Fighters featured on the December 19 HBO Boxing After Dark and HBO Latino shows shared their final thoughts ahead of Saturdays fights at the final press conference today at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Former heavyweight world title contender Bryant “By – By” Jennings (19-1, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia was joined at the final press conference by his opponent Cuban heavyweight Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (23-0, 20 KOs), who will clash in the main event on the HBO Boxing After Dark telecast on Saturday for the WBA Interim Heavyweight World Title.
Jennings and Ortiz were joined by co-main event fighters former WBA Featherweight and Super Featherweight World Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters (26-0, 21 KOs and Jason Sosa(18-1-3, 14 KOs) who will battle Saturday in a 10-round super featherweight fight.
Also at today’s press conference were HBO Latino Boxing main event fighters Yuneski Gonzalez (16-1, 12 KOs) and Vyacheslav “Lion Heart – Chigonsky” Shabranskyy (14-0, 12 KOs) who will fight a 10-round light heavyweight bout; HBO Latino Boxing co-main event fighters “King” Gabriel Rosado (21-9, 13 KOs) and former IBF Welterweight World Champion Joshua “Grand Master” Clottey (39-5, 22 KOs) who will battle in a 10-round middleweight bout; and former WBA and IBF Featherweight World Champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (24-1, 17 KOs) and opponent Hylon Williams Jr. (16-1-1, 3 KOs) who will open up the HBO Latino Boxing broadcast in a 10-round lightweight bout.
Below is what the fighters and their teams had to say at today’s final press conference at Turning Stone Resort Casino:
BRYANT “BY-BY” JENNINGS, Former Heavyweight World Title Contender:
“Thank everyone for this fight and making this event happen. Preparation went as planned. I moved to Florida and had a great camp; it was a great environment. There will be no surprises on Saturday.”
LUIS “THE REAL KING KONG” Ortiz, WBA Interim Heavyweight World Champion:
“I have worked very hard to be here, and I will not waste this opportunity. We will see on Saturday who is the best.
“I am a man of few words and will let my hands to the talking.”
ERIC GOMEZ, Senior Vice President at Golden Boy Promotions:
“To make the best fights you need to have great partners getting together that will make fair deals.
“These fighters are hungry and ready to brawl on Saturday. Bryant Jennings had a great performance at Madison Square Garden recently. Luis Ortiz is just as hungry. I want to thank Gary Shaw, HBO, Mario Serrano and everyone that has been part of this promotion. It has truly been a pleasure.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, Business Partner at Golden Boy Promotions and Future Hall of Famer:
“2015 is the best year I will remember as a promoter. We’ve had excellent fights, competitive match ups this year. This is what boxing needs at this moment, and Golden Boy Promotions has been instrumental in helping deliver these entertaining fights to the fans. Jennings vs. Ortiz will be yet another one of those entertaining, high-action fights the fans want to see.”
MARIO SERRANO, Public Relations Director for Gary Shaw Productions:
“I want to thank HBO, Gary Shaw Productions, Golden Boy Promotions and the WBA. With the WBA Interim title on the line, we at GSP believe Bryant Jennings will be victorious. He has a new coach in John David Jackson and they are working harmoniously together.”
John David Jackson, Trainer for Bryant Jennings:
“Thank you to Turning Stone Resort casino for hosting this event and to Gary Shaw Productions for making this event happen.
“Thank you to team Jennings, and to Bryant for being part of this team. Saturday, you’ll see. We will prove that we are the best.
“Bryant has worked hard this is what he wants and what he desires. He will be the heavyweight world champion of the world.
HERMAN CAICEDO, Trainer for Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz:
“Camp has been going well. We have been in camp for than more than a year. Luis lives in the gym – he doesn’t take a day off.
“We have prepared well for this fight, and he has been doing his due diligence. I will not be surprised when he wins.
“Luis has a lot of reasons to win and persevere. Saturday night, we will have the victory; it’s coming.”
LEE SAMUELS, Director of Public Relations at Top Rank:
“Thank you to HBO for all that they do for boxing. Thank you to Golden Boy Promotions— everyone there is a great person and we have a wonderful relationship.
“This is a big year for Top Rank. Bob Aram is celebrating his 50th year in boxing– Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Herns, Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, George Forman, and now here we are at Turning Stone Resort Casino for this very meaningful fight for us with Walters vs. Sosa.
“It will be a tough battle with two tough stars and big stakes for the winner.
“Nicholas is very powerful and had a great amateur career. This is his first time at 130 pounds, so we are not sure what we will see on Saturday night with him.”
NICHOLAS “AXEMAN” WALTERS, Undefeated Former World Boxing Association (WBA) Featherweight World Champion:
“As they say, 130 lbs. is his territory. I am willing to fight at whatever weight. I had an excellent training camp in Panama.
“We are going to be OK. I hope he is ready because we are going to put on a good fight. Thanks to HBO and all the promoters. I want to make a big statement for 2016—we are ready.”
JASON “EL CANITO” SOSA, Junior Lightweight Contender:
“Thank you to God; thanks to HBO for believing in me; thanks to Top Rank, Russell Peltz, and Golden Boy Promotions. Training camp has been great, and my game plan is excellent. I’m ready to give the fans what they want.
“Walters is coming in to my territory at 130 lbs. There is a big difference in this weight division compared to what he is used to. He will find out really quick what I am really all about.”
JOE DEGUARDIA, President of Star Boxing:
“It is great to be here at Turning Stone Resort Casino and is a pleasure to work with Golden Boy Promotions, looking to go great things together. Thank you to HBO as well. This will be a spectacular show.
“Yuniesky Gonzalez came up from Cuba, Mexico, and Florida to try and find a manager. He is an accomplished fighter, and I have tremendous high hopes for him. This will be a big fight between two warriors, and he is not going to disappoint.”
Yuniesky Gonzalez, Light Heavyweight Contender:
“Thank you to God for giving me this moment. Thank you to my promoters, Star Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions and HBO for everything.
“I feel good. I have the reality of Shabranskyy, but I feel very good. He is a good fighter, but I have come a long way and I am going to make a statement.”
Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Undefeated Light Heavyweight Contender:
“Thank you. I am ready and it will be a great fight. I am ready to go.”
JOSHUA “GRAND MASTER” CLOTTEY, Former IBF Welterweight World Champion:
“Thanks to HBO for everything they have done for me. I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without them. I am ready for this opportunity.”
YURIORKIS GAMBOA, Former WBA and IBF Featherweight champion:
“Thank you to God and thanks to HBO for trusting me. That is what I am here for, to give an exciting night. Thanks to SMS Promotions for having me here and to continue my promotional deals.
“Thanks to HBO for the opportunity, and we look forward to working with you in the future.”
HYLON “Kid Cosmo” WILLIAMS JR., Lightweight Contender:
“This going to be a great show on Saturday. I am glad to be here. I’ve come to do what I’ve come to do. Thanks to SMS Promotions for having me and for supporting me.”