Beterbiev-Browne set for December 17 in Montreal

 WBC/IBF unified light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev moved to Montreal nearly a decade ago to embark on his professional journey following a pair of Olympic berths for his native Russia. Sixteen fights into his career, he will return to his adopted hometown for the first time as a world champion.

Beterbiev, boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, will defend his world titles against WBC No. 1 contender and 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne on Friday Dec. 17 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Beterbiev-Browne will headline a loaded world title tripleheader streaming live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+. Undefeated light flyweight contender Kim Clavel will challenge for the WBC title, while former IBF junior middleweight world champion Marie-Eve Dicaire will attempt to regain her crown. Full details regarding the Clavel and Dicaire fights will be announced shortly.

“This is the moment in my life that I’ve been waiting for and I’m ready to take advantage of it,” Browne said. “I know exactly what I have to do to take the titles from Beterbiev and that’s what I’m going to do.

“Beterbiev is the most avoided champion out there. He’s a great fighter, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and is super strong. But I’m the better fighter and I’m here to show that come December 17. So, to my fans, know that I’m back and I’m here to stay. No controversial losses, no distractions, just straight work.”

Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) last fought in Canada in December 2016, a first-round stoppage over Isidro Ranoni Prieto. He won the vacant IBF world title in his next fight, which he defended two times before unifying titles with a devastating 10th-round stoppage over longtime WBC king Oleksandr Gvozdyk. After a nearly 18-month absence, Beterbiev returned in March with a 10th-round TKO over Adam Deines in Moscow. Browne (24-1, 16 KOs), a 30-year-old native of Staten Island, New York, won an interim world title in January 2019 with a unanimous decision win over two-weight world champion Badou Jack. After dropping a technical decision to Jean Pascal in August 2019, Browne returned to his winning ways April 20 with a shutout decision over Denis Grachev.

Pascal on victory over Jack in first fight: ‘The judges said I won the fight, and that’s it’

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

In 2017, WBA 175-pound regular champion Jean Pascal(35-6-1, 20 KOs) was prepared to walk away from the sport of boxing. According to Pascal, at the time, his stoppage victory over Ahmed Elbiali was supposed to be his last fight.

However, Pascal decided against retirement and fought on. In 2019, he got his biggest victory in years when he defeated Marcus Browne to capture the WBA 175-pound regular belt. 

After defeating Browne, the 38-year-old Pascal defended his belt and defeated Badou Jack by a controversial split decision.

Jack(23-3-3, 13 KOs) hopes to get his revenge when he battles Pascal in the co-main event of the pay-per-view headlined by Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul on June 6 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

While some thought the 37-year-old Jack won the fought, Pascal felt he was the rightful winner, which he discussed.

“I’m very excited about the rematch,” Pascal said at the press conference on Tuesday. “I’ve been training in Puerto Rico since December. I’ve been waiting this whole time for the rematch, and I’m ready. I respect Badou, but he’s always whining after he loses. The judges said I won the fight, and that’s it.

“The first fight, in the first six rounds, I did everything well. I might have gotten a little overconfident. I took it a bit too easy after that. The fight got close because of that knockdown he got that wasn’t from a real punch. Without that, it wouldn’t have even been close. We’re going to settle this June 6 in Miami.”

Jack disagreed with the decision at the time, and he disagrees with the decision today.

“There were three judges, and Julie Lederman had it for me, and the two other guys had never judged a big fight before,” Jack said. “We have two judges for this fight: the right hand and the left hand. That’s it. I’m very confident for this fight, and I’m not worried about the judges. I know Jean Pascal is a warrior, and I’m a warrior. I’m just ready to fight.”

In the first fight, there were two knockdowns, one by each fighter, and both fighters expect just as much action on June 6.

 This is going to be a firefight,” Jack said. “We already know that. Tune in to this fight. Boxing is not a game, and I’m going to show everyone that and try to steal the show.”

Pascal added: “He’s coming for revenge, and I’m coming with bad intentions. It’s going to be a great show, so make sure you tune in for this one.”

 

Pascal: ‘Canada has Drake, the NBA Champions, and now I’m bringing the belt home’

The co-main event saw former world champion Jean Pascal (34-6-1, 20 KOs) earn a narrow technical decision over previously unbeaten Marcus Browne (23-1, 16 KOs) to capture the WBA interim light heavyweight title after an accidental headbutt ended the fight in round eight.

“Boxing is boxing,” said Pascal. “We clashed heads, but at the end of the day, I was winning the round. I dropped him three times. It was a close fight, but I believe I was winning.”

Browne appeared to be in control early, using his jab effectively and finishing his combos with power punches. Throughout the fight, Browne would land 52% of his power punches according to CompuBox.

In round four, Pascal broke through landing a perfect right hand that connected with Browne as he threw his own right hook. Browne hit the canvas for the third time in his career, but was able to make it through the round.

Watch Pascal score the knockdown HERE

Browne looked to have regained control of the fight until late in round seven when Pascal again connected on a powerful right hook that caught Browne during an exchange. Pascal jumped on Browne after he got to his feet and knocked him down a third time right before the bell ended round seven.

Montreal’s Pascal was looking to finish Browne in round eight, while Browne looked to effectively navigate the ring while recovering from the previous round. It was midway through the round that Pascal hit Browne with an accidental headbutt on the ropes that opened a cut over Browne’s left eye.

Referee Gary Rosato halted the bout 1:49 into the round, on the advice of the ringside physician, meaning the fight went to the scorecards. By winning the shortened eighth round on all three judges’ cards, Pascal won the fight by the score of 75-74 three times.

“I could hear my daughter ringside and that was motivation for me,” said Pascal. “She was yelling my name all night long. I’m going to go home and talk to my team to see what is next.

The co-main event saw former world champion Jean Pascal (34-6-1, 20 KOs) earn a narrow technical decision over previously unbeaten Marcus Browne (23-1, 16 KOs) to capture the WBA interim light heavyweight title after an accidental headbutt ended the fight in round eight.

“Boxing is boxing,” said Pascal. “We clashed heads, but at the end of the day, I was winning the round. I dropped him three times. It was a close fight, but I believe I was winning.”

Browne appeared to be in control early, using his jab effectively and finishing his combos with power punches. Throughout the fight, Browne would land 52% of his power punches according to CompuBox.

In round four, Pascal broke through landing a perfect right hand that connected with Browne as he threw his own right hook. Browne hit the canvas for the third time in his career, but was able to make it through the round.

Browne looked to have regained control of the fight until late in round seven when Pascal again connected on a powerful right hook that caught Browne during an exchange. Pascal jumped on Browne after he got to his feet and knocked him down a third time right before the bell ended round seven.

Montreal’s Pascal was looking to finish Browne in round eight, while Browne looked to effectively navigate the ring while recovering from the previous round. It was midway through the round that Pascal hit Browne with an accidental headbutt on the ropes that opened a cut over Browne’s left eye.

Referee Gary Rosato halted the bout 1:49 into the round, on the advice of the ringside physician, meaning the fight went to the scorecards. By winning the shortened eighth round on all three judges’ cards, Pascal won the fight by the score of 75-74 three times.

“I could hear my daughter ringside and that was motivation for me,” said Pascal. “She was yelling my name all night long. I’m going to go home and talk to my team to see what is next. Canada has Drake, the NBA Champions and now I’m bringing the belt home.”

After the fight, Browne was taken to NYU Lutheran Medical Center due to the cut.

 Photo/courtesy: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions

Marcus Browne talk prep for Jean Pascal

Unbeaten Interim WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Marcus Browne shared his thoughts on training camp, his title-winning performance in his last fight and his upcoming showdown against former world champion Jean Pascal taking place Saturday, August 3 in FOX PBC Fight Night Action and on FOX Deportes from Barclays Center.

The Staten Island native Browne is holding this camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the second time he’s done so as a pro, and has sparred with the likes of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Eric Moon and Kemahl Russell as he prepares for August 3.

“This is my second time going out to Colorado for a portion of my training camp,” said Browne. “My performance on August 3 will show why I do this, but it’s basically just because I’m able to lock in on myself and focus on the most important thing that’s in front of me, and that’s Pascal.”

Browne’s last fight saw him defeat two-division world champion Badou Jack in a rough and bloody fight that earned Browne the interim 175-pound title. Browne showed off new dimensions to his game in a career-best win.

 “In my fight against Badou Jack, I Just wanted to prove that I have real skills, that I’m not just a knockout puncher and that I can take things away from top guys,” said Browne. “I’m a better fighter overall now. I’m constantly growing as a fighter and come August 3, I’ll display that on an even higher level.” 

The 28-year-old Browne has another tough test in front of him on August 3, as he faces the former light heavyweight champion Pascal. Pascal has faced a slew of top fighters throughout his career including current 175-pound champions Sergey Kovalev and Dmitry Bivol, plus past champions Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Carl Froch, Lucian Bute and Eleider Alvarez, giving Browne a chance to earn a measuring stick win. 

“It’s very important to do well and further stamp my status in this division against Pascal,” said Browne. “He feels like he hasn’t lost to any lefties, so I’ll be his first. He keeps saying he has a lot of gas left in his tank, so I’m going to have to show him who I am, and send him packing.”

August 3 will be Browne’s record 13th fight at Barclays Center, where he so far is 13-0 and with eight knockouts. Browne will continue to relish these opportunities given to him, while also making sure he doesn’t fall into any of the distractions that plague a fighter competing in his hometown.

“I’m very appreciative of all the people that have given me the opportunity to fight at Barclays Center and continue to push me forward in the boxing world,” said Browne. “I’m thrilled to be back defending my WBA belt in front of my hometown people.

“I leave New York during camp to help me get focused, but by the time I get back to home for fight week, I’m totally locked in on what’s important.”

Kownacki-Arreola, Browne-Pascal, Berto-Cruz set for August 3 in Brooklyn

Undefeated Polish star and Brooklyn-native Adam Kownacki will look to thrill in front of a hometown crowd when he steps into the ring against veteran former title challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola for a 12-round heavyweight showdown that headlines FOX PBC Fight Night on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, August 3 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

The broadcast starts at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features former world champion Andre Berto taking on Miguel Cruz in a 10-round welterweight clash and unbeaten interim WBA Light Heavyweight Champion “Sir” Marcus Browne battling former world champion Jean Pascal in a 12-round bout.

The heavyweight division is red hot and Kownacki is a top rising challenger who will look to continue his ascent up the rankings with a win over the all-action veteran Arreola. This will be Kownacki’s ninth fight at Barclays Center, and his first as the headlining attraction.

Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) is noted for his tenacity and has been progressing towards a world title shot with knockouts in five of his last six fights. The 30-year-old, who was born in Lomza, Poland and moved to Brooklyn when he was seven, was an accomplished amateur in New York City before turning pro. He scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over former world champion Charles Martin last year and is coming off of a devastating knockout victory against Gerald Washington in January on FOX. His last three fights and six of his last seven have taken place at Barclays Center, where he has routinely brought out the area’s passionate Polish sports fans.

Arreola (38-5-1, 33 KOs), a veteran of the heavyweight division, has contended for the world title three times, most recently against WBC champion Deontay Wilder in 2016. Since losing to Wilder, the 38-year-old Arreola from Los Angeles, California has put together back-to-back victories, including a stoppage of then unbeaten Jean Pierre Augustin on a PBC on FOX Sports pay-per-view undercard in March.

Berto (32-5, 24 KOs) has fought some of the top welterweight champions of this generation, including Floyd Mayweather. The 35-year-old won a welterweight world title with TKO victory over Miguel Angel Rodriguez in 2008 and successfully defended it five times before losing it to Victor Ortiz in 2011. He later avenged that loss to Ortiz with a knockout victory in 2016 on FOX. A native of Winter Haven Florida, Berto is coming off a split decision victory over former welterweight champion Devon Alexander in his last fight in August on FOX.

Cruz (18-1, 12 KOs) is among a group of promising welterweights prepared to burst onto the scene in one of the most talent-rich division in boxing. The 28-year-old from Lake Mary, Florida will be stepping up a level with his bout against Berto. He scored a TKO victory over Luis Eduardo Florez in his last fight in January to bounce back from a decision loss to Josesito Lopez on FOX in April 2018.

“I’m excited for all my Boricuas and NYC fight fans to come out and show love in August 3,” Cruz said. “I want to thank everyone who made this opportunity possible, and I’m definitely going to make the most if it. This is a different era in boxing and I’m here to prove it to the world and to Andre Berto. Don’t miss this night of boxing.”

The 28-year-old Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) won the interim title with a rousing unanimous decision victory over former two-division champion Badou Jack in January. A 2012 U.S. Olympian from Staten Island, Browne has fought at Barclays Center 12 times in his career as he made his steady climb up the light heavyweight ranks. Pascal will be the second straight former world champion that he has faced.

Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs) has been in the ring with the top fighters of his era during his brilliant career, including Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev, Carl Froch, Lucian Bute and Chad Dawson. The 36-year-old, who was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and now lives in Laval, Quebec, Canada, won the light heavyweight world title with a unanimous decision over Adrian Diaconu in 2009. He is coming off a loss to Dmitry Bivol in his last fight after putting together back-to-back TKO victories over Ahmed Elbiali and Steve Bosse.

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

Badou Jack needed close to 100 stitches to close cut

Although two-division world champion Badou Jack dropped a decision Saturday night to fellow light heavyweight Marcus Browne, it was the courage and tenacity that he showed in fighting through what some are calling one of the worst cuts in boxing history that has had the sports world buzzing. Jack has since made it clear that his tenacity and heart is motivated by those who benefit from the work of the Badou Jack Foundation. Jack is set to embark on a goodwill mission to the Middle East today as he couldn’t wait to continue his charitable efforts overseas.

His international itinerary includes trips to the Zaatari and Baqaa Refugee Camps in Jordan and business meetings Dubai and London.

“I don’t just fight for myself, I fight for the refugee children and I was thinking of them,” said Jack. “They come from war and often don’t have any parents, so what’s a scratch on my forehead? They are going through something much worse. You have to keep fighting.”

While many were concerned with the blood that gushed from Jack’s cut round after round, the veteran fighter was able to block it out and continued to fight until the final bell. Although he was taken to the hospital immediately following the fight, Jack was unfazed by the severity of the cut, which was sewn up with nearly 100 stitches.

“I feel great right now. Things like that can just happen in the ring,” said Jack. “It was just some blood. The cut was only bothering me because I couldn’t see too well, but I was going to keep fighting no matter what. This isn’t just any other sport; its boxing. You have to fight through it.”

And fight through he has.

“I was definitely going to make my run like I have in the past,” said Jack. “I think most people in boxing know that this would have been a totally different fight. To me, it’s not a big injury. I’m fighting for a bigger cause. Those refugees aren’t going to quit, so I sure wasn’t going to either.”

Photo:  Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Photos: Browne defeats bloody Badou Jack

Staten Island native Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) won defeated a bloodied Badou Jack (22-2-3, 13 KOs) by upset unanimous decision for the Interim WBA Light Heavyweight belt. The scores were 119-108, 117-110, 116-111.

Jack suffered a gruesome five-inch cut to his forehead after an accidental clash of heads in the seventh round of the fight. The former Olympian Browne told Gray the head butt did not affect the outcome of the fight.

“He couldn’t find me before that [head butt],” said the 28-year-old Browne, who made his professional debut on ShoBox: The New Generation following the 2012 Olympics. “He couldn’t find me. I was just too sharp, too slick, too anything. He was coming with his head all night. He kept coming with his head.”

The Las Vegas resident and former two-division champion Jack was taken immediately to the hospital for observation. Jack, who was fighting in his seventh consecutive world title fight, gave all the credit to Browne. “I was flat,” he said. “I don’t know what it was, but no excuses. I would love the rematch. Now I have to rest, get the head fixed and hopefully get that chance in the future.”

Browne was the more active fighter, throwing 515 total punches to 303 for Jack. Browne connected on 103 of his power punches compared to just 58 for Jack.

The taller, southpaw Browne said he stuck to his game-plan and peppered Jack continuously with his strong straight left jab. “He thought he was going to take me to deep water and drown me, but I was in shape,” he said. “Teddy Atlas, you think you have the best light heavyweight? (Oleksandr) Gvozdyk, let’s go.

“I just used my athletic ability and did what I do best, and that’s box the hell out of people.”

Photos/Courtesy: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME, Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions, Chris Farina/Mayweather Promotions:

 

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Jack: ‘I’m motivated to fight the best in the division and prove I am the top light heavyweight in the world’

While two-division world champion Badou Jack “The Ripper” wears many hats as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and father, it is his boxing career that has allowed him to be on the path to greatness in and out of the ring. Therefore, he will put his championship-caliber boxing skills on full display on Saturday, January 19 from MGM Grand Garden Arena live on SHOWTIME PPV®against hungry light heavyweight Marcus Browne as the co-main event of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner welterweight championship fight.
Jack is no stranger the pay-per-view spotlight as one of the brightest stars in the Mayweather Promotions stable and is preparing to make a statement on January 19.
“At this stage of my career, I’m motivated to fight the best in the division and prove I am the top light heavyweight in the world,” said Jack. “I want the biggest fights on the biggest stages against the best competition.”
Despite being deep in training camp for this major step in his career, Jack, who was recently named a finalist for the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Marvin Kohn Good Guy Award, has not forgotten his mission outside of the ring – the work he is doing through the Badou Jack Foundation – which focuses on giving children around the world a fighting chance at life. He spent Thanksgiving serving food to those less fortunate at the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada’s food distribution center and plans to continue to volunteer with them moving forward as well as continuing his work in the Middle East immediately following his fight.
“Badou is receiving a well-deserved acknowledgement for his acts of kindness,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Not only does Badou put in hard work and maintain discipline for his craft, he’s a family man who also looks to share the fruits of his success with others.  He remains humble and carries himself with poise as his career advances. I know that good things will continue to come his way and I’m pleased to have him on our team, he’s a promoter’s dream.”
While Jack has been in the ring with some very tough customers including Nathan Cleverly, James DeGale, George Groves and Anthony Dirrell, he knows that Browne is coming to fight and try to derail his successful campaign at light heavyweight. Therefore, in addition to the work he is putting in at the gym, Jack has instituted a performance and weight management regimen overseen by renowned nutritionists Lockhart and Leith, whose clients include world-class MMA fighters from Conor McGregor to Cris Cyborg.
Additionally, Jack is utilizing his nutrition supplement products Ripper Nutrition before and after each workout as Lockhart and Leith are now official partners in the product, they believe in it so much. Jack has also welcomed Lockhart and Leith chef James Lockwood into camp to prepare each meal as part of this regimen.
“Thanks to the opportunities Floyd Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions and SHOWTIME have provided Badou, he has been able to establish Ripper Nutrition and the Badou Jack Foundation,” said Amer Abdallah, Jack’s manager. “He looks great in camp, we expect a spectacular night in the ring and then we will get back to building his empire outside it.”
Photo: Mayweather Promotions

Badou Jack-Marcus Browne to battle on Pacquiao-Broner undercard

Two-division world champion Badou Jack will battle unbeaten top-rated contender Marcus Browne for the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Title Saturday, January 19 on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner SHOWTIME PPV® event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The pay-per-view undercard will also see former world champion Rau’shee Warrentaking on France’s Nordine Oubaali for the vacant WBC Bantamweight World Championship in a rematch of their 2012 Olympic matchup that was edged by Oubaali. In the opening bout of the four-fight PPV telecast, unbeaten Jhack Teporawill take on former world champion Hugo Ruiz in a 12-round featherweight clash.

In the main event, Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, will end his two-year hiatus from a U.S. boxing ring when he returns to Las Vegas to defend his World Boxing Association Welterweight World Title against former four-division world champion and must-see attraction Adrien “The Problem” Broner.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with About Billions Promotions, are on sale now and start at $100, not including applicable service charges, and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.

“Not only will the fans witness a tremendous main event, they will get to enjoy three action-packed match-ups that will add another level to the pay-per-view portion of the card,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Both Jhack Tepora and Hugo Ruiz are looking to make a name for themselves in the stacked featherweight division, while Rau’shee Warren and Nordine Oubaali are in the prime of their careers and battling for the WBC title. Mayweather Promotions’ Badou Jack has made an exemplary statement for his career inside and outside of the ring and is focused on further strengthening his resume, while Marcus Browne is looking to showcase his talent on boxing’s biggest stage.”

Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs) has fought twice at light heavyweight since relinquishing his super middleweight world title to campaign at 175 pounds. The 35-year-old, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden, represented his father’s Gambia in the 2008 Olympics and now lives in Las Vegas. Jack won the super middleweight world title with a majority decision against Anthony Dirrell in 2015 and successfully defended the title three times before he relinquished the belt following a hard-fought majority draw against James DeGale in one 2017’s best fights. In his first bout at 175 pounds, Jack stopped Nathan Cleverly to pick up the WBA light heavyweight title before fighting to a majority draw against Adonis Stevenson in his last fight on May 19.

“I’m looking forward to getting back onto another big stage to perform for my fans across the globe and prove I am one of the best fighters in the world,” said Jack. “I plan to show off my skills with a dominating performance on January 19. I always want to fight the best, and he’s the best that’s available right now. I’m always 100 percent ready and I’m going into this fight stronger, faster and with more experience than ever before.”

The 28-year-old Browne (22-0, 16 KOs) will be taking a step up to face an elite opponent when he battles Jack. A member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team, Browne moved up the contender ladder in the 175-pound division with brute force and power, scoring three straight knockout victories against Thomas Williams, Jr., Sean Monaghan and Francy Ntetu. Browne, who was born and raised in Staten Island, N.Y., scored a unanimous decision victory over Lenin Castillo in his last fight on August 4.

Spence-Peterson undercard fighters talk upcoming showdowns

BROOKLYN (December 28, 2017) – Rising stars and veteran contenders will enter the ring on Saturday, January 20 looking to start their 2018 with a statement victory when they compete in undercard action from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®, on the undercard for the welterweight championship showdown between IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. and two-division champion Lamont Peterson.

 Undefeated 135-pound world champion Robert Easter will defend his IBF Title against former world champion Javier Fortuna in the co-main event live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)

In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING PRELIMS, unbeaten light heavyweightMarcus Browne will take on once-beaten Francy Ntetu in a 10-round fight and undefeated heavyweight sensation Adam Kownacki will face Iago Kiladze of Kiev, Ukraine in a 10-round bout.
The live digital offering will stream exclusively in the U.S. on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and the SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, are priced starting at $50, and are on sale now. The Easter-Fortuna bout is promoted in association with Sampson Boxing and About Billions Promotions. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.combarclayscenter.com, at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center or by calling 800-745-3000. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Here is what the fighters had to say about their January 20 matchups and more:

ROBERT EASTER (20-0, 14 KOs) – Making third defense of IBF Lightweight World Title

“This fight can definitely set a good tone for me in 2018. I’m going to be making a statement with this fight. My last three fights I haven’t gotten a knockout. I’m going to be giving my fans and fight fans a good show.

“I’m going to use my reach and length and destroy this guy from the outside. All my career I’ve been fighting shorter guys. Every short guy doesn’t fight the same. But you get in the ring and you feel him out and make adjustments.

“There’s nothing in particular that I have to prepare for with Fortuna. I take every fight the same. Every fighter fights different so you get in there, feel him out and make adjustments as you go along. I’m not worried about him being a southpaw. I’ve faced plenty of lefties in my career and in the amateurs. That’s no problems at all.

“I think what makes me the more dangerous boxer in this fight is having the height that I do and the punching power and the speed and the mindset as well. My mindset is that I’m not going in there to play around with him. I’m ready to destroy.

“My goals for 2018 are to capture more titles and to get unification bouts. We had a few champions in the weight class, but it appears that no one is willing to fight the other champions. We’re willing to do whatever it takes, fight whoever has the titles. We’re willing to capture all those titles whenever the other guys are willing to sign up for the fights.”

JAVIER FORTUNA (33-1-1, 23 KOs) – Former Super Featherweight World Champion

“My preparation for this fight is going very well. I’ve been working out in the Dominican Republic, but I’ve come back to Boston to finish my training. Right now we’re at 75% and closing in on 100%. I will be completely prepared when it’s time to fight. My preparation and my strategy make me the more dangerous guy.

“I see this like no other fight that I’ve had before, because every opponent is different. Everyone has their own niche at this level, something that works for them. His niche is that he’s tall. He uses that to his advantage. But it’s nothing that I can’t overcome. I’ve fought tall guys before.

“I prefer my opponents to be taller. It plays into what I’m able to do. I’ve never had a problem with taller opponents. Abner Cotto (5-10) is one of tall guys that I fought. I fought in Chicago and put on a great performance. (Fortuna scored a 5th round KO against Cotto)

“My goal for 2018 is to fight all the top elite fighters in my weight class, and I’m trying to become mentioned as one of the best in the sport. I really want to win another world title in a different weight class. It would be the biggest moment so far of my career to get another world title.”

MARCUS BROWNE (20-0, 15 KOs) – Top 10 Ranked at 175 lbs. (WBC, WBO, WBA & IBF)

 

“My opponent (Francy Ntetu, 17-1, 4 KOs) looks like a durable, tough guy. I see this fight being very exciting for the fans for as long as it lasts. I saw a little bit of tape on him. I know he always comes in tip-top shape, and I hear he’s consistent in his performance in the ring. I just know I’m going to have to be sharp on Jan. 20.

“It’s always an honor to fight here at home and at Barclays Center. It’s special to be able to perform in front of these fans and I can’t wait to put on a good performance leading up to the Spence vs. Peterson fight.

“This fight could put me in the position that I need to be in to fight for a world title. I can’t be lacking in any way. I have to come out strong with a great performance from start to finish and leave no doubt in there.

“For 2018, I want to become a world champion. I’m determined tomake it happen this year. That vision starts on Jan. 20 at Barclays Center against Francy Ntetu.”

FRANCY NTETU (17-1, 4 KOs) – Fought David Benavidez at Barclays Center in June 2015

“I know Marcus Browne is probably taking me lightly and thinks he will simply go through me. I hope that’s the case, because it’s going be a shock to him, the fans and his team when I take his spot in line for a title. I want to face Eleider Alvarez in our hometown of Montreal after I get this win.
“My previous fight at Barclays Center against the current WBC champion David Benavidez was obviously a very bad decision by the referee to stop the fight, especially when I was winning the round and Benavidez was slowing down. I was getting stronger while he was getting weaker.
“I’ve never been hurt and never been dropped in a fight. I want Marcus to challenge himself and see if he can do something no one else has. I’m excited to be in a fight of this magnitude. Marcus, it’s time for us to give the fans what they want!”

ADAM KOWNACKI (16-0, 13 KOs) – Originally from Poland & fighting out of Brooklyn

“This fight is going to be another step toward becoming a champion. I know I’m going to have to work very hard and prove that I’m continuing to build on my win against Szpilka. From the video I’ve seen on Iago Kiladze (26-1, 18 KOs), he moves a lot, so I’ll be needing to cut off the ring. Whatever he brings to the ring, I’ll have an answer for.

“Three years in a row now I’ve been fighting in January. I love starting off the year strong. My wife and I actually started a tradition of the “Kownacki Family Run” at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Since I’m always preparing for a fight around New Year’s, we figured we might as well have fun while we work. So, we’ll have some friends come out and run a few miles with us around the neighborhood during the fireworks. It’s fun and helps get me ready.

“Ultimately, I’m looking to become the best in the heavyweight division. The end goal for this year is to become a world champion. But the very first step is taking Iago Kiladze very seriously. I can’t look past January 20 right now. I have a tough opponent who will challenge and make me a better fighter in the long run.”

IAGO KILADZE, Third fight since move up to heavyweight division (2-0, 2 KOs)

“I feel great and my training has been terrific. My trainer is Freddie Roach now. I sparred with (IBF Cruiserweight Champion) Murat Gassiev three times recently which is great preparation for me. I believe I can knockout Kownacki but if I have to go the distance I’m prepared for that. Either way, I’ll be victorious. I’m feel that I’m the more skilled fighter and that will show in the ring.

“This is a great fight for my career and a terrific start for 2018. I know that if I win this fight I’ll be that much closer to a world title opportunity.

“My goal is to be a world champion at the end of 2018. I want to continue improving and learning under Freddie and with his guidance I’m confident of success.”

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