WBA # 2 junior welterweight contender Victor “Mermelada” Cayo (24-0, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic will face Argentina’s Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (27-1, 26 KOs) on Saturday March 27th for the interim WBA junior welterweight title at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. We had a moment to sit down and talk to Cayo as he prepares for his upcoming bout with Maidana.
You’re currently preparing for your next fight, which will be against Marcos Maidana, what do you know about your opponent and what’s your opinion of him as a fighter?
I respect him a lot as a fighter, he’s a great fighter and he’s got a lot of heart. He’s a hard puncher but he’s never faced anyone like “Mermelada” before.
How is training camp going and where did you train for Maidana?
Everything has been going great. We’ve finished the preparation, the sparring and everything else, we’re just winding down and we’re on weight. I’ve been training for a little over two and a half months at the World Crown Sports Training Center in Oxnard, CA with my trainers Gabriel Sarmiento and Cicilio Flores.
How do you feel at this point of your training camp?
I feel great, 100% ready for the fight. We’re very prepared, we’ve done our homework and I can’t wait to get in the ring and thanks to God everything is great.
Do you think this is going to be the toughest fight of your career so far?
It’s definitely the hardest and most important fight of my career so far. It opens the door to show case my talent to the world because the fight is going to be seen by thousands and thousands of people on HBO.
Name one or two fighters you’d like to face in the near future?
It really doesn’t matter to me who I fight. I leave that up to my manager and my promoter, I’ll fight who ever they put in front of me. My job is to do what I do in the ring and to do my work in the gym.
Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
I would like to thank all the fans around the world that support me and especially all my friends and family back home. I would to dedicate this fight to my country, the Dominican Republic and I hope to inspire the kids like I was inspired by other fighters when I was a kid.
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Victor Cayo is guided by manager Caesar Mercedes Maguita and trained by Gabriel Sarmiento.
Article courtesy of Fightnews.com
MARCOS MAIDANA VS. VICTOR CAYO AND
ALI FUNEKA VS. JOAN GUZMAN II SET TO HEADLINE
MARCH 27, 2010 HBO BOXING AFTER DARK®
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLEHEADER TO TAKE PLACE AT
THE JOINT AT HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO IN LAS VEGAS
LOS ANGELES, March 1 - There will be fireworks at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 27 when Golden Boy Promotions presents a world championship doubleheader featuring one of boxing’s most exciting fighters in a pivotal matchup against the number one challenger to his crown, and a rematch of one of 2009′s most closely-contested battles.
In the 12 round main event, interim WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Marcos Maidana defends his title against unbeaten Dominican Republic star Victor Cayo, and in the co-featured attraction of this compelling doubleheader, South African standout Ali Funeka and unbeaten former two division World Champion Joan Guzman and look to settle the score after their 2009 draw when they meet again in a 12 round fight for the vacant IBF lightweight championship.
“The fight fans of Las Vegas are some of the most knowledgeable in the world and when we put a show on there, it’s got to be top-notch,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “We feel that delivering two exciting and competitive world title fights in one night with Maidana vs. Cayo and Funeka vs. Guzman is just the type of event that the Las Vegas boxing fans will rally around.”
Tickets, priced at $200, $100 and $50 with a limited number of $250 VIP and $40 standing room tickets also available, go on sale on Friday, March 5, 2010 at 10 AM PT, and may be purchased at the Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
Maidana vs. Cayo and Guzman vs. Funeka are presented by Golden Boy Promotions with Maidana vs. Cayo being presented in association with Maidana´s German PromoterUniversum Box Promotions, Warriors Boxing Promotions and Sampson Boxing and Funeka vs. Guzman being presented in association with Gary Shaw Productions and Cedric Kushner’s Gotham Boxing. The world championship doubleheader will air live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark® beginning at 10:30pm ET (taped delayed on the West Coast at 10:30 PM PT). Doors open at 3:00 PM with the first bell ringing at 3:30 PM.
A thrill a second fighter with dynamite in his fists, Buenos Aires’ Marcos “Chino” Maidana (27-1, 26 KO’s) emerged on the international scene in 2009 with a devastating display of power and intensity. In June of last year, the 26-year old stunned boxing observers with his sixth round stoppage of highly-regarded “Vicious” Victor Ortiz in a Fight of the Year candidate, winning the interim WBA junior welterweight title in the process. Five months later, he defended the crown for the first time with a third round knockout of William Gonzalez, and on March 27, he looks to add to his impressive KO percentage (96.2%) when he takes on Victor Manuel Cayo.
Santo Domingo’s Victor Manuel Cayo (24-0, 16 KOs) has steadily progressed through the 140-pound ranks, building a reputation as an impressive boxer-puncher who has ‘star’ written all over him. Winner of three regional titles in less than four years as a pro, and owner of victories over Julio “The Kid” Diaz, Noe “Platanito” Bolanos, and Arturo “Silencioso” Morua. The 25-year-old Cayo is coming off of a third round TKO of previously unbeaten Julio Reyes last December, and he is more than ready for his chance to shine in the world championship spotlight.
A huge lightweight at 6 foot 1, Ali Funeka (30-2-3, 25 KOs) is a tough matchup for anyone he faces…just ask Nate Campbell and Joan Guzman, who Funeka took to the brink in their bouts with him. Owner of a fourth round knockout of Zahir Raheem in July of 2008, South Africa’s Funeka has impressed United States observers with his busy style and poise under pressure. Now, following a November 28 draw against Guzman, all the 31-year old wants to do is win a world title to bring back home to his fans in East London. He gets that chance once again on March 27 in his highly-anticipated rematch against Guzman.
Perhaps the greatest fighter to ever come out of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo’s Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman (29-0-1, 17 KOs) is also one of the premier boxers of this era. A former junior featherweight and junior lightweight world champion, the 33-year old Guzman is unbeaten in his third weight class and looking to become a three division world champion by defeating Funeka.
A full slate of exciting undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com or follow Golden Boy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GoldenBoyBoxing.
Mark De Mori's first day of sparring and a special visit from the great Hollywood boxing movie icon Jimmy Gambina
Another day here at the World Crown Sports training center… Well, not just any ordinary day, but then again there aren’t too many ordinary days around here. The day was definitely full of a lot of energy and excitement!
Promising heavyweight boxer Mark De Mori finally got a chance to get in the ring and do a little bit of sparring; for the first time since he has been here training and for the first time since November. We brought in a heavyweight from Los Angeles to spar with him, as all of our other boxers are middle weights and below. We have nobody around here to put in the ring with this heavy hitter.
Mark went 5 rounds, and as each round went on he seemed to get more comfortable. It’s been quite a change in training here for Mark as he’s working mostly on speed and conditioning, so he had to put it all together for the first time in the ring. Mark definitely has big potential and we are excited to watch him improve as a boxer overall. Mark hits hard and I am glad that I am not the guy in there taking the punishment!
I spoke with Mark right after and here’s what he had to say “ I felt good, definitely better than what I expected since I haven’t sparred since November, but I definitely have some things I need to improve on” I heard some chatter going on in the ring so I asked Mark what that was all about, “the guy was doing a little trash talking to me in there “come on, come on” he kept saying antagonizing Mark.
Directly after Mark’s session, up next for a little sparring action, was Victor Cayo, as he prepares for his March 27th fight against Maidana who holds the WBA light welterweight title which will be on the line in this fight. The fight will be held at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas so book your tickets now…you don’t want to miss this fight! Victor is always exciting to watch. He has a very unique fighting style that never fails to entertain.
During all this sparring in the background all you can hear is the hard hitting blows to the bag, coupled with a large gasp of air and energy as he pounds the bag, that’s our WBC Champion Sergio Martinez getting in his daily workout ! Even just in the background, you know he’s there, I mean you can feel his presence!
www.JimmyGambina.com Arriving just before the sparring sessions was Jimmy Gambino. Jimmy is a good friend of the World Crown Sports and came up for the day to check out all the fighters. Jimmy is one of the original creators of Rocky and has participated in the making of many other movies working with actors like Join Voight in The Champ, Robert Deniro in Raging Bull, Saturday Night Fever and Snake Eyes.
It was truly an honor to meet such a legendary, passionate, enthusiastic human being. Jimmy is an amazing person. He absolutely loves the sport of boxing. I mean he lives and breathes it. The whole time he was here he walked around talking with different boxers, giving them advice and words of wisdom to help inspire them. He even spent about an hour talking to me after all the fighters were gone. He gave me about a hundred life lessons and advice in that hour and I was amped just from talking to the guy! A true inspiration and selfless human being who really just enjoys helping people!
As for what he had to say about the World Crown Sports Training Team…. He said “in what some people consider a dying sport, the sport of boxing needs a place like World Crown Sports. It’s good to see people like this with integrity still in the sport and helping boxers reach their maximum potential”. WOW, truly honored to have Jimmy speak so highly of us!
As if that wasn’t a lot to absorb in one day…it’s about 4:30pm and it’s time for the kids to start rolling in for the after school training session. It’s truly amazing to watch these kids come in here day after day to not only work on their boxing skills, but to learn more about life and discipline. It keeps them off the streets and gives them a chance at life when some of them were not raised with a fair opportunity at life! We’ll get more in to the kids program next time though…
Till next time…”Be a champion in all you do.”
It’s about 1:15pm here at the Powerhouse Gym in Oxnard, CA as the morning crowd has diminished to a few midday had core fitness enthusiasts and it’s about the same time most of the staff here gets their pump on.
So, what makes this day so special? Well, this is not just any gym…this is the gym that houses the World Crown Sports training center which trains some of the best boxers in the world.
It’s around this time of the day that our world class boxers start rolling in for their midday training session. About 1:30pm….top heavyweight contender Mark De Mori comes strolling through the door full of life and energy, with a look of inspiration in his eyes, ready to start his training for the day. Mark greets all the members of the staff with a big smile, gratitude and humbleness and heads on up the stairs to begin his warm up on the bike before heading down to the training center for a long and hard conditioning workout.
A few minutes later….Alfonso Gomez from the hit TV Show “The Contender” rolls through the door smiling from ear to ear, enthusiastic about being here. Alfonso always goes out of his way to say hello to everyone when he comes in and when he leaves. It’s usually this time of day that I am training myself and Alfonso has on every occasion went out of his way, walked across the gym to say hello and shake my hand. If you didn’t see “The Contender” TV show, then you missed how much he inspired everyone on that show, even his rivals, the very people that were competing against him to win the show were truly inspired by Alfonso…..two words, “Class Act”! If you did see the show, then you know what I am talking about……and believe me, that was no acting gig! What you’ve seen on the TV show is just a small part of who this gentlemen really is!
Next comes Victor Cayo bouncing through the door. Again, making sure
that he greets everyone with respect, smiles and handshakes….Victor is full of energy and ready to get down to business as he runs up the stairs, jumps on the bike and gets ready for a great day of training. Victor may not have been on a hit TV show or have a world title (yet), but this guy is young, he trains hard, he inspires others around him and you will know of him in due time! Victor is one of the best up and coming boxers this year and he will indeed be well known in the very near future….so, remember that name “Victor Cayo”!
Last but not least, here comes WBC champion Sergio Martinez…..arguably one of the best fighters in the world. He is going to have a chance to prove that indeed when he faces Kelly Pavlik on April 17th, bumping up a weight class to claim yet another world title! Sergio, like the rest leads by example. He comes in very humble, full of life and energy greeting all the staff members at the gym before he dashes for the stairs to get warmed up next to his team! When Sergio walks in to the gym, the already high level of energy and enthusiasm sky rockets about 100 times what it was. His demeanor, humbleness, inspiration and fellowship with his other teammates is truly amazing to see and experience. The impact that Sergio alone has on his teammates who are all training for upcoming fights will likely pay off for them.
Wow, that’s quite a day in the gym; imagine though, it’s like this every day! The World Crown Sports training team not only has some of the best fighters in the world that exude first class characteristics, but you can certainly tell where the fighters get it from. Leading by example is certainly the World Crown Sports way. A truly first class organization filled with passion, enthusiasm, humbleness, gratitude and a hard work ethic! The owners and trainers are truly selfless individuals who are all here for the boxers….it’s not about them, it’s “ALWAYS” about the fighters!
Well, until next time when we take a deeper look inside the actual training center during the training session….see ya!
By Dan Rafael
Middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik and junior middleweight titlist Sergio Martinez have agreed to terms for April 17 bout, the promoters for both fighters told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
The contracts are not signed, but both sides said that was a formality.
“We’re waiting for Lou [DiBella, Martinez's promoter] to send back the contract, which he said there are no problems with,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum, Pavlik’s promoter. “Kelly is on board and we’re planning a press conference in New York, but HBO wanted us to hold off until after the Olympics. But the fight is agreed to. We’re good on our side and Lou tells me it’s good to go on his side. We’re putting off the press conference strictly because of the Olympics.”
They’ll meet at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., where Pavlik is a major draw — his fans have regularly traveled there by the thousand from Youngstown, Ohio.
Martinez, a native of Argentina living in Spain, made his own fans at Boardwalk Hall in December, when he thrilled the crowd at the Hall’s smaller Adrian Phillips Ballroom by duking it out with middleweight contender Paul Williams in a thrilling majority decision loss that took no luster away from Martinez.
“It’s a great Atlantic City fight, especially with Williams-Martinez having just taken place there and Pavlik being the most proven attraction there in the post-[Arturo] Gatti era,” DiBella said.
The bout will headline a major “World Championship Boxing” split-site doubleheader on HBO. Super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute of Montreal will defend his 168-pound belt against Edison Miranda of Colombia at the Bell Centre in Montreal before the action shifts to Atlantic City for Pavlik’s 160-pound title defense against Martinez.
Should Pavlik and Bute both win, it could lead to a potential Bute-Pavlik fight. Arum said there have been preliminary discussions about the bout between Top Rank and InterBox, Bute’s promoter, and it’s a fight that HBO has major interest in.
But first things first. Pavlik is in a serious fight, and his team knows it.
“It’s a terrific fight and I think Kelly is going to win, but we know this is a very tough fight,” Arum said. “But I think that Kelly has the firepower to come through and win the fight.” Pavlik, who is 6-foot-2, is the naturally bigger and stronger fighter compared to the 5-11 Martinez, 34, who is a southpaw and faster.
“Sergio Martinez is the best 154-pound fighter in the world, but he simply could not turn down an opportunity to take on the true middleweight champion of the world,” DiBella said. “While size is not his advantage, speed is, and sometimes David slays Goliath. We had to bite the bullet a little bit, but it’s a great opportunity even though it is above the weight where Sergio prefers to fight. But he didn’t do so badly at middleweight against Williams did he? We all know that a lot of people thought Sergio won that fight. At some point, he’d like to move down and fight in his own weight class, but this is a big opportunity for him.”
Pavlik (36-1, 32 KOs), 27, will be making his fourth defense since scoring a dramatic seventh-round knockout against Jermain Taylor at Boardwalk Hall to win the title in September 2007. Pavlik has also fought a pair of nontitle bouts, outpointing Taylor in a super middleweight rematch and losing a lopsided decision at 170 pounds to Bernard Hopkins.
Pavlik is coming off a fifth-round knockout of overmatched Miguel Espino on Dec. 19, which followed a 10-month layoff. During that time, Pavlik was twice scheduled to defend against Williams, but each time the fight was called off because a problem Pavlik had with his hand stemming from a staph infection.
The second time the fight was called off, Williams instead faced Martinez (44-2-2, 24 KOs), who has yet to defend his 154-pound crown, on short notice in one of the most action-packed bouts of 2009.
The only open issue in the deal, according to DiBella, has nothing to do with the agreement between the promoters or fighters.
“There are no substantive issues on the paperwork between me and Arum,” DiBella said. “The only issue that exists is that Kelly has had some health issues and I want to know that if Sergio trains for the fight and Kelly is forced to pull out for some reason that Sergio would able to fight another opponent we agree on in Montreal on the Bute undercard.
“If something happens and Kelly’s staph infection comes back or he has another problem with his hand, we want to be able to fight somebody else on that date. My guy can’t have another long layoff. But there is no issue about anything between me and Bob. I just need to get this worked out with HBO, but I don’t think it is going to be an issue.”