Tag Archives: Jose Pedraza

Victory Sports & Entertainment signs former world champion Jose Pedraza to managerial contract

For Immediate Release

New York, N.Y. (October 30, 2017)–Victory Sports & Entertainment is pleased to announce the signing of former IBF World Junior Lightweight Champion Jose Pedraza to a multi-year managerial contract.

Pedraza of Cidra, Puerto Rico has a record of 22-1 with 12 knockouts. Pedraza says, “I am very happy to sign with Victory Sports and look forward to the next chapter of my career. They represent a number of up and coming fighters and also work with elite fighters like Badou Jack so I feel that Victory is the right team to lead me back to a world championship.”

At 28 years-old, Pedraza is a six-year professional and one of the most highly decorated amateurs to come out of Puerto Rico. An Olympian in 2008, Pedraza also won medals in numerous international competitions including silver in the 2009 World Amateur Championships in Milan and gold at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games. After turning pro in 2011, Pedraza won his first 19 fights before capturing the IBF Junior Lightweight Championship in only his 20th fight, capturing the belt with a 12-round unanimous decision over Andrey Klimov. After defending his belt twice, Pedraza lost his belt earlier this year in an upset to Gervonta Davis, and is now looking to rebound. “My lack of activity and struggling to make weight at 130lbs definitely affected my performance in my last fight,” says Pedraza, “but I am working hard and looking forward to coming back soon. I think the Lightweight division is where I will make my mark and am excited to get back in the ring.”

President of Victory Sports Rick Torres feels that Pedraza is ready to make a statement at Lightweight, “Jose Pedraza is bar none the best fighter in Puerto Rico and we are extremely proud to welcome him to the Victory Sports family. We feel that Jose can be a force at Lightweight. There are a number of attractive fights in the division, from Jorge Linares to Mickey Garcia, all of which would make great fights for boxing fans.”

“Jose is a tremendous fighter who, at twenty-eight, is still in his physical prime,” explained Victory Sports COO Mike Leanardi. “We are looking to get him back in the ring as soon as possible. Then, after a tune-up fight or two, there is no reason Jose won’t be ready to take on the best in the world,” Leanardi continued.

Pedraza joins Victory’s growing stable of fighters including undefeated world ranked contenders Sonny Fredrickson and Tyler McCreary.

Founded by noted sports attorney Rick Torres and boxing trainer Mike Leanardi, Victory Sports & Entertainment is an athlete management company with offices in New York and Las Vegas.

Michael Farenas to make comeback on Fight Club OC card June 1st

COSTA MESA, CA (May 2, 2017) – They say it’s never is too late to start a comeback, and for  lightweight contender Michael Farenas (44-5-4, 33 Kos), the comeback starts Thursday, June 1
st when he enters the ring for the first time in nearly two years. The eight-round bout will take place on Roy Englebrecht’s “Fight Club OC” show in The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, CA.
Having fought some of the top Jr. lightweight out there over the past five years, which include Yuriorkis Gamboa, Jose Padraza, and Fernando Beltran to name a few, Farenas believes he still has some gas left in his tank.
“It’s been a long journey to get back in the ring, but now that time has come,” said Michael Farenas. “I’m in great shape and I feel my skill and experience will help me on my comeback.”
Will new managers Bill Halkias and Germaine Gillies crafting his career and new trainers Marvin Somodio and Jesse Arevalo in his corner, the new look Farenas will have another opportunity to march toward a world title.
“This bout will take place at one hundred and forty pounds, but my plan is to campaign at lightweight,” said Farenas, who fought Takashi Uchiyama for the WBA World super featherweight title. “I know with hard work, I can make another run toward another world title.”
Under new management and a new trainer, “Hammer Fist” as he is called, will look to bring that Filipino fighting spirit back to his career.
Tickets for the Thursday, June 1st Fight Club OC show in The Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, CA are on sale at www.fightcluboc.com.


Mayweather Promotions’ Budding Superstar Risks Unblemished Record Against Undefeated, Respected IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose Pedraza Saturday, Jan. 14, From Barclays Center in Brooklyn & Live on SHOWTIME
(Photo Credit: Amin Peters/Mayweather Promotions)
World Champions Badou Jack and James DeGale Clash
In Super Middleweight World Title Unification in Main Event
Click HERE for Training Camp Photos from
Premier Boxing Champions
BALTIMORE (Jan. 4, 2017) – Highly regarded Mayweather Promotions rising starGervonta “Tank” Davis (16-0, 15 KOs) is wrapping up training for his challenge of super featherweight world champion Jose “The Sniper Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) in the opener of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING world championship doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 14, from Barclays Center in Brooklyn live on SHOWTIME (9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT).
The 12-rounder between the unbeaten challenger (Davis) and world champion (Pedraza) will precede an eagerly awaited 168-pound world title unification showdown between WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs)andIBF Super Middleweight World Champion James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs).

Tickets for the event promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. They can be purchased online (www.ticketmaster.com,www.barclayscenter.com) or by calling 1-800-745-3000Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Davis, 22, overcame a childhood filled with hardships to become a prolific amateur and has been virtually unstoppable as a professional. As an amateur (between 2006-2012), he entered nine tournaments and came away with gold medals in all but one. He won gold in his last four tourneys, including the 2012 National Golden Gloves Championship at 123 pounds.

Since going pro in February 2013, the strong, aggressive-minded southpaw has played smash-mouth against mostly outclassed opponents, winning 13 of his 15 knockouts inside four rounds. To many, Davis resembles a young, smaller version of Mike Tyson in the way he walks down foes, gets on the inside and unloads lethal hooks and uppercuts. He’s gone into the ninth round once and into the sixth round twice. A winner of six straight by knockout, Davis’ lone fight to go the distance came in his ninth outing, a six-round nod over German Meraz, who went down twice, in October 2014. Davis is coming off a 0:41, first-round KO over Mario Macias last June 3.

Although powerful, very fast and determined, the talented Davis is taking a significant leap in class and he may enter the ring as a slight underdog to Puerto Rico’s Pedraza, 27, a solid switch-hitter with first-rate skills, movement and punching power. This will be Pedraza’s third defense of the IBF 130-pound title. He’s gone the 12-round distance four times in a row and five times since his pro debut in February 2011. At 5-feet-8½, he is two-and-a-half inches taller than Davis.
Davis, the IBF’s No. 8-ranked super featherweight, who was born and resides in Baltimore, shared thoughts on his upcoming fight from the Uptown Boxing Center in Baltimore:

You’ve been a professional for less than three years, yet you’re less than two weeks away from getting a crack at a world title. What are your thoughts about that?

“It’s been my goal to fight for a world title. I’m very confident. I’ve worked hard in the gym for over two months for this fight. I’ve put in the hours. I’ve had a great camp with great sparring. I’m not surprised the fight is almost here. This is perfect timing for me.”

Have you done anything differently in this camp?

“Maybe some little things, but not really. We take training seriously. We take all our opponents very seriously. But I have to treat it as just another fight, against another opponent. We know Pedraza is a world champion, a great fighter that comes to fight and we give him his respect as a world-class fighter. I know he’s going to be ready. He’s always ready when it’s time to get in there and do his job. But I’m prepared for him. He doesn’t know what we bring to the table.”

Are you surprised you’re not favored? When was the last time you were an underdog?

“I’m the underdog because he’s the world champion, that’s the reason. Other than that, I feel deep inside that he’s the underdog, but that’s just my assessment. He won’t be showing me anything I haven’t already seen before.

 “I’ve never been the underdog in a fight, so this is a first for me.”

When’s the last time you lost a fight?

“I’m competitive all around and don’t like losing. I can’t remember exactly the last time I lost a fight, maybe it was three years ago. All I know for sure is that my mind entering this fight is all about winning.”

Critics talk of your level of competition, or lack of. What’s your opinion of the fighters Pedraza’s successfully defended against lately?

“I’m not taking anything away from Pedraza; he’s beat Stephen Smith and Edner Cherry but those guys don’t bring the power, speed, elusiveness and angles that I do. I’m not downgrading anybody, but they’re mostly average.”

Are you looking at this as an opportunity to showcase your overall skills, durability, etc.?

“A lot of people don’t realize the skills and talent that I have. They see me just going in there like a little Tyson or someone like that. But I have all the tools. I know how to box, how to move my feet. I have good hand speed. I work my angles and things like that. I’m an overall sound fighter, a boxer-puncher.

“I think this will be a wakeup call for boxing, a chance to show that I’m the one. But I’m not coming to be just the top guy. I want to be a superstar and bring joy and entertainment to the sport. Pedraza will bring out the best in me and I will steal the show.”

How do you manage to stay in the moment, and not look back, or can you?

“I’m so thankful that I am part of a strong team, and that I have such a great team. I believe we have the greatest team in boxing. They keep me grounded, focused. They keep me from getting distracted. We all know what the main goal is. I can’t do it all myself, my coach can’t do it all himself, my manager can’t do it all himself. We believe totally in each other as a team. I listen to everything they say.”

How much is your past a motivation, or is it? When you look back at your life do you have memories or nightmares?

“I believe I’ve accomplished a lot. Me just being alive today, me not being in jail or in trouble outside the ring, it’s hard from where I come from. But it’s all helped me handle situations well. I’m so used to dealing with situations. I’m older and know what’s right from wrong. There’s never any pressure when I fight. I’ve won so many fights already I know what to do when I get in the ring.”

How long have you known Floyd? When did you meet him and how would you describe your relationship? What does it mean for Floyd to be your promoter?

“The first time I talked to Floyd (at length) was at the Adrien Broner-Shawn Porterfight (June 20, 2015). Me and Adrien, we’re friends and he flew me out to Las Vegas for the fight. I worked out at the Mayweather gym and Floyd liked the way I fought, my heart. But the first time I actually met and talked to him came when one of Floyd’s press tours came to Washington, D.C.

“Floyd has always had a major impact on me and my career. I grew up around him. All of us wanted to be like him. Like Tyson and Ali were to the generations of boxers before me, Floyd was our superstar. For him to bring me under his wing, to fight for him, is unbelievably great.”

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Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform is presented by AARP.  For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @BadouJack, @JamesDegale1, @Sniper_Pedraza, @Gervontaa, @SHOSports, @MayweatherPromo, @LouDiBella,  @BarclaysCenter, and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports,  www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotionswww.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. This event is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

James DeGale Media Workout Quotes & Photos


DeGale Faces Badou Jack in Super Middleweight World Championship Unification Showdown Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn & Live on SHOWTIME


Click HERE for Photos from Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom Sport


LONDON (December 13, 2016) – IBF Super Middleweight World Champion James DeGale hosted a media workout in his hometown of London Tuesday as he prepares to face WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Badou Jack in a 168-pound world title unification showdown that headlines action on Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME.


The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT with with super featherweight world champion Jose Pedraza taking on undefeated contender Gervonta Davis.


Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. Tickets are available and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.comwww.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.


DeGale worked out and answered questions for media at the Stonebridge Boxing Club as he nears his third straight fight in the United States, this time looking to return to the UK as a unified world champion.


Here is what DeGale had to say on Tuesday:




“This is the best fighting the best and this fight will prove who’s the best in the division — and I believe I am the number one super middleweight on the planet.


“Unification fights like this are still rare, never mind the best fighting the best, and me and Jack both wanted the fight.  We both want to prove who is the best and everyone is in for a treat on January 14.


“I’ve got the best trainer in the world in Jim McDonnell; together we won the world title and now we’re going to unify the title. I’m going to win in style and do the business in the big New York City and come away with both belts to bring back to London.


“Jack’s a serious fighter, he’s a world champion, he has something I want. The winner of this will be the number in the division.


“Growing up, Joe Calzaghe, and Prince Naseem Hamed, they’re the ones I used to watch and I’d think, ‘I can’t wait to do that.’ Calzaghe’s one of my favorite fighters. He’s a bit similar to me. He’s a southpaw, throws a lot of punches. He’s another one who didn’t get the full credit he was due until after he retired. But that’s how boxing is.


“I’ve got to perform. My last couple of performances haven’t been vintage James DeGale. This is the best fighting the best, the champ fighting the champ: this is proper.


“I don’t get the respect.  I made a bit of history. If I unify the division, going across the pond, no one’s ever done that from Britain.


“This is the one. I get love and support, I do have my fans, but it just feels like I look around at different fighters who haven’t done half what I’ve done and they get so much more recognition.


“I don’t get the credit: the full recognition, I don’t. But after this fight, people will start respecting me and knowing I’m the best.”


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Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform is presented by AARP.  For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @BadouJack, @JamesDegale1, @Sniper_Pedraza, @Gervontaa, @SHOSports, @MayweatherPromo, @LouDiBella,  @BarclaysCenter, and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports,  www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotions www.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. This event is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

Junior Lightweight Champion Jose Pedraza & Super Bantamweight World Champion Amanda Serrano  Represent Puerto Rico Saturday, January 14  at Barclays Center in Brooklyn & Live on SHOWTIME

Only Puerto Rican-Born World Champions
Enter the Ring in Separate World Title Defenses
Tickets on Sale Now!
BROOKLYN (December 8, 2016)-The only two Puerto Rican-born world champions in boxing are set to show their skills and heart for boxing fans in New York as Jose “Sniper” Pedraza and Amanda “Real Deal” Serrano defend their titles on Saturday, January 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME.
“Puerto Rico has such a rich boxing history with many of the sport’s greatest champions hailing from the island,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Right now, there are only two Puerto Rican-born world champions, junior lightweight Jose Pedraza and junior featherweight Amanda Serrano, and I happen to promote them both. January 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn is a tremendous card all around, but it will also serve as a celebration of Puerto Rican pride and heritage to be able to watch the country’s only two world champions defend their titles on the same show.”
Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) will defend his IBF Super Featherweight World Championship against hard-hitting unbeaten contender Gervonta Davis (16-0, 15 KOs)in the co-main event on SHOWTIME. With his victory in June 2015, Pedraza added his name to the distinguished list of Puerto Rican world champions. After losses suffered by Roman Martinez and McJoe Arroyo, he currently stands as the only remaining male champion born in Puerto Rico.
“Being the only male Puerto Rican-born world champion is something that I’m very proud of,” said Pedraza. “It is also a big weight that I carry on my shoulders. I know that I have to give my best because I am not just a champion of the ring. I am a champion of my island of Puerto Rico. Knowing that all of Puerto Rico will be in there with me encourages me to give my all every time I step into the ring.
“On January 14 I will be facing a great boxer with a lot of talent, speed and power. However, I will let him know what it feels like to share a ring with a real world champion. Davis will enter the ring as a young, hungry unbeaten challenger, but the only thing he will leave with is the first loss on his record.”
Serrano (30-1-1, 23 KOs), a four-division world champion, will defend her WBO Super Bantamweight World Championship against former two-division world champion Yazmin Rivas (35-9-1, 10 KOs) in the SHOWTIME EXTREME main event at 7 p.m. ET/PT. The winner of the Serrano-Rivas matchup will earn the prestigious WBC Diamond championship. Serrano’s first world title victory in 2011 made her just the third Puerto Rican-born woman to win a world title.
This bout also signifies the first nationally televised women’s world title bout in nearly a decade, since Mary Jo Saunders fought Valerie Mahfood on March 30, 2007 (ESPN2).
“It feels fantastic to be fighting on SHOWTIME for the first time and sharing the stage at Barclays Center with my countryman Jose Pedraza,” said Serrano. “Knowing that both he and I are currently the only two Puerto Rican-born world champions, male or female, in boxing today is an honor.
“As for Yazmin Rivas being a tough fight, that’s only on paper. I will prove that I am in a different league. There’s a reason why finding someone to fight me wasn’t easy. I’m the hardest hitting female fighter in boxing today. Rivas will soon know that personally.”
Pedraza, of Caguas, and Serrano, of Carolina, are the latest in a long line of world class and beloved Puerto Rican champions who will look to put on impressive performances and make a mark nationally with victories in front of the friendly New York crowd. New York City boasts nearly one million Puerto Rican residents, making it the largest population of Puerto Ricans outside of Puerto Rico.
“I met Amanda Serrano at this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York,” said Pedraza. “She is a kind woman and I can see that, as a champion, Serrano is dedicated and always gives her best. I am proud of her for representing our people of Puerto Rico very well. On fight night, Barclays Center will shine with Luz Boricua as Amanda and I seek glory for Puerto Rico together.”
“To be able to defend my world title in Brooklyn, where I live, is a dream come true,” said Serrano. “New York is home to so many Puerto Ricans and I am sure they will really come out in support of this great event. I am truly a fan of my people. I would like to thank Lou DiBella, the best promoter in boxing, for giving me the chance to show the world why I am the ‘Real Deal’! I would also like to thank SHOWTIME for the opportunity. Mr. Stephen Espinoza, I will not disappoint you.”
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast is headlined by a super middleweight world championship unification showdown between Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) and James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs), with televised coverage beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. Tickets are available now and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
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Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform is presented by AARP.  For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @BadouJack, @JamesDegale1, @Sniper_Pedraza, @Gervontaa, @SHOSports, @MayweatherPromo, @LouDiBella,  @BarclaysCenter, and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports,  www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotionswww.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment,www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. This event is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

Boxing Stars Badou Jack, James DeGale, Jose Pedraza & Gervonta Davis Give Back Before Thanksgiving Holiday & January 14 Showdowns




(Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)


Fighters Deliver Thanksgiving Meals at

Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger in Brooklyn



from Barclays Center in Brooklyn


Click HERE for Photos from Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME


Click HERE for Photos from Tom Casino/Mayweather Promotions/

DiBella Entertainment


BROOKLYN (November 22, 2016) – In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, super middleweight world champions Badou Jack and James DeGale, plus junior lightweight world champion Jose Pedraza and unbeaten challenger Gervonta Davis, donated and distributed Thanksgiving meals at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger in Brooklyn before their press conference last Wednesday to discuss their respective January 14 showdowns taking place at Barclays Center and live on SHOWTIME.


(Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)


The fighters handed out 100 turkeys along with other Thanksgiving foods to help aid the organization that has provided millions of meals for people in the area. Hailing from countries all around the world, the fighters got together to give back in the borough that they will be competing in come January. To learn more about the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger visit www.bedstuyagainsthunger.org.


(Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Mayweather Promotions/DiBella Entertainment)


Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. Tickets are available now and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.comwww.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.


(Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)


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Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform is presented by AARP.  For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @BadouJack, @JamesDegale1, @Sniper_Pedraza, @Gervontaa, @ShowtimeBoxing @SHOSports, @MayweatherPromo, @LouDiBella,  @BarclaysCenter, and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SHOSports,  www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotions www.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. This event is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Press Conference  Quotes & Photos

(Photo Credit: Tom Casino/Mayweather Promotions)
Super Middleweight World Championship Unification Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn & Live on SHOWTIME
Featuring Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose Pedraza
Battling Undefeated Contender Gervonta Davis
Click HERE for Photos from Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME®
Click HERE for Photos from Tom Casino/Mayweather Promotions
BROOKLYN (November 16, 2016) – A star-studded press conference took place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday, as Floyd Mayweather, along with several New York boxing “ambassadors,” signified the return of boxing to New York by announcing the super middleweight world championship unification fight featuring Badou Jack against James DeGale that will take place Saturday, January 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME®.
Also announced on Wednesday and featured on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast is undefeated junior lightweight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza taking on unbeaten rising contender Gervonta “The One” Davis.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. Tickets are available starting this Friday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
The press conference signified the return of boxing to New York for the first time since a controversial insurance measure instituted by the New York State Government. Participants were on hand to discuss the exciting doubleheader on January 14 and celebrating the long awaited return of boxing to The Big Apple.
Here is what the participants had to say Wednesday:
“I think this will be an exciting fight. I’m going to give it my all and he’s going to give it his all. This is a bigger fight than anything we’ve been a part of. He’s going to turn it up and so will I.
“Now it’s me and DeGale. All the other fights are in the past. We’ve had different results against the same fighters. But none of that matters, it’s time to fight.
“A real champion can take a loss and bounce back. It shows what kind of person you are. I’ve proven I’m mentally tough.
“Boxing is not dead. It’s here to stay. There are some very good fights coming up. Probably even more next year.
“I came from Sweden, a country that has no boxing. Now I’m here headlining in New York for a unification fight. The sky is the limit. I always stay humble and never forget where I came from.
“It’s not going to matter what people think on fight night. DeGale is definitely one of the top guys in the division. He’s a road warrior. He comes over here and fights guys in their backyards. He deserves a lot of credit. That’s why this fight is so big. We both want to be great.
“I like being the underdog. If I’m the underdog in this fight, then that’s perfect for me. There won’t be any excuses when I beat him.
“I just try to stay humble win after win and keep looking forward to bigger and better things. After this fight come talk to me about who is the best in the division.
“I don’t want to compare myself to anyone else but I’ve had a couple of good years. Now we’re working to have two even better years.
“I made a mistake and got caught in my loss. I was able to bounce back and it made me a way better fighter. It was definitely a blessing in disguise. People are still overlooking me because of it. I look at it as a good thing.
“Everything happens for a reason. I’m very blessed to be here in Brooklyn. This is my second home in America. I trained at Gleason’s Gym in 2009 and now I’m headlining at Barclays Center. It’s amazing.”
“It’s here. The big one. The best fighting the best. Number one against number two. Badou Jack is a very good fighter. He doesn’t do anything spectacular, but he’s a compete fighter.
“I have that X-factor. I’ve lost before and I’m not going to lose again. I’ve come too far in my life to lose this opportunity.
“On January 14, Brooklyn is in for a treat. You will not want to miss this one. Make sure you get your tickets.
“My people in London can’t wait for me to fight at home. It’s coming. But first I want to take over in America.
“New York is one of my favorite cities. It’s a boxing city. I watched Santa Cruz vs. Frampton and it was a wicked atmosphere. I can’t wait to be in there.
“I’m very confident in my abilities. I believe I’m the best in the division and one of the best in the world. I’ve been waiting for this fight for a long time and I’m ready to get in there.
“I think in the last three fights I’ve shown everything. I haven’t been getting the respect that I deserve. I’ve beaten everyone put in front of me. This is what I love to do.
“I’m a natural super middleweight. I want to be in fights where people think I’m going to lose. I’ll challenge anybody.
“Me and Badou Jack are two different fighters. I think I’m going to beat him wide on the scorecards or stop him.”
“I’m thankful to everyone here and my people from New York who I know will be supporting me on fight night.
“I expect this to be a very exciting fight. I’m going to be ready for anything that Davis will bring into the ring. I’m going to take care of business.
“I’m very privileged to help with this cause and to help push boxing in New York. I’m going to represent my people on January 14 and I’m very proud of the opportunity.
“If Davis says he has to be killed to be beaten, then he’s going to have to go down.
“I’m undefeated and I will remain undefeated after January 14. I know Davis is a strong kid, but he isn’t on my level. I am looking to dominate this fight.
“Fighting at Barclays Center is really a dream come true. I know that I will have a lot of support from the Puerto Rican boxing fans and I’m going to train hard to perform for them.
“I’m sorry for Davis to be signed for Mayweather, because when I take away his undefeated record, I’m going to feel like I beat Mayweather.”
“It feels great to fight in Brooklyn for the first time. I’ve never fought in New York and it’s tremendous. I’ll have a lot of hometown fans driving up to here for the fight.
“Pedraza is a tough opponent. We’re going to work hard in camp and be ready to fight on January 14.
“My hometown has been backing me for all of these years. On January 14, I get my shot. It’s amazing. I know Pedraza is a great fighter. People will say he has more experience. But I had 206 wins in the amateurs and a lot of titles.
“There’s nothing Pedraza can bring to the ring that I haven’t seen before. I’ve been battle-tested inside the ring and outside the ring.
“He’s going to have to kill me to retain his title. I’m coming home a champion. There’s no doubt about it.
“On paper this is definitely my hardest task. We’re both great fighters. I hope he trains hard because I’m training for the fight of my life.
“I’m going to steal the show on January 14. I’m going to get Pedraza out of there and then work to unify the division against the other champs.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, President of Mayweather Promotions
“We’re back. What other better city to be in, than New York City? It was always one of my dreams to fight in New York City. I’m glad I’m in a position to put fighters out there to give the fans what they want to see. New York City is the best place for boxing.
“For years and years these fighters have worked so hard and dedicated their lives to get to this point. I’m thankful for everyone who is supporting us and supporting our movement.
“The only thing we’re going to do is continue to build these fighters and help these fighters get to the highest heights. So many people have helped me get to this point, where I can give back to these young fighters.
“Lou DiBella is a guy I love to work with. The boxing business is about working together. Leonard works hard day in and day out to put these fighters in the best position, and I do the same. It’s all about working to get these fighters to the next level.
“We’re here in New York and we want to bring boxing to New York City. This is one of the meccas of boxing. The whole state has embraced me throughout my career.
“I’m very proud of Badou Jack. He’s a guy who carries himself like a gentleman. That’s what a true champion does. He’s very respectful, humble and appreciative.
“Badou Jack is such a hard worker and he’s very appreciative. I remember the position he was in. He’s still very thankful and humble now that he’s in a great position in his life and career.
“I’m just happy that I’m able to put fighters in a good position. They then have to take advantage of the position I put them in.
“We want to continue to do fights in this arena and bring championship boxing to New York City. We want to give you great shows again and again.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“This is a tremendous platform. Coming to New York is something that Floyd has been advocating for. He’s wanted to bring a big event here and come January 14 that’s what the fans are going to get. We have a great night of fights from top to bottom.
“This is everything for Badou. This is why you lace them up when you’re a kid. This is an opportunity to be the best. He’s the best 168-pounder in the world and on January 14 he’ll have that platform to do it.
“When it comes to unification, you don’t see too many unified champions. The best fighting the best is what it’s all about. DeGale is an Olympic gold medalist and a world champion. He’s fought some very good fighters. Badou will be making his third title defense and there is no better opponent than DeGale.
“When two guys come together and they want to determine who’s the best, with everything on the line, that’s what it’s all about.
“The fans can expect to see Mayweather Promotions go back to Las Vegas with two world champions. One will be a unified champion and one will be the new super featherweight world champion.
“This is a great step-up for Gervonta. That’s what life is about, stepping up and taking risks. That’s why you get into the sport. He’ll have his full arsenal on display on fight night.”
LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment
“Fans should go out and buy their tickets once they go on sale. There is going to be a show here on January 14. We have lawyers and insurance people on it and we will pay what needs to be paid.
“This announcement not only represents a fight announcement, but a call to action to all boxing fans. Boxing needs your help in New York. We need to change or repeal this law that has really shut us down. Even if we can get really expensive insurance for January 14, the small promoters and small fights and grassroots boxing have come to a standstill.
“Come out to this incredible fight card on January 14. Jack vs. DeGale is as good as it gets. Jose Pedraza is Puerto Rico’s only champion and he’s defending against Gervonta Davis. That is a great fight. The undercard is also going to be terrific.
“It also represents boxing trying to take its rightful place back. We’re not sitting back in 2017 and letting our industry be brought to a halt. We’re going ahead and announcing January 14. But we need everyone’s help with respect to making the necessary changes to allow our sport to thrive in this space again.
“I promoted Badou early in his career and he is a terrific fighter. He does everything well. He’s active in the ring and he makes good fights, and so does DeGale. He comes forward and fights. These two guys are going to throw down. This is a fan friendly main event. With huge significance.
“The opening bout features Puerto Rico’s only champion, fighting in front of New York’s huge Puerto Rican community. Gervonta Davis comes right up from Baltimore and it’s a can’t-miss fight.”
BRETT YORMARK, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment
“We want to reinforce our commitment to boxing. Not just from a Barclays Center perspective, but from a state perspective. Boxing is very important to the history here in New York and we want that to continue. We want to take a lead position as the sport continues to grow and thrive in the marketplace.
“We have become one of the premier venues in the country for boxing. We look forward to a very successful 2017. This fight in particular is very important to us. We haven’t had a championship event here since July. Floyd being involved brings a whole different dynamic as well and we’re excited for a tremendous undercard full of Brooklynites.
“Floyd has been here to the Barclays Center several times and we’re thrilled that he’s back. It’s a pleasure to welcomes Badou Jack and James DeGale to Brooklyn and I’m confident that you will like the Brooklyn crowd.
“There has not been a major boxing event at Barclays Center since the July 30 Santa Cruz vs. Frampton card and we’re proud to take the lead on bringing boxing back to New York. We’re excited that January 14 will be the first major boxing card in New York in 2017. We are more committed than ever before to bringing boxing to Barclays Center.
“It’s a very exciting time for the building, for the sport and it should be an electric evening for the sport.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive VP & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
“This card is unique, high quality and special. You don’t see cards like this every day. These four fighters have made a combined 14 appearances on SHOWTIME. We’re very proud of these four fighters.
“To create and deliver special events, it takes commitment. When you’re committed to a cause, special things happen. We’ve done special things with Mayweather Promotions and now we have this great card coming to us.
“The four young men on the stage today are some of the most talented and accomplished athletes in the sport. This is the best this sport has to offer. They’re committed to taking on other accomplished athletes. We have four of those fighters here on the televised portion and we have to salute them.
“New York City has a tremendous history in boxing. It’s hosted the biggest fights in the history of the sport. Barclays Center has emerged as the biggest and most aggressive supporter of boxing on the east coast. We’re optimistic that there won’t be any holdup getting to January 14.
“No network is as committed or as passionate about boxing as SHOWTIME is. The biggest and the best fights are on SHOWTIME. No other network is televising fights like these. Top five versus top five and champion versus champion. There is no better way to kick-off boxing in 2017 than with this great card at Barclays Center.”
ERIC ADAMS, Brooklyn Borough President
“Now is the call for action. We have witnessed what happens when the call for action is not personified and mobilized. Too many people pass legislation and are focused on the paper it’s written on, instead of the people who are impacted by it. It is clear that New York state is the Empire State where we build empires instead of destroying them and we are destroying the empire of boxing in New York.
“If we don’t do something about this piece of legislation, then these fighters will no longer have the aspiration to fight in the state that they love. That cannot happen. New Yorkers don’t follow the agenda, we lead the agenda. We must do that to make sure this is done correctly.
“We are going to mobilize and move in the right direction while protecting the fighters. We don’t want to knock out boxing in the state of New York. That cannot happen.
“This is going to be a great opportunity for these fighters and for Brooklyn and we are thankful to the team at Barclays for putting these fighters on this great stage.”
# # #
Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform is presented by AARP.  For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @BadouJack, @JamesDegale1, @Sniper_Pedraza, @Gervontaa, @SHOSports, @MayweatherPromo, @LouDiBella,  @BarclaysCenter, and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports,  www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotionswww.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment,www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. This event is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

Badou Jack & James DeGale Meet in Super Middleweight World Championship Unification Showdown Saturday, January 14 From Barclays Center in Brooklyn Live on SHOWTIME

Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose Pedraza
Battles Undefeated Rising Star Gervonta Davis in
Tickets on Sale Friday at 10 a.m. ET!
BROOKLYN (November 16, 2016) – WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) and IBF Super Middleweight World Champion James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs)will look to stake their claim as the best 168-pound fighter in the world when they meet in a title unification clash on Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME as boxing returns to New York for the first time in five months.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also feature undefeated junior lightweight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) defending his title against up-and-coming Mayweather Promotions’ undefeated contender Gervonta “The One” Davis (16-0, 15 KOs).
“I’m expecting a very tough fight from James DeGale,” said Jack. “But I’m very confident that I’m going to win the fight and become the unified champion. This is an incredible stage to be at Barclays Center and on SHOWTIME and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m ready to make my mark as the best in the division.”
“I am so happy that this fight has finally been made,” said DeGale. “This is the best fighting the best. This is what boxing is all about. Badou Jack is a very good fighter and he’s underrated. I am going to have to be 100 percent on my game to beat him, but I am confident I will deliver on January 14. I have already fulfilled my dream of becoming a world champion and now it is time to unify.”
“Davis is a great young fighter with an impressive record,” said Pedraza. “He is a complete fighter and I am very happy to fight a challenger of his caliber. However, I do feel that Davis has been protected so I plan to really show off in this fight and perform at my best. Defeating Davis will be a great start to 2017, a year I would love to unify my division. I am thrilled to be back on SHOWTIME and look forward to putting on a great show for all those in attendance at Barclays Center.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to fight a respected undefeated world champion like Jose Pedraza,” said Davis. “I’m also ready to show the boxing world what I’m capable of doing. Boxing is searching for its next star and I believe that I’m the one. On January 14, I plan to show what over 200 amateur wins and 12 years of training with coach Calvin Ford looks like. Baltimore, we’re here. Brooklyn, I’m ready to shine for you. Jose Pedraza, get ready. I’m coming to kick your a**.”
“Mayweather Promotions is pleased to have the opportunity to bring this huge event to Brooklyn and Barclays Center,” said Floyd Mayweather, President of Mayweather Promotions. “Badou Jack versus James DeGale is one of the best match-ups in the sport. It’s the best fighting the best. I believe that Badou Jack has what it takes to be a unified world champion. I’m also excited to see Gervonta Davis fight for his first world title. He has the skills to be a fighter who carries the sport. He has a tough, undefeated world champion in front of him and I am looking forward to seeing him perform on January 14. These are two evenly-matched fights that will bring a lot of explosive action to the ring on fight night, you don’t want to miss it.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. Tickets are available starting Friday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Both Jack and DeGale retained their titles on SHOWTIME in April. Jack kept his belt via a controversial split draw against Lucian Bute, a match in which many thought Jack had prevailed, while DeGale defeated mandatory challenger Rogelio Medina. Both fighters were sharp; each landed over 60 percent of his respective power punches to set up this showdown for the top spot in the super middleweight division.
“We’re looking forward to bringing our first boxing event to Barclays Center in Brooklyn on January 14, when Badou Jack will face James DeGale in a world title unification bout live on SHOWTIME,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Badou has a tremendous work ethic and ability to stay focused and this has helped him get to where he is now in his career. He’s prepared to keep putting the hard work in to stay on top. Every time he was counted out, it just made him work harder. He’s proof that if you stay focused and dedicated to your craft, you can reach your dreams. I’m also eager to see Mayweather Promotions’ own Gervonta Davis in his first world title fight. We believe there is a bright future ahead for that young man and this could be the first step on his way to a truly special career.”
“Boxing will return to New York in 2017 with a tremendous card at Barclays Center on January 14 featuring two high caliber championship contests,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “With Badou Jack and James DeGale facing off, you have champion versus champion, the best fighting the best in what promises to be an action-packed battle in a super middleweight unification. Puerto Rico’s only world champion, undefeated Jose Pedraza, will defend his junior lightweight title against a hungry, heavy-handed challenger in Gervonta Davis.”
“Jack vs. DeGale is a terrific start to 2017,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “I want to thank Floyd Mayweather for making this fight happen and to Lou DiBella for his continued support of BROOKLYN BOXING. In our fifth year at Barclays Center, we are committed to boxing more than ever before.”
“In 2016, SHOWTIME delivered more high-quality, competitive fights than any other network and 2017 will be no different. We’re thrilled to kick off the year with a true ’50/50′ unification fight between two world champions in the prime of their career,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “Badou Jack vs. James DeGale is boxing at its best – a matchup between the No. 1 – and No. 2-ranked boxers in the division – the right fight happening at the right time. And the Jose Pedraza-Gervonta Davis co-feature, which features two of boxing’s rising stars, could have been a main event on its own. There is no better way to begin the year, as well as our tremendous run of four separate SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING presentations over a seven-week span.”
Jack, who fights out of Las Vegas by way of Stockholm, Sweden, captured the WBC 168-pound crown with a 12-round majority decision over previously unbeaten defending champion Anthony Dirrelllast April 24.  A former amateur standout who represented Gambia in the 2008 Olympics, Jack retained his belt against former world title challenger George Groves last Sept. 12 on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s final fight. Jack was an underdog against both Dirrell and Groves before retaining his title.  The 6-foot-1, 33-year-old won four in a row leading up to his controversial draw against Bute in April.
DeGale won the vacant IBF belt in his U.S. debut last May by dropping Andre Dirrell twice on his way to a unanimous decision. The 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist from London then successfully defended it last November in a thrilling shootout with the hometown favorite and former titlist Bute.  The 30-year-old, who’s only blemish came in a majority decision in his 11th bout against the then-unbeaten Groves, will make his fourth consecutive start outside his native England as he looks to become a global power and a unified champion at 168 pounds.
The switch-hitting Puerto Rican Olympian Pedraza backed up his “The Sniper” moniker against Andrey Klimov, picking apart the Russian with superior speed and accuracy on his way to a world title win last June. Pedraza earned a shot at the title in his previous bout with a career-best victory over former world title challenger Michael Farenas. The 27-year-old then went on to defend his title successfully against Edner Cherry last October and most recently against Stephen Smith in April. This fight marks the fourth consecutive time that Pedraza has fought on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
A highly regarded prospect that won the 2012 National Gloves championship, the 22-year-old Davis recorded five victories inside of the distance in 2015. The Baltimore native, who Floyd Mayweather has called “the next big star in boxing,” kept his momentum going into 2016 as he recorded a sixth-round stoppage of Guillermo Avila in April and a first round knockout of Mario Macias in June. Davis enters his first world title showdown with seven straight victories by stoppage.
# # #
Barclays Center’s BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming platform is presented by AARP.  For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @BadouJack, @JamesDegale1, @Sniper_Pedraza, @Gervontaa, @SHOSports, @MayweatherPromo, @LouDiBella,  @BarclaysCenter, and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOSports,  www.facebook.com/MayweatherPromotionswww.Facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment,www.Facebook.com/barclayscenter. This event is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.


Jose Pedraza Remains Unbeaten With Unanimous Decision Over Stephen Smith In IBF Junior Lightweight Championship


This Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT On SHO EXTREME®


Click HERE For Photos From Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME


MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (Apr. 17, 2016) – WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. retained his title with a remarkable TKO of Irishman Patrick Hyland Saturdayon SHOWTIME from Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.  In the co-feature, Jose Pedraza defended his IBF Junior Lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Stephen Smith.


Tonight’s event was a family affair with Russell Jr. working his brother Antonio’s corner during tonight’s undercard and boxing’s Smith brothers, including current WBO Super Welterweight World Champion Liam Smith, cheering from the crowd.


A relentless Russell brought the main event to a quick halt by registering three knockdowns in the second round, the last of which forced referee Danny Schiavone to end the contest at 1:33.  From the first bell, the Washington, D.C. native came out swinging with his trademark hand speed and dangerous power.  Russell, a southpaw, successfully broke down—and knocked out—Hyland with multiple vicious right hooks.


“We stuck to the game plan. We stayed sharp,” said Russell Jr., who improves his record to 27 wins, one loss, 15 knockouts.


“I’m ready to fight anyone in the division – Santa Cruz, Lee Selby.  We are ready. But what I really want is [Vasyl] Lomachenko.  I don’t care if he moves up to 147 pounds.  I will go anywhere to get that fight,” Russell said.


“There aren’t many fighters who you instantly know are special,” said SHOWTIME Sports expert analyst Steve Farhood. “The combination of Gary Russell’s hand speed and accuracy instantly shows us that he’s special. That was plainly evident tonight and at times his hand speed was frightening.”


Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) remained disciplined and came out victorious during his second IBF 130-pound world title defense. A combination of timing, hand speed and good defense allowed the Puerto Rican native to dominate the 12-round championship fight.


“This definitely was a tough fight but the training really came to advantage in this fight,” Pedraza told SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray. “I knew he was a tough fighter so I was always aware.”


“I had better focus tonight. I had a better training camp,” said Pedraza, referring to his controversial split decision win over Edner Cherry two fights ago.  “I knew that Stephen Smith was a great fighter and even after the knockdown, we were very cautious not to rush in.”


“Pedraza won tonight with different weapons. Mostly right hands to the head,” said Farhood. “I had the fight even after eight rounds and once Pedraza dropped Smith in the ninth, he gained momentum that he never lost and he pulled away. It was an impressive performance but also an important one because it erased a lot of the negative criticism Pedraza received in his controversial win over Edner Cherry.”


Pedraza was the more accurate fighter, landing 50 percent of his power punches over the 12-round bout. The Sniper was able to pick his spots and pocket rounds once he figured out the distance.  Smith had his moments, but wasn’t active enough.


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.


“I need to maintain control of the fight, close the distance, and maintain the jab. Complete dominance.” – 
Gary Russell Jr.
To fight for the WBC title is everything I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid.”
 – Patrick Hyland
I have been waiting a long time for this day to come and we are going to demonstrate to Smith that I am a weapon.” – Jose Pedraza
“I believe I have what it takes to fight anyone and nothing will keep me from becoming a world champion.” – 
Stephen Smith

Click HERE To Download Photos; Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
NEW YORK (April 13, 2016) – WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr. (26-1, 15 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md., and Irish contender Patrick Hyland (31-1, 15 KOs), of Dublin, faced off at the final press conference Wednesday at Highline Ballroom in New York, as they approach this Saturday’s Featherweight World Title fight live on SHOWTIME® from the Fox Theater in Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins live at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME with IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship clash between unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza (21-0, 12 KOs) and mandatory challenger Stephen Smith (23-1, 13 KOs), of Liverpool, England.
Here’s what the fighters had to say at Wednesday’s final press conference.
(On Patrick Hyland…)
“First and foremost, I gotta tip my hat off to him. I heard him say he was being trained by his father. Me and my younger brothers are also trained by my dad. My father is my favorite superhero, so it is very hard to deal with a situation like this and to bounce back and to grind and put all the hard work and effort into it after all the heartache and loss, I gotta tip my hat off to him for that.
I know that anytime you have a fighter that trains for six to eight weeks and prepares for no one else but you, is a dangerous fight. He’s tall, he’s long, but we can take him. We’re going to handle it.”
(On returning from injury…)
“I feel good. I’m ready; I put the work in at the gym. Like I said earlier, I got cussed out several times and sometimes I left the gym feeling like the worst fighter ever. But, right now, we’re ready and we’re prepared to invest in my ability.”
(On what it means to have his brother Antonio on the card he’s headlining…)
“It means a lot. I’m looking forward to it. I’m actually more looking forward to watching my brother compete than my own fight. I will definitely be working his corner in that fight. It means a lot for us to be able to pass this information down from generation to generation and watch it grow and watch us build as a family and as a unit. It’s amazing.’
“He definitely has the potential to be the best. Him as well as Antuanne, who is now on the 2016 Olympic team. It’s all information passed down from generation to generation. I feel as though they definitely have the ability to be better than me. I would want them to be anyway.”
(On what he needs to win the fight…)
“I need to maintain control of the fight, close the distance and maintain the jab. Complete dominance; I want to touch the body early. He likes to move a lot, so we’re going to cut all that down.”
(On potential future opponents…)
“God willing, everything goes right come April 16, we would love to unify with Lee Selby. If I had my choice, I would go with Lee Selby first to unify. Immediately after that, I want Leo Santa Cruz and after that I need Lomachenko.
“I don’t care where [Lomachenko] moves. He can lose his next 10 fights, but before my career’s done he has to see me.”
(On what gives him the sense of satisfaction in boxing…)
“To fight for the WBC title is everything I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid and all of the hard work that I have put in to get to this position to fight for it. I am happy and I am just living for it now for Saturday night.”
(On being the first Irish boxer since Barry McGuigan to hold a featherweight world title…)
“It’s a whirlwind and it’s great. I’m just a local lad from Johnstown in Dublin and to be fighting on the big stage and to be fighting for a major world title, and again to be named the second featherweight ever to win a world title would be just amazing; a real dream come true for myself.”
(On Gary Russell…)
“I know he’s got fast hands. He’s a great southpaw and a great boxer so I have to be at the best of my ability on Saturday night for that. I worked on a game plan in the gym to counter his hand speed and it all has to come together on fight night. I can do all this and say all that, but I just have to perform on Saturday night and put it in by doing everything I’ve worked on to become champion.”
(On training camp…)
“I am feeling really good, we’re in the last stretch of conditioning. It was a very long and intense training camp but we saw improvements in my abilities. I have been waiting a long time for this day to come and we are going to demonstrate to Smith that I am a weapon.
(On Stephen Smith…)
“Smith is a very good boxer, he has a lot of abilities and intelligence. He’s a boxer with very good defense, but we already utilize a variety of strategies to be able to neutralize all of his abilities.”
(On what he plans to demonstrate on Saturday…)
“With my abilities, come Saturday, I will demonstrate that I am above Smith and that I am at the level of what I am, a champion. Overall, I just want to put on a show and I hope that the fan base will enjoy this great card.”
(On what he learned from fighting Edner Cherry…)
“I learned what I have always said and what I have always done to this very day, which is never watching. I never watch too many videos of my opponent because on the day of the fight he could be a completely different fighter and I think that is what occurred then. Aside from that, he utilized a great strategy.”
(On his thoughts on other Puerto Rican boxers…)
“Actually I am a world champion just like Rocky Martinez; there are many Puerto Rican prospects. Like [Felix] Verdejo but I don’t consider him as a world title contender just yet. He hasn’t fought with a boxer of championship caliber but he is currently among the top fighters in Puerto Rico.”
(On other fights he may be interested in at 130 pounds…)
“I have always said that the less Puerto Ricans I fight, the better. If it is the last option, I will fight with Puerto Ricans too but aside from that Rocky [Martinez] the world champ, there’s Francisco Vargas, [Javier] Fortuna, to name a few that are at the top of my list.”
(On his first time fighting in the U.S….)
“I’m excited. If you want to make a name in boxing, then you’re going to do it in the states and that’s what I plan on doing by becoming a world champion Saturday.”
(On what he knows about Pedraza…)
“Well, not quite a lot. I know his name from the amateur days. He’s well established, he’s an Olympian and he’s a talented man. To fight somebody consists of winning or not, it goes beyond tactics, beyond style and beyond skillset really. I believe I have what it takes to fight anyone and nothing will keep me from becoming a world champion.”
(On what he needs to do to get the victory…)
“It can be a different type of fight; we know he likes to switch it up and box from different stances. He’s obviously talented so it’s going to take a different set from each way but we know what to expect. I’ve gone over everything with my trainer Joe Gallagher and we’re ready to go.”
(On his brothers Liam and Callum being champions and what it could mean to potentially join them…)
“It’s special. Two weeks ago Liam and Callum won a European world title and it just gives me the confidence, the spirit to hike. I’m in a really good place mentally and I couldn’t be feeling better going into it. After my boot camp going successfully, it just makes you feel better going ahead to become a world champion.”
(On UK champions on the rise in the past year…)
“There’s a lot of history there and for myself and my family, so we do what we’ve always wanted to do and we’re looking to just keep moving forward.”
(On training camp…)
“It was good. Obviously it boiled up to Callum’s win. There’s a good momentum. Callum and then Stephen has his world title opportunity. It’s been a slow burning rise with Stephen but he’s got, as I call it ‘his World Cup final’ — something that is going to take heart and strength. His strength is going very well. Pedraza is a very good fighter, good orthodox, good southpaw, he can mix it up and we’re prepared for whatever style he wants to bring on Saturday.”
(On the process of preparing for a fighter like Pedraza…)
“It’s a nightmare. It’s hard enough when you’re fighting a quality orthodox or a quality southpaw, of which he is, but not only that. He can also box on the back foot and on the front foot so we’re varying sparring partners, we’re mixing up the sparring in between the rounds, switching stances, and whichever way Pedraza wants to fight at the end of the night, I’m sure we’ll have an answer for.”
(On how he feels the fight will play out…)
“I think that’s all up to Pedraza, looking back at a few of his fights, he boxes slow and gets off to a good start but then he seems to lose his way a little in rounds. When you watch him against [Andrey] Klimov, he started out very well, put him under manners very quickly and had him nearly beat by the fourth round but [Andrey] managed to stay in very well and boxed really well. He got to the middle rounds, lost his way a little bit, switched southpaw, so either way it’s going to be fascinating. We’ve just got to make sure we don’t get caught to early when he’s quick and he’s sharp and he’s trying to put manners in Stephen Smith and then take him into the deep waters like Edner Cherry.”
(His prediction…)
“Stephen Smith. Possibly by knockout. No, definitely by knockout.”
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