Former IBF/IBO flyweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, Jr. and WBO featherweight champion Steven Luevano return to the top of the marquee to headline “Pinoy Power 2”, the world championship extravaganza taking place Saturday, August 15, in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
“Pinoy Power 2,” Top Rank’s newest boxing series, will also feature undefeated Cuban heavyweight sensation Odlanier Solis and Filipino junior welterweight contender Mark “MJM Grand” Melliguen in separate exciting 10-round all-action brawls.
Donaire has vacated his title to challenge former world champion Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion for the WBA interim super flyweight championship.
A native of General Santos City, Philippines, who now lives in San Leandro, Calif., Donaire (21-1, 14 KOs), captured his world title the old-fashioned way; he earned it by knocking out undefeated defending champion Vic Darchinyan in 2007.
It remains the only defeat for Darchinyan, who now campaigns as the World Super Flyweight Champion.
After successfully defending his title three times, all by knockout, Donaire concluded it was time to move up in search of new worlds to conquer. He enters this fight riding an eight-year, 20-bout winning streak, and has not gone the distance since 2006.
"I have a complete collection of Alexis Arguello's boxing videos, every one of his big fights," said Donaire. "That's how I learned to throw a hook, by watching the way Alexis did it on video, while at the same time watching how he carried himself in and out of the ring. He really was a true gentleman and that is how I try to behave at all times."
Concepcion (13-3-1, 8 KOs), from Panama City, Panama, will be making his Las Vegas debut when he tries to reclaim the title he previously held. He enters this fight having won 10 or his past 11 fights, including the WBA interim super flyweight title, knocking out previously undefeated Alex Banal in the 10th round last July.
He lost the title in his first defense, to the incomparable Jorge Arce. He enters this fight world-rated No. 3 by the WBA, No. 4, by the WBO and No. 8 by the WBC, with four of his last five victories coming by knockout.
"This is my first time in Las Vegas. No one really knows my name," said Rafael Concepcion. "On August 15, they will when I take that title belt to Panama."
Luevano will be defending his title against the WBO’s No. 1 contender and mandatory featherweight challenger Bernabe Concepcion.
A native of East Los Angeles, Luevano (36-1-1, 15 KOs), of LaPuente, Calif., captured the vacant WBO featherweight title in 2007, knocking out undefeated top-rated contender Nicky Cook in London.
He has successfully defended his title four times during his two-year reign, against a roster of opponents who had a combined record of 93-6 (56), a winning percentage of 94% and a victory by knockout ratio of 60%.
"For sure, Concepcion will be in top shape," said Luevano.
"It will be interesting to see how we do against a Freddie Roach-trained fighter in Bernabe Concepcion," said Robert Garcia, Luevano's trainer. "Roach is the best trainer in the world today. This is an opportunity for me to see how I compare with Roach, how well I am doing as a trainer."
Concepcion (29-1-1, 17 KOs), of Rizal, Philippines, enters his first world championship fight riding a four-year, 22-bout unbeaten streak.
Impressive victories over Benjamin Flores, Gabriel Elizondo, Adam Carrera and Sande Otieno, while collecting WBC International and NABF titles, has vaulted this Filipino firecracker with two-fisted power into a mandatory title challenge.
Solis (14-0, 10 KOs), of Miami, Fla., enters this fight with five of his last six victories coming by way of by knockout. The three-time World Amateur Champion and 2004 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist boasts two victories over countryman Felix Savón.
Solis defected from his native Cuba in December 2006 making his pro debut in April 2007. He captured the WBC International heavyweight title last October, knocking out Chauncy Welliver in the ninth round, ending his three-year, 17-bout unbeaten streak.
He successfully defended his title in January, knocking out Kevin Burnett in the eighth round. Solis is currently world-rated No. 8 by the WBC.
Melliguen (15-1, 11 KOs), of Bohol, Philippines, is riding a two-year, nine-bout winning streak, which includes capturing the Philippines junior welterweight title and two successful title defenses.
A recent power surge has produced four knockout victories in his last fight bouts. He has fought three times this year with only one opponent lasting the distance
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, and $50, go on sale July 4 at Noon PT, and can be purchased at www.hardrockhotel.com, www.ticketmaster.com, and at all Ticketmaster outlets.
Pinoy Power 2” will be produced and distributed by Top Rank, Live on Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, with a suggested retail price of $34.95. It will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD.