Tag Archives: Jo Jo Dan

Undefeated World Champion Danny Garcia Earns Victory in Hometown Via Seventh Round Stoppage of Samuel Vargas in Main Event of Premier Boxing Champions on Spike Saturday Night from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia

Victory Sets Up Welterweight World Championship Unification Bout Between Garcia and Keith Thurman on March 4
Rising Star Jarrett Hurd Remains Unbeaten with Sixth-Round Stoppage of Former Title Challenger Jo Jo Dan
Former World Champion Javier Fortuna Recovers from Knockdown to Beat Previously Undefeated Omar Douglas by Unanimous Decision
Click HERE for Photos from Ryan Hafey/
Premier Boxing Champions – (Photos to be added shortly)
PHILADELPHIA (November 13, 2016) – Undefeated world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs)put on a show for fans in his hometown Saturday night as he dropped and stopped Colombia’s Samuel Vargas (25-3-1, 13 KOs)on his way to a seventh round TKO victory in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Spike from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
The dominant performance by Garcia officially setup a welterweight world championship unification showdown in March against Keith “One Time” Thurman, who was in attendance as part of Spike’s broadcasting crew. The two welterweight world champions met in the middle of the ring after the conclusion of the bout and began to set the stage for their explosive showdown.
“I just had to tell Keith that he’s next,” said Garcia. “I’m going to beat him down. There’s not much more to say. Keith is going to get what he asked for and now he’s going to face a big dog.”
“You have two big punchers meeting on March 4,” said Thurman. “I don’t see how the fight can go 12 rounds. I see myself as the best competition that Danny has ever faced.”
Garcia was sharp offensively and defensively Saturday night, making Vargas miss often and countering with powerful shots. He started slow but late in the second round, Garcia delivered an overhand right hand that sent Vargas tumbling to the canvas.
“I felt a little rusty,” said Garcia. “But I started putting my punches together well and came out with the victory. The overhand right knocked him down. It was just a well-timed shot.”
“I got beat up in there,” said Vargas. “It takes a lot of courage to come to North Philadelphia and fight the champ. It just wasn’t my night.”
Vargas continued to come forward and work, but Garcia was entirely in control, making Vargas swing at air while delivering shots of his own that kept him in command. In the seventh round, Garcia began to unload with a series of big shots that hurt Vargas on the ropes. This eventually prompted referee Gary Rosato to stop the fight 2:17 into the round.
“It was great to give back to my fans in Philadelphia,” said Garcia. “It was a long time coming. I’m just happy I was able to give Philly a great night. I’m a Philly champion and it was great to see guys like Allen Iverson and Meek Mill out here supporting. Most importantly it felt great to give back to those in need in my city.”
“Danny is a great fighter and a great person for his city,” said Vargas.
With the March 4 unification fight now set, boxing fans can look forward to seeing two of the best fighters in the sport put their undefeated records and world titles on the line.
“Danny can talk whatever he wants and Angel Garcia can say whatever he wants,” said Thurman. “They can talk smack all day. Danny is real flat-footed. I believe I’ll be able to be on the outside, see the wide punches and counter punch. They said he wanted the tune-up, now he’s ready to see me.”
“On March 4, fans can expect what they always get from me,” said Garcia. “It’s going to be fireworks. I’m a Philly champion. I have the heart of a champion and I’m coming to win and unify titles.”
The co-main event of the evening saw undefeated rising star Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs) stop former title challenger Jo Jo Dan (35-4, 18 KOs)in the sixth-round of their super welterweight battle.
The smaller Dan sought to smother Hurd from the beginning and negate the previously unbeaten fighter’s advantage in reach and height. Hurd was unable to get full power behind his punches, while Dan tried to hit Hurd with short punches, mainly to the body.
“We knew he was a crafty southpaw,” said Hurd. “We wanted to take our time because we didn’t know how he would come out. We felt him out at first.”
“The weight was a big difference,” said Dan. “I took the fight on short notice and I’m a 147-pound fighter. He was too strong for me tonight.”
Things began to open up for Hurd in round two as he began to tee off on the head of Dan, including a thudding left that caused Dan’s nose to bleed. Hurd continued to pummel Dan, mixing in looping shots to the body with his devastating array of hooks and uppercuts.
“My defense was a little off because being prepared for a right hander,” said Hurd. “We fixed that in the last round and got the stoppage.”
The damage continued into the sixth round as Dan kept coming forward but was consistently met with hard shots from Hurd. The fight was finally called at 1:08 into the sixth round, on the advice of Dan’s corner.
“He was wobbly and shaky,” said Hurd. “I probably would have taken him out in the next round. There are a lot of great fighters in this division and whoever I can get in there with next, I’ll be ready for.”
“He’s a tough guy,” said Dan. “I gave him some tough shots and I took some good shots. At the end of the day this is boxing. I couldn’t do enough to get the win.”
The opening bout of the telecast saw former world champion Javier Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs) survive an early knockdown to come back and earn a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Omar Douglas (17-1, 12 KOs) in their 10-round lightweight match.
Douglas got off to the better start, connecting with a straight left hand late in the first round that buckled the knees of Fortuna and sent him to the canvas.
“He got me cold in the first round,” said Fortuna. “I wasn’t surprised that he came out sharp. I worked very hard to come back.”
“The left hand was there for me so I took it,” said Douglas. “I knocked him down based on reflexes.”
Fortuna recovered nicely however, and used his movement and combination punching to fluster the less experienced Douglas. Fighting primarily out of the southpaw stance, Fortuna used his jab and followed up with flurries that score consistently.
“Every time that I was aggressive, I tried to follow it up with more punches,” said Fortuna.
Douglas tried to be patient and counter, but too often it led to the fighters getting tangled up instead of inflicting damage.
“He was grabbing me, but that’s the game” said Douglas. “That’s the game I signed up for.”
The final round saw Fortuna come out strong in an attempt to close the show with emphasis.
“I knew in the final round that I had to finish it well to make sure there were no questions,” said Fortuna.
The former champion connected at will on Douglas for much of the round, staggering him near the ropes with successive hooks. Douglas stayed on his feet but was unable to mount enough offense as all three judges gave the final round to Fortuna. In the end, the judges scored the bout 96-93 twice and 95-94 for Fortuna.
“I feel like I won the fight. The decision was absurd. He held me the whole fight,” said Douglas.
“I felt like I won just about every round after the first,” said Fortuna. “I want a rematch with Jason Sosa next. That’s a very big fight for me.”
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PBC on Spike was promoted by DSG Promotions and King’s Promotions.
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.spike.com/shows/premier-boxing-champions. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @DannySwift, @SpikeTV, @SpikeSports @KingsBoxing_ and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions. Follow the conversation using #fight4philly. PBC on Spike is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

Danny Garcia vs. Samuel Vargas Press Conference  Quotes & Photos

Premier Boxing Champions on Spike this Saturday, November 12from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia
Click HERE for Photos from Terel Vann/King’s Promotions/
Premier Boxing Champions
(Photos to be added shortly)
PHILADELPHIA (November 10, 2016) – Undefeated world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and Colombia’s Samuel Vargas went face-to-face Thursday afternoon, one day before they weigh-in for their Premier Boxing Champions on Spike main event showdown taking place Saturday, November 12 from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
Televised coverage on Spike begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and features undefeated rising star Jarrett Hurd battling former title challenger Jo Jo Dan plus former world champion Javier Fortuna taking on unbeaten Omar Douglas.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DSG Promotions and King’s Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit LiacourasCenter.com/events or call 800-298-4200. Garcia has teamed up withPhilabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, to arrange a regional food drive and raise money throughout the promotion. For more information on how to get involved, visit the event’s webpage HERE.
Here is what the participants from Thursday’s event at the Clarion Hotel had to say:
“I’ve dedicated my life to the sport of boxing and I’m proud to be on a card like this. It’s amazing to be fighting in my city with my home base there to support me.
“This is a great opportunity for me. Giving back is very important to me and my family. I have my whole family, including my daughter Philly here with me. It just adds to the excitement leading up to the fight.
“Training camp has been amazing. We had a really smooth camp. I’ve stayed disciplined and taken care of everything I have to do. I’ve been running and sparring and preparing for anything. I took no shortcuts.
“I’m feeling good and I’m happy to bring my fans in Philadelphia a fight. I’m looking forward to bringing more fights back here to Philadelphia. This is a fighting city where it all started for a lot of great fighters.
“I’m really excited about this undercard. I know the fans are going to really love it. I hope those fighters take full advantage of their opportunity to fight on a card like this.
“I know people are excited about the Thurman fight. I understand that and I’m going to be pumped up for that one too. But I’m not looking past anybody. I’m fully focused on putting on a show at home and doing what I have to do to beat Vargas.
“There’s not too much to say but I’m really excited to fight. I hope all the fans come out and see what they’ve been missing in Philly. I’m going for the knockout.”
“I had four weeks of intense training in Miami. We were at the Fifth Street Gym and they made us feel at home. I got great sparring and I feel ready to fight.
“This is a fight that I have to be 100 percent ready for. I have to mentally be prepared for battle. Then I just have to execute the plan.
“Danny is a champion for a reason. He does everything well. We just have to find a way to win.
“My trainer, Billy Briscoe, has done an amazing job of working with me and keeping me motivated. It’s been a really good camp.
“I’m looking for the upset that night. Everyone wants to see Danny fight Keith Thurman, but I’m looking to make myself known. I feel confident.
“All I have to do is go up there and do my job. Don’t miss it, because it’s going to be a memorable one.
“I have to dictate the pace of the fight if I want to win in Philadelphia. I have to win decisively. I have to be a smart fighter and I’ll be ready.”
“I’m trying to let everyone know I’m here. I’m here for everyone in the 154-pound division and I’m here to stay. I’m not a guy who’s just going to work my way up but not win a title. My goal is to win a world title.
“It feels really good to be on a Danny Garcia card. We’re both ‘Swift’ so I’m glad fans will have a chance to see two really entertaining fighters on the same card.
“The opponent switch didn’t leave us a lot of time to prepare for a southpaw, but we’re used to the style. Training camp was really great and I’m just excited to get in the ring.
“I really want to thank my trainer, Ernesto Rodriguez, because he’s been with me since day one. We always talked about fighting on cards like this.
“A fight of this magnitude it’s always a good thing. I’m happy to fight on a card of this magnitude. I hope that everyone enjoys the show on Saturday night.
“All-year round we prepare for changes like this. Sometimes you get an opponent who is orthodox but he comes out southpaw. We’re always prepared for things like this.”
“I’m thankful to Hurd for accepting this challenge. I’m looking to make a great fight. I’m in great shape and I have no doubt this is going to be an exciting night.
“Hurd is a great fighter. He has an undefeated record and he’s younger than me, but I’m not worried about it. He likes to fight and switch styles. So I know I will have to be ready for anything.
“My training camp was very good. There are no injuries and I’m very thankful to be healthy. I’ve been in the gym a very long time.
“I have a good strategy for this fight. I’m planning on getting in there and testing him out. I think I’m going to have a really good performance.
“When I got the call about this fight I was already in really good shape. I expect it’s going to be an exciting fight for the fans.
“My original weight is still 147-pounds, but this is a great opportunity and I jumped on it. I believe I’m ready to make a splash.”
“I promise you that this fight will not go 10 rounds. I’m telling everybody. I’m going to knockout Omar Douglas.
“My team works so hard and we’re not going to stop until I’m a champion again. Douglas is the next guy I need to get rid of.
“I’m very honored to be a part of a card of this magnitude, especially with one of the best fighters in the world in Danny Garcia.
“I’m coming to fight Douglas on his turf and I’m going to give him a boxing lesson. I’m prepared and I’m ready to go on November 12.
“I’m confident in myself and confident in my team. We’ve prepared extremely well. My goal is to continue to get back to where I was. I want to be a champion once again.
ANGEL GARCIA, Danny’s Father & Trainer
“Danny is 100 percent prepared. Camp went perfectly. He’s hitting hard. I just pray every day that he doesn’t kill anybody in the ring. These aren’t the ‘Looney Tunes.’ This is real right now. Vargas is in with the champ of the world.
“We’re going to worry about Sam on Saturday. We’re going to get the job done. Because I know what Danny brings to the table.
“I think Danny is the top welterweight in the world. Danny is going to be undefeated, still, after November 12. Sam is going to come in and work. But it’s not going his way.”
BILLY BRISCOE, Vargas’ Trainer
“We went to camp and we prepared to the best of our abilities. Sam knew what he had to do and he took care of everything that he could.
“There’s not too much to say. We understand that we’re fighting a great fighter like Danny. He’s a tremendous fighter and he has great trainer in Angel.
“We’re going to be ready. Sam has put in the hours in the gym that are necessary. We’re looking for a good show and a big shock.”
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.spike.com/shows/premier-boxing-champions. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @DannySwift, @SpikeTV, @SpikeSports @KingsBoxing_ and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions. Follow the conversation using #fight4philly. PBC on Spike is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

Javier Fortuna vs. Omar Douglas Camp Notes

Fortuna vs. Douglas Featured on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike
Saturday, November 12 From Temple University’s Liacouras Center
9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
PHILADELPHIA (October 27, 2016) – Former world champion Javier Fortuna (30-1-1, 22 KOs) and undefeated rising contender Omar Douglas (17-0, 12 KOs) are set to meet in a pivotal matchup as both men look to make a statement when they meet on Saturday, November 12 from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Premier Boxing Champions on Spike action.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and is headlined by undefeated world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia taking on Colombia’s Samuel Vargas. Also featured in televised action is undefeated rising star Jarrett Hurd battling former title challenger Jo Jo Dan. Garcia is teaming up with Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, to arrange a regional food drive and raise money throughout the promotion. For more information on how to get involved, visit the event’s webpage HERE.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DSG Promotions and King’s Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit LiacourasCenter.com/events or call 800-298-4200.
The former champion Fortuna and the unbeaten Douglas will meet in a 50-50 fight that could put the winner in a position to fight for a world title soon. Fortuna is known for his aggressive style while Douglas looks to impress against his toughest opponent to date.
Here is what the fighters had to say about training camp, each other and more:
How has training camp gone for this fight?
Javier Fortuna: “I’m having an excellent training camp. We’re working hard and figuring out how to break down my opponent. Hector Bermudez does a great job and I’m very comfortable training here in Boston. I’ve gotten great sparring with guys like Will Madero and Alden Whatley. I’m going to be just as strong in the final round as I was in the first.
Omar Douglas: “Training has been going very well. I was already working and staying sharp, because I knew a big fight was on the horizon. Training in Delaware with Douglas Petitford has been great for me and I’ve had incredible sparring. I’ve been in there getting rounds with (2016 U.S. Olympian) Gary Antuanne Russell and a veteran in Hank Lundy.”
What do you think of your opponent and how do you see this fight going stylistically?
JF: “Douglas is a prospect who has looked pretty good coming up. He wants to get to where I’ve been. He might be looking past me. I think that his style fits my style perfectly. I’m going to have openings and I just need to take advantage.”
OD: “Fortuna is a very decent and explosive fighter. He’s a former world champion and I expect him to stand up and get back what he thinks is his. He wants his rematch with Sosa and we are in each other’s way. He’s a frontrunner in the ring. He will try to start strong and I am prepared for whatever he brings to the table. Whether he boxes or fights me. I will make adjustments.”
What kind of problems does your opponent pose?
JF: “The only problem that he will pose is if he doesn’t show up and fight. I’m ready for anything he can bring, so I hope he’s ready to give the fans a show.”
OD: “He moves well. I can’t let myself get off-balanced trying to chase him. He’s awkward but I know that my jab will neutralize his strengths.”
What are you looking for in the future if you can get the win on November 12? What are your goals for 2017?
JF: “I want to fight the best out there. My first choice is a rematch with Jason Sosa so that I can win my belt back. I’d love to fight Vasyl Lomachenko. I don’t think he’s fought a guy quite like me yet.”
OD: “I want to fight for a world title. That’s the goal. He is a former champion who just lost his title and 2017 is my year to make a run for a title.”
How have you improved as a fighter since your loss? Do you believe a win over Douglas proves you’re still one of the best in the division?
JF: “I have learned a lot of things since I lost. My defense and my confidence in myself has improved. If I can beat a guy who is 22-0 and make it two wins over previously unbeaten fighters, then I think I’m right back in contention. He’s still considered a prospect so I think whoever wins will be a contender at the top of the division.
How does fighting in Philadelphia motivate you, having fought there in the amateurs and being from nearby Delaware?
OD: “In the amateurs I was one of the only guys from Delaware. I had a lot of obstacles. I’ve been fighting against Philly’s best fighters for years. Philadelphia is where I achieved my first goals in the sport and it will always be special to me to fight in Philly.”
Why do you believe you’ll be victorious on fight night?
JF: “With the work that I’ve been putting in, I know that I will be ready on fight night. I’ve been through too much not to leave the ring victorious.”
OD: “I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life and I believe I am the hungrier fighter. He doesn’t want it as badly as I do. I’ve been waiting in the shadows for a long time. I have all the skills necessary to get the job done.”
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.spike.com/shows/premier-boxing-champions. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @DannySwift, @SpikeTV, @SpikeSports @KingsBoxing_ and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions. Follow the conversation using #fight4philly. PBC on Spike is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

Undefeated Rising Star Jarrett Hurd Now Set to Face Former Title Challenger Jo Jo Dan in Super Welterweight Action Saturday, November 12 on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia

Jorge Cota Forced to Withdraw After Emergency Appendectomy
PHILADELPHIA (October 26, 2016) – Undefeated rising star Jarrett Hurd (18-0, 12 KOs) will now match up against former title challenger Jo Jo Dan (35-3, 18 KOs) in a 10-round showdown featured on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike Saturday, Nov. 12 from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
Once-beaten contender Jorge Cota was originally scheduled to face Hurd, but was forced to withdraw after an emergency appendectomy.
The event is headlined by Philadelphia’s own undefeated world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, who takes on Colombia’s Samuel Vargas in a 10-round bout. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and features a clash between former world champion Javier Fortuna and unbeaten prospect Omar Douglas.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DSG Promotions and King’s Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit LiacourasCenter.com/events or call 800-298-4200. Ten dollars from every ticket sold will go to Philabundance, feeding 20 people in need per ticket.
Hurd fights out of Accokeek, Md., just south of Washington, D.C. and is perfect since entering the pro ranks in 2012. The 26-year-old has faced three straight undefeated fighters including a sixth-round stoppage of Frank Galarza in 2015 and a 10th-round TKO over Oscar Molina in the co-main event of the Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter card in June. The exciting boxer-puncher will look to continue his climb to a world title on November 12.
Born in Romania, Dan fights out of Quebec, Canada and hopes to stay perfect in his U.S. outings, having already won twice stateside. A pro since 2004, Dan was unbeaten in his first 26 professional starts. He owns two impressive victories over Canadian rival Kevin Bizier and challenged Kell Brook for his welterweight title last year. Dan moved up to 154-pounds in his last fight, when he defeated veteran Rafal Jackiewicz by decision and he will look to announce his presence in the division when he faces Hurd on November 12.
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.spike.com/shows/premier-boxing-champions. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @DannySwift, @SpikeTV, @SpikeSports @KingsBoxing_ and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions. Follow the conversation using #fight4philly. PBC on Spike is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.


Toronto (September 11, 2015) – It’s been 30 years since a world championship title fight was fought in Toronto – and the exuberant crowd at Ricoh Coliseum welcomed boxing back with hard-hitting action on the main televised card of the Premier Boxing Champions on Spike.

“Superman” Adonis Stevenson (26-1), the light heavyweight world champion put his coveted belt on the line in front of his fellow Canadian countrymen against the gritty American challenger Tommy Karpency (25-4-1). Attempting to be kryptonite to “Superman,” Karpency was out-classed by the stronger and quicker Stevenson. In the first round, Stevenson began his onslaught with a big left that buckled Karpency’s legs. A straight left hand at the end of round 2 knocked Karpency to his knees. With a boisterous partisan crowd behind him, Stevenson finished Karpency off with a devastating TKO at 21 seconds of round 3.

A jubilant Stevenson chanted “Oh Canada!!” before calling out champ Sergei Kovalev. “C’mon Kovalev – it’s time to fight for the unified title.”

In the co-feature, Errol Spence Jr. (17-0) put his unblemished record on the line in the opening bout of the main card against the dangerous South African welterweight Chris Van Heerden (23-1-1) riding an 9-fight winning streak.

Spence, a 2012 Olympian, showed off his world- class pedigree by pounding his opponent with brutal body shots and a flurry of jabs that nearly closed Van Heerden’s left eye. After two knockdowns in the 7th round, Spence’s dominating performance was punctuated by a flurry of punches that led referee Alan Huggins to stop the fight at 50 seconds of round 8.

Spence will now set his sights on moving up the ladder in the talented welterweight division occupied by big names such as Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter.

When asked in the ring what is next for him he responded “I want to fight anyone in the top 10- I think I deserve it.”

Also on the televised card, former light welterweight champ “Vicious” Vivien Harris (32-10-2) from Brooklyn, NY battled undefeated prospect Prichard Colon (15-0) of Puerto Rico. Colon showed off his power as he dominated his veteran opponent – ending the bout at 1:03 in the 4th round with a punishing knockout. The rising star, who honored the victims of 9-11 on his robe, is bullish on his future.  “It’s great to put a win over a former world champion on my resume.”


Premier Boxing Champions on Spike Headlined By
Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson Taking On
Tommy Karpency & Rising Welterweight Star
Errol Spence Jr. Facing Chris Van Heerden
9 p.m. ET/PT
TORONTO (September 8, 2015) – Rising undefeated star Prichard “Digget” Colon (15-0, 12 KOs) takes on former world champion Vivian Harris (32-10-2, 19 KOs) in undercard action on Friday, September 11 at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.
The September 11 Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike headliningfight features light heavyweight world champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (26-1, 21 KOs) as he defends against Tommy “Kryptonite” Karpency(25-4-1, 14 KOs) plus 2012 U.S. Olympian and undefeated rising welterweight star Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs) battling slick-southpaw Chris “The Heat” van Heerden (23-1-1, 12 KOs) in the televised opener at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Also featured are undefeated prospects Immanuwel “The Chosen One” Aleem (13-0, 9 KOs) and Jamontay “Quiet Assassin” Clark (6-0, 3 KOs).
Further undercard action will see welterweight contender Jo Jo Dan (34-3, 18 KOs) stepping into the ring against Jake “The Bull” Giuriceo (17-4-1, 4 KOs), Canadian heavyweight champion Dillon “Big Country” Carman (8-2, 7 KOs) taking on former heavyweight title contender Donovan “Razor” Ruddock (40-5-1, 30 KOs) in a 10-round bout andTyson “Prince of Ali” Cave (27-3, 10 KOs) battling Nestor Hugo “El Torito” Paniagua (26-8-2, 17 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout
Rounding out the night of fights is 27-year-old Canadian Olympian Custio Clayton (4-0, 3 KOs) facing 31-year-old Davide Doria (12-0-1, 4 KOs) out of Bayern, Germany in a six-round super welterweight bout, 34-year-old Toronto native Sandy “Lil’ Tyson” Tsagouris against 32-year-old Australian Shannon “Shotgun” O’Connell (11-3, 6 KOs) in a six-round featherweight attraction.
Also entering the ring is Ukranian Oleksandr Teslenko who makes his pro debut against 22-year-old Hungarian Attila Pinter (5-2, 4 KOs) in a four-round heavyweight affair and 24-year-old Michael Affainie (2-0, 2 KOs) out of Ontario, who is set to face 26-year-old Shane Upshaw (1-1-4, 1 KO) of Nova Scotia in a four-round super welterweight bout.
As an amateur, Colon was a five-time Puerto Rican national champion prior to turning pro in 2013. Trained by his father, Colon has been stylistically compared to fellow countryman Felix Trinidad, with all but one of his knockouts coming in five rounds or less. The 22-year-old scored a spectacular knockout in his last fight over tough veteran Michael Finney and will look to keep his momentum going into September 11 when he takes on the 37-year-old former champion Harris who fights out of Brooklyn by way of Guyana.
Born in East Meadow, New Jersey but fighting out of Richmond, Virginia, Aleem was introduced to boxing from a young age by his parents. Since turning pro in 2012 at age 18, the 21-year-old has wiped out all of the competition in front of him. In his last start, he faced his most experienced opponent and was able to deliver a first round stoppage in the bout against David Toribio.
Another talented young fighter to come out of Cincinnati in recent years, Clark cites Aaron Pryor as one of his boxing idols. The slick 20-year-old recently completed his first six-round bout with a unanimous decision over Jonathan Garcia in May. He returns on September 11 looking to make it a perfect seven victories in seven starts to begin his pro career.
An accomplished amateur from Romania, Dan fights out of Montreal and hopes to start his climb towards a second world title opportunity in front of his adopted hometown fans on September 11. The 34-year-old owns two victories over Canadian rival Kevin Bizier plus triumphs over Steve Forbes and Damian Frias. He will be opposed by the 30-year-old Giuriceo out of Youngstown, Ohio who was undefeated in his first 17 pro fights.
Fighting out out of Ontario, the exciting brawler Carman heads into the ring looking to defend the Canadian title that he won with a seventh-round stoppage of Eric Martel Bahoeli in October 2014. He followed that up with another late stoppage victory, this time over Benito Quiroz in March. The 29-year-old faces the highest profile challenge of his career when he steps into the ring with the 51-year-old Ruddock. Fighting out of Ontario by way of Jamaica, Ruddock has won twice in 2015 since coming out of a 14-year retirement. Ruddock has been in the ring with some of the best of all time, twice facing Mike Tyson and also battling Lennox Lewis in their primes.
The 33-year-old Cave has had a successful career fighting out of Nova Scotia, Canada and looks to again impress the fans of his home country. He enters this contest on a three-fight win streak, all in 2015, with two ending by stoppage. He enters the ring against the 36-year-old Paniagua who fights out of Santa Fe, Argentina and is coming off of an August victory over Diego Miguel Ramirez.
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, www.groupeyvonmichel.ca, www.ricohcoliseum.com andwww.spike.com/shows/premier-boxing-champions, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @AdonisSuperman, ErrolSpenceJR, @yvonmichelgym @SpikeTV and @SpikeSports and become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/PremierBoxing, and www.Facebook.com/Spike.





Watch The Replay Of The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Doubleheader

Tomorrow/Sunday at 9 a.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME,

Tuesday, March 31, at 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHO EXTREME


Click HERE For Charlo vs. Martirosyan & Gonzalez vs. Russell Jr. Photos

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME


Click HERE For Brook vs. Dan Photos

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig


LAS VEGAS (March 28, 2015) – After coming close to world championship glory in 2014,

Gary Russell Jr. (26-1, 15 KOs), a former United States amateur standout, delivered on his promise in impressive fashion Saturday night, knocking out defending champion Jhonny Gonzalez (57-9, 48 KOs), of Mexico City, in the fourth round in the main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader promoted by DiBella Entertainment at The Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort.


In the co-feature on SHOWTIME®, undefeated Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (26-0, 11 KOs) of Houston, won a close, unanimous 10-round decision over Vanes Martirosyan(35-2-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., in a clash of top-five ranked super welterweights. There were no knockdowns in a bout scored 97-93 and 96-94 twice.


The talented and quick-fisted southpaw Russell, who stood and exchanged with Gonzalez, utilized his overall speed to dominate. He dropped the veteran three times, once in the third and twice in the fourth before referee Tony Weeks waved off the fight 37 seconds into the round (to watch the knockout click HERE).


“This is the kind of performance I always expect but don’t always get,’’ said Russell, who lost a close 12-round decision to Vasyl Lomachenko in his initial attempt at the 126-pound crown last June 21 on SHOWTIME. “If people only knew how hard we worked for this, the time we put in the gym, the mental and physical things we work on and put ourselves through every day.


“There are always obstacles to overcome but for this fight I was 100 percent. This win is for all the people who have been with me from the beginning.’’


Russell’s strategy was to eliminate Gonzalez’ vaunted left hook, and he executed the plan to near perfection.


“We were never in this to turn it into a track meet,’’ Russell said. “We were going to stand right in the pocket. We know what Gonzalez likes to do, and that’s throw the wide left hook. I tried to bait him into throwing it and he did.


“Honestly, I don’t think he recovered from the first knockdown.’’


Gonzalez, a two-time WBC featherweight world champion – and a veteran of 16 world championship fights – won the title for the first time in April 2011 and made four successful title defenses before losing it in September 2012. He regained the title on a shocking first-round knockout over Abner Mares in August 2013 on SHOWTIME, and had made two more successful title defenses before falling to Russell.


Gonzalez offered no excuses before quickly exiting the ring.


“I’m OK,’’ he said. “I did not expect this kind of fight at all. We expected him to run around the ring with me chasing. But he didn’t.’’


In the co-feature, Charlo silenced critics of his resume by defeating his toughest opponent to date.

He was surprised at the way his match with Martirosyan played out. “I definitely expected a much rougher fight,’’ he said. “This was easy compared to what I thought we were in for.

“I fought smart and when I was told to pick it up, I knew what time it was so I did. I’m absolutely ready for a shot at a world title.’’

Martirosyan, who was cut over the left eye from an accidental headbutt in the eighth round, was visibly disappointed with the result.

“I positively feel 100 percent that I won that fight,’’ he said. “I was the aggressor and forced the action. All he did was run. I landed the cleaner punches. I definitely felt I won the last round.

“I was stunned by the headbutt [that resulted in the bout being halted while he and the ringside physician discussed the cut]. Sure my left eye bothered me after that and it was blurry. But that’s no excuse.

“I felt I was hurting him. He never hurt me once. I really don’t understand this decision.’’

Earlier Saturday, on SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL, undefeated IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (34-0, 23 KOs) overwhelmed mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan (34-3, 18 KOs), dropping the Romanian-based Canadian four times before the one-sided beatdown was wisely halted after the fourth round at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England.


Brook, of Sheffield, was making the first defense of the welterweight title he took from previously undefeated Shawn Porter last August on SHOWTIME and fighting for the first time since suffering a serious injury when he was stabbed in the thigh during a holiday on the island of Tenerife last September.


The exciting welterweight showed no ill effects from the layoff in an emotional return to the ring, registering two knockdowns in the second round, and two more in the fourth, with the final knockdown coming at the closing bell. Dan suffered the first knockout defeat of his career (to watch the knockout click HERE).


“I’m back, baby!” said Brook, whose devastating performance against the usually durable Dan electrified the hometown fans while paving the way for a major showdown in the future.


“It was truly amazing to walk out in front of all my fans. I didn’t think I would ever walk again, much less  box again. Here I am filling arenas. I can’t put into words how much it means to be back and defending a world title. It means everything to me.


“It was hard there holding it together. But this is where I belong. The leg feels fine. The leg feels as good as the other leg. There is no problem with the leg.


“If you’re watching Amir Khan, then get in here with me. I know you’re delicate around the whiskers. I’ll take you out.’’


The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader will re-air this week as follows:


DAY                                                                            CHANNEL

Tomorrow, Sunday, March 29, 9 a.m. ET/PT            SHOWTIME

Monday, March 30, 10 p.m. ET/PT                            SHOWTIME EXTREME


Saturday’s two-fight telecast will be available at SHOWTIME ON DEMAND beginning tomorrow, Sunday, March 29.


Brian Custer hosted the SHOWTIME telecast, with Mauro Ranallo calling the action, Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and former two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi commentating and Jim Gray reporting. In the Spanish simulcast, Alejandro Luna called the blow-by-blow and former world champion Raul Marquez served as color commentator. The executive producer of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.


# # #


“Gonzalez vs. Russell Jr.”, was a 12-round world championship bout for Gonzalez’s WBC Featherweight World Title and was promoted by DiBella Entertainment. In the co-feature, Jermell Charlo took on Vanes Martirosyan in super welterweight action. The event took place at The Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The event aired on SHOWTIME.


For more information, visit www.sports.sho.com, follow on Twitter at @SHOSports, @jhonnygbox, @mrgaryrusselljr, @TwinCharlo, @LouDiBella and @PearlAtPalms, follow the conversation using #GonzalezRussell, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SHOBoxing or visit the SHOWTIME Boxing Blog at http://theboxingblog.sho.com.



Gary Russell Jr. discusses his family’s boxing background, his father’s role in his corner, and his motivation following his first professional defeat to Vasyl Lomachenko. Russell steps in the ring for the WBC Featherweight World Title against defending champion Jhonny Gonzalez tomorrow,Saturday, March 28 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME ®.




Click on the image below to watch, share and embed this video:




Share this video: http://s.sho.com/1xCFbic

(Photo Credit: SHOWTIME)


# # #


“Gonzalez vs. Russell Jr.”, a 12-round world championship bout for Gonzalez’s WBC Featherweight World Title, is promoted by DiBella Entertainment. In the co-feature, Jermell Charlo takes on Vanes Martirosyan in super welterweight action. The event will take place at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and will air on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). The telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).


Tickets for the live event are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50, and $25, plus applicable fees are on sale. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or by clicking HERE. Tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com.


For more information, visit www.sports.sho.com, follow on Twitter at @SHOSports, @jhonnygbox, @mrgaryrusselljr, @TwinCharlo, @LouDiBella and @PearlAtPalms, follow the conversation using #GonzalezRussell, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SHOBoxing or visit the SHOWTIME Boxing Blog at http://theboxingblog.sho.com.



LAS VEGAS (March 26, 2015) – The excellent night of fights featuring WBC Featherweight World Champion Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs)defending his title against highly regarded contender Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs) and top 154-pound contenders Jermell Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs) and Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs) squaring offwill be supplemented by a full night of undercard fights featuring first class fighters in tough matchups.


Get there early and don’t miss a minute of the action as doors at The Pearl at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort open at 2 p.m. PT with the first fight start just minutes later.


Tickets for the live event are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50, and $25, plus applicable

fees are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000or by clicking HERE. Tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com.


Gonzalez vs. Russell and Charlo vs. Martirosyan airs live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.


The exciting undercard features Jermell’s brother, Jermall Charlo (20-0, 16 KOs),looking to keep his undefeated record intact against the powerful Michael Finney (12-2-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round super welterweight bout.


Also in action is J’Leon Love (18-1, 10 KOs), who returns to the ring after suffering his first loss and will look to get back in the win column against exciting veteran Scott Sigmon (24-6-1, 13 KOs) in 10 rounds of super middleweight action.


Another exciting undefeated fighter, Ronald Gavril (11-0, 9 KOs), will compete in an 8-round super middleweight bout.


Former world-title challenger Cesar Seda (26-2, 17 KOs)makes his 2015 debut when he squares off against the young and rugged Cesar Juarez (15-3, 13 KOs) in a bantamweight bout scheduled for 8 rounds.


In more undercard action, undefeated prospect Thomas Hill (2-0) will look to keep his perfect professional record against Jeremiah Page (2-1, 2 KOs) in a 4-round super welterweight bout.


Rounding out the night is a battle of experienced super lightweights between Levan Ghvamichava (13-1-1, 10 KOs) and Derrick Findley (21-14-1, 13 KOs) competing in a 6-round bout.


Highly regarded and undefeated,the 24-year-old Jermall Charlo is primed for a world title opportunity along with his brother. He remained undefeated in 2014 with dominant victories over Hector Munoz, Norberto Gonzalez and Lenny Bottai. The Houston-native will take on the 23-year-old Finney out of Opelka, Alabama, looking to impress once again.


A top contender who was on the brink of a world title fight before suffering his first defeat, the 27-year-old Love is eager to get back in the ring and back in the win column on March 28. Before his defeat, Love put on an impressive boxing display on his way to a unanimous decision over Marco Antonio Periban in May 2014. He takes on a 28-year-old battle-tested brawler in Bedford, Virginia’s Sigmon who has been in with top fighters including Kelly Pavlik throughout his career.


Another fighter born outside the U.S. but now fighting out of Las Vegas, Romanian-bornGavril is a knockout artist with an undefeated record to match. The 28-year-old will try for his fifth straight knockout in a row.


A longtime contender fighting out of Puerto Rico, Seda finally got his first world title shot in Dec. 2013 but lost a unanimous decision to Leo Santa Cruz. He bounced back with a victory over Alex Rangel in 2014 and now the 29-year-old takes on a young brawler in the 23-year-old Juarez out of Mexico City.


An undefeated prospect who made his pro debut in Aug. 2014, the 20-year-old Hill will look to continue running through opponents on March 28. The Milwaukee-native faces the 21-year-old Page out of Wichita, Kansas.


The first fight of the night is sure to bring fireworks as two experienced fighters battle it out in the super lightweight division. Originally out of Poti, Georgia but now fighting out of Hayward, Calif., Ghvamichava is looking to get his third victory in a row. The 29-year-old will have a battle-tested fighter standing in his way in the 30-year-old Findley out of Chicago.


Gonzalez vs. Russell takes place at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and will air on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). In the co-main event, Jermell Charlo takes on Vanes Martirosyan in super welterweight action. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).


For more information, visit www.sports.sho.com, follow on Twitter at @SHOSports, @jhonnygbox, @mrgaryrusselljr, @TwinCharlo, @LouDiBella and @PearlAtPalms, follow the conversation using #GonzalezRussell, become a fan on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/SHOBoxing or visit the SHOWTIME Boxing Blog athttp://theboxingblog.sho.com.


Kelly Swanson

Thank you, operator.  Thanks, everyone, for calling in.  We have a great call this morning and this afternoon actually here on the East Coast to talk about the March 28 SHOWTIME show, CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Show, featuring Jhonny Gonzalez, Gary Russell, Jr. and Jermell Charlo against Vanes Martirosyan.  We have all the fighters joining us today on the call.  We will start with Jermell and Vanes.  But, before we get to the fighters, I’d like to introduce Chris DeBlasio, Vice President of Communications for SHOWTIME Sports to fill you in a little bit about the fight.  Chris?


Chris DeBlasio

Thanks so much, Kelly.  I just want to take a quick moment to thank the fighters for being on this call, thank the press for being here, and just say on behalf of Stephen Espinoza, the EVP and General Manager for SHOWTIME Sports, and all of us at SHOWTIME, we’re really excited to get back into it with a nice live SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event this Saturday.  As you may have seen in the boxing press, it was about two weeks ago that we announced the addition of a new platform called SHOWTIME Boxing International. The first fight will be this Saturday, March 28; it’s an international fight on the SHOWTIME network live to our subscribers.  So, the first instance is a nice way to kick off our Saturday March 28 boxing coverage, and that’s gonna be the Kell Brook versus Jo Jo Dan IBF Welterweight World Championship fight that’s taking place in Sheffield, England.  SHOWTIME is going to carry that fight live at 6:15 Eastern, 3:15Pacific.  And then, we will take a break during the afternoon hours and then go live at 10 p.m ET./7 p.m. PT SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event with Jermell Charlo, Vanes Martirosyan, Jhonny Gonzalez and Gary Russell.  So, it’s sort of a two- part platform on Saturday with three live fights coming to you, which we’re really excited about.  And we appreciate the opportunity to be in business with the guys on the phone here today.  So, without anything further, let’s get it started.  We welcome you guys.


Kelly Swanson

Okay.  And  one quick note — or rather, media, one quick note — we have just sent out the Fight Week Media Schedule, so please look for that in your inboxes, and it will give you the details of what is going on this week for the fight.  Thank you.  Okay, let’s go ahead and open it up.  Actually, let me go ahead and introduce the two guys that are on the call right now.  They want to say a couple words.  First, we have Vanes Martirosyan.  He’s a world-ranked 154 pound contender.  Vanes, you want to say a couple words, tell us how training is going and how you’re getting ready for the fight?


Vanes Martirosyan

Training is going great, everything is going good.  We can’t wait to fight.  You know, I’m sure everybody says that before they fight, but we really are ready to go.  We just can’t wait to go.


Kelly Swanson

Okay, great.  Thanks so much.  And where are you training?


V. Martirosyan

I’m training here in California at Main Event Sports Club.  There’s been a couple of locations we’ve been training, but the major has been Main Event Sports Club, which the media will be at today.


K. Swanson

Now, I’m going to move to Jermell Charlo.  He’s an undefeated super welterweight contender.  Jermell why don’t you tell us a little bit about what’s happening in your training camp and how you’re feeling heading into the fight.


Jermell Charlo

Training’s been great.  Every time I step in the ring, every time I get ready for a fight, I feel like just there’s never been a time where I repeat myself or do something the same.  I’ve been learning from all my past mistakes.  Every win I’m still learning from.  So, training camp has been good.  Trainer Ronnie Shields, Danny Arnold. I opened my own gym, so I get a little late night extra hours in when I want to.  And, I want to fight with my twin brother.  We’re pushing to fight.  I can’t wait to fight.  Just like Vanes, he’s hungry, he’s ready. I’m  I’m ready.



Given both of your positions, as considered as top 10 contenders in the 154 pound weight class, in your mind, do you consider this an elimination fight? Vanes, what are your thoughts about that?


V. Martirosyan

I think every fight right now at this point in my career and Jermell’s career should be considered a title fight.  It is — I think it is — an eliminator fight.  I’m looking at this as a championship fight.  Jermell is tougher than any of the champions, so to me, this is a championship fight, and that’s what we got ready for.  And it should be an eliminator fight.  I don’t know if it is or not, but that’s how we’re taking it as, and we’re taking this as a world title fight.



Jermell, your thoughts on that – is it an official eliminator or a de facto one?


J. Charlo

Same thing with me.  I feel that this is a tough fight.  Every fight is a fight for my life.  And I step in the ring and make sure that I fight with that on the back of my mind.  Vanes is a great fighter — grew up with him. I know what I bring to the table.  And this fight is a fight for manhood, it’s a fight to show who the real tycoon of the sport is in the 154 pound weight division.  There’s a lot at stake, so it’s more than a title fight to me.



Jermell, did you say that you grew up with him a little bit?


J. Charlo

Yeah, I grew up with him, at least two or three years with Vanes, you know, and his family, his people, you know?  So, I know — we know each other well.



Have you guys ever sparred with each other?


J. Charlo

Yeah, we’ve sparred with each other several times.



How often, would you say?  And how long ago?


J. Charlo

I can’t really say how often.  I know it was back when we were a little bit younger.  I was younger, still a little boy growing up into a man. So, right now, I don’t even think about how it was, what it was about, or how training was when we were training together. Wasn’t even 19 — I was 17, 16, 17, 18, I mean, those ages.  Here, we face each other because we’re both at the top, and that’s what happens when you’re in the same division.  Never had anything personal or different to say about him.  It’s just work.



Vanes, you feel the same way about your times in the ring with him?


V. Martirosyan

Yeah, I remember when we used to train.  It was good training.  We were always in competition — me, him and his brother.  We used to go running at Memorial Park every day, and we’d try to see who’d finish the lap first.  It was always competition between us — running and training or what-not.  But it was nothing but love and I respect him, his father, and his trainer, Ronnie Shields.  They’ve been good people to me. But Saturday night, he’s going to be my enemy in the ring. For now, outside the ring, I respect everybody.  Once we step in the ring, it’s a totally different story.



Your fight that took place in October was a big win for you against Willie Nelson.  You harnessed a lot of the emotion going into that fight because it had taken place just after your promoter Dan Goossen had passed away and you had his brother Joe in your corner.  It was a lot of heavy emotion that night, and you really came through in a big way that night.  Is it gonna be difficult in any way to sort of get that same emotion behind you?


V. Martirosyan

No, because at that fight, we had to forget about a lot of things. Dan passed away.  We were all sad, and we didn’t know what to do.  And we actually thought — ‘should we fight’ or I don’t know if Joe (Goossen’s) going to be there.  I didn’t know what was going on.  There was too much emotion going into that fight.  We kind of got away from the fight a little bit.  But we used it as motivation for our fight.  This fight to me is big. When I lost to Andrade, I didn’t step into the ring 100 percent, and when I came home — when you come home a loser, it’s a bad feeling. I can’t look at my wife, my kids.  I feel like I let them down.  So, right now, I’m just in that mode where I’d rather die than see that again.



If you were to win this fight, obviously, you’d be in position for a major world title fight. Are you comfortable with waiting for one of those, figuring those fighters only fight maybe twice a year, or would you want to stay active and take more fights between them? 


J. Charlo

You know, winning this fight to me — a world title would be ideal.  A world title is important.  I want to fight for a world title.  I want the world title.  That’s every boxer’s dream and envision whenever they’re young. Fighting for the world title matters and all this extra stuff, but if I’m here building my name and building my brand, that’s just as important. Being a household name throughout the World Boxing Council, everything. That matters to me.


V. Martirosyan

The fight, this fight — I’d say like a lot of the champions that are champions right now in our weight class, most of them just run their mouth, starting with Andrade.  A fight like this for me and Jermell, it’s such a big fight for me, you know,  but it’s not only for us.  I mean, it’s for the fans.  The fans are in, and it’s great.  I mean, you rarely get to see contenders like me and Jermell wanting to step up and fight each other.  You know, usually, people will get up to the rankings like we are, they just want to just talk a lot of bad stuff about the champions to get the world title fight.  But, you know, you rarely get to see contenders like that, you know, No. 1 and No. 2  fighting each other when,  you know they really want to fight each other and they both said yes to the fight.  So, it’s a big fight, but I feel like, you know, we’re all gonna be — we’re gonna do our best, and I feel like the fans are gonna be the winners for this fight.


K Swanson

Okay, great.  You guys, I think that was your last question, and so we appreciate you taking the time out of your training.  And Vanes, we look forward to seeing you later for your open workout.  And, Jermell, we will see you in Las Vegas later this week.


J. Charlo

No problem.  See you, guys.


V. Martirosyan – Thank you.  Take care.


Kelly Swanson

We’re going to switch the call over to Gary Russell, Jr.


K. Swanson

Gary Russell, Jr. will be facing Jhonny Gonzalez for Gonzalez’s 126 pound title, the WBC Featherweight World Championship.  Gary, if you want to tell us a little bit about how training is going, your anticipation to be fighting Jhonny Gonzalez for this world title and what you think about the whole fight in general?


Gary Russell Jr.

We had a great training camp. Everything has been perfect, no excuses, no cutting corners.  We’re 120 percent ready for this fight.  We can’t wait be able to call ourself the new WBC World Champion.


K. Swanson

Are you doing anything in camp in preparation for this that’s different from your other fights?


G. Russell Jr.

No, we’re not doing anything that’s different in preparation for any of the fights.  I think the only difference is, depending on the fight, you want to prepare depending on the opponent that you’re competing against.  So, I think the only difference is the difference in sparring. You want to bring in guys that have a similar style to who it is you’re gonna be competing against etc. That’s the only change that we’ve made so far.  Besides that — basic fundamentals, ring generalship, hand speed, punching power, strength and conditioning, all of that stuff is the same.



Gary, were you surprised to get another shot at the title?


G. Russell, Jr.

No, I’m not surprised. I got the same Al Haymon Promotions, just Al Haymon in general when it comes to that. He’s my manager, and we know that he did everything in his power to try to make things happen for us, and give us another shot at a world title.  I’m extremely grateful and thankful for this opportunity.



When you fought the fight against Lomachenko for one of the titles, do you take anything out of that defeat? Whether it’s the experience, or being on that level of the stage that you bring towards this next championship opportunity?


G. Russell Jr.

Of course.  One of the main things that we took out of it is, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.  In that particular fight with Lomachenko, we did a lot of things completely different in that fight that we normally wouldn’t do.  We brought other people in.  We let other people take the reigns and be in control of our conditioning. We’ve seen the outcome of that and the side effects of it. We don’t take losses easy, by far. So we’re back on pace.  We have the same team around us that have been here from the beginning of my career all the way up until now. We had the same team way back in motion. We’re ready, we’re focused, we’re determined, we’re driven and we’re just looking to give a good show.



Do you see Gonzalez as a much better fighter than Lomachenko, or perhaps a bit of a more vulnerable fighter than Lomachenko or similar? How do you stack up the two title holders?


G. Russell Jr.

They’re two very different fighters. Lomachenko has a little bit more hand speed than Jhonny Gonzalez.  Gonzalez is more of a puncher.  Jhonny Gonzalez is more of a dangerous fighter than Lomachenko just because of his punching ability and just him being a seasoned professional, being able to get all these rounds in as a professional.  Lomachenko definitely is a good fighter.  We take every fight serious. You take no one for granted. We definitely said, oh, this is a dangerous fight taking with Jhonny Gonzalez, but we feel as though what we bring to the table will be superior in the end.



What specifically did you do differently to prepare for Lomachenko that you wish you hadn’t? 


G. Russell, Jr.

We brought someone in for our strength and conditioning.  We’ve known our strength and conditioning was completely different.  Even when it came to the way that we cut weight, it was different.  Leading up to the fight, we were in a sauna for the past two, maybe three days leading all the way up into the fight.  That’s what my strength and conditioning coach wanted me to do.

Anyone that’s seen that fight, whether it was Lomachenko or anyone else, they’ve seen the difference in my punching ability, my endurance, my speed, just me as a person. People knew that that wasn’t the Gary Russell, Jr. that they’d seen the previous 24 fights.And that was some of the things that came up in the Lomachenko fight.  I was completely tired and fatigued in the first round, you know?



About Jhonny Gonzalez — he obviously is a guy who is a volume puncher, he’s not afraid to stand in and trade. How does this fight work to your advantage if he does fight a typical Gonzalez fight in your mind?


G. Russell, Jr.

I don’t think that he’s going to be able to deal with, once again, my speed.  I think we’ll be able to do it with my speed.  He’s always been slow in the speed.  Even though he’s been a puncher, a lot of punchers have to really sit to actually apply these punches efficiently.  I think he lacks the ring generalship as far as the footwork goes that he would need — the foot quickness. And a lot of his shots are a little wide. So, I’ll be about to outpunch him and be able to punch him between his shots.



What did you think of the decision in the Lomachenko fight?


G. Russell Jr.

I didn’t think anything of it.  The only thing that registered in my mind was the fact that I didn’t have the ability to perform the way that I normally would have. I never really looked at a decision.  I never looked at how the referee was going about the fight or any of these things.  The only thing that came to my mind was the fact that I just lost my first professional fight, and I sort of saw the reason why I lost — it was because I wasn’t able to do what it was that I normally do.



So, you feel that you lost the fight then?


G. Russell Jr.

Certainly.  I’d definitely say that I lost the fight.



You touched on Al Haymon earlier. Can you explain what his impact is in your career?  And we’ve all seen the moves that he’s been making.  How is that gonna help you moving forward?


G. Russell, Jr.

I feel as though the fire is under these managers and promoters. There’s a team effort. You’ll be able to tell your manager or your promoter, ‘Hey, this is my game plan, this is what it is that I want to accomplish this year.’  I wanted to at least be able to contend for a world title.  I want to have maybe four fights this year, maybe six fights this year, etc. Your manager and promoter, where they come in at, they should be able to meet you halfway with their game plan.  If you want to have six fights within a year, etc., your manager and promoter should be able to get it done for you.  We feel as though that Al Haymon is very efficient in doing exactly what it is that we want from him. It’s about who you know, I guess.



Heading into this fight, do you feel like you have to give a certain quality of fight to really make fans relate to you and make you a household name?  Now that there’s so many platforms for boxing, do you feel like there’s added pressure to put on an exciting fight, or do you feel like you can still just, methodically box and gain fans from that?


G. Russell Jr.

I honestly don’t feel as though that we have to do anything out of the ordinary. You’re going to see the typical Gary Russell, Jr. that you’ve seen the previous 24 fights — hand speed, punching ability, ring generalship and etc. ,A lot of fighters get caught up in the hype, and they feel as though they have to do things a little more to win the fans over,  etc.  That’s never one of my things.  I’m  always to be exciting without being reckless.  And I’m going to do what it is that I’m comfortable doing.


K. Swanson 

Okay, Gary, thank you so much for being available to answer those questions, and we appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day, and we look forward to seeing you fight this Saturday, March 28, at the Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.  Thanks, Gary.


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Tickets for the live event are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50, and $25, plus applicable

fees are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or by clicking HERE. Tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com.


Gonzalez vs. Russell takes place at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and will air on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). In the co-main event, Jermell Charlo takes on Vanes Martirosyan in super welterweight action. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).


For more information, visit www.sports.sho.com, follow on Twitter at @SHOSports, @jhonnygbox, @mrgaryrusselljr, @TwinCharlo, @LouDiBella and @PearlAtPalms, follow the conversation using #GonzalezRussell, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SHOBoxing or visit the SHOWTIME Boxing Blog at http://theboxingblog.sho.com.