World champion Ivan ‘Iron Boy’ Calderon told challenger Jesus Irbie – right to his face – ‘You are going down and getting knocked out on Saturday night.” The two were at a Top Rank Media Day at Kingsway Gym on 1 West 28th St. During a staredown pose, Calderon let Irbie have it. “I looked into his eyes and saw a troubled fighter,” Calderon said. “I just wanted to get him squared away.”
Irbie, who looked in superb condition, laughed it off, telling Calderon “….let’s take it to the ring on Saturday night.”
Calderon, a continous world champion for seven years, will defend his WBO Light Flyweight championship against Irbie on Saturday, June 12 on a Top Rank Live! event in The Theatre at Madison Square Garden on the eve of the annual Puerto Rico Parade in New York City.
Calderon, 35, said “….I’m always in a tough title defenses – nothing easy comes my way. When I looked at Irbie I saw something – a twitch, a tremble, a weakness. So I told him straight up what will happen on Saturday night.”
In world title bouts, Calderon has a record of 17-0-1.
Ticket sales are off to a strong start on a card that also features U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Steven Badgley. Stationed in Fort Drum near Watertown, N.Y., Badgley pilots a OHL-58D Kiowa Warrior, an armed reconnaissance helicopter. He served in Iraq, got U.S. Army permission to box on Saturday night and will soon be off on a new mission, presumably in Afganistan.
Badgley is from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He will turn pro in the light heavyweight division.
He and his family got on a subway from upstate New York to make their way to New York City tonight, on the eve of the Thursday press conference.
Calderon, Irbie and Badgley with his opponent Angel Gonzalez will be at a Top Rank press conference 11:30 am Thursday at Madison Square Garden.