LAS VEGAS (Jan. 24, 2013) – Photos: Craig Bennett/SHOWTIME — President Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions and the fighters participating in Saturday’s first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and SHOWTIME EXTREME telecasts of 2013 participated in a final press conference Thursday at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
One of the most-feared punchers in boxing, WBC Interim Super Lightweight Champion Lucas Matthysse will defend his title against dangerous Mike “The Silent Assassin” Dallas Jr., in the main event, live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Argentinean knockout artist Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs) boasts a KO percentage of almost 90 percent and is looking to make a statement in the 140-pound division against the determined Dallas Jr. (19-2-1, 8 KOs), of Bakersfield, Calif.
In the all-action co-feature, world-ranked contender Selcuk Aydin (23-1, 17 KOs) and Mexican warrior Jesus Soto Karass (26-8-3, 17 KOs) collide in an important bout between respected and feared junior middleweights. Jermell Charlo (19-0, 9 KOs), of Houston, Texas, risks his unblemished record when he faces Harry Joe Yorgey (25-1-1, 12 KOs), of Bridgeport, Pa., in a 10-round junior lightweight special attraction that will open the SHOWTIME telecast.
The SHOWTIME EXTREME headliner will pit unbeaten 2008 Mexican Olympian Francisco Vargas (13-0, 10 KOs) against Memphis veteran Ira Terry (26-10, 16 KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight bout. Philadelphia junior middleweight Julian Williams (10-0-1, 5 KOs) takes on Virginia’s Jeremiah Wiggins (10-1-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-rounder that will open the SHOWTIME EXTREME telecast at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets priced at $150, $100, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, along with a limited number of VIP suite seats priced at $125, are on sale at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
The SHOWTIME tripleheader is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T with Matthysse vs. Dallas being presented in association with Arano Box Promotions and Goossen Tutor Promotions, Aydin vs. Soto Karass being presented in association with Arena-Box Promotion, Charlo vs. Yorgey being presented in association with Banner Promotions and Chad Bennett vs. Ben Ankrah being presented in association with Millennium Events.
Below is what the executives and six of the fighters had to say on Thursday:
Oscar De La Hoya, President Golden Boy Promotions
“We have one of, if not the strongest punchers in the 140 pound division in Lucas Matthysse, who is facing Mike Dallas Jr. This is a fight that can take Dallas Jr. over the top. And this is the type of fight that the fans will definitely enjoy because of the styles. Styles make fights. One thing for this year, 2013, is that I made sure with the matchmakers and with everyone involved that we need and we want exciting, exciting fights. And this event Saturday night will be very exciting.
“The co-main event features Selcuk Aydin. Anyone who saw him fight Robert Guerrero knows he gave an incredible performance. He is very talented. And Soto Karrass, what can I say about him? He is a fighter who just keeps on coming, a fighter who’s well prepared and in your face. It is going to be a tremendous fight.’’
“I am a man of few words. I am in great shape and I am ready to fight. What else can I say? Bring it on. This is a very important fight for me not only to win but to look good.’’
Mario Arano, Matthysse’s Promoter:
“You will see the best Lucas Matthysse on Saturday. We want to make sure Team Dallas knows we are not overlooking any fighter. Saturday night will be a tough fight. Lucas is focused and he trained hard.’’
Mike Dallas Jr.:
“It is big moments like this when you have to step up. I am ready to go. Everybody dreams be a world champion. It is every boxer’s goal and this is the step before that. I have the desire and ambition. The only thing on my mind is getting a win. I respect this fighter. He is strong and tough but I am ready to prove and show to everybody what I can do.”
“I am ready. We had a good training camp. I want to show a good fight on fight night.’’
Ahmet Oner, Aydin’s Promoter:
“I am excited to have Aydin back on SHOWTIME. We are going to win this fight and move onto a bigger fight.’’
Jesus Soto Karass:
“I am very prepared. I know the task at hand and that is why I trained for two months in Montebello, Calif. I won’t let this opportunity slip away. I know what I am up against. He is a tough fighter but that is why I prepared 100 percent to make sure that I am ready for anything.’’
“At eight years old my brother and I got in the ring. Come Saturday night I am going to show everyone that I am supposed to be in the ring and deserve a title. I’m going to show every fighter in this division what’s next. I am the next generation. Look out for me.’’
Harry Joe Yorgey:
“This is going to be a great show for boxing and a great show for the fans and TV.’’