INDIO, Calif. – Unbeaten featherweight contender and 2008 United States Olympian Gary Russell Jr., and the five 2012 U.S. Olympians who will fight on “Night of the Olympians” tomorrow/ Friday, Nov. 9, on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., participated in a Media Workout Wednesday at Fantasy Springs.
The six talented boxers deemed themselves fit, anxious and primed for top efforts.
In the 10-round main event of a special edition of ShoBox, Russell Jr. (20-0, 12 KO’s), of Capitol Heights, Md., will try and keep his unblemished record intact when he meets Roberto Castaneda (20-2-1, 15 KO’s) of Mexicali, Mexico.
The fights featuring the other Olympians are scheduled for four rounds: heavyweight Dominic Breazeale, of Anaheim, Calif., takes on Curtis Tate (4-3, 4 KO’s), of Oakland, Tenn., cruiserweight Marcus Browne, of Staten Island, N.Y., will be opposed by Codale Ford (2-0), of Fort Gibson, Okla., super middleweight Terrell Gausha, of Cleveland, Ohio, meets Dustin Caplinger (2-3, 1 KO) of Chillicothe, Ohio, junior middleweight Errol Spence Jr., of Desoto, Texas, faces Jonathan Garcia (3-3, 1 KO), of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; and bantamweight Rau’Shee Warren, of Cincinnati, Ohio, collides with Luis Rivera of Ponce, Puerto Rico (1-2).
The event is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. PT with the first live fight at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets priced at $25, $35 and $45 are available at the Fantasy Springs Box Office, by calling (800) 827-2946 or online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.
What the fighters said Wednesday:
GARY RUSSELL JR.
“To headline an event with all the Olympians is a blessing and I’m really looking forward to Friday. I’m ready to go.
“I feel the path my career is on is right on schedule. I truly believe 2013 is going to be a big year for me. I’m fortunate that I know enough not to overlook anybody and that any boxer is capable of an upset on any given night, so I am not looking past Friday.
“I don’t know much about Castaneda. I spent my whole camp training for Vyacheslav Gusev (who withdrew after suffering a broken rib), but I feel my pedigree will take over. In the amateurs, we hardly ever got a chance to prepare for an opponent either. So, we’re ready.”
“You can’t erase what happened in the Olympics because that is history, but the difference between amateurs and pros are night and day, so beginning Friday, I’m setting out to get revenge.
“I was always good in a lot of sports and I love challenges, so when the door to my football-playing days closed, I went to boxing. I was 23 when I sparred the first time. Honestly, I never thought I’d get this far, but I improved little by little and now I’m anxious and ready to rock ‘n roll.
“I feel great. Good American heavyweights are hard to find. I really want to win a world title and bring it back to the United States. The sport of boxing is going to explode when that happens.
“I consider myself an aggressive boxer who’s a great finisher. If you want to box, I’ll box and then I’ll finish you. If you want to brawl, I’ll finish you earlier.”
“On Friday I’ll be fighting for my friends in Staten Island and for everybody in Staten Island. I came out of Sandy OK, as did my family, but I know a few people who lost everything. I feel so bad for them. This was one of the very worst things that could happen.
“It’s a beautiful thing, all of us teammates fighting together on the same card. It doesn’t happen often. All of us, we grew up together and we all have great relationships with each other. In 25 or 30 years we can all tell our grandchildren that we turned pro together.
“I actually feel what happened in the Olympics will work to my advantage. I think we can all leave our marks as pros. We have a pro style that fans will like.”
“I’m really excited about fighting Friday on SHOWTIME. Aside from the Olympics, this is one of the biggest days of my life. Your pro debut is very important and this is definitely the real thing for me. This is the big leagues. This is absolutely the real deal.
“I like the fact so many of us are fighting on the same card. To be reunited with my teammates again is great. I think we motivate each other and our support for each other is real. Boxing is an individual sport but any time we get a chance to be together like this again is just great.
“I believe all of us are more suited for the pro game than we were fighting amateur. We’re all hard workers. The Olympics for the most part was a good experience. More people know me now and they recognize me, but this is what it’s all about and we’re going to give it our all.”
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“I can’t wait to fight in the big time. I have a great team behind me and I’m really ready to show the pro world what I’m made of.
“Fighting on the same card with the other guys is a good thing to me. They are like my brothers. It makes me a little more comfortable when I’m around them.
“I think we all have a great pro style and we get to show it in a couple of days. I did my homework so I know some basic stuff about Garcia. I know he’s kind of wild and will be coming out very aggressively in the first round. I’m not nervous at all and don’t think I’ll be nervous on Friday. I’m anxious to get this thing going.”
“It feels good to be fighting on the same card as some of my Olympic teammates. We’ve got a bond that no one can take away. We motivate each other, push each other. It’s like getting an extra energy push. We’re all coming out of a long training camp except now we are at another level.
“This time, it’s for real. We’re wearing eight-ounce gloves, no headgear. In the pros, you fight. It isn’t like in the amateurs where it is hit-and-run.
“I’m really looking forward to Friday and being able to showcase my speed and talent.”
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood serving as the expert analyst.