Kovalev vs Ward: Sergey Kovalev Interview

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Kathy Duva: “Hello everyone, welcome. We are now, I can’t believe it, just a week and a half away from the most exciting, the most compelling and the most competitive fight of 2016, and probably the last two or three years while we’re at it. We are just beside ourselves here. We are exhausted because everyone has been working so hard, but it’s a great feeling. I can’t compliment the fighters enough for stepping up and making boxing what it’s supposed to be and what it used to be, a sport that involved people competing in fights where we didn’t know the outcome. This is a 50-50 fight and we’re starting to feel the buzz and excitement. I want to thank all of you for participating today and I hope to see you all in Las Vegas very soon.”

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev: “Hello everybody, I’m glad to be here.”

Egis Klimas: “I just want to say hello to everybody. I want to thank Sergey Kovalev for making this appearance for this fight and bringing us to this level. He’s the man and he’s the one who brought us here and he’s the reason we are all here on the line. I just want to thank Sergey and welcome everybody to this phone call. Thank you very much.”

John David Jackson: “I just want to thank everybody for being here and I want all of the fans to come out and watch this fight, it’s a great fight between two very good fighters. It’s definitely a fight for the fans to see, so thanks everybody for participating.”

Q: Do you consider Andre Ward to be the best fighter you’ve ever faced?

Sergey Kovalev: “We’ll find out on November 19. I don’t know, but I think so, yes.”

Q: Sometimes Andre Ward brawls, sometimes he boxes. What do you expect him to do in this fight and how are you prepared for his different strategy?

Sergey Kovalev: “I don’t have any different strategy, my strategy is just the one, any cost to get the victory over him. He’s right now in my way to my goals and to my dreams and I should to do my job and fight for my goals and for my dreams. I want to destroy him.”

Q: Have you done anything differently in training to prepare for Andre?

Sergey Kovalev: “Why should I do something different if what I did before gave me success? I followed my same training camp as usual and it should get me in great shape for November 19.”

Q: “Do you think this fight will get you first place in the pound for pound rankings?”

Sergey Kovalev: “I don’t think about what will be after the fight. I have focused my whole attention on this fight and Ward and what I should do inside the ring. We’ll see about this after the fight.”

Q: Do you expect this to be a wrestling fight or a war?

Sergey Kovalev: “Of course this fight is an opportunity for both of us to show the boxing world who is the best pound for pound. I’m sure he will be there to do everything he can to get the victory over me and it’s the same for me. It’s going to be a war between us. Who is the best boxer and who is the best athlete?”

Q: What do you think makes you the more mentally tough boxer in this fight?

Sergey Kovalev: “I think this is most important thing. For me this is a mental fight. It’s not who is stronger, but who is smarter and brings best skills into the ring and who is mentally stronger. If I happen to knock him out, it will be a bonus for boxing fans and for me myself.”

Kathy Duva: “I’ve seen Sergey demonstrate his mental toughness time and time again. He’s been through more adversity in his life than most fighters have ever even contemplated. I’m aware that Ward has faced adversity, but I never heard Sergey talk about how boxing is a sacrifice, where we frequently hear from Ward about how it is. Sergey’s attitude towards boxing has always been, oh wow, this is a great opportunity and I’m so happy I’m doing it. I know he has tough times and there’s days at the gym where he probably doesn’t feel that way. But his attitude has always been about loving his work, and loving what he’s doing. He can’t wait for the fight to start. He works hard because he wants to be the best. It’s not just his mental toughness, it’s his mental attitude, I think it’s very positive and I think that’s the thing that carries him. That and the chip on his shoulder that has been there forever of just wanting to prove that he’s the best. You take that combination of work ethic, and chip on his shoulder and focus like a laser, and then loving what he’s doing. Sometimes when he gets in the ring he looks like he’s about to have a steak, that’s kind of the look on his face. I think that’s part of what makes it so much fun to watch him.”

John David Jackson: “I agree with what Kathy Duva. It’s his upbringing. Growing up in Russia, the hard time that he’s been through I think that’s what makes him the more mentally tougher fighter. That and his desire to be champion and stay champion. He loves the lime light and the adulation that he gets, but I think he’s the mentally tougher fighter and the mentally stronger fighter.”

Q: Does that make it tougher or easier for you to work with him sometimes?

John David Jackson: “A little bit of both. Sergey knows what he wants to do and his plan is already set. I just work off what he wants to do. In the ring he knows what he wants to do as all fighters should know what they want to do. For me it could be hard sometimes when his mindset is set on one thing. But I make it a little bit easier because I allow him to do what he wants and work off what he wants to do and that makes him a better fighter.”

Q: Kovalev has been with you for four and a half years. Can you describe your thoughts from when you first saw him and nobody wanted to sign him to where you are now?

Kathy Duva: “From the moment I saw him in Bethlehem I immediately imagined him being the best fighter in the division. I thought it at that second. I remember Russell Peltz coming up to me saying who wouldn’t you put this guy in with and I couldn’t think of anyone. To be where we are now, in a position to become number one in the world, this is the dream. Main Events has worked with some tremendous fighters and we’ve had some really good runs, but for the most part those were guys that came with Olympic medals and nobody was really surprised when they succeeded. To take Sergey from the point where nobody in Russia knew who he was, where he has never been given a leg up by anybody, where nobody wanted to even look at him to take him where he is today, I have to say, and we at Main Events couldn’t do that with anybody, but when a person came along with the skill and the desire to do it, it was the perfect marriage for us. Sergey gets to show his abilities and talents and Main Events to have the ability to know exactly how to move him perfectly. This is kind of the opportunity that I have been waiting for for a very long time, to prove myself, to prove my staff, to prove my company that we were still there and we could do this and I think we gave Sergey the opportunity to prove what he can do. It was a beautiful thing and meant to be.”

Q: “Ward was expected to be here, he was a gold medalist from the United States, he had a big signing bonus. We hear Andre talk about the sacrifice of boxing whereas with Kovalev this is a great opportunity to box. Andre was expected to be here from day one, maybe Sergey expected it from himself, but it’s a surprise to everybody else, do you think there’s something to that?”

Kathy Duva: “I think there is and I think you make a good point. Even when it comes to the job of making this event work and promoting it, Sergey has taken the attitude from the start that this is my job, this is my opportunity and I’m not going to have any regrets when it’s over so I’m going to do everything I have to do. I think we worked really hard to manage that load for him so it doesn’t interfere with his training. In the brief time I’ve worked with Ward the attitude is different, it’s not hey I’m really happy you’re all paying attention to me, it’s ok we’ll make a list of what we’ll do. I think when it’s always come to you and there have been people standing around you with lights and cameras from the start there’s a natural tendency to kind recoil from it a little bit. Sergey is running towards the light here and I know sometimes it isn’t exciting or fun for him to do that and I know how hard he has worked and I appreciate it more than anything in the world, how hard he has worked to become that fan friendly star that people want to see and know and it shows. He has a very different attitude, for him this is not a chore, this is an opportunity.”

Q: When you were coming up at Don Turner’s camp in North Carolina coming up and Egis was bringing you around from fight to fight to different places and you had no idea if you ever be able to show your talents to a wider audience to the point where you are now. What were your own expectations? How did it go for you in your mind to go from where you were at with Don Turner and Egis pounding it around the country to this fight? Are you surprised at all that you’re here?

Sergey Kovalev: “I’m very surprised myself. When I was in the amateurs I never thought that someday I would turn pro at all. For me professional boxing was very crazy, I thought pro boxing was just beating the whole brain out of your head. It’s very dangerous. In amateurs it was enough with injuries and some hard fights. I felt like I would never be able to do twelve rounds. My wife pushed me to turn pro and one man Anatoliy, Egis’s friend, found me in Russia and he met with me in Moscow and we started to talk about professional boxing. I started to think about it, but it was a maybe. Finally, I made my decision after the 2008 Russian Championships when I won the final fight and the victory was given to my opponent. When I turned pro and came to North Carolina, I was disappointed really. I thought if I turned pro I would get to this level where I am right now. For three years we fought without any promoter, I fought with the support of Egis. Throughout everything he was my father, my brother, my guide, for me he was everything…”

Egis Klimas: (cuts in) “But not the girlfriend!”

Sergey Kovalev: “Not the girlfriend, of course. I can get help from Egis anytime and when I fought 15 or 16 fights, I thought I should go back to Russia and do something to get money another way. After 15 or 16 fights, I had no money, no promoter and not really any future in boxing. When I fought in Russia in 2011, I stayed in Russia for two, three months and I almost decided not to go to America because we didn’t have any plans. We didn’t have a promoter or any plans for the future. I would be back in Big Bear for a workout and I thought, why? Egis called me in Russia and said to me that one promoter, Main Events, Kathy Duva wants to give me opportunity to prove myself and I believed once again that maybe this is the chance, so I should try again. We fought Darnell Boone for the second time and after that I signed with Main Events and Kathy Duva.”

Q: Egis, you’re the one who had the vision, what was it that you saw in him at that time and is the end result right now beyond what you expected?

Egis Klimas: “I was inexperienced. I was the new kid on the block and Don Turner was my tutor, but I didn’t know much about what’s going on. Bringing Sergey to this point, we were in Kazakhstan and he did shadow boxing and Don Turner said Egis, where did you get this guy from? After that we went on a very long run. I used to call every single promoter, I used to try to put him on every single show. I used to try to show him to everybody who was around.”

Sergey Kovalev: “We were like kittens in this business. Like a kid being thrown into the water to learn to swim, we were just trying to get somewhere, to get to the shore. Kathy was the one who gave a hand to Sergey and said come here, come this way, swim this way.”

Egis Klimas: “If anybody is trying to bring me today manager of the year or to manage other fighters, it’s Sergey who brought me to that stage.”
Sergey Kovalev: “We brought each other, the three of us have helped each other and right now we all have success.”

Egis Klimas: “Exactly, he makes a very good point. Nobody knew who Egis Klimas is, nobody knew who Sergey Kovalev is, everybody knew Main Events but at that point Main Events didn’t exist, but now we have one big team and we are winners. And after November 19 we are going be winners, no question about it.”

Q: Andre Ward is known for his high boxing IQ; you’ve been saying you’re going to be the smarter fighter. Can you speak on how confident you are that you will be the smarter fighter when you guys meet?

Sergey Kovalev: “You will see on November 19. I am making a great training camp to kick his ass, this is my goal. A lot of people around the world will watch this fight and I understand this, and I’m going to prove who I am.”

Q: John David Jackson, can you speak on how Sergey is going to be the smarter fighter when he faces Ward?

John David Jackson: “A lot of so called experts and people in boxing say that Ward is a smarter fight. Listen, Ward is smart at what he does, but a lot of what he does is not fighting, it’s surviving and making his opponent frustrated with the tactics that he uses. Sergey on the other hand is a pure all around fighter. He can fight you if it comes down to it, but on the flip side to that Sergey is a very intelligent boxer and he knows how to fight. He doesn’t come into the ring trying to be a one punch knockout artists. If you watch Sergey’s fight, in his brilliance he looks to break down his opponents systematically. He does want a knockout, but he’s learned how to build up to the knockdown. He knows how to cut the ring off and break guys down to the body and if you want to fight with him and you’re looking for a shootout, you’re not going to win because his clip is fully loaded. Andre may be smart and very intelligent, but he’s fighting with half a clip. It’s like LL Cool J once said, you can’t fight an army with a handgun. Ward has a handgun and he’s a fighting against a tank, and the tank is smart, he knows how to fight and how to systematically beat him. For those that don’t know and realize how smart Sergey is in the ring, on November 19 they’re going to find out.”

Q: Have you guys been stressing having more patience in this fight because it is Ward and he’s a patient and crafty guy?

John David Jackson: “I think Sergey has figured that out by himself and we work off that. Ward is crafty and patient, but you can’t be that patient and crafty when you got a guy who has bombs in both hands. Sergey is going to break him down the way he has to. You don’t have time to dictate the pace of the fight and jab here and hold there. When you have a guy coming at you with power in both hands, he’s not going to have the time to be able to do all of the things that he wants to do. This fight here, he has to fight and if he’s not willing to fight he’s in trouble.”

Q: Who do you think has the physical advantage in this fight?

John David Jackson: “As an amateur Andre fought at 178 and he turned pro at 168, so he’s always been the bigger guy after he hydrated. But he can’t be the bully for this fight because he’s not the bigger fighter. Sergey is going to be the bigger fighter. As far as the advantage, it depends on how much he had to lose for this fight himself because he walks around pretty big himself. The seven-pound difference wasn’t a big deal to him because he was killing himself to make 168. I still say the advantage goes to Sergey, he’s the stronger fighter and in the ring it’s going to show. He’s more physical. How much more? We’ll find out that night, but I still give the advantage to Sergey.”

Q: You have a great right hand, are you expecting Andre to be turning southpaw the night of the fight? Do you think he’ll be doing that a lot?

Sergey Kovalev: “Yes, I think he will be changing his positions during the whole fight because in some moments he will be feeling uncomfortable after my punches.”

Q: It seems like he switches southpaw when he has his opponents frustrated. What do you think about that?

Sergey Kovalev: “I know one thing; I will be ready for anything he has to offer in the ring. I understand this and my goal right now is to be ready for everything that he will offer.”

John David Jackson: “Ward may turn southpaw, but when he does get hit by Sergey I think he’ll go to southpaw less and less and get back to his comfort zone which is the right handed stance. If you look at Sergey’s career, he does very well against southpaws so Ward can turn southpaw if he wants to.”

Q: Kathy what fight would you compare this one to from a historical perspective?

Kathy Duva: “I guess the easiest comparison would be to the first time two undefeated fighters fought for pound for pound supremacy and that was Meldrick Taylor versus Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. Main Events promoted Meldrick Taylor so we have been here before. We have also been involved in major fights with people like Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Arturo Gatti and Pernell Whitaker and on and on and on. But I have to say this is the first time we’ve taken a guy that didn’t come out with an Olympic medal or the heralded amateur career, because Sergey did indeed have an amateur career where he clearly learned a lot, it’s the first time we’ve taken someone who nobody expected to this level of achievement and for that one we’re really proud and really happy. It’s a different kind of excitement for us, it’s a lot more fun when nobody expects you to do it.”

Sergey Kovalev: “Everybody in the world wants to see somebody who kicks my ass, but it’s not happening.”

Q: That depends on who you ask; a lot of people want to see you kick his ass.

Sergey Kovalev: “Believe me, there’s a lot of haters. It’s new motivation for me, I really like to disappoint these people.”

Q: John, what was the game plan for the Bernard Hopkins fight and why did it work?

John David Jackson: “First of all, Bernard is an old fighter. Even though he sayshe’s an Alien and the Executioner and all that, the bottom line is he’s an old fighter, so you have to treat him like an old fighter. You have to do things that take him out of his comfort zone. You have to make him work. Sergey was able to use his jab to offset Bernard’s trickery, Bernard is very well-schooled and he’s a student of the game. He was just older and unable to do what he once did.”

Q: If Sergey beats Ward do you think he will get full credit for the victory?

Kathy Duva: “As Sergey points out, haters gonna hate. If you look at the picks the reporters are making and the betting line is favoring Ward a little bit, which is awesome because it’s always better when you’re the underdog and, as we’ve been saying on this call, not having it be expected. But Ward, the position he’s in for better or worse, he’s expected to win, that’s who he is. That’s the guy he’s always been, he’s the guy who hasn’t lost a fight since he was a child. You put that out there, then you’ve got to defend that and we don’t think he can. When it’s over I hope Sergey gets the credit he deserves and it should be a whole lot because this is a tough fight.”

Q: As a promoter does it frustrate you that Sergey is the B side here?

Kathy Duva: “To me he’s not the B-side. His name is first on the poster, he does have the world titles. I think that designation of A- and B-side is an unfortunate thing in many cases, but when you have two guys who could argue all night over who’s going to win then there’s no A-side and no B-side. It’s two great fighters fighting each other. Sergey holds the titles right now, Ward has held titles in the past. Ward is a legendary fighter; Sergey is trying to become one. There’s little different points in the legacy aspects of their careers, but nevertheless this is the fight that we wanted. We wanted it sooner, but we had to wait and so we did. Ward has had his fights that he needed and there’s no excuses. There are certain fights that defy that A-side/B-side description and I think this is one of them.”

Q: Do you think Sergey’s last three opponents, Bernard Hopkins, Isaac Chilemba and Jean Pascal, have built him up for this fight before it was even signed?

John David Jackson: “To a degree maybe. What people don’t realize is that Sergey can fight against any style. He’s very intelligent in the ring, he knows how to solve the fighters’ defensive mechanisms. Those three fights have helped him prepare for this fight, but I think Sergey would have been able to solve the Andre Ward problem regardless. Ward is crafty and he’s not going to be a big problem offensively. If he does, then he’s rolling the dice and he’s going to leave himself open for wide open shots and I don’t think he’s going to do that, especially after he gets hit by Sergey. I think he’s going to be evasive and try to avoid Sergey’s power shots, and if he’s really evasive, how can you win a fight being an evasive fighter? He’s going to have to stand and fight eventually.”
Closing Remarks:

Sergey Kovalev: “Pay attention to November 19 everybody. It’s going to be a huge fight with Andre Ward. He’s never lost before, but it’s my job. So let me be the one to do it.”

Egis Klimas: “We’re looking forward for somebody to lose and that would be Andre Ward. I’m sorry about it, but that’s the only thing I think I can say. Tune into HBO PPV on November 19.”

Kathy Duva: “You’re going to see the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world on November 19. Make sure all of your readers and viewers know about it because this is the fight Mayweather-Pacquiao should have been.”
Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Zappos, JetLux and Monster Products. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available on axs.comand the T-Mobile Arena box office.

www.boxingnews24.com/2016/11/kovalev-ward-media-conference-call-kovalev-quotes/

Crawford: We are definitely going to find out who has the better jab

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By Bill Green
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank –

It’s all too rare in the sport of boxing to see the number one and number two fighters in a division face one another, especially while risking unbeaten records. But, on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, we’ll witness exactly such a confrontation. WBO jr welterweight champion and Pride of Omaha Terence “Bud” Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) faces Freddie Roach-trained, WBC super lightweight champion Victor “The Iceman” Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) from Ukraine in a highly anticipated unification showdown on HBO PPV.

Fightnews.com® has been covering Terence “Bud” Crawford since his fifth professional fight and we sat down with him Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas before he left for his nightly conditioning workout.

Hello, champ. We have covered you for so long, it’s a real privilege to see you reach your goals and to finally be center stage. Does being on PPV and have the so called “next guy” tag put too much pressure on you?

Not at all, I mean..this is what I wanted, I just thought it would happen sooner. The pressure is always there but that’s just part of the sport. My job is to get my body and mind ready for whatever stage they tell/ask me to get ready for. But yeah most definitely it’s surreal. I’ve always seen myself as a main event guy.

I believe you are now on your fourth straight fight at 140lbs. How much have those five pounds made a difference in your preparation, training and strategy?

The move up in weight was perfect, it was huge. I don’t feel drained, it’s nice to be able to eat the week of weigh-ins and cutting in camp is no longer life and death (laughing). Ya’ll have no idea how much fighters go through to make weight, especially if they are already fit guys. I’ve been doing this since eight years old.

This will be your first fight at the MGM Grand. The venue has a rich history of mega fights that produced huge stars. Will we see another one come Saturday night?

I don’t know, it really depends on how the fight goes, what my opponent can and wants to do. I know that I’m prepared to box if necessary, bang if necessary, or even get in a dog fight if that’s what it takes to be victorious. I’m a big fan of the sport and fighting here at the MGM is going to be electric.

A couple more questions champ and we will let you do your thing. A lot of speculation and talk has been about Victor Postol’s dissection of former champion Lucas Matthysse. It seems as if everyone has fell in love with Postol’s jab. We know you have a darn good jab as well. Does it bother you that he gets credit for his jab but others fail to mention yours?

Yeah, it’s kind of funny hearing it. I’m like reading and hearing ‘his jab this, his jab that…’ If that’s all he has, he’s in trouble. I do feel like my jab is definitely underrated and I take pride in working on everything in the gym. I feel like my boxing IQ, ring generalship, power/speed along with my own jab hopefully makes me a complete fighter.

What does Terence Crawford need to do in order to take another man’s title that means so much to his country and himself?

I need to follow the game plan, the plan we worked on in camp. I need to adjust as the fight goes and convince him that tonight it’s not going his way. I just need to be me, to be myself and let those hands go. We are definitely going to find out who has the better jab.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/crawford-we-are-definitely-going-to-find-out-who-has-the-better-jab-347996#more-347996

Canelo, Beefy hit Dallas

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By Jeff Zimmerman
Photos: Stacey Verbeek –

Oscar De La Hoya and his golden boy Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33KO) made their first stop today at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, A&T Stadium, for the first of their 2 city press tour that then takes them to London to announce Canelo’s fight with current WBO Jr Middleweight Champion Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-0-1, 13KO). De La Hoya, along with Dallas Cowboy’s Owner Jerry Jones and the camps of Canelo and Smith were on hand today to address the DFW media. The fight is scheduled for Saturday, September 17th at AT&T Stadium and on HBO PPV.

Today was somewhat subdued, however, because of the recent shooting of Dallas police officers which De La Hoya recognized in his opening remarks with a moment of silence. Because of the recent tragedy, today’s presser was a far cry from when De La Hoya was still on top of the boxing world as a fighter when he strolled through Dallas to promote his fight with Floyd Mayweather back in 2007 and was greeted with thousands of fans outside of American Airlines in Dallas only there to catch a glimpse of the Golden Boy.

Almost 10 years later, he now promotes the biggest draw in boxing Canelo Alvarez and there’s no doubt the two of them alone would have packed city streets for hours with adoring fans, but instead in this new world we live, Canelo celebrated his 26th birthday today in front of mostly DFW media, although he was greeted with mariachis, a cake and a Dallas Cowboys jersey.

But there’s no spectacle in sports like Jerry Jones’s Cowboy Stadium and it didn’t matter if the place was empty, De La Hoya was thrilled to bring Canelo to the Lone Star State once again.

“Not because Jerry is here and this is his arena, this is very, very impressive. I have never seen anything like this. I have never been in an arena that is so impressive. Every single seat, that seat way up there, you have a perfect view not only to the screen where the fighters will be 70 feet tall but to the ring right on the 50 yard line.”

De La Hoya added: “It’s such a beautiful arena. We are thrilled, we are honored, we are happy to be here.”

Unlike the always gregarious De La Hoya, Canelo is more serious and noted this was a business trip for him. He did address if it bothered him not getting the opportunity to fight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in a mega bout that would have surely blown the roof off of Cowboy Stadium.

“No not one bit, things happen for a reason and unfortunately it didn’t happen, but it’s going to happen one day. At this time, we are focused on our fight right now.”

On whether this fight guarantees a future fight with GGG at AT&T Stadium.

“Everything is going in the right direction for that to be.”

De La Hoya plans to bring back Canelo to AT&T Stadium, but was hesitant to say if a fight with GGG would land here.

“Absolutely. This is a wonderful stadium, an incredible arena. First things first, you can’t win a Super Bowl before playing in the playoffs. A lot of teams don’t get to the Super Bowl because they lose. This is not an easy fight for both of them. It’s going to be a tough competitive fight, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

Dallas Cowboy’s Owner Jerry Jones was also front and center at the presser and is now an old pro of promoting big time boxing with two Manny Pacquiao fights under his belt back in 2010. Jones had his take on a potential Canelo versus GGG at his place.

“I think that’s coming, I think that’s coming. What we have is this [Canelo-Smith]. This will be, this could have some things that might not have. I understand the reputation and I don’t want to take anything away and I’m not going to say that it’s the same fight perception wise, but this fight could give everybody the expectation of what might come if that fight is staged. On the other hand, we may have a guy here in Smith that distinguishes himself.”

Canelo was criticized for not taking the fight with GGG and instead moving down to 154, shared his thoughts on GGG fighting Kell Brook, a welterweight.

“That’s why I recommend people don’t open their mouth and speak out because sometimes you bite your tongue.” Canelo did indicate he expect GGG to win the fight.

Canelo is not looking past Smith however.

“The goal is to win by KO but we are going to prepare ourselves for 12 rounds and if it comes it comes.”

Smith did his best to remind everyone he was the champion at 154 and he’s ready for Canelo.

“I’m champion, I’m coming here to make a name for myself in America that’s it and I’m not coming here for the money. I’m coming here to win, I don’t even want to say it, if I don’t win, I don’t think I’m going to lose, but if I don’t win, I will be absolutely devastated.

Smith added, “I’m not going to get out there and say I lost to a great champion and all that. I got massive respect for him as a fighter for what he has done for Mexican boxing, but that’s it. I am not in awe of him, I am not in fear of him, I’m coming here as a big 154, not a blown up 147 like Amir Khan. I am going to make him fight 3 minutes of every round. He better not overlook me.”

De La Hoya believes this has the potential for a great fight.

“It’s going to be an exciting fight, I believe once again a fight of the year candidate. Canelo Alvarez is a tremendous, tremendous puncher and boxer. Liam Smith is a champion for a reason. He’s undefeated for a reason. There’s a reason why the UK now has 14 world champions and Mexico only has 7. Canelo has to step up and Liam Smith has to give it his all. At the end of the day the fans are going to be the winners.”

Jones took it up many notches when he evoked the names Hagler and Hearns on what this fight could be like.

“I think we can have the classic fight, the competition between these two. While we can’t measure it right now, but still we have the potential that this thing will be toe to toe, maybe toe to toe like some of the great fights between Hagler, Hearns, some of those great fights. Those are that type of skills that are out there, of the age that can perform like that and they have it all out there, the incentives are there. And then we hope the atmosphere helps create that and so you add all that up and we should have a great event. It’s one you shouldn’t miss.”

Jerry continued, “I’m more fan of some sports than others but when I get a chance to see a match that is such as the Open golf match they had there Sunday, when I see something that is rare it sends a chill up me, it’s worth seeing. I got to watch the Triple Crown, I was at Belmont to watch the Triple Crown. I went up there specifically so I can send a chill up my spine. I’m a horse racing fan, but I don’t go to the races that much.”

Jones ever the promoter, is always looking to what’s next. He could even envision Manny Pacquiao coming back.

“Yes, yes very much, very much. It’s there and Bob knows very much how we feel and would welcome a fight.”

On the possibility of Pacquiao fighting Canelo at his home.

“Now that would be something to behold.”

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www.fightnews.com/Boxing/canelo-beefy-hit-dallas-347400

Terence Crawford hits Hollywood at Fortune Gym and ESPN Studios

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Photos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank –

Unbeaten WBO Jr Welterweight Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford makes a quick pit stop in Los Angeles at Fortune’s Gym in Hollywood California for a media day workout then swung by ESPN Studios for the taping of “A Los Gulpes” as a special guest with Julio Cesar Chavez before heading to Las Vegas for his Unification bout against Viktor Postol which will air on HBO PPV July 23, 2106 at MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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www.fightnews.com/Boxing/terence-crawford-hits-hollywood-at-fortune-gym-347341/nggallery/page/1

 

Terence Crawford: I want to be the next superstar

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By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Undefeated WBO jr welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, will have his toughest test when he takes on undefeated WBC champion “The Ice Man” Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) of Kiev, Ukraine, in a unification bout on July 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on HBO Pay-Per-View.

“It’s going to be big. I’m going in there and putting on a spectacular show and showing everybody that I belong here,” Crawford told Fightnews.com®. “I have to make a statement on July 23rd.”

Crawford will be training for the fight in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska under the watchful eye of his longtime trainer Brian “BoMac” McIntyre.

Coming off a devastating knockout over Hank Lundy this past February in New York City, Crawford was impressive in defending his WBO title for the second time. Last year saw Crawford score knockouts against Thomas Dulorme in April, as he won the vacant WBO super lightweight title. and in October when he stopped Dierry Jean in his first title defense.

Since coming to the United States Postol has been 4-0 with 3 KOs. He won the WBC world title with an impressive tenth round knockout over the tough Lucas Matthysse last October. “I feel Matthysse gave up because he was frustrated. It wasn’t because he hurt him with a punch, it was because Matthysse was tired. Postol was holding, elbowing, his jab was irritating him every time Matthysse would get in. There was more frustration than hurt,” Crawford said.

“Postol’s style is more European,” he continued. “Straight right, jab, clinch, hold, elbows here and there, but there is nothing he’ll be able to do come fight night to keep me from taking that belt. I’ve seen a lot in my time of boxing on this level. I feel I will do real well!”

A win over Postol would open a new chapter in Terance Crawford’s career. “This is just the beginning. It’s my first pay-per-view and I want to put on a great performance. I want to be the next superstar,” Crawford said.

For years Nebraska has been known for its strong college football tradition in Lincoln, Nebraska about 50 miles south of Omaha, for hosting the NCAA College Baseball World Series in Omaha, and the home of American businessman philanthropist Warren Buffet. Since his 2014 homecoming knockout win over previously undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa, Crawford has become the pride of Omaha, Nebraska.

“When you talk Omaha, you talk Terence Crawford if you aren’t talking Warren Buffet,” Crawford said. “When I fought in Omaha against Gamboa everyone was like, WOW! This is what we have been waiting on!”

Crawford expects a large number of his hometown fans to make the trek to Vegas for the Postol fight. “They will show up and chill out. A lot of people are coming to show their support,” Crawford said.

On July 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, it will be champion vs. champion.

“When I look at this fight, I look at it as #1 vs. #2, the best in the division, two undefeated fighters,” Crawford said. “I’m not thinking of who I want to fight next. Who I got in front of me now is Viktor Postol. Come fight night, we’re waiting for the victory!”

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/terence-crawford-i-want-to-be-the-next-superstar-341097

Gilberto Ramirez gearing up for first title defense

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By Miguel Maravilla –

Undefeated WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “El Zurdo” Ramirez (33-0, 24 KOs) of Mazatlan, Mexico is set to make the first defense of his title when he takes on Dominik Britsch (32-1-1, 11 KOs) of Germany on July 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on HBO PPV. “I’m happy to be defending my title. I know nothing about my opponent, all I know is that I am training really hard for this fight,” Ramirez told Fightnews.com®.

After winning the title this past April, Ramirez went back to train in his hometown of Mazatlan, then resumed his camp in Southern California working with his longtime team of Jesus and Hector Zapari in preparation for the German challenger.

“I am training here in the area in Long Beach for this fight,” Ramirez said. “This preparation will be like every other. Training really hard to be ready for what my opponent has.”

Britsch, a relative unknown, has only fought twice in the U.S. Winning by TKO over Matt Berkshire in Detroit back in March of 2010 and by knockout over Delray Raines in 2011 in Carson, California. He’s coming off a unanimous decision over Slavisa Simeunovic this past February in Germany.

“It is a hard fight since I know nothing about my opponent. Sometimes those are the most dangerous opponents. You don’t know what to expect from them,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez defeated the hard-punching Arthur Abraham this past April to win the WBO super middleweight title co-headlining the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley card on what was billed as the “No Trump” Undercard.

“I was so happy to accomplish my life long dream. I beat a solid champion in Arthur Abraham,” Ramirez said. “When I returned home I was greeted by fans and media at the airport. I was very happy and excited, it was the first time I was welcomed at the airport.”

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is no fan of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has made disparaging remarks toward Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Arum has promoted many Hispanic fighters over the years who have produced great fights. To show his support for the Latino community, Arum has featured Ramirez on two pay-per-view telecasts and is planning another card for the fall to further send his political message.

Ramirez gave us his thoughts on Trump’s comments and agenda. “We the Mexican people are always working hard and Donald Trump makes some comments that are insulting, but we have proven that we work hard in life to achieve our goals and make a living,” Ramirez said.

Should he get past Britsch as expected, Ramirez is taking aim at the other 168lb champions. “There are other champions in this division. Badou Jack, Felix Sturm, James De Gale, I would definitely want to unify a title with them. Hopefully they are willing to as well,” Ramirez said. A clash with WBA/IBF/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is also a possibility.

Ramirez vs. Britsch will be a scheduled 12 round championship bout for Ramirez’s WBO super middleweight title. It will be the co-feature bout to the Terrance Crawford vs. Viktor Postol jr welterweight unification bout.

“We are going to give it and leave it all in the ring to defend this title,” Ramirez vowed.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/gilberto-ramirez-gearing-up-for-first-title-defense-341168

Crawford-Postol PPV undercard announcement

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Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank –

WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and two-time Mexican Olympian and undefeated #1 featherweight contender Oscar Valdez will headline the HBO-PPV undercard topped by the junior welterweight world title unification battle between undefeated world champions Terence “Bud” Crawford and “the Iceman” Viktor Postol on July 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Ramirez will be making the first defense of his championship crown against Dominik Britsch. Valdez will face undefeated #2 world-rated contender Matías “La Cobrita” Rueda, possibly for the vacant WBO featherweight world title. The pay-per-view telecast will open with former interim world champion Jose Benavidez, Jr. risking his undefeated record and Top-10 world-rating in a 10-round welterweight battle against Francisco “Chia” Santana.

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www.fightnews.com/Boxing/crawford-postol-ppv-undercard-announcement-339808

Estrada 111.6, Melindo 111.6 en Macao

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Por Carlos Costa en Macao, China, costa@notifight.com –

MACAO, China  –  El Gallo y Melindo en peso.  Tanto el campeón del mundo Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada de México como su retador Filipino Milan Melindo pesaron 111.60 lbs (50,62 kilos) para su compromiso titular mañana (Sábado) en el Cotai Arena del Venetian Hotel en Macao, China.

El Gallo Estrada, el orgullo de Hermosillo, Sonora México se vio en magnifica forma para su importante refriega ante el retador mandatorio No. 1 de la OMB Milan Melindo (29-0, 12 KOs).

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Es la primera defensa del Gallito Estrada tras haber conquistado la corona del mundo al vencer en gran combate al fuerte veterano Brian Viloria.    En ese combate el Mexicano domino al filipino Viloria con su buen boxeo, excelente jab, uppers y tiros a la sección media.

En el ultimo round de la memorable refriega, el Gallo estuvo a punto de noquear al Viloria quien realmente fue salvado por el arbitro quien intervino en un momento en el que el Filipino estaba a punto de sucumbir.

La puntuación mas correcta pareció ser 117-111 a favor del Mexicano, votación compartida por uno de los jueces y por el casi siempre acertado Dr. Lamazon; inexplicable un juez vio vencedor a Viloria por lo que el triunfo de Estrada sobre Viloria fue una victoria por decisión dividida.

gallo_estrada_and_carlos_4  Cómo un juez vio vencedor al Filipino Viloria?   No se comprende, en especial porque los mismos Filipinos gallardamente han admitido que Estrada fue muy superior a Viloria esa noche.

Podrá el Gallito estrada vencer al también Filipino Milan Melindo en Macao?

Muchos fans esperan un gran triunfo del Gallito Juan Francisco Estrada.   Una razón porque es un hermano latino.   Otra razón:  porque muchos fans esperan ver a finales del 2013 el Gallito Estrada vs Tyson Márquez.

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El gallito Estrada no esta solo.  Esta acompañado de gente que lo apoya y lo quiere.   En una imagen superior lo vemos con su experimentado entrenador Alfredo Caballero, su manejador Juan Hernández, Brenda Bonilla y la gente de Latin Sports.

El retador Filipino Melindo es mas chaparro que el Gallito, pero es un peleador rápido e invicto con 29 triunfos.   Este filipino también se noto en buena forma, listo para desafiar ante Mexicano.

El combate Estrada-Melindo por el titulo mosca de la AMB/OMB es una producción de Top Rank que sera vista por HBO PPV en Estados Unidos y por Azteca 7 en México.

REPORTE Y FOTOS:  CARLOS COSTA DE NOTIFIGHT

http://www.notifight.com/artman2/publish/Pesaje_24/Estrada_111_6_Melindo_111_6_en_Macao.php