Tyson already looking ahead for Vasquez Jr. |
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Tyson already looking ahead for Vasquez Jr.

Former heavyweight champion-turned promoter Mike Tyson, left, is all smiles about his top fighter, undefeated Sammy Vasquez Jr., who will fight for a second title Nov. 14 at the Consol Energy Arena in Pittsburgh.
Former heavyweight champion-turned promoter Mike Tyson, left, is all smiles about his top fighter, undefeated Sammy Vasquez Jr., who will fight for a second title Nov. 14 at the Consol Energy Arena in Pittsburgh.

Although he has only been in the fight promotion business for 18 months, Mike Tyson has quickly gotten a grasp on how to hype his fighters.

During a media conference call Thursday to promote Tyson’s Iron Mike Productions’ “Pride of Pittsburgh II” Nov. 14 championship boxing show at Consol Energy Center, he already started looking ahead to the next big fight for his main attraction, undefeated USBA welterweight champion Sammy Vasquez Jr.

Vasquez (16-0-0, 12 KOs) will fight Panamanian Alberto “Metralleta” Mosquera (21-1-2, 14 KOs) in the main event at Consol. They will square off for the WBC FECARBOX welterweight title in a scheduled 10-round bout.

Tyson, however, was eager to talk about the immediate future for his rising star. He wants Vasquez to get into the ring with former champion Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora in 2015.

“I can’t wait to get Sammy in there with Paul Spadafora,” Tyson said. “That’s my dream. That’s my goal. I wake up thinking about it all the time.

“I dream about it. That’s my big fight for 2015.”

Vasquez, who was in Colorado Springs and is flying to Pittsburgh Friday, chuckled at Tyson’s comments, but said he is looking forward to taking care of business first with Mosquera.

“I’m ready. I’ve been training hard and I’m ready to fight today,” Vasquez said. “Next week, I have a feeling it’s going to be an early night for my man Mosquera. I stay ready and I can’t wait.”

Tyson didn’t try to hide his sentiments about the talents of the Monessen native.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back to Pittsburgh with my man, sensational Sammy Vasquez,” Tyson said. “He is sensational. He’s awesome.

“His greatest attribute is his determination to become champion. He’s beating everybody. He’s in line for a North American championship bout very shortly. I have a lot of high hopes for Sammy. I call him ‘Sensational’ Sammy because all of his fights are sensational.”

Vasquez was equally as proud to be connected with Tyson’s IMP, saying, “It’s an honor and a pleasure to be able to (fight for Tyson). I feel privileged. It’s a dream come true. I can’t thank him enough.”

The co-main event on Pride of Pittsburgh II is shaping up to be a fierce grudge match between two local fighters, Bunola’s “Lightning” Rod Salka (19-4-0, 3 KOs) and Rankin’s Monty Meza Clay (36-3-0, 22 KOs) for Salka’s WBC FECARBOX lightweight title.

The fighters have been taking verbal shots at each other and each is predicting an impressive win.

Clay was involved in the media conference and had no complimentary words for Salka, saying, “He made a name for himself and I made a name for myself … But’s he’s done now.”

Salka, who is signed with Golden Boy Promotions, was not included in the media conference.

He trains at Buzz Garnic’s Round 2 facility in Coal Center.

Tyson said he is proud to continue bringing professional boxing to Pittsburgh, saying the city has a long tradition of having championship caliber fighters.

“Boxing is in Pittsburgh’s DNA,” Tyson said. “Not everyone in Pittsburgh is a fighter, but there are a lot of fans there.”

Advance tickets for the Nov. 14 show are available through or by calling Sam Vasquez Sr. at 724-797-8694.

Ticket prices start at $42.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or [email protected].

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