WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko will defend his WBC heavyweight title against Juan Carlos Gomez on Saturday, March 21, at 5 p.m. ET from Stuttgart, Germany, in the first live, world-ranked heavyweight championship bout on ESPN. It will be Klitschko’s first title defense since coming out of retirement last October, when he beat defending champion Samuel Peter.
The bout will also be presented live on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, and ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN’s real-time service for mobile devices.
Klitschko is among only a handful of boxers in history — along with Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis — who have won the heavyweight crown three times. Klitschko was WBO Heavyweight Champion from 1999 until 2000 and WBC Heavyweight Champion from 2004 until 2005. He has a record of 36-2 with 35 knockouts.
Gomez is No. 1 in the WBC rating and the official challenger with a record of 45-1 with 35 knockouts. A former WBC cruiserweight champion, he won the title in 1998 and defended it successfully 10 times before vacating the title to move up in weight. He became the mandatory heavyweight challenger with two wins in elimination bouts.
Play-by-play announcer Brian Kenny and analyst Teddy Atlas will call the action for ESPN.
ESPN2 will continue airing its Friday Night Fights franchise throughout the 2009 season. Continuing the momentum after the Klitschko-Gomez fight, ESPN2 will air a bout on March 27 at 10 p.m. ET featuring former champion Peter and IBF No. 5 Eddie Chambers.