HBO’s Boxing After Dark is back with for a new season with two new fights from Las Vegas. Bob Papa returns to call the action. Boxing and all-around charlatan Max Kellerman also returns for more head-scratching statements. Roy Jones, Jr. is also on hand, hopefully to teach Max a thing or two about the ring. Anyway, we have HBO’s press release on what you can expect to see this Saturday night.
HBO SPORTS PRESENTS A BANTAMWEIGHT WORLD TITLE SHOWDOWN AND A HOT WELTERWEIGHT REMATCH WHEN HBO BOXING AFTER DARK®: FERNANDO MONTIEL VS. NONITO DONAIRE AND MIKE JONES VS. JESUS SOTO KARASS IS SEEN SATURDAY, FEB. 19
HBO’s hit late-night boxing franchise kicks off a new season with a double dose of action when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: FERNANDO MONTIEL VS. NONITO DONAIRE AND MIKE JONES VS. JESUS SOTO KARASS is seen SATURDAY, FEB. 19 at 9:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT), from the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team of Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: Feb. 20 (9:30 a.m.) and 21 (11:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Feb. 20 (4:45 p.m.) and 22 (midnight)
The main event pits battle-tested titleholder Fernando Montiel (44-2-2, 34 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico, against Filipino sensation Nonito Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bantamweight championship matchup. Undefeated since 2006, Montiel is renowned for his ring savvy, and will need all his experience and unflappable poise to vanquish his ferocious foe. Montiel enters the fight on a high note following a second-round dismantling of the heralded Jovanny Soto last December.
A counter-punch specialist whose left hook typically leaves opponents on the canvas, Donaire demonstrated his bone-chilling firepower with a fourth-round knockout of former bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko in December. After scoring eight of his last ten victories via knockout, he steps into the ring looking to claim Montiel’s title.
Kicking off the night will be a rematch of welterweight brawlers Mike Jones (23-0, 18 KOs) of Philadelphia and Jesus Soto Karass (24-5-3, 16 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico. After Jones decked Soto Karass in the second round of their terrific November bout, the resilient Mexican showed his true grit and almost came back to win, eventually coming up one point short. Many observers believed the fight should have been called a draw rather than a victory for Jones.
The executive producer of HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is Rick Bernstein; producer, Thomas Odelfelt; director, Mike Sheehan.
And I’ll be back throughout the day with more stuff.