The BankAtlantic Center was filled with 9,227 fans who saw a great night of boxing in Sunrise, Fla., Saturday night.
JOSEPH KING KONG AGBEKO: “He [Darchinyan] pushed me in the seventh round and throughout the fight. He is very dirty and rough in the ring. I was fighting two people in the ring: Darchinyan and the referee. But I didn’t care if there were five people in the ring tonight, I was going in to win and come back out with my championship belt. Darchinyan talked a lot before the fight and I turned him into ‘the raging bullsh!tter’ like I said I would. I’m still the champion, not the chimpanzee he said I was. I have always said I would carry the greatness of Ghana with me to the top and that’s what I have done. I want to be considered among the top pound for pound fighters in the world. I think I have earned it.”
VIC DARCHINYAN: “I took a different tactic into the ring tonight. I went for the big punch and I lost and I can’t say anything about that. I was repeating the same mistakes and I was getting upset. It’s not an excuse. I took the bad tactic and I wasn’t smart enough tonight. He was the better fighter tonight. I will go back and watch the tape and correct my mistakes.”
ANTONIO DeMARCO: “He was hurt with the first punch [in round nine] and did not want to continue. The plan was to keep working. I knew the fight was close but I was beginning to get more power. I didn’t think he was down when I hit him. When I hit him he was looking for someplace to hide. He looked like he didn’t want to fight.
“I had an infection in my stomach a week before but I took care of myself. I got some rest and I felt good tonight and I fought hard. This was a good fight for me, a good opportunity to prove myself to people and show everyone what I can do.
“He [Adjaho] was a good opponent, he was very tough. It was a very difficult fight for me and I wish him nothing but the very best. I think it was an even fight up until the last round. I didn’t feel like I was behind and I had to knock him out. I just had an opportunity to get a good shot in and I tried to do that.”
ANGES ADJAHO: [Adjaho was ahead 78-74, 77-75 on two scorecards and one even going into the ninth round.] “He hit me with a good shot that cut me over my [right] eye. I decided to take a knee to collect my thoughts and he hit me in the head. Watch the replay. I thought I was winning the fight. I want an immediate rematch.”
REFEREE TELLIS ASSEMENIOS: “He got hit in the face and he [Adjaho] tried to complain.” Commentator Jim Gray said, “It looked as though he [DeMarco] grazed the top of his head while he was on a knee.” Assemennios said, “Yes, that is correct.” [Then they watched the replay together in the ring] Assemenios said, “Yes, the punch was before the knockdown and I was correct in my call.”
STEVE CUNNINGHAM: “I give myself a seven and a half out of 10 tonight. There were a few shots I saw coming but still got caught with, but no excuses. Tonight I proved once again that I am still the best cruiserweight in the world. It’s just a matter of time. I felt like I did enough to win. I matched him for speed and boxing strategy and I feel like I got the best shots in.
“Braithwaite is a tough dude. I thought I was going to fight him six years ago but we always knew that his boxing skills didn’t match up to mine.”
WAYNE BRAITHWAITE: “I fought a very hard fight. In fact I thought I might have won. I can’t believe the judges didn’t give me more credit. It was much closer than what the judges said. I wish it had been on TV so people could judge for themselves. Steve was a very skilled opponent, and I was a little rusty, but you can ask Cunningham yourself. I know I gave him a fight.”