SAN ANTONIO, TX (February 28, 2007) — “Pacmania” has officially hit San Antonio and it has hit in a big, big way. The box office for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jorge Solis WBC International super featherweight boxing championship fight opened Saturday at 10 AM, and by the close of business on Sunday, it stood alone as the second-biggest opening weekend for a boxing event in San Antonio history. Bigger than Oscar De La Hoya’s 1997 welterweight title defense against David Kamau, and even bigger than Pacquiao’s 2003 knockout victory of Marco Antonio Barrera. Only the legendary welterweight title fight between Pernell Whitaker and Julio Cesar Chavez in 1993 had a bigger opening..
“Our opening weekend sales nearly grossed $500,000,” said promoter Bob Arum, Chairman of Top Rank. “Not only is Manny Pacquiao boxing’s pound-for-pound most exciting fighter, he is becoming boxing’s pound-for-pound most popular superstar!”
Promoted by Top Rank, this pay-per-view extravaganza will also feature a Mexican civil war between WBC super flyweight boxing champion CRISTIAN MIJARES (30-3-2, 11 KOs), from Gomez Palacio, Mexico, defending his title against two-time world champion and current No. 1 contender JORGE “EL TRAVIESO” ARCE (46-3-1, 35 KOs), from Los Mochis, Mexico; former world champion and current No. 1 contender BRIAN VILORIA (19-1-1, 12 KOs), from Waipahu, Hawaii, taking on No. 2 contender EDGAR SOSA (26-5, 14 KOs), from Mexico City, Mexico, for the vacant WBC light flyweight title; and undefeated contender, JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ, Jr. (29-0-1, 22 KOs), from Culiacan, Mexico, son of Mexican icon Julio Cesar Chavez, in a 10-round welterweight bout.
Tickets for Pacquiao vs. Solis, priced at $300, $200, $100, $75, $50, $35, can be purchased at the Alamodome Box Office, by calling (210) 207-3663 and at www.Ticketmaster.com
Dubbed “Republica Enemy No. 1,” Pacquiao, a three-division world champion, has blitzed through the best fighters Mexico had to offer since 2003, including Morales (KO 3, TKO 10), Barrera (TKO 11), Oscar Larios (W 12), Emanuel Lucero (TKO 3), and Hector Velazquez (TKO 6). The only “blemish” was a disputed Draw that many thought he won against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2004, where Pacquiao sent Marquez to the canvas three times in the first round.
Pacquiao, (43-3-2, 33 KOs), from General Santos City, The Philippines, was named “2006 Fighter of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring magazine for his two spectacular knockout victories of Mexican icon and three-division champion Erik Morales and his dominating 12-round unanimous 12-round decision over former world champion and current No. 1 contender Oscar Larios. Since The Ring originated the award in 1928, only six fighters below the lightweight division – Henry Armstrong (1937), Willie Pep (’45), Carlos Zarate (’77), Salvador Sanchez (’81), Michael Carbajal (’93), Paulie Ayala (’99) – have been previously selected for the magazine’s top honor. Pacquiao is number seven. The hard-hitting southpaw has only lost once in his last 20 bouts, a close decision in 2005 to Morales in their first encounter.
A proven pay-per-view star, the Pacquiao-Morales trilogy produced over one million pay-per-view sales, a record for the lower weight divisions. The live attendance for their rubber match rumble last November produced a live gate of 18,276, fifth-best on Las Vegas’ all-time list.
Solis (32-0-2, 1 ND, 23 KOs), from Guadalajara, Mexico, is the older brother of Ulises “Archie” Solis, the reigning International Boxing Federation junior flyweight champion. A former Mexican super bantamweight champion who vacated the title after three successful title defenses to move up a weight division, Solis has reigned as the Mexican featherweight champion since 2003. He was also the World Boxing Association Fedecentro featherweight champion from 2003-2004. World-rated No. 2 by the WBC and No. 4 by the WBO, Solis has vowed to end Pacquiao’s dominance over Mexican fighters.