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March 06, 2017

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: LOU DIBELLA
By G. Leon

GL: Congrats on another great show. Can you give us some thoughts on the card from top to bottom? "It was a terrific card, there was a tremendously dramatic ending to the Fonfara-Dawson fight. I think Dawson boxed better than anybody thought he would and Fonfara needed a knockout to win the fight and he got it. I thought it was a really impressive performance by Erickson Lubin, he's got tremendous power and that was a sensational knockout. The main event was a good solid welterweight fight and a tremendously tactical fight. I thought Thurman got off to a very fast start and a pretty big lead. In the last couple of rounds Garcia came on, but I personally thought it was too little too late. It was an interesting fight, it wasn't a Gatti-Ward type of war, but it was a tactical intelligent fight."

GL: Did Thurman fighting the last few rounds like De La Hoya did with Trinidad make the championship rounds less action packed than they could have been?

Lou DiBella: "I think that probably he thought he had it in the bag. He went out there with a game plan and he executed it. I think the game plan they had, they thought their defense was better than they were given credit for and they thought they'd be able to outbox Danny. They boxed to a lead and I think he didn't want to take any chances late and I think he gave away the last couple of rounds, but I also thought that maybe Danny didn't take enough chances early and maybe he gave away too many rounds."

GL: Heather Hardy was also in action opening the show.

LD: "Heather fought against a tough girl and she won very clearly, but it was not an easy fight. The other girl was tough, she could punch a bit and she was durable. Heather loves to mix it up and she tends to make her fights harder than they have to be, but I think she boxed well enough to dominate. I thought the whole show from a boxing perspective was strong. I thought the crowd was incredible. The big stories to come out of the night are we set an all time record for combat sport attendance and gate in Brooklyn, and I also think that we did a tremendous rating from CBS on the overnight. I'm still waiting for the final numbers, but it looks like the boxing show won the night, including out-rating the NBA in a nationally televised game. To win the night and beat the NBA who has a billion and half dollar TV deal is really significant."

GL: In terms of viewers, what are the early indications on the numbers?

LD: "I don't have an exact number, but doing the math it looks like an average of about 2.7 million people."

GL: How did the Fox show do the week before?

LD: "This was higher than the Fox show."

GL: Over the weekend you announced the Berto-Porter fight on April 22. Can you give us some thoughts on that?

LD: "It's another great fight in the welterweight division, the welterweight division is as hot as a fired pistol. There's a lot of talent in the division and this is another fantastic match-up. They're both about the same size, neither guy is a defensive minded fighter, they're both very aggressive and I think it's a terrific match-up of styles. I think it's a fight that percolated because they started going back and forth with each other on social media. I think it's a fight that both of them are interested in and I think it's going to be a sensational fight in the ring. For that one I'm really expecting fireworks."

GL: Have any of the undercard slots for April 22 been secured yet?

LD: "We're working on all of this right now and I expect there to be announcements on the full card forthcoming in the near future."

GL: What's up with April 29?

LD: "I think we'll have an announcement for that after St. Patrick's Day."

GL: C'mon you can tell me now.

LD: (laughs) "No I can't tell you right now."

GL: Closing thoughts?

LD: "We're on a good run right now and I think these back to back fights have been fantastic. The Thurman-Garcia fight did a better number than Wilder, but Wilder still out-rated the NHL and still peaked at over 2.5 million people seeing the Wilder fight. This thing is going to peak at a significantly higher number than that and right now Showtime is on a roll right now and they've got to get some credit for that. Stephen Espinoza has done a tremendous job of making fights the public is interested in and I think it's great that the sport is getting elevated to a new level."

Send questions and comments to: boxingtalkg@yahoo.com



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