HBO Sports® spans two continents, visiting South America for the first time, for a tripleheader headlined by the return of middleweight superstar Sergio Martinez when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: SERGIO MARTINEZ VS. MARTIN MURRAY, LUIS CARLOS ABREGU VS. ANTONIN DECARIE AND CHRIS ARREOLA VS. BERMANE STIVERNE is seen SATURDAY, APRIL 27 at 8:30 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Buenos Aries, Argentina and Ontario, Cal. exclusively on HBO. Separate HBO Sports teams in both locations will call all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino. Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman, Roy Jones Jr. and Harold Lederman will be ringside in Buenos Aries, while Bob Papa, Andre Ward and Steve Weisfeld will call the action from Ontario, CA.
Other HBO playdates: April 28 (8:45 a.m.) and 29 (12:15 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 28 (4:00 p.m.) and 30 (11:30 p.m.)
Coming off a spectacular victory against previously undefeated Mexican superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last September, 38-year-old Sergio Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) returns to his hometown of Buenos Aries and the 50,000-seat Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield soccer stadium to defend his middleweight title against undefeated Martin Murray (25-0-1, 11 KOs) from St Helens, United Kingdom in a 12-round contest. Fighting in his home country for the first time since 2002, Martinez left in obscurity but returns a treasured hero. He took the crown from Kelly Pavlik in 2010 and will be making his seventh title defense. With just five years fighting professionally, the undefeated Murray, 30, will rely on his extensive amateur experience in attempting a huge upset. His one draw came against middleweight star Felix Sturm in a fight many observers considered a Murray victory.
“It is not often that we get to go to the homeland of a true ambassador of the sport to present his homecoming bout, so we are delighted to be telecasting the Martinez-Murray showdown from Buenos Aires on April 27,” says Kery Davis, senior vice president, programming, HBO Sports.
The tripleheader begins at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Cal. with an intriguing heavyweight matchup, as Chris Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs) of Escondido, Cal., meets Bermane Stiverne (22-1-1, 20 KOs), originally from La Plaine, Haiti and now living in Las Vegas, in a 12-round heavyweight title elimination bout. Arreola, 31, and Stiverne, 34, are vying for a shot at Vitali Klitschko’s title, and both sport an impressive knockout-to-win ratio, with Arreola at 81% and Stiverne at 83%. Originally slated for March 9, the bout was rescheduled due to illness.
The action shifts to South America for the middle fight, as Luis Carlos Abregu (34-1, 28 KOs) from Salta, Salta Province, Argentina takes on Montreal’s Antonin Decarie (27-1, 8 KOs) in a 12-round welterweight faceoff. Known for his power punching, the 29-year-old Abregu suffered his only loss to welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2010 and is on a five-fight knockout streak. A Canadian national amateur champion, the 30-year-old Decarie is regarded as a rising star in the division, but faces his most difficult contest to date.
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The executive producer of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Rick Bernstein; producer, Jon Crystal; producer, Dave Harmon; director, Marc Payton (Buenos Aries); director, Doug Getts (Ontario, Cal.).
® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.