Jessie Vargas stops Sadam Ali in Round 9 to claim vacant WBO welterweight title

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WASHINGTON — Jessie Vargas talked all week about his new-found power. He said that he would show it off against undefeated former Olympian Sadam Ali on Saturday night at the D.C. Armory.

Did he ever. After looking to be a half-step slow in the first few rounds, Vargas flashed his power in the middle rounds of the HBO co-feature, knocking Ali down twice before referee Kenny Chevalier stopped it at 2:09 of the ninth round.

Vargas, a Las Vegas native, takes home the vacant WBO welterweight title he nearly won against Timothy Bradley last June, but lost when the fight was ended prematurely by the referee, who mistook the 10-second warning for the final bell. Vargas had Bradley out on his feet at the time and might have dropped him in the 8-10 seconds he would have had left.

Vargas wants another shot at Bradley, who fights Manny Pacquiao on April 9 in Las Vegas. The belt he won Saturday was the belt Bradley vacated so he could fight Pacquiao instead of Ali, the mandatory.

“Win or lose, I want Bradley,” an elated Vargas told reporters at ringside afterward. “We have some unfinished business.”

Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) outworked Ali, landing 159 punches overall to 118 for Ali, according to CompuBox statistics. The power punches were much closer, with Vargas landing 95 (45.2%) and Ali 93 (44.9%). The difference was that Vargas’ jab was more effective and efficient (he landed 64 to Ali’s 25).

“I tore him apart piece by piece,” Vargas said. “This is what I’ve been working for all my life.”

Vargas gave all the credit to his new chief trainer, Dewey Cooper, who took over from legendary fighter Erik Morales when Vargas replaced his team after the Bradley loss. He said Cooper worked on his strength throughout training camp.

“I thank Dewey Cooper for the victory,” the 26-year-old Vargas said. “We put together a new team and (he) showed me a new technique to develop more power. It was a move to turn my hips more and drive in the power.

“He brought the best out of me. Jessie Vargas is here to stay, I guarantee that.”

Ali (22-1, 13 KOs) lost for the first time in his professional career. He said he twisted his ankle when he went down because the ring floor was wet with sweat. The crowd booed a bit, thinking it was hearing an excuse from Ali.

“I just got caught with a good overhand right I didn’t see,” Ali said. “(He) really surprised me with that shot. I wasn’t expecting that, but as I went down I twisted my right ankle and after that I wasn’t able to move like I wanted.

“But I stuck it out. I kept coming back. Unfortunately when you’re in pain it is very uncomfortable.”

Ali said he felt really strong before the fight.

“I felt very confident and sometimes that isn’t enough,” he said. “I need to go back to the drawing board and make sure to correct the mistakes that I made in the ring tonight. I’m going to come back better than ever.”

(Photos of Vargas and Ali by Tom Hogan, Hoganphotos)

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boxingjunkie.usatoday.com/2016/03/05/jessie-vargas-stops-sadam-ali-in-round-9-to-claim-vacant-wbo-welterweight-title/

03/05/2016 Jessie Vargas vs. Sadam Ali

Date:   Saturday, March 5, 2016

WBO VACANT WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT

Location:   DC Armory, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Promoter:    Golden Boy Promotions / Oscar De la Hoya

Supervisor:  John Duggan

Referee:  Kenny Chevalier

Judges:

Results:   Jessie Vargas won the WBO Welterweight Championship Title against Sadam Ali by TKO in the ninth round.

TV:   USA HBO, Panama RPC Channel 4

HBO Weights from Washington D.C.

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Saturday’s HBO World Championship Boxing doubleheader telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Opening up the telecast from the DC Armory in Washington D.C. is a 12-round welterweight title matchup between Sadam Ali and Jessie Vargas. The main event of the evening, a 12-round heavyweight attraction, features Luis Ortiz taking on Tony Thompson in his back yard.

Luis Ortiz 242.6 vs. Tony Thompson 263.8

Sadam Ali 147 vs. Jessie Vargas 146.2
(WBO welterweight title)

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/hbo-weights-from-washington-d-c-327641

Sadam Ali, Jessie Vargas fight for welterweight title

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Welterweight contenders Sadam Ali and Jessie Vargas, both young, both experienced, and both highly confident, believe they have what it takes to claim a vacant world title when they fight on Saturday niHBOght (HBO, 10 ET/PT) at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C.

“I’m coming in with everything I’ve got, and I’m fully confident that I will come out victorious because of my preparation with my team,” said Vargas, a former junior welterweight titleholder.

Said Ali, “This is my chance. This is my shot. He had his. Well, he has another one. That’s good for him, but I’m ready. I’ve been working hard. I’m ready to show everybody why I deserve to be in this position. I’m the humble guy. I don’t like to talk. I do the talking in the ring. I’m ready to go out there get that WBO title and show everybody why I deserve to be where I am, and I will do that.”

To most, Ali-Vargas shapes up like a toss-up fight. Neither fighter seems to have any significant advantage over the other as they get ready to battle for the belt recently vacated by Timothy Bradley Jr., who elected to accept a third fight with Manny Pacquiao rather than a much-less lucrative fight with Ali, the mandatory challenger.

“It’s a 50/50 fight,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, which promotes Vargas. “Both guys are established and, obviously, Sadam Ali is trying to win his first title. To have both of these guys in the division creating some buzz and putting on great performances will make bigger fights for them.”

Ali (22-0, 13 KOs), 27, of Brooklyn, New York, and Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs), 26, of Las Vegas, will fight in the co-feature of the card headlined by a scheduled 12-round heavyweight bout between Miami-based Cuban defector Luis Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs), regarded as one of the division’s most dangerous punchers, and former two-time world title challenger Tony Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs), who is from Washington.

“I am going to bust up anyone who gets in my way on Saturday night. I am going to make a statement while winning this fight … We are not looking at this fight going to the scorecards.”   –Jessie Vargas

Vargas is usually a mild-mannered guy but he has something of a chip on his shoulder going into the fight. He is still steamed about how his last fight ended.

That was in June, when he challenged Bradley for the same 147-pound world title he will face Ali for. He nearly knocked Bradley out in the final seconds of the bout. However, Vargas felt like he was robbed of the chance to finish Bradley because referee Pat Russell mistook the clapper signaling 10-seconds left in the round as the final bell and stopped the fight with about seven seconds left. Vargas lost a clear unanimous decision but was understandably upset over the botched ending.

“I am still burned inside about what happened to me at the end of the Bradley fight,” Vargas said at Thursday’s final news conference. “I know I cannot change anything about that fight. But my manager Cameron Dunkin and Top Rank have given me a great new opportunity against Sadam Ali. It’s for the title belt that Bradley wore. I cannot wait to strap it on me in the ring Saturday night.

“I am going to bust up anyone who gets in my way on Saturday night. I am going to make a statement while winning this fight. I have a new team in my corner starting with my new chief trainer Dewey Cooper, who grew up with me. He has developed a technique which gives me more firepower. We are not looking at this fight going to the scorecards.”

Vargas won a secondary junior welterweight belt against Khabib Allakhverdiev by decision in 2014 and made two defenses, against then-unbeaten Anton Novikov and former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco, before moving up in weight to challenge Bradley.

Unlike before those bouts, Vargas has been very aggressive toward Ali in his pre-fight talk.

“I’m planning on making Sadam Ali quit,” Vargas said. “That’s my goal and I plan to achieve it. I’m not going to stop pushing from beginning to end. I’ve conditioned myself. I’ve prepared myself to come in busy and not leave it up to the judges. Just win a clear, decisive fight.

“He’s not on my level and I’m here to show this on fight day. I’m here to prove that he’s not on my level. Of course, I’m saying it, but I’m going to prove it that night as well. It’s just two different breeds. He doesn’t have the experience I have. I’ve been in there with world-class fighters. I’ve beaten several undefeated records already, and I’m planning to do the same (Saturday).”

Vargas’ assessment of Ali’s career is bit off. Ali was a decorated amateur and 2008 U.S. Olympian and although his pro career has not moved a quickly as Vargas’, he had a coming out party two fights ago.

“Jessie Vargas is a great fighter, but I am a great fighter and if anybody wants to underestimate me, then that’s fine. I’m just ready to go out there and show why I shouldn’t be underestimated.”   –Sadam Ali

In November 2014, Ali knocked out highly regarded contender Luis Carlos Abregu in the ninth round of a major upset. It was a victory that catapulted Ali up the rankings and into the title picture. It was a win even Vargas was impressed by.

“I thought he fought well,” Vargas said. “He was a young fighter, and it was an opportunity. Abregu was a top fighter, but he had also been on a long layoff before then and he was an older fighter as well. Like I said before, he’s never experienced being in the ring with someone like me — young, hungry, strong, fast, in his prime. He did surprise me that he did stop Abregu. But credit to him for that.”

Then, in April 2015, Ali boxed in front of his hometown fans at Madison Square Garden in the co-feature of then-heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s defense against Bryant Jennings and put on an impressive performance in a lopsided decision against Francisco Santana. Then it took time to work out the title fight, especially with some uncertainty about whether Bradley would vacate or face Ali. All along, Oscar De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Ali, said he believed Ali was ready to fight for a world title.

“Sadam Ali is the perfect combination,” De La Hoya said. “I mean, he has the amateur pedigree, which is very, very necessary to become a world-class athlete, and that’s exactly what he is. He’s a professional fighter who has tremendous speed and amazing footwork and great power. He demonstrated that against Abregu, a fighter who was coming forward, a fighter who has tremendous power, and Sadam Ali took care of business.

“So, look, Sadam Ali is at the perfect moment in his life where this is his year and this is the perfect time to shine. A lot of people, like Sadam said, underestimate his abilities and especially his power.”

Ali believes in himself as well and when told that Vargas said he would make him quit, he blew it off.

“This may piss him off, but it makes me laugh,” Ali said. “He’s really confident. That’s good. That’s the way a fighter should be. But make me quit? That is not an option for me.”

Ali said he was a little annoyed by the long layoff, since he has not fought since April. He and Vargas could have met for the interim belt in December, but issues over the site delayed it.

“It was a little frustrating, a little hard to get the fight going and figure out everything,” Ali said. “But I’ve been in the gym. I’ve been ready. I never took off and stayed out because I didn’t have a fight. So I’ve been ready.

“For some people they might think I haven’t proved to be elite. But this is why I’m here. This is why I’m here — to prove that. Jessie Vargas is a great fighter, but I am a great fighter and if anybody wants to underestimate me, then that’s fine. I’m just ready to go out there and show why I shouldn’t be underestimated.”

http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/14896470/sadam-ali-jessie-vargas-looking-first-title

Jessie Vargas – Sadam Ali fight for vacant WBO 147lb title

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(Photo Credit: Louis Tinsley – Tom Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions) By Allan Fox: Former WBA light welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) will be trying to become a two division world champion this Saturday night in his fight against unbeaten #1 WBO Sadam Ali (22-0, 9 KOs) in a clash for the vacant WBO welterweight title on HBO Boxing After ark at the DC Armory in Washington, DC.

Vargas and Ali will be fighting for the WBO title that was vacated recently by Timothy Bradley. The Ali-Vargas fight is the co-feature bout on the Luis Ortiz vs. Tony Thompson card.

While the 27-year-old Ali is well deserving of a world title shot due to his unbeaten record and recent wins over Francisco Santana and Luis Carlos Abregu, you can’t say the same thing about Vargas.

Vargas, 26, was beaten by Bradley in his last fight in June of last year in a 12 round decision defeat. The World Boxing Organization is giving Vargas another shot at a title despite him having lost his last fight to Bradley while he was the WBO 147lb champion.

It’s not every day that a challenger gets back to back title shots at the WBO welterweight title without having to beat someone to earn a second shot. I guess the WBO is giving Vargas a break because of the controversial way his last fight against Bradley ended last June.

The referee stopped the fight with 10 seconds to go in the 12th round after he thought he had hurt the final bell. It wasn’t the final bell though. It was the 10 second clapper, and the premature stoppage robbed Vargas of a chance of finishing off a badly hurt Bradley, who Vargas had hurt with a right hand to the head moments before.

“We’ve had a great preparation. I am very happy to be fighting for the WBO World Title once again, and I look forward to becoming a world champion. I will do whatever I have to do to come out victorious,” Vargas said at the final press conference on Thursday.

“I am a stronger, faster and smarter fighter.” – @jessie_vargasJVon his fight against @realworldkidali on Saturday.

Vargas needs to throw more punches in this fight than he did against Bradley, because he wasn’t nearly as active as he should have been. Vargas just let Bradley dominate the action until the 12th round. It looked like Vargas wasn’t willing to let his hands go until he knew he was in the final round of the fight. By that point, he was hopelessly behind on the scorecards and needed a knockout to win. Vargas isn’t normally a big puncher, and that’s why it was a mistake on his part by not throwing a lot of punches in every round instead of just the 12th.

During the face off today, the 5’10” Vargas looked a lot taller than the 5’9” Ali. It looked like Vargas had more than an inch height advantage in the fight. However, Vargas being taller doesn’t mean he’s going to win the fight, because he was four inches taller than the 5’6” Braley, and he still got dominated for most of the fight.

“This is for a world title. This is what we all wait for. This is what we work for. This is my dream. Just know that you are going to see an exciting fight,” said Ali.

http://www.boxingnews24.com/2016/03/206183/

Answer to Timothy Bradley WBO Welterweight Division

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Dear Timothy:

I am in receipt of your February 4, 2016 letter wherein you state that given your upcoming fight against Manny Pacquiao on April 9, 2016 you are unable to comply with WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests, the WBO Championship Committee’s Resolution of November 6, 2015 (ordering the winner of Bradley vs. Rios to face WBO Mandatory Challenger Sadam Ali), and must vacate your WBO Welterweight Title.

Do know that we wholly understand your decision and commend you for always giving fans the best fights possible and doing what is best for your career at this important juncture. You have been an outstanding, honorable and loyal WBO Junior Welterweight and Welterweight Champion of the World and the doors of the WBO will always be open for you. Finally, I am pleased to inform you that we are preparing a special recognition for the Pacquiao vs Bradley III winner— two remarkable fighters and worthy ambassadors to the WBO.

Wishing you all the best,

paco-firma

Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Cc: Luis Batista Salas, Esq. – Bob Arum

Derrota argentina: Luis Abregú sufrió una paliza y perdió por nocaut técnico

boxeo-1968842w943Fotos:  AFP –  El boxeador de nuestro país no pudo hacer nada ante el invicto estadounidense Sadam Alí; el árbitro debió cortar la pelea

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ATLANTIC CITY, Nueva Jersey.- Era una pelea clave para su proyección internacional, pero poco pudo hacer. El boxeador argentino Luis Carlos Abregú cayó por nocaut técnico ante el invicto estadounidense Sadam Alí, en un combate en el que estaba en juego el título Intercontinental welter  OMB.

No hubo discusión. El tucumano, que reside en Salta, sufrió una paliza y tocó dos veces la lona antes de que el juez decretara el nocaut técnico a los dos minutos del noveno capítulo de la pelea realizada en el Boardwalk Hall de esta ciudad.

Para Abregú no se trató de una noche buena: ni por el resultado ni por la cronología del desarrollo. Según consigna un cable de la agencia DyN, se lo vio lento y jamás logró encerrar ni comprometer al movedizo, inteligente y preciso Alí, quien de contraataque definió el pleito.

boxeo-1968844w310Foto: AFP

La paliza que sufrió Abregú decretó el nocaut técnico. 

http://canchallena.lanacion.com.ar/1742526-derrota-argentina-luis-abregu-sufrio-una-paliza-y-perdio-por-nocaut-tecnico

Ali stops Abregu in Round 9

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Ed Diller for ESPN / Sadam Ali, right, was almost untouchable during his TKO victory over Luis Carlos Abregu

Article by Dan Rafael /ESPN –

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Welterweight Sadam Ali, stepping up to face his first serious test as a professional, scored an impressive ninth-round knockout of contender Luis Carlos Abregu in the co-feature of the light heavyweight title unification fight between Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall.

Ali, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, and a 2008 U.S. Olympian, dropped Abregu in the sixth round and again in the ninth round before referee Harvey Dock called it off at 1 minute, 59 seconds as Ali was punishing Abregu along the ropes.

“Abregu was very strong. I was aware the whole time and I was prepared,” Ali said. “This is what I have always wanted for myself and I knew I had to earn it and today I earned it. I stuck to the plan. Even when he hit me I knew to get out. I was so focused. I have to go home and watch the tape, but I am so proud of what I did.”

The fight got off to a very slow start through the first three rounds. Neither man was throwing a whole lot or landing much. When they circled each other repeatedly in the third round the crowd began to boo loudly.

It picked up slightly after that with Abregu landing a solid right hand in the fifth round as he looked to slow Ali (21-0, 13 KOs), who was moving all over the place. Through the first five rounds Ali had landed only 44 of 196 punches and Abregu only 26 of 196.

In the sixth round the crowd came to life when Ali landed a clean right hand and dropped Abregu (36-2, 29 KOs), 30, of Argentina, to all fours. He got up quickly, and Ali drove him to the ropes with a powerful follow-up left hand.

Ali continued to attack Abregu and wobbled him again in the seventh round. And then early in the eighth round, Ali landed a flush left hook that rocked Abregu as the fight became more one-sided.

Then he stopped him in the ninth round.

Ali landed a brutal left hand that nearly knocked Abregu down, followed by a flush right to his face. Abregu was badly hurt, took a step back and went down on a delayed reaction. He beat the count, but Ali was all over him in the follow-up attack, prompting Dock to step in and stop the fight.

“Ali is a great fighter, but I thought the referee stopped it abruptly,” Abregu said. “I could have continued. His speed is what got to me. He was very fast. I would throw a punch and he would find a way to get out. He was way faster than I thought he would be.”

Abregu, whose only previous defeat was a decision to former welterweight and junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2010, saw a seven-fight winning streak since end. Among those wins: a seventh-round knockout of hot prospect Thomas Dulorme in 2012, and a lopsided 10-round decision against another quality opponent in Antonin Decarie in 2013.

http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/11843895/sadam-ali-stops-luis-carlos-abregu-round-9

 

Sadam Ali vs. Luis Carlos Abregu Training Camp Update

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Credit:  Photos by Rich Kane Hogan –

ATLANTIC CITY (Oct. 31) – As we inch closer to the epic “Alien vs. Krusher: Hopkins vs. Kovalev” fight night in Atlantic City, welterweight contenders Sadam “World Kid” Ali and Luis Carlos “Potro” Abregu are preparing hard for their co-featured fight on Saturday, November 8 live on HBO World Championship Boxing.

Both Ali and Abregu offered insight into how their training camps are going and what the fans can expect on November 8.

Q: Where did you train and whom did you train with?
Sadam Ali: I’ve been training at World Kid Sports for eight months, before this training camp started, it’s my little boxing cave. I’m here with my trainers Willie Vargas and Andre Rozier. My team has a close bond. We’re like family and we work together as a
team. It’s all about building and building.

Luis Carlos Abregu:  I have been training in Los Angeles for about a month – I train in the Rock Gym in Carson, Calif. and CMC Pro boxing gym in Marina del Rey with my trainer Hector Roca. My trainer when I was in Argentina was Nestor Jaime.

Q: What is your main motivation in training for this fight?
SA: Being on HBO. I’ve been growing up watching HBO and watching the most famous guys shine and I’ve always envisioned myself in that position. I want to be in everybody’s eyes and I want to be known as something special, that’s very important to me.

LCA: My motivation is to get this win, so that I will have a chance to fight for a world title again. This dream was put on hold after I hurt my hand in my fight with Tim Bradley, but I’m ready to go now.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not training?
SA: I like to shoot pool, go bowling and maybe play some ping-pong. I like competition and I love winning.

LCA: I like to be with my family and make my parents proud with everything I do. I also like to spend time with my friends and have a good time hanging out with them.

Q: Have you been able to spend time with your family during training?
SA: I spend a lot of time with my family. My only job is boxing, so other than that I have lots of time with my family. Their support is really important and it’s always been there. Not everybody has that support, not everybody has a father that can be there for you 24/7 while you’re growing up. My family has helped put me in the position I’m in and I’m thankful for it.

LCA: My family is in Argentina, so here in the United States, I have only my team with me. But I will bring the victory home for them.

Q: What do you know about your opponent and what do you expect from him on November 8?
SA: I’m expecting a hungry fighter, a strong fighter. Somebody who sees nothing but winning, he wants to win and he wants to take me out of his way. He’s a great fighter and I have respect for him, but I’m ready to go out there and perform.

LCA: I know he is a boxer who had a very good amateur career. I hope that he engages with me so that it will be a good fight. I plan to give the fans their money’s worth and I will fight very hard. I hope that he will do the same so that everyone enjoys the fight.

Q: Do you feel any extra pressure fighting as the co-feature before arguably the biggest fight of the year?
SA: I’m used to the pressure because I’ve always seen myself in this position so it’s not really anything to get me nervous. I’m definitely ready and excited. To be on the Hopkins card is exciting, he’s such a great speaker and he says things that just inspire you.

LCA: I feel no pressure at all. I have been the main event in many important boxing shows. To the contrary, I love to be part of important cards that people want to see.

Q: With this being one of the first fights in a while between Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank fighters, do you feel any pressure company?
SA: In addition to representing myself, I always feel like I’m representing Golden Boy too. It’s great to bring everyone together, I think we should all work together. It’s for the boxing fans and everybody that’s watching.

LCA: I think it’s definitely a good thing when two important boxing companies work together. This opens more doors for boxers and it gives all of us better and bigger opportunities.

Q: What is something about you that fight fans don’t know?
SA: I’m going to win November 8.

LCA: I feel that many people don’t know about my power and what I am capable of doing in the ring and that I can beat the best boxers in the world.

Q: What is your prediction for you fight?

SA: I think it’s going to be a great performance. I’m going to fight a smart fight. It’s definitely going to be exciting, that’s just the way I am. I want to excite the fans and I want them to want to see me again. I know Abregu is coming to fight too so it’s going to be beautiful.

LCA: I predict that I will win the fight and that it will be a great fight, if we both come ready to do our jobs. I’m hoping that after the fight the real winner will be the fans.

Question for Ali: What does it mean to you to be a fighter from Brooklyn?
SA: Being a Brooklyn fighter means a lot to me, I was born and raised here. Everybody is hungry here and there have been so many great fighters from here. Even though it’s not like how it used to be, I’m trying to bring it back as well. There’s a lot of those guys I look up to, Mike Tyson obviously, I’m close with Paulie Malignaggi and Luis Collazo. Can’t forget about Riddick Bowe and Mark Breland, there are so many great ones I can’t remember them all.

Question for Abregu: What does it mean to you to represent Argentina?
LCA: I am very proud to represent my country and I also know that is a great responsibility. That is why I will do my best to take a win back to Argentina for all of the people there.

Alien vs. Krusher: Hopkins vs. Kovalev” is a 12-round unification bout for the IBF, WBA and WBO Light Heavyweight World titles, presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events in association with Caesars Atlantic City, Corona Extra, AT&T, Hortitsia Vodka and Mexico, Live it To Believe It!. Ali vs. Abregu is a 10-round welterweight bout for the WBO Intercontinental Welterweight title and is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank.

The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.

http://fightnetwork.com/news/51677:sadam-ali-vs-luis-carlos-abregu-training-camp-update/

Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev workout photos & quotes

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Photo by Rich Kane Hogan

It’s fight week, with Bernard Hopkins vs. Sergey Kovalev and Sadam Ali vs. Luis Carlos Abregu taking place this weekend in Atlantic City. The final fighter workouts were held today at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York, and right here, you can check out all the photos & quotes.

Credit: Hogan Photos / Golden Boy –

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BERNARD HOPKINS

“There are so many things I’ve done that the world of boxing has witnessed. It’s going to be difficult for the boxing people to pick one of my performances as the best.

“I’ve done so many unpredictable things and so profoundly. Even the people who want to go against me, are afraid to go against me. They’ve been wrong so many times. A lot of them are just being mum right now. They must feel I can still do things.

“This is a great position to be in. I don’t really believe there is any fighter, in any decade that can be in my position of luxury that I’ve been in for many years.

“Early on in my career I had the kind of anxious where you couldn’t sleep at night. That anxiousness is like a virus we all have in us. Some you can deal with but some will wipe you out.

“The Pavlik fight was the first time I heard the masses put the word knockout attached to my opponent. I’m real keen on what people say. Ninety percent of it might be garbage, but something in there might be the plan. That woke me up and I knew I wanted to destroy.

“The only thing I can do is be right about what I say. Because I know I’m being watched. I understand what I’m facing. All I can do is put the work behind it.

“I didn’t need to take any fight for the last 10 years. But I’ve always fought the best and I’ve always wanted to prove myself to the best.

“I always not only want push the envelope in my career but I also have an itch for going against the grain.

“Enjoy that you can see me now. I would love to see the great Michael Jordan and Julius Erving in their younger days, but they’re gone. Look at me at 50, I’m going to eat right and live right so I can take less punches and look normal.

“This fight isn’t about boxing, it’s something deeper than that.

“I was made to be where I’m at. I just had to go through some challenges, so that I can educate others later.”

sergey-kovalev-workout-gleasons-150x150  kovalev-and-mulvaney-150x150  kovalev-workout-photo-150x150

SERGEY KOVALEV

“Fifty is just a number. I think nothing of his age. If he was old he would be retired, but he’s still in there. He’s not an old man, he’s a young alien.

“I’m really excited for this fight. I will do my job and anything I need to do to win.

“Bernard likes to push everybody, inside the ring or outside. We’re ready to begin. We’re ready to fight. I feel like I’ve been fighting him for two months going to the gym every day.

“I don’t know what will happen November 8 because this is sports, this is boxing. But I will be ready. I will get a chance to be undisputed and I’m ready to do it. That is my goal.

“I need to do what I do and do it very well.

“I can think back and remember everything from early in my career, but I don’t want to do that. It was often very terrible and it was hard to get to this stage and this place.

“I was searching around for any promoter but no one would sign me. I fought for three years for free. In 2013, Kathy Duva signed me and my career has gotten much better. Being on a big fight on TV is what I’ve always wanted.

“Egis Klimas paid for everything when I was starting out, my opponents, my clothes and my food. He invested a lot into me.

“This fight is a great opportunity for me to create my history for me and my family. I will do that. When my son grows up he will be able to look at this and say, ‘that is my father.’ He can see that I did it for him.

“I can’t make any predictions. We will see everything on November 8. It’s boxing, it’s a fight. For me, any fight like this is a street fight, anything can happen.

“I’m going to go in to fight. I’m going to box, I’m going to show that I can fight with the best light heavyweight right now.

“From my side everything will be clean and fair. I don’t know what he will be doing.

“My life has already changed but this fight means everything.”

NAAZIM RICHARDSON,

“Sergey Kovalev is an exceptional puncher. We haven’t seen him hurt guys of extreme quality yet, but we can’t take for granted what we’ve seen against the opposition he’s faced. He’s annihilated these dudes, that’s how he wins fights.

“Kovalev is a monster. He’s a beast. He punches harder than Hercules. But I don’t want people to defang him on Sunday. If Kovalev is all of these things that people say he is and Bernard beats him, you better start that car and drive him straight to Canastota and induct him into the Hall of Fame right now.

“We’re too late in the game to overhaul from training camp to training camp. We train Bernard Hopkins. The rest of the world adjusts to Bernard Hopkins. Each camp we strive to get the best Bernard Hopkins we can.

“We don’t even call it training camp. It’s a lifestyle for Bernard. They’re just dates we all get together.

“It’s genetics. It’s lifestyle. There are many variables that mesh together to make Bernard who he is. We just have to appreciate him while he’s here.

“With a win over Kovalev it separates so that now he should go to the Hall of Fame as ‘The Executioner’ and ‘The Alien.’ A win over Kovalev only adds to ‘The Executioner’ but it would also solidify a Hall of Fame career for the ‘The Alien.'”

JOHN DAVID JACKSON

“Sergey’s talent is still untapped. He could be a really special fighter. He needs to get past this fight here first and then the sky is the limit for him.

“His punching power is so unreal it makes him hard to deal with.

“I warned Bernard’s camp a few years ago, don’t fight this Kovalev kid. I don’t know what they told Bernard. But I told them please don’t fight this kid.

“This is business at the end of the day. Bernard can talk about me all night long but I don’t have to get in the ring with him.

“Sergey doesn’t understand English that well so it doesn’t matter what Bernard says. There’s mutual respect, but fight week is here so we’ll see what happens.

“Sergey is ready. Bernard is all he talks about. Beating Bernard is the next phase of the plan. If you beat a fighter of that magnitude it takes you to the next level.”

sadam-ali-abregunycworkout_hoganphotos1

SADAM ALI

“Luis Carlos Abregu is not someone you should overlook or underestimate. He has power in both hands. He gives you a lot to worry about in the ring because of his tremendous power.

“There is no limit for me. I just want to keep going and going. This is the biggest fight of my career and I just have to be on my A-game.

“I worked on defense a little more than usual in training camp, I think anyone who fights Abregu should. I’ve been training hard and I’m mentally and physically prepared. No weight lifting, but a lot of calisthenics.

“It’s been a long journey to get here. It hasn’t been going as fast as I expected it to but there’s a plan for all of us. This is the biggest fight of my career, I hope there are bigger fights coming but so far it’s the biggest.

“I have a tough opponent and I think a lot of people are underestimating me. I’m the underdog now, which I’m not used to being. I’m putting in the time and the work in the gym and I’m ready.

“Everybody is entitled to their opinion and I honestly like being looked at as the underdog. I want to be underestimated, that way you’re going to be surprised by what I bring to you.

“I’ve put in the time at the gym so I’m not worried about getting tired at all. I have to be heads up in the ring.

“This fight is definitely a bigger step up than people thought I was going to take but after I win this I will prove a lot of people wrong.

“Everybody needs to take this kind of step if they want to be special and I want to be special. I know I am special. Training camp was great and I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.

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