Amir Khan: "The Switch in Trainers Has Been Brilliant"
|Written by The Sweet Science|
|Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:16|
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 12, 2012) – Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya, former Unified Super Lightweight Champion Amir “King” Khan, his opponent, unbeaten Carlos Molina and the four other pugilists fighting this Saturday, December 15, live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena participated in a media workout Tuesday at the jam-packed Ponce De Leon Boxing Gym in Montebello, Calif.
Khan meets Molina in the main event in a 12-round bout for the vacant WBC Silver Super Lightweight Championship. In co-featured 10-rounders on SHOWTIME, knockout artist and 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (25-0, 25 KO’s), of Tuscaloosa, Ala., takes on Kelvin Price (13-0, 6 KO’s), of Pensacola, Fla., in a collision of 6-foot-7 unbeatens for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship and Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (21-2, 18 KO’s), of Los Angeles, battles Jorge Silva (18-2-2, 14 KO’s), of Chula Vista, Calif., in a junior middleweight match.
The evening event will also be televised live on Sky Sports 1HD in the United Kingdom at 2:00 a.m. GMT on Sunday, December 16.
The tripleheader on SHOWTIME concludes an unprecedented day-night boxing marathon that begins with fights on CBS Television Network in the afternoon and is followed later by one fight on SHOWTIME EXTREME.
Undefeated IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Los Angeles, will defend his title against Alberto Guevara (16-0, 6 KO’s) of San Diego, Calif., in the main event on CBS while talented 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz, of South El Monte, Calif., will make his pro debut against Vicente Alfaro (5-2, 1 KO), of Northfield, Minn., in the opening bout.
The live 90-minute broadcast on CBS, its first since Bernard Hopkins knocked out Glen Johnson in the 11th round on Jan. 20, 1997, will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.
Admission is free to the afternoon event that begins at 1:00 p.m. PT and will include three of Diaz’s U.S. Olympic teammates who were all victorious in their professional debuts on Nov. 9 on SHOWTIME’S ShoBox: The New Generation: Errol Spence Jr. of Brentwood, N.Y., Marcus Browne of Staten Island, N.Y. and Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra, Calif., all in four-round bouts. Junior middleweight Spence will face Richard Andrews (5-2-3, 2 KO’s), of Charlottesville, Va., light heavyweight Browne is matched against Ritchie Cherry (3-5, 1 KO), of Oklahoma City, Okla., and heavyweight Breazeale faces Michael Dennis (0-1), of Glendale, Calif.
Welterweight Shawn “Showtime” Porter (20-0, 14 KO’s), of Cleveland, Ohio, will put his unbeaten record on the line against surging former World Champion Julio Diaz (40-7, 29 KO’s), of Indio, Calif., in a 10-round bout on SHOWTIME EXTREME (9:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Tickets for the evening boxing session (SHOWTIME-televised fight card) are priced at $150, $100, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, and are on sale at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Non-televised fights on the undercard (first fight is 4:00 p.m. PT): Frankie Gomez (13-0, 10 KO’s), East Los Angeles, vs. Pavel Miranda (19-8-1, 10 KO’s), Tijuana, Mex., 8 rounds, welterweights; Hugo Centeno (16-0, 8 KO’s), Oxnard, Calif., vs. Allen Conyers (12-7, 9 KO’s), Bronx, N.Y., 8 rounds, junior middleweights; Chris Pearson (6-0, 5 KO’s), Trotwood, Ohio, vs. Dashon Johnson (13-9-3, 4 KO’s), Escondido, Calif., 6 rounds, middleweights; and Jerren Cochran (6-0, 3 KO’s), Houston, Texas, vs. TBA, 4 rounds, featherweights.
Tickets for the afternoon boxing session (CBS broadcast) will be free of charge as part of the Golden Boy Promotions Holiday Fanfest and can be acquired at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena box office.
Fans who present ticket stubs from the CBS event when purchasing tickets for the SHOWTIME event will receive a 20 percent discount. There is a limit of one discounted purchased ticket per ticket redeemed while supplies last.
Saturday’s mega-event will also feature Golden Boy’s Holiday Fanfest on the grounds of the Sports Arena that will include music, autograph sessions with boxing’s biggest stars, games, boxing memorabilia, a visit by Santa Claus at an Oscar De La Hoya Foundation-sponsored toy give-away (10:00 a.m.), and much more.
Khan vs. Molina is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T. Santa Cruz vs. Guevara is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T.
Below please find quotes from Tuesday’s workout:
OSCAR DE LA HOYA
“Saturday is a special day for all of us – the fighters, fans, everybody. Because of the toy drive, there will be lots of gifts to give away, lots of gifts for us to disperse to the kids. That makes it a win-win for everybody.
“The turnout today is wonderful. The fights on Saturday will be exceptional. We’re very proud to be teaming up with CBS and SHOWTIME for what will be a memorable day and night of exciting fights.
“The main event on SHOWTIME has attracted international attention and is very intriguing. The big questions are: who is Carlos Molina and what is he bringing to the table? And what does Amir Khan have left? A strong contingent of press are here from England, which is always the case whenever and wherever Amir fights. There is a huge amount of interest in his return to the ring. As a fan, I can’t wait for Saturday.”
“Obviously, this fight means a lot to me and is very important. I can’t afford to get beat. Yes, I want to fight the biggest names, but to do that, I first have to win on Saturday. I think it’s equally important for me that I win and that I win impressively.
“I never treat a fight as a tune-up or go in underestimating my opponent because all opponents are dangerous. I am certainly not taking Molina lightly. I’ve seen a little of him. I expect a good fight and for him to come at me. I appreciate the fact he took this fight.
“My sparring has been brilliant. The switch in trainers has been a positive change. I feel great and I’m in a great state of mind. You’re going to see a smarter, much more mature fighter, a mistake-free, precise puncher who’ll make every punch count and won’t make any mistakes.”
“I grew up in tough neighborhoods with tough neighbors, so one thing I won’t be is intimidated by him, or by his reputation. I’ll be ready for anything.
“We got the call for this fight in September and I’ve been running and training hard ever since. My trainers have really pushed me. I’m in tip-top shape and feel stronger at 147 pounds than I ever have. I believe we have a great game plan.
“I’ve seen all his fights and know what he brings into the ring. There have been a lot of great fights this year and a lot of upsets. This is going to be a great fight, too, and I’m confident I can win it.’’
“I’ve won all my fights by knockout, but I never go into a fight thinking I’ll win that way. I still have too much to prove to think that way.
“I’m thrilled and very happy to be part of a great fight card like this. I like pressure, so that is never a factor, but I know this is going to be a good fight. Both of us are hungry and are coming to win.
“People criticize me all the time. They look at my record, see all the knockouts and say I haven’t fought anybody, but we set out with a game plan when I turned pro and we continue to follow that game plan.
“The next step is Saturday night. I’m not saying it will be my toughest fight, but it could be my hardest. Both of us dream of becoming heavyweight world champion one day. Both of us want to impress on SHOWTIME. I’ve had a great camp with really great sparring. To the fans, all I’ll say is…buckle up.”
“It’s great to be back on SHOWTIME and to get this kind of opportunity. Finally, after years of missing out on big fights for one reason or another, I get the chance for my coming out party. I am beyond excited.
“Despite a late start in boxing after switching over after playing pro basketball for years in Europe, I should have many more fights than I do. But the fact is I’ve been turned down by almost all the young heavyweights, including Tyson Fury, David Price and Chris Arreola. They may agree to fight, but once they do their research on me the fight is scrapped.
“I consider myself the best unknown fighter in the world, but now I’m finally getting my chance. I’m like a diamond in the rough, still learning every day, but this is the kind of fight I’ve been waiting for. I’m ready to show my stuff. I’m hungry like you wouldn’t believe.’’
“I’m really excited to be coming back so quickly and fighting again in Los Angeles. Like I always do for any opponent, I’ve trained very hard and am ready to go 10 rounds. You never know what’s going to happen once the bell rings. I’ll take early knockouts all the time, but you can never count on them.
“Silva is a really good fighter, and he’s Mexican. So we have a Mexico versus Mexico fight, which is always a war.
“You may not be familiar with Silva or know his name, but those are the fighters who are the most dangerous. They’re very eager to change that and make a name for themselves.
“No one’s paid a lot of attention to Silva, but I have. I know that hunger he has, his ambition to be somebody and make himself a name. This is going to be a hard fight. No way I’m taking him lightly.’’
“This is my second fight in the United States and first on SHOWTIME, so I have a lot to prove, but I’ve waited a long time for this kind of opportunity and I’m ready to take advantage of it.
“I’m really excited and motivated to finally be fighting a quality opponent, and I most definitely feel I will win and get the recognition that goes with it. I look at this as not only the biggest fight of my career, but the most difficult. I think I a lot of the guys Angulo has knocked out were intimidated by him before they even got in the ring. I’m not intimidated by anything or anybody.
“I’m in great shape and confident of a victory. I look forward to showing SHOWTIME and all the fans exactly who I am.’’