Top Rank takes on Holyfield
Melligen, Magadaleno & Peterson headline Hard Rock Saturday night
Report by Chris Cozzone
Photos courtesy of Chris Cozzone/Top Rank
The challenges, staredowns, and media turnout might’ve been less than hoped for, at today’s Top Rank press conference, held at the Hard Rock Hotel’s The Joint in Las Vegas, but undefeated Las Vegas jr. lightweight Diego Magdaleno summed up the bigger challenge for the show he’ll be co-headlining when he took his turn at the podium:
“The sparks are gonna be here, at the Joint – not at the Thomas & Mack Center.”
On Saturday night, the Top Rank Live! Fox Sports Espanol-televised bill at the Hard Rock will pit their eight-bout bill against the Crown Boxing card headlining former great Evander Holyfield, which takes place less than a quarter-mile away.
Filipino welterweight Mark Melligen (17-2, 13 KOs) will step into main event status as the top bill when he takes on Norberto Gonzalez (18-1, 12 KOs), of Monterrey, Mexico. In the televised co-main, Magdaleno (14-0, 3 KOs), will fight his toughest opponent yet in Denver’s Manny Perez (14-5-1, 2 KOs) while, in a ten-round super lightweight feature, former title challenger Lamont Peterson (27-1, 13 KOs) makes his return to the ring against Detroit’s Damien Fuller (30-6-1, 14 KOs.)
“I came prepared and will give you a good show,” Melligen said today.
Gonzalez, who will be fighting for the first time in Las Vegas – and second in the U.S. – had little to add, saying, “I’m not gonna let the crowd down and I’m not gonna let Mexico down.”
In the co-main, Magdaleno will be facing his sternest test yet in Perez, who has, both, a loss and draw with undefeated Brandon Rios on his record.
“I’m anxious to get back in the ring . . . and get back to that world title,” said Lamont Peterson, who will make his return following his sole loss, to WBO Light Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley in December. “I’ll put on a great performance on Saturday.”
Peterson faces Fuller, who is moving up in weight from lightweight, and coming off two losses.
Five bouts support the triple ten-round features.
Looking for his fourth pro win, amateur standout Jose Benavidez (3-0, 3 KOs), of Phoenix, will take on Canadian Scott Paul (5-4, 1 KO), who’s lost two straight.
In a six-round super lightweight bout, Las Vegas’ Anthony Lenk (6-1, 3 KOs), faces Wilson Rivera (3-3, 1 KO), of St. Paul, Minn.
Opening up the show, Japan light heavyweight Hiromitsu Miura will make his debut against Denver’s Isaac Atencio (2-2-1, 2 KOs).
Six rounds at heavyweight, Russian Vladimir Tereshkin (12-0-1, 7 Kos) will look for his 13th win against Joseph Rabotte (7-11, 3 KOs), of Myrtle Beach, S.C., who is on a two-bout win streak.
In a six-round super lightweight bout, Cleveland’s Cortez Bey (8-1, 4 KOs), takes on Marcos Herrera (5-1, 1 KO), of Brighton, Colo.
Doors open at 5 p.m. on Saturday, with first bout at 5:15.