HBO Boxing kicks off spring with an action-packed, split-site doubleheader featuring some of the most exciting fighters in the sport when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: LUCAS MATTHYSSE VS. RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV AND TERENCE CRAWFORD VS. THOMAS DULORME is seen SATURDAY, APRIL 18 at 9:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY, and College Park Center at University of Texas Arlington, exclusively on HBO.
HBO Sports teams will be ringside for both events, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: April 19 (9:45 a.m.) and 20 (12:15 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 19 (3:45 p.m.) and 21 (11:00 p.m.)
In the headline bout, Lucas Matthysse (36-3, 34 KOs) and Ruslan Provodnikov (27-3, 17 KOs) meet in a scheduled 12-round junior welterweight fight from upstate New York in what is already being lauded as a probable fight-of-the-year candidate.
Provodnikov, 31, returns to the ring after scoring a technical knockout victory over Jose Luis Castillo in his home country of Russia last November. His fan-friendly style has made for some of the most memorable bouts of the past two years, including a knockout of Mike Alvarado to win the super lightweight title and a close-decision loss in the 2013 BWAA Fight of the Year with Timothy Bradley. Matthysse, 32, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is one of the most feared boxers in the world, thanks to his stunning punching power, and had two knockout victories in 2014. The winner will enter the title discussion in the 140-pound division.
Kicking off the night, the co-main event features BWAA Fighter of the Year Terence Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs) making his 2015 debut against Thomas Dulorme (22-1, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout for a vacant super lightweight title from University of Texas Arlington.
Rising star Crawford, 27, of Omaha, Neb., is coming off a dominating 2014 campaign which featured three successful defenses of his lightweight title, including a unanimous decision victory over Raymundo Beltran and a technical knockout against former titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford moves up in weight to fight in the 140-pound division for the first time against Dulorme, 25, of Carolina, Puerto Rico, who will seek to use his height as an advantage against the shorter Crawford in the first world title fight of his career.
Immediately following HBO Boxing After Dark, stay tuned for the premiere of the one-hour special MAYWEATHER/PACQUIAO: AT LAST, detailing the nearly six-year journey to the most-anticipated fight of the modern era on May 2 between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
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