Face-Off: Klitschko-Haye; Morales defeats Villa; Harrison beats Alexander

June 13, 2011 - Fight fans eager for a penetrating inside look at the upcoming HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast of the Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye heavyweight title unification fight in Hamburg, Germany should mark their calendars to catch the all-new edition of "Face-Off," starring the two heavyweight foes.

Moderated by Max Kellerman, "Face-Off" is a roundtable-style interview session. The fighters answer Kellerman's questions face-to-face and can deliver a message to each other as well as their fans.

The Klitschko-Haye 13-minute extended version of "Face-Off" is set to air multiple times on HBO and HBO2 (schedule below). “Face-Off” will also be available on the HBO On Demand® service and at as well as various other new media platforms that distribute the series.

HBO air times include:

Thur., June 16 at 9:45pm

Thur., June 16 at 3:50am

Sun., June 19 at 12:15pm

Mon., June 20 at 3:00am

Thur., June 23 at 9:15am

Thur., June 23 at 11:55pm

Sat., June 25 at 9:45am

Sat., June 25 at 12:30am

Sun., June 26 at 11:15am

Mon., June 27 at 1:45pm

Mon. June 27 at 3:00am

Wed., June 29 at 4:45pm

Fri., July 1 at 12:15pm

Fri., July 1 at 9:45pm

Sat. July 2 at 2:00pm

HBO 2 air times include:

Sat., June 18 at 9:15am

Tue., June 21 at 11:45am

Fri., June 24 at 7:00pm

Tue., June 28 at 3:45am

Thur., June 30 at 8:45pm

All times are ET/PT.

Klitschko vs. Haye takes place Saturday, July 2 on HBO live at 4:45 p.m. ET/1:45 p.m. PT with a replay later that evening at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT from the Hamburg Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

Morales stops Villa

Former international amateur champion Roman Morales successfully moved past the toughest challenge of his young pro career, stopping veteran Jaime Villa in the fourth round at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California this Friday night.

Morales (4-0, 3 KOs) of San Ardo, California was tested in the early rounds as Villa (8-9-2, 3 KOs) of Midland, Texas fought in the same aggressive style that made his brother Tomas a fan favorite in their home state for many years. Aiding the journeyman’s early success was Morales’ trademark slow start.

“The only problem I have with Roman, is that he starts off slow,” admits his manager Repo Ric. “But that’s what Floyd Mayweather does. He starts off slow, but gets settled and goes out and does his thing. So Roman started off slow and this kid [he’s fighting] has twenty fights, so he is very experienced and he is very aggressive.”

Just as he did in France to win the gold medal at the Four Nations Tournament in his last competition as an amateur, Morales recovered from his slow start and turned the fight in his favor. “I talked to him before the fourth round, and went through the ropes, and Roman became a whole different person,” says Repo. “I guess he had warmed up.”

Warmed up, Morales implemented his trainer Rodolfo Tapia’s instructions and began to wear down the gritty Texan. “I just told him to keep working,” says Tapia. “Combinations and more jabs. But he started to land stomach punches. In the third round [Villa] got wobbled a little bit, and I told Roman, ‘Don’t stop, keep working.’ And what happened was a good, good body shot to the liver and he didn’t get up. He stayed down there.”

Though it did not make it out of four frames, the bout with Villa was Morales’ first scheduled six-rounder. By design his team has moved him to the six-round distance due to his proneness at getting behind early in fights. Some young fighters may have trouble adjusting to the longer distance, but Morales’ manager does not see that being a problem for his young charge.

“This why he’s fighting six rounds instead of four rounds already, because he is a slow starter,” says Repo. “That and the fact he should be able to go six. He spars Eloy Perez and Rico Ramos. So he should be able to go six. This one didn’t go six, he was very successful and the butterflies are out of my stomach.”

The win puts Morales in pretty good company. Most of Villa’s losses have come to solid prospects and eventual contenders. Only three of Villa’s eight kayo defeats came earlier than Morales’ stoppage Friday. Former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. stopped him in three and world ranked super featherweight contender Luis Cruz got to him in the first round three years ago.

Morales will take a break from the ring as a cut he suffered, which required two-and-a-half stitches, will need roughly 35 days to heal before he can begin sparring again. Morales however did not get much of a break over the weekend, as he arrived home around 1 a.m. Saturday morning and was a guest of honor at an amateur boxing show hosted by the Rock Boxing Gym in Salinas, California that afternoon.

Morales is expected to go for win number five at the beginning of August.

Harrison defeats Alexander

MEMPHIS, TN - A night billed as TNT at the DCC and that featured Two-Time Heavyweight Champion Hasim Rahman and an interesting NABO Middleweight showdown between Patrick Majewski and Marcus Upshaw was owned by a young boxer three weeks removed from his seventeenth birthday. Dusty Harrison, 17, entered the ring for the fourth bout of the evening to make his professional debut against Alphonso Alexander and quickly became a fan favorite as he had the boxing fans in attendance buzzing long after he was done dismantling Alexander over four rounds with a tantalizing display of speed and accuracy rarely found in a boxer so young.

Harrison, a Puerto Rican/American, hailing from Washington D.C. looked like a veteran of twenty plus fights from the opening bell as he displayed a rapid fire and accurate jab early and precision body work throughout. Although Alexander was a physically strong and game foe, Harrison never gave him enough breathing room to initiate any offense and the few times Alexander did try to lead with offense Harrison was able to slip Alexander's attack and counter with three and four punch combinations.

The display of raw talent and ability that Harrison unveiled had the crowd on their feet and in a frenzy throughout the four rounds. Harrison could be seen drawing crowds in the arena concourses and seating sections during the remainder of the night as he was being hounded for interview and autograph request from media members and fans alike. "I knew Dusty was a very talented young man and would have a great career in front of him, I just didn't know he was quite this good this fast", said Harrison's promoter Russ Young of Prize Fight. Young continued, "His timing and accuracy is just something that is so rare for someone his age. We have to remember, we are talking about a young man who was sixteen just three short weeks ago." Harrison, who will be entering his senior year at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf, MD next fall will be spending his summer vacation in the boxing gym preparing for more bouts. Harrison will also try to fit time into his busy schedule to keep his basketball skills sharp so he can hold on to his spot as a shooting guard on the Thomas Stone High School Varsity Basketball Team.

Article posted on 13.06.2011

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