Four-time world champion Stevie "Lil' But Bad" Johnston returns home to fight Rolando Reyes on August 11 in the 12-round main event for the vacant IBO lightweight title, headlining Punchout at the Pepsi Center "No Mercy," promoted by Silverhawk Championship Boxing, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
IBA lightweight title-holder Johnston (41-4-1, 18 KOs) won a unanimous 12-round decision on May 18 in Broomfield against Humberto Toledo in Steve's first fight in his native Colorado in 6 1/2 years. Johnston, now 34, captured the WBC lightweight championship twice between 1997 and 2000, and had seven successful title defenses. Stevie has defeated five major world champions -- Sharmba Mitchell, Jean Baptiste Mendy, Cesar Bazan, James Page, and Alejandro Gonzalez - as well as 11 other major world title challengers including Angel Manfredy and Saul Duran.
The last time Johnston fought in the Pepsi Center (September 17, 2000), Stevie was originally declared the winner by majority decision against WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo (41-4), but 30-minutes after the decision had been announced, officials discovered a scoring error resulting in a draw and Castillo retaining his title.
"I'm really excited about fighting in the Pepsi Center again," Johnston said. "I'm not going to let what happened to me there the last time happen again. We challenged all of the other lightweight champions to unify the belts, but nothing happened, so we made this fight. I have to forget about them, keep moving forward and hopefully some day one of them will accept our challenge. Reyes is tough and he's coming to fight. I'm going to have to be on my A game.
"It feels good to be fighting in Colorado. We had a good turnout the last fight (in Broomfield) and that's why (Johnston's promoter) Silverhawk Boxing is bringing me back to do it again. It's going to be a real good show. (Silverhawk stablemate) Adrian Mora trains in Denver, which is about an hour away from my training camp in Colorado Springs. We'll work together again and that's been cool."
Reyes (28-4-2, 18 KOs) is the former NABO lightweight champion, stopping Courtney Burton in the eighth round of their 2005 title fight, and Rolando has also fought Castillo, losing a 12-round decision in 2006.
Present IBO champions include heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, light heavyweight Antonio Tarver and junior welterweight Ricky Hatton.
IBA & NBA light welterweight champion Adrian "Juanito" Mora (19-0-1, 11 KOs), fighting out of Thornton, takes on ex-NABA lightweight title-holder Ricky Quiles (39-8-3, 8 KOs), who also was the NABO and WBF light welterweight champion.
Also scheduled to fight on the card is former IBF light welterweight title challenger Corey "Primetime" Johnson (34-3-2, 11 KOs) against past NABF light middleweight champ J.C. Candelo (27-9-4, 18 KOs) in a super middleweight match; Denver welterweight Donald Camarena (18-4, 9 KOs), former WBC Continental Americas light welterweight king, meets Anthony "The Matrix" Mora (15-1, 10 KOs), of Thornton (CO), in an intra-state battle of bitter rivals; power-punching heavyweight Cedric "The Boz" Boswell (24-1, 11 KOs) fights an opponent to be determined. At least one other bout will be held. All bouts and fighters subject to change.
Tickets, ranging between $300.00 to $15.00, go on sale tomorrow at the Pepsi Center or at any TicketMaster outlet.
For more information about Punchout at the Pepsi Center "No Mercy" call the Pepsi Center (303.405.1111), Silverhawk Boxing (702.492.4922) or go to www.silverhawkboxing.com.