Xtreme Couture MMA home of some of the best MMA fighters such as Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin and Gray Maynard, today had the honor of hosting Golden Boy Promotions open media workouts for this Saturday’s HBO’s Boxing After Dark World Championship Doubleheader. The fight is being held at the Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 27.
In the 12 round main event, interim WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Marcos Maidana defends his title against unbeaten Dominican Republic star Victor Cayo, and in the co-featured attraction of this compelling doubleheader, South African standout Ali Funeka and unbeaten former two division World Champion Joan Guzman and look to settle the score after their 2009 draw when they meet again in a 12 round fight for the vacant IBF lightweight championship.
“The fight fans of Las Vegas are some of the most knowledgeable in the world and when we put a show on there, it’s got to be top-notch,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “We feel that delivering two exciting and competitive world title fights in one night with Maidana vs. Cayo and Funeka vs. Guzman is just the type of event that the Las Vegas boxing fans will rally around.”
Maidana vs. Cayo and Guzman vs. Funeka are presented by Golden Boy Promotions with Maidana vs. Cayo being presented in association with Maidana´s German PromoterUniversum Box Promotions, Warriors Boxing Promotions and Sampson Boxing and Funeka vs. Guzman being presented in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Cedric Kushner’s Gotham Boxing. The world championship doubleheader will air live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark® beginning at 10:30pm ET (taped delayed on the West Coast at 10:30 PM PT). Doors open at 3:00 PM with the first bell ringing at 3:30 PM.
A thrill a second fighter with dynamite in his fists, Buenos Aires’ Marcos “Chino” Maidana (27-1, 26 KO’s) emerged on the international scene in 2009 with a devastating display of power and intensity. In June of last year, the 26-year old stunned boxing observers with his sixth round stoppage of highly-regarded “Vicious” Victor Ortiz in a Fight of the Year candidate, winning the interim WBA junior welterweight title in the process. Five months later, he defended the crown for the first time with a third round knockout of William Gonzalez, and on March 27, he looks to add to his impressive KO percentage (96.2%) when he takes on Victor Manuel Cayo.
Santo Domingo’s Victor Manuel Cayo (24-0, 16 KOs) has steadily progressed through the 140-pound ranks, building a reputation as an impressive boxer-puncher who has ‘star’ written all over him. Winner of three regional titles in less than four years as a pro, and owner of victories over Julio “The Kid” Diaz, Noe “Platanito” Bolanos, and Arturo “Silencioso” Morua. The 25-year-old Cayo is coming off of a third round TKO of previously unbeaten Julio Reyes last December, and he is more than ready for his chance to shine in the world championship spotlight.
A huge lightweight at 6 foot 1, Ali Funeka (30-2-3, 25 KOs) is a tough matchup for anyone he faces…just ask Nate Campbell and Joan Guzman, who Funeka took to the brink in their bouts with him. Owner of a fourth round knockout of Zahir Raheem in July of 2008, South Africa’s Funeka has impressed United States observers with his busy style and poise under pressure. Now, following a November 28 draw against Guzman, all the 31-year old wants to do is win a world title to bring back home to his fans in East London. He gets that chance once again on March 27 in his highly-anticipated rematch against Guzman.
Perhaps the greatest fighter to ever come out of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo’s Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman (29-0-1, 17 KOs) is also one of the premier boxers of this era. A former junior featherweight and junior lightweight world champion, the 33-year old Guzman is unbeaten in his third weight class and looking to become a three division world champion by defeating Funeka.