ST. LOUIS, Mo.–The final press conference was held on Wednesday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis promoting Don King’s world championship tripleheader, and a fourth championship match, on Saturday.
Hometown hero and unified World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation 140-pound champion Devon Alexander “The Great” (20-0, 13 KOs) will be challenged by former World Boxing Association super lightweight champion Andriy Kotelnik (31-3-1, 13 KOs), from Lviv, Ukraine, and IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud (20-0, 18 KOs), from Tallahassee, Fla., will meet former IBF light heavyweight champion Glen “Road Warrior” Johnson (50-13-2, 34 KOs), a Jamaican now of Miami.
A domestically non-televised third world championship will be included on the card when IBF junior middleweight champion Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks (37-5, 11 KOs), from St. Louis, takes on IBF mandatory challenger Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (29-4, 17 KOs), from Detroit, Mich.
The fourth championship fight, which also can only be seen live, pits another proud St. Louisan, undefeated cruiserweight contender Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne (14-0, 4 KOs), against fellow unbeaten Warren “The Hit Man” Browning (12-0-1, 8 KOs), from London, Ky., for the vacant WBC USNBC cruiserweight crown.
Tickets priced at $17.50, $35, $70, $150 and $300 are on sale at Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The above-mentioned world championships will be televised live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT (9 p.m. CT). Cloud vs. Johnson is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing Promotions.
Here is what all the fighters in the four championship fights had to say on Wednesday:
Devon Alexander “The Great”: “I want to thank Don for giving me another opportunity to showcase my talent and HBO for putting me on because only the best prevail. Kevin Cunningham is the best trainer in the world. For the fight, all the talk is over. When we had the first press conference I said that I was leaving to Las Vegas for camp to get ready. Well, now I’m ready. I’m ready. You all want to see the rock? (flexes his freakish 15” bicep) I’m ready.”
Kevin Cunningham: “This is all a blessing. I want to thank Don King, the greatest promoter of all time. I want to thank Scottrade, HBO and last but not least you all, St. Louis. We could have fought wherever, but you all make us want to fight here. There has been a lot of talk about Devon being in these mega-fights with Kahn, Pacquiao and Mayweather, but we don’t get caught up in that. Kotelnik is talking about coming here and taking these belts. We are focused on the Ukrainian right now. We don’t get distracted. So I just want to say to everybody, whoever doesn’t have tickets, get them because you really don’t want to miss the destruction of this Russian.”
Andriy Kotelnik: “I feel very special and very fortunate to be fighting in St. Louis. Today I can see that he is really on for this fight. Last time we were here there were not many people but this time the room is very full. I would like to thank Don King and HBO for making it possible for me to have the hardest match in this evening of boxing. It is an honor for me to be in the main event when there are many superstars on this card like Cory Spinks and Glenn Johnson. This is a great opportunity for me and for every superstar that is in this event.”
Pavel Govzman (Don King Productions consultant and translator for Govzman): “Thanks for having us and we hope to pay you all back when you come to Ukraine. You are all invited by the way, good news for you and bad news for my friends on my right (Alexander camp). You always here the Russians are coming, but bad news for them, the Ukrainians are here. Don’t take it personal. We are here to take two titles back to the Ukraine. On the night of the fight, just be fair and make sure you cheer Kotelnik like he is the best fighter in the world.”
Stacey McKinley (trainer of Kotelnik): “I am glad to be back home in St. Louis. These two fighters are not soft. Devon started boxing when he was 7 years old, when he was a baby, and Kotelnik when he was 6 and he went on to get a Silver Medal in the Olympics—and should have gotten the gold. Devon has won the IBF & WBC championship. This guy here (Alexander) has two world titles. These guys are tough and it’s going to be a hard fight. It’s not going to be easy for us and not easy for the guys over here. You may think Kotelnik is from the suburbs, but he’s not from the suburbs, he’s from the salt mines, he’s from the hood, and Devon’s from the hood. These two hood rats are going to be face-to-face.”
Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud: “We are going to win. We are definitely going to win. I appreciate you all having us and we are going to put on a great show. Don King, thank you for putting on this great card. I am in great shape. My style is fan-friendly. I fight with both hands, and let’s get in on.
Glen “Road Warrior” Johnson: “St. Louis, we are going to have a great fight on the 7th. I want to say thank you to Don King and HBO and my manager, my trainer and my beautiful wife Julia. You guys are going to have a beautiful night of fights.”
Cory Spinks: “I would like to thank you all for coming out and supporting us. I would like to say congratulations to Devon on his last victory. I watched the fight and I was very excited it came out the way it did. It was a great knockout win, and it was a pleasure for me when I trained with Devon. I’ve been in camp for a while and I’m ready. I’m fighting a tough guy in Bundrage, and I know he’s going to bring his ‘A’ game. Cory Spinks is ready for anything he brings. Expect a spectacular performance from Cory Spinks on Saturday night.”
Buddy McGirt (new trainer of Cory Spinks): “St. Louis, you have nothing to worry about. Cory was with Kevin Cunningham and that made my job so much easier. Good luck to everyone up here. One other thing: I was told St. Louis had some of the best Soul Food and I’ve been here since Monday and nobody has taken me anywhere. SO can you help a brother out? That’s all I ask.”
Cornelius “K9” Bundrage: “It has been a long camp for me. This fight has been cancelled like three times. It has been about a year and I’m really excited it is finally here. God gave us all of this, so I feel like I’m at home even though I am here is St. Louis. Love me or hate me, come Saturday you’re going to love me, because the ‘K9’ is here GRRRRRR.”
Ryan “The Irish Outlaw” Coyne: “Saturday night is a great opportunity not only for myself but for everybody on this card. I am privileged to be a part of four championship fights. I trained hard and you can tell by looking at me, I look like I’ve been in a cave for the past 10 weeks. I look at all these fighters up here and I can see that my time is coming and this is a big step to get to where I want to be. I have a very tough opponent in this undefeated guy who is coming here to fight, and it’s going to be tough.”
Warren “The Hit Man” Browning: “Ryan is a great fighter. I’ve seen him fight. I love S. Louis, I love the atmosphere and I love boxing. I’ve been here to watch fights, and it’s a great place to watch fights. I’m 12-0. I’m undefeated, and I’ll be undefeated and the WBC USNBC cruiserweight champion when I leave.”
Photos by David Martin Warr
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