Former world champion Lamont Peterson (33-3-1, 17 KOs) will return to the ring near his Washington D.C. home as he takes on 2008 Olympic Gold medalist from the Dominican Republic Felix Diaz Jr. (17-0, 8 KOs) in a 12-round bout on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC on Saturday, October 17 from EagleBank Arena (formerly the Patriot Center) at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
The televised co-main event begins at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT and pits Olympic Bronze medalist Andre “The Resurrected” Dirrell (24-2, 16 KOs) against Australia’s Blake “Il Capo” Caparello (21-1-1, 6 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight bout.
“I’m very excited to be back in the ring, especially close to home in Virginia and fighting on NBC,” said Peterson. “I’m happy just to be doing what I love to do. I’ve been in the gym and I’ve stayed ready so I’m prepared to give the fans the kind of show they deserve.”
“I am very thankful for this opportunity and I know that Lamont Peterson will be my toughest battle so far,” said Diaz. “I am confident that at the end of the fight, I will have my hand raised. No disrespect to Lamont, but he has had his opportunity, now it is my time to show the world who Felix Diaz is. I can assure you that the fans will not be disappointed on October 17.”
“My motivation to succeed only gets stronger with each fight,” said Dirrell. “I fight to win. All I want to see is a belt around my waist. Whatever it takes, whatever I have to do, it’ll get done. I will be a world champion! This fight is the next step.”
“This is a huge opportunity for me to show the world that I am one of the best 168-pounders in all of boxing,” said Caparello. “This is the weight class where I belong. Dirrell is a former Olympian and, like myself, a world title challenger. I expect a very tough fight on October 17, but I know that I will be victorious.”
“Lamont Peterson is an elite fighter. He proved it in his disputed loss to Danny Garcia and will come back to face an undefeated Felix Diaz in what should be a great scrap,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Diaz is an Olympic gold medalist from the Dominican Republic with a fan-friendly style; he will bring that to the fight and I expect great action. In the opening bout, coming back from a hard-fought battle with James DeGale, Andre Dirrell returns to action against former world title challenger Blake Caparello, who is now campaigning as a world-rated super middleweight. I expect an excellent night of fights October 17.”
“We are thrilled to host the first Premier Boxing Champions telecast in the Washington D.C. area on October 17th,” said General Manager of EagleBank Arena Barry Geisler. “The PBC series is leading a renaissance of boxing and EagleBank Arena is excited to participate in their efforts.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with HeadBangers Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $85, $65 and $40, plus applicable service charges, and are on sale tomorrow, September 4 at 10 a.m. ET/. Tickets will be available through all Ticketmaster outlets including the EagleBank Arena box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com and via Phonecharge at 1-800-745-3000. Accessible seating is available for patrons with disabilities by calling 703-993-3035. Please visit www.eaglebankarena.com for more information.
The 31-year-old Peterson will be fighting just minutes outside of his native Washington D.C. and looks to pick up his fifth career victory in the DC metropolitan area. Discovered as a child by trainer Barry Hunter while homeless on the street with his brother Anthony, Peterson has one of the best rags to riches stories in the sport. A pro since 2004, he owns victories over Victor Manuel Cayo, Kendall Holt and Dierry Jean in addition to the world title winning performance against Amir Khan, which he successfully defended three times.
A two-time Olympian representing the Dominican Republic, Diaz Jr. won a gold medal at his second Olympic games in 2008 in Beijing. Now fighting out of the Bronx, the 31-year-old has slowly increased the level of his competition, as he owns victories over Emmanuel Lartey, Adrian Granados and most recently Gabriel Bracero in a dominating performance on April 11. Now, he will jump to the world-class level as he looks to prove he belongs at the top of the sport when he takes on Peterson.
An amateur standout ßthat won two U.S. Amateur World Championships in addition to his Olympic Bronze medal, the 31-year-old Dirrell looks to work towards another world-title opportunity on October 17. The fighter out of Flint, Michigan holds victories over Arthur Abraham and Curtis Stevens and only has two narrow losses on his resume.
A crafty fighter out of Victoria, Australia won his first 20 pro fights primarily fighting out of his home country. He owns victories over Michael Bolling, Jorge Olivera, Allan Green and previously unbeaten Robert Berridge. The 29-year-old most recently scored a unanimous decision over Affif Belghecham in June and looks to make it three wins in a row on October 17.