Boxing’s brightest star and one of the sport’s most eagerly anticipated rematches will both take center stage on Saturday, February 16 when HBO World Championship Boxing telecasts a doubleheader from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey featuring the WBC Lightweight World Championship fight between Two-Time and Two-Division World Champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner and former World Champion Gavin “The Rock” Rees and the second showdown between heavyweights Johnathon Banks and Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell.
This event marks Golden Boy Promotions’ return to the boardwalk after a stellar card on November 17, 2012 that saw Broner capture the WBC Lightweight World Championship with an eighth round stoppage of former World Champion Antonio DeMarco and Banks scored one of the biggest upsets of the year with a second round technical knockout over previously unbeaten Mitchell.
“We’re pleased to bring fans another exciting night of boxing live from Atlantic City in the beginning of 2013,” said Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya.
“We are witnessing the emergence of Adrien Broner as a superstar in the sport and now he faces his next test in Gavin Rees who, with his ring experience and already proven tenacity, should give Adrien a very tough fight. With Johnathon Banks vs. Seth Mitchell we are going to see if Seth can overcome defeat and disappointment and avenge his loss to Johnathon in the same ring they fought in this past November. I’m looking forward to a great night of fights and a great show.”
“Atlantic City here we come again and it will be great to have my first fight of 2013 in the same ring and place as my last fight of 2012,” said Broner.
“I see the outcome of this fight against Rees being similar to my last fight as I plan to knock him out in too. I am a two-time world champion now, feel great at this weight and can’t wait to show the world why I am the best boxing has to offer. A new year, a new era and it starts on February 16.”
“I didn’t think twice about taking this fight,” said Rees.
“Broner is a fantastic boxer and a huge talent, but I am confident I can upset the odds on February 16th and become a Two-Division World Champion. I’ve got the edge when it comes to experience and under my trainer Gary Lockett, I have a new lease of life. I believe that besides DeMarco, I am the toughest opponent he’s faced and I think I will cause him plenty of trouble, especially if he underestimates what I can do. This is a massive opportunity for me and it would be a dream come true to do it in the United States. I am going to be putting it all on the line to make my dream a reality.”
“Here we go again. Same thing, different day,” said Banks. “I’m looking forward to putting on another terrific performance for the fans in Atlantic City and those watching on HBO. I will prove again that I’m the best at what I do.”
“I’m very excited and motivated for this rematch against Johnathon Banks,” said Mitchell. “My training is going well. This is the first time I’ve been away from my family during training camp. I’m very fortunate and blessed to be back on this stage for my next fight.”
“We are excited to launch an all new season of World Championship Boxing with Adrien Broner meeting Gavin Rees in a 135-pound title showdown in Atlantic City,” said Kery Davis, senior vice president, programming, HBO Sports.
“Along with the rematch between Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell as the opening bout in a high-stakes heavyweight fight, it is a night fight fans are going to enjoy.”
“Caesars Atlantic City is once again pleased to work alongside Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and elated to sponsor an event-card of this magnitude,” said Daniel Brockdorf, Regional Vice President of Marketing for Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City.
“Last November, I had the pleasure of seeing, first hand, the level of excitement a fighter like Adrien Broner generates. This February 16th world-class event at Boardwalk Hall is proof that championship boxing is not only alive and well in Atlantic City, but thriving.”
Breaking into the spotlight in a big way in 2012, Adrien “The Problem” Broner (25-0, 21 KO’s) made statements in two weight classes last year en route to a 3-0 record. Kicking off 2011 with a fourth round technical knockout over previously unbeaten Eloy Perez in February, the Cincinnati native ended his championship run at 130 pounds with a fifth round stoppage over former world title contender Vicente Escobedo in July.
He closed the year at Boardwalk Hall with a dominant November win over former World Champion DeMarco that earned him his second divisional world title. On February 16, the charismatic 23-year-old plans on extending his five-fight knockout streak against Rees.
One of the United Kingdom’s top competitors, 32-year-old Welshman Gavin “The Rock” Rees (37-1-1, 18 KO’s) is unbeaten in 11 fights since the lone loss of his career in 2008 against former World Champion Andriy Kotelnik. Now firmly established at 135 pounds after years of fighting bigger opponents, Rees, a former WBA Super Lightweight World Champion, has proven with European and British lightweight title winning victories that he’s clearly in the best form of his 14-year professional career. All that’s left is to bring another world title back home to Newbridge.
The owner of one of boxing’s most inspirational stories, perennial contender Johnathon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KO’s) captured the imagination of fight fans around the world last fall. After losing his mentor and trainer with the passing of Emanuel Steward, Banks took over for the legendary Hall of Famer as the trainer for World Champion Wladimir Klitschko (who was also trained by Steward) for his title defense win over Mariusz Wach in November.
One week later, the 30-year-old from Detroit stepped into the ring himself and stunned the boxing world with a second round technical knockout win over the hot and then-undefeated contender Mitchell. On February 16, he’ll look to do it again.
A thrill a second heavyweight with the power to end a bout with a single blow, Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KO’s) is eager for the opportunity to avenge his only professional loss against Banks. A former standout linebacker at Michigan State University, Mitchell tore through his opposition in the boxing ring for over four years, most notably beating Taurus Sykes, Timur Ibragimov and Chazz Witherspoon, all by knockout.
Now he’ll have to show the resilience of a champion as he attempts to even the score on February 16.
Broner vs. Rees, a 12-round fight for Broner’s WBC Lightweight World Championship will take place Saturday, February 16 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and R&R Promotions, sponsored by Caesars Atlantic City, Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. The co-main event will be a 12-round heavyweight clash between Johnathon Banks and Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell for Banks’ NABO and WBC International Heavyweight titles.
Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, go on sale on Friday, January 11 at 12:00 p.m. ET and will be available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.