Top Rank Boxing Top Rank boxing news, event, videos and photo galleries en-us Copyright Top Rank 05-24-2015 00:22:03 60 Championship Doubleheader Featuring Walters & Verdejo NEW YORK (May 12, 2015) -- Undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight world champion NICHOLAS "Axe Man" WALTERS of Jamaica, and the boxing gem of Puerto Rico, undefeated No. 3 world-rated lightweight contender FELIX "El Diamante" VERDEJO will headline, in separate bouts, a world championship card in New York during Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. With 34 knockout victories between them, fireworks are all but assured for this event which will take place Saturday, June 13, in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.  Both will be facing undefeated opponents. Walters, who is in the third year of his championship reign, will defend his world title against Top-10 contender MIGUEL "The Scorpion" MARRIAGA of Colombia.  Verdejo, in his live HBO debut, will make the first defense of his newly-won World Boxing Organization (WBO) Latino lightweight title against IVAN "Bam Bam" NAJERA, of San Antonio, TX.  Both fights will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The four gladiators boast a perfect combined record of 78-0 (60 KOs), which includes a victory by knockout ratio of 77%.    

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with All Star Boxing, Tecate and Madison Square Garden, tickets to the Walters vs. Marriaga / Verdejo vs. Najera world championship boxing event will go on sale This Friday!  May 15, at Noon ET.  Priced at $205, $105 and $55, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at   

"Headlining  at Madison Square Garden is every fighter's dream but to do it on HBO is a tremendous honor," said Walters.  "I have unfinished business with Miguel Marriaga.  He kept me out of the 2008 Olympics when he beat me in the Americas Olympic Qualifier and I am ready to pay him back.  I am going to chop him with the axe."

"I am happy to be fighting at the legendary Madison Square Garden," said Marriaga.  "I was born to be world champion and come June 13 I will be victorious.  I would like to thank All Star Boxing, Top Rank and the WBA for the opportunity."  

"I am very excited  to be fighting in New York once again. The New York area fans have been great and always make me feel like I am home," said Verdejo.  "I know that the fight against Ivan Najera will not be easy. I will prepare myself to the maximum and sacrifice everything in the gym so that on fight night I will be at my best and bring the belt back to Puerto Rico.  I am very thankful to Top Rank for giving me these types of opportunities."

"Verdejo is fast, strong and skilled but he hasn't fought anyone like me," said Najera.  "This is a big fight and I know it.  We are going to train in the high altitude of the mountains near Mexico City.  We plan to do a lot of running and conditioning work to get set for this fight at Madison Square Garden, the home of champions.  My parents are from Mexico and I feel good about training in Mexico City for the biggest fight of my career.  Believe me, I am a whole lot better than all of those Verdejo has already faced in the ring.  This is a real fight and I am thrilled that it will be in front of the fans at Madison Square Garden."

"Only a select few fighters are worthy of headlining at the 'Mecca Of Boxing' and Top Rank is proud to present two of them on June 13," said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.  "The mighty Nicholas Walters, who has yet to have a world title fight go to the scorecards, and Felix Verdejo, Puerto Rico's next big thing and the lineal successor in talent and popularity to his mentor Felix Trinidad, are the perfect boxing complement to Puerto Rican Day Parade Weekend -- a partnership we innovated in 2005 and have developed into a highly-anticipated annual event."         

“On June 13, fans who love knockouts should cancel their Saturday night out and plan to watch HBO,” said Peter Nelson, Vice President of programming, HBO Sports. “Combined, Nicholas Walters and Miguel Marriaga have knocked out 87% of their opposition, and now they'll face each other at Madison Square Garden's Theater for the featherweight title. In addition, our co-feature spotlights the charismatic Puerto Rican sensation Felix Verdejo against game Mexican-American Ivan Najera in a clash of undefeated prospects.”

Walters (25-0, 21 KOs), from Montego Bay, Jamaica, has won 11 of his last 12 fight by stoppage.  He captured the vacant WBA featherweight title on December 12, 2012, knocking out Daulis Presscott (26-1, 19 KOs) in the seventh round. He has successfully defended the title three times -- all by knockout -- stopping Alberto Garza, former two-division world champion Vic Darchinyan and 2012 Fighter of the Year and former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, respectively.  A former amateur standout who collected gold medals at the 2007 Pan American Games Qualifier III and the  2005 and 2007 Caribbean Championships, Walters is known for his expert boxing skills and movement and two-fisted punching power that are at a caliber of a much higher weight class.

Marriaga (20-0, 18 KOs), from Arjona, Colombia, enters this fight having won 12 of his previous 13 fights by way of knockout with 14 of his 18 knockouts coming in four rounds or less.  Fighting mainly in Colombia and Mexico, Marriaga's sole U.S. bout was last October in Santa Monica, a sixth-round knockout of Christopher Martin in a fight that televised nationally via ESPN's Friday Night Fights.  He is current;y world-rated No. 9 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).  This will be the second time he has faced Walters.  Marriaga defeated Walters in a 2008 Olympic qualifier. 

Verdejo (17-0, 13 KOs), from San Juan, Puerto Rico, ended 2014 as a consensus "Prospect of the Year," and enters 2015 as a contender to be reckoned with.  He returns to the ring having won seven of his last eight fights inside the distance, including his most recent victory, a fifth round knockout of Marco Lopez, on April, 25, for the vacant WBO Latino lightweight title.  Already world-rated No. 3 by the WBA, Verdejo, 21, continues to develop into a major gate attraction, producing standing room only crowds every time he fights.  A former amateur standout who represented Puerto Rico in the 2012 Olympics, Verdejo has been mentored by Puerto Rican boxing icon and Hall of Fame inductee Felix Trinidad.

Najera (16-0, 8 KOs), from San Antonio, TX, is known for his crowd-pleasing aggressive style of fighting and good punching power.  Texas boxing fans have been flocking to his fights because he delivers all-action performances.  Najera made his national television debut on February 7, winning a unanimous decision over veteran Robbie Cannon in Najera's toughest professional fight to date. 

For fight updates go to, or, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at, or  Use the Hashtags #WaltersMarriaga and #VerdejoNajera to join the conversation on Twitter.

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Sat, 13 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0500
Bradley vs. Vargas - Welterweight Championship LOS ANGELES (May 18, 2015) -- Former two-division world champion and highly-rated pound for pound fighter TIMOTHY "Desert Storm" BRADLEY JR. and undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) super lightweight world champion JESSIE VARGAS will make their long-awaited 2015 debuts when they square off for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title, Saturday, June 27, under the stars at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.  The fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.      

These two gladiators boast a combined record of 57-1-1 (21 KOs) -- a winning percentage of 97%.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Tecate, tickets to the Bradley vs. Vargas welterweight world championship event go on sale Tomorrow!  Tuesday, May 19, at 10:00 a.m. PT.  Priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, (plus applicable taxes and fees), tickets can be purchased online at, by telephone at (888) 929-7849 or at the StubHub Center box office, Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Suites are available by calling (877) 604-8777.  For information on group discounts, please call (877) 234-8425. 

"I'm excited to be back in the ring with an undefeated champion," said Bradley.  "I look forward to the challenge and to take his 0 away from him on June 27th."

"I am thrilled to have this fight," said Vargas.  "I will be facing a very talented fighter and when you have two great talents with a lot of heart it always makes for a great fight.  I always elevate my game against better competition.  I am ready to show and prove that I am one of the best fighters out there. There is not one doubt in my mind that everyone will enjoy this fight.  I look forward to giving the fans the best of Jessie Vargas on June 27. " 

"Tim Bradley, one of the sport's elite fighters, will be looking to take another big step toward regaining a world title belt, while Jessie Vargas, a young and hungry world champion, will be moving up to a new weight division in the biggest test of his professional career.  It's a great matchup of Southern California natives in a perfect setting for their fans at StubHub Center," said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.    

“The last time Timothy Bradley, Jr., entered the ring at the StubHub, he left having given the fans the fight of the year,” said Peter Nelson, Vice President of programming, HBO Sports. “Now, he returns for his 2015 debut against one of boxing's undefeated rising attractions, Jessie Vargas, in a fight that augurs to have great action and impact in the loaded welterweight division.”

Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs), from Palm Springs, Calif., a former two-division world champion, from 2008 to 2014, who unified the junior welterweight titles twice during his previous four-year reign, returns to the ring following a controversial draw against one-time interim world champion Diego Chaves last December.  The judges were taken to task by ringside media who had Bradley winning handily, an argument bolstered by the fact that Bradley landed 73 more punches than Chaves and controlled almost every round.  Bradley continues his comeback since suffering his first professional loss, in his welterweight championship rematch against Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao on April 12, 2014.  Before the Pacquiao rematch, Bradley posted three consecutive career-best victories.  After moving up in weight and beating Pacquiao in 2012 to capture the WBO welterweight crown, Bradley co-starred in the Fight of the Year on March 16, 2013, at StubHub Center, winning a brutal 12-round decision over future world champion Ruslan Provodnikov though Bradley was suffering from a concussion throughout most of the fight.  Seven months later, Bradley encored with a virtuoso performance in defeating three-division world champion and Mexican icon Juan Manuel Márquez on October 12, 2013, proving that Bradley is indeed one of boxing's elite pound for pound fighters.

Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs), a native of Los Angeles who now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, is trained by former four-division world champion and future Hall of Famer Roy Jones, Jr.  Vargas captured the WBA super lightweight title on April 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, winning a unanimous decision over undefeated defending champion Khabib Allakhverdiev. It was a close and competitive fight that proved Vargas' grit as he bit down hard during the championship rounds to pull away with the victory and the world championship belt.  Vargas successfully defended his title twice that same year, winning unanimous decisions over undefeated contender Anton Novikov in Las Vegas and former world champion Antonio DeMarco in Macao, China on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao - Chris Algieri world welterweight pay-per-view card.  Vargas' impressive resume also includes victories over former world champions Stevie Forbes and Vivian Harris and top contenders Josesito Lopez, Lucky Boy Omotoso, Ray Narh and Lanardo Tyner.

For fight updates go to, or, on Facebook at, or, and on Twitter at, or  Use the Hashtag #BradleyVargas to join the conversation on Twitter.

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Patrick Byrne: 212-512-1361 /  



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Sat, 27 Jun 2015 21:45:00 -0500