The November 8 NBC Sports Fight Night will take place at Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, PA and will feature a ten-round heavyweight match-up between Amir “Hardcore” Mansour and Frederic “Big Fred” Kassi, a ten-round welterweight match-up between Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko and Ronald Cruz and a ten-round light heavyweight match-up between Vasily “The Professor” Lepikhin and Jackson “Demolidor” Junior.
The final press conference for the event was held today, and you can find all the photos and quotes here.
J Russell Peltz, Hall of Fame Matchmaker
“I would like to welcome everyone to the press conference for the final NBCSN Fight Night card of the year. Two 40+ athletes are fighting Saturday night on the East Coast and I guarantee we have the more exciting one here. We have a great international card with fighters from the United States, Russia, Brazil and Puerto Rico.
“Vasily Lepikhin fought here in August and knocked out Robert Berridge and earned himself a world ranking at light heavyweight.
“I saw Dmitry Mikhaylenko in August against Sechew Powell and I have never saw a fighter throw more punches from more angles. He is like the Energizer Bunny; I think he would throw punches as he was going down.
“Ronald Cruz is the reason we first came to Bethlehem. We had our first fight in the summer of 2011 in a make-shift tent and sold every ticket in a matter of weeks. Ronald has had a tough year. He fought Kermit Cintron in a tough battle in March and more than a few people thought he should have walked away with the victory.
“Fred Kassi is the mystery man at heavyweight. We could not find a single video of a Kassi fight. I called people in Louisiana who do and do not like him and could not find any footage of him. He has never been stopped. He is a tough guy and is always in shape. He wanted to wait for the right opportunity.
“The only man here who has been in boxing longer than I have is Joe Hand and he is making a comeback now as manager of Amir Mansour.
“If Saturday’s fight is half as exciting as Amir Mansour’s last fight in April against Steve Cunningham we are all in for a treat. It was a razor-close decision.”
Joe Hand, Joe Hand Promotions
“Our team is really grateful to Main Events for giving us this opportunity. Amir’s record shows one loss but in reality he has never lost a fight. We want to put on a good show and make it as short as possible.”
“I would like to thank Russell Peltz and Main Events for bringing me here once again and NBC for giving the American people the opportunity to watch good fights. I would like to thank Mr. Hand for believing in me. We had a very good camp. We don’t know too much about our opponent. We are prepared for a war if that is what it comes down to. There is no quit in me. I am very prepared. I am going to do my thing, and not make any mistakes I made in my last fight.”
“Thanks for this opportunity. We will see on Saturday what I can do. No one knows who I am so let’s wait for Saturday.”
“I am second time in United States and I just started learning English. We had a good preparation for the fight – great sparring. We are ready for the fight 100%. I promise I will have a beautiful and clean fight.”
“I want to thank Main Events and Peltz and everybody who helped to make this fight possible. I jumped on this fight the second they offered it to me. I can’t wait to get in the ring and show my skills. These people have helped me a whole lot. I feel great. I will go into the ring and fight my heart out for 10 rounds. I am in here to win.”
“Hello everybody and it pleasure to be here again. It was good training in Garcia gym in Oxnard, CA. We had good sparring partners. Saturday will be a good fight and I show you my skills, my power and my mind. It will be a good fight. My team, my coach, my father, my brother and my managers helping me in preparations – thanks everybody.”
“Thank you and please excuse me for not knowing the language but I am definitely going to put on a good fight. It a very good fight for both of us. Thank you.”