BROOKLYN, New York (Aug. 30, 2012) – A star-studded cast was in attendance on Thursday at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge to announce – for the first time in more than 80 years – the return of World Championship Boxing to Brooklyn, New York.
Barclays Center will host a World Championship Tripleheader on Saturday, Oct. 20, featuring some of boxing's most talented stars and an undercard complete with New York's top boxers. The blockbuster event, which is the boxing debut at the state-of-the-art Barclays Center, will be televised live on SHOWTIME® at 9 p.m. ET/PT (Delayed on the West Coast).
Check out this video Michael Woods took of Paulie Malignaggi at the presser.
The last world championship boxing event in Brooklyn was Aug. 5, 1931, when defending Light Heavyweight World Champion Maxie Rosenbloom outpointed Jimmy Slattery over 15 rounds at Ebbets Field.
In the main event, unbeaten Danny “Swift” Garcia defends his WBA Super, WBC & Ring Magazine Super Lightweight World Championships as he rematches with legendary Mexican warrior and future Hall of Famer Erik “El Terrible” Morales. In the evening's co-featured bouts, Brooklyn's own Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi puts his WBA Welterweight World Championship on the line against hard-hitting Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano and undefeated, No. 1 rated WBO middleweight contender Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, of Manhattan, takes on unbeaten Hassan N'Dam in a 12-round battle for N'Dam's WBO Middleweight World Championship.
The undercard is stacked with the return of a bevy of New York's best including Brooklyn's hot middleweight prospect Daniel “The Golden Child” Jacobs, former World Champion Luis Collazo, the Bronx's rising star Eddie Gomez, former world title contender Dmitriy Salita and Brooklyn prospect Boyd Melson.
The fights will mark the first event of the previously announced deal between Barclays Center and Golden Boy Promotions under which at least 12 boxing events per year will be hosted at the new sports and entertainment venue.
The inaugural night of fights at Barclays Center is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Box Latino and supported by Golden Boy Promotions sponsors Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T with N'Dam vs. Quillin being presented in association with Asventure Promotion. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins live at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Preliminary fights will air live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Here is what the participants had to say on Thursday:
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“Championship boxing is back in Brooklyn and on behalf of Golden Boy Promotions I would like to say how honored and proud we are to be the first promoters to have the first fight night at the Barclays Center and bring such an important and historic event to the arena which will mean so much for Brooklyn and boxing.
“The night of October 20, we will bring a boxing show of the highest caliber and showcase not only legends like Erik Morales, but other champions like Danny Garcia and Paulie Malignaggi. It will also be a showcase for the sports' young talent. It is exciting to see this level of boxing live and back in Brooklyn after more than 80 years. It has been that long since a fight of this magnitude has happened and as I mentioned it is a tremendous honor for Golden Boy to be a part of this night and future fights throughout the years to come.
“We are excited for our partnership with the Barclays Center and we are looking forward to this inaugural night. So many New York fighters, some younger, some champions. I think I can speak for all of them and say we are all honored, proud and hope that Brooklyn will receive us with open arms on October 20.
“As to the Barclays Center, we thank you for having the confidence in us, Golden Boy Promotions, to make this happen and have a great series of boxing events.
“I thank all of the people at the Barclays Center for giving us this opportunity and I can assure you we will not disappoint you. Look at this line-up of fighters. Sometimes these shows are very hard to make, almost impossible. But when you mentioned Brooklyn and the Barclays Center, all of the fighters jumped at the chance to be on this card.”
BRETT YORMARK, CEO of Barclays Center
“Thank you Oscar for being here today. It is a pleasure to share this moment with you. Thank you to Richard Schaefer, who couldn't be with us today, but it was Richard who I met with over two years ago and talked about bringing big time boxing back to Brooklyn. This is just the beginning for us.
“When you think of Brooklyn, you think of basketball and boxing first and foremost. We have big plans to be big players in both sports by committing ourselves to events like this.
“Thank you to Stephen Espinoza from SHOWTIME and Melvina Latham from the New York State Athletic Commission for supporting this show.
“Many of these fighters I have developed relationships with such as Danny Jacobs and Paulie Malinaggi. For Danny, we all know what he has gone through this last year and now he is able to fight again and be here with us today. It is so nice to have you here and be a part of our big event October 20.
“And Paulie has become one of my closest friends. I thank you for making the Barclays Center your home. I thank you for all you do for the sport.
“Thank you for coming and see you on October 20.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports
“For over 25 years, SHOWTIME has been giving boxing fans the biggest and best of boxing – superstar fighters, legendary fights and historic events. October 20 at Barclays Center will be another historic event, and once again, that event will be live on SHOWTIME. But of all the historic events in SHOWTIME's history, there has never been one quite like this. We will have the return of world-class championship boxing to Brooklyn, with the first title fight in Brooklyn in over 80 years – and not just one title fight, but three all-action title fights.
“October 20 will also be the debut of Brooklyn Boxing at the Barclays Center. The boxers on this stage will be taking part in the first boxing event ever at the Barclays Center. That's an achievement that can never be erased, never be surpassed, never be beaten. There is only one first, and this is it.
“This event will be a celebration of these accomplished boxers, a celebration of the sport of boxing, a celebration of Brooklyn and Philadelphia too, and a celebration of the Barclays Center and its commitment to Brooklyn Boxing. It will be a special night, and SHOWTIME is proud to be a part of it.”
DANNY GARCIA, WBA Super, WBC & Ring Magazine Super Lightweight World Champion
“Thank God for giving me the opportunities I have in boxing today. I also want to thank Golden Boy, Barclays Center and SHOWTIME for making October 20 such a great night for boxing. I might not be from Brooklyn, but I can celebrate it and my hometown of Philadelphia all in one night.
“Most of these fighters are my friends. We came up together in the amateurs and it feels great to share a card with them. They all can fight and it is good to see so many young guys on the show getting ready to steal it.
“I bring heart, skill and determination into the ring. Every time I win the fighter I beat has an excuse. Now for Erik Morales, its surgery or medical. Well really, and his father is sitting right there, if it was so bad, why would he let his son fight. I know my Dad wouldn't let me fight if there was something wrong. It's always something.
“I am just excited to being a part of bringing boxing back to the East Coast. Guys like us – it is up to us, to help make that happen. October 20 is a great new beginning and I will be ready to put on a spectacular performance.”
ERIK MORALES, Former Four-Division World Champion and Future Hall of Famer
“This is one of the most important fights of my career. I am 36 years old and past my prime fights. But I know I still have a lot to do in my career as my experience at such a high level still gives me the advantage over a lot of fighters.
“The expectations are going to be very high that night for me and I am going to do whatever it takes to avenge my loss and bring home another championship.”
ANGEL GARCIA, DANNY GARCIA'S FATHER & TRAINER
“I always thank God first because God makes miracles and dreams come true.
“Danny is always ready. He doesn't drink or smoke. He takes care of himself.
“And in the first fight, Danny beat Erik Morales 10 rounds to two in my book. Danny is still younger, but has now learned more. Last time I think he respected Erik a little too much, but that is not the case now. This time, no respect.
“What we do respect is that Erik Morales gave us an opportunity to fight him and now we are giving him back that chance.
“Listen, my son was feed to the wolves in Eric Morales and Amir Khan and he beat him both. And they always have excuses as to why he beat them. People need to start giving Danny credit for what he has done. My son is a very talented fighter.
“This time Eric Morales is going to get beat and stopped. Period.”
JOSE MORALES, ERIK MORALES' FATHER & TRAINER
“October 20 will be for a world championship. And we are fighting Danny Garcia, who we thank for the opportunity. We want to congratulate him on his win over Amir Khan, too.
“In the first fight, Erik never had problems with his weight. But he did have medical issues that he was dealing with three months before they fought and I think that had an effect on his performance. But now those issues are completely gone and we are ready to fight.
“Erik has a lot of experience and he knows how to beat Danny Garcia. We are going to take all of those belts too.”
PAULIE MALIGNAGGI, WBA Welterweight World Champion (Brooklyn)
“Brooklyn, baby. All about Brooklyn for me, and it is amazing because the Barclays Center is so close to where I was born. And I just don't mean New York close, I mean close as in 5 miles from the hospital.
“This is going to be a great show. When I got to the hotel I saw Danny (Jacobs) in the lobby and we both realized it was two years ago that we were together at Gleasons Gym with Brett Yormark and Oscar de la Hoya to announce this whole boxing program.
“If anyone had bet that day that Danny and I would have both been on the show and I was going to headline as one of the main events, they would have made a lot of money because the odds would have been huge.
“(There have been) lots of doubters for both of our careers. But we learn from our mistakes and pick ourselves up. Trust me, even I doubted myself, but you have to dust yourself off and come back stronger than ever.
“When I lost, a lot of people wrote me off, but I got with some great people, went west to train and found a way to get it done. I have always been an ambitious person and a go-getter.
“I have great respect for Golden Boy and I appreciate them believing in me. Since I have signed with them, I have had four fights and now a world championship.
“I respect Cano. There is a level of fighting with a world championship when you're young like he is and of course he is going to be hungry. I know he came up the hard way.
“But they didn't give me either of my world championships, especially not this one. I went across the world and knocked out an undefeated champion who no one thought I was going to beat. That is why I can be proud of my boxing career and put in on display October 20.”
PABLO CESAR CANO, Former WBA Interim Super Lightweight World Champion
“It is a pleasure to be here in Brooklyn and in New York City for my very first time. I am here to challenge Paulie Malignaggi for this championship and I thank him for the opportunity.
“I am going to train very hard, be prepared and win the fight. It has always been my dream to be a world champion and this is an opportunity of my lifetime. I plan to take full advantage it.”
PETER “KID CHOCOLATE” QUILLAN, #1 Rated WBO Middleweight Contender (Manhattan)
“I am so excited to be on this card and I want to thank everyone who made this card happen.
“I have lived in New York for 12 years, four of those in Brooklyn. I know the struggle of a lot of people that live around here and I am going to be fighting for them that night. I am also looking forward to fighting in New York again.
“Fighting for a championship has always been my dream. This is my first step in securing all of those belts. I thank God because this was already written.
“I am going to bring it and you are going to see Kid Chocolate 'bring it.'
“You should definitely follow me for this fight. I can't even pronounce my opponents name, but I can pronounce WBO title. I plan to destroy this guy and win that title. Cuz Kid Chocolate is coming.”
DANIEL JACOBS, Former World Title Contender (Brooklyn)
“You can only imagine how I feel after having the year I had last year battling cancer and being paralyzed. But now I am better and not looking back. I have to thank my family and friends, because without their help I don't know if I would have been able to make it.
“Now that I am 100 percent healthy, I am so grateful to be on the first ever show in Brooklyn at Barclays Center. It is a night I am going to remember and cherish all of my life. So here we come . . . from Brownsville to Barclays!
“I look forward to showcasing my skills and you have definitely not seen the last of Danny Jacobs. I appreciate all of you, particularly Golden Boy and people like Brett Yormark who supported me during my down time. I promise I will not let you down.”
(DE LA HOYA; “Danny Jacobs is a fighter who is a great example to so many people. You can't give up no matter what and we thank you Danny for that.”)
DMITRIY SALITA, Former World Title Contender (Brooklyn)
“I always want to thank God and my supporters who have believed in me throughout my career. Also, to Golden Boy and Barclays Center for bringing boxing back to Brooklyn.
“I want to congratulate Paulie for going overseas and winning the title. I want to be able to participate in a world title fight, too and that could be in Brooklyn against Paulie. That is why it is so important for me to look impressive on October 20 – to elevate my status so I can fight Paulie for that belt he has now.”
BOYD “RAINMAKER” MELSON, Junior Middleweight Prospect (Brooklyn)
“I am from Brooklyn and I am so excited to be on this show. Since I was in the military and have boxed mostly away from home, some of my best friends haven't even seen me fight yet. I am excited to be here and to share with you some of the things I do outside of the ring. I am passionate about a lot of things and boxing is one of them.”
EDDIE GOMEZ, Undefeated Rising Junior Middleweight Star (The Bronx)
(DE LA HOYA ON GOMEZ: “He is a must-see fighter who is wise beyond his years. I know he wants to come in and steal the show.”)
“Thank you everyone for coming here today and giving me this opportunity. I am and will be ready for October 20. Thanks for the support.”
LUIS COLLAZO, Former World Champion (Brooklyn)
“I am excited and can barely talk right now. That is how excited I am to fight in Brooklyn where I was born.
“It feels good to be back too. I am finished with my rehab and ready to fight in front of all of my Brooklyn fans.”