Gabe Lemley: MMA and boxing, the best of the worlds. This is Don’s first fight at 145 (pounds). I’m excited because I’ve been fighting at 155. We’re meeting where I’m comfortable. We’re going to put on a good show.”
Dennis Hallman: I’m happy to be fighting again – 16-month layoff. I would have liked to have met my opponent (Pensacola’s Danny Ruiz) today, but I guess he couldn’t get here. We’re going to put on a good show.”
Jason Guida: I’m really pumped for it. I want to thank Bobby (Lashley) for taking the fight. I’m going to do it. Everyone’s going to see a good show. We’re going to do something March 21st”
Bobby Lashley: I’m kind of shocked. Jason Guida’s been talking a lot. (Lashley read the following Guida quotes from a previous press release):
MMA is new to Bobby. I don’t have anything against him. Someday he could be good for MMA. I welcome him, after I beat him, to work at our club (Hellhouse) to learn how to fight. Lashley’s going to find out that this is MMA not WWE. He’s in for a rude awakening, which probably will be a good thing — he’ll be fighting a real MMA guy.
This fight will be a good. I hope he can back-up what he said. I have a reason to fight now.
Roy Nelson: I’m hoping we’ll see Jeff Monson (reportedly in minor car accident this morning and unable to attend the press conference). This is my second time here (Monson wasn’t in Pensacola for either press conference) and maybe the third time will be the charm (Saturday). You’re going to see fireworks. We’re both great grapplers. Jeff brings it; he’s a good competitor and I’m a good competitor. Come Saturday only on is leaving the ring a winner and that’s going to be me.
(Lashley and Guida started exchanging words across the dais)
Guida: I didn’t say half but meant all of it (quotes in the release that Lashley previously read).
Lashley: I’m going to put him to sleep.
Guida: I’ve never seen you put anybody to sleep.
Lashley: He can keep dreaming.
(During the face-down Guida kept talking and moving closer to Lashley)
Guida: This is for real. How long have you been faking? How long in the WWE?
Lashley: I’m done talking.
Guida: How long has it been since somebody hit you on the chin for real?
(Guida got in the face of Lashley, who finally pushed Guida back, and Roy Jones, Jr. stepped between the two)
Roy Jones Jr.: To have people come out and support me like this is a great feeling. And all this trash talking that is going on it what it’s all about.
People are wondering why I have picked a big puncher like Omar Sheika to bring to my hometown. You know I don’t do anything easy. All these people are paying good money to come see the fights and we have to put on a good show. They don’t want to see easy fights. He’s 32 and this is an opportunity of a lifetime for him. I owe my fans a tough fight, that’s why I brought in a guy like this. You know he is going to be hungry.
I am 40-years now and I feel like I can go to 45. I do it because I love what I do.
This is the kind of an event that the MMA fights go quick and the boxing fights last a while. It is good for everybody. I hope it goes well. It is still two guys fighting in a ring. Man-to-man is what it is supposed to be and that’s why fighting is great.
I wouldn’t put a fight like this together if I didn’t think it was the wave of the future.
I used to get nervous fighting in my hometown. But I prepared for this fight the best I could. By having my dad in camp, I got my skills tuned up again.
Jones’ trainer Alton Merkerson: It’s been a long time since Roy has fought in Pensacola and he has always promised to me that he would fight here again. This is the first event of its kind and I am glad to be a part of it. These are two veterans and both are warriors. Both have worked very hard and prepared to their best for this competition on the 21st.
Omar Sheika: I’m in the best shape and this is the hardest I have trained in my whole life. They got me in the best shape to be prepared for the best Roy Jones. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. This will begin the second chapter of my boxing career. What he has accomplished, being an eight-time world champion, and I am here trying to get my first world title.
Maybe picking me wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I am very excited about this fight. On the 21st, there will be fireworks flying.
B.J. Flores: I am full of gratitude with this opportunity to fight on the same card with a legend like Roy Jones. When I was a kid, I would run home after school to watch tapes of Roy Jones fighting against James Toney. Now I am fighting on the same card as him.
I want to show the people what I am about. Look at my face – this is a face of a World Champion. This fight will take me to greater things and that will fulfill all of my dreams.
I’m not here for fun and games and to joke around. This is my life and I take it very seriously.
* * *
Eight-time world boxing champion Roy Jones, Jr. (52-5, 38 KOs) faces 4-time world title challenger Omar Sheika (27-8, 18 KOs) in the main event on the hybrid pro boxing/mixed-martial arts card, presented by Square Ring Promotions, in association with Hirsch Borao Boxing and the Pensacola Civic Center.
The unparalleled pro boxing/MMA show is being distributed by Square Ring Promotions, Inc. at 9:00PM ET/6:00PM PT in North America on cable and satellite via iNDemand, TVN, DirecTV and Dish Network in the United States, as well as Viewer’s Choice, Shaw Cable, Star Choice and Bell TV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.
Tickets, priced at $128.00, $103.00, $78.00, $53.00 & $28.00 are on sale and available at all Ticketmaster locations, the Pensacola Civic Center Box Office and ticketmaster.com.