Daxx Khan

NE’s Future 3 results from Worcester, MA

Irvin Gonzalez captures
UBF All-Americas Featherweight Title
 
Sonya Lamonakis & Laura Ramsey fight to UBF World Heavyweight title draw
“New England’s Future 3” Results from Worcester, MA
WORCESTER, Mass. (June 11, 2017) – Boxing returned to DCU Arena (Exhibition Hall) for the first time in 11 years and Worcester’s newest budding star, Irvin Gonzalez, entertained the hometown crowd, capturing the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) Featherweight Championship, last night in the “New England’s Future 3” main event.
 
“New England’s Future 3” was presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two-division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera. RPE will return to the DCU Center on October 28th for its final installment of “New England’s Future” series in 2017.
 
In the co-featured attraction, popular New York City heavyweight Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis, by way of Greece and Turners Falls, MA, faced Laura “Lady Ram” Ramsey in a female battle of former world champions for the vacant UBF World title,
 
The 21-year-old Gonzalez (7-0, 6 KOs) was fighting in his first scheduled eight-round bout, against Raul Lopez (10-32-1, 5 KOs), of Bronx (NY). The two fighters came out fast in a firefight, both throwing leather from all angles, although neither was hurt in the opening round. The pace picked up even more in the second as both fighters landed solid shots.
 
Fighting in the third round for the first time in his young professional career, Gonzalez turned up the heat, ripping effective combination to the head and body of Lopez, who responded by pounding Gonzalez on the ropes.
 
Gonzalez dropped Lopez early in the fourth with a strong right to the chin, followed by a brawling fifth round, and the action slowed slightly in the sixth. Gonzalez, who took control in the final two rounds, went the distance for the first time, taking a hard-fought eight-round unanimous decision (79-73 X 2, 76-75).
 
“He was definitely the toughest I’ve fought,” Gonzalez said after the fight. “I still have to work on things in the gym. I didn’t go to the body like I did in my last few fights. I was head-hunting tonight. The dude was tough, I had to out-box him. I hurt my left hand late in the later rounds and stayed southpaw.
 
“I definitely learned a lot. My conditioning was there and I went eight strong rounds. I feel good, I could go another eight rounds.  Fighting at home was good, I have a big fan-base here. I hope to be back here in October 28th.”
 
Lamonakis (10-2-3, 1 KO), a former IBO world champion, and past GBU world titlist Ramsey (108-1, 5 KOs) went toe-to-toe from the opening bell for 10 competitive, non-stop rounds, ending in a 10-round draw by three judges’ scores of 95-95.  
 
Undefeated Worcester heavyweight Bryan Daniels (5-0, 3 KOs) unloaded on an over-matched Christopher “The Archbishop” Boykins (1-9), dropping the Floridian three times in the second round until referee Leo Gerstel mercifully waved off the fight at the end of the second.
 
Former No. 1 USA amateur boxer Bobby Harris III, the son of multiple national amateur champion and retired pro heavyweight, Bobby Harris, made his long-awaited pro debut. Fighting out of Worcester, Harris overcame early roughhouse tactics by Brazilian light heavyweight Rodrigo Almeida, of Woburn, MA, to earn a four-round “shutout” decision.
 
In a rematch of a fight this past April, Antonio Chaves Fernandez (8-32-4, 2 KOs), of Brockton (MA), defeated Worcester welterweight Andy Gonzalez (6-2, 5 KOs), by way of a six-round majority decision, to even their rivalry at 1-1.
 
Southbridge, MA welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (2-0) and his Lawrence, MA opponent, Anthony Everett (1-6), turned in an entertaining performance as Pagan won a four-round majority decision, despite him being decked in the final round.
 
Lawrence, MA welterweight Adrian Sosa (3-0, 3 KOs) needed only 41-second to stop New York City’s Zach Johnson (0-2). Sosa dropped Johnson in the first 10 seconds and again moments later, after which referee Gerstel halted the action.
 
Springfield, MA welterweight Derrick “Double Impact” Whitley (2-0), the son of a retired professional boxer, improved to 2-0 with a four-round unanimous decision over veteran Connecticut fighter Shaka Moore (12-23-3, 2 KOs).
 
Worcester’s pro-debuting Neal Sullivan (0-0-1) and Brazilian super middleweight Saul Almeida (0-8-1) opened the night fighting a four-round majority draw.

Skoglund targets division’s top names as he moves down to super middleweight

Swedish light heavyweight Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) is targeting the division’s top names as he makes the move down to super middleweight.

Skoglund is currently ranked with all the major governing bodies at 175lbs (IBF #4, WBO #5, WBC #10 and WBA #11), but frustrated by a lack of opportunities, and following talks with his promoter Nisse Sauerland, the 26 year-old has decided to drop down to 168lbs.

At super middleweight, Skoglund is eager to prove himself at the highest level, and has already set his sights on the division’s champions George Groves (WBA Super), James De Gale (IBF) and Tyron Zeuge (WBA Regular), plus a Scandinavian showdown with Danish boxing legend Mikkel Kessler, who has recently announced his comeback.

‘’It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,’’ says Skoglund. ‘’I’ve always made light heavyweight comfortably. I don’t have to drain fluids before a weigh-in, and I like to stay fit between fights, so I don’t see any problems making super middleweight.

‘’I’ve been waiting a long time for a chance to prove myself at light heavyweight, and it’s been difficult. A lot of the belts are tied up. I’ve not been getting the opportunities I need to reach the next stage of my career, and that’s why I’ve decided to move down.

”There are more opportunities available for me at super middleweight. I’m tired of waiting for my shot at light heavyweight. I want something big now. I want the chance to prove myself against the best fighters in the division, and the chance to fulfil my potential.

‘’I know I can mix it with the top guys at super middleweight. I’ve sparred a lot of them in the past, and I’ve always been comfortable handling the situation. I’ve improved a lot since then. I’ve had surgery to fix a herniated disc in my back, and I feel stronger than ever.

‘’There are a lot of big fights out there for me at super middleweight. George Groves, Mikkel Kessler and Tyron Zeuge all have the same promoter as me. They are three of the top names in the division, and these are fights that should be easy to make.

‘’I’d like to fight James De Gale fight as well. I wasn’t impressed with his last performance against Badou Jack. He started well but looked tired and like he lacked power in the later rounds. I think I could do well against a guy like De Gale.

‘’I also think I would have a good chance against Groves. I’ve sparred him twice before. Once in Copenhagen before Mikkel Kessler’s rematch with Carl Froch in 2013, and then again a year later in London before his rematch his with Froch.

‘’The Kessler fight would obviously be a massive one. A big Scandinavian derby! He’s a boxing legend, and someone I’ve looked up to him since I started my career. It would be an honour to fight him, and I think it would be an interesting match-up.’’

Although there is currently no date set for his super middleweight debut, Skoglund says he can be ready in a matter of months. ”Nothing has been decided yet,’’ he said. ‘’I’m looking at a lot of different options with my promoter at the moment, but I will be ready to fight from the middle to the end of the summer.”

Skoglund’s promoter Nisse Sauerland sees no issues with his fighter making the lower weight, and has tipped the Swedish star to have a big impact at super middleweight.

‘’This is an exciting development in Erik’s career. It’s something we’ve talked about before, and now, the time is right for him to launch his attack on the super middleweight division.

”He’s always been a consummate professional. He eats clean and lives right, so I have no doubt he can make the weight. I’m looking forward to sitting down with him and planning the next stage of his journey. There are a lot of big fights out there for him at super middleweight, and I believe he can become a major player in the division,” said Sauerland

Smith aiming for third time lucky against Zeuge

Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) is aiming to make it third time lucky when he returns to Germany to challenge Tyron Zeuge (20-0-1, 11 KOs) for the WBA World Super Middleweight title on Saturday, June 17 at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar.

The 34 year-old had back-to-back World title bouts with Arthur Abraham in September 2014 and February 2015. Dropping a somewhat contentious points decision to the German veteran in their first fight in Kiel, followed by a more comprehensive defeat five months later at the O2 World in Berlin.

With this experience behind him, Smith believes he is now ready claim World honours as he returns to familiar territory for his third attempt against the undefeated 25 year-old Zeuge, Germany’s only current World Champion.

‘’It’s always been my dream to become World Champion,’’ said Smith. ‘’It’s what I wanted since I was a kid, and I came so close in the first fight with Arthur Abraham. The second fight, I admit I lost fair and square, but I still believe I won that first fight, and I should have already been a World Champion.

‘’But boxing is a funny game, and now, I’ve got another chance, I see no reason why I can’t win. The timing is right for me. I’ve got more experience now. I’ve been there and done it. I’ve fought at World level and I know what to expect.

‘’Zeuge is a decent fighter. Technically he is very good. He’s strong. He throws good straight shots, and stylistically he’s not too dissimilar to me, but I’ve seen some weaknesses I can expose, and with my experience, I’m confident I can win.

‘’I know this is my last chance and I’ve got to make it count. If I had won the first fight with Abraham, I would have probably retired by now, but instead, I’m going back to Germany for another shot, and this time, I’ll be taking the title home!’’

Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and NABF Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields Announces Deal with Salita Promotions

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields announced today that she has signed a promotional agreement with promoter Dmitriy Salita and Salita Promotions.

 
Already a national sports figure and role model for women everywhere, the Flint, Michigan native is in position to realize her dreams as a professional boxer.
 
On Friday, June 16, Shields will fight at Detroit’s Masonic Temple, in her home state of Michigan, as part of Salita’s Detroit Brawl series.
 
Shields (2-0, 1 KO), of Flint, Michigan, is the only American boxer, male or female, to ever win back-to-back Olympic boxing gold medals (2012 and 2016). In only her second bout as a professional, Shields won the NABF Middleweight Championship on Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation in the first-ever women’s bout to headline a premium cable telecast. The event, held at MGM Grand Detroit, was presented by Salita Promotions.
 
“I thank Salita Promotions for the commitment they have shown to me,” said Claressa Shields. “I promise all boxing fans that I will dedicate myself to being not only the world’s #1 female boxer and #1 pound-for-pound, but also a torch-bearer for boxing and women the world over. I can’t wait to get in the ring on June 16 to continue the journey.”
 
“Salita Promotions is to be commended for their commitment to Claressa Shields,” said Mark Taffet, Shields’ co-manager. “Dmitriy’s knowledge and expertise in Claressa’s home-base market of Detroit provides the perfect complements to Claressa’s once-in-a-century talent and determination to advance women’s boxing and change the sport of boxing forever.”
 
“Claressa is an outstanding world-class athlete, who has the ability to transcend sports like Michael Jordan and Serena Williams,” said Dmitriy Salita. “She also has the charisma to appeal to a broad new generation of fans, who will tune in to watch her fights and will want to come to arenas to experience her performance live. Every one of her fights is a unique experience that is memorable and transcends boxing. Claressa is a rare combination of the great fighter and a sports icon that come along in every generation. The state of Michigan has been home to many, like Joe Louis, Tommy Hearns, Floyd Mayweather and now Claressa Shields. I look forward to working with Claressa on her already historic career. At only 22 years old I believe Claressa will continue to break records, set new limits and break boundaries in and out the ring.”
 

Vendetti defeats Gray to retain New England title

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 9th, 2017) – Nicknamed “The Villian,” hard-nosed Stoneham, Mass., junior middleweight Greg Vendetti made a lasting impression in his first career bout at Twin River Casino on Friday, defeating Khiary Gray by majority decision to retain his New England Championship in a scintillating main event.

Vendetti (15-2-1) out-worked Gray (14-3) over eight rounds, bulldozing his way to the inside and landing looping, overhand rights while also working the body effectively for the majority of the fight. Gray, who found himself circling the ring most of the night, landed sporadically in exchanges, but could not match Vendetti’s workload on the inside; “The Villian,” fighting in front of a heavy crowd of hometown fans from Stoneham, earned a 76-76, 77-75, 78-74 decision over the Worcester, Mass., native Gray, his 11th consecutive win since signing with Boston-based promotion Murphys Boxing.

Gray has now lost three of his last four bouts, including a back-and-forth eight-round battle with Brooklyn’s Courtney Pennington in February. In a fight both sides have yearned for over the past year and a half, Gray and Vendetti delivered, fighting aggressively for eight hard rounds, even taunting each other at times with following close exchanges at the bell.

Friday’s event, promoted by CES Boxing in association with Murphys Boxing, featured eight exciting bouts live on FITE TV Pay Per View, including a back-and-forth co-feature war between Whitman, Mass., junior middleweight Mark DeLuca (19-0) and Chicago’s Chris Chatman (14-7-1) with DeLuca earning a 78-73 decision on all three scorecards. Chatman hit the canvas in the sixth and still earned a split of the final two rounds on two of the scorecards, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap against DeLuca, who was the busier of the two fighters in the early rounds and built a sizeable lead heading into the stretch run.

Returning to Twin River for the first time since April, Providence, R.I., lightweight and fan favorite Anthony Marsella Jr. (5-0) faced adversity in his scheduled six-round bout against Texas native Abraham Torres (3-2), rising from the canvas in the fourth round courtesy of a flash knockdown and turning on the pressure in the fifth and six to earn a 58-55, 58-55, 57-56 unanimous decision win to keep his perfect record intact.

The knockdown occurred as the two exchanged a close furry in the center of the ring, with Torres getting the edge with a short right upstairs. Marsella continued to mix it up with his opponent in the fifth and sixth, but also boxed more effectively on angles, dodging Torres’ punches and scoring from a distance to keep Torres off balance.

Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (11-1, 9 KOs), making his Twin River and CES debut, impressed his first-time viewers with a devastating knockout win over Delaware’s Dan Biddle (9-6), sending Biddle to the canvas three times with body blows in the second round, forcing referee Eddie Claudio to stop the bout at the 2:36 mark.

Facing the toughest test of his career – and facing am undefeated opponent for the third time since turning pro – Worcester, Mass., middleweight Kendrick Ball Jr. (7-0-2) earned a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Bloomfield, N.J., vet Godson Noel (6-1-1), 58-56, 58-56, 59-55. Ball was the aggressor for the entire fight, boxing effectively off the ropes, utilizing his angles while doubling up with quick uppercuts on the inside and short hooks. Noel landed in short bunches, but Ball was busier throughout and landed the cleaner, more impactful blows.

Making his professional debut, Providence, R.I., super featherweight Michael Valentin (1-0, 1 KO) dazzled the crowd with an impressive, 55-second knockout win over debut challenger Kevin De Freitas (0-1) of Somerville, Mass. Valentin, debuting at the age of 18, took his time to feel out his opponent in the opening seconds, then unloaded with a flurry along the ropes that sent De Freitas down and out.

Also on the undercard, Salem, Mass., junior welterweight Matt Doherty (7-3-1) narrowly defeated Providence’s Cido Hoff (1-2-1) by majority decision, 39-37, 39-37, 38-38. Judges Steve Weisfeld and Martha Tremblay scored it in favor of Doherty while Ken Ezzo had it even at 38 apiece. Doherty has now won three in a row, including a big knockout win over Julio Perez in February.

Fighting for the second time since making his debut in April, Providence featherweight Ricky Delossantos ran his record to 2-0 with an impressive 39-36, 38-37, 38-37 unanimous decision win over tough New Jersey native Malcolm Simms (0-1-1). Fresh off a win over Phil Davis two months ago, Delossantos sent Simms crashing to the canvas with an overhand right in the second round and controlled the final two rounds to earn his second win in as many fights.

“KO Night Boxing” weights from Iowa

OFFICIAL WEIGHTS
“KO Night Boxing: WAR In WinnaVegas” WinnaVegas Events Center in Sloan, Iowa
June 10 live on CBS Sports Network 10:00 p.m. ET.

(L) Daniel “Twitch” Franco (R) Jose “Pepito” Haro
(pictures courtesy of Stacey Verbeek)

Main Event – Vacant USBA Featherweight Championship — (10) – CBSSN
(L) Daniel “Twitch” Franco (15-1-3, 10 KOs), Rancho Cucamonga, California 125 ½ lbs.
(R) Jose “Pepito” Haro (13-1-1, 7 KOs), West Jordan, Utah 125 lbs.

Co-Feature — Lightweights (10) — CBSSN
(L) Zhimin Wang (8-1, 3 KOs), Wuhan, China 136 lbs.
(R) Manuel Rey “The Punisher” Rojas (14-3, 4 KOs), Dallas, 134 TX lbs.

Super Featherwights (6) — CBSSN
Giovanni Mioletti (7-0, 1 KO), Chicago, IL 130 lbs.
Sal Lopez (4-1, 0 KOs), Las Vegas, NV 130 lbs.

Prograis Blast Diaz Jr out in Two on ShoBox

At the Turning stone Casino in Verona NY, Friday night during the “International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend” DiBella Entertainment hosted an edition of “SHOBOX the Next Generation”. On the card were hot upcoming prospects, veteran journeymen and unknown opponents, all gave an equally enthusiastic effort to entertain not only fans in attendance but watching on TV. In the main event, two of the sports most talked about prospects Joel Diaz Jr and Regis Prograis faced off in a 140lb contest for Prograis NABF super lightweight title.

When the two fighters, entered the ring they had a combined record of 42-0 with 35 of those coming by stoppage. On paper this looked like an even fight, both possessed similar records, KO percentage and were almost identical in size, once the bell rang the bout was far from even, Prograis utterly dominated Diaz Jr two rounds. While Diaz Jr landed some solid blows in the opening round, the moment Prograis let his hands go, Diaz had no answers for the assault.

In round two continuous pressure and Prograis right hands dropped Diaz Jr four times. The final knockdown coming moments before the bell sounded, forcing referee Mark Nelson called a halt to the contest. With the win Regis Prograis improved to 20-0 (17), Joel Diaz Jr in his first loss dropped to 23-1 (19). In his post fight interview Prograis began humble, giving Diaz Jr credit calling him a “Tough Opponent”. When  Steve Farhood stated  “I don’t think anyone will want to fight you after seeing this”  Prograis started screaming into the camera “Terence Crawford I’m coming for you”. While I can understand his enthusiasm, facing Crawford is not the same as facing Joel Diaz Jr, something established more experienced fighters such as Viktor Postol, Yuriorkis Gamboa and most recently Felix Diaz found out the hard way.

In an Super Middleweight contest, power punching Demond Nicholson out of Laurel, Maryland, took on former Canadian amatuer standout Steve Rolls. After scoring a knockdown in the first, Rolls outboxed Nicholson in the second and third rounds. In round four Nicholson turned momentum in his favor, forcing Rolls backwards with power punching winning the fourth through sixth on my card. In round seven after back and forth momentum, Rolls edged it with accuracy. In the eighth and final round, Nicholson would outland Rolls almost 3-1 a late rally from Rolls just before the bell excited fans but was not enough to win him the round.

On My unofficial card, due to the knockdown I had Steve Rolls winning 76-75. The official scores read 77-75 in favor of Nicholson and 77-74 twice in favor of Rolls. With the win Steve Rolls improved to 16-0 (9), Demond Nicholson now stands at 17-2-1 (16).

The televised broadcast started with undefeated lightweight prospect, Jon Fernandez taking on Juan Reyes. It would not take long for Fernandez, who is managed by former undisputed middleweight champion Sergio Martinez to impress the crowd. He dominated the first round with accurate volume punching and at 2:36 of round two stopped Reyes cold. With his win Jon Fernandez improved to 13-0 (11), Juan Reyes now stands at  14-4-3 (2).

In Undercard action

Super Welterweight- Kerman Lejarraga 22-0 (18) def. Jose Antonio Abreu 13-2 (8) via TKO 2.

Light Heavyweight- Francy Ntetu 17-1 (4) def. Brian Holstein 12-7-1 (7) via TKO 4.

Super Middleweight- Nick Brinson 19-4-2 (9) def. Jaime Barboza 19-12 (9) via TKO 6.

Super Welterweight- Charles Conwell 3-0 (3) def. Jeffrey Wright 4-7-1 (4) via TKO 2.

Cruiserweight- Lawrence Gabriel 1-1-1  and Damian Lewis 0-4-1 fought to a four round Majority Draw.

 

 

Warriors Signs Undefeated Middleweight Kalvin Henderson to a Promotional Contract

Warriors Boxing proudly announces the signing of Arkansas-based middleweight Kalvin “Hot Sauce” Henderson to a promotional contract.
 
With brains to back up the brawn, 26-year-old Henderson (6-0 3 KOs) holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in Music Education with an emphasis in percussion. Despite having had just 60 fights as an amateur boxer, Henderson rose to #4 in the country, fighting in elite national tournaments and winning four Arkansas Golden Gloves Championships, among many other distinctions.
 
But the unpaid ranks were never Henderson’s ultimate aspiration. “My goal was always to turn professional,” he explained. “I was just getting my pedigree in the amateurs. Amateur boxing is very political and if I’m going to get things like cuts from headbutts, I might as well get paid for it.”
 
And so, Henderson turned professional in April 2016 and has torn through his first six opponents.
 
“This is my dream job. Ever since I stated boxing at age 15, I’ve been hanging up pics of Roy Jones Jr., and Oscar De La Hoya, while dreaming of being a pro fighter. Signing with Warriors is a big blessing and a huge step towards my goal. I can’t say how happy inside I am to be able to showcase my talents and make things happen.”
 
Henderson trains at Straightright Boxing & Fitness in Springdale, Arkansas, with trainer Kevin Lightburn, a man he calls his second father. “I met him in 2012 and he has helped me so much, not just in boxing, but in life as well. We’re so close, he was in my wedding party.”
 
A boxer who can punch, Henderson cites his education as a major factor in his ring success. “I have a great jab, but it’s my boxing IQ that is my strongest asset. I am very smart in there. Boxing is a chess match. Opponents are quick or strong or sometimes both, but they can’t think like I do in the ring. I break them down mentally.”
 
“I am beyond thrilled to have Kalvin sign with Warrior’s Boxing,” said Henderson’s manager, Shane Shapiro. “Kalvin has a large following in his area. He is a hard worker with rare talent and I believe with Leon’s guidance he will become world champion.”

Henderson says signing with Warriors is not only good for his boxing career, but also a road to a better place for he and wife Danielle and their kids.
 
“My main goal is to take care of my family. I’m going to use my skills and talent to make sure they are financially ok. With that, of course I want to win numerous belts. I would like to thank God, my team, and my family for this amazing opportunity. It allows me to continue to showcase my talents and skillsets in the ring, and also the chance to continue on track on the path to my first world title with the help of Warriors.”
 

“Kalvin is a promising fighter with tremendous popularity in his area,” said Warriors President, Leon Margules. “We believe he has the tools and ability to become champion. I’m happy he decided to sign with us and look forward to helping him reach his goals.”

Kovalev Media Conference Call Recap

Oxnard, CA:  Yesterday, former WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) and his team hosted an international conference call to discuss his upcoming rematch with Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 16 KOs) which will take place June 17 live on HBO Pay Per View®, and live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Below are some highlighted quotes from the call:
 
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, Former WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion
 
“This training camp we deleted all my last mistakes and like doing good. Like I think that right now is much better and right now is training camp is going right. Everything is good and we will see June 17.”
 
“You know, like, everything depends from my preparation how I get the best shape for the fight. And I’m trying to get now in best shape for June 17 and we can see what will happen June 17. I don’t know, like, how exactly the fight is going to be by decision or somebody stop each other. Let’s just see. I don’t have a prediction. I just have one goal to beat Andre Ward and beat all shit from him because he doesn’t deserve the belt and the status of a champion. He now is really high his nose and walking everywhere and don’t see the people around him. I want to put him back in his place.”
 
“Yes, I feel much better, you know, I am not any nervous about my shape right now because the last – before last fight I couldn’t say before the fight like I came to fight and say I don’t want to fight him because I am not ready. I gone to the fight and walked stairs into the ring, you know, and fought Andre Ward with empty strength. My energy strength was empty one month before the fight. And right now, I understand that I did very great fight in myself with empty strength against who I believed was the best American fighter. You know, and good fighters get in the ring there. But now I feel that this fight is going to be different and much better than last one.”
 
“I just felt like the most what they give me motivation is haters. When I lost, I used to take a lot of punishment that I lost. In Russia is more than in America, you know. But in America, even in America, boxing fans of Ward text me by Facebook, by Instagram, by social media that I won the fight. And they right now are going to support me in next fight. And right now is my most motivation is haters, haters yes. And I want to disappoint them and team Ward, team of Ward because they right now speaking a lot of bullshit to my side. They say that I this, I this, I this. I don’t care. They will pay inside the ring for everything for what they said. Trust me.”
 
Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events
“I’m really happy with the 24/7 that just came out. I was just watching it today and I was beginning to see it today online and I would urge anyone who hasn’t seen it to take a look. I think HBO’s work is always the very best; it is always brilliant. People are saying this is the best 24/7 in years and that’s quite a statement when you consider the quality of the work that they do. So, that seems to me to be a great selling tool and hopefully that’s going to have a big impact in the next few days.”
 
“I believed for a long time that Sergey does his best work when he doesn’t like his opponents, so Ward and his people have done a great deal to ensure that will be the case. So, I’m really happy about that.”
 
John David Jackson, Trainer of Sergey Kovalev
 
On the first fight:
“Yes, I watched it; I scored the fight. I had a 9-3 best for us and 8-4 worst for us, but he won the fight. He dominated the first half of the fight. The second half of the fight he didn’t dominate as much as he could have but, you know, what Ward did didn’t really justify him getting the decision outside that. Sergey won the fight hands down. You know, the judges, why they scored it only they know exactly.  We can’t dwell on the past. But whatever Ward did to survive those rounds didn’t really merit a victory for him, but he got it and we have to move on with that and just prepare for the second fight. The one thing I will tell the fans is Sergey proved the first half of that fight that he can outbox Ward at Ward’s own game.  And I always knew he could. So, he showed that he could so it just adds more to what we need to do for the second fight.”
 
“Let me answer something first. Honestly, if you look at it, Sergey is not going to have to do much more than what he did because he proved to the fans in the first half of the fight that he can win it at Ward’s own game. Now what he needs to do is be more aggressive and effective in the second half of the fight the way he did in the first half of the fight. But he proved he’s a better fighter, he’s a bigger puncher. You know, for all Ward’s team is claiming how great he was, if that’s his best, then guess what, he’s past his prime because all he did was survive. And in surviving he was given points and awarded I guess the decision that he survived. 
 
On the possibility of Ward changing his game plan:
“They may. Listen, if you’re a fighter and you’re smart, you come in and make adjustments. What adjustments can Ward make?  He can be more aggressive. If he does, that works in our favor. Is he going to run more? If he does, that works more in our favor. The best thing he can do, as champion, he needs to prove that he won that first fight outright. Which he didn’t. So, now he needs to be a little more aggressive. How much smarter in the ring can he be than what he would be, would he be a tremendous talent as far as boxing-wise in the ring? So, you can’t get much more brilliant than he is now. He has to be – if they’re going to change his game, he has to be more aggressive, he has to be willing to take more chances to prove that he did beat Sergey the first fight, which he did not. So, there’s not much more than he can do than they did for the first fight.
 
“He’s good at what he does and that’s surviving and making the fight ugly and win the way he wins. You can’t knock him for that. But can he improve?  No, not really. He did the best he could that night and he survived and he was even given points for that. So, if you’re going to make any adjustments, they may be small adjustments, but they’re not going to be adjustments that make him a better, more aggressive, dominating fighter. Then guess what, they need to be playing Russian Roulette and he’s going to get clipped.”
 
“I never said Andre was a dirty fighter. I said the things that he does, they’re not fan-favorite because he does hold a lot. As far as the inside game, there is no real inside game for him. Look, a true inside fighter doesn’t grab and hold the whole fight. He makes his hands free, he blocks shot and he counters back. That’s not what Andre does, he does hold a lot. But those things work for him and you can’t knock it. If it works and you’re winning and he has fans for it, okay let it be that. Sergey held somewhat himself. Later in the fight, he got fatigued so he did hold a lot. But we’re working on that for the second fight. And this fighter, he can be the best fighter because you have to think about this. When you have the power that Sergey has, tremendous God-given talent, the power that he has, we don’t need him to hold on the inside.  If Andre wants to fight on the inside this time, which they may try to fight more on the inside, then he has to do a gamble and the gamble is can he take the body shots that Sergey is going to hit him with?”
 
“Here is what Ward’s team is going to try to do: they tried to disrupt our team because, at this stage, they know that’s all they really can do. If they have – if they need – if they want to be honest about it, they can say we really didn’t win the first fight but we got the decision. Okay that’s part of boxing. We have to – and our side has to accept that. But now to try to play mind games and try to make different maneuvers to offset our camp, you can’t do that. Our camp is strong. Actually, what they did, and I’m glad they did it, it made us even stronger and become closer and we’re working a whole lot better. So, I need to thank them for doing the things that they thought were going to offset our camp. It made camp better for us. So, I appreciate it. And for them to say that I reached out to them personal, come on, seriously? If you want to say that, fine, I have no problem with that. Come June 17, all the things that Sergey wants and he does to have back his belts, he’s going to get that. He’s going to do what needs to be done and that’s fight inside the ring, not talk, to be the champion and to fight. If Ward really wants to prove that he is the better fighter, then fight. Fight a good, hard fight, not do what you do best and that’s to be – he takes guys and maneuvers them around the ring and wins fights strategically but not in an exciting fashion. For this fight, here, to prove that you deserved the first decision that you got and that you are the champion, fight. Stand in the ring and fight this man and prove that you’re the better fighter and show the fans that, you know, you deserve this fight, this title. So, we’ll see. We’ll see what happens come the 17th. But when all is said and done, Sergey Kovalev’s hand should be raised, he should be world champion once again.”
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