Photo: Barker 159lb Martinez 158lb
Sergio Martinez weighed in a couple of pounds under the middleweight limit ahead of his showdown against Britain's Darren Barker, who himself was a half pound under the class limit of 160lb.
Both men looked in great shape, with Barker's travelling support in full voice at the busy weigh in.
The fight will be broadcast at 2.30am on Sky Sports and across HBO stateside tomorrow night.
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Scott Harrison: Cleared to box again
Glasgow's Scott Harrison has been given the nod to resume his professional career, rumoured to be promoted by Frank Warren Promotions.
Harrison, recently released from prison, was passed by a stringent examination and interview by the Scottish Area Council (of the British Boxing Board of Control).
With a record of 25-2 (14ko) the former featherweight has not fought since a successful defence of his WBO world title back in 2005 against Nedal Hussein.
It's not clear what weight class he will return at, but reports suggest he will likely ply his trade below 140lb before deciding what division is now most suited to him.
Previously Harrison failed to make weight for a Nicky Cook fight back in December 2006 and was subsequently stripped. In 2008 he claimed he was fully fit and ready to challenge Alex Arthur, before further troubles outside the ropes derailed him until now.
Now declared bankrupt, the 34-year old "Real McCoy" cannot afford to fall off the right path again. With his best days behind him now, it's remains unconvincing whether he can be a force to be reckoned with.
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VIDEO: Martinez looking sharp ahead of Barker defence
Kristal Hart films Sergio Martinez ahead of his WBC diamond belt defense against Britain's unbeaten Darren Barker this weekend.
The fight will be broadcast on Sky Sports live and across HBO stateside.
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VIDEO: Darren Barker talks from NYC
Interview with Darren Barker as he talks tactics with Kristal Hart.
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Kendall Holt: I'm better than undefeated Garcia
TOTOWA, NJ (September 28, 2011) -- Former world champion Kendall "Rated R" Holt is on a mission to recapture a world title belt, but first he must score a win over unbeaten prospect Danny "Swift" Garcia when they meet Oct. 15 on the "Believe It Or Not: Hopkins vs. Dawson" pay-per-view undercard at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles for the vacant NABO Junior Welterweight title, as well as for the WBC #1 and IBF #2 ratings positions.
A single parent raising his son, the 30-year-old Holt (27-4, 15 KOs) is managed by New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, and now trained by Buddy McGirt. Kendall captured the WBO Junior Welterweight World Title in 2008, sensationally stopping Ricardo Torres in the opening round. The Paterson, New Jersey boxer successfully defended his crown against Demetrius Hopkins and now, once again, Holt positioned himself for another world title shot.
"Nothing has ever been given to Kendall," Holt's promoter Gary Shaw said. "He's worked very hard for everything he's accomplished in the ring, never losing sight of another world title shot, and he's worked his way back up the ratings. We're confident that his experience, skills and determination will drive him to another impressive victory against Garcia."
Holt, presently rated WBO #3, WBC #4 and IBF #6 at 140 lbs. continued. "This fight is extremely important for me. I need to show the public that I'm a force to be reckoned with and that I can and will be world champion again.
"I've been working hard my whole career. My first chance wasn't easy. I had to fight my way to become the mandatory challenger to force Torres to fight me, so, this is just like another day at the office for me."
Garcia, 23, has a perfect 21-0 (14 KOs) record against lesser quality opponents than Holt has faced. Fighting out of Philadelphia, he is a world-class fighter who is rated WBC #8, IBF #10 and WBO #13.
"I see me being victorious," Holt predicted. "Garcia's a good, young fighter but my experience and skill level are much better than his. It's not so much what he's done, but what Golden Boy has done for him. They've picked the right opponents for him and his matchmaking has been great to get him to the top of the mountain. It's my turn to push him off the cliff because he's not ready for this level. He may have been a good amateur and he's a good pro prospect, but this is an entirely different level. They picked the wrong guy this time. They shouldn't have picked me because I have too much experience and better skills."
Tickets for Hopkins vs. Dawson, priced at $300, $150, $75 and $25, are available for purchase online at www.staplescenter.com andwww.ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000 and at the STAPLES Center box office.
The Hopkins vs. Dawson pay-per-view telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Hopkins vs. Dawson fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.
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Barker vs Martinez: Head To Head photo and quotes
New York, NY - (9/28/2011) - Earlier this afternoon, Lou DiBella, of DiBella Entertainment, hosted the final press conference for "Noche De 'Maravilla'" featuring WBC Diamond belt Middleweight Champion, and top three pound-for-pound fighter, Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (47-2-2, 26KO's), who will be taking on undefeated European Champion "Dazzling" Darren Barker (23-0, 14 KOs), this Saturday, October 1st, at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, NJ. The show will air live on HBO's World Championship Boxing at 10:00 P.M. ET/7:00 P.M. PT, opening with the much anticipated rematch between "Irish" Andy Lee (26-1, 19KO's) and Bryan Vera (19-5, 12KO's).
All four of the televised fighters were in attendance and took turns speaking to the large number of media who turned out to attend the presser which was held at The Palm Restaurant, on West 50th Street, in New York City.
L TO R: ANDY LEE, SERGIO MARTINEZ, DARREN BARKER, BRYAN VERA
DiBella kicked things off, thanking everyone for coming and talking about the exciting card in store for Saturday night.
Below are quotes from DiBella, Sergio Martinez, Darren Barker, Eddie Hearn, of Matchroom Sport, Andy Lee and Bryan Vera.
LOU DIBELLA - "This is going to be a great card on Saturday night," said DiBella. "Not only are the televised fights going to be great but the off-TV undercard is going to be terrific as well. In boxing we have to offer entertainment from the second people get in their seats until they leave, and that's what we have Saturday night.
"In the main event, we have, who I believe to be the number one fighter in the world, Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez being challenged by a young man, who has been grossly underestimated by the press and frankly disrespected, in Darren Barker. Darren is a very good fighter. He is undefeated as a pro, he was a terrific amateur, he is the European and Commonwealth champion, and I think his credentials speak for themselves. I think Sergio realizes that he is in there with a real fighter and that this is a real challenge. Darren Barker has nothing to lose and Sergio has everything to lose and that makes for a very dangerous fight.
"In the opening fight, we have a tremendous match-up with Andy Lee, who has established himself as one of the best middleweights in the world, taking on the tough-as-nails Bryan Vera. Andy is on the verge of challenging for a championship, but he has that one notch on his record that he wants to get rid of, and that's his loss to Bryan Vera. This is an interesting fight because both Andy and Bryan are much better fighters than they were a few years ago when they first met, and both have a lot to prove in this fight. This fight was made because Andy Lee wanted this fight, not because he needed it, and I think that says a lot about Andy and his team."
ANDY LEE - "This fight has been three-and-a-half years in the making. I have wanted it since the day after the first fight. I have been longing for this fight, and finally it's here. I want to thank Lou and HBO for making this fight happen and giving me this opportunity. I have had a great training camp, and I am ready for this, and ready to prove myself on Saturday night. I'm not looking past Bryan Vera or anything, but after I beat him, I'm going to take my ringside seat and, with all due respect to Sergio and Darren, I am ready and want to fight the winner."
BRYAN VERA - "I am grateful for this opportunity to fight Lee again Saturday night. I have paid my dues, and worked very hard to get to this point. I have become a much better fighter since our first fight and everyone will see that come fight night. I have tremendous respect for Andy for taking this fight, because I recognize that he didn't have to take this fight. I expect to put on an exciting performance Saturday night, and take my career to the next level."
EDDIE HEARN - "All I can tell you about Darren Barker is he is 23-0, the undefeated British Commonwealth and European Champion, top 10 in every organization and number three in the WBC, so I don't know what more you have got to do to deserve a shot in boxing. But we are fine that we are being underestimated, we are fine that we are the underdog, because I can tell you that no one in our camp, especially Darren Barker, feels like an underdog. We feel that we are the toughest test that Sergio will have faced in his past few fights. You look at his opponents, Darren is in a different league than Dzinziruk, Williams is a blown up welterweight who beat Sergio once, and Kelly Pavlik was a washed-up fighter at the time struggling to make weight, so we feel this is the biggest test Sergio has had. We are looking forward to a good fight, we believe we have a real, real good chance here. We have massive support at home, and anyone who underestimates Darren, they are going to be in for a very big shock come Saturday night."
The statements by Hearn about Sergio's past few opponents were not taken lightly by any means by Sergio's longtime advisor Sampson Lewkowicz.
SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ - "I am very disappointed in those statements. You don't give the champion credit. The first time he fought Williams, no one wanted to fight him, and we fought him and everyone knows we won that fight; then in the second, we left no questions by knocking him out. With Pavlik, he was the champion at middleweight and, to be the champion, we fought and beat the champion, so who the hell are you to sit there and make those statements? I respect your fighter, but statements like that are disrespectful to the champion. Sergio Martinez is the best fighter in the world, and on Saturday nigh,t everyone will have the opportunity to see him put on another great performance."
DARREN BARKER - "I'm in the best shape of my life and I know I have to be because I am facing a great champion on Saturday night. Everyone I have talked to says to me that I look relaxed, not nervous, and I think the reason for that is that there aren't many things in life that I am good at, but boxing is one of them. This is what I have dedicated my life to since I was 12 years old. When I am inside those ropes, that's when I am comfortable, that is when I am in my environment, and that is one of the reasons I am so confident in this fight. This is what I do. I am extremely confident, and I say that loudly and boldly, as much as I respect Sergio, but from the first time I have seen him, I know I have what it takes to pull off the upset. I am going to turn that question mark in back of me into an exclamation point. I am here to prove to the world that I do belong here, and do belong on this stage. Tune in, it's going to be a great night."
When it was Martinez' turn to speak he started off speaking in English, thanking everyone in attendance, as well as HBO, promoter Lou DiBella, and Darren Barker for accepting the challenge.
Martinez continued in Spanish, "Like always my preparation has been excellent and on Saturday night you will see a very good fight. I want to thank everyone, and look forward to seeing everyone come out on Saturday night."
"Noche de 'Maravilla': Martinez vs. Barker" is being presented by DiBella Entertainment in association with Matchroom Sport, and Caesars Atlantic City, and is sponsored by Corona. Doors open at 6PM ET, with the first bout scheduled for 6:30PM ET. HBO will begin live coverage at 10:00PM ET.
Tickets for "Noche de 'Maravilla'" are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster retail outlet, or in person at the Boardwalk Hall box office.
Below are additional photos taken from the presser including one of Lou DiBella and Sergio Martinez with a special cake made for Sergio by Palermo Bakery in Ridgefield Park, NJ.
Barker: Martinez has made a big mistake
New York, NY - (9/26/2011) - Undefeated European Champion, "Dazzling" Darren Barker is as confident as ever ahead of his Middleweight Championship bout next Saturday, October 1st, at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, N.J., against Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez (47-2-2, 26KO's). Barker will be making the trip across the pond looking to collect both Martinez' WBC Diamond belt and Ring Championship.
Barker, who made the trip state-side Sunday spoke about how he believes Martinez is making a big mistake in underestimating him, and plans to make the champ pay on fight night.
"When you look Sergio's last three performances against Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and Sergiy Dzinziruk, they are the fights of a true great of boxing and he looked great doing it. But I believe that I'm the proper Middleweight of the two of us. I'm bigger than him and I'm stronger than him and I think that I can make that count on the night. There's nothing more dangerous than a hungry fighter, and I am exactly that. I'm 29 and he's 36, I've got the ambition and desire behind me to become a world champion and everything is ahead of me just waiting there for the taking, which is what I plan to do in Atlantic City. Martinez is talking about the other fights that he wants to have - well, he is in for a big shock on October 1st. He is underestimating me and if he wants to do that, fine - I will make him pay for taking me lightly and looking past what is right in front of him - a fighter who has the hunger, the spirit and the skill to beat him."
Barker continued, "I'm more of an underdog in America rather than back home because people here don't know what I've done. I'm the unbeaten European Champion - maybe Stateside that isn't as big a deal but I deserve this shot, and it's not a shot to nothing. American fight fans haven't seen me fight and British fight fans haven't seen the best of me as it's still to come - I'm ready to peak and there's no better time to hit my best than in beating Sergio.
I've always liked America, it's a great place to travel around and fighting over here is a massive thing because it's really the Mecca of boxing. After 17 years of hard work in boxing, it's great to have reached this point where I'm in a marquee fight in the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City - there's a great history there and I'm ready to leave my mark there on October 1."
BARKER WILL HOLD A MEDIA WORKOUT TODAY AT 1PM AT MENDEZ BOXING GYM - 25 West 26th Street 5th Floor (Between Broadway and 6th Avenue)
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VIDEO: James Toney arrives in Russia
43-year old James "Lights Out" Toney arrived in Russia for promotional duties ahead of his impending fight against Denis Lebedev on November 4th at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow.
Toney is an 84-fight veteran who has fought from middleweight right up to heavyweight, with 73 wins and 44 knockouts. But Lebedev is the younger man at 32 and is a fearsome puncher.
Many forecast that Toney is simply taking a payday and point to the fact that making the cruiserweight limit will be difficult for a man whom weighed 257lb only a few months ago. But he insists it's a fight he will win and also in style.
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