Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008,
Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
Philadelphia’s Eddie Alvarez faces Ross “Da Boss’’ Ebanez, of Hilo, Hawaii, in a 165-pound co-featured bout tomorrow/Friday on the 2008 premiere of ShoXC: Elite Challenger Series on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
The other co-feature will match England’s Paul “Semtex” Daley against Sam “The Squeeze’’ Morgan, of St. Paul, Minn., in a 170-pound scrap. Other televised fights: Bobby McMaster, of Boston, Mass., will try to regain his winning ways against the always-dangerous Bao Quach, of Huntington Beach, Calif., at 150 pounds; “The Hawaiian Rocky Balboa,’’ Kala Kolohe Hose, of Honolulu, faces Fred Belleton, of Stoughton, Mass., at 185 pounds; and Julie Kedzie, of Albuquerque, N.M., by way of Greenwood, Ind., will attempt to win her fourth straight when she battles Tonya Evinger, of Reno, Nev., by way of Oak Grove, Mo., at 140 pounds.
Scheduled non-televised undercard bouts include: Zach Makovsky (3-0), of Philadelphia, vs. Wilson Reis (2-0), of Philadelphia at 140 pounds; James “Binky’’ Jones (4-5), of Baltimore, Md., vs. Mark Getto (1-3-1), of Philadelphia, at 160 pounds; Sergio Vinagre (2-1), of New Jersey, vs. Brett Linebarger (2-1), of New Jersey, at 185 pounds; Joe Shilling (pro debut), of Los Angeles, vs. Matt Makowski (1-0), of Philadelphia, at 170; and Drew Puzon (1-1), of New Jersey, vs. Charlie Brennemen (4-0), of Philadelphia, at 170 pounds. The fights at Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City Hotel & Casino are scheduled for three, 5-minute rounds with the exception of Kedzie-Evinger, which is slated for three, 3-minute rounds. Tickets, starting at $40, are available at the Trump Taj Mahal box office and online at _www.ticketmaster.com_ (http://www.ticketmaster.com/) . The live card begins at 9 p.m.; doors open at 8.
“This is going to be a great fight. Style-wise, I look at Ebanez and he reminds me of me. With two fighters who like to come forward and give their all, the fans are in for a treat.
“I expect – and want – him to bring out the very best in me so I can show the world what Eddie Alvarez is really all about. Fighting in my backyard and on SHOWTIME is a great opportunity.
“I’ve been around long enough to know how to handle any pre-fight jitters, but I am truly excited for this one. Fighting an aggressive southpaw is perfect. This is an exceptional main event.’’
“I’ve prepared myself to hear a lot of boos when I come into the cage and get introduced, but, hopefully, I can silence them and eventually have them on my side and rooting for me at the finish. But Eddie is a good, solid, aggressive fighter who deserves the attention he is getting. “For me, career-wise, this is quite an accomplishment. To fight a guy like Eddie, in his backyard, in the main event on SHOWTIME, is extremely exciting and satisfying.
“This is a tremendous fight for the fans. I’m ready to go, and I know he feels the same way. I have fought all kinds, though, so I doubt he is going to present me with any situations that I have never seen before. I am very confident.’’
PAUL “SEMTEX’’ DALEY
“The fans know me in Europe, but not so much here, so I am thrilled to be fighting again in the United States. The exposure all of us get from fighting on SHOWTIME is invaluable. “Morgan has fought a lot of tough opponents, but he hasn’t had many tough
fights. That’s what is going to happen again. I am going to out class him and do what I do best: knock him out and put on a great show for the fans. Morgan is going to feel like he got ran over by a truck. “I really want to thank EliteXC and SHOWTIME for putting me on this card.’’
SAMMY “THE SQUEEZE’’ MORGAN
“Some people may think Daley is something special, but I don’t. I’m going to knock him out and send him home to England to his ‘mummy’ so they can have their tea and crumpets together.
“I really am confident that I am not only going to win this fight, but that I am going to win convincingly and shock a whole lot of people along the way. “I fear nothing. I’ve been hit in the face and taken to the ground before. If he thinks this is going to be an easy fight, he is in for a major surprise. I am not a joke, or someone who can be taken lightly. This is the fight that is going to get me right to where I need to be in this division.’’
“It took me a few weeks to put that last fight behind me, but I have. Still, it’s hard to believe it ended the way it did. But that’s what happens when you get overanxious. “I am fighting a real tough guy with a lot of talent and experience. I have a lot of respect for Bao. But I do not worry about what any of my opponents can do. They have to worry about me.“Fighting on SHOWTIME is like making it to the major leagues. You can’t cut
corners at this level. This is going to be a great fight. But I am going to do my thing and win it.’’
“I really don’t like to talk a lot but I am very excited about this opportunity I am getting. I have trained very hard and am in really good condition. This is a good opponent. He can wrestle and ground and pound. But so can I. “In some ways, I think we are alike. But I feel very strong and confident and I am ready for a war. I always expect a tough fight. This could be the fight of the night.’’
“After my fight with Gina (Carano), she became a superstar and I am very happy for her and I appreciate her giving me the chance to fight her. But even though I got my butt whipped, I didn’t feel like I lost. I came away from that fight feeling good about myself and my ability to compete. “Because of that fight, I got recruited to fight for Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, and it has been a blessing. I haven’t lost since and I feel like I have improved my skills in all areas. I am happier than ever. I am busting my butt in the gym, but it is paying off. “I am looking forward to fighting Tonya. She is tough as nails. But this is
my chance to show I can fight an opponent with a different style. It’s an honor for me to fight again for EliteXC on SHOWTIME.’’
“I fought like crap against Gina. About halfway through, I just went stupid. I think I got distracted by her (good looks).
“I am ready for a rematch right now, but I have to win this fight first. Then, maybe I can fight Gina again and beat her and get my career back on top. “Julie is a good fighter, but this fight, like all my fights, is about me, and me sticking to my game plan. If I can do that, I’m confident I will win.’’
KALA KOLOHE HOSE
“Every fight is important to me and you can’t beat the exposure you get when you fight on SHOWTIME, so I am ready. My opponent is a really tall fighter with a lot of good experience, but I have fought experienced, tall guys before. “All people want to talk about is me fighting Robbie Lawler and all the postponements. But I am not even thinking about Lawler now. “My only focus is on winning Friday. To underestimate or look past anybody would be a big mistake for any fighter.’’
“This is a great opportunity for me to make a good name for myself against a quality opponent. I am more excited than nervous. It is quite an achievement for me to make it all the way to a SHOWTIME card, but the next step is for me to win the fight.’’ “I have worked very hard and I still have a lot to prove. But this is my
golden chance to break through. I am treating this like the biggest fight of my career.’’