Knockout artist Alvarado fights Martinez on Saturday; Peterson-Cayo, Miranda-Despaigne tonight; Sergio Martinez visits WBC headquarters

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DENVER (July 29, 2011) – Undefeated Top-10 junior welterweight contender MIKE ALVARADO has stripped off the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) Continental Americas super lightweight title he was scheduled to defend on Saturday night in his north Denver homecoming fight against former Méxican welterweight champion Gabriel Martinez. Alvarado had captured the vacant WBC Continental Americas title in his previous fight, in May, via a third-round stoppage of Ray Narh (25-2, 21 KOs), who had entered that fight rated No. 6 by the WBC and was riding a seven-year, 15-bout winning streak, with 12 of those victories coming by knockout.

“The WBC rated me No. 7 in May, No. 8 in June, and No. 10 in July. At this rate, if I keep on winning, I could be out of the WBC’s Top-20 by Christmas. What is the value of winning a WBC regional title or beating a higher-rated contender?” explained Alvarado. “Furthermore, I wanted to earn a title shot at the WBC’s super lightweight world champion Timothy Bradley and they just stripped him of the title for no valid reason. So I’m doing the logical thing, I’m stripping their title belt from my waist and their sanction fee from my purse. I’ll continue my quest for a world title through one of the other sanctioning organizations.”

Alvarado and Martinez, who have a combined professional record of 57-2-1(36 KOs) – a winning percentage of 95% and a victory by knockout ratio of 63%, will battle for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) Latino junior welterweight title, Tomorrow! Saturday, August 30, at Softball Country (2101 West 64th Ave., Denver, CO 80221.)

“Top Rank firmly stands behind Mike’s position on stripping off the WBC’s title belt,” said Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank, Alvarado’s promoter, who is in Denver. “We look at it as belt reform. Mike was willing to risk his undefeated record and invest in himself by fighting for and defending a WBC regional title, the least he should expect is to be rewarded on merit alone when he wins. Mike made Narh, a higher-rated contender, quit on his stool after three rounds in a fight that was televised internationally as part of the Manny Pacquiao – Shane Mosley pay-per-view broadcast in May. And Mike drops not once, but TWICE in the WBC’s ratings? Even Casey Kasem would be embarrassed.”

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Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Poor Boys Boxing and Delgado Promotions, remaining tickets to Alvarado vs. Martinez, priced at $75, $65, $50, $35 and $25, can be purchased at by calling (303) 450-9763. The fight will be televised live nationally as the main event on Top Rank Live on Fox Sports Net and FOX Deportes, beginning at 10 p.m. ET (blacked out locally.)

Alvarado (30-0, 22 KOs), of Denver, enters this having won 12 of his last 14 fights by knockout. He has not had a fight go to the judges’ scorecards in two years. A boxer-puncher, Alvarado boasts knockout victories of former world champion Cesar Bazan, former world title challenger Michael Clark, and world-rated contender Emmanuel Clottey. Alvardo enters this fight fresh from a third-round stoppage victory of Sugar Ray Narh on the pay-per-view undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley world championship pay-per-view in May. Narh (25-2, 21 KOs), had entered that fight riding a seven-year, 15-bout winning streak, with 12 of those victories coming by knockout. Alvarado is currently world-rated No. 6 by the World Boxing Organization and No. 10 by the WBC.

Martinez (27-2-1, 14 KOs), from Empalme, Sonora, México, a former Méxican welterweight champion, enters this fight having gone 10-1, with one No Contest in his last 12 bouts.

TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT:COSMOPOLITAN OF LAS VEGAS “FIGHT NIGHTS” CAYO VS PETERSON

Live on ESPN “Friday Night Fights” Tonight Featuring 12-round International Boxing Federation (IBF) elimination bout between Victor Cayo and Lamont Peterson and Edison “Pantera” Miranda vs. Yordanis Despaigne. Tonight’s the night! The 12-round IBF Super Lightweight elimination bout between the Dominican Republic’s once-beaten IBF #3-rated Victor “Mermelada” Cayo (20-1, 18 KOs) and Washington DC’s IBF #4-ranked Lamont Peterson (24-1-1, 14 KOs) and the sensational 10-round light heavyweight showdown between Edison “Pantera” Miranda (34-5, 29 KOs) and Yordanis Despaigne (8-1, 4 KOs) are set to go at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas tonight and live on ESPN Friday Night Fights.

Don’t forget, Vegas fight fans: topping the all-action undercard will be Miami, Florida, via Cuba’s undefeated knockout artist Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy 12-0 (10 KO’s) in an eight-round super featherweight matchup against Kansas City’s Gerardo Robles (14-9, 6 KO`s).

In a 10-round battle with a touch of international flavor, Chelyabwsk, Russia’s undefeated Sergey Kovalev (15-0, 13 KO`s) will face Nairobi, Kenya’s Douglas Otieno (23-6, 12 KO`s) for the NABA Light Heavyweight Championship.

Also featured is a six-round light heavyweight scrap between Las Vegas’ (via Sweden) Badou Jack “The Ripper” (6-0, 5 KO`s) and Athens, Georgia’s Timothy Hall Jr. (6-11, 4 KO`s); and in a four-round lightweight attraction, popular Las Vegas fighter Cameron Kreal will make his highly anticipated pro debut against fellow Las Vegas resident Franky Martinez (0-3).

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In conjunction with Warriors Boxing Promotions and Blue Wave Group, “Fight Nights at The Cosmopolitan” combines the mystique and excitement of legendary Las Vegas boxing matches with a new and socially dynamic experience. Tickets are on sale now and priced at $250 for VIP tables, $150 for ringside seats, $100 for floor seats, $50 for grandstand seating and $20 for general admission tickets and are available for purchase by calling 877-551-7778 or at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com.

“MARAVILLA” MARTINEZ VISITS WBC HEADQUARTERS IN MEXICO; WBC RATIFIES STATUS OF MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION

World Boxing Council (WBC) Emeritus and Diamond middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, who was unanimously elected as “Champion of the Year 2010,” and also awarded the “KO of the Year 2010,” visited Mexico to appear on a great reality show.

The WBC has ratified the status of the middleweight division.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. won the WBC middleweight world championship as a mandatory challenger by defeating former champion Sebastian Zbik by unanimous decision on June 4, 2011, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

It is anticipated that Chavez and Martinez will meet in the first quarter of 2012 in a sensational showdown in the middleweight division.

Marco Antonio Rubio is the mandatory challenger of the division, and his time for the challenge, as stipulated in the WBC Rules and Regulations, is scheduled to be one year after the last mandatory fight in the division, which was Zbik vs. Chavez.

WBC Fall Schedule:

Sep. 8 – Wroclaw Stadium – Wroclaw, Poland

Heavyweight World Championship

Champion Vitali Klitschko vs. mandatory challenger Tomasz Adamek

Sep. 17 – MGM Grand – Las Vegas

Welterweight World Championship

Champion Victor Ortiz vs. Floyd Mayweather

Vacant Super Lightweight World Championship

Erik Morales vs. Jorge Rodrigo Barrios

Sep. 17 – Staples Center – Los Angeles

Super Welterweight World Championship

Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Alfonso Gomez

Sep. 30 – Pechanga Resort – Temecula

Super Lightweight Final Eliminator

Ali Chebah vs. Ajose Olusegun

Oct. 1 – Boardwalk Hall – Atlantic City

WBC Diamond Middleweight Championship

Champion Sergio Martinez vs. Darren Barker

Oct. 1 – MGM Grand – Las Vegas

Super Bantamweight World Championship

Champion Toshiaki Nishioka vs. Rafael Marquez

Oct. 15 – Staples Center – Los Angeles

Light Heavyweight World Championship

Champion Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson

Vacant Lightweight World Championship

Jorge Linares vs. Antonio DeMarco

Oct. 29 – Boardwalk Hall – Atlantic City

Super Middleweight World Championship

Champion Carl Froch vs. WBA champion Andre Ward

Plus Super Six World Boxing Classic Final