By: Matthew N. Becher
Premier Boxing Champions: Sunday June 21st 4PM/EST Live on CBS
What could be better than watching boxing on father’s day for free, not much. That is why this Sunday, June 21st, Premier Boxing Champions will be putting on an afternoon boxing card live from the MGM Grand on CBS.
The Undercard will be held at the Super Middleweight division, where J’Leon Love (19-1 10KO) will look to re-establish himself as a title contender after suffering the first loss of his career to Rogelio Medina last year by 3rd round KO. His opponent Jason Escalera (15-3 12KO), comes in with a few more losses, but has fought a better competition than Love, stepping in the ring prior with Edwin Rodriguez and the current WBC Super Middleweight champ Badou Jack, just last year. This is a major fight for both fighters, and a hometown one for the Las Vegas resident and TMT member Love.
The co-main event will introduce two young welterweights with a combined record of 43-1 with 34 knockouts. Sammy Vasquez (18-0 13 KO) will be taking on his toughest opponent to date and look to make a name for himself in the division. The Pennsylvania native is use to staying on the east coast, but will step up to the bright lights of Vegas and network television exposure that PBC affords. His opponent Wale Omotoso is also trying to jump into the waters of the heavily stacked welterweight division. Omotoso is a knockout artist whose lone loss came to a tough Jessie Vargas. Expect a rock em sock em fight, as both fighters try to stand out during this once in a lifetime opportunity.
The main event pits two former world champions in the ring. Both moving up in weight classes. One trying to continue on his journey as an undefeated fighter, the other looking to score the upset and make his final run at championship glory.
Antonio DeMarco (31-4-1 23KO) has been in the ring with some of the best, Jessie Vargas, Adrien Broner, John Molina Jr., Jorge Linares and even the late Edwin Valero. DeMarco is a tough fighter who trains out of the Wild Card gym in Hollywood and will be playing the role of underdog against Rances Barthelemy (22-0 13KO). Barthelemy has come along slowly, but claimed the IBF Super Featherweight title in his short career, since defecting from Cuba.
Barthelemy has never fought a name like DeMarco but should be able to use his “Cuban School” of boxing moves to keep the heavy hitting DeMarco off balance and unable to sit down on his power shots. Regardless, it’s nice to be able to have afternoon boxing on a Sunday afternoon. Happy Father’s Day.
The following quotes are from the press conference:
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, President of Mayweather Promotions
“Mayweather Promotions has always done record-breaking numbers and our ultimate goal is to find the next Floyd Mayweather. With all of the talent out there, it will soon happen.
“I want all of the fighters out there to keep working hard, stay focused and know that there is no limit to what you can do.
“Mayweather Promotions wants to continue to work with all fighters and help build their careers so that they can get to that top level.”
“I’m feeling good moving up in weight. Everybody knows Antonio DeMarco is a very, very tough fighter. He’s one of the best I’ve ever fought. His record who he has faced proves that. He’s experienced, but so am I.
“I want to be the best Cuban fighter of all-time and I’m on my way.
“I’m in tremendous shape and I’m ready to go. I want to showcase my skills on Sunday to show the world how I can fight.
“Who do I want to fight? I’ll fight anyone they put in my way. I’ll fight Godzilla if he’s there.
“I don’t do predictions but this is going to be an entertaining fight. Unlike past Cuban fighters, I have power and can knock people out. In the amateurs you don’t need power. But in the pros, that’s what it’s all about.”
“This is going to be a tough fight, a difficult fight, but I have a great responsibility. My 15-year-old sister told me that if I win, she will beat cancer. She was diagnosed with bone cancer last November – and it was life-threatening. But her last chemo treatment was yesterday.
“From a ring standpoint, I am really looking forward to Sunday. I am very prepared, I am relaxed and ready to go. Besides for my sister, my other main motivation is that this is a chance to get my career back on track. A victory and I can get back to where I was and in position to challenge the best.
“I am treating it like another fight, but of course it is much more. Exposure-wise, you can’t get better than network television.
“I know Rances is going to be a difficult opponent. He’s a great fighter. But I have the experience to come up with a game plan to win. From a career-standpoint, this is a very important fight and I’m ready for it.’’
“It’s an honor to be here in this building among some of the greatest fighters in the world. Omotoso has never fought anyone like me before.
“I’m here to restore the greatness of Pittsburgh boxing. Everyone knows ‘The Pittsburgh Kid’, Paul Spadafora, but we all carry the torch differently. I respect him as a fighter and he’s done some great things. We were raised differently and I’m amazed at the great things he’s accomplished. But I’m here to bring a new look to Pittsburgh boxing.
“Omotoso is tough. His record speaks for itself at 25-1. His only loss was to Jessie Vargas who’s fighting for a world title. I don’t take anybody lightly. I’ve trained hard for this and I don’t think he’s fought anyone as fast as me or hits as hard as me with both hands.
“I’m going to throw a lot of punches and it should be fun to see. It will be an entertaining fight. The main goal is to win. If the opportunity presents itself to knock him out then I will. I’m not going to go in there trying to knock his head off or anything. I have to box smart.
“In this game it’s all about longevity and the less you get hit the longer you can fight so I don’t want to get hit. That’s my goal.”
“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to fight on such a big stage. Fighting on network TV provides all of us such a lift. Getting this kind of national exposure is what fighters like me need and what we work so hard to get.
“I’m totally ready to take advantage and I look forward to being able to showcase my talents on Sunday. All my friends and countrymen are going to be able to watch it, and I don’t want to let them down.
“I really don’t know much about Vasquez, other than he’s a southpaw whose quick, he is just another fighter who can fight. But we can all fight. It’s not like he has four hands and two heads.
“The best man will be victorious and I am confident that is me.
“I can’t wait for Sunday. I wish it was time to fight right now. This is going to be my Father’s Day present to my kids and wife.’’
Photo: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions