“It’s a whole new ballgame – welcome to the big time, brother” – Antonio Tarver
“He has the name, but he doesn’t have any heart.” – Lateef Kayode
A mix of boxing legends, undefeated contenders and a current world champion converged in Los Angeles for a wild, emotional and often heated press conference on Monday to formally announce the upcoming Saturday, June 2 Quadrupleheader live on SHOWTIME from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Former light heavyweight kingpin and current SHOWTIME ringside boxing analyst Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (29-6, 20 KO’s), of Tampa, Fla., will headline as he continues his campaign in the cruiserweight division by taking on unbeaten power puncher Lateef “Power” Kayode (18-0, 14 KO’s), of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Lagos, Nigeria.
In the co-main event, Ronald “Winky” Wright (51-5-1, 25 KO’s), of St. Petersburg, Fla., makes his return to the ring against undefeated rising star, Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (26-0, 20 KO’s), of Brooklyn, N.Y.
The telecast, which features four undefeated fighters, over 200 combined victories and 102 knockouts, will open with two world title bouts including WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout (24-0,14 KO’s), of Las Cruces, N.M., defending against crowd-pleasing Delvin Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KO’s), of Danbury, Conn., by way of Santiago, D.R. In the opening world title match, Vusi “Marvelous” Malinga (20-3, 12 KO’s), of Johannesburg, South Africa, will face undefeated Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (19-0-1, 11 KO’s), of Lincoln Heights, Calif., for the vacant IBF bantamweight world championship.
Here’s what the participants had to say on Monday:
“You have to admire these young guys for their enthusiasm and their will. Eight or nine years ago that was me, trying to fight a legend.
“I feel I still have so much to give to the game of boxing. I have to take this fight seriously and you better believe I’ll be ready for June 2.
“These young guys are trying to take our spots and this is what makes boxing special.
“When you try to constructively critique someone (Tarver has served as color commentator for Kayode fights), you hope they go back to the gym and get better. I wasn’t on his bandwagon. I saw loopholes in his game and it was my job to tell him that. He didn’t want to take heed to that and now I need to show him.
“I’m telling Lateef that his dream is going to come crumbling down.
“I’m standing here today to tell Lateef Kayode and everybody he’s got coming to support him on June 2 that his dreams are going to come tumbling down. It’s a big difference when you are in that ring by yourself and facing the heat and fire I’m going to bring, and all (Kayode trainer) Freddie Roach can do is give you water. It’s a whole new ballgame – welcome to the big time, brother.”
“I’ve never been worried about power because power is nothing if you can’t land that punch.
“There are two types of fighters, some you can make quit and some you have to knock out and I don’t think there is any quit in Lateef Kayode, which means I’m going to have to knock him out to come away with the victory.”
“Lateef Kayode is in a good position for a young fighter who has nothing to lose and everything to gain. They think that’s a dangerous fighter, but I see it different. A fighter who has everything to lose is more dangerous than a fighter who has everything to gain, because I know what will happen to me if I lose. Lateef Kayode will be facing a very, very dangerous fighter. I’m bringing a lot heat with me in the ring on June 2.”
“I will knock you out. I will beat the crap out of you.
“I want to be a world champion and I want to fight world champions. I want to prove to all of you that I am better than him, that I am stronger than him.
“When Tarver commented on me on SHOWTIME, he never said anything good. I never disrespected him and I said, “Champ, what have I done to you?’
“I’m going to prove myself and prove that I am ready for this man, that I am ready for the best.
“He has the name, but he doesn’t have the heart. He doesn’t have the power. The way he fights, I can get this guy.
“He doesn’t have crap. Tarver is done. I never disrespected anyone in my life, but on June 2, this guy is done.”
“I’m not coming back for the money. I’ve got money, and I’ve got friends who have money, so it’s good there. The reason I’m coming back is to make a statement.
“I could have fought a tune-up, but boxing is about accomplishments and to me that means winning another world championship.
“My last fight was a bad one for me. I probably should have taken a fight before it, but I was never retired. I could have come back a year-and-a-half ago, but the kind of deal and opportunity we were looking for just wasn’t there. It is now.
“This guy (Quillin) is hungry and he wants to win a championship. I love his enthusiasm, so I’m looking forward to fighting him. If he thinks I’m making a mistake fighting him after being off, if he thinks I’m not what I used to be, now’s his chance to show it.
“Let’s do it. I’m ready for a fight.’’
Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin
“I want to thank Golden Boy, SHOWTIME, Tarver, the powerful team I have behind me and everyone involved in making this event happen for giving me the platform to show what I have.
“I’m just getting started. I’m still climbing the ladder, so there’s no way I overlook any opponent, especially a fighter that is going to wind up in the Hall of Fame.
“I’m going to win this fight. I’m in fighting shape. I’m fired up. I’m ready right now to take advantage of this great opportunity.
“I don’t fight for my family. I don’t fight for my friends. Kid Chocolate fights for himself.
“If you’ve never been to the planet, Pluto, I’m going to take you there. Pluto is where all the stars are, so if you want to go to Pluto, come out and support me.’’
“It’s an honor for me to be part of an event like this with so many great fighters, and I thank everybody for making me a part of it and for SHOWTIME for accepting me.
“I’m super excited and I know my fight with Delvin (Rodriguez) will be great. Trust me, Delvin comes to fight, so this is going to be a good, hard fight for a while, but I’m working in the gym on making it easier.
“I know I’m not a household name in boxing. That’s why I’m so appreciative of this opportunity and looking forward to taking full advantage of it.
“I’m looking to fight any of the other titleholders or the biggest names out there.’’
Leo Santa Cruz
“I’m from Lincoln Heights (Calif.), so for me to be fighting in my own backyard in my very first world title fight is beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve been waiting for something like this, and now my opportunity of a lifetime is here.
“There are so many great, great fighters on this card. I’m excited and very happy to be on it. This is going to be a great show.
“I know (Vusi) Malinga is an aggressive fighter who’s waited a long time to fight for the IBF title, but I’ve waited my whole life. I can’t wait for June 2 to show what I can do on the biggest stage at The Home Depot on SHOWTIME.’’
Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions CEO
“It’s a privilege to bring a great event like this to Los Angeles. We have four undefeated fighters on the card and they’re not just fighting anybody, they’re fighting legends, guys who know how to win.
“This is an amazing card. Those legends are telling these guys to be forewarned because your “0s” are going to go. We have eight fighters with a combined record of 213 wins and 19 losses and each one wants to win on June 2.
“This is big-time boxing back in Los Angeles.
“Winky is one of the most decorated fighters of our generation. He could have come back with a soft touch, but that’s not what Winky does. He comes in against one of the most feared fighters in the division.
“Kid Chocolate didn’t hesitate a second to take the fight. He wants to face the best, but Winky is here to turn back the clock. He’s coming back to show you what he’s all about.
“Kayode is a young, undefeated guy with tremendous knockout power. Tarver could have gone with an easier fight, but he wanted to fight the best.”
Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
“We are very proud to bring this unique night of boxing to SHOWTIME – eight world-class fighters, four fights, two world title fights. We’ve only had one quadrupleheader that wasn’t a pay per view in SHOWTIME history.
“We have legends, rising stars, youth vs. experience and world title fights. There are no easy fights on this card.
“We’re going to have at least one fight on SHOWTIME EXTREME so we’re going to have at least a quintupleheader.
“It’s really a tribute to the six promoters on this card to put together what will be an amazing night of boxing.”
The event is presented by A.T. Entertainment, Golden Boy Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions and sponsored by Corona and AT&T with Trout vs. Rodriguez being presented in association with Greg Cohen Promotions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Malinga vs. Santa Cruz being presented in association with Branco Sports Productions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on SHOWTIME ® with preliminary bouts airing live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets for the June 2 event are on sale now for as low as $25, with VIP floor seats priced at $200. Other tickets in the 8,000-seat outdoor stadium at The Home Depot Center are available at $50 and $100. Fans can purchase tickets at AXS.com or by phone at 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849), as well as The Home Depot Center Box Office (open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT). VIP Suites are available for purchase by calling 1-877-604-8777. For more information on group discounts or VIP packages, please call 1-877-234-8425.