HOLLYWOOD, Fla.—Don King hosted the final press conference today for his world championship fight card on Saturday in Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (WealthTV 8 p.m. ET/PT) in Hollywood, Fla. The main event will feature Guillermo “El Felino” Jones (37-3-2, 29 KOs) defending his WBA cruiserweight title against WBA No. 14-ranked Mike Marrone (20-3, 15 KOs), from Vero Beach, Fla.
USBO junior middleweight champion Joey “Twinkle Fingers” Hernandez (19-1-1, 11 KOs), a Miami native, will take on Elco “The Animal” Garcia (25-7, 12 KOs) with the vacant WBC U.S. super welterweight championship on the line.
WBC No. 1-ranked cruiserweight Francisco “The Wizard” Palacios (20-1, 13 KOs), a Puerto Rican now fighting out of Orlando, Fla., will face Joell Godfrey (13-4-1, 6 KOs), from East St. Louis, Ill., in a match scheduled for eight rounds.
Super lightweight Angelo “La Cobra” Santana (11-0, 8 KOs), a Cuban now fighting out of Miami, will defend his WBA FEDECARIBE title against Broderick Antoine (11-11-1, 5 KOs), from Troy, N.Y.
Tickets priced at $154, $104, $64 & $34* are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. All seats are reserved. *Additional fees may apply.
Guillermo Jones (WBA cruiserweight champion): “Remember, remember, remember the 5th of November. That is Saturday. The tiger is hungry. When I won the WBA cruiserweight title, it was important for me. I will never let it go easily.
“I have a message for Mike Marrone: If your body is ready to get bitten, the cat is ready to bite, and the cat is very hungry. I’m ready to bite.”
Mike Marrone (WBA No. 140-ranked contender): “I have had nothing bad to say about Guillermo. I thank him for this opportunity. You may notice I’m a little lighter for this fight, down from heavyweight. I have trained hard and I feel fast and strong. I will give Guillermo Jones all I’ve got.”
“I don’t feel like an underdog. I feel this will be an even competition.”
Joey Hernandez (USBO junior middleweight champion): “I grew up around the sport of boxing. I didn’t have to struggle in life, my family always had money, so people don’t know the passion I have inside my heart. This is a lifelong dream for me, and now I’m in the place I’ve always wanted to be.
“I know Elco Garcia has come to fight me, but I’ve set myself up to move to the next level, to make more money and to fight for fame and world championships. I’m not going to let Elco Garcia prevent me from achieving my goals.
“I’m too fast, too strong, too young for this man. I’m fly and flashy, and I’m good looking. I’m a pretty fighter, and soon everyone is going to know about my twinkle fingers.”
Elco Garcia (Hernandez’s opponent): “Hernandez says he’s pretty. I don’t talk too much. I’ll let my gloves do most of the talking. But I will tell you this: Joey Hernandez will not be so pretty after I’m done with him.”
Francisco Palacios (WBC No. 1-ranked cruiserweight and mandatory challenger to the champion): “Don King sets them up, and I knock them down. It’s wizard time!”
“I don’t care who I have to fight to become a world champion. I am sorry that my opponent has not arrived in South Florida yet, but I will knock out Joell Godfrey on Saturday night. Then it’s on to the winner of the WBC championship fight between Danny Green and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in Australia on November 30.”
Angelo Santana (WBA FEDECARIBE super lightweight champion): “La Cobra is ready strike another opponent. My promoter, Don King, has done a great job for me, and I really appreciate that he invited the people to this press conference today who welcomed me when I arrived in Miami from Cuba. I fight for them and all of my family in Cuba.”
Broderick Antoine (Santana’s opponent): “I don’t like to talk a lot, but this is the fight I have been waiting for. I know how to fight Santana. I know how to fight small southpaws. I’m very comfortable fighting Santana. You’ll see on Saturday night.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV