Don King took over the famous Pirate Ship at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday for the final press conference before Saturday’s “Halloween Thrilla” world championship doubleheader at the TI and live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast). Assembled media and several hundred curious onlookers watched in amazement and were entertained as “Captain” King took over the iconic ship with the friendly help of TI’s performing Pirates and Sirens.
Photos: Mary Ann Owen
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In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING domestically televised doubleheader, International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko defends his title against No. 1-ranked mandatory challenger Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez. In the co-feature, undefeated, WBC No. 1-ranked Antonio DeMarco squares off against former World Boxing Association (WBA) titlist Jose Alfaro for the WBC interim lightweight championship.
On the undercard, WBC No. 3-ranked Ray “The Rainman” Austin is taking on former top-ranked contender DaVarryl “Touch of Sleep” Williamson for the WBC USNBC heavyweight championship.
Also featured in the five-fight PPV are three undefeated fighters: Undefeated welterweight “King” James De La Rosa, of Texas, will meet Lenin “Volcano” Arroyo, of Costa Rica; undefeated WBA No. 2-ranked super welter Nelson Linares, of Venezuela, faces Archak “Shark Attack” TerMeliksetian, of Armenia; and freedom-fighting Cuban Angelo “La Cobra” Santana will be opposed by Miguel “Silky Smooth” Gonzalez of Cleveland.
Another big heavweight fight showcases rising knockout artist Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne trading blows with Jerry “Big Daddy” Butler from the Bahamas.
Tickets — all priced at $200 each, plus tax and fees — can be purchased at the Treasure Island box office or by calling (866) 712-9308 or (702) 894-7723. Don King Productions and Treasure Island will present the event. Agbeko-Perez and DeMarco-Alfaro are presented in association with Gary Shaw Productions.
What the fighters said Wednesday:
JOSEPH KING KONG AGBEKO (27-1, 22 KOs)
“The fight is almost here and I am very excited. I expect a hard fight, but Saturday is going to be my night, not Perez’.
“I don’t care how many more fights it will take, but my goal is to be the No. 1 fighter pound for pound in the world. There are a lot of great fighters but I feel I’m best. I am not looking past Perez, but I am willing to fight anybody to prove I am the best.
“This is going to be a great fight Saturday for the fans in Las Vegas and the fans watching on SHOWTIME. I am extremely confident that I will keep my IBF bantamweight title.’’
YONNHY PEREZ (19-0, 14 KOs)
“There is no pressure but the opportunity is so enormous that it will feel great once we get into the ring and the fight starts.
“The time for talking is over. I have never been as focused or determined for a fight in my life. I have never worked harder, and I train all the time.
“In my heart, there is no way I see myself losing. An unbelievable thing is going to happen to me this Saturday. I am going to achieve a lifelong dream and become champion of the world.’’
ANTONIO DEMARCO (22-1-1, 16 KOs)
“This is the biggest fight of my life. A win can change things for my family and myself forever. I really want to do well, but this is going to be a good, hard fight.
“My opponent has a lot of experience, but if I box and fight smart, I am confident I will win.
“I have worked a long time for this day to come. This is my chance of a lifetime. I wish it was Saturday right now. I am ready to go.’’
JOSE ALFARO (23-4, 20 KOs)
“I am looking forward to showing people that I am back on track and that I have learned from my mistakes and that I have become a much better fighter.
“This is exciting to get an opportunity like this again. I wasn’t ready before, but I am ready mentally and physically now. No one likes to lose, but I have learned. DeMarco likes to box and moves well, but I am here to fight and win. This could be the most exciting fight of the night.’’