Boasting a combined record of 154 victories – 80 by knockout — against just 12 losses and a winning percentage exceeding 92%, the three-bout pay-per-view undercard for “Will to Win” promises to be 100% action! Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, “Will to Win” will be headlined by the 12-round super featherweight rumble between three-division world champions and arch rivals Manny Pacquiao, from The Philippines, and Mexico’s Marco Antonio Barrera. “Will to Win” takes place Saturday, October 6, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT..
Steven Luevano (33-1, 15 KOs), from LaPuente, Calif., will be making the first defense of his WBO featherweight title against the No. 4-rated contender, Antonio “T-Rex” Davis (24-3, 12 KOs), from Atlanta. The southpaw Luevano, 26, captured the vacant world title by traveling to his opponent’s hometown, London, England, and taking it straight to the undefeated Nicky Cook, who had won all 27 of his previous professional bouts. The fight took place on July 14 – Bastille Day – which proved appropriate since Luevano nearly decapitated Cook, knocking him down five times before ending the evening with an 11th round KO. Davis, 35, a former IBA super featherweight champion, returns to the ring fresh from winning the vacant NABO featherweight title, defeating undefeated Leon Bobo (16-0), on August 1. Bobo retired on his stool after the fifth round. Career highlights for Davis include victories over Frankie Zepeda (15-1), and Jesús Salavador Pérez.
Top-10 contender Librado Andrade (25-1, 19 KOs), from La Habra, Calif. will take on former USBA super middleweight champion Yusaf Mack (23-1, 14 KOs), from Philadelphia for the vacant USBA super middleweight title. Andrade, 29, a former NABO and NABF super middleweight champion and No. 1 contender, went the distance in his mandatory title challenge against undefeated WBC/WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler last March, losing a 12-round decision. He returned to the winners circle in July, scoring a second-round TKO of Ted Muller in Las Vegas. Mack, 27, enters this fight fresh from his June 27 10-round unanimous decision victory over Jose Juan Vasquez, ending his seven-year, 16-bout unbeaten streak.
In a true crossroads fight for both fighters, Francisco “Panchito” Bojado (17-2, 11 KOs), from Los Angeles, will be taking on former world champion Steve “2 Pounds” Forbes (32-5, 9 KOs), from Las Vegas, in a 10-round super lightweight battle.
Bojado, 24, a 2000 Mexican Olympian, has won two straight since his whisker-close 10-round split decision loss to former world champion Jesse James Leija. Power in both fists, Bojado is ready to take the biggest step of his career in taking on the vastly more experienced Forbes, where a victory will put Bojado back on the road to a world title shot. Forbes, 30, who held the IBF junior lightweight title from 2000-2002, was the runner-up on last year’s season of “The Contender.” He will be looking to show he still has the skill to reign as world champion again.
Barrera Ready to Rid Himself of a Thorn in His Side Named Pacquiao
Only 16 days remain until three-division world boxing champions MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA and MANNY PACQUIAO square-off against each other in the main event of “Will to Win!” — the October 6 pay-per-view extravaganza at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. For Barrera, already a Hall of Fame shoo-in, the 12-round super featherweight rumble against Pacquiao, the reigning “Fighter of the Year, ” cannot come soon enough. It is a fight he has longed for since their first encounter on November 15, 2003.
“Manny Pacquiao has been an ugly painful thorn in my side for nearly four years,” said a determined Barrera from his secluded high altitude training camp in Mexico. “There hasn’t been a day since our first fight that I haven’t thought of Pacquiao and what I would do to him if we ever fought again.”
“These past four years have been torture for me as Pacquiao has done everything he could to avoid me. But once we signed the contracts to fight, I have done nothing else but eat, drink and dream of Manny Pacquiao.
Throughout this training camp Manny Pacquiao has been the only thing I’ve thought of, morning, noon and night. I have never been so focused on an opponent in my entire career. I have poured everything I have into this training camp and there isn’t a thing Manny Pacquiao or his trainer Freddie Roach can do to escape my fury on October 6.
“Tell Freddie Roach that secret tapes of my training and so-called secret weapons like ‘The Marco Bolo’ or ‘Manila Ice’ cannot stop a Marco Antonio Barrera who is on a mission. I am consumed by this fight. I am finally going to rid myself of a thorn I have had in my side for nearly four years…Manny Pacquiao. As I said before, this goes beyond being personal. For me, this fight is about restoring national pride. Vengeance will be mine!”
Dubbed “Republica Enemy No. 1,” Pacquiao has blitzed through the best fighters Mexico has had to offer since 2003, including Erik Morales (KO 3, TKO 10), Barrera (TKO 11), Oscar Larios (W 12), Emanuel Lucero (TKO 3), Hector Velazquez (TKO 6) and Jorge Solis (KO 8). The only “blemish” was a disputed draw against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2004, where Pacquiao sent Marquez to the canvas three times in the first round.
Pacquiao (44-3-2, 35 KOs), from General Santos City, The Philippines and Barrera (63-5, 42 KOs), from Guadalajara, Mexico, rumble Saturday, October 6 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Pacquiao-Barrera will be produced and distributed Live by HBO Pay-Per-View. beginning at 9 P.M. ET / 6 P.M. PT.’
Remaining boxing tickets are priced at $600, $400, $300, $200 and $100. They can be purchased at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino box office and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Macy’s stores and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the Mandalay Bay box office at (702) 632-7580 or Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.