It's all official, as Top Rank held a press conference today to announce their November 9 HBO show, which will feature a super featherweight title bout between Rocky Martinez and Mikey Garcia, as well as a rematch between Nonito Donaire and Vic Darchinyan, and a vacant junior middleweight title fight between Vanes Martirosyan and Demetrius Andrade.
Tickets for the fight at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, go on sale this Friday at 11:00 am EDT. Here are the DEETS:
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25, plus applicable charges, can be purchased at the American Bank Center Box Office (Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm), all Ticketmaster Outlets (HEB Stores), ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KO) will be defending his WBO 130-pound belt against Garcia (32-0, 27 KO) in the night's de facto main event, although this is really a double main event sort of card. Martinez-Garcia will be positioned as the final fight of the night, though, and rightly so.
Garcia won the WBO featherweight title in January of this year from Orlando Salido on HBO, but missed weight for his June 15 defense against Juan Manuel Lopez, a fight that went on and easily went Garcia's way.
"I'm fighting a defending champion. It won't be easy but I think I have all the tools to beat Rocky," said Garcia via press release. "I want to be champion again and Rocky is in my way. I will become champion again."
"This fight is a great opportunity to clear any doubts about my value as a world champion," Martinez said to Primera Hora. "A win over Garcia will prove that I am a real champion and it will take me to the next level."
Donaire (31-2, 20 KO) will be back in the ring for the first time since his April loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux, while Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KO) is getting a chance at a rematch he's pined after since first being knocked out by Nonito in 2007.
"This is a very important fight for me," said Darchinyan. "It gives me the opportunity to face and defeat an opponent who beat me in the past. This win will be sweet revenge for me."
The 37-year-old Darchinyan has found renewed career life in the 122-pound ranks, beating Luis Orlando Del Valle last year in his long overdue HBO debut. He followed that by signing with Top Rank, where he figured to face either Donaire or Rigondeaux this fall. The Donaire fight is what he's going to get, and the bout will be fought at featherweight, and set for 10 rounds.
Martirosyan (33-0-1, 21 KO) and Andrade (19-0, 13 KO) were originally set to meet on September 7 on HBO, but when the Chavez Jr-Vera main event was pushed back, the entire card was scrapped, and Top Rank moved their fight to the November date.
It's the first world title shot for both men. Martirosyan, 27, had a technical draw last year with Erislandy Lara in a WBC eliminator, and this year has fought just once, easily defeating Ryan Davis in a stay-busy bout. Andrade, 25, was set to face reigning titlist Zaurbek Baysangurov in Ukraine earlier this year, but when Baysangurov pulled out with an injury, the WBO stripped him of the title.
"I am ready to go," said Martirosyan. "The last fight postponement might be a blessing in disguise because it is just making me hungrier and hungrier every day. I just can't wait to get into the ring and prove how badly I want this. I have been training very hard and have a great game plan with Freddie Roach. A lot of one-on-one with Freddie, combined with great sparring and training along with the likes of Miguel Cotto and George St. Pierre. That has been very inspirational and motivating. Andrade is a great fighter. I hope he is ready to go to war. We are on HBO and I plan on stealing the spotlight that night with a very exciting and entertaining win for the fans."
"I am looking forward to this fight and have been waiting for this fight ever since I walked into the gym at age seven," said Andrade. "I always wanted to be champion of the world and on November 9th I will be crowned champion. I wanted to win an Olympic gold medal and since they took that from me, I am going to take this world title. I was a 2008 Olympian and he made it in 2004. It's great that the fans will get to see two Olympians battle on HBO. I know I will bring home the title."
Also of note, promoter Bob Arum told a great joke at the presser when he said, "There are at least five fights on this card which could be the main event in any arena."