OXON HILL, MD (February 15, 2017) - Two-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist VASYL LOMACHENKO and World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight world champion JASON "El Canito" SOSA will battle for Lomachenko's World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title, Saturday, April 8, at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. The fight between the two world champions will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The non-televised undercard will feature undefeated No. 1 super middleweight contender JESSE "Hard Work" HART from Philadelphia, PA., and local favorites from the metro Washington, D.C. area, including undefeated prospects MIKE "Yes Indeed" REED and PATRICK HARRIS in separate bouts. Full details on the undercard will be announced at a later date.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions, tickets for the Lomachenko-Sosa world championship event, go on sale This Monday! February 20, at 10:00 A.M. ET. Priced at $153, $128, $103, $78 and $53, including all applicable service charges and taxes, tickets can be purchased online at mgmnationalharbor.com or ticketmaster.com. For more tour and ticket information, visit mgmnationalharbor.com or call (844) 346-4664.
"I would like to thank Jason Sosa, who unlike the other champions, agreed to take this fight to determine the best in this weight division, even though everyone knows I am the division's Papi," said Lomachenko. "I moved up to 130 pounds hoping champions in this division were not cowards like those at 126 pounds. It looks like I was wrong. To all the other 'champions' in the 126 pound and 130 pound divisions, I say this to you, 'You are not champions, you are businessmen. Bad businessmen. By avoiding risks, you cheat the boxing fans and that is bad business.' I came to this sport to prove to myself and others that I am this big and loud champion. So, while all of you continue to hide from me, I am going forward to achieve my goals. My next step is on April 8th. See you there!"
"We understand that this is the most difficult fight of our career due to the fact that we are fighting the best fighter - Vasyl Lomachenko - in the history of amateur boxing," said Sosa. "The beauty of all of this is that I only had three amateur fights and will prove to the world that we are by far the better fighter."
"It will be exciting to see the great champion Vasyl Lomachenko back in the ring," said Egis Klimas, Lomachenko's manager. "We give Jason Sosa credit for stepping up to this challenge. We want to thank our promoter Top Rank and HBO for arranging this great event."
"Vasyl Lomachenko is history in the making. He is the greatest fighter in the world," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. "Vasyl is the total package -- power, balance, skills, and tricks. And he will need to be at his best against Jason Sosa who has the talent to match his guts for getting into the ring with Vasyl. The fans watching it live at MGM National Harbor or on HBO are in for helluva night."
"I don't know why this fight is happening. All of the boxing experts tell me Jason Sosa won't win one second of any round and who am I to quibble with experts. They are probably the same experts who picked Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump," said Hall of Fame co-promoter Russell Peltz. "Funny things happen when the bell rings. Jason Sosa is a real fighter and real fighters fight. One of the problems in boxing today is that most of the fighters are not real fighters; they are businessmen. That's why guys ask for outrageous money to fight Lomachenko. Jason is cut from a different breed. He wants to find out how great he really is. What kind of fighter wouldn't want this kind of a challenge?"
"One of the finest prizefighters in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko looks to deliver another masterful performance in his 2017 ring debut," said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. "Having upended the experts more than once, Jason Sosa is an underdog overlooked at the peril of his opponents, and we'll see a true battle of wills in this world championship title showdown."
“We are excited to partner with Top Rank and HBO Sports on this sensational championship boxing event at The Theater at MGM National Harbor. The Theater gives us another opportunity to show the fans in the DMV region, and those watching worldwide, what our resorts are all about and our ability to host high-profile events normally reserved for large-scale arenas,” said Richard Sturm, President of Entertainment and Sports for MGM Resorts International.
Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs), of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, makes his 2017 debut coming off a year that saw him named "Fighter of the Year" by several media outlets, including The Fight Game with Jim Lampley. In his last fight, on November 26, Lomachenko made his first defense of the WBO junior lightweight title, totally dominating Nicholas Walters. The previously undefeated former WBA featherweight world champion quit on his stool after the seventh round with his trainer and father, Jobs Walters, telling referee Tony Weeks, '"No mas." Not only was it a total domination but a boxing masterpiece painted on the canvas by Lomacheko. The greatest amateur boxer of his era and arguably of all time, two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko, became a two-division world champion just as he did with his first professional world title, he won world title No. 2 in a record least amount of fights -- SEVEN! On June 11, 2016, he annihilated defending three-time WBO junior lightweight champion Roman "Rocky" Martinez via a cringe-worthy knockout punch in the fifth round . Lomachenko captured his first world title -- the vacant WBO featherweight title -- on June 21, 2014, winning a scintillating majority decision over the previously unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. It was Lomachenko's third professional bout, tying him with Thailand's Saensak Muangsurin for fewest fights to win a world title. Muangsurin won a junior welterweight title in 1975, also in his third professional fight. Lomachenko first gained international renown by winning gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Games as a featherweight and a lightweight, respectively. He retired from the amateurs with a 396-1 record.
Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs), from Camden, NJ, and managed by Raul Chino Rivas, enters this fight riding a five-year, 20-bout unbeaten streak which includes 14 knockout victories dating back to 2011! Many local fans, who flock to his fights, consider Sosa to be one of the best fighters to come out of Camden since Dwight Qawi. Sosa's been a fan favorite since turning pro in 2009 because of his exciting and aggressive style, strong punching power. He captured the WBA super featherweight world title on June 24, 2016 in Beijing, coming from behind on all three judges' scorecards to knock out undefeated defending champion Javier Fortuna in the 11th round. He successfully defend the title in his last fight on November 19 in Las Vegas, winning a unanimous decision over No. 7 world-rated contender Stephen Smith. .
For fight updates go to www.toprank.com, or www.hbo.com/boxing, on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing, facebook.com/trboxeo or facebook.com/hboboxing, and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo, or twitter.com/hboboxing. Use the Hashtag #LomachenkoSosa to join the conversation on Twitter.
About MGM National Harbor
The newest addition to the MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) portfolio, MGM National Harbor has an unrivaled setting offering stunning panoramic views of the eastern shore of the Potomac River in Maryland. The $1.4 billion LEED® Gold Certified resort, which opened December 8, 2016, sits a short distance from Washington, D.C. to the north and historic sites, including George Washington's Mount Vernon estate across the river in Virginia. The 24-story, 308-room resort features premier amenities and experiences for locals as well as visitors from around the world including a dynamic casino with over 125,000 square feet of space that includes slots, table games and poker; a world-class spa and salon; an entertainment theater with flexible seating for up to 3,000; high-end branded retail; 50,000 square feet of meeting space; and restaurants from renowned local, national and international chefs. For more information, visit mgmnationalharbor.com or follow on Facebook and Twitter.