Don King is known for packing his fight cards with supporting attractions that would be main events for many other boxing promoters, and Saturday’s non-televised undercard at Chase Field in Phoenix will be no exception.
The doors at Chase Field will open to the public at 2:30 p.m. with seven domestically non-televised supporting attractions beginning immediately thereafter. These bouts will take place before the co-featured main events begin at 7 p.m. with undefeated World Boxing Association lightweight champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz (30-0, 15 KOs), from Houston, taking on Fernando “La Fiera” Angulo Angulo (18-3, 11 KOs), from Caracas, Venezuela, immediately followed by World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Sergei “White Wolf” Liakhovich (23-1, 14 KOs), from Scottsdale, defending against Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs (47-4-1, 41 KOs), from Brooklyn, N.Y.
A junior bantamweight world championship, a former welterweight world champion who lost his crown in a disputed decision, an undefeated Dominican sensation campaigning at featherweight, and a Croatian heavyweight attempting to remain unbeaten are just some of the highlights of the undercard.
Luis “El Demoledor” Perez vs. Ricardo “Chapo” Vargas International Boxing Federation Junior Bantamweight Championship
The third world championship on the card will feature International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight champion Luis “El Demoledor” Perez, making the fourth defense of his title, against talented veteran Ricardo “Chapo” Vargas in a match scheduled for 12 rounds.
Perez (24-1, 15 KOs), from Managua, Nicaragua, became champion in his first world title appearance against defending champion Felix “Macho” Machado in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 4, 2003. Perez won a close split-decision.
In the immediate rematch, Perez proved his mettle by scoring a clear unanimous-decision win in Atlantic City, N.J., on Dec. 13, 2003.
His lone career loss came in Gulfport, Miss., on Sept. 7, 2000, when he met WBO junior bantamweight champion Vernie Torres. Both fighters tasted the canvas in the match; however, Torres’ fall was ruled a slip, and Perez ultimately suffered a unanimous-decision loss.
In his last appearance, Perez faced a stiff challenge on May 6 in Worcester, Mass., from IBF No. 1-ranked mandatory challenger Dimitri “The Baby” Kirilov. Perez fought off the Russian to win by split-decision.
Perez’s job will get no easier against the always-tough Vargas (39-12-3, 13 KOs), from Tijuana, Mexico. Vargas has won numerous regional, national and continental titles in his career, and is always a serious threat whenever he enters the ring.
This will be Vargas’s second shot at a world title. His first world title appearance came against Rafael Marquez on May 28, 2005, in Los Angeles. Vargas fought gamely but lost by unanimous decision.
Luis Collazo vs. Artur “Scar” Atadzhanov
Scheduled 10-Round Welterweight Attraction
Former World Boxing Association welterweight champion Luis Collazo will make his first appearance since losing his title when he meets Artur “Scar” Atadzhanov in a scheduled 10-round welterweight attraction.
Collazo (26-2, 12 KOs), a proud Puerto Rican from Brooklyn, N.Y., won his title after being named a last-minute replacement to face then champion Jose Antonio Rivera in his hometown of Worcester, Mass., on April 2, 2005. In a toe-to-toe battle, Collazo gave more than he took in a 12-round slugfest he won by split-decision.
Collazo’s stock jumped higher when Rivera moved up to 154 pounds in his next bout and shocked two-time WBA super welterweight champion Alejandro “Terra” Garcia with five knockdowns and a unanimous-decision win.
After successfully defending his title by disposing of Mexican ring legend Miguel Angel Gonzalez by eighth-round technical knockout in Chicago on Aug. 13, 2005, fate intervened when Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, from Englandâ€”fresh from dethroning longtime 140-pound kingpin Kostya Tszyuâ€”decided to move up to full welterweight and chose Collazo for his American debut on May 13 in Boston.
Collazo suffered a flash knockdown seconds into the bout, but regained his composure and proceeded to give Hatton a boxing lesson until the 12th and final round when he had The Hitman out on his feet. Hatton stayed up and survived the match to win a highly controversial, razor-thin unanimous decision. Collazo made such a strong impression on Hatton that he vacated his title to move back down to 140 pounds.
Collazo looks forward to getting back on the winning track against Atadzhanov (10-3, 7 KOs), from Kiev, Ukraine. In a match-up of southpaws, Atadzhanov will attempt to take Collazo out of his comfort zone by bringing a lot of pressure to the skilled Puerto Rican.
The Ukrainian is a good puncher who suffered a defeat in his last appearance on April 1, 2006, against Martinus Clay in Cleveland when forced to retire in the fifth round due to a chronically bad shoulder even though he was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards. Subesquently, Atadzhanov underwent surgery to repair his left shoulder.
Elio “The Kid” Rojas vs. Luis Bolano
10-Round Featherweight Attraction
Undefeated Dominican featherweight sensation Elio “The Kid” Rojas, considered by many to be the finest prospect in Don King’s stable of fighters, will face the toughest challenge of his young career when he takes a strong step up in competition against former FECARBOX champion Luis Bolano.
Rojas (17-0, 13 KOs), who happens to be a Felix Trinidad Jr. look-alike, has shown great potential since bursting onto the scene in 2004. Now, 24, Rojas has broken into the world-contender ranks, now at or near the top 10. Beginning with Bolano, the competition will only get harder for Rojas. A win on Saturday will earn him a featured premium cable appearance on the ShoBox series on SHOWTIME.
Bolano (38-4, 28 KOs), from Cordova, Colombia, would like nothing better than to be a spoiler in this fight. At, 37, Bolano is a hard-punching southpaw with 28 knockouts who has had two world title appearances against great fighters.
His first shot at world title came against Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson in 2004 for the WBO junior bantamweight title and his second came in 2005 against the IBF’s highly regarded 115-pound champion Luis “El Demoleodor” Perz in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
While Bolano was unable to come away with a title in both of those bouts, Rojas will be facing a much more experienced and harder-punching veteran than he’s ever faced before.
Miguel “Miki” Rodriguez vs. James “Spider” Webb
Scheduled 10-Round Welterweight Attraction
No. 6 World Boxing Council welterweight contender Miguel “Miki” Rodriguez will challenge IBF No. 13-ranked contender James “Spider” Webb in a scheduled 10-round contest.
Rodriguez (27-2, 22 KOs), from Naucalpan, Mexico, is a former Mexican champion and WBC Americas title-holder. This rangy Mexican, who possesses power in both hands as evidenced by his 22 knockouts, is only 28 years old, and is working his way towards his first world title appearance. His second loss came against current unified welterweight champion Carlos “Tata” Baldomir on May 21, 2005, where Rodriguez battled the Argentinean for the full 12 rounds.
Webb (19-1, 16 KOs), from Columbia, Tenn., has shown power of his own in upsetting contender Jose Celaya with a eighth-round technical knockout in on May 13, 2005, in Celaya’s backyard of San Jose, Calif. He suffered his lone defeat against highly regarded contender Mark Suarez on Jan. 7 in Madison Square Garden.
Mario Preskar vs.
Scheduled 10-Round Heavyweight Attraction
Croatian heavyweight prospect “Super” Mario Preskar (10-0-1, 6 KOs) will attempt to remain unbeaten taking on a fresh face from West Covina, Calif., Gene Valdez (5-2 5 KOs).
In his last appearance, Preskar survived the biggest challenge of his young career when he ran into a game but out-classed Matthew Greer in St. Louis on July 8. Greer applied pressure, but Preskar weathered his assaults and won a unanimous decision.
Rounding out the card will be a scheduled eight-round light heavyweight attraction with undefeated Marcus Johnson (8-0, 7 KOs), from Kileen, Texas, squaring off against Oleksandr Garaschenko (14-9, 6 KOs), from Kiev, Ukraine, and prospect Justin Savi (2-0-1, 2 KOs), from Benin, opposing Micahel Mendez (4-4-2, 2 KOs), from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.