Photos: Gary Sarti
Wall-to-wall media at the Chevrolet Centre in Youngstown, including two network affiliate television crews broadcasting live, attended today’s final news conference hosted by world middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik of Youngstown, his opponent, #1 contender and mandatory challenger Marco Antonio Rubio of Mexico, and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, chairman of Top Rank. The last time the Valley area hosted a world title fight was when Youngstown’s Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini successfully defended his WBA lightweight title against Ernesto España in Warren, Ohio, July 24, 1982, also promoted by Arum.
“I want to thank the fans of Ohio for all their support. It’s going to be an exciting night and great way to pay back the fans who have traveled to Las Vegas, New York and Atlantic City to see my recent fights. I do feel a lot of pressure for this fight. Fighting in my hometown and coming back from a loss. The pressure is within me. I don’t just want to win I want to make a big impression on Saturday night. Rubio has stated he has come to Youngstown to take my belts. The only way that happens is if he sticks an axe in my neck, shoots me in the leg and then steals them from me. Saturday night is going to be Hell and ruckus.”
MARCO ANTONIO RUBIO
“I have come to Youngstown to fight. I have come to win. I have come to become the new World Middleweight Champion. I will leave my heart in the ring if that’s what it takes. I’m very excited since this is my first world championship challenge and that has provided me great incentive. I am ready for Pavlik. I can’t wait to get into the ring. The key to beating Pavlik is to attack, attack, attack and to avoid his right hand. The pressure is all on Pavlik. He’s the one coming off a loss. He’s the one who has to please his hometown fans. I’m relaxed. I’m coming here to become a world champion and though I’m prepared for 12 rounds, if he’s not, I will finish him in the later rounds.”
“We are here to fight and knockout Rubio. We need to make a big, big statement on Saturday night. We’ve heard a lot of big talk from the Rubio camp. We heard the same thing from Jermain Taylor, Gary Lockett, Edison Miranda and Jose Zertuche and they all met the same fate…knocked out. We expect the best from the No. 1 contender and we are prepared. We’re going to teach Rubio why “Defend!” is Youngstown’s slogan. It’s going to be so hot on Saturday night that the ice beneath us is going to melt.”
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Two title fights in two different towns on one pay-per-view broadcast! This event is so big, both Michael Buffer and Jimmy Lennon, Jr. will be introducing the main events from New York and Youngstown, respectively. Spectators at The Garden will be able to see the live broadcast of the Pavlik-Rubio fight. Spectators at the Chevrolet Centre will be able to see the live broadcast of the Cotto-Jennings fight. Promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank, the Cotto-Pavlik doubleheader will take place Saturday, February 21 and will be broadcast Live on Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
Remaining tickets to the Madison Square Garden event , priced at $500, $300, $200, $100, and $50, can be purchased at the Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.thegarden.com.
Remaining tickets to the Chevrolet Centre event, can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, Retail Locations, including Giant Eagle and Macy’s, or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 or (866) 448-7849. Tickets are also available at the Chevrolet Centre Box Office. Additional fees may be applicable. There will be a ticket limit of eight (8) per customer.
The Cotto vs. Jennings / Pavlik vs. Rubio pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $44.95. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. For Cotto vs. Jennings / Pavlik vs. Rubio fight week updates, log on to www.toprank.com.