October 6th at The Garden...
August 9, 2007
Madison Square Garden, NY, NY
Report: Matt Richardson
Photos: Ed Mulholland
The press conference was very much like the negotiations to make the fight: long, tedious and much more complex than it needed to be.
Still, it was with a collective sigh of relief that the much delayed heavyweight title fight between champion Oleg Maskaev and number one contender Samuel Peter was finally announced to the boxing world on Wednesday afternoon in New York City.
The two power-punchers will collide on October 6th at Madison Square Garden. The showdown will be nationally televised.
"Boxing is the sport that has built this historic building," said MSG's Joel Fisher. "This promises to be an exciting night of boxing."
"We have a credo here in New York and that's to let the best man win," said NYSAC Chairman Ron Scott Stevens. Stevens, a former matchmaker before becoming commissioner, ironically once made fights for both Maskaev and Peter. "I think this is one of the great match-ups," he said. "These are two rough, tough heavyweights."
The press conference was presided over by Don King, who along with Dino Duva, promotes Peter. But Duva had prior family engagements that could not be canceled so he sent his father Lou to speak for him.
"It's up to Maskaev how long it's going to go," said the legendary trainer. "But Sam Peter will knock him out. Sam Peter and Oleg Maskaev is going to be an exciting fight. Boxing deserves an exciting heavyweight but you can bet on it," Duva said as he pointed to the media, "Sam Peter will knock out Oleg Maskaev!"
"I'm here in a great place to make history," said Peter (28-1, 22 KO's). "It's going to be a great fight on October 6th. To Oleg Maskaev - 'hasta la vista, baby.' You're belt is mine. October 6th is going to be fun."
After much of the pro-Peter talk from the right side of the dais Maskaev promoter Dennis Rappaport came to the podium to give his two cents. "This is not the same Oleg Maskaev. This is a man with a precious and priceless future. (Peter) is not fighting James Toney, he's fighting Oleg Maskaev! And he's right, the fight will end in a knockout - Oleg will win."
"A lot of things are being said and I can say a lot of things," explained Maskaev (34-5, 26 KO's). "This is a big fight. I'm taking this fight very seriously. Don't ever say something before you make it. Like Arnold says, 'I'll be back.'"
"Without a doubt we have here two of the most exciting heavyweights," said Ivaylo Gotzev, Peter's manager. "We're going to be here to seize the moment and crown a new heavyweight champion."
Tickets, priced from $400 to $50 go on sale Friday, August 10. For more information call Ticketmaster at 212-307-7171.
Both fighters were awarded special medals by Joe Dwyer on behalf of the WBC.
Showtime is only airing the main event, electing to bypass the junior middleweight bout between Daniel Santos and Jose Luis Rivera as well as the heavyweight crossroads match between Andrew Golota and Kevin McBride.
Unbeaten heavyweight Mike Marrone may also see action on the under card.
Former 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Al Sharpton was also in attendance at the press conference as he briefly spoke to the assembled media in support of King and the upcoming event.
Maskaev is already training in the Poconos, PA with long-time trainer Victor Valle Jr. According to Valle, Maskaev broke four of his trainer's ribs while doing body work in the gym.