Remember The Date

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: October 7, 2010

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NEW YORK (BASN) — The boxing match between Amir Khan (23-1, 17 KOs) and Marcos Rene Maidana (29-1, 27 KOs) will finally occur on Saturday, December 11, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

“Thunder & Lightning: Khan vs. Maidana” will finally answer the question as to who is the true WBA junior welterweight champion of the junior welterweight division. The bout will be aired on HBO “World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:30 PM/ET and 6:30 PT.

“We are two fighters that are exciting to watch,” Khan said. “Both are young, both hungry. It’s the perfect fight for both of us.”

Khan-Maidana has been a work in progress for some time. Khan is the current WBA 140-pound champion, but Maidana, since his sizzling win against Victor Ortiz in June 2009, has been the interim titlist for nearly1 ½ years.

Usually, the champion of a sanctioning body battles the interim champion to determine the regular champion. That hasn’t been the case with Khan-Maidana, as Maidana has made three successful defenses of the interim title.

Ever since Khan was KO’d in one round by Breidis Prescott in September 2008, he has received criticism for not fighting puncher.

“Losing to Prescott made me realize how serious boxing is,” Khan added. “I needed to train harder. When people say I have a weak chin, I respond by saying that Pacquiao gave me his best shot and couldn’t wobble me.”

With the help of trainer Freddie Roach and being a chief sparring partner to Manny Pacquiao, Khan has successfully restructured his career following the Prescott fight.

Khan has become a world champion blooding Marco Antonio Barrera, outboxed Andriy Kotelnik, outclassed Paulie Malignaggi, and rid Dimitry Salita in under 90 seconds.

Now Khan must face Maidana, not a technically gifted fighter, but a hard puncher with double-fisted knockout power. As along as Khan-Maidana are “co-champions” in a hot junior welterweight class, they must face one another.

“I’m not scared of anyone,” Khan said recently.

“I’ll fight anyone you put in front of me. I’m going to come in and be the big puncher. This fight is going to be explosive.”

This fight will be explosive, as 27 of Maidana’s 29 victories have come by knockout. Maidana, in his last two bouts KO’d an unbeaten Victor Cayo, but struggled through 12 rounds against former WBO champion DeMarcus Corley, in August.

“Khan has been talking a lot,” Maidana said. “On December 11 he’s going to have all the pressure on him. I felt Amir was scared of me because he wasn’t giving me the opportunity to fight him. It’s been almost a year and half since I won the interim title. I’m excited that we’re going to fight.”

Tickets for Khan vs. Maidana are priced at 350, $250, $150, $100, $50 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or calling (800) 745-3000.

Marquez vs. Katsidis headline HBO tripleheader in November

While there isn’t going to be much action on HBO in October, the network giant has arranged for a tripleheader the following month.

Unified WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs), fresh off his repeat victory over Juan Diaz in July, will face interim WBO titlist Michael Katsidis (27-2, 22 KOs) in the main event on Saturday, November 27, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas beginning at 9:45 PM/ET

Marquez, a future Hall of Fame boxer, looks to further establish his legacy. The 37 year-old Mexican has fought the very best and has delivered excitement each time. Just ask Diaz, Marco Antonio Barrera, Manny Pacquiao, Joel Casamayor, and Floyd Mayweather to name a few.

Simply add Katsidis to that list. The 30 year-old Queensland, Australian is fresh off a stunning KO of Kevin Mitchell in July.

Katsidis is an all-action fighter that loves to “go for broke” in each of his fights.

Marquez-Katsidis will not disappoint fans looking for an all-out war.

Berto vs. Hernandez

The televised co-feature consists of unbeaten WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (26-0, 20 KOs) makes his fifth title defense against a surging Freddy Hernandez (29-1, 20 KOs).

“Freddy Hernandez is a strong fighter and this fight on November 27th will be a good test for me to close the year,” Berto said. “I plan on putting on a good show and hope that my performance on November 27 will set up a big 2011 for me and the mega-fights that I’ve been wanting and that everyone wants to see me in.”

Hernandez hasn’t lost a bout in over 5 ½ years and has been on a roll recently. In two nationally televised bouts on ShoBox, Hernandez bested former world champion DeMarcus Corley and Mike Anchondo. Hernandez is hungry.

“I’ve worked nine long years to get a shot at a world title and I have every intention to make the most of it,” Hernandez said. “I consider Andre Berto to be the true welterweight champion of the world and a top-10 pound for pound fighter. This is the fight I have wanted more than anything.”

Caballero vs. Litzau

Also on the card, former unified WBA/IBF super featherweight champion Celestino Caballero (34-2, 23KOs) challenges Jason Litzau (27-2, 21 KOs) to a 10-round featherweight action.

“Andre Berto and Celestino Caballero are two of the best fighters in the world,”said promoter Lou DiBella. “Berto must get past a rugged and dangerous Freddy Hernandez.

With only one split decision loss on his record, Freddy is not used to losing. Berto must prevail to walk into the big fights he needs and desires. Caballero is the most avoided featherweight in the world, which is why he is fighting at 130 lbs. versus Jason Litzau. With another strong performance, JuanMa Marquez and Gamboa can run, but they won’t be able to hide any longer.”

Tickets for “Warriors: Marquez vs. Katsidis,” priced at $350, $250, $150, $100 and $50 are available for purchase by phone by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

Also, checkout www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.