Don King hosted the final press conference today before Saturday’s first boxing card at the new and improved Casino Miami Jai-Alai that will feature WBC United States super welterweight champion Joey “Twinkle Fingers” Hernandez (20-1-1, 11 KOs) against Shakir “The Assassin” Ashanti (16-12, 4 KOs), from New Bern, S.C.
“It’s great to be fighting in my hometown on Saturday,” Hernandez said. “I grew up watching and attending fights here at Miami Jai-Alai. I was always a big fan of boxing and never more than here in Miami.”
Ashanti says he is up to the challenge against Hernandez.
“I’m a former Marine and war veteran, so I come to fight,” Ashanti said. “I was born in blood, pain and struggle. I am a warrior.”
An important heavyweight fight was added to the card with WBC No. 1-ranked contender Bermane “B-Ware” Stiverne (21-1-1, 20 KOs), from Miami, facing Willie Herring (13-10-3, 4 KOs), from Orlando.
“I have fought in Florida before but never in Miami,” said the WBC’s top-ranked heavyweight. “I grew up here and my brother played football at University of Miami. It’s really great to be having my friends and family come see me fight.”
Brazilian light heavyweight knockout artist Marcus “Happy” Oliveira (22-1-1, 22 KOs), from Sao Paulo, will face hard-punching spoiler Adam “Atom Bomb” Collins (11-5, 8 KOs), from Portsmouth, Ohio, while another light heavyweight, Azea “Haitian Hitman” Augustama (12-1, 7 KOs), from Miami, will take on 23-year-old Grover Young (6-6-1, 3 KOs), from Memphis, Tenn.
“I am happy to be fighting in the United States,” Oliveira said. “I am from Brazil and have fought there and in other places, but this is the best country in the world. South Florida has very large Brazilian population and they will all be out to support me.”
“I want to show that I am one of the best and I want to become a world champion.”
Augustama, like Stiverne, is a Haitian fighting out of Miami.
“My Haitian fans are looking forward to being here at Miami Jai-Alai on Saturday night to see me fight. I always come to fight and I’m excited after signing with Don King. I will impress him and my fans.”