Ortiz vs. Berto Los Angeles Press Conference Quotes; Ponce De Leon vs. Estrella on 1/21
(Photos: Phil McCarty/Hogan Photos) LOS ANGELES (Dec. 19, 2011) – Ten months after a classic and spirited slugfest that is a definite “Fight of the Year” candidate, former World Champions “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO’s), of Ventura, Calif. and Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KO’s), of Winter Haven, Fl., will slug it out again on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. EST/PST, delayed on the West Coast).
Article posted on 20.12.2011
The eagerly awaited 12-round fight is a rematch of a fiercely contested, multiple-knockdown affair on April 16 that Ortiz won by a unanimous decision (114-112, 114-111 and 115-110) while capturing Berto’s World Boxing Council (WBC) 147-pound title. Both fighters were knocked down twice in the fight, with Berto being dropped in the first, Ortiz going down a round later and each of them hitting the deck in a wild sixth round that many are calling the Round of the Year.
“Repeat or Revenge: Ortiz vs. Berto II" is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and DiBella Entertainment. Tickets, priced at $300, $150, $100 and $50, are on sale and are available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino).
Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Quotes from Monday’s press conference are below:
“VICIOUS” VICTOR ORTIZ
“My team kind of said it all. I don’t need to say a whole lot. I prepare very well. I know I’m up against a tough opponent. I captured the world championship and went for the best. I’ll leave everything in the ring and bring home the victory once again. I don’t hate anybody. I respect all of them. We’re here to box and fight and make a great show on February 11th. I’m ready.
“I’m being counted out once again. Once again, not the best of the best. Once again, I’m too nice.
You know what, I’ll show you February 11th why Andre Berto belongs where he’s at and why I’ve made him belong there. I don’t need to say anything more than that.”
“I have put in the time and worked very hard to get to where I am.
“This is a tremendous opportunity. I’m ready to get it on. I’ve had to improve my game. I’ve had a hard, tough training camp and just have to stay focused and get the job done.
“I’m hungrier than ever. I predict a win.”
RICHARD SCHAEFER (CEO of Golden Boy Promotions)
”We are definitely starting out 2012 with a big bang. ‘Ortiz-Berto II’ is boxing at its best and the single biggest fight that can be made outside of Mayweather-Pacquiao.
“We are all very excited. This is the first time a premium channel fight is being supported like a pay-per-view event. SHOWTIME is planning to do a Fight Camp 360.
“Their first fight may be ‘Fight of the Year’ and both guys want to set the record straight. The rematch might be 2012 ‘Fight of the Year.’ Both of these world champions are guaranteed to put on a great show.
The 147-pound division is the one with all the biggest names and we have two of them fighting each other.
“We’re expecting a sellout.“I really want to thank Stephen Espinoza and SHOWTIME for stepping up the way they have. This will be an incredible night of boxing.’’
STEPHEN ESPINOZA (Executive Vice President, General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports)
“I’m very excited and proud to have this as my first official press conference. I’m more excited and more proud that this is the first fight that I acquired in my position as Executive Vice President (and General Manager) of SHOWTIME Sports and Event Programming. This fight is the most compelling, most exciting, most highly anticipated fight available. That’s why it was my No. 1 priority from the very first minute I accepted the position with SHOWTIME…to make sure that this fight appeared on SHOWTIME.
“Not only am I excited and proud to have this as SHOWTIME programming but all of my colleagues are excited as well. We will be receiving the support of our parent company, CBS and all of its platforms, which includes the free television network, CBS Interactive and other CBS Sports Networks. All of these plans will be developing more as time goes forward.
“When they are deserving, we’ll be airing what used to be non-televised undercards on SHOWTIME EXTREME before the telecast begins on SHOWTIME. This will be an opportunistic play for our network based on multiple factors. SHO EXTREME has blossomed into one of the strongest cable television and sports programming outlets. SHO EXTREME is where we replay all our boxing and MMA events, and the rest of our award-winning sports programming such as Inside the NFL, Inside NASCAR, The Franchise.
“This is going to be an amazing fight between two of the brightest young stars in the sport and that’s yet another reason why it was important for SHOWTIME to acquire this event. These are two world-class athletes and just as importantly, if not more importantly, two world-class young men, very articulate, very personable and they are exactly the type of young men that SHOWTIME wants to be in business with. I’m looking toward to February 11th. It’s guaranteed to be a great.’’
ROLANDO ARELLANO (Ortiz’s manager)
“We at Team Ortiz will convey nothing but respect to Andre Berto. We know he is a great fighter. We know that he has the courage of a warrior with a great team. We know that he is hungry and that his thirst for revenge is present. We clearly understand all those facts. The only way we know how to respect him, our sport and the fans is to prepare for this fight like never before.
“I will pledge to our fans that Victor will raise his standards in this fight like never before. If Andre Berto thought he ran into a freight train last time, this time he will feel the (hurt) of a nuclear bomb.’’
TONY MORGAN (Berto’s Trainer)
“Berto was just out of it the last fight. He tried to come in light. He was completely deficient. We found out after that he was anemic, but no excuses. Victor fought his butt off. I’m not making excuses. I’m just saying Berto wasn’t 100 percent. This time, we’ll be 100 percent and we’ll see the true outcome. I think we knock him out.
Daniel Ponce De Leon vs. Omar Estrella January 21st
Tijuana featherweight Omar "Dinamita" Estrella (15-3-2, 10KOs) has a big opportunity in his near future when on Saturday, January 21st, he is scheduled to face the former world champion Daniel Ponce de Leon (41-4, 34KOs) in Mexico City at a venue to be determined. The ten round bout will be presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Erik Morales' Box Latino. The main event will be televised live in Mexico by Televisa.
The twenty-four year old Estrella, a virtual unknown in the United States, is trained by former two-time world champion Raul "Jibaro" Perez and is often sought out as a hard working sparring partner by former and current champions like Erik Morales, Humberto Soto, Antonio DeMarco and Antonio Margarito among others. On a four fight win streak, Estrella has not tasted defeat since a controversial point loss to Jorge Perez in 2010. Since then, Estrella has defeated Martin Fing via a unanimous decision and David Martin Galindo, Sergio "Mickey" Lopez and Horacio Rodriguez all by knock out. Estrella holds the Mexican Pacific Coast featherweight title which he has defended once.
The popular Ponce De Leon is a former world champion with multiple defenses of his WBO super bantamweight title that he lost to Puerto Rican Juan Manuel Lopez in '08 and since then, has won seven out of his last nine with the defeats coming in his last two fights against current WBO super featherweight champ Adrien Broner and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
"We have great respect for Ponce de Leon because of his record and what he has achieved but we are confident that we have the style to beat him," Estrella recently stated. "This is a great opportunity for me and I am ready to take advantage of it. I am sure that together with my trainer 'Jibaro' Perez and my management team Camaron Boxing Club, we will come out with the right strategy to come back home to Tijuana with the win."
ESPN's Friday Night Fights Returns January 6
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will kick off its 14th season January 6 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN3 featuring super middleweights Dyah Davis (20-2-1, 9 KOs: son of 1976 U.S. Olympic Gold medalist Howard Davis) and Alfonso Lopez (22-1, 17 KOs). The 10-round main event, outdoors at Mallory Square in Key West, Fla., is presented by DiBella Entertainment.
The January-August series concluded the 2011 season averaging 543,000 viewers, up 9% from 497,000 viewers in 2010. ESPN’s Friday Night Fights also saw gains in younger demos among adults ages 18-34 (+19%) and 18-49 (+22%).
“We look forward to building on the tremendous success of 2011 by showcasing familiar names that we trust will bring action and excitement to our Friday Night Fights fans,” said Doug Loughrey, ESPN director of programming and acquisitions. “I am most encouraged to have Dyah Davis, Teon Kennedy, Ruslan Provodinkov, Demetrius Andrade and John Molina in main events to kick-off our season.”
Matt Sandulli, ESPN senior coordinating producer, said, “We are really excited to get back at it. The 2011 season was a very good year for us and the fans of Friday Night Fights. We were fortunate to consistently have quality action in the ring. It’s one thing to have names on paper but it’s all about what the two fighters do when they face off. Last year we had great battles, breathtaking knockouts, and tremendous storylines and seemingly every week big-time upsets. We hope to continue with more of the same starting in January.”
Blow-by-blow commentator Joe Tessitore and ringside analyst Teddy Atlas return. Both are recipients of the prestigious Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism presented by the Boxing Writers Association of America: Atlas (2001), Tessitore (2010).
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will implement, an ultra slo-mo camera on select cards providing some of the most dramatic and amazing replays of a fight’s biggest punches.
ESPN 3D which presented boxing for the first time in the U.S. last February, returns in 2012 with a telecast scheduled January 13 from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas.
ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (“Friday Night Fights” in Spanish) will present every card, with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Lindsay Cassinelli anchoring the studio and Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodriguez calling the fights. ESPN Deportes’ weekly 30-minute boxing news and analysis show Golpe a Golpe will air on Friday’s. It will be co-hosted by World Champion Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez and boxing expert Jorge Eduardo Sanchez.
ESPN3 will present every Friday Night Fights card live, including simulcasts of every ESPN2 telecast and exclusively live when delayed on ESPN2. ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and is accessible online via WatchESPN.com.
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will have an increased social media presence in 2012. Plans include making the fan feel more a part of the experience on Facebook and Twitter.
Upcoming Schedule and Coverage Plans
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will total 30 dates in 2012. The show will present specials throughout the season, including features commemorating Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday, coverage from the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s induction weekend, and coverage of the U.S. Olympic boxing team during the 2012 summer games. Upcoming schedule below:
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