By Alexey Sukachev
Spring is a late and eagerly awaited guest in the Russian capital. Pugilistic spring also comes to Moscow late; however, it will celebrate its voyage with a bang in just a few days, left before the biggest Russian boxing event of the first half of 2014. On April 25, WBA cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev (25-2, 19 KOs) will clash against Guillermo Jones (39-3-2, 31 KOs) in a rematch of one of the best and clearly the most brutal boxing affairs of 2013. Jones won it with a come-from-behind eleventh-round TKO after taking enormous punishment before that and dishing and even greater deal of damage to the Russian warrior.
On Monday, Denis Lebedev, his bitter nemesis, Lebedev’s promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy, the Panamanian’s legendary promoter Don King – all of them took the central stage at MAXIM BAR in Moscow to address a few words to media in attendance as a part of the pre-planned presser.
Don King , “Who will win this one? Undeniably, it will be Guillermo Jones. This is a great fight, we’ve all been waiting for. Its sportive part is purely tremendous. This will be a battle for the ages, one to determine a true victor and a real champion. Two best cruiserweights in the world will collide, and fans are definitely going to get their monies worth on fight night. Undoubtedly, we have a great night of boxing ahead. You’ll say Lebedev! I’ll shout – Jones!
On the drug case - “The last year no one found anything in Guillermo’s samples in America. Banned substances have been found only in Russia. WADA announced that the drug testing hadn’t been carried out according to the rules. Drug testing in Russia is an issue, and I just hope to avoid anything of this sort this time around. I think the first contest was good enough for the FOTY award. This time it will not be revenge but yet another great fight”.
Andrey Ryabisnkiy - “Denis showed an enormous level of endurance in the first fight, he fought like a lion against an ultra dangerous opponent. We want Denis to get the win this time. Doping and all this stuff has nothing to do with the sport of boxing, and I wish this fight will be resolved purely inside the ropes. I’m sure this will be a magnificent and entertaining fight, which will thrill the fans.
I don’t want to think about foreign politics, we are talking about boxing after all. Sport should unite people, not to separate them. We are trying to establish a long-lasting partnership under these circumstances. We are colleagues, not enemies. The last fight raised a number of questions. A rematch is the best way to resolve those questions”.
Denis Lebedev , “I have the best training conditions in business – thanks to my promoter Andrey Ryabinskiy, the head of the “World of Boxing” Team. I was working with devoted professionals like Sergey Bondar, Vadim Kornilov and Marvin Somodio, an assistant of none other than Freddie Roach. I felt at home. There were so many Russian-speaking guys around – that was a great experience. I was working with great sparring partners. It’s to be said that Sergey [Bondar] had invited me to the States five years ago but that time my attitude was different. Both Somodio and Kornilov have a very bright future ahead of them – as a trainer and as a manager/promoter. Somodio should have competed in Olympics but found himself outside the ropes. Kornilov helped several Russian prospects to start shining in the States. Both helped me so much”.
“I’m in fighting mood. I always miss fighting, challenges. That’s what I’m here for. I was more than willing to start fighting once again, a year after the first fight. I feel totally nothing to my opponent. I’ve done the homework and I’ve corrected the mistakes. Everyone says he is past his prime, he is an oldie but the truth is that Guillermo Jones is a talented fighter, and no one knows this better than me. We have all seen scorecards from the first fight. I was winning it rather handily at the time of stoppage, I was ahead. I was winning on points, so Jones could do nothing more than a plastic surgery to my face. I learned much from that fight. And I have a specific surprise for Guillermo”.
Guillermo Jones , “As always I’ve been working with my team. However, I trained twice as hard as usually. I think now Denis Lebedev has a big problem. This guy has my title, and I want to bring it back to daddy!”
“Everyone who was there saw what I did to him. I’ll repeat this execution in four days – so don’t miss it. Also, I’m very glad to be here in Moscow, where are so many good people. I love being here. The last fight was superior. After all the amendments, we both made, this coming bout will be even more fascinating”.
GUILLERMO JONES VS DENIS LEBEDEV SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
April 23: An open workout will be conducted at Academy Boxing Gym, nearside Luzhniki stadium in Moscow. Time: 4 PM LT
April 24: Official weigh-in will be conducted at 3 PM LT at famous Krylia Sovetov sports arena, a hotbed of the Soviet boxing. The weight-in will be voiced by Michael Buffer, the Voice of Boxing. Mickey Rourke will be presented during the weigh-in.
April 25: The fight card at Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, stars at about 6 PM LT.