BERNARD HOPKINS RETURNS TO FIGHT IN PHILADELPHIA FOR "BROAD STREET BRAWL" ON DECEMBER 2 AT THE LIACOURAS CENTER
THE LEGENDARY "EXECUTIONER" TO FACE ENRIQUE ORNELAS LIVE ON VERSUS NETWORK AT 8 P.M. ET
PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 14) - Long synonymous with the fighting city of Philadelphia, future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins' remarkable career will continue in his hometown on Wednesday, December 2, when "The Executioner," who will be fighting in Philly for the first time since 2003, faces hard-hitting Enrique Ornelas at the Liacouras Center at Temple University. The 12-round light heavyweight bout will be televised live on VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, at 8 p.m. ET.
In addition to fighting for his fans, Hopkins will be fighting for charity as he has committed to donating one dollar from each ticket sold to three select charities. Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Philadelphia & Susquehanna Valley, to which Hopkins will donate in memory of Shaun Negler, one of his biggest fans, whose last wish was to attend Hopkins' fight against Joe Calzaghe before succumbing to brain cancer in late 2008 at the age of 18, will be one beneficiary. The second recipient of the fight's proceeds will be The Hero Thrill Show, an annual day of events designed to raise money for the education of relatives of deceased police and fire personnel killed in the line of duty while protecting Philadelphia. Finally, one dollar will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. in memory of Hopkins' deceased mother Shirley who suffered from breast cancer and in recognition of all those who are currently battling the disease.
"I'm thrilled about the opportunity to once again bring a fight to the city of Philadelphia," said Hopkins, the former middleweight champion who owns a perfect 10-0 record in Philly. "A lot has changed in my career since I fought here six years ago and I want to give my fans the chance to see me fight again at home. To top it off, a portion of the proceeds from this fight will go to three charities that are extremely important to me. December 2 is going to be a great night for boxing and a great night for Philadelphia."
"Fighting Bernard Hopkins is an honor and I thank him for the opportunity," said Ornelas. "But once the bell rings, I'm going to do everything in my power to beat him and show the world what I can do when the spotlight is shining brightest."
"Broad Street Brawl": Hopkins vs. Ornelas is presented by Golden Boy Promotions East and will be televised live on VERSUS beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first bell rings at 6 p.m. ET.
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, will go on sale on Thursday, October 15 at 10 a.m. ET exclusively through ComcastTIX on line at ComcastTIX.com, by calling 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Liacouras Center box office.
A man who needs no introduction to fight fans, Philadelphia native Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (49-5-1, 32 KO's) already assured himself a spot in the boxing Hall of Fame with his more than 10-year reign as champion atop the middleweight division with a record 20 successful title defenses. Never one to rest on his laurels, in 2006 Hopkins moved up in weight and recorded a huge win over Antonio Tarver to win the light heavyweight title. With his subsequent win over Winky Wright and his destruction of the younger and then undefeated Kelly Pavlik in his most recent bout in October of 2008, Hopkins is showing the world that life begins at 40. Now 44 years young, Hopkins is back in action and eager to continue to show the young guns how it's done.
Hard-hitting, Enrique Ornelas (29-5, 19 KO's) has emerged from the shadow of his older brother, super middleweight contender Librado Andrade, and carved out his own niche in the fight game with his aggressive style and fight-ending power. Fresh off of a fourth round stoppage of Roberto Baro in July, the 29-year-old Los Angeles based native of Jesus Del Monte, Guanajuato Mexico is eager to put his mark in the history books by becoming one of the few fighters to own a win over Bernard Hopkins.
Despite being home to such legendary fighters such as "Smokin" Joe Frazier, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Meldrick "The Kid" Taylor, Jeff Chandler and Tommy Loughran, Philadelphia may be known to fight fans mainly for the great middleweights it has produced over the years, including Bernard Hopkins, Bennie Briscoe, Willie 'The Worm' Monroe and Bobby "Boogaloo" Watts. These 160-pound warriors made their names in such storied venues as the Blue Horizon and the Spectrum and with their never surrender attitude in the ring, they let the world know just what it meant to be a "Philly Fighter". Hopkins is modern day Philadelphia boxing's link to that tradition and will look to prove it on December 2 in front of his hometown fans in what could be his last fight in the City of Brotherly Love.
A full slate of exciting undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
Here are some quotes from the press conference:
"At the end of the day this fight is not about me. It's not about me because I wanted to do something good and bring something good to Philadelphia. I have to win this fight for the big picture.
"If I come out of this fight with zero balance in my pocket I am good. I am not looking to get Vegas money or Atlantic City money.
"We got VERSUS involved. They are expanding into all different cities. They are putting Philly on the map. We are bringing boxing back to Philly. We are giving back to the community.
"I don't have to call media and say I am writing a check. I am putting all of these elements into a pot of what I think is the best soup you can make.
"The only reason this is about me, is because I didn't want to sit around and wait for a fight to come along. I make things happen. I thought to myself, 'How can I take something that some media may perceive as me sitting and waiting for someone to fight, and turn it into something good?' I needed to come up with something that can bring life back to the city of Philadelphia.
"Enrique is a tough customer and I know from his record he is strong, never backs down and comes to fight. I will train very hard for this fight like I do for every fight. I know it is going to be a tough fight. When they asked me about fighting him I told them I don't want to be a part of making the matches, as long as it fits the bill I am fine with it.
"People asking me about the Roy Jones fight but I am not thinking about that right now. He will be fighting the same night across the world and we both have to take care of what is first in front of us before I start thinking about fighting him. And don't forget I am 44 years old and it wouldn't be smart of me to think ahead. I only have to think about who is right there in front of me.
"Philadelphia is hot and it is going to get hotter because of boxing. We have the talent now we just need the outlets. Now we have it. December 2 the chapter begins. Not only does my boxing career continue, but the promotion of me and of our company (Golden Boy Promotions) is going to invade Philadelphia that night too. That is where it starts, through me that night.
"This is something for the young fighters that are here today. (To the fighters) This where I pull you all up for all of us, but I can't fight for you. This is where I give back, but I do it quietly.
"We want to give an opportunity for the young fighters from Philadelphia to get a fan base. Philadelphia was once known for its boxing history and it has lost that and I want to make history in another era where I bring it back.
"Everything we are doing, someone can relate and understand that this is a good thing and it is coming form the heart. Now I realize that this is the best way to do it. To accomplish a lot of things in one act. Come out to see a 44 years young, not old, to inspire all the guys who are old to become young again.
"All I can say is enjoy me why I am here. If you can do it at this age, then understand that once it's gone it might not be exposed to you in your lifetime. I am here to give you that history."
"I am looking forward to the fight. I want everyone to know I am going to train my hardest and it is going to be a great night.
"Thank you to those who spread the word and make sure you let people know that December 2 is going to be a night fight fans won't want to miss.
"This is the opportunity of a life time and I am going to step it up and go toe-to-toe with Bernard Hopkins."
NAZIM RICHARDSON, Hopkins' Trainer
"Enrique is a hell of a challenge. Enrique is a Mexican Joe Frazier...and you all can take it from there.
"When Bernard told me he was fighting Enrique, I said 'what the hell for?' He isn't a guy you go and pick a fight with.
"Come out and see this fight, because you are going to be very impressed with this young man, but Bernard is from a different era.
"I have always said that Bernard is fighting in the wrong era. The words 'legend' and 'champion' are thrown around too much. If a kid throws two punches in the gym, he is called a legend. Everybody has a belt. But Hopkins is really a legend and you are going to regret the fact that he was right there for you to come and see fight and you didn't do it. So come and see him fight December 2.
"You are going to want to be able to say to your kids and grand kids that you saw Bernard Hopkins. This man needs to be appreciated as he is an exceptional athlete. He is one of the most dedicated human beings I know, and all that he does he makes everyone around him want to be a better person."
LIBRADO ANDRADE, Ornelas' Brother
"My brother has all the skills the world. I don't know how he has lost any of his fights. The only person who doesn't see that as true is my brother himself.
"Our family can't thank Bernard enough for giving my brother this opportunity.
"I get criticized for taking a lot of punches in the ring. I just want to fight and I don't care if I get hit and I hope this fight that my brother makes the best of this fight.
"One thousand thank yous and more to Bernard."
RICHARD SCHAEFER, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
"This is a homecoming for one of the biggest fighters ever to come out of Philadelphia. There are four great sports franchises in Philadelphia, but there is a fifth franchise and that franchise is boxing and boxing is Bernard Hopkins.
"This fight is important for Bernard and it is a great opportunity for Enrique Ornelas.
"Oscar de la Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions will be matching the donation made by Bernard Hopkins to the charities to which he chose to donate.
"By coming to support Bernard you will be supporting these organizations and the city of Philadelphia."
RUDY BATTLE, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission
"Enrique Ornelas is a tough and tenacious boxer and I expect a closely contested fight in each round.
"The city of Philadelphia has always been a sports town. It has always been known as a fight town and I am hoping that this particular event will regenerate a command for future boxing events being held in the city of Philadelphia."
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?