Home Boxing News Karalexis, Howard exchange heated words on eve of main-event showdown

Karalexis, Howard exchange heated words on eve of main-event showdown

LINCOLN, R.I. (June 9, 2011) – The good will emanating from last week’s media teleconference between *Alex Karalexis* and *Tiawan Howard* evaporated in a heartbeat Thursday night as the two fighters engaged in a classic war of words at the final weigh-in and press conference for “Nowhere To Hide.”

Karalexis (10-5, 5 KOs), a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) contender who’ll end his 14-month drought *Friday, June 10th, 2011* against Howard (8-7, 3 KOs) in the main event of Classic Entertainment & Sports’ professional cage fighting show at the Twin River Event Center, took exception Thursday when his opponent weighed in at two pounds over the contract limit of 171. The Boston native promised to not only beat Howard, but “dominate,” sparking an animated reply.

“Anyone ever see ‘Alice In Wonderland?’” asked Howard. “I’m nobody’s stepping stone – nobody’s stepping stone. Look at my record. I’ve never been knocked out. I’d love to see him knock me out. I’ll welcome it. He’s going to dominate? Anyone bring their 3D glasses? Bring it on. This is a fight.

“He’s acting like this isn’t going to be a fight. I don’t come to play or give lip service. I am what I am. I’m a hard-working mixed martial arts fighter and if he’s as good as he claims to be – as good as everyone on the internet and all around the world thinks he is – then he’s going to submit me or knock me out.”

Howard has lost four of his last five fights dating back to 2010, including a unanimous-decision loss to *Greg Rebello* of Providence, R.I., this past December at Twin River. Karalexis’ last fight was a loss to “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 finalist *Anthony Pettis* in April of 2010, his third loss in four fights.

“If you were that good, you would’ve beaten Pettis,” Howard said, “ and if you were that good, you’d still be in the UFC. Sorry, you’re no [*George St. Pierre*]. There are too many holes in your game. Your striking is weak and your footwork is subpar.

“You think just because you have [former UFC light heavyweight champion *Chuck Liddell*] in your corner that I’m supposed to be scared? I’m not fighting them. I’m not fighting your corner. I see how you fight with your chin up in the air. You’re open for a roundhouse kick to the head. I’ve said all I have to say. I’m leaving it in cage.”

For Karalexis, Friday will be his first fight in New England since 2006 and will also mark his return to the welterweight division, where he built an 8-2 record before losing three of his next fights at 155 pounds while transitioning to the WEC.

“I’ve got a lot left to offer,” Karalexis said. “I took some time off. I even thought about hanging it up, but I’m glad to be back. I worked really hard to get back here. I’m excited. There’s a lot of great talent on this card and it’s going to be a good night of fights. Don’t blink [Friday], because I’m going to dominate.”

*Damien “The Omen” Trites *(5-4, 1 KO) of Boston will face B+F Boxing veteran *Jeff “Candyman” Anderson* (8-4, 2 KOs) of Lincoln in the welterweight co-feature. Trites is coming off a loss to *Dan Lauzon* in December at Twin River.

“This is what I do,” Trites said. “I don’t do this for fun. I do this to make a better life for my son and I. Jeff Anderson will have to kill me to win because I’m willing to die in the cage. You will see nothing but ruthless aggression. I’m always moving forward. I respect Jeff, but I guarantee my hand will be raised.

“I’m willing to put my body on the line to get that win,” Anderson said. “He is a tough fighter and a good guy, but this is a sport, so I’ve got to bear down and do what it takes to win.”

Friday’s card also features a showdown between rising stars *Saul “The Spider” Almeida* (8-1) of Framingham, Mass., and *Cody “The Wolverine” Stevens* (8-1, 2 KOs) of Mansfield, Ohio at a catch-weight of 157 pounds. The winner of this bout will move one step closer toward a shot at qualifying for the UFC.

“I promise I carry that ‘Wolverine’ moniker for a reason because I fight with relentless aggression,” Stevens said. “I’ve dedicated my life to this and I’ll go all 15 minutes if need be.”

Added Almeida: “It’ll be a great night [Friday]. I have no doubt the best man will win.”

The undercard also features former “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 competitor and Strikeforce veteran *Marc Stevens* (13-6, 6 KOs) of Lorraine, N.Y., battling *Abe “Thumper” Pitrowski* (5-0, 1 KO) of Pawtucket, R.I., in a lightweight bout; light heavyweight *Dan McGuane* (2-0) of Lincoln fighting Fall River, Mass., native *Kenny Hazzard *(2-3, 2 KOs); *Ralph Johnson *(4-3, 3 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., facing welterweight *Tim O’Connell* (3-3, 3 KOs); and *Dinis Paiva Jr.* of East Providence, R.I., making his professional debut against Springfield lightweight *Jon Marcheterre* (0-1).

*Barrington “Rude Boy” Douse* (7-9, 2 KOs) of Springfield/American Fight Team will step into the cage against Middletown, Conn., and American Martial Arts veteran *Jason Bennett* (4-4, 2 KOs) in a featherweight bout.

Tickets for “Nowhere To Hide” are $40.00, $60.00, $100.00 and $200.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

*(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Nowhere To Hide.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance. Please see attached photo of Tiawan Howard, left, and Alex Karalexis at Thursday’s weigh-in; photo credit to Emily Harney.)*

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