By: Alex Dombroff, Dibella Entertainment
NEW YORK, NY (June 8, 2011) – On the precipice of Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend, the top young talent from the island of Puerto Rico gathered at the Parlour Restaurant in midtown Manhattan as they put the finishing touches on preparations for Boricua Invasion I & II, a two day boxing extravaganza set to take place this weekend in Times Square.
On Friday, June 10, ESPN2 Friday Night Fights will be live from the Roseland Ballroom in New York City as Kenny Galarza (14-1, 14 KOs) takes on Irving Garcia (17-6-3, 8 KOs) in a battle of welterweight contenders. In the co-feature, welterweight terror Thomas Dulorme (11-0, 10 KOs) faces former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley (37-17-1, 22 KOs). Other Puerto Rican fighters featured will be 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian Jose Pedraza (2-0, 2 KOs) in a junior lightweight contest, junior welterweight prospect and Bronx native Steven Martinez (9-0, 7 KOs), Newark resident Alex Perez (13-0, 7 KOs) in a welterweight contest and New York junior lightweight Emanuel Gonzalez (8-0, 7 KOs).
On Saturday, June 11, Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation cameras will be rolling, again at the Roseland Ballroom, for Boricua Invasion II when featherweights Luis Del Valle (12-0, 10 KOs) and Dat Nguyen (17-1, 6 KOs) battle for the NABA title. In the co-feature, the NABO and WBA Fedelatin super welterweight titles will be on the line when Jonathan Gonzalez (13-0, 13 KOs) battles veteran Richard Gutierrez (26-6-1, 16 KOs). Also on the show is über popular junior welterweight Gabriel Bracero (15-0, 1 KO), female super featherweight from Brooklyn Amanda Serrano (9-0-1, 5 KOs), and junior welterweight Jorge Maysonet, Jr. (3-0, 2 KOs).
On Sunday, all of the key participants will be riding on the New York Daily News float in the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Tickets for Boricua Invasion I on Friday, June 10 are priced at $175, $125, $75, $45 and are available through Ticketmaster.com, charge-by-phone, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. On Saturday, Doors will open at 6:00 pm and the action starts at 6:30.
Tickets for Boricua Invasion II on Saturday, June 11 are priced at $200, $150, $85, and $55 and are available through Ticketmaster.com, charge-by-phone, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. On Saturday, Doors will open at 7:00 pm and the action starts at 7:30.
Below are quotes from the participants in today’s press conference:
Promoter Lou DiBella:“Team Puerto Rico is a concept that, I think, will carry Puerto Rican boxing to a new level. It will also introduce American fight fans to the best fighters in Puerto Rico.”
Promoter Gary Shaw:“Years ago I was on the New Jersey commission when Team Freedom started. The huge difference between Team Puerto Rico and Team Freedom is that when the Team Freedom fighters came to America [from Cuba], they sensed freedom for the first time and went ballistic and none of them really panned out. All the Team Puerto Rico fighters have a great work ethic. We don’t have to get them in the gym. It was a dream come true when we were able to sign these kids.”
Promoter Javier Bustillo:“We are very honored to be part of this Team Puerto Rico. This is very important for the people on the island of Puerto Rico.”
Kenny Galarza:“I respect Irving Garcia as a person, but in the ring I respect nobody. I promise a great fight.”
Irving Garcia:“I came here to put on a great show and [Galarza and I] are going to put on a great fight.”
Thomas Dulorme:“I am happy that the world gets to see me. Corley may have been training for five weeks, but this day is mine. I have seen Corley fight since I was a kid. What I want to happen in the ring will be done.”
DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley:“I’ve been here before. I’ve been on the big stage. I know what it takes to step up to the plate and knock the ball out of the park. I respect the young man who is 11-0 for taking this fight, but I am coming to fight.”
Jose Pedraza:“I am very happy to be in New York and to be on ESPN in my third professional fight. I don’t know anything about my opponent [Tomi Archambald], but I am desperate. I am desperate to fight, win, and then celebrate on Sunday.”
Steven Martinez:“I am so happy to be part of the tradition of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.”
Luis Del Valle:“I give a lot of credit for Dat Nguyen to take the fight. I hope you bring your A-game because I’m ready. It won’t matter how many punches a round that you throw.”
Dat Nguyen:“I want to thank Luis Del Valle for fighting me. I’ve always wanted to fight guys that are tough, but I haven’t gotten to do that thus far. That motivates me.”
Jonathan Gonzalez:“I am very thankful for my first fight in New York and I’m going to put on a great demonstration. I’m ready to fight ten rounds, but it won’t last that long. I have knocked out all thirteen boxers I’ve faced and [Gutierrez] will be number fourteen.”
Richard Gutierrez:“I want to thank my whole team that has been working with me in preparation for this fight. Everybody knows me, my nickname is “The Bull” and I will show everybody why. Gonzalez has fought nobody. This is the first time he will fight a real boxer.”
Gabriel Bracero:“I’m extremely honored to be fighting on a weekend of Puerto Rican pride. I’ve been working hard and I’ve been having a great training camp. I will be 16-0 come Saturday and I will continue my mission of chasing a world title.”