Fighters featured on the March 5 HBO Boxing After Dark telecast shared their final thoughts ahead of Saturday’s fights at the final press conference today in Washington, D.C. Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (24-0, 21 KOs) was joined by Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (40-6, 27 KOs) ahead of their clash in the main event.
Also appearing on stage were number one contender for the WBO Welterweight World Title Sadam “World Kid” Ali (22-0, 13 KOs) and former WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Jessie Vargas (26-1, 9 KOs) who will battle for the vacant WBO Welterweight World Championship in a can’t-miss 12-round co-main event.
Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (23-11, 13 KOs) of and former WBA Interim Super Bantamweight World Champion Oscar Escandon (24-2, 16 KOs) of Ibague, Colombia, who will face of in a 12-round fight for the WBC Interim Featherweight World Championship.
Rounding out the dais were a host of up-and-coming east coast prospects including Lamont Roach Jr. (9-0, 3 KOs) of Washington, D.C., D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard (11-0,7 KOs) from Temple Hills, Md., Kevin “K-Smoove” Rivers Jr. (12-1, 9 KOs), Zachary “Zungry” Ochoa (13-0, 6 KOs) of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Philadelphia natives Damon Allen (8-0, 3 KOs) and Todd Unthank-May (8-0, 3 KOs).
LUIS “THE REAL KING KONG” Ortiz, WBA Interim Heavyweight World Champion:
“Unlike Mr. Thompson who uses humor and good words and is very well spoken, I instill fear through my hard work. In the ring is where I’m most comfortable and that’s where I’ll continue to prove why I am the most feared heavyweight on the planet.
“Tony said that he is Godzilla. I didn’t see the movie, but on Saturday night, King Kong is going to beat Godzilla.”
TONY “THE TIGER” THOMPSON, Former Heavyweight World Title Contender:
“I didn’t take this fight in my hometown to get embarrassed. I don’t believe in the boogeyman. D.C. raised a man. I’m all man. I don’t care who the opponent is. I’ll meet you in the middle of the ring, and let’s see what happens. He’s the kind of fighter who is going to bring out the best in me.”
ROBERT DIAZ, Head Matchmaker at Golden Boy Promotions:
“This is a card you don’t want to miss. We stacked it up from top to bottom. These are the kind of fights Golden Boy and HBO put on every time, and every time the fans are the winners.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, Golden Boy Promotions Partner and Future Boxing Hall of Famer:
“Not only to the fighters on TV but to all the fighters, this is the time to make a statement in your career. When you have two heavyweights that want to fight, you are going to have a fight. In the heavyweight division you have to be careful, because of the power that they bring.”
HERMAN CAICEDO, Trainer for Luis Ortiz:
“We put in a lot of hard work at the gym. At the end of the day there’s no one who can help you when you’re in the middle of the ring. Whether it’s in the first or the 12th round, it’s coming – there’s a knockout pending.”
TROY FOX, Trainer for Tony Thompson:
“We got two stellar athletes. It should be a remarkable, action-packed card.”
MIKE BORAO, Manager for Tony Thompson:
“People are calling Luis Ortiz the boogeyman because no one wants to fight him, but Tony is the original boogeyman who no one wants to fight. Everyone knows the original is always better than the sequel.”
SADAM “WORLD KID” ALI, Number One Contender for the WBO Welterweight World Title:
“This is for a world title. This is what we all wait for. This is what we work for. This is my dream. Just know that you are going to see an exciting fight.”
JESSIE VARGAS, Former WBA Welterweight Champion:
“We’ve had a great preparation. I am very happy to be fighting for the WBO World Title once again, and I look forward to becoming a world champion. I will do whatever I have to do to come out victorious.”