By Phil Doherty
Photo: Hector Gabino
Newly-formed promotional powerhouse Acquinity Sports held a top-class press conference yesterday from the swank Boca Prime Steakhouse in Boca Raton for this Saturday’s card at the Hollywood Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa. Headlining the Telefutura-televised card is current WBO Latino champion and Hollywood hometown resident Ed “The Lion” Paredes (28-3-1, 18 KOs). Paredes squares off against tough Mexican puncher Michael Lozada (39-9-1, 31 KOs) in a 10-rounder.
Paredes took the podium to tell his local and national fans: “This is an important fight for me, I’ve trained very hard for this fight and Saturday night will show how ready I am to take the next step in my career.” Lozada believes he has the goods to knock off the young “Lion,” responding: “There is no hometown advantage for Paredes. I have the experience and the power to win this fight.”
Fightnews had a chance to catch up with Acquinity Sports Boxing promoter Henry Rivalalta during the festivities to discuss the upcoming card.
Henry, despite multiple stints with various boxing promotional teams in recent years, you seem to have landed on your feet yet again with your new role at Acquinity Sports. Tell us how this came about.
God has really blessed me in 2012. My partner Gary Jonas owns Acquinity Interactive, an online internet marketing powerhouse and we decided to open Acquinity Sports. My dear friend Shannon Briggs is also part of our team. I believe we have some incredible boxing minds putting forth great efforts and bringing top knotch boxing to South Florida. I landed on my feet because I work as hard as anyone in the game. Hard work and dedication is what I stand for, to tell you the truth this scenario was heaven sent and I couldn’t be happier.
You have former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs on board as both a co-promoter and future contestant. Describe Shannon’s role and impact to the Acquinity team.
Shannon is great. He is very marketable and knows alot of boxing. He is a personal friend of mine and we are now doing some big things together. Everybody loves Briggs, wherever we go they want to shake his hand and ask for an autograph or permission to snap a picture. He is a celebrity and has some great ideas. Shannon has lost 42 pounds and is getting in some great shape, I believe he will return in March if all goes right. He still has what it takes and is one of the most powerful heavyweights in the game.
How did the selection of the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa come about? Many promoters stage shows at the nearby Seminole Hard Rock Casino, as you’ve also done in the past.
We chose the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa because we felt that it was the next best thing to the Hard Rock. Its prestigious atmosphere fits right in with Acquinity Sports and our VIP corporate sponsors. This is a place that will impress the boxing world. It’s on the water, it’s Hollywood Beach, it’s a 5 star Resort and it’s as classy as it gets. Acquinity Sports is all about class. We want to treat our audience the best they have ever been treated at an event. They will leave this evening feeling great and we are certain every show will be better and better every time.
You have a packed card for fans to watch as part of Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo series opener. The main event showcases hometown welterweight Ed Paredes against tough Mexican slugger Michael Lozado. What are your thoughts on this matchup?
First of all, Acquinity Sports is proud to host the season opener on Telefutura’s series Solo Boxeo. It was really a pleasure for me when I recieved the phone call. Univision is a wonderful network and Telefutura has been bringing some of the best boxing seen in the past years. I want to publicly thank the network for giving me this opportunity and we know our team will deliver in a big way. We are looking forward to working with Telefutura as they have a great group of real pros. Ed Paredes is sensational, I believe that this match will make for a great main event. Dominican Republic vs Mexico. A world-ranked fighter vs a tough Mexican warrior who has fought some major talent like Paulie Maglinaggi and Michael Katsidis. This should make for a war.
Shannon stated his plans to return to the ring on an Acquinity-promoted card in March. What is the schedule for Acquinity Sports in 2012?
Shannon will return in March if he feels ready, No need to rush a two-time world champion. He will know when the time is right and I cant wait to see him. If he feels like it will be March, then March will be a giant month for Acquinity and the boxing world. Our schedule for 2012 consists of six shows. January 7th, March, May, July, September and November. We wish everyone a great 2012 and will deliver the best shows South Florida has to offer.
Thanks for the time Henry, good luck Saturday.
Thanks Phil, I want to thank you and Fightnews for all the support.