Leave a comment

Simply The Best! Mark Breland

Arguably the greatest American amateur boxer of all-time, Mark Breland will be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame on Friday night, December 13, during a special Class of 2019 ceremony at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and 2019 National Championships, Dec. 7-15, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals of the Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event’s emcee for the third year in a row.

The USA Boxing Alumni Association’s third HOF class also includes two other Olympic gold-medalists, “Big” George Foreman and “Smokin'” Joe Frazier, as well as legendary coaches Al Mitchell and Ray Rodgers.

Sen. John McCain will be posthumously presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work to protect boxers and elevate the sport.

“I’m very happy to be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame,” Breland said. “It really means a lot, especially going in this year with Foreman and Frazier. I guess it proves I’ve done a lot in boxing. I’m happy to be going in. I had a lot of fun in USA Boxing. To be going into the same Hall of Fame with Evander (Holyfield) (Muhammad) Ali, Foreman, Frazier…champs like that, it’s something for me to be with them.”

Breland, ironically, first got into boxing at the age of eight, due to him being brought to his first boxing match, Frazier-Ali I, at Madison Square Garden. “We were up in the top seats,” the Brooklyn-born and raised Breland remembered like it was yesterday. “The crowd, the atmosphere…all I could think of was, wow! I didn’t realize until I got older that there were so many stars there watching Ali and Frazier, because they were all at ringside.

“The next day I went to a gym. I was really skinny, small, but I came back the next day. I enjoyed working out and fell in love with boxing. I wanted to box in big tournaments. This is what I wanted to do, but I had hid boxing from my parents. They knew I had I played football, but that was okay with them, because unlike in boxing, we had a helmet. I won at the Junior Olympics and it was in the papers. I saw it and thought my mother was going to kill me. My mother asked me why I hadn’t told her, so I invited her to watch me fight in the Golden Gloves. She was in one of the front rows, but afterwards when I asked her what she thought when I knocked out my opponent, she said she didn’t see it because she had closed her eyes.”

Breland went on to become a five-time New York Golden Gloves champion with a 21-0 record, including 19 knockouts, 14 coming in the opening round. In 1982, Breland captured a gold medal at the prestigious World Championships in Munich, Germany, after which he was named the No. 1 welterweight in the world by AIBA. He was also selected as Boxer of the Year (1982) by USAABF.

At the 1984 Olympic Games, held in Los Angeles, Breland fought his way to a gold medal,
along with eight of his American teammates: Paul Gonzalez, Steve McCrory, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, Jerry Page, Frank Tate, Henry Tillman and Tyrell Biggs.

Breland, who completed his amateur career with an amazing 110-1 (73 KOs) record, appeared to be cooler than the other side of the pillow on a hot, steamy night. No real celebrations after he won gold, to the contrary, Mark was emotionless, the same as he still is today as a trainer of champions.

“I’ve always been really laid back,” he explained. “I just remember raising my hands. At an Olympic press conference, I was asked if I was happy, and I just said I was glad it was over. I guess I didn’t seem excited. I was happy but calm. It’s the same way now (as a trainer); it’s just me. I’m happy to win and happy to be doing what I do.”

“Mark’s dominance over his competition throughout his USA Boxing career cements him as a legend,” commented Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. “His ring intelligence, commitment to his craft, and ability to fight at any pace against any style makes him a tremendous example for today’s group of amateur champions. It has been a long time coming, but the Alumni Association looks forward to reflecting on his accomplishments and honoring Mark in Louisiana.”

Confirmed special guests include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Andrew Maynard, three-time National AAU Coach of the Year (1972-76-77) Joe Clough, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Tate and his brother Thomas, 1972 Olympian Tim Dement, 2002 National Golden Gloves champion Jaidon Codringtion, 1980 Olympic Qualifier Jackie Beard, 1981 Junior Olympics Glen Modicue, four-time National champion Eric Kelly, 1988 Eastern Olympic Qualifier champion John Scully, Obie Beard, Mark Lanton and the Stephens brothers – Donald, Anthony and Jerry.

HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE USA BOXING ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.

To join the Alumni Association, simply register at alumni@usaboxing.org for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.

Breland made his much-anticipated pro debut November 15, 1984, at the famed Madison Square Garden, defeating Dwight Williams by way of a six-round unanimous decision. During his illustrious pro career (1984-1997), Breland compiled a sterling 35-3-1 (35 KOs) record and he was a two-time World welterweight champion.

The 56-year-old Breland, who once trained the late, great 1992 US Olympian Vernon Forrest, currently trains another great USA Boxing alumni and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Deontay Wilder, the reigning World Boxing Council heavyweight champion.

“Once I started boxing in the amateurs,” Breland concluded, “I started progressing. I learned a lot from other amateurs like different styles. Boxers from New York/New Jersey had different styles than boxers from Georgia/Florida, and fighting Cubans was completely different. I was beating up a Cuban fighter, but every time I hit him, somehow, they took away a point from me. I knew right away that I had to knock him out to win, and they did end up stopping the fight.”

CLASS OF 2017: The charter class was headed by Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, in addition to veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter.

CLASS OF 2018: U.S. Olympic Team medalists and world (professional) champions Roy Jones, Jr., Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, as well as former USA Boxing National Director of Coaching Emanuel Steward and veteran USA Boxing official Tom Cleary.

INFORMATION:
Leave a comment

2020 to be breakout year for Unbeaten Mykquan Williams

If everything goes according to plans, 2020 will be a breakout year for unbeaten prospect “Marvelous” Mykquan Williams (15-0-1, 7 KOs), the World Boxing Council (WBC) United States super lightweight champion.

Williams, fighting out of East Hartford, CT, is arguably one of the most gifted 21-and-under fighters in the world, and he won’t turn 22 until April 6.

In 2019, he won two of three rights with a questionable draw in his last fight in October against Tre’Sean Wiggins (11-4-3, 6 KOs), in the “Broadway Boxing” main event held at Generoso Pope Athletic Complex on the campus of St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

The highlight of 2019 was capturing his title belt last May with a 10-round unanimous decision victory against Ricky Edwards (12-2) at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Overall, Williams was happy with 2019 performances, although he only fought three times as opposed to four the previous two years, and failed to register a knockout.

“I kept my belt (he retained it vs. Wiggins),” Williams spoke about 2019. “I probably would have fought four times again, if the dates were spread out a little more having my first fight in February and last in November. Quality is more important than the number of fights.

“I always look at knockouts as a bonus, if it comes, good. Not everybody goes down. I’m happy winning and looking good. I do know that my opponents felt my power and were stunned in all of my fights this year.”

Williams’ head trainer, Paul Cichon, believes his rising star is on schedule. “He’s only 21 and still has a lot to learn,” he explained. He’s right on schedule. The more experience, obviously, the better he gets. His last fight opened some eyes. He’s normally a slow starter, but now he knows that he has to start quicker. The number of fights he has is , in part, determined by who he fight and how far it goes. It could be a 10-rounder, or he could stop his opponent in three, four rounds. His last was 10 a tough, good fight.”

Williams and Cichon are looking forward to making a splash in 2020. “This coming year is going to be big for me,” Williams commented. “I’m going to be stepping up against opponents in terms of quality. I’d like to get more television exposure, too. But I’m happy with the way my career is going with 16 fights in four years.

“A lot of people forget I’m 21; they think I’m 22-23. I have no regret turning pro (rather than staying in the amateurs to try and make the USA Olympic Boxing Team) because I’ve been around for four years. Everything is going on schedule with 16 fights in three-plus years. I’d like at least three fights in 2020, one against a rated fighter, and a fight for another title by my last fight of 2020.”

Williams manager, Jackie Kallen, wouldn’t be happier with the way Williams has progressed this year and she’s looking forward to more in 2020.

“Everything is going right on schedule,” she remarked. “Mykquan has a solid team behind him and this coming year should be a stellar one. He has grown with each fight and has learned something new from each opponent. This has prepared for him for whatever lies ahead in 2020. He remains involved in his community and finds ways to give back whenever possible. He is a positive role model and a well-rounded fighter. I could not be prouder.”

Leave a comment

St. John’s to Host Undefeated West Virginia in MSG Debut

First-year Head Coach Mike Anderson will make his Madison Square Garden debut on Saturday afternoon at 12 p.m. when the Red Storm welcomes undefeated West Virginia to “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

Tickets for the contest are available by visiting RedStormTix.com or by calling 1-888-GO-STORM. Those who cannot make the game in person can watch live nationally on FS1, as Brian Custer and Jim Spanarkel will call the action live from Midtown. John Minko and Brandon Tierney will handle broadcasting duties on the Red Storm Sports Network from Learfield IMG College, available on 970 AM WNYM, TuneIn and Sirius XM.

The Johnnies will play the first of seven regular season games this year at “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” the remaining six of which will come against BIG EAST foes. The Red Storm’s showdown with the Mountaineers is part of the inaugural BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle, which pits the two 10-team conferences against one another prior to the start of league play. The BIG EAST went 2-0 on the scheduling alliance’s opening night, as DePaul beat Texas Tech in Chicago and Georgetown topped Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Marquette and Kansas State will also meet on Saturday.

Saturday’s tilt between St. John’s and West Virginia will also serve as the annual Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival, as the Red Storm will make the program’s 53rd appearance all-time at the premier in-season event. The Johnnies are 75-39 all-time at the Holiday Festival, which used to feature as many as three games at “The Mecca of Basketball.” St. John’s last met a Big 12 team in the Holiday Festival back in 1987, taking the championship game against a Kansas squad that would go on to win the national championship that spring.

The Red Storm rides into Madison Square Garden on the heels of a three-game winning streak, downing UMass in the consolation game of the Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun before earning back-to-back victories at Carnesecca Arena over Wagner and Saint Peter’s.

Following consecutive scoring efforts in the single digits against Arizona State and UMass in Connecticut, senior guard Mustapha Heron averaged 17.5 points per game in the Red Storm’s wins against the Seahawks and Peacocks. The team’s leading scorer this season at 15.0 points per game, Heron shot 50.0 percent (12-of-24) from the floor during that stretch in Queens, including a 6-for-14 (42.9%) showing from three-point range. On the season, Heron leads the BIG EAST in three-point field goal percentage, knocking down exactly half of his 38 attempts from beyond the arc in the early going of 2019-20.

Another threat from deep on the Red Storm roster, LJ Figueroa snapped a brief scoring skid by posting a game-high 19 points against Saint Peter’s on Tuesday night. After recording back-to-back single-digit scoring efforts for the first time in his St. John’s career, the junior wing made six of his 11 tries from the floor and sank all five of his free-throw attempts in addition to logging six rebounds, three assists and three steals. On the season, Figueroa is shooting 44.0 percent from beyond the arc, nearly six full percentage points higher than his 38.3 percent showing a year ago. During that sophomore campaign, Figueroa excelled under the bright lights of MSG, averaging 15.2 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting, including a 43.8 percent effort from downtown, in the Red Storm’s five regular season games in Midtown. The Lawrence, Mass., native most memorably recorded a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double in the Red Storm’s thrilling come-from-behind win over defending national champion Villanova on Feb. 17.

Also making his Madison Square Garden debut will be freshman forward Julian Champagnie, who has been Anderson’s most consistent producer so far in 2019-20. The Brooklyn native has logged a team-high seven double-figure scoring efforts in just nine tries, ranking third on the team with 11.7 points per game, good enough for third in the BIG EAST among freshmen behind Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Justin Moore of Villanova. Champagnie, whose father won a national championship with the St. John’s men’s soccer team in 1996, logged the first double-double of his collegiate career with 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists against Saint Peter’s on Tuesday night. He ranks second on the team and eighth in the BIG EAST with 7.3 rebounds per contest.

Champagnie’s front-court companion, Josh Roberts has been enjoying a breakout sophomore season in his first campaign under the direction of Coach Anderson. After averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 boards per game in 6.3 minutes during 18 appearances as a freshman, Roberts has established himself as one of the BIG EAST’s best post players. The Troy, Ala., native is averaging 8.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, including 4.0 offensive rebounds per outing. Ranking 12th nationally in offensive rebounds per game, Roberts also checks in at no. 16 in Division I with 2.9 blocks per contest.

A BIG EAST foe of St. John’s for nearly two decades, West Virginia returns to Madison Square Garden with an unblemished marked of 7-0 after defeating Rhode Island on Sunday in Morgantown. Earlier that week, the Mountaineers downed Northern Iowa and Wichita State on back-to-back days to win the Cancun Challenge.

Four Mountaineers are averaging double figures this season, led by senior guard Jermaine Haley at 12.3 points per game. A former junior college teammate of Figueroa’s at Odessa College, the 6-foot-7 Haley is shooting 68.1 percent from the floor and averaging more than six rebounds per game. During the Mountaineers’ most recent outing against Rhode Island, Haley scored 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

A McDonald’s All-American last season, freshman Oscar Tshiebwe is averaging a near double-double with 12.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Hailing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tshiebwe has recorded two efforts of at least 19 points and 17 rebounds, posting 20 points and 17 boards in the Backyard Brawl against Pitt before logging 19 points and 18 rebounds against Wichita State in Cancun.

The squad’s leading returning scorer from last season, sophomore forward Derek Culver is averaging 11.1 points per game, including a team-high 25 points against Rhode Island on Sunday. Another sophomore forward, Emmitt Matthews Jr., rounds out the Mountaineers’ contingent double-figures scorers at 10.6 points per contest.

Coming off a 15-21 effort in 2018-19 that featured a 4-14 record in Big 12 play, the Mountaineers were predicted to finish fifth in a preseason vote by the conference’s coaches.

For more information on St. John’s University fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://redstormsports.com/

Leave a comment

Mets Re-Sign RHP Brad Brach

The New York Mets today announced that the club has re-signed RHP Brad Brach to a one-year contract with a player option for 2021. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated RHP Chris Flexen for assignment.

Brach, 33, a former All-Star, posted a 3.68 ERA in 16 games with New York after he signed as a free agent on August 8. He held righties to a .194 (7-36) batting average, had 15 strikeouts and three walks in 14.2 innings with the Mets. Brach also appeared in 42 games with the Cubs and had 45 strikeouts in 39.2 innings last year.

“Brad is a former All-Star who made an immediate and positive impact to our bullpen last year,” Mets Executive Vice President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “We are confident that his presence will make us better in 2020.”

The 6-6, 215-pound native of Freehold, NJ has pitched in 327 games since 2015, the ninth-most in the majors. He was an All-Star in 2016 with the Orioles when he went 10-4 with a 2.05 ERA in 71 games.

Brach pitched in the postseason in 2014 and 2016 with Baltimore and in 2018 with Atlanta.

Brach was drafted in 2008 by the Padres out of Monmouth University (NJ).

The right-hander has 542 strikeouts in 510.1 innings and 33 career saves during his nine-year major league career with the Padres, Orioles, Braves, Cubs and Mets.

For more information on the New York Mets fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.mlb.com/mets

Leave a comment

Mets Sign Jarrett Parker and infielder Max Moroff to Minor League Contracts

The New York Mets announced that the club has signed outfielder Jarrett Parker and infielder Max Moroff to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training. They join Chasen Shreve who signed a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training in November.

Parker, 30, has appeared in parts of four major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and the San Francisco Giants. The left-handed hitter owns a career .249/.330/.441 slash line with a .771 OPS, 17 doubles, 15 home runs and 51 RBI in 140 games.

The 6-4 outfielder appeared in five games with the Angels in 2019 but spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Salt Lake. Parker hit .266/.394/.535 with a .929 OPS, 71 runs, 19 doubles, 24 home runs, 75 RBI and 72 walks in 96 games with Salt Lake. Overall, in eight minor league seasons, Parker has hit .261/.368/.464 with a .832 OPS, 127 home runs and 445 RBI.

The University of Virginia Cavalier was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the second round (74th overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

Moroff, 26, has appeared in 104 career games over four major league seasons between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians. He has seven homers and 34 RBI in the majors. He has played second base, third base and shortstop at the major league level.

The 5-11 190-pounder split the 2019 season between the Indians and Triple-A Columbus. Moroff appeared in 22 games in the major leagues last year at second base, shortstop and third base.

The right-handed hitter has compiled a career .251/.358/.382 slash line with a .739 OPS, 384 runs, 127 doubles, 21 triples, 51 homers, 291 RB and 73 stolen bases in 703 minor league games.

Moroff was born in Winter Park, FL and was originally drafted by the Pirates in the 16th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Trinity Prep School in Florida.

For more information on the New York Mets fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.mlb.com/mets

Leave a comment

Mets Host 14th Annual Coat Drive December 11

The Mets are teaming up with New York Cares for the 14th Annual Mets “Warm-Up” Holiday Coat Drive on Wednesday, December 11 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Mets Team Store. Mets employees and New York Cares volunteers will collect donations to keep those in need warm during the cold winter months.

Fans donating new or gently used coats will receive a voucher redeemable for two tickets to select 2020 Mets home games. Fans must be present to receive voucher and will be limited to one voucher per fan. Further details can be found at mets.com/coatdrive.

For more information on the New York Mets fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.mlb.com/mets

For more information on New York Cares fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.newyorkcares.org/

Leave a comment

Jermall Charlo vs Dennis Hogan Final Press Conference Quotes

WBC Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo and highly rated contender Dennis Hogan went face to face Thursday at a final press conference to preview their world title showdown taking place this Saturday, December 7 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The final press conference also featured middleweight star Chris Eubank Jr. and top contender Matt Korobov, who battle for the Interim WBA Middleweight Title in the co-main event, and former champions Marlon Tapales and Ryosuke Iwasa, who square off for the Interim IBF Super Bantamweight Title in the televised opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on-sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from the Grand Ballroom at the Tillary Hotel Brooklyn:

JERMALL CHARLO

“I’m ready and I’m back like never before. I have a tough opponent in Dennis Hogan who’s real confident and he’s bringing Ireland and Australia with him. It’s going to be a show. If he can’t take my shot, I’m going to hit him flush and put him out.

“I believe I have something to deliver that Hogan has never seen before. I’m back to my most explosive days in boxing. I feel great about my training and the way I prepared myself to get this victory. I think it’s going to be tougher than he thinks it is.

“My daughter’s birth has given me even more motivation to knock this guy out and when you come to Brooklyn, you’re coming to my house. There’s nothing he can do and nothing he can say. They all say the same thing until they have to get in there with me.

“If Hogan says he’s more powerful at middleweight, than he’s going to come to fight and stay in the pocket. If he comes to box, I’ll come to fight, and if he comes to fight I’ll be able to box him. Regardless, we’re going to make adjustments in the fight.

“I’m going to come with a vicious attack. If he can hold it, then I’m going to try again later in the night. However the game plan plays out, I’m going to stop him.

“Dennis Hogan, I’ll see you Saturday night. We’re going to give everyone a great night of boxing. I’m going to deliver something explosive and give Hogan a nice little Christmas gift.

“The birth of my daughter has given me a whole new level of motivation, but I’ve always been fighting for my family. It’s just a new blessing and taking the inspiration to another level.

“I still have time to make Knockout of the Year, so hopefully this guy’s power is what he thinks it is and he comes to fight. I’m ready to shut him down.

“When you’re the champ, people are coming for you. When people know you’re great, they want to challenge you. I’m okay with that. I was on that road and now I’m here. In due time, you will see me get all of the biggest fights.

“I love Brooklyn and the energy I get from the crowd. It reminds me of Houston because the food is good and all my fans and family are here. I love Brooklyn.”

DENNIS HOGAN

“I just want to thank my team and Jermall’s team and everyone for making this fight and giving me this opportunity. It’s been a quick four weeks since our first press conference and I’ve gone to a whole new level of what I can accomplish and achieve in my training. I’ve left no stone unturned and I can’t wait to get out there on Saturday night and make my dreams come true

“I’ve always said that when you have a great atmosphere in the arena, it’s like a third guy in the ring. It gets me motivated and it’s always been a big thing for me. I’m going to feel like I’m fighting in front of my home crowd Saturday night.

“Every opponent that I’ve had thinks they’re going to knock me out. It’s not about how hard you throw a punch, it’s about how hard can you land a punch and that’s the difficulty people have with me. That’s one of my best attributes. When I land clean, they tend to realize I mean business and don’t want to come forward. I feel 20% more powerful and he’s going to feel my punches.

“We’re both professional athletes and we’re going to give the fans a great fight. One of us is going to walk away with the WBC belt and I truly believe it will be me.

“You’re going to see something explosive Saturday night. It’s two fighters who truly believe they’re going to win. That makes for brilliant viewing and I’m excited to deliver that to the public.

“I like fighting against taller fighters. It gives me more target and more opportunity to be elusive and show variations. I’m going to use my size to my advantage. You don’t really know what you’re up against with me until you’re actually in there.

“After the last press conference, I expected him to react and crack once I spoke, so I’m not surprised with what he said. It doesn’t matter either way, the talking has nothing to do with what goes on in the ring. He shouldn’t care what I have to say if he truly thinks that he’s going to win the fight. I think that’s a good sign for me, but either way I’m prepared for what happens in the ring.

“I’ve got an extra snap on my punches right now. The power is there, I’m strong, I’m not having to dehydrate as much and that’s going to make all the difference. I’m really excited. We built some extra muscle in certain areas for this fight and I feel a lot stronger because of that. My coach is brilliant at spotting weaknesses in opponents. Charlo doesn’t have many weaknesses but there are things that I can capitalize on with the right game plan. Even Muhammad Ali had these areas, so everybody has them and it’s about capitalizing on them.”

CHRIS EUBANK JR.

“My pro debut here in the U.S. has been a long time coming. It’s been a dream of mine to come out here and perform for you guys. Korobov is talking about decisions, but he will be stopped before the 12th round.

“I’m going to come for all the middleweight belts after this fight. I want all the big names. I’m 30-years-old and in my prime right now. Korobov is a great introductory fight for me in the U.S., then after that, it’s open season.

“There’s going to be a new kingpin in town after Saturday night. I’ve been fighting guys 20 pounds heavier than me. Now you put me in with guys my own weight, it’s going to be devastating.

“I’m at middleweight, so I’m the best in the division. Korobov is a great fighter and I respect him. He’s done a lot in the sport, but this is my time. I’ve worked too hard to come out here and not go through him.

“I’ve had a lot of big fights in the U.K., but now is the perfect time to introduce myself to the American public. Korobov is just standing in my way.

“I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was a kid and started boxing. To finally be here after all this time is a great feeling. Especially to be able to perform here in New York. So many great champions were born here and fought here. I haven’t come all this way to have a flat performance. I’m going to dominate this fight.

“There were a lot of good opportunities and money to be made at super middleweight so I did what I had to do. Now I’m in a position where there are great middleweight fights in the states so I can be back to my natural weight and takeover.

“I’m not playing around. I’m not here to fight nobodies and coast. I want the big fights and the toughest guys out here so everyone knows I’m the man. Korobov fits that bill as a world class opponent.”

MATT KOROBOV

“I’m so glad to be here in Brooklyn one year after I fought here against Charlo. I’m so prepared and ready to give everyone a good show and leave the fans happy. I’m going to give the fans what they want to see.

“Looking to my future, this is a really important fight. What’s happened in this past is in the past. I’ve prepared for this fight really well and I’ll be ready Saturday night to win this title.

“Everybody works hard in this sport and goes through things inside and outside of the ring. It’s our job to be prepared. Whatever it takes to win this fight, I’m ready. He’s overlooking me and it’s going to be his mistake.

“We’ve done our research on Eubank. I’ve only watched a little but my team knows him very well. We’ve known him for a long time and known he’s a great fighter, just like his father.

“I’m glad that Eubank accepted the fight against me. It’s another opportunity for me to fight the best in the division and prove that I’m right up there and as good as anyone at middleweight.

“I just have to go in there Saturday night and take this belt home. Any way that I can with any strategy that works best. Whatever it takes, I will win this fight.

“I loved fighting at Barclays Center and it was a great experience for me last year. I think having that experience will definitely help me in this fight. There are a lot of Russians in Brooklyn and I’m excited for them to come out and support me.

“I’m really happy to be back here, especially on the undercard to Jermall Charlo. It makes sense for us because if we both go in and take care of business, we can make the rematch happen easily.”

MARLON TAPALES

“I have trained so much and worked so hard to get here today. We’re going to put on a great show for you Saturday night, and the best man will win.

“I’m going to make this my fourth knockout in the U.S. I’ve worked really hard to make sure that happens and we give all the fans a lot of excitement.

“The training camp that I had was definitely one of the best of my career. I’m strong and ready to show off everything we’ve worked on.

“I’m very motivated for this fight. Every day we focus on becoming world champion again. It is up to me and my team to fight the right way and make sure do everything we can Saturday night.”

RYOSUKE IWASA

“My opponent has very good skills and is a tough fighter. But I also have good skills and a lot of experience. I will give everyone a great fight on Saturday night.

“I’ve been training very hard for a tough southpaw. I’m going to show you the adjustments I’ve made for southpaws on Saturday night. I won’t have any problems with his style.

“I think that my experience will definitely help me in this fight. I’ve fought all over and against every different style throughout my career. Not just in fights, but in sparring too. There won’t be anything we can’t handle.

“We definitely want to steal the show. We work hard so that we can leave it all in the ring and I know that Tapales will bring the same mentality to fight night. It’s going to make the fans the winners and the best man will have his hand raised.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.

“This is our 20th event at Barclays Center, and 22nd if you count CBS, which is far more than any other network. We’ve been to Barclays Center more than any other venue since it opened. Anybody who is a fan of boxing knows what Barclays Center has done for the sport and we are looking forward to getting back there again.

“This is Jermall’s 10th fight on SHOWTIME. He is a graduate of ShoBox and this is his fourth fight at Barclays Center. We are proud of our history with Jermell and Jermall and bringing you what we feel is a very intriguing card.

“In our co-main event we have the U.S. debut of Chris Eubank Jr. and we are thrilled that it is with SHOWTIME. Of course his father, Chris Eubank Sr., has a history with SHOWTIME and we were proud to be a part of his career and now with Chris Eubank Jr. Chris’ last few fights were at super middleweight and now he returns to his more natural weight of 160. And all six of his victories at 160 were by knockout. So he is certainly someone who should be reckoned with at 160 or 168.

“As for Matt Korobov, he is certainly someone no one wants to fight. We have heard the dialogue around this fight and people question Chris on why he would do this fight – ‘It’s too tough a fight, too risky a fight. It makes no sense.’ Well, it does make sense if you are fighting for your legacy. If you are fighting for meaningful fights. If you’re trying to elevate the sport, these are exactly the fights that make sense and I give much credit to Chris Eubank Jr. and Matt Korobov for taking this very entertaining fight.

“In our main event, what can you say about Jermall Charlo. He is entertaining, he’s charismatic. He’s certainly, undoubtedly, one of the top middleweights in the world. And you can make a good argument, at least in my book, that’s he’s the very best middleweight in the world. I think the most effective think you can say about Jermall is that you never hear him called out. You never hear, or almost rarely, do you hear another middleweight call out Jermall Charlo. When it’s time to set up fights all of the sudden there’s a lot of amnesia going around. And the name Jermall Charlo doesn’t get mentioned, and for good reason. He is the boogieman of the division. When he put a call out for this fight, there are a lot of guys who did not answer and I can testify to that.

“I give much credit to Dennis Hogan because he did step up to a fight that many others did not. We are expecting to see a better Dennis Hogan than we’ve ever seen before, and he will tell you that himself. He’s fighting at a heavier weight of 160 and feeling much stronger.”

# # #

ABOUT CHARLO VS. HOGAN
Charlo vs. Hogan will see WBC Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo defend his title against highly-ranked contender Dennis Hogan live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features features middleweight star Chris Eubank, Jr. and top contender Matt Korobov squaring off for the Interim WBA Middleweight Title plus former world champions clash when the Philippines’ Marlon Tapales and Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa meet for the Interim IBF Super Bantamweight Title

For more information visit www.SHO.com/sports

www.PremierBoxingChampions.com