“Soy nueva champion!”-Kendall Holt

holtPhoto courtesy of Luis Carlos Trout from 30.08.07 - By Jaime Castro-Núñez: Barranquilla, Colombia. World Boxing Organization Light Welterweight champion Ricardo Torres and WBO mandatory challenger Kendall “Rated R” Holt participated on Wednesday afternoon in the final press conference at the Barranquilla Plaza Hotel, for their championship match this coming Saturday at Country Club’s Salón Jumbo.

Holt, who arrived to Colombia’s happiest and most beautiful city on the Caribbean Coast last Tuesday night, affirmed that this is the fight he has been waiting for. Very optimistic and with a big, nice smile, the challenger hit Barranquilla along with his manager Henry Cortés, trainer Aros Gist, and cutman Darren Antola..

That the contender is full of enthusiasm was evident by the way he entered the hotel on Tuesday, where a crowd of journalists were waiting for him. “Soy nueva champion, soy nueva champion…number uno, number uno” he screamed while raising both arms and using his comic version of Spanglish. When asked about Ricardo Torres, he stepped back and started to dance as if he was already possessed by the cheerful spirit of Barranquilla. Then he sent a message to the champ: “I’m going to take the belt away from you…I’m going to take the belt away from you.”

Kendall Holt irradiated so much positivism that it seemed that he is in Barranquilla not to face a pugil who hits like a mule, but to party and have a lot of fun at the Barranquilla Carnival. “Ricardo Torres is a great boxer and it’s going to be a great fight. I never had such an intense preparation and it’s been the longest one I’ve had. Mochuelo needs to know that I did train in Australia and Germany. Torres bangs hard, but it’s difficult to knock somebody out if you are not able to hit him,” he added.

The Paterson-born looked confident and comfortable answering all sort of questions, and he even had enough time to remember his Colombian exfiancée. “There’re a lot of Colombians in New Jersey, and a very good friend of mine in Paterson introduced her to me. She was from Cartagena and I always loved the idea of coming here, but we had some difficulties and eventually broke up.” Then he changed subject: “more than a boxer, I’m a human being and I hope that all Colombians treat me well because in Paterson I’m surrounded by Colombians.”

At the press conference, Kendall Holt stole the show once again. He started saying that in a couple of days “there will be a new champion of the world.” “Rated R” took the opportunity to practice his Spanish by saying that “el título está prestado” (Ricardo borrowed the belt). Then he rose to his feet and invited the journalists to ask how Ricardo would manage to fight on Saturday. Torres, who is a self-declared circumspect person, replied: “I want to tell Holt that I’m the champion here and in order for you to take the belt, you’ll need to kill me in the ring.”

The Torres-Holt fight is presented by Billy Cham´s Cradrilátero in association with Cerveza Poker, and the official weighing will take place on Friday, August 31, at Barranquilla Plaza Hotel.

Article posted on 30.08.2007

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