DSH Boxing Notebook: Paul Williams' new career as trainer, Bradley and Atlas share their views

March 21, 2016

Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
This week's version of The Daily Sports Herald's Boxing Notebook takes a look at Paul Williams, one of boxing's more talented fighters of the past few years whose career was cut short due to severe injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.  Check out his story, and the other latest news in the sweet science:

Paul Williams returns to boxing as a trainer 

Paul Williams, the highly talented southpaw with the freakish reach who could make weight in three different divisions during his career, is returning to the sport of boxing in his new role as a trainer.

Williams, a former two-time world champion, was forced to retire from boxing after becoming paralyzed from the waist down in a May 2012 motorcycle accident.

“I was the fighter the press labeled as ‘Most feared in boxing,’" said Williams.  "But that’s over for me now. I’m jumping into a whole new thing. It’s been an adjustment but I’m glad I’m doing it.’’

Indeed, Williams was a highly-avoided fighter, particularly at welterweight where his extraordinary height and reach was a matchup nightmare for the smaller fighters of that division.  Even the recently retired Floyd Mayweather made zero effort to pursue a fight with the talented Williams, who eventually had to seek opponents at 154 pounds and middleweight just to get a bout.

If Williams' injury has affected his spirit, it certainly is not obvious on the surface.

“Look, I always feel good,’’ he said. “What’s happened has happened. It is what it is. This is my first time stepping back into the world. I love boxing."

The popular Williams will work the corner of once-beaten Justin DeLoach (13-1, 7 KOs) when DeLoach faces undefeated super welterweight and local favorite Dillon Cook (16-0, 6 KOs) in the opening eight-round bout of what is now a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, March 25, live on Showtime (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Okla.

“This has been a total blessing, and I say that every day,” DeLoach said. “Thank God. He’s the one who brought the two of us together, that’s the main thing. Paul loves it, just to be back. I think he was scared at first, his reputation was at stake and so was mine."

DeLoach is the first boxer to be trained by Williams, who has been confined to a wheelchair since the accident and was reluctant to train fighters for a long time.

“I guess I was being selfish at first,” Williams said. “I didn’t want to deal with the fight game. I wanted to be the one fighting. But that changed.”

It was George Peterson, who managed and trained Williams from the time the boxer was a skinny kid with little amateur experience until his career ended, that helped persuade “The Punisher” to return to the ring. Williams trains his pupil at a private gym in his hometown of Aiken, S.C.

“You know me, I really didn’t want to do this,’’ Williams said. “But finally after three or four years of George practically begging me to try and do it, this opportunity came along and I decided to give it a shot."

Williams, who is enjoying his new job description, admits there are some pre-fight jitters.

“I’m scared all over again, like this is my first fight," said Williams.  "Now, I have to think about everything that Mr. Pete was thinking about when I was fighting. I have to try and teach Justin what I knew how to do."

For Williams, it was simply the right time to make the move.

“Everything is about timing. I started thinking about it, George kept asking me and messing with me about it, one thing led to another, and I finally said I’d take a stab at it."

In his role as a trainer, Williams’ mindset has changed drastically from his fighting days.

“What I don’t want to see is a fighter getting hurt. This is a hard sport. I know when I was in there I was always going for broke. But I want Justin, all fighters actually, to come out of the ring the same way they came in. Win or lose, I don’t want to see anybody get hurt.’’

On DeLoach, Williams said, “He’s a good fighter and now he’s in the spotlight. I want to do my best in the training world to get him at his peak. I hope he does his best. I’d love to one-up George with Justin.’’

It will be the ShoBox and 2016 debuts -- and toughest fight to date -- for both DeLoach and Cook.

DeLoach was a top amateur, competing in the USA Boxing National Championships in 2012. He won a National Silver Golden Gloves title when he was 13.

The 22-year-old DeLoach, of Augusta, Ga., has won three in a row since suffering his lone loss to Cesar Villa on Feb. 6, 2015. That was before he started training with Williams.

"I was already a good boxer but he’s taken me to another level mentally," said DeLoach of Williams.  "He’s been pushing me, criticizing me, giving me instructions and picking my brain.”

DeLoach and Williams grew up just 30 minutes down the road from each other.

“Me and Paul, we’ve known each other our whole lives,’’ DeLoach said. “I’m from Augusta, Ga., and he was right across in Aiken. We knew each other when I was coming up as an amateur. He came to my last pro fight that was in San Antonio. When I saw him, I got so excited. We started to talk and I said something like, ‘Hey, Paul, wouldn’t it be cool if we got together?’

That conversation would plant the seed for their new teacher-student relationship.

“Once I came home, we started working together and he’s been training me since," said DeLoach. "I think we’re going on about three months now. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to work with one of my favorite fighters.”

In his last outing, DeLoach won a shutout four-round decision over Santos Benavides last Dec. 12. DeLoach, a pro since March 2013, fought six times that year and four times each in 2014 and 2015.

Becoming the best takes strenuous work on a daily basis, and Williams was no stranger to putting in the hours.

“I never took a shortcut,’’ he said. “You take shortcuts, you know what’ll happen. I took the long road home when I was fighting and fans, fighters, everybody knew what to expect when I stepped in the ring."

“Justin isn’t like this, but one thing I know is that fighters think they’re slick," said Williams. "Well, you can’t pull anything over me. I’ve been there, seen it all.’’

And, as always, he’ll have George Peterson by his side.

“I’m just helping Paul,’’ said Peterson, who will serve as Williams’ assistant trainer for the DeLoach-Cook bout. “So far, he’s doing great.”

Cook, 25, is from Seneca, Mo., which is located about 20 minutes from Buffalo Run Casino where he has fought six times. A top amateur, he won six Golden Gloves titles, a Junior Golden Gloves National title, a Heartland title and four regional Silver Gloves titles. He is popular at Buffalo Run and will be making his premium network television debut against easily his most dangerous assignment as a pro.

Dillon Cook turned pro in August 2012, fought twice that year, seven times in 2013, four times in 2014 and three times last year. Five of his last seven took place at Buffalo Run, including two out of three in 2015. He’s coming off a lopsided eight-round decision over Rahman Yusubov last Nov. 14.

In the ShoBox main event, unbeaten super lightweight knockout artist and emerging rising star, Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (16-0, 13 KOs), of New Orleans, will meet experienced Aaron Herrera (29-4-1, 18 KOs), of Mexico, in a 10-round match.

Four undefeated fighters will clash in the two other eight-rounders on the telecast: Hard-hitting Ivan “The Beast” Baranchyk (9-0, 8 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., faces Nicholas “King Beamen” Givhan (16-0-1, 10 KOs), of Kalamazoo, Mich., in a super lightweight scrap and Ukrainian Ivan “The Volk” Golub (10-0, 8 KOs, 5-0 in World Series of Boxing), of Brooklyn, N.Y., meets Marlon Aguas (9-0, 6 KOs), of Quito, Ecuador, in a welterweight match.

Canelo, Khan open training camps

WBC, Ring Magazine, and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs), and former two-time former world champion Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) opened training camp to the media in San Diego and Oakland respectively last week in preparation for their May 7 clash at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Canelo Alvarez / Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions

"I train hard to fight hard, and I am focused this training camp to be prepared to win on May 7 and maintain my status as the champion," said Canelo Alvarez. "Amir Khan is a talented fighter and though I know I will be triumphant as the victor on May 7, I will not underestimate the challenge he poses to me in the ring."

The 12-round fight is for Canelo's WBC, Ring Magazine, and Lineal Middleweight World Championships.

Canelo won the WBC Middleweight World Championship on November 21, 2015 by defeating Puerto Rico's four division World Champion and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) via unanimous decision at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

"Camp is going great and I'm feeling really good," said Amir Khan. "I've exceeded a lot of the targets that I set myself at this stage and am well on course. Virgil Hunter is happy with how things are going, and come May 7, I'm going to be in the best condition, physically and mentally, that I can be.

"We're working on the perfect game plan for this fight and that is what is going to win it for me," Khan continued.  "I don't put too much emphasis on one individual thing, whether that's speed or power, it's about having all the boxes ticked going into the fight. I know what Canelo does well, and his key attributes, so we'll be looking to nullify those. I'm going to keep pushing myself hard in training and will be ready to give everything come fight night."

Amir Khan was last seen in the ring defeating former WBO Super Lightweight World Champion, Chris Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) via unanimous decision in May 2015 to maintain his WBC Silver Welterweight title.

Khan's trainer, Virgil Hunter, seemed quite confident about the fight as well.

"I'm pleased with how our training camp is going," said Hunter. "Amir is very focused, and he is aware of the challenge that lies before him. We have seen a lot of Canelo and know what to expect so we'll have the right game plan to overcome him."

Sullivan Barrera aiming for upset against Andre Ward

As IBF number one light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (17-0, 12 KOs) prepares for the biggest fight of his career against Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KOs), one of the sport's top pound-for-pound fighters, the 34-year old from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is calm, confident and ready for anything.

Photo Credits: Craig Bennett/Main Events
Barrera trains in Big Bear Lake, California, with legendary trainer Abel Sanchez, the man best known for working with IBF, WBA, and WBC Interim Middleweight World Champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin.

Sullivan has taken advantage of working with his prestigious coach and being surrounded by other elite boxers like Golovkin.

"Camp has been great," said Barrera.  "I feel great. I am ready to make history on March 26. The best advice I have received was from Gennady Golovkin who told me to work my speed and to fight intelligently. Abel Sanchez told me not lose my cool and to stay focused at all times."

This advice has given Barrera the confidence he needs to face Ward, the former WBA and WBC Super Middleweight World Champion, as he makes the transition into the light heavyweight division.

The fight will be in Ward's backyard at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, and will be televised live on HBO.

"[Ward] is considered one of the top three or four fighters in the world," said Barrera.  "I admire him a lot. He is a great challenge. I love what he has done. I also consider myself one of the best talents in the world. This opportunity is something that will prove to the world that I am at the top. I think I am getting him at the right moment because he is moving up. This is the perfect fight for me to prepare for the future 175-pound fighters who are at the elite level."

Sanchez believes Sullivan is ready for this challenge because he has been able to adapt Sullivan's Cuban skills with Abel's approach to create an entirely unique style.

"Sullivan has a style that is partly from the Cuban school and partly from my school," said Sanchez. "The attacking style that he has now is because of some of the things that we practice in the gym. It's just a matter of going at Andre and taking what he gives us. I wasn't trying to change his Cuban style, what I was trying to do is make him a little more aggressive. I wanted to make him stick out his punches a little more and have better balance. I wanted a little better positioning and technique with his legs. By adding the two styles together it gives us more opportunity for him to do what he has to do."

This unique style has given Sullivan the confidence he needs as he prepares to face Ward in this 12-round IBF number one position and mandatory position eliminator.

"If I have to box, I will box," said Barrera.  "If I have to attack him, I will attack him but I will be ready for anything as the fight goes on. I, like everyone else, recognize that Andre is a great boxer. I, too, am a great boxer. The only thing that is missing in my resume is that I haven't had the opportunity. I think this is the opportunity for me to prove that I am just as good."

Fight Game profiles the women of Main Events

HBO's show The Fight Game recently profiled the women who run Main Events, a prominent boxing promotional company based in the East Coast.  Take a look:

In other Main Events news, the company recently added another middleweight to their stable with the signing of "The Terminator" Virgilijus Stapulionis (17-3-1, 13 KOs).

"I am so excited to be signed with Main Events," Stapulionis said.  "I want to be a champion and this is the next step to help me achieve that goal. I want to thank my team and my manager, Egis Klimas."

The 29-year old from Pasvalys, Lithuania, started his career in 2005 a perfect 6-0 (3 KOs) before suffering his first defeat against the then-undefeated Thomas Troelenberg, who came into the fight with 17 wins. The Terminator would go on to redeem himself by winning his next four bouts, including a win over former ranked contender Richard Williams.

Shortly after that bout, Virgilijus would experience the first of two controversial losses in his career, against previously unbeaten and current ranked super welterweight Predrag Radosevic. The bout took place in his opponent's backyard of Montenegro and was halted in the ninth round after a cut above the eye of Virgilijus became a factor. The bout went to the scorecards, which awarded Radosevic the win in what many believed to be the wrong decision.

Virgilijus would face controversy again when he traveled to the backyard of Patrick Mendy of the United Kingdom. Stapulionis did what he had to do throughout the fight in order to secure the decision win. However, Mendy, the hometown favorite, would pick up the decision in a bout that many observers believe should have gone the other way.

The Terminator made his U.S. debut in December of last year at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California, with a second round stoppage against Cesar Vila. Earlier this year he appeared on the Kovalev-Pascal II undercard where he earned a second round stoppage against Hungarian Laszlo Fazekas.

Main Events' CEO, Kathy Duva, added, "We are very excited to work with Virgilijus. He is more than willing to fight in his opponents' backyards. He has suffered some controversial losses, but also had his bigger wins in enemy territory. A fighter who has faced that level of adversity and is still willing to be a road warrior is exactly the kind of fighter I want to promote."

Note: There are discrepancies between Stapulionis' BoxRec.com record (26-3-1, 19 KOs) and his Fight Fax record. The record referenced here is his official Fight Fax record.

Gary Russell to fight Patrick Hyland on April 16

Exciting and fast-handed Gary Russell Jr. will return to the ring to defend his WBC Featherweight World Title against Irish contender Patrick Hyland on Saturday, April 16, live on Showtime (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT) from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.

"I'm excited about being back in the ring," said Russell. "It's been a year because of an injury, but I'm feeling great and more ready than ever. I'll be prepared for anything. I'm looking forward to meeting Mr. Hyland on the 16th and I'm ready to prove I'm the best featherweight in the world."

Russell, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, had scored important victories over Vyacheslav Gusev, Juan Ruiz, and Miguel Tamayo before losing a majority decision to Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO 126-pound title in June 2014. The southpaw, of Capitol Heights, Md., was able to return to his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Christopher Martin that December prior to his coronation against Jhonny Gonzalez, whom he dropped three times en route to capturing the title.

Russell Jr. (26-1, 15 KOs) will be making the first defense of his featherweight world title that he earned after stopping Gonzalez in the fourth-round last March. He was set to defend last November, but was forced to withdraw due to a training injury. If he can get by the extremely motivated Hyland (31-1, 15 KOs), the talented Russell Jr. is in line for big fights with fellow champions and top contenders such as Leo Santa Cruz, Lee Selby, Abner Mares, and Carl Frampton.

Of course, Hyland has his own thoughts about how the fight will end.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to fight for the WBC title, one of the belts that I've always wanted to hold," said Hyland. "It means the world to me to be fighting for this title against a real champion like Gary Russell Jr. I think he's a great fighter who does everything well so I have to be at my best on fight night. But I know I can beat him and take that belt home to Ireland. I'm just a lad from Jobstown in Tallaght who works hard and loves the fight game. I've been trained all my life by my father, may God rest him, and to win a world title will make all of his hard work and effort worthwhile."

Leading into his last fight on Oct. 10, in Lowell, Mass., Ireland's Hyland was dealing with heavy emotions following the death of his beloved father and longtime trainer, and the birth of his first son.

The 32-year-old remained steadfast, fighting in memory of his father to stop David Martinez in the eighth round. It was his fourth consecutive victory since suffering his lone defeat, a close and competitive loss to the unbeaten Javier Fortuna for the interim WBA World Featherweight Title in December 2012. Now, presented with another world title opportunity, Hyland seeks to honor his father's legacy by bringing the championship back home.

“This win would be massive for the Irish boxing community,” said Hyland. “I want to become a world champion like Carl Frampton and Andy Lee and this is a prime chance. I’m going to proudly represent the Irish people and leave everything in the ring.”

Hyland has extra motivation, along with fighting for his wife, Lorna, and newborn son, Callum, he will be honoring the memory of his late father and longtime trainer who passed away recently.

“This fight means the world to me and it’s why I got into boxing,” Hyland said. “I’m dedicating this to my late father and after I win I’ll look up and say ‘Dad, we did it!’ ”

In the co-feature, undefeated IBF Super Featherweight World Champion Jose Pedraza will defend against mandatory challenger Stephen Smith.

The 30-year-old Smith has fought professionally since 2008 and his only blemish came against featherweight world champion Lee Selby in 2011. Smith earned his title shot with a sixth-round stoppage of Devis Boschiero in September 2015 and will be making his U.S. debut at Foxwoods.

"I've waited a long time for this opportunity, but the timing couldn't be better," said Smith. "I'm excited to get the opportunity to win the world title live on Sky Sports in the UK and on SHOWTIME in America. Pedraza is a quality fighter but I know I will do whatever is needed to become world champion on April 16 and I can't wait."

Pedraza (21-0, 12 KOs) won his 130-pound world title last June when he dominated Andrey Klimov to capture the vacant belt, and he successfully defended it last October in an exciting battle against Edner Cherry. Both bouts aired on Showtime. Now he faces the mandatory challenger in Smith (23-1, 13 KOs), who has won 11 straight bouts and may present the toughest challenge of Pedraza's burgeoning career.

"I am in excellent condition, had an extraordinary training camp and am anxious to demonstrate my skills in the ring on April 16," said Pedraza. "I am truly looking forward to entertaining the fans in attendance and remaining undefeated as I defense my crown against Smith. I am determined to become the next big star out of Puerto Rico."

The switch-hitting former Puerto Rican Olympian Pedraza backed up his "The Sniper" moniker against Klimov as he picked apart the Russian with superior speed and accuracy on his way to a world title. Pedraza earned a shot at the title in his previous bout with a career-best win over former world title challenger Michael Farenas. The 26-year-old will have title unification on his mind if he can conquer his mandatory opponent on April 16.

David Lemieux to battle Glen Tapia on Canelo-Khan undercard

After recently failing to make weight -- at a catchweight above the normal middleweight limit, no less -- and having his latest bout cancelled, former IBF Middleweight World Champion David Lemieux (34-3, 31 KOs) already has found a new opponent and will get back into the ring in a 10-round middleweight against New Jersey's Glen "Jersey Boy" Tapia (23-2, 15 KOs).

"I am back," said David Lemieux. "I am coming back strong and ready to be on top of the middleweight division where I belong."

The bout will take place on May 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as part of the undercard for the Alvarez-Khan fight.

"This is a make or break moment," said Glen Tapia. "I can't wait to show everyone what I am made of. People will see a new and improved Glen Tapia and this is the best place to show it; as part of a stellar undercard. I know David will be a tough opponent, but I am ready for this challenge to take on the best in the division and show the world a fully realized Glen Tapia."

Also on the televised undercard will be top-rated contender Mauricio Herrera (22-5, 7 KOs) of Riverside, California, against East Los Angeles' undefeated star Frankie Gomez (20-0, 13 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight fight.

"May 7 is the day I have to slaughter another young lion to prove myself again," said Mauricio Herrera. "Frankie Gomez is a strong fighter that will bring the absolute best out of me.  I will be in tip top shape for the mega-event."

Opening up the pay-per-view telecast, heavy-handed Brazilian star Patrick Teixeira (26-0, 22 KOs) is set to face former world title challenger Curtis "Showtime" Stevens (27-5, 20 KOs) in a 10-round career-defining middleweight bout.

"This guy is a zero and has got to go," said Curtis Stevens. "I'm ready to start climbing up in the rankings again and am happy to be on this great HBO card with my man Canelo Alvarez."

Tomasz Adamek looking for one last shot

Former two-division world champion Tomasz Adamek will be in a crossroads fight April 2 versus former world title challenger Eric "Drummer Boy" Molina.  The bout will be on pay per view in North America and will be live from Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland.

The 39-year-old Adamek (50-4, 30 KOs) is hoping to be inserted into the new heavyweight title mix with an impressive victory over Molina (24-3, 18 KOs), who gave World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Deontay Wilder a scare last June in their International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental heavyweight showdown.

 Adamek, however, could possibly hang up his gloves for good if upset-minded Molina ruins the expected Polish celebration.

"I don't want to just win," Adamek said. "Along with my trainer, Roger Bloodworth, we want my fans to see a fighter who is in the ring to battle, not take a paycheck. My career is ending; no point of saving myself for the future. I will be in the ring to give people all I have. It's a promise."

Adamek has been a fan favorite throughout the boxing world since turning pro in 1999, not only in Poland, but in America as well because he gives fans their money's worth, whether fighting as a light heavyweight, cruiserweight, or heavyweight.

"I understand that this fight is on pay per view," Adamek said. "Boxing fans want and deserve a fight they can be excited about. Styles make fights and knowing the way Eric fights, we can be sure that no one will be disappointed."

Known and admired for his aggressive style and solid chin - Adamek has been stopped only once in 54 pro fights by the great Vitali Klitschko.

Sporting a 6-2 (3 KOs) record in world title fights, Adamek captured his first world title in 2005, taking a 12-round decision from Paul Briggs (23-1) for the vacant WBC light heavyweight crown. Adamek successfully defended his WBC 175-pound division twice, versus Thomas Ulrich (28-1) and in a rematch with Briggs.

In 2008, Adamek won a 12-round decision against defending IBF cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham (21-1), followed by back-to-back title defense victories against undefeated challenger Jonathon Banks (20-0) and Bobby Gunn (21-3-1), respectively, by 8th and 4th-round technical knockouts.

Adamek then decided to move up to fight as a heavyweight, originally stopping fellow Pole and four-time world heavyweight title challenger Andrew Golota (41-7-1) in the 5th round for the vacant IBF International championship.

Adamek went on to defeat 2004 US Olympian Jason Estrada (16-2), world title challengers Chris Arreola (28-1) and Michael Grant (46-3), tough Vinny Maddalone (33-6) and 1992 Irish Olympian Kevin McBride (35-8-1).

Adamek, who added the NABO title belt to his collection with his win over Arreola, earned his first world heavyweight title shot September 10, 2011 versus reigning WBC champion Klitschko (42-2), who finished the game Pole in the 11th round.

Adamek rebounded with wins over quality heavyweight opponents such as Nagy Aguilera (17-6), Eddie Chambers (36-2), Travis Walker (38-7-1), Cunningham (25-4) again and Dominick Guinn (34-9-1). Adamek's last fight was Sept. 26, 2015, in which he forced Przemyslaw Saleta (44-7) to retire after five rounds.

Talking the Talk

Tim Bradley and his trainer Teddy Atlas had plenty to say recently about their upcoming fight against Manny Pacquiao.  Take a look:

BRADLEY on Pacquiao's comments about gay people: "It’s pretty much irrelevant to boxing and what we are here to talk about – you can ask Pacquiao about that. But if you ask me a question about gay people – I love all people for what they are. I respect people for what they are. I judge people by their heart. If they just talk it and don’t show it then I don’t believe it – that’s what it’s all about. Show me. That’s the most important thing. I have a gay uncle that passed away and he had the biggest heart out of all of my uncles and I miss him to death and I still miss him today right now."

ATLAS on Bradley overtraining: "First I understood that he had a 32nd birthday. I looked at the calendar and saw that he was 32 and it made sense to train a 32 year old – a five-time world champion – a little different than a 25-year old or 26 or 27. It is common sense just understanding with that kind of experience with those kinds of miles over the course of his career sometimes less is more. You do the same thing if you have a car – when it gets a little older you don’t take it on the highway 100 miles per hour – you don’t do that. You might bring it out fast on certain days but on other days you let it go at a more proper pace."

BRADLEY on his leg injuries against Pacquiao: "Well, you are not only battling a dangerous guy and battling against yourself but you are battling against quitting. You think hitting is the easiest thing to do then it becomes the hardest thing to do. Quitting is not the easiest thing to do because quitting will stay with you for the rest of your life – you never get over it. It will always linger. That’s the hardest thing to do is to battle against quitting, letting go and fighting my fight and giving 110% no matter what is going on in that ring. That’s pretty much how I do it – never quit."

BRADLEY on Mayweather-Pacquiao: "Pacquiao fought to the best of his ability. Mayweather is known for taking the air out of the ball – that’s the reason why he is the best in the world. He doesn’t let you do what you want to do and he’s able to do what he wants to do. Mayweather always has a way to keep the ball on his side of the court and don’t let you play with the ball. He’s able to do what he wants to do and not let you do what you want to do. He didn’t allow Manny Pacquiao to do what he wanted to do and he came out successful."

ATLAS on Pacquiao after the Marquez KO: "He has the same skill sets and the same dynamic abilities, speed, power – speed in his hands and speed in his legs. The same animal, maybe a touch more conservative and a touch more thoughtful since the last Marquez fight. That would be the only thing – he still has the same package of talent and the same moves."

BRADLEY on his two prior fights with Pacquiao: "I can take a lot from the first two fights. I could look at it a couple of ways – not even having a game plan in the first fight. I was fighting on my skills and experience. In the second fight I had the injury in the second round and after six rounds it was three rounds apiece. I think fundamentally I have a better chance to win this fight."

BRADLEY on avoiding leg injuries: "We don’t run like I did and we don’t do any of that stuff anymore. We’ve got it down to a science the way Teddy has this thing orchestrated. The way the workouts are spread out during the day and the proper rest, the rest at night, and the water intake - everything is all approved by Teddy – we are not making mistakes this time around."

ATLAS on his war-of-words with trainer Freddie Roach: "Again, it wasn’t in any thought that was I’m going to do this for this effect or to sell more pay-per-view buys – it was just a matter at some point my responding appropriately if I could under the circumstances. I could tell you now that I would have preferred that if it wasn’t initiated we wouldn’t have to talk about this at all and I try not to because the focus is the fighters. It’s the two fighters that get in the ring to take the risk. It’s the two fighters that have the most on the line and at the end of the day that should be understood."

BRADLEY on his new game plan: "I think the difference this time around is I have a game plan – I really do have a game plan. My game plan before was to avoid the left hand. Avoid the left hand and hit him with the right hand. Now, the game plan is a little more in detail. There are things that Manny Pacquiao does that I can take advantage of that I didn’t see before in watching film and breaking film down that Teddy has brought to my attention. I feel like it’s going to be a completely different fight than the first two."

ATLAS on being a trainer again: "It’s a lot harder than doing broadcasting. I am very privileged and I’m blessed for the chance to do broadcasting, That they would let me do it, that ESPN would let me do it for 18 years now and the people out there would let me come into their living rooms – I’m blessed and I know that and that’s a responsibility too, but it pales in the weight and the size of the responsibility and the burden of taking care of a fighter and caring about what’s going to happen with that fighter when he gets inside the ring and hope that for eight weeks you can get it right."

BRADLEY on Pacquiao's ability: "I’m sure his right hook will be better. But Manny Pacquiao pretty much does the same thing. He’s going to come forward and be the same Pacquiao we are always used to seeing being explosive with speed and looking to take guys out. He’s going to be the same dangerous Pacquiao we have always seen. I’m expecting a tough fight and I’m expecting a smart fight.  I am not expecting any weaknesses from Manny Pacquiao."

Antonio Orozco prepares for bout against Miguel Acosta

Antonio Orozco (23-0, 15 KOs) hosted a recent media workout at San Diego's House of Boxing ahead of his matchup against former WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Miguel Acosta (29-8-2, 23 KOs) on March 25. The 10-round welterweight fight will be shown live nationally on Boxeo Estelar on Estrella TV, from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.

Orozco was last seen in the ring when he defeated former three-division world champion Humberto Soto on the undercard of Matthysse versus Postol on October 3, 2015. This victory elevated Orozco to the top 10 of his division by the WBC, WBO, WBA, and IBF, and also landed him on the pound-for-pound lists of ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Ring Magazine, and USA Today's Boxing Junkie in his division.

In the televised co-main event, freshly signed Golden Boy Promotions fighter Andrew Cancio (16-3-2, 12 KOs) will fight in a 10-round featherweight fight against newly announced opponent former two divisions world champion Hugo Cazares (40-8-2, 27 KOs).

Part of the non-televised card, but streaming live on Ring TV, will include Irish knockout artist Jason "El Animal" Quigley (9-0, 8 KOs), who returns to the ring for an eight-round middleweight bout against Cleveland's Dante Moore (9-1-2, 4 KOs).

Below is what Orozco had to say about his upcoming fight:

ANTONIO OROZCO, Welterweight Contender:

"I am ready to give all the fans a great fight on March 25. Since my fight with Humberto Soto I have excited to get into the ring and show the fans a great night of boxing."

"I know this is my opportunity to show I am ready for the world title shot in 2016 and I promise I will not disappoint. I have been training to make sure I am victorious."

"We know that Acosta is a former champion and is going to come prepared. At this point of my career every opponent has to be taken seriously and we know he will be dangerous. Our job is to make sure we are more prepared and more dangerous."

ShoBox to feature 8 prospects on April 15 card

Eight talented up-and-coming boxers with a combined record of 116-2-4, 71 KOs will compete on a compelling ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, April 15, live on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

In a clash of unbeaten bantamweights in the main event, undefeated world-ranked Nikolay Potapov (14-0, 6 KOs), of Russia, faces Stephon Young (14-0-2, 6 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Eudy Bernardo (21-0, 15 KOs) of the Dominican Republic faces Mason Menard (30-1-0, 22 KOs) in a battle of hard-hitting lightweights in the co-feature.

Promising Russian cruiserweight Alexey Zubov (10-0, 6 KOs) fights against Constantin Bejenaru (10-0, 4 KOs, WSB: 0-1-1) of Moldova, in one of the eight-round bouts.

The two ShoBox returnees will box in the eight-round telecast opener when Kazakhstan’s devastating junior welterweight Bakhtiyar Eyubov (10-0, 10 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., takes on Liberia-born Samuel Teah (7-1-1, 2 KOs), of Philadelphia, Pa.

Six of the fighters, all seeking to establish their credibility and make a name for themselves, are newcomers to the network and will be making their ShoBox debuts on a four-fight telecast that has a distinct international flavor (two Americans, two Russians, one Romanian, one from Kazakhstan, one Dominican and one from Liberia).

The fast-rising Potapov, of Potolsk, Russia, is ranked 10th in the IBF. Extremely rare for a fighter at this point in his career, he’s already gone 10 rounds five times and 12 rounds once against good opposition.

“I’ve been training very hard to make my ShoBox debut a spectacular one,’’ Potapov said. “This will be my second fight in New York against a very skilled boxer in Stephon Young, who is undefeated like me. I look forward to a great competitive fight and I’m putting in my work to come out on top.’’

Young is a talented, lightning-fast-handed southpaw who’s done more than enough to deserve his standing as a rising star in the Midwest. He’s making his 2016 and 10-round debut.

Like Potapov, Young was a top-notch amateur. He compiled a record of 86-13 while representing the United States in many tournaments. In the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2011, he lost to the No. 1-rated amateur, Rau’shee Warren.

His pedigree solid and after years of having “celebrated amateur” permanently affixed to his name, Young turned pro in August 2011. The 5-foot-5, 27-year-old has gone eight rounds once and six rounds on four occasions. He’s coming off a third-round TKO over Terrance Roy last Aug. 8 and in by far his toughest task, Young boxed unbeaten Antonio Nieves to an eight-round draw on June 20, 2015.

“I know little about my opponent, but what I know makes me feel like we are the perfect match," said Young. "We both have good records and we are both good fighters, but once I bring my A game, he’d be helpless. I will be watching all my P’s and Q’s. Once you get me in that zone I have no doubt I will win.’’

LaRon Mitchell gets KO win

Heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (12-0, 12 KOs) punched his way to yet another knockout win, pushing his unbeaten streak to twelve and sending Kenyan Raymond Ochieng (8-18, 6 KOs) back home with a tough defeat.

The "Night of Champions" main event was scheduled for six rounds, but the San Francisco-based Mitchell needed only one. Halfway through the opening stanza, Mitchell sent Ochieng to the floor with a counter left hook. Moments later, Mitchell crushed the Kenyan with a counter right, which was enough for Mitchell to bag his twelve straight win by knockout.

"He had a very awkward style," Mitchell said. "I had to be careful because he was throwing punches from strange angles. I was patient though. I didn't rush anything. I just needed a few openings to do my damage."

In the co-feature, lightweight Manuel Mendez (9-1-1, 5 KOs) of Indio, Calif. showed off his power and hard-nosed boxing style by knocking out Jesus Manuel Angulo (8-10, 6 KOs) of Nuevo Laredo, Mex. in the second round.

Mendez, trained by Joel Diaz, advanced on Angulo from the start. In the first, he consistently backed up Angulo with powerful hooks to the head and body. The second round followed a similar script. Mendez fired away at will, prompting referee Raul Caiz to stop the fight.

Recently signed heavyweight Scott Alexander (11-1-1, 6 KOs) of Los Angeles boxed his way to a unanimous decision win over Sylvester Barron (9-8, 3 KOs) of Tacoma, Wash. Alexander's quick hands and nifty defense were on display throughout the four-round fight.

"After the first round, I knew I could get through his defense," said Alexander, who swept the three scorecards, 40-36. "I was able to land my jab whenever I wanted."

Golden Boy signs featherweight Edgar Valerio

Rising featherweight prospect, Edgar Valerio (5-0, 3 KOs) of South Central Los Angeles, has signed a multi-year promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions.

"Signing with a company as prestigious as Golden Boy Promotions is a dream come true," said Edgar Valerio. "I grew up watching Oscar De La Hoya, and he is definitely someone I look up to in the sport. I know that being part of the Golden Boy Promotions team will open many doors for me. The team understands the sport; they work with their fighters very closely and have had experience creating champions. I know that with their support I can reach my goals of becoming one of the top ten featherweights in the division and a future multi-divisional world champion."

The 21-year-old is set to return to the ring on the April 1 edition of LA Fight Club at downtown Los Angeles' Belasco Theater.  He last fought on January 29 at the same venue, defeating Justin Lopez via technical knockout in the first round.

"Golden Boy Promotions is always on the look out for the sport's top, rising talent and we've found that once again with Edgar Valerio," said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "Edgar resembles the type of fighter we want in our stable: He's hardworking, talented and is dedicated to doing what it takes to become a future world champion. We're proud to welcome him into the Golden Boy family."

Valerio began his career at 11 years when his father introduced him to boxing at a local boxing club. Discovering his love for the sport and enjoying the opportunity to work with experienced trainers, Valerio flourished and began competing at amateur tournaments earning first place at the Silver Gloves, The Oxnard Pals, The Blue and Gold, and The Ringside Kansas City Tournaments.

When the opportunity to become a professional arose Valerio decided that would be the best path for him and made his professional debut in 2012 defeating Fernando Fuentes via technical knockout in the fourth round. Since then, Valerio has stayed busy defending his undefeated status against Anthony Briones, David Reyes and Adrian Rodriguez.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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