Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Undercard Quotes & Photos

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Fighters Competing on SHOWTIME PPV & FOX & FOX Deportes Prelims

This Saturday, Aug. 26 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

 

Click HERE for Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Click HERE for Photos from Idris Erba/Mayweather Promotions

 

LAS VEGAS (August 23, 2017) – Mayweather vs. McGregor fight week continued on Wednesday after the main event final press conference with open media workouts for fighters competing on the undercard this Saturday, Aug. 26 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

 

The four-fight SHOWTIME PPV event, beginning live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, will feature undefeated rising star Gervonta “Tank” Davis making the second defense of his IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship against undefeated challenger Francisco Fonseca plus light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly defending his belt against former super middleweight champion Badou Jack. The telecast begins with unbeaten Andrew Tabiti and former world champion Steve Cunningham meeting in a 10-round battle.

 

Coverage begins on FOX and FOX Deportes with a one-hour Prefight Show at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Prelims on FOX and FOX Deportes begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and will see a battle between welterweight contenders Thomas Dulorme and Yordenis Ugas plus a showdown of unbeaten prospects as Juan Heraldez meets Jose Miguel Borrego in a 10-round bout.

 

Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from MGM Grand:

 

GERVONTA DAVIS

“It feels great being a 22-year-old world champion on the biggest card in fight sports history. I’m ready to shine.

 

“I’ve watched Fonseca and he’s a tough, undefeated opponent who has a high work rate and good defense. My team has a great game plan for this fight and there are several things we plan to do in order to successfully defend my belt.

 

“It feels great being the youngest U.S. champion and I’m happy that I’m making my fans and the city of Baltimore proud.

 

“I just want to keep winning, look spectacular while doing so and keep building towards being that next PPV superstar in boxing. Keep supporting me and I’ll fight for you.”

 

FRANCISCO FONSECA

“I’m taking in the moment and enjoying it. I’ve always dreamed of being on a card like this, it just so happens to be the biggest card in combat sports history. I’ve trained hard to take this title away.

 

“I’m an athlete. I can box or I can go forward and apply pressure. I can dominate at all three distances; it just depends on the opponent.

 

“Gervonta is a good fighter. He has respectable power but I don’t believe it’s true knockout power. I have a game plan to win this fight.

 

“I will be the first world champion from Costa Rica and that’s what it’s all about. I fight for my family and my country.”

 

NATHAN CLEVERLY

“This is a real good feeling. I’m loving the moment. I’m on the biggest stage in the boxing world. This is already a big fight between me and Jack but to be on this historic stage is truly special.

 

“Jack is a good, solid fighter. He’s a good operator. It’s going to be a good fight and a tough one. I’m going to take him on and get the win.

 

“It’s not a huge jump in weight but I think at some point in the fight he will feel the difference. At this level, it’s different than what he’s used to.

 

“I’m always learning in this sport. I have more experience and I’ve matured as a person and as a fighter. All around I’ve taken big steps to become a world champion again and I’m not planning to lose my title.

 

“It’s going to be an intense fight. There will be a lot of big exchanges of punches. Ultimately, my experience as an established light heavyweight will make the difference. I think I’ll win this fight by a wide decision.”

 

BADOU JACK

“I know Cleverly is a tough guy who comes to fight and I think he’s going to be perfect for my style. We have a great game plan for him.

 

“I’m always thinking knockout. It’s easier said than done. I’ve been robbed my last two fights so I know that I have to get this done inside of 12 rounds.

 

“There are bigger and better fights here in the light heavyweight division. There are a lot of big fights and money to be made in this division.

 

“I thought my last four fights were clear wins. But none of them were unanimous. It happens in this sport but hopefully this time I don’t have to worry about the scorecards.

 

“I want to fight Adonis Stevenson. But I’m not overlooking Cleverly at all. I’m 100 percent focused on this fight. After I get the win, I’m going to go after the big fights.”

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Two World Title Fights, Including Champion Gervonta Davis Facing Francisco Fonseca, Announced for Mayweather vs. McGregor SHOWTIME PPV Undercard

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Badou Jack Challenges 175-Pound Champ Nathan Cleverly & Undefeated Andrew Tabiti Takes on Two-Time World Champion Steve Cunningham In Trio Of High-Stakes Matchups Preceding Mayweather vs. McGregor Main Event

Aug. 26 Live on SHOWTIME PPV at 9 p.m. ET From T-Mobile Arena In Las Vegas

 

LAS VEGAS (August 10, 2017) – Two world championship fights including a title defense by America’s youngest world champion are part of the trio of high stakes matchups on the Mayweather vs. McGregor SHOWTIME PPV undercard on Saturday, Aug. 26 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and presented by Mayweather Promotions.

 

The four-fight SHOWTIME PPV event, beginning live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, is headlined by the unprecedented super welterweight matchup between boxing’s undefeated all-time great Floyd Mayweather and UFC superstar Conor McGregor.  In the co-featured bout, undefeated rising star Gervonta “Tank” Davis will make the second defense of his IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship against undefeated challenger Francisco Fonseca as the 22-year-old looks to continue his reign as the youngest current champion from the U.S.

 

WBA Light Heavyweight Titlist Nathan Cleverly will defend his title against former 168-pound world champion Badou Jack “The Ripper”, who is stepping up in weight and into this world title tilt.

 

The pay-per-view telecast will open with undefeated rising cruiserweight contender Andrew “The Beast” Tabiti taking ontwo-time world champion Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham in a 10-round bout for the USBA cruiserweight title.

 

“What a night this will be for fight fans,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Not only will they witness a first of its kind main event, but they will also see two incredible world title fights, as Mayweather Promotions’ very own current and former world champions go head-to-head in separate bouts. Gervonta Davis is nothing short of pure boxing talent with dynamite power.  Former super middleweight world champion Badou Jack is making his light heavyweight debut, and looking to take the title away from a tough and experienced Nathan Cleverly.  But first, Andrew “The Beast” Tabiti will open the pay-per-view telecast with what I expect to be a magnificent performance.  This diverse card is an epic, international affair stacked with talent.  Make sure you don’t miss the biggest event the sport has ever seen.”

 

“This undercard includes three meaningful matches featuring fighters we’ve seen develop over the years on SHOWTIME,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports.  “Gervonta Davis has fast-tracked himself to stardom on this network, we’ve seen Badou Jack develop from prospect to champion, and we’re now witnessing similar growth with Andrew Tabiti.  We’re excited to watch them compete in tough, competitive matchups on this global stage.”

Gervonta Davis vs. Francisco Fonseca – IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship

One of the fastest-rising young stars in the sport, Davis (18-0, 17 KOs) became the youngest reigning champion from the U.S. when he knocked out Jose Pedraza in January to capture the IBF 130-pound crown. The 22-year-old made his first title defense in style when he went to London and stopped Liam Walsh in May. Both bouts aired live on SHOWTIME.  Representing Baltimore, Davis won the 2012 National Golden Gloves championship and scored knockouts in his first eight fights after turning pro in 2013. He enters this matchup on a streak of nine-straight fights that have ended with a knockout victory.

 

“I’m really excited to fight as the co-main event on the biggest card in combat sports history,” said Davis. “I plan to put on a great show for everyone in attendance in Las Vegas and for those who purchase the PPV. I want to thank my team for this incredible opportunity. I’m ready for Floyd Mayweather to pass his torch to me. To my fans, I appreciate all of you. Support me and I’ll fight for you!”

 

Fighting out of San Ramon, Costa Rica, Fonseca (19-0-1, 13 KOs) has won 19 straight fights after turning pro with a majority draw in 2013. Fonseca quickly established himself as one of the top fighters from his country with victory after victory, including a fourth-round knockout of Luis Gonzlaez to capture a regional 130-pound belt last August. The 23-year-old will make his U.S. debut when he faces Davis and he enters this contest having won his last five bouts inside of the distance. Fonseca began his 2017 with a third round knockout of Eliecer Lanzas in March and is trained by two-time world champion Ivan Calderon.

 

“I am super grateful for this great opportunity,” said Fonseca. “The dream of every young boxer is to fight for the world title and this opportunity comes at the best moment of my career and in the biggest in the history of this sport. I will beat Gervonta Davis and I will shock the world that night.”

 

Nathan Cleverly vs. Badou Jack – WBA Light Heavyweight World Championship

A two-time world champion at light heavyweight, Cleverly (30-3, 16 KOs) bounced back from a defeat to Andrzej Fonfara in a 2015 Fight of the Year contender to defeat hometown champ Juergen Braehmer last October to pick up his WBA title. Cleverly’s previous title reign saw him take down the likes of Tony Bellew, Nadjib Mohammedi, Shawn Hawk and Tommy Karpency before dropping a contest to Sergey Kovalev. The Wales resident will make his fourth start in the U.S., having won two of his first three contests stateside.

 

“This is a fight I have wanted ever since Badou Jack moved to light heavyweight and I’m delighted to fight in Vegas on an event like this,” said Cleverly. “I’ve trained long and hard for this fight and I’m ready to be let off the leash. This is the biggest fight of my career so far and I’m going to do a number on Badou Jack on August 26.”

 

Now fighting in the 175-pound division, Jack’s final fight at 168 pounds came in a title unification on SHOWTIME in January against James DeGale.  Jack (21-1-2, 12 KOs) shook off an early knockdown to floor DeGale in the final round in a close majority draw in which both fighters retained their belts. The 2008 Olympian from Gambia won his world title in 2015 by defeating then unbeaten Anthony Dirrell and defended the belt against current champion George Groves and former champion Lucian Bute. The 33-year-old is unbeaten in his last six bouts as he seeks a world title in a second weight class.

 

“I’m thankful for this opportunity and I’m excited about getting another shot at a world title,” said Jack. “To be a part of this event and fighting on this card is historic. Nothing beats it. I’m excited to get back in the ring. I’m getting ready to take that belt, and win a title in my second weight class. The biggest difference between past training camps and preparing for this fight is the fact that I was training to get the weight down, now I’m training to build muscle and perfect my boxing strategy. This will be a tough fight, but I don’t see any issues getting through it. I feel confident and fans can expect a win by knockout or decision. He’s not leaving with that belt. It’s staying right here in Las Vegas.”

 

Andrew Tabiti vs. Steve Cunningham – 10 Round Cruiserweight Bout

Originally from Chicago but fighting out of Las Vegas, Tabiti (14-0, 12 KOs) recorded victories against previously unbeaten fighters Keith Tapia and Quantis Graves in his last two outings – both on ShoBox: The New Generation – as he works to solidify himself as a contender in the red hot cruiserweight division. The 27-year-old turned pro in 2013 after amassing a solid 32-6 amateur record and scored knockout victories in his first 10 fights. He’ll battle his most experienced opponent to date when he faces the multiple-time champion Cunningham.

 

“I’ve always been dedicated when it comes to training and this camp has been no different,” said Tabiti. “I know I am fighting a veteran who has a lot of experience, so I can’t slack on my conditioning and training. He’s tough and he’s only been stopped once and that was when he moved up in weight to heavyweight, so it would be a big statement for me to stop him. This fight is a test for me. Anytime you get in the ring you never really know how things will pan out, but I have a great team. To the fans, expect a victory and a great fight on August 26th because I am going to make sure I come out on top.”

 

Representing the great fight city of Philadelphia, Cunningham (29-8-1, 13 KOs) returned to action in March with a victory over Felipe Romero after an exciting challenge of cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki in April 2016. Twice a world champion as a cruiserweight, he defeated Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in 2006 to capture his belt before successfully defending his title against Marco Huck via a twelfth-round TKO. He became a world champion again in 2010 when he stopped Troy Ross in the fifth round. The experienced veteran also owns victories over previously unbeaten fighters Amir Mansour and Natu Visinia and scored a knockdown of Tyson Fury in a losing effort during their 2013 bout.

 

“This is one of the biggest cards of the decade and its mind blowing to be a part of it,” said Cunningham. “I have to top it off with a victory. Taking on a good, undefeated young prospect is a challenge in itself, but a victory will prove age is just a number. Hard work is a part of my everyday life.” Continue reading

Heavyweight Showdown Between Exciting Contenders Travis Kauffman & Amir Mansour Headlines PBC: The Next Round on Bounce Friday, March 17 in Reading, PA 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m.

 

 

 

Heavyweight Showdown Between Exciting Contenders
Travis Kauffman & Amir Mansour Headlines
Premier Boxing Champions: The Next Round on Bounce on Friday, March 17 from Santander Arena in Reading, PA
9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

 

Plus! Former Title Challenger Edner Cherry Battles Once-Beaten Omar Douglas While Former Two-Time World Champion Steve Cunningham Enters the Ring in Cruiserweight Action

 

TICKETS ON SALE NOW 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

READING, PA (February 15, 2017) – A showdown between exciting heavyweight contenders Travis “My Time” Kauffman (31-1, 23 KOs) and Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (22-2-1, 16 KOs) headlines action on Premier Boxing Champions: The Next Round on Bounce Friday, March 17 from Santander Arena in Reading, PA.

Televised coverage on Bounce begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature former title challenger
Edner Cherry (35-7-2, 19 KOs) taking on once-beaten Omar Douglas (17-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout plus former two-time world champion Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham (28-8-1, 13 KOs) will enter the ring in a 10-round cruiserweight attraction. The most recent Premier Boxing Champions – The Next Round on Bounce (Fri. Feb. 10) reached 1.5 million viewers and delivered series records for viewership.

Reading’s Kauffman and Philadelphia’s Mansour will meet in a 12-round battle of Pennsylvania-rivals who are looking to go through the other on their way to a world title shot.

“I am very excited for this fight on March 17,” said Kauffman. “I am training very hard, and I’m ready to take care of business. This win will get me to the next level. Amir is a tough fighter who has never been in a bad fight. He is a desperate fighter who knows this is his last chance to retain his spot as a heavyweight contender, so I expect to see the best Amir Mansour. I will be very sharp. I expect a better performance than I had against Chris Arreola.”

“This is a fight that the heavyweight division needs,” said Mansour. “This is two top quality facing off against each other. I am the toughest fighter that he has ever faced, but he is not the toughest fighter that I have faced. I will say that he is one of the best boxers in the heavyweight division. He has tremendous boxing skills, and I am looking forward to mixing it up with someone who can box and fight.” Continue reading

Undefeated Rising Star Errol Spence Jr. Makes A Statement In The Welterweight Division With Dominating Fifth-Round Stoppage Of Former World Champion Chris Algieri

Errol SpenceBROOKLYN (April 17, 2016) – Undefeated rising welterweight star Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (20-0, 17 KOs) went emphatically from prospect to contender with a fifth-round stoppage of former world champion Chris Algieri (21-3, 8 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC Saturday night from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

“It meant a lot to get the stoppage,” said Spence Jr. “I did something Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan couldn’t do. That shows where I’m at in the welterweight division.”

Spence Jr. was superior in every regard as he took control of the fight from the beginning with world-class bodywork and blazing speed. Algieri was expected to be a major step-up for the 2012 U.S. Olympian, but was unable to bother his opponent despite landing 31 percent of his punches to Spence Jr.’s 30 percent per CompuBox stats.

“I can’t take anything away from this young hungry lion,” said Algieri. “He did a great job. I trained really hard for this fight. I hope that people appreciate me and how hard I worked and what I brought to the fight.”

“The Truth” dominated by landing 41 percent of his power punches over the five rounds and only lost one round on the three judges’ scorecards. Spence Jr. sent Algieri down for the first time in the fourth round with a combination finished off by a straight left hand.

Algieri survived the round, but Spence Jr. was determined to get a stoppage and he connected with another straight left that put Algieri on the canvas early in round five.

“It was pretty one-sided, I felt,” said Spence Jr. “I started slowly. He said he was going to take me to deep waters so I wanted to pace myself.”

“I just wasn’t sticking to the style and the strategy like I should have,” said Algieri. “We had a couple of different styles that we were going to show him and I never stayed in one style long enough to be effective.”

Spence Jr. saw his opportunity and launched a vicious attack in an attempt to end the fight. A massive left hook connected clean with Algieri’s jaw and put him on the canvas for the third and final time, as referee Benjy Esteves waved off the bout at :48 seconds into the fifth round.

“Everyone wanted to see what I could do against a proven fighter and I blew him out of the water,” added Spence Jr.

In the opening bout of the telecast, Polish star Krzysztof Glowacki (26-0, 16 KOs) sent former world champion Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham (28-8-1, 13 KOs) to the canvas four times on his way to a unanimous decision to retain his cruiserweight world title in front of a raucous Polish-heavy crowd.

“Power and precision is my trademark,” said Glowacki. “That’s always been my game. I was a little bit reluctant because of the surgery, but I got more comfortable as the fight went on.”

Glowacki got the action going early as he scored his first knockdown with a left hand that he would use to control the fight and knocked down Cunningham a second time shortly after the former champion rose to his feet.

“I’m just disappointed,” said Cunningham. “I knew I just had to work. The corner kept telling me to go to the body more in the later rounds. I’ve been down before. I knew I had to go at this guy.”

The southpaw from Walcz, Poland and the orthodox veteran from Philadelphia combined for several exciting exchanges as Cunningham was able to land his share of power right hands but was more often than not met with Glowacki’s thudding left.

“The plan from the beginning was to hit him with the left hand and you could tell I was hitting with full power,” said Glowacki. “I couldn’t hit that hard against Marco Huck because of my injury and now I’m hoping to keep that power up in my next fight.”

Cunningham went down again in the 10th round from a short right hand but was able to rally and stun Glowacki with a big right hand. The champion recovered quickly, but Cunningham did arguably his best work of the fight in the 11th round as he aggressively attacked Glowacki with combinations to the head and body.

The fireworks continued in the final round as a strong combination put Cunningham down for the fourth time in the fight. The challenger rose to his feet and attacked effectively at times, but the left hand proved to be too much.

“He punched with me and caught me coming in,” said Cunningham. “I knew after the second round knockdowns that I had to get rounds back and go get him. He’s a smart fighter.”

Cunningham was actually able to land a higher percentage of punches than Glowacki as he connected on 34 percent versus just 25 percent from Glowacki. However the knockdowns and Glowacki’s output advantage of 462 to 366 was enough for him to retain his title by scores of 116-108 and 115-109 twice.

“The fans were my motivation throughout the fight,” said Glowacki. “I just wanted to give them more and more. I want to thank everyone who came and watched me.”

The televised swing bout saw 2012 U.S. Olympian “Sir” Marcus Browne (18-0, 13 KOs) remained undefeated with a narrow split-decision victory over previously unbeaten Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KOs) in an eight-round light heavyweight contest.

“Establishing my jab was the key,” said Browne. “Once I did that, he couldn’t get past it. He got me with a couple of good shots.”

Kalajdzic was emphatic that the judges were wrong in their decision.

“I don’t see how I lost,” said Kalajdzic. “I was the aggressor. I showed my heart. If he feels like he beat me, give me the rematch.”

The southpaw Browne was able to jab his way into control of the fight by landing 52 jabs to the 54 thrown by Kalajdzic the whole fight. Browne was able to bruise and eventually open up a cut over Kalajdzic’s left eye late in the fight.

In the first round, Browne was credited with a controversial knockdown as it appeared via replay that a slip had occurred and Browne had hit Kaladjzic after he was down.

Kalajdzic was effective with his power punches throughout the fight as he landed 36 percent of his power punches to 29 percent from Browne. His most effective moment came in round six when he sent Browne to the mat with a right hand.

“He caught me with something that grazed me,” said Browne. “I didn’t even know what it was. I walked into the punch but I was able to get up from it and get back in rhythm.”

“He didn’t do anything that bothered me,” said Kalajdzic. “I was doing my thing. I should have listened to my coaches more and I would have stopped him.”

Browne was able to recover for the final two rounds and earn the split-decision by scores of 76-74 for Kalajdzic, 76-74 for Browne and 76-75 again for the still unbeaten Staten Island-native.

“I love fighting in front of my fans and family. We gutted this one out and it’s on to the next one,” added Browne.

PBC on NBC was promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Star Boxing.

Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform was presented by AARP. PBC on NBC was sponsored by Corona, La Cerveza Mas Fina.
For more information visit http://www.premierboxingchampions.com and http://www.nbcsports.com/boxing, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing,@ErrolSpenceJr, @ChrisAlgieri, @USSCunningham, @Marcus_Browne, @LouDiBella, @StarBoxing,@NBCSports, @BarclaysCenter and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, http://www.facebook.com/NBCSports, http://www.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment and http://www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. Highlights available at http://www.youtube.com/premierboxingchampions.

PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS ON NBC FIGHTER QUOTES

Spence Algieri

Errol Spence Chris Algieri

BROOKLYN (April 14, 2016) – As they near the weigh-in and fight night for their Saturday, April 16 showdowns at Barclays Center, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC fighters and undercard fighters spoke about their upcoming bouts.

 

PBC on NBC fighters Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr., Chris Algieri, Krzysztof Glowacki, Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham and “Sir” Marcus Browne, plus undercard fighters Heather “The Heat” Hardy, Chris Colbert and Earl Newman talked about why fight fans should watch on Saturday, why they believe they will win and shared what they will be eating after they weigh-in.

 

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Star Boxing, start at $25, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.comwww.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

 

Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:

 

ERROL SPENCE JR

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “This is a great card from top to bottom. These are all competitive fights. I’m an exciting fighter and I’m going to give the fans something to remember.”

 

On why he believes he will win: “I believe I’m going to be victorious because I trained too hard not to be. We have a great game plan and I believe in my abilities as a fighter.”

 

On what he will eat after he weighs-in: “I’m going to have some pasta and probably a sweet potato. I’m going to keep it healthy but still gain some weight.”

 

CHRIS ALGIERI

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “My fights are always exciting. I bring the action and you can expect a fast-paced technical fight.”

 

On why he believes he will win: “I’m going to win because styles make fights and I have the style to beat Errol Spence Jr.”

 

On what he will eat after he weighs-in: “Spaghetti and meatballs are my go to after a weigh-in.”

 

KRZYSZTOF GLOWACKI

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “We are going to steal the show, just like when I fought Marco Huck. The main event is going to be before the main event. It’s going to be an explosive fight. There is no way I’m going back to Poland without the belt.”

 

On why he believes he will win: “I am a champion and I trained too hard to get to this point to just give it away. I’m even more confident and better prepared than I was for my last fight. I will win not just for myself, but for my family.”

 

On what he will eat after he weighs-in: “I’m going to have the great American steak at Peter Luger’s.”

 

STEVE CUNNINGHAM

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “It’s always good to watch a veteran of the United States military fight. We know how to fight. We don’t know how to quit. You know you’re going to be entertained.”

 

On why he believes he will win: Because I work hard and put all my effort into this. I’m going to do my best to force a win.”

 

On what he will eat after he weighs-in: “I am going to grab a nice juicy steak after the weigh-in. That will put me to sleep and take away the nerves you get the night before a fight.”

 

MARCUS BROWNE

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “Because I’m going to bring some spizazz, some swag and some fun and power to NBC.”

 

On why he believes he will win: “I worked hard and this is another step on the journey to becoming a world champion.”

 

On what he will eat after he weighs-in: “I’m going to eat pasta and I can’t wait.”

 

RADIVOJE KALAJDZIC

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “Marcus and myself both have a lot of power so you can expect fireworks. We’re both coming to win.”

 

On why he believes he will win: “I’m going to be the fighter with the better game plan. I’m just as fast and much smarter in the ring than he is.”

 

On what he will eat after he weighs-in: “I’m going to eat some pasta, chicken and a sweet tea.”

 

HEATHER HARDY

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “Everybody should come out to watch my fight on April 16 because I’m always in exciting fights.”

 

On why she believes he will win: “I’m going to win this fight because I’m not fighting me.”

 

On what she will eat after he weighs-in: “After I get off the scales I’m going to drink about a quart of Pedialyte and then have my favorite salmon.”

 

CHRIS COLBERT

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “I’m from Brooklyn and I rep my borough hard. You could say I’m an actor, because I always put on a show when I step inside the ring.”

 

On why he believes he will win: “We had a tremendous training camp. I’ve been on weight for two weeks. It’s really been the best training camp that I’ve ever had.”

 

On what he will eat after he weighs-in: “Everything. I’m eating everything.”

 

EARL NEWMAN

On why fight fans should watch his fight: “This will be my professional debut at Barclays Center. It’s been two years since I fought on the Golden Gloves and I’ve been putting in the work to get here. The fans will get a great show.”

 

On why he believes he will win: “I’ve just trained too hard not to win. I feel that this is my calling.”

 

On what he will eat after he weighs-in: “I have to eat some Spanish food. Rotisserie chicken and black beans and rice.”

 

Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform is presented by AARP. PBC on NBC is sponsored by Corona, La Cerveza Mas Fina. 

 For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.nbcsports.com/boxing, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing,@ErrolSpenceJr, @ChrisAlgieri, @USSCunningham, @Marcus_Browne, @LouDiBella, @StarBoxing,@NBCSports, @BarclaysCenter and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampionswww.facebook.com/NBCSportswww.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment and www.Facebook.com/barclayscenterHighlights available at www.youtube.com/premierboxingchampions.

Errol Spence Jr., Chris Algieri, Krzysztof Glowacki, Steve Cunningham, Marcus Browne & Radivoje Kalajdzic Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos

PBC04-16

Errol Spence Jr., Chris Algieri, Krzysztof Glowacki,
Steve Cunningham, Marcus Browne & Radivoje Kalajdzic
Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos

PBC on NBC Live From Barclays Center On Saturday, April 16
(8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT)

For more photos go here:  HERE

BROOKYLN (April 13, 2016) – Undefeated rising welterweight star Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and former world champion Chris Algieri went face-to-face Wednesday to kick-off fight week activities with the final press conference before they meet in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC this Saturday, April 16 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

 

Also in attendance at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan were cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki and former champion Steven “U.S.S” Cunningham plus undefeated 2012 U.S. Olympian “Sir” Marcus Browne and unbeaten light heavyweight Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic who round out a stacked tripleheader on Saturday night.  In addition, popular Brooklyn undefeated fighter Heather “The Heat” Hardy was in attendance as she nears her undercard bout against Sweden’s Anna Hultin.

 

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Star Boxing, start at $25, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.comwww.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

 

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday:

ERROL SPENCE JR.

“This is a great card with great fighters and its a fantastic opportunity. A lot of people think I’m a prospect on the verge of being a contender. Saturday night is going to be a great performance.

 

“I never thought fight week would come. I’m just so excited to put on a show. It’s going to be the best Errol Spence you’ve ever seen.

 

“I just need to stick with my game plan. The game plan that my coach laid out for me and do what I do and get the win.

 

“Whatever happens, happens. I’m going to have to feel it out in the first round.  I just need to fight smart.

 

“I’ve always felt like I was ready for this level. Saturday night, I’m looking for a coming out party. My focus is 100 percent on this fight.

 

“I was ready two fights ago to fight for a title. After this fight we can talk about what’s next, but right now, Chris Algieri is in front of me.

 

“Chris has been in a lot of hard fights. At the end of the day he’s a boxer and so am I. It’s going to be a war.”

 

CHRIS ALGIERI

“Brooklyn has treated me very well. I’ve had some of my best performances here at Barclays Center and I look forward to another.

 

“It’s always an honor to share the stage with such illustrious guys in our sport. A lot of these guys really bring honor and respect to the business that we do.

 

“I don’t think I’ve gotten as much respect as I deserve throughout my career. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day I go out there and perform. More often then not I’m victorious.

 

“I think everyone knows that I’ll fight anybody. Spence is a guy people don’t want to fight, so they brought him to me.

 

“The best thing about working with John David Jackson is the confidence he gives me. He let’s me be who I am. He gives me the faith to trust in my abilities. I’m looking forward to putting on another great display with him in my corner.

 

“The hard work is done. Training camp was long, hard and grueling. Not much more to be said. It’s time to fight. It’s going to be a great night of fights. ”

 

KRZYSZTOF GLOWACKI

“I’m so happy to be back in the United States and I’d like to thank my team for preparing me so well.

“I’m very happy to be healthy. Training camp went the way I wanted to and I feel 100 percent ready to get in the ring

 

“I have to win. That’s the most important thing. It’s nice to be fighting on such a great card, but all that matters is keeping my belt.

 

“Fans can expect to see beautiful boxing. It will be a war inside of the ring. Most importantly, I will win.

 

“A lot of things have changed since I won my world title. Nobody used to know me and now everyone knows me. I’m happy with my career so far. I don’t like to talk about the future of my career until after the fight.

 

“Steve Cunningham is not only a great fighter but a great human being, so I expect a tough fight. He wants to take the belt from me but it’s not going to be easy. I want everyone to come out for a great show on Saturday.”

 

STEVE CUNNINGHAM

“This is my first time fighting at Barclays Center and I’m very excited about that. I’m ready to fight. Training camp is over. You know it’s grueling and hard work.

 

“I know I have a great opponent. He took the belt from the champion. He got up off the canvas so I can’t look at him lightly at all. But I’m here to do a job.

 

“I’m was sick of getting cheated and robbed of opportunities at the heavyweight division. I decided to come back down. It’s no problem. Three pounds or four pounds, no big deal. Here we are.

 

“We are coming to steal the show. I’d like to steal the show without me getting hit too much. A fight is a fight. You know I come to win, so we’re going to have some fun.

 

“There are some adjustments you have to make when you fight a southpaw. A guy throwing two gloves at you and you have to throw gloves back at him. Doesn’t matter if he fights me upside down, I have to fight smart and beat him regardless.

 

“There’s always something special with Naazim Richardson. He’s a great mind. One of the great trainers out there. We’ve always got something special prepared. We have to do what we have to do and that’s win.

 

“When you beat a guy like Marco Huck who was about to make history and you beat him like Glowacki beat him, you have to think he’s good and realize you can’t take Glowacki lightly. He’s a warrior. He’s a problem, something I’m going to have to deal with.

 

“I’m not 40-years-old yet. Give me a few more months! I don’t feel 39 or 40. I feel great. I just want to go in there and perform and do what I do.

 

“I’m not one of those predicting guys. I know things happen in the ring. But come Saturday night, I want things to go my way. If not, we’re able to evolve. Let’s go, it’s work time.”

 

MARCUS BROWNE

“We’ve done a lot of talking leading up into this fight. I want to talk with my hands. He said he’s ready to fight. We’ll see on Saturday night.

 

“I feel great. Training camp has gone great. Right now the focus is to win and look good. Whatever happens after that is going to happen.

 

“I’m going to do what I do best and that’s take care of business no matter what.

 

“I’m ready for whatever he brings to the table. We will know that after the first minute of the first round.

 

“It’s an incredible honor to be representing my hometown. Fighting in front my home fans is always very motivating and I can’t wait to put on another show for them.

 

“People have said a lot about how this will be my toughest fight. I can’t listen to anything on the outside. I’m prepared to my fullest and we’ll see what he has on Saturday night.” Continue reading

SPENCE/ALGIERI, GLOWACKI/CUNNINGHAM, BROWNE/KALAJDZIC CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT

Spence Algieri

 

Lou DiBella
Thanks for joining us on this call. We wanted to give all the press an opportunity to speak to all six fighters that will be televised on NBC on Saturday night April 16. The TV fights will begin at 8:30 pm ET/5:30 pm PT This event’s taking place at the beautiful Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Star Boxing and sponsored by Corona, start at $25, and they can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. And they’re also available at the American Express Box Office at the Barclays Center.

Thanks all for joining us. We’re going to get started with the co-feature of the evening, which is the WBO Cruiserweight Championship between champion Krzysztof Głowacki and Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham. Głowacki made a big splash with his fight of the year performance against Marco Huck when he spectacularly knocking Huck out in the 11th round to capture the world title after having been knocked down himself and rising like the Undertaker does in WWE promotions. It was really one of the more remarkable turnarounds I’ve seen in a world title fight.

You can expect the 29-year-old Głowacki to receive heavy support on April 16 from the large Polish population in Brooklyn as he fights in the U.S. for the second time. He had a sensational record of 103-9 as an amateur before turning pro in 2008. Polish Peter is on the line and he’ll function as Krzysztof’s translator. I’m going to let the champion Krzysztof Głowacki say a few words first.

Krzysztof Głowacki
First of all I am so happy I’m able to fight again in the United States. I am expecting to deliver another great fight. I hope both Polish and American fans are going to be watching me and supporting me, because I want to deliver a great fight. I have more than 110 sparring rounds already behind me, with very tough fighters. I’m perfectly healthy and absolutely ready to come to the United States and defend my title.

L. DiBella
Thank you Krzysztof. Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham, I’m not going to say a lot about him this time. Enough has been said. He’s one of the most known commodities in boxing. Two-time World Cruiserweight Champion, 39-years-old but with a lot left in the tank. Trained by brother Naazim Richardson, a veteran of the Navy. This is absolutely a very, very strong challenge to Głowacki’s title and a fight that I expect to be extremely entertaining.

Steve Cunningham
I’m very excited to have another opportunity and world title. Coming back down to cruiserweight wasn’t difficult at all. I was a cruiserweight who was fighting heavyweight and I’m just ready. I’m always ready, I’m always prepared, I’m always in gym. We are preparing for Głowacki. He’s a formidable foe. He made, like everybody’s seen, he made a big splash in his American debut and people are going to want to see him live up to that.

We want to get together, we want to make some fireworks, and my goal is to be three-time world champion and please the fans and television. So there we have it. I’m going back in, and this is not new territory for me but it’s a new opponent, so we take him very seriously and we don’t look past anything.

Q
I was just wondering what you thought of Głowacki’s performance in his last fight. What did you think about what he did against Huck in that fight?

S. Cunningham
It was impressive. You got a guy who went down early in the fight against Marco Huck as a champion that he was working on breaking a record that fight. So he had a lot of steam behind him. Marco Huck is a formidable champion. He will be remembered as a great cruiserweight champion. But Głowacki stepped up. He got up off the canvas and he just stayed the course. And he stopped the champion. That’s how you beat the champion. A lot of people want to see champions beat like that, and Głowacki gave everybody what they wanted.

So like I said, he’s nothing to look down on because we hadn’t seen him fight in America before. We always take every opponent seriously. So we’re going to come prepared.

Q
Steve, how much respect do you have for a guy like that who got off the deck against a guy he wasn’t supposed to beat? You’ve been in that position yourself and done that. So what do you think of that?

S. Cunningham
I think he’s awesome. I’ve been in that position myself so I know the motivation and drive he had behind him in order to go through and fight a guy like Marco Huck in front of so many fans from him home country here in America. So he was driven. That fan base drives him. I know he’ll be driven on the 16th, but I’m driven also.

Like I said, this isn’t new territory to me. I’ve been there. I fought in Poland twice. I fought in Germany numerous times, South Africa too. So I’m really not used to fighting at home, but when I fight at Barclays Center I will be closer to home but it’s going to still feel like Poland because those fans, his fans are going to engulf that place and then frame it with cheers for their guy.

Like I said, it’s not new to us, it’s not new territory but a new opponent, little things we tweak up in camp, and come April 16 it’s time to get in there and show it off.

Q
Steve, when you were fighting at heavyweight, did you always think that you would give cruiserweight another try and go back down?

S. Cunningham
No I didn’t. I never thought I’d be heavyweight. My initial goal was to stay cruiserweight and do my best and do my part to put the cruiserweight division on the map here in America. Because, as you guys know, when I was a cruiserweight champion, there was no attention, no wealth, no television, no anything for cruiserweight.

So my goal was to try to help this cruiserweight division on the theme, be the best cruiserweight and make good fights, but it’s like I got elbowed out of the cruiserweight division. Even with a belt I couldn’t unify it. Then I lost my belt and these guys wouldn’t fight me even then. They still knew how I lost my belt wasn’t right. So the only way I could go was up. I couldn’t make light heavyweight so heavyweight was it.

But after heavyweight, after I was there and I was able to compete and these guys became national USBA champion and I felt I got robbed a few times from stopping me from getting that number one spot, I felt I was going to stay heavyweight. But then we realized that hey these judges, they’re not understanding what you’re doing to these big guys. They like their heavyweights to knock guys out, to throw a couple punches and somebody’s on the ground.

You’ve got Steve Cunningham in there running punches. I’m throwing 700, 800 punches a fight, moving, flipping, countering and that’s not a heavyweight to them. So the team, my wife, my manager, we all sat down and just like, “Hey let’s just go, let’s do the cruiserweight thing now and make it happen from there.”

Q
Do you feel you’re done with heavyweight at this point?

S. Cunningham
No I’m not. I still think there’s a possibility, because you guys know I can go back and compete with those big guys. I floored the heavyweight world champion right now with one punch. That’s Tyson Fury. So I can compete. Even though he won that fight, I can compete with these guys. I beat some big guys, some good, some heavier guys, some good heavyweight fighters.

When we win this fight and we beat this man, which could give me a quick shoot right to some titles, right to a title fight at heavyweight. But, that’s always a possibility but the major thing is beating Głowacki April 16.

Q
Krzysztof, after the fight with Marco Huck, the great comeback against him, were you at all disappointed that you had to stay out as long as he did because my understanding is you had some injuries that you suffered in that fight?

K. Głowacki
It was very frustrating. I wanted to be back sooner than later but my doctors were telling me that this was a 7-millimeter break in my hand so I couldn’t do anything. I was trying to do everything. I was running, I was spending some time in the gym, but obviously not boxing. But maybe there was a silver lining in disguise because it makes me so unbelievably hungry to actually be back right now. So this is my time and this time away made me even more hungry than usual. I want to thank everyone for getting me the opportunity to fight again in the states.

Q
I would like to know from Krzysztof which hand did he break and was it only his hand? I also had thought maybe there was an elbow injury involved. Was it just the hand and which hand was it?

K. Głowacki
So this injury actually was a left wrist injury. It actually happened last week of sparring before Marco Huck. Part of the bone was missing, 7-millimeters of bone, which has to be transplanted again into his left wrist after the fight. So this was the extent of the injury, and this was – it looked very bad for a long time but now everything is perfectly well. So it actually happened before Marco Huck fight.

Q
How big of a deal was it back in Poland? How well received were you when you went home? Are you a big national hero now?

K. Głowacki
Yes the difference was unbelievable. When I arrived in Poland in the airport there were people with flowers. There was a police escort to my hometown. Everybody was so happy. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be a world champion. I want to have this feeling again coming back after this fight. I want to say that before, I was relatively unknown but it happened and it changes everything unbelievably right now. People are smiling at me. On the streets, they approach me. They want to talk boxing. It’s unbelievable and a great feeling to have.

L. DiBella
The Marcus Brown vs. “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic fight will be a 10-round light heavyweight fight. Radivoje Kalajdzic is 21-0 with 14 KOs, fights out of St. Petersburg, Florida, originally from Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Turned pro in 2011. He’s fighting in New York for the first time. He has wins over Donta Woods, Otis Griffin, Lionel Thompson, Rayco Saunders, Gilberto Domingos, and Fabio Garrido. He had a good amateur career and he’s an accomplished young light heavyweight.

This is also going to be the most difficult fight and the biggest fight of “Hot Rod’s” career, because he’s taking on a terrific fighter in 25-year-old southpaw, 2012 U.S. Olympian and three-time Golden Glove champion Marcus Browne. Marcus is 17-0 with 13 KOs. Turned pro in 2012. Eight of his thirteen knockouts have come in the first round and he’ll be fighting at Barclays Center for I think a record 11th time. He had four impressive wins in 2015 over Aaron Pryor Jr, Cornelius White, former world champion Gabriel Campillo, and Francisco Sierra.

I’ll start with “Hot Rod”. Despite his very difficult to pronounce name, Radivoje Kalajdzic speaks beautiful English and has been here for a while and he doesn’t need any kind of translation at all, as you will hear. So Hot Rod, say a few words, please.

Radivoje Kalajdzic
Hello. I’m just happy to be fighting at Barclays Center. It’s a big show. I don’t really have much to say. I’m just ready to fight and I hope Marcus Browne is. I’m just here to answer any other questions that they got.

Marcus Browne
Yes. I’m happy to fight at the Barclays. I’m ready. This is another step on the road to becoming a world champion and everyone wants to make it seem like he’s the best fighter I’ve faced. I will say, “come the 16th, we’ll see.”

Q
Marcus, I just wanted to ask, you seem to be aggravated with what you’ve been hearing in the media in terms of Hot Rod being your best opponent. If you could just elaborate a little bit as to why you don’t feel he’s not your best opponent to date.

M. Browne
I’m not aggravated at all actually. Best opponent in a professional fight? Yes. But I’m talking about the best guy I’ve been in the ring with, no, not at all. Come April 16, like I said, I’m going to do the talking with my hands because that’s how we conversate in boxing.

Q
Hot Rod I just wanted to ask since you’re from St. Petersburg, are you familiar with Keith Thurman? Have you been to the gym there with Dan Birmingham and what kind of sparring have you gotten in that St. Petersburg area?

R. Kalajdzic
Yes I was there with them for one fight, with Keith Thurman training, about a six to eight-week camp. I got in the ring with him for about four rounds. It was a good work because he’s a hard hitter. That’s about it. A hard-worker. I’ve been in there with him eight weeks for one camp. A great humble guy.

Q
Now for preparation for this fight, who have you brought in for sparring?

R. Kalajdzic
Lennox Allen, a super-middleweight.

L. DiBella
For those who don’t know, Lennox Allen is an undefeated super middleweight who campaigns out of New York City.

Q
Marcus, I’d like your scouting report on Hot Rod. If I haven’t seen him fight before, tell me about how he fights.

M. Browne
I see what I see, and come April 16 I’m going to exploit it, and that’s about it. I’m not about to sit here and get detailed on what I see as a fighter. He’s talented, he’s young, he’s undefeated. He doesn’t want to lose his 0, just like I don’t want to lose my 0. At the end of the day, that calls for fireworks in a fight, and that’s about it for me. As far as me seeing anything or any little details, why would I tell you and tell him at the same time?

Q
Hot Rod, back to you. What’s your scouting report on Marcus Browne? What’s your assessment of him, strengths and weaknesses?

R. Kalajdzic
Well I’ve seen him fight on YouTube also. So, he’s got speed, he’s got power, he’s stopped a lot of guys in the first round. But the weaknesses, I’m not going to tell you that either. Just wait till fight night and I’ll show you.

Q
When they brought this fight to you and your trainer Gary Stark and they said you were fighting Hot Rod, was Hot Rod even on your radar at that time?

M. Browne
They threw his name at us like a couple months ago and we said yes. They threw his name at us again and we said yes again. So. I mean at the end of the day, this is a fight that for both of us in our career, it’s essential. You have to fight guys like this on the road to become the champion. As far as him being on my radar, I don’t know him, you know what I’m saying, I never really heard of him. But, he’s young, undefeated and he’s strong. I got a lot of power too, so come April 16 we’re going to be on both of each other’s radar for sure.

Q
Marcus does your confidence and your boxing ability also stems from your Olympic experience?

M. Browne
Not really. The Olympics are the Olympics, the amateurs are the amateurs, the pros are a totally different game. So you cannot go in there thinking like, “Oh I was an amateur starm I’m going to be a great pro.”

Two totally different games. All it takes is one punch. At the end of the day, I’ve been in there with, , a lot of good guys at a young age. There’s a lot of strong guys, a lot of champions.

I’ve been around guys, you know, for as long as I can remember. Growing up as a kid, being in the gym with all these guys. So I mean that’s just the type of pedigree and the type of confidence that you’ve got to have being around those kinds of guys.

But for the most part, no, the amateurs are totally different from the pros, and I’m not even looking at what I did in the amateurs as like that’s going to help me in the pros, because it really doesn’t. It all comes down to who really wants it more at the end of the day.

Do you guys both follow the philosophy of not studying styles but picking up the weaknesses, having seen each other fight on film?

R. Kalajdzic
I’ve seen a couple fights on YouTube and I know weakness, so we’re not really focusing on that, we’re just focusing on what I’m going to do and focus on my game plan and how do you exploit his. I’ve seen a couple weaknesses, so we’re mostly we’re working on the mitts with my coach on his weaknesses and stuff like that.

M. Browne
One of my Olympic coaches, he always told me that a guy always is going to make the same mistake. So you just let him make his mistake and worry about what you’re going to do.

I really don’t get real study guides like that because at the end of the day, it’s all about what we’re going to do. I’ve taken a look and I see what I see and that’s about it for me personally. I’m not going to stand and go on a limb and say like I come home after the gym and put him in my laptop and watch him. That’s not what I do.

Q
Just curious if you had heard of Marcus Browne coming up and what were your thoughts about him and just what were you hearing about Marcus as he was coming up as a prospect?

R. Kalajdzic
I hadn’t really heard about him until a couple of months ago. They offered me the fight and I didn’t take it a couple months ago. I have my reasons but, they offered the same fight again this time and I took it. But that was the first time I heard of him, a couple months ago. I didn’t really hear about him before.

Q
When they offered you the fight the first time, how come you didn’t take it?

R. Kalajdzic
I wasn’t with my right coach. I was with Pete Finese. I’m with my original coach from the amateurs that taught everything and I feel like he’s the best in the world. So when they asked me about the same fight I felt confident and took it.

Q
Is there any fear from fighting in Marcus’ hometown?

R. Kalajdzic
No, I’m actually excited. I fight a lot of my flights in my hometown and I want to get away, , have the crowd against me, see how that feels. So I’m excited because there’s only going to be him and me in the ring at the end of the night, so I’m actually excited.

Q
Marcus do you take it as kind of a slight that everyone is calling this your toughest fight and everyone is making a big deal about the fact that you’re facing another undefeated guy?

M. Browne
No, not at all. I don’t take it personally. This is boxing. This is what this sport calls for. At the end of the day, like I said, he is basically my toughest opponent as a professional.

He’s young, undefeated. He’s strong. He’s hungry. He’s coming from where he’s coming from. He’s got a family to feed and so do I. We’re both undefeated and that calls for fireworks in the fight, plain and simple.

Q
Have you given any thought to the fact that you could be in a good position to maybe become the first member of your Olympic team to become a professional world champion?

M. Browne
Yes, definitely, definitely, definitely. Definitely, definitely, but becoming a world champion has been my dream since I was a kid coming up in the sport of boxing.

You want to be the first out of your team to become a world champion. That’s always something that the guys and me would whisper about here and there.

But most importantly, our focus is April 16th and that fight and that fight only. Whatever happens after that is all part of God’s plan. I can’t look past this guy.

I’m not going to let any little competition between me and my teammates make me look past this guy because he’s live and he’s coming. He’s coming to Brooklyn, he’s excited and so am I. It’s going to be a great fight honestly. That’s how I feel personally.
L. DiBella
Chris Algieri is promoted by Star Boxing, Joe DeGuardia at Star Boxing. I’ll let Joe just say a few words, if he’d like, about the main event.

Joe DeGuardia
Thank you. I’m just pleased to be back at Barclays Center in Brooklyn where Chris has had so many exciting fights and back on PBC and on NBC. We’re looking forward to this fight.

It’s ironic that it’s been less than two years that Chris burst upon the scene and within those two years, he’s become a real veteran. And now he’s fighting a guy like Errol Spence. So we’re interested and looking forward to the fight and thank you everybody.

L. DiBella
Thank you, Joe. Chris Algieri has had a terrific career. He’s beaten the odds in a number of occasions. He rose to fame in June 2014 at the Barclay Center, defeating Ruslan Provodnikov for a super lightweight world title. After being battered around for a round, he showed his heart in overcoming those two first round knockdowns and a swollen right eye to thoroughly outbox Provodnikov and win a world title.

He just beat Erik Bone via a unanimous decision in December and before that, what former champion, Amir Khan, in a close competitive bout last May that was controversial in the eyes of some people. In 2014, he traveled to China to challenge Manny Pacquiao but lost the decision. You know, this is obviously a big step up for the young lion, Errol Spence, Jr. and, you know, it’s a weird situation for Chris who’s been a big name in the sport for a long time.

But here, due to the great talent of his young opponent and the many people that have made him an underdog in this fight, Chris is in an interesting crossroads situation. So I’m going to let Chris Algieri, the pride of Huntington, New York, 21-2 with eight KOs, former world champion, say a few words.

Chris Algieri
Thank you Lou. Thank you everyone. I appreciate you all coming out today and paying attention closely to this big fight that we’ve got an April 16th. It’s an honor to be back at Barclays Center and looking forward to putting on another great performance.

I had some of my best performance is there at Barclays Center. I believe April 16th will be just another one of those and training is going fantastic so far. I’m actually getting more and more excited as we get closer to fight night which is generally the case during training camp as game plans come together and fitness levels reach optimal. So again, thank you all and looking forward to April 16th.

L. DiBella
Thank you very much, Chris. And now this young man, he hails out of Texas. He was named Prospect of the Year for 2015 by ESPN and Sports Illustrated. He’s a 26-year-old former 2012 US Olympian turned pro in 2012, 19-0 with 16 KOs.

This guy’s a tough customer for anyone to face. And despite his relative youth, and professional inexperience, he’s widely considered one of the great young talents and boxing, Errol Spence, Jr.

Errol Spence, Jr.
Thanks. I’m very happy to be fighting April 16th at Barclays Center. It’s a great opportunity for me and just another, you know, stepping stone for my career. I really want to be infighting in the world title.

It is going great. I’m already on weight. I’m just waiting until April 16th to put on a great performance.

Q
Do you believe that you are at the top among all the young talents right now or do something still have to be proven, that includes, against Chris, on April 16th? Continue reading

TARVER, CUNNINGHAM SETTLE FOR DRAW

TonyTouchJames Stillerman

In a do or die fight for two older heavyweights looking for one last opportunity at a world title bout, Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver and Steve “USS” Cunningham gave everything they had in a hard fought, competitive twelve round split decision draw. Scores were 115-113 for Cunningham, 115-113 for Tarver, and 114-114. This main event at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey was part of the Premier Boxing Champions and was broadcast on Spike TV.

This was an extremely difficult bout to score and one that could’ve gone either way, yet a draw was a fair decision since both boxers had their moments but neither did enough to separate themselves from the other. Both pugilists weren’t in trouble in this matchup and neither could dominate the action for an extended period of time. Tarver and Cunningham were also not actively throwing as many punches as they should’ve considering the magnitude of this fight.

Cunningham was the aggressor throughout the bout as he pressed the action with the higher work rate and constantly had the former light heavyweight title holder from Tampa, Florida backing up. Cunningham landed 154 punches of the 678 he threw, according to CompuBox punch statistics, compared to Tarver who landed 141 of the 450 shots he delivered. Even though Cummingham dictated the action, Tarver’s good defense blocked a great deal of shots that Cunningham threw. He was the more accurate puncher as he landed 31% of the time while Cunningham connected on 23% of his shots. Tarver also landed more power shots; however, he didn’t let his hands go enough for most of the fight which cost him some rounds.

“I knew they [judges] weren’t educated on my defense and ring generalship. I threw the harder punches and wasn’t tired. I controlled the tempo, kept my jab busy and felt like I out boxed him too,” said Tarver. “He didn’t hurt me and couldn’t get to my body. I did what I had to do but didn’t get the win. We got a draw and I’m not satisfied with it at all.”

Cunningham controlled the action for the first three rounds. Tarver stunned Cunningham in the fourth as he landed two powerful left hooks after Cunningham’s feet got tangle up and then he rocked Cunningham again in the fifth round from a similar punch. Both boxers altered winning rounds in the second half of the fight. Tarver staggered Cunningham on more than one occasion in the ninth and eleventh round and gave the former two-time cruiserweight champion from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a swollen and bruised right eye late in the bout that progressively got worse each round.

“I’m the man I’ve always been before and after the fight and this decision, you won’t find me kicking and screaming,” said Cunningham. “I’ve nothing to be ashamed of and I’ll get together with my team and family and talk about what we do next.”

Tarver (31-6-1, 22 KOs) ranked number nine by the IBF remained unbeaten in his last six fights dating back to his defeat to Chad Dawson in 2009. Cunningham (28-7-1, 13 KOs), the sixth ranked WBA fighter has altered wins and losses over his last couple of bouts but has faced the much better competition. Tarver at 46-years-old and Cunningham not much younger at 39 are running out of time for an opportunity at a heavyweight world title. This fight didn’t help either fighter, although it didn’t necessarily hurt either Tarver or Cunningham. This bout warranted a rematch especially it was so evenly contested, with the winner getting a bit closer to fight against Deontay Wilder or Wladimir Klitschko for a world title, although Tarver was extremely adamant after the fight that he didn’t want a rematch.

ANTONIO TARVER VS. STEVE CUNNINGHAM MEDIA CALL (AUDIO & TRANSCRIPT)

 

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.

STEVE CUNNINGHAM NOT UNDERESTIMATING TARVER

Two of Philadelphia’s top fighters held a media workout Tuesday as Danny “Swift” Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs)and Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham (28-7, 13 KOs) prepared for their respective Premier Boxing Champions headlining events in August.

Cunningham, a two-time world champion trained by Naazim Richardson, is set for a 12-round heavyweight showdown with former light heavyweight world champion Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (31-6, 22 KOs) on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike taking place Friday, August 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT from Prudential Center in Newark.

Here is what Cunningham and his trainer had to say Wednesday:

STEVE CUNNINGHAM

“When we were offered this fight, we took it right away. Not that I think It’s going to be easy, because no fight is easy until you go in there and make it look easy.

“I’m going to do what I do. I put in the work in the gym and then I do work in the ring. The fans are going to enjoy what they see and we’re going to come out victorious.

“All I know is my situation. My back is against the wall. I want to be the heavyweight world champion and I want to be great in the sport. Fighting guys like this and beating them is what makes me great. Even as a two-time champion, my back has always been against the wall.

“There’s so much talent in Philadelphia, there has been for generations. You come to the city and see the stars. Philly is a rough city, it’s a tough hardcore city and you need to be cut from a special cloth to come out of the city and be successful.

“People came together for a cause to try and help my family. The boxing community got us to Pittsburgh in time for my daughter Kennedy to get her heart transplant. Indebted doesn’t event match how we feel, I owe the boxing community everything and I wish I could pay them back double. What I can do is continue to stay in shape and prepare right and give everyone the fights that they want to see.

[On his 9-year-old daughter Kennedy’s heart transplant which took place seven months ago in Pittsburgh]

“We’re going to take everything we’ve done in past camps and fine-tune it for this fight. Naazim has the plan and we’re going to execute it. It’s not just going to be outworking him, I’m a veteran too. I’ve been in the lion’s den and won.

“I don’t underestimate anybody. I just prepare and we’re prepared for the best Antonio Tarver we’ve ever seen.”

NAAZIM RICHARDSON, Cunningham’s Trainer

“With Steve you have to gauge the camp differently. He comes into camp in such good shape; he lives it because he’s in this shape year round.

“He’s in such good shape, he throws your timing off. There are things that you want to do, but you don’t have to because he’s there. He’s already looking very good in camp.”

Tickets for the August 14 event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, are $150, $100, $70 and $45, not including applicable service charges and facility fee and are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets may also be purchased at Prudential Center’s box office.

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