Ortiz / Flores Undercard: Sanchez vs Howard, Coffie vs Abell

Unbeaten rising contender Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez is determined to send a message to rest of the heavyweight division when he takes on Brian Howard in the co-main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes this Saturday, November 7 from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“I want to show that I’m the best heavyweight in the world,” said Sanchez. “I’m happy with the way that my career is moving along. I have great power, great speed and the division will have to take notice after this fight. My foot and hand speed is unlike any other heavyweight, and I have much better technique than anyone else in the division.”

The 28-year-old Sanchez has continued to work with renowned coach Eddy Reynoso in San Diego, California as he seeks another win to help his ascension up the heavyweight rankings. Despite the pandemic, Sanchez hasn’t felt any hindrance to his training camp regimen.

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“Training with Eddy Reynoso in San Diego has been perfect,” said Sanchez. “There really hasn’t been any difference with the pandemic. It’s a very normal training camp and we’ve been getting a lot of sparring in with a number of different fighters. I’ve even sparred with Canelo Alvarez, who hits like a heavyweight. So, it’s been really strong preparation for this fight.”

A highly decorated amateur originally from Guantanamo, Cuba, Sanchez believes that he has the skillset and dedication to become the first heavyweight world champion from his home country.

“That’s the dream that I am working toward,” said Sanchez. “It would be extremely important for Cuba and for me personally. That’s why I’m working so hard. Because I want to the be the first heavyweight champion that Cuba’s ever had. I have none of the vices outside of the ring that have held back other fighters. All I do is train, train, train and fight. This sport is my whole life.”

On November 7, Sanchez’s latest obstacle will come in the form of the Georgia native Howard. Howard has spent most of his career fighting in the cruiserweight division, before making his heavyweight debut with a first round knockout of Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron last year. Although Howard’s past at a lower weight class could help his ability to create an agile target for Sanchez, it is nothing the unbeaten fighter isn’t confident he will overcome.

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“I’ve watched a number of Howard’s fights,” said Sanchez. “He has good power, but I don’t think he’ll be able to handle my power. I think I’ll win inside the distance. I’m a solid, full-fledged heavyweight. My skill level is too high for Howard. His movement won’t matter because I do everything better than him.”

Michael Coffie Training Camp Quotes

Unbeaten heavyweight Michael Coffie gave insight into his training camp, his past in the Marine Corps and more as he prepares to take on hard-hitting Joey Abell in FOX PBC Fight Night action and on FOX Deportes this Saturday, November 7 from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“Training camp has been going really well,” said Coffie. “My head coach Josue Aguilar has been getting me ready to show off all my skills. We’re at the Orange Avenue Gym in Orlando, Florida just making sure that we haven’t left any stone unturned. We’ve had to adjust some ways because of the pandemic, but it’s nothing that everyone else hasn’t also had to deal with.”

A Marine Corps veteran, Coffie picked up the sport less than five years ago after returning from overseas. After a brief amateur career that saw him put on standout performances at the New York Golden Gloves and Metro Championships, Coffie has helped bridge the experience gap through sparring top heavyweights.

“I think my unorthodox career path has helped me,” said Coffie. “I didn’t spend a lot of time in the amateurs, but I learned a lot sparring top fighters such as Deontay Wilder, Tomasz Adamek and Jarrell Miller. I got so many rounds in during those sessions that it more than makes up for my limited amateur career.”

In addition, Coffie believes that the values and training gained in the Marines has helped him both physically and mentally in pro boxing.

“I’ve already learned how to deal with stress from the Marines,” said Coffie. “Boxing can present continuously stressful situations during the fight. The Marine Corps puts you through stressful situations during basic training and that helps you for when the time comes that you need to adapt.”

Coffie impressed in his last outing, dropping the previously unbeaten Luis Pena multiple times before ending their fight in the fifth round of action that was featured on FS1.

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“I got to show off my punch angles and my old school craftiness against Pena,” said Coffie. “I showed that I can fight with either hand, from any stance, low to high or high to low, and all of that is inside of a 280-pound frame.”

On Saturday night, Coffie will go up against the extremely experienced Abell, who has faced the likes of Tyson Fury, Tomasz Adamek, Oscar Rivas and Chris Arreola throughout his career. Despite that, Coffie believes his performance will leave no doubt that he can navigate any experience gap he comes up against.

“I know that he’s got a lot of experience,” said Coffie. “He’s been in there with a lot of notable guys. He is a veteran, but what I lack in experience, I make up for with maturity and poise. You’re going to see a smart fighter who hits hard. You won’t be able to tell who the more experienced fighter is.”

Ortiz vs Flores in Main Event

Top heavyweight contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz will headline a stacked night of heavyweight action when he takes on Alexander “The Great” Flores in the 10-round main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, November 7 from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will see rising unbeaten heavyweight contender Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sánchez battle Brian Howard in the 10-round co-main event. Plus, undefeated Michael Coffie steps in to face hard-hitting Joey Abell in an eight-round heavyweight duel.

The event will be promoted by TGB Promotions and will take place without fans in attendance at the Microsoft Theater, an AEG venue, in downtown Los Angeles.

“Sports fans love the power and drama of the heavyweight division and this lineup on November 7 will provide both in droves,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions.

With exceptional power and sublime technical skills, Ortiz (31-2, 26 KOs) has been a fixture atop heavyweight rankings for years, with his only defeats coming in memorable contests against former longtime heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Born in Camaguey, Cuba and trained by longtime coach Herman Caicedo in Miami, Ortiz won three bouts between Wilder contests, defeating Travis Kauffman, Christian Hammer and Razvan Cojanu. Prior to that run, Ortiz picked up victories over the likes of Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson and Malik Scott to build up his heavyweight resume.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and put on a great performance for all my fans,” said Ortiz. “I’ve been training hard and I’m going to show why I’m still one of the most dangerous and avoided heavyweights around. Credit to Flores for stepping up to the challenge, but I’m planning on making a statement November 7 on FOX.”

The 30-year-old Flores (18-2-1, 16 KOs) will return to action after his last outing saw him stop Mario Heredia in the sixth-round of their November 2019 affair. Fighting out of his native Rowland Heights, California, Flores has fought professionally since 2010, and has scored knockouts in his last 14 victories. The only blemishes on Flores’ record have come against former heavyweight champions Charles Martin and Joseph Parker.

“When I got the call for this fight, I immediately said yes and I was ready to go,” said Flores. “I’m always in shape throughout the year, so now we’re just sharpening the tools for November 7. Ortiz is coming off of a big fight, and I’m preparing for the best Ortiz we’ve ever seen. I don’t know if he’s overlooking me, I just know that I’m going to be ready to take advantage of a life changing opportunity.”

An amateur standout from his native Cuba, Sánchez (15-0, 11 KOs) now trains in San Diego with coach Eddy Reynoso. The 28-year-old added four victories to his ledger in 2019, including a stoppage of Puerto Rican Olympian Victor Bisbal. His 2020 debut saw Sánchez dominate tough contender Joey Dawejko in March on FOX on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

“I look forward to my return so that I can again showcase my skills and make the case that I am a future heavyweight champion,” said Sánchez. “Brian Howard is a very dangerous opponent, but I am even more dangerous. My trainer Eddy Reynoso is preparing me for a spectacular win. I’m a proud Cuban fighting in America in front of millions of people on FOX. It is a dream come true, but only half of the dream. The job will be complete once I become the heavyweight champion of the world.”

Howard (15-3, 12 KOs) made his heavyweight debut in style in August, scoring an impressive first-round knockout over Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron. Fighting out of Atlanta, Georgia, Howard also owns knockout victories over previously unbeaten fighters Shawndell Winters and Alex Guerrero. Howard has won five of his last seven fights since returning from a layoff in 2015.

“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity on FOX against Frank Sánchez,” said Howard. “I’ve been training very hard to be at my best for this fight. I know that I’m going to come to California and be victorious on November 7.”

A Marine Corps veteran who picked up boxing after returning from overseas, Coffie (10-0, 7 KOs) quickly impressed in amateur tournaments enough to earn sparring assignments with Deontay Wilder and Adam Kownacki. The 34-year-old was born in the Bronx, but now fights out of Brooklyn. Coffie most recently emerged victorious in a battle of unbeatens when he stopped Luis Pena in the fifth round of their August matchup on FS1.

“This is going to be a great fight against a really good opponent,” said Coffie. “This is the first step toward getting to where I want to be. Abell is a very credible opponent, and a win will justify me being able to fight higher ranked contenders in the heavyweight division. I can’t wait to go out and put on a great performance on November 7.”

Born in Neenah, Wisconsin and fighting out of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Abell (35-10, 33 KOs) has faced an impressive lineup of top heavyweights while establishing himself as a tough veteran in the division. Abell has lined up against Tyson Fury, Tomasz Adamek, Oscar Rivas and Chris Arreola to name a few of his notable opponents. Abell owns a knockout victory in 2016 over then unbeaten Wes Nofire on FS1 and most recently stopped Quincy Palmer in the first round of their November 2019 contest.

“I’m blessed to get such a great opportunity to fight on this card,” said Abell. “It’s been a tough year for everyone but I’m looking forward to ending mine on a positive note. I’ve been training like never before. On November 7, I’ll be ready for war.”

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