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Manager Klimas Says Hopkins Didn’t Get Into Kovalev Head Today

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Bernard Hopkins tried to get inside the head of Sergey Kovalev today, at the final presser ahead of the Saturday clash in AC, which will screen on HBO, from Boardwalk Hall, but it didn’t work, not according to Kovalev manager Egis Klimas anyway.

Hopkins needled John David Jackson, trainer to the Russian, who incidentally lost to Hopkins when they faced off in 1997.

Hopkins, a pretty masterful psy ops orator, said, in so many words, that Kovalev shouldn’t expect to be shown how to beat him by someone who failed at that effort himself.

I thought it an effective tactic, if it pierced the Kovalev guard, trying to undermine the validity of the tutor. What about it, Mr. Klimas?

“He tried something again, and it didn’t work,” said Klimas, who got (an unofficial) vote for BWAA manager of the year from promoter Kathy Duva, who thanked Klimas for bringing her the Russian bomber. “Again. He tried to blame John David, say he’s not a good trainer. But Sergey didn’t understand any of that! Anyway, we will see Saturday in the ring who is who. Also, he forgot one thing…on Saturday, (veteran trainer) Don Turner will be there too (in the Kovalev corner).”

When discussing the presser after, and Klimas processed the Hopkins effort at splitting, the manager told me that Kovalev chuckled, and told him that it seems like Hopkins was talking about Jackson so much, maybe he’s sending a signal that he’d rather fight him again, and not Kovalev.

Here is the release which went out after the presser:

BERNARD HOPKINS & SERGEY KOVALEV FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

 

Click HERE For Photos

Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

 

Click HERE To Watch A Video Of The Press Conference

BERNARD HOPKINS, IBF & WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion

“When I hear or read or get asked a question like,  ‘you didn’t have to take this fight, you could have taken a different fight,’ I think, have you paid attention to my career?

“This isn’t about being an athlete, a boxer or whatever it is. This is something separate. Me as a man, I’ve been there since 1965. I have been special ever since.

“When you’re dealing with the spirit, that I carry with me, from my personal life to here. All of that comes together in the ring. An opponent, he can be fast, slick or a puncher, you have to face all of these intangibles that I bring to the ring.

“I don’t mind putting my wits up against anyone’s wits today. I’m so calm and relaxed. I still have that hunger to prove myself.

“Psychological warfare, you will never win against me. Everyone on this side [points to Kovalev’s side of dais] knows you’re never going to win. I don’t care who’s sitting over there.

“When I step into that ring I’m at war with everybody.

“I have no secrets. I’m one of the cleanest athletes that has ever been in any sport. Remind yourself every now and then who you’re dealing with. Then you can say, ‘I asked him that 15 years ago.’

“It doesn’t disappoint me when I hear people say ‘He didn’t have to take this fight.’ What do you think? I’m a charity case? I’ve been wise to figure this out.

“Sergey wants to do what every fighter and athlete wants to do, put the best against the best. They want to fight the best. I’m not going to be in this game fighting nobodies.

“I know the ring like I know this building [Caesar’s Atlantic City], but that’s not because I’ve been here a bunch of times. It’s because I pay attention to everyone and everything. I believe at looking people in the eye and learning everything I need to know about them.

“I’m still calm and relaxed now, but I still have the hunger to prove myself. Sergey says he wants a fair fight. [To Sergey] You’re the Krusher, you make your own fair fight.

“John David Jackson says he knows everything there is to know about me. Sergey is the student. I’m not fighting John. But how can a teacher teach with credibility when the teacher has all F’s? How can a teacher teach a student to have all A’s when he has an F? I guarantee John did not show our fight to Sergey.”

SERGEY KOVALEV, WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion

“All roads lead to this fight. This is a huge fight in my career and in my life.

“Bernard Hopkins is a legend. He is a professor of professional boxing. This fight is dangerous for me but this fight is also dangerous for him because of me.

“November 8th on HBO in Atlantic City will be a great show and a really interesting fight. I hope that this fight will be very fair and honest.

“In the beginning of my career, I was ready to fight anywhere at anytime. No one knew me in America and I built my career from zero. I fought any place, any opponent.

“I only understand about 10 percent of what Hopkins says. He speaks in American English and slang. It’s probably a good thing because it doesn’t bother me.

“After he fights me, he can leave boxing and become a one man show in the theater or comedy. He is a great talker.

“It would be different if we fought in Russia and I could fully explain myself and what I want to say and he had what he was saying interpreted.

“The way someone explained to me what he said. He is saying interesting things.

“I understand that he is sure of himself 100 percent, and that is a good thing, but I am going to win on Saturday night.”

SADAM ALI, Undefeated Welterweight Contender

“I am very excited to be on the undercard with Hopkins and Kovalev. Every time I’m on a card with Hopkins, he is making history and it motivates me.

“I want to thank all the promoters for getting back together because that is the most important thing.

“I am ready to put on a show. Everyone has the chance to put on a show. I have been boxing for 18 years and this is my time.”

LUIS CARLOS ABREGU, Welterweight Contender

“I want to thank Sadam Ali and his team. They are good people. This is a sport. In the fight we are going to come to work and it will be a fight. After that we will go back to being friends again.

“You all know my style. I’m here to give the fans a great fight. Let’s put it all together and may the best man win.

“Now there isn’t much more to say. Lets leave it for Saturday night.”

NAAZIM RICHARDSON, Hopkins’ Trainer

“There’s not too much we can say about Bernard Hopkins that hasn’t already been said.

“This fight will put ‘The Alien’ in the Hall of Fame. ‘The Executioner’ is already in there.  He is not only he oldest boxing champion he is the oldest champion in any sport. We can’t even reduce him to boxing any more, he’s no longer just ours.

“I’ve seen this man face punchers before. I’ve seen him face everything except for ‘fan man.’

“Come out and see one of the greatest athletes of all time. ‘The Executioner’, ‘The Alien’, ‘B-Hop’ or whatever your favorite segment was in his career.

“I don’t want anyone to declaw or defang Kovalev. I don’t want to hear it was this or that, or that the mind game of Bernard was too much for him. You all watch this kid. There’s no excuse for this man not to come out and do what he’s been doing.”

JOHN DAVID JACKSON, Kovalev’s Trainer

“Boxing needs fights like this. I respect Bernard and what he has accomplished in his career and I respect this young man Kovalev for what he has accomplished in his young career. He is going to go on to bigger and better things.

“It’s fights like these that keep boxing alive, with the veteran warrior and a young warrior willing to fight each other.

“The talking is done, the fight plan is together and every stone has been turned.”

EGIS KLIMAS, Kovalev’s Manager

 

“I want to thank Sergey for being a good person. It’s fights like these that keep boxing alive. He wants to take the old man’s title.

“It is a fight that people need to see in boxing. They could have chosen other fights. This is what boxing needs. I am respecting this man for what he’s accomplished.”

 

 

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President & Founder of Golden Boy Promotions

“This is the premiere event for the year in boxing. The beauty about this is that it could easily have been on pay-per-view, but its not it’s live on HBO.

“It’s the biggest fight of the year and all of the parties involved stepped up to the plate and it is going to be a highly anticipated event.

“Bernard is a future Hall of Famer who is shattering records left and right. Talk about perseverance, never giving up and fighting for what’s right.

“You can go on and on about what a perfect example of an athlete he is. He eats, sleeps, and breathes boxing. Bernard Hopkins is in a class of his own.  We are never going to see another Hopkins in our lifetime, that’s how special he is and I’m not just saying that because he knocked me out.

“There is something about Hopkins psychological game plan. It puts you in a trance. It caught me by surprise. That is what Hopkins is. We know he is physically strong, fast and agile, but here there is nobody like him.

“Having the privilege to step into the ring with Bernard Hopkins is an experience that is impossible to prepare for. How are you going to deal with his brain power, mind and his plan A, B, C?”

KATHY DUVA, CEO of Main Events

“Sergey will enter the ring with one belt and wants to leave with three. He has an electrifying presence in the ring and I have no doubt he is going to give us a show.

“These are two great fighters. Bernard is a great fighter. There is no other way to describe him. I know what this legacy means to him. Taking this fight at this point in his life proves that.

“We have put together a card from top to bottom that should be entertaining. We wanted to make sure we stacked the card from top to bottom.

“Atlantic City is not out.   This is a perfect example of If you bring the best fights to Atlantic City the people are going to be interested  It’s been a little bit of a dry spell for us in Atlantic City.  Maybe it’s an omen but Larry Hazzard was reappointed commissioner and we go this great championship fight right here on our doorstep.

“I want to thank the fighters. When you can get guys to fight that are taking chances and making fights happen that fans want to see, that is the best scenario possible for the sport.

“Bernard has been a fighter in Atlantic City for a long time, a lot longer than he probably wants to remember. I commend him for taking this fight and bringing it to Atlantic City.”

CARL MORETTI, Vice President of Boxing Operations for Top Rank

“You don’t want to say the opening fight is going to steal the show. This kind of fight is experience versus youth.

“In the welterweight division any fight you can make is a good fight because it always leads to something great. We look forward to making fights like this.

“Luis Carlos Abregu is probably the best puncher in the welterweight division.

LARRY HAZZARD, Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission

 

“There’s not much I need to say. This is quite a homecoming for me. When I left in 2007 it was not a good year for me. When I left Hopkins was headlining a big event in AC. At that time you were ‘The Executioner’ and now you’re ‘The Alien.’

“It is wonderful that this is taking place in Atlantic City. This is probably the most anticipated boxing event for the entire year. It is a fight that really didn’t have to take place. These two guys could have danced around each other for another year ago, but because they consider themselves the best and in boxing the best should be fighting the best.”

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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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