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Quotes From Sho’s Friday Participants

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FIGHTERS ARE CONFIDENT, POISED AND READY FOR FRIDAY’S TRIPLEHEADER

“People make excuses [for not wanting to fight me]. It has a lot to do with my style. I’m a crafty fighter but I can also punch.”

–Erislandy Lara

ERISLANDY LARA, ISHE SMITH, BADOU JACK, FRANCISCO SIERRA, CHRIS PEARSON, STEVE MARTINEZ MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES AND PHOTOS

Live on SHOWTIME® (10:15 p.m. ET/PT)

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Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Idris Erba/ Mayweather Promotions

SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 10, 2014) – Six of the talented boxers who will fight Friday on SHOWTIME participated in an open media workout Wednesday at Champion Fit Gym ahead of what is expected to be an action-packed tripleheader.

In the main event of Friday’s SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION tripleheader live on SHOWTIME (10:15 ET/PT) from The Illusions Theater at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, current WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs), of Houston, Texas, by way of Cuba, puts his title on the line against former IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (26-6, 12 KOs),of Las Vegas, Nev., in a 12-round title fight.

In a pair of 10-round co-features, once-beaten super middleweight contender Badou Jack “The Ripper” (17-1, 11 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nev., by way of Sweden, takes on upset-minded power-puncher Francisco “Panchito” Sierra (26-7-1, 23 KOs), of Tepic, Mexico, and promising undefeated junior middleweight rising star Chris “Young King” Pearson (11-0, 9 KOs), of Dayton, Ohio, will take on once-beaten Steve “Hitman” Martinez (15-1, 12 KOs), of Bronx, N.Y., in a bout that will open the telecast.

Tickets, priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25, may be purchased by calling The Alamodome Box Office at 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com.

Below is what the fighters said at Wednesday’s workout:

ERISLANDY LARA

“People make excuses [for not wanting to fight me]. It has a lot to do with my style. I’m a crafty fighter but I can also punch. I look at it as excuses. Look at my record, look at all the styles I have fought. In 23 fights, there is not one guy in the sport who has fought all the guys that I have fought. I have fought [Carlos] Molina, Paul Williams, Alfredo Angulo, Canelo [Alvarez], [Austin] Trout. That’s six top 10 guys in 23 fights. Not even Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao have fought that type of opposition in 23 fights.

“Absolutely, I’m living the American dream. I am living a dream in general. To get good things in life, you have to go through hard times. Just like they say, hard times don’t last, tough people do, so I just keep marching forward.

“I have been working on making it absolutely clear there is no question of who won the fight [against Canelo]. As fights go on, you have to keep getting better and keep improving.

“You take an experience from every fight. I think there is no question I won over seven rounds of the fight [against Canelo]. If you want to give Canelo some of the rounds I wasn’t punching, that’s no problem, but you are not going to tell me I wasn’t punching and that he beat me in seven of the rounds. That’s crazy.

“I just want to fight the best. I want to fight Floyd Mayweather. I want to fight [Miguel] Cotto. If Canelo dares to do it again, I’ll beat him again. I’m not afraid of fighting anyone. I’ll fight the best. Look at my record, it speaks for itself.”

Ishe Smith

“This is a good opportunity being in San Antonio. This is my first time fighting here, but the fight fans are wonderful. I was here for Canelo vs. Trout and it was great. It’s just good to be here in San Antonio. Fighting in the main event, I’ve done it before and I’ve done it on the road. I won a title fighting Cornelius Bundrage in his hometown so its nothing I haven’t experienced before.

“Every fighter’s dream is to win a world championship. This is just another opportunity where I can cement my legacy in boxing when I’m gone. Obviously I can’t do this forever. I’m 36 now, its getting to that point but I’ve got many years left. I’m just excited to cement my legacy Friday.

“Lara had to do what he had to do in terms of making more money to fight Canelo. The opportunity was greater and he was on a bigger stage, so I understand that. Things happen for a reason and now we’re back here.

“We’ve prepared for the best possible Erislandy Lara on Friday. Whatever he brings to the table we’re ready for. He may shock everyone and want to stay there and fight. I’ve been hearing reports that he wants to be the first to knock me out so that means he has to fight. I’m excited about that. We’re just prepared for anything he may bring.

“Floyd brought me in when he was training for Cotto. He said boxing hadn’t been fair to me and that I deserve a title shot at least. He said, ‘I’m going to get you to the door. It’s up to you what you do when you get there.’ This is just another opportunity. He’s got me back to the door and I’m going to take advantage of it.

“Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize I’m here. Every day I count my blessings and I don’t take it for granted that I’m still here and one of the few guys that made it out.

“On Friday, I’m going to win and as Al Davis says: ‘just win baby,’ that’s it. That’s the only thing I’m focused on. After I win I’m going to take a long vacation. These camps take a lot out of my body. I’m not 26, I’m more like 46…All I’m focused on is winning. That’s how I was going into the K9 fight. Everything was against me, we were in his backyard. All I told myself was ‘just win.’”

Badou Jack

“Camp went well; I had an injury before and its 95 percent good right now in my right hand. I had a good camp; I sparred with Ronald Gavril, Louis Arias, and a couple other guys.

“I won my last fight with one hand basically. I threw a couple of rights, but I couldn’t throw it with any power. I had a torn ligament in my right hand, but it’s healed and I feel good right now.

“I haven’t seen that much about him [Francisco Sierra], but I guess he’s about my height. He seems to have a good right hand.

“I’m confident I’m going to beat him.

“It’s a big opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME. A lot of people dream about this so I am very blessed and happy for that. I want to thank Floyd Mayweather and SHOWTIME for this. If everything goes well this fight, hopefully we get a big fight in May maybe, we’ll see.”

Francisco Sierra

“I spent the first part of training in Tepic, Nayarit and I trained the last two weeks in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Training camp has been very good. I’ve been doing very well. I’ve been training a lot, almost too much.

“I’ve fought on television many times and been to San Antonio a bunch of times. I like fighting in front of a large crowd.

“My biggest strength is my wicked punch. When I was a young kid my trainers got me up to 22 wins, 21 by knockout, and I’m just trying to keep impressing people.

“I know Badou Jack is a strong fighter but what we’ve got in common is that we’ve fought the same man, Marco Antonio Periban. I lost to him and Badou Jack didn’t win. We fought the same guy so we’re in the same category and Badou Jack’s going to have to fight. He’s going to have to give it.

“There’s a lot of Mexican blood up here in San Antonio and the Mexican people like boxing.

“It’s going to be a tough fight but I’m going to win.”

Chris Pearson

“It’s another opportunity God is giving me to put my skills and confidence on display so I’m thankful. Any time I get an opportunity I’m thankful. We put in a lot of work so we’re ready.

“I’m a boxer-puncher. I have a lot of amateur experience. I’ve been in with some tough guys and I’ve been able to beat some tough guys, so I feel like I’m proven. At this point I’m focused on Steve Martinez and on Friday night. The fans will see everything they need to see.

“Steve Martinez is just a solid guy. Not too much I’m looking out for. I know he comes to fight and I’m coming to fight, so we’ll see what happens.

“I fought in San Antonio in the amateurs. I won in the National Trials here so I’ve been here a few times…San Antonio has a lot of Hispanics here and Hispanics are some of the biggest boxing fans that support the sport. It’s going to be fun to have these guys at the Alamodome. I know the energy is going to be high.

“I’m focused on the fight right now. If I do what I need to do and take care of business and I’m sure 2015 will be a much bigger year, but I’ve got to take care of business Friday first.”

Steve Martinez

“To tell you the truth, for this training camp, I had tunnel vision. I have been focused on boxing, Chris Pearson, strength and conditioning, training, running and sparing. I have had tunnel vision preparing for this fight. The only thing I needed was a poster of him to wake up to see every morning. Everything else was blocked out.

“I watched his last fight and a couple of fights before that, but I wasn’t checking footage on him every day. A couple of times I checked him out to see what his defects are. I wasn’t doing that much studying, I let my trainer and my people around me do that.

“In his last fight there were times he got lazy, if he was to get lazy in there with me, it would be a different story. He should be on his toes and active 24/7. Every round, he must stay awake and active or else he will be baffled.

“I’m really humble, I know its SHOWTIME. I’m staying level headed. I’m not trying to be Mr. Big Shot and the star, I’m just trying to stay level. If anything bad happened [in this fight], I could rocket down. I’m staying level and staying humble. Coming out of the Bronx there are a lot of teens, kids, family members and neighbors that look up to me from my gym. It is a pleasure and an enjoyment. They know I’m working hard and I’m hungry. Coming out of the Bronx, it’s not a place where a lot of successful people come out of, so I am happy to show people that it is possible.

“My parents, friends, family and trainer know that this is a fight that I’ve been waiting for since I started boxing at 11-years-old. This is the fight I’ve been working more than half my life for to become a world champion. This is the first step to accomplishing my goals and dreams; my dream of becoming a world champion.”

# # #

“Lonestar Battle: Lara vs. Smith” is 12-round WBA Super Welterweight World Championship fight promoted by Mayweather Promotions and sponsored by Corona Extra. The night of fights is a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10:15 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) taking place at the Illusions Theater at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Tickets, priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25, are on sale and may be purchased by calling The Alamodome Box Office at 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com

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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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