Boxing News: Casamayor-Marquez, Mora-Forrest II, Don King In China
Los Angeles, August 14, 2008 – As the eyes of the world turn to Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, four of boxing's elite have officially ended their summers and begun their own training as Olympic Gold Medalist ('92) and current Ring Magazine Lightweight World Champion Joel Casamayor, former two-division World Champion Juan Manuel Marquez, current Super Welterweight World Champion Sergio Mora and former two-division World Champion Vernon Forrest get ready to compete on Saturday, Sept. 13. Casamayor vs. Marquez – "The Challenge," will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT..
Article posted on 14.08.2008
Joel "El Cepillo" Casamayor (36-3-1, 22 KOs) arrived in Phoenix, AZ almost six weeks ago. This has become the usual training location for Casamayor, having selected the MD Systems Boxing Gym to prepare for his past four fights. His trainer, Roger Bloodworth and Joel have already gotten down to serious training with a regimen that includes spending the majority of his day in the gym and sparring three to four times a week with several different sparring partners. Casamayor and Bloodworth are back together for Joel's second consecutive fight since they reunited for Casamayor's impressive performance on March 22, 2008 – a knock out of previously undefeated and then world champion Australian Michael Katsidis. Bloodworth, who trained Casamayor when he defeated Lamont Pearson and Diego Corrales in 2006, not only serves as Casaymayor's trainer, but as his personal chef as well. Notorious for making weight with ease, Casamayor is able to solely focus on his training while still taking time to keep an eye on the Cuban national team at this year's Olympic Games.
"Reporting to camp during the Olympics has motivated me to train as hard as possible," Casamayor said. "Training is going really well. When I step into the ring, I represent something that is larger than me…I learned that at the 1992 Olympics. I intend on continuing to do whatever it takes to ensure a win against Marquez."
Staying close to home for his preparation against Casamayor is Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez (48-4-1, 35 KOs) who trains in his hometown of Mexico City every weekday at Romanza Gym. He is joined there by Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain, his trainer of nearly 25 years, who has been with Marquez since well before he began his impressive career at the age of 19. In addition to his demanding training schedule at the gym, Marquez takes part in a daily massage and physical therapy in a hyperbaric chamber. Every Friday evening, Marquez departs for Nevado de Toluca, a large volcano located 50 miles west of Mexico City. Tucked away in a no-frills cabin free from interruption from the outside world (as well as plumbing), Marquez rises each morning at the crack of dawn to run nine miles from an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level to the volcano's peak which sits at more than 15,000 feet. The remainder of his weekend is spent in the cabin which sits at an altitude of approximately 15,000 feet relaxing with his team and often with his eldest son. Like Casamayor, Marquez has never had difficulty making weight prior to a bout and is therefore able to heavily focus on the task at hand: preparing to move up in weight and capture Casamayor's Ring Magazine World Lightweight title.
"This is the most important fight of my career and given the fact that I am giving Casamayor the advantage by moving up in weight, I'm training extremely hard to be ready and comfortable fighting at 135," said Marquez. "I am confident that the amount of effort I am putting into training at this weight will pay-off."
Sergio "The Latin Snake" Mora (21-0-1, 5 KOs) is deep into training camp in his hometown of East Los Angeles. As the champion of the first season of NBC's "The Contender," Mora moved on to bigger and better professional fights, finally reaching his world title dream by defeating Forrest for the WBC World Super Welterweight crown in June 2008. Training Mora for the rematch are Dean Campos and John Montelongo, who have been with him since the age of 15. Mora's training regimen includes sparring three times a week, focusing on strength and conditioning and eating a balanced diet of certain fats, carbohydrates and proteins that his nutritionist Robert Ferguson has created for him in order to keep him performing his best during the training process.
"Training camp is going great and everything is on schedule as it should be," Mora said. "Having fought Vernon once, I know what to expect and I will come out on top again."
Former two-division World Champion Vernon "The Viper" Forrest (40-3, 29 KOs) remains in his hometown of Atlanta, GA to train, which he is doing with the self-promise of making his second shot at Mora count. Instead of spending each night in his own house, Forrest has chosen to live in a private camp home with his team. Additionally, he will be working on a special diet with nutritionist Dr. Clayton Gibson during his training. Forrest wakes up at 4:30 am every morning to run and build endurance before entering the gym for the remainder of the day. James Buddy McGirt, arguably one of the best trainers in the world, is training Forrest for his fifth consecutive fight. The duo started working together when Forrest beat former World Champion Ike Quartey in August 2006 and continued to do sofor Forrest's wins against Carlos Baldomir and Michele Piccirillo. Since the devastating upset against Mora last June, Forrest believes that the only acceptable outcome for him is a victory in the rematch. He is confident that this camp is already started him on that path..
"There is no doubt I am going to beat Mora," said Forrest. "I peaked early during my training for our last fight but I know what I need to do now to win. Camp is going better than ever and I am at 100 percent."
Casamayor vs. Marquez – "The Challenge", a 12-round bout for Casamayor's Ring Magazine World Lightweight Championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Romanza Boxing and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, Cazadores Tequila and Southwest Airlines. Mora-Forrest II is the 12-round co-featured bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Tournament of Contenders, Gary Shaw Productions and Fight Knight, LLC. The double header will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
The Casamayor vs. Marquez and Mora vs. Forrest II pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $44.95, will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to 71 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Casamayor vs. Marquez fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.
Don King Tours Earthquake-Ravaged Region in China
CHENGDU, China (Aug. 14)—American promoter Don King was given extraordinary access today by Chinese officials who allowed him to tour hard-hit areas of May’s major earthquake near the Sichuan Province’s capital city of Chengdu.
King visited the same site that U. S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice toured on June 29 in the city of Dujiangyan. He stood in the rubble of the three-story Tengda Physical Club, which was decimated by the quake as evidenced by its toppled roof.
Activity in the streets showed the rebuilding effort is well on its way after the strong temblor registered 8.0 on the Richter scale, taking a heavy toll in the region.
“I have been very impressed by the great care and support that the Chinese government has given to its people in and around Chengdu,” King said. “It’s obvious to see they have been able to accomplish so much in terms of health, welfare and displacement facilities for those in need. The Chinese people have great resolve and resiliency.”
Accompanied by a Chinese media contingent, King also visited a nearby temporary housing village for victims of the quake that is currently accommodating 14,000 people. Children gravitated towards King in a small building next to a playground at the facility, and he obliged them with autographs and a bag of toys.
“It was a moving experience for me to meet with those who have lost so much and have been obviously grief-stricken and suffered great losses and still see they have a burning light of love and hope in their eyes. I was deeply touched.”
He continued, “I came here to see what happened in Chengdu. The boxing event we were planning prior to the earthquake is now taking a back seat to the humanitarian concerns in Sichuan Province.”
King believes a phrase adopted by top government leaders in China—wo men zai yi chi—which translates in English to “together we are” is apt.
“This rallying cry is being lived up to by the government and the people, uniting the country for a quick response, which epitomizes humanitarianism and the spirit of the heart.
King is scheduled to meet with Chengdu Mayor Ge Hung Lin on Friday.
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