Tag Archives: Matchroom Boxing

ANTHONY JOSHUA KNOCKS OUT WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO TO BECOME UNIFIED HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME®

 

 

Joshua Overcomes First Professional Knockdown To Score 11th Round TKO In Front Of Record Crowd At London’s Wembley Stadium

007_Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko.jpg

Click HERE For Photos; Credit Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

 

LONDON (April 29, 2017) – Anthony Joshua was crowed the king of the heavyweight division Saturday live on SHOWTIME as he unified the division with an 11th round TKO of long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko before a record 90,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium.

 

Joshua, who remains a perfect 19-0 with 19 knockouts, overcame the first knockdown of his career to successfully defend his IBF belt and pick up the vacant WBA title.

 

Joshua knocked Klitschko down once in the fifth and twice in the 11th before referee David Fields stepped in to protect the defenseless former champion at 2:25 of the penultimate round.

 

“I’m not perfect but I’m trying,” Joshua said.  “I got a bit emotional because I know I have doubters.  I’m only going to improve.  Sometimes you can be a phenomenal boxer, but boxing is about character.  When you go into the trenches that’s when you find out who you really are.

 

“I came out and I won – that’s how far I had to dig.  I came back and I fought my heart out.”

 

“As boxing states you leave your ego at the door and you respect your opponent.  A massive shout out to Wladimir Klitschko for taking the fight.  I don’t want to say too much because I don’t know if he wants to come back and fight me.  He’s a role model in and out of the ring.”

 

After the fight, Joshua called out former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who dethroned Klitschko in 2015 but was subsequently forced to vacate his belts due to a number of issues outside the ring.

 

“Tyson Fury where you at, baby,” Joshua said.  “Come on – that’s what they want to see.  I just want to fight everyone.  I’m really enjoying this right now.”

 

Klitschko floored Joshua in the sixth and was up on Steve Weisfeld’s scorecard at the time of the stoppage 95-93. The other two judges – Don Trella and Nelson Vazquez – had Joshua up 96-93 and 95-93, respectively.

 

“The best man won tonight and it’s an amazing moment for boxing.  Anthony was better today than I.  It’s really sad that I didn’t make it tonight.  I was planning to do it.  It didn’t work, but all the respect to Anthony.

 

“Of course we have a rematch in the contract.  I need to analyze and see what the heck happened.  I wish I could have raised my hands, but congrats to him.  He got up, he fought back and he won the titles.”

 

HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BLOCKBUSTER EVENT: ANTHONY JOSHUA vs. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS

 

Joshua vs. Klitschko | Saturday, April 29

LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT

From Sold-Out Wembley Stadium in London

 

“I’ve prepared since day one for this… April 29 is just another stepping stone towards greatness.” – Anthony Joshua

 

“I’m the challenger again.  I feel young, hungry, humble and totally obsessed with my goal to raise my hands again.” – Wladimir Klitschko

 

Click HERE For Photos; Credit Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

 

LONDON (April 27, 2017) – Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko came face-to-face on Thursday at the sprawling Sky Headquarters in London as the two 6-foot-6 giants participated in a final press conference for Saturday’s blockbuster heavyweight world championship event.

 

SHOWTIME will televise the fight LIVE at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT from sold-out Wembley Stadium where a record-setting 90,000 fans are expected to be in attendance. 

 

The 27-year-old Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs), who won the IBF belt in just his 16th professional fight, faces his toughest challenge yet in Klitschko but has “prepared since day one for this” and sees the future Hall of Famer as “just another stepping stone towards greatness.”

 

The 41-year-old Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs), who has competed in 28 world title fights and is the second longest reigning world champion in history, is “obsessed” with winning back two belts he held during his 11-year reign as heavyweight champion. 

 

Joshua and Klitschko will unify the heavyweight division as they meet for Joshua’s IBF World Championship and the vacant WBA World Championship.  The event from Britain’s national stadium will be televised in over 150 countries worldwide.

 

The ringwalks are set for 4:35 p.m. ET/1:35 p.m. PT with the first bell scheduled for 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.  SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® pre-fight coverage begins live on SHOWTIME at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT with all the grand pre-fight pageantry from London.

 

Here’s what the fighters had to say on Thursday.  Click HERE to watch Sky Sports coverage of the press conference on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/0wYEuEAMW94

 

JOSHUA:

“Even though this is such a great event, I always try to strip it down to what it really is and just focus that it’s just me and this man coming to blows and the best man will win.  I’m not only prepared physically but mentally as well for any battle. 

 

April 29 is just another stepping stone towards greatness.

 

“Any fight is the right fight.  I’ve never shied away from any fight, any opponent.  I started boxing in 2008; in 2009, ’10, ‘11 I was in the World Championships, and in 2012 I was representing Great Britain competing to be the best in the world in the Olympics.  It doesn’t matter who I fight.  I just enjoy what I do and I just embrace every opportunity. 

 

“I don’t underestimate any opponent.  Through my mistakes I have learned and made myself right.”

 

Prediction:

“I win.  It’s not complicated.  Let’s not overthink it.  This isn’t rocket science.  This is just a fight.  Let’s strip it right back to what it is – a young lion, ferocious, hungry, very determined.  I left no stone unturned in training camp.  We do talk about experience, but even when I was fighting guys with lesser experience I was preparing for this.  I’ve prepared since day one for this. 

 

“Carrying the belt hasn’t changed me as a person. I just want to represent myself the best way because I know behind me are a million people that walk the same path as me and come from the same background.  I think I’m a representation of these people.

 

“This is another stop.  You can’t sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor. As you sit down on your throne there is always someone knocking on your door to take you down.  For me, it’s just another stepping stone.”

 

On potentially celebrating after a win:

“You can’t deny it.  This is epic.  As much as I’m calm, when I look around and see how pumped people are for this fight it gives me energy, it gives me life.  So it would be hard for me to hold myself together after such an amazing event.”

 

On this being a pivotal moment for the sport of boxing:

“Absolutely, this is 110 percent a pivotal moment for boxing.”

 

KLITSCHKO:

“Can you imagine my next opponent is going to fight a guy whose age is exactly the number of how long he has been in boxing – 27 years?  Can you imagine that?  It’s a pretty amazing task.  Is it a degradation that I’m actually a challenger and underdog in this fight after 27 years in the sport?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s great.

 

“I’m the challenger again.  I feel young, hungry, humble and totally obsessed with my goal to raise my hands again. 

 

“I’m so obsessed with winning.  I realized that life is a circle, and I see myself in AJ.  I do believe I know how he thinks, how he goes, and how the actual fight is going to be.

 

“The belts are very important.  I’ve been attached to these belts for a very long.  I had those belts in my past fight, and I’m fighting for these belts in this fight.  The only difference is in my last fight they went to the opposite corner.  So my goal and obsession is for those belts to land in my corner, in my hands. 

 

“Obsession is love in extreme shape.  I’m in love with my goal. 

 

“Defeat?  I’ve been there, I’ve done that.  I got up, shook it off and came back stronger.  Just a little help (for Joshua) – there’s nothing scary about it.”

HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BLOCKBUSTER EVENT: ANTHONY JOSHUA vs. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO PUBLIC WORKOUT PHOTOS

 

Joshua vs. Klitschko | Saturday, April 29

LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT

From Sold-Out Wembley Stadium in London

 

Click HERE For Photos; Credit Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

 

LONDON (April 26, 2017) – Fight Week for this Saturday’s heavyweight world championship blockbuster began in earnest on Wednesdaywith a Public Workout in front of an excitable pro-Joshua crowd at London’s Wembley Arena, just steps from sold-out Wembley Stadium where undefeated champion Anthony Joshua and long-reigning kingpin Wladimir Klitschko will square off in the most significant heavyweight event in more than a decade.

 

SHOWTIME will televise the fight LIVE at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT from Britain’s national stadium where a record-setting 90,000 fans are expected to be in attendance.

 

The British sensation Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) and Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs) will unify the heavyweight division as they meet for Joshua’s IBF World Championship and the vacant WBA World Championship.

IBF HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION ANTHONY JOSHUA MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT IN ADVANCE OF SATURDAY’S BLOCKBUSTER FIGHT ON SHOWTIME

Undefeated IBF Champion Anthony Joshua hosted a media conference call to give his thoughts on Saturday’s heavyweight blockbuster between him and long-reigning kingpin Wladimir Klitschko live on SHOWTIME® (4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT) from sold-out Wembley Stadium in London.

 

The British sensation Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) and Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs) will unify the heavyweight division as they meet for Joshua’s IBF World Championship and the vacant WBA World Championship in front of record-setting 90,000 fans at Britain’s largest stadium.

 

Here is what Joshua had to say on the call on Wednesday:

 

ANTHONY JOSHUA:

“This is a good era for boxing so I try to live the life.  Over the years when I started boxing until now I’ve been at training camp.  The whole time I’ve been training it has been pretty beneficial, I’ve learned a lot. I’m not a perfect fighter but what I do do, I try to do well. I’m looking forward to the fight.

 

“If you’re asking about Saturday night, all roads have led to this and I’ve been training for a long time, I’ve stayed injury free. I’ve ran, I’ve sparred I’ve done my bag work and it comes to a stage in camp when I’m looking for the buy in now and that’s where I’m at really.  Mentally, I’m excited.”

 

On how significant this fight is:

“For the sport in general, come on. For what UK-ers are doing supporting boxing globally, it’s massive. I also feel just to sell out the stadium without having to do the traditional entertainment to make a fight it just shows that kids can fight from different backgrounds …Where me and Klitschko are at, we don’t need to be trash talking and we are two half pieces coming together to lay it down on the line. It’s an amazing time for boxing in that sense that it’s mainstream.  I’m not going to say win-or-lose, because the focus is to win, but it’s a massive benefit to Klitschko win-or-lose.  Either he has another fight in him, or this time he’s done.  I wish him all the best. I’m glad we got through training camp and we actually make it happen because as long as my heart was beating I still want to fight. I’m happy to be involved in such a mega showdown.”

 

Do you feel there is more pressure on you?

“Definitely not. I knew the significance of this fight before I took it. So I would never put that pressure upon myself if I didn’t want to deal with this pressure. I would have taken another route. But I want to fight guys in the division who are good.  I don’t want to wait like eight years, nine years, six years before I start making a move on the heavyweight division – let’s get it on now. So if this is what comes with stepping up a level and a division I’m all for it. I’m not going to start saying ‘because I’m champion I’ve got pressure and I don’t think I’m going to perform.’ For me as a champion I don’t feel that pressure but I can relate to where he is coming from. As a champion you’re supposed to throw down like there’s no tomorrow so I’m not going to say because I’m a champion I’ve got so much pressure on my hands.”

 

How do you bridge the experience gap between you and Klitschko?

“I think it’s just destiny. I’m meant for this. I’m built for this. Let’s say we strip away what you just said, the excitement, the hype and just put us together. Go at it for 12 rounds, get down and dirty.  I have the ability to come out on top and that’s how I take it. I don’t look at it like, ‘Oh my God, I’m fighting a guy who has been through it’, I don’t look at it that way. I just look at it as ‘I’m going to fight this guy called Wladimir Klitschko’ and we’ve got 12 rounds.  I simplify it.

I practice boxing. Long range jab, jab to the body. I think I’m very capable of hitting someone continuously until they break down. So I think I’ll keep on plugging away, round 6, 7 and I should have him in a bad place. I just have to take the fight and break it down round by round.”

 

How will to deal with Kitschko’s reach:

“I’ve never fought him so I can’t say for sure. But what will I do about his reach? I’ve got my right hand to parry a jab, I’ve got my left hand to shield and protect me, to deflect his right hand.  It’s no problem if he wants to grab. I can whip in a body shot and that would definitely slow him down. If you keep getting hit to the body at 41 that will take the fight out of anyone. On the outside I have got ways to deal with the majority of his shots. On the inside I just have to keep on swinging to the body and round-by-round I’ll start seeing an effect.”

 

What motivated him to take such a significant fight so early in his career:

“It was bound to happen. I felt the division needed it. I’m not doing it just for myself. I’m always about the industry.  A lot of my friends from the amateur system have a chance to express their skill on the undercard, and it’s a massive platform. I think, as I said, the division needed it … Wladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder, let’s keep it going. Let’s start mixing it up because we’re in the same division, and it’s our era.  What type of era are we if we don’t come together and have some trilogies and bring some excitement. So I’m all for it and that’s why I really wanted to take the fight.”

 

When was the first time you saw Klitschko and thought you could fight him?

“Not until last year. In 2015 I wasn’t really focusing on fighting Klitschko. I was moving towards maybe after [Eric] Molina we could have done [Kubrat] Pulev as a mandatory and gone that route of dominating the European market, but the opportunity came up.  It’s a big fight, it’s a good challenge and let’s get it cracking. As I said, it’s good for the division and the attention it has brought is phenomenal. I think it benefits everyone so let’s be a part of that, and let’s be at the forefront of this.”

 

On earning more money than Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

“Not in boxing. I don’t think I could do it in boxing. Outside, if I make the right investments I think I can because I have some highly intelligent people around me but I think in boxing I don’t think I will but I think there will be a boxer who can because Floyd Mayweather has definitely set the benchmark, and records are only there to be broken. So I think someone could definitely achieve that financial status.  But for me, that’s not so much my goal to try to be richer than Floyd Mayweather.  The heavyweight division is so different from the welterweight division in the sense that all it takes is one shot, it’s a lot tougher, a lot more wear and tear on the body so I think it’ll be interesting. I definitely think we’ll make money, there’s no doubt about that but I’m not trying to put myself on the same pedestal as Mayweather.”

 

When do you think Klitschko was at his best?

“When he fought Marius Beck. He was a bit of a bigger guy and he controlled him with the jab and the one-twos.  Remember he went twelve rounds. So he had to control a bigger man who was potentially heavier and stronger and he controlled his boxing skill and I think that’s when he was at his best. As I studied him that’s when I saw him at his best so I have watched fights around that era.”

 

Do you feel it’s a miracle you’re here?

“Yes.  I was talking about it with my coach today. If you would have told me – I’ve only been in boxing eight or nine years – if you would have told me eight years ago, ‘Listen son, if you walk through that door into the boxing gym you’ll do this, this, this, this and this’ I would have been like ‘yeah, right’. It’s been phenomenal and why we do all the promotional stuff and get involved in big fights is for motivational purposes. I know there’s some other kids that are going to come up and be phenomenal because he may have seen myself and my journey and wants to get involved in what we’re creating. I’m all for that. I love it. Today was my last day of training camp and I’m thinking now what am I going to do in my next training camp, how am I going to improve.  I’m enjoying the journey.  It has been fun, boxing is a good sport.”

 

What is your history in sparring with Klitschko?

“I’m not a gym fighter so I did not go to try to prove anything with the sparring. I mainly went to go to see how a champion sets up his training camp. While I was sparring, it was good. Wladimir is technical. He will try to maneuver you with his lever hand to put you in a position to throw his right hand. That’s what I got from Klitschko. He is patient, he was just trying to set me up so he could throw his shots and I was just working on moving, jabbing to the body, jabbing to the head and I would go back to the corner and Andy Breshear would say ‘stick it on the champ’ and I would say ‘no I’m not here for that, I’m not here to prove anything.’  I wanted to watch, I wanted to analyze.  That’s what I got from sparring with him. To learn how he operates in the ring and I learned how a champion sets up training camp.”

 

On the strength of Klitschko’s chin:

“He’s got a good chin. How long has he reigned, 10 years? Yeah, he’s got a good chin. You can’t be a championship fighter for 10 years if you have a bad chin.  That’s the thing about the heavyweight division, it takes one shot. All these fighters that we claim have got good chins are the ones who get knocked out by Wladimir, so he must be doing something right. I remember Samuel Peters had a granite chin but they still end up getting knocked out down the line and they don’t go on to do great things. So, regardless of the chin, I think he’s got something right that works.”

 

Opinion of Klitschko’s Career:

“He is underrated.  Heavyweight boxing comes with bigger prize money, more attention.  To stay that disciplined for that long is a serious task.  He and his brother have done well to reign for that long … I would want to go down as one of the greatest because I reigned for so long. No one could beat me for the last 10 years. It’s a good achievement and I would want to be recognized for that achievement.”

 

On potentially fighting in America:

“I think just fight Wilder, Gerald Washington, [Bryant] Jeninngs as well. These are the hotshots in America right now. I’ve made sure I fought some Americans on my way up so we could get a buzz out there. But I think I have to come out there for a fight for sure that’s important.

 

“America is the mecca of boxing.  If we can cross over into the states and keep the fan base in the UK I think we’ve cracked it. That’s mega stuff, that’s global boxing.  You’ve got a big guy, heavyweight with a name that’s easy to pronounce and speaks English well. I can relate to the U.S. market. All I have to do is get out there show them what my trade is and hopefully they’ll appreciate it and hopefully we can start talking about setting up major fights and bringing the same attention in the UK to the U.S. That would be phenomenal.”

 

How much of a concern is Klitschko’s holding?

“The holding is natural. But what do you do when someone is holding? How do you fight them off? You bring in the upper cut, you whip in a right hand to the body until the ref tells you to break.  It’s a fight so I can’t prevent the holding but it makes it interesting to see what fighter does when they’re being held.  When I’m being held I’m just going to throw the right hand to the body, left hook to the body and that will start taking the wind out of Klitschko.”

 

On Klitschko’s last fight against a British fighter David Haye:

“I think my fights will be entertaining. It is important for me to be entertaining.  It’s not only winning, but it’s about how you win. I’ve always tried to go in there and perform to that level. It would be sweet to go in there and knock Wladimir out, because that’s what heavyweight boxing is about. So that would be sweet. I’m not into the 12-round boxing.

 

“David Haye was up against it because you had Klitschko, who was a champion. Emanuel Steward, who trained the champion. Then you had David Haye, who wasn’t a champion and Adam Booth, who wasn’t a heavyweight championship trainer. He was up against it and he found it tough. It just showed that the bigger, stronger man would win. He just got the job done and that’s what led him to here. He got the win and I’m happy or we wouldn’t be here right now.”

 

# # #

MATCHROOM SPORT AND KLITSCHKO MANAGEMENT GROUP INK DEAL FOR U.S. TELEVISION RIGHTS TO HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BLOCKBUSTER EVENT: ANTHONY JOSHUA vs. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO

American Premium Television Giants SHOWTIME and HBO To Produce Separate Telecasts on Saturday, April 29 From London’s Wembley Stadium

 

SHOWTIME Live at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT;

HBO Telecast in Primetime at approx. 10:45 p.m. ET/PT

 

Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

 

LONDON (April 17, 2017) – Matchroom Sport, Klitschko Management Group (KMG) and K2 Promotions have reached agreement with U.S. premium television giants Showtime and HBO to televise the most significant heavyweight world championship match in more than a decade.  On Saturday, April 29, IBF Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua will face former unified world champion Wladimir Klitschko from a sold-out Wembley Stadium in London.

 

Showtime is the exclusive U.S. television partner of Joshua, while HBO has an exclusive agreement with Klitschko in the States.  Each premium network will produce its own separate telecast of the main event match for the U.S. audience.  SHOWTIME will televise its SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING presentation live at 4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT, while HBO will televise its WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING production at approximately 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.

 

Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) and Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) will meet for Joshua’s IBF World Championship and the vacant IBO and WBA World Championships.  The British sensation Joshua has knocked out all 18 of his professional opponents in a meteoric rise to stardom, while the long-reigning world champion from Ukraine, Klitschko, aims to win back titles he previously held in his 11-year rule as heavyweight world champion.  Joshua vs. Klitschko is promoted by Matchroom Boxing, KMG and K2 Promotions and has officially sold out Wembley Stadium with a record-setting 90,000 tickets sold.

 

“I’m extremely happy and thankful that our respective U.S. TV partners Showtime and HBO reached an agreement,” said Bernd Boente, Managing Director of Klitschko Management Group.  “This happened before in the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and the Lewis vs. Tyson fights and shows you the magnitude of our event at Wembley Stadium on April 29.”

 

“I’m delighted to announce this historic deal that will see Britain’s biggest ever fight shown on both HBO and SHOWTIME in the U.S.,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport.  “It takes a special fight to break down barriers and boundaries but also networks and executives who believe in working with the best interest of fight fans in mind. With the obstacles in place it would have been any easy resolution to not air the fight in the States but I want to thank HBO and Showtime for their perseverance and allowing America to see one hell of a fight at our national stadium in front on 90,000 passionate fans.  Joshua vs. Klitschko is a fight for the ages and we look forward to the show!”

 

“We are thrilled to be delivering Joshua vs. Klitschko to the U.S. audience live on SHOWTIME,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports.  “On the afternoon of April 29, U.S. sports fans will be able to tune in to SHOWTIME to join a record-breaking crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium and a worldwide television audience in witnessing an event that represents not only the contesting of the heavyweight world championship, but potentially the changing of the guard in the most influential division in boxing.  We are proud to be Anthony Joshua’s exclusive U.S. television partner as he attempts to establish his legacy against the legendary Wladimir Klitschko, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, as Showtime continues its unrivaled commitment to the sport.”

 

Said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports: “Both promoters and both networks have found a solution that enables boxing fans in the U.S. to watch the world heavyweight championship. This agreement ensures that our subscribers have access to same-day primetime coverage of the fight. It will mark Wladimir Klitschko’s 22nd appearance on HBO and the first for Anthony Joshua.”

 

The 27-year-old Joshua has been perfect since turning professional shortly after winning Gold at the 2012 Olympics for Great Britain.  Joshua, of Watford, England, won the IBF Heavyweight World Championship with a second-round knockout of defending champion Charles Martin in April 2016, earning a heavyweight belt in the fewest number of fights in more than 20 years.  He has since successfully defended the title twice—against Dominic Breazeale in June and Eric Molina in December.

 

Joshua is just the sixth Olympic Gold Medalist at super heavyweight to go on to win a professional heavyweight world title, joining Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Alexander Povetkin and his rival on April 29, Wladimir Klitschko.

 

HBO has been the long-time home of Klitschko’s professional boxing career in the States.  The 41-year-old has been a kingpin in the heavyweight division since winning Gold at the 1996 Olympic Games.   He turned pro shortly after the Atlanta games and ran an undefeated campaign for 24 fights before suffering his first defeat to experienced veteran Ross Puritty.  Klitschko quickly rebounded by winning 10 in a row and captured his first world title (WBO) with a unanimous decision victory over Chris Byrd in 2000, a win which avenged a loss by his brother, Vitali, earlier that year.

 

Klitschko’s most recent reign at heavyweight began in 2006 when he captured the IBF and IBO belts via knockout in a rematch against Chris Byrd.  He went on to make 17 consecutive defenses of the IBF and IBO crowns, 13 consecutive defenses of the WBO belt, and eight consecutive defenses of the WBA title.  Along the way, he amassed victories over Sultan Ibragimov, Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev, David Haye, Samuel Peter, Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev and more.  In total he has fought in 28 total world title fights – a unique record in the history of the heavyweight division – compared to just 18 total professional fights for Anthony Joshua.  He was the longest reigning world champion (2006-2015) after Joe Louis.

 

This will be Klitschko’s first outing since losing the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO titles to Tyson Fury in 2015, his first defeat in 11 years.

 

JERMELL CHARLO OUTPOINTS VANES MARTIROSYAN ON A SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® DOUBLEHEADER

 

WELTERWEIGHT CHAMP KELL BROOK OBLITERATES JO JO DAN

TO RETAIN TITLE ON SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL®  

Watch The Replay Of The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Doubleheader

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

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

 

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

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

 

Click HERE For Brook vs. Dan Photos

Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Gonzalez offered no excuses before quickly exiting the ring.

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

DAY                                                                            CHANNEL

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

# # #

 

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

 

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

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH WASHINGTON D.C. BOXER  GARY RUSSELL, JR. PRIOR TO HIS FIGHT WITH JHONNY GONZALEZTOMORROW ON SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®


 

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

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(Photo Credit: SHOWTIME)

 

# # #

 

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

 

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

 

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

JHONNY GONZALEZ VS. GARY RUSSELL JR. MARCH 28 UNDERCARD FEATURES TOP CONTENDERS AND FUTURE STARS

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

VANES MARTIROSYAN VS. JERMELL CHARLO & GARY RUSSELL JR. CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT

Kelly Swanson

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

 

Chris DeBlasio

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

 

Kelly Swanson

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

 

Vanes Martirosyan

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

 

Kelly Swanson

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

 

V. Martirosyan

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

 

K. Swanson

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

 

Jermell Charlo

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

 

Q

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

 

V. Martirosyan

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

 

Q

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

 

J. Charlo

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

 

Q

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

 

J. Charlo

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

 

Q

Have you guys ever sparred with each other?

 

J. Charlo

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

 

Q

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

 

J. Charlo

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

 

Q

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

 

V. Martirosyan

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

 

Q

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

 

V. Martirosyan

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

 

Q

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

 

J. Charlo

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

 

V. Martirosyan

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

 

K Swanson

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

 

J. Charlo

No problem.  See you, guys.

 

V. Martirosyan – Thank you.  Take care.

 

Kelly Swanson

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

 

K. Swanson

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

 

Gary Russell Jr.

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

 

K. Swanson

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

 

G. Russell Jr.

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

 

Q

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

 

G. Russell, Jr.

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

 

Q

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

 

G. Russell Jr.

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

 

Q

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

 

G. Russell Jr.

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

 

Q

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

 

G. Russell, Jr.

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

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

 

Q

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

 

G. Russell, Jr.

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

 

Q

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

 

G. Russell Jr.

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

 

Q

So, you feel that you lost the fight then?

 

G. Russell Jr.

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

 

Q

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

 

G. Russell, Jr.

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

 

Q

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

 

G. Russell Jr.

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

 

K. Swanson 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

WORLD CHAMPION JHONNY GONZALEZ & WORLD RANKED CONTENDER VANES MARTIROSYAN ARE POISED TO MAKE THEIR MARKS IN A BIG WAY ON SATURDAY, MARCH 28 AT THE PALMS CASINO RESORT LIVE ON SHOWTIME®

 MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES AND PHOTOS,

MAIN EVENT SPORTS CLUB, GLENDALE, CALIF.

 

Click HERE For Photos

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

 

Once he feels my power in the ring, he’s not going to be able to think in there.” – Jhonny Gonzalez

 

I feel like this fight is more of a test for him [Charlo], and I have to make sure he fails the test.” – Vanes Martirosyan

 

Tickets Still Available!

 

GLENDALE, Calif. (March 28, 2015) – Current world champion Jhonny Gonzalez and once-beaten world ranked welterweight contender Vanes Martirosyan participated in a media workouton Monday at the Main Event Sports Club in Glendale, Calif., six days prior to their respective upcoming fights on Saturday, March 28, at the The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

 

In the 12-round main event on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader, the hard-hitting, current WBC Featherweight World Champion Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs), of Mexico City, will defend his 126-pound title against talented once-beaten former world title challenger Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md.

 

In the 10-round co-feature, battle-tested, world-ranked contender Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., will take on undefeated rising star Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs), of Houston, in an important super welterweight showdown.

 

Here’s what the boxers as well as trainers, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain (Gonzalez) and Dean Campos (Martirosyan), had to say Monday at the Los Angeles-area gym:

 

JHONNY GONZALEZ, WBC Featherweight World Champion

“First off, I would like to apologize for not participating in the media conference call that took place this morning. I have never missed a conference call before, and I take full responsibility for missing the call. I know how important these calls are and I promise that I will not miss another one.

 

“I have been very focused for the past three months during my training camp. I have been training in the high altitude in Toluca, Mexico.

 

“I have had two title defenses since beating Abner Mares and I am excited and ready for my fighton Saturday.

 

“Ever since beating Mares, I feel like I am finally getting the respect and support from the fans and media that I deserve. I get recognized all of the time now. The recognition motivates me to work harder than ever before and not let my fans down.

 

“I feel like I am in my boxing prime. There is still so much to prove and show to the world that I am still at the top of my game and capable of fighting with the best.

 

“In my fight on Saturday I am going to bring the same energy and intensity that I brought in my fight against Mares.

 

“I know that Gary Russell Jr. has fast and powerful hands. He is a quick and strong southpaw. I know he’s an excellent boxer.

 

“I am going to attack him with my power and speed. Once he feels my power in the ring, he’s not going to be able to think in there. He’s going to run, but if he decides to brawl with us, then we will have something for him.

 

“At this point in my career, he [Russell] is the fastest opponent I have ever faced. He has very fast hands and puts together good combinations.

 

“To prepare for Russell, I am constantly keeping my hands up at all times during my training. I am training that if he throws punches at me, I know how to immediately react and throw shots back at him.

 

“A lot of people are doubting me going into this fight because of the speed of Russell. It’s a great challenge for me and I can’t wait to get in the ring.

 

“I am absolutely looking for the knockout and I believe I will get it. I don’t expect this fight to go the distance. I am going to pressure him from the opening bell, my conditioning and confidence is at an all-time high. I am very anxious for this title fight, I want to fight right now.”

 

 

VANES MARTIROSYAN, World-Ranked Contender

“I am in great shape, training camp has gone great. I am just as excited for this fight as I was when I fought for the U.S. team in the Olympics.

 

“I feel like this fight is more of a test for him [Charlo], and I have to make sure he fails the test.

 

“I used to work with Ronnie Shields [Charlo’s Trainer] for about three years. I am pretty sure they have a game plan for me, but I am a totally different Vanes than the one who used to train with Shields. I hope they are getting prepared for that Vanes because I have changed a lot since then.

 

“Jermell [Charlo] is a good boxer, but he’s a basic boxer. He’s done well with guys that he’s supposed to look good against. There are some guys that he should’ve knocked out that he didn’t. If he hits me I will hit him right back and we’ll see how he handles that.

 

“If I stick to my game plan and everything goes as planned, I will say that it will be an easy fight. We have a B and a C plan if the fight doesn’t go exactly as planned.

 

“All I can do is prepare and go out there and win the fight. After I lost my fight to Demetrius Andrade I felt like a loser. I can’t lose this fight, I’d rather die than go out there and lose again.”

 

 

IGNACIO “NACHO” BERISTAIN, Gonzalez’ Trainer

“Gary Russell’s speed and quickness could be a factor for us in this fight. We must find a way to eliminate it.

 

“We need to find a solution to his quickness and do everything we can to win. We feel like we’ve prepared enough and are in a great position to come out on top.

 

“Russell has fast hands and he recovers quickly. He has had knockouts at different weight levels. But we’re working really hard, and on Saturday you guys are going to see a different Jhonny Gonzalez.

 

“Jhonny Gonzalez is a very strong fighter. I think the strength and power of his punch beats Russell’s. I think that will be one of the keys– Jhonny Gonzalez knows how to punch, hard.

 

“I don’t just believe in Jhonny because he’s my fighter, but because he’s fought and trained immensely hard — he knows what he wants.”

 

 

DEAN CAMPOS, Martirosyan’s Trainer

“Vanes is such a quick learner. He is able to pick up everything that I am trying to teach him to accomplish everything that we want to do to win this fight.

 

“We must exploit Charlo’s weaknesses. Charlo is a good fighter, but everyone has weaknesses. My job is to prepare him as best as I can so that he can get in the ring with the best opportunity to win this fight.

 

“I want to supply him with ideas to unlock that final last edge to come out on top. If he is able to do some of the things that we go over in camp, then he will be in a good position for a victory comeSaturday.”

 

# # #

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

 

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

 

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