(Photo by www.michaelsterlingeaton.com) A super middleweight showdown featuring two of the world’s top ten fighters commands the spotlight when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: ANDRE WARD VS. CHAD DAWSON AND ANTONIO DEMARCO VS. JOHN MOLINA JR. is seen SATURDAY, SEPT. 8 (9:45 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Oracle Arena in Oakland, exclusively on HBO. The night of action begins with VITALI KLITSCHKO VS. MANUEL CHARR, a same-day, tape-delay heavyweight title showdown presented from Moscow’s SC Olimpiyskiy Sports Arena. The HBO Sports team of Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward will call all the action back-to-back, presented in HDTV and in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: Sept. 9 (8:00 a.m.) and 10 (11:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Sept. 9 (3:00 p.m.) and 11 (11:00 p.m.)
Super middleweight champ and hometown hero Andre Ward (25-0,13 KOs) puts his title on the line against light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson from New Haven, Conn. (31-1, 17 KOs) in an intriguing 12-round bout that features the best fighters from the 168-pound and 175-pound divisions.
Ward, 28, a 2004 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, and the 2011 BWAA Fighter of the Year, is coming off a decisive unanimous decision victory over Carl Froch in December. This will be Ward’s fifth time fighting at the Oracle Arena, with the most recent bout there ending in a unanimous decision victory over Sakio Bika in Nov. 2010.
Dawson, 29, is widely recognized as one of the most talented fighters in the world, and is looking to build on his decisive April victory over future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins; he also owns two victories over former light heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver. Dawson’s height and reach advantages could present Ward with his greatest challenge to date.
The first bout pits belt-holder Antonio DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs) from Tijuana, Mexico against John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) from nearby Covina, Cal. in a scheduled 12-round lightweight title contest. DeMarco is coming off an impressive fifth-round knockout of Miguel Roman in his last fight in March, and has not lost in two and a half years. Molina is an all-action fighter who is looking to stage a significant upset before his hometown fans.
The night of boxing action kicks off with a heavyweight title showdown featuring world champion Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) from Kiev, Ukraine, putting his belt on the line against challenger Manuel Charr (21-0, 11 KOs) from Cologne, Germany. Klitschko has not lost a fight in more than nine years, a streak that includes a three-year retirement, and has seen him dispose of 12 straight opponents. Most recently, he easily handled challenger Dereck Chisora, capturing a unanimous decision victory.
Appearing in just his second fight outside of his native Germany, Charr has begun his career with 21 straight victories, but Klitschko has a 6-0 record against undefeated opponents. In his last bout, Charr was impressive, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Taras Bydenko in March.
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The executive producer of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Rick Bernstein; producer, Thomas Odelfelt; director, Marc Payton.
® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.