Tag Archives: Kiryl Relikh

Mikey Garcia & Sergey Lipinets Los Angeles Media Workout Quotes & Photos

 
Garcia vs. Lipinets Junior Welterweight World Title Showdown Headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday, March 10 from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio
 
Click HERE for Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
 
LOS ANGELES (February 20, 2018) – Three-division world champion Mikey Garcia and IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Sergey Lipinets participated in an open media workout in Los Angeles Tuesday as they prepare for their world title showdown Saturday, March 10 live on SHOWTIME from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also see two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their thrilling fight last May, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title.
The night also features a SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME telecast beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT that will see undefeated 140-pound contender and San Antonio-native Mario Barrios face Eudy Bernardo in a 10-round bout and undefeated Alejandro Luna taking on former world title challenger Richard Commey in a 12-round IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions in association with Leija-Battah Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000 or 210 556-7390.
Joining Garcia and Lipinets at Tuesday’s workout was former title challenger Josesito Lopez, who competes in undercard action at Freeman Coliseum on March 10.
Here is what the participants had to say Tuesday from the City of Angels Boxing Club in Los Angeles:
MIKEY GARCIA
“I’m excited to have another opportunity on March 10 to show my fans what I’m all about and what I can do in the ring. I’m preparing to win another world title and that’s all that’s on my mind right now.
“Neither one of us wants to lose. We’re both undefeated and no one wants to give up that ‘0’. That’s going to make this a great fight for the fans.
“I don’t have a number of titles that I’m chasing, but I do believe I will be a champion at 140-pounds and eventually at welterweight. Each fight is unique and I’m going to keep taking it one fight at a time.
“I’ve been winning and dominating my fights, but I still have room to show the fans more of my skills. I need opponents who will bring the best out of me. I’m going to keep trying to dominate each fight and make it easy for myself in the ring.
“It was a little upsetting that we had to wait to have this fight, but it’s part of the sport. We took a day off when we heard the news and then we went back to work. Now we’re ahead of schedule so it worked out great.
“We’re excited to be where we’re at and to have the opportunity to win another world title. I’m most excited that this really takes me closer to the kind of recognition we deserve and the goals I want to achieve.
“Sergey Lipinets is the number one priority right now. He’s an undefeated world champion and I can’t take him lightly at all. I’m going to follow my game plan and right now I’m on track to put on a great performance.
“The number one thing I see in Sergey is his size. He’s the bigger man so I’ll have to be prepared for the weight. Because he’s a young new champion, he’s really got nothing to lose. He’s coming with everything he has.
“I know he’s going to take this fight more seriously than any other he’s taken. I know that he has that fire in him. I have to be aware of his power and use my boxing skills to overcome it.”
SERGEY LIPINETS
“This is going to be a great fight. We’ll both be at 100 percent on fight night and ready to give our best. This won’t be a one-sided fight. It’s going to be two gladiators going at each other.
“Mikey is a great fighter. He has a lot of skills, especially defensively. I’m going to be ready for him. It’s going to be blood, sweat and tears.
“If you’ve watched my previous fights you know that this will be a great fight. We’re both going to be there in front of each other and we won’t be kissing and hugging.
“I’m very excited to be in this position and I’m planning to take advantage of it. It meant a lot to win a world title, but these are the kind of fights you get into boxing for. This is a chance to really put my name in the history books.
“Everything is on schedule for the hand. I’ve been using it at will with no problems. I’ll be ready to go on fight night. I never stopped working so the transition was very easy once the hand had healed.”
JOSESITO LOPEZ
“I can’t wait to show some new things that I’ve worked on in camp. I feel really strong, fast and quick and I’m excited to put it all together on fight night.
“Sparring with Mikey Garcia has been good for me. He’s a really intelligent fighter, he’s very precise and he does everything with a purpose. Being in there with him makes me a better fighter.
“I’m anxious to get back in the ring. I’ve worked hard with Robert Garcia on different game plans and perfecting my style. My body feels good and I’m ready to compete with the top fighters.
“Robert has a great gym in Riverside with a lot of talented fighters. We’re always working and you have to be ready to spar with anybody. The young guys have really given me good work and kept me on my toes, which I’ve needed these last few years.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Garcia’s Brother & Trainer
“Lipinets has power and we’re fighting in his weight division. Lipinets is the naturally bigger fighter and we know he’s a dedicated fighter. I’m sure he’s training like never before.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for Lipinets. Winning this fight puts him in a great position, so we have to be very careful. We can’t take him lightly, because it won’t be easy. But fighters like Mikey, with his skills, are sometimes able to overcome any disadvantage.
“Fighters like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were able to move up in weight and still dominate, because of their great skills. Very few fighters are able to do that. We believe that Mikey is one of those special fighters.”
BUDDY MCGIRT, Lipinets’ Trainer
“The key is to not be one-dimensional. Sergey is going to give him different looks all night. Once he steps on the gas, we’ll see what Mikey’s made of.
“Mikey hasn’t fought anyone competitive since he came back. I believe it’s been awhile since Mikey’s been in a fight where he’s had to dig down and work. Once Sergey steps on the gas, we’ll see what’s inside of him. I don’t doubt him, because he comes from a family of great fighters and trainers. But sometimes that ring rust will kick in at a time when you can’t afford it.
“We’re prepared for any and everything. Once we get in there, we’ll give Mikey all we can when the time comes.
“We’re watching Sergey and we could tell if he’s hesitating or holding back when throwing his right hand. He hasn’t been doing that. It’s just a matter of time now. Everything is running on schedule.”
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UNDEFEATED 140-POUND CONTENDER & SAN ANTONIO NATIVE MARIO BARRIOS TO FACE EUDY BERNARDO ON SHOWTIME BOXING ON SHO EXTREME® SATURDAY, MARCH 10 FROM FREEMAN COLISEUM

Undefeated Lightweight Alejandro Luna To Face Former World Title Challenger Richard Commey In IBF Welterweight Title Eliminator In
Opening Bout On SHOWTIME EXTREME Live At 8 p.m. ET/PT
Plus! Unbeaten Prospect Brandon Figueroa Takes On Jonathan Aguilar
 in Super Bantamweight Attraction
SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 12, 2018) – Undefeated 140-pound contender and San Antonio-native Mario Barrios will face Eudy Bernardo in a 10-round bout on SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME Saturday, March 10 from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
The SHO EXTREME telecast begins live at 8 p.m. ET/PT and features undefeated Alejandro Luna facing former world title challenger Richard Commey in a 12-round IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator.  The IBF champion is Robert Easter, who Commey fought to close-split decision for the vacant IBF belt in 2016.
Also in undercard action at Freeman Coliseum, unbeaten prospect Brandon Figueroa takes on Mexico’s Jonathan Aguilar in an eight-round super bantamweight bout that, time permitting, will round out the SHO EXTREME telecast.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions in association with Leija-Battah Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000 or 210 556-7390.
The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by a showdown between three-division world champion Mikey Garcia and unbeaten IBF 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets and also features two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their thrilling fight last May, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title.
Barrios (20-0 12 KOs), who is trained by Virgil Hunter, returns for his first professional bout in San Antonio since he scored a 2015 knockout over Manuel Vides at AT&T Center in 2015. The 22-year-old has won three straight fights by stoppage since moving up to the 140-pound division last year.
“I haven’t been back home in a while, and I’m looking forward to putting on a tremendous performance in front of my family and hometown fans,” Barrios said. “If the knockout comes, early or late, I’ll take it. If not, we’re going in there to do what we do best, and that’s win. I’m trying to show that I’m on the level where I can get one of those titles either later this year or early next year.”
Fighting out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Bernardo (23-2, 17 KOs) enters this fight having scored knockout victories in his last two contests. The 31-year-old, who appeared onShoBox: The New Generation in April 2016, has fought professionally since 2009 and was unbeaten in his first 21 pro fights.
“I hope that Barrios isn’t underestimating me, because I am full of confidence and positive that I’m going to win,” said Bernardo. “I have a great plan that I’m going to use to catch him by surprise. I don’t care if it’s by knockout or decision, I will win.”
Luna (22-0, 15 KOs) and Commey (25-2, 22 KOs) enter this fight ranked 11th and 3rd respectively by the IBF. The 26-year-old Luna, fighting out of Bellflower, Ca., most recently dominated Andrey Klimov on his way to a unanimous decision last April and faces his toughest competition to date on March 10. Commey rebounded from the narrow defeat to Easter and a subsequent close loss to Denis Shafikov with a unanimous decision victory last March in his native Ghana.
“Commey’s a tough competitor whose losses were very close, disputable fights that could have gone either way, so I’ll go in being smart, using my jab and sticking to our game plan,” said Luna. “We’re both boxer-punchers who like to mix it up, throw bombs and brawl if we have to. There’s going to be a lot of action and we might steal the show. We’ll give the fans their money’s worth, either way.”
“I think this is a good fight where neither of us are the favorite,” said Commey. “After losing two close decisions there is natural pressure to go for the knockout. But I believe that the judges will be fair and reward me if it goes the distance so I can earn another shot at the title. This is my first fight with Andre Rozier and I’m inspired working in his gym with guys like Daniel Jacobs and Sadam Ali. I’m 100 percent focused on clearly beating Luna and earning my rematch with Robert Easter Jr.”
Figueroa (14-0, 9 KOs), the younger brother of former lightweight champion Omar Figueroa, will make his 2018 debut against the 24-year-old Aguilar (20-7, 17 KOs), after picking up four wins in 2017.
“I’m happy to be on such a big card. San Antonio is like my second home,” said Figueroa, who is 5-0 with four knockouts in San Antonio. “I’m getting a lot of exposure fighting on this world class event that is headlined by Mikey Garcia. It’s the kind of step-up I need. Little by little I’m becoming well-known, not only in the United States, but by people from around the world.”
# # #
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MIKEY GARCIA vs. SERGEY LIPINETS WORLD TITLE SHOWDOWN RESCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 10 LIVE ON SHOWTIME AT THE FREEMAN COLISEUM IN SAN ANTONIO & PRESENTED BY PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS

 
Unbeaten Three-Division World Champion Garcia Challenges Unbeaten Junior Welterweight World Champion Lipinets in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Main Event
 
SAN ANTONIO, TX (January 19, 2018) – The highly anticipated showdown between undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia and IBF 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 10th. The Premier Boxing Champions event was set to take place on February 10th, but Garcia’s quest for a fourth world title had to be rescheduled following a training injury to Lipinets’ hand. The fight will be live on SHOWTIME and will remain in San Antonio but move to the Freeman Coliseum.
Ticket information will be released early next week.  Those holding tickets for the original date at the Alamodome will receive priority on seat exchange for the new venue.   Tickets are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20 and will be available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 210 556-6390.  The event is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, in association with Leija-Battah Promotions.
The remainder of the card will remain the same including the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, which will see two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their thrilling fight last May, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title. The doubleheader of title bouts in the wide-open 140-pound division sets the stage for a potential unification match.
The 29-year-old Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), emphatically returned to pound-for-pound lists in 2017 by scoring a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin to win the WBC Lightweight World Championship in January and then dominating four-division champion Adrien Broner on his way to a unanimous decision in July. Garcia is a member of a renowned boxing family, and is noted for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia.
Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat by stopping former champion Elio Rojas. Garcia, who has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, has stopped 19 of his last 22 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido.
With a win, Garcia would become only the third fighter in modern history to become champion at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds, joining future Hall of Famers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao*.
The unbeaten Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) captured a super lightweight world title in just his 13th pro fight by defeating Akihiro Kondo via a unanimous decision on November 4 on SHOWTIME. He is originally from Kazakhstan but moved to Russia when he was six years old. He currently lives in Beverly Hills, California, Lipinets and is trained by Buddy McGirt.
The 28-year-old moved up the 140-pound rankings with victories over then unbeaten Haskell Rhodes, Levan Ghvamichava and Walter Castillo before knocking out Leonardo Zappavigna in a world title eliminator last December. Lipinets will look to stamp his place as an elite fighter when he takes on the accomplished and dangerous Garcia on March 10.
*Pacquiao won lineal championships at 126 and 140-pounds, although he did not win alphabet titles.
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Rances Barthelemy & Kiryl Relikh Look Forward to Big 2018 Beginning Saturday, February 10 When They Meet in140-Pound World Championship Rematch Live on SHOWTIME

 

 

From the Alamodome in San Antonio & Presented by

Premier Boxing Champions

 

 

 

Click HERE for Photos from Their First Fight

Photo Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

 

 

 

SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 10, 2018) – Unbeaten two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh will both look to kick off their new year with a world title victory when they meet in a rematch for a vacant 140-pound title Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME from the Alamodome in San Antonio in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

 

 

 

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT and will be headlined by three-division world champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) taking on unbeaten 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs).

 

 

 

“Obviously the number one goal for 2018 is to bring home that belt on February 10,” said Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs). “Then I want to unify with all the other champions. My New Year’s resolution is to surround myself with good people and win multiple world titles.”

 

 

 

“First I have to win this fight in February,” said Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs). “But then I have hopes of a great year defending my belt against the mandatory and eventually a unification fight. This will be the year I reach a new level in this sport.”

 

 

 

Barthelemy and Relikh will fight for the WBA’s vacant Super Lightweight World Title after their title eliminator bout in May ended in a debatable decision for Barthelemy. This time the fighters will look to leave no doubt with the full title on the line.

 

 

 

“This is my second time fighting for a world title and it will be a second lesson for me,” said Relikh. “This is my time to become champion. I need to do much more during this fight.

 

 

 

“I have to be aggressive right from the start. I’m sure that I need a knockout to get the victory. He can try to run, but he won’t be able to hide from me.”

 

 

 

“Winning this title would be a dream come true for me,” said Barthelemy. “I’d be the first Cuban fighter in history to win a title in three different divisions. The last fight was very close and deserving of a rematch.

 

 

 

“I just need to stick to my game plan and show everyone that I’m the best 140-pound fighter in the world. The key will be to stay disciplined and land hard shots all night.”

 

 

 

Both fighters have sacrificed in training camp on the road to what they hope will be a celebratory moment on February 10, training hard through the holiday season to stay on target for fight night.

 

 

 

“My whole team has done a fantastic job so far in camp,” said Barthelemy. “Ismael Salas and Joel Casamayor are giving me great tips and keeping me focused on my goal. One new thing I’ve added this camp is Bob Santos for nutrition and strength and conditioning. It’s made a big difference over the holidays where I usually eat too much. He’s kept me on a strict diet and training has never been better.”

 

 

 

“These last few weeks through the holidays have been the hardest of my camp, so there was no room for distractions,” said Relikh. “I spent New Year’s with my family and then I was right back into training camp in the morning.”

 

 

 

With two belts in the 140-pound division on the line in the same night, the winner between Barthelemy and Relikh will be in a great position to begin a path toward unification after February 10.

 

 

 

“I will have my eye on the main event for sure,” said Relikh. “I’m focused on Barthelemy now, but I want to unify and if that means fighting Garcia or Lipinets, I will be ready.”

 

 

 

“Garcia vs. Lipinets is going to be a great fight and I definitely want the winner,” said Barthelemy. “Although Lipinets is the underdog going into this fight, I think he’s going to give Garcia all he can handle. But I still think Garcia will come out on top, setting up war between us in a unification bout.”

 

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Mikey Garcia vs. Sergey Lipinets San Antonio Press Conference Quotes & Photos

 
(Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)
Three-Division World Champion Garcia Faces 140-Pound World Champion Lipinets Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME® From the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas &
Presented by Premier Boxing Champions
 
Click HERE for Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
 
SAN ANTONIO (December 19, 2017) – Undefeated three-division world championMikey Garcia and unbeaten IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Sergey Lipinets were face to face for the second straight day Tuesday at a press conference in San Antonio to discuss their main event showdown taking place Saturday, Feb. 10live on SHOWTIME (10:15 p.m. ET/PT). The matchup of top-5 ranked junior welterweights is presented by Premier Boxing Champions at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage will also feature two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy in a rematch against Kiryl Relikh for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20. Tickets are on-sale now and available at Ticketmaster.com.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday from Ruth’s Chris Steak House Grand Hyatt in San Antonio:
MIKEY GARCIA
“We’re expecting a tough competitive fight. Lipinets is a fighter who is always dangerous. He has power in both hands and he’s not afraid to let his hands go. He’s also willing to get hit, so that he can hit you back. That’s what makes him dangerous.
“This opportunity to win a title in a fourth division was too great to pass on. It’s hard to secure fights like this. I’m happy everything came together so we can give the fans a great show.
“Last year was a great year for my return. It started with a world title win for a third division title and then I had the big victory over Adrien Broner in the summer. I’m looking for even bigger things in 2018 and this last year really paved the path for that.
“Winning a fourth title was the big draw for me in making this fight happen. To make history like that is something that really motivates me. I know that I have a lot more to accomplish in the sport, but this is a great start. This is the direction I want to go in.
“There’s a lot of talent and history in boxing in San Antonio. My brother has a gym here and we have a lot of fighters we train with from the area. Even though I’ve never fought here, I’ve gotten a lot of support from the community. When we were looking at venues for the fight, this was something I was excited to do.
“I have fought in different regions of Texas and always received a lot of love, but I had never been able to fight in San Antonio. We decided to bring the fight here to give something back to the state of Texas. There’s no city better to host it than San Antonio.”
SERGEY LIPINETS
“The fans in San Antonio can expect drama. It’s going to be a show. It’s going to have big punches, knockdowns and everything you’d want to see in a fight.
“This is the biggest challenge that I’ve had in my career. Mikey is a big star, but I’m very competitive and I want to show the world what I can do.
“My spirit cannot be matched by any fighter, but I also have the speed and strength to win. I will show my devastating power on February 10.
“Mikey is a very good chess player. People underestimate his ability to think in the ring. So I can’t just go in there with a style that someone else has used against him. We’re going to work hard on the best game plan for what I can do.
“This is going to be a difficult fight. I’m aiming to get a win any way that I can. I can’t say what it is going to look like, but I will be ready for anything in the ring.
“I’m coming to win. I want to be in the position that Mikey has reached in this sport. I’ve worked hard to get to this moment and I’m going to give it my all to take advantage.
“If I didn’t think I was ready for this fight then I wouldn’t have taken it. We have a plan and we’ll use all the experience I’ve gained from my career to execute it.”
RICHARD SCHAEFER, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports
“Boxing is going into 2018 with huge momentum and starting out with big events like this. You have two undefeated champions getting in the ring to fight each other. These kind of fights are  going to continue to elevate the sport to great heights.
“This was an easy fight to make because you have two fighters who want to measure themselves against the best. This is a fight that got done quickly. Neither fighter had to be convinced. Both guys feel they can win and are going into the fight with an attitude of an undefeated fighter.
“Neither one of these guys have any thought that they might lose. They are 100 percent convinced that they are going to walk out of there with their hand raised. That’s what’s going to make this a great matchup.”
# # #
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Mikey Garcia vs. Sergey Lipinets Los Angeles Press Conference Quotes & Photos

 

 

 

Three-Division World Champion Garcia Faces 140-Pound World Champion Lipinets Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME® 

From the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas &

Presented by Premier Boxing Champions

 

Click HERE for Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

 

LOS ANGELES (December 18, 2017) – Undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia and unbeaten IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Sergey Lipinets went face-to-face for the first time Monday at a press conference in Los Angeles to discuss their main event showdown on Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME (10:15 p.m. ET/PT). The matchup of top-5 ranked junior welterweights will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and is presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

 

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage will also feature two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy in a rematch against Kiryl Relikh for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title.

 

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT and will be available at Ticketmaster.com.

 

Lipinets will be making the first defense of his world title while Garcia looks to become only the third fighter in modern history to become a champion at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds, joining future Hall of Famers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao*.

 

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Monday from the Conga Room at L.A. Live:

 

MIKEY GARCIA

 

“A world champion like Sergey Lipinets is more exciting an opponent for me than an easy title defense. I wanted a challenge and this man presents that. He’s a bigger man naturally. He’s going to be very hungry and motivated. He knows a victory over me launches his career to the top. That’s going to make this an interesting fight.

 

“To win a world title in a fourth division is a big deal to me. My dad always wanted a three-division world champion, and now I have a chance to give him a fourth title. That’s something that really excites me.

 

“It’s been a great return to boxing since my layoff. When I came back, I wanted to move fast and take on big challenges. That’s what we’ve been doing so far. I want to take on any challenges that people think I can’t achieve. I think slowly we’re proving to everyone that I’m better than ever and I’m going to keep taking on the kinds of fights that will cement my legacy.

 

“It would be a great accomplishment to be in the discussion with guys like Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, that would be a win in itself. But it wasn’t on my mind when taking this fight. I just want to keep fighting the best out there. There’s still more for me to accomplish until I’m on the same level as Pacquiao and Marquez.

 

“It’s going to be a great fight. Like I’ve said, the challenge for me is that I’ll be fighting the bigger man. On fight night, that advantage he has on me might be enough to make it that much more exciting. It will be interesting to see how well I adapt to the size. I have to make adjustments to overcome those challenges. This should give the fans the excitement that we want to give them.

 

“My only focus is on February 10 against Sergey Lipinets. That’s my target throughout the entire camp. There may be more opportunities for me on the horizon, but you’ll see on fight night that I’m one hundred percent focused.

 

“I know that I have the possibility to be the biggest star in boxing like a Floyd Mayweather, and I think I’m on track to accomplish that. I don’t see a lot of guys in the sport with the resume of accomplishments that I have. I’m going to continue take on the best and beat my opponents convincingly.”

 

SERGEY LIPINETS

 

“Mikey Garcia is a great champion and I want to be in the position that he’s reached in this sport. The only way there is to go through him.

 

“I’m taking on a great challenge against Mikey Garcia, and many people think I’m not ready. This is the fight that I wanted. I’ve had many obstacles in my way throughout my career and I’ve overcome them all. I’m going to overcome Mikey Garcia just like that.

 

“Every time I have sparred with top fighters, like Terrence Crawford, I have learned more about what I need to improve to get to the next level in this sport. That kind of experience has helped my confidence increase and will help me when I face Mikey Garcia.

 

“A lot of things can happen when you move up in weight. Usually people use some pop. Whatever version of Mikey Garcia shows up; I’ll be ready for him.

 

“I believe I’m going to win, Mikey believes he’s going to win, and it will all unveil in the ring. One thing I can guarantee; it’s going to be a great fight.

 

“Every fight I’ve had has been against a tough opponent who has helped get me to this point. Now, I’m ready to fight the best, and Mikey Garcia is truly that.

 

“I had to work very hard to make the transition from champion kickboxer to a champion boxer. I did everything I had to do, moving from gym to gym and sparring everyone. I always aimed for the best and wanted to be the best at what I do.”

 

ROBERT GARCIA, Mikey’s Brother & Trainer

 

“We know that Sergey Lipinets is a very dangerous fighter. He’s a really strong champion. I know he’s going to be hungry because he wants to become a big name by beating Mikey.

 

“Mikey is very smart in the ring. We’re going to come in there with a good game plan. We’ll have some big sparring partners. Strong, heavy guys who will give Mikey a big challenge in sparring.

 

“Mikey has to be in great shape for this fight. You can easily win the first eight rounds, but there are still four left. You have to be able to finish the fight. A great power puncher like Lipinets can finish you in one round.”

 

BUDDY MCGIRT, Lipinets’ Trainer

 

“We will be prepared for any and every thing. This way, when fight night comes, we’ll have an answer for everything. The key is that we just have to be on point from the opening bell to the end. There’s no way around it.

 

“We’re going to cover everything in training camp. You have to have every option available to you on fight night. This way, you’re never surprised in the ring. Sergey won’t go in there swinging to get a knockout, he’s going to be disciplined and focus on getting the victory.

 

“I believe that Sergey is on a mission. I know Mikey Garcia is on a mission too, and I respect that. I respect that these two men are fighting each other. Champions do what Sergey is doing, and that’s fighting the best.”

 

RICHARD SCHAEFER, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports

 

“This is going to be a huge night for the 140-pound division. It will be another toe-to-toe showdown at the Alamodome in San Antonio, where so many great matchups have taken place before. Tickets start at just $20 so we expect another great crowd of fight fans down in Texas.

 

“This matchup features two undefeated fighters, two big punchers and 50 wins, 40 by knockout, between the two of them. These guys are both champions who are daring to be great. These are exactly the kind of fighters that the public likes. These fighters will push themselves to be great.

 

“These guys only know one thing, and that is winning. Sergey Lipinets is the biggest puncher at 140-pounds and it seems like Mikey Garcia always seeks out these big punchers.

 

“Mikey is looking to do something that only Manny Paccquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have done, in moving up from 126 pounds through 140 pounds winning titles at each division. It is very difficult to carry that power up from featherweight. You have to tune-in to see an exciting fighter like that trying to make history.”

 

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports

 

“What boxing needs are great fights. Good, high quality matchups like Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton, Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia and Errol Spence vs. Kell Brook. There needs consistently be good fights, and that’s what we have been doing at SHOWTIME for the last couple of years. No other network has done the quality of fights that SHOWTIME is doing. No other network is as committed to the sport as SHOWTIME has been.

 

“The best need to fight the best, and that is what Mikey Garcia has done. He came off of a two-and-a-half-year layoff and in 18 months he’s had four fights, two title fights and will be going for a title in a fourth weight class, something only Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have done before. That’s what great fighters do.

 

“Historically the fighters who separate themselves as legendary, are the ones who challenge themselves and travel across weight classes to seek these challenges. But there are two sides to this story. Those who have been paying attention have seen Sergey Lipinets make a lot of noise on SHOWTIME cards lately. He has risen very quickly.

 

“If you just look at Lipinets’ record, 13-0, and think about him fighting Mikey Garcia it would sound crazy. But if you look at the kind of competition he’s faced, his last seven opponents have a combined record of 163-15. That’s not something you usually see 13 fights into a career. Lipinets is a combat veteran, and whatever happens in the ring, he will be ready for it. It’s going to make for an exciting night.”

 

# # #

 

*Pacquiao won lineal championships at 126 and 140-pounds, although he did not win alphabet titles.

 

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Three-Division World Champion Mikey Garcia Seeks Title in a Fourth Weight Class When He Challenges Unbeaten  140-pound Champion Sergey Lipinets Saturday, Feb. 10 Live on SHOWTIME® at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas & Presented by Premier Boxing Champions

 
Undefeated Two-Time World Champion Rances Barthelemy to Rematch Kiryl Relikh for Vacant 140-Pound Title In Co-Main Event
 
 Tickets on Sale Next Week!
SAN ANTONIO (December 14, 2017) – Undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia will attempt to win a world title in a fourth weight class when he challenges unbeaten IBF 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets on Saturday, February 10 live on SHOWTIME. The matchup of top-5 ranked junior welterweights will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and is presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy will face Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their May showdown on SHOWTIME, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title. The doubleheader of title bouts in the wide-open 140-pound division sets the stage for a potential unification match.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are priced at $250, $75, $50 and $20. Tickets will go on sale next week and will be available at Ticketmaster.com.
The 29-year-old Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), emphatically returned to pound-for-pound lists in 2017 by scoring a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin to win the WBC Lightweight World Championship in January and then dominating four-division champion Adrien Broner on his way to a unanimous decision in July. Garcia is a member of a renowned boxing family, and is noted for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia.
Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat by stopping former champion Elio Rojas. Garcia, who has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, has stopped 19 of his last 22 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido.
“It is a dream to have the opportunity to become a four-division worldchampion,” Garcia said. “San Antonio has some of the greatest boxing fans in the country, including some key supporters of my Robert Garcia Boxing Academy family. Since my last fight, I have stayed in the gym. I can’t wait to give the fans in Texas and those watching at home on SHOWTIME another great performance.”
The unbeaten Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) captured a super lightweight world title in just his 13th pro fight by defeating Akihiro Kondo via a unanimous decision on November 4 on SHOWTIME. He is originally from Kazakhstan but moved to Russia when he was six years old. He currently lives in Beverly Hills, California, Lipinets and is trained by Buddy McGirt.
The 28-year-old moved up the 140-pound rankings with victories over then unbeaten Haskell Rhodes, Levan Ghvamichava and Walter Castillo before knocking out Leonardo Zappavigna in a world title eliminator last December. Lipinets will look to stamp his place as an elite fighter when he takes on the accomplished and dangerous Garcia on February 10.
“Getting the title is one thing, but keeping the title is a more difficult task,” said Lipinets. “I’m not about to give it away to anybody. No disrespect to Mikey Garcia or anybody else out there, but I’m keeping my title. Beating Mikey Garcia will put me in the elite of boxing where I believe I belong. I’m happy my team was able to put this great fight together. I can promise you this won’t be a snoozer. It’s going to be an action-packed fight for sure.”
“We’re going to call it’ ‘Undefeated.’ That pretty much sums it up. Two undefeated fighters, champion versus champion,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports. “It’s a big challenge for Mikey Garcia to win a championship belt in his fourth weight class. Lipinets never backs down and he’s out to show that’s he one of the biggest punchers in the division. A win for Lipinets is a game-changer for his family and his career. A win for Mikey is another feather in his cap and will help him be recognized as pound-for-pound best in the world. I’m happy to be back in San Antonio at the Alamodome. I’ve promoted some big fights there. San Antonio fight fans are in for a real treat seeing two of the best fighting each other. I’m sure the fans will embrace this fight.”
“We have another intriguing matchup of two young, hungry undefeated fighters who lay it on the line every time they step into the ring,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “As talented as Mikey is, you can’t count Lipinets out. He’s one of the hardest hitters in the 140-pound division. He’s a tough competitor and there’s a reason why he’s a world champion. He knows this is a career-defining fight and he’s going to do everything he can to spoil the party for Garcia in San Antonio on Feb. 10.”
“In three consecutive fights on SHOWTIME since his return to the sport, Mikey Garcia has solidified his position on boxing’s pound-for-pound lists,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports.  “Mikey has proven he’s willing to take on the most avoided opponents in any division as he seeks out the biggest possible matchups in the sport.  He’ll face yet another dangerous opponent in Sergey Lipinets, an undefeated champion in his own right, as he seeks to become a four-division world champion.  On the heels of Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson on January 20, a matchup of consensus top-10 welterweights, we’re proud to deliver this main event of top-5 ranked fighters to build on the momentum.”
Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs), who was born in Arroyo Naranjo, Cuba and now lives in Las Vegas, has won world titles at 130 and 135 pounds. He defeated Relikh by unanimous decision in his debut at 140 pound in his last fight on May 20. If he defeats Relikh again, he will become the first Cuban boxer to win world championships in three different weight classes. He defeated Argenis Mendez by unanimous decision to win the 130-pound world title in 2014 and a year later scored a unanimous decision over Denis Shafikov for the 135-pound world title. Barthelemy, 31, has two brothers, Yan and Leduan, who are professional boxers who he trains alongside with under the tutelage of Ismael Salas.
Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs) believes that he won the first match with Barthelemy and that the scorecards did not reflect the competitive nature of the fight. The 28-year-old nearly had Barthelemy out after landing a barrage of punches that penned Barthelemy on the ropes, but he was only awarded a knockdown. In the eighth round, Barthelemy came back to drop Relikh with a body shot. Shortly after the May 20 title eliminator, the WBA ordered a rematch, this time to be contested for the vacant 140-pound title.  This will be Relikh’s second world title shot after the fighter from Minsk, Belarus lost a unanimous decision to Ricky Burns in Glasgow, Scotland on Oct. 7, 2016.
# # #
For more information visit www.sho.com/sports , www.premierboxingchampions.com,
follow us on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @PremierBoxing, @Ringstar @TGBPromotions, and @Swanson_Comm  or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOBoxing and www.Facebook.com/RingstarSports , PBC is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

GARY RUSSELL JR. DEFEATS OSCAR ESCANDON IN FRONT OF HOMETOWN CROWD FROM MGM NATIONAL HARBOR, LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

 
Andre Dirrell Wins Via Disqualification Stoppage, Rances Barthelemy Earns Hard-Fought Decision Win
 
Gervonta Davis Stops Liam Walsh to Retain IBF Junior Lightweight Title from Copper Box Arena in London
 
Catch The Encore Presentation of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®
 on Monday, May 22 at 10 p.m. on SHO EXTREME
 
Click HERE For Photos
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
 
Click HERE To Watch Gary Russell Jr.’s TKO
National Harbor (May 20) – From the MGM National Harbor “Mr.” Gary Russell Jr., (28-1, 17 KOs) had a successful homecoming in front of a nearly sold out crowd as he defended his WBC Featherweight World title with a seventh-round stoppage against the very tough, strong-willed Columbian Oscar Escandon (25-3, 17 KOs) in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
Russell Jr. took control of the action from the outset, peppering the shorter Escandon at will and dropping him in the third.
However, the brave Escandon fought his way back into the fight in the fourth and fifth stanzas, but Russell stormed into the seventh, battering the hurt Escandon and dropping him early, causing referee Harvey Dock to stop the fight at the 0:59 mark of the round (Click HERE to watch the TKO).
About the victory, Russell Jr. said, “First and foremost, I want to say happy birthday to my father. Secondly, I’d like to tell all the fans that came to support me: I love you all. Thank you.
“I fought a tough competitor. I knew Escandon wanted to come and bring his best. I knew he was going to come forward. I was ready for him. We are warriors.
“I want Lomachenko [next], that’s a no-brainer. I don’t want to do it for the fans or for the media, I want to do it for myself. And I want to do it twice. I’ll knock him out the first time and then, he’ll want me to fight him again.
“I’d love to unify against all the other guys in the featherweight division. I’d like Leo Santa Cruz, Lee Selby, Oscar Valdez.”
About the knockout loss, “I was getting my rhythm going and I felt like Gary was getting tired. I didn’t see him coming with the big punch he threw at the end and that was it. I went down and was hoping to get a 10 count, but the referee didn’t give it to me and he stopped the fight.
“I knew that Gary was going to go fast from the first to the fifth round and it was part of my strategy to let him do that and get tired. It didn’t work unfortunately.
“Now we need to go back to the drawing board to rest and see what my manager has planned for me.”
Said trainer and father Gary Russell Sr., “I’m ecstatic. I’m really happy. I got three wins. Three stoppages. It’s my birthday. I’m 15 minutes from home and I can go home and relax.
“We prepared fully for Mr. Escandon. We knew he was going to do what he did – come forward. I don’t want to diminish or take anything away from Mr. Escandon. He really is a hard, rough fighter. Throughout the course of the fight, I instructed Gary to hit him with some good shots. Some hard shots. It is a brutal sport.”
Co-featured on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING in a 12-round clash for the IBF Interim Super Middleweight Title, Flint, Michigan’s Andre Dirrell, (26-2, 16 KOs), was declared the winner after round eight as Jose Uzcategui, (26-2, 22 KOs) of Merida, Venezuela, was disqualified for a punch after the bell sounded to end the eighth round.
Uzcategui started fast, battering Dirrell from the opening round, cutting off the ring and slamming away with body and head shot through the first three rounds. Dirrell saw success starting in the fourth round, countering Uzcategui and scoring
well.
Over the next four rounds, the contenders traded even as the fight became more hotly contested. At the end of the eighth round, with Dirrell backed into a neutral corner, Uzcategui let loose with a three-punch combination, the last left hand hitting the southpaw after the bell as he fell to the combination.
Following a delay to allow medical personnel to attend to Dirrell, referee Bill Clancy declared that Uzcategui was disqualified with Dirrell being declared the winner.
Said referee Bill Clancy about his decision, “The bell rang to stop the round. The round was over and Andre [Dirrell] was knocked out with an illegal punch. So therefore, Dirrell will win this fight by disqualification.
“That’s a blatant foul. Earlier in the fight, I had warned Uzcategui. I warned him. Dirrell wins the fight, he was clearly unable to continue.”
About the ending, Dirrell said, “All I remember was him [Uzcategui] throwing a shot at me at the same time the bell rang. After that everything was blurry. I remember a shot and then all went fuzzy.
“I forgive Uzcategui. I forgive his camp. I don’t want to win a championship like this. I wanted to win fair and square. But I forgive him.
Following the decision, Dirrell’s trainer and uncle Leon Lawson punched Uzcategui in the corner, sparking a brief altercation in the ring that was quelled by MGM National Harbor security and local police.
“I’m sorry for what my coach has done. My coach is my family, my uncle, and he was worried. He cares for me. He loves me. Please forgive him.
“I’m going to stand up like a man. I didn’t win like I wanted to, but I’ll be back. I’m going to come back as soon as they let me.”
Stated a very disappointed Uzcategui, “I felt very good. I was hurting him the entire fight. I felt like I could hurt him anytime I wanted. Nothing he hit me with hurt me.
“I was throwing a three-punch combination and I didn’t hear the bell. I didn’t mean to hit him. The third punch wasn’t that hard of a punch. I was surprised he stayed down.
“He did the same thing against Abraham that he did against me tonight. He quit against me and he quit against him. I deserve to be the winner.”
The live televised fights in The Theater kicked-off with two-division world championRances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs) winning a 12-round unanimous decision over valiant Kiryl Relikh, (25-3, 16 KOs), of Baranovichi, Byelorussia. Scores in the WBA Super Lightweight eliminator were 116-110, 115-111 and 117-109.
The opening two rounds of the fight featured excellent action with both fighters attempting to impose their will.  In the third round Relikh suffered a low blow resulting in a two-minute delay, however, no point deduction was made by referee Kenny Chevalier. Following the low blow, the shorter Relikh became much more aggressive.
With the undefeated, blue-haired Barthelemy switching stances often in the fourth stanza, he was able to score at will against Relikh.
However, Relikh came out charging in the fifth, battering away against Barthelemy who was caught against the ropes and scoring a knockdown when the ropes held the Cuban up from a barrage of hard punches.
Recovering nicely in the sixth and seventh, Barthelemy badly hurt Relikh with a multitude of body shots from both hands.
In the eight round Barthelemy truly turned the tide for good in the ninth, drilling Relikh to the canvas with a blistering left hook to the body. Through the championship rounds it was all Barthelemy who finished strong against the game but outgunned Relikh.
Said the victorious Barthelemy, “It feels great to be going forward. The 11-month layoff really took a toll on my body and I felt it in the ring.
“I knew it was a close fight but knew I should get a unanimous decision.
“Relikh was a hard hitter. He surprised me with a right hook in the 5th round and I hit the canvas, so I knew I had to be careful going forward. I knew I had lost that round and had to come back stronger.
“I took the sixth round to take a breather and then I came back to work the body. Once I knocked him down, I saw that he was hurt and protecting himself upstairs a lot more so I knew I was going to have to be more strategic to come out victorious.”
Replied a very disappointed Relikh, “Of course I thought I won. Even TV thought I won. The referee did his job when he called it a knockdown in the fifth. I thought it was over.”
“The two low blows definitely affected me. It takes the wind out of you. This is boxing not MMA.”
Hot super bantamweight prospect Gary Antonio Russell improved to 8-0 with six knockouts with a dominating performance and knockout stoppage of Puerto Rico’s Jovany Fuentes, (7-9, 6 KOs). Following knockdowns in the second and third stanzas, the bout was called to a halt at 0:22 of round three.
Making his pro debut, super lightweight Gary Antuanne Russell, (1-0 1 KO) wasted no time dropping Joshua Ross, (2-4-4) of Monroe, LA to the canvas three times enroute to a stoppage victory at the 2:25 mark of the initial stanza.
Gervonta Davis went on the road in the first defense of his IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship and made a statement with an emphatic third-round TKO of previously undefeated local favorite Liam Walsh in the opening bout of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING from Copper Box Arena in London.
The southpaw Davis (18-0, 17 KOs) set the pace from the opening bell, connecting seemingly at will with a strong left hook.  In the third round, America’s youngest world champion floored Walsh with a strong left after a series of brutal connecting combos on the inside.  Walsh got up, but the onslaught continued seconds later and referee Michael Alexander stopped the championship bout at 2:11, with Walsh defenseless and on unsteady legs.
“Tonight we were in the groove,” Davis said.  “I think he was hurt pretty bad.  The ref did his job and it was just a matter of time.  I used my boxing IQ tonight and picked my shots, and when I picked my shots I got him out of there.
“I’m still on the rise.  I became a champion super-fast, but I’m still rising and there’s more to come.”
Promoter Floyd Mayweather was ringside in London to support his fighter, who he’s christened “the future of boxing.”
Walsh (21-1, 14 KOs), who entered the bout as the No. 1 challenger and the decided local favorite at Copper Box, was disappointed with the stoppage.
“He’s very fast, very active, but that was too quick,” Walsh said.  “He won fair and square, but sometimes they stop the fight too early.  I never got an opportunity.  I’m not saying the result would be different, but give me a chance.
“I’d love to fight him again.  I’d fight him for next to nothing.”
# # #
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will re-air on Sunday, May 21 at 9 a.m. on SHOWTIME and on Monday, May 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.  The telecast will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and SHOWTIME ANYTIME®.

GERVONTA DAVIS & LIAM WALSH MAKE WEIGHT FOR IBF JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME® FROM LONDON

 

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Tomorrow/Saturday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT

 

Click HERE For Photos; Credit Mark Robinson/SHOWTIME

 

LONDON (May 19, 2017) – America’s youngest world champion, Gervonta Davis, and undefeated No. 1 contender Liam Walsh both tipped the scale at the 130-pound limit during Friday’s official weigh-in at the 133-year-old Theatre Royal Stratford East for Saturday’s IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship on SHOWTIME.

 

On Saturday at the sold-out Copper Box Arena in London, the 22-year-old “Tank” Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) will attempt to become the first American to successfully defend his title on British soil in nearly a decade.  The 30-year-old Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) will aim to dethrone a man labeled by Davis promoter Floyd Mayweather as “the future of boxing” in the first defense of his IBF crown. 

 

The referee for Davis vs. Walsh is Michael Alexander, and the judges are Howard Foster (England), Robin Taylor (United States) and Deon Dwarte (South Africa). 

 

With fans chanting “Walsh is gonna get you” as Davis stepped on the scale, the Baltimore native narrowly missed the 130-pound limit by two ounces.  Per IBF rules, Davis was given two hours to shed the extra ounces and successfully made weight approximately 90 minutes later

 

“I feel good,” Davis said.  “I’m ready.”

 

After the weigh-in, Walsh downplayed the tense stare down and words exchanged during the faceoff.

 

Tomorrow we’ll lay hands on each other for real and the best man will come on top.  I’m gonna win.  I’m going to give every last ounce of what I’ve got.”

 

Davis vs. Walsh is part of a split-site, four-fight SHOWTME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast that begins on Saturday, May 20, at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.  In the main event, Gary Russell Jr. will make his second featherweight title defense and long-awaited homecoming against mandatory challenger Oscar Escandon live from MGM National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C. 

 

For more information visit www.SHO.com/Sports follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing or become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SHOBoxing. To become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SHOBoxing.

Gary Russell Jr. vs. Oscar Escandon Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos

 
 
Featherweight World Championship Showdown Headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING This Saturday, May 20from MGM National Harbor in Maryland
 
Click HERE for Photos Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
 
NATIONAL HARBOR (May 18, 2017) – Featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. and top challenger Oscar Escandon went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they square-off in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING this Saturday, May 20 from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Also in attendance at Thursday’s press conference and competing in action on SHOWTIME were super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and JoseUzcategui, who battle for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship, plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh, who meet in a 140-pound title eliminator. The telecast begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT with Gervonta Davis putting his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh from Copper Box Arena in London.
Tickets for the live event at MGM National Harbor, promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go tohttp://mgmnationalharbor.com/.
Russell Jr. was joined by his brothers, 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell and unbeaten prospect Gary Antonio Russell, as the trio of brothers look to pick up a hat trick of victories in their hometown Saturday night and on the birthday of their father and trainer, Gary Russell Sr.
Here is what the participants had to say Thursday from MGM National Harbor:
GARY RUSSELL JR.
“I never magnify an event, even though it’s at home. The end objective is still the same. But I think it’s cool that everyone in our neighborhood has the opportunity to be in the arena and see what we do.
“I’m 100 percent physically and mentally ready for the challenge and I’m on top of everything I can be.
“When you get caught up in the hype, it’s a deficiency in yourself. You have to be able to focus on the objective over everything else.
“I believe in my ability but also the ability of my brothers. So I’m not nervous for them. I know what they’ve been taught. They conduct themselves like young men in and out of the ring.
“I want a unification bout after this. I’m ready for any of the other world champions. We can line them all up in the same night if you want. If I can’t get those fights, I’m going to move up in weight and bully around these bigger guys.
“I look at each fighter as their own individual. We don’t prepare the same way for every opponent. He’s a tough fighter who comes forward. He’s very physical and I expect him to be at his best on Saturday. It’s up to me to counteract what he does.
“I love this sport. I love what I do. I love being able to prepare for no one else, but the person across the ring and then dismantling him.
“We worked on versatility most. We believe in the sweet science. A lot of these guys just win because they’re stronger and faster. We want to be more technically sound too.”
OSCAR ESCANDON
“This is a very important fight for my career. This is going to elevate me to where I want to be and give me the platform to do anything in the sport. I’m very well prepared for this.
“I feel strong and healthy at 126-pounds. I’m focused on this fight Saturday night. I’ll fight anyone but right now I have to get past Gary Russell Jr.
“In my last fight I was the underdog. People counted me out. Same thing applies here. I’ve done the work and I’m confident that I’m going to win.
“I didn’t have complete training camps with my past trainers, but now I’m with Ruben Guerrero. I’m learning so much. You can look at me in my previous fights and you’ll see a vast improvement now.
“I want that green (WBC) belt a lot. Green is my favorite color. I want to be the best and to me, winning that title signifies that I am the best. To do that I have to beat the best, and that is Gary Russell Jr.
“I don’t like to talk much but I will say that I’m coming to bring this world title back to Colombia. I respect Gary but my mindset is that I’m taking this title home.”
ANDRE DIRRELL
“It’s been a long hard journey for me. But I’ve always managed to climb back on top. The hard work that I’ve put in will make Saturday night easy work.
“My opponent is a fantastic fighter. If anyone should be in line for a title it’s this guy. He has the the power and he has the skill. I just believe he’s up against a better and tougher opponent.
“I’m going to get in the ring and display all of my abilities. I’m very confident and ready. It’s time for Andre to get on top and stay on top.
“I’ve been out of the ring for a while but most importantly, I’ve stayed in the gym in training the whole time. I’ve kept positive mentally as well. Everything is going upward right now and I’m going to take advantage.
“Uzcategui has everything a world champion needs to get to that title, but he’s facing a more skilled competitor on May 20. He’s deserving of the opportunity and that’s why I trained so hard for this fight.
“The title means the world to me. We fight for the titles first. We’re all coming from the amateurs where we got trophies. My love will always be here with the sport until the day I retire.”
JOSE UZCATEGUI
“You won’t want to miss any of these fights on Saturday night. It’s a great card and I’m planning to steal the show.
“I like when my opponent talks a lot. None of the stuff my opponent says can help him in the ring. It’s just me, him and our fists.
“It’s a lot of responsibility to be the top contender for the belt. I have to make it clear that we deserve this so that I can move on to bigger and better things.
“People are going to get to see my power on display Saturday night, but also my other skills. I can do it all in the ring and I’m going to prove it.
“After this I want to take on James DeGale and Gilberto Ramirez. I’m coming to clean out this whole division and be undisputed. It starts on Saturday.”
RANCES BARTHELEMY
“I’m living a dream right now that I myself never in a million years imagined. Every time I get to speak with my mother in Cuba, I tell her of this dream that I am currently living and how it is still surreal to me. To be able to fight on these big cards in the U.S. after the long journey, after all the setbacks, I could not be any more grateful.
“Being a world champion in two different weight divisions is something still unreal to me after people doubted whether I would even become a world champion one day. But this journey does not stop here for me. I have the urge to keep on going, make history for my people, and fight the big names in boxing.
“Everyone in my team supports and motivates each other because we know we as Cubans have to work twice as hard as everybody else. There is an unfair representation of Cuban boxers among the press and fans here in America. We are misconstrued as being boring fighters therefore we are determined to erase that stigma and prove to everyone that we can brawl and put on a good show just as much as we can box.
“I have been working on some new and different things to add to my arsenal this training camp. My whole team has been incredible and pushed me every day.
“Don’t miss this fight on Saturday night. It’s going to be eventful and exciting. I’m coming to get a spectacular win.”
KIRYL RELIKH
“I’m very happy to be here and be a part of this great show. I will do my best to give a great fight on Saturday.
“Camp was perfect. I have a great team and I’m ready for anything. We worked hard and it’s going to be a great performance.
“I’m ready for any style that that Rances Barthelemy can bring into the ring. We thought that we got the win in Scotland against Ricky Burns, but it is very hard to win on points on the road.
“I always fight in different countries so this is just another one on my list. It’s normal for me. I’m very ready for the challenge and I’m expecting a great fight.
“I hope that people like my style. I’m going to entertain the fans and get a victory over Rances Barthelemy on Saturday night.”
GARY ANTUANNE RUSSELL
“I get to pick up right where I left off after the Olympics. I’m fighting on the same night with my brothers for the first time in so long. It was one of my first amateur fights when we last did it.
“I’m feeling really good. We’re making a statement and we’re making history. What’s not to be excited about?
“Mentally and emotionally the Olympics really helped me for the pros. You have to develop over time. We’re constantly training and sharpening our tools. This is a different stage, that’s all.
“I hope everyone is ready for Saturday night. There were some mishaps at the Olympics. Life is going to throw you bumps to get over, and that’s what I’m going to do. Everyone better keep their eyes open Saturday, because it might be quick.”
GARY ANTONIO RUSSELL
“I’m really excited about this fight and competing alongside my brothers. It feels good to come home and fight. My family and friends will be in the building.
“I can’t wait to get in the ring and show what we’ve been working so hard on. All the hours in the gym with my dad and brothers is going to pay off on fight night.
“I’ve seen some video of my opponent. I know his weaknesses and strengths. We’re going to come exploit it on fight night.”
GARY RUSSELL SR., Father and Trainer of the Russells
“We work hard in the gym. Everybody has a plan until they get hit. We know that he’s going to bring pressure and we’ll be ready for it.
“I’m really happy about this opportunity. We can get it all done in one night and put on a great show for everyone.
“I’m definitely in fight mode. There are no extra nerves at all. I just want to get this done and get it done right.
“I can’t really put Escandon in the same category with the top guys we’ve faced. He’s a short fighter. Most people in these weight classes are taller than Gary. At that size, the only way you can fight is straight forward. He’s not going to out box us.”
RUBEN GUERRERO, Escandon’s Trainer
“We’re ready over here. We’re going to do what it takes. We know what we’re up against. He’s one of the best. We’ll prove who is the best on Saturday. This is going to come down to a war. Gary knows what he’s going against.
“I helped Escandon set up a camp in Las Vegas for this fight because this was a huge opportunity. We were up in the mountains and that’s where I wanted him. He’s going to be great on fight night. He’ll be ready to go. It’s not easy to train in Vegas.
“We’re coming to win. We can’t control the judges but we know they’re fair. We’re expecting a fair shake. We’re going to control what we can.”
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ABOUT RUSSELL JR. vs. ESCANDON
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Oscar Escandon is a featherweight world championship showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, May 20 from MGM National Harbor in Maryland. Televised coverage begins on SHOWTIME at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and features super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui in a matchup for the Interim IBF Super Middleweight World Championship plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy in a WBA 140-pound world title eliminator against Kiryl Relikh. In the telecast opener, from Copper Box Arena in London, Gervonta Davis puts his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh.
For more information, follow on Twitter @MrGaryRussellJr, @TGBPromotions, @MGMNatlHarbor and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/SHOBoxing and www.Facebook.com/MGMNationalHarbor. The event is sponsored by Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.