News: EPIX Bute vs. Froch Conferece Call Transcript; Mayfield defeats Serrano; Spina vs. Biosse on Thursday
EPIX, the multiplatform premium entertainment service, will continue its series of live world championship broadcasts when it presents undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight champion LUCIAN BUTE against two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight champion CARL ďThe CobraĒ FROCH. Promoted by Matchroom Sport, Ltd. and InterBox, the Bute vs. Froch World Super Middleweight Championship will be televised live in the U.S., from Nottingham, England, exclusively on EPIX, Saturday, May 26, beginning at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT. EPIX will stream the fight live as part of a special free trial offer for boxing fans on EpixHD.com and on EPIX apps on Xbox, Roku players, and more.
Article posted on 20.05.2012
The EPIX Sports broadcast team -- NBCís Bruce Beck, five-division world champion and Hall of Fame inductee Sugar Ray Leonard, ESPN.comís Dan Rafael and Sports Illustratedís Chris Mannix -- will be ringside calling every second of this potential Fight of the Year. The telecast will also feature Hall of Fame-elect trainer Freddie Roach presenting the Keys to Victory for this mega fight.
As has become the custom, EPIX will once again present the closed-captioned simulcast of this world championship rumble on the jumbotron in Times Square in New York City (Broadway between 44th and 45th).
Bute (30-0, 24 KOs), will be making his 10th world title defense. A newly-minted Canadian Citizen, Bute is a native of Galat, Romania who now fights out of Montrťal, Quťbec, Canada. When he travels to Frochís (28-2, 20 KOs), backyard in Nottingham it will be the first time Bute has not fought on Canadian or Romanian soil since 2004. These two gladiators boast a combined record of 59-2 (44 KOs) Ė a 97% winning percentage and a 75% victory by knockout ratio.
Q: Itís quite unusual for Lucian Bute to actually leave Canadian soil to take a world championship fight, but heís doing it and heís going to your backyard. What are your thoughts on your upcoming title challenge?
Carl Froch: Well, to comment on him leaving his hometown I think heís had to do that now. Heís been in the position (inaudible). I think theyíve all been in Canada or North America. So, heís never really traveled away. I think he fought in his native Romania early on in his career.
But heís never been on the road and defended his title like champions are supposed to do. And again you know move out of their hometown, their comfort zone and box away. So, I think heís in an important position where heís had to do that.
And you know letís give him credit. Itís not easy to come away from home. Heís flying over the Atlantic and heís coming to my backyard. So, give him credit where creditís due. Heís taking a big chance and a big gamble. But heís obviously very confident.
And letís not forget heís got the taste in there of the rematch clause in the back of his mind what it might be, might not be. I donít know well enough to say what heís thinking. But heís probably got the comfort of knowing that Ė you know the safety net of knowing that if he gets beat heís got the rematch back in his hometown Montreal. So, heís got that in the back of his mind as well.
So, heís in a good position from that point of view. But Iím sure heís going to be coming over here to defend his title. And it becomes the toughest fight of his life against you know the best fighter, as far as Iím concerned, to ever box.
Yes, Iíve been beat. I lost my last fight. And he might be thinking that as well heís coming of the back of a loss. But that was against a very good Andre Ward, very tricky sport in the top five, three Andre Ward. (Inaudible) Andre. Iím not here to give him any credit that may stick, but itís hard to beat Ward. And you know I got beat by someone whoís very, very good. So, Iím not taking too much negativity in terms of a confidence block into this fight between me and Bute.
This is a great match-up. Itís a great fight. And anybody can win it. I feel Iím going to win the fight, I really do. I promise that Iím going to beat Bute. Heís not mixed with my sort of level before and (inaudible) to fight me in my hometown and all of the pressure of whoís going to be on. Heís traveled over I think last week. I think heís two weeks over. I just think heís got a mountain to climb. He might shock everybody. You never know. But Iím very, very confident.
Heís coming over here; heís going to get beat. Iím going to be IBF champ. Iím going to do everything I can to make sure I win that belt.
Iíll settle down so you can ask the next question. Sorry about that.
Q: Ray, since you will be ringside as part of the EPIX broadcast team, how do you analyze this fight between these two great champions?
Ray Leonard: Well, itís a very intriguing match-up. You have Carl Froch, who if you listen to him he has no confidence (laughing). I mean, thatís what it takes first and foremost. You have to believe in yourself, believe in your ability.
Iíve seen Carl fight a number of times. I think one of the most impressive fights was when he fought Jermain Taylor. You know if my memory serves me correctly Carl came back and knocked him out.
And I was very impressed with that because that showed intestinal fortitude. You canít teach that. That is within. A lot of fighters tell you what theyíre going to do, this and that; and thatís just the art of verbal confrontation. But when you prove it like Carl has in the past, you know what? This fight should be pretty exciting.
Q: Carl you mentioned in your opening remarks, or when you answered the first question there about Ė you mentioned youíre coming off the loss to Andre Ward giving him a lot of credit for being a tricky guy to fight.
I just wonder, when that Super Six ended it had been a long road to get to that final. I know you were very disappointed with the way that fight unfolded and the result. Can you talk about just the mental aspect of you know moving past that and getting over that, and now Ė and all of a sudden finding yourself with another great opportunity to win one of the other titles?
Carl Froch: Yes. Following on the Ward loss, which was obviously a devastating defeat for me and my career. And my mentality and where I am, Iím a winner. I like to win fights.
I know I lost the very first decision to Mikkel Kessler, but that was Ė I guess from Mikkel Kesslerís advantage point that was (inaudible). And it was a close fight because he had a couple of problems leading up to that, one of them being the kind of cash cloud that they let me fly by week or 10 days, which wasnít a hard deal.
But no excuses, I got beat by a guy whoís fit, tough and strong, and thatís (inaudible). But I feel that (inaudible) not only would I have been (inaudible) instead of (inaudible), I wouldíve also Ė the confidence wouldíve been higher and (inaudible) this sport (inaudible) top level. And even that performance in Kessler enough Ward enough to win.
But the fact that it wouldíve been after him I wouldnít have flown in and took a bit of weight off and you know flown in the next cloud very late two days before the fight; so, no excuses past that fight. You know thatís what happened there, and Iím mentally well over that.
The Ward loss was very frustrating. It was one fight that was on the buildup I knew it was going to be a hard nightís work. I knew it was tricky. I knew it was a spoiler. I know what he does. What he does, he does well. Heís fast and he was catching me with left hooks and I was pulling out, pulling out, you know, just trying to (inaudible).
I know where I went wrong. But again, it wasnít a loss where I go back to the drawing board and say I donít belong at this level, Iím not good enough. You know Iím not a very good fighter, itís time to retire. It wasnít one of those losses.
Itís a loss where two of the judges, whether itís right or wrong, it was 115-113, and Iím sure thereís a scorecard the American and the Canadian very close. And because of my up close game Ward actually probably a lot more shots go in close quarters, small leaning on me that has had on me. And he was holding this and doing what he does very well for a few more points and relax a little bit. Mayweather was up close, get a left shoulder and the elbow and just fake a couple of body shots and you know roll and different move.
The fight couldíve been even closer. I couldíve won the fight. I mean, wouldíve, shouldíve and couldíve -- and I got beat fair and square by the better guy on the night. But what Iím saying is it wasnít meant for me and you know didnít kill my confidence, it really didnít. I look to Ward what a great fighter he is and I came very close to anyone else has come to beating him. It was a close fight.
So you know I need to be at world title level fights, league level fights. So, Iím jumping out straight in with a world champion. (If I donít beat) the world champion, so I donít think Bute is as good as Ward and Iím not sure if heís as good as Kessler or Andre Dirrell or Jermain Taylor. I really donít because heís only fought Brian McCain, Glen Johnson.
So, itís a sort of try and work out what it is. Itís hard levels and styles that make fights. But when you look at his record and his resume then tune in to find out the net of two names. And Iíve beat both the same fight (inaudible) myself seven years ago. I broke my hand in Round 2 and I knocked him out.
So you know mentally Ė mentally Iím confident. Iím switched on. Iím ready. And Iím not licking my wounds. Iím not sulking. Iím not feeling sorry for myself because I lost my last fight. Iím really not. Iím taking confidence from that loss. I know where I went wrong and I know what I need to do to put it right. And I can beat Lucian Bute Iím going to be a three-time world champion. Thatís the kind of stuff legends are made of.
Youíve got the legend himself, Sugar Ray Leonard on the call. And itís an absolute honor to have Sugar Ray Leonard. Itís unbelievable actually heís on the call listening to me. And Iím not talking to him because I watched him when I was even a boxing amateur when I was (four years ago) and I got back into the amateur at the age of 19.
And I was watching Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran and just mesmerized and amazed. And you know this legend; this guy on the phone now is in this conversation. And thatís what I want to do. I want to secure my legacy by beating Lucian Bute.
Iíll never be as good as Sugar Ray Leonard. Iíll never look like him because he is just phenomenal. But Iím a step closer towards securing that legacy. And thatís what I want. So, Iím taking this fight so serious. Iím so confident and I need to be at my best to win. And what an opportunity to my hometown fans in Nottingham; itís pretty much all on my terms in being in Nottingham, England. They probably altered it (inaudible) he thinks heís defending his title in England, all Iím saying.
And people can think what they like on the Ward loss, and they can think OK I lost a close spot to Kessler, can he finish (inaudible). People can say what they want. All I know is Iíve been training hard, hard. Iím fit, Iím strong and Iím ready for this fight. Iím looking forward to it and I cannot wait.
Q: One thing thatís a lot different between Ward and the opponent youíll face in Lucian Bute, heís a southpaw. I wonder just your general thoughts about facing a lefty, which I donít think youíve done a lot of. You have in your career, but not a lot.
Carl Froch: No, but nobody has. Nobodyís fought a southpawÖ
Q: No, Iím just saying how does that play into your Ė the way youíve trained or your mental preparation or your physical preparation for this fight to be facing a guy that can be (inaudible) because of that.
Carl Froch: Mentally thereís no difference at all. You know I do my hard work, my fitness, my grasp. I get that done so Iím super fit. And physically I obviously spar left-handed fighters. Iím sparring with southpaws. So, every single southpaw Iíve every boxed in my whole career Iíve beat.
You know I think thereís an exception with the world championship amateur final or semifinal. I lost to a southpaw Andre Dirrell. But itís (inaudible) around boxer moving and kept (inaudible) in the last round.
I box southpaws (inaudible) amateurs, all southpaw fighters. So to avoid seeing southpaw you know Lucian Bute went tall grounds to (inaudible). I got him in two rounds. I was too big and strong and I knocked him out in the second or third round I think it was.
(Inaudible) southpaw. Andre Dirrell, I mean he fought most of the fight southpaw. And you know who wants to fight Dirrell? Letís be honest. What a skillful, great fighter he is.
I know Sugar Ray Leonard Ė weíve got Sugar Ray on the phone, and fast hands, skillful, moves well. So, I donít think heís got that mental demeanor which you know Sugar Ray Leonardís got. You know you canít compare him on that side of things.
But you need so many different attributes within a complete fighter to be a legend. You donít just need speed and skill and movement. You also need the heart and the courage and the guts. And I just think Dirrell maybe Ė maybe needs to build that and try and work on that a little bit, some confidence because I donít know. He was scared when he fought me that night. He (inaudible) fought all night (inaudible). But yes, very tall range of skillful southpaw and I cope with him no problem.
Q: How have you changed as a boxer since beating Jean Pascal in 2008? What sort of a boxer are we going to see?
Carl Froch: If you look at the Jean Pascal fight then look at me when I boxed I donít know, Jermain Taylor, I got put down for the first time in my career in Round 3. And then I got up in Round 3 and then boxed through Round 4 to Round 10, just boxing down the type of movement until I saw the Ė I saw my legs go, Taylor caught a good right hand.
And then I did sort of get the amazing stoppage, a dramatic stoppage in the last round, which I needed by the way on my scorecards because obviously it was doing me no favors out there. But you know I showed boxing ability there. But I think after the defeat with Kessler where I took him on (inaudible) and that fight took place almost to 12 rounds.
After that loss I then boxed Arthur Abraham and just totally outfoxed him. The smallest victory, me just boxing the move in and putting five and six-points combinations together and then moving, not staying in range, not giving him a chance to hit me back, slip and sliding, (inaudible), nice defend, boxing master class.
So, that came from Ė from the fight I had prior to that. And obviously since then Iíve boxed Johnson. Iíve boxed Ė and Iíve boxed Andre Ward. So you know I learn a lot every single time. So youíre going to see a more complete round of fighter in this fight.
Iím learning now and Iíve learned how to box, been more composed and been a bit more patient with what Iím doing. And when the timeís there, if I catch Lucian you know Iíll step into range and Iíll let some big shots go. But I wonít be looking for big shots in Round 1.
I wonít be loading Ė I wonít be showing him stuff, what to lead with. Especially by a skillful southpaw whoís got range. You know if I load up and try to bang him out early Iím just going to walk into counterpunches all night long, and heíd absolutely love that. So, Iíve learned how to box, be patient and you know Iíve Ė Iíve improved my boxing ability and my overall ring crust. So, youíre going to see that and solid maintenance after that.
Q: And when we asked Stephan Larouche [Buteís trainer] last week what he liked about you he said it was your strong, granite chin, you can take a punch.
Carl Froch: Iím not the kind of fighter that gets hit with a lot of shots. I donít get hit that much. I got hit by Glen Johnson more than what he hit Lucian Bute. And probably what I did I got a couple rounds off Glen Johnson. And if I got hit with a couple balls, maybe 10 balls; and I may have fell over.
You know the best chin in the business is the one that doesnít get hit. And the majority youíre not getting hit thatís the next one, whether itís made of granite or not. Because obviously eventually it can break and you can find yourself on the floor like Jermain Taylor. But Lucian Buteís not going to hit me any more than any other previous skillful, top-level, elite-level fighters and above.
So, Iím not worried about him accumulatively handling shots on me. I donít get hit with that many shots. I get hit with silly shots now and again, shots I shouldnít get hit with. Iím not concerned about what Lucian Buteís thought about doing or whether who said it or he said it.
At the end of the day itís my job not to get hit and Iím working on my boxing ability and my defense, and Iíve learned a lot in my last two or three years as a pro. So, Iím not worried. Iím really not.
Q: Carl, when you look at other guys in your category, the guys that have fought in the Super Six or guys that have been in the top two these last couple years. When you guys talk about Lucian Bute, Iím talking maybe Andre Ward or Mikkel Kessler or Jermain Taylor. What do you guys say about Lucian Bute? Has he earned your respect? Or do you guys still feel like Ė do you believe the hype? Do you feel like this fight here is his first chance to really put himself on the map if he goes head-to-head with you and has a good performance? What are your thoughts on that?
Carl Froch: Yes, the latter, the latter. I agree with what you just said, that this is his chance now to go you know go into the lionís den to fight somebody whoís proven at world level because I am proven at world level. I beat Jean Pascal who went onto beat Chad Dawson. I know itís on paper. I beat the man who beat the man. You know Chad Dawsonís a great fighter. I think heís fighting Andre Ward next as well. But weíre not here to talk about that.
You know Iíve been there with Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, who is a great fighter, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham. I donít need to reel them off, but very top level, elite level fighters.
You canít name the names of you know Ė look at Buteís resume and some the same. He hasnít. And that doesnít mean heís not a great fighter and heís not good enough to do that and go in there and beat them. But what it does mean is we donít know. We just donít know.
So, yes, youíre right. Weíre going to find out arenít we? Weíre going to find out next Saturday if he has got enough to mix it at this level. And thatís basically I think answers your question.
You know if youíre going to ask me if I think heís good enough personally, I donít 100 percent know if heís good enough to mix it, but again, Iím going to find out. But before this fight I would say heís not fought anybody. He doesnít deserve to be ranked number one or number two for the boxing (inaudible).
He doesnít deserve this ranking (inaudible) body (inaudible) ranked in the top Ė you know the highest level ranking. But itís on a point system, some rankings. So, sometimes you see some ridiculous markings for people that really have not boxed anybody. And this is one of them.
You know Lucian Bute on paper is overrated. Heís an unbeaten fighter and heís answered every question thatís been asked of him so far. Although you do have to remember that he got absolutely knocked out by Librado Andrade and saved by the bell, saved by the referee or whoever saved him in that last round because he was done, finished and even in final points. Letís be honest, he lost the fight, by knockout.
Q: Carl, you talked about Lucian coming to your town. Could you talk about the comforts of home, being with your son? Why is that better? And obviously you had a rough time going over to fight Kessler. But how is that helping you as opposed to you know a lot of guys like to get away from all that, that animal mentality. But you donít seem to need that.
Carl Froch: No, itís not so much being at home and being with my son right now. Thatís really got nothing to do with it because one, I spent 97 percent of the time in (Chatfield) and I live in Nottingham. So, Iím in a hotel. And when I am at home Iím evicted to the guest room. Iím not even sleeping in the same bed as my partner. And you know I donít get disturbed in the morning because Iíve been going to sleep past 1:00, 2:00 AM and getting up at 10:00 with eye patch and earplugs. And Iíve been saving my body for a flight a little bit later on (inaudible) 12:00.
Itís the very fact that I havenít had to pack my suitcase and fly over the Atlantic and check into a new hotel or apartment. And you know for the last two fights I spent it in Manhattan in New York and I was flagging down yellow cabs every day for three weeks to get to and from the gym. And itís quite mentally draining.
You know you get back to your apartment and then youíve got sort of Whole Foods and get some food and then get up in the morning, walking down the blocks and blocks to get to Central Park. Then you do your run and you know itís strange territory. Youíre in the gym, you donít know anybody so you do what training you can. But that familiarityís gone and you donít know where you are and what youíre doing.
For the Ward fight it was the second time Iíve done it. And Iíve done the whole New York, Manhattan thing in May and June for the fight in June with Johnson. And then I did it again in November/December for the fight in December with Ward. And come December when I fought Ward it was like Groundhog Day.
I was stuck in Manhattan, flagging cabs, back to the same gym. And the Trinity gym was fabulous and it was great there. But it was like I said, Groundhog Day. And it was mentally draining and I had enough.
I almost just wanted it over. I wanted it finished with and I wanted to get back and have Christmas with my beautiful family, my little boy whoís not even two years old yet. And I was Ė you know by the time the Ward fight came around, fight night Iím talking about, I was looking forward to plane the next day and getting home and relaxing and having a good Christmas.
I wasnít thinking to myself itís time to go to work; itís time to taste the blood or get in there and go to war and go to that dark, lonely place in the trenches if necessary. You know I wasnít really prepared for that. My own fault, nobody elseís; itís just where I was mentally with it.
For this fight Iím at home, training fantastic. Iím hitting all my runs. I know what Iím doing in the gym, sparring. I mean, Iím getting ready to spar now. Iíve come up with my brother from Nottingham; he drove me up. But (inaudible) afternoon in shopping center. Iíve put my feet up and I relax (inaudible) some energy food. And Iím going to go and spar now and thereís going to be a lot of time.
Iím doing a 12-round spar, and Iím taking it like Iím fighting this evening. And Iím switched on and ready. And Iím really looking forward to it. And Iíll do the same again tomorrow and Saturday, which is a week before the fight.
So, I think the whole build up in the fight and I know where I am, what time Iím there, what Iím doing, my foodís correct. I know what Iím eating and when Iím eating it. And you know I just got Ė Iím surrounded by my family and friends and I can feel the love and the warmth.
And I know itís my town in Nottingham and all the crowdís going to be cheering for me. And thatís a big difference when itís across (Chatfield) and you know we let these shots go and (inaudible) as opposed to letting these shots go. And silently you can hear a pin drop in Denmark. It lifts you Ė it lifts you to the next level if you do that.
It might motivate Ė it might motivate Bute to be away from home. It depends on what kind of person you are and what your personality is. And Iíve proven Iím good on the road. Iím well-traveled. I can always perform on the road.
But I donít care who you are or what you say or what your mentality is or what your personality is, I just think itís better to be around familiarity and around comfort so you can relax and you have faith and youíre confident and you succeed in life, including boxing. But thatís my opinion. You know I may or may not be wrong. But hopefully thatís answered your question.
Q: You spoke about the atmosphere. Bute, from what Iím told, is trying to emulate the noise and the frenetic atmosphere that you probably will have in your favor. And Iím told right down to the voice of your wife. I donít know if youíve heard that they have a soundtrack. Theyíre emulating everything right down to the voice of your Ė of Rachel. Has your wife heard that?
Carl Froch: Iíve heard that. Iíve seen it on YouTube. You know that might be some psychology (inaudible) what you do in playing that, this will help you, this will get you ready. Thereís only (inaudible) Rachel screaming (inaudible) isnít going to prepare him for 9,000 people in the Nottingham arena.
Q: Is it going to prepare him for Rachel?
Carl Froch: Itís not just the noise. Itís the feelings, the vibrations. You can feel the noise. You canít just hear it. Itís deafening in the arena. I mean I know heís fighting in front of 17,000 or whatever it is in the Bell Centre, but the very reserved crowd that sort of sit there and behave and donít make much noise. The atmosphere in the Nottingham arena, heís not going to be ready for that. And you know playing the tapes and making noise, it may or may not help him.
I donít Ė I donít know if itís going to or not. I think heís very comical if you want an honest answer. Itís quite funny that heís doing that. But other than Ė other than laughing about it I donít really have anything else to say, to be honest. It can only be worse with Rachel screaming while Iím trying to train, bloody hell.
Q: Ray, I know you fought in a lot of different cities and ended up at the latter part of your career fighting in Las Vegas. How big a factor is it for Bute who has fought so many fights in Canada or Romania, his home, his native country, respectively, to be going across the pond to defend his title for the first time not just in another land, but in the opponentís hometown?
Ray Leonard: I didnít realize that he fought the majority of his fights in Canada. It could be culture shock. It could be something heís not used to. But for some reason I think he will rise to the occasion.
Q: How your training is going and how Ė how is it acclimating to England? I understanding youíre over there in England now finishing your training.
Lucian Bute: I feel really good. The time zone is getting good for me. Iím getting acclimated right now, and I will get anything we need here. Nice hotel, nice gym, all the facilities. Itís a little chilly in terms of temperature, but thatís part of the game. So far, so good.
Q: This fight you have taken in Nottingham in Carl Frochís hometown after many Ė all of your fights either in Canada, one in Romania as far as being a champion. And I just wanted to hear your thoughts about what was it that prompted you to make the decision to go overseas and take a very dangerous fight in your opponentís hometown, which is not something that a lot of Ė a lot of fighters do.
Lucian Bute: I was in line to fight the winner of the Super Six for a different reason than Ward receives to fight me and I kind of respect his decision. So, I made a choice. I said Iím going to fight Carl Froch.
So, we made him an offer to come to Montreal. He turned it down. And maybe he was right saying that he was away from home for a while. He wanted to fight at home. So, we just told his promoter make us an offer. Weíre going to go defend the belt in your place and weíll prove everybody wrong that Iím only fighting in Montreal. So, I asked to go out to prove myself.
Q: One of the things that Carl said in his portion of this call was that maybe in the back of Lucianís mind is the fact that he would take this fight in Nottingham because he has a rematch clause that would call for that second fight to take place in Montreal kind of in his back pocket.
So, even though heíll of course go in there and try and win and do his best you know heís got that sort of cushion to fall back on if the worst happens and he were to lose the fight. Is there anything to that in your mind?
ENTHUSIASTIC CROWD IN ALBANY, NEW YORK SEES SENSATIONAL FRIDAY NIGHT OF BOXING
ALBANY, NY (May 19, 2012) Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing returned to the Times Union Center in Albany, New York last night with a sensational ESPN Friday Night Fights card.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of Capital Region boxing fans, Philadelphia's Raymond "Tito" Serrano and defending NABO junior welterweight champion Karim "Hard Hitta" Mayfield headlined in a scheduled ten round battle.
Throwing bombs with bad intentions from the opening round, Serrano and Mayfield engaged in a terrific clash that had the local fans on their feet throughout.
Towards the end of the third round Serrano was knocked down and suffered a cut on his forehead.
Valiantly fighting on against the aggressive Mayfield, Serrano opened up a cut near the title holder's left eye in the fourth round but was knocked down for the second time as the bell rang to end the stanza.
Continuing to fight as the bell rang for the fifth round, Serrano was knocked down again from a Mayfield right hand and referee Eddie Claudio stopped the bout at the time of 0:47.
The loss was the first of the 22-year-old Serrano's career moving his record to 18-1-0 (8KO's) while Mayfield stayed undefeated at 16-0-1 (10KO's).
In the super middleweight co-main Jason "Monstruo" Escalera of Union City, New Jersey and Geneva, New York's Nick Brinson put on a sensational eight round war for the Times Union Center crowd.
The undefeated Escalera spent most of the fight stalking the once beaten Brinson, with vicious hooks to the body of the counterpuncher.
Escalera had Brinson badly hurt in the seventh round, but the bout continued with the Geneva, New York resident hanging on for the duration of the final round.
Scores at end of the terrific clash were 76-75 (Escalera), 76-75 (Brinson) and 76-76. Escalera's record moved to 13-0-1 (12KO's) while Brinson went to 9-1-2 (5KO's).
In the ESPN Friday Night Fights opening bout, Kevin "KID" Rooney Jr. was upset by Newark's Anthony Jones in their fast packed four round middleweight bout.
Rooney Jr. suffered a controversially called knockdown in the first but was dropped in the third, which proved to be the difference in the scores, which were 39-35 and 38-36 (twice) for Jones who improved to 2-0-1 while Rooney Jr. moved to 4-2-0 (2KO's).
Come backing former world title challenger David Telesco of Port Chester, New York, was stopped in the fifth round of his scheduled eight round tilt against fast rising local cruiserweight prospect Vincent Miranda.
After four rounds of spirited action, Miranda dropped Telesco with a left hook to the chin halting the bout. With the win Miranda improved to
15-1-0 (9KO"s) while Telesco went to 30-8-1 (25KO's).
In a scheduled six round welterweight bout Rochester, New York's Kenny Abril, 12-5-1 (7KO's) stopped popular local fighter Bryan Abraham, 6-12-2 (6KO's) of Schenectady, New York in the fourth round, time was 2:45.
In the final bout of the evening Tony Brinson of Geneva NY and Lekan Byfield Atlanta GA both added a draw to their records moving to 2-1-1.
Spina predicts knockout
Confident, trim Spina predicts knockout against Biosse in Thursday night showdown
LINCOLN, R.I. (May 19, 2012) Ė He worked the mitts flawlessly, each punch sending a message. Showing off his lean, muscular physique, Providenceís own Joey ďK.O. KidĒ Spina turned heads at Saturdayís open workout at the Twin River Casino while promising to finish his opponent, Vladine Biosse, in grand fashion Thursday night.
ďFourth-round knockout,Ē Spina said defiantly. ďI just donít think heís up to my ability.Ē
Spina (26-2-2, 18 KOs) will face Biosse on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 in the eight-round main event of ďUp For Grabs,Ē presented by Jimmy Burchfieldís Classic Entertainment & Sports at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I., the second installment of the 2012 Thursday Night Fight Series.
In addition to Biosseís New England Super Middleweight Title, bragging rights will be on the line as both fighters enter the ring representing their hometown of Providence.
For Spina, his biggest concern at the start of training camp was making the mandatory super middleweight limit of 168 pounds. A light heavyweight (175) most of his career, where he was once ranked among the Top 20 fighters in the world, the ďK.O. KidĒ has hit 168 pounds three times in the past two weeks, including Saturday when he tipped the scales at 167.
ďIíve been in the gym for a while now getting ready for this, so I feel good,Ē said Spina, who lost a split decision to Jerson Ravelo on March 30th in Atlantic City. ďI stressed about the weight because Iím a big guy Ė 6-foot-1, almost 6-2 Ė and I walk around at 200 pounds while fighting at 168, but Iím point right now.
ďVlaís a great kid Ė a tough kid Ė but he stays too long in front of you. I just donít see him handling my power,Ē he continued. ďI punch too hard and Iím too big.Ē
Tickets for ďUp For GrabsĒ are $35.00, $50.00, $75.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
The undercard features unbeaten Burlington, Vt., super middleweight Kevin Cobbs (3-0, 1 KO) facing veteran Kentrell Claiborne (2-5, 1 KO) of Cleburne, Tex., in a four-round bout while unbeaten middleweight Thomas Falowo (6-0, 4 KOs) will battle Cedar Hill, Tex., native Samuel Clarkson (4-0, 4 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Medford, Oreg., cruiserweight Mike Wilson (5-0, 3 KOs) will face Atlantaís Joseph Rabotte (11-20-1) in a four-round bout, and fan-favorite Richard ďBobo The BullĒ Starnino (9-7-2, 2 KOs) of Providence will face Harwich, Mass., native Paul Gonsalves (3-2, 3 KOs) in a six-round light heavyweight bout.
ďUp For GrabsĒ also features the return of former reality television star Richard Gingras (11-2, 7 KOs) of ďThe Contender,Ē who will battle Terrance Smith Jr. (7-13-2, 4 KOs) of Oklahoma City in the six-round cruiserweight special attraction. Female bantamweight Shelito Vincent (2-0) of Providence will battle newcomer Carmen Cruz of Fort Myers, Fla., in a four-round bout, and unbeaten Providence light heavyweight Alex Amparo (3-0, 2 KOs) will face newcomer Ben Peak of Worcester, Mass., in a four-round bout.
Super lightweight Zack Ramsey, a former New England amateur champion from Springfield, Mass., will make his long-awaited debut against Providenceís Alan Beeman (0-1), while super middleweight Joe Gardner (8-4-1, 1 KO) of Woonsocket, R.I., will face Julio Garcia (4-3, 3 KOs) of Rincon, Puerto Rico in a four-round bout.
ďUp For GrabsĒ will be dedicated to the memory of Jason Pisano, a former wheelchair marathoner from West Warwick, R.I., who passed away earlier this month at the age of 40. Pisano, who completed 52 marathons in his wheelchair, will be inducted in the CES Ring Of Honor on Thursday night.
(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for ďUp For Grabs.Ē Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)
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