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Final Quotes Ahead Of Martinez-Dzinzi

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‘Diamond Elite’ Final Press Conference Quotes

Sergio Martinez, Sergiy Dzinziruk, Andy Lee, and Craig McEwan

MASHANTUCKET, CT (Mar. 10, 2011) – The final “Diamond Elite” press conference was held today at Comix in Foxwoods Casino Resort.  The WBC Middleweight Diamond Championship showdown, featuring 2010 Fighter of the Year Sergio Martinez and Sergiy Dzinziruk, will be on HBO World Championship Boxing along with Andy Lee vs. Craig McEwan in a “Celtic War.” All four fighters and representatives from their respective camps were in attendance.

Below are quotes from the participants:

Lou DiBella, promoter of Martinez and Lee: “I think it’s going to be a tremendous night of boxing. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the property. Foxwoods is great and it’s been a pleasure working with the staff here.”

“This will be on television – HBO Sports – and it’s a very competitive card with the two fights on TV real TV fights. Sergio Martinez is the Fighter of the Year and had the Knockout of the Year. He’s fighting a guy who is a technically sound fighter with a great jab and defense. Sergiy will find out that he’s not in with just another fighter. I expect a very competitive fight.”

“I want to thank our sponsors: Corona, the Dominican Republic Tourism Board and Hennessey.”

“We have as terrific undercard off TV with some terrific fighters. We have a female heavyweight from New York, Sonya Lamonakis, fighting another fighter from New York (Tanzee Daniels). If you like women’s boxing, this is going to be a war.”

“This sport needs everybody pulling together. We’ve had four major promoters working together without a single problem. That’s how to elevate boxing and bring it back.

“We’re having ‘Celtic War’ five days before St. Patrick’s Day. I’m proud to promote Andy Lee. The winner of this fight will establish himself for the fighter he is. It’s the first opportunity for Craig and Andy on HBO and its stage and legitimacy.”

“My partner and one of the best judges of talent in the world is Sampson Lewkowicz. He scours the world looking for the next Sergio Martinez.”

“Some people will be a little surprised – Gabriel Sarmiento won’t be in Sergio’s corner because of a personal issue. His brother, Pablo, will be in Sergio’s corner. He’s trained Sergio before. Gabriel ran the camp until the final day of camp last Friday.”

“It’s no secret that I didn’t like this fight. HBO twisted my arm but I give them credit. This is the best possible opponent in the world to fight Sergio. Sergio agreed to fight him despite giving up his middleweight belt. He wants to leave a legacy of fighting the best and there’s no doubt that Sergiy is the best 154-pounder in the world.”

“This is what’s at stake (Diamond belt). It costs about $50,000 and has diamonds all over it. The stakes are big.”

“This (Martinez) is one of the most talented athletes and people I’ve ever worked with. Sergio is concerned with people and he has a sense of community and integrity. His nickname, ‘Maravilla,’ marvelous and he is indeed, marvelous.”

“Sergio promised me to speak in English at the next press conference. He has a great teacher and he’s done a great job.”

Sergio Martinez: “I thank HBO, WBC, my promoter, advisor, trainers Gabriel and Pablo, and my team. This Saturday you will see the best Sergio Martinez. This fight is for Argentina.”

Kery Davis, HBO: “We really have a special night of programming with the premier of the Runnin’ Rebels documentary immediately followed with world championship boxing starting at 10:30 eastern, 7:30 pacific. Sergio was a relatively unknown boxer but he beat Kelly Pavlik and followed that with unquestionably the Knockout of the Year against Paul Williams. Sergio is good looking, intelligent and he has charisma. The sky is the limit for him. He is fighting the challenge of his life. Many feel Sergiy Dzinziruk is the No. 1 154 pounder in the world. He is relatively unknown. When you put the best middleweight in the world against the best junior middleweight in the world, you should never apologize, and we don’t. Lee and McEwan are trying to make names for themselves and statements. They’re looking forward to fighting the winner of the main event. Sergio and Sergiy are stepping-up to take the challenge. Sergiy is stepping-up in weight. Sergio is fighting the toughest guy. We’re looking forward to a great night of programming.”

Scott Butera, Foxwoods Resort Casino, President & CEO: “Here at Foxwoods, we have a long-standing tradition with the sport of boxing and have hosted some of the boxing world’s most high profile fights and some of the world’s greatest athletes. As North America’s largest resort casino there are few venues in the Northeast more fitting to host this World Middleweight Championship bout featuring Sergio Martinez and Sergiy Dzinziruk than MGM Grand at Foxwoods and our world-class MGM Grand Theater. The event’s equally exciting undercard, dubbed the ‘Celtic War,’ pits the Andy Lee and Craig McEwan.

“And we have a ‘Who’s Who’ of industry vets on property for the big event, including Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment, Arthur Pelullo of Banner Promotions, and Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Promotions, as well as none other than Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.

“We’re always thrilled to showcase Foxwoods to a national audience, and HBO’s live broadcast of Saturday’s event will provide a great vehicle for us to do just that. We’re grateful to everybody in this room. Let’s have a great night on Saturday.”

Robert Diaz, Golden Boy Promotions: “This is what boxing is about – four promoters working together to give the public two great fights. McEwan is in a tough fight but he’s more than ready. I can tell you that for a fact. He is fighting for his family, country and himself. Remember, there years ago what happened not too far from here (Lee was knocked out by Bryan Vera).”

Craig McEwan: “This is a big stage for me. I’m ready to put on a big show and show everybody what I’ve got. Andy’s a great guy but Saturday is business. Afterwards we can go out for a pint. I’ve always wanted the (WBC) green belt and this fight will get me one step closer to that.”

Andy Lee: “Everything has been said. Craig, I know well, but I have a job to win this fight. Afterwards we can be friends. I’ve trained 100-percent and want to thank Sugar Hill and Roger Lee. I’ve had the best camp ever, in Florida, with a lot of sparring and conditioning. We’ve left no stone unturned.”

Gary Shaw, co-promoter of Dzinziruk: “This is a tremendous fight, deserving to be at MGM Grand at Foxwoods. I’m happy because it is a great fight. I want to thank HBO for putting Sergiy on their card because he’s truly a great fighter. It may not turn out the way Lou and his team think.

“I am a cancer survivor. If you’re over 40, get a PSA test. It saved my life and it could save yours.

“To Lou and Sampson, thanks for taking this fight and I give a lot of credit to them because Sergio had the opportunity for an easier fight. But they took the challenge and I have a lot of respect for Sergio. I represent the best 154-pounder in the world, the single best in the world at 154 pounds, and he wanted this fight. It’s a big step up; up in weight for the fight, and they didn’t want it. I know at the end of the day, no matter what Sergio and Sampson say, it is an impossibility to knockout Sergiy. We will leave here with a win; I guarantee it!”

Artie Pelullo, co-promoter of Dzinziruk: “I’ve put on more than 30 shows at Foxwoods since 1992. HBO and Ross Greenburg have a heckuva fight. They went out of their way to make it. They have the two best: best middleweight and best junior middleweight, who doesn’t know how to lose. It’s going to be great – two guys who know they need to win to move on. Boxing rewards you for winning and both know everything’s on the line. After Martinez knocked out Paul Williams, the fight we get is against the best middleweight in the world. We called Sergiy and he said make the fight. Both are in harm’s way. It’s going to be a very good show because they both know they have to win.”

Sampson Lewkowicz, advisor of Sergio Martinez: “This is my first time here at Foxwoods and it’s wonderful. HBO chose this fight because it’s the best money can buy. Gary Shaw says he guarantees he’ll win the fight. His partner, Artie Pellulo, didn’t say that. Sergio Martinez, if he doesn’t knock him out, he will beat him up. He went from 154 to 160 to be the best. There was no catch-weight because the champion is a middleweight. Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez is the champion of the people, champion of the press; the champion of everybody on earth, inside and outside the ring. I am so proud to be part of this team.”

Pablo Sarmiento, trainer of Sergio Martinez: “Every training camp for Sergio gets better than the last. Saturday you will find out that it’s the best Sergio you’ve ever seen. The challenger is a great fighter and we respect him.”

Sergiy Dzinziruk: “I want to thank everybody for this opportunity and Sergio Martinez, especially, for the opportunity to fight in such a big fight. It’s a dream come true for me. I’m very excited. It’s going to be a great fight and I will be victorious at the end of the night.”

Bob Yalen, representing the WBC: “On behalf of the WBC, Jose and Mauricio, to Sampson, Sergio on behalf of the year you had, and Lou for promoting such a great fighter and fighter, let me present these plaques to all three of them.

“I’m a historian. I don’t think people realize how great a fight this is in the ring. Argentina and Europe have a great history of middleweight fighters. The Ukraine has built a great history. These are two great fighters. I thank HBO for allowing it to happen and Foxwoods for bringing it here.”

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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