Boxing


Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright Workout Quotes; George Warren talks Boxacademy debut; Hitz adds three more fights to Horseshoe event

TAMPA, Fla. (May 15, 2012) – Less than three weeks before Antonio Tarver steps into the ring to continue his campaign at cruiserweight by taking on the unbeaten power puncher Lateef Kayode, the “Magic Man” held an open workout on Tuesday before a packed house of his hometown media at Calta’s 24/7 Fitness.

Tarver vs. Kayode will headline “Four Warned,” a stacked night of boxing on SHOWTIME® featuring four high-stakes prizefights. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on Saturday, June 2 from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Joining Tarver at the workout on Tuesday was his good friend Ronald “Winky” Wright, who will fight in the co-main event, making his return to the ring against rising star “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin.

After a storied career at light heavyweight, Tarver (29-6, 20 KO’s), of Tampa, Fla., made an emphatic debut in the cruiserweight division last summer. The Magic Man headed to Sydney, Australia and stopped hometown favorite Danny Green (RTD 9) on July 20, 2011 to capture the IBO cruiserweight title. Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO’s), of St. Petersburg, Fla., will return to the ring for the first time since April 11, 2009. He faces Quillin (26-0, 20 KO’s), who will risk his unblemished record.

Kayode (18-0, 14 KO’s), who is trained by the acclaimed Freddie Roach, is not only taking the biggest leap in competition in his career, but he is also facing a man who knows him very well. Tarver has been ringside providing expert analysis for all five of the Nigerian-born Kayode’s appearances on ShoBox: The New Generation.

Here’s what Tarver and Wright had to say on Tuesday:

ANTONIO TARVER:

“This guy is predicting he’ll knock me out in the fifth round. If Kayode comes in with that type of recklessness, he can be out before that because he has never been hit by someone who can punch as hard as me. And not just punching hard, I’m a sharpshooter. I punch organs. I target organs: liver, kidney, heart. I don’t just punch mass, I punch organs and I punch that chin. Remember that the chin is not a muscle so you can have all the muscles surrounding your neck and body, chest and abs, because if I touch that chin the right way, it’s lights out, baby.

“There are no more guys like myself. Shane Mosley lost. Bernard Hopkins lost. I’m the last Mohican. I’m the last guy who is 40-plus.

“We have a storyline here: A young guy who took offense to what I was saying as a commentator. I was just doing my job. I think the youth, the inexperience got the best of him. He’s got his handlers saying that he’s ready to roll the dice. But you’ve got to respect his position. He’s a young fighter coming up that has nothing to lose. So Kayode is in a beautiful position and if he loses to me, what has it done? It’s going to set him back a little bit but he can regroup. I can’t regroup if I lose to Lateef Kayode. There would be an asterisk and a question mark by my name and we can’t have that.

“He’s only got two hands and he can’t throw them but one at a time. We’re going to simplify it. I’ve fought a lot of strong guys that didn’t get lucky, that couldn’t hit me, couldn’t find me. So he’s coming in here trying to get lucky. I’m coming in here to rely on my skills, my experience and my conditioning to win this fight. I’ll take Kayode places he’s never been. And that’s in deep waters. He’s never been in there with a fighter like me and I’m going to show him what it’s all about.

“This is what sparring is all about. I’ve got young guys in here. I don’t have any old punching bags in here. Because if I can’t get it done in the gym, I can’t get it done June 2.

“We’re putting everyone on notice. Expect the unexpected. Kayode said the fight is going to end, that he’s going to knock me out in the fifth round. He might have a good prediction in the fifth round but I think he’s got the storyline a little twisted.

“We’re in a phone booth in camp. That’s definitely what we think the fight will represent, a phone booth. We like it in close quarters. I’m too old to run.

“I had a chance to commentate a few of his fights and he didn’t like the things I was saying. But as a young fighter, you can’t always feed them cake and ice cream. Sometimes you’ve got to put something in the back of his head so he could say, ‘You know what? Maybe there is something I can go back and work on.

“It’s about skill and I got it. We’re not going to wait for anyone to tell us how great we are because if you wait for someone to give you a compliment, you’ll be waiting forever and a day. We know who we are and we are going to continue to display it. We’re going to kill our critics with success. We got the skill, us throwback fighters. And I’m a throwback fighter because I’m older now, I’m sitting down [on my punches] more and I’m a fan friendly fighter.

“What keeps the fire burning? Critics, naysayers and my own personal achievement. People can laugh now when I tell them I’m going to become heavyweight champion. They don’t want to buy into it but they will because at 210 pounds, I’m elusive. I’m powerful. I’m strong and they can’t hit what they can’t see. I’m not a big, robotic fighter that can’t move. So those are they’re advantages. The only hope they got is to hit me on the chin and knock me out. And that’s never been done before. .

“I’m going to get that heavyweight title. Wladimir Klitschko, here I come. I’m going to get that heavyweight title. That’s coming back to America, baby. Trust it. Stamp it. Write it down.”

WINKY WRIGHT:

On making his return to the ring on a card with friend and fellow Floridian Antonio Tarver:

“It feels good. It makes it easy. To have your homeboy on the same card, we go out there and kick some butt. You know me.

When discussing the bravado displayed by Kayode and Quillin at the kickoff press conference:

“Young guys, young guys. Inexperience and all of that. The nervousness is getting to them and they want to prove this and prove that. The only time you’ve got to prove something is in the ring.

“Fans cans expect a great fight. They can come to see Winky Wright knock Kid Chocolate’s head off – not knock him out – knock his head off. He thinks I’m going to run? We’ll see. I’m going to show him a fight.”

“Four Warned” features former Light Heavyweight World Champion Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (29-6, 20 KO’s) facing unbeaten Lateef Kayode (18-0, 14 KO’s) in a 12-round cruiserweight fight, former undisputed junior middleweight kingpin Winky Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO’s) returning to the ring to meet undefeated Peter Quillin (26-0, 20 KO’s) in a middleweight bout, Austin Trout (24-0, 14 KO’s) risking his perfect record and WBA Super Welterweight belt against Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KO’s) and IBF number one rated bantamweight contender Vusi Malinga (20-3, 12 KO's) facing IBF number five rated contender Leo Santa Cruz (19-0-1, 11 KO’s) for the vacant IBF bantamweight title. All four bouts will be telecast on Saturday, June 2, live on SHOWTIME® (9:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. “Four Warned” is presented by A.T. Entertainment, Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions with Trout vs. Rodriguez being presented in association with Greg Cohen Promotions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Malinga vs. Santa Cruz being presented in association with Branco Sports Productions. The event is sponsored by Corona and AT&T.

Tickets for “Four Warned” are available for as low as $25, with VIP floor seats priced at $200. Other tickets in the 8,000-seat outdoor stadium at The Home Depot Center are available at $50 and $100. Fans can purchase tickets at AXS.com or by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849), as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available for purchase by calling 1-877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 1-877-234-8425.

GEORGE WARREN DISCUSSES BOXACADEMY DEBUT

With the debut of BoxAcademy this Friday night at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester, George Warren, from Queensberry Promotions talks to boxing writer Glynn Evans about the exciting new concept show to be televised live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546).

Hot unbeaten prospects Joe Selkirk, Rocky Fielding, Paul Butler and Calum Johnson all feature along with VIP Promotions boxers Terry Flannigan, Tommy Coyle, Shayne Singleton, Marvyn Greaves, Sam Omidi and Alex Rutter.

The debut of BoxAcademy will be broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546) this Friday starting at 7.30pm.

Where did the BoxAcademy concept originate?

From conversations between myself, Andy and Francis. We’re working with a dedicated boxing channel and have a roster some of the most talented young fighter’s in the country and some are being overshadowed by main events. BoxAcademy is a way of getting these guys noticed and building their profiles. Dad had previously run with the Fight Skool on Sky Sports and ShoBox on Showtime which helped the likes Ricky Hatton, Kevin Mitchell and Matthew Macklin to break through to the big time. Obviously it’s a punt, running on TV without a title fight but it’s a risk we’re prepared to take if it gets people talking about the quality prospects we have in our team. The beauty is that many of the Boxers we will feature have large personal fan bases so the absence of the traditional main event’ won’t stop them coming.

We’ve countless talents - ex Olympians and ABA champions - who are craving to get out regularly in decent match-ups. BoxAcademy is going to allow these prospects to be the focal points of the show, featuring live on BoxNation as opposed to being lost and perhaps not even exposed at all down the undercard of major championship shows. At this stage of his career, many of the guys on these shows wouldn’t be able to feature as headline attractions in their hometowns but with this series, they’ll get great TV exposure on a regular basis.

A lot of great fights happen on undercards and don’t get shown so this will develop the next stars. It looks like Sky are turning their back on the small hall circuit in favour of big events which I feel is short-sighted. Without an acorn you can’t get an Oak Tree. Did the likes of Benn, Eubank, Hatton or Naz start off in main events with huge crowds? Of course not.

You’ve encountered several hiccups prior to bringing the vision to fruition. You must be relieved that you’re finally set to launch.

That’s right. Initially we wanted to go with Tony Conquest against Steve Simmons at the York Hall in April, with Michael Walsh also featuring. Conquest-Simmons would have been a fantastic fight, one we still intend to make, but unfortunately Tony got injured and will be out until September. Michael Walsh wasn’t able to box and we didn’t want to launch it half-cocked so we pulled it. Hopefully, Steve will get a chance against former ABA champion Chris Keane in the summer and we should have news on this in a week or so.

Next, we had Steve O’Meara pitched with Bradley Pryce at The Troxy on May 3rd but Steve rightly pulled out with just 24 hours to go because of breathing problems that made him unfit to fight. Originally, Friday’s bill was set to lead with a super fight between Liam Smith with Ronnie Heffron, a match that surprised the industry but showed our intent. Ronnie’s picked up a hand injury after knocking out over 300 tickets. I feel very bad for the boxers when we’ve pulled shows but it’s important to get the 1st few of these shows right. You can deal with late pull-outs but I’ve never known a run like this before. Liam and Ronnie will meet, there’s no doubt about that and I see it happening sooner rather than later.

Clearly you’re not afraid to match some of your own investments against each other.

Absolutely. That’s what this is about isn’t it? If we are going to invest in careers we need to know the investment is sound. We are not interested in easy fights to pad bank accounts and records, the public want action and so do we. No one is better than our team at guiding and building a fighter to the top and making the right fights but we don’t want to get them to them there without a solid foundation. It’s very unfortunate that some of the attraction fights we’ve intended have fallen out of bed but that’s purely through bad luck and, trust me, these fights are going to happen. Touch wood, Paul Butler comes through on Friday and it’s our intention to match him against Ashley Sexton in some form of eliminator. Both parties are keen for that to happen.

When our guys come together, the one who wins can be quickly advanced for a title and the one who loses, provided they gave a good performance, can dust themselves off and we’ll bring them back. Too often, a loss is overindulged. We’re not looking to pad records. We’re looking to test our guys.

In what ways will BoxAcademy differ from Frank’s Fight Skool or Mick Hennessy’s Real Class of 2002? What fresh innovations will you be bringing?

Well, we’ll be trialling certain things as we go through but we’ll have a young cast of presenters, headed in Manchester by (ex England amateur captain and Coronation Street actor) Stevie Bell. Sarah Stone, formerly of Manchester United TV, will be BoxNation’s ringside reporter.

We’ll be looking to deliver an all round slicker event. A few things that we’d planned for the launch at The Troxy have had to be scrapped due to lack of time – we were having DJ Alex P performing – but we’ll be hoping to re-introduce them down the line.

We’ll be encouraging fans to arrive at the arena early and for BoxNation viewers to tune in from the start and watch all the fights. Too often, fans watch their favourite, or just the main event then leave. We intend on featuring consistent, decent level fights, for real trade fans.

Also, by providing a substantial cash prize for what a three man BoxNation panel deems to be The Fight of the Night, we’re providing a significant incentive to fighters to come and. If they know that they can take home an extra bit of cash for putting in a good performance, I’m sure they will come to fight and to entertain the fans.

What do you see your roster of fighters gaining from the concept?

Foremost, they’ll get exposure. Where, previously, a young prospect may have been restricted to having just their ‘highlights’ broadcast or not even received TV coverage at all, BoxNation is dedicated to showcasing every fight live. No other channel does that. It’s a gilt edged opening to build a fan base.

While there’ll obviously be an attraction fight, over longer rounds, we don’t really see it as being a ‘top of the bill.’ As every fight shall be broadcast live, everyone gets an equal opportunity to showcase their talent and make an impression.

BoxAcademy is dedicated to these prospects. All of a sudden, these hungry young fighters, who’d previously have made up our undercards, become catapulted into the main attractions. Those who really stand out and deliver great performances will be kept more active, can progress to bigger shows and, ultimately, to major championship level.

And the BoxNation viewers?

Mid-week boxing involving the best prospects in the country. Though this week’s event at Bowlers has to be on a Friday night (the show is being co-promoted with Steve Wood), we’ll usually be scheduling for Thursdays which is something different. Not enough televised boxing in this country is broadcast midweek because of all the football, darts, snooker etc but that’s an avenue we’re hoping to explore.

With BoxNation, we want to make the evenings extremely fan friendly and interactive and we covet feedback on opponent’s performances etc. In time, as the channel and the concept mature, I’d like to have a voting system in place whereby the fans determine the Fight of the Night.

BoxAcademy is for all boxing fans but if we’re able to attract a younger audience, new people to the sport, by the way we dress the presentation and by using younger fighters coming through, then that can only be a good thing.

Do you envisage a similar ‘feel’ to Matchroom’s Prizefighter events?

Absolutely not! This will be very different. Very few of the fighters on those shows have the amateur pedigree of the prospects that we intend on showcasing. Often you have to sit through a load of low grade, dull fights before reaching the final outcome. We intend for all of ours to be testing fights, featuring top quality fighters. We have an idea for the future that will blow Prizefighter away so watch this space!

What are your expectations for Friday?

For it to actually happen, for the promotion not to fall on it’s arse! I’m hoping our prospects not only win, but take full advantage of the live exposure on BoxNation to deliver exciting performances in competitive fights that can fast track their careers.

I’m hoping the house fighters can put on a real show for their fans and all the opponents come to have a proper fight. That way we’ll generate a great atmosphere.

How do you see it developing, longer term?

To make the events as regular as possible. Initially, we intend to run ten a year, pretty much one a month. But, at the end of this year, hopefully we can sit down with Simon Green (CEO at BoxNation) and discuss the potential for even more shows, perhaps expanding to two shows a month. I see BoxAcademy as a great outlet for both our company and BoxNation.

Finally, which fighters on your roster do you expect to come to the fore from the process, this year?

I believe BoxAcademy is going to provide a real opportunity for young cruiserweights to make a point and manoeuvre themselves into a title challenging position very quickly. Presently, it’s not the strongest division and I expect the survivor of Tony Conquest, Chris Keane and Steve Simmons to be challenging sooner rather than later.

I think Joey Selkirk is already very close to breaking through. Clearly he’s very talented, very exciting to watch and, if we can get him a bit of momentum after Friday, I think he’s possibly only one or two appearances away from a title fight. I love to put him in a rematch with Steve O’Meara, with the winner to advance straight to a title shot.

Hitz Adds Three More Fights to Mammoth Horseshoe Event on May 25

Promoter Bobby Hitz and Hitz Boxing have added three more fights to the lineup for their Friday, May 25 "Fight Night at the Horseshoe" event at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.

In addition to the 10-round WBA Fedelatin Heavyweight Championship main event between "Fast" Fres Oquendo (33-7, 21 KOs) and Joey "Minnesota Ice" Abell (28-5, 27 KOs), no less than 9 big fights are now scheduled, including an intriguing eight-round all-Chicago middleweight match-up between Donatas Bondorovas (14-3-1, 3 KOs) and Ramon Valenzuela (7-0, 1 KO).

Also added to the schedule are undefeated middleweight Meegal Harper (5-0, 5 KOs) of Chicago Heights taking on Traverse City, Michigan's more experienced Chris Grays in a four-rounder and pro-debuting welterweight Nick Ramirez of Rockford, Illinois, facing off against Lorenzo Wilson (1-1-1) of Indianapolis in a four-round fight.

The opponent for light welterweight Genaro Mendez's (4-1-1, 3 KOS) six-round fight will be David Laque of Bloomington, Minnesota.

The full lineup:

Genaro Mendez (Chicago) vs. David Laque (Bloomington, MN)
David "Diesel" Latoria (Chicago) vs. Stanley Allen (Gary, IN)
Mike "Hollywood" Jimenez (Chicago) vs. Adrian Hermann (Everett, WA) David Martin III (Hobart, IN) vs. Tim Washington (Toledo, OH)
Phillip Triantafillo (Chesterton, IN) vs. Emerson Chasing Bear (Rapid City, SD)
Terry Martin (Chicago) vs. Donta Woods (Atlanta, GA)
Donatas Bondorovas (Chicago) vs.Ramon Valenzuela (Chicago)
Meegal Harper (Chicago Heights, IL) vs. Chris Grays (Traverse City, MI)
and pro-debut Nick Ramirez (Rockford) vs. Lorenzo Wilson (Indianapolis, IN)

"Fast" Fres Oquendo (Chicago) vs. Joey Abell (Coon Rapids, MN)

Fedelatin Heavyweight Title

The high-class atmosphere and luxurious surroundings the Horseshoe has to offer make their boxing shows a Las Vegas-style night of boxing that Chicago-area fans don't have to get on a plane to enjoy.

The Horseshoe Casino has an intimate, comfortable venue with luxurious seats, a spectacular gaming area, free parking, exquisite food and all the amenities -- and is just 20 minutes from Downtown Chicago.

Tickets for "Fight Night at the Horseshoe" are on sale now, starting at a fan appreciation price of $10, and are available atthe "Venue" box office, ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets.

Article posted on 16.05.2012



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