will be a fight that fans throughout the world will enjoy. This is very exciting for our team to be part of an event of this magnitude. I plan on bringing my world title belt back to Las Vegas.”

“The goal to win another world championship and bring it back to Mexico are the reasons why I keep fighting and this title fight against Jessie Vargas is a great opportunity to do just that,” said DeMarco. “I am sure that Freddie Roach will have me ready to win the fight and because of our styles I am sure this fight with Vargas will be one that the fans will enjoy.”

“This will be my first time fighting in a bout that is scheduled for 12 rounds. It will be the toughest test of my skills as a professional,” said Zou. “As we all know, the boxing atmosphere in Thailand is awesome. I watched videos of my opponent’s fights where he performed fiercely and bravely. It is no surprise that he is undefeated. I respect his strength and his skills . This fight is so important because so much is at stake — most of all the opportunity to fight for the world title with a victory on November 22. I will make this the best training camp I have ever had so I can give my best performance ever.”

The greatest amateur boxer of his era and arguably of all time, two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko (2-1, 1 KO), of Odessa, captured the vacant WBO featherweight title on June 21, 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. Russell, a former U.S. Olympian, was totally blitzed by Lomachenko, battered around the ring throughout the fight. From the outset of his professional career, Lomachenko made it known that he was ready for the best in his division. He made his professional debut in 2013 knocking out the WBO’s No. 7-rated featherweight contender Jose Luis Ramirez (24-2-2, 15 KOs) in the fourth round of a bout that was scheduled for 10. Last March, in his second professional bout, he challenged WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido, losing a split decision to the heavier defending champion whose title had been stripped because he could not make the weight limit. 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.

Piriyapinyo (51-1, 33 KOs), made his pro debut in 2003 and captured the Asian featherweight title the following year in just his fifth professional bout. His only blemish is a world title decision loss to the legendary defending WBA featherweight champion Chris John in 2012. He enters his second world championship fight world-rated No. 1 and riding a two-year, eight-bout winning streak, including six victories by way of knockout.

Vargas (25-0, 9 KOs), of Las Vegas, NV., will be fighting outside the U.S. for the first time in his professional career. He captured the WBA super lightweight title on the April 12 Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr world welterweight title rematch in Las Vegas, winning a unanimous decision over undefeated defending champion Khabib Allakhverdiev. It was a close and competitive fight that proved Vargas’ grit as he bit down hard during the championship rounds to pull away with the victory and the world championship belt. His impressive resume includes victories over former world champions Stevie Forbes and Vivian Harris and top contenders Josesito Lopez, Lucky Boy Omotoso, Ray Narh and Lanardo Tyner. In his last fight, on August 2, Vargas successfully defended his title against undefeated contender Anton Novikov via a unanimous decision.

DeMarco (31-3-1, 23 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, captured the WBC lightweight championship crown on his second try, winning the vacant title with an 11th-round stoppage of top-rated contender Jorge Linares in 2011. DeMarco successfully defended the title twice during his one-year reign — both by knockout — against Miguel Roman and John Molina. Since moving up in weight, he has won three straight fights, with two of those victories coming by way of knockout. In his last fight, on August 23, DeMarco won a 10-round unanimous decision over Landro Tyner.

Zou (5-0, 1 KO), from Guizhou, China, and trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, returns to ring fresh from his most impressive professional victory — a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Top-10 contender Luis De La Rosa to capture the vacant WBO International flyweight title. Stepping up to his first 10-round bout, Zou vs. De La Rosa took place on July 19 at Cotai Arena and showed the world that Zou had developed into a world title contender. Zou is currently world-rated No. 4 by the WBA, No. 5 by the WBO and No. 6 by the WBA. He won his professional debut April 6, 2013 at Fists of Gold, via a dominant four-round unanimous decision over gritty Eleazar Valenzuela. He followed that up with six-round unanimous decision victories last year over Jesus Ortega and Juan Toscano July 27 at Fists of Gold II and November 24 at The Clash in Cotai, respectively, and celebrated his 2014 debut with his first professional knockout February 22 at Ring of Gold, stopping Yokthong Kokietgym in the seventh round. All of his professional bouts have taken place at the Cotai Arena. One of the most popular Olympic athletes in China, Zou was the world’s greatest amateur light flyweight, capturing gold medals in the World Amateur Championships in 2005, 2007 and 2011, along with gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. He also owns an Olympic bronze medal from the 2004 games, making him his nation’s first Olympic medallist in boxing as well as its first boxing gold medallist in the World Amateur Championships and the Olympics.

Onesongchaigym (27-0-2, 12 KOs), of Buriram, Thailand, made his professional debut in 2010 and captured the WBO Oriental junior bantamweight title the following year knocking out Fredirex Rodriguez in the seventh round. After one successful defense he moved down one division where he captured the WBO Oriental flyweight title in 2012, which he has held for the past two years. Six of his last 10 victories have been by knockout, including his last one, a seventh-round TKO of Oscar Raknafa on June 6, to retain his title. Onesongchaigym is currently world-rated No. 3 by the WBO.