Khan-McCloskey press conference quotes, Shumenov and his journey, Bernstein to call Lopez vs. Salido on Saturday
MANCHESTER, APRIL 14 - The 'King Khan Returns' final press conference took place today at the Manchester Town Hall ahead of an explosive night of boxing at the M.E.N Arena this Saturday night which will be televised live on Primetime Pay-Per-View (Channel 480 on Sky) in the United Kingdom and on tape delay in the United States on HBO's World Championship Boxing.
Article posted on 14.04.2011
McCloskey has made the trip over from Northern Ireland in the hope of crashing the homecoming of local hero Amir 'King' Khan, who will fight for the first time in Britain since his first round stoppage of Dmitriy Salita in December 2009.
Both fighters looked confident and were in great shape, with all the undercard fighters present including Rendell Munroe, Craig Watson, Martin Murray, Gary Buckland and Jamie Kavanagh.
The press conference was hosted by boxing legend turned boxing promoter Oscar de la Hoya, who was keen to emphasize that this was not a fight to be missed.
"I'm looking forward to this fight and am not letting anything distract me. I've had an excellent camp with my trainer Freddie Roach and new conditioner Michael Vale. We did some great work in Los Angeles and the Philippines, and I know that McCloskey has been giving his all in training.
"Some people think this fight is going to be an easy one for me but they're wrong. Every fight I go into I train like I'm the challenger and this time has been the same. McCloskey is hungry and after my world title, so I can't look beyond him."
"There has been talk of a unification fight with Timothy Bradley in the summer, but I can't think about anything like that because McCloskey is the man I need to get past. I feel strong and am just looking forward to getting in the ring now. The wait is the hardest part because I have done the hard work and am just eager to get into there and do the business on Saturday night."
"I know Amir Khan is a good fighter but I believe he is beatable. The support in Northern Ireland has been immense, they have my posters everywhere. Training has been intense because I know this is my shot to become a world champion."
"I have always believed that I would be a world champion and now my time has come. There will be a strong Irish contingent coming over and I won't disappoint."
"I always trust in myself but I'm going to shock the boxing world this weekend when I'm victorious."
Oscar de la Hoya
"This is going to be a great fight, and that is a word I do not use lightly. What you have are two fighters in their prime, with styles that will make for enthralling viewing. Amir showed the level he is now at by crossing the pond to take on the slick Paulie Malignaggi before that epic encounter with one of the hardest punchers in boxing, Marcos Maidana.
"Amir was eager to show his heart in that fight. He could have beaten Maidana by using his superior boxing skills but he was keen to make it a fight his fans would love and that says a lot about him. Amir is a crowd pleaser, and on Saturday night he will be sure to turn on the fireworks."
"Nobody should underestimate McCloskey. I have seen his fights and know that he has true fighting spirit. He will be aiming to become a world champion this weekend and a hungry fighter is a dangerous fighter. This will be one hell of a fight."
Asif Vali: Khan Promotions
"The response we have had from this fight has been phenomenal, we only have a handful of tickets left and are expecting a sell out at the M.E.N. Amir is looking forward to his return fight and has prepared brilliantly. I'm sure McCloskey will be in the best shape of his life, so the fans can expect an amazing night of boxing action."
"King Khan Returns," the WBA Light Welterweight Championship fight featuring Amir "King" Khan defending his title against undefeated European Champion Paul McCloskey on April 16 at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester, is a 12 round bout presented by in association with Khan Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions. The event will be broadcast live on Primetime Pay-Per-Viewin the U.K. at 8:00 PM BST, with the main event being aired on a delayed basis in United States on HBO's World Championship Boxing featuring the live WBC Welterweight World Title bout between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz at 9:45 PM ET/6:45 PM PT.
To watch Amir Khan vs. Paul McCloskey live on Primetime, channel 480 on Sky, viewers must register beforehand online at www.primetimelive.co.uk or call 0871 200 4444* or using the 'On Demand' menu. Customers on Sky must register the first time they use Primetime and once registered can purchase using the 'box office' menu. The fight will cost £14.95 and a small one off registration fee will apply for customers new to Primetime. Those without Sky can watch the fight streamed live on www.primetimelive.co.uk for £14.95.
Tickets for Khan vs. McCloskey, priced at £300, £200, £125, £75, £50 and £40, are on sale now and may be purchased at the M.E.N. Arena Box Office, by calling +44(0)8448478000, or online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk or www.men-arena.com.
Shumenov prepared to continue History making boxing journey
LAS VEGAS (April 14, 2011) – WBA/IBA Light Heavyweight Champion Beibut Shumenov (11-1, 7 KOs) remains fully prepared to continue his history-making journey to unify the light heavyweight titles before the end of 2011 with one of the other 175-pound division world champions.
Shumenov’s dream suffered a setback in January when WBO titlist Juergen Braehmer pulled out of their unification title fight only a few days before their scheduled showdown in Kazakhstan. In only his 12th pro fight, Beibut was supposed to fight Braehmer (36-2, 29 KOs) in a world unification match, breaking what is believed to be the record for fewest fights in a major unification bout in which both featured fighters were world champions. The mark held by WBA cruiserweight king Evander Holyfield, who set the mark in his 15th pro fight against IBF champ Ricky Parky in 1987, is still within Shumenov’s striking range.
Shumenov, the 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian, has been on an unprecedented, accelerated pace since his pro debut only 3 1/2 years ago, defeating two world champions in his first eight bouts, Montell Griffin and Byron Mitchell. A year ago, Shumenov established the mark for fewest pro fights needed to capture a major World light heavyweight title, defeating Gabriel Campillo by decision for the WBA crown in his 10th bout, breaking the record of 15 set by Jeff “Hit Man” Harding in 1989.
“I don’t think about records,” Shumenov said. “I just want the challenge of fighting the best to become the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world in order to be considered the best. I have a lot more to accomplish in my career to even be mentioned in the same conversation as a future Hall of Famer like Evander Holyfield.
“I chose to fight Braehmer to unify the light heavyweight division, but he pulled out, refusing to be examined by the Kazakhstan Boxing Commission doctor, and breaching his contract. I put Braehmer in the rear view mirror and got right back on track successfully defending my titles against William Joppy, who I applauded for accepting the fight on such late notice. Now, I’m fully focused on collecting the other world light heavyweight titles.”
Joppy became the fourth world champion Shumenov has defeated in his relatively young pro career. Beibut also joined fellow world champion, Lucian Bute, and former superstar Felix Trinidad as the only fighters to knockout Joppy, when Shumenov floored his experienced opponent in the fifth and then finished him off with a vicious left hook to the body in the following round.
“My goal is to unify the light heavyweight division,” Shumenov repeated. “I want to fight the other world champions and I’ll be watching their upcoming world light heavyweight title fights with great interest. I’m trying to learn everything so I can be the best.”
Shumenov owns and operates the Las Vegas-based KZ Event Productions along with his brother, Chingis. In addition to promoting Beibut, Team KZ also includes three undefeated, world-rated boxers in WBA International Light Heavyweight champion Gayrat Ahemedov (16-0-1, 10 KOs), WBA rated No. 2 contender; WBA FEDALATIN Welterweight king Ravshan Hudaynazarov (14-0, 12 KOs), rated No. 9 by the WBA; WBA International Super Lightweight titlist Alexandr Zhuravskiy (11-0, 8 KOs), who is ranked No. 15 by the WBA.
“Beibut is a very special individual who has defied boxing logic since the very beginning of his career,” Shumenov’s head trainer Kevin Barry noted. “He has been instrumental in helping to develop the careers of Gayrat, Ravshan and Alexandr as a leader for them to follow. Beibut sets the standard and they try and keep up with him. Beibut Shumenov is priceless.”
Go online to www.KZEventProductions.com for additional information about Shumenov, KZ Event Productions or any of its fighters.
AL BERNSTEIN CALLS “JUANMA” A FAN-FRIENDLY CHAMPION
Showtime boxing analyst Al Bernstein will be at ringside calling the action with Gus Johnson for Showtime’s telecast of the Juan Manuel Lopez-Orlando Salido WBO Featherweight title match on Saturday, April 16th. This will be the fourth Lopez title match he has announced and he said “I look forward to doing his matches as much as any fighter I’ve ever announced in 30 years of broadcasting”
Bernstein called “JuanMa” a fan friendly champion, and explained why. “The two best words for the fans that you can put in front of a champion’s name are exciting and vulnerable, and those two words are etched in front of the name of Juan Manuel Lopez.” Even though he is 30-0 with 27 wins by KO, the take no prisoners style of Lopez has led to him being down or staggered in several of his recent fights. “Perhaps the wildest fight I’ve announced in the last five years was the 2009 Lopez fight with Rogers Mtagwa,” Al said. “In the 12th round Juanma was literally out on his feet for almost all of the last three minutes and yet he remained upright to win a decision—it was remarkable.”
On April 16th he faces a former world champion and all out aggressor in Orlando Salido. This Mexican brawler has power and a great chin—it could produce another rollercoaster evening for Lopez. “Salido is as live an underdog in this fight as you will ever see, and even fighting on Lopez’ home soil in Puerto Rico, Salido has a good chance for an upset.”
IN OTHER NEWS:
Bernstein is now filing weekly reports on the CBS radio network for the upcoming May 7th Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley. Al will serve as analyst on that Showtime pay-per-view telecast of boxing’s biggest event of 2011.
Boxing Channel, for which Al serves as executive producer, now features a special two-part interview that Steve Farhood did with his longtime broadcast partner and friend Nick Charles. “I am happy that we can present this to boxing fans who have followed Nick on his courageous journey in the last two years,” Al said. He added, “Nick is a very special person and there is no one more appropriate than Steve to interview him about the sport of boxing that Nick loves so much, and the difficult personal challenges Nick has been forced to tackle. It’s impossible not to be in awe of the grace with which he has handled himself. But then, given that it’s Nick, it’s not surprising.” This interview can be seen at www.boxingchannel.com
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