Final Words: Maidana vs. Lopez!
photos: Esther Lin | Showtime Sports
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer announced at the outset of yesterday’s final press conference that he expects The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., to be sold out for the exciting fight card headlined by Marcos Maidana vs. Josesito Lopez this Saturday, June 8 on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING live on SHOWTIME® (10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT).
“The venue has 8,279 seats and there are only about 800 seats left on sale so we definitely will have a sell-out,” Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions said. “That shows that cumulatively this card is the single best card we have had here in Carson.”
“I was talking with my good friend Dan Beckerman, the President and CEO of AEG and he was telling me that there has only been one event in the history of boxing here in Carson that has been a sell-out and that was the Antonio Margarito fight in 2007 against Paul Williams. Whenever there’s a fight in Carson it always elevates the crowd and the fighters. It’s a hotbed for boxing, has been called the mecca of boxing in Southern California and I agree with that,” Schaefer continued.
“I think that week after week (Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports) Stephen Espinoza is kicking ass at SHOWTIME. There’s only one brand in boxing right now and that’s SHOWTIME, the undisputed leader in boxing.”
In what is expected to be a non-stop action slugfest in the 12-round main event, hard-hitting Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (33-3, 30 KO’s), of Margarita, Argentina defends his WBA Intercontinental Welterweight Championship against “The Riverside Rocky” Josesito Lopez (30-5, 18 KO’s) of Riverside, Calif.
Two additional 12-round battles top off the Golden Boy Promotions promoted event. In a classic puncher vs. boxer matchup, exciting Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (22-2, 18 KO’s) of Los Angeles, meets classy Cuban Erislandy Lara (17-1-2, 11 KO’s) of Houston, Texas for the vacant WBA Interim Super Welterweight World Championship and Demetrius Hopkins (33-2-1, 13 KO’s) of Philadelphia, Penn. takes on undefeated Jermell Charlo (20-0, 10 KO’s) of Houston, Texas for Hopkins’ USBA Junior Middleweight Championship and Charlo’s WBC Continental Americas Super Welterweight Championship.
Matchups for the SHOWTIME EXTREME telecast (8:00 p.m. ET/PT) include undefeated Yoshihiro Kamegai (22-0-1, 19 KO’s) of Sapporo, Japan taking on former World Champion Johan Perez (16-1-1, 12 KO’s) Caracas, Venezuela in a 10-round clash for the vacant WBA International Welterweight Championship, former USC football player Gerald Washington (7-0, 5 KO’s) of Los Angeles facing veteran Sherman Williams (35-12-2, 19 KO’s) of Vero Beach, Florida in an 8-round heavyweight battle and (time permitting) 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. (4-0, 2 KO’s) of South El Monte, Calif. squaring off against Rigoberto Casillas (8-10-1, 6 KO’s) San Diego in a four/six round junior featherweight battle.
Remaining tickets, priced at $150, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges are available at AXS.com or by phone at 1-888-9-AXS-TIX (1-888-929-7849), as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available by calling 1-877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 1-877-234-8425.
Here’s what the fighters and their trainers said Thursday at The Home Depot Center:
“If Lopez is willing, this is going to be a total toe-to-toe slugfest from start to finish. Fans know what they’re going to get from me. I come to brawl.
“For me, all my fights are very, very important. This fight is very important because a win means I keep progressing. I need to win so I can keep fighting higher-rated opponents.
“I’ve been in this position before, so I’m used to fighting on my opponent’s home turf, but I’ve been training in Oxnard for three months, so I am pretty acclimated to the area. Working with my trainer Robert Garcia has been great.
“I’m very excited. There’s no pressure. To me, the pressure is on Josesito. The fight is in his backyard.
“I want to thank my team, Golden Boy and SHOWTIME for this opportunity. I am very well-prepared. Come Saturday, we will do everything that we’ve worked on in camp.
“Lopez’ promoter (Ken Thompson) says I’m going to get knocked out. Words are easy, but it won’t be that easy. It’s very easy to talk as a spectator. Let him (Thompson) get in there.”
“We’re definitely going to light up the city on Saturday night.
“I’m ready and very well-prepared for what will be the most difficult fight of my career. It’ll be great to have the fans behind me. I fight to please the fans. That’s my style. I want to put on a show, but I know I have to fight smart.
“This will be an all-action fight with the two best welterweights in the world going at it and trading their best shots. I’m not going to predict a knockout, but I don’t see how this fight can end any other way.
“These kinds of fights bring out the best in me. Maidana is one of the most dangerous guys out there, but I’m ready to prove myself again. As a fan, I am excited about this fight. Even before the fight was signed I knew this would be a great fight.
“This is such a great opportunity for me. Moving up to fight at 154 pounds against Canelo Alvarez was also a great opportunity, but that wasn’t my weight class. I feel stronger and taller at 147. Going into this fight, I feel like I did before I fought Victor Ortiz. I know I need to get Maidana’s respect and the way to do that is to fight him. I’m really looking forward to Saturday.”
“I want to thank everybody involved for this opportunity. I’ve always wanted to fight a great Cuban fighter. I never had the opportunity before, but now I do. I know some people were surprised that I took this fight, but I’ve always wanted to fight the best. Why fight a guy who isn’t ranked?
“I’ve worked extremely hard for this. I’m ready to fight. Lara is a great boxer with a lot of skills. I know I can’t let him dictate the pace or fight his fight.
“If you want to know how I’m going to do it, how I’m going to make him fight my fight, buy a ticket or tune in on SHOWTIME. Whether he comes to fight, or comes to run, I’ll see him in the ring on Saturday.”
“I’m very happy to be in this fight against Angulo and I want to thank America for the opportunity to fight this Saturday.
“I’ve done tremendous work and I’m ready to fight. I’m focused on this fight and only this fight. Angulo is a good, strong fighter, one of the best in the division, so there is no way I’m taking him lightly. This is a great fight for fans, a chance to see two of the best 154-pounders in the world.
“The key in this fight for me is to work and put consistent damage on him. I want to be the clear-cut winner of every round.
“This will be the fourth time in my last six fights that I am fighting a top-10 contender. I keep proving myself fight in and fight out.”
“I’ve been down this road before. I just have to be me, fight aggressively and fight my fight. At this stage of my career it’s do or die.
“This will be Charlo’s toughest fight. No one has ever tested him like I’m going to test him. I’m ready to show the fans the very best of Demetrius Hopkins.”
“Fans can expect a good action fight. I’m preparing for a great fight and a great performance. You get out of boxing what you put into it and I work very hard. I’ll be ready for anything he has to offer.
“On paper, this looks like possibly my toughest fight. We’ll see how it turns out on Saturday.
“I feel like I’m on the verge of really making a big move; my twin brother, Jermall, too. It was an honor to spar with him during camp.
“On Saturday, I’m going to do what I do. I’ll be aggressive, I’ll box, I’ll do whatever it takes. I’m coming for a knockout but I’m ready to go 12 rounds. A victory keeps me right on track. At the end of the day, you will know who I am and want I stand for.”