Sam Peter vs. Sherman Williams & Jessie Feliciano vs. Oscar Diaz April 29th?
Earlier this evening Boxingtalk.com spoke to Duva Boxing's Dino Duva to get his thoughts on Taurus Sykes’ response to Sykes' acceptance of Duva’s offer to take on undefeated Sam “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter. “I respect Taurus Sykes as a warrior and I commend him for wanting him to get in there with the top guys and wanting to prove himself” stated Duva who also added. “We have encountered problems because no one wants to get in the ring with Samuel, and anytime I see a fighter, such as Taurus Sykes, or any one for that matter, publicly challenging Samuel. I have to make the most of it, and make it clear that we accept that challenge, because it is not very common to find someone that will get in the ring with Samuel these days” Read on to see what else Duva had to say about actually making the fight a reality now that Sykes, 23-1-1, from Brooklyn, NY has stepped up to the plate.
RC: Dino, give us your thoughts on Taurus Sykes’ response to the press release you recently issued?
DD: First off, I would like to say that I respect Taurus Sykes as a warrior, and I commend him for wanting him to get in there with the top guys and wanting to prove himself. I respect that in a fighter. I still don’t really appreciate some of the sort of racist remarks that he made about Sam, but you know that is okay, I understand there is nothing personal. I read what he said, let’s just get it on in the ring. I mean that is my point I just also want to get it on in the ring.
I also just want to make a point regarding our position with Sam Peter as far as challenging fighters. We have consistently over the past six months challenged every top heavyweight in the world to fight Sam Peter. Obviously there is always an issue getting the proper T.V. dates and slots to put fights on, but we are willing to fight ANY heavyweight in the world with Samuel, we have encountered problems because no one wants to get in the ring with Samuel, and anytime I see a fighter, such as Taurus Sykes, or any one for that matter publicly challenging Samuel. I have to make the most of it, and make it clear that we accept that challenge, because it is not very common to find someone that will get in the ring with Samuel these days. That is why I issued the press release challenging Sykes. I kind of didn’t appreciate the way the article was written, it made it seem as if we were challenging lesser fighters. The fact is that no top fighter in the world would be someone that we wouldn’t want to fight. A lot of the top fighters simply don’t even want to talk about fighting Samuel. RC: So what now Dino has there been any advancement to make this fight actually hap…
DD: (Cutting in) the thing is that we plan on Samuel fighting on April 29th against Sherman Williams on ESPN. And assuming he gets buy Sherman Williams successfully, we have a confirmed commitment from premium T.V. for Samuel, and if Television will accept Taurus Sykes and we can make an agreement on the money, we would love to fight Taurus. However, we have to deal with the television people, because they have a lot of influence in who you fight and how much they pay. So that is something that we have to deal with and we would deal with that in the near future. RC: So what else is going on with Duva Boxing, what can we expect in the near future?
DD: Well we have Brian Minto Fighting tonight in Butler Pennsylvania, it is on a non-T.V. show, he is fighting against David Polk just to get back into the ring and stay active. We are looking to put him in down the road in a bigger fight against a top Heavyweight to try and get him into contender status.
We are also talking about Oscar Diaz fight on the April 29th show with Samuel Peter on ESPN, and we are also working on a late May ESPN show with Kendall Holt, and Shaun George in the opening bout. So we have a lot of things working for our top rising, young prospects, like Peter, Diaz, Holt, and Shaun George and in April and May they are going to keep busy. Hopefully Brian Minto will win tonight and we will be able to move him into a bigger fight also in the early summer. RC: Are they any names in particular you guys have been talking about to face Oscar Diaz?
DD: We are looking at Jessie Feliciano. It would be a great Latin warrior’s battle opening up the Peter-Williams fight, so we are excited about the possibility of that show, Feliciano has accepted the fight; we are just waiting to get a contract signed. We don’t have any real opponent solidified yet for Kendall Holt or Shaun George in May, but we are working on that, and hopefully in the next week or so we will get that together. We are working on something with ESPN that we are trying to put together, and there is going to be a major announcement of what we are doing with the show in the near future. It is going to be very exciting, we are going to be looking at May 27th, we are possibly going to be doing a special Memorial Day show with ESPN, and we are real excited about it. RC: Does Duva Boxing still work with former IBF cruiserweight champ Kelvin Davis?
DD: Oh yeah, we are Don King’s co-promotional partner with him. RC: So what is the latest with him?
DD: Well nothing yet, the IBF issued a ruling on Kelvin’s appeal. They declared the title vacant, but they also encouraged us to try to make an O’Neil Bell-Kelvin Davis fight for the vacant title. RC: Didn’t Warriors boxing already make a bout between Dale Brown and Kelvin Davis for the vacant belt?
DD: Well what happened was when they initially striped Kelvin; they ordered a vacant title fight between Brown and Bell, but then when Kelvin appealed that was all put on hold until the decision came out. RC: Wasn’t the decision already made and the Brown-Bell fight was already being discussed?
DD: Unless something has happened within the last day or so that I don’t know about, we are still trying to work on some type of combination of O’Neil Bell, Kelvin Davis and Dale Brown getting involved fighting for the IBF title. That is what the IBF encouraged everyone to do with the ruling and to be honest Don is the point person with the Kelvin Davis promotion, but we are co-promotional partners. And like I said unless something happened in the last day or so in which I don’t know about, we are still trying to get all three guys fighting for the title in a series of fights and that is what our goal is. It may be Brown-Davis, it may be Davis-Bell with the winner fighting Brown, they are a few combinations possible and we are working on it to try and get it all worked out right now. RC: Is there anything else you would like to add?
DD: I am just looking forward to 2005, I think it is going to be a big year for us and our fighters, Sam Peter, Kendall Holt, Oscar Diaz, and Shaun George, I think they are all going to make their marks this year. We also have some real good young young fighters that are starting to develop and we are really looking forward to positive things this year. RC: Who are some of the young fighters that you have that we should keep an eye out for?
DD: Yeah, this kid Mike Marrone he is a heavyweight from Vero Beach Florida, he’s 7-0(6) , a terrific young prospect, only 19yrs old so he needs some time, but we have big hopes for him. My Father Lou has signed up a kid from Cleveland who is a hell of a prospect and he is going to be making his pro-debut on the April 29th show, and his name is Anthony Brown. We also have a couple other kids that we are looking at and working on, and I’ll keep you informed if there are any new sign ups.
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