Boxing fans worldwide, gearing up for this evening’s Showtime card, are about to indulge in one of 2014’s finer cuisines in the sweet science. Tonight at 7pm EST, Showtime Extreme, or SHOXe, will begin airing the undercard of the “Royal Battle: Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander” triple header from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. At the press conference on Thursday, December 11th in Las Vegas, Oscar De La Hoya assured fans, “Saturday night is going to be one of those nights where every fight is action-packed and entertaining…This card is stacked.” Fans certainly can’t disagree. From a relatively lonesome and dismal boxing schedule on Showtime in 2014, it appears they have pulled out all the stops to assure us that a much more entertaining 2015 is on the way. “It is going to be a special treat for all of the fans that watch it live at MGM Grand or live on Showtime Championship Boxing,” said De La Hoya. “It is a token of appreciation to all of the fans and saying thank you. Thank you for supporting this wonderful sport of boxing.”
As a soup-or-salad-starter to this Saturday’s action-packed event, fans will taste former three-time, three-division world champion Abner Mares face off against top featherweight contender Jose Ramirez. Mares stated to the press, “Expect the old Abner Mares on Saturday. The hunger is back, the passion has returned. I’m back with my original team… I’ve won three world titles in three divisions but I don’t call myself a former three-division champion. I think of myself now as a future four-division world champion.” His opponent Jose Ramirez hopes to make his mark in the boxing world, taking on his experienced foe, telling us, “This Saturday, I will be facing a tough fighter in Abner Mares. This Saturday is going to be a war between two Mexicans and I am here to be victorious.”
Moving on to appetizers, Lenny Bottai will see Jermall Charlo in the ring for the IBF junior middleweight title. (Please note, Jermall’s twin brother, Jermell Charlo will also be seen in the ring. That bout may or may not be televised.) The Charlo brothers from Texas have certainly made a splash, but have had their fair share of difficulties along the way. Jermall, the undefeated junior middleweight told the press, “Me and my twin brother have been through a lot of adversity. Getting world title shots and not being able to compete in them, but we overcame it, and we are ready to put on good shows on Saturday night.” Adding some flavor to our tongues, Bottai tells us, “I hear that I keep getting called a seasoned fighter. I come from Italy where the cheese is the best seasoned cheese in the world, so I am going to show what seasoned fighters can do… I expect a great battle. I expect it to be a stepping stone to make my name in the U.S.”
Partaking in some more gourmet boxing cuisine, WBA Interim Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman sees undefeated welterweight contender Leonard Bundu in the ring. The always entertaining Thurman tells us, “He’s making his U.S. debut. I plan to provide him with a traditional ‘One-Time’ welcome to America. I plan to come out and box smart and take it from there. My shoulder is fine and I’m excited about getting back in the ring.” The boxer that many feel is likely to be in line for a future Mayweather fight shares insight to his future saying, “I’m not looking past Bundu, but I’m looking through him to 2015 when I expect to start fighting top-5 fighters on a consistent basis.” The 40-year old Bundu states, “I am Italian and like fine wine, I get better with age. I’m excited to be here. I am here to gain some respect. I am 40-years-old, but I feel much younger. I know it is a hard test for me on Saturday, but I am going to give it my all.”
As though that is not enough to satisfy the boxing palate, the entrée awaits. In the main event of the “Royal Battle” on Showtime, former unified Super Lightweight World Champion Amir Khan competes against former two-division world champion Devon Alexander in a 12-round welterweight contest. Promising to thrill, Alexander says, “I’ve dreamt of this my whole life. Headlining in Las Vegas is a dream come true and I plan on taking full advantage of this… I’m as prepared mentally and physically as I’ve ever been for a fight. If you look at my resume, I’ve fought top guys throughout my career. Khan is a good fighter and this is going to be a great fight.” The UK’s prize fighter Amir Khan is similarly as thrilled with tonight’s menu of boxing telling us, “This is a great fight and a great fight card overall from top to bottom. It’s almost like pay-per-view. But it’s a great opportunity for my fans to see me fight… From me, you can expect to see a lot of explosiveness and movement.”
There are only moments until the Showtime Extreme broadcast begins, fight fans, so be sure to lock in your picks and prepare your own desserts. Tonight’s extravaganza on Showtime is sure to having something for everyone, and for boxing fans world-wide, there is no sweeter way to end the year, than with a stacked event such as this. Cheers, and happy feasting!