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MSG Tripleheader Press Conference

Report and photos by John DiSanto – Philly Boxing History (.com)

Thursday afternoon, promoter Bob Arum hosted the final press conference for Saturday’s big Top Rank / K2 boxing triple header at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. There was an overwhelming air of sportsmanship as all the key participants of the three world title fights took the microphone to address the collected media. There was no trash talk or arrogance on this day, just six confident fighters eager to get into the ring for the first big event of 2013. For many of the fighters, it will be their first time fighting at the legendary venue, and it was clear they all look forward to adding to the Garden’s history. The three title bouts will be televised live by HBO beginning at 9:45 PM (Eastern).

Here is what each of the participants had to say:

BOB ARUM (Promoter / Top Rank):
“It’s great to be back here at Madison Square Garden, the Mecca of Boxing. If you look at the six boxers on the dais who are fighting in the three world title fights Saturday night, I think their combined ages are still less than the age of Bernard Hopkins!”

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ORLANDO SALIDO (WBO Featherweight Champion):
“It’s a real pleasure and a real honor to fight here at Madison Square Garden. We always wanted to fight the best fighters in the world, and we have in front of us one of the best fighters in the world. It’s what I always wanted, and it’s why we’re fighting him. I know I have a very difficult fight in front of me. I know it’s a tough, tough fight, but I am very well prepared. Just remember one thing, this will be the fight of the year, even though it’s in January. This is going to be a war in the ring.”

MIKEY GARCIA:
“We’re going to have a great show, the first show of the year. It’s going to be one of the best of the year. We have a great undercard and a great roster of fighters fighting. As far as my fight goes, I feel very excited for the opportunity that’s in front of me. Every fighter dreams of becoming world champion, and that day is here. I feel we did all the work in the gym. I’m very confident in my abilities. I think we have a tough task in front of us, but I have everything needed to win. I think I will become world champion this Saturday night. Everybody’s going to have a fight to remember. It’s going to be a really good fight that people will keep talking about, not just till the end of the year, but for ages to come. I want to give a good show, and leave a lasting impression on boxing.”

ROBERT GARCIA (Mikey Garcia’s Brother & Trainer):
“It’s always great to be back in New York, especially at Madison Square Garden. I don’t have much to say. Mikey is in great shape. We had a great training camp. We know the importance of this fight. We know we’re going in against the best featherweight in the world. I want to thank Orlando Salido for giving us the opportunity and for taking the challenge, because it’s a challenge for him. And I want to wish him good luck, and everybody on the card good luck. We’re going to have a great show.”

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TOM LOEFFLER (K2 PROMOTIONS / Golovkin’s Promoter):
“This show on Saturday night with these three great world championship fights, the value of the ticket for the show, especially in such a venue as the Theater at Madison Square Garden is unbelievable. I think it’s a great way to kick off 2013. I have to give a lot of credit to Russell Peltz and Gabriel Rosado. It’s no secret that we’ve had problems finding opponents to fight Gennady. I think his legend precedes him, with his knockout power and everything. When I contacted Russell, there was really no hesitation. We think this will be a really great fight. Rosado proved last year with all his wins by knockout that he is very credible opponent. He had no hesitation accepting the fight.”

GENNADY GOLOVKIN (WBA Middleweight Champion):
“Good afternoon everybody. I think this is a great fight for us, for him and for me. Thank you everybody.”

GABRIEL ROSADO:
“I turned down my #1 (ranking) against K9 because, greater risk, bigger reward. I’m just really excited about this fight. I came up the hard way. Nothing was given to me, nothing was handed to me. I had to learn on the job fighting guys with great amateur backgrounds, and I was just learning. But we learn from adversity. Adversity makes you or breaks you, and it made me. I’m extremely confident that I’ll be victorious on the 19th. I trained extremely hard. I know this guy has the will to win, but so do I. I think at the end of the day, this fight will be determined by who’s the smarter guy, and who can make the better adjustments. I’m confident that I will.”

J RUSSELL PELTZ (Gabriel Rosado’s Advisor):
“We are so hung up on records today that we can’t see outside the box and inside the numbers. There’s not a promoter in the country that can take a fighter with this much skill and get him to 25-0. It’s not even a problem. And before I go any further, I’m not casting aspersions on anybody up on the dais. These guys are all top-line fighters and have proven it both as amateurs and pros. There are more undefeated fighters today than ever in the history of boxing. So we don’t always see the best fighters on television. What we see are the fighters with the best records. Fighters get better by fighting better fighters. I want to thank HBO for looking outside the box and inside the numbers. Teddy Brenner, the greatest matchmaker ever, said that we should forget the records, that there are two kinds of fighters, those who can fight and those who can’t. Just remember that.”

BILLY BRISCOE (Rosado’s Trainer):
“When Gaby got the opportunity to take this fight, we didn’t even think twice about it, because Gaby dares to be different. He dares to take the road less traveled. He’s a throwback fighter. Me and him, we’re not old in chronological age, but in boxing mentality, we take from the old-school masters. They told me something when I was a kid. The first thing you got to remember in boxing is that you can never let a man’s name, reputation, or record beat you. If anything you let the man beat you, but you do everything in your power to make sure that don’t happen. And believe me, we’ve done everything in our power to not let that happen. A lot of people asked why we would give up our number one rating in the world and a shot at K9 Bundrage? It’s pretty simple. It’s because Gaby dares to be great. Golovkin is the real deal. He’s everything they say he is and probably more. But at the end of the day, he’s a fighter, and all fighters are beatable. And we believe that we have the proper formula. I got to be honest with you. We’re going to win this fight. You remember years ago in the cartoon when the Tasmanian Devil fought somebody you’d see the big whirlwind? Well, we’re going to see a big whirlwind on HBO come Saturday night. But when the whirlwind’s done, there’s only going to be one standing, and that’s going to be my guy.”

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ROCKY MARTINEZ (WBO Super Featherweight Champion):
“For me it’s a great opportunity to fight here at Madison Square Garden where many champions from my country already fought. I’m going to fight with a lot of pride, retain the title and take it back to my country. Always when Puerto Rico and Mexico fight it’s always a big rivalry. I consider myself very ready for this fight. I had a really great camp. I want to thank my team. I’m 100% ready for this fight. Thank you.”

PETER RIVERA (Rocky Martinez’ Promoter):
“For us and everyone in Puerto Rico, this is a very important fight. It’s very important because Rocky Martinez is the only world champion that Puerto Rico has right now. So he knows how important this is for our country. We are going to win on Saturday, and he knows that everyone in Puerto Rico will be watching this fight on HBO. We are happy to be here, we are feeling we are going to win on Saturday, and we are going to keep this title in Puerto Rico.”

JUAN CARLOS BURGOS:
“I’m ready and I’m excited for the fight on Saturday night. This has been one of my hardest preparations because I know I’m facing a Puerto Rican warrior. He’s a world champion, and I know what he brings to the ring. But as tradition would have it, all the great Puerto Rican fighters like Roman Martinez, I’m also a Mexican warrior and all I want to do is take a belt back home where it really belongs. I want to thank the WBO for the opportunity, Bob Arum for making this fight possible. And to all of you, I want you to know that I want to be the first champion Mexico will have in 2013. That’s all I want to do.”

ALEX CAMPONOVO (Thompson Boxing / Juan Carlos Burgos’ Promoter):
“About 10 years ago to the day, Victor Burgos, Juan Carlos’ uncle, finally got his world title. He was able to beat Alex Sanchez, who was also a Puerto Rican fighter. During the holidays at a family gathering, Victor Burgos came to his nephew and reminded him of that fact that 10 years ago he was able to beat a great Puerto Rican fighter, and he asked him to keep the family tradition alive.”

ART PELLUILO (Juan Carlos Burgos’ Co-Promoter):
“I’ve known Bob for 30 years, and it took about 20 minutes to make this fight. That’s the way it is with him. The fight on Saturday night between the champion (Rocky Martinez) and Juan Carlos is going to be a great fight. They are both very knowledgeable guys who know what they have to do. It’s just a good fight. You have a Mexican kid, a Puerto Rican kid. They have big hearts. They know what it’s all about. They have to win. The winner goes on. They know it’s important to their careers. Arum, as always, has put a very good show together. Great fights. It’s good stuff. It’s really good stuff.”




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