PAUL WILLIAMS-ERISLANDY LARA
AKIFUMI SHIMODA-RICO RAMOS
CHRIS ARREOLA-FRIDAY AHUNANYA
JHONNY GONZALEZ-TOMAS VILLA
Los Angeles, CA – WBC Featherweight Champion, Jhonny Gonzalez, returns to the ring on a Televisa broadcast, after becoming a three-time World Champion this past April when he traveled to Japan to knockout the defending World Champion, Hozumi Haswegawa in the 4th round.
With Mexico’s premier television network televising prior to the live HBO broadcast, Gonzalez will showcase his devastating power-punching skills against the tough Texan, Tomas “El Norteño” Villa, on July 9 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City with the 12-round bout between Paul “The Punisher” Williams and undefeated Cuban Erislandy Lara, in what will be the first defense of Gonzalez under the promotional partnership between Del Pueblo Promotions and Goossen Tutor Promotions.
Fights between Mexicans and Mexico-Americans have been historic in the international boxing landscape for many years, including one’s between the great Ruben “Puas” Olivares and Bobby Chacon; Oscar de la Hoya vs. Julio Cesar Chavez; “Jessie” James Leija against Gabriel Ruelas; Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz, along with many others, and Televisa jumped at the chance to spotlight Gonzalez as he looks to join these elite ranks with his challenge against Villa.
“El Norteño,” as Villa is commonly referred to, is a true warrior of the ring. In his last bout Villa thoroughly outgunned Salvador Sanchez II, and believes he can do the same with the Mexican World Champion.
“It’s a dream for me fighting for a World Championship after 10 years of hard work. I will fight to the finish and do everything I can to become World Champion,” Villa said.
Gonzalez, along with his recently inducted Hall of Fame manager and trainer, Ignacio Beristain, have their sight on keeping the title against the rugged Villa.
Gonzalez stated, “I’ve got the best of both worlds, fighting in the U.S. and letting my fans see me in Mexico on Televisa. I will go out there and do what fans love to see from their fighters, look to knock Villa out cold!”
Oswaldo Kuchkle of Del Pueblo Promotions said it was the opportunity needed for Jhonny to be able to go that next step. “With Televisa and HBO present, what better way for Jhonny to make a statement that he’s willing to fight any of the other champions. We would like to bring (Orlando) Salido or (Elio) Rojas to Mexico in a big event or (Yuriorkis) Gamboa if he’s up to the challenge.”
ABOUT WILLIAMS VS. LARA EVENT
Paul “The Punisher” Williams looks to make statement against unbeaten and world ranked Cuba native Erislandy Lara (15-0-1, 10 KOs) in a battle of southpaws. Williams-Lara headlines the HBO telecast in a scheduled 12-round bout, which also features WBA #1-ranked Rico Ramos (19-0, 10 KOs) challenging World Champion, Akifumi Shimoda (23-2-1, 10 KOs) in a 12-round bout for the Tokyo native’s WBA Super Bantamweight Championship. The undercard event preceding the televised portion features heavyweight sensation Chris Arreola (32-2, 28 KOs) taking on hard-punching Friday “The 13th” Ahunanya (24-7-3,13 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout.
The championship event is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions and hosted by Caesars Atlantic City with the Williams-Lara bout being presented in association with Golden Boy Promotions and the Ramos-Shimoda bout being presented in association with Teiken Promotions. The Williams vs. Lara and Shimoda vs. Ramos bouts will be broadcast on HBO’s Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:15 PM ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). Doors open at 6:30pm and first bout begins at 7:00pm. Tickets, priced at $300, $200, $100 and $50, can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall box office or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at ticketmaster.com.