Sergio Martinez vs. Darren Barker and Andy Lee vs. Brian Vera is seen live Saturday, Oct. 1 on HBO

HBO Sports unleashes an explosive middleweight twin bill when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: SERGIO MARTINEZ VS. DARREN BARKER AND ANDY LEE VS. BRIAN VERA is seen live SATURDAY, OCT. 1 (10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT) from historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for all the action, presented in HDTV and in Spanish on HBO Latino.

The consensus 2010 Fighter of the Year, Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KOs), originally from Buenos Aires and now living in Oxnard, Cal., comes into this 12-round, 160-pound showdown on a hot streak, following a thrilling second-round knockout of Paul Williams in Nov. 2010, and an eighth-round knockout of previously undefeated Sergiy Dzinziruk in March. The 36-year-old slugger will face undefeated 29-year-old London native Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs), who is fighting on American soil for the first time.

In the ten-round, 160-pound opening bout, Andy Lee (26-1, 19 KOs) seeks revenge on Brian Vera (19-5, 12 KOs). Originally from London, Lee now resides in Detroit, while Lone Star slugger Vera, originally from Fort Worth, currently lives in Austin. Vera handed Lee his only loss in March 2008, in what many called a controversial knockout. Since then, Lee has been unstoppable, pummeling opponent after opponent. Vera comes into the bout with his own momentum following a victory over former light middleweight titleholder Sergio Mora.

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The executive producer of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Rick Bernstein; producer, Thomas Odelfelt; director, Marc Payton.

® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.

Marcus Browne and Joseph Diaz Impress on Day Three of the 2011 World Championships

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The United States rolled on to a 4-0 start with two stoppage victories on Wednesday at the 2011 AIBA Men’s World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Light heavyweight Marcus Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.) and bantamweight Joseph Diaz, Jr. (S. El Monte, Calif.) both put an early end to their first round contests in the first World Championships for both boxers.

Browne didn’t waste any time in his match-up with Japan’s Yoshitsuna Okada. He enjoyed a rare feat in Olympic-style boxing – a one-punch stoppage. The 20-year-old Staten Island native landed a perfectly placed left hand, stopping his Japanese opponent in the opening seconds of the bout to the delight of his American teammates. “It was a sharp and quick left hand, “Browne said. “I threw it with confidence and handled the job.”

The victory earns him a berth in the second round of the tournament, where he will face Georgia’s Levan Guledani in Sunday’s afternoon session.

Diaz claimed a stoppage victory of his own in a bantamweight showdown with Myanmar’s Kyaw Latt in the evening session. The 18-year-old off got off to a quick start, taking an 8-3 lead after the first round of action. He kept the pressure up in the second, giving Latt three standing eight counts before the referee called a halt to the bout with 17 seconds left in the second round. “It felt good to get the first bout out of the way,” Diaz said. “I was so anxious to get in the ring, but once it was time; I took advantage.”

Diaz’s stoppage win advances him to the second round where he will take on 2004 Olympic silver medalist Worapao Petchkoom of Thailand in Monday evening action.

Welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas) will take the ring for the first time in his second World Championships on Thursday when he faces Iran’s Amin Ghasemi in opening round action.

USA Boxing National Coach Joe Zanders (Long Beach, Calif.), coaches Ronald Simms (Stafford, Va.) and Manny Robles (Los Angeles, Calif.), technical advisor Ken Porter (Akron, Ohio), and Team Manager Ken Buffington (Marshalltown, Iowa) are leading the United States team in Baku.

The 2011 World Championships are the first international qualifying tournament for the 2012 Olympic Games, and the light flyweight through light heavyweight boxers must place in top ten to qualify for London while Williams and Thompson need to place in the top six.

For the full brackets for all 10 weight classes and the most up-to-date results, go to AIBA will show live scoring on its website, throughout the tournament and will start webcasting all the bouts on October 4 at For more information on Team USA, go to USA Boxing will tweet all the American results as they happen @usaboxing.

The first AIBA Men’s World Championships were held in 1974 in Havana, Cuba. The event, which consistently showcases the best boxers in the world, is held every two years.

U.S. Results
123 lbs: Joseph Diaz, Jr., S. El Monte, Calif./USA stopped Kyaw Latt, MYA, RSC-2 (2:43)
178 lbs: Marcus Browne, Staten Island, N.Y./USA stopped Yoshitsuna Okada, JPN, RSCH-1 (:15)

USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

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