Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City is sure to be the highlight of a whirlwind week of promotion for the Wladimir Klitschko - Calvin Brock IBF Heavyweight title fight . First and foremost, Klitschko, 46-3 (41), seems determined to become the people’s champion by making himself accessible to his fans. The various media events of the week; an open work out, final press conference and weigh-in were all in public locations. Although his opponent, undefeated Calvin Brock, 29-0 (22), attended the same events, he was not as comfortable in the spotlight.
The week began with an open work out session at Grand Central Station. Calvin Brock arrived first, exhibiting only some shadowboxing skills and his ability to jump rope for a few minutes. His exhibition lasted maybe 10 minutes and then he made himself accessible to media for interviews for about another 20 minutes, while in contrast, Klitschko was available for over an hour and a half.
Klitschko was the last to arrive to the open workout with an entourage from Kronk’s Gym including his trainer Emmanuel Steward, cruiserweight contender Jonathon Banks and his brother Vitali. He started his exhibition with a few words to the crowd and then continued with a warm-up routine, several rounds of shadowboxing, working the mitts, hitting the speed bag and jumping rope. After about a 40 minute work out, he made himself available for interviews and autographs for nearly an hour.
Super middleweight champion Laila Ali, 22-0 (19), also put on a lengthy exhibition; displaying quick hand speed while working the mitts with new trainer Floyd Mayweather, Sr. During her interviews, she spoke candidly about her disappointment that her co-feature event facing Shelley Burton, 8-2-1 (2), would not be televised on HBO. She also confirmed that she would be making public appearances later in the week with her father, Muhammad Ali who was in town to watch his youngest daughter from ringside on Saturday night.
Never to be outdone when it comes to promotion, Don King held his own press conference on Friday for new WBO heavyweight champion Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs with a steak lunch/victory party where he called out the remaining Soviet-bred world heavyweight champions. The invitation to the media read “No chicken Kiev will be served. No blini pancakes will be served. American-born, bred and aged steaks from award-winning Uncle Jack’s Steak House will be served!”
As I said, Madison Square Garden is sure to be the highlight of the week for boxing in New York City. Wladimir Klitschko vs. Calvin Brock and co-feature Laila Ali vs. Shelly Burton; all boxers will all be making their debut at the Mecca of boxing. The greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali will be sitting ringside and I wouldn't be surprised to see Don King and Shannon Briggs sitting somewhere near him, ready to call out the winner of the Klitschko bout.