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BLOWING SMOKE? Ricardo Mayorga Says He Has Found Peace

BY TSS Press ON November 30, 2010
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Top Boxers Participate in Media Workouts
At Angelo Dundee’s World Famous 5th St. Gym
Supporting Dec. 17 Miami Card at AmericanAirlines Arena


MIAMI—Three of the top boxers appearing on Don King Productions’ Dec. 17 card at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami—Ray Austin, Odlanier Solis and Ricardo Mayorga—participated in media workouts yesterday (Nov. 30) at the famed 5th St. Gym in Miami.

World Boxing Council No. 1-ranked heavyweight contender Ray Austin (28-4-4, 18 KOs) was dismissive of his opponent, Odlanier Solis (16-0, 12 KOs), who never lost a major tournament as an amateur, won gold at the Olympics in 2004 and who remains undefeated as a professional while currently ranked No. 2 by the WBC.

“I don’t see anything about Solis that impresses me, the towering 6-foot-6-inch Austin said while toweling off in the ring. “I’ve seen the guys he has fought, and it looks like they came to lose. It’s going to be different for him when he’s got a man in front of him that’s willing to do anything to win.

“This ain’t amateur boxing, it’s professional boxing. You score points in the amateurs with fast hands. Now Solis is in the big leagues. You’ve got to take it to a new level.

It was clear after Solis entered the ring and began throwing fast, heavy-handed punches that anyone who underestimates this heavyweight does so at their own risk. His longtime promoter, Ahmet Oner of Arenasports Promotion, added fuel to that fire.

“I honestly believe we are looking at the greatest heavyweight in the world right now, and I’ve been with him for his entire professional career, Oner said while Solis went about his ring business in the same fashion a carpenter throws his hammer.

“This is my job and I take it very seriously, Solis said. “I’m not a boxing fan. This is my work. I don’t watch tape on Ray Austin or Vitali Klitschko. I don’t watch any tape of my opponents. I just focus on doing my job to the best of my abilities.

Resolute in the task at hand, Solis added, “I want to knock out Ray Austin on Dec. 17 and then take on Vitali Klitschko on March 17. I am going to show many new things I have learned during this training camp.

Solis was rejoined last year with trainer Pedro Luis Diaz, the man that guided him during one of the more successful amateur careers in boxing history and has also coached 21 Cuban gold medalists in his career. (Diaz treated the media—and Miami Beach onlookers in shorts—to an unusual training regimen whereby both Solis and WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, whom Diaz is training to fight Bernard Hopkins on Dec. 18, hit the training mitts in the ring at the same time.)

Solis has weighed as much as 271 pounds but has said he expects to be closer to 250 for this fight.

“My weight is not any matter, Solis said. “I am in shape. Look at me. I’m not even breathing hard. I’m comfortable at this weight. I’m not even thinking about weight, only my conditioning.

The always colorful former three-time world champion Ricardo Mayorga participated in a spirited workout before sharing some new insights that indicate he may be taking seriously what could be his last chance to get in line for another title shot.

“I learned a lot in the last two years, Mayorga said of being away from the ring. “I have found peace. On December 17, I will show you a new Mayorga. I give special thanks to Don King and his staff for staying with me.

“I don’t think I will be hurt by my recent two-year layoff. I don’t think it will be an issue. I actually think it has helped me. I’m training very hard and I feel great. We’ve done great work in the gym. I feel strong. I plan to win by knockout.

Mayorga added, “I want to fight at 154 pounds. Cotto, Pacquiao, any of them will do. I can beat the Filipino. If his preference is to fight me, I’m ready. Pacquiao gave an opportunity to Margarito, and he could do the same for me.

(Special Note: Legendary trainer Angelo Dundee, who, with his brother Chris made the 5th St. Gym in Miami Beach one of the most memorable boxing haunts in history, planned to attend these media workouts but suffered a broken hip over the Thanksgiving holiday. Subsequent surgery has him on the mend, and Don King and everyone at Don King Productions wishes to send our best to Angelo—a gem of a person—for a speedy recovery.)

Raw Quotes

Ray Austin (WBC No. 1-Ranked Heavyweight): “This ain’t amateur boxing, it’s professional boxing. You score points in the amateurs with fast hands. Now Solis is in the big leagues. You’ve got to take it to a new level.

“I don’t see anything about Solis that impresses me. I’ve seen the guys he has fought, and it looks like they came to lose. It’s going to be different for him when he’s got a man in front of him that’s willing to do anything to win.

Odlanier Solis (WBC No. 2-ranked heavyweight and 2004 Cuban Olympic heavyweight gold medalist): “My weight is not any matter. I am in shape. Look at me. I’m not even breathing hard. I’m comfortable at this weight. I’m not even thinking about weight, only my conditioning.

“This is my job and I take it very seriously. I’m not a fan. This is my work. I don’t watch tape on Ray Austin or Vitali Klitschko. I don’t watch any tape of my opponents. I just focus on doing my job to the best of my abilities.

“I want to knock out Ray Austin on Dec. 17 and then take on Vitali Klitschko on March 17. I am going to show many new things I have learned during this training camp.

Ahmet Oner (co-promoter of Odlanier Solis): “I honestly believe we are looking at the greatest heavyweight in the world right now, and I’ve been with him for his entire professional career.

Ricardo Mayorga (former three-time world champion now campaigning at middleweight): “I’m training very hard and I feel great. We’ve done great work in the gym. I feel strong. I plan to win by knockout.

“I learned a lot in the last two years. I have found peace. On December 17, I will show you a new Mayorga. I give special thanks to Don King and his staff for staying with me.

“I don’t think I will be hurt by my recent two-year layoff. I don’t think it will be an issue. I actually think it has helped me.

“I want to fight at 154 pounds. Cotto, Pacquiao, any of them will do. I can beat the Filipino. If his preference is to fight me, I’m ready. Pacquiao gave an opportunity to Margarito, and he could do the same for me.

“Everybody knows Cotto is from Puerto Rico. Cotto is nobody for me. I’m not afraid of anyone. I’ll go to Puerto Rico and fight Cotto there.

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