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Quotes From Wilder and Molina, Who Fight June 13

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MEDIA DAY WORKOUT QUOTES & PHOTOS

Heavyweight World Championship Saturday, June 13,

Live On SHOWTIME®From Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala.;

ALL ACCESS: Deontay Wilder Premieres June 3 On SHOWTIME

NEW YORK (June 1, 2015) – Unbeaten Heavyweight World Champion DeontayTheBronze BomberWilder, confident heavyweight contender Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina and unbeaten junior lightweight Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza participated in Media Day Workouts last Thursday for their fights Saturday, June 13, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) at Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala.

The power-punching, popular hometown favorite Wilder (33-0, 32 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Ala., will make the first defense of his title when he meets Molina (23-2, 17 KOs), of Raymondville, Texas, in the main event on June 13. Pedraza (19-0, 12 KOs), of Caguas, Puerto Rico, will meet Andrey Klimov (19-1, 9 KOs), of Klimovski, Russia, in a 12-rounder for the vacant IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship in the co-feature.

Below is what Wilder, Molina and Pedraza said during their separate Media Days in Northport, Ala., Weslaco, Texas and Cidra, Puerto Rico, respectively:

DEONTAY WILDER, Heavyweight World Champion

Photo Credit: Bill Hoffman

“It’s definitely a blessing to be able to fight in my state. When we set the goal to be heavyweight champion of the world that was one of the goals we set, to bring it to Alabama. Just to change it up and give Alabama some spice besides football, and to finally get the opportunity to have a major fight in the state of Alabama. This is what we were looking for when we worked to bring the commission here, and we were successful and got it done. This is what we were looking for.

“I want Alabama to be my home territory. It’s why I stay here. Some people still try to throw me out but my heart is here and I’ve got bigger and better plans. This is just the beginning.

“My team handles all the distractions (from fighting at home). I’ve got a wonderful team. I’m just ready to go. I’m ready to get this party started and welcome Molina to Alabama.

“My hand is fine. We tested it yesterday for 10-ounce gloves because that’s the competition weight. We put it on and I felt great. It gave me even more confidence. I’m ready to get in the ring and do what I have to do and perform for my people.”

(on being world champion)

“We knew we would be doing a lot of traveling after getting the belt but we didn’t know the capacity of how much. It’s been a journey for me.

“I think I bring a different flavor to the sport of boxing, and I want to bring even more to the world.”

(on Molina)

“I haven’t heard from Molina but that’s good, that means he’s focused. I want him to come very focused. I know he’s going to be nervous and scared, but they say if you back a rabbit in a corner, they fight back.

“I’m most dangerous when I’m at home. I’m not going to let down my home crowd and let someone take what I’ve worked so hard for. He’s not going to come behind enemy lines and take anything from me.

“I want a great performance from him. I want a great performance for the crowd and people to say, ‘Hey, I want to come back for the next one!’ and to be hungry for the next one. We got a lot of fights we want to do in Alabama, and this is just the start. I want to move on from Bartow to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), which is bigger than the MGM Grand.

“Every title defense is proving something. I’m the world’s most wanted, and everyone wants it. I’ve got the WBC crown. It’s the most well-known, famous belt in boxing. Everyone wants their name on this belt, and I have it. Every fight is a dangerous fight when I’m putting the belt on the line, and I train as if everyone is a world champion.”

(on why he’s defending against Molina)

“We have a lot of other opponents, but Molina was the one to understand the opportunity that lies at hand. Some people can price themselves out and some teams make it so difficult that the fight won’t happen. They can really block themselves out from getting the fight. You can have the money or the opportunity. Molina understands what the situation is, and he stepped up to the plate and understands the opportunity at hand to be the World Heavyweight Champion.

“My last fight I proved to everyone what I was capable of. I can go 12 rounds and take a punch. I can be just as fresh in the 12th round as the 1st.

“The sky’s the limit in what we’re trying to do. I represent the state. Even though I’m from Tuscaloosa, it’s not just where my gym is in Northport or Coffeeville. I represent the state of Alabama. I need a home territory and a home state not only where we can bring in local people, bring in the nation, but also bring in the whole world.”

ERIC MOLINA, Heavyweight Contender

Photo Credit: Joel Martinez/SHOWTIME

“This is the fight that we dream about when we first lace on the gloves and I am extremely excited about the opportunity to fight for the biggest prize in sports, the WBC heavyweight title. I’ve been preparing and training very hard, and I’m almost at the point where we’re ready to go.

“We’ve studied a lot of Wilder, and expect a very physical fight. I think a lot of people are underestimating my strength and power. They know Wilder can punch but they are underestimating the power that I possess.

“We know it’s going be a hostile environment, fighting in basically his backyard, but he’s now the champion and with that he gets an opportunity in his optional title defense (to fight who he wants, where he wants). He gets to enjoy those opportunities, but that’s where I come in.

“Of course, I’m confident I can win the title. I think people look at my record and think this or that, but I don’t feel they understand my entire career, the things I have gone through and overcome, the different angles of boxing that more than meets the eye.

“Nothing against Deontay, who has worked hard to get to where he is, but he doesn’t represent the kind of fighter, in general, that I am. I’ve always had to fight and struggle from fight to fight. I never had a true training camp situation. I’m not saying he had things easy, but I had to work and juggle things to keep going. Only the fighters in my situation can understand it.

“I’ve been boxing for nine years. I have a BS and Master’s Degree and I’m in my fourth year teaching kids with disabilities. Along with boxing, this is what I do. This is who I am, and I am not ashamed of who I am either. I’m proud. If they want to consider me an underdog, fine. But I’m also the guy who got knocked out in his first pro fight and battled back to where I am now and I’m fighting for the championship.

“What people don’t know about me is that my career has been all about determination, strength and struggles. Other boxers, including Bernard Hopkins, lost their first fights and went on to win a world title. I’ve learned a lot from my two losses and now I have the confidence to accomplish anything.

“Bottom line is I am not trying to convince anybody who I am, I just want people to see who the real Eric Molina is — that I am more than what my record on paper indicates. I was NABF champion for a while but could never get a fight so I was dropped from the rankings. It was like I had to start over again. But I stuck to it, and with everything else I had going on outside the ring, things I had to put aside for this fight, still managed to get into the position I’m in now.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a heavyweight contender like me. Where I train, there are no other real heavyweights except for one or two. I have to fly guys in to help me work with the guys already here. I’ve been in camps with Bermane Stiverne; I often had to go to where the sparring was just to get the work.

“I’ve never been in a spot where things have been easy for me in boxing. I never had the odds on my side, the tools, the resources. But I still made it this far and want to go farther.

“I think the first round is very important. I expect that from the get-go that he will feel like he could hurt me, but I also feel very strongly that I could hurt him. So it is very important to be ready for that first bell.

“This is going to be a great fight, much, much better than many may be expecting, and I am ready.”

JOSE PEDRAZA, Unbeaten Junior Lightweight Contender

Photo Credit: Victor Planas/Universal Promotions

“As a Puerto Rican, every time I fight, I fight for the honor of my people. So, on June 13, I won’t only be fighting to win a world title, I’ll be fighting for Cidra, Puerto Rico and for all the Puerto Ricans out there watching me. Puerto Rico needs another champion and I’m here to deliver and make my people proud. I cannot afford to let them down. I won’t let Puerto Rico down. I’ll come back a champion.

“This is a great opportunity fighting on a big show on SHOWTIME. It has taken hard work, dedication and long gym work to obtain this big exposure on SHOWTIME.

“My last fight against Michael Farenas was very important to me because that fight was a title eliminator and, by winning, it opened the door to this fight and finally my dream of becoming world champion is close to arriving.

“It has been a long and hard training camp — intensive. We opened camp in Las Vegas in December. This camp has been special because it is for the world championship.

“Andrey Klimov is a strong boxer, always going forward, the jab and straight right are his best shots. The only thing I see is he is strong and has good fitness. From his last fight against Terrence Crawford I could see that he has problems when he fights a left-handed boxer with good movement. I will be working in side steps and with speed.

“I hope that he comes well prepared for me. We must do our best to give the fans a good show. On June 13, I will be a new champ and after that I want to make two defenses and move to 135.”

#             #             #

ALL ACCESS: Deontay Wilder, which chronicle’s the champion’s January fight against Bermane Stiverne and sets the stage as he prepares for his upcoming title defense, premieres on Wednesday, June 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

“WILDER vs. MOLINA,” a 12-Round fight for Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight Championship, takes place Saturday, June 13, at The Bartow Arena in Birmingham, Ala. DiBella Entertainment and Bruno Event Team have joined forces to bring this event to Alabama. In the co-main event co-romoted by DiBella in association with Universal Promotions, Jose Pedraza will face Andrey Klimov in a 12-Round bout for the IBF Jr. Lightweight World Title. It will air live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT). The telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP). Preliminary bouts will be televised live on SHOWTIME EXTREME (7 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

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Three Punch Combo: What’s in the Cards for Spence, Kell Brook, and Cotto?

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 THREE PUNCH COMBO: Errol Spence Jr. scored an impressive knockout victory against Kell Brook on Saturday to take Brook’s IBF welterweight title. Both fighters now face interesting possibilities as they move forward in their respective careers.

Spence, who entered the fight with a lot of questions, not only showcased his tremendous skills but proved he has a very good chin as well as the willingness to dig deep when needed. He is without a doubt a future superstar in this sport. With momentum strong right now, he would be wise to be as active as possible even if not landing one of the big names his next time out.

I sense that Spence’s advisor, Al Haymon, will in fact get him back in the ring this summer. One name I would speculate as an opponent is Adrian Granados. Coming off a debatable loss to Adrien Broner, Granados has earned another shot at a top fighter. Granados is not a big puncher, but will put forth a good effort. The translation here is that he is someone that can be sold to the public as an opponent for Spence while bigger names are lined up, and also someone against whom Spence can in all likelihood look impressive once again.

After a summer tilt, I would expect to see Spence back in action towards the end of the year in a more substantial fight. Keith Thurman will still be on the mend at this point, recovering from elbow surgery, so that fight is out until next year. But Haymon has plenty of other welterweights and one that I suspect he steers toward Spence will be Lamont Peterson. Peterson is a name and has a belt. He also has a stated desire to want one of the big names next along with the payday that it would command. With Thurman out, this would seem the likely immediate path for Spence as such a fight would draw plenty of attention and be easy to sell.

As for Brook, he is going to need an extensive rest before restarting his career. He suffered a beating as well as an eye injury in September against Gennady Golovkin and then suffered another beating as well as injuring his other eye against Spence. After a rest, expect to see a tune- up bout followed by a massive fight in the UK against Amir Khan. The Khan fight has always been big and one of the reasons it has not been made is that it could frankly be made anytime with it still being a very significant event. Considering where both fighters are presently in their respective careers, the timing seems right for it to happen sooner rather than later. They both get a big payday and the winner gets well positioned for another big payday in what is a loaded territory at welterweight and junior middleweight.

Errol Spence Jr. and Kell Brook gave us a great fight on Saturday. While their career paths will head in different directions, expect to see both involved in big events once again down the road.

 Miguel Cotto’s Future

 Miguel Cotto announced this week that he would be returning to the ring on August 26th to face Japanese brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight championship. Cotto, who split from his promoter Roc Nation last week, will work with Golden Boy Promotions for this fight which will be televised by HBO.

This is an interesting development in the career of Cotto. Reportedly HBO had not been interested in televising the proposed Kamegai fight unless it received assurances from Cotto that it would lead to a bigger fight to be televised by the network. Also, Golden Boy’s involvement in the promotion signals that they could be involved in Cotto’s future. Obviously, this would mean the opponent for a big fight for Cotto would come from under the Golden Boy banner.

The obvious choice for Cotto’s big fight opponent is David Lemieux. Lemieux has been chasing a fight with Canelo Alvarez. However, with Alvarez deciding to go after Gennady Golovkin, Lemieux gets left on the outside looking in. In need of a big fight for Lemieux, Golden Boy saw an opportunity with Cotto having been previously negotiating the Kamegai fight with Roc Nation. A fight between Cotto and Lemieux makes sense for both as Cotto wants a name who isn’t a slick boxer and Lemieux wants a big fight with the payday it commands as well as the opportunity to put a signature win on his resume to bolster his future ambitions.

But I also think Golden Boy has another potential plan for Cotto. Golden Boy’s main cash cow, Canelo Alvarez, is in a high risk, high reward fight with Golovkin in September. There is no rematch clause if Alvarez wins and, of course, a win by Alvarez cements him as a mega star in the sport. He will be eyeing a return in May 2018 during Cinco de Mayo weekend. With momentum behind him, Alvarez would be wise to seek a name opponent to further boost the event. A rematch with Cotto would not only do huge business but keep the momentum going. For Cotto, it would be a chance to avenge the loss from 2015 to Alvarez and give him one massive payday as his career nears a conclusion.

Miguel Cotto is determined to close his career out with something big and it appears likely he will get his wish.

Kudos to Golden Boy

 When Golden Boy announced its new series on ESPN this winter, I was cautiously optimistic in the fights they would produce. I must say that the matchmaking thus far on this series has been superb and is getting even better with some recently announced cards. These are the types of televised shows the sport needs to generate some badly needed positive buzz.

On June 17th, Pablo Cesar Cano takes on Fidel Maldonado in a junior welterweight contest. This fight is not only very evenly matched but can’t be anything except a slugfest given the styles of the two fighters. Cano is a high pressure fighter who is willing to exchange to get his own punches home. Maldonado has the ability to box, but often gets drawn willingly into wars. In 2015, he had a back and forth shootout with Amir Iman in a fight that got some talk in fight of the year chatter. As a matter of fact, round three was probably round of the year that year. Maldonado has a tendency to fire back when he gets hit and with Cano’s style Maldonado is going to get hit a lot. This one is guaranteed action and a perfect fight for television.

About two weeks later, Golden Boy returns with another ESPN card featuring a high stakes junior featherweight contest between Randy Caballero and Oscar Negrete. Caballero is an undefeated former bantamweight belt holder and is a very skilled boxer puncher. Negrete, also undefeated, has shown much improvement inside the ring in his last few contests. The styles of these two should mix well to provide an entertaining fight. It is also evenly matched, and with so much at stake we should see the best of both men inside the ring.

One point I harp on a lot is the importance of good matchmaking, especially in televised fights. Golden Boy is doing an excellent job so far with their new ESPN series providing high quality, well-matched fights. The boxing public is taking notice and Golden Boy deserves much praise in delivering excellent events for the fans.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

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George Foreman Youth Center in Houston Hosts Amateur Event

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George Foreman Youth Center

George Foreman Youth Center –  -Starting with the ring of the bell on October 22nd, local area boxers will be fighting for a spot to represent the Gulf Coast Region at the USA Boxing National Championships & in International Travel.

Weight categories will include: Pee Wee 8-9, Bantam 10-11, Intermediate 12-13, Juniors 14-15, Youth 15-16, & Elite 18-40 in both Open and Novice divisions. Winners will represent the Gulf area at the 2016 USA Boxing Elite, Youth and Junior National Championships to be held in Kansas City Missouri December 4-10, 2016. This tournament is a sanctioned event through USA Boxing the National Governing Body of Amateur Boxing and is a feeder to National and Olympic recognition.

The George Foreman Youth and Community Center was founded 32 years ago in 1984 by Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-time heavy weight champion George Foreman. The GFYCC is dedicated to providing a safe and secure location for youth to participate in sports and after school activities.

“This year for the first time in Houston boxing history, we are developing an elite international youth boxing team,” said George Foreman, IV. “The team will be selected for the sole purpose of training and traveling to other countries to gain experience on an international platform and promote cultural diplomacy! Utilizing grant and donor funding this team will be representing the George Foreman Youth and Community Center and will be announced Saturday October 22, at the Gulf Region’s Boxing Championship. The team will be reviewed by my father, 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-Time Heavyweight Champion, George Foreman Sr. The first international trip for this new Houston team is scheduled for Jan. 2017.”

Doors open for the Gulf Gloves Championships on Saturday October 22nd at 11:00 am with announcements and the presentation of the colors by the United States Army Houston Recruiting Command Baytown Beaumont Company at 12:45 pm. The national anthem will be performed by the internationally acclaimed Houston Brass Quintet! Boxing will begin at 1:00 pm. Championship finals will begin at 1:00 pm on Sunday October 23rd.

Media open workouts for Houston amateur standout boxers will be held Wednesday October 19th at the George Foreman Youth and Community Center at 2202 Lone Oak Road Houston, Texas 77093 at 4:00 pm.

Confirmed attendees for interviews will be:

George Edward Foreman IV: Son of 2 Time Heavy Weight Champion, President of Foreman Public Relations

Marlen Esparza: 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist, 2014 Amateur World Champion, 2006 & 2016 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, Nine-Time USA Boxing National Champion.

Rocky Juarez: 2000 Olympic Games Silver Medalist, 1999 Amateur World Champion, WBC Silver Featherweight World Champion.

Raul Marquez: 1988 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, 1992 Olympic Games Quarter-finalist, IBF Light Middleweight World Champion.

Frank Tate: 1984 Olympic Games Gold Medalist, IBF Middleweight World Champion, NABF Light Heavyweight Champion.

Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz: WBA Lightweight World Champion, WBO Lightweight World Champion, WBA Super-Lightweight World Champion, IBF Lightweight World Champion.

“Sweet” Reggie Johnson: WBA Middleweight World Champion, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion.

In addition to many Houston area professional boxers and Gulf Boxing Association alumni. Event is sanctioned by USA Boxing – Gulf LBC: 16-25-14268

George Foreman Youth Center / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.

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Press Releases

Michelle Corrales-Lewis Named New CEO of NV Boxing Hall of Fame

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Michelle Corrales-Lewis

LAS VEGAS, NV (October 5, 2016) – The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) a non-profit charitable organization which donates to boxing-related causes, is happy to announce Michelle Corrales-Lewis as its new CEO/President. Respected boxing announcer, Rich Marotta, who founded the NVBHOF in 2012, steps down after devoting years of his life to get the organization off the ground.

With a number of boxing greats already inducted, which include world champion fighters, judges, coaches and promoters, the NVBHOF has rapidly established itself as prestigious group not only here in Las Vegas, but around the world. The NVBHOF has multiple fundraising events throughout the year, helping local boxing organizations fulfill their goals to keep boxing alive within the community.

“I took this organization as far as I could and I’m very comfortable where it is at today,” said Rich Marotta. “Michelle is on the scene in Las Vegas, has a myriad of contacts, both in business and with the boxing community, especially the fighters, and is more than ready to completely run the company. She is incredibly capable and has been an indefatigable agent for growth of the NVBHOF the past three years, taking on additional responsibilities each and every year. It brings me great pleasure to announce her as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.”

After serving as the NVBHOF Chief Operating Officer for many years, Michelle Corrales-Lewis, is thrilled at her new position within the organization.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, widow of former multiple world champion and 2013 NVBHOF inductee, Diego Corrales. “Rich Marotta did a fantastic job building the organization from ground up. His immense work ethic is a great example of how I plan to continue the vision he set forth. My goal is to find a home for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, one where fans from all around the world can visit on regular basis. The boxing community is filled with wonderful people that we will honor as inductees each year. I’m truly grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been presented to me by my dear friend Rich Marotta.”

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