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Las Vegas hosts its first world title fight of 2011 when World Bantamweight Champion FERNANDO "Cochulito" MONTIEL defends his title against two-division world champion NONITO "The Filipino Flash" DONAIRE, in the latest chapter of the storied México-Philippines rivalry, Saturday, February 19, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, the Montiel-Donaire world title tilt will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast.) The broadcast will open with undefeated NABO/NABA/WBC Continental Americas welterweight champion MIKE JONES defending his titles against Top-10 contender JESUS SOTO-KARASS in a rematch of their exciting battle which took place on November 13 under the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito pay-per-view extravaganza.
Montiel (43-2-2, 33 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México, is only the fourth Méxican fighter to win world titles in three different weight divisions, joining Hall of Famer-elect Julio César Chávez and future Hall of Fame inductees Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. Undefeated since 2006, eight of Montiel's last ten victories (eight were world title fights) have been by stoppage.
Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs), a native of General Santos City, Philippines, now living in the Bay Area of San Leandro, Calif., is a consensus top-10 pound for pound fighter. He enters this fight riding a nine-year, 24-bout winning streak, which includes an IBF/IBO flyweight title knockout victory of defending champion Vic Darchinyan, and a fourth-round blasting of former WBA bantamweight champion Wladimir Sidorenko in his last fight on December 4. Nine of Donaire's last 10 victories have come by way of knockout. Co-promoted by Peltz Boxing, Jones and Soto-Karass return for an immediate rematch of their November 13 brawl. After Jones decked Soto-Karass in the second round, Soto-Karass came back to almost pull out the victory in a fight most ringside fans and media thought could have gone either way. In fact, Jones' second-round knockdown of Soto-Karass provided Jones the one-point margin for a razor-thin majority decision victory instead of a Draw. The judges' scores were 95-94, 97-93 and 94-94.
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