CARSON, CALIF. (October 12, 2017) – Fighters entering the ring for Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes tripleheader event went face-to-face at the final press conference Thursday before they compete at StubHub Center.
PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes is headlined by three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz defending his featherweight world title against Chris Avalos, while four-time world champion Abner Mares defends his 126-pound championship against once-beaten Andres Gutierrez. Televised coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with unbeaten rising contender Eddie Ramirez taking on former world champion Antonio DeMarco.
“I’m very happy to be in this position. I’m going to give a great show to the fans. There are a lot of great fighters here and we’re all going to try to put on the best performance of the night.
“I just want to give the fans a great fight. I’m going to bring the fight to Avalos and I hope he stays in there and looks to make it a war as well.
“I’m definitely not overlooking Avalos. I know that I have to fight a dangerous guy. He’s going to come to take my belt and he doesn’t care about any fight I want in the future.
“I hope that all my fans enjoy this fight because I’m going to give it my all. We worked really hard and trained really well for this fight. I have to take care of Avalos before I can worry about any other fights.
“I always prepare the same for my opponents. People have their opinions on each guy, but I respect all of my opponents the same.
“We’ve worked on versatility during training camp. You never know how an opponent is going to come out so I have to be ready to do anything and adjust in the ring.
“It’s important for me to give the fans in Southern California a great fight. These are the best fight fans and I always owe it to them to be at my best.
“It’s really a blessing to be here. I’m thankful to my team for giving me a strong, hard camp that has me very confident heading into this fight.
“I’m happy Leo took this fight and gave me the opportunity to prove myself. I know that I still have a lot to give and this is exactly the chance I need to show everyone that.
“I’m really happy to be in this position. I’m fighting a great competitor. He’s a hungry kid who has the opportunity of his lifetime. He’s going to take advantage of it
“I trained really hard. There were no shortcuts. It was hard training every day. Fighters like Gutierrez are the most difficult because they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
“It feels great to be back in this position fighting in what is basically my hometown. Everyone knows that StubHub Center is the ‘War Grounds.’ After Saturday night, I’m anticipating that everyone will go home happy.
“I can’t wait to get back in that ring. I want to give the fans a great show and make sure they leave satisfied. I’m really excited to take in the atmosphere before I enter the ring and go to work.
“The game plan always changes depending on the opponent, but I’m also ready to adjust during the fight. I have to stay focused and ready. In the end I think it’s going to be a great fight for the fans.
“Robert Garcia has taught me a lot and he’s brought some extra things out of me. I’ve looked great in sparring, but now it’s time for me to bring it into the ring.
“I definitely see some of myself Gutierrez. I was once the young fighter looking to upset the established veteran. That’s why I’ve trained for this fight like I’m facing any of the champions or top fighters. I know that it’s a tough fight and I’ll be ready.
“I think this fight will make me better. I like to entertain and I’m going to give you a really good show on Saturday.
“I’m honored to be here and give the fans a great fight on Saturday. What happened before the Frampton fight is behind me. I’m prepared and I feel very strong.
“I know that Abner is the highest level fighter that you can face. I have to be at my very best to win a world title. That’s the kind of challenge that I want and I’ll be ready for anything.
“I hope that Abner is not underestimating me. I want him to be at his very best so that when I win. My plan is to go in there and fight hard until the fight is over and show everyone how I compete.
“I want to give everyone a great fight. I’m ready for a war. I’m excited to put on a spectacular performance.”
“I had a great training camp and I’ve put all the hard work in. I stay in the gym so I’m always ready for an opportunity like this.
“My team is really important to me and they get a lot of the credit for getting me to where I am. We work hard and push each other every day in the gym.
“I get better every single time I get in the ring. This is going to be another learning experience for me as I get to where I want to go in my career. This is still only the beginning.
“Fights like these are ones that all champions have to go through before they reach the top level. It’s important to win, but also to impress when I’m in the ring.
“DeMarco is a guy with a lot of experience so I know that he thinks he has that advantage over me. All I can do is be at my best. I’m confident that my youth, speed and power will be the difference in the end.
“I can’t wait to showcase myself this Saturday and I hope to see everyone there. DeMarco is fighting for his career so I know that he is going to come prepared and put on a great fight.
“I want to thank everyone for being here and I’m thankful to be on this stage. This is another great experience for me in my career and one that I’m not going to take lightly.
“I also want to thank Eddie Ramirez for putting in the work and accepting this fight. I know that he will come prepared to give the fans a great show.
“It’s a blessing to be on a card of this magnitude. With guys like Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, I can’t stress how blessed I feel. I can’t wait to get in the ring.
“I have put myself through a terrific training camp for what I hope will be a great fight. I’m ready to prove to myself. I want to show the fans that when things get difficult, you can still overcome and come out victorious.”
Story by: Rahmon Ford
This Saturday afternoon at StubHub Center in Carson, California, an interesting double header will take place featuring favorites Leo Santa and Abner Mares. A win by both will set up a grudge rematch between the two combatants. The first fight ended as a majority decision win for Santa Cruz (117-111, 117-111, and 114-114). I agree with the first two scores, as the draw was more than a stretch.
Leo Santa Cruz (33-1-1) takes on Chris Avalos (27-5). At stake is Santa Cruz’s WBA World super featherweight title.
In order for Avalos to lift the title from Santa Cruz, he’s going to have to somehow get the jab working early and try to stay on the inside of Santa Cruz’s punches. He likes to mix it up and if he does, the close quarters will most likely be his domain as he needs to make it a rough and tumble fight. Sometimes Santa Cruz gives up his height and allows opponents the inside advantage.
If I’m Avalos I look to be the counter-puncher in this matchup. Although Avalos is a relentless puncher, Santa Cruz is too, and with more speed. Avalos should use his toolbox of punches, as he throws a solid range of combinations. Santa Cruz can be hit.
If he can get Santa Cruz to go backwards or at least be on his back foot, Avalos has a chance to do good work in this fight. If not, he needs to look for the counter hook.
Avalos needs to try to control the tempo of the fight as Frampton did in the first tussle with Santa Cruz. If he can double jab to the body to set up his explosive shots, he may fight pay dirt.
If Santa Cruz wants a second fight with Mares, he needs to dictate the pace against Avalos. Santa Cruz can apply pressure and throw tons of punches, yet not get into a firefight with Avalos.
He can do it by keeping Avalos at the end of his punches. Santa Cruz also needs to move forward consistently in this fight, behind a jab. As well as he did against Frampton in the rematch, I’d like to see the Santa Cruz of old prior to his two fights with Irishman.
Santa Cruz is accurate with his punches and I believe the jab is a crucial key to success for him in this fight.
Santa Cruz has fast hands and throws at a high volume. He can move you were he wants at times with his pressure and can mix to the body and head.
I’d like to see a less aggressive Avalos, at least early on. I think he can buy some time and figure things out by countering Santa Cruz.
However, what I’d like to see and what Avalos does are two different things. I believe he’ll get aggressive and when he does, Leo is going to time him and take him out.
Leo Santa Cruz TKO between the 5th and 8th rounds
Abner Mares (30-2-1) defends against Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1) for Mares’ WBA World featherweight title.
For Gutierrez to win I think he has to come out fast and take it to Mares. I’m not quite sure what Mares has left, which may sound like premature thought. However, Mares has had eye injuries in the past, including a career-threatening detached retina. He also failed a couple of eye exams, initially forcing the cancellation of his fight with Jesus Cuellar.
I’d like to see an attack to the body, but (and I don’t mean to sound cruel) he needs to go after the eye.
Gutierrez must look to overwhelm Mares and make it as uncomfortable in there for Mares as humanly possible by attacking Mares body mercifully. Mares on the flip side will have to use his big fight experience and dig into his bag of tricks and beat Gutierrez to the punch right off the jump. I’m taking Abner Mares by clear unanimous decision with some close hard to score rounds.
Gutierrez has a fantastic record, but the level of competition pails when compared to Mares. This is his opportunity and he should go for it.
If Gutierrez’s name sounds familiar, he’s the guy who was supposed to fight Carl Frampton earlier this year. Frampton missed weight and then Gutierrez fell in the shower. The result was deep gash on his chin, his nose, and he lost two teeth. See pictures below:
I think Gutierrez should play speed chess. He should attack Mares, but not brawl. Gutierrez has an excellent variety of punches. I love his jab. I love his left hook to the body and head in one quick motion.
He has a Manny Pacquiao type of guard where he has hands high and he bobs his head side to side. While it may be able to be timed at points in the fight, it gives Mares something to think about.
Abner Mares likes to pressure an opponent and try to take his will from him. He hits you to the head and goes downstairs to wear your body down. Sometimes south of the border. He’s rarely in a boring fight and I think this one steals the show.
Mares covets a rematch with Leo Santa Cruz and if he has anything left, he can thank his change in trainers to Robert Garcia who had him box well in his last win against Cuellar.
The key to Mares is to be the bully and make Gutierrez go backwards. If he does this, I like his chances. He should also use his experience and home advantage as Gutierrez hasn’t been in with big names outside of his lone loss.
I see Gutierrez moving, but not like Canelo against Golovkin. I see Chocolatito types of moves in there and Mares is going to attack his body to slow him down.
I think Gutierrez is coming to party on Saturday night. Mares is so focused on the Santa Cruz rematch that I think he may be there for the taking. Mares will win rounds simply by aggression, based on fighting at home in California for the tenth time as a pro.
While Mares has the experience and home crowd, I think Gutierrez has wrong style for him.
I’m calling the upset here!
Gutierrez by split decision
Robert GUERRERO RETIRES! SULLY Barrera, Marcus BROWNE, JEZREEL Corrales, Adam KOWNACKI, and Miguel BERCHELT win!
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Polish Heavyweight Showdown Featured on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes Saturday, July 15 from NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island
Click HERE for Photos from Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
& HERE for Photos from the Fan Meet & Greet from
Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment (Photos to be added shortly)
BROOKLYN (June 28, 2017) – Former title challenger Artur Szpilka and unbeaten Adam Kownacki squared-off for the first time at a press conference in Brooklyn Wednesday as they prepare for their Polish heavyweight showdown featured on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, July 15 in the first boxing event at the newly-renovated NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is headlined by a welterweight brawl between former world champions Omar Figueroa and Robert Guerrero plus a matchup of unbeaten light heavyweights Marcus Browne and Seanie Monaghan.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Ticketmaster Box Office at NYCB LIVE. Group discounts are available by calling 516-231-4848.
Szpilka and Kownacki spoke to press at Krolewski Jadlo Restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn before heading to Johnny’s Café in Queens for a meet and greet with fans.
Here is what the participants had to say Wednesday:
“Everything has been different this training camp. I’m focused on training for Adam Kownacki. I’ve lost some weight and I feel faster. Everything is feeling perfect.
“I want to show the world and my country that what happened in the Wilder fight was an accident. I feel ready and I can’t wait.
“The sparring has been perfect for this camp. I have two great sparring partners who are giving me different looks and getting me ready for Adam. I’m glad that I’ve been pushed really hard in sparring.
“I’m not worried about fighting in his hometown. I’m only focused on the man who is in front of me. It’s my job to go in there and take care of the man trying to knock me out.
“I have heard the talk from Kownacki about my chin, but there is nothing that he can say once we’re in the ring. On July 15 everyone will see my power and it will verify that I am the better fighter.
“We have talked a lot today, but on July 15 only our fists can talk and I can’t wait to perform in front everyone. I will show the whole world that I am ready for another shot at the world title.”
“I’m feeling great right now. I was in Poland for four weeks to spar with Tomasz Adamek and I think that helped me a lot. Now I’m back here with my team to finish up camp and work on preparing for a tough southpaw.
“I think I’ll be able to control my emotions on fight night. This is another fight in my long career. I have to go and do my best. This is a big step on my way to becoming a world champion and making my dreams come true.
“I think that styles make fights. My style is perfect for his style. I come forward and bring pressure and he’s been dropped so many times, I think his chin is probably gone. It’s hard to recuperate from a knockout like he had against Wilder.
“We’ve been working on everything we can in the gym. Knowing how to cut off the ring against a lefty is definitely very important. I’m getting better every day and with every sparring session. I’ll be ready on July 15.”
“This is a big chance for me to shine. I wish Artur all the success in the world, but it’s my time right now. July 15 you will see a great fight.”
RONNIE SHIELDS, Szpilka’s Trainer
“Artur is at the level where he’ll fight anybody in the world. We know how god Adam is. It’s going to be skill against skill.
“Training camp has been going great for Artur. He’s been having some really good sparring with some strong fighters who can simulate what Adam is going to do.
“Szpilka is in great shape right now, he’s ready to go. We’re going to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistake from the Wilder fight. He’s watched the tape and he knows what to do.”
KEITH TRIMBLE, Kownacki’s Trainer
“I’m thankful that Adam has this opportunity. I grew up on Long Island so it’s a dream come true to be a part of this event.
“This is going to be a great fight for the fans. The way people get behind their soccer teams, we will see that on July 15 from the Polish fans. It’s going to be a hell of a night.
“Adam is training so hard and he’s ready to go the distance. We’re ready for a war. Artur fought for a title recently so we couldn’t ask for a better fight. If we get this win, there are big things ahead for us.” Continue reading
Former World Champion Figueroa and Renowned Trainer Joel Diaz Set a Course to July 15 Showdown Against Robert Guerrero
Figueroa Finds Renewed Focus Amidst 118-Degree Desert Heat
Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes
live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT Saturday, July 15 from
NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island
Click HERE for Photos from Ryan Greene/Premier Boxing Champions
Indio, CA (June 26, 2017) – South Texas’s Omar “El Panterita” Figueroa, a former lightweight world champion, heads into training camp on a balmy 118-degree day in Indio, CA, home to his trainer Joel Diaz and his new boxing home-base since January. Figueroa re-enters the boxing ring on Saturday, July 15 when he takes on former multiple-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in the 147-pound main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT in the first boxing event at the newly-renovated NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The break that Figueroa took saw him embracing his Weslaco, Texas home, which sits right on the border to Mexico. It was a reset that had been coming for a fighter who fought in both Mexico and the U.S. as an amateur before turning pro after his first semester in college.
“Boxing is a very jealous sport. You do it 100% or you don’t do it at all,” said Figueroa explaining his 18-month break from the ring. “After my last fight I felt that I needed a break – time to be a father, a son, a brother and a friend. I needed the time to heal my body, mind and soul. I fought with broken hands, I fought world-class athletes; having fought since I was 6, I wanted to take a break and just be human. So I took a year off to heal from the injuries, be with my family and friends, be a father and just be me.”
It’s a break that Diaz, who Figueroa first trained with three years ago, agrees with. The two made a plan during his break to have the young fighter come from his Weslaco, TX home to California for an extended training period in preparation for his next fight, as well as set up his camp.
“It’s necessary to take time off,” said Diaz. “Sometimes fighters work too hard in training or in the action that they bring to the fights. Omar is the type of fighter that brings a lot of action to his fights and it takes a toll on his body. He’s an all-out fighter so he needs that time off to recuperate and restart himself. This break in his body and mind helped him recover from that strain so that he could come back and start fresh again. ”
Figueroa faces a tough opponent in Robert Guerrero when he steps back in the ring. Not only is Figueroa fighting above his normal weight-class, but he’s also fighting a former world champion across multiple weight-classes known to be a tough and cunning opponent.
“Guerrero is one of the toughest challenges for any boxer. He is a tough fighter, he doesn’t back down and he doesn’t quit,” said Figueroa. “You have to go into the fight knowing it’ll go the full 12 rounds and there won’t be any easy moment in the fight. But I’m prepared for that, it’s what I’ve been training for and it’s who I am.
“I’m excited and grateful to be part of bringing boxing back to the Nassau Veterans Coliseum and I plan to set a high standard. When you have fights in this arena, you know they are going be memorable,” added Figueroa.
See below for additional quotes from Figueroa and Diaz:
Omar Figueroa quotes:
On changing camp to Indio, CA and working with Joel Diaz:
“January 1 I was back in the boxing mode. Training, running, focusing on diet and getting ready and into camp. The break has given me more focus and the opportunity to change my camp up.
“I am back training with Joel Diaz in Indio, CA and have been going back to Texas to see my family. My dad will always be my father and a big part of my career, but I felt that when I ended my break, I wanted to change my program and go back to Joel. This is our first fight back and I’m looking forward to it in many ways.”
On training camp:
“My health and the time training have been great. I’m getting more and more excited for the fight as I’m getting prepared for it. It’s on my mind.
“I’m older, I’m wiser, I have been through this before and know what not to do. It’s the wisdom that comes with experience.”
On taking time off:
“It bought me the tranquility and peace of mind that I’m good, I’m healthy, I’m ready for this. This is what I want. I was missing this. I’ve never been more mentally ready for a fight than now.”
On his future:
“I don’t plan ahead; I don’t look to next fights. I look at the now and think about future fights after this one. I want to make sure I’m healthy.
“I don’t get ahead of myself with boxing. I am a boxer, a former world champion, I love and believe in the power of this sport, but I don’t let it rule my life.”
On training with his brother, Brandon Figueroa, in Indio:
“It helps me, we push each other. My family is very competitive so it helps to have someone like that training with me. It helps to have Brandon here as well as my cousins; we push each other to the limits. We live together, we train together, and we make sure we are the best we can be.”
On fighting for the first time in New York and his expectations:
“This is my first time fighting in New York, I expect the New York crowd to be ready for a good fight, because that’s what they’ll see from me.
“I want to be known for good shows. It’s what we get paid to do as fighters. I showcase the technical side of boxing and add a lot of entertainment behind how I fight, so that’s what the fans get.”
The role that Mexico, Texas and California play in his career;
“I feel like I get the best of all the worlds. I love Mexico – I go there all the time; I plan to go there after the fight. I love California, it’s taught me a lot, the people, the culture, the boxing here is phenomenal; and obviously Texas is where I grew up and it’s made me who I am. I love the opportunities that I get and the things I get to do, who I get to do it with and where I get to do it. ”
Joel Diaz, Figueroa’s Trainer:
On Training Camp:
“Training camp has been going great, we’ve had no problems like we have had in previous camps with injuries. His hands are healthy, his weight is good and overall he’s healthy. I think the layoff he took helped him a lot, he wants to get back in it and you can tell he’s motivated. It’s a great camp, great atmosphere and that’s what matters.”
On what he’s focusing on:
“Omar Figueroa is a fighter. He’s never going to change. My job is not to change him but make him better. He has a unique style that shows to everyone he’s a very effective puncher and it’s my job to get him in the right condition so he gets hit less, because he’s a risk taker. You wont see much change on the style, you’ll see the same action Omar that people want to see.”
On training both brothers
“They push each other; Omar being the oldest really pushes his brother. They train in two different weight classes and it’s good that they see the work they do amongst each other. They push each other in conditioning and in the ring. It’s good having them together.”
On his role as trainer:
“I’m in this sport for the fighters, my pride and my work. I take a lot of pride in what I do and I am not trying to fight for a trophy nor am I in it for myself. I’m in it for my fighters. This is work and I’m here to take full responsibility for the fighters in my program. I’m here to make my fighters champions in life, not just the ring.
“It took me years of hard work and effort, and now that I’m here I have to work harder, keep my same values and work to stay there.”
# # #
Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. The fights are available on desktop at FOXSportsGO.com and through the app store, or connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, all programs are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.
PBC on FOX & FOX Deportes
Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes is headlined by a matchup between exciting former world champions Omar “Panterita” Figueroa and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero on Saturday, July 15 in the first boxing event at the newly-renovated NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. July 15 will also be the first boxing event at the Coliseum since Mike Tyson headlined in 1986.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Ticketmaster Box Office at NYCB LIVE Group discounts are available by calling 516-231-4848.
For more information: visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, http://www.FOXsports.com/presspass/homepage, www.FOXdeportes.comwww.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @FS1, @FOXDeportes @LouDiBella, @NYCBLive and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/FOXsports and www.facebook.com/FOXdeportes. www.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/NYCBLive. PBC is sponsored by Corona, La Cerveza Mas Fina. BROOKLYN BOXING on Long Island is an extension of BSE’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ brand. For more information, visit brooklynboxingshop.com.
Deontay Wilder Scores Sensational Fifth Round KO Over
Gerald Washington To Retain Heavyweight World Title
Jarrett Hurd Defeats Tony Harrison By Ninth Round KO To
Secure IBF Junior Middleweight Title
Dominic Breazeale Stops Izuagbe Ugonoh In Action-Packed
Brawl To Win by Fifth Round KO
Click HERE for Photos from Premier Boxing Champions
BIRMINGHAM, AL. (February 25, 2017) – Undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) knocked out Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (18-1-1, 12 KOs) in the fifth round of the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes at the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, AL.
In front of a crowd of 12,346 fans, Wilder was able to give his home state crowd another scintillating victory. Although Washington stole some of the early rounds, Wilder’s patience paid off as he was able to find his pace and finish Washington in the fifth frame.
In the blistering televised opener, Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs) stopped previously unbeaten Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-1, 14 KOs). Ugonoh controlled the fight early landing heavy blows to both Breazeale’s body and head, but Breazeale was able to compose himself and stormed back to knock out Ugonoh in impressive fashion.
The co-main event featured Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs) knocking out Tony Harrison (24-2, 20 KOs) in the ninth round of their contest.
Here is what the fighters had to say following their bouts:
“I knew he was going to come in excited to fight for a world title. I just kept calm and found my rhythm. I really knew he was going to tire out, and when he did I took advantage.
“It was all about timing. I’m very smart when it comes to using different tactics in the ring.
“Fighting here in Alabama is a blessing. The people here show up to support me and I love them for it. I’m always going to support and be here for my Alabama family. To see the crowd’s response tonight meant a lot to me.
“As I’ve been saying, I’m looking to unify the division. I think it’s critical to have one fighter and one champion, and that’s Deontay Wilder. Let’s hope Joseph Parker is ready for me because I’m definitely ready for him.”
“I just got a little impatient. I was trying to go for it. It was an even boxing match. I could have kept it like that and kept it boring. I don’t know why I fell asleep there. I guess I lost a little focus.
“I caught him with one shot when he was coming in. But instead of me keeping that play going and keep pushing him back and keep him in control by keeping him in the center of the ring, I tried to get on him. I was trying to play a little counter punch role and catch him coming in. He just caught me.
“It’s just an experience. You have to follow the game plan and stay focused, stay patient. You may not get all the shots you want in the beginning, but you have to play the game all the way out and then things will start to happen.” Continue reading
Los Angeles – FOX Sports announces that four-time world heavyweight champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield and current featherweight world champion Abner Mares join the FOX Sports broadcast team as analysts for PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: WILDER VS. WASHINGTON live on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Feb. 25 (8:00 PM ET), from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Ala. In addition, FOX Sports and industry leader NextVR team to deliver the two-hour show in virtual reality.
Holyfield makes a special appearance as a guest analyst with the broadcast team of blow-by-blow announcer Brian Kenny, fellow analyst and long-time boxing trainer Virgil Hunter, Mares and reporter Kristine Leahy, during the exciting heavyweight bouts. The main event features the title fight between WBC world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) and unbeaten heavyweight Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs), as well as the 10-round clash between hard-hitting Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs) and undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0, 14 KOs).
Holyfield reigned as both the undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion in a career that spanned more than three decades from 1984 to 2011. He successfully defended the undisputed heavyweight championship three times.
Holyfield and Wilder share a connection. Both were born in Alabama – Holyfield in Atmore and Wilder in Tuscaloosa, where he still resides. Holyfield has followed Wilder’s career since the 31-year-old champion was a member of the U.S. boxing Olympic team and won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.
There is another Olympic connection between Holyfield and Ugonoh’s trainer, Kevin Barry. Holyfield and Barry met in the semifinals of a light heavyweight bout at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. The match was marred by controversy after Holyfield was disqualified in the second round for hitting Barry on the break. Because of the disqualification, Holyfield won the bronze medal for the U.S. team in the 1984 LA Games.
The fourth installment of PBC on FOX features the two heavyweight bouts, as well as a junior middleweight title fight. Once-beaten Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) and undefeated Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs) battle in a 12-round affair for a vacant 154-pound world championship.
Clash Between Hard-Hitting Tony Harrison and
Undefeated Jarrett Hurd Is Now For The
Vacant IBF Junior Middleweight World Title
The 12-Round, 154-Pound Title Battle Is Part of A Stacked Show To Be Televised in Prime Time
Live on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX &
FOX Deportes at8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Saturday, February 25 From Legacy Arena in
BIRMINGHAM, AL (February 16, 2017) – The stakes have been raised in the already highly-charged junior middleweight showdown between Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) and Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs). The clash between Harrison and Hurd has been elevated to a battle for the vacant IBF 154-pound world title and is part of an exciting night of action Saturday, February 25. on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes.
The title become vacant after titlist Jermall Charlo dropped the belt to move up to middleweight to seek bigger challenges in a new division.
Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT live from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama and is headlined by undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder defending his title in his home state for the fourth time, as he faces undefeated contender Gerald Washington.
“These guys have already shown their mettle by agreeing to fight each other – No. 2 versus No. 3 – for the No. 1 spot,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “Having this match be for a world title is a great reward for two young guys who have shown a willingness to face each other.”
“Boxing writers and fans are already buzzing about Harrison versus Hurd, an explosive matchup,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The winner will now be the IBF champion, bringing greatly increased significance to what should already be a war.”
The 26-year-old Harrison comes into this fight after scoring an explosive ninth-round stoppage of Sergey Rabchenko in July that put him in line for the world title. Harrison, who took down Cecil McCalla, Fernando Guerrero and Rabchenko in his last three contests, faces a tough challenge in the undefeated Hurd. The Detroit-native was unbeaten in his first 21 pro fights and recorded 10-straight knockouts between 2013 and 2015.
“I’ve been waiting on this for a long time. This the biggest shot of my life. It’s like my son being born all over again,” Harrison said. “This just made the fight that much more interesting. As a boxer this is what you dream of – the day you fight for a world title. Santa came early. We’re both 26 years old. It’s a dream come true for both of us. It doesn’t change the approach. It just makes it much sweeter and puts that much more respect on the winner of this fight.”
“This is the moment every boxer dreams of, becoming the world champion,” said Hurd. “I finally get that opportunity on the big stage – on the Deontay Wilder heavyweight championship card and on FOX in prime time on national TV. I’m blessed. I want to thank everyone for getting me to this point. Tony Harrison is a great fighter. It’s not going to be an easy fight. Tony Harrison is top-level competition and I’m a top level competitor. Two great fighters going after something they want. But I have to say my pants are falling and I need my belt.” Continue reading
Press Release: Super middleweight Caleb Plant (14-0, 10 KOs) will face Thomas Awimbono (25-6-1, 21 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions show on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes on Saturday, February 25th from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama. Coverage begins immediately following the Fox broadcast from the same venue that features Deontay Wilder defending his WBC heavyweight championship against Gerald Washington.
Plant will battle Awimbono in a ten-round super middleweight contest on a broadcast that will also include Jorge Lara (28-0-2, 20 KOs) fighting Jhon Gemino (15-7-1, 7 KOs) in a junior lightweight showdown.
Also entering the ring will be light heavyweight Michael Seals (20-1, 15 KOs) in a six-round bout and heavyweight Iago Kiladze (24-1, 16 KOs) in a different bout.
A 2011 National Golden Gloves champion, Plant picked up six victories in 2015, and moved into 2016 with stoppages of Adasat Rodriguez and Carlos Galvan before going ten rounds for the first time in a unanimous decision victory over Juan De Angel in August. The 24-year-old from Nashville recently began training in Las Vegas and sparred with top super middleweight contender George Groves ahead of this fight.
Plant will be opposed by Ghana’s Awimbono who now fights out of Brooklyn and will be fighting in the U.S. for the third time as a pro. [Awimbono has lost both fights in the US, his last two. The losses were administered to him by Derrick Webster and Mike Gavronski].
From Guadalajara, Mexico, Lara’s last fight was a first-round knockout of former multiple division champion Fernando Montiel. The 26-year-old has ended eight of his last ten fights early, including Jovanny Soto, Jairo Hernandez and Oscar Ibarra.
He takes on 24-year-old Jhon Gemino out of Lipa City, Phillippines, who most recently scored a first round knockout of previously unbeaten Toka Kahn Clary.
Additional undercard action will see a ten-round middleweight showdown between unbeaten Alantez Fox (21-0-1, 10 KOs) and Birmingham-native Kenneth McNeil (10-2, 7 KOs) plus unbeaten heavyweight Junior Fa (9-0, 6 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Rounding out the night of fights is unbeaten Thomas Knox (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round middleweight attraction, heavyweight Robert Alfonso (10-0, 3 KOs) facing Alabama’s Keith Thompson (8-4, 6 KOs) in a six-round fight and Deon Nicholson (1-0) in a four-round cruiserweight bout against Josh Rasberry (pro debut).
Televised coverage on FOX and FOX Deportes begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and also features a pair of exciting matchups as rising super welterweight contenders Tony Harrison and Jarrett Hurd meet in a 12-round world title eliminator, plus hard-hitting Dominic Breazeale battles undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh in heavyweight action.
Tickets for the live event are on sale now. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and by visiting AlabamaTitleFight.com.
Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. The fight is available on desktop at FOXSportsGO.com and through the app store, or connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, the show will be simulcast on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.