New York, N. Y. - February 24, 2010 - 'The craziest man in boxing” is bringing his unique brand of insanity to MMA. Some people call him “El Matador.” Others refer to him as “the Madman from Managua.” Sometimes, they use rougher language in referring to Ricardo Antonio Mayorga Perez, but everyone agrees that Ricardo Mayorga has achieved legendary status in boxing.
That would be enough for most athletes, superstar status in their chosen sport. But not for the swashbuckling character from Nicaragua. Now the former WBA and WBC welterweight champion and ex-WBC junior middleweight king is out to conquer a second sport, mixed martial arts.
Mayorga, who owns a 28-7-1, 22 knockouts boxing record which includes two upset victories over the late Vernon Forrest and one over “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas along with losses to legends Oscar de la Hoya, Felix “Tito” Trinidad, and Sugar Shane Mosley, will make his MMA debut against UFC veteran Din Thomas on Saturday, May 15.
"I conquered the world in the boxing ring all the while I was puffing cigarettes and drinking beer, “ stated the boastful Mayorga. “I won three world title belts, and I stood toe to toe with so many legends, beating some of them. Vernon Forrest, God rest his soul, was a great boxer yet I beat him back twice. I cannot be denied as I am a force of nature. Now I will shock the MMA fans and I know so many of my fans from boxing will follow me as I expand my repertoire. They can't deny me in MMA and I will destroy Din Thomas. I am going to smash him the way I smashed all the big superstars of boxing. To me, a fight is a fight in a ring, in a cage or on the street. Fighting is my middle name," added Mayorga.
“We at the Crown Center are extremely excited to be presenting Shine Fight Promotions Mixed Martial Arts event WORLD’S COLLIDE: MAYORGA VS THOMAS on May 15th in the Crown Coliseum. We look forward to working with Shine Fight Promotions to provide an evening of intense competition,” stated Frank Zaccaro, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Crown Center in Fayetteville, N.C.
Din Thomas, a top ranked Mixed Martial Arts fighter with a 25-8 record, feels he is defending the purity of MMA from the vultures of boxing, and is doing everything he can to make this fight as big as it can be. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with an impressive record, “Dinyero” has gained twenty of his wins via stoppage, including fourteen by submission. He has faced some of the top lightweights in the world, and will look to add the former world champion boxer to his list of victims.
Thomas stated, "I respect what Ricardo has done in boxing. He fooled many opponents with that smoking and drinking shtick but he won't fool me. I train night and day and I know he works hard also. But I will send him back to boxing, crawling back to boxing. He is about to get a violent education about the skills he needs for MMA and they are skills that an old dog like Mayorga cannot learn. I will be taking this cat to school, trust me," added the highly respected blackbelt.
Devin Price, CEO of rising promoter Shine Fights stated, “We're excited and delighted to be able to put on this great card with Mayorga testing himself in MMA against Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt expert Din Thomas. Ricardo truly believes he can be a superstar in boxing and MMA so he is stepping up,” Price said.
“We think Mayorga’s fans are just that, his fans and they will follow him to MMA. Many boxing fans are out there who can become fans of both sports and that's our target here. Mayorga inspires passion and that's what we're looking for,” added Price.
"In my opinion, boxing and MMA are not in some knockdown, dragout war. It's not all one and none of the other. The sports have so much in common, especially when it comes to the courage and fighting heart of the athletes. There is room in the marketplace for both boxing and MMA and seeing a big boxing name like Mayorga cross over without abandoning boxing is proof of this. It's all about an open mind because fans of one sport can learn to love the other. I really feel this," Devin Price, CEO Shine Fights stated. “All that boxing versus MMA nonsense is ancient history."
Promoted by rising MMA power Shine Fights (www.shinefights.com), Mayorga's MMA debut in WORLD’S COLLIDE: MAYORGA VS THOMAS tops an action- packed card loaded with MMA stars. The show is taking place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC, and will be beamed on PPV on cable and satellite in the United States and Canada. The event will be broadcasted in High-Definition, and it will be available in both English and Spanish (where available). The MMA showdown will be distributed live on Pay Per View beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT by MultiVision Media, Inc. on Saturday, May 15 at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT. There will be a 30-minute countdown show prior to the live event at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT. The suggested retail price for the MMA showdown is $29.95.
Tickets may be obtained by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420, or online at www.ticketmaster.com, or in person at the Crown Coliseum Box Office. For box office hours and more info, please call (910) 438-4100.