The final press conference for TrillerVerz 5 was held today in Los Angeles just two days ahead of the sensational event emanating from the Kia Forum. The Trillerverz 5 ‘Lineage of Greatness’ includes legendary boxing families and a once-in-a-lifetime VERZUZ battle between Cypress Hill and Onyx.
On Saturday, May 14, heavyweight contender Jerry “Slugger” Forrest (26-4-2, 20 KOs), of Newport News, VA, collides with two-time world title challenger Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev (28-2, 14 KOs), of Sofia, Bulgaria, in a 10-round contest. The exciting bout will serve as the co-feature to Triller Fight Club’s “TrillerVerz 5: Lineage of Greatness” pay-per-view event, live from the Forum in Inglewood, CA, on FITE.TV and TrillerFightClub.com, priced at $29.99.
Tickets starting at $31.00 are now on-sale through TrillerFightClub.com, TheKiaForum.com, and Ticketmaster.com at http://www.ticketmaster.com/trillerverz5. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. PT on Saturday with the first bell at 4:00 p.m. PT. The Kia Forum is located at 3900 Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90305.
The two-hour FREE preview broadcast on FITE starts at 7:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. PT with the Pay-Per-View portion starting at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT also on FITE.
The entire event is produced by Superstar Nigel Lythgoe, the Triller Fight Club visionary and producer of “So You Think You Can Dance” and “American Idol” who has brought a brilliant new look and feel of combat sports to the forefront.
“Training camp went great. I never really stopped training following my last fight. I stayed sharp, working on technique and fundamentals. I’m coming into this fight knowing I deserved victories in my last two fights. Against Zhang, I got off the canvas three times and came back to dominate and nearly stop him. I made some mistakes, but it was a learning experience. Against Hunter, I beat a world-rated guy who gave Oleksandr Usyk a tough fight, and I proved that I belong with the top contenders. I controlled the tempo and landed the bigger shots. When you’re the B-side and you get a draw, that usually means you won. I left it in the hands of the judges when I should have knocked him out,” said Forrest. “I’m looking forward to this fight against Pulev. He is a very skilled fighter who has shared the ring with Joshua, Klitschko, and so many others, but I am faster and stronger than he is. He won’t be able to withstand what I bring for 10 rounds.”
“Jerry Forrest should be a top-ten world-ranked contender. In his last few fights, he has proven himself against touted, undefeated contenders, but was unjustly denied victories against Jermaine Franklin, Zhilei Zhang and in his rematch against Michael Hunter,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Facing an experienced fighter like Kubrat Pulev, who has only lost to the very best, Forrest has another opportunity to show the world that he belongs among the top echelon of the heavyweight division.”
Forrest is coming off of back-to-back slugfests that ended in controversial draws last year. On February 27, in Miami, FL, Forrest battled undefeated six-foot-six Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang, rising from three early knockdowns to control the remainder of their bout and nearly stop his adversary. In his last fight, on December 2, 2021, headlining TrillerVerz 4, at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom, Forrest fought a rematch against Michael Hunter and was the aggressor throughout their bout, tagging him often with his straight left and wearing him down. Most observers felt that Forrest deserved to win both bouts.
Forrest, whose father is a master chief petty officer in the US Navy aboard the USS Nimitz, was employed as a nuclear electrician for 10 years, working on submarines and aircraft carriers at the outset of his boxing career.
“I’m ready for anybody and anywhere. My promoter said Tervel Pulev, I’m ready always. I just want to make a great comeback and make all my fans proud of me.”
“Thanks very much to Triller Fight Club for making this fight happen. I’m very excited to be facing clearly the toughest opponent of my career in Sergey Kovalev. My prediction is I’m going to remain undefeated.”
“Texas for Triad Combat was a great event and I hope that Saturday is the same for Triller Fight Club. I’m ready for this fight and I hope my opponent is also ready. I respect him, he is a good fighter, he had a good fight against Michael Hunter. But I’m different and on a higher level than his past opponents. This fight is very difficult for him, I have everything and he is going to find that out on Saturday night, I’m like a very intelligent, wild animal.”
“It’s a blessing and a pleasure to fight on this tremendous card. This is another chance to show what I can do. I feel like this is where I belong and everything has led up to this. I’m always in the gym so I’m in great shape and I’m ready. My approach for every fight never changes; I’m going to outbox everybody.”
Fernando Vargas Sr.
“I thought Triller Fight Club was the best plan for my boys. They love boxing. We’re excited about it and we’ve been working hard in preparation. My boys are going to show what their DNA is made of. They wanted to do what their father did and I’m here to support them 100%. I wouldn’t be here if they weren’t ready.”
Fernando Vargas Jr.
‘It’s definitely a privilege and responsibility to carry the last name, ‘Vargas’. I’m excited as the oldest to see my youngest brothers’ debut. Thanks very much to David and Egis and the whole Triller team for making it possible to have the three of us fight on the same card.”
“I can’t wait to watch my younger brother Emiliano make his pro debut. May 14 you’ll find out what the Vargas boys are about. We can all really fight.”
“The pressure can either fold you or embolden you. My two beautiful parents support me in anything I do. This is something, fighting on the same card, we’ve been talking about for a long time and I’m ready for Saturday night. I’ve had a good amateur career and I’m ready to go pro. I’m blessed to have Triller Fight Club behind me.”
“It’s blessing to fight on such a big card this Saturday night and apply everything I’ve worked on in training. I’m just taking my career one fight at a time, with each and every performance I’m able to show more of my skills. I’m sure Jurmain will bring the best out of me and I’ll bring the best out of him.”
“Yes, Mike Tyson of all people gave me advice before one of my first amateur bouts. ‘Don’t get too emotional, just stick to your skills and what you’ve worked on in training and you’ll be fine.’”
“I’m used to being the underdog and I’m comfortable in that role. I’m hungry and I’m definitely going to take advantage of the opportunity. I feel like it’s going to be an upset, just like Bivol.”
David Tetreault / President, Triller Fight Club
“A lot of the inspiration comes from Ryan Kavanaugh, he kicked off the whole Triller Fight Club experience with Tyson vs. Jones. Once we had Sergey at the top of the card, then I started working with the Vargas brothers and we had the opportunity to sign them. Then after bringing aboard the Pulev brothers, I wanted to find out what were the chances we could add the son of Evander Holyfield and Kathy said yes, immediately. We wanted to make this a novel or movie and came up with ‘Lineage of Greatness.”
Kathy Duva / President, Main Events
“Sergey looks so different as a cruiserweight, he looks big and strong. I’m used to seeing him all emaciated and drawn, it’s a totally different look for him. He is very goal driven and believes he is going to be a cruiserweight world champion and he’s always achieved every goal he’s made.”
Full Fight Card
Sergey Kovalev ,(34-4-1, 29 KOs) vs. Tervel Pulev, (16-0, 13 KOs) cruiserweights, ten rounds
Kubrat Pulev, (28-2, 14 KOs) vs. Jerry Forrest, (26-4-2, 20 KOs) heavyweights, ten rounds
Evan Holyfield, (9-0, 6 KOs) vs. Jurmain McDonald, (6-5, 2 KOs), welterweights, six rounds
Fernando Vargas Jr. (5-0, 5 KOs), vs. Terrance Jarmon, (3-0, 1 KO), super welterweights, six rounds
Amado Vargas, (3-0, 2 KO’s) vs. Anel Dudo, (1-3, 1 KO), featherweights, four rounds
Emiliano Vargas, (Pro Debut) vs. Mark Salgado, (1-1, 1 KO) lightweights, four rounds