Photos: Ed Diller Star Boxing/DiBella Entertainment
Promoter Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment, hosted the final pre-fight “Road To Glory” press conference today in the Celebrity Room at MGM Grand at Foxwoods for Saturday night’s HBO tripleheader from the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The show is headlined by a 10-round title bout featuring undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs), fighting out of nearby Worcester, Massachusetts, defending his USBA belt against unbeaten power-puncher Jason “Monstruo” Escalera (13-0-1, 12 KOs), of Union City, New Jersey.
Also fighting is undefeated Luis Orlando “Orlandito” Del Valle (16-0, 11 KOs) vs. former three-time, two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (37-5-1, 27 KOs), in the 10-round co-feature for the vacant NABF super bantamweight title.
WBC International welterweight beltholder Antonin Decarie (26-1, 7 KOs), rated #8 by the WBC and fighting out of Quebec, challenges the unbeaten challenger Alex Perez (16-0, 9 KOs), of Newark, New Jersey, for the vacant NABF welterweight belt.
Press Conference Quotes
Edwin Rodriguez: “I had a good training camp in Houston. They put me through hell. I’m ready to show the world that I’m a top 10 super middleweight in the world. I know Jason Escalera is a good fighter. He’s Puerto Rican, so he has a lot of will. Saturday night I need to break him down, take his will, and knock him out. I’m going to stay in the middle of the ring and take this guy out before the sixth round.”
Jason Escalera: “I’m excited. Camp was good and I was in the ring with known fighters like Demetrius Hopkins, Joe Smith, Ossie Duran, Glen Tapia, Danny Jacobs and Curtis Stevens. I’ve been working for this day to put on a show. Lou (DiBella), I’m going to disappoint you. I gotta do what I gotta do.”
Luis Orlando Del Valle: “I’m excited. It’s been 12 years of working hard for this time and it’s finally here. I guarantee everybody in boxing will know who Luis Orlando Del Valle is. It’s an honor for me to fight Vic Darchinyan, but everybody’s time comes. This is my time to step up and Vic Darchinyan’s ends. I’ll prove it Saturday night on my way to winning a world title. This is the first of many to come.”
Vic Darchinyan: “I want to thank HBO; it’s my first time on HBO. You will see a very exciting fight from me on fight night.”
Antonin Decarie: “This is an amazing opportunity for me to establish myself as one of the best welterweights in the world. It’s my time to shine. I’m so proud to be fighting on HBO. This is a dream come true. Saturday night will be great for me.”
Alex Perez: “I’m ready to go 10 rounds. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. Basically, it’s a dream come true.”
Lou DiBella (promoter of Rodriquez & Perez, co-promoter of Del Valle): “This event is selling very, very well and I hope to have a full room on Saturday night. This is an opportunity for these young fighters to shine, but it’s a crossroads fight for all of them. Everybody on this card has their hands full. Everybody knows Vic Darchinyan, but this is pretty much the first time on a big show for the other fighters. You’ve got to get out and entertain, not just win, and that’s the type of fighters that people want to see. Escalera can’t be in a bad fight. He keeps coming forward throwing punches. Having said that, I don’t think he will win, but it’s going to be a great fight. It’s the kind of match that’s entertaining and exciting. That’s why it’s on HBO. Edwin is now a top contender in the world. He is one of the top 168-pounders in the world.”
Joe DeGuardia (Escalera’s promoter, Star Boxing): “Like Lou said, Escalera can’t be in a dull fight. He’s like Rocky, working in a meat market for the last eight years. I’m proud of him. He’s taken on anybody we’ve put in front of him. He punches like a mule. He keeps ticking and is undefeated. He’s an undefeated brawler. People want to see a fighter like him. He’s coming into Rodriguez’ hometown going for a knockout.”
Gary Shaw (Darchinyan’s promoter and Del Valle’s co-promoter): “When Lou first called me about Luis Orlando Del Valle and Vic Darchinyan, I had mixed emotions. I have a share of ‘Orlandito’ and I’ve traveled the world with Vic and his team from Armenia. It’s a major fight for both fighters. If ‘Orlandito’ knocks off Vic, it makes a major statement; it’s the first time at 122lbs. for Vic and he can be a force if he beats ‘Orlandito.’ Maybe he can get a shot at (Nonito) Donaire before he goes to 126. It’s a major crossroads fight. Vic singlehandedly brought little guys back on TV. No matter what happens in this fight, Vic deserves to go into the Hall of Fame when he’s done fighting.”
The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Gary Shaw Productions. All three bouts will be aired on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.