Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy Final Press Conference Recap
Click Here for Video File – Credit Main Events
Click Here for Photos and Audio File – Photo Credit: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events:
It’s Thanksgiving week in New York City. It’s a time for people to consider what they are thankful for; to count their blessings. I can speak for everyone at Main Events and say how thankful we are to have the opportunity to put on a show for boxing fans at the greatest venue for boxing in the United States, Madison Square Garden. We’re thankful we can offer these talented, dedicated athletes the chance to reach for their goals and better their lives through boxing. Tickets starting at $50 are still available through Ticketmaster and the Madison Square Garden box office for Saturday’s event or you can watch live on HBO World Championship Boxing® starting at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time.
Our card features two bouts in the competitive light heavyweight division: Sullivan Barrera vs. Felix Valera and our main event, the Next Chapter in Sergey Kovalev’s career, the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title fight against Vyacheslav “Lion Heart-Chingonskyy” Shabranskyy.
The opening bout of the HBO telecast brings together two action-oriented junior lightweights, Jason Sosa and Yuriorkis Gamboa, in a must win 10-round fight. On our off TV undercard, we have three talented and undefeated Eastern European fighters out of the famed Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California with Bakhram Murtazaliev, who is co-promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions, facing Carlos Galvan in a ten-round super welterweight bout, a battle of the unbeaten between middleweights Meiirim Nursultanov and Eric Moon and Enriko Gogokhia versus Jose Antonio Abreu in a welterweight showdown.
And, a little treat for all the New York fans, we have three born-and-bred local fighters getting the chance to perform in front of their friends and family on Thanksgiving weekend. They include Brooklyn’s Frank Galarza making his Madison Square Garden debut against Jaime Herrera, Long Island-native LeShawn “Lightning” Rodriguez, who has promised to put on his own Winter Spectacular versus Alex Duarte and, making his pro debut, Ismael Villarreal, from the Bronx, will face Race Sawyer.
We are thankful to our sponsors Medoff Vodka and Leon.RU. We are thankful for all our partners in this card; working with so many good people proves you cannot succeed alone. I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions, Shuan Boxing Promotions, Peltz Promotions and Krusher Promotions for a wonderful working relationship making this event possible. I want to thank HBO, especially Peter Nelson and Tony Walker, for their unwavering support. We will not let you down. As always, we thank you for the opportunity.
Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President – HBO Sports:
I want to thank all the press for being here. It’s a great privilege to be associated with such a great event and to see you all turn out here before a holiday. I want to thank, first and foremost, everyone at Main Events, constant professionals. We always know we can rely on Main Events to, not only deliver us a great show, but also on the undercard, off HBO, Kathy is giving us a glimpse into the future. The fighters she just named are all apart of budding generation you will be seeing on HBO in the coming years. I would also like to thank the different parties working together in order to make this event happen, obviously Krusher Promotions as well as Golden Boy Promotions. I want to thank everyone on team Barrera as well as team Valera, in addition to Russell Peltz. This guy gives the best talks in all of boxing and he is just sitting there right now. I don’t understand what we are doing here. Every time he gets up here he schools everybody. You never want to talk after Russell Peltz.
I want to thank everyone who is really committed to making the best fights in boxing and constantly working together in order to do that. It is important to work with people who want to put the fights together that the fighters want. They have to be willing to work with anybody, anywhere and the fighters we want on the network are the ones who want to fight anyone, anytime and anywhere. As I can attest with all these fighters up here, I have never had that problem with any of them. They have never turned down a fight. Those are the kind of fighters people want to watch. Those are the kind of fighters that make the fights people want to see. And those are the kind of fights that lead to bigger and better things for each of the fighters involved. Our start time is 10 p.m. and we have a triple header.
We have all action fights on HBO. In the super featherweight division with Jason Sosa and [Yuriorkis] Gamboa are going to compete in order to see what the big next step is to come in their career. The light heavyweight division, as Kathy said, is a stacked division. Two great fights there. Maybe we see the winners meet up down the road. We see some others fighters who are in great position to try and take dominance over an open division right now and have a world title fight like Sergey vs. Shabranskyy. If you aren’t going to be at home or watching it on television, set your DVR. Hopefully you will be at the arena on Saturday night. We look forward to seeing you all. Thanks very much.
Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President – Madison Square Garden:
I really want to welcome everybody here to this final press conference at MSG. This is really an exciting time at The Garden as we get ready to host three consecutive weekends of great fights. We haven’t done that since the 1960s. The two guys that are fighting this weekend will follow in the footsteps of all the great boxers and fighters that fought in the MSG ring. Sergey is really one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and we know that he is ready to start the next chapter of his brilliant career. We are thrilled to host the light heavyweight world championship fight between Sergey and Vyacheslav. It will be another night in a long history of great fights at The Garden. As all you know The Theater is actually a tremendous place to host a fight and view one. We are sure all the loyal fans will come out. It’s just going to be a great atmosphere on fight night with top quality boxing at The Garden. Those two things are synonymous. The Garden has been in the boxing business for over 130 years. This will just add to the rich history of all the MSG fighters: Sugar Ray Robinson, Ali, Joe Frazier and the list goes on and one. As I said this kicks off three fights in a row. Three weekends in a row so it really is an exciting time for us. I really want to thank Kathy, Peter, their staffs from myself, Sal Federico and my staff. It’s just been great to work together with everybody. I want to take this time to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving. As Kathy said its Thanksgiving weekend and for everybody to come out is great. Hopefully everyone has a great Thanksgiving, a great holiday and end it with a great night of boxing here at MSG. I look forward to seeing everyone and have a great holiday.
Finally, to the media present and watching live, thank you for your time and attention. I promise you, in the months and years to come, you’ll remember you were here to witness The Next Chapter in Sergey Kovalev’s career.
We have an exciting undercard – this is a full Thanksgiving meal with plenty on the table. Opening our bout on the HBO card is former unified featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (27-2, 17 KOs) stepping in to fight former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion, Jason Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) in a ten-round super featherweight fight. Gamboa is a native of Guantanamo, Cuba, an Olympic gold medalist. This is a fight he wanted. Sosa is one of our many local fighters on the undercard, from Camden, New Jersey. These guys both want to start the next chapter of their careers on a winning note.
Russell Peltz, President – Peltz Boxing:
When they get to this part of the press conference, they start with the main event. Teddy Brenner was the greatest matchmaker in the history of boxing. For those of you who don’t know who he was, he was the matchmaker here at MSG from the late 50s to the late 70s before that he ran what they call the House of Upsets in the Eastern Parkway of Brooklyn where about a third of the 200 main events he made became rematches in The Garden. No one will ever surpass Teddy because Teddy promoted fights, he did not promote fighters. He had three criteria for what made a good fight: 1. Do the styles mesh? Gamboa and Sosa are each 5’6. They each try to hurt people. 2. Does the fight lead somewhere? The winner has been promised a shot at a world title. 3. The most important is, would I buy a ticket to see this fight? Absolutely. That’s why I think it’s the most compelling, the most intriguing, the most interesting fight on this card. Gamboa cannot afford a loss. People say he is washed up. He is 25-2. I don’t know how washed up you can be at 25-2. We expect to see the best Gamboa there has been. The one I have ran into here a few years ago when he knocked out a fighter I had Rogers Mtagwa. Jason Sosa is coming off a defeat to Lomachenko and I was in the dressing room with him after that fight. It was a tearful scene. Peter Nelson from HBO came in and said, ‘I promise I won’t forget what you did for us this night. You stepped in when no one else wanted to fight Lomachenko at that time for any reasonable amount of money.’ Jason took the challenge and everybody said it’s the end of his career and here we are back again. Peter made good on his promise and we are one fight away from fighting for the world title. We would love to fight any of the guys that are fighting on the HBO show on December 9th.When Robert Diaz or Eric Gomez or Peter Nelson call me I don’t even say hello. I say will take it because that’s what fighters do; they fight. I’m really looking forward to this thank you.
Jason Sosa, former WBA Super Featherweight World Champion:
First I don’t really have a lot to say because tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are not gonna have the privilege to eat at least four or five plates. I would just like to give thanks. Thanks to the media. Thanks to Peter Nelson and Main Events. I am thankful for my family, my two kids and my mom. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to, once again, showcase my talent on HBO. Continue reading