Super lightweight top contender Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez (18-0, 13 KOs), 2012 Olympian Joseph “Jojo” Diaz Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs) and Chinese heavyweight sensation, Taishan (3-0, 2 KOs) today hosted a media workout at Teamsters Gym in South El Monte, Calif. in advance of their match ups on Saturday, May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston on the undercard for Canelo vs. Kirkland.
Gomez is scheduled for a 10-round super lightweight bout against former three-division world champion Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto (65-8-2, 35 KOs) in the co-main event for Canelo vs. Kirkland which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Diaz Jr. will face Giovani Delgado (15-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight bout and Taishan will fight Karrin Davis (2-4, 2 KOs) in a four-round heavyweight bout, both fights will be featured in the non-televised undercard.
Also in attendance at the workout was a group of undefeated Los Angeles based fighters, Oscar “El Jagura” Negrete (8-0, 3 KOs), Jesus Delgado (4-0-1, 1 KO) and Nick Arce (2-0, 1 KO), who are featured on the upcoming May 7 edition of LA FIGHT CLUB at The Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The May 7 event will be the third installment of the monthly fight series on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes.
Below is what the fighters had to say about their upcoming bouts at today’s media workout:
FRANKIE “PITBULL” GOMEZ, Super Lightweight Top Contender:
“I’ve been training two to three times a day. I go to Wild Card Gym in the morning, strength train in the afternoon and sometimes do another workout in the nighttime. I’m ready.
“It’s going to be a good fight against Soto. He has a lot of experience, but I think I have the youth and I’m stronger. Soto also has good combinations and is a veteran with more than 60 fights, so he’ll be ready too.
“In training camp, I’ve been working hard on my stamina. I want to be able to last all 10 rounds. I’m not just about going for the knock-down.”
“I’ve had a lot of good sparring at training camp. I sparred against fighters like Ruslan Provodnikov and Jose Ramirez.
“Fans can expect to see an explosive, very exciting fight on May 9. Don’t miss it!”
JOSEPH “JOJO” DIAZ JR., 2012 U.S. Olympian and Featherweight Prospect:
“I’m so grateful to Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions for giving me this opportunity. I’m very well prepared and very motivated.
“This is going to be the biggest stage that I’ve ever fought in. I’m very excited to be a part of this event.
“I know Giovani Delgado will be a tough warrior, but I’m going to be ready for whatever he brings. I’m going to try and make Giovani’s size an advantage but I’m going to feel him out first and see if he has decent power.
“I was always taught to go for the body first by my father. Once you go to the body and break down your opponent then they drop their hands and then you can take them down up top. Timing is everything. My father and I always work on timing. I’m a great counter-puncher and I don’t like to waste my shots. I try to land effective shots consistently.
“I really want a title shot this year. I feel like I’m well prepared and ready for it, but patience is the key.”
TAISHAN, Heavyweight Prospect (Fighting May 9):
“I’ve been longing and preparing for this fight and it’s finally becoming a reality. I’m ready and am going to have a good fight.
“I believe that the strongest move for me is to KO the opponent as soon as possible in order to give the fans something exciting to see, so I plan to try my best to deliver that.
“From a very young age, I felt that boxing was fascinating but didn’t have the opportunity to get any training where I lived. But now, I’m excited to have full exposure to the sport and to have the chance to train and do my best in the ring.”
OSCAR “EL JAGURA” NEGRETE, Super Bantamweight Prospect:
“We are just finishing up our preparations, but are ready to give the fans a good fight.
“I have trained really hard and have sparred with people like current World Champion Leo Santa Cruz. Training with a champion helps me get better as a fighter that is something I will take with me into the ring.
“It was always my dream to sign with Golden Boy Promotions; it’s the best promoters in the world.
“Being here has been a dream of mine, a dream of my fathers and a dream of my first trainer back in Columbia.”
JESUS DELGADO, Lightweight Prospect:
“I fought at the opening of LA Fight Club on March 6 and a lot of my fans weren’t able to get tickets because it sold out so quickly, but I’m really excited for this one because my fans were ready and will be there to cheer me on.
“I don’t know much about my opponent, but I’ve been working hard and I’ll be ready for whatever style comes my way.
“In training camp, I’ve been more focused on my conditioning and being consistent with my punches and not going for that knockout right away. If the knockout comes, then I’ll go get it!
“The first LA Fight Club was a great experience because it was my hometown. I grew up five minutes away from The Belasco Theater. Having the LA crowd and fans supporting me was a big thing for me.
“Fans can expect the best from me on May 7. I’m going in well prepared for this fight. I’m just ready to put on a good show!”
NICK ARCE, Featherweight Prospect:
“I don’t worry too much about my opponents. I let my team do that and prepare me for whatever style our opponent brings to the table.
“I’m not sure why LA fans have embraced me so much, but I’m really thankful to have a lot people behind me and supporting me, because that’s what I need to become a great fighter. We’re going to have quite a few fans there on May 7, and I’m excited to put on a good show for the crowd.
“I’m moving up slowly but surely. Trying to concentrate on my career and make smart moves on the right path.
“As soon as I hear the sound of that bell go off, its time to go to work, and I have a job to do. I just go in there and do what I do best.
“Come May 7 I hope a lot of people come out to support us young fighters.”
Tickets for May 9 Canelo vs. Kirkland are priced at $350, $150, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable fees and service charges, are available for purchase at Astros.com/boxing, the Minute Maid Park Box Office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com. There is a 19-ticket limit per household.
Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland is a 12-round super welterweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Canelo Promotions, SMS Promotions and Leija*Battah Promotions. The fight will take place Saturday, May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas and is sponsored by Corona Extra, Mexico – Live it to Believe it!, Fred Loya Insurance and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. CT and first bout starts at 11:10 a.m. CT, the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
An all-new edition of 24/7 Alvarez/Kirkland debuts Tuesday, May 5 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
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