HBO SPORTS HOSTS THREE SIZZLING SHOWDOWNS WHEN
HBO BOXING AFTER DARK®: JUAN DIAZ VS. PAULIE MALIGNAGGI,
MALCOLM KLASSEN VS. ROBERT GUERRERO AND
DANNY JACOBS VS. ISHE SMITH IS SEEN SATURDAY, AUG. 22
HBO Sports hosts three sizzling showdowns in the Texas heat when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: JUAN DIAZ VS. PAULIE MALIGNAGGI, MALCOLM KLASSEN VS. ROBERT GUERRERO AND DANNY JACOBS VS. ISHE SMITH is presented SATURDAY, AUG. 22 at 9:45 p.m. (ET/PT) & 8:45 p.m. CT, from the Toyota Center in Houston, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team of Bob Papa, Lennox Lewis and Max Kellerman 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.
In the main event, Houston hometown hero and former lightweight champion Juan Diaz (34-2, 17 KOs) takes on Brooklyn native and former junior welterweight champ Paulie Malignaggi (26-2, 5 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round junior welterweight bout. The 25-year-old Diaz is a seasoned professional who won a lightweight title from Lakva Sim in 2004 and successfully defended his crown in eight subsequent bouts, including a unification showdown with Julio Diaz. Impressively, he did all this while attending the University of Houston downtown campus, and received his degree earlier this year. Now, he looks to rebound from his loss to the formidable Juan Manuel Marquez last February in a fight that thrilled the boxing world.
Malignaggi, 28, is no stranger to championship competition, having dethroned junior welterweight champ Lovemore N’dou to win a title in 2007. He followed this impressive performance with two successful title defenses, then lost a high-profile showdown with hard-hitting British star Ricky Hatton last November.
The co-main event is a 12-round bout that features current super featherweight titleholder Malcolm Klassen (24-4-2, 15 KOs) of South Africa defending his belt against west coast native Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (24-1-1, 17 KOs), who’s looking to add a second weight class to his championship repertoire. A ten-year veteran, Klassen’s resume includes a victory over Manuel Medina and a TKO of fellow South African Cassius Baloyi, which earned him the 130-pound crown. Challenging Klassen is two-time featherweight champ Robert Guerrero. The 26-year-old Guerrero, from Gilroy, Cal., seeks to maintain his high percentage of KO triumphs.
The opening bout showcases another New Yorker, as Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs (17-0, 15 KOs) takes on the more-experienced Ishe Smith (21-3, 9 KOs) in a ten-round middleweight bout. A rising prospect in the middleweight division, the 22-year-old Jacobs is making waves in the boxing community with his exceptional knockout power, having scored nine of his 15 KOs in the first round. Hailing from Las Vegas, Smith, 31, appeared on the boxing reality series “The Contender” and now hopes to hand Jacobs the first loss of his promising career.
In the telecast from Houston, HBO will present a remembrance of recently deceased boxing stars Alexis Arguello, Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest.
The executive producer of HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is Rick Bernstein; producer, Jon Crystal; director, Mike Sheehan.
® HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.