Tag Archives: Travis Kauffman

Daniel Jacobs, Sergio Mora, Robert Easter & Richard Commey Media Conference Call Transcript

For Immediate Release
Marc Abrams
Okay.  Welcome to the Daniel Jacobs/Sergio Mora conference call.  The rematch will take place Friday night, September 9th, at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, and live on Spike TV.  It’s a championship double header, a great show that will also feature the IBF lightweight championship of the world between undefeated Robert Easter and undefeated Richard Commey of Accra, Ghana.  The show is promoted by Kings Boxing.  And to make some opening statements, the President of Kings Boxing Mr. Marshall Kauffman.  Marshall?
Marshall Kauffman
Hello, everybody.  It’s a pleasure to be able to host such an exciting fight comeSeptember 9th.  I’m looking forward to fireworks between both these–with both of these bouts.  You have–with Richard Commey and Robert Easter, Jr., and of course, Daniel Jacobs and Sergio Mora, it’s going to be an exciting night.  I’m really looking forward to it.  And the [unintelligible] town of Reading as well is really excited about such a big event coming to our town.
Well,  we’ll start with Robert Easter–would like to make an opening comment.
Robert Easter
Yeah, I’ll all very excited to come to Reading, PA, and fight for the IBF world title.  Hopefully, Richard Commey will bring his A game to the table because I’m definitely bringing my A-plus game to the table.
And, Richard, would you like to make an opening statement?
Richard Commey
Oh, yeah, I’m very excited to have this opportunity to fight for the IBF lightweight world title.  I’ve worked so hard to get this opportunity.  And I know Robert Easter, Jr., has also.  So, it’s going to be a great fight.
Robert, basically, he hasn’t faced anyone with your height, reach, power, and speed.  Is that accurate?  Can you give an assessment of your thoughts on that?
Yes, no, he hasn’t faced anyone like me and my agility, my power, my length, my reach.  He hasn’t faced a guy like me.  So, that’s where I come in and take over this fight.
On the other hand, who would you say that you have faced that is either comparable or better than him in ways that you think he need–he would need to be able to compete against you?
It was–Mendez, he was a speedy, speedy guy, fast, and could move a lot.  But, what I’m hearing, Commey brings pressure I guess.  That’s probably the only thing Mendez didn’t have.  He came–he definitely came to fight, though, but he was a speedy guy, a slick guy, to move his hands.
I guess the last question, is there anything that is different or unique about Richard that you haven’t seen in an actual fight?  I know you’ve been in sparring with guys like [Lamont Peterson] and Anthony Peterson, Adrian Broner, guys like that.  But, in an actual fight, is there anything about him that you respect to the level that you’re really going to have to be on your P’s and Q’s about?
Every opponent you step in the ring with you have to respect.  But, it’s nothing unique I see coming from him.  It’s nothing I haven’t seen or faced.  So, like I said, this should be a walk in the park for me, and I say that with confidence.
Okay.  Richard, I wonder what tradition you know when you talk about Azumah Nelson   Have you talked to any of those guys or heard from any of those guys ?
Yes.  And I’m going to use the advice Azumah gave me over the last few weeks here in Ghana.
Richard, how does Robert stack up to  left hander went the distance with both those guys.  Have you seen anything like what you’re going to see out of Robert in terms of reach and–?
I’ve inspired a lot of people with a lot of heart.  I need this opportunity. His height really won’t matter. I’m coming there to win and that’s what I’m coming to do.
The last question, what do you think you’ve–that he hasn’t fought anyone like?  What do you think is unique about you that he hasn’t seen before?
Well, I’m a tall guy.  And no matter what he does, I can win. I’m strong.  And I can take punches and I can punch as well.  I can do all that.  If he can’t–he will lose.  I respect the height and his reach and his skills as a boxer.
I’ll start with you, Easter.  Welcome to the fight, and good luck to you.  You mentioned that you’re ready, and Commey has not fought anybody of your caliber.  But, if you look at both records, you guys are both undefeated with a nice double figure of knockouts.  And he’s already a champion is his country and all that.  Now, and you are an ex-Olympian.  Are you telling me, or as I understand, that you’re minimizing what he has, taking in consideration that he is undefeated, just like you, and somebody’s always got to go?  So, what do you–how do you assess that?
Seeing the few rounds I did watch is the skills, and I wouldn’t say they were that good, but he–like I said, he’s just very strong.  They say he’s strong.  But, you’re only strong to somebody you can hit.
When you got to–boxing out there, like me, I’m using my rank, my length, and  what I’m throwing [can be] hard as well, how you going to be able to get past that?  So, like I said, the skills are not much there.  But, I don’t like to get hit that much.  I won’t get hit that much.  So, I’m going to take all that away, and then whatever he’s bringing and adjust to have him adjust to me.  Once I get him in my game plan, the fight is going to go my way the whole few rounds it’s going to last.
Do you feel that your Olympic experience is an advantage over him because, after all, when you get to the high heights of Olympic experience and international amateur fighting, you’re almost like a pro?  It’s almost like stepping into the living room when you turn pro.  So, that has–you have an edge on that?
I wouldn’t pretty much focus on the amateur side because the transition from the amateur to pro is way different.  You know patience.So, I’ll transition pretty quickly like Lamont Peterson, Anthony Peterson, Adrien Broner, guys like that..
Are you hoping to–just to name two guys to follow the tradition of African champions, like Ike Quartey and the great Azumah Nelson, to bring another title back to Africa?  Is this what–not only to win, of course, but is–this is your direction, your crusade, when you were saying that, “Finally, I got a chance at a world title,” and your heart of hearts, this is what you want to do, to bring another title to Africa?
Yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. Like you said, the likes of Ike Quartey, Azumah Nelson, to bring a championship back to my country.
Knowing that this is for the vacant IBF world title, of course, what have you–without giving out trade secrets, what have you done in camp to–different or with a high acceleration to make sure that your hand is raised in victory over Easter?
Well, of course, I spar a lot of big guys like Joshua Clottey, and I have the kind of power to excel in the gym and on fight night. I want to follow the tradition of Ghanaian boxing. So, I’m coming there to make sure, once I get my game plan underway, then I’ll victorious.
Do you run at all the risk of being a little overconfident against another opponent who is also undefeated and has traveled all over, fought a lot of different type of fighters in all different countries and certainly has no fear of coming here?  Are you a little overconfident in those remarks?
No, not at all.  Not at all.  I believe in my skill.  And I know what I’ll come and do, just like my last fight and fight before that and a few fights before that.  Once I got my game plan, when I come in the ring, I know how to make the fighter try to adjust to me.  Once I get a fighter try and adjust to me, then the fight is already won.
The skills, you can see the skills, mine and his.  He’s a straight coming-forth fighter, try to hard punch and all that.  But, when got boxing and you can punch as well and you can move, don’t matter.  It speaks for itself.
So, how surprised were you that Barthelemy did give up the title and that you ended up getting this title shot?  Seems to me probably about maybe around a year or so or at least in the IBF 9 or 10 months sooner than maybe you had expected.
I knew after the Mendez fight I was going to have a big fight coming up.  So, either way, I was going to train like it was a championship fight, like I do always.  So, it is surprising that it came up this soon.
Do you think, when you face him, you’re going to have to use your height and length and box him because you mentioned how aggressive he is, or is this going to be similar to Argenis Mendez, where you can drop that big shot at any moment and knock the guy out?
Yeah, I’m going to and I will have to box.  That’s the plan for every opponent I fight.  I box and use my length.  So, as long as I do that and see a weakness–wherever I see a weakness, that’s when I go for it.
I count six different countries that you’ve fought in between your home country, United States, throughout Europe.  Can you talk about what that experience has done in terms of giving you confidence to come again to the United States and take on an American fighter in a pretty significant fight for a world title?
Like you said, I’ve been fighting all over the world. I’m very comfortable fighting in the U.S. I don’t really think about where I’m going to fight, just do my best, and whatever happens, I take it because, as a boxer, I need to prepare.  I need to be ready to go wherever to fight.  I’m ready to go anywhere to fight to so wherever I go as a boxer.  So, I’m all good
Richard, can you just give me your opinion about the kind of fighter and what you think about the style of Robert Easter, if you’ve seen him fight?
What I’ve seen of him, I know he’s a great boxer, a skilled boxer, and he tries to move a lot.  But, likewise, I can box.  I can come forward.  So, on the night of the fight, definitely, I know what I’m going to do.
Did you have a preference of fighting Barthelemy, who was the reigning champion, or taking on another undefeated fighter for the vacant title, or did it not make a difference to you?
Well, at the end of the day, that’s you want.  Once you got a chance to fight for it, whatever comes, it doesn’t really matter who you’re supposed to fight.   It’s the title I want.  So, for me, I don’t really feel much disappointed.  I’m there to fight for the title.  That’s what I want.  So, I’m not disappointed.   It’s all good as I’m really looking forward for the title.  And once I’m fighting for the title, I don’t mind.
Okay.  We’re going to wrap up this part of the call.  I know we’ve got–Sergio is on the line.  And I think Daniel will be on the line in a second.  Just a quick final comment from both, we’ll start with Robert.
Just be ready September 9th.  I’ll come bring a lot of fireworks and a lot of action and another short bout, September 9th, and will be the IBF champion.
Come on the 9th of September.  I’m coming to put my life on the line.  And I’m going to be the world champion, IBF lightweight world champion.
Thank you, guys.  We’ll see you in Reading September 9th.  And, Danielle, I think we’re ready now with the–I believe Sergio is on the line. I know Daniel going to be in, in a second.  I guess, while we wait for Daniel, Marshall, I don’t know if you want to introduce Sergio?
Sergio Mora, a very exciting fighter.  His last fight was fireworks.  And I’m looking forward to fireworks once again.  Danny Jacobs dropped him first, and Sergio came back and took advantage of Danny’s mistakes.  And then the third knockdown was something that’s still a question mark, whether it was from a knockdown or a twisted ankle.  So, there are question marks–there are questions that are left to be spoken for.  And I believe Sergio is in shape.  And we’ll see, come September 9th.  How about it, Sergio?
Sergio Mora
It was no knockdown.  I always–I’m the one getting punched, by the way.  So, I didn’t feel the punch, and it was definitely just me twisting my ankle.  It was Jacobs pushing me down as well.  Yeah, the referee kept warning Jacobs also that he was pushing me down with his elbow.  I normally go down low like that.  So, it’s not the first time it happened.  So, it’s a mix of a lot of things.  But, it wasn’t a punch to knock me down.  It was all my ankle.  And if was a punch, then why didn’t I stay down?  I was up at the count of two or three on one foot.  So, it definitely wasn’t a punch.
And I believe the WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacob on the line.  Daniel, you want opening statements and maybe a response to that?
Daniel Jacobs
Well, I came in briefly.  And from what I hear, he’s saying that that last shot wasn’t a punch that put him down.  I don’t know what my eyes were seeing, or I don’t know what my fists felt, but in my opinion, and I think, if you clearly go to the video, the replay, it was a punch that put him down.  It was the uppercut that started–which had him back–withdraw and back up.  And then it was the overhand right that put him down.  So–.
The overhand right grazed the back of my head.  Yeah, the overhand right grazed the back of my head, but my ankle was already twisted.  It was a tricky shot.
It could be a graze.  It could be whatever you want to say it could be, but it put you down.  Listen, let me give my opening statement, please.  I just got on the line.
But, it didn’t keep me down.  If I was hurt, –I wouldn’t have gotten up.
Okay.  Allow me to have my opening statement, Sergio, please.  I just got on the line, brother.  Show some respect.  I just got on the line.  So, my opening statement, ladies and gentlemen, it is the honor to be back into the ring.  I’ve been out for quite some time.  The reason we’ve actually been out for so long was because we were trying to get a better opportunity at fighting B.J. Saunders.  Obviously, that fight took a little longer than anticipated.  And this is the reason why this fight is happening.  It isn’t because I’ve been avoiding Sergio Mora.  I just understand that this fight for my career at this particular point isn’t really going to do anything for me.  It’s more going to do anything–more for Sergio than it would do for me.  But, me and him have the same management in Al Haymon.  So, I can understand why this fight is being made.
But, the reasons why he’s saying this fight is being made as far as me ducking him and not wanting to fight him, I mean, that’s absurd.  That’s absurd.  But, I’m just excited nevertheless to be back into the ring.  It’s a good time for me to be able to get back in there and have some fun again.  I look forward to a very good matchup again I hope.  But, one question that I do have for Sergio is, in previous interviews, he said that he was going to have a more exciting style and he was tired of being the born fighter he used to be that wasn’t appealing to fans, and he wasn’t going to do much running, this other stuff, stuff that he’s been getting criticized before, he wasn’t going to do that.  And now that he says he’s felt the power of myself, he says he’s going to completely switch the game plan.  So, my question is, what–why the sudden change?  I mean, what’s the difference now?  Why are you not going to be more exciting and more appealing now, like you said before?
I said I was going to be exciting and more aggressive.  I didn’t say I was going to be stupid.
Oh, yeah, that is stupid to come and–that will be stupid to come and actually go toe to toe and bang with me.  You’re absolutely right.  So it’ll be interesting to see the game plan that you have for this coming fight because I just hope it’s not a stinker, man.  You’re getting a second opportunity at a world–at my world title shot.  Please let’s not make it a snoozer.  It’s bad enough we’re both receiving a lot of criticism for this fight, but dude, please let’s just make it exciting.
Hey, listen, I’m the king of criticism.  If you can’t take criticism, you don’t belong to be a champion.  You don’t belong in the top like that.  That’s part of being a world champion is taking all the bullshit from critics and media and everyone else.  And if you’re thin-skinned, then you’re not going to hang very much as the world champion.
Okay.  Yes, sir.  Ready for some questions.
Sergio, after that first fight, you said that you felt that, because it was so early in the fight, it was going to be called-be a no contest.  Turns out it ultimately ended up being a loss on your record.  Do you feel like the fact that it’s been so–that the fight ended in that way, do you feel like an extra layer of motivation to try to win this second fight?
No, that blemish on my career is–it’s already there.  I tried to contest it with the New York Commission.  But, it got me nowhere.  The New York Commission is a mess as we’re all finding out when it comes to the fights and boxing and MMA and everything else.  So, I went that route.  It didn’t go anywhere.  So, I’m going to have that TKO on my record for the rest of my career and the rest of my life.  And it’s sad because I don’t want it to be on a technicality.  So, does it irk me?  Absolutely.  But, am I past it?  Yes.  I just want an opportunity to clear whatever happened.  Jacobs said that he dropped me twice.  I only fell once.  I dropped him once.  Round of the year, Sports Illustrated.  Second round, I feel I was in control and winning.  With 5 or 10 seconds left, the injury happens, and I bust my ankle.  So, there’s a lot of unanswered questions.  And for whatever reason this fight is happening again, I’m going to–I’m fully prepared for whatever comes.  And I just want to–I just want my opportunity.  And I’m thankful that I got it.
Daniel, in that–in the first round, Sergio did knock you down.  You said after the fight ended that you were a little bit careless in that first round.  Are you taking a more conservative approach, or are you being a little more careful knowing that Sergio has the capabilities of knocking you down?
Listen, there’s always opportunities to learn and grow in the sport of boxing.  Even with a light-punching guy like Sergio Mora, I learned a valuable lesson that, after I knocked him down and I was going in for the kill, that you still have to be defensive minded, even when you have a guy hurt because I was on the verge of stopping this man.  There’s no way around that.  I was definitely on the verge of stopping him.  But, in my mind, I got a little careless.  And the way I had my feet spread, I mean, I just got caught with a real clean shot.  It’s nothing I can take away from him.  He definitely earned that.  But, it was a valuable lesson to me and a lesson that I’m sure I won’t make again.
Sergio, how was the rehab in trying to get back and healthy?  Was there anything that, during that time, you looked at yourself as a fighter and wanted to improve upon for this rematch?
No, not as a fighter.  The only thing I had in mind was to heal up 100 percent.  I did everything in my power, in my capability to heal up properly.  I did all the–I got the best treatment.  I tried to go with the best physical therapist and with ice and do all the remedies, all the Mexican remedies that my mom would tell me to do.  And I tried to do everything possible to do it.  So, finally, I–after 6 to 7 months, I started–little by little started putting pressure on it.  And I started feeling good and taking it–taking Aleve.  And sometimes, I have to take cortisone shots in order for me to go harder and faster.  So, I just did everything in my ability, plus prayer.  And thank God I’m back.
I don’t know who’s best fit to answer this question, but is there a rubber match clause in the event that Sergio pulls the upset?
I’m the king of rematches.  So, I’ll answer that.  I’ve had four rematches.  This is going to be my fifth.  And I’ve never had a rubber match.  I probably deserved a rubber match with Brian Vera.  But, Texas is just too big and strong for me to beat.  So, rubber matches, I don’t know.  We’ll see.  I got to get the win first.
Are you confident, Sergio, in your ability to plant on your ankle?
Absolutely.  Now, I am.  There were times within the year that I’ve been off that I questioned it.  And I’m 35 years old now.  So, everything heals up slower.  I can’t fool myself.  So, sometimes, I question it.  But, now, I’m not anymore.  I did everything.  I put all the pressure, sprinting uphill, sprinting downhill, stopping on a dime, pivoting, twisting.  And I feel an ache here and there.  But, as far as me doing, I’ve done it.  So, mentally, I’m there.  I’m ready.
Daniel, do you feel this fight is a backwards step?
I absolutely do.  I mean, I think it’s just–to me, this is kind of like a just-stay-busy fight because we weren’t able to get the fight that we actually wanted, for whatever reason.  But, to me, I don’t think this does anything for my career.  Like I said before, we’ve always wanted to move up to bigger and better opposition each time out.  This is kind of a step back.  And I understand that it left a bitter taste in certain people’s mouths because of the way Sergio Mora lost.  But, in my opinion, he was on the verge anyway.  So, that’s how I look at it.  But, this is for me an opportunity to kind of quiet the critics and just make the final statement once and for all that I am the better fighter, better boxer.
Hell, I’m better in general inside that square ring.  Sergio Mora has nothing in there to stop me, especially come September 9th.  I’m in the best shape that I’ve ever been in my life.  And he said before that I don’t like to go 12 rounds.  I mean, I’ve never said that.  I mean, just because I’ve knocked guys out doesn’t mean I don’t like to go 12 rounds.  With the Caleb Truax fight, I wanted to go 12 rounds, and I did, and then I stopped him in the 12th round.  So, it’s not like I’d just like to go out there and have this false identity like I’m this super big knockout artist.  I’m a superb boxer.  I learned the fundamentals from the amateur USA boxing.  I’ve gone internationally and performed on an international level.  I know how to box.  Sergio Mora is extremely awkward.  That’s what allowed him to get where he is now.  Take nothing away from him being a world champion.  Yeah, I have to give him credit for that.  But, as a–.
About time you give me some credit.  And guess what?  I–and hey, listen, man.  Sorry to interrupt you, but that’s the first time you’ve ever given me credit.
Oh, I’m sorry.  I thought I was answering the question.  Okay.  I’m going to let you go ahead.
That’s the first time you’ve ever given me credit, man.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Danny.  Thank you.
Oh, okay.  You’re very welcome.  But, as I was saying, yes, this is definitely a setback.
It didn’t take long for you to get acquainted the first time around.  What are your mindsets?  Are you looking to pick up where you left off, or you taking a completely different approach this time around?
I’m still in shock that he gave me credit.  Look, the first time around, he downplayed and downgraded me as a former world champion.  And he said that he wanted to move onto bigger and better things.  I just want to touch on something.  I’m the best name on Daniel Jacobs–no, let me take that back.  I’m the most accomplished name on Daniel Jacobs’s record.
So, how is he down–how is he going backwards?  How is he regressing by fighting me?  I’m the best–I’m the most accomplished on his resume.  He’s not even top three on mine.  I’ve got hall of famers on my resume.  I had to beat a world champion, a five-time world champion to become champion.  He had to beat a guy Jarrod Fletcher Jacob–I don’t even know what the hell his name is, Fletcher Jones or whatever it is.  So, the bottom line is you’ve got to give me my credit, man.  So, thank you for giving me that credit.  Now, what was your question, again?  I’m sorry.
Are you looking to pick up where you left off, or are you coming in with a totally different mindset?
Well, look, I know that I got dropped.  I’ve been dropped before.  I can get up, and I’m pretty resilient that way.  Jacobs took a little longer to get the cobwebs off.  So, he–now, he knows that I can punch.  I don’t think he’s going to come in as aggressive as he was the first time.  If he does, maybe we’ll leave off.  That’s going to be up to the champ.  The champ wants to start if off, I’m good.  If not, if I see him–fighting behind a jab, then I’m going to have to go and put the pressure on a little bit.
And, Daniel?
So, I just–I totally feel like he’s just full of it right now.  I don’t think he’s going to come forward.  He’s even said it in the interview.  Now, he understands and he knows how much power I possess.  He’s going to change the game plan.  And he’s going to try to take me into what he quotes are deep waters.  So, he’s going to try to take me in later rounds, which in my opinion, he has to box, and he has to be on the back foot to do so.
So, in my opinion, I think he’s going to try to make it a snoozer.  He’s not going to try to make it exciting and come forward.  And it’s just my–it’s just up to me to make it an exciting.  And I’m going to do what I’ve always done.  I’m going to come forward, and I’m going to adjust if I need to make adjustments.  And that’s simple.  I want to hurt this man.  There’s no way around it.  I want him to feel and eat his words, clearly.  So, I’m going to come in there, and I’m going to try and punch you in your face.  It’s plain and simple, Sergio.  That’s my game approach.  But, if you want to box–.
That’s all good.  You try to reach my–.
If you want to go on the back foot–.
I’m going to be touching that body.
Hold on, sir.  Hold on, baby.  Hold on, baby.  I’ll let you answer your question.  Hold on now.  Be respectful.  If you wanted to be on the back foot, that’s the game that I can play, too.  I have an extreme amateur and professional boxing resume, brother.  Like, we can do this.  But, the game plan for me, to answer your question, is to go in there and hurt this man, period.
Sergio, given the fact that Danny has said that this is a backwards step for him, he looks at it as a tune-up fight, didn’t really want to have the rematch, why–what do you think it was that actually got you this rematch and I know you wanted very badly?
Al Haymon, plain and simple, Al Haymon.  I think no one was campaigning for this rematch, Dan.  And I think a lot of people were surprised that it happened.  I certainly was surprised that I got the phone call because, even though I was promised by Al a big fight my first fight back, I didn’t expect it to be for world title versus Daniel Jacobs in a rematch.  So, I’m very, very thankful to Al Haymon.  And honestly, just to–I mean, not to be funny or anything, but if I really have to thank another person, another thing, it’s Twitter because it gives me a voice when I was injured.  And I never had that before.  I just wish I would’ve started it earlier and had more of a following.  So, yeah, I’ve got to thank Twitter, too.
Do you think–I mean, you’ve had your ups and downs.  You fought a lot of good names.  But, you mentioned a little earlier 35 years old.  Do you think this maybe this could be your last chance at a world title?
Yeah, probably.  I mean, I can’t be foolish and say that I can move–I can beat Bernard Hopkins.  I can’t.  I’m not Bernard Hopkins.  There’s only special people that could fight in their mid-30s and so on and still be fighting the best.  So, even though, if my body hasn’t taken a beating, I’ve been in the game a long time.  And the wear and tear from sparring and from running and from the dieting and from all the other stuff, all that takes effect.
But, even though I am well preserved, I’m still the age that I am.  And the hunger’s still there.  So, number one, if the hunger’s still there, everything else falls into place.  So, we’re going to find out in two weeks exactly if the hunger and my body is at the same level.
Were you anxious to just go right back in with Danny in a second fight if you could get the fight, or did you consider a tune-up?
No, no.  Great question, Dan.  Me and my team did have that discussion.  And we did think about fighting someone else.  And I think Alfredo Angulo was a name they offered and were considering.  But, we know Angulo very well.  And we just didn’t feel right taking that fight, especially watching the fight–his last fight.  But, the ankle feels good.  And we decided to go straight into this title fight because we weren’t sure we were going to get it again.  I think the stars lined up perfectly for it to happen.  And Jacobs admits that, too, that he didn’t want to fight me for whatever reasons, and I got this fight thanks to Al Haymon.  And that’s it.
What was it that made you decide that, ultimately, you would in fact give him the rematch, even though it’s clear that it’s not a fight that you want?
It’s just I understand how it left a bad taste in people’s mouths.  So, with the options that we were given, with talking to Al and talking with my team, I guess it just kind of made–not sense, but it just was the right thing to do at the very–at that moment.  And I won’t say we looked at it as, like, hey, this is an easy win or this is an opportunity to make easy money.
Like, we don’t look at it like that.  But, we kind of just–and we definitely wasn’t forced into the fight.  So, that’s another thing that I want to make clear.  Al Haymon didn’t say, “Hey, this is going to be what you’re going to do.”  So, me and my team came together.  And for whatever reasons, we allowed this fight to happen, but we definitely wasn’t forced into it.
So, you mentioned you had some other options that were brought to your attention.  What were those other options?
They just wasn’t–like, it wasn’t guys in my opinion at that level that were bigger and better.  Like I said before, we looked at the whole scene of the middleweight division, and Andy Lee and a couple other guys that names were thrown out there. We were trying to make that fight happen with Lee.  I think that fight kind of fell through maybe once or twice.  So, we were just like, “Hey, let’s just go with Sergio Mora.”  The way we–the way it looked and the way we won kind of left a little bit bad taste in people’s mouths.  So, it just makes sense to do it.
What is the big fight out there?  You are–as the WBA’s regular champion, you are the mandatory for Gennady Golovkin.  I want to know if that’s a fight that you’ll consider after this?
Absolutely.  That’s the fight that I want.  I want the best out there.  We tried to make the fight with B.J. Saunders.  We tried to make the fight with a couple other guys.  But, it just didn’t work.  Chris Eubank, Jr., was another opportunity for us to fight.  But, he didn’t want no part.  So, even after winning the–forgot what title he won because I know I was his mandatory at some point, and he declined.  And so, we want to fight the best, point blank, period.  Triple G is the best, and that’s the guy that we want.
What kind of particular stylistic problems you think you’d give Golovkin that he hasn’t seen yet?
I definitely believe I would be the toughest test because I believe I would be the victor in that fight.  I definitely believe in my skills and my ability.  At one point in my career, the only reason why I said I wanted to wait was so I could get 12 rounds so we can go the full distance and know how we can actually feel in a tough fight for 12 rounds.  I’ve accomplished that.  And then the only thing that was kind of keeping me from making this fight happen earlier was the finance.  So, people saying I was ducking or I was doing a whole bunch of this and a whole bunch of that, that’s far from the truth.  I just wanted to be compensated accordingly.  And that was it.  If we can make these fights happen sooner than later, I’m all for it.  But, in the same token, I still would like to be compensated accordingly.
Are you confident that you could get a deal done that would be good for the finances?
I don’t really know too much about that.  I mean, I have a great team.  And I leave all those things up to my team.  My thing is to stay ready, to be ready, and to perform at my best when I’m inside the ring.  So, whatever the logistics is outside the ring, all I have to do is say, “Yes, I’m comfortable with that.  And let’s make the fight.”
Now, I know you’re a pretty even-keeled guy, but has Sergio got under your skin with all the trash talk?
Oh, hell yeah.  I mean, not under my skin to where it would affect my game plan or it’ll affect me inside the ring.  No, it’s just some of the things that he’s said or from the pictures that he’s posted, and that’s what he’s supposed to do.  And he’s landed an opportunity at fighting me again. But, this is an opportunity that I’m looking forward to.  And this is probably for me the first personal fight that I’m entering in with mean intention.
Q –
And a question for Sergio.  You’ve been around for a long time.  You’ve fought a lot of top guys, like Sugar Shane and so forth.  Where–how would you compare Danny to those guys?  And how do you think you’ll–a guy like you who has such a high boxing IQ, how do you think a rematch would help you?
Sugar Shane and so forth, and Vernon Forrest, two great fighters.  Look, Danny has his amateur pedigree.  And he can fight behind the jab, like he says.  And he could be–and he can fight on his back foot, as he claims.  He says he’s gone 12 tough rounds.  I only seen him go 12 one-sided rounds against a guy named Caleb Truax.  Those weren’t tough.  He doesn’t know what tough is yet.  And he isn’t really–he hasn’t experienced what it is to be in there with an all-around championship caliber fighter for 12 rounds.  I have.  That’s the difference.  That’s the difference.
And I feel that, until he experiences that, he still doesn’t know what it is to be an all-around champion, a champion that’s had to deal with getting knocked down, getting up, bad cuts, being down behind them cards, losing on cards going through the final championship round.  These are the experiences you can only dream of and hope of.  So, until you experience that, you can’t really say he’s done that.  Right now, he still needs to learn.
Sergio, do you relish having the kind of opportunity to, as you said, teach somebody to be a fighter?
Absolutely.  I relish the opportunity to do great things, man.  And I think that, if you look back at my career, every time I get a big opportunity, I conquer it, or something like the Shane Mosley thing happens where, actually, I won, and it was a draw.  But, the big opportunities, I shine, man.  And this is just something that always needs to happen, always have to take the hard route.  That’s been my career, man.  I’ve never been the A side.  I’ve always been the B side that could compete with the A side.
And this is just another example of that.  Danny, the young champion looking down on me, subordinating me, making me feel like I’m lucky to get this opportunity, I’ve dealt with that my entire career, man.  It’s nothing new.  I know I’m here over and over, time after time for a reason because I’m that fucking good.  And so, people recognize and realize that.  I’ll never get the credit for it.  And that’s fine, as long as I keep getting the opportunities and as long as I become a three-time two-division champ.
Tell us about that, how you approach the fight, what you expect to take place, especially in light of the last two fights ending quickly.
Well, I don’t really anticipate or expect anything.  Boxing is one of those things where anything can happen at any given moment.  My thing is I just want to be ready.  And when I prepare inside the gym and I’m in tip-top shape, I’m prepared and ready for anything that will come my way inside that ring, whether it’s the first round or whether it’s the last round.  It just so happens that these last couple of fights I’ve had been very exciting first rounders.  So, my thing is, as long as I’m able to adjust, I can come and be prepared for anything that comes my way.
What was key in those two fights–to both of those fights starting off with so much activity and so much action?
I think just getting warmed up properly and the backstage, making sure that the flow was going and that you don’t have to kind of warm up in those first couple rounds.  Me and my team do a great job–and shout out to my team, by the way, who do such a great job with making sure that we’re prepared and ready for each round from the very first to the very end.
And is that going to affect at all your game plan because people have seen those two previous fights, and they’re talking about it.  They say, “Maybe this is a guy who is just going to destroy people in the beginning.”  Is that weighing on your approach at all for this rematch?
Absolutely not.  My MO as a fighter is to be a fluent boxer first.  It just so happened that the speed and the power that I possess as well kind of hurt guys, and I’m a really great finisher, where actually, my mentality is to go in there and show my skills.  That’s what I love about the [sweet science].  I actually love to get behind my jab and put my combinations together and start to get good movements and good angles.  Like, I love that stuff.
But, it just so happens that, when I’m in there with guys and I’m starting to land good shots, and they get hurt, we just have rounds of the year and first round stoppages and early stoppages, so on and so forth.  So, I’m just happy I’m able to get the victory and finish strong.
And, Sergio, what do you expect?  Do you expect this rematch to have this same type of electric start, or how do you prepare for this?
Well, we’re going to go back to Danny’s power.  He does have power.  And you’re born with power.  You can’t teach power.  You can’t go in the gym and work on power, or else I would’ve done that 20 years.  So, he’s blessed with an ability to punch hard with both hands.  And he’s always going to make for exciting fights.  Now, he’s also vulnerable because he’s been dropped before.  And that’s also on the exciting side.  So, whenever it comes to a guy like Danny Jacobs, you never know what you’re going to get.  It’s kind of like fighting a guy like Victor Ortiz, even though I think he’s better all around than Victor.  Victor’s exciting.  He’s a former champion.  He’s a power puncher.  But, you never know what Victor you’re going to get.
So, I think that’s the same thing with Danny, only Victor’s fought better opposition than Danny.  So, that’s the difference.  I think, for this fight, I don’t know, man.  I really don’t know what I’m going to expect.  I didn’t expect to go down in the first round.  I was surprised by the punch.  It was an awkward punch in from a southpaw angle.  I believe his right foot was in front.  I took a picture a little too long and held the position, expecting a left hook to come, and instead a right uppercut came, which is awkward.  And he calls me awkward.  That was an awkward punch.  So, yeah, you know what?  He stunned me.  I got up.  I shook it off.  And he came for the kill, like I knew he would.  And I was able to catch him.  I think we both learned that we can hurt each other, and we both learned that we both can be sneaky from certain sneaky positions.  So, I don’t think it’s going to start off with fireworks, like it did the first time.  But, I think it’s going to end up fireworks.  I don’t know if it’s the second, third, or further down the fight.  But, that’s what I’m expecting.
And would anybody like to make a prediction for this fight, Danny?
I don’t make predictions.  I don’t like to go in there and have any type of thing going in my head where I have to live up to it.  I just like to win.  And however I win, however it comes, I’m grateful for it.
If I’m ready, I go in there to win.  And I’m ready for this fight.  I’m confident.  I expect a great performance from both of us.  And I expect to become a world champion, a two-time world division champion by the end of this fight.  So, I’m expecting to win.  I don’t know.  But, I’m going to win.
Marc Abrams – Okay.  Well, that’s going to wrap it up.  I just want to get every–Daniel and Sergio, just a quick final comment.  And after that, we’ll see you on fight week.  Daniel?
I just have a lot of people to thank that I would take this time to thank.  First off, I would like to thank my team and everyone involved for allowing me to have such a great camp.  They’ve put in the necessary work, everyone, team Jacobs, the necessary work that we need to be 100 percent prepared for this fight comeSeptember 9th.  I will be proudly representing my Brooklyn Boxing apparel as I’m sporting my trunks and finessing my moves inside the ring.
I want to give a big shout out to Brooklyn Boxing, have been supportive of my whole career. And me being an ambassador, I definitely have to big them up.  And Al Haymon, most importantly, Al has been taking care of me.  I’ve been the first guy that Al has had directly out of the amateurs to a world championship.  So, I have to give my hat–take my hat off to Al and everyone in our team Haymon.  And that’s pretty much it, all the promotors and managers involved with this as well, everyone who has made this possible, and thanks for all the fans for all the continued support.  Thank you very much.
And, Sergio?
I got to start with Al Haymon because he’s given me not only a second opportunity, third, I’ve already had four opportunities to come back and reinvent myself.  And Al Haymon gave me that opportunity.  So, I thank Al Haymon.  I’ve got to thank my loyal team, my trainer Dean Campos, who’s been with me since the amateurs, [John Montillado], the rest of my team, my cut man Carlos, and [Panda Martinez].  And I want to thank my sponsors, [Snac].  Victor Conte’s onboard for this fight.  And I’ve never been a fighter that takes supplement.  I’m a guy that just tries to eat right and hydrate.  And I notice a difference with supplements.  And I do it the scientific way.  So, I want to thank the Snac System and Victor Conte.  And I want to thank my sponsor Spy Optics.  And that’s about it.  I want to thank the fans as well for–my day-one fans and even my critics, they keep me alive, so thank them, too.
Yeah, you forgot one more person, brother.  You forgot one more person, Sergio.
I want thank, what, Danny Jacobs?
That’s it.  That’s my man.  That’s my man.
Go fuck yourself.  I see you in two weeks, old boy.
Well, let’s do it on September 9th.  You already know, Sergio, I’m coming for you, brother.  I’m coming for you.
TICKETS:        Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by King’s Promotions,
                        start at $20 and are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

Middleweight World Champion Daniel Jacobs Takes On Former World Champion Sergio Mora in Rematch That Headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Spike Friday, September 9 From Santander Arena in Reading, Pa. (9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT)

Plus! Undefeated Lightweights Robert Easter Jr. & 
Richard Commey Meet for Vacant World Title
Local Heavyweight Travis Kauffman in Action
Tickets on Sale Now!
SANTANDER, PA. (August 4, 2016) – Middleweight world champion Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) will defend his title in a rematch against former world champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs) that headlinesPremier Boxing Champions on Spike, Friday, September 9 from Santander Arena, in Reading, Pa.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and features undefeated lightweights colliding for a vacant world title as Robert Easter Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs) takes on Richard Commey (24-0, 22 KOs). Also on the card, heavyweight contender Travis “My Time” Kauffman (30-1, 22 KOs) will be featured in a 10-round fight.
Jacobs and Mora met in an August 2015 firefight that saw both men hit the canvas in round one. Mora was floored by a Jacobs right hand but the tricky veteran recovered and caught Jacobs with a clean left that put Jacobs on the ground. The action was halted in round two after Jacobs knocked Mora down again, rendering him unable to continue after fracturing his ankle on his way to the mat.
“This is business for me, but it is also more personal than any fight I have ever had,” said Jacobs. “Sergio has been using these antics online to get this rematch and he has gotten under my skin. There has been a lot of back and forth as far as people’s opinions as to who would have won the fight had he not gotten hurt. I am looking at this as an opportunity to clarify that I am the real champion. I want to shut his trap in primetime.”
“I don’t think Jacobs wanted this rematch, but it was destined to happen and now he has to deal with it,” said Mora. “I thought the first fight was going my way. I knocked him down in the first round and was out boxing him in the second round. He knows that I have enough power to hurt him. He has more to worry about going into this fight than in the first fight. Look at my resume, I have fought solid opposition. Jacobs doesn’t have that type of resume.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by King’s Promotions, start at $20 and are on sale now via Ticketmaster.
“This is going to be one of the best cards of the year,” said Marshall Kauffman of King’s Promotions. “There are two great world title fights with Jacobs and Mora plus Easter and Commey. The first Jacobs – Mora fight was headed to be a shootout before Mora got injured. Easter and Commey has all the makings of a war. Add that to Travis Kauffman continuing his road to the heavyweight title plus the best fighters from Reading on the card, The Santander Arena will be electric both inside the ring and in the building on September 9.”
The 29-year-old Jacobs followed up his victory over Mora with a sensational first round knockout of previously unbeaten former champion Peter Quillin in their highly anticipated December showdown.  An inspirational figure representing Brooklyn, New York, Jacobs completed his road from cancer survivor to champion when he defeated Jarrod Fletcher for the middleweight title in 2014.
The winner of NBC’s “The Contender” series, the 35-year-old Mora is a former world champion at super welterweight and looking to add a middleweight crown to his name as he returns to the ring for the first time since the injury suffered in the first Jacobs fight. The Los Angeles native owns victories over Ishe Smith, Peter Manfredo Jr. and Vernon Forrest.
An accomplished amateur who was a 2012 U.S. Olympic alternate, the 25-year-old Easter Jr. picked up four victories in 2015 including knockouts over Osumanu Akaba, Miguel Mendoza, Alejandro Rodriguez and Juan Ramon Solis. Unbeaten since turning pro in 2012, the Toledo, Ohio-born prospect faced the toughest challenge of his career in April when he impressively stopped former world champion Algenis Mendez also on Spike.
Representing Accra, Ghana, Commey has climbed the ranks since turning pro in 2011 and has yet to be defeated. The 29-year-old won his first 11 bouts fighting out of Ghana before going to London, Denmark, South Africa and Germany to improve his record to 24-0. Commey fought in the U.S. as well, stopping Bahodir Mamadjonov in the eighth round last May.
A local attraction fighting out of Reading, Kauffman is the son of longtime trainer and promoter Marshall Kauffman. Kauffman won his first 18 pro fights and entered his last bout on a 12-fight winning streak. The 30-year-old dropped Chris Arreola in his last outing before losing a majority decision that was later changed to a no decision. Now, Kauffman looks to impress in his hometown as he returns to the ring.
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.spike.com/shows/premier-boxing-champions. Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @DanielJacobsTKO, @TheLatinSnake_, @SpikeTV, @SpikeSports @KingsBoxing_ and @Swanson_Comm or become a fan on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions.  PBC on Spike is sponsored byCorona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.

Travis Kauffman honored by Hometown of Reading, PA

Reading, PA. (December 21, 2015) – Heavyweight contender, Travis “My Time” Kauffman was honored in his hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania by the City Council for his excellent performance on December 12th against Chris Arreola in San Antonio, Texas.
In the proclamation, Kauffman was honored for not only his fight with Arreola, where he battled the former two-time world title challenger to a fight in which most people watching the fight both at ringside and watching on NBC had Kauffman ahead, but also for his activities in the community, which includes feeding the homeless and giving back in many facets in Reading.

“I worked hard for years just to get recognized by the city I love,” said Kauffman. “I made many mistakes in my life, but I turned my life around and have done everything to give back to my community and the people of Reading, Pa. I’m honored today to finally be recognized in my city after all the hard work and the dedication. Thank you to the mayor, the City Council, and the people of Reading, Pa for this award. I’m at a loss for words, but my journey has just begun. I love my city and will rep it until the death of me.”

Kauffman, 30-2 with 22 knockouts, is already back in the gym and is looking forward to his next bout which should come in the beginning of 2016.

Heavyweight contender Travis Kauffman chimes in on  controversial decision with Chris Arreola

Reading, PA (December 14, 2015) -This past Saturday night at the AT & T Center  in San Anonio, Heavyweight Travis Kauffman (30-2, 22 KO’s) and former two-time world title challenger Chris Arreola engaged in a action packed bout that saw Arreola get a dubious split decision by scores 114-113 twice for Arreola and 114-113 for Kauffman.
Most accounts of the fight had Kauffman getting the decision, which included PBC ringside scorer Steve Farhood.
Kauffman of Reading, PA. pushed the action and landed the more telling blows, which included a knockdown in round three from a jab-right hand combination.  The fight validated Kauffman as a player in the division, but he wasn’t satisfied with just a good performance.     
“I feel good.  I thought I did enough to win the fight.  I had it 8-4 or 7-5 in my favor plus the knockdown,” said Kauffman after viewing the fight.
“I dominated from rounds three to nine.  I took off ten and eleven as I thought that I was secure with my lead.  I dominated the twelfth round and after a three-punch combination, Chris went falling back and it looked like his glove touched the canvas.  No matter what, I thought I won the twelfth round.  I backed him up the entire fight.  I dominated him at his own game.”
Kauffman believes that he won over the crowd and those in attendance thought that he deserved the nod as well.
“The crowd booed me as I came into the ring and cheered me when I left.  I won them over and I won over the boxing public.”
With the performance, Kauffman should be in line for another significant fight in the first quarter of 2016.
“I spoke to my manager, Al Haymon and he said that bigger things are going to happen for me.  Weather it is a rematch or someone else, I am ready for that.  I showed that I am a force in the division.  I worked for so long for this fight, so I am just going to take a week off and enjoy my kids and I will be right back in the gym.  I am looking to be back sometime between February and April.”
“I appreciate all the fans.  The ones that have been with me before the fight one the ones that became fans on Saturday.”
Said Kauffman’s father Marshall Kauffman, “I am very proud of Travis and what he did in the fight  Just look at each of them and you could tell who took the beating in the fight.  The worst case scenario, the fight it was 6-6 but Travis scored the knockdown that should have gave him the fight.  I believe he will get another opportunity.  He showed what he is capable of doing.”

Photos by Joe Tarlecky –Team Kauffman


Click HERE For Photos From Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions
SAN ANTONIO (December 13, 2015) – Undefeated Omar “Panterita” Figueroa (26-0-1, 18 KOs) won an intense slugfest over former world champion Antonio DeMarco(31-6-1, 23 KOs) in primetime Saturday night on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) onNBC from the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Figueroa earned the unanimous decision in an action-packed battle that saw the south Texas-native throw over 1000 punches across 12 rounds. Figueroa dominated the first six rounds of the fight, throwing numerous combinations and taking minimal damage from his opponent.
The Mexican veteran DeMarco saved his best for the second half of the fight and was able to frequently land clean power punches against the offensive-minded Figueroa. In the 11th-round, DeMarco staggered Figueroa with a series of headshots and appeared to have him in serious trouble. Figueroa recovered enough to survive the round and win the final stanza in the eyes of all three judges.
Combined the fighters threw 1160 power punches against just 519 jabs. Figueroa landed 48 percent of his power shots while DeMarco connected on 45 percent of his. The 1092 to 587 punch output advantage for Figueroa could have proved to be the difference as he out-landed his opponent 414 to 225.
The final judges’ scores were 116-112 and 115-113 twice.
In the co-featured event, Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (37-4-1, 31 KOs) earned a split-decision victory over Travis “My Time” Kauffman (30-2, 22 KOs) in a 12-round heavyweight showdown that lived up to the pre-fight trash talk between the former sparring partners.
Arreola started out strong, winning the first two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards. In the third round, Kauffman delivered a sensational combination to the head and body that put Arreola on the mat.
The knockdown slowed Arreola down as Kauffman won five rounds between rounds three and nine while displaying excellent footwork and body punching. After a low blow by Kauffman in round nine, Arreola took several minutes to recover before the referee continued the action. The extra time appeared to give Arreola a second wind as he finished strong and closed the fight with an impressive performance in the last three rounds.
The split decision was about as narrow as it could be with two judges’ scoring the bout 114-113 for Arreola and the other judge with the same score for Kauffman. Arreola out-landed Kauffman 216-206 in total punches and connected on 57 percent of his power shots.
Headlining the NBCSN telecast prior, former world champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KOs) returned from a yearlong layoff to stop Gilberto Sanchez-Leon (31-15-2, 13 KOs) in the eighth round of their welterweight bout.
Ortiz was coming back from a broken wrist suffered at the end of his last bout in December 2014 and was able to land 50 percent of his power punches. The stoppage came at 2:57 into the eighth round in a bout scheduled for 10.
San Antonio-native Mario Barrios (14-0, 8 KOs) impressed in front of his hometown fans on his way to stopping Manuel Vides (18-5, 11 KOs) 31 seconds into the sixth round. Barrios showed lethal accuracy, landing 54 percent of his power punches and 46 percent of his total punches.
In NBCSN action that followed the primetime broadcast, 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (17-0, 8 KOs) kept his perfect record intact, defeating Said El Harrak (12-4-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight fight. Gausha recorded a knockdown in the second round and cruised to a 100-89 decision according to all three judges.
“These are the kind of fights I love to be in. A little rougher than I would have liked and my face shows it. It was a good fight. I wish I had done better but I always do the best I can.
“My determination is what helped me win this fight. I’m not going to lose a fight. I don’t have that in me. I’ve had every injury. I could have a missing arm but I’m still going to find a way to win the fight.
“It was a great atmosphere. I could hear the fans cheering me on and it’s a great feeling. I know the people here were backing me up and I just wanted to give it my all.
“It was all heart and guts out there. That’s what I rely on when all else fails. We do our best to come out with the victory.
“I want to fight in the 140-pound weight class. Some things happened that were out of our control and we just wanted to put on a show for the fans. My body is getting bigger but I want to do some things at 140-pounds before I move up. We’re doing our best, we’re learning how to do things right. We’re in the learning process.
“My hands feel really good. They look like hands. Which is nice. My face looks like a face, just a beat up face.
“Antonio gave me a lot of respect after the fight and he told me that ‘family is the most important thing.’ We all sacrifice in training camp and we’re just so grateful that we get to fight.
“I have no quit in me. I’ve fought with injuries and adversity. It’s just not in me to quit.”
“I thought I got a draw out of the fight, but he’s here in his home state, with his home crowd, and I respect the decision.
“He was just too big. No excuses, but I know that was why he was able to last the full fight with me.
“He was just pushing me forward, pushing me forward and using his body weight, but he never hurt me at any time.”
“I wasn’t hurt from the knockdown, it was more of a flash knockdown.”
“I pulled it out in the championship rounds. I was in great shape and that was the difference in my winning.
“I had to show him a little different look tonight and not just bull rush him. He came to me, which made it easier for me. Conditioning was the deciding factor tonight.”
“Yes, I would give Travis Kauffman a rematch. Any time, we can do it again.
“I have to earn a world title fight and have to win convincingly. If I fight Deontay Wilder, I have to be in great shape.
“I’m going to take a little vacation with the family then I plan on being back in the gym right after New Years.”
“I’m not the only one that thought I won the fight, the entire crowd thought I won the fight. I fought a great fight. I came here to win. I’m not a slouch, I’m a fighter. I’ve been doing this my entire life.
“I didn’t get the victory that I deserved tonight, but I was able to win over the crowd and I won over America.
“The crowd came in cheering for Chris. They left cheering for me.”
“He was a really tough fighter. He got some good shots in. I don’t like making excuses. In three years, I’ve only fought twice. There was a lot of rust. But I’m just happy to get back in the ring.
“I feel no pain whatsoever. I’m happy for that and ready to move forward.
“My past is in my past. I want to go for it. Any of the top welterweights, I want them.
“This camp was incredible. Not just Joel Diaz, but the whole team has been with me 24/7 and they’ve been awesome. It’s a great asset to have these kind of people in my corner.
“In the past, I always found myself jumping the gun. These coaches have helped me slow down. This is definitely a step forward.
“I’m my own worst critic. There’s a lot to improve on. My reflexes were good but my timing was off. Probably due to inactivity. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and I have a whole new chance to reach my goals.”
“I’m just happy to have been able to put on a great show for my family and friends. Right now I’m feeling great. I couldn’t be any more excited.
“We start with a game plan that revolves around working off our jab and picking our shots. He tended to work up the middle and that’s how we found openings.
“At any point I was ready to sit there and brawl with him, but that wasn’t the plan for this fight. The plan was to be smarter and that’s what we did.
“My height and size is something we always work on and use to our advantage.”
“I’m very happy with my performance but I still have a lot of improvements to make in the gym.”
“I caught him with some good body shots and that was the difference.
“We don’t target anyone, but I’m ready for someone in the top 10. I’d like to fight again in February if possible.”
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PBC on NBC and NBCSN was promoted by Leija Battah Promotions in association with TGB Promotions
For more information, visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.nbcsports.com/boxing, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @LeijaBattahPR, , @OmarFigueroaJr, @NBCSports and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions and www.facebook.com/NBCSports. Highlights available atwww.youtube.com/premierboxingchampions.


SAN ANTONIO, TX (December 12, 2015) – Rising star and super-featherweight sensation, Mario Barrios (14-0, 8 KOs), remained undefeated with a spectacular sixth round knockout over Manuel Vides (18-5, 11 KOs).  The bout, which was televised as part of the PBC on NBCSN took place at the AT&T Center in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas.
From the opening round, Barrios established his presence in the ring as he landed numerous power shots, mostly to the body and head.  A powerful right uppercut followed by a monstrous left hook sent Vides crashing to the canvas head first, ending the bout at the 2:29 mark of round six.
“I felt strong going into the ring tonight,” said Mario Barrios. “We had a great training camp and I got a lot of good sparring to get me prepared for this fight.  I got into a good rhythm early and kept my foot on the pedal.  I had him hurt early but he was a very tough opponent and pushed me to the later rounds.  By coach Bob Santos told me to start throwing more uppercuts and that’s when I landed that big shot in the sixth round.  I followed the right uppercut with a left hook and got him out of there.”
With the win, Barrios, who’s been on fast track, recorded his seventh victory of 2015.  He’s very pleased to be staying active as he ascends to the top of the super-featherweight division.”
“I want to thank PBC and NBC for this opportunity.” Barrios continued. “To be part of the PBC series is a dream come true.  My goal is to continue winning and become a PBC superstar.  I also want to thank my team for all their hard work.  I’m very happy with my performance and I couldn’t have done it without them.  I’m looking forward to another busy year in 2016.”


Click HERE For Photos From Francisco Perez/Premier Boxing Champions
SAN ANTONIO (December 9, 2015) -Fighters competing on Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC and NBCSN cards hosted a media workout before they enter the ring on December 12 in San Antonio at the newly renovated AT&T Center.
Omar “Panterita” Figueroa, Antonio DeMarco, Dominic “Trouble” BreazealeChris “Nightmare” Arreola, “Vicious” Victor Ortiz, Mario Barrios and Brandon Figueroa were all on hand to workout and speak to the media at Jesse James’s Leija’s Champion Fit Gym.
Figueroa and DeMarco square off in the evening’s main event on NBC while Breazeale and Arreola will compete in separate heavyweight bouts. Ortiz, Barrios and Figueroa are slated to appear on the NBCSN portion of the telecast.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Leija Battah Promotions, are priced at $220, $112, $85, $58 and $31, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.attcenter.com  or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased by emailingm@leijabattahpromo.com or calling (210) 979-3302.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“Training camp has been phenomenal. I don’t think it could have gone any better. Considering everything I’ve been through this year, it’s such a breath of fresh air to be able to actually train and train to my fullest.
“I think I’m definitely getting better. We never stop improving and if we do, that’s when our careers end. We always try to learn and see what we can do better and where we can progress. It’s a journey that we’re not even halfway through.
“I don’t think I had the best performance against Ricky Burns in May. Considering I had a fractured hand through camp, I couldn’t really train in camp. I beat a former world champion and I did it without training as much as I’d like.
“To me, a fight is a fight. I enjoy fighting. I love being in the ring. I’m excited for it. I can’t wait. I just want to perform and see how I feel.
“I think Antonio DeMarco is a perfect fit for my style. He’s really tough but he has flaws. He leaves the body open and that’s something I think we can exploit. If all goes to plan, we’ll come out victorious.”
“I’m coming back for the love of the sport. I want to show everybody that has wrote me off, that I’m still here and dangerous. They’re going to eat their words Sunday morning.
“I had previously retired due to personal reasons, but boxing is such a big part of my life. It brought me out of the streets and given my family a good life. I’ve been able to help my sister who has battled cancer but is now healthy. I couldn’t leave a sport that has helped so many people.
“I’m back with my old trainer, who has helped me reach the best moments of my career. Romulo Quirarte and I are working hard to get back to that level.
“I have a lot of respect for Omar. He’s undefeated and he’s done some really good things in this sport. It’s a hard fight, but it’s a hard fight for both of us. It’s not going to be easy for Omar.
“I want the fans to see a great fight. It’s going to be a war. Two Mexicans, with Mexican blood is always a great fight. I’ve trained for a war and I’ll show everyone that I’m ready when I step into that ring.”
“Training camp went great. We had a good nine or 10 weeks of camp with a diverse group of sparring partners. I actually dropped about 10 pounds so I feel strong and healthy.
“It’s huge to finish up the year on NBC at the AT&T Center. I couldn’t ask for much more.
“I’m looking forward to fighting for belts. Line them up. I want to fight top 10, top 5 guys consistently. Let’s get it done.
“I’ve worked really hard on correcting flaws and improving at my craft. As a fighter you that’s what you want to do. I always ask to be tested and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
“I know I have a tough test in front of me. My opponent has a lot of amateur experience and he’s been a good pro. I have to make this one count. You never know when it’s going to be your last chance.
“I looked bad in my last two fights and you’re only as good as your last fight. I think my opponent sees me as a fighter on his way down and that fires me up. He’s going to wish he never fought me.
“I’ve always thought of myself as an elite fighter. My main concern is Travis Kauffman. I have to beat him convincingly. I need to beat him to the point where everyone wants me to fight for a title. I want to earn my title shot.
“This is the beginning to a title run. I want to cement myself as a top heavyweight in the world. I’m a heavyweight to be reckoned with and I’m going to prove that to everyone. I need this fight for my career.”
“I’ve had my ups and my downs, but I just want to out there and entertain the fans again. I don’t think fans have ever been disappointed in how much action there is when I fight.
“My prime is still here. I’m going to take full advantage of it. The Hollywood scene is cool, it doesn’t hurt as bad, but I prefer being a world champion. I want to get back to that level.
“I’ve been pushing myself the whole camp. I’m just here to put in the work. We’re ready to go put on a show. I know my opponent is going to come hungry and I’m ready.
“I’ve made big changes to my career and I think it’ll be for the better. I hope everyone tunes in. I’m ready to go to war.”
“Finishing up the year with a fight like this in my hometown, it’s the best thing I could ask for. I’m excited to be back home fighting in front of family and friends.
“I’ve improved greatly as a fighter this year. I’ve learned a lot about how to maintain composure in the ring. These are things that I’ve been able to gain with experience. I want to stay active and keep getting better.
“Training camp has been great. We went out to Houston for a week of our training to work with Miguel Flores and came back last week to finish up in San Antonio. I feel strong and ready to put on a great show Saturday.
“I feel really good. My team and I have been doing things rights and I’m ready to get in the ring December 12.
“My first fight was also on a big show with my brother headlining. I’m not saying I’m used to it. But I’m not really an emotional person so I won’t get fazed by the stage.
“I’m happy to be part of this show. There are so many great fighters and it’s a blessing to be part of this event.
“My brother and I both like to brawl and give fans a show, but I’d say I’m a more technical fighter. I like to keep my distance. When it comes down to throwing punches and trading, that’s what we like to do.
“My opponent is taller than my past opponents and he has some amateur experience. I’m going to try to box him, stay on the outside and hurt him with body shots.”
For more information, visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.nbcsports.com/boxing, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @LeijaBattahPR, , @OmarFigueroaJr, @NBCSports and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions and www.facebook.com/NBCSports. Highlights available atwww.youtube.com/premierboxingchampions.


Full Night Of Action Comes To The AT&T Center In San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO (December 8, 2015) – Opponents for the previously announced Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBCSN card are set for their Saturday, December 12 showdowns at the newly renovated AT&T Center in San Antonio.
PBC on NBCSN action will see the return of “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (30-5-2, 23 KOs) as he faces Mexican veteran Gilberto Sanchez Leon (33-13-2) in a 10-round welterweight affair, 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (16-0, 8 KOs) take on Said El Harrak (12-3-2, 7 KOs) in a 10-round junior middleweight bout, unbeaten Hugo “The Boss” Centeno  (23-0, 12 KOs) against Josue Obando (12-7-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight contest, undefeated local prospect Mario Barrios (13-0, 7 KOs) stepping into the ring against Panama’s Manuel Vides (18-4, 11 KOs) in an eight round lightweight contest and Brandon Figueroa (3-0, 2 KOs) against Francisco Muro (2-1, 1 KO) in a four-round bantamweight battle.
The NBCSN coverage will bookend the PBC on NBC event headlined by undefeated starOmar “Panterita” Figueroa (25-0-1, 18 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, taking on former world champion Antonio DeMarco (31-5-1, 23 KOs). Coverage on NBC begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT and will also feature a pair of heavyweight showdowns as undefeated 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (16-0, 14 KOs) faces“Prince” Charles Martin (22-0-1, 20 KOs) and hard-hitting Mexican-American Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) battles Travis “My Time” Kauffman (30-1, 22 KOs).
NBCSN coverage will begin at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT and go until 7:30 pm. ET/4:30 pm PT. NBCSN coverage will resume at 11 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT following the NBC broadcast and run to midnight ET/9:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Leija Battah Promotions, are priced at $220, $112, $85, $58 and $31, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.attcenter.com  or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased by emailingm@leijabattahpromo.com or calling (210) 979-3302.
Also featured in exciting undercard fights are undefeated prospects Semajay Thomas(6-0, 4 KOs) out of Chicago in a six-round welterweight affair against Florida’s Farkhad Sharipov (4-5, 1 KO), 25-year-old New Jersey-product Rickey Edwards (9-0, 3 KOs) in a six round lightweight bout against undefeated Ariel Paez (4-0, 1 KO), Lanell “KO” Bellows (13-1-1, 7 KOs) out of Las Vegas taking on Nigeria’s Michael Gbenga (16-23, 16 KOs) in eight-rounds of super middleweight action and 21-year-old Justin DeLoach(11-1, 6 KOs) of Georgia, Louisiana in a six-round super welterweight contest.
Rounding out the night of action will be undefeated San Antonio-product Adam Lopezagainst former world champion Eric Aiken in a super bantamweight bout, 21-year-oldJavier Rodriguez battling Alejandro Moreno in a four-round super bantamweight showdown, San Antonio’s Steve Hall as he squares off against Adam Ealons in a four-round super lightweight fight and Austin’s Brandon Chalker in a four round super featherweight contest against San Antonio’s Rudy Zamora.
An exciting fighter who never shies away from action, Ortiz returns to the ring one year after injuring his hand in his last bout, a third round stoppage of Manuel Perez. The 28-year-old was a 147-pound world champion when he defeated Andre Berto in 2011 to set up a showdown with Floyd Mayweather. The Kansas-native has spent time in recent years to film roles in movies such as “Southpaw” and “The Expendables 3” but will returnDecember 12 healthy and ready to fight his way back to the pinnacle of the sport. First, he will have to get past the durable Leon out of Mexicali, Mexico who owns victories over Dario Cervantes, Carlos Yanez and Rene Ruiz.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Gausha was a decorated amateur who won gold medals at the U.S. National Championships in 2009 and 2012 and represented the US as part of the 2012 Olympic Team. The 28-year-old is undefeated since turning pro in 2012. In 2015 he has scored a knockout victory over Norberto Gonzalez and defeated Luis Grajeda and Eliezer Gonzalez by decision. Now he will take on the 28-year-old El Harrak who fights out of Las Vegas by way London.
Oxnard, California’s Centeno has long been one of boxing’s top prospects with victories over Ayi Bruce, Keandre Leatherwood, Angel Osuna and Gerardo Ibarra. In December 2014 he faced his stiffest test to date against James De La Rosa and passed with flying colors, scoring a spectacular fifth-round knockout. Most recently, the 24-year-old took down Lukasz Maciec in September and looks to finish the year with another strong performance against Guadalajara, Mexico’s Obando.
Fighting in his hometown of San Antonio, Barrioslooks for his seventh victory of 2015 onDecember 12. The 20-year-old hopes to build on his momentum after winning his first eight-round bout over Enrique Tinoco on November 10. He will face the 25-year-old Panamian Vides who owns victories in 2015 over Ivan Trejos and Samuel Moreno.
The brother of main event participant and former world champion Omar, the 18-year-old Figueroa turned pro in May by defeating Hector Gutierrez and has followed that up by stopping Ricardo Mena and Ramiro Ruiz. The Weslaco, Texas-product looks to make it a perfect 2015 when he takes on the 19-year-old Muro out of Tucson, Arizona.
For more information, visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.nbcsports.com/boxing, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @LeijaBattahPR, , @OmarFigueroaJr, @NBCSports and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampionsand www.facebook.com/NBCSports. Highlights available at www.youtube.com/premierboxingchampions.


Click HERE To Read Online
By: Lorne Chan Spurs.com
Blood spilled from Omar Figueroa’s nose the last time he was at the AT&T Center, his hands injured from throwing a thousand punches. Figueroa was exhausted, and it was all worth it when the championship belt was placed on his shoulder.
That was on July 27, 2013. Figueroa fought Nihito Arakawa and claimed the WBC Lightweight Title in a bout that topped many Fight of the Year lists.
Two years later, Omar “Panterita” Figueroa is coming back to the AT&T Center. Figueroa (25-0-1, 18 KOs) is headlining a Premier Boxing Champions card on Dec. 12, where he’ll fight Antonio DeMarco (31-5-1, 23 KOs).
Tickets starting at $31 are available at www.attcenter.com for the fights, which also includes Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale against “Prince” Charles Martin in a heavyweight bout and the return to the ring of former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz.
For Figueroa, his return to the AT&T Center ring means a return to the setting of one of the greatest nights of his life, when he defeated Arakawa in a decision.
“Going toe-to-toe, 12 rounds, it was like something in the Rocky movies,” Figueroa said. “It’s about having the courage and heart to stay in there and perform that way. To go in there, blood and broken hands, it was amazing. I was glad to be able to do that here at the AT&T Center.”
Figueroa, 25, is the pride of the Rio Grande Valley. He’s a native of Weslaco, about 250 miles south of the AT&T Center. He trains there with his father, Omar Sr., who first put gloves on his son when Jr. was 6.
Nicknamed “Panterita,” Figueroa developed his style in the ring through an estimated 200 amateur fights in Mexico and another 50 in the United States as a junior.
He’s a relentless puncher. He doesn’t mind taking a few hits if it means getting a few shots in himself. Fights with Figueroa become less about the “sweet science” and more about sheer willpower. That style led the greatest fight the AT&T Center had ever seen.
Figueroa and Arakawa traded punches for every second of their 12-round fight, with the AT&T Center crowd chanting “Omar! Omar!” throughout. Although Figueroa, an orthodox fighter, injured his hands punching Arakawa’s face and body, Arakawa would not go down. Both fighters persevered for 36 minutes, giving each other nods of respect at the end of each round.
When the fight was over and Figueroa was crowned the first world champion from the Rio Grande Valley, his courage through the fight earned him much more than a belt in boxing circles. According to CompuBox, which tallies punches thrown and landed, Figueroa connected on 450 power punches in the fight, the fourth-most all-time in any weight class in CompuBox’s 30 years of recording fights.
“In a sport that has produced many memorable chapters,” announcer Mauro Ranallo said during the fight, “here in San Antonio you can add another chapter to boxing’s beautiful and brutal legacy.”
Having moved up to the 140-pound weight class, Figueroa said this is the first time he’s felt fully healthy since the Arakawa fight. As Figueroa’s star continues to rise, DeMarco, a former WBC Lightweight champion himself from Sinaloa, Mexico, is standing in his way.
“This will be a very tough fight and will most likely be a war because of our fighting styles,” DeMarco said.
The Dec. 12 card is filled with big matchups, another main event bout feature sDominic “Trouble” Breazeale (16-0, 14 KOs) against “Prince” Charles Martin (22-0-1, 20 KOs) and Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) against Travis “My Time” Kauffman (30-1, 22 KOs).
Breazeale, a former quarterback at the University of Northern Colorado, took up boxing after his college career ended and became a 2012 Olympian. He has recorded a knockout in all but two professional fights, but faces his toughest test against Martin, who has gone more than four rounds just once in his last eight fights.
Victor Ortiz makes his return to the ring in the AT&T Center as well, as his career has taken a fascinating path since he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2011. Ortiz appeared on “Dancing With The Stars” in 2013, and has acting roles in “The Expendables 3” and “Southpaw.” His San Antonio fight will be his first in 364 days, and Ortiz will be a fan favorite.
Leija/Battah Promotions have brought the fight card to San Antonio, as hometown son Jesse James Leija said he hopes to bring bigger and bigger fights to the AT&T Center.
“San Antonio’s probably the best city for boxing in the United States,” Leija said. “We want to keep giving the fans their money’s worth with some of the best fighters in Texas and elsewhere.”
The fights at the AT&T Center are also an opportunity for some local fighters to get in the ring on a broadcast that will be televised on NBC and NBCSN beginning at 5 p.m. CST.
Mario Barrios, a 20-year-old who attended Southwest High School in San Antonio, has already fought six times in 2015 and won all six fights. For Barrios (13-0, 7 KOs), walking into the AT&T Center is something he said his whole career has been building toward.
“I’ve fought in so many places where nobody knew me,” Barrios said. “To fight at home, in front of my family, it might be a little overwhelming. It’s going to feel for me like that point in your career that you’re really doing something.”


Click HERE For Photos From Team Figueroa
WESLACO, TX (December 1, 2015) – Undefeated boxer Omar “El Panterita” Figueroa (25-0-1, 16 KOs) is going to close out his year with a ring return that will send him into 2016 as both a star in the sport, but also a new threat in the 140-pound division.
Figueroa headlines Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC in primetime onSaturday, December 12. PBC on NBC will air live at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT from San Antonio’s AT&T Center when Figueroa battles former world champion Antonio DeMarco(31-5-1, 23 KOs).
South Texas’s “El Panterita” (little Panther) had a strong super lightweight debut in May against former titlist Ricky Burns and after being delayed by injuries, he is back, healthy and firing on all cylinders.
“I’m ready,” said Figueroa. “Since I’ve moved up to 140 I’ve felt stronger than ever. This week in camp, after my sparring sessions, I’ve felt that I was connecting more and that my velocity and power has increased. My May fight was a good indication of what I can do and this fight against DeMarco will be another one. This weight division feels natural to me.”
Having moved up a weight class in 2015, this year also finds Figueroa back training with his father, Omar Sr., in his hometown of Weslaco, TX.
“Boxing is in my family’s blood,” he said. “My father, sister, brother and mother are all involved with either training or fighting. Being able to train at home, surrounded by my family is important to me. Everything I do is for my family and my community.”
Growing up in both the U.S. and Mexico, Figueroa fought in over 200 amateur fights in Mexico and 100 in the U.S. before turning pro. A proud Mexican-American and Texan, the 25-year-old Figueroa is diversifying training this camp including sparring with a number of fighters from Texas as well as surrounding states.
“I’m sticking to the plan of training and conditioning this camp – cardio, sparring – but the big difference for me is really strengthening and taking care of my body through different preventative therapies. I’m icing, stretching and utilizing the Theraband in workouts. I’m also working with more recovery exercises – warm up and cool down, stimulation, ultrasound, I can tell my body and camp performance that it’s changing my body.”
Not one to sit still, the natural-born athlete takes note of some of the training regimens from past coaches in an attempt to “train smarter” and avoid overtraining.
The December 12 PBC on NBC fight will also be a family affair with his younger brother Brandon appearing on the NBCSN broadcast.
“I’m really grateful for my whole team and promoters Jesse Leija and Mike Battah. They’re giving a lot of talented Texas fighters a shot on a strong national card. Boxing needs to support and bring up talent from across all divisions, and it’s great to see some of my team as well as other top prospects getting a shot on a bill like this one. It’s helping to grow boxing.”
For more information, visit www.premierboxingchampions.com and www.nbcsports.com/boxing, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @LeijaBattahPR, , @OmarFigueroaJr, @NBCSports and @Swanson_Comm and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampionsand www.facebook.com/NBCSports. Highlights available at www.youtube.com/premierboxingchampions.