News: John Ruiz; Luis Carlos Abregu; Wayne Elcock

LAS VEGAS (March 6, 2009) – Two-time WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz has one final chapter to live before his boxing career is finished: to capture another world title, defend his belt back home in Massachusetts, and fight for the first time in Puerto Rico. The WBA Championship Committee recently declared No. 3 rated Ruiz (43-8-1, 29 KOs) as its mandatory challenger for the winner of this year’s Nicolai Valuev-Ruslan Chagaev WBA title fight. Valuev is the reigning WBA heavyweight champion, Chagaev its “Champion in Recess..

The ruling stems from a petition filed by Team Ruiz after last August’s WBA title fight, when John lost a 12-round “split decision” decision to Nicolai Valuev, in which, Team Ruiz claimed, based on a Russian TV footage, Valuev’s corner knew the scoring during the bout and before the official announcement of the result, which is a substantial violation of the WBA rules considered an unfair advantage. Also argued was that judge Takeshi Shimakawa improperly kept a running-score during the fight, explaining why he changed his final round scoring, five minutes after the fight had ended, from Ruiz to Valuev.

“I’m excited about the WBA making me the mandatory challenger and grateful to my manager, Tony Cardinale, and lawyer, attorney Judd Berstein, for fighting so hard on my behalf,” Ruiz said. “It’s been a long road, starting on the streets of Chelsea (Mass.), and fighting all over the world. My final chapter in boxing is coming and I hope it ends with another world title. I also want to show my appreciation to my fans in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico. I was raised in the Boston area and I’d like to fight there again, hopefully in a world title fight. My brothers, sister and some distant cousins live there. But I’ve never fought in Puerto Rico, where a lot of my family lives -- my mother, uncles, aunts and a lot of first cousins. They’ve always supported me and I definitely would like to fight there before I retire.

“I only lived in Puerto Rico for a year, when I was five, but I do have some memories of San Grande, especially the stadium where my relatives played ball at, and later where I was honored before a capacity crowd after I won the world title for the first time. The 1 ˝ ride from San Juan to San Grande took eight hours because of all the people on the streets showing their support for me. I want to give back to them and my fans in Massachusetts before I move on with the rest of my life.”

Ruiz lost controversial 12-round decisions in Germany to Valuev and Chagaev. In a pair of WBA title fights with Valuev, Ruiz lost by majority decision in 2005 and last year in the aforementioned calamity, as well as by split decision to Chagaev in their 2006 WBA title eliminator.

Abregu: "My Dinner with Andre"

TOTOWA, NJ (March 6, 2009) – Undefeated top-rated welterweight contender LUIS CARLOS ABREGU has worked up an appetite for the world title.

“Call it my dinner with Andre,” said Abregu. “If I get [World Boxing Council welterweight champion] Andre Berto on my plate I’m going to cut him up into little pieces, chew him up and spit him out. I saw what he’s all about when he barley escaped with his title when he fought Luis Collazo. I’m going to go “Firpo” all over him and knock that bum out of the ring.”

Argentinean Luis Firpo, “The Wild Bull of the Pampas,” and a distant relative of Abregu, is known for knocking World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey out of the ring during their exciting world title fight at the Polo Grounds in 1923, ultimately won by Dempsey.

“I have no doubt that Luis Carlos will knock Berto on the seat of his Pampas,” added Abregu’s promoter Gary Shaw. “I know what Luis Carlos will be serving for his dinner with Andre and I can assure you there will be no need for seconds…except to bring smelling salts, and I don’t mean for seasoning!”

Abregu (25-0, 21 KOs), from Salta, Argentina, is currently world-rated No. 3 by the WBC. The South American welterweight champion has only gone the distance once in his last 18 bouts dating back to 2005.

Elcock and Macklin finally agree on something!

Bitter Birmingham rivals Wayne Elcock and Matthew Macklin mightn’t agree on much but one thing they can agree on is that a sparring session when they were both in the early stages of their pro career will have no bearing on their British Middleweight title fight at the Aston Arena on March 14th.

The two men clash live on ITV4 on a Hennessy Sports show that’s being billed as “The Battle of Brum” in one of the most hotly anticipated domestic dust ups for years.

It’s a must win fight for both men and the duo believe that a sparring session in a Birmingham Gym some years ago will have little impact on their tactics for the fight. Champion Elcock said, “We turned pro around the same time and obviously I always kept an eye on Matt as being a fellow Birmingham lad I wanted to see him do well. We came across each other quite frequently at fights and in gyms but actually only sparred together once.”

“It never struck me during the spar that we might actually fight one day as Matt was only a light middleweight back then and we were pals then so there was no real edge to it. I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove in there because I never thought we’d end up fighting each other down the line. Sparring is always totally different to fighting anyway so you can never take too much out of it.”

Their previous encounter doesn’t hold any special memories for Macklin either. “I was just a novice pro back then and still very raw but nothing sticks out in my memory about it. It was just a routine spar but obviously it’s going to be a lot different on March 14th. It’s a massive fight for Birmingham and the interest in it has been huge.”

Macklin has linked up with new trainer Joe Gallagher ahead of the fight, his fourth trainer in his last five fights but Elcock insists he’s more than happy with long term trainer and one time Macklin mentor, Paddy Lynch

“Matt’s had a measure of success by changing trainers through the years so maybe that’s what works for him,” said Elcock. “I’m not one for skipping gyms, I like to stick with one guy, that’s what I’m most comfortable with.

“For Matt’s last fight he was working with Richie Woodhall and he told me himself that it was the best he’d ever felt. Then the next thing I heard was that he was leaving Richie’s gym for another gym but each to their own.”

Elcock is confident that regardless of who is in Macklin’s corner the outcome will remain the same. “I’ll be doing what I do best which is to stick to my boxing but I’m very strong and I think that will surprise Matt. Howard Eastman found that out to his cost and if Macklin wants to drag me into trenches than that’s fine as well. As long as I’m focused and switched on there’s no way he’ll beat me.”

An exciting undercard at the Aston Arena, Birmingham on March 14th features heavyweight sensation, Tyson Fury while in the chief support bout Adnan Amar defends his Englsih Welterweight title against Tom Glover. Also in action is Eddie O’Rourke, Chris Male, Quinton Hillocks and Callum Archer. Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via

Article posted on 05.03.2009

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