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Feature Story

Boxing heats up in Las Vegas

By Karl Freitag

After losing blockbuster fights to Los Angeles, New York City and Dallas, Las Vegas is reasserting itself as the mecca of boxing with five major televised boxing shows (and possibly a sixth) taking place within a three week period. It all kicks off on March 26 at the Treasure Island Casino when Don King Productions presents two world title fights on ESPN2 with Steve Cunningham and Matt Godfrey battling for the vacant IBF cruiserweight title and IBF jr middleweight champion Cory Spinks defending against Cornelius Bundrage.

The next night, March 27, the action shifts to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino when Golden Boy Promotions presents an HBO-televised world championship doubleheader featuring WBA interim super lightweight champion Marcos Maidana against unbeaten Victor Cayo, lightweights Ali Funeka and Joan Guzman battling for the vacant IBF lightweight belt.

On April 2, Golden Boy returns to the Hard Rock with a ShoBox card topped by junior middleweight standout Erislandy Lara against former world title challenger Danny Perez.

The next night, April 3, is the PPV rematch between Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr. presented by Golden Boy at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

April 10 looks to be a go at the Thomas & Mack Center for the PPV heavyweight clash between Evander Holyfield and Francois Botha for Botha’s WBF belt, promoted by Crown Boxing. Evander is reportedly guaranteed $1 million for that one.

There is also the possibility of a Top Rank Live! telecast on Fox Sports Net taking place on April 10 at the Hard Rock. Word is welterweight Jesus Soto Karass would headline.

Following that run of boxing action, the May 1 Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley MGM Grand Garden Arena is only three weeks away.




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