CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS – A packed crowd attended the final press conference on Thursday at American Bank Center Arena to witness the jarring between promoters Don King and Dan Goossen and the fighters participating in Saturday’s SHOWTIME Championship Boxing event, live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
In the main event, former world champion Paul Williams (40-2, 27 KOs), of Aiken, S.C., will face Nobuhiro Ishida (24-6-2, 9 KOs) of Osaka, Japan. Ishida has won his last two bouts via first-round stoppage, including an upset over then-undefeated James Kirkland in April of 2011, while Williams owns victories over Sergio Martinez and Antonio Margarito.
In the co-feature, undefeated Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., will risk his International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight title for a third time when he faces former world champ Gabriel Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs) of Madrid, Spain.
For the first time in network history, preliminary boxing bouts will be televised LIVE on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 8 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). American heavyweight contenders Chris Arreola and Eric Molina will square off with hopes that a victory will move the winner one step closer to a shot at a world title. In another heavyweight matchup on SHOWTIME EXTREME, Malik Scott will take Kendrick Releford in an eight-round bout.
While Williams, Ishida, Cloud and Campillo kept the proceedings mostly respectable and calm, Arreola, Molina, King and Goossen had plenty to say about who they think will be the last man standing on Saturday night.
“From top to bottom, it’s going to be all action. Paul Williams is nothing but action. Saturday we’re going to have a special treat in the Triple Threat. And we’re happy to showcase some other guys on SHOWTIME EXTREME, which is available in more than 99 percent of homes that subscribe to SHOWTIME.
“One thing I don’t have to worry about with Chris is that he’s a fighter - he was born to fight. He’s exciting. He likes to go for the knockout by breaking you down. And that’s what Chris is going to do on Saturday night. Break Molina down and knock him out.
“Paul has consistently gone out there and took on any challenger. No one wants to fight this guy. Paul is all excitement – he throws punches and he doesn’t stop.
“It’s going to be super sensational on Saturday night. In the glory of the Alamo, Eric Molina has come here to persevere and knockout out Chris Arreola. In the spirit of Texas, this young man will rise to the occasion. The underdog will come and knock out Arreola. Eric has the heart, he has the desire, he has the will to win. And he has that Texas spirit.
“Everybody avoids Cloud. He is the embodiment of the sport of boxing. This cloud is coming in with devastation. He’s coming out to seek and destroy.
“I’m going to go out there and do what I do best, get the job done and put on a hell of a show. To Ishida, a win over me would mean everything. It’s all or nothing for him. If you want it, you got to go through hell to get it. Whatever he throws I’m going to throw five times more. I’m going to show him how American boys do it.”
“I know Paul is one of the best fighters in the world but I’m going to put on a great show on Saturday night. This is a great opportunity and I’m here in Corpus Christi to win. I didn’t come here to for second place.”
ERIC GOMEZ, Vice President and Matchmaker - Golden Boy Promotions
“This is going to be a great event - it’s going to be very exciting. We want to thank Dan and Paul Williams for giving us an opportunity. After he knocked out James Kirkland people were asking, ‘What’s next?’ We’re happy to take on a fighter like Paul Williams.”
“I’ve been in camp for a long time. I didn’t take my opponent lightly and come Saturday night there’s going to be a lot of excitement in the ring. Gabriel is a good fighter, but I just don’t think he can take my title. But we’ll see on Saturday night.”
“I’m very happy to represent my country of Spain and win a title on Saturday night. This is a great opportunity and I plan on giving Tavoris Cloud his first loss. I was a champion before and I’ll be a champion again.”
SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ, Campillo’s Promoter
“Campillo is the underdog. But the underdog will thrive and be the new champion. He will surprise everyone with an upset and a victory.”
“I never disrespect anyone but my job is to take those dreams away from Molina, those dreams of beating me and moving on to a world title.
“Don King has been talking trash and it’s going to be a great honor to shut his (Don King’s) mouth on Saturday.”
“I feel so close to home. This is the best camp we’ve put together and I feel more confident that I ever have. I love being the underdog. I’ve had 18 wins in a row since losing my first fight in the first round. After that loss I dreamt of getting a chance like this. It took a lot of work to get here after that loss and all that work is going to pay off against Arreola on Saturday.”
The event is presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions. The Williams-Ishida bout will be promoted in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions. The Cloud vs. Campillo bout will be promoted by Don King Productions in association with Sampson Boxing, LLC.
Tickets for the event are priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100 and are available at the American Bank Center box office and on Ticketmaster.com. VIP packages are also available by calling (817) 296-4546.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please visit the website at http://sports.SHO.com .