Photos By Carlos Sacriste
SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 31, 2013) – WBA Welterweight Champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner and former WBA Junior Welterweight Champion Marcos “El Chino” Maidana are no strangers to facing the most feared competitors in the sport of boxing. On Saturday, Dec. 14, in a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® mega-bout to air live from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, the bold and brash Broner and the punching powerhouse Maidana will enter the DANGER ZONE like never before, with “The Problem” defending his title against the Argentine knockout artist determined to wrap championship gold around his waist once again.
Who will emerge from the DANGER ZONE unscathed? Will it be the fast and precise Broner or the aggressive and powerful Maidana? The world will find out on Dec. 14.
“Maidana is one-dimensional and not in my league,” said Broner. “I’m a Ferrari and he’s a go-kart and my fans will see that in my return to Texas. It’s been over four years since I’ve fought there and I’m going to put on a show. Watch me light Maidana up like a Christmas tree on Dec. 14.”
“Everyone knows that Broner has a big mouth, but that doesn’t bother me, because his mouth can’t fight for him,” said Maidana. “Whether he has the guts to stand in front of me or if he runs I’ll definitely go for the KO and either way, I’m leaving the ring with the belt.”
“On paper this is the classic boxer versus puncher matchup, but Broner is also willing to stand and trade and Maidana can box, so I’m expecting this to be a Fight of the Year candidate to end 2013,” said CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer. “There’s a lot on the line for both fighters and I can’t wait to see who comes out of the DANGER ZONE with the belt.”
“With five amazing fights and boxing’s top stars, I can’t think of anyplace better to have this event than in San Antonio,” said President of Leija*Battah Promotions Mike Battah. “As shown with the Canelo Alvarez-Austin Trout fight, this is a city that loves and supports the sport, and I can’t wait to see the Alamodome filled once again on Dec. 14.”
“This has been an outstanding year for boxing on SHOWTIME, and I can’t think of any better way to end 2013 than with a stacked card like this one. Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana is a dream matchup between two of the biggest names in the welterweight division. Keith Thurman and Jesus Soto Karass are two of the most aggressive, hard-hitting fighters in any division,” said Executive Vice President & General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports Stephen Espinoza. “We’ve also got one of the sport’s top young fighters in Leo Santa Cruz. Add in the return of Victor Ortiz, and it’s clear that this truly is a can’t-miss event. It’s a pay per view-quality event without the pay per view price tag.”
In the co-main event, one of boxing’s top young stars, Keith “One Time” Thurman, will meet his toughest challenge yet when he defends his interim WBA Welterweight Championship against Mexico’s Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass.
“Soto Karass is a tough guy, there’s no question about that, and I respect him a lot,” said Thurman. “But his style is tailor-made for me and I expect to defend my title and win by knockout.”
“Thurman is a young, talented fighter with good power,” said Soto Karass. “But as I proved in my fight with Andre Berto that when I’m on top of my game, no one can beat me. I will become a world champion on Dec. 14.”
Before Thurman and Soto Karass battle it out, the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship will be on the line when defending champion Leo “Teremoto” Santa Cruz battles Cesar Seda.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and making my debut in Texas against Cesar Seda,” said Santa Cruz. “Seda is a quality fighter and a top contender, but I’m not ready to give up my belt to him or anyone.”
“I admire Santa Cruz for his talent and his accomplishments, but styles make fights, and I have the style to beat him and bring the world championship back to Puerto Rico,” said Seda.
The stacked card’s opening world championship fight pits Kazakhstan’s Beibut Shumenov against unbeaten challenger Tamas “Tomi Kid” Kovacs in a 12-round bout for Shumenov’s WBA Light Heavyweight Title.
“I am excited to be back in the ring and to compete on such an amazing event,” said Shumenov. “It’s been a long time for me, and I’m hungry to beat Kovacs in impressive style and retain my title.”
“It has been my dream to fight in the United States against the best in the world, and on Dec. 14 I finally get my chance,” said Kovacs. “Shumenov is a great champion, but I am confident in my ability to take his title.”
Plus, in a special 10-round super welterweight attraction former Welterweight World Champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz makes his much anticipated return to the ring.
“It’s great to be back and I can’t wait for my return on Dec. 14,” said Ortiz. “I’m stronger and better than ever at 154 pounds, and the world will see that when the bell rings.”
Tickets priced at $250, $200, $150, $100, $75, $50, $25, $20 and $10, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, go on sale on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. CT and are available for purchase at the Alamodome box office, or through Leija*Battah Promotions by calling (210) 979-3302 or emailing email@example.com or online at www.ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster locations, by calling (800) 745-3000.
Cincinnati’s Adrien “The Problem” Broner (27-0, 22 KO’s) is boxing’s latest superstar, a charismatic and talented fighter who has made it clear with his performances that he’s here to stay. A five-year pro, the 24-year-old boxer-puncher won his first world title in 2011 when he knocked out Vicente Martin Rodriguez for the WBO Super Featherweight crown and he added the WBC Lightweight belt when he scored an eighth-round technical knockout over Antonio DeMarco in 2012. But Broner’s greatest feat came when he jumped from 135 to 147 pounds in June, defeating Paulie Malignaggi to win the WBA Welterweight Championship. On Dec.14, he makes his first defense against the biggest puncher he’s ever faced.
Thirty-year-old Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (34-3, 31 KO’s) isn’t just one of boxing’s biggest punchers; he’s also consistently amongst the most exciting fighters in the game today, one who has specialized in Fight of the Year-worthy battles against the best the sport has to offer. Hailing from Margarita, Santa Fe, Argentina, Maidana first emerged on the world scene in 2009, when he won the interim WBA World Junior Welterweight Championship with a stunning sixth-round technical knockout over Victor Ortiz. After three defenses of his title, Maidana lost a 2010 Fight of the Year candidate to Amir Khan, but he regained the belt with another classic against Erik Morales in 2011. Since then, Maidana – now competing at welterweight – has won four of his last five, all by knockout, most recently halting Josesito Lopez in six rounds on June 8.
A former amateur standout who compiled over 100 wins, Keith “One Time” Thurman (21-0, 19 KO’s) owns the kind of power that has made the boxing world take notice. On a tear since returning in 2012 from an injury-forced layoff, the 24-year-old from Clearwater, Fla. has made a statement with his trio of recent victories, as he’s scored a technical knockout over Carlos Quintana, shut out Jan Zaveck and won the interim WBA Welterweight Championship with a 10th-round knockout over Diego Chaves. On Dec. 14, he makes his first title defense.
One of the most respected veterans in the sport today, 30-year-old Los Mochis native Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KO’s) has been in some classic fights over the years, going toe-to-toe with the likes of Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto. The Berto fight in July was particularly important for him, as the 12-round technical knockout win (his fourth in his last five bouts) earned him the world title he has craved since turning pro in 2001. He promises that he won’t let this chance slip away.
Boxing’s breakout star, Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KO’s) has already earned world championships in two weight classes, despite being just 25-years-old. A native of Huetamo, Mexico now living in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz’s fan-friendly attack has garnered him followers from around the world, and after his 2013 knockouts of Alexander Munoz and Victor Terrazas, the latter victory earning him the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship, he shows no signs of slowing down in his quest for boxing greatness.
A native of the boxing-rich island of Puerto Rico, San Juan southpaw Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KO’s) initially made his name in the fight game with a successful run at 115 pounds, where he won the WBA Fedecaribe and NABO titles before losing for the only time in his career against WBO Champion Omar Narvaez in April of 2011. Since that bout, the 27-year-old Seda has gone up in weight and won five straight fights, two by way of knockout, earning him a title shot on Dec. 14.
A true boxing phenon who won a world title in just his 10th pro fight, Shymkent, Kazakhstan’s Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8 KO’s) has been one of the sport’s great success stories following an impressive amateur career that saw him represent his country in the 2004 Olympics. Now living in Las Vegas, Nev., the 30-year old WBA light heavyweight world champion has successfully defended his belt four times, most recently by decision against Enrique Ornelas in June of 2012. On Dec.14, he returns to the ring.
Unbeaten as a professional, 36-year-old Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14 KO’s) is a seasoned veteran who’s finally getting his shot at world championship glory. A WBF and WBO European champion thus far in his five-year career, the Galanta, Slovakia native is coming off of two 2013 victories over Peter Vecsei and Said Mbelwa, and he would love to close out the year by bringing a world title belt back home to Europe.
One of boxing’s most charismatic young stars, 26-year-old “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KO’s) has made headlines in and out of the ring, first as a former welterweight world champion who has engaged in memorable battles with Andre Berto, Floyd Mayweather, Marcos Maidana, Antonio Diaz, and Josesito Lopez; but also as a member of the cast of ABC’s hit series “Dancing With The Stars.” Now with his dancing shoes put away, Ortiz has the gloves back on and makes his highly anticipated return to the ring.