By Karl Freitag
Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank
The final press conference for Top Rank’s loaded HBO fight card on Saturday night took place at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History.
The card features the much anticipated grudge rematch between Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (31-2, 20 KOs) and former two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KOs), plus three world title fights. Puerto Rico’s only world champion, WBO junior lightweight king Roman “Rocky” Martinez (27-1-2, 16 KOs) will defend against undefeated former WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (32-0, 27 KOs), Undefeated former U.S. Olympians Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan (33-0-1, 21 KOs) and Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (19-0, 13 KOs) will battle it out for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title and WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters (22-0, 18 KOs) makes his first defense against Alberto Garza (25-5-1, 20 KOs).
Here’s what the fighters had to say…
Nonito Donaire: There’s really not much to say that we haven’t already said. I’ll just leave my talking inside in that ring. But, one thing is for sure. With this grudge, and the tenacity of both of us, with our exciting style, someone is going down!
Vic Darchinyan: Everyone knows I’ve been waiting for this fight for a long time. It’s been cancelled a couple of times. I didn’t think it was gonna happen again, but thank you to God, Top Rank and HBO for putting this fight together. I’m very confident and motivated for this fight. I will show how excited I can be more than ever. You will see how good I am and how strong I am. And sharp.
Mikey Garcia: It’s a great opportunity for me. Once again I’m fighting for a world title. I didn’t like the way things happened in my last fight with my weight issues and losing the title on the scale. I know it’s a tough fight It’s not an easy fight for me. I’m not just fighting any guy at the 130lb limit, I fighting a world champion in Rocky Martinez. Roman has been there before. He’s a bigger guy than the featherweights I was facing, so I know it’s a tough fight for me although I believe I have all the skills needed to win. I believe was can put on good fireworks for everyone to enjoy and hopefully have one of those fights that people can remember for years and years to come.
Rocky Martinez: For this fight I had a tremendous camp, a very hard camp because I know I’m going to have a real hard fight with Mikey Garcia. I worked real hard. I know I’m the only champion from Puerto Rico right now, but be sure of one thing. I’m going in as a champion and I’m coming out as a champion on that night.
Vanes Martirosyan: I started with Top Rank and I’m going to end my career with Top Rank. This is a dream fight for me. I’ve trained my whole life for this opportunity. I had the Lara fight, but unfortunately we got a draw. This is another big fight for me. I’m well prepared and I’m going to go out there and put on a good show…this is the best camp I’ve had so far in my career. On Saturday night you’re going to see a dream come true for me and I’m gonna make Top Rank proud and show them the reason they signed me. We’re going to do big things together.
Demetrius Andrade: I’ve been waiting a long time for this. Like Joe [DeGuardia] said, five year in the making, the fight’s been postponed, people pulling out, in September I was was supposed to fight, things just getting messed up and down. I got pretty upset with things, but I kept focused having my faith in God and my team keeping me motivated and my head straight forward. But now we’re here. Showtime. November 9th. HBO, WBO, Providence, Rhode Island. They say Vanes hits hard and he’s fast, They say it’s gonna be rough and tough. Boxing ain’t easy. This is what I signed up for and he’s got something coming himself.
Nicholas Walters: He says he has nothing to lose, but if he has nothing to lose he has nothing to gain also. I’m undefeated. A lot of guys make a lot of talk in previous fights and he’s no different from other fighters. I’m going to come out here and execute my instructions…I’m thinking about knocking him out in four or three rounds.
Alberto Garza: I just want to tell everyone that I come here to win. I know what it’s like to be undefeated and losing for the first time. He’s gonna learn what it’s like to lose on Saturday because I’m coming here to beat him. I’m very well prepared. I have nothing to lose so this is a great opportunity for me.