Explosive Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter, who possesses perhaps the most devastating knockout power in his weight class, will attempt to continue his ascension to the top of the heavyweight ranks when he returns to the network on Saturday, July 2, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (tape delayed on the west coast). Touted by many as the hottest fighter in the division, Peter, the United States Boxing Association/North American Boxing Federation (USBA/NABF) champion, will try to tame “The Bull” when he battles North American Boxing Association (NABA) Heavyweight Champion Taurus Sykes on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. All three titles will be on the line in the 12-round bout, presented by Duva Boxing from the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
Dino Duva: We are really excited about this July 2 event for a number of reasons. One, we are obviously thankful to SHOWTIME for giving us the support to put this great fight together. SHOWTIME was the initial supporter for Samuel Peter’s escalation to prime time television and we really are thankful to them to keep this going. SHOWTIME has had a great string of fights in 2005 and now in July the fans will be treated to the hottest heavyweight in the world, Samuel Peter. This is his toughest test against the toughest opponent he has ever faced and Taurus Sykes is a very excellent fighter and we expect it to be a great fight.
Sykes: I am very excited. For this fight, I know I am being underestimated, but it is all good. It has been like this my whole career. Everybody I have fought was supposed to beat me, but I came out on top. I am definitely looking to come out on this fight. I am training hard and doing everything I can possibly do to prepare myself. I know this is not a regular fight; this is a big fight for me. I understand the magnitude of this fight and I know what it brings as far as going to the next level and fighting bigger and other opponents. Sam Peter is, like I said, just an ordinary fighter. He does not even think when he boxes, he just swings. I will outsmart him and outthink him. I am going to be a slick, crafty boxer. I know that he has never really fought anybody like that. Everybody he has fought is running from him, looking to get a check and leave. I am going to be there in the fight. I am coming to win. I come to fight and that is basically what I am going to do. Anything less than that would be uncivilized for me, especially for where I am coming from and where I am trying to go. I am prepared mentally and physically. I am waiting for this fight so that I can prove to the world all that hype about Sam Peter is not about that. All he is is a puncher and all he will do is try to come in and swing big and throw low punches. He does not throw any combinations. He does not do anything but throw one big punch at a time. I know what he is going to do. He is going to come right at me and try to knock me out because of my knockout ratio. He is going to think I cannot punch. But I am extremely strong for my division and he is going to know that and he is going to see that.
Peter: On July 2, I will prove to you that I am one of the best heavyweights of all time. I am going to make that statement and I am going to be ready. I am going to implore you to be my sparring partner. You think you are smart, but it is not smart.
Sykes: If you think you are going to come in there and just swing and knock me out, you have got another think coming.
Peter: That is what I am going to do.
Sykes: I know you have a little fire going on, your name popping and all that, but I guarantee you after this fight, after I beat you, you are going to be exposed.
Peter: I am going to beat you before I knock you out. I am going to punish you before I knock you out.
Begin Press Questions.
Question: Samuel, do you generally dislike Taurus Sykes?
Peter: I like him. I do not hate anybody. This fight is just business. Everything I am saying is because business is business. I do not hate him.
Question: Samuel, do you expect to knock him out?
Peter: Yes, definitely. I am going to do everything to make sure that I put that cat back on the floor.
Sykes: You are a knockout specialist? Who are you knocking out?
Peter: I am a knockout specialist. That is what they call me.
Question: Samuel, how long do you think this fight is going to go?
Peter: I am just going to punish him, and then knock him out in round four.
Question: Taurus, how do you think the fight will go?
Sykes: I think it will probably go six rounds or later because he is going to understand who he is in there with and he is going to realize that he cannot hit me with those big bolo punches he is throwing and then he is going to take some power off of that and I am going to step right to him. As soon as I see him breathing hard like he will be doing in the fourth round, I am going to step right to him and I am going to be just overwhelming him.
Peter: When I saw you fight in Reno, you looked like a dead man. That is how I will see you – a walking corpse.
Sykes: That is what makes this fight so good is because you threatened me. You made it different.
Peter: I will step in there, I will punish you and I will knock you out.
Sykes: Sam is getting all hyped. That is how I am going to take him out of the fight. I am going to bust him down and then I will just walk away with a smile.
Question: Samuel, other than his height, what does Sykes have over you?
Peter: Well, his height does not mean anything because I have been fighting a lot of people that are taller than me and I beat them. So height or size does not matter.
Question: Taurus, how does your four-inch reach advantage play into your strategy in fighting him?
Sykes: I am going to be jabbing him like the bag I am jabbing in the gym. I am not going to let him get up arm distance on me, so he can throw those looping power shots. I will be moving and I am going to be slick and I am going to counter him. I am definitely faster than him, stronger than him and my arms are longer than his and I am in tremendous shape.
Question: Do you feel you have the power to stop Peter?
Sykes: I am sure I will have the power to stop Peter. A boxer can be a slugger any time. I am not worried about him and his power. I am going to step right to him. I have a chin, defense and I have a jab. I am very confident in what I am going to do.
Question: Taurus, do you plan to set the pace?
Sykes: I am definitely going to set the pace and dictate this fight. I am going to let him swing and punch whenever I want him to. You all are going to see a different Peter.
Question: Samuel, will you be able to stay with a boxer who is looking to box instead of staying on the outside and jab and stay away from your power?
Peter: He is not going anywhere because the corner will be behind him, so I will get him. He will never be able to do anything because the four corners will be behind him.
Question: Samuel, do you think the altitude in Reno will create any problems?
Peter: No. I am from Africa. When I went to the Olympics, I went to Australia. It was so cold. I went there and I won my fight. I went to Belgium and it was so cold. It is hot in Nigeria. None of that will bother me because when I go into the ring, I am going to do exactly what I am going to do and the victory will be mine.
Question: Taurus, do you think the altitude in Reno is something you have to concern yourself with?
Sykes: No, not at all. I have fought there before. I fought there two or three fights ago and I did not have any problems with the altitude. So I am not worrying about that either.
Question: Samuel, are you going on a missionary with Mike Tyson. If so, where and when would you like this to happen?
Peter: I always like to do my stuff. Anything I want to do, I do by myself. If Mike has it in his mind to help people, he can go ahead and do whatever he wants to do to help people. But when the time comes, I am on my way. I will help my people and I will help everybody in the whole world when everything is right.
Duva: Samuel has been telling me for some time now that he wanted to do some humanitarian work in Africa in his homeland to try to help people over there. The reason we put that thing (release) out the other day, as far as Samuel reaching out to Iron Mike, is because Mike said after he retired that he would like to do some missionary work. So we took him on face value and we thought it would be a good idea to reach out to him and ask him if he wanted to join him in doing it. Samuel is going to do that on his own regardless of what Mike wants to do. If Mike wants to join him and help him, that would be tremendous. As far as a time frame, it really depends on when the right time is. It could be maybe later this year or in between a certain two fights. We are not sure yet. We have to still look at the time frame and see when it makes the most sense. But Samuel will be doing that at some point as soon as it makes sense from a timing standpoint. One more thing: Samuel, eventually, if and when he realizes his dream of being heavyweight champion of the world, wants to bring a heavyweight title fight to Africa. That is his dream. Hopefully, someday he will be able to realize that. We will do everything we can to make that happen, but at the same time, there is only one thing that is on Samuel’s mind right now and that is July 2, Taurus Sykes.
Question: What is the significance of this fight to the heavyweight division?
Peter: I do not play games when I go to the ring. So I take my time, I am going to use my time. I am very fast, quick and nice. I am the next heavyweight champion of the world and there is no doubt about it.
Sykes: It is not even about the division. This is about me and me feeding my family first and foremost and then whatever happens after that is what happens. But I am an entertainer as well and you are going to see that. I am just going to do my thing. I am thinking about Samuel Peter and I take one fight at a time. I am not trying to be any legend or none of that.
Peter: Well, I am not thinking about you right now. I am going shopping.
Sykes: Good. Do not think about me, but I guarantee you that your life is going to change after I beat you because you are going to see all those people that are talking for you right now are not going to be with you because you will be exposed.
Peter: Nobody talks for me. I talk for myself and I stand up for myself.
Sykes: And after I beat you, they are going to do what they did to all those other African heavyweights.
Peter: You will never see the light beating Samuel Peter. You are a dreamer.
Sykes: They are going to send you right back to Africa because they are not going to need you anymore. Just like they had those other Africans that they had high expectations about. Ask them where are they at. The minute you lose, you are out and they are going on to the next African.
Peter: I am telling you, you will never, ever see that light. You will never see that light.
Sykes: Anybody can lose. Any man can be broken.
Peter: Well, I am not like you.
Sykes: Oh, you are invincible, OK. That only further lets me know that you are going to be real hurt when they flip on you – your so-called managers and promoters. Once I beat you, I am going to pull the covers off of you and then your next fight is going to be so hard and as soon as you lose two fights back to back you will be back in Nigeria working.
Peter: You just made me mad. I am just telling you because you will never see the light.
Question: Taurus, we are not expecting you to go toe-to-toe with Peter. What can we expect?
Sykes: You can expect me to knock him out because I was told I could get a bonus if I knock this clown out and that is what I am trying to do so I can get extra money. I am definitely going to box him and I guarantee you, when he feels my power, he is going to fight different. I know he does not think I have any power. But I guarantee you that he is going to have a newfound respect for me. You are going to see him hugging me after he feels my power.
Peter: His punch will never move me. Question: Taurus, what is your prediction?
Sykes: My prediction is I am going to win. I know I am going to win, but it is how I am going to win and I cannot really predict that. I can predict that as the fight goes on when I see him breathing all hard and taking deep breaths and all that and when he sees he cannot hit me with the jab. This fight is going to be so easy and I am going to show the world it is so easy.
Begin Closing Comments.
Peter: No doubt about it, the victory is mine because of the almighty God.
Sykes: Oh, you think God is the only one that loves you? You are always saying the almighty God and this and that. Do you think you are the only one that loves God? I go to church too, but I do not have to show or tell you that.
Peter: I do not know what you are talking about. I have to pray with my God because we need prayers all the time.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV