Agbeko media quotes, WBC News, Kuehne-Bonassoli on Saturday

BRONX, N.Y. (April 5, 2011) – International Boxing Federation (IBF) Bantamweight Champion Joseph King Kong Agbeko participated in a media workout today at John’s Boxing Gym in the Bronx, N.Y. as he prepares for Abner Mares in the eagerly anticipated final of The Bantamweight Tournament: Winner Takes All on Saturday, April 23 LIVE on SHOWTIME (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

In the must-win co-feature, former Two-Division World Champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (35-3-1, 27 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Vanadzok, Armenia, and former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez (20-1-1, 14 KOs), of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., by way of Cartagena, Colombia, will square off in the tournament consolation bout.

Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs), of the Bronx, by way of Accra, Ghana. recaptured the IBF title from Perez in the tournament’s semifinal round, while Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs), of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, won a close split decision over Darchinyan.

Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, are available online at, and via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at STAPLES Center Box Office.

The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All is promoted by Don King Productions, Gary Shaw Productions, Golden Boy Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Corona. An exciting undercard will be announced shortly.

Here’s what Agbeko had to say on Tuesday:


“The winner of this fight is the best bantamweight in the world, of course! Ya know, this tournament was open to everybody – all the greatest fighters at bantamweight. The tough fought. We were brave enough to make the decision to fight in the tournament and that shows that we are the best fighters at bantamweight. So the winner of this tournament becomes the best bantamweight in the world.

“The fight with Vic was the only war that Mares has been through. I’ve been in a couple of wars, as far as boxing is concerned. No disrespect to [Mares] but I think I’m the better fighter. Against him, I’ve got better skills. There’s [no] way that he can go through me. “

“When I come to the fight prepared, no one can survive. When I fought Yonnhy Perez the first time, I wasn’t fully prepared for that fight. Even though that was a very close fight, I didn’t think I was going to lose. But a few head butts happened and it went to the favor of Yonnhy Perez and I lost the fight. In the second fight, I proved to the world that I’m the best bantamweight.

“I feel happy to be in the final of the tournament. The only prediction that I know is that I am going to come out of the ring as the winner of the night. I’ve really prepared for [Mares]. I don’t know if he’ll be able to take the strength and the skills that I bring to the ring. If he can take it, then I’m going to beat him unanimously. If he can’t, it’s going to be a knockout.

“To be honest with you, I have not watched Abner Mares [vs.] Vic Darchinyan because Vic is a different fighter [than me] so I don’t need to watch. Plus, Vic is a southpaw so I can’t really see anything in that fight.

“I’m thinking of moving up to featherweight to take on the big guys. I’m thinking of Gamboa, Lopez and I’m thinking of being in the league with them. After this fight, if I don’t get any good competition then I’m going to move to featherweight. I want to fight them. I want to prove to the world that I’m the best.

“Joseph King Kong Agbeko is not my nickname. It’s an original name. It’s my birth name. I think my dad had a vision of something. My dad gave me the name “King Kong” as I was born. It’s my real name. It’s on my passport and everything.”

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World Boxing Council News

HOOK TO THE BODY - By José Sulaimán - Nostalgia of a dear Mexico and my friend, Gil Clancy. I sat down to write my weekly “Hook to the Body” under a deep sadness for the passing away of a great boxing man and a close and dear friend, Gil Clancy, when at about 5 p.m., a devastating wind pulled down a tree which took several electricity cables in the area of my residence, leaving us in total darkness. The electricity company announced from 1 to 4 hours for the repair. It is already midnight and we continue in darkness.

While I was waiting on my bed for the light to come back, some days of my childhood came to my mind when my family lived in a small town of about 800 people placed at the top of the mountains of my home state Tamaulipas.

Jaumave, during the second half of the thirties ….. Wooow, I already mentioned my age ….. was the town that opened the doors to my father, who after several hard years since his arrival in Mexico from Lebanon, started to recover and start with success a new path in his life. In the afternoons, after the setting of the sun, the streets and the whole town were full of the gardenias’ fragrance, which were all over town; the streets were lit by a county man who used to light the petroleum lamps placed on each corner of the streets; food was cooked with carbon below a steel grill ….. was it tasty !! ….. the musical disks were only heard on RCA Victor phonographs, which had to be wound manually, and there were those that had battery radios imported from the USA, on one of which, owned by my father, I was brought in into boxing for the first time when my father, with me sitting on his lap, was listening with some of his friends to the boxing battle between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, with all that static in the radios at the time, just a few years before the starting of the World War II.

That was the Mexico of those years, just after the end of the last shots fired in the Mexican revolution …. and really, it was for me days of happiness and tranquility even though they went by as slow as a turtle, years that I would never change for those of today, with all the kids in this era of cybernetics building only motorized minds, and all those elders fighting among each other with bitterness, envy, and destructive minds.

But well, it is now 12:10 at night when all of a sudden the so much desired light comes back to change, instantaneously, my thoughts to the present time - but which has also much of the past - remembering my dear friend, Gil Clancy, with whom I could say that my international boxing life started back in the 60s, and with whom I lived through many adventures and fights that lasted only up to a few years back. Gil was a very sexy and good-looking fellow with clear and shining blue eyes, even when one of them was an ocular prothesis, which even by me knowing it, it was difficult to detect. It was his right eye, made by a genius who gave it an impressive human life.

Gil was the trainer and representative of many of the great boxers of his time, but especially of two who, for me, are two of the greatest ever. The first one, who Gil represented during all of his professional career, was Emile Griffith, without a doubt one of the best of his time and of all times. After Emile’s fight and defeat with Mantequilla Nápoles, Gil, a friend couple and myself, had dinner with Sugar Ray Robinson and his wife. Sugar said that Nápoles would have been as good a fighter as any one of his time, to which Gil strongly asked, “And Griffith?”, and Robinson told him back, “Didn’t Nápoles just beat him?.”

One other of the great ones that Clancy represented was the George Foreman, one of the most devastating knockout punchers of all time, also during those times an introvert, bad tempered, aggressive mannered person. He lost his WBC heavyweight world championship to Muhammad Ali in Zaire in 1974 during the historic “Rumble in the Jungle,” one of Don King’s extravagant world-appealing boxing shows that he used to promote - after which Foreman and Gil followed Alí everywhere for the rematch that Ali would not give him. However, at the 1976 WBC convention in Las Vegas, in a personal meeting with Ali, I had convinced him to give him the rematch, but after one other defense by Ali.

Based on the possibility given by Ali, I asked Gil not to take a fight against Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico, as he was a good fighter with a very difficult style, but they didn’t give any consideration to it. Foreman, in a bad night, lost to Young, who became so depressed and disillusioned that he stated that he had seen and talked to God in his dressing room and decided to retire from boxing. Foreman became a respected and followed minister of the Baptist church.

When Foreman was in retirement, Don King called him on the phone and told him, “My great champion George, I have had a dream in which our beloved friend, Big Mo” – Foreman’s most intimate friend who had died - to which Foreman took a while thinking to answer Don King, “Look Don, you tell big Mo to talk to me directly.” Foreman stayed 10 years in retirement, but came back to boxing to become the oldest heavyweight ever to become again champion of the world.

Gil Clancy was not only one of the best trainers ever, but he had recently got involved as a boxing analyst for HBO, but above all, he was the person who presented personally for more than 20 years the pension fund that the WBC used to send Emile Griffith every month. Gil and I used to call each other, except the recent years, on every May 30th, as it was the day of the birth of both, but in different years. I called Gil on the phone only a few days ago and he responded, but I could not understand one single word and I don’t know if he even knew that it was me calling.

Gil Clancy, an honest, devoted trainer and humanist is now resting in everlasting peace at the side of the AlMighty God. See you there some day, my dear Gil.


The World Boxing Council, and especially our President, Don Jose Sulaiman, agree that Gil Clancy has been one of the most extraordinary persons in the history of boxing of all times.

Not only a great trainer, manager and commentator, but also a great man, a top-level individual in every respect, a decent and true gentleman, and someone who always took care of the fighters he represented. He kept them in his heart and would defend them against everything and everyone, and he guided several of them to immortality in the sport of boxing.

Some examples, among many others, have been former heavyweight world champion George Foreman, and Emile Griffith, who was welterweight and middleweight world champion.

The World Boxing Council is declaring three days of world mourning in due to the passing away of this great man and friend. The WBC has made the decision to institute the “Gil Clancy Trophy,” which will be awarded annually to the manager who most distinguishes himself.

Tough task ahead for Ramona Kuehne, faces Bonassoli on Saturday

On Saturday night, female WBF world super featherweight champion Ramona Kuehne (17-1) will put her belt(s) on the line against the always dangerous Michelle Larissa Bonassoli (11-5) at the Bordelandhalle in Magdeburg, Germany. Besides the WBF title (her second defense), Kuehne’s WBO and WIBF trinkets will be at disposition at the SES-Boxing promoted event.

However, it will not be an easy night for the defending champion from Germany’s capital city Berlin. Kuehne’s challenger Bonassoli is a more difficult task than her professional record would suggest. The Brazilian is bigger than Kuehne and fought at light welterweight in her recent outings. At 23, she also has an eight-year age advantage over the 31-years old champion. Furthermore, she packs quite a punch - nine of her eleven victories came by way of knock out. Her title challenge in Magdeburg will be Bonassoli’s first ring appearance in Europe.

“She has a physical advantage”, Kuehne admitted at the final press conference. “But I will do everything to ensure a victory. I want to deliver a combative fight worth watching. That’s just who I am.” Kuehne is one of three WBF female champions promoted by SES-Boxing and managed by Ulf Steinforth. Natascha Ragosina is the WBF heavyweight champion and Christina Hammer holds the middleweight belt.

If victorious on Saturday night, Kuehne is eyeing a rematch with female boxing superstar Ina Menzer. The pair faced each other in January of 2010 in a highly anticipated bout, also at the Bordelandhalle. Kuehne suffered her lone career loss when the bout was halted in round six due to a cut she suffered. Right after the conclusion of the bout, Kuehne asked for a rematch. Since then, she became a triple world champion at super featherweight, while Menzer lost her featherweight belts in her next outing.

Originally, SES promoter Steinforth wanted the rematch to take place on Saturday. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t secure the bout for April 9”, he said. “But I am sure we will make it happen soon. The boxing fans want to see another clash between Ramona and Ina.” However, the defending champion should not make the mistake of underestimating her challenger. While Kuehne might be the rightful favorite going into the bout, Bonassoli is definitely looking to shock experts and fans and travel back home to Brazil as a world champion.

Approximately 480 miles away from Magdeburg, another WBF title bout will happen in Bruay-la-Buissière, France. In an interesting clash for the vacant WBF Intercontinental belt, undefeated prospect and hometown favorite Guillaume Salingue (28-0) will face Italian Domenico Urbano (23-2-1). The winner of the fight will move closer to a possible shot at the vacant WBF world lightweight title.

Article posted on 06.04.2011

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