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Andre Ward: Edwin Rodriguez thinks he’s going to bully me

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – November 14, 2013 – WBA and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (Oakland, Calif.) is just 48 hours away from his return to the ring, and he’s locked and loaded for his first fight of 2013. Ward will face off with undefeated contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez in a super middleweight title bout on Saturday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., and live on HBO World Championship Boxing.

The 29-year-old is excited to finally return to the ring after a 14-month layoff and he shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects over the past couple of days as he finalizes preparation for Saturday’s showdown.

On his 16-year winning streak:

“I love to compete. I love to win and it’s just as simple as that. There are no simple formulas. God blessed me with the talent. I take my job very seriously and I think that’s a major thing that’s benefited me in the ring. When I get in there, I just love to compete.”

On his training camp for Edwin Rodriguez:

“You know you had a good training camp when you’re happy it’s over. That’s when you know you had a thorough training camp, when you’ve made every single day count and that’s what we did. I’m happy training camp is over. I’m excited to showcase that and remind people who the super middleweight champ is.”

On the layoff:

“It’s very difficult. You never want to be off. You never want to be on the sidelines, especially against your will. The silver lining is that I’ve been in this sport 20 years. I’m a max effort type person when I train and prepare so I think my body thanked me for it. My body got a chance to relax from the combat, even though I was still working. That was the silver lining. It’s very difficult, but it’s my story.”

“I’m not worried about the 14-month layoff. I’m excited to get back. I’m sharp. I’m ready. I’m going to be better than ever. Like Floyd Mayweather said, ‘We’ve been here before. This is not my first rodeo.'”

On Edwin Rodriguez:

“His greatest strength is his eagerness and his willingness to fight, but that’s also going to be his downfall. He doesn’t always mind his defense and I think he’s falling in to the same trap that a lot of guys fall in to with me. The perception from a distance is, ‘Oh, we’re gonna walk through this guy.’ His mindset is going to be, ‘I’m going to blow this guy out.’ He’s going to find out that it’s a little bit different then what it looks like on the outside.”

On his pre-existing shoulder injury:

“I injured it in amateur fight when I was 12 or 13-years-old and we just built up the muscles around it. Now that it’s fixed, I have a lot more pop in this arm and I’m excited about it. I’m excited to showcase it on Saturday. Even though it was a rough road back. I look it like it was a positive to get that fixed finally.”

On the fight:

“I let these guys do all the talking for this fight. This is his first time at this level when he has cameras in his face, doing more interviews than he’s ever done before. I let him and his coach do all the talking. They’ve been doing a lot of talking and I’ve been working. I’ve been grinding so come Saturday night, we’re gonna talk. I’m going to be locked in.”

“Once again, they misread the scouting report. They think they’re going to bully me, push me back and, ‘we’re going to make him fight.’ I’ve been through my ups and downs in the ring. I’ve been dropped and have been able to get up and battle back. I’ve been buzzed in a fight. I’ve been cut in a fight. The question is – has he?”

“For some reason when you’re dominant for a certain period of time, people think you haven’t been tested. People think you haven’t gone through anything. I’m locked in, I take this sport real seriously and he’s going to find that out come Saturday night.”

About: “Ward vs. Rodriguez – The Return”

2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist and WBA and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward makes his highly anticipated return to the ring defending his WBA and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight title against Edwin Rodriguez on Saturday, November 16 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.

Following slightly more than a year absence from the ring due to injury, Ward (26-0, 13 KOs) will put his world titles on the line against the undefeated Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round World Championship main event, which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Top Rank Signs 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Esquiva Falcäo

LAS VEGAS, NEV (November 14, 2013) — Top Rank announced today it signed yet another blue chip 2012 Olympian — 2012 Olympic silver medalist ESQUIVA FALCÄO of Brazil. He will make his professional debut in early 2014.

Falcäo, 23, advanced to the Olympic finals as a middleweight, mowing down top international competition before losing to gold medalist Ryota Murata (also a Top Rank fighter) of Japan. It was the first time a Brazilian boxer ever reached an Olympic final.

“We are thrilled that Esquiva has joined Top Rank. He has so much talent and we look forward to letting that talent shine on an international stage,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “Brazil boasts a robust media market and a rabid fan base. There is a reason why Brazil is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. We look forward to using those platforms in promoting Esquiva.”

The southpaw Falcäo joins a sterling list of Olympians already on Top Rank’s roster, including gold medalists Zou Shiming of China, Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine, Murata, and Egor Mekhhontcev of Russia, and three other exciting prospects — American Jose Ramírez, Puerto Rican Felix Verdejo and Mexican Óscar Valdez — all of whom aspire to become Top Rank’s next generation of world champions.

Sands China Donating To Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts

(Macao, Nov. 14, 2013) – Sands China Ltd. is assisting the Macao community’s efforts to provide disaster relief to those affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical storms ever recorded, which made landfall in the Philippines Nov. 8, causing widespread destruction and loss of life.

The company is spearheading several initiatives to raise donations to aid disaster relief efforts in the Philippines. The first is a cash donation of US$100,000 to the Macau Red Cross.

Additionally, to encourage team members to participate in the relief effort, Sands China will make a further Macau Red Cross donation, matching dollar-for-dollar the donations made by company employees to non-governmental organisations providing Haiyan disaster assistance, upon presentation of a valid donation receipt or bank-in slip. Moreover, Macau Red Cross donation boxes are being placed in the back-of-house staff areas at all Sands China Ltd. properties, to assist the individual donation efforts of Sands China team members.

Donation boxes will also be placed at the Cotai Arena on Nov. 23 during the Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios welterweight fight, as well as at the event’s live feed venues at The Venetian® Macao’s Milan Ballroom and the Bellini Lounge, giving attendees an opportunity to donate. Finally, 100 per cent of ticket sales revenue from the Milan Ballroom live feed event will be donated to the Macau Red Cross, with an additional dollar-for-dollar match by Sands China doubling the total donation amount. The event provides the public an opportunity to play a part in raising additional funds for the relief effort; ticketing information is available at

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