After a night of heavyweight boxing at Madison Square Garden, the fighters reflect on their bouts.
WBA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
JOHN RUIZ VS. ANDREW GOLOTA
“After that first round, he was getting away with a lot of stuff. He could do whatever he wanted to and I had to be on my best behavior. After they threw out Stoney, that motivated me. Every fight is tough. Golota came to fight. I was focused and that is what I did to win the fight.”
“I felt like I was fighting two fighters in the ring. He hit me too many times behind the head and I felt that they wanted to take my belt away. I was very disappointed with the referee and I was very discouraged. I had to motivate myself and in the back of my mind, I knew I was behind. I knew I had to fight hard to get this win.
“I want to fight to unify all the belts and I have no preference.”
“I thought I won the fight. He went down twice. I controlled the fight. I am confused here. I am upside down. I have no idea. I am going to watch the tape and see what is going on. This is very confusing to me. Maybe the judges were watching the fight outside the ring and not inside the ring.”
NABC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
EVANDER HOLYFIELD VS. LARRY DONALD
“It was a tough fight. I did my best. I thought I improved. I might have bit off more than I can chew. Larry’s style is difficult. I might have had the wrong fight at the wrong time. In life you have setbacks.
“I have never given up on anything. If I have a change in the heart, I could change my mind. But I will have to pray on it. I still believe that I can still rise to the occasion. Why not continue to pursue my dream. I did and felt a lot better than last time. I thought I hurt him a few times. I just did not get off enough. I feel good. He was a quick guy with good movement. I saw all the shots coming”
“I want to thank God, Don King and HBO Pay Per View for the opportunity to fight for this title. I have a new trainer, Colin Morgan, and he changed me around. I am getting my right hand off more.
“Evander is still a great champion. I did what I had to do to win. I didn’t look at him as being too old.
“Don King has put me in position to get a chance at these champions.
Ain’t no doubt I won the fight. I won every round. He is a seasoned veteran and he can hurt you if you go to sleep. He is very sneaky with his punches. This is the first step for me to become world heavyweight champion, which is my goal.
(on people who have doubted him in the past) People will always doubt you. People always doubted Muhammad Ali and other fighters. I never doubted myself. I want to challenge all the other belt holders because I earned a shot tonight.
WBC/IBF HEAVYWEIGHT ELIMINATION
HASIM RAHMAN VS. KALI MEEHAN
“Thanks to all my fans. I was going to be aggressive tonight. I was ready to go 12 rounds. I stepped it up. I watched one tape of this guy and I knew I had to go get him. I love to be here. We stepped it up against him and it doesn’t matter who we fight.
“I went back to the gym and I was focused. I am ready to fight one of these champions tonight. I will stay right here and when they are done, we can get it on.
“I’ll fight Klitschko or either one of these champions. Whoever brings the most money to the table will make the most sense. We fight from round one to round 12. I am in the best position in heavyweight boxing now. WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF…I’ll take my pick. We are ready to fight for the title. I am only going to be better my next fight.”
“He had a good defense and he’s a strong puncher. I was unable to get the shots off I wanted. I’ll be back to fight another day.”
IBF HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
CHRIS BYRD VS. JAMEEL MCCLINE
(The knockdown?) “I can’t believe it happened. He hit me right behind the ear. It was a perfect shot. He came at me really hard. (The weight advantage) “It is not too much. He pushed me and I pushed him back.
(How did you feel in 3rd round after taking knockdown?) “I got my eyes back in the third. The way I fought back showed I am a true champion. I had to dig down deep. He weighed 270 pounds, that’s Jesus Christ.
“I definitely did enough to the win the fight. I am the champion.”
“This was just about business. It was not like I imagined it would be because I expected to walk out with the title. I trained really hard. I thought I hit him perfect. I was surprised when he got up. It looked like I fell apart a little at the end and it cost me. He has fast hands and took me out of my game plan. That was the difference.”
OLIVER MCCALL VS. DAVARRYL WILLIAMSON
“I felt a little rusty tonight. I was aggressive and that was part of my game plan. I didn’t get to spar like I wanted to. I just didn’t execute, but I am not making any excuses.
“It was a tough loss for me. I will go back to the drawing board.”
“I absolutely did enough to win. McCall was tough as nails. He kept beating my jab, left hook and body shots. I thought I hurt him in the sixth or seventh round and again the 10th. His strategy seemed to be to walk me down and I was sticking and moving all the way. In the end, I think I scored the most telling blows.”
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?