Golovkin-Lemieux broadcast to feature Ortiz-Vidondo and Johnson-O’Kane
Undefeated Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz will take on Matias Vidondo and middleweight Tureano Johnson will face Eamonn O’Kane on the televised undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-David Lemieux card on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden.
The winner of the Johnson-O’Kane bout will become the mandatory challenger for the IBF title being contested in the main event between Golovkin and Lemieux.
“Luis Ortiz is the real deal – not only does he have tremendous power, but he moves extremely well for a man of his size,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, in a press release. “If he gets past Vidondo … fights against anyone in the division – including Wladimir Klitschko – will be on the table.”
A former amateur star from Cuba with almost 350 wins, Ortiz (22-0, 19 knockouts) was last in the ring for a first-round knockout of Byron Polley in Canada. Prior to that he blitzed Lateef Kayode with another first-round TKO but the result was switched to a no-contest after Ortiz tested positive for the steroid nandrolone.
“I am more than ready,” said Ortiz, 36. “I am too fast and too strong for Vidondo and I will prove that on October 17. My dream has always been to become the heavyweight champion of the world and this fight is a big step closer to that dream.”
Vidondo (20-1-1, 18 KOs), who will be fighting for the first time outside his native Argentina, also stressed the significance of the bout for him.
“I will get to showcase my power in front of a national stage on HBO Pay-Per-View and on the undercard of one of the biggest nights in boxing this year,” said Vidondo. “I promise my fans and Argentina that I will not let them down.”
A quarterfinalist representing the Bahamas at the 2008 Olympics, Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs) acquired the lone blemish on his record with a controversial loss to Curtis Stevens in 2014. He has won four straight since then.
“I am grateful for the opportunity that has been awarded to me,” said Johnson. “It was long awaited, I feel like I am halfway there on the path to accomplishing my goal to becoming a world champion and with Golden Boy Promotions at my side I know it’s inevitable. HBO Pay-Per-View is a major platform and I’m excited to have been chosen and featured as one of their televised fights. I know that the fans have high expectations and they will not be disappointed.”
Norther Ireland’s O’Kane (14-1-1, 5 KOs) won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and defeated the likes of George Groves and Anthony Ogogo before making his professional debut in 2011.
“I am looking forward to proving I am the next great middleweight champion on October 17,” said O’Kane. “I have been waiting for this opportunity my whole career and now that it is finally here I am glad it will be at the ‘Mecca of Boxing,’ Madison Square Garden.”
Golovkin vs. Lemieux is presented by K2 Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with GGG Promotions and Eye of the Tiger Management. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 17, at Madison Square Garden and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. ET and first fight begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Tickets for GOLOVKIN vs. LEMIEUX are on sale now and are priced at $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50, and can purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.com.
Quotes provided by a press release.