The August 14th main event in Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center evening features Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (31-6 with 22 KOs) against Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham (28-6 with 13 KOs). The bout will be a heavyweigh contest between two veterans who have been world champions in lower weight classes. The Spike telecast will begin at 9 pm. Here is what the boxers had to say during last week’s media conference call:

Promoter Lou DiBella: Steve is a guy who’s one of the highest character people in all of boxing one of the most well respected by his peers, by the press, by the media, by the fans because of the type of guy he is. He’s a family man, he’s a man of faith and he’s a guy that lays it all out in the ring. He’s never been in a bad fight and he’s never given anything but 110% and I’m proud to be able to promote a fight featuring Steve Cunningham. They will headline the evening in a 12-round heavyweight battle.

This is a match that both fighters must win. This is a must win fight if they’re going to continue at the highest levels of the heavyweight division Antonio and Steve don’t have a margin for error here. The winner will move on to a huge opportunity and the loser of this bout it’s a huge step back and maybe really the end of the line. So this is the kind of fight that figures to be a terrific match up and a must win fight that’s a recipe for a great fight.

Antonio Tarver is one of the biggest names in boxing for a long time. Antonio and I got to spend some time together because of the Rocky Balboa movie. He’s an actor and he’s a commentator for Spike now and one of the best in my view actually up and coming on air guys in boxing. Antonio I know you’re looking forward to this opportunity and you want that shot at a heavyweight title but you got to get through Mr. Cunningham. What do you have to say about that?

Antonio Tarver: Well it’s just like any fight I’ve had over the years. All of my fights have been huge fights. I can tell you I feel good going in. I’ve done the work. I haven’t underestimated Steve Cunningham at all. I have a great deal of respect for the man. His story with his daughter [who survived a heart transplant that some doctors refused to do because of the high risk] is really outstanding. But unfortunately we in the hurt business and this is boxing at the highest level and it’s all about opportunities.

There’s no fighter out there that has struggled and overcame like I have and it’s those struggles that are going to carry me through this fight and beyond. I hear his story and it’s heartfelt but the last three years of my life can’t nobody even comprehend. That’s what champions are made of. I truly believe God gives his toughest test to his strongest warriors and I’ve been tested and I’ve proven that I can go through and I can endure.

So this fight is going to be about who wants it most and that’s the bottom line because we both know how to pull our hands that’s not a doubt. But it’s going to come down to who want it most. He has a good distance, he’s long, he’s rangy and got good movement. He’s an active fighter. But at the same time, the boxing match within this boxing match is going to be a fight.

When the fight slows down, I’m going to be right there. I’m not going anywhere. He’s going to have to knock me out to take this victory from me. That’s the only way I’m going out there.

That’s the only way I’m losing is if I get knocked out because I’m in great shape. I’m ready to go. I know what this fight means to me, and the time is now.

I wanted a big name guy so that I could really put my skill on display. Steve Cunningham gives me the opportunity. I know he wants this fight bad; we both do. There can only be one winner.

I’m bringing it August 14th. I’m ready to go. my sparring is going well, my training camp is going well. I have a great trainer in Orlando Cuellar who’s on the line as we speak.

So we’re just ready for August 14, and we’re going to set the Prudential Center on fire. We know we’ve got some foreigners that are going to be coming over and they may bring a lot of fans. But we’re going to bring the show. Don’t miss the Magic Show on August 14.

Q: Antonio, there are a lot of rumors that you’re looking past Mr. Cunningham and to the next big fight. Can you please shed some light on that?

A. Tarver: No man, I’m not, I’m a veteran. I’ve been around the game forever and a day. I’m not ever going to be that naïve to look past a credible fighter like Steve Cunningham. That would be dumb of me.

I’m not looking past him, but I’m a realist. I can see the future too. I’m a realist. I know what this fight means. I’m not looking past him. But I am looking through him. Straight through him. He’s transparent. I’m looking straight through Steve Cunningham; yes. I’m not looking past him but I’m looking through him.

Q: Any predictions for this fight at all champ?

A. Tarver: You’re going to see a well-conditioned Magic Man doing what he do best and that’s winning. That’s it. I mean I’m not going to have no predictions. I mean I know I’ve got my hands full. I’m going to have to bite down on that mouthpiece. I’m going to have to pull that cup up and I’ve going to have to dig to get Steve Cunningham out of there, man.

I’m ready for that. I’m preparing for that war, a battle of attrition; it’s going to be a hell of a fight.

I predict that this fight can be a candidate for fight of the year because I know what it’s going to have to take for me to get this victory. It’s going to have to take the old Magic Man. I’m going to have to show you glimpses of the old Magic Man with the things that I’m able to do in the right.

If it comes down to making adjustments, I’m going to be able to make those adjustments. If it comes down to getting inside and letting them rip, I’m going to be able to do that. If it comes down to making him miss and making him pay, I’m going to be able to do that.

I just believe in my skill and my ability man, even at the late age of 46. It’s just a blessing from God that I’m even still able to do it.

So I’m walking through my destiny knowing that it’s not an accident that I’m here today. It’s not an accident that I had to go through what I had to go through to get here.

This is a purpose and its destiny for me. Nothing is going to stop me. That’s bottom line. I can’t wait to see this shit unfold.

I’m ready you and excited that I’m back on national network TV; that I’m back at the top of the game and everybody is going to be able to see for themselves. After August 14 there won’t be no more doubt about what I can do and my capability at 46.

My skills haven’t eroded. My timing hasn’t eroded. My speed hasn’t eroded. I’m still here and that’s what I want to show the world on August 14, that they slept on the wrong man; period.

Q: A lot of people have you as the underdog in this fight, and want to see a Tarver-Deontay Wilder fight? Can you stop all that from happening?

S. Cunningham: I’ve been getting counted out since I started challenging for a world title. I’ve been traveling to Europe fighting in Poland where nobody wants to go. Fighting in Germany, successfully defending my title numerous times, where nobody wants to go. South Africa, where nobody wants to go. I could care less about what anybody says. When I fought Marco Huck I was the five to one underdog and they threw the towel in on him in the last round. So I can care less about what anyone says. I’ve got to question myself to Antonio Tarver. He’s speaking about his respect for me and there is respect for fighters regardless before and after the fight.

But a lot of people who know fighters, they know that at a certain point in training camp a fighter is agitated, he’s ready to fight, and it’s time to fight. I’ve been at that point, so I’m ready to fight right now.

He’s trying to compare life woes. My daughter’s struggle and the struggle he said he went through in the past three years. Look dude, you can keep all the woes. You can take my daughter’s woes. You can take your woes. I don’t want them. Nobody wants those woes. We can’t compare that. I’m not into comparing life woes.

Now you say your life was hard in the past three years and nobody could understand; nobody could fathom. Have you been driving that Bentley you bought after the Green fight? You’ve been driving in a Bentley. You understand what I’m saying. Have you made over $500,000 in the last three years? I haven’t. I don’t have a Bentley and beating you is going to get me that; you understand.

So don’t try to compare. Nothing that you’ve been through that will not stand up to a damn thing Steve Cunningham has been through in his whole career.

A. Tarver: With all due respect, I think you kind of misinterpreted what I was saying. I know we both got struggles and I respect that. And no, my struggles may not be personal like yours, family oriented, and I respect that too.

But what I’m saying that the struggle that I had to overcome to get back to where I’m at right now today. After I got suspended, I can just talk all day about it. Losing my job; losing the opportunity to commentate in the Olympics; that meant a lot to me.

S. Cunningham: But listen, we can go all day. We could trade back and forth all day like baseball cards. You had troubles; I had troubles.

A. Tarver: No income. I didn’t make no income.

S. Cunningham: We’re going to get in the ring and match skills. I don’t want to hear about your woes. I’m actually sick about talking about my daughter’s situation because it’s out there.

A. Tarver: But look dude, I’m just giving – I’m giving you the utmost respect on that because I’d understand if it was my daughter, I understand that’s out of our control.

S. Cunningham: Well this is another question I have for you then. Where does all this utmost respect come from? A few years ago [when Cunningham badly wanted to fight Tarver as a cruiserweight], it was all, “who are you– you’re nobody.” Come on man, let’s keep it real. No Tarver, let’s keep it real.

A. Tarver: I keep it real.

S. Cunningham: I’m not one of these smart-ass, trash talkers who can run they mouth and get themselves into some money. I fight to get my money, you understand? So you’re that dude who runs his mouth so much. You’re a professional mouth-runner.

Yes you’re a great fighter but then you’re also a professional mouth-runner. I’m a professional fighter, period. You understand? I’m not jumping in the ring on August 14th to beat the hell out of Antonio Tarver. Do you understand?

A. Tarver: Hey, that’s your mission. That’s everybody’s mission. But at the same time, I don’t understand where you’re coming from because I’ve been as quiet as I’ve ever been before a fight. I haven’t really been digging at you about nothing. I’m giving you the utmost respect because I know you’re a warrior. I know you’re coming to win, and I know I’ve got my hands full. That’s why I’m busting my ass in training camp.

If you ask me, I think you’re taking me lightly. You’re overlooking me. How in the hell you going to break camp and go to Vegas and commentate, like you’ve got it easy. You feel me? I wouldn’t break camp for you, but you going to break camp for me? Good luck August 14th.

S. Cunningham: If you think me going to commentate for two days is breaking camp…

A. Tarver: You got a problem. You’re out your rabbit ass mind. You going to fly to Vegas and think you going to beat me August 14th, you crazy. You out your mind. You distracted.

S. Cunningham: I was ready to fight when they announced it. Do you understand me?

A. Tarver: You don’t know what’s coming at your ass August 14th. You playing.

S. Cunningham: Distracted? There’s no such thing as a distraction.

A. Tarver: I ain’t Marco Huck. When I knocked Danny Green out, none of them clowns wanted to fight me. I ain’t Marco Huck.

S. Cunningham: When you start looking like him in the 12th, then think about that.

A. Tarver: Whatever. Hey, enjoy your weekend in Vegas, bro. I’m going to be in camp. Putting on the fine touches – putting on the final touches to this great training camp I’ve had.

S. Cunningham: I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to drink a beer. Man you going to be putting on final touches for a long time fat boy.

A. Tarver: Go to Vegas.

S. Cunningham: You need to be in camp for seven, eight, nine weeks.

A. Tarver: Ain’t nothing fat about me. Ain’t nothing fat about me, I’m just not a muscular toned guy. I knocked a lot of them out though. I’ve knocked a lot of muscular men out. Them the easiest muscles to box.

S. Cunningham: August 14. That’s it.

A. Tarver: Muscles ain’t never whipped me. I can’t believe you so irate.

S. Cunningham: I’ll see you August 14th, my man.

A. Tarver: I ain’t even did nothing psychological. I ain’t even got to play the psychological game. Your mind is already gone. Your mind already blown. Just the thought of August 14th, so it’s going to be easy pickings.

S. Cunningham: There’s no way in God’s green earth you could ever, ever attack me psychologically. I’m a war tested as a veteran of this country.

Q: I don’t know if you saw that fight, but tell me what you think at this point today, your advantages are over Steve given he’s proven himself in the heavyweight and other divisions.

A. Tarver: I wouldn’t say any advantage or anything. It’s just going to be two men in there and we’ve got to fight. I stand on my experience. I stand on everything I’ve accomplished in boxing. And I’m saying, whatever goes on in the fight, I’m going to figure it out between the 12 rounds. That’s what I’m saying.

I’m going to figure it out and I’m going to do what I’ve got to do to get the win. That’s all I’m saying. I’ve got the utmost respect for Steve and I keep saying that. Man this is one fight I don’t even have to be mad or even have to have no personal feelings towards nobody. This is just a fight that we’re in. It’s a business.

I’m not taking this personal, but I’ve got my work to do because I’ve got big dreams.

Ain’t nobody going to out-box me, period. The only way you’re going to beat me is to knock me out and that’s it. He got an opportunity to do that. That’s it. We’re going to fight and that’s the bottom line.

I ain’t got to cut no weight. I’m feeling strong. I don’t have the problems I had at light heavyweight. So I’m at my best and bringing it, period.

I’ve got the best defense in the game so, how are you going to hit me? I see it coming a mile away. Come on man.

The bottom line, I’m gone have to close my eyes for this guy to hit me because he ain’t going to be able to hit me with that basic stuff. You ain’t fighting no average fighter, you fighting an exceptional fighter dude.

You ain’t faced nobody like me. I don’t care nothing about all them European you’ve fought. I’m the Magic Man. I’ve got a thousand tricks up my sleeve and you it ain’t gone take but one to get your ass out of there, period.

S. Cunningham: You sound like you’re getting yourself up for the fight right now. Like you’re a hype man.

A. Tarver: I’m keeping it 100% with you Steve. I’m keeping it 100 with you boy.

S. Cunningham: Keep it 100 with me and let’s have this out.

A. Tarver: All the rest of the those guys you fought are basic robotic standup fighters.

Q: Speak on Tarver as you see the more fights that you watch, what the apparent weaknesses of Antonio Tarver?

S. Cunningham: The strength of Antonio Tarver is steroid use. Weakness is his mouth.

A. Tarver: Now that’s the most disrespectful thing. Because someone say you failed the test, that don’t mean nothing. You can go to GNC and get whatever you want. It may not be NFS certified.

But I spent my year. I did my time and that’s it. That’s behind me. That ain’t got nothing to do with right now. You looking for excuses already. Ain’t no steroids in my system bro. I don’t need no steroids. Never have, period.

S. Cunningham: The question was for me, now let me get my time.

A. Tarver: So I just don’t understand why you trying to shoot low. I can get off the phone man. I’ll see you August 14th. I ain’t got time to go through this with you.

S. Cunningham: Bye. Bye.

A. Tarver: I ain’t got time to do this with you. Because that stuff you talking is beneath me.

S. Cunningham: I’ll see you in a few weeks, bro. See you.

A. Tarver: Beneath me.

S. Cunningham Bye, hang up.

Q: Tarver, one question for you big man. Now, what’s the strengths and weaknesses of Mr. Cunningham?

A. Tarver: Man his weakness is me. He fighting me. That’s his weakness. He ain’t got no weakness as far as boxing is concerned. He’s a complete fighter. He has the heart, he has the durability; he’s a strong fighter. He’s going to be there to win but he’s fighting me. That’s the difference from everybody else he’s ever fought, he’s fighting me; period. A hungry, determined, focused Magic Man.

S. Cunningham: But how you hungry and you driving Bentleys? How you hungry and you making over $500,000 a year? I ain’t see those numbers yet bro.

A. Tarver: I’m going to tell you: because I’m not a prize fighter. I don’t fight for the money, I fight for pride. I fight for the glory of the game. It ain’t about no money. I make money. It ain’t about that. It’s about my name, it’s about my history.

This Hall of Fame run – this Hall of Fame run that I want to put the final chapter on my career. That’s it. It’s bigger than money Steve. It’s bigger than money.

Q: Antonio, is there anyone in particular that you would want to face, higher than your ranking, if you beat Cunningham.

A. Tarver: I want to face Deontay Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko. I ain’t got nothing else to prove man. I’m going to prove it August 14th. They know who I am. I’ve got five championships to my name. I don’t have to prove nothing. They know who I am and they know when I’m ready to fight, I’m going to tough out for anybody.

So I ain’t got time to be fighting all these non-descript fighters. I ain’t worried about ranked above me because my name carry weight. My name carry weight and that’s it.

Whatever I do on August 14th, my next goal is to become the Heavyweight Champion because it ain’t nobody on they resume that they’ve faced that can add up to my name and my credibility in the game of boxing.

Not none of them guys that ain’t never won shit in they whole career. So I rest my case. August 14th everybody can see where I’m at. After that I want to chop down one of these giants and that’s it, period.

Q: Steve, can you tell the viewers honestly, what weaknesses do you see in Antonio Tarver that you think you can exploit on August 14th.
S. Cunningham: The good thing about fighting a guy like Tarver is you – if you think you see a weakness than you’re fooling yourself. Like I said before in the beginning, respect is there most definitely. But fighting is fighting and getting prepared for a fight is mental and physical.

So our banter back and forth, that’s what fighters do also. But there’s no way I would disrespect myself to sit there and say that’s a weakness we’re going to exploit on Tarver. We’re going to beat him. You understand what I’m saying?

I mean and his strengths, like he said, he’s five time world champion. He’s a Fall of Famer already. He’s a great fighter. I think he’s a great fighter.

L. DiBella: I’ve got to say, I’ve got a lot of these calls. And the last 20 minutes or so were about the chippiest I’ve ever heard. So I think we’ve got a war ahead of us in the right on August 14, PBC on Spike, 9:00 Eastern Time; 9:00 Pacific Time. Tickets for the event are available at Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, Prudential Center.

dannyboyWith just days to go until Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN fighters enter the ring for their Saturday, August 1 showdowns at Barclays Center, catch up on what the fighters have been saying in the weeks leading up to fight week.

Saturday’s headlining event is the 147-pound debut of Danny “Swift” Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) as he takes on two-time world champion out of Brooklyn, Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs). Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with Brooklyn’s middleweight world champion Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs) as he defends his title against former world champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (28-3-2, 9 KOs).

Here is what Danny Garcia had to say from his media conference call and media workout:

DANNY GARCIA

“I’m not really concerned about Paulie, at this point in my career if I’m 110% percent ready, I feel like I can adapt to anything and find a way to win.

“It feels great to be at 147. For the first time in a long time, I could worry about training to get better and not training to lose weight. I’ve been fighting at 140 my whole career.

“I’ve been the underdog before, I’ve been the underdog before and I won. I can’t listen to none of that stuff after just going through each fight like I was, mentally prepared, physically prepared going in and get the job done.

“We added things to our workout now. We added a lot of explosive workouts, a lot of agility, a lot of footwork, a lot of things to making you more explosive, things I couldn’t do at 140 because I didn’t have the energy for it. But now the extra weight is really helping me.

“I’m very confident. I faced a lot of good fighters. I faced a lot of great fighters in my career. I have a lot of experience. I was a big 140-pound fighter. I’ve never faced a 140-pound fighter who was taller than me or who looked better than me.

“But I feel like at 147, you’re going to see a more athletic Danny Garcia and be able to use my legs more, using my jab more and see punches clearer. When you drain yourself as hard to see punches, then you get hit with a lot of dumb punches because your vision is not clear.

“I feel like my vision is going to be a lot clearer and be able to move my head, see the punches better, use my feet. And I think I’m going to be a champion at 147, too. I know so.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Swift Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $120, $75 and $45, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For group tickets, please call 855-GROUP-BK.

For more information, visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, www.barclayscenter.com and www.dbe1.com. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @DannySwift, @PaulMalignaggi, @LouDiBella, @ESPNBoxing, @BarclaysCenter and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/fanpagedannyswiftgarcia, www.facebook.com/PaulMalignaggi, www.facebook.com/barclayscenterand www.facebook.com/ESPN. Follow the conversation using #PBConESPN and #BrooklynBoxing.  Also check us out @TheFightJournal.

paulieWith just days to go until Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN fighters enter the ring for their Saturday, August 1 showdowns at Barclays Center, catch up on what the fighters have been saying in the weeks leading up to fight week.

Saturday’s headlining event is the 147-pound debut of Danny “Swift” Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) as he takes on two-time world champion out of Brooklyn, Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs). Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with Brooklyn’s middleweight world champion Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs) as he defends his title against former world champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (28-3-2, 9 KOs).

Here is what Paulie Malignaggi had to say from his media conference call:

PAULIE MALIGNAGGI

“I think styles make fight. From a style point of view there are things that I feel like I’ll be able to do against Danny. But I also expect Danny had made some adjustments since those fights.

“You get to the point when you’re not in the ring for a while. It’s going through my mind that maybe I don’t want to fight. But as time went by and I started working out again, I started realizing that it was something I missed. It was something I was still craving. I wanted to be back in there.

“If we’re going to talk about the layoff, people are going to talk about the fact that, I haven’t fought for a long time. But in reality, I actually haven’t trained this consistently in a decade, literally a decade.

“I do feel the sharpness in a gym. I do feel the timing is really good. Obviously my weight has come down. So, that’s a good feeling knowing that I have to drop a lot of weight during the training camp just working on the sharpness and keep getting better.

“I’m not looking at it as having any advantages. It’s just a matter of matching of my skills to his skills.

“I can’t really tell you exactly how I’m going to play it out until I’m in the ring myself. I plan on being the best me possible. I plan on being the sharpest me possible. And right now, in training, I feel really good. The plan is to flow this training camp into a sharp night on August 1st.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Swift Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $120, $75 and $45, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For group tickets, please call 855-GROUP-BK.

For more information, visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, www.barclayscenter.com and www.dbe1.com. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @DannySwift, @PaulMalignaggi, @LouDiBella, @ESPNBoxing, @BarclaysCenter and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/fanpagedannyswiftgarcia, www.facebook.com/PaulMalignaggi, www.facebook.com/barclayscenterand www.facebook.com/ESPN. Follow the conversation using #PBConESPN and #BrooklynBoxing.  Also follow us @TheFightJournal

MoraWith just days to go until Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN fighters enter the ring for their Saturday, August 1 showdowns at Barclays Center, catch up on what the fighters have been saying in the weeks leading up to fight week.

Saturday’s headlining event is the 147-pound debut of Danny “Swift” Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) as he takes on two-time world champion out of Brooklyn, Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs). Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with Brooklyn’s middleweight world champion Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs) as he defends his title against former world champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (28-3-2, 9 KOs).

Here is what Sergio Mora had to say from his media conference call:

SERGIO MORA

“I think I’m going to be an underdog for this fight again, fighting the younger, stronger champion in his hometown. So defeating him is going to be tough with all the cards stacked against me and that’s something that I grown used to and accustomed to.

“This is going to be a really exciting card because he’s in his hometown and defending the world title. I’m hungry for that world title and I know that I’m going to have to be extra sharp and do a lot more than just have a close victory in his hometown. So I’m going to have to press action and go out of my comfort zone and I think he’s going to have to go out of his comfort zone, which is going to make an interesting fight for everybody.

“I just continue educating people about the sweet science and letting them know that power is not the number one aspect you need to be successful it’s your agility, techniques, your defense, body shots, the strategy, it’s following that strategy it’s hard.

“Like I said, I think he possess everything that I don’t. But I have the experience. I think I take a better shot from experience with Danny and I think I follow my game plan more than Danny. A lot of boxers especially a lot of young athletic fighters they go out of their game plan and once they see that it’s not working. As a veteran, I know that it’s not working initially.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Swift Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $120, $75 and $45, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For group tickets, please call 855-GROUP-BK.

For more information, visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, www.barclayscenter.com and www.dbe1.com. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @DannySwift, @PaulMalignaggi, @LouDiBella, @ESPNBoxing, @BarclaysCenter and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/fanpagedannyswiftgarcia, www.facebook.com/PaulMalignaggi, www.facebook.com/barclayscenterand www.facebook.com/ESPN. Follow the conversation using #PBConESPN and #BrooklynBoxing.

Kings Promo

On Friday, August 28th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, King’s Promotions will present a boxing show highlighted by Brandon Bennett (19-1) against Jonathan Maicelo in a lightweight bout scheduled for ten rounds. In his last bout, Maicelo lost a twelve-round unanimous decision to Darleys Perez for the WBA interim lightweight belt on January 9th in Santa Ynez, California.

Bennett of Cincinnati, OH has a record of 19-1 with 8 knockouts. The 27 year-old has been a professional for seven years and won his first 16 bouts which included a win over John Nater (9-1).

Since suffering his only defeat, Bennett has won three in a row, highlighted with a with a win over previously undefeated Rodney Pierre-Paul and his last bout when he stopped Rondale Hubbert (10-1-1) in three rounds on May 29th in Philadelphia.

Maicelo of North Bergen, NJ has a record of 21-2 with 12 knockouts. He began his career in his native Peru in 2005. He racked up 17 wins. He has quality wins over Daniel Attah, Fernando Angulo and Art Hovhannisyan. that will feature some of the best prospects in the county that will also have a local flavor.

Scheduled to appear on the undercard in ten-round bouts (all opponents will be named shortly):

Super middleweight Phil Jackson Benson (15-2, 14 KOs); 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel Herring (12-0, 7 KOs) of Cincinnati, OH in a lightweight bout and Robert Easter (14-0, 11 KOs) of Cincinnati, OH in a lightweight bout.

In eight-round Bouts:

Middleweight Demond Nicholson (13-1, 13 KOs) of Laurel, MD; welterweight David Grayton (11-0, 8 KOs) of Washington, DC; and middleweight Immanuwel Aleem (13-0, 9 KO’s) of Richmond, VA.

In six-round bouts: lightweight Raynell Williams (8-0, 4 KOs) of Cleveland, OH, a 2012 Olympian; lightweight Patrick Harris (6-0, 4 KOs) of Hyattsville, MD; welterweight Kareem Martin (5-0-1, 3 KOs) of Washington, DC; welterweight Jamontay Clark (6-0, 3 KO’s) of Cincinnati; and light heavyweight Leo Hall (6-0, 6 KOs) of Detroit, MI.

Tickets are on sale by calling 301-899-2430 or by logging on to www.beltwayboxing.com.

Main Events- Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs)* and Nadjib “IronDjib” Mohammedi (38-4, 23 KOs) started off the main event slow, just feeling each other out in the first round. At the start of the second round, Kovalev engaged in an aggressive attack on Mohammedi which knocked the challenger down. In the third round the chants for Kovalev began to ring out from the Las Vegas fans and the champion knocked down Nadjib again. This time the referee stopped the fight at 2:38.

After the fight Kovalev said, “I am very happy that I got the victory I gave my best; I am happy. I told him stand up. It was short show. People didn’t see boxing. I wanted to continue. I tried to continue longer this fight. I didn’t see Pascal fight, just a little bit. That was a good fight. What I saw of the fight Gonzalez was much better. If Pascal interested in rematch I am ready. It is boxing. I want to fight this guy too [Gonzalez]. I am ready for anyone. I am ready for any fight, any opponent. It is boxing. It is sport. If fans want to see and promoters want to make the fight, I am happy; I will do it.” He then proceeded to throw gifts into the crowd to his fans.

According to Mohammedi, a thumb in the eye made him unable to continue. He said, “I couldn’t open my eye. After the knockdown I knew I was in a fight. I started to catch him with shots [in the third]. Kovalev is a skilled fighter and it takes time. Unfortunately, I got a thumb in my eye.”
In the first bout on the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast, former light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal (30-3-1, 17 KOs) faced undefeated Cuban Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-1, 12 KOs) in ten rounds of light heavyweight action. Gonzalez was the aggressor from the first bell. Pacal returned fire with a flurry of punches in the second that seemed to stun Gonzalez. Yuniesky continued his fierce attack on Pascal in the fourth but the former champ continued to counter with equally brutal punches.

Pascal opened the sixth round with a couple of hard shots. Both men looked fatigued in the last few rounds but continued to trade big shots. At the end of the brutal battle many unofficial scorecards had Gonzalez with the win, however, all three official judges scored the bout 96-94 in favor of the former champion, Jean Pascal, for the win by unanimous decision. Compubox stats showed that both fighters landed around the same number of punches (154 connected for Pascal vs. 163 for Gonzalez), but Gonzalez was the busier man (632 punches thrown vs. 397 for Pascal).

Story by:  Chip Mitchell

Gennady Golovkin is inching closer to the mainstream success that he’s sought since debuting in America back in 2012. He’s also on pace for another goal- unifying titles in the middleweight division.  In order for Golovkin to achieve each goal, he’ll have to go through a guy with just as big a knockout percentage as himself.

David Lemieux has agreed to face Golovkin to unify their 160 pound world titles October 17. The bout will take place at Madison Square Garden and will be on HBO PPV.  Hats off to Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions, as well as K2 Prmotions and Tom Loeffler.

Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs), has knocked out 20 straight opponents.  Lemieux (34-2, 31 KOs) has devastating power and even though his last fight went the distance, he knocked his opponent down four times in a decisive victory.

While I’m upset that this is a pay-per view event, it’s also a can’t-miss action fight that will leave fans thrilled no matter how it ends. All bets are that it will end before the final bell. Hopefully the price tag for this fight will remain below $50. I may be dreaming but it’s okay to dream right?  Right?

Nevertheless, if we go past the $50 mark guys, please give me some CHOCOLATITO and maybe mix in a Sadam Ali or a Matthysse or some B-level action guys. You can still pay guys what you’re going to pay them and give us good fights. You keep it at the $50 mark and maybe you’ll hit the magic number. I’d say if this does 350,000 buys then it’s big, especially for GGG if he’s able to unify. Stay tuned…

Category

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev

Nadjib “The IronDjib” Mohammedi

Age

32

30

Record

27-0-1 (24 KOs)

37-3-0 (23 KOs)

Strength Kovalev has knockout power in both hands; he has the ability to end a fight with any punch he throws. He also showed the world that he has a good chin after taking some big shots in his successful title defense against Jean Pascal in March. Nadjib is an aggressive fighter with good hand speed and great endurance; he is always in tremendous shape and treats every fight like there is a title on the line.He throws punches from all angles and can pose a threat to any top light heavyweight contender.
Weakness Sergey has been knocked down before but not hurt, he tends to leave openings in his guard which could pose a problem in this bout as Nadjib has finished his last 11 of 13 opponents. Mohammedi has a tendency to get sloppy at times, in previous fights he had a tendency to throw wide looping punches that could potentially get him into big trouble considering the power that Kovalev brings to the table.
Experience Kovalev has fewer pro fights than Nadjib, but the past two years he’s faced and defeated three former titleholders in Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal and Nathan Cleverly. Nadjib has more pro fights under his belt than Kovalev. He has fought for world titles before.
Power Kovalev will have the clear advantage here as he is best known for his vicious knockout power in either hand. He throws nasty body shots. Nadjib does not pack one-punch power in either hand. He is known more for the volume of punches he throws.
Speed Kovalev has average speed that picks up once he sees he has his opponent on the ropes and he goes for the finish. Mohammedi has quick hands and quick feet as well. He is a small light heavyweight; he moves around the ring well and is very agile.
Endurance Sergey has shown the ability to maintain a steady pace that allows him to conserve energy while still looking sharp in the later rounds. However, he has only fought 12 rounds once in his career when he defeated the former titleholder Bernard Hopkins. Mohammedi may have a slight edge here, as he has been 12 rounds on three separate occasions, and 10 rounds three times as well.
Accuracy Kovalev shows great accuracy with his one-punch knockouts; he also throws very accurate and powerful shots to the body that have ended fights in the past. Nadjib’s accuracy is evident when his opponents stand and trade shots with him; he has an accurate jab plus an overhand right that tends to follow.
Defense Sergey’s best defense may just be his offense. His power has become a complete game-changer in the past, forcing opponents to rethink their game plan. Mohammedi is light on his feet and moves around the ring well, making it difficult for anyone to hit him. However, he enjoys standing and trading with his opponents which could ultimately get him into trouble against The Krusher.
Chin In his last fight Kovalev showed that his chin is more than durable, he took some big shots against a heavy hitter in Jean Pascal and managed to stay on his feet and earn the stoppage win. Nadjib’s chin may be in question here; he has been stopped twice in his career and has never been in the ring with a puncher as devastating as Kovalev.
Style Sergey is an offensive-minded fighter who likes to walk his opponents down then go for the finish. Mohammedi is a boxer who shows signs of being a volume puncher while utilizing great counter-punching.
Crowd Support Sergey’s popularity has greatly increased since major wins over Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal. He is now competing in the fight capital of the world, so Kovalev will likely have majority of the crowd support here. Nadjib may be at a disadvantage here as he is not well known just yet. However, Nadjib is a gamer and treats every fight like it’s a title fight, which is a mentality and style that may win him some crowd support throughout this fight.
Intangibles

Kovalev’s previous two bouts were by far the toughest of his career. He defeated Bernard Hopkins in November of 2014, and just four months later he earned a stoppage win over former world champion Jean Pascal. Now, rather than take some extra time to recover and enjoy these wins, he returns to the ring after another quick four-month turnaround and takes on Mohammedi, who has not lost a fight in almost five years.

Nadjib has waited patiently for over a year to capitalize on his number one contender position. After earning his position in June of 2014, Nadjib decided to stay active and risk his number one ranking. He competed on Kovalev’s two previous undercards against durable opponents, against both of which he scored stoppage wins. Those risks have paid off and Nadjib will finally get his shot against the world’s best light heavyweight.

The Match-Up
  1. Will Nadjib’s awkward style and boxing skills frustrate Kovalev?
  2. Will Nadjib still be light on his feet in the ring once he feels Sergey’s power?
  3. Will Sergey be able to keep focused like he did in his last two fights against Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal?
  4. Will being an underdog and fighting on a big stage for this fight help or hurt Nadjib?
  5. Nadjib is training with Kovalev’s former trainer, Abel Sanchez, will this give him some advantage? Will Abel have any secret insight into Kovalev’s game?

 

Jolene Mizzone, Main Events’ matchmaker and the current NABF Matchmaker of the Year, said about this fight, “Any fight in the light heavyweight division is an important right now. In this fight, you have Sergey Kovalev who will fight ANYONE in the division and you have Nadjib Mohammedi who has earned his spot and has been preparing for this fight for over a year. Both of these fighters are hungry; one wants to keep his belts and the other wants them from him. Also there is one guy who has that one punch knockout power and the other who has that awkward style so the question is what style will come out on top?”

About Kovalev vs. Mohammedi

WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) will compete in his first mandatory title defense against Nadjib “Irondjib” Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs) on Saturday, July 25 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. The co-feature will include a ten-round light heavyweight match-up between Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KOs) and Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-0, 12 KOs). Tickets are on sale now and start at $25. Tickets can be purchased through TicketMaster and all MGM Resorts Properties Ticket Offices. The HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Kovalev - Mohammedi Presser  Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Kovalev – Mohammedi Presser
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

 

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion

“Thank you to WBO. This was my first belt and mean a lot to me. Thank you for this ring.” 

“Thank you for everybody that came here today. Thank you Kathy Duva my promoter, Egis Klimas my manager and Nadjib Mohammedi. I want to show this Saturday who I am. I would like to still be champion as long time as possible. I did not get all my goals in my career yet. My amateur career I didn’t give me a lot of opportunities. I was hurt in amateur career and I had to try not to closed doors. Some of my dreams in the boxing and my goals not finished. For my dreams, my goals this Saturday is the next step in my career.”

“Welcome to Mandalay Bay and thanks HBO. I want to give you good show. We will know who is the best. Thank you HBO who built my career. I love boxing and boxing in America and HBO is the best.” 

“I cannot say who is the best. I try to be better with everyday, fight and build my career as I would like.” 

Nadjib “IronDjib” Mohammedi – IBF Number One Contender

“I am very excited and happy. Thank you Sergey Kovalev, Main Events and HBO. I have hard work in my training camp for this fight. I am very happy. I promise Saturday a good fight. I am ready. Thank you very much.”

Kathy Duva – CEO of Main Event 

“Welcome to the beautiful Mandalay Bay. This Saturday’s HBO World Championship Boxing event will feature the light heavyweight champion of the world against Nadjib Mohammedi, the IBF mandatory challenger.” 

“There has been a lot of discussion lately about where the best fighters fight. The place that has developed every major fighter in the last 30 years is HBO and that is why Sergey Kovalev is an HBO Fighter.” 

“This event is going to be promoted with a group of great promoters. Krusher Promotions, Sergey’s promotional company, will be our new partner going forward. Our sponsor is Myagkov Vodka. It is so nice to be back here at Mandalay Bay. We have had a long relationship with Mandalay Bay going back to Fernando Vargas. It is in my view my favorite place in Las Vegas to come. It is associated with the great people at MGM International and my good friend Richard Sturm.” 

“Our first time in Nevada was in 1981 when Sugar Ray Leonard fought Thomas Hearns. This is my first time working with the current commission here in Nevada. We are forging a good relationship with them. I want to thank Cisco Aguilar and Bob Bennett.”

“The first time Sergey Kovalev fought in Las Vegas it was on an undercard. Those fighters work just as hard as everyone else. We have a great undercard for this Saturday’s event and it is always fun to watch the undercard fighters because you never know if one of them could be the next Sergey Kovalev.”

“The opening bout on HBO World Championship Boxing telecast will feature Jean Pascal, the former light heavyweight champion of the world, against the undefeated Cuban Yuniesky Gonzalez. Pascal is truly a warrior in the best sense of the word. His promoter is InterBox and he also has his own promotional company, Jean Pascal Promotions.”  

“Sergey Kovalev has quickly gone from unknown to superstar in a short period of time but you never forget your first. We have a little surprise for Sergey. Paco from the WBO is here and he has a little surprise for Sergey.” 

“We got to know Nadjib Mohammedi a year ago when he fought Anatoliy Dudchenko on one of our shows. He came in as the under dog and came away as the mandatory challenger.”

“I thank God every day for the day I met Egis Klimas and he brought me Sergey Kovalev. He has a great team around him. Sergey Kovalev’s trainer is a former world champion. I have known John David Jackson for a long time and he is one of the best trainers in the world.” 

“Bernard Hopkins said to me that Sergey is getting better with every fight. He is powerfully fast and shockingly dominating. He is the kind of guy that people want to see. Hopkins warned Sergey not to get complacent. I think a mark of a great fighter is no matter what you do you are never satisfied and that is the best way to describe Sergey.”

Peter Nelson – Vice President of Programming, HBO Sports

“Thank you. I want to thank all the media for coming out today this is a great turnout. I want to thank Main Events for putting together a tremendous event. They always make the best events. I want to thank Mandalay Bay and Richard Sturm for hosting us. Sergey Kovalev is one of the marquee fighters of our generation. He has a tough challenge ahead of him with Nadjib Mohammedi. I want to thank Joe DiGuardia for helping to make the fight with Jean Pascal and Yuniesky Gonzalez. We had a fight earlier this year with Jean Pascal and Sergey Kovalev and it was a big success. We are happy to have Pascal back on HBO. The telecast time is 10:00 PM ET/PT.”

Bob Bennett – Nevada Athletic Commission

“On behalf of the Nevada Athletic Commission, we are pleased and privileged to bring you this fight. We would like to thank Main Events, HBO, Richard Sturm and Mandalay Bay and last, but not least, we really want to thank the fighters because without them none of us would be here.” Read the rest of this entry »

Klitschko Fury

Heavyweights Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury came head-to-head at a press conference in Dusseldorf months before they fight for the heavyweight championship of the world on October 24.

In what was a fun and light-hearted initial press conference, both men outlined their reasons for thinking they’ll triumph at the ESPRIT arena later this year and Fury, the challenger, was typically boisterous and colorful in his approach.

“It’s a personal mission for me to rid boxing of a boring person like you,” said the 26-year-old. “I’m not interested in all the titles and all those belts you’ve got on there. I’m interested in breaking your face in. That’s what I’m interested in.

“Your jab-and-grab style means that surely all of Europe wants to see you get beaten and all of Europe and the rest of the world will see you get beaten. You have about as much charisma as my underpants. Zero. None.”

Fury continued: “The first time I met you face to face was in your training camp in Austria in 2010. I left with pure confidence. You’re nothing. Remember that. You are nothing and you are getting knocked out.”

Champion Klitschko, meanwhile, unbeaten in the last eleven years, said, “I believe Tyson Fury is really meaning what he’s talking about. He’s definitely not coming here on October 24 to be present and on the canvas. No, he’s here to win the championship.

“At the end of the day, it is going to be the fight. That speaks louder than any other action and any words.”