With the May 23 PBC on NBC card in Boston fast approaching, a few of the undercard fighters as well as Danny O'Connor, who faces Paulie Malignaggi on May 29 in Brooklyn, held a media workout at Peter Welch's Gym in South Boston.
A few quotes from the fighters at the workout, as well as Murphys Boxing President & CEO Ken Casey, of the Dropkick Murphys:
Danny O'Connor, Framingham, MA:
"I think the show is big but, for me, it's just another fight with Paul. I'm excited about the challenge in front of me, matching my skills against somebody like Paul with his resume. I'm extremely focused. All the work is done here (in gym)."
Ryan Kielczweski, Quincy, MA:
"It's really cool fighting close to home on such a big card with double world title fights. Someday, hopefully, I'll be there. I'm focusing on my fight and when that's over I'll watch Edwin (Rodriguez) fight."
Javier Fortuna, La Romana, Dominican Republic
"I feel super good and super confident. I've been training here (Boston) but haven't seen much of the city. I expect a lot of fans there for me. I've been doing a lot of Spanish interviews. I await their approval of my performance."
Jonathan Guzman, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
"I feel very, very good. I'm ready to fight, 19 for 19 (19 wins, 19 KOs). I have a lot of family living in Lawrence (suburb) of Boston) and I've been staying here (S. Boston)."
Ken Casey, President & CEO of Murphys Boxing
"Boston is a sports-crazed city with a lot of good local fighters. It's a shame a show like this hasn't happened here in a long time. Sometimes it just takes good fighters and the right promoter to help them. It's the perfect combination now."
* * * *
Timothy Bradley Jr will return to the truTV booth tomorrow night, but Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini isn't going anywhere. The two will call the fights from Phoenix alongside play-by-play man Kevin Kugler, with Crystina Poncher handling interviews.
* * * *
The 32nd Annual IBF/USBA Convention is set to start on May 17 in Montreal. Perhaps my favorite tidbit is that Lamont Peterson, who was recently stripped by the IBF for controversially losing a catchweight bout with Danny Garcia, will be given a "championship ring" for making three successful title defenses. Evgeny Gradovich and Moruti Mthalane will also receive rings.
Gradovich will be receiving the Jersey Joe Walcott Award as the IBF's fighter of the year for 2014. Here are the Fight of the Year winners for the various IBF belts:
- IBF - Katsunari Takayama vs. Francisco Rodriguez
- Female - Carolina Rodriguez vs. Dayana Cordero
- USBA - Amir Mansour vs. Steve Cunningham
- I/C - Murat Gassiev vs. Engin Karakaplan
- Asia - Ma Yi Ming vs. Tommy Seran