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Vazquez-Zappavigna on Cotto-Mayorga undercard


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Miguel Vazquez-Lenny Zappavigna on Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga Card


By Lem Satterfield



Promoter Gary Shaw told FanHouse that a deal is close that will allow Australia's fast-rising, undefeated lightweight (135 pounds) contender, Lenny Zappavigna (pictured at right), to pursue his 26th victory without a loss, his third consecutive stoppage, his 18th career knockout, and his first world title when he meets IBF belt-holder Miguel Vazquez of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mex., on March 12 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.


Vazquez-Zappavigna would take place on the under card of a Top Rank Promotions pay per view main event featuring former world champion Ricardo Mayorga (29-7-1, 22 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua, challenging WBA junior middleweight (154) king Miguel Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) of Puerto Rico.


"Lenny's going to be fighting for the IBF world title against Miguel Vazquez, and we're negotiating that deal right now," said Shaw. "That fight will be on the under card of Cotto-Mayorga."


The Cotto-Mayorga card will also boast the return from a 14-month layoff of 42-year-old, former world champion female boxer, Christy Martin (49-5-3, 31 KOs), who signed deal with Top Rank Promotions CEO, Bob Arum, was first reported by FanHouse.


In addition, New Jersey junior middleweight Pawel Wolak (28-1, 18 KOs) could take on former world champion Yuri Foreman (28-1, eight KOs), of Brooklyn, New York, with ex-titlist, Joshua Clottey (35-4, 20 KOs), also being a possibility to be on the show, according to Arum.


Clottey was last in the ring in March of 2009, when he lost an HBO pay per view televised, 12-round, unanimous decision to WBO welterweight (147 pounds) titlist Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), holder of the WBC's junior middleweight belt as well.


"We're looking at Foreman and Wolak, but that is not made yet. In any event, we're looking at getting Joshua Clottey on the card," said Arum. "But Clottey won't yet be necessarily on the telecast, depending on what happens with Foreman and Wolak. But we have to get Clottey a fight, so he will definitely be on the card."


A press conference announcing the card is slated for Thursday at the B.B. King Restaurant.


A former four-time national champion who went 72-9 as an amateur, the 23-year-old Zappavigna is coming off of October's first-round stoppage of Ji Hoon Kim (21-7, 18 KOs), of Goyang City, South Korea, in an IBF elminator triumph.




Prior to facing Zappavigna, Kim had gone the distance over the course of August's 12-round, lopsided, unanimous decision loss to the 24-year-old Vazquez (27-3, 12 KOs) for the IBF's then-vacant belt.


Kim entered the bout with Vazquez riding a 13-bout winning streak that had included 12 knockouts, including 11 straight. Vazquez made his first defense of that IBF crown with November's unanimous decision over Ricardo Dominguez.


Zappavigna entered the fight with Kim coming off of July's second-round knockout of Indonesia's Billy Sumba (18-2-1, four KOs), this, after having made his Showtime televised debut with a 12-round, IBO title win over Venezuela's Fernando "La Fiera" Angulo (22-6, 14 KOs) of Venezuela in March.



An Italian, Zappavigna wears his hair like former world champion Kostya Tszyu of Australia -- with a lengthy rat-tail that extends from the rear of his head down his back. Zappavigna also models himself after the late former world champion, Arturo Gatti.




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