Boxing


Agbeko - Abner Mares Workout quotes; Perez-Jimenez on 9/2; Andrade vs. Brewer on 8/19

LAS VEGAS (Aug. 10, 2011) – In an eagerly awaited matchup this Saturday, Aug. 13, Joseph King Kong Agbeko will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight title against unbeaten World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Bantamweight Champion Abner Mares in The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

The 12-round bout between between the New York-based Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs) of Accra, Ghana and the unbeaten Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will take place at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, along with a limited number of VIP suite seats priced at $150, are available at the Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by phone (800) 745-3000.

Doors open Saturday at 2 p.m. The first non-televised undercard fight begins at 2:15.

Agbeko, who will be making his fourth consecutive appearance on SHOWTIME, and Mares, who’ll be making his third in a row on the network, were scheduled to meet last April 23, but the fight was postponed when Agbeko was injured moments after his arrival at Los Angeles International Airport for fight week. Doctors diagnosed the champion with sudden onset sciatica, a back injury.

The boxers, along with three fighters on the undercard – Eric Molina, former World Champion Eric Morel and Angelo Santana -- participated in a media workout today at the Hard Rock. On Saturday, Molina (17-1, 13 KOs) and Warren Browning (14-1-1, 9 KOs) collide in a 12-rounder for the vacant WBC United States heavyweight title, Morel (44-2, 22 KOs) meets Daniel Quevedo in a 10-round bantamweight bout and Santana (10-0) takes on Ronald Hurley in a nine-round super lightweight scrap.

The fight card is promoted by Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions and is sponsored by Corona. For more information, visit www.donking.com or www.goldenboypromotions.com, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing or follow the event on twitter at www.twitter.com/GoldenBoyBoxing or www.twitter.com/abnermares00.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.com/.

What the fighters had to say Wednesday:

JOSEPH KING KONG AGBEKO

“I feel good, actually, great and I’m very happy to be back and fighting. I was never afraid that I would not fight again. I was surprised a thing like this could happen to me, but I knew in my heart that my career was not going to end this way. I mostly felt very bad that our first fight could not come off as scheduled.

“I have trained for nine weeks and my camp was excellent. At no point did I feel weak and now it is all behind my and I am focusing on Mares.

“There is no way I am going to lose this fight. I don’t watch a lot of tape on my future opponents and I have only seen a few rounds of Mares’ fight against Yhonny Perez, but I know he is a very good, fast, aggressive fighter with a big future in this sport.

“I have prepared for everything he brings. He may be the one running in this fight.

“I have dedicated this fight to my youngest child, Keira, who turns five six days after the fight. My motivation comes from both my kids.

“I am the only champion in boxing now from Ghana and I plan to continue to carry the torch from Azumah Nelson. Whether you are watching in the arena or on SHOWTIME, it is going to be a great, great fight on Saturday. The winner deserves to be recognized as the No. 1 bantamweight in the world.’’

ABNER MARES

“Naturally, it was difficult for me when our fight was cancelled, but eventually I got over it. I took a few weeks off and then was back in the gym. My camp was different this time around. We changed it up, first when I was in Mexico and then when I was in Santa Fe Springs (Calif.), just so I wouldn’t get stale.

“Actually, this camp went by fast and now my training’s done. I’m in great shape and very excited about fighting on Saturday. I’m totally focused and ready to explode.

“I look at this as my hardest fight, but winning the IBF belt and the SHOWTIME tourney on one night is something that can really set my career in motion. There are lots of opportunities for the winner after Saturday.

“I definitely believe the winner of this tournament should be called the top bantamweight in the world. To be the best, you have to fight the best and that’s what we have done. Other guys were invited to participate, but declined. That’s their business, but I’m sure I’ll be fighting one of them at some point.

“A chance to become the first homegrown Golden Boy world champion is very exciting to me. I definitely would like to be the first, but I don’t feel any nervous pressure.

“I’m really grateful for everyone involved in making this fight happen and for this tournament. Everyone knows that boxing’s little guys make the best fights. Fans are in for a real treat on Saturday.’’

ANGELO SANTANA

“This is my first fight since December and my first at 140 pounds. I am very excited to be getting back in the ring again. It doesn’t matter against whom. I’m also excited about fighting in Las Vegas again.

“It took me 12 times before I made it to the United States from Cuba, but I knew I was never going to give up on that dream no matter the consequences. I’ve been here about four years.

“My goal Saturday is to win and then fight as often as I can. If I have to continue to fight at 140 to stay busy, I will. Whenever I get the call, you can bet I’ll be ready.”

ERIC MOREL

“I’m calling out all the big names at 118 pounds. They all know what time it is. My goal is win another world title, which would make me a three-time champion.

“I feel if I continue to win, my chance will come, but I understand that it’s not just winning that matters, but how you win, and I hope to be impressive Saturday night.

“I’ve trained very hard and there is no way I am taking an opponent lightly. There is too much at stake. Of course, I would love to fight the winner of Agbeko-Mares.’’

ERIC MOLINA

“I want to become the first Mexican-American heavyweight champion. I lost my pro debut but have won 17 in a row since.

“I think my trainer, Al Bonanni, would like me to show a little more killer instinct. Being a college graduate he thinks I’m too nice a guy in the ring.

“I’ve been training really hard and I’m really looking forward to a good performance.’’

ELOY PEREZ GETS HOMECOMING BOUT AGAINST DANIEL JIMENEZ ON SEPTEMBER 2

LOS ANGELES, August 10 - Ever since making Salinas, California his home in 2007, junior lightweight contender Eloy "Prince" Perez has waited for this moment. On Friday, September 2, his dream becomes a reality, as he will fight in his hometown for the first time when he takes on Puerto Rico's Daniel Jimenez in the main event of "History in the Making" which will be broadcast live on TeleFutura's "Sólo Boxeo Tecate" from the Salinas Sports Complex in Salinas, Calif.

"I'm excited to finally fight in front of my adopted hometown fans in Salinas," said Perez. "This is history in the making because this is the first time there will be world-class boxing in Salinas. Golden Boy Promotions has made my team's dream come true and I'm very thankful for that. Daniel Jimenez has fought many top-rated boxers, but I will show everyone on September 2 why I am the better fighter and why I'm ready to fight for a world title shot."

"History in the Making," featuring Perez vs. Jimenez, a 10 round bout for the NABO junior lightweight championship, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin Productions and is sponsored by Cerveza Tecate and AT&T. Doors open at 6:00pm PT and the first fight begins at 7:00pm PT. The TeleFutura broadcast begins at 11:30pm ET / PT (10:30pm CT).

Fans at home can also be part of the action by participating in Cinturón Tecate and voting for the fighter in the main event who displayed the most character in the ring by sending a text message to 55333. Voting will be open through the end of the weekend.

Tickets, priced at $35, $45, $65 and $125, are on sale now and available for purchase by at the Salinas Sports Complex Box Office or by calling Garcia Boxing at (831) 261-0532.

Currently ranked fourth in the world by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), Rainier, Washington native Eloy "Prince" Perez (21-0-2, 5 KO's) has taken the boxing world by storm since moving to Salinas, Calif. and battling the top opposition at 130 pounds. The current NABO junior lightweight champion, Perez has turned back the likes of Gilbert Sanchez Leon, Dominic Salcido and Roger Gonzalez. In his most recent fight, he shut out Alejandro Rodriguez over 10 rounds on April 15 and now comes what is perhaps his toughest test to date on September 2 against Jimenez.

A former NABO champion himself, San Juan's Daniel Jimenez (20-3-1, 12 KO's) is, like Perez, on his way to the top of the 130-pound weight class and he knows that a win on September 2 will bring him closer to a shot at a world championship belt. The winner of three in a row, including a stirring 12th round knockout over Marcos Leonard Jimenez, the 30-year-old stopped Miguel Angel Munguia in five rounds in February and now looks to make Perez the newest name on his list of vanquished foes.

ANDRADE LOOKING TO MAKE STATEMENT AGAINST DANGEROUS BREWER - IN MAIN EVENT ON ESPN'S FNF

Next Friday, August 19th, the 2007 Amateur World Champion, and 2008 U.S. Olympian, Demetrius Andrade (13-0, 9KO's) will step up in competition and look to make a huge statement, when he takes on dangerous veteran, and winner of Season 2 of "The Contender" Grady Brewer (28-12, 16KO's) in the main event on this year's finale of ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. The bout, which was put together on very short notice after the original main event fell through, is scheduled for ten rounds; the first of Andrade's career; in the jr. middleweight division.

"Demetrius has been asking us for this type of fight," stated Joe DeGuardia, CEO and President of Star Boxing, co-promoter of Andrade with Banner Promotions. "A fight where he can show everyone what we already know, that he is a future world champion. Not only is he taking this dangerous fight, but he is taking it on very short notice. An impressive showing on the 19th will propel Demetrius from an upcoming prospect to true contender and serious force to be reckoned with in the jr. middleweight division."

Critics and naysayers are a very common in the sport of boxing. Every fight fan who has ever watched a live fight, automatically believes they are an expert of the sport. Way too often, as an up and coming prospect is making his way through the ranks, these so-called boxing experts will quickly become impatient and start criticizing the prospects talent and skills, his level of opposition, and his progression.

Since turning pro in late 2008 with a second round TKO over Patrick Cape, Andrade has experienced this. Having stopped nine of his thirteen opponents, seven in two rounds or less, and losing only a handful of rounds on the official judge's scorecards in his other four decision victories, it is clear that Andrade has been extremely dominant. This domination has led people to believe that Andrade has been matched too softly, despite his opponents having a sixty five percent win to loss ratio, including three of which were previously undefeated fighters, and five more over with just one loss on their record's.

Now Andrade will be looking to make a huge statement to the boxing world when he squares off against the very dangerous Brewer. In addition to winning the Contender Tournament by defeating former world champion Steve Forbes, Brewer holds victories over current IBF Jr. Middleweight Champion, Cornelius Bundrage and is coming off his most impressive victory to date, a fourth round TKO over highly regarded Fernando Guerrero (21-0, 16KO's at the time) in June of this year.

"I'm ready to put on an exciting performance come August 19th," stated Andrade. "Brewer is a tough opponent, but I am just too fast and too strong for him, and everyone will see that fight night. This is a huge fight for me, as a win will propel me into the world ratings, and put me in line to start facing the top fighters in the jr. middleweight division."

The Andrade-Brewer bout is scheduled for ten rounds in the jr. middleweight division and is promoted by Star Boxing and Banner Promotions. ESPN will begin live coverage starting at 9PM ET.

Article posted on 11.08.2011



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