LAS VEGAS, NEV. (October 9, 2009) – Undefeated No. 1 contenders JULIO CÉSAR CHAVEZ, JR. and YURI FOREMAN, plus three-time world champion DANIEL SANTOS add more Firepower to the blockbuster card headlined by the Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto welterweight championship, taking place Saturday, November 14 at the sold out MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MGM Grand and Tecate, Fire Power: Pacquiao vs. Cotto will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
Chavez (40-0-1, 30 KOs), from Culiacan, Mexico, son of the legendary three-division world champion Julio César Chavez, stepped into the “family business” when he made his pro debut in 2003 at the age of 17, winning a four-round unanimous decision over Jonathan Hernandez in Culiacan. Known for an aggressive style and an arsenal that includes razor-sharp combinations and a wicked left hook, Chavez is the World Boxing Council’s (WBC) No.1-world-rated super welterweight contender. He has knocked out 75% of the opponents he has faced, including fellow contenders Ray Sanchez III, Jose Celaya and Tobia Lorgia in a 10-month span -- the last two in WBC Continental Americas championship fights. Sanchez, Celaya and Lorgia had a combined record of 75-4-1 and a winning percentage exceeding 93% when they fought Chavez. This year, Chavez knocked out Jason LeHoullier (21-1-1) in the first round and tagged previously undefeated Luciano Cuello (23-0) with his first loss, winning a unanimous decision. Chavez will be facing TROY ROWLAND (25-2, 7 KOs), of Grand Rapids, Mich., in a 10-round middleweight bout. Rowland, who has won 21 or his last 22 bouts, has a resume that boasts victories over Epifanio Mendoza (20-2-1), Kenny Ellis (33-5-2) and Andrew Council (31-7-3). Rowland enters this fight riding a four-bout winning streak, with two of those victories coming by way of knockout.
Santos (32-2-1, 23 KOs), of San Juan Puerto Rico, will be making the first defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super welterweight title, which he won last year with a sixth-round knockout of undefeated defending champion Joachin Alcine. Santos won his first world title in 2000, knocking out defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Ahmed Katejev in the fifth round of their 2000 rumble. He successfully defended his title three times before vacating the title and capturing the vacant WBO junior middleweight title, knocking out former world champion Yori Boy Campas in the 11th round in 2002. Santos successfully defended that title four times during his three-year reign, including a 10-round technical decision over former world champion Antonio Margarito. Since losing the title to undefeated Sergei Dzindziruk, via a close decision in 2005, Santos has won all of his fights by knockout. Santos will be defending his title against No. 1 contender Yuri Foreman (27-0, 8 KOs), who was born in Belarus, raised in Israel and now lives in Brooklyn. The undefeated mandatory challenger is also a rabbinical student – a self-proclaimed “Talmud-studying boxer.” Foreman climbed up the ratings the old-fashioned way – by winning. With impressive victories over Anthony Thompson (23-1), and NABF super welterweight title victories over Andrey Tsurkan (25-2), Saul Roman (28-4) and James Moore (16-1), Foreman is on the cusp of realizing his dream – wearing a world championship belt around his waist.
Rounding out the televised undercard will be an exciting 10-round welterweight bout between ALFONSO GOMEZ and JESUS SOTO-KARASS. Gomez (20-4-2, 10 KOs), of Tustin Calif., is an alumnus of season one of “The Contender,” which aired on NBC. Gomez gained national notoriety with victories over Peter Manfredo, Jr. (21-0), and Ahmad Kaddour (18-1) and Jesse Brinkley (25-2) during the series. Since leaving “The Contender,” Gomez has gone 7-1-1 (6 KOs), including victories over former world champion Arturo Gatti and world title challenger Ben Tackie. His only loss during that span was to defending WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in April 2008. Soto-Karass (24-3-3, 16 KOs), of Los Mochis, Mexico, enters this fight riding a four-15-bout unbeaten streak which has propelled him to No. 5 and No. 7 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and WBC welterweight ratings, respectively. His resume boasts WBC Continental Americas welterweight title victories over former world champion Vince Phillips (48-10-1), Michel Rosales (16-0), and Chris Smith (21-4-1), and an NABF welterweight title victory over David Estrada (22-4).