LOS ANGELES - Former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion and British superstar Amir "King" Khan, unbeaten super lightweight contender Carlos Molina, President of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya, Khan Promotions' Asif Vali, Khan trainer Virgil Hunter, Molina trainer Clemente Medina and Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports Stephen Espinoza participated in a press conference Tuesday to formally announce Khan's and Molina's Saturday, Dec. 15 fight at the Los Angeles Sports Arena which will be broadcast live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Khan (26-3, 18 KO's), of Bolton England, a Silver Medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games who'll be making his SHOWTIME debut and first start under new trainer Virgil Hunter, and Molina (17-0-1, 7 KO's), a former National Amateur Champion from Norwalk, Calif., will meet in a 12-round 140 lb. bout in a main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. The event will also be televised live by Sky Sports 1HD in the United Kingdom at 1:00 a.m. GMT on Sunday, December 16. The SHOWTIME telecast will be preceded by live preliminary fights on SHOWTIME EXTREME (8:00 p.m. ET/PT).
Khan, 25, has defeated past or current world champions Marco Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah and Marco Antonio Barrera. Molina, 26, is taking a big step up in class after defeating the likes of Manuel Leyva, Glenn Gonzales and Marcos Jimenez.
Festivities on Dec. 15 will feature a holiday fanfest complete with musical acts, memorabilia and gift giveaways, autograph signings, and meet and greets with some of boxing's biggest stars.
Tickets priced at $150, $100, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, are on sale at the Los Angeles Sports Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, or online at ticketmaster.com. Tickets for fans traveling from the United Kingdom are available for purchase online at www.sportscorporation.com or by calling +44 (0)845 163 0845.
What the fighters, trainers and executives said at the Sports Arena on Tuesday:
"I'd like to thank the promoters for putting this fight together and Team Molina for taking the fight. I'm looking forward to fighting on SHOWTIME in the United States.
"I made some mistakes in my last fight, so I changed trainers and training camps. I am now in the Bay Area and I love it. There are no distractions. Sparring has been brilliant.
"I came to the States early so I could work on my technique. Virgil's got me thinking more, but in a way that won't get in the way when I fight. I know I have to keep thinking once the fight starts.
"I think Molina has a similar style to mine. He's a pressure fighter and exciting to watch. We both want to win. I know he doesn't want to lose his unbeaten record, and I want to show I'm back.
"This fight is in Molina's backyard but I expect a lot of fans from England to be there. I believe I will win and get back to where I want to be."
"I'm prepared for an all-out war. I want to thank Amir Khan for this great opportunity, but I have to say I think he's made a big mistake. I've got a great team behind me including my trainer Clemente Medina and I'm fighting in my hometown. I can't ask for anything more than that.
"Come December 15th, the only outcome I see is me remaining undefeated. We're going to be ready for anything he brings to the table.
"Khan's a good fighter, a fast fighter. He's got a great jab and good footwork, but on fight night I'm going to be the dictator and he's going to fight the way I want to fight. We're going to shine.
"I think I have the power to knock him out. I don't think I'll do it in one punch. I don't think I have one-punch power but if I hit a guy with three or four shots he will feel it."
(On his ring-walk on Dec. 15)
"Just like Mike Tyson -- focused and straight ahead. Nothing flashy."
VIRGIL HUNTER (Khan's Trainer)
"We're going on our fourth week together and I couldn't ask for anything better, or for a better situation to be in. Amir is easy to work with and easy to train. He has an open mind and is easy to communicate with.
"Everything has just been great so far."
CLEMENTE MEDINA (Molina's Trainer)
"We've had some great sparring. We know Amir Khan is considered the greater fighter, but we are hungrier right now, and that's why we'll win.
"We are training more with the legs because we know that we will have to move a lot. We're training hard, like this is a championship fight."
OSCAR DE LA HOYA (President, Golden Boy Promotions)
"We're very excited about this main event fight and to be back on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. We're extremely fortunate to have Amir Kahn back in action against a tough local fighter in Carlos Molina.
"Once again, we will have an action-packed event. I'm proud and happy that SHOWTIME will televise this great fight card from the L.A. Sports Arena, which has a lot of great history. Danny "Little Red'' Lopez fought "Schoolboy" Bobby Chacon in a great, great fight here. That fight, like Kahn against Molina matched youth vs. experience.
"It's always great to do fights in Los Angeles and what better way than with Amir Kahn in the headliner. Amir is always entertaining, always on his game and always in great shape. He's also always prepared to put on a great show and go 12 hard rounds.
"Amir's been there and fought the best of the best and wants to prove he's the No. 1 fighter pound-for-pound in the world.
"In Molina we have a fighter who comes to fight, has made a name for himself on the local scene in L.A. and has been on several high-profile cards.
"This is not an easy comeback fight for Kahn. He could have taken an easier fight, but once again he chose to fight a tough, unbeaten guy in his backyard. It shows what kind of character Amir has.
"With the December 15th event so close to Christmas, we here at Golden Boy Promotions decided to do a fanfest. Anyone with a ticket can participate in all the events leading up to the fights. It's a family-friendly experience where fans will be able to get autographs and have photos taken with some of their most favorite fighters from around the world. It's our way of saying thank you for all their continued support."
ASIF VALI (Khan Promotions)
"I want to thank everyone for having us here. The Sports Arena is a fantastic facility. Muhammad Ali fought here and a "Rocky" movie was filmed here.
"I'd like to wish Team Molina all the best.
"We went back to the drawing board after Amir's last fight. We made a lot of changes, all because we wanted to make Amir the great fighter we thought he could be. We parted ways with Freddie Roach. There were 20-25 trainers to choose from, but we brought in Virgil Hunter to see what he would bring to the table.
"The first big test is December 15th. We know this is Molina's coming out party, but it's Amir's coming in party. He will make a statement. He will show all the people who ever doubted him."
"Amir Khan vs. Carlos Molina will cap off what is likely the highest-profile and most star-studded run of fights in the history of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. Over the last few months SHOWTIME has already brought you established stars such as Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero, Canelo Alvarez, Devon Alexander, Paulie Malignaggi and the legendary Erik Morales, and the new faces and stars of tomorrow, Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia and Peter Quillin.
"On Dec. 15 we have a classic match-up between two exciting fighters: the established star, Amir Kahn against the up-and-comer, Carlos Molina. Each has questions to answer. Each has a lot at stake.
"We are very excited to have Amir fighting on SHOWTIME for the first time and look forward to having him on SHOWTIME for the rest of his career. We are also looking forward to seeing Carlos Molina, who is also fighting for the first time on SHOWTIME and will be striving to make a great first impression.
"One programming note: The Nov. 10 telecast starts at 7:30 (PT). A half-hour before, at 7, "All Access: Cotto vs. Trout' - Epilogue" will premiere on SHOWTIME. This episode will give fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at fight week and the aftermath of the December 1 fight between Miguel Cotto and Austin Trout.''
Khan vs. Molina is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by Corona. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins live at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with preliminary fights live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The Sky Sports 1HD telecast begins live at 1:00 a.m. GMT on Sunday, December 16.