LAS VEGAS (July 12, 2014)—Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME® will deliver another explosive night of boxing from the renowned StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., when undefeated IBF Welterweight World Champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs), of Akron, Ohio defends his belt against fellow unbeaten British star Kell Brook (32-0, 22 KOs), of Sheffield, England, on Saturday, Aug. 16, headlining a three world championship fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast.
In co-featured fights on the telecast, undefeated Omar “Panterita” Figueroa (23-0-1, 17 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, risks his WBC Lightweight World Championship for a second time against mandatory challenger Daniel “Tremendo” Estrada (32-2-1, 24 KOs), of Mexico City, and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika (32-5-3, 21 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, will defend against unbeaten Anthony “The Dog’’ Dirrell (26-0-1, 22 KOs), of Flint, Mich., in a rematch of a wildly exciting and controversial 12-round split draw last Dec. 7.
“From the championship fight between Shawn Porter and Kell Brook, to Omar Figueroa’s defense of his lightweight title against Daniel Estrada, to the rematch that fans demanded between Sakio Anthony Dirrell, Golden Boy Promotions continues to deliver on the promise of a simple premise – bringing the best fights to fans of boxing,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President and Founder of Golden Boy Promotions. “The StubHub Center’s reputation as the home to some of the best fights in boxing is only growing, and we’re proud to put on three more great fights that will only help cement that reputation.”
Tickets priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges and will be available online atAXS.com, by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) and at StubHub Center Box Office (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 877-234-8425.
Unorthodox offensive machine, Porter, 26, will be making the second defense of the 147-pound belt he won in a close but clear upset 12-round unanimous decision over big favorite Devon Alexander “The Great” last Dec. 7. In his lone defense, Porter overwhelmed former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi, via ruthless fourth-round TKO last April 19 from Washington, D.C. Strong, fast, confident and physically gifted, Porter scored two knockdowns against Malignaggi while appearing to seriously hurt him throughout. He ended the one-sided bout with a clean right hand. The bout was stopped at 1:13 of the fourth round.
Regarding his upcoming defense, Porter, an amateur standout before turning professional in October 2008, said: “I think I have the edge on Brook with everything. I’m faster than he is, stronger than he is, quicker than he is, more athletic, and if you put all that in one fight, I’m going to be the winner.”
The world title fight has been a long time coming for Brook, 28, a power-punching, upright fighter who has been a mandatory contender for some time and was supposed to challenge Alexander three times during his reign only for the fights to be called off due to injuries. Then, Porter outpointed Alexander.
“I’m confident I’m going to win. I’m planning on bringing Porter’s belt to the United Kingdom with me,’’ said Brook, who is coming off a tougher than expected eighth-round knockout over Mexican welterweight champion Alvaro Robles last March 15. “I am fitter than ever and ready to go. I have been in training for a long time, so August 16 it’s the perfect date for me.”
Figueroa, 24, captured the then-vacant WBC 135-pound crown on a unanimous 12-round decision over Nihito Arakawa in a brutal slugfest that stole the show July 7, 2013, on SHOWTIME. Figueroa, despite fighting with a cut on his nose from an accidental headbutt, registered two knockdowns in a memorable slugfest in which 2,112 total punches were delivered in 36 minutes of non-stop action.
In his lone defense, the offensive-minded, crowd-pleasing Figueroa retained his crown with a 12-round split decision over amateur nemesis and fellow Texan, Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes, last April 26 at StubHub Center on SHOWTIME. Figueroa was victorious in a puncher versus boxer matchup by the scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 113-115.
Estrada, 29, who’ll be making his SHOWTIME and United States debut, has campaigned exclusively in Mexico. He’s won nine consecutive fights, five by way of knockout. At 5-feet-10 ½, he is three inches taller than Figueroa.
Estrada won the WBC Silver Lightweight Championship with a sixth-round TKO over Isaias Sampaio on April 19, 2013. Before that, Estrada scored a 10th-round technical decision over Arakawa in a match stopped after the 10th after Estrada could not continue due to a swollen right eye that was caused by an unintentional headbutt.
Unbeaten since losing a split 12-round decision to Reyes Sanchez in a scrap for the vacant WBC Silver Light Welterweight Title on Sept. 11, 2010, Estrada is coming off a third-round knockout over Hugo Armenta last Dec. 14.
Bika, 35, is no stranger to winning hard-fought, tough, tight, world title fights. He won the then-vacant WBC 168-pound belt with a 12-round majority decision over Marco Antonio Periban (116-112, 115-113 and 114-114) on June 22, 2013, on SHOWTIME and then boxed to a split decision draw (114-112, 110-116 and 113-113) against Dirrell despite getting floored in the fifth and losing a point for a low blow in the 11th round.
A 2000 Olympian for his native Cameroon, Bika felt he deserved the decision against Dirrell and took exception with the penalty for a punch the referee ruled south of the border.
“I feel I was fighting the referee as well,’’ Bika said. “The body shot was a legitimate shot. Not below the belt line. I got him on the belt line, Dirrell just wanted to milk it. I was the busier fighter and now I just want to fight the best ahead of me.”
While Bika was going 12 rounds for the ninth time, it was the first time Dirrell had gone past eight. Still, the younger brother of 2004 U.S. Olympic Bronze medalist and former world title challenger Anthony Dirrell was positive that he’d done enough to triumph. Upon hearing the verdict, a visibly upset Dirrell bolted from the ring.
“I want to apologize to the fans for leaving the ring like that, but I was just disappointed,” a frustrated Dirrell told SHOWTIME’s Jim Gray a few minutes later. “He hit low and head butted. I definitely want a rematch.”
Dirrell’s career has twice been seriously jeopardized; the first time in December 2006 when he was diagnosed with cancer and was sidelined for 20 months and again in May 2012 when he was involved in a motorcycle accident and suffered a broken lower left leg and left wrist. At the time he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Dirrell was 12-0 and had been boxing professionally for only two years.
A victory over Bika would cap a remarkable journey, and Dirrell is confident it will happen in the rematch.
“This fight has been on my mind since I heard the decision from our first fight,’’ he said. “I’m just real excited to get it. I know I can beat Bika, I know I have what it takes and that’s what it is. It just takes hard work and dedication to stay focused on the game plan.
“I could have done better the first fight. I don’t feel like he was hitting me with more shots than I was hitting him with, but I still think I won it. This time it will be convincing.‘’