This is the new normal, weekends are often clogged, delightfully so, with pro boxing action. Saturday, fight fans will be pigs in slop, with fights in Saudi Arabia and Mexico running on streams, and pugilism unfolding in Brooklyn running on 2.
A Jermall Charlo WBC 160 strap defense against Dennis Hogan is the top of the card at Barclays Center, and fittingly, many of the boxers on this PBC card showed up at the famed and fabled Gleason's Gym to work out, and chat with the press.
OK, er, not everyone. Chris Eubank Sr. strode around the gym wearing a law enforcement badge. I asked him to tell me about it, being that, hello, this was a media workout, and also, his son is fighting Matt Korobov, and seeking to make an impression on Americans.
Senior made an impression on me when he said, “No,” without an ounce of humility and then asked who I worked for. If I had said The NY Times, would that have changed his mind?
I only wish I had said, My man, ask around the videographers here, the 24 years olds, and see how many of them know who you are. That shit may play in the UK, where his demeanor flies, but here, not so much. Boxing, he should know, is a niche market in America, and he'd not perform well if we took him to the streets near that Brooklyn Bridge, and quizzed persons in the hood, asked who he is.
I should have said, but didn't, because his rudeness threw me, “It doesn't matter who I work for. Because in this age, if you don't want to make the effort to at least pretend to be civil to media who might be a blogger, or YouTuber, or whatever, then you might be blowing off someone with a bigger following than I have. And that can hurt your public image. And beyond that, make you look like a jackass.”
Not to pile on, but word got around Gleason's that Eubank the younger came off as entitled at best when he was asking for accommodations above and beyond what other guys were getting.
Bottom line, maybe it was a bad day for the dad, maybe the kid was feeling off because of making weight…but life is too short to be putting up with attituding like that. Gleason's is a Mecca, a shrine, a special place, and bad vibes like I heard about and felt directly aren't appropriate in that setting.
NOTE: I am late to the party, but here's an image which attached to a story saying the 53 year old Eubank Sr, a 160 and 168 champ in the 90s, was and/or is doing a stint as a marshal in Louisiana. FWIW…
Much more genial and humble and easy to root for was Dennis Hogan; the 34 year old Irishman fights Charlo (who did a hit on Everlast TALKBOX this week), as he steps up to 160.
He told press he digs the cold, so coming to NYC has been a blast for him. Hogan, who maybe won versus Jaime Munguia but was handed an L in April, said he wants to prove his worth vs. the Texan. “New York has a prestige to it, especially in terms of boxing..I feel like I'm living my dream,” he said to the gaggle.
Here is a full slate of quotes from the hitters who came to the fight factory/community center, in DUMBO, Brooklyn:
BROOKLYN (December 4, 2019) – Fighters stepping into the ring this Saturday, December 7 showed off their skills at a media workout in Brooklyn Wednesday before they compete live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Headlining Wednesday’s workout was highly rated contender Dennis Hogan, who battles WBC Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
The event also featured middleweight star Chris Eubank Jr. and top contender Matt Korobov, who battle for the Interim WBA Middleweight Title in the co-main event, and former champions Marlon Tapales and Ryosuke Iwasa, who meet for the Interim IBF Super Bantamweight Title in the televised opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on-sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
The workout also featured Australia’s Louisa Hawton, who takes on Lorraine Villalobos in a rematch for the Interim WBC Atomweight Championship in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN action on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Also working out for media on Wednesday was Ghana’s Duke Micah, who trains in Brooklyn and will compete in non-televised action Saturday at Barclays Center.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“It means the absolute world to me to win this title on Saturday night. I’m very conscious of that and I’ve worked so hard for it. This is my opportunity to make all of my dreams come true and raise that belt over my head.
“I showed in the fight against Jaime Munguia that I’m willing to do whatever it takes inside that ring. I’m so persistent and I want to achieve my goals more than anything. Losing the fight just made me want to go even harder and that led right into my training. It’s made me twice the fighter I was before and everyone will see that on Saturday night.
“This is 100 percent the best version of myself. I’ve worked so hard after the last fight and here I am now. I’m proud of the levels that I reached in training and how hard I pushed to become champion of the world.
“We’re prepared for absolutely everything. It’s really all come together perfectly. I believe that in life, if you work hard and want something, it will come. This time we really put the intent into making sure we take full advantage of any opportunity that presents itself in this fight.
“Everyone who’s seen me fight fully knows that I can win this and I have 100 percent confidence that I will get it done. If you know how determined I am, you know that I can win this fight.
“I’ve been training in Miami where it’s very humid and we arrived here last night. I like the cold weather here and I love this air. It’s crisp and clean. This is the atmosphere where I do my best work. On top of that, being in New York has real prestige to it. Just being here makes me feel like I’m truly living my dreams.
“I’ve gained power because of the extra carbohydrates that I’ve been able to have in camp. I have more back muscle, leg muscle and I can feel the power. It’s an extra 10 to 15% snap on my punches.
“We sparred with Jeison Rosario in Miami and he was exactly what I needed for this fight. He’s prepared me and gotten me ready for anything that Charlo can bring on Saturday.”
CHRIS EUBANK JR.
“I’ve been dreaming about coming here and fighting in the U.S. since I was a kid. You dream about fighting where all your favorite fighters came to perform on the big stage. To do it here in New York is special. It’s an iconic place and so many great world champions have come from here.
“I’m not a true super middleweight so I’m excited to be fighting at 160-pounds. I’m going to be a beast. I’m going to be an absolute savage. The power and the speed is going to really shine through against guys my own size.
“Anyone with a belt in the middleweight division, I’m coming for them. If that means Charlo, I’ll be more than happy to get in there with him.
“This is an iconic place to fight, right here in Brooklyn. We’re aiming to make our own history. I’ve done so much in England and I feel like this is the right time to expose myself to the American public.
“My goal is to make a name for myself in the U.S. and broaden our horizons. The fight fans here have known me for a while, but I want to break out past that. This is a great starting fight for me in the U.S. After this, it’s 2020 and I’m going to be very active fighting all of the champions.
“I’ve got a lot of fights left in me. I’ve got years ahead of me where I’m going to do a lot of damage. My career is on track and I’m very happy with where I am. I’m ready to go.
“This is not the time to go in there and coast. I’m here to make a statement. I’ve always been the type of fighter who looks to stop my opponent in spectacular fashion. This is my time to shine. Nobody is going to be able to stop me.”
“I’m really happy with how my training camp was. I had no injuries and everything was very smooth. Training camp definitely went to plan so that we can get this win on Saturday night.
“I’m excited to be back in Brooklyn one year later after I fought Jermall Charlo at Barclays Center. There’s definitely some de ja vu for me. It’s the same gym and the same time and same people I saw last year. I’m really happy about it and focusing on being able to show my best on Saturday night.
“The Charlo fight put me on another level as a fighter. They’re all going to have to start looking at me as one of the best in the division. I’m excited to take advantage of my opportunity Saturday and get another big fight.
“It’s Eubank’s problem if he’s focused on getting the Jermall Charlo fight. I’m just focused on doing my job and doing my best. I’m very confident for this fight.
“It makes sense to me that I’d fight Charlo next if I win. I’m definitely hoping to get that fight in 2020 but first I have to take care of Eubank.
“We’ll see what Eubank can do Saturday night. It’s hard to say what he’ll fight like until then. It’s boxing. Any of us could have a bad night or the night of our life.
“Eubank looked very good when he beat James DeGale. It surprised a lot of people but I know that he’s a strong fighter. I wasn’t that surprised. DeGale might not have been ready, but I’m always 100 percent prepared.”
“I’m very excited for this fight. I trained hard very hard so I’m hoping that Iwasa can hold up for the whole 12 rounds. I’m proud to continue representing for the Philippines.
“I’m in great shape and I’m coming to be at my best on Saturday night. I’m going to leave it all in the ring like I always do. I’m definitely ready for this fight.
“First I have to win this fight against Iwasa. He’s not an easy fight at all, especially considering he’s a former world champion. All of my concentration is on that, but when I win, I’ll be ready to fight the champions.
“It’s very inspiring to me that my teammate John Riel Casimero just won a world title recently. It makes me want to give my all even more when the bell rings on Saturday night.
“Iwasa is a very good boxer. He’s proved a lot in winning a world title. I have to be focused and 100 percent ready, that’s why I trained so hard for this fight.
“I want to be world champion again. The first step is winning this fight against Iwasa. I can’t say whether I’ll get the knockout, but I’m going to try my best to give a great fight.”
“I’m going to fight my own style. The opponent doesn’t matter. I will be ready and be at my very best once we get in the ring Saturday.
“I know that I’m facing a very skilled opponent with good power but I’m not worried about what he does in the ring. I’m going to make him miss and land my best shots.
“I want the biggest fights against the best champions. That’s why I have to win on Saturday night. Nothing else can happen until then. I’m really focused on Marlon Tapales.
“I’m very comfortable at this weight and I feel like my power has definitely improved. This helps me have the best training camp possible and I believe it will have me at my best on fight night.
“I definitely want the knockout, but only if it comes to me naturally. I believe in my boxing skills and I know that I can win a 12 round fight if that’s what it comes to.”
“I think people enjoyed our first fight and saw that it had a lot of action. The opportunity came up to get the rematch and I was happy to do it. To have it here in Brooklyn is incredible. It’s my first time here so I’m really pumped for Saturday.
“As a fighter I’m always looking to entertain the crowd and light up the arena. I’ll definitely be ready to take the knockout if the opportunity comes.
“I like to fight at a fast pace. I can battle on the inside or box on the outside. I believe I can do it all and we worked hard to show off every part of our game.
“I’m looking to keep moving forward and get better and better fights. My job is to take care of business in the ring and that’s what we’re here to do Saturday.”
“I feel great. My training camp was flawless. I can’t wait to prove to the world that I’m the best bantamweight in the world Saturday night.
“Fans should expect a really good show from me. That’s what the people came to see. People from Africa know me and I’m here to show the rest of the world what I can do.
“We trained hard. I’m going to show off my boxing skills and when the opportunity comes, I’m going for the finish and a spectacular knockout.
“I work in training camp so that the fans can enjoy my fights. Everyone brings their own style and I have things that I can bring to the ring that are going to impress a lot of people. This is a chance to show it on the big stage.”