Ever since it was first announced, boxing insiders and fans alike have been buzzing about the much-anticipated upcoming middleweight championship showdown between defending WBA/IBO champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin (26-0, 23KO's) and Ireland's top-rated former world title challenger Matthew "Mack The Knife" Macklin (29-4, 20KO's). Lou DiBella, president of DiBella Entertainment, promoter of Macklin, has made references to the fight as "Gatti/Ward-like" and even hall-of-fame promoter-arguably the greatest promoter in boxing history-Bob Arum was quoted as saying that it is a fight that he would pay to see.
Adding to the excitement of what promises to already be a can't-miss main event are the two HBO-televised undercard bouts. In the co-feature bout, red-hot super middleweight contender and IBO Champion Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen (21-0-1, 13KO's) puts his undefeated record on the line against fellow undefeated contender Brandon "Flawless" Gonzales (17-0, 10KO's) while top-rated junior middleweight NABF champion Willie "The Great" Nelson (20-1-1, 12KO's) squares off against Luciano Cuello (32-2, 16KO's) in the televised opener. Both bouts are scheduled for 10 rounds.
The stacked card will take place on June 29th at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods ® Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The HBO Boxing After Dark® triple-header will be televised live beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT
"Both of these bouts have huge implications for each fighter's respective divisions," said DiBella, promoter of Oosthuizen, Nelson and Cuello.
"Tommy is not only one of the best 168lb. fighters in the division, but, in my eyes, one of the top prospects pound-for-pound in the entire world. He is taking on another undefeated, highly regarded fighter in Gonzales, and the winner of the bout truly emerges as not only a force in the 168lb. division, but as a potential star."
"Willie is coming off back-to-back-to-back tremendous performances and is one of the hottest and most feared fighters in the junior middleweight division right now. Cuello is a proven contender, riding a six-fight winning streak and whose only two career losses have come against Canelo and Chavez Jr. This is a real fight and it will provide a true litmus test to see exactly where Willie is at."
"June 29th is a big-time opportunity for all four of these fighters on the undercard to step into the HBO spotlight and establish themselves on a national level," said Kery Davis, senior vice president of programming, HBO Sports.
With a combined record of 90-3-2, a nearly 95% win-to-loss ratio, and the bouts being the HBO debut for all four fighters, each fighter is chomping at the bit to get in the ring and prove their worth on June 29th.
"I am extremely excited about this opportunity," said the IBF #5, WBC #6 and WBO #14-rated super middleweight Oosthuizen. "There is no bigger stage than fighting on HBO. This is what I have dreamt about since I was a young child. I respect Gonzales as a fighter. He had a great amateur pedigree and he has yet to lose as a professional, but he never faced a fighter like me, and come June 29th, he is going to find that out very quickly."
"Tommy gets his long-awaited opportunity on HBO. Fight fans around the world will have the chance to witness the most gifted super middleweight on the planet," stated Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves, LTD., Oosthuizen's co-promoter and the premier promoter in South Africa.
"I want to thank my team and HBO for this great opportunity," said the IBF #12-rated Gonzales, promoted by Goossen-Tutor Promotions. "Fighting on HBO has always been one of my dreams. Winning this fight will put me in a great position for a world championship and I look forward to putting on a great performance on June 29th."
"Fighting a guy like Cuello on HBO will give me a chance to make a big splash in the junior middleweight division," said the WBC #3 and IBF #14-rated Nelson. "He's a high quality fighter whose only two losses have been to world champions (Canelo and Chavez Jr.). I want to beat him in a better fashion than they did to prove that I belong at the top of the 154-pound division. I need to win and win impressively. My ultimate goal is to become world champion and this fight puts my in line for that."
"This fight is a major step toward Willie becoming world champion," echoed Steve Smith of Rumble Time Promotions, Nelson's co-promoter. Fans all over watching him in his first HBO fight will see what a tremendous talent he really is."
"I am very excited about this opportunity to fight Wille Nelson on HBO and to have the chance to showcase my skills in the USA," said the WBC #13-rated Cuello. "I am confident that we will achieve a major victory on June 29th. I would like to thank my manager Pedro Garcia and my advisor Elvis Grant Phillips for putting this fight together and of course my new promoter Lou Dibella and HBO."
Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $300, $200, $90 and $45. Tickets may be purchased online at foxwoods.com by calling the Foxwoods' box office at 800-200-2882, or in person at the Foxwoods' box office. Tickets may also be purchased through any Ticketmaster outlet and online at Ticketmaster.com.
The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and K2 Promotions, in association with Golden Gloves, LTD., Goossen-Tutor Promotions and Rumble Time Promotions. The bouts will take place on June 29th at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods ® Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The HBO Boxing After Dark® triple-header will be televised live beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT
For fight updates, please visit www.K2Promos.com, www.dbe1.com or www.hbo.com/boxing.