It’s only fitting that the December 8 “UNDEFEATED” Floyd Mayweather vs. Ricky Hatton featured undercard fights bring the same high caliber competition as the evening’s main event super bout. Former super middleweight world champion Jeff Lacy returns to the ring against former ‘Contender’ star Peter Manfredo Jr., WBO World Junior Featherweight Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon defends his crown against Eduardo Escobedo and rising star Wes Ferguson looks for payback in a rematch against Edner Cherry to put a perfect ending on the sweet science.
“We’ve pulled out all the stops to make this card the event it should be,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “There is no filler on this pay-per-view card, with each fight holding important implications for the winner and the loser. These are the fights I want to see as a fight fan.”
“Mayweather Promotions is excited to be a part of this tremendous event,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO Mayweather Promotions. “We look forward to bringing boxing fans an end of the year show they will never forget.”
Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, and sponsored by Rock Star Energy Drink, Tecate Beer and Southwest Airlines, “UNDEFEATED”, which is headlined by the welterweight championship bout between Mayweather and Hatton, will take place Saturday, Dec. 8 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
In the main undercard bout, former world super middleweight champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy makes his debut under the Golden Boy Promotions banner and his first appearance since shoulder surgery last December when he takes on former world title challenger and a finalist from season one of ‘The Contender’, Peter Manfredo Jr., in a ten rounder. In a classic crossroads fight for both men, the winner goes on to a possible showdown with the elite of super middleweight or light heavyweight divisions, while the loser goes back to the drawing board.
“I’m very excited that my first fight with Golden Boy Promotions will be on December 8th,” said Jeff Lacy. “I’ve been anxious to get back in the ring and this is the perfect night for my return after my injury.”
“On behalf of ‘The Contender’ I would like to thank Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions for this great opportunity for Peter Manfredo Jr. to showcase his skills,” said Jeff Wald, Co-Executive Producer and Promoter for ‘The Contender’. “This is an important fight for both fighters and we are happy to be a part of what will surely be a great night of boxing.”
A stellar amateur who compiled a record of 209-12 over a career that culminated in a trip to the 2000 Olympic Games, Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy (22-1, 17 KO’s) has gone on to take the pro boxing world by storm with his concussive power, aggressive style and charismatic personality. The St. Petersburg, Florida native won the World Super Middleweight Title in just his 18th pro fight when he stopped Syd Vanderpool in eight rounds on October 2, 2004. Lacy defended his title four times before falling short via decision in a unification bout against Joe Calzaghe in March of 2006 on Calzaghe’s home turf in England. Undeterred, Lacy returned to the ring with a gritty decision win over Vitali Tsypko in December of 2006, but suffered a torn left rotator cuff in the bout. Now healthy and itching to get back into the ring, “Left Hook” is ready to wreck havoc on the 168-pound and 175-pound divisions.
The pride of Providence, Rhode Island, 26-year-old Peter Manfredo Jr. (28-4, 13 KO’s), has been fighting since he was a child and he is still improving with every fight. Winner of his first 21 pro fights, Manfredo, a former NABO junior middleweight champion, became a star during his stint on season one of ‘The Contender’. Manfredo made it to the finals of the competition, only to lose a hard fought decision to Sergio Mora. Since then, Manfredo jumped up to 168 pounds and scored big wins over Scott Pemberton and Joe Spina before suffering a loss via controversial stoppage in a title bout against Joe Calzaghe in April. Manfredo bounced back quickly with two straight wins and is looking to make it three in a row against Lacy.
Also featured on the December 8th card is a WBO junior featherweight title bout between hard-hitting champion Daniel Ponce De Leon and challenger Eduardo Escobedo.
Perhaps the most talked about young champion in the lower weight classes, Daniel Ponce De Leon (33-1, 30 KO’s) is a former Mexican Olympian who has developed into a dangerous fighter with power in both fists and a solid champion in one of boxing’s most competitive divisions. A world champion since 2005, De Leon has defended his crown five times, most recently with an impressive first round TKO of previously unbeaten Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista on August 11th in a bout televised by HBO. In his last fight, a non-title bout, De Leon kept busy with a fifth round knockout of Reynaldo Lopez on September 28th.
Mexico City native who now makes his home in Jarrell, Texas, 23-year-old Eduardo Escobedo (20-2, 14 KO’s) is eager to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime on December 8th. A six-year pro with impressive power, Escobedo has won seven fights in a row and is currently riding a three fight knockout streak that includes KO’s of well regarded fighters such as Edel Ruiz and Jose Mendoza.
Opening up the pay-per-view telecast is a 10-round rematch between highly-touted lightweight prospects Wes Ferguson and Edner Cherry. The 22-year-old Ferguson (17-2-1, 5 KO’s), a protégé of headliner Floyd Mayweather, is known by the nickname of “Wicked” for his impressive boxing skills. Cherry (22-5, 10 KO’s) owns the moniker “Cherry Bomb” for his ability to explode on opponents and end fights with one punch. In June, the two met for the first time and Cherry emerged victorious via a hard fought ten-round decision, snapping Ferguson’s seven fight winning streak. On December 8th, the Las Vegan looks for revenge.
Closed circuit tickets, priced at $50, are still available and can be purchased at MGM Mirage properties’ box office outlets or by phone with a major credit card at 866-799-7711. For MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay venues, tickets also are available by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 702-474-4000. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person and all seats are general admission.