by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME – Golden Boy Promotions hosted the final press conference Wednesday for the unprecedented day-night boxing doubleheader that will take place this Saturday, Dec. 15, live on CBS Television Network (first fight 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT), SHOWTIME EXTREME® (9:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) and SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
In the main event on CBS, undefeated IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Los Angeles, will defend his title against unbeaten Alberto Guevara (16-0, 6 KO’s) of San Diego, Calif., while talented 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz, of South El Monte, Calif., will make his pro debut against Vicente Alfaro (5-2, 1 KO), of Northfield, Minn., in the opening bout.
Following the 90-minute broadcast on CBS, its first boxing event since Bernard Hopkins knocked out Glen Johnson in the 11th round on Jan. 20, 1997, there will be a 10-round fight on SHOWTIME EXTREME between undefeated welterweight Shawn “Showtime” Porter (20-0, 14 KO’s), of Cleveland, Ohio, against surging former World Champion Julio Diaz (40-7, 29 KO’s), of Indio, Calif.
The fistic action concludes with a tripleheader on SHOWTIME that features the return to the ring of former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion and British superstar Amir “King” Khan (26-3, 18 KO’s), of Bolton, England, who faces unbeaten Carlos Molina (17-0-1, 7 KO’s), of Los Angeles in a 12-rounder for the vacant WBC Silver Super Lightweight Championship.
In co-featured 10-round bouts on SHOWTIME, hard-hitting 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (25-0, 25 KO’s), of Tuscaloosa, Ala., takes on Kelvin Price (13-0, 6 KO’s), of Pensacola, Fla., in a collision of 6-foot-7 unbeatens for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship and Alfredo “Perro” Angulo (21-2, 18 KO’s), of Los Angeles, battles Jorge Silva (18-2-2, 14 KO’s), of Chula Vista, Calif., in a junior middleweight match.
The evening event will also be televised live on Sky Sports 1HD in the United Kingdom at 2:00 a.m. GMT on Sunday, December 16
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“We’re so happy at Golden Boy Promotions to be bringing you this amazing day and night of boxing. We consider this our giving back show because this is really about all of our fans and supporters.
“With every fight week event we are having toy drives and I am going to purchase some toys myself. We anticipate when all is said and done we will be giving toys to so many kids and families in need, making their Christmas and holidays that much better.
“We appreciate the public coming out and donating toys so far and we want them to know that they can still show up tomorrow at the Golden Boy building in downtown Los Angeles and at the weigh-in on Friday. For every toy they give, they get a pair of tickets to the fight on Saturday night.
“We are really here to talk about the fights and the fact that boxing is back on network television, live on CBS. Thank you Stephen Espinoza and SHOWTIME for their hard work and the efforts they made to make this happen. The more boxing on network television, the more people will see it and the more boxing will grow. We are very excited about this development and we look forward to more boxing shows like this. The great exposure this show is going to get on Saturday on afternoon network television is going to be phenomenal.
“Everyone needs to go to their twitters and tweet ‘boxing is back on network television.’
“So this is our way of saying Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. I thank the fighters for helping us do this too.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
“Golden Boy Promotions and SHOWTIME have worked extremely hard to put together this very special grand finale event for 2012. It starts at 1:30 (PT) on CBS and goes all the way through to the main event on SHOWTIME with one of boxing’s most exciting fighters, Amir Khan, facing Carlos Molina.
“We have a full day and night of entertaining fights. Every fight is meaningful and every fighter has a story.
“We are very excited.’’
AMIR KHAN, Former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion
“Training camp was brilliant. My new trainer, Virgil Hunter, has worked on a lot of the mistakes I used to make. We’ve solved all that.
“I’ve been training twice as hard as I did before and I can’t wait to get back in the ring.
“L.A. is like a second home to me because I used to train here, but the Bay Area feels like home now.
“It’s always tough when you fight someone on his home turf — you have to fight that much harder, but I’m going to be in great condition. I’m going to be a smart, tough fighter and hopefully, before long, we’ll be back on the top again.
“The next 12 months will probably be the best of my life because the last 12 were probably the worst.
“I’ve changed. Since I came to Virgil, I see a big change already. No one told me to change, I did it myself.
“If something goes wrong I have to point the finger at me. It’s my problem, my mistake.
“Watching the (Danny) Garcia fight, it seemed like I was getting bored in there. Now I have Virgil telling me to stick to my game plan, to focus and to execute the plan. I’ve changed a lot of different things to get back to the top.”
VIRGIL HUNTER, Khan’s Trainer
“I think the best thing is that we’ve stuck to critiquing him from when he began training with me. I’m happy with the progress he’s made. I think he’s accomplished a lot.
“He doesn’t have to be taught much. He already possesses what it takes to be a great champion. He just let a few things get away. We have to fight on our own instincts and be disciplined and keep to the plan.
“It’s been a positive union between Alfredo (Angulo) and Amir. Alfredo is a straight pressure fighter, which helps Amir learn how to handle the pressure at the highest level. They feed off each other and the union has been great.”
CARLOS MOLINA, Undefeated Super Lightweight Contender
“I’m getting really antsy. I’ve waited for a fight like this my whole life. But the closer we come to Saturday the better I feel. I’m glad we’re just a few days away.
“Just by signing for this fight, I’ve received more exposure than I ever have, and after Saturday I will have an even greater fan base.
“I’m very confident I will remain unbeaten. There is no pressure. I’ve put in the work in the gym and Saturday I will perform. People say I have nothing to lose in this fight, but they’re wrong. Everybody has something to lose at some point.’’
DEONTAY WILDER, Undefeated Heavyweight Prospect & 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist
Breaks out in song …“I am going to whip somebody, I am going to whip somebody. I can’t wait for Saturday night to hit someone in the face!
“I am excited to have a great show. Anyone who knows me and sees me when I’m in the ring knows that I mean business.
“I worked hard to be the best and sacrificed a lot to do it. Now the moment is finally here and I can’t let this moment pass we by.
“I don’t like to lose. No one likes to lose. I don’t plan on losing Saturday night either.”
KELVIN PRICE, Undefeated Heavyweight Prospect
“I am grateful to have the chance to fight against Deontay Wilder on SHOWTIME. I’m prepared and plan to go out and put on a great show for everyone in the arena and those watching on television.
“This is a chance for us to show what American heavyweights are made of now. I plan to do that and I am sure Deontay will too.”
ALFREDO ANGULO, Junior Middleweight Contender
“I am so ready to fight. I know I have a good fighter in front of me in Jorge Silva, but I am prepared and ready to fight. A Mexican fighter means you are going against a hard fighter.
“I’m so happy to be back in the ring so soon after my last fight and fighting often is what keeps me in great shape. It feels good to be fighting after my long layoff and I know it is going to be a great fight.
“It’s going to be a great fight, so don’t miss it.”
(De La Hoya — “Alfredo is an ambassador for our sport as he is involved with ‘Locks for Love’ and once his hair is long enough, he will cut it and donate it to the charity. They make wigs for kids with cancer who have lost their hair from their treatment.”)
JORGE SILVA, Junior Middleweight Contender
“I’m so happy to be here and look forward to fighting Alfredo Angulo. I think it’s going to be a really tough fight. I’ve trained very hard and I know I am prepared to do what it takes to beat Alfredo. He is a tough fighter and happy to be back in the ring again.
“He is fighting me and it’s not going to be the result he’s expecting. I’m going to show everyone why he should not have agreed to fight me. I can’t wait to fight Saturday night.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ, IBF Bantamweight World Champion
“I’m very happy and excited and especially honored to be fighting on CBS. I really want to thank Golden Boy and my manager for this unbelievable opportunity. So many fans will be watching, and that’s where I get my motivation – from the fans.
“I’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and I’ve come a long way quickly, but I still have my whole career in front of me, and I want to stay on top. I’m confident I’ll win Saturday and then be able to take a little vacation during the holidays. I really want to finish this year on a great note so that I can go on to even bigger and better fights in 2013.
“I still haven’t seen tapes on Guevara. I know he’s confident, but all fighters are confident. He’s undefeated and I’m undefeated and we both want this very badly. There’s no way this can be anything but a war.”
ALBERTO GUEVARA, Undefeated Bantamweight Contender
“Thank you all for being here. This is my first fight in the United States and I am very prepared.
“You will all know who I am after the fight on Saturday. I am going to give the best of myself.”
JOSEPH “JO-JO” DIAZ JR., 2012 U.S. Olympian
“This is a dream come true for me to be making my pro debut on free network television. I really want to thank everyone involved from Golden Boy to my team for making this happen and for them choosing me to fight on CBS. They could have picked anybody, but they picked me and I really appreciate it.
“I had a 10-week camp and I’m totally prepared and very excited. I feel strong. I’m ready and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to showcase my skills in front of so many fans.”
SHAWN PORTER, NABO Welterweight Champion
“This is the biggest press conference I’ve been to, so this is a treat for me. This has been a good 10-week camp getting ready for Julio. I’m 20-0 going for 21. We know what Julio brings and we know what he has done in the past, but we’re more than ready to come home with that 21st victory. We’ve done the work in the gym, now we just have to let it all out in the ring.”
JULIO DIAZ, Former World Champion
“I’m really excited to have an opportunity like this again. It’s a motivational moment to fight on a card like this and I’m prepared to prove myself on this stage. I’m used to sitting in the front of these press conferences, headlining a card, but right now I’m in the back and I need to work to get back to the front. Shawn Porter is a good prospect, but he’s never been tested like I’m going to test him.”