Quotes: Underdogs Make Their Case Ahead of Aug. 8th On Garcia-Salka Card

Garcia vs Salka

“I’ve been an underdog for my entire career. I’ve been vaccinated; I’m immune to this.”

– Rod Salka

 

“People will still talk trash about me after I knock Peterson out. But that’s not my problem.”

– Edgar Santana

“I didn’t travel all the way here and spend months in the gym just to get a paycheck. I’m not just an opponent. I came here to take that title back to my fans in Australia.”

– Jarrod Fletcher

BROOKLYN (July 31, 2014) – Rod SalkaEdgar Santana and Jarrod Fletcher are all, understandably, being referred to as underdogs heading into their respective fights Saturday, Aug. 9 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. But the overlooked fighters are all relishing in their opportunity to pull off the upset and shock the world, live onSHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®.

In the main event on SHOWTIME, Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia will face the hungry “Lightning” Rod Salka in a 10-round welterweight bout. In the co-feature, IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Lamont Peterson will risk his title against veteran contender Edgar Santana in a 12-round match. In the opening fight of the telecast, Brooklyn’s own Daniel Jacobs will take on once-beaten Australian Jarrod Fletcher for the vacant WBA Middleweight World Title.

Will these dogs have any bite? Check out SHOWTIME boxing expert Steve Farhood‘s list of top 10 underdogs who pulled off extraordinary upsets and read what each aforementioned fighter has to say as they head into the biggest fights of their careers:

  1. Buster Douglas KO 10 Mike Tyson, February 11, 1990, Tokyo (Wins WBA, WBC, IBF Heavyweight Titles) – Tyson is 37-0, Douglas is a 42-1 underdog in at least one Las Vegas sports book; not even Nostradamus saw this coming.
  2. Evander Holyfield KO 11 Mike Tyson, November 9, 1996, Las Vegas (Wins WBA Heavyweight Title) – Tyson opens as 24-1 favorite; not first or last time “Real Deal” is overlooked.
  3. Randy Turpin W 15 Sugar Ray Robinson, July 10, 1951, London (Wins world middleweight title) – Robinson went in with a ridiculous record of 128-1-2, and hasn’t lost since 1943.
  4. Frankie Randall W 12 Julio Cesar Chavez, January 29, 1994, Las Vegas (Wins WBC Super Lightweight Title) – “J.C. Superstar,” 89-0-1, suffers first knockdown and first loss in same bout.
  5. Hasim Rahman KO 5 Lennox Lewis, April 22, 2001, Gauteng, South Africa (Wins WBC & IBF Heavyweight Titles) – Rahman does it with one legendary punch vs. ill-prepared Lewis.
  6. Billy Backus KO 4 Jose Napoles, December 3, 1970, Syracuse, NY (Wins world welterweight title) – New York Times lists local challenger, who has 10 losses, as 9-1 underdog; aging Napoles stopped on cuts.
  7. Leon Spinks W 15 Muhammad Ali, February 15, 1978, Las Vegas (Wins world heavyweight title) – Almost beyond belief: In only ninth pro bout, Olympic gold medalist Spinks shocks “The Greatest.”
  8. Corrie Sanders KO 2 Wladimir Klitschko, March 8, 2003, Niedersachsen, Germany (Wins WBO Heavyweight Title) – Southpaw from South Africa crushes Wlad with huge left hands.
  9. (tie) Cassius Clay KO 7 Sonny Liston, February 25, 1964, Miami (Wins world heavyweight title)

Muhammad Ali KO 8 George Foreman, October 30, 1974, Kinshasa, Zaire (Regains world heavyweight title) – Ali is at least 7-1 underdog in both bouts; his handlers, in fear of his fate vs. Big George, had reportedly mapped out route from stadium to hospital.

  1. Kirkland Laing W 10 Roberto Duran, September 4, 1982, Detroit (junior middleweight bout) – A 7-1 underdog, the UK’s Laing surprises Duran, 74-3 at the time.

ROD SALKA:

“I’ve been an underdog the entire time I’ve been a professional.  I’d have to be living under a rock to not think I’m an underdog.  But this is just another fight that I have to win.  I know I’m the underdog, but I’ve never looked at it that way.  I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder.  And I stuck around because people told me I couldn’t succeed.

“I don’t want to look back when I’m 60 or 70-years-old and have any regrets or know I didn’t give it my all. This could be my only opportunity like this and I can’t let it slip away.

“If I needed anything to motivate me it would have been six years ago when I was promoting my own four-round fights, when I was fighting in local shows trying to draw my own fans. Each fight now is its own motivator; each one is the biggest fight of my life.

“Critics would say, ‘He’ll never be more than a four-round fighter, he’ll never be a contender, he’ll never beat anyone good.’ Then I fought on SHOWTIME and I beat Alexei Collado. Now they say, ‘He doesn’t stand a chance against Danny Garcia.’ They were wrong before and they are wrong again.”

EDGAR SANTANA:

“People see me as the underdog, the guy without a chance, which I don’t mind. We are all underdogs in one way or another.  It’s up to me to change that, and the only way to do that is beat Lamont Peterson.

“People have been underestimating me my whole life.  It has definitely motivated me.

“When people say you can’t win, you can’t beat him, you don’t deserve a shot, and it’s alright. My focus is on working hard.  I have to perform that night and to show everyone what I’m capable of doing. I don’t care what people say. People will still talk trash about me after I knock him out. But that’s not my problem. All I know is they made a big mistake in choosing me as an opponent.

“This would instantly change everything for me.  You’re talking about a fighter who many people have forgotten about. But I’m back, I think I’ve paid my dues, I’ve worked hard, I’ve sacrificed a lot.  This is meant to be.  I truly believe that this is meant to be.

“For some reason, I just have that feeling inside, I can almost taste it.  This is my time.  I’m here for a reason and I’m going to take advantage of this. It’s happening for a reason and I’m going to leave it all on the line.

“This shot makes everything I’ve been through in my career and personal life worth it.  I’ve been around, ups and downs, but I still kept pushing.  I was very optimistic throughout my career.  I always told myself that if I kept pushing myself that my time would come.  And that time is finally here.”

JARROD FLETCHER:

“I like having the underdog role. I’ve been the massive dog before -no one thought I would win against Max Bursak earlier this year in Monaco – and it’s the same here in his (Jacobs’) own back yard. I look forward to the opportunity. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.

“The fans in the U.S. might not know who I am, but I’m just focused on my preparation. People can think what they want. I’ve come here to win. I didn’t travel all the way here and spend months in the gym just to get a paycheck. I’m not just an opponent. I came here to take that title back to my fans in Australia.

“It would be life changer. Winning the title would make life a lot easier with the young kids, my wife and family. It would financially set me up and put me up top. Everything would come easier. Winning a world title has been a dream of mine since I was a kid and it will come true next week.

“Once that bell goes it doesn’t matter who the favored fighter is, or what city or arena we are fighting in. It could be in a phone box in Australia and it wouldn’t matter to me. We’ve already put in all the hard work. All those guys cheering against me just make me hungrier.

“I’m just going to let my fists do the talking in the ring. I’ve had a great preparation. This has been a dream of mine and it’s about to come true. This is going to be the start of something big for me.”

Garcia vs Salka

Forgotten Legends: Frankie Randall

Frankie Randall

By: Steve Gallegos

We continue our ‘Forgotten Legends‘ series with another very underrated fighter who never got the due he deserved. A tough pugilist who wouldn’t let the politics and bad breaks of boxing keep him down. That fighter was former three-time world champion FrankieThe SurgeonRandall.

Randall was a tough, boxer puncher who could bang and he made history during his career while being dealt some very bad hands as well. Frankie Randall was born in Birmingham, AL and grew up in Morristown, TN. He turned pro in 1981 and went 24-0 with 19 KO’s from 1983-1985 before losing his first bout to future world champion Edwin Rosario. He also KO’d and drew with another future world champion in Freddie Pendelton and despite Pendelton’s subpar record, he received a world title shot long before Randall did. Randall continued to press on knowing that one day he would get his world title shot.

After losing his second bout to Primo Ramos in 1987, Randall signed with promoter Don King and went on a 17 fight win streak including a seventh round TKO over Edwin Rosario in a rematch. Finally after 51 fights, Randall would get his first title shot against Mexico’s legendary Julio Cesar Chavez. “El Gran Campeon Mexicano” came into the fight with an outstanding record or 89-0-1 and was looking for win number 90 in his quest to reach 100 victories. Prior to the fight, Randall studied Chavez’s last bout with Pernell Whitaker in which Whitaker outboxed and dominated Chavez. He saw some holes in Chavez’s game when faced with a good boxer and was confident he could capitalize on those weaknesses. He also said prior to the bout that he had a surprise that he was going to unveil in the fight.

They met on 01/29/94 in Las Vegas, NV at the brand new MGM Grand Garden Arena for the WBC Super Lightweight title. When the opening bell sounded, Randall was a 15-1 underdog; however he would defy the odds with a huge statement. Randall came out, showing no fear of Chavez and took the first three rounds as he landed crisp combinations. During the middle rounds, Chavez started to come on; however Randall wasn’t phased by Chavez’s punching power and gave as good as he got. The seventh round is when the tide began to turn in favor of Randall.

Chavez had been throwing low blows for most of the night and in the seventh round, Chavez was deducted a point from Referee Richard Steele after Chavez landed a huge low blow that staggered Randall. Randall would have a huge rally in the 8th and as the fight headed into the championship rounds, it appeared that Chavez would need a knockout in order to keep his title. The 11th round was the most crucial round of the fight as Chavez once again landed another bad low blow which caused Richard Steele to once again deduct a point. Moments later, Randall would unleash the surprise he promised before the fight as he landed a huge straight right hand that put Chavez down for the very first time in his career.

Many watching the Pay Per View telecast will not forget Showtime commentator Steve Albert’s Howard Cosell moment when he yelled out “Oh down goes Chavez for the first time in his career”. It was the icing on the cake for Frankie Randall and when the final bell sounded, he knew he finally acheived his dream. The end result was a very close split decision win for Randall. While the judge’s final scorecards were closer than the fight really was, Randall was finally a world champion. Randall made history in more ways than one that night. Not only was he a world champion, he was also the first man to knock Julio Cesar Chavez down and defeat him. He was also the winner of the very first main event at the now legendary MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Chavez didn’t give the proper respect to Randall and instead blamed the loss on Referee Richard Steele for taking away points for low blows. The Chavez camp called for an immediate rematch and they would get one just a litte over three months later. Randall and Chavez met once again on 05/07/94 at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas. The fight was once again action packed with both fighters having their moments throughout seven rounds.

In the eighth, the two men collided heads which caused a huge gash over Chavez’s eye. According to the WBC rules, when an accidental headbutt occurs, the uncut fighter loses a point; therefore Randall was deducted a point on the scorecards. The bout was stopped and the fight went to the scorecards in which Chavez was awarded a close technical decision. Had the unjust and atrocious rule of the WBC not been enforced, then Randall would have retained his title via a technical draw. Randall shook off the loss and would get another crack at a world title in his next fight when he faced WBA Jr. Welterweight champion Juan Martin Coggi of Argentina.

They met on 09/17/94 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Randall dominated the bout, dropping Coggi three times en route to a unanimous decision victory. He would successfully defend his title twice before facing Coggi in a rematch. They met on 01/13/96 in Miami, FL and Randall would once again be dealt a very bad hand. In the fifth round, the two fighters collided heads and Coggi would go down and would be on wobbily legs causing the fight to be stopped and go to the scorecards. Coggi was awarded a technical decision and the WBA Jr Welterweight title.

Coggi apppeared to be acting more hurt than he really was and many felt he deserved an “Oscar” instead of the championship. Randall was furious, stating that he would rather lose the right way instead of the way he lost and it wasn’t right. He would face Coggi in a rubber match seven months later in Coggi’s home country of Argentina in which he would regain his title via unanimous decision. He was now a three time world champion; however his third reign as champion wouldn’t last very long.

On 01/11/97, he faced tough French challenger Khalid Rahilou in Nashville, TN. Randall’s scouting report on Rahilou was that he lacked power and was slow; however Randall’s observation was clearly mistaken. Randall came out and dictated the pace of the first three rounds as he pressed forward, oppossing his will on Rahilou, who was circling most of the time. As the rounds went on, Randall began having problems with Rahilou’s lateral movement and the tough French challenger began to land hard, fast combinations.

The tide turned for Rahilou in the eighth when he staggered Randall towards the end of the round. Rahilou dominated the ninth and 10th rounds with his quick combinations and went for the kill in the 11th, causing the fight to be stopped. Randall would take the next 18 months off and would cut ties with promoter Don King. He returned in July of 1998, winning two fights by KO and was once again in line for a possible world title shot, this time against Oscar De La Hoya; however he would lose to Oba Carr on 02/13/99 in a title eliminator bout.

It was pretty much the end of the road for Frankie Randall as a serious contender in the sport of Boxing. He would continue fighting for another 6 years going 3-12, including a loss to Julio Cesar Chavez in a rubber match in 2004. He retired in 2005 with a record of 58-18 with 42 KO’s. He is another of our “Unsung” heroes who never got the credit he truly deserved. He was a fighter who never had anything given to him, instead he went out and took it. He was a fighter who kept pressing on when the politics and bad luck of boxing kept trying to keep him down. He is much more than just the man who dethroned Julio Cesar Chavez. He was a true pugilist and a true champion.

Frankie Randall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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