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Mayweather vs. Berto Final Undercard Press Conference Quotes

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HIGH STAKES: MAYWEATHER VS. BERTO FINAL UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES AND PHOTOS AT MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS

This Saturday, September 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

Live on SHOWTIME PPV®

Photos From Esther Lin/SHOWTIME®

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Sept. 10, 2015) The fighters who will appear on the stacked, action-packed “HIGH STAKES: Mayweather vs. Berto” undercard this Saturday, September 12 live on SHOWTIME PPV(8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena took part in their final press conference Thursday at MGM Grand.

In the three pay-per-view fights preceding Saturday’s main event between Floyd “Money”Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) and Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs), Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO Junior Lightweight Title in a rematch against four-time world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs), Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1-1, 12 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBC Super Middleweight World Title against mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs) and former three-time world champion and Mexican power-puncher Jhonny Gonzalez (58-9, 49 KOs) will be opposed by Puerto Rico’s Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo (25-4, 16 KOs) in a 10-round 130-pound match.

Former IBF World Champion Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (27-7, 12 KOs) and longtime top-10 contender Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs), who will clash in a scheduled 10-round junior middleweight fight during “COUNTDOWN LIVE: Mayweather vs. Berto” telecast live on SHOWTIME® (6:30 p.m./3:30 p.m. PT), were also in attendance.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions LLC. are priced at $1,500, $1,000, $750, $500, $300 and $150 and are on sale now. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per household for all ticket prices except the $150 ticket category, which is limited to four (4) per household. To charge by phone or with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:

ROMAN MARTINEZ

“I understand that Salido is a strong fighter. We know each other well. That is why we trained very hard for this fight, even harder than for our first. I look forward to gaining this victory for all of Puerto Rico.

“The exposure for this fight is amazing; the entire world is going to be watching. We are so accustomed to each other and we understand that we have to put forth a tremendous performance on a card of this magnitude.

“I want to continue to be a world champion for all of Puerto Rico. I’m in peak condition and I’m ready to get the win.

“Salido can say whatever he wants. I know him and I was able to knock him down in the first fight. I’m confident I can go finish him.

“I understand why this fight is happening. Who wouldn’t want to see us go at it again? But I thought I clearly won the first time, and I am confident I will win again on Saturday.’’

ORLANDO SALIDO

“You saw what happened the last time we fought. You know this is going to be a spectacular matchup. I know Rocky very well and I know he is a smart fighter. Last time I got out of my game plan. This fight, I’m focused and looking forward to a great fight.

“I’m a better fighter than he is. I know that Martinez is going to run, but I’m in great condition to seek him and get the victory.

“It’s about getting on the inside for me. Martinez is an intelligent fighter and he knows how to use his reach. If I can get inside his chest and attack the body I will get the win.

“It’s going to be the best fight of the night. We’re going to exchange blows and pick up where we left off. I’m treating this like it is the biggest fight of my career and I can’t wait to demonstrate my skills one more time.”

BADOU JACK

“I’m very excited for this fight. We had a tremendous camp. We’re ready to go. I don’t talk much. I’m all about fighting.

“Groves is absolutely not in my head. I’m focused and mentally strong on my task at hand. I won my biggest fight that I’ve had up to date, he didn’t. He has had two shots at the title and has lost them both.

“Groves got famous for getting knocked out by Carl Froch. He’s a good fighter, but I’m very comfortable that I’m going to beat him.

“I just stay focused on what I have to do. No one is getting under my skin.

“I’ve always believed in myself. Things happen in boxing. I worked hard and that’s how I got to this moment.

“I’ve always been the underdog in my opinion. I like it. It motivates me. I’m going to prove my worth Saturday night.”

GEORGE GROVES

“It’s great to be here. I’m happy to have my shot at the title. We’re ready. I’ve been traveling to Vegas to box since I was 13-years-old. Year after year I’ve always been successful out here, always with knockouts.

“British boxers have been doing well in the ring as of late, but there is no extra pressure or incentive. We’re very prepared. We know what we need to know about Jack. We wish him luck, because he’s going to need it.

“It’s a huge fight for me with the title on the line. I’ve been involved with higher competition but I haven’t taken my eye off of Badou Jack. We’re looking forward to a good win on Saturday.

“Training up in Big Bear was great. The first week I realized the difference in the heat and altitude. But mostly I love being isolated. Out here it’s peace, I’m purely in camp. No other distractions.

“I’m confident of winning. I’m always confident of winning. The best way to describe this fight is that Badou Jack is a good fighter, but I’m a better fighter. I’m better than him at every phase of the game.

JHONNY GONZALEZ

“This is my second fight at 130 pounds and I feel much more comfortable, stronger, confident and secure than I did at 126.

“It is tremendous to be on this fight card. This is going to be a terrific fight. I’ve trained hard and I’m ready to go on Saturday. The reality is, this is the type of fight that can bring me a step closer to in another world title.”

JONATHAN OQUENDO

“The main key, whether I box or slug, is to fight smart. I’m very excited for this opportunity. It means a lot to me to be on a card of this magnitude. I’m excited to weigh in tomorrow.

“When you have Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, you get a war. I have no doubt there will be blood in the ring. Jhonny Gonzalez is very experienced and was a great champion, and I thank him for taking this fight. I look forward to getting in the ring Saturday.”

ISHE SMITH

“When I fought Cornelius Bundrage for the title, I knew I had to win. I had a lot of pressure on me. There was no doubt I had to win. It’s the same thing now. Vanes is a good fighter, but I have to win. I’ve had to bring myself up from the bottom.

“All of the other promoters gave up on me, but Leonard Ellerbe and Floyd took a chance on me and I’ll always be grateful.

“Vanes is a good fighter. It’s going to be a hell of a fight. I have to win. I have no choice. “

VANES MARTIROSYAN

“Ishe is a good fighter. He’s been in with a lot of tough guys. I have a lot of respect for him. It’s going to be a really good fight.

“It’s a blessing to be here. I had a really good camp and I’m excited that the fight is here. It’s great to be a part of a show like this.

“I can’t wait for this fight. You’re all going to see ‘The Nightmare’ on Saturday night.”

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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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