Saul Alvarez will defend his WBC 154-pound title against hard-puching welterweight contender Victor Ortiz in the main event of a Showtime Pay-Per-View card from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept. 15, Golden Boy Promotions announced on Tuesday.
The pay-per-view show will include a WBC featherweight bout between defending beltholder Jhonny Gonzalez and former 122-pound titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon, as well as two other bouts that have yet to be made, Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya announced on a media conference call.
The title of the pay per view is “Knockout Kings,” an obvious reference to the high KO ratios of the co-featured fighters. Alvarez has scored 29 KOs in 41 bouts. Ortiz has notched 22 KOs in 34 total bouts. The featherweights have even higher KO percentages. Gonzalez has 45 KOs in 59 bouts. De leon has scored 35 KOs in 47 bouts.
“You can leave your scorecards at home,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Ricahrd Schaefer. “By the way, the ‘Knockout Kings’ theme is a theme that we had focused on before. It’s a reference to the sport that fight fans want to see exciting fights.”
Ortiz must first win a Showtime-televised bout against Josesito Lopez on June 23 in Los Angeles. Schaefer says there are contingency plans if Ortiz loses that bout or suffers an injury during the bout (such as a broken hand or severe cuts) that would not enable him to go through with the Sept. 15 fight.
“Josesito Lopez is no walk in the park, he’s coming to fight, and it’s a huge opportunity (for him),” De La Hoya said. “So I am concerned. Does it put more pressure on Victor? Absolutely. This June 23 fight is important. He’s going to have to go out and show that he is a knockout king to make sure he gets the Sept. 15 fight.”
Taking a not-so-veiled shot at Tim Bradley’s controversial decision over Manny Pacquiao, De La Hoya said his company is striving to take the judges out of the equation with their Sept. 15 show.
“It’s our obligation as a promoter to bring fans exciting fights that won’t require judging,” he said. “The other two fights we come up with will be as exciting, or even more so, than the (Alvarez-Ortiz and Gonzalez-de Leon) fights.
“Even the off-TV fights won’t require judging.”
Schaefer said fans will be able to vote on the “Knockout King” of the evening at the end of the Sept. 15 show, which will be heavily promoted on Showtime and on CBS. The winner of that fan-voted award will received a $100,000 bonus; extra incentive, Schaefer said, for the fighters to go for the knockout.
“Fans deserve great fights and good decisions,” De La Hoya said.
In another development that could have an impact on Golden Boy’s Sept. 15 plans, RingTV.com has confirmed that Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has inquired about placing a pay-per-view show headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez at the Thomas & Mack Center the same night as Alvarez-Ortiz.
Obviously, that pay-per-view show would be on HBO.
“Last Saturday, the morning of June 9, Bob Arum called me and said that he wanted to let me know that he was talking to the Thomas & Mack about maybe doing Chavez Jr. versus Martinez there on Sept. 15,” Keith Kizer told RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield. “I said, ‘Okay.’ No problem doing two shows on one night, if that’s what you want to do. If that’s what you want. That won’t be an issue, assuming Chavez Jr. wins this weekend. That would be great to have two, big fights on the same night.”
On the conference call, Schaefer said that he was not concerned about Arum’s plans when asked about it.
“We’re not concerned about what other promoters are doing,” said Schaefer. “We’re concerned with our own events and with our own business and that has served us very well.”
Arum said his plans for Martinez-Chavez Jr. are contingent on Chavez Jr. winning Saturday night’s WBC middleweight title defense against Andy Lee in El Paso, Texas.
“Obviously, whether we’ll go and push ahead with that date depends on whether or not Chavez wins and then, if he does, then he has to come out of the fight uninjured,” said Arum.
“Again, we can’t say that we’re definitely pushing forward with it because we have to see if Chavez wins, and if he’s okay. If he does and he’s okay, then we’ll have the Martinez fight that day on Sept. 15.”
Lem Satterfield contributed to this story.