Bradley, (24-0-1 NC, 11 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif., and Peterson (27-0, 13 KOs), of Washington, D.C., participated in a national media conference call to discuss their upcoming world title mega-matchup on Saturday, Dec. 12 live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In an excellent battle of unbeatens, Bradley will defend his WBO 140-pound title against interim champ Peterson at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The telecast will open with WBC/WBA Super Flyweight Champion Vic Darchinyan (32-2-1, 26 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, defending his belts against WBC interim titlist Tomas Rojas (31-11-1, 22 KOs) of Mexico.
Bradley, who is coming off a No Contest against former unified lightweight world champion Nate Campbell on Aug. 1 on SHOWTIME, is on a hot streak in the stacked 140-pound division. Bradley originally won the fight via highly controversial third-round TKO, but the decision was later changed to a NC by the California State Athletic Commission due to an accidental head butt that opened a cut over Campbell’s left eye.
Peterson, who is one of the hottest prospects in boxing, is coming off a seventh-round TKO over previously unbeaten Willy Blain on April 25, 2009 for the interim WBO junior welterweight title. Now he has his first shot at a world title against a man that no one in the division has been able to beat.
The 12-rounders are promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions, in association with Top Rank and Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY OPENING COMMENTS:
“There’s nothing like fighting at home and I’m glad to be back. I’m glad that my promoters were able to make that possible.”
“Lamont Peterson is a great fighter; I grew up with him in the amateurs. I know him very well and he knows me very well. I’m just looking forward to the fight. I’m hungry and I’m willing to show the world what I have. We’re both undefeated, which makes for a great fight. We both have speed and power, and we both have boxing ability, so it’s going to be a great fight. But, at the end of the day, it’s my job to teach Lamont Peterson how to lose, and that’s what I’m going to do on Dec. 12.”
Tim, what are your thoughts on the result of your last fight?
BRADLEY: “I’m way over that. Things happened and you just have to move on. My biggest focus right now is on Dec. 12. As far as it goes with (Nate) Campbell, I’m over that. I’ve been over that for months, so I’m moving onto the next challenge, and that’s Lamont Peterson.”
How important is it to you to have to people, fans and experts understand how good Timothy Bradley is?
BRADLEY: “You can basically look at my resume and see that in less than one year I one two world titles. I’m still young, I’ve fought on the road, like a veteran, and I won on the road. People don’t understand how much pressure there is on a fighter when he fights on the road. I beat Junior Witter on the road to win the world title and didn’t get much credit for that. On the road, that just shows you how determined I am to being great. At the end of the day, after I beat Lamont Peterson, people are going to start realizing that, ‘I’m going to stop betting against this guy and I’m going to get on the bandwagon.’”
Where does your tenacity come from?
BRADLEY: “I think it just comes from my love for the sport. I just love what I do and I have that competitive nature. I made a promise to my promoter that they line ‘em up and I’m going to knock them all down. I have a great team supporting me and I have a lot of faith in my abilities and myself. I train extremely hard for every fight like it’s my last fight, and that’s pretty much what puts me over the top, my conditioning level and how I take care of myself before and after training camp.”
Do you feel like you’re getting the respect you deserve?
BRADLEY: “I don’t know, everybody has their opinions. It doesn’t really bother me. Dec. 12, just come out and watch the fight. You’re going to see a big difference. Boxing is about style, styles make fights. He could give me problems, but we’re going to see. He’s a much taller opponent with a lot longer reach, but that’s not going to keep me off of you. I’m coming in there to get him, and we’ll see how long he lasts.”
Has it been any different fighting at home?
BRADLEY: “It’s the same. There’s a little added pressure, but this is my job, this is what I do. I know I have to get in there and take care of business, but I’m a little more relaxed now, a lot more mature. I’m not as nervous or anxious as I normally am.
“This fight is a mandatory fight. If I were to lose this fight, there’s no way I could get my belt back from this guy. That’s my only pressure, is losing my title. That’s it.”
Being that Lamont is more of a counter-puncher, you might have to be more of an aggressor. Is that something that you guys have worked on in this fight?
BRADLEY: “My natural style is being aggressive, so I don’t have to work on it too much. I love to get it on, and sometimes I don’t use my head and I’ll get caught with some stupid shots I shouldn’t have. My trainer is working on slowing me down a little bit, let me take my time and pick me shot. We’ve been working on that a lot, but as far as coming forward to fight, I’m always game.”
You keep taking tough fights. Why?
BRADLEY: “I just want to fight the best fighters in the world. That’s pretty much it. I’ve told my promoters that I want to fight the best fighters in the world. Will I ever get a chance to fight Manny Pacquiao fight, probably not? Those guys are mega-fighters. I just want to fight the best. Anybody that’s in my weight class who’s considered the best, that’s who I want to fight. I’ve had it in my heart for a long time that I wanted to fight these guys (Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather), but I’ve let that go. I’ll just fight whoever they give me.”
LAMONT PETERSON OPENING COMMENTS:
“I’ve been training ever since I went out to California to see Timothy and Nate fight. We pretty much knew this was going to be my next fight, we just didn’t know when at the time. Right now, I’ve been in great shape for two or three months. We’re just trying to level everything out and doing what we need to do to give us a chance to win. We feel really good right now, and we’re looking to go ahead and win the title on Dec. 12.
What does it mean to you to have Lamont to fight for a world title?
BARRY HUNTER (Lamont’s Trainer): “The day Lamont stepped into the gym we’ve been gearing up for this day to fight for a world title. When you look at two young people like Anthony and Lamont that went from what they went from at such an early age, to actually come from that a win a world title would be just huge. It would send a message clear across the map that if you don’t like where you are and where you are is a bad place you can do something about it. You don’t have to always stay there.”
How does it feel to be fighting for a world title? PETERSON: “It’s a dream come true. A lot of times you talk about us being out in the street, a lot of the times it got me through just dreaming of this day of fighting to become a world champion. It’s really an honor and I’m really thankful. It wasn’t just me alone. I dreamed of this day, but there was a lot of people who helped this dream come true, and I have to give thanks to them. Right now, I’m living my dream. I’m just happy about the fight and giving it my all because I know this is it.”
Is it hard to believe that you’re fighting for a world championship, considering where you came from? PETERSON: “I always dreamed of this day, and I always thought this day had come. But when it actually came I was like, wow, I have come a long way. To survive in that type of environment, I had to be a certain way. I had to make some changes to get to this point, and coach Barry helped with that. It’s crazy. It’s weird, but I like it.”
Are there any butterflies? PETERSON: “That’s mental work that I work on every night, at least 30 minutes a night. I understand that it’s a world title fight and I might have butterflies, but if I work on that every night, I should be prepared. Mentally, I’m prepared for that, I’m prepared to get knocked down or go 12, but if you prepare correctly, you should be ready to get in the ring when the time comes.”
Can you talk about your relationship with Timmy from the amateurs? PETERSON: “He’s a pretty cool guy. We don’t have a really close relationship. As far as his fighting style, he’s very determined and he comes to win. He comes to fight and he comes to win, and I respect him as a fighter. From the amateurs to the pros, same style, it just seems like he’s in better condition now, as a pro, which he should be. I’m more of a thinking first fighter, but, if need be, I can go in there and bang with the best of them. With me, I make my adjustments in the ring. I think whatever Timothy brings, I should be able to make the adjustments.”
How do you plan to utilize your height and reach advantage? PETERSON: “Of course, you can use your reach in different ways. I don’t have to move back to use my reach. I can move forward and keep him at reach and keep my jab and straight punches at him. .Regardless if I’m moving back or moving forward, I’ll use my reach and just try to take advantage of that.
What type of fight will it be? Will it be a fight, fight or more of a chess match? PETERSON: “I’m prepared for both because Timothy can box, and I know he can bang. And I know I can box and I know I can bang. It’s hard to say now. What strategy I decide to use in the fight and what he decides to use, I guess that will determine how the fight will play out. But, it could go either way. It could be an all out war or it could be a chess match. I’m ready for either one.”
You’re taking on a tough champion for your title shot. Does that concern you? PETERSON: “It’s OK with me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. A lot of guys fight someone they know they can beat. But, with me it’s about fighting the best. If a fight comes up, you take it. It’s also a good thing for me because I don’t have to go through the other guys. I’m fighting the No. 1 at 140 pounds. If I can jump over the other guys then that will be good for me.”
What was the most impressive fight you’ve seen from Bradley? HUNTER: “I think the fight against Kendall Holt was the most impressive for me. Not the fact that he won the fight, but that he came back from getting knocked down. That showed that he was in great condition. And his awareness, when he got knocked down he got up and took a knee. He was aware to the point where he took a knee, got himself back together, and he won the fight. That was very, very impressive.”
CLOSING COMMENTS: HUNTER: “We are elated to have this opportunity. Timmy is a friend, but, nevertheless, the path to a world title is through him, and that’s the path we’re going to take. I’m very confident we’re going to walk out of the ring with a world title.
PETERSON: “I will take full advantage of this opportunity on Dec. 12 and I will be champion. Tune in on Dec. 12, because it’s going to be a great fight.”
TSS spoke to multiple sources with knowledge of the proposed event, and all are feeling confident that both Team Mayweather and Team Pacquiao, and promoter Bob Arum are going to be able to hash out a deal.
Two snafus that worried folks, that Mayweather might balk, and ask for too much of the pie, and that Manny's re-entry into the Filipino political scene might put off the clash indefinitely, seem to be surmountable hurdles.
The soon to be 31-year-old Pacman (50-3-2, with 38 knockouts) is running for a congressional seat, and the election is May 10, so Arum, who flew to the Philippines with Mayweather's okay in principle to make the deal, wanted to hammer out an early spring battle. That wouldn't be optimal for Team Pacquiao in terms of getting ready, considering he suffered a busted right eardrum in his Nov. 14 fight with Miguel Cotto (TKO12 win), and his trainer Freddie Roach wants more time for him to heal. But the money is too good to pass up.
Each fighter, TSS was told, stands to make $40 million guaranteed, a 50-50 split. You'll recall that the purse split has been a point of contention between these two going back to last year, when posturing began for the showdown between the two pugilists jockeying for the top spot as the pound for pound best. Neither man wanted to get the short straw, and it looks like that sticking point could be smoothed out by Arum, who might pony up some extra dough to the 32-year-old Mayweather (40-0, 25 knockouts).
So far, no site has been chose to stage the event, though it looks like Las Vegas has the inside track. Arum is slated to stick around the Philippines for a week or so, or presumably, until the deal is done.
In the main event of a sensational card from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, the hard-punching Williams, 37-1 (27 KOS), a three-time world titlist who is generally regarded as the most avoided man in boxing, will square off against Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, 44-1-2 (24 KOS), the current WBC interim junior middleweight champion who hails from Argentina.
In Martinez’s last fight, on February 14, he battled to a draw with Kermit Cintron in a bout that most observers thought Martinez won handily.
In the televised co-feature, Cristobal “The Nightmare” Arreola, 27-1 (24 KOS), of Los Angeles, returns to the ring just nine weeks after absorbing a tremendous beating from WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.
Arreola will have his hands full with Brian “The Beast” Minto, 34-2 (21 KOS), of Butler, Pennsylvania, a seven-year pro who has never been stopped and has acquitted himself well on two occasions in Germany where local promoters expected him to show up, get stopped, collect a check, and go home.
The four were all present for a freewheeling press conference hosted by promoter Goossen at The Palm restaurant in midtown Manhattan on December 2.
Goossen touted Williams as a force of nature who because of his ferocity in the ring is having difficulty finding suitable opponents from 147 to 168 pounds. He was especially critical of Shane Mosley, who he said talks a good game about being avoided but has himself avoided Williams like the plague.
As a result, said Goossen, Williams, a natural 147 pounder, is being forced to fight anyone willing to lace them up despite weight disparities.
“That is a testament to how tough he is,” proclaimed Goossen. “He’s tough and he’s willing to fight anyone. He’s the baddest mother out there.”
Talking equally tough was Williams’s longtime trainer and mentor, George Peterson, whose kindly appearance belies a trash-talking demeanor. Although he praised Martinez for being the only one willing to step up and fight, he said that the Argentinean is in “a hell of a predicament” because Williams will take out his five months of frustration about who and when he’d be fighting on December 5 on “this fine young man.”
Williams concurred with the description of his recent frustrations, while managing to be cocky and semi-respectful at the same time. He seemed particularly incensed by the belief that Carlos Quintana, who fights similarly to Martinez, handed Williams his only loss. In the rematch, however, Quintana’s in-and-out, fast-paced style amounted to nothing and he was starched in the first round.
“Saying he (Martinez) is fast means nothing to me,” said the 6’2” Williams. “He can take a punch, and I can give a punch. People say he can jump in and jump out. I’ll be jumping in and out, too. I’ll fight along with him. I can change up, and I will take him to school.”
Williams was on a verbal roll, but he saved the best for last. “I’m going to have a pig’s roast on the fifth,” he said, making it clear that it was Martinez’s goose that would be cooked. “And I’m going to put an apple in his mouth.”
The gentlemanly Martinez, who has the looks of a Latin movie star, was much more demure in his assessment of the fight. Although he is three inches shorter than Williams, he described himself as “the real deal” and promised that “the whole world will see that” when he has his hands raised in victory on Saturday.
Making Martinez even more likeable was the fact that he would pay homage to his good friend Vernon Forrest, the recently murdered champion whose masterful boxing abilities and engaging manners were very similar to those possessed by Martinez.
Martinez’s promoter, Lou DiBella, was much less clinical in his opinion of the fight. He responded to George Peterson’s assertion that Martinez had only beaten “D and E class” opposition, and had lost to the only “A class” opponent he ever faced, Antonio Margarito.
According to DiBella, that has little relevance when it comes to Saturday’s fight. He said Alex Bunema, who Martinez stopped in eight rounds was a “C “ level fighter, and Cintron, who Martinez beat but only got a draw was an “A- or B+ fighter.”
But, insisted DiBella, “Come Saturday night, Sergio will beat an A fighter.”
“This is a real fight, an action fight, a much more competitive fight than Pavlik,” said DiBella. “Sergio is one of the few guys that Paul can fight and look in the eye. Paul looks like a (basketball) forward with a huge wingspan, but he will have a guy in front of him who is not afraid.”
Coming up through the ranks, Arreola, who is still angling to become the first Mexican heavyweight champion in history, frightened many of his opponents. While he has often looked sloppy and out of shape, his relentless, non-stop punching style put nearly all of his opponents to sleep.
Klitschko might have been too much too soon for him, but his decision to come back so soon after such a devastating loss shows what a championship heart beats in his chest.
Asked why he didn’t take a while longer to recuperate from such a one-sided shellacking, Arreola was not the least bit circumspect.
“I can rest when I’m dead,” he said. “I became a boxer to fight, not to sit on the shelf. In the dressing room after the Klitschko fight, I told Dan (Goossen) to get me a tough opponent. I just fought a great champion. Why scale so far back? I wanted a challenge, and I got it. Minto is a tough, rugged guy who comes to fight…. and win. That’s what I need, not a human punching bag.”
Despite Minto’s two losses, both by close decision to Tony Tubbs and Luan Krasniqi, it could be argued that he should still be undefeated. Five months before the loss to Krasniqi, which took place in Germany, Minto made his first foray to the Deutschland and beat local hero Axel Schulz in a fight that shocked the more than 15,000 fans in attendance.
“When we walked into the ring, all you could hear were boos,” said Tommy Yankello, Minto’s trainer. “When the fans realized what a beating Schulz was getting, you could hear a pin drop.”
Minto wound up stopping Schulz in the sixth round. As he had been doing even prior to that, Minto continued lobbying for big fights against big names. He had been calling Arreola out on the Internet for quite some time. He is convinced that should he beat Arreola, he will finally become an overnight sensation.
“This is definitely the biggest fight of my career,” said Minto, who despite being very stocky at 5’11” looked downright diminutive next to the 6’2” Arreola. “This is a golden opportunity for me, what I’ve been waiting for a long, long time. I’m not going to let it pass me by.”
“He’s on the run like the one-armed man in “The Fugitive.” Eventually the law catches up with him,” said Dawson. “Well I’m the sheriff of the light heavyweight division and I’m putting a stop to Hopkins’ con. First, he said he’d fight the winner of my fight with Glen Johnson. I won and Hopkins hid. Second, he said he’d fight the winner of my rematch with Johnson. I won and this time Hopkins chose to fight some guy named Enrique Ornelas, who has lost to almost every decent middleweight he’s ever fought. And on top of that, the fight isn't worthy of being broadcast on HBO, Showtime or even ESPN 2! Desperate people do desperate things. Hopkins knows that if he fights me he’s looking at a loss of Calzaghe proportions.
“Bernard, it’s time for you to pack it in and get out of my division. If you’re not willing to fight the best light heavyweight, move along and quit wasting everyone’s time. Your deep well of excuses, along with your credibility has dried up. You weighed 175 pounds for tonight’s fight, Roy Jones was knocked out in 122 seconds today and HBO has a March date available. No more excuses. Get onboard with HBO’s original plan for us to fight each other, or, as you told ESPN.com this morning, go run "a marathon to super-greatness” away from me."
But those plans exploded on Wednesday at Acer Australia in Sydney Australia, as Danny Green leaped on Jones in round one, dumped a heap of damage on the four division champion, and forced the referee to halt the contest after 2:02 action. A slamming right hand sent Jones (54-6, 40 KOs; 179 1/2 pounds) to the mat a minute and half into the first round. He arose, but wasn't able to collect himself and fight out of the haze. Green hurled about 40 unanswered tosses, but Jones covered up smartly. Another quick round of blows, though, had the ref Howard Forster intercede.
The 36-year-old Green (28-3, 24 KOs; 179 1/4) retained the IBO cruiserweight belt, for the record, but most of the post-fight focus will be on what's next for Jones. One would think an exit from the game would be in order, seeing as how he's been stopped now for the third time since 2004. Antonio Tarver and then Glen Johnson did the jobs then, now Green, who was dismissed by most as a mere steppingstone to the March Jones-Hopkins II promotion.
One thought springs to mind...maybe it's time to lay a few bucks down on Enrique Ornelas?
``We don't make excuses, it was a great performance by Danny,'' Jones told the crowd, according to a report on Perth Now. Green afterwards said, ``I almost feel bad doing that, that almost most hurt me to do that to someone whom I aspire to look up to as a professional fighter inside and outside the ring. He's a bloody legend.''
The bout was billed as the biggest fight in Aussie boxing history, and Green certainly treated the event with deadly seriousness. From the get go, he walked down Jones, while Roy pumped a jab to keep him at bay. But quite quickly, Green got down to power-punching business, and Jones, with a seemingly degraded chin, couldn't hang.
The legend turns 41 on Jan. 16, and one wonders if for the New Year, he will announce a resolution--to hang up the gloves, and pursue a less punishing vocation.
There were no knockdowns, but that doesn't mean Hopkins didn't let Ornelas know that he isn't the average 44-year old. The judges had it 118-110, 120-109 and 119-109, and the winner enjoyed a hug from notorious QB Michael Vick after he heard the good news.
Postbout, Hopkins spoke to Wally Matthews. He left the door open for a fight with Jones, saying Jones was the victim of a quick stoppage. "Everybody know what happens when you go over to Europe," he said. Could he still fight Jones? "Oh, yeah, definitely. Roy Jones Junior lost on his feet, not on his back. A knockout and a TKO is totally different. I saw more of them miss than more of them hit. It was more of a flurry..The man (Green) was in his hometown."
You agree, TSS U? Is there still a market for Hopkins-Jones II? I'm thinking no, big time. Roy is damaged goods, seems like.
Hopkins (49-5-1, with 32 wins by KO; age 44) weighed 175 pounds, while Ornelas (29-5, 19 wins by KO coming in; from Mexico; age 29) was 172 1/2 pounds.
Versus televised the bout, which was promoted by Golden Boy East. They also showed a tape of the Roy Jones-Danny Green bout, which took place yesterday in Australia.
Hopkins is significantly lighter on his feet than Jones at this juncture, and it didn't look like he was the senior slugger in there in the first. Both fighters weren't afraid to clinch in the second. Hopkins worked from the outside, then did some inside work, and blunted return fire by lokcing up Ornelas, the half brother of Librado Andrade, who was kayoed by Lucian Bute a week ago. Ornelas looked to be first; it wasn't like he was letting Hopkins steamroll him. He bobbed and weaved and then hoped to land a power right, but Hopkins is equipped with radar, and sonar...he sees everything coming, and makes sure he doesn't get hit flush. Ornelas nailed Hopkins with a tight right in the fourth, and we noted that his hand speed was a bit better than we'd been lead to believe. His jab, though, wasn't a factor early on. Hopkins came out more fiery in the fifth. He advanced more, but Ornelas wasn't flustered. He hit Hopkins with a clipping left as Bernard closed the gap with a minute to go in the fifth. The ultra vet started to work the body a bit more, a wise move as Ornelas was showing a bit more than had been advertised.
The punch volume from both men was about equal but accuracy was the difference. Hopkins' launches weren't wasted. Hopkins did damage in the sixth, upstairs and down, and in the seventh. His right uppercut became a favorite weapon by the eighth. He was in firm, firm control in the ninth, utterly confident that he had Ornelas by the short and curlies. As usual, Hopkins let the man come to him, and tagged him coming in repeatedly in the tenth. Ornelas hung tough, earning his check. A right lead in the 11th snapped Ornelas' head back, and that was just one of several hard knocks that the underdog absorbed. Hopkins let it all hang out to start the 12th. A clash of heads hurt Ornelas' left eye, but he played out the string. We'd go to the cards.
In the west many argue Holm has strafed through the junior welterweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight divisions against many of the biggest names of those aforementioned divisions.
In the east Hernandez has eaten up opponents in the featherweight, junior lightweight, and lightweight divisions. Her list of victims is equally as impressive as Holm’s.
Holm (25-1-3, 7 KOs) and Hernandez (11-1-2, 4 KOs) will settle the debate on Friday at the Isleta Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico in a 10 round welterweight battle called Bad Blood. It can be seen for $8.95 on web cast at www.fresquezproductions.com
Bad blood may exist between them but this is more a statement to determine the best female prizefighter on the planet. In the last three years a number of fighters have engaged in some riveting fights. Hernandez and Holm are thick in the middle.
“I asked for this fight because women's boxing needs a new face, a new breed of fighter,” says Hernandez, 29, a quick witted and dipsy-do kind of fighter who can steal a show with her antics and skills. “I've always wanted to see how good I really am. And why not?”
With a five or six inch height disadvantage and coupled with the weight difference, can Hernandez step up to another weight division and do what she does?
“I'm just trying to get ready for the size of Holly, not the fight,” Hernandez said.
The Bronx fighter of Puerto Rican descent has that entertainer quality to accompany her slick boxing skills that make fans laugh and squeal with delight. On her resume she has victories over Melissa Fiorentino, Layla McCarter, Lisa Brown and a draw with Chevelle Hallback.
Both McCarter and Hallback are two Pound for Pound fighter candidates too.
Holm, an extremely athletic fighter who can box and move as easily as she can stand and fight, has become a major box office attraction in the New Mexico area where few other sports stars reside.
“I really want to challenge anybody that wants to fight. I know she can be really tough and definitely fights with heart. And she will present some difficulties,” said Holm, 28, who is identifiable with her strawberry blonde hair and tall stature. “I’m ready for any opponent at any time. I definitely want it to be against good fighters.”
Early in her career there was some speculation that she was the recipient of hometown decisions. Even this writer contemplated that her wins might be tainted, but when her fights became televised and she opted to fight outside of her home state, myself and others saw why Holm was winning all of her fights.
She has exceptional athleticism and determination.
Victories over Ann Saccarato, Jane Couch, Mary Jo Sanders and Hallback have proven she can handle the heat from intense pressure fighters and remain focused against the often varying styles in the ring. She’s very serene inside the ropes.
“Every fight is something different. Chevelle Hallback stayed low. I threw that uppercut. My whole plan is to take them out of their plan to make them frustrated,” says Holm whose boyfriend Joey Villasenor is a ranked mixed martial arts fighter. “When you see them frustrated you know you’re doing your job.”
Both Hernandez and Holm have analyzed each other looking for weaknesses and probing for idiosyncrasies like two opposing generals. It’s not in either fighter’s nature to concede and both have enormous pride in themselves.
How can Hernandez beat Holm?
“You beat her by being me,” laughs Hernandez who plans to open up her own boxing gym in South Beach, Florida. “Holly isn't a good fighter, she’s just a big fighter with all the balls in her court. But I asked for this fight. I wanted to see how good I was.”
How do you beat a fighter like Hernandez?
“I’m sure she is working on something different. Her style and all around style I’m sure is going to be different,” said Holm who plans to open up a health and beauty salon with wooden floors in the near future in Albuquerque. “She switches to lefty, she tries to be a hard to read fighter who is hard to hit. I expect to have to adjust to all of these things.”
On Friday it will be just Holm against Hernandez to determine the best female fighter pound for pound in the world.
Pacquiao's sensational victory to capture the WBO welterweight title has sparked debate regarding what fighters have made the most impressive jump in weight among boxers who have competed in the modern era. Pacquiao has been given his just due in this space since beating Cotto. However, the jump from 106 to let's say 147 since Pacquiao will most likely fight against a welterweight not constrained to come in at 145 in the future - is not the most impressive feat in boxing when it comes to fighters moving up in weight in the eyes of this observer.
That distinction belongs to former light heavyweight/heavyweight champ and all-time great Michael Spinks.
Before making the case for Spinks, the argument that suggests he only jumped two weight divisions and is automatically rejected because Pacquiao won seven titles, De La Hoya won six, Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather won five is ridiculous. Everyone who follows boxing knows how there's a weight class every 5/7 pounds from straw-weight up to junior middleweight. Roberto Duran and Shane Mosley skipped junior welterweight and jumped from lightweight to welterweight. So it can be argued that Mosley could've won four titles and Duran five. And Duran beat an all-time great and the best welterweight on the planet to capture the welterweight title.
Moving up in weight is a barometer of greatness, but acquiring titles every five or so pounds is semantics in some ways and isn't the be-all end-all. And that's not taking anything from Pacquiao, Duran, Leonard, Mosley and Mayweather. But Spinks has some arguments that support his claim that most overlook because he wasn't flashy or as exciting as Leonard and Pacquiao. Although he was every bit as complete and versatile of a fighter as the afore mentioned.
The case for Michael Spinks begins with him weighing 165 pounds for his pro-debut on 4/16/77, and never weighing over 170 until 12/15/78. After winning the light heavyweight title at 173 3/4, Spinks made 10 successful defenses and unified it along the way. From 1977 through 1985 Spinks never faced an opponent who weighed more than 175 pounds. During his eight year tenure campaigning at 175, Larry Holmes was the WBC and IBF heavyweight champ and considered the best heavyweight in the world for the last seven of those years.
Heading into the fall of 1985 Larry Holmes made 20 consecutive defenses of the heavyweight title, trailing only Joe Louis's 25. At that time Holmes and Spinks were short on name challengers and decided they'd attempt to make boxing history using each other as the foil.
Holmes at 48-0 was looking to break Rocky Marciano's record of 49-0 - and Spinks would attempt to become the first reigning light heavyweight champ in history to dethrone the reigning heavyweight champ.
Prior to the fight there was no discussion regarding Holmes' weight even though he would come in 46 pounds heavier than any opponent Spinks ever faced. Spinks was about winning the title without any catch or contractual clause to tilt the odds in his favor. And it can't be that he couldn't have insisted on Holmes coming in less than he wanted to because they were fighting as heavyweights. As long as Holmes was 200 pounds or over, he was a heavyweight. Had Spinks pressed it he could've pressured Holmes to come in at 209 (the weight he was for his title winning bout versus Ken Norton) for the fight if he wanted to. Remember, it's boxing and anything can be put into a contract to make a fight.
Holmes was allowed to weigh as much as he wanted, use the same gloves he had in every one of his previous title defenses along with whatever else applied when he defended the title in the past.
On fight night Spinks was 29 and weighed in at 199 3/4, Holmes was 35 and weighed in at 221 1/2. Holmes was 21 3/4 pounds heavier than Spinks and 46 1/2 pounds heavier than any other fighter Spinks had been in the ring with - and 56 pounds heavier than Spinks was when he turned pro. Professional heavyweights hit harder and can do more serious damage than fighters in the lower divisions can. That's not even a debate. So without a single tune-up fight at cruiserweight or forcing Holmes to weigh less than he was used to fighting at, Michael Spinks outboxed an all-time great heavyweight champ when he was undefeated and became the first light heavyweight champ to capture the heavyweight title. Granted, it wasn't Holmes at his peak, but Holmes was a better heavyweight in 1985 than Miguel Cotto was a welterweight in 2009.
Spinks was dwarfed by Holmes much more than Pacquiao was by Cotto, Leonard by Hagler and Duran was by Davey Moore and Iran Barkey. Holmes was also undefeated and hadn't endured any significant punishment during his career and title reign, and he was truly an all-time great heavyweight.
In no way is this meant to be dismissive of the great accomplishments that Leonard, Duran, Hearns, Pacquiao and Mayweather achieved. They're all fascinating feats and are worthy of monumental praise. However, Spinks defeating an all-time great like Holmes who weighed 221 3/4 pounds nine years after he turned pro weighing 165 is more off the chart than Pacquiao, De La Hoya, Leonard and Duran winning multiple division titles.
Michael Spinks made boxing histories' most impressive leap in weight more so than any other fighter who's ever moved up in weight in this writer's opinion. The only thing my case lacks is the sizzle of calling him a four/five/six or seven division champ. He just did it in one leap and beat an all-time great to do it when he was undefeated who also went on to beat top ten contenders for over a decade after he lost to Spinks.
Michael Spinks made history and prevented it on the same night. His career accomplishments and ability as a fighter are often overlooked by too many fighters, writers, historians and fans. Michael Spinks made perhaps boxings' most impressive move up in weight in boxing history, he just didn't compile a title for every 5/7 pounds he went up.
"I'm fighting one of the toughest guys out there (Enrique Ornelas) and I have more to lose than him. I must let myself believe that I am him, and that he is me. Not everybody can do it, but I can.
"This is not a tune-up; this is a get-up. This is a get-up for me to get prepared for a new year.
"If there is anyone in this room that thinks that I'm underestimating my opponent, then they don't know me and they don't know my legacy.
"No matter where I am financially or historically, I take myself back to when I had nothing. It's hard to train like you're starving when your refrigerator's full. I can see my movie being made and I can see my book being written. It all starts with one word...discipline. Everyone knows having discipline isn't just tied to being a good athlete. You have to be disciplined to be successful in life.
"As you grow from one stage to another, you can either be more of a problem or more of a solution. Once I understood that, there was no stopping me. I wanted to be a solution and that's why I'm here.
"You can't live forever let alone fight forever. When I am not around you will miss me."
"We had a great training camp. We know exactly who we're facing in Bernard Hopkins. We have worked so hard to prepare to fight a legend and we are ready.
"I'm grateful for this opportunity. I appreciate the support from my team and my family and I am looking forward to getting in the ring on Wednesday night and proving again that I have what it takes to win."
NAZIM RICHARDSON, Bernard Hopkins' Trainer
"This is a talented card, a gifted card and a historical card.
"In Philadelphia we have an abundance of legends. This word 'legend;' we throw it around so quickly. A kid throws a basketball and suddenly he is a legend. We have to be careful who we give this title to because it is difficult for kids to handle the pressure.
"I didn't pick this fight. I have worked with Enrique and I know how tough he is.
"Bernard isn't just winning fights, he is winning fights in a certain way. That is what makes him special and that is what makes him a legend."
HOWARD GRANT, Enrique Ornelas' Trainer
"When this fight came up people said to Enrique, 'You are fighting against Bernard? You don't have a chance!', but Bernard is old. Some say, 'When is he going to hang it up?' Maybe it will be Wednesday.
(To Hopkins) "I wish you the best of luck. We had a fantastic training camp. We tried to imitate you, which is very difficult because you are one of the smartest fighters out there. You are a role model for these young fighters coming up.
"I know he has planned a fight against Roy Jones, but hopefully Enrique can throw a wrench into that plan on Wednesday night."
RICHARD SCHAEFER, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
"This is an amazing card for Philadelphia boxing. You can really see the rich tradition of Philly boxing which is big reason that Bernard wanted to fight here.
"This is the first fight card of this magnitude for Golden Boy East, which is run by Bernard Hopkins. You are going to see some great action on Wednesday night."
SHANE MOSELY, Six-Time World Champion in Three Weight Divisions
"I am excited to be here in Philadelphia. I am excited to be here and support both Bernard Hopkins and Enrique Ornelas. I have spent a lot of time in camp with Enrique Ornelas and he is very capable to fight a legend like Bernard Hopkins.
"I think it is going to be a great fight. The undercard is going to be explosive. I am looking forward to seeing all of the fights on the card and seeing how the main event is going to transpire with these two great fighters.
"They say boxers age well and Bernard is a prime example. He is definitely a legendary fighter. All of the great fighters have fought to his age and I am excited to see him in the ring again."
DANNY GARCIA, Undefeated Top Junior Welterweight Prospect
"I want to thank Bernard for hooking it up on the East Coast and giving us this opportunity. I have been waiting for this moment. I have trained really hard. On Wednesday, there will be blood sweat and tears; Philly style."
KARL DARGAN, Undefeated Lightweight Prospect
"I want to thank everyone for coming out. There are going to be a lot of exciting fights because there is a lot of talent on this card and I am looking forward to fighting and seeing the fights on Wednesday night."
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"Broad Street Brawl": Hopkins vs. Ornelas, a 12-round light heavyweight bout which is presented by Golden Boy Promotions East and sponsored by MGM Grand in Las Vegas will be televised live on VERSUS beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and the first bell rings at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Tickets priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, are on sale and available for purchase exclusively through ComcastTIX on line at ComcastTIX.com, by calling 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Liacouras Center box office. Discounts are being offered to the following groups at the Liacouras Center Box Office: Veterans & Military: a 20% percent off to those with a current or past military identification; Police & Fire Department Personnel: a 10% discount on all price categories and Students: a 10% discount on all tickets and $25 for $15.