Brick City Bar and Grill, Newark NJ - Kathy Duva, CEO Main Events - "We are marking another beginning and it relates back to a really long time ago. We used to have fights in a place in Totowa NJ called Ice World. It was a hockey rink, and as a matter of fact, there was a new hockey team that used to practice there called the Devils. We started putting fights on there in about 1979, and in 1980 ESPN came in and started broadcasting some of the fights. That was kind of how our business started. My late husband Dan became the promoter and I learned how to be a publicist there. We sold 3,000 tickets to each fight. For a few years it turned into a true phenomenon in boxing."
"When I was doing the research about the Ice World days I pulled up the records on Boxrec, and I was amazed at how many of the newcomers who boxed in Ice World actually turned into champions and stars. The reason we're talking about all this, is because for the first time we are going to be putting a fight card in Prudential Center's AmeriHealth Pavilion. It's the place where the Devils practice. Coincidentally, Jeff Vanderbeek, the owner of the Devils, told me when I first met him that he was a youth coach. He used to come to Ice World and coach (hockey) teams when he was just getting his start as well. There are a lot of wonderful parallels here."
"There is a low ticket price ($53) that was designated as standing room. People should not be afraid of that ticket. We have set up bars at both ends of the rink, so those tickets are actually opportunities for people to mingle. There'll be bar tables and it'll be a social place to be. It adds to the intimate atmosphere of the venue."
"If young fighters have to wait for big shows with 10 - 20,000 fans in attendance, they're not going to get to fight very often. This (AmeriHealth Pavilion) is going to be our incubator: our lab where we're going to build up talent; and give guys the kind of fights they need to develop; and become great pros; and not get rushed into fights they're not ready for; not get put in with stiffs who are going to fall down when they breathe on them. It's simply going to be a place where we can put guys in the kind of fights that they need to learn and grow, and develop as pros so that they can become champions, the way the list of champions from Ice World did. This venue gives us the opportunity to do that."
"Tarvis Simms will be on this card. I think he may be the first to become a world champion in this group, just because he's been at it longer. He signed with Main Events recently and is a middleweight contender who we are trying to move into a title fight hopefully in the very new future. He's from Norwalk, CT, 26-1-1, with 11KO's."
Sadam Ali, 11-0, 6 KO's, Brooklyn, NY - "There's are a lot of Brooklyn fighting on this card! It's going to be very exciting. I'm looking forward to these fights myself. I'm going to be in the dressing room and I don't know if I can get to see everyone, but I would like to see the undercard also. I'm an exciting fighter. I like to excite the viewers. This is my 7th fight at the Prudential Center and you'll see nothing but good at this fight!"
Kathy Duva - "Dong-Chul Yun has already made a name for himself in South Korea and is coming to the US to make a name for himself here. As you can see, 'Mickey' as he's called here in America, already has his hands taped, so he's ready to go! That should give you an idea of how anxious he truly is."
Through a translator Dong-Chul Yun, 9-4-1, 7 KO's, South Korea, said he "wants to show you not only a winning fight, but more of an exciting, full fight."
Joseph Judah (aka Christopher Joseph Crosby), 5-1, 1 KO, Brooklyn, NY - "I was looking for my opponent. I was here to talk to him, to tell him what was going to happen. But he's not here so I'm just going to tell you all what is going to happen. It's going to be a good night on March 5th, with my brother in the main event. Get your tickets and get there early, because he (opponent) is going out early!"
Shemuel Pagan, 1-0, Brooklyn, NY - former amateur standout: "This time I will guarantee that I will perform better than the first time. Every fight I will perform better." Kathy Duva said "Apparently Shem screwed up his opponent already! He's pulled out so we are going to get him a new one."
Kathy Duva - "Another gentleman here today is Lou Esa. I take this as a sign that something's are just meant to be. He's here with a young fighter he is working with, Vinny O'Brien, and Lou is on the list of fighters who fought at ice World. He will be one person on the card that ties us to Ice World days and brings us into the new times."
Lou Esa, Vinny O'Brien's trainer - "I used to fight back in the day of Ice World. I used to fight out of Miami for the Dundee's back then and I used to come up here because I'm from NJ and I fought a few times in the area. Ice World did a lot for us. You got your chance, you were in front of so many people and then when ESPN came in it was off the hook. You were actually in the back vomiting; scared to death, but you did the right thing when you came out. It was really a lot of fun. Now Kathy Duva is doing the same thing. She's going to take it to the next level and do the same thing in this new venue. They shortened the venue so we don't have to sell 15 to 20,000 seats. We can have shows every couple months and these kids can get fights and they can be seen by the people and be built up, and they can go places. These kids deserve it, they're working hard"
"I'm not patting myself on the back because I'm his trainer, but you watch this kid (Vinny O'Brien) and you see his work ethics in the gym and he's off the hook. I think you're going to be seeing a lot of him and I think he's gonna grab a belt soon. As you can see he's a good looking kid for now (laughs), we'll see what happens down the road. I think you are going to like him. Just come and see him at the fights."
Vinny O'Brien, pro debut, NJ Golden Gloves Champion - "I'm kind of new to all this. I'm anxious and excited to get out there and show everyone what I can really do. Especially in my own backyard. Boxing can do a lot of things for me, but I want to do a lot of things for boxing. I want to bring class in. I want to bring it back to the days where my Mom used to be excited to see boxing. I want to be a fighter; I want to be a world champion some day."
The fight promoted by Main Events and Super Judah Promotions will take place on March 5th at Prudential Center's AmeriHealth Pavilion, Newark, NJ. Doors open at 7:30pm; first fight 8:00pm. Tickets priced at $253 Ringside, $103 Reserved seating on floor, $88 General Admission in Bleachers and $53 GA Standing Room on floor. Tickets on sale 2/5, available at Prudential Center Box Office, by calling TicketMaster at 800-745-3000 or www.Prucenter.com