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BIG TIME BOXING USA OPEN WORKOUT AT KRONK GYM QUOTES

PhilBoxing.com


Top Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin Returns Against Devin Vargas in Main Event; Battle of Undefeated Super Lightweights Joshua James Pagan & Roger Hilley for NABF Championship; Ali Akhmedov vs. Encarnacion Diaz; on Thursday, May 23 & Live on DAZN from Wayne State Fieldhouse in Detroit

Media Invited to Public Weigh-in Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 22) at Hotel Saint Regis Detroit at 3:30 pm

DETROIT – May 21, 2024 – Some of the marquee fighters scheduled for battle later this week at the “Big Time Boxing USA” event showed off their skills at a media workout today at the Kronk Gym in Detroit before Salita Promotions presents the latest installment of its popular series Thursday night (May 23) from Wayne State Fieldhouse in Detroit and live on premier global sports platform DAZN (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

Featured during the workout were top American heavyweight Jermaine Franklin Jr. (22-2, 14 KOs), who will appear in the 10-round main event against former U.S. Olympian Devin Vargas (22-10, 9 KOs), Joshua James Pagan (9-0, 4 KOs) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who will face fellow undefeated prospect Roger Hilley (13-0, 8 KOs) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Junior NABF Super Lightweight Championship in the televised co-feature, and late addition Ali Akhmedov (20-1, 15 KOs), of Venice, California, via Almaty, Kazakhstan, who takes on Encarnacion Diaz (18-4, 11 KOs) of San Jose, Costa Rica, in an intriguing eight-round special attraction.

Akhmedov’s trainer, Detroit-born Johnathon Banks was also on hand to train his fighter and take questions, as well as Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein, who is part of the night’s broadcast crew. Former WBC Welterweight Champion and Kronk hero Milton McCrory was also in attendance to offer his support.

Tickets for BIG TIME BOXING USA are on sale now and can be purchased online HERE or in-person at the Wayne State Fieldhouse Box Office.

Here is what the group had to say:

Jermaine Franklin

Fighting in my home state again feels great. I love the energy. It’s like an aura and it feels great.

What I learned in those two fights in Europe is that everything isn’t fair and don’t look to the refs to clean up everything. Fight to the best of your ability and don’t pay attention until he stops you. I was already mentally tough, but those two fights over there brought out a new ferociousness in me. Not a lot of stuff can get to me anymore. If the ref doesn’t stop me, you better get out of the way.

I still want my rematch with Joshua, but we’re chasing belts. Hopefully I can go after one of these top contenders like Daniel Dubois or Phillip Hrgovic or Cassius Chaney or Michael Hunter.

I only saw bits and pieces of Fury vs. Usyk, but I think my punch output would be a lot higher than those guys. Usyk can punch and move against the big heavyweights, he’s got real nice feet, but I think my punch output could keep up with him a lot better than most other heavyweights could.

I know Vargas was a great boxer in his time, and he went to the Olympics. He has a punch-and-move type style, so I’ll beat him at his own game and cut the ring off – force him to engage. I don’t do predictions, but he’s going to end up on his ass.

Fighting to the level of my opposition has been a real problem for me in the past. I really can’t explain why the better the opponent, the better I fight. We’ve been working on pushing the pace and pushing our intensity in the gym, so we don’t get stuck in that comfortable space anymore and fight to my limit every time.

I still see myself as a top guy and I’m just trying to get back to the top fights. Mentally and physically I’m ready to take the call for the next big fight.

Joshua Pagan

It feels great to be back. I was supposed to fight in February and March, and it didn’t go through, so I’m happy to be back. It was frustrating a lot to train and not fight, but I just call it God’s timing. I’m ready to go and I can’t wait to bring the belt home.

I know he’s a crafty southpaw. I’ve seen a couple of his fights and I know what he brings to the table, but I know what I bring to the table, too, and I’m ready to go. I’m determined and I trained hard for this, and I know I will win. I’m ready to execute the game plan.

I knew I would get to the level of a televised co-feature eventually, but not this quickly. I’m very blessed and excited to be getting this opportunity. Thanks to my promoter, Dmitriy Salita.

Johnathon Banks

We’ve been having fun since the first day we worked together. We met when I started training Gennady Golovkin about five years ago.

This is a homecoming for me. Ali is able to fight in Detroit for the first time and I’m able to work at home for the first time in a long time.

The Kazakh style of boxing is similar to the Kronk style because they do a lot of movement. The only difference is the late, great Emanuel Steward taught us to do rhythm along with our movement and we punch off that rhythm and punch off that movement and that’s what we’ve worked on a lot – moving and punching at the same time because that’s what Emanuel was all about.

The Rosado fight was a tough test for Ali and coming into the 12th round, I looked into his eyes and said we’ve been here before and we’re here again. Listen to everything I tell you this time and you will have no worries. He said ‘Johnathon, I believe you,’ and he kissed my forehead. Then he went out there and won the title. He listened and did everything he was supposed to do, and it worked out.

Ali Akhmedov

I’m very happy to work with Johnathon. We have a very good connection. He understands me and I believe in him. I’ve learned a lot from Johnathon. He’s taught me a lot about moving around the ring better.

Of course, I knew about Kronk Gym when I lived in Kazakhstan. All fighters around the world know about Kronk Gym. This is my first time training here and it’s a thrill.

# # #

ABOUT SALITA PROMOTIONS

Salita Promotions was founded in 2010 by Dmitriy Salita, a professional boxer and world-title challenger who saw the need for a promotional entity to feature boxing's best young prospects and established contenders in North America and around the world. Viewers watching fighters on worldwide television networks including SHOWTIME, HBO, ESPN, Spike TV, Universal Sports Network, UFC Fight Pass, DAZN, ESPN+ and MSG have enjoyed Salita Promotions fight action in recent years. We pride ourselves on offering our fighters opportunities inside and outside the ring. Salita Promotions looks forward to continuing to grow and serve the needs of fight fans around the globe.

Check the Salita Promotions YOUTUBE CHANNEL for regular updates of the modern world’s greatest fighters, contenders and prospects in action.




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