Former four-division World Champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero will make his anticipated return to the ring to face Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai in a 12-round welterweight bout on Saturday, June 21 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
In a co-feature of the three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast, unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. faces Ukrainian star Vasyl Lomachenko for the vacant WBO World Featherweight Title in a 12-round showdown and in the opener, former world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” returns to meet Jesus Soto Karass in a 10-round super welterweight match up.
“I’m excited to be making my ring return on June 21, especially for my fans in California,” said Guerrero, who last fought against Floyd Mayweather on May 4, 2013. “Although I’ve been out for a while, make no mistake about it, I’m in great shape. I’m hungry and I’m looking forward to the challenge Kamegai presents. I am just happy to be fighting again while bringing excitement to the hottest division in boxing, the welterweight division. I have no doubt that I will be victorious in my return.”
“It’s good to fight in the United States again at StubHub Center, especially after I was treated so well by the fans there the first time,” said Kamegai. “This time though, I’m going to get the win. While Robert Guerrero is a great fighter, I will be better than him on June 21.”
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, and now it is time to show the world my boxing skills and talent,” said Russell. “Lomachenko’s reputation speaks for itself. I respect him as a fighter but he doesn’t know what he is about to face fighting me. He’s going to find out that I’m on a whole different level and come June 21, that belt is going to be mine to take home.”
“I know how good Gary Russell is, and it’s going to be a good fight for the fans on June 21,” said Lomachenko. “I learned a lot from my fight with Orlando Salido, and I will be the best I can against Russell. I want that world title and I plan on taking it.”
“I had a nice break after my last fight and it allowed me to regroup, recharge my batteries, and get ready for another run at the title,” said Alexander. “Soto Karass is a tough guy, there’s no denying that, but tough won’t be enough when we fight. I’m a man on a mission now, and he’s in the way.”
“Devon Alexander is fast and slick, and you have to respect his skills, but if he doesn’t respect mine, he’s going to get knocked out,” said Soto Karass. “And even if he does respect me, I’m going to beat him on June 21 and get back in line for a title fight.”
“The fans in Carson always demand the best fights possible, and we’ve got two more for them on June 21,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “It’s great to have Robert Guerrero back in the ring where he belongs, and his fight with Kamegai is going to be action-packed from start to finish. Also, Russell vs. Lomachenko is a fight fans have been asking for and looking forward to seeing for quite some time. Given what these two young men can do in the ring, it may not be the last time we see them fighting each other. Add in Alexander vs. Soto Karass, and this is another great card that I can’t wait to see.”
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs), of Gilroy, Calif., has been among the elite fighters in boxing for years. A southpaw boxer-puncher, Guerrero has won world titles in four weight classes from 130 to 147 pounds, beating the likes of Andre Berto, Joel Casamayor, Michael Katsidis and Selcuk Aydin. Now stepping back into the ring for the first time since his fight against Mayweather, Guerrero looks to re-establish himself among the elite fighters in the deepest division in boxing. At just 31-years-old, Guerrero potentially has a lengthy career ahead of him. This bout against Kamegai could be the start of another big run for “The Ghost.”
Back in Carson, Calif., for the second time following his hard-fought battle loss to Johan Perez in June 2013, Tokyo’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-1-1, 21 KOs) has since won two bouts, winning and defending the OPBF welterweight title with knockouts of Tim Hunt and Jung-Hoon Yang. These victories add to Kamegai’s reputation as a respected contender and big puncher at 147 pounds. With a victory over Guerrero, the 31-year-old will be knocking on the door for a world title shot.
One of the most talented boxers to hit the sport in years, Capitol Heights, Maryland’s Gary Russell Jr. (24-0, 14 KOs) has barely been touched in his time as a professional. The 2008 United States Olympian has no intention of letting Lomachenko be the first to hand him a defeat. Owner of 2013 wins over Vyachelav Gusev and Juan Ruiz, the 25-year-old already has a fourth-round knockout win over Miguel Tamayo in 2014, Russell is in for his toughest professional challenge on June 21, and his highly anticipated first world title fight.
With a professional record of just 1-1 (1 KO), you may wonder how Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko is in a world title fight. But this southpaw is no ordinary fighter. He entered the professional game in 2013 with two Olympic Gold medals, the Val Barker Trophy for Outstanding Boxer at the 2008 Games, and a remarkable 396-1 amateur record. After debuting with a fourth-round knockout of Jose Ramirez, his second fight was against Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight title. And while he lost that fight via split decision on March 1, 2014, his performance in the bout earned him a second shot at a world title on June 21 against Russell.
A gifted southpaw with some of the best technical skills in the sport today, St. Louis’ Devon Alexander “The Great” (25-2, 14 KOs) has won world titles at 140 and 147 pounds, and he is on a quest to regain his welterweight belt after a hard-fought loss against Shawn Porter last December. More focused than ever, the 27-year-old will get a stiff challenge in Mexico’s Soto Karass, but he’s ready to put on a show and pick up the victory.
One of the toughest warriors in boxing today, Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass (28-9-3, 18 KOs) has won four of his last six bouts, defeating the likes of Andre Berto and Selcuk Aydin. A 13-year veteran of the sport, the 31-year-old Soto Karass has fought the best of the best throughout his career, and with a win over Alexander, he will be on his way to another shot at a world welterweight championship.