2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (18-0, 12 KOs) and Colombian knockout artist Edison Miranda (32-3, 28 KOs), who collide this Saturday, May 16, in the main event on a special primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation live on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA, participated in their final media press conference in Oakland on Thursday.
The 12-rounder between the unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Ward and the hard-hitting Miranda highlight the biggest fight card in the Bay Area in years.
In the ShoBox co-feature, unbeaten, up-and-coming junior lightweight John Molina Jr. (16-0, 12 KOs) of Covina , Calif. , meets veteran Frankie Archuleta (25-6-1, 14 KOs) of Bernalillo, N.M. in an eight-round match.
2008 U.S. Olympian Shawn Estrada (5-0, 5 KOs), of East Los Angeles , Calif. , and Brooklyn ’s Cory Jones (5-5, 1 KO) will clash in another top undercard attraction. Highlights of Estrada’s fight will be shown during Saturday’s telecast as he will be interviewed by Steve Farhood.
What the main event fighters had to say Thursday:
Andre Ward: “Edison Miranda is an opponent that is trying to intimidate me. I’ve done my part and prepared for this fight, specifically for Miranda. I’ve been training since I was 9-years-old; I have been preparing for nights like Saturday.
“What you see with me is what you get. I’m not going to pick up chairs and throw them out of anger. I’m a God-fearing man. The message I want to pass on to kids is that you don’t have to live like that in order to be successful.
“Don’t get my intensity wrong, I won’t be intimidated by this man. I have seen a lot of blood sweat and tears to get to this point. Professionally, this is the biggest stage in my career and I won’t shy away from it. This is the biggest fight for me to date and it has the pressure that is needed for me.
“He tried to stare me down right now and anyone who knows boxing knows that that was the first round.
“When I get that first heavy shot, know that I am prepared. I am ready to hit and not get hit, but when you get hit, you snarl and come back. Miranda’s knockouts in his career were against small guys, everyone can make the boogie man of Miranda, but I am not going to be intimated or bullied. I don’t fear any man.
“Edison Miranda has a lot of knockout work against smaller guys. Any man can lose, no one is invincible but in his loses he has shown vulnerability in his chin. If you have seen one of Miranda’s fights you‘ve seen them all – I don’t think he will have any tricks up his sleeve.
“The night before and the day before the fight I spend a lot of time to myself, read my bible, focusing on what I need to do. I don’t think it will go 12. A victory here would make the mandatory against Carl Froch in nine months.
Edison Miranda: “At the Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao fight they did too much talking before the fight but when you get into the ring you see what happened. I’m done talking with the press now I just want to fight.
“The reason I came to Oakland is because boxing is dying. Boxing has only had two nights. One good one and one bad one. Worse was when Tyson was knocked out by Buster Douglas and good when Muhammad Ali was born.
“You need a boxer with a big heart--a warrior to bring back boxing where it belongs. Come Saturday night God will give me the victory. I have a pact with God and he told me that I would win the fight on Saturday. Be aware of this fight, because it will likely end in a quick moment. So don’t be surprised.
“This is not a game or a joke, God told me that I was going to win. I said it before in the past that I am going to knock him out but now I am tired of talking and now it’s time to act. I just want to get in the ring and do my God-given destiny and that’s to win on Saturday.”
“I have fought 33 fights and have lost to only two (Arthur Abraham twice and Kelly Pavlik once). They were top middleweights in the world. The public only looks at my losses and not my victories.
“I only fight for the money I know that I will never get the respect that I deserve to be recognized as the greatest.
“Everyone says I have a lot of errors and defects when they watch me but those that know the game inside the ring, know that I don’t make errors. Boxing fans know that I am going to knock him out.”
John Molina Jr: “I’ve been training hard with my usual intensity. I’ve worked with (trainer Joe) Goossen on strategy. There is very little film on Archuleta but I know that he is tricky. Whether he will try to attack or box me early I don’t know. He will try to you his experience, that much I know.
Frankie Archuleta: “John Molina is a great fighter and good challenge for me. I’m impressed with him but there are a lot of things I can do to beat him. Molina isn’t counting on my experience in the ring and I think that will hurt him in the end.”
Shawn Estrada: “This is my fifth fight and I’ve trained hard for it. I am going to go into the ring with the same intensity that I have my last four fights.
“I am a gentleman outside of the ring but when I am in the ring it is a completely different story – I become a monster. I act instinctually in there.
“A fighter always wants a knockout but I won’t say that I’m looking for it. If a knock out comes while I am in the ring with Cory Jones then it comes.
The event will be promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Leonard Productions. The Ward-Miranda bout will be presented in association with Seminole Warriors Boxing.
Tickets, starting at $25 are on sale at the Oracle Box Office (Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Saturday starting at 10 a.m.), online through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com
or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or through Ticketmaster Outlets at the following outlet partners: select Macy’s stores and select Ritmo Latino stores
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. PT. The first non-televised fight is at 5 p.m. PT.