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|01-18-2008, 03:50 PM||#1|
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|01-18-2008, 03:58 PM||#4|
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BOXING TITANS MEET AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
Super Bout Features Felix "Tito" Trinidad vs. Roy Jones Jr. Saturday, January 19 Live on HBO Pay-Per-View
NEW YORK-Two of the greatest boxers in history, Felix "Tito" Trinidad and Roy Jones Jr., will face each other in a battle boxing fans have been waiting for years to see at New York's famed Madison Square Garden. The bout will take place on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008 and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
Trinidad (42-2, 35 KOs), from Puerto Rico, and Jones (51-4, 38 KOs) from Pensacola, Fla.,-both destined for the Hall of Fame-have built a staggering list of accomplishments and will enter the ring for this highly anticipated 12-round fight at or below the catch weight of 170 pounds.
Jones is an eight-time world champion, winning belts in the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, becoming the first former middleweight champion to win a world heavyweight crown in over 100 years.
Trinidad is a five-time world champion with a stunning career knockout ratio of 80 percent that has won titles in the welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight classes. He also holds the distinction of having defeated three Olympic Games gold medalists: Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker, "The Golden Boy" Oscar De La Hoya and David Reid.
"I always want to fight great fighters and I have always wanted to fight Roy Jones Jr., one of the greatest fighters of the era," Trinidad said. "I have too much boxing left inside of me and I want to show that I am still one of the best fighters in the world. I feel good at this weight and it will be a great fight."
Jones minced no words in summing up the match.
"We both have bombs in our tank and are phenomenal boxers on top of that," Jones said. "We are both powerful punchers and it will all depend on who gets there first. I will guarantee this: count on it; this will be a superfight that delivers the goods. We're going to give fight fans exactly what they want to see."
"Tito is a great champion and I know he leaves a great legacy behind him. If someone like that challenges you, how are you going to turn that down?" Promoter Don King is especially proud to be promoting this fight.
"I've been trying to put these two superstars in a match for a long time and to get this done just leaves me breathless," King exclaimed. "This will be a fight for the ages and will be remembered among the greatest events I have ever staged. Tito and Roy, it doesn't get any better than that."
The Mecca of boxing is proud to be hosting the event at the world's most famous arena.
"Two legendary fighters at Madison Square Garden in the greatest city in the world, it just can't get any better than that," said Joel Fisher, senior vice president, Madison Square Garden Sports Properties. "The Garden is strongly committed to the sport of boxing and Trinidad versus Jones is certainly an event our loyal boxing fans have been waiting to see."
From 1993 to 2004, Jones was regarded by most as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He was Ring magazine's "Fighter of the Year" in 1994 and was voted 1990's "Fighter of the Decade" by the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America.
The list of top-name fighters Jones has defeated reads like a Who's Who and is even more impressive when one considers the opponents' records going into the matches: Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (22-1); Thomas Tate (29-2); James "Lights Out" Toney (44-0-2); Vinny Pazineza (40-5); Eric Lucas (19-2-2); Mike "The Body Snatcher" McCallum (49-3-1); Montell Griffin (27-0); Virgil "Quicksilver" Hill (43-2); Lou Del Valle (27-1); Otis Grant (31-1-1); Reggie Johnson (39-5-1); Julio Cesar Gonzalez (27-0); Clinton Woods (32-1); John Ruiz (38-4-1); and Antonio Tarver (21-1).
Trinidad is the greatest and most revered fighter ever from the boxing-crazed island of Puerto Rico. He was named the BWAA Fighter of the Year in 2000 and in that same year participated in the BWAA and USA Today Fight of the Year when he knocked out then-undefeated "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas.
His list of vanquished star foes provides a similar list to that of Jones: Maurice Blocker (34-3); Hector "Macho" Camacho (43-2); "Yory Boy" Campas (56-0); Oba Carr (32-0); Freddie Pendleton (40-20-4); Pernell Whitaker (40-2-1); Hugo Pineda (36-1-1); Oscar De La Hoya (31-0); Fernando Vargas (20-0); William Joppy (32-1-1); and Ricardo "El Matador" Mayorga (27-4-1).
Trinidad's father, manager and trainer Felix Trinidad Sr. was named BWAA Trainer of the Year in 1995 and again in 2000 as well as Manager of the Year in 2000.
The Trinidad vs. Jones domestic pay-per-view telecast beginning at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available in more than 61 million pay-per-view homes.
The domestic telecast will be available in HDTV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry.
|01-18-2008, 04:13 PM||#6|
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UFC 80 Fantasy Preview – The Main CardBy Stephen Quinn
Penn or Stevenson? Gonzaga or Werdum? Davis or Liaudin? The debates can go on for days when it comes to this Saturday’s UFC 80 card in Newcastle. So what’s a UFC Fantasy Game player to do? Read on for the breakdown of the main card, of course.
Jorge Rivera vs. Kendall Grove
Kendall Grove's willingness to stand with Patrick Cote got him knocked out last August. He faces a similar threat in Jorge Rivera and you have to wonder if Grove might be better off taking this one to the ground.
Grove, a native of Hawaii, has had great success in mixed martial arts since being introduced to the sport in late 2002. After successfully winning Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter, Grove (10-4) scored impressive back-to-back submission victories over Chris Price and Alan Belcher. Then he met Cote in August. It seemed exactly the type of fight Grove wanted -- someone who would stand and bang with him. Be careful what you wish for though, as the hard-hitting Canadian caught Grove with a powerful right hook. That was that. Now Grove finds himself on the comeback trail.
Rivera (14-6), meanwhile, is a talented boxer and boasts wins over Travis Lutter, David Loiseau and Dennis Hallman. Nine of Rivera's 14 wins have come by knockout or TKO, and he has only won twice by submission. He will need to be aggressive on his feet and be ready to fight off Grove's takedown attempts. If the fight goes to the mat, Rivera will need to be leery of Grove's lengthy frame. Grove has a tricky guard and is particularly dangerous with triangles and chokes.
Both Grove and Rivera are coming off losses, putting more pressure on each to win. The bout pits Kendall's extraordinary size (6-6) and quickness against the power and experience of Rivera. On his feet, Grove may try to use his considerable reach advantage and stay on the outside. Look for Grove to punch as a means of setting up a takedown. Grove relies a lot on his Muay Thai skills and owns some vicious elbows, and those elbows proved effective during his two earlier UFC wins. It will be interesting to see if he's able to land those elbows on the physically stronger Rivera.
Wilson Gouveia vs. Jason Lambert
The last time Lambert faced a Brazilian, he used his patented ground-and-pound and made a mess of Renato Sobral. The destruction of Sobral surprised a lot of people. But Gouveia will probably be a tougher matchup. He's a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with very heavy hands and vicious kicks – as well as a much more polished stand-up game than Sobral.
Gouveia, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla., competes with a mean streak and has won three straight in the UFC. His lone UFC loss came to highly regarded Keith Jardine, but it was a battle in which both fighters took a beating. Gouveia (9-4) also owns the distinction of being only one of two people to beat Jon Fitch, a top contender for the UFC welterweight crown.
Lambert, meanwhile, only fought once in 2007. It remains to be seen whether the 10-month layoff has added any rust. Lambert has lost just once in the Octagon -- to rising star Rashad Evans. Before that defeat, Lambert (23-6) was extremely impressive with consecutive wins over Rob MacDonald, Terry Martin, and Brandon Lee Hinkle.
Expect both fighters to approach this fight differently. Gouveia, who has knockout power, will look to stay on his feet as long as possible. If Lambert makes a mistake while on his feet, Gouveia will make him pay with a vicious knockout. Lambert, on the other hand, will likely try to impose his brutal ground and pound, wear Gouveia out, and eventually force the referee to halt the fight.
Jess Liaudin vs. Marcus Davis
Both 170-pounders are riding hot streaks: Davis is unbeaten in his past 10 fights, Liaudin has prevailed in five straight.
Both fighters like to bang on their feet, but have won the majority of their contests by submission. So don't blink, because this intriguing match-up has "Fight of the Night" potential.
Liaudin, a Frenchman fighting out of London, figures to be the crowd favorite, but Davis may be a familiar face to the Brits because he's fighting for the third time in Europe. The American's previous two bouts were in London and Ireland, respectively.
After a rocky start, Davis has not lost in his last five fights inside the Octagon. Though many do not regard him as one of the elite welterweights in the world, with each win he inches closer to a title shot. Liaudin (12-8) has not lost inside the Octagon in two tries, defeating both Dennis Siver and Anthony Torres in the first round.
After studying each fighter on tape, it would seem that Davis (18-4) will want to test Liaudin standing, and that Liaudin -- who has lost five times by technical knockout -- would prefer going to the ground. Liaudin has indicated, however, that he wants to stand and trade with Davis until one of them falls. Davis doubts that. He thinks once Liaudin gets hit and tastes the power within the "Irish Hand Grenade," his entire game plan will change.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Don't expect to see the same type of fight as their 2003 encounter, when Werdum prevailed by TKO. Both fighters are much more experienced and armed with a sense of urgency: each is coming off a loss and cannot afford to make it two in a row.
The winner will move one step closer to a title shot. The loser will have people doubting if he can ever be a UFC champion.
To most Americans, Gonzaga (9-2) is probably the better-known fighter. The Brazilian lives and trains in Massachusetts and pulled off one of 2007's most stunning upsets. He stepped into the cage with Mirko “Cro Cop”, who, at the time, was widely regarded as the No. 2 heavyweight in the world. Gonzaga dominated the fight from start to finish, and what a finish it was. Gonzaga threw a head kick that was felt around the world and sent Cro Cop folding to the canvas.
After that impressive victory, Gonzaga fought Randy Couture for the heavyweight title. Unlike his fight with Cro Cop, Gonzaga entered this fight as the favorite, like most fighters do when facing Couture. Couture battered Gonzaga, slamming him and breaking his nose, and showed that he was champion for a reason. It will be interesting to see how Gonzaga psychologically rebounds from that loss.
Werdum, meanwhile, looks to rebound from a lackluster fight against Andrei Arlovski. In that fight, Werdum (9-3-1) seemed to have the common jitters that most fighters
have the first time they fight in the UFC. Although Werdum did not appear to be in top form, he occasionally landed some good shots against the feared Arlovski, a former UFC champ.
Look for this fight to be fast-paced and exciting -- possibly even fight of the night. Gonzaga will look to push the fight on his feet until he finds an opening for a big knockout. That may not be so easy though, since Werdum has never been knocked out or submitted. Werdum could also reap the benefits of having trained extensively with Mirko Cro Cop in the past, meaning he probably has a lot of experience defending high kicks. That could have him ready to deal with the power and aggressiveness of Gonzaga.
Werdum, a former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, figures to have his best chance to win on the ground. But in order for Werdum to take this fight there he will need to stand and trade punches, enabling him to close the distance for a takedown. Don’t expect Gonzaga to give up if he’s on his back though, since he is also a former jiu-jitsu world champion who has won more fights by submission than knockout.
Joe Stevenson vs. BJ Penn
The biggest questions surrounding this fight are which BJ Penn and which Joe Stevenson will show up. Will the "old" BJ show up, the guy with a pudgy waistline who fades after two rounds of fighting? Or will the svelte BJ enter the Octagon, the sensational technician who punished and annihilated Jens Pulver?
The verdict is also out on Stevenson. Many who have seen Stevenson train rave that he is an absolute beast in practice, a human tap out machine with the look of a future UFC champion. But will Stevenson mentally crumble while stepping onto the grandest stage of his career? Penn, who has been accused in the past of not training hard for fights, will look to silence his critics. Does he have the cardio to win a 25-minute fight?
We're going to find out. Penn (12-4-1), widely regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, is one of Hawaii's most popular figures and looking to make a splash in 2008.
Stevenson (33-7), winner of the welterweight division on The Ultimate Fighter 2, quickly dropped to the lightweight division after his loss to Josh Neer in 2006. Since that loss, Stevenson is unbeaten in four lightweight fights, including signature wins over Yves Edwards and Kurt Pellegrino.
Although some assume this fight will be one-sided -- presuming Penn should dominate -- Stevenson should not be underestimated, and this is an extremely intriguing main event. Stevenson is probably the physically stronger fighter and will look to exploit what some people say are the weakest parts of Penn's game -- his takedown defense and cardio. If Stevenson succeeds in taking Penn down, he will need to fight intelligently from the top position, trying to avoid Penn’s flexibility and world championship level jiu-jitsu submission skills, while trying to exhaust the former UFC champion.
Stevenson will probably try to be on his feet as little as possible with Penn, who has the advantage if the bout becomes a boxing match in the center of the cage. Stevenson has a ridiculously powerful guillotine choke and is a master of leg locks and heel hooks. But Penn, who tends to only fight top competition, has never been submitted in his career.