PITTSBURGH, PA. – Pittsburgh favorite and undefeated welterweight Sammy Vasquez tipped the scales at 147 ¼ pounds and Emmanuel Lartey measured 146 ½ pounds during Thursday’s official weigh-in for tomorrow’s ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader.
Vasquez (17-0, 13 KOs), who has knocked out nine straight opponents, and Lartey (17-2, 8 KOs, 1 NC), of Brooklyn, N.Y. by way of Ghana, who has never been knocked down, will meet in the 10-round welterweight main event, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
In the co-feature of the Goossen Promotions tripleheader, former longtime Cuban amateur star and current third-ranked WBC light heavyweight Humberto Savigne (12-1, 9 KOs, 1 NC), of Miami via Guantanamo, Cuba, will take on undefeated Craig Baker (15-0, 11 KOs), of Baytown, Texas, in a 10-round bout. Savigne measured 176 pounds and Baker weighed-in at 174 pounds.
In the opening bout of the telecast, talented southpaw and WBA No. 7 ranked featherweight Claudio Marrero (17-1, 13 KOs), of Miami by way of the Dominican Republic, will face southpaw Orlando Rizo (18-5, 11 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua, in an eight-round match. Marrero stepped-in at 126 ¼ pounds while Rizo was at 126 pounds.
Advance tickets priced at $238, $100, $60, $40 and $25 for students and military with valid ID (Box Office Only), plus applicable fees, for “The Pride of Pittsburgh III” are on sale through the Dick’s Sporting Goods Box Office at CONSOL Energy Center, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Prices increase $5 on the day of the event. Doors will open on the night of the event at 6 p.m. with the first bell at 6:30 p.m.
Here’s what the fighters had to say before Thursday’s weigh-in:
“This fight is definitely going to be exciting. I can’t talk trash about Emmanuel – he’s a tough guy who has faced two U.S. Olympians and never been dropped. So there’s not much I can say about him.
“I’m looking to open up some flaws. I’ve seen a couple of things I can do to maybe make him hit that canvas.
“I hope everybody tunes in. We’ve trained hard and this is just the beginning. It’s the start of 2015 and by the end of the year I hope to be a top contender or get a title shot. But I have to get past Emmanuel first and that won’t be easy.”
“He hasn’t faced the type of guys that I’ve faced; he hasn’t faced the opposition that I have. He’s going to be surprised when he steps in the ring with me.
“No, I’m not worried about fighting in his hometown. I can win with a decision, but I’m going to be looking for the knockout to make an impression and make a statement.
“He’s definitely underestimating me. Sammy has built up his record with cupcakes.
“This is going to be a good test for him and a good test for me. I’m going to be the one walking out with a W.”
“I don’t take any opponent lightly. I know Baker is going to try to break me, but I’ve trained very hard and, in all honestly, I’m better than he is. Don’t take me wrong, I’m not overlooking him. I’m just determined to win, and I will, either by decision or knockout.
“I know I’m fighting a tough guy, but I’ve trained hard and this is my year. I’m lucky to be surrounded by such of great team.
“I feel that 2015 is my year. I’m ranked third in the WBC, and that’s only because I had six months of inactivity, otherwise I’d be second. After Baker, I want [Adonis] Stevenson.
“I suggest fans to get ready, sit back and enjoy because I’m going to give them a real show. I’m going to make Baker see fireworks.”
“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for. I’m finally getting an opportunity to make a statement and surprise some people. I know I’m the underdog, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m undefeated for a reason. He’s the one with a loss on his record.
“A win would do wonders for my career. It would open up the door to some great opportunities.
“It will be an interesting fight. I’ll play it by ear, but I’m ready to be the aggressor and I’m ready to go 10 rounds.”
“I’m not intimidated by Rizo’s amateur accomplishments. If he says he trained hard, well, I trained ever harder than him. I think he’s the one that doesn’t know what he’s in for. Trust me – this is not going to be a day in the park. This is going to be a war.
“I wish Orlando Rizo good luck. He’s going to need it not to get knocked down.
“I’m not a trash talker. It’s simply not my style. I do all the talking I need to do with my fists in the ring.”
“I know this is not going to be an easy fight. I know Claudio Marrero is tough, but I’m ready for him. I’ve been training very hard for him. He better be ready, because I know I am.
“I don’t think he has ever fought anybody like me. My amateur credentials are impeccable. I’m a four-time military boxing champion, three-time Central American champion and former Nicaraguan and FECARBOX Champion. I also got a Bronze Medal in the 2007 Pan-American games in Brazil. So he better be ready for a tough fight, because I’m not going to make it easy for him.
“Claudio Marrero better have his A-game on, because I’m coming to take him down.”
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CONSOL Energy Center is located at 1001 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219. Further information can be located at their website, www.consolenergycenter.com