Photos: Jan Sanders/Goossen Tutor Promotions
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2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (18-0, 12 KOs) and Colombian knockout artist Edison Miranda (32-3, 28 KOs), who collide this Saturday, May 16, in the main event on a special primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., participated in a free open public workout attended by several hundred fans and media Tuesday at The Plaza in Oakland. The 12-rounder between the unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Ward and the hard-hitting Miranda highlight the biggest fight card in the Bay Area in years. Here’s what the main event fighters had to say Tuesday:
“I am amped and ready to go, but I know I have to stay on track. (But) In terms of maintaining focus, I am fine and locked in on what I have to do.
“Saturday is going to be a beautiful night, walking into and leaving the ring. I really appreciate the support I am getting from family, friends and fans. It has all been awesome.
“My aunt Sandy (Boos) bought 100-150 tickets off the top just to make sure all my family and friends are covered and that they would get tickets without a problem.
“Big or small, it is fantastic to get this kind of support. A lot of fighters never see this kind of support.
“I don’t know how the fight is going to play out, but the bottom line is I will do anything and everything I have to do to get a victory.
“Everybody, Miranda included, may be surprised how much I am going to be front of him. I think everybody thinks I am going to box and move. But I am not going to fight passively.
“I only need to maintain for another couple days. I can’t wait for Saturday.’’
“When I first heard I had a chance to fight Ward, I wasn’t exactly excited because for me this is about work and my career.
“Yes, this is a great opportunity for me. But let’s remember that it is a better opportunity for him because I am the one who’s fought the boxers with the biggest names.
“Fighting in Oakland won’t make a difference. This is a fight, whether it is in his hometown or mine. The point is, this is boxing and you have to be able to fight no matter where you go. There are no easy fights.
“This fight isn’t really about Ward’s strengths. I’ve fought a lot tougher fighters, all with different styles – some were boxers, others were punchers. I can deal with anything. Nothing he can do will faze me.
“I feel I have been overlooked and haven’t received as much respect as maybe I deserve, especially if you look at my record, the fighters I’ve been in with and all the different countries where I have fought. I always fight with the same courageous behavior no matter who I’m against of where the fight is.
“I feel more comfortable at 168 pounds. I feel my power is greater. I don’t think the media realizes how much strength you have when you’re comfortable.
“I do not have anything to prove to anybody but myself. You’ll see who is standing at the end.’’
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In the ShoBox co-feature, unbeaten, up-and-coming junior lightweight John Molina Jr. (16-0, 12 KOs) of Covina, Calif., meets veteran Frankie Archuleta (25-6-1, 14 KOs) of Bernalillo, N.M. in an eight-round match.
2008 U.S. Olympian Shawn Estrada (5-0, 5 KOs), of East Los Angeles, Calif., and Brooklyn’s Cory Jones (5-5, 1 KO) will clash in another top undercard attraction.
The event will be promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Leonard Productions. The Ward-Miranda bout will be presented in association with Seminole Warriors Boxing.
Tickets, starting at $25 are on sale at the Oracle Box Office (Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Saturday starting at 10 a.m.), online through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or through Ticketmaster Outlets at the following outlet partners: select Macy’s stores and select Ritmo Latino stores.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. PT. The first non-televised fight is at 5 p.m. PT.