The future is now. The poster boys for Generation X-citing – undefeated Top 10 super welterweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and International Boxing Federation (IBF) Flyweight Champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donair, Jr. – headline “Final Impact,” an explosive pay-per-view extravaganza, Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. The five-bout pay-per-view broadcast, promoted by Top Rank, Inc., is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST and has a suggested retail price of $39.95.
Tickets, priced at an affordable $300, $200, $100 and $50, are now on sale and available at any Mandalay Bay box office outlet and at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Macy’s West at the Fashion Show Mall, and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000 or Mandalay Bay (702) 632-7580. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Chavez, son of the legendary three-division world champion Julio Cesar Chavez, will risk his 38-bout unbeaten streak against Matt “The Predator” Vanda, in a rematch of their exciting brawl in July. Chavez won that battle with a close, hard-fought split decision. The question remains, will yet another victim be buried in “Chavez Ravine” or will “The Predator” put an end to one of boxing’s most impressive unbeaten streaks. Meanwhile, Donaire will defend his title against No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Moruti “Baby Face” Mthalane.
“After they fought in Hermosillo, Mexico, there was a controversy about who really won the fight – Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. or Matt Vanda,” said Bob Arum, president of Top Rank, Inc. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Since the fight was so good and rather than prolong the debate, we decided we would settle this controversy in the ring where these types of controversies should be resolved.”
Richard Sturm, president of sports and entertainment for MGM MIRAGE, said, “This will be an exciting battle between two sensational young fighters. We hosted Julio Cesar Chavez many times, one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport, and now we have the opportunity to have his son as the main event at Mandalay Bay in November. This definitely will be one of the highlights of the year.”
Chavez (37-0-1, 29 KOs), from Culiacan, Mexico, stepped into the “family business” when he made his pro debut in 2003, at the age of 17, and won a four-round unanimous decision against Jonathan Hernandez in Culiacan. Known for an aggressive style and an arsenal that includes razor-sharp combinations and a wicked left hook, Chavez is world-rated No. 7 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and has knocked out 78 percent of his opponents, including fellow contenders Ray Sanchez III, Jose Celaya and Tobia Lorgia within the past 10 months. The last two victories came in WBC Continental Americas championship fights. Sanchez, Celaya and Lorgia had a combined record of 75-4-1 and a winning percentage exceeding 93 percent when they fought Chavez.
Chavez declared, “Matt Vanda, like everyone else I have fought, will leave the ring with the bitter taste of defeat. On November 1, “The Predator” is going to find out what it’s like to be prey. This time I’m going to finish him off.”
Vanda (39-7, 22 KOs), from St. Paul, Minn., is a 12-year battle-tested veteran who has never taken a step backward in the ring. Known as “The Predator” for the way he hunts down his opponents in the ring before finishing them, less than half of Vanda’s opponents have gone the distance against him. Like Chavez, Vanda also made his pro debut at the age of 17, winning his first 31 bouts including 21 by stoppage. He is a former International Boxing Association Americas junior middleweight champion, earned via an exciting 12-round split decision over former world champion Yory Boy Campas. In his most recent fight last week, Vanda knocked out rugged Dezi Ford in the eighth round.
Vanda stated, “Chavez knows he got away with a gift decision from his hometown judges in our last fight. This time we will be fighting under the auspices of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the best in boxing, and a worldwide pay-per-view audience. Chavez will have no one to hide behind this time. I’m going to hunt him down and kill his perfect record. Chavez has made a huge mistake in taking this rematch and I’m going to tattoo him, but good.”
Donaire (19-1, 12 KOs), a native of the Philippines who now lives in San Leandro, Calif., will make his Top Rank debut. He shocked the boxing world in July 2007 when he stunned undefeated defending IBF/IBO flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan, knocking him out with a picture-perfect left hook to the middle of his face in the fourth round. It was a vintage punch, dubbed “Pinoy Noir,” known for its silky smooth delivery and long, powerful finish. His world title victory was the consensus “Knockout of the Year” and “Upset of the Year” as well. Donaire scored an eighth-round TKO over No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Luis Maldonado in his last fight in December 2007. Donaire is managed by the 2007 Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Manager of the Year” Cameron Dunkin.
Donaire proclaimed, “I’ve worked too hard to earn this title and there is no way I’m letting anyone take it away from me. Mthalane is going back to South Africa without the only souvenir he craves most – my world championship belt.”
Mthalane (22-1, 15 KOs), from South Africa, will enter the fight of his life as he makes his United States debut. He will be riding a three-year, 10-bout winning streak including eight by knockout. Known as a “South African Barrera” for his Mexican style of fighting, Mthalane earned his first world title shot by shellacking the previously favored Hussein Hussein two months ago. He won a 12-round unanimous decision by the scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110 in their IBF title elimination bout.
Mthalane expressed his thoughts by saying, “This is my first fight outside of South Africa and I intend to make the most of it. I’m going to be in the middle of the ring and Donaire will not have a problem finding me. Let’s see how he handles my pressure when he does.”
Additional fighters on the card include the wildly popular, three-time champion Jorge ‘Travieso’ Arce (50-4-1, 38 KOs), of Los Mochis, Mexico. He will face former champion Isidro ‘El Chino’ Garcia (28-5-2, 8 KOs), of Guerrero, Mexico, in a 12-round title bout. Also, Matt Korobov, a powerful middleweight from Orutukan, Russia, will make his professional debut at Mandalay Bay. Korobov, a Russian Olympian, is a three-time world amateur champion and his opponent will be announced in the near future.