Today at the 230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge, under the sweltering Manhattan sun, middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez and “Dazzling” Darren Barker, along with members of their respective camps and other boxing luminaries, gathered to announce “Noche de ‘Maravilla’” – or “Marvelous Night” – their October 1 clash emanating from historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Below are comments from participants in today’s kick-off press conference:
Sergio Martinez, Middleweight World Champion: I want to thank HBO and DiBella Entertainment and Sampson Lewkowicz, my adviser. I also want to thank Darren and all of his team. I hope to see everyone on October 1.
Darren Barker, Challenger: It’s nice to see this New York sun keeping my belt warm. I am from London, my father was a boxer; I grew up around boxing. I’ve dedicated my life to this sport. I had over amateur 100 fights, fighting in hostile environments in other countries and coming away with medals. I live for that moment. There is a great series of movies, Rocky. They captured the mentality of the underdog. If the favorite always won in sport, it wouldn’t be any fun. I’m here to prove that the underdog can cause a massive upset. So, you may not know who I am now, but come October 1, you will know exactly who ‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker is.
Lou DiBella, Promoter of “Noche de ‘Maravilla:’” We believe this will be Maravilla’s night, but there is a man, ‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker, who wanted this fight. He called for this fight. And you should reward those who want the big fights.
Sergio Martinez respects Darren Barker and that’s why this fight is happening. Darren took to twitter and, bizarrely, that is how this fight happened. Eddie Hearn and I basically did the negotiations over twitter. This might be the first major fight ever made over twitter.
Eddie Hearn, Barker’s Promoter: This fight was made in about 20 minutes on twitter, but that’s the relationship we have with Lou. It’s been interesting talking to the press today, and they’re asking me who Darren Barker is. In England, he’s well renowned, but we quite like not being known. Darren has never even been in a fight where he has remotely been in trouble, so it’s hard to say how good Darren Barker is.
Jim Mercante, Representative of the World Boxing Council: We are here on a hot, hot day for New York to kick off what is going to be a hot, hot fight. This is the type of fight that my father, Arthur Mercante, would have wanted to referee.