LAS VEGAS, NEV (December 17, 2010) – Las Vegas hosts its first world title fight of 2011 when World Bantamweight Champion FERNANDO “Cochulito” MONTIEL defends his title against two-division world champion NONITO “The Filipino Flash” DONAIRE, in the latest chapter of the storied México-Philippines rivalry, Saturday, February 19, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, the Montiel-Donaire world title tilt will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast.) The broadcast will open with undefeated NABO/NABA/WBC Continental Americas welterweight champion MIKE JONES defending his titles against Top-10 contender JESUS SOTO-KARASS in a rematch of their exciting battle which took place on November 13 under the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito pay-per-view extravaganza.
Looking for a great last-minute Christmas gift? Yule love this! Tickets to Montiel vs. Donaire, priced at $250, $125, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges, go on-sale Next Thursday! December 23, at Noon PT. They can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Mandalay Bay at (877) 632-7400 or Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Montiel (43-2-2, 33 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México, is only the fourth Méxican fighter to win world titles in three different weight divisions, joining Hall of Famer-elect Julio César Chávez and future Hall of Fame inductees Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. Undefeated since 2006, eight of Montiel’s last ten victories (eight were world title fights) have been by stoppage.
Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs), a native of General Santos City, Philippines, now living in the Bay Area of San Leandro, Calif., is a consensus top-10 pound for pound fighter. He enters this fight riding a nine-year, 24-bout winning streak, which includes an IBF/IBO flyweight title knockout victory of defending champion Vic Darchinyan, and a fourth-round blasting of former WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko in his last fight on December 4.Nine of Donaire’s last 10 victories have come by way of knockout.
Co-promoted by Peltz Boxing, Jones and Soto-Karass return for an immediate rematch of their November 13 brawl. After Jones decked Soto-Karass in the second round, Soto-Karass came back to almost pull out the victory in a fight most ringside fans and media thought could have gone either way. In fact, Jones’ second-round knockdown of Soto-Karass provided Jones the one-point margin for a razor-thin majority decision victory instead of a Draw. The judges’ scores were 95-94, 97-93 and 94-94.
Jones (23-0, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia, PA., has been attracting rabid fans to his fights in the friendly confines of Atlantic City and Philadelphia. He took on his biggest challenge on the biggest stage he has ever fought on when he tangled with Soto-Karass, successfully defending his titles and adding the vacant WBC Continental Americas welterweight title. Considered one of the hottest prospects in boxing, six of his last nine victories have come by knockout. Victories over Brazilian strongman Juliano Ramos, Henry Bruseles, ending his five-year winning streak, Hector Muñoz and Irving Garcia, have catapulted Jones to the top of the WBA welterweight ratings. He’s also rated No. 2 by the WBO, No. 3 by the IBF and No. 4 by the WBC.
Soto-Karass (24-5-3, 16 KOs), of Los Mochis, México, boasts an impressive 13-2-2 (one No Contest) record, over his past 18 fights, dating back to 2005. The only other blemish was a sixth-round technical loss to Alfonso Gomez last year. Highlights of that period include knockout victories of former world champion Vince Phillips and undefeated contender Michael Rosales in WBC Continental Americas welterweight title fights in 2006 and contender David Estrada for the vacant NABF welterweight championship in 2008. He is currently world-rated No. 8 by the WBC.
Doors will open at 4:00 p.m. PT with the first bell at 4:30 p.m. PT. The HBO-televised fights will begin at 6:45 p.m. PT.
Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank