Cunningham, Stevens and a Resurfaced Mike Lee Talk Ahead of NBC Show

BY The Sweet Science ON April 02, 2014
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Spirited Final Press Conference for Amir Mansour and Steve Cunningham Match-up Friday, April 4 at the Liacouras Center

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Cunningham & Mansour

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Philadelphia, PA: This afternoon fans and the media were treated to a verbal sparring match between Steve "USS" Cunningham and Amir "Hardcore" Mansour as they faced each other at the final press conference for this Friday's fight at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia and on NBCSN Fight Night. Amir's words incited a vocal reaction from Cunningham. The quotes and photos from the events are highlighted below.


Kathy Duva started things off by saying, "We have a spectacular event here. This is another fantastic show. It is going to be a treat for everyone. We are thrilled to be back here in beautiful downtown Philadelphia where it seems like boxing was born and we are trying to keep it alive."

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Stevens & Johnson

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Hall of Fame Matchmaker J Russell Peltz emceed the event. He said, "Whenever Edner Cherry is on the first or second fight on a card you know the card is stacked. This is an excellent main event. These guys come to fight. Main Events' matchmaker Jolene Mizzone tried hard to find someone competitive to fight Curtis Stevens. Steve [Cunningham] is coming off a win. He has loads of experience. In my opinion he defeated Tomasz Adamek and the only reason he lost to Tyson Fury is because Tyson is about seven feet tall and he still put Fury on the floor."

Brother Naazim Richardson, Steve Cunningham's trainer said, "This is a great match-up style-wise. If you know what this man has been through with his daughter none of us know that pain. To face the death of your child that is a darkness no one should ever face. Not to say jail is not a dark place but what he and his wife is facing is bigger than boxing. I have watched him persevere and become a two-time world champion. Steve isn't going to intimidate anyone out of the ring, but when you compare skill he wins hands down. What he has accomplished has been on skill and skill alone."

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Cunningham & Duva

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Two-time cruiserweight champion Steve "USS" Cunningham said, "Thank you to Main Events, Peltz Boxing and NBC for putting this on. I am not going to get into what we are going through. What is the evidence of a thing, not seen, but hoped for? Faith. You could never tell me that I am not going to be a world champion. I have faith. I back down from no man. In actuality who isn't from the streets? Who isn't hard out here? We are all hard when we need to be. A smart man knows how to survive, when to fight and when not to fight. We all have the rough tough story. No man on this earth scares me especially within a four-corner ring with rules. I am getting in this ring to win. We are going to get it on Friday." He added, "My main advantage is experience. This is boxing. We sign up to fight. I never worry about anyone's power. I have been facing these type of situations since day one."

Joe Hand Jr., Amir Mansour's promoter said, "We want to thank Main Events and Peltz Boxing for allowing Mansour to have this opportunity. Friday night you have two championship caliber fighters. They are going to go in there very prepared. It is going to be a great fight."

Howard Mosley, Amir's trainer said, "Mansour is a great champion. He trains and fights like a champion. I know Steve Cunningham has been a beautiful champion who I admire very much. I believe in my heart that Amir works harder than anyone I have ever seen. I have never seen him work this hard for anything before. He has natural talent. Anything I asked him to do he did."

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Amir Mansour

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Amir "Hardcore" Mansour said, "I am not trying to scare him or act like some sort of gangster or street thug. I despise the streets. I despise anyone who carries themselves like a thug or a gangster. I don't brag about being incarcerated. I am ashamed of being incarcerated. I am disappointed in myself. I am not using prison to be a pedestal for my toughness. I don't deny who I am as a person. I don't deny my history, my present or my future. My future is to be successful in this game right here. I have never seen a skill set that can out-match mine and I have never had to use all my skill sets. Sometimes I need to utilize strength instead of skill. I don't have a padded record. I didn't have the luxury of fighting a bunch of bums. I have a very talented skill set of boxing. I can box. I can out-box you. You can't beat me in boxing. I am not letting anyone take my title. I am coming to get you. You are not going to beat me with no jab. You are going to have to come and get this work. We all go through problems with our friends and family but you are not going to take my title. You are going to have to come and get this work. He was a great cruiserweight champion but this is the heavyweight division and that was a few years ago."

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Tureano Johnson

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Tureano Johnson was very confident about his fight with Curtis Stevens, "It is a pleasure to be back here. I appreciate the opportunity despite that I was given less than a month's notice. I am going to go in there and beat this guy up. He said I am a slapper and a bit sloppy. Come Friday night someone is going to get bitch-slapped. I am going to enjoy this but I cannot say the same for him. Let's pray I don't put him in the hospital. This is the most important fight of my life but I don't think it is the most difficult. I never fought anyone with Curtis Stevens' power but he is not going to catch me. That dude is not catching me. There is nothing he can show me." Johnson laughed as he and Curtis faced each other for the photographers and Curtis was blowing bubbles with his chewing gum. The two continued to trash talk with each other until they were separated by Main Events' Public Relations Director Ellen Haley.

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Curtis Stevens

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Curtis Stevens was more diplomatic and simply said, "I would like to thank my terrific promoter Kathy Duva and my surrogate mother Jolene Mizzone for matching me very well. I will go in there just take care of business. Yes, he's undefeated but he's fought 14 softies. Come Friday he is going to be in there with the real thing. I am not going to tell him; I will have to show him."

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Roberto Acevedo

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Roberto Acevedo, who is making his Main Events' debut Friday, said, "I feel happy. Thank you Main Events, thanks NBC. I am from Puerto Rico. I am happy for this opportunity. I get hard work. I know I am going to do a great job. Thanks for this opportunity."

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Mike Lee

Photo Credits: Rich Graessle/Main Events

Mike Lee said, "I am really excited to fight here in Philly. I want to thank Main Events for putting me on this card. We had a great camp and a great team and I am excited to show everyone what I am all about."

Philadelphia, PA: A little over a year ago super featherweight sensation Edner Cherry (31-6-2, 17 KOs) knocked out Vicente Escobedo in the sixth round at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and since then his fans have been anxiously awaiting his return to the ring; Friday night at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia that wait will finally be over when he takes on Rober Osiobe (14-8-4, 6 KOs).

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Edner Cherry

Photo Courtesy of: Peltz Boxing 

Despite being only 31, Cherry, a native of Nassau, Bahamas now of Wauchula, FL, has 40 career professional fights. The majority of Cherry's fights have been in his home state of Florida but he is excited to make his Philadelphia debut. He said, "I am looking forward to fighting in Philly. It has a great boxing history. I am just glad that it wasn't a few months ago because being from Miami I couldn't have handled being here with all that snow!"

Cherry has not lost since, Sep. 13, 2008 when he lost in 12 rounds to Timothy Bradley in Biloxi, MS. Edner is also currently on a three fight win streak. He and Eric Aiken had a no contest on Sep. 23, 2011 in Hollywood, FL. Since then, in addition to his knockout of Escobedo, we defeated Juan Carlos Martinez via majority decision in ten rounds on Apr. 14, 2014 in Cicero, IL and he defeated Guillermo Sanchez via unanimous decision in eight rounds on Feb. 24, 2012 in Chicago, IL.

Edner said he used this year off wisely by constantly working out. He said, "After the fight with Escobedo I took only one week off. After that I have been in the gym constantly since then. I never missed a full week. I was always at the gym for the whole year working Dan Birmingham in St. Petersburg, FL. I am ready to get back to it."

His opponent, Robert Osiobe, 36 of Ughelli, Nigeria is trying to prove he still has what it takes to compete at this level after suffering three straight losses (an eight round split decision on Dec. 6, 2013 to Ashley Theopane, an eight round unanimous decision on Aug. 16, 2013 to Jamal James and an eight round unanimous decision to Mark Davis on Jul. 5, 2013).

Cherry said, "I want to thank Russell Peltz for bringing me on board and putting his trust in me. I want to thank my fans for supporting me. I am sorry for being off for a year but I am back. I am ready to fight."

J Russell Peltz, Cherry's Promoter, said, "Cherry has been off for one year but that is no reason for fans to forget about him. He could be the future of the junior lightweight division."

About April 4th:

The event features a ten-round bout for the USBA Heavyweight Title between Steve "USS" Cunningham and USBA champion Amir "Hardcore" Mansour live on NBCSN Fight Night from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA. The Fight Night broadcast will begin at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT. The card is presented by Main Events and Peltz Boxing in association with BAM Boxing and Joe Hand Promotions. The co-feature bout is a ten round middleweight match-up between Curtis "Showtime" Stevens and Tureano Johnson. Tickets are on sale now at the Liacouras Center Box Office and www.ComcastTix.com.

NBC Sports Live Extra:

NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets - will live stream Fight Night at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT on April 4th.

Coverage will be streamed via "TV Everywhere," the media industry's effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

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