CLARESSA SHIELDS AND HANNAH RANKIN MIAMI MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES AND PHOTOS

Shields Habazin Header

 

CLARESSA SHIELDS AND HANNAH RANKIN MIAMI MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES AND PHOTOS

Undisputed Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields and Former Champion Ivana Habazin Meet for WBO Junior Middleweight Title Saturday, October 5 Live On SHOWTIME® From Flint, Mich.

 Photo Credit: Julian Lajtai/SHOWTIME

 

MIAMI BEACH (September 24, 2019) – Undisputed Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields participated in a media workout in Miami on Tuesday in preparation for her upcoming showdown with Ivana Habazin next Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME from Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center in Flint, Michigan.

Shields will look to become the fastest fighter in history, male or female, to win world titles in three divisions when she faces Habazin for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title in the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION in her hometown of Flint.

Also participating in Tuesday’s workout was IBO Super Welterweight Champion Hannah Rankin, who competes in a non-televised undercard attraction next Saturday.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets for the live event can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

In the televised co-feature on October 5, undefeated welterweight sensation Jaron Ennis will return to national television against once-beaten Demian Daniel Fernandez in a 10-round bout. In the SHOWTIME opener, undefeated heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin will face once-beaten Pavel Sour less than an hour from his hometown of Saginaw, Mich.

Here’s what the fighters had to say on Tuesday from the famed 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach:

CLARESSA SHIELDS, Undisputed Middleweight World Champion

“I love boxing and I love that I’m one of the women who is carrying the sport, making it bigger and more well known. We’re getting more respect.

“There are fighters out there who believe that they can beat me and that really motivates me. That’s why I train and put in the time that I do.

“I want to show everybody that I’m a truly great fighter. I can beat Vasiliy Lomachenko’s record of winning titles in three divisions in 10 fights instead of 12. Plus, I’m going backwards, not going up in weight, where there are better challenges for me.

“My performances will lead to bigger fights and bigger purses for me and my opponents. I’m just going to keep building my name and building my brand.

“With this fight against Habazin, I’m definitely going in looking for the knockout. If I get it in spectacular fashion, that will go viral and help push my career forward.

“It means everything to have this fight back in my hometown. I want to be the good news for Flint and make people smile. I’m happy to be bringing a fight back home while I’m still on top. I feel like Flint will be uplifted by that.

“Everyone back home is really excited for this event. It’s going to be a huge homecoming for me on October 5.

“Muhammad Ali has trained here at 5th Street Gym and every time I train here I feel like I’m in his presence. It makes me want to be even greater. He’s the GOAT and I’m going to be the GWOAT.

“Being here in Florida is great for the weight cut. I’ve been down here for nine weeks and it’s hot every day. I’m sweating and working hard and the pounds are just coming off.”

HANNAH RANKIN, IBO Super Welterweight Champion

“It’s fantastic to be in Florida training for this fight. Everything has been perfect and I’m feeling great.

“I’m really looking forward to October 5. Me and my opponent are going to put on a great show for fans for six rounds or as long as it lasts. I want to show them what women’s boxing is about.

“There are lots of exciting things in the cards for me after this fight. I’m ready to take on the top fighters and pursue world titles at 154-pounds. I can’t wait to show everyone what I can do.”

PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS TO DELIVER LIVE COVERAGE OF ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. SHAWN PORTER WEEK EVENTS VIA FOX SPORTS PLATFORMS, SATELLITE & STREAMING

Spence Porter Header

 

 

PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS TO DELIVER LIVE COVERAGE OF ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. SHAWN PORTER WEEK EVENTS VIA FOX SPORTS PLATFORMS, SATELLITE & STREAMING

WEDNESDAY, September 25: FOX SPORTS PBC PAY-PER-VIEW
Final Press Conference
7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT/4 p.m. PT

THURSDAY, September 26: FOX SPORTS PBC PAY-PER-VIEW &
FS1 PBC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS Final Press Conference
2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/11 a.m. PT

FRIDAY, September 27: Official Weigh-In
2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/11 a.m. PT

Welterweight Champions Errol Spence Jr. & Shawn Porter Headline
FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, September 28 from
STAPLES Center in Los Angeles

Premier Boxing Champions will deliver HD Satellite and online streaming coverage of fight week events leading up to this Saturday’s PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event headlined by IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter going toe-to-toe on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Please see below for the Satellite coordinates that can be used for all three events Wednesday through Friday. You will also find a schedule of events that includes the opening and closing windows for the Satellite of each event:

Satellite Coordinates:
Satellite: Galaxy 17, 23K, Slot C; Location: 91 degrees west; Downlink Freq.: 12164.5 Horizontal; Bandwidth: 9 MHz; Modulation: DVBS-2, 8PSK; FEC Rate: 3/4; Symbol Rate: 7.2 Msym/s; Data Rate: 15.678 mbps; Pilots: On; Roll off: 25%; Video: HD 1080i / 59.94 / 16:9; Compression: MPEG-4; Chroma: 4:2:0; Delay: Low; GOP Structure: 32
Frame Structure: IBBBP; PMT & Video PID: 100 & 101; Audio Bit Rate: 384 kbits
102: Ch. 1: English Stereo Left; Ch. 2: English Stereo Right

Schedule of Events (All Events Take Place At Intercontinental Hotel – Wilshire Grand Ballroom 2):
Wednesday, September 25: FOX SPORTS PBC PAY-PER-VIEW Final Press Conference – 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT/4:00 p.m. PT

Window Opens: 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. PT
Window Closes: 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT/5:00 p.m. PT x 30

Thursday, September 26 – FOX SPORTS PBC PAY-PER-VIEW & FS1 PBC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS Final Press Conference – 2:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. CT/11:00 a.m. PT

Window Opens: 1:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. CT/10:30 a.m. PT
Window Closes: 6:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. CT/3:00 p.m. PT x 30

Friday, September 27 – FOX SPORTS PBC PAY-PER-VIEW WEIGH-IN – 2:00 p.m. ET/
1:00 p.m. CT/11:00 a.m. PT

Window Opens: 1:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. CT/10:30 a.m. PT
Window Closes: 3:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. CT/12:00 p.m. PT x 30

Saturday, September 28 – Post Event Highlights will be available 15 minutes after conclusion of PPV broadcast

Satellite Coordinates for Post Fight Highlights:
Satellite: Galaxy 17, 23K Upper; Location: 91 degrees west; Downlink Freq.: 12169 MHz Horizontal; Bandwidth: 18 MHz; Modulation: DVBS-2, 8PSK; FEC Rate: 3/5; Symbol Rate: 15 Msym/s; Data Rate: 26.698 mbps; Pilots: Off; Roll off: 20%; Video: HD 1080i / 59.94 / 16:9; Compression: MPEG-2; Chroma: 4:2:2; Delay: Low; GOP Structure: 30; Frame Structure: IBBP; PMT & Video PID: 100 & 101; Audio Bit Rate: 384 kbits; 102: Ch. 1: English Stereo Left; Ch. 2: English Stereo Right

For any problems with Satellite Coordinates, please contact Victor Verno: vverno@strategictv.com ; 551-208-5738

Full live coverage of Wednesday and Friday’s events will also be available on FS1 and the FOX Sports app on the dates and times that are listed above. All fight week events, including Tuesday’s Grand Arrivals with Live Musical Performances at 5 p.m. PT, can be seen on the Premier Boxing Champions YouTube page.

The stream can be ingested via the rtmp stream below. If you are unable to connect to the primary stream, please use the alternate stream.

Primary Stream for all events:
rtmp://live.restream.io/pull/
play_725421_b02214888a27a6217302

Alternate stream:
rtmp://live.restream.io/pull/
play_725421_8393bdb58b34e9e2f689

For any problems with the streaming coordinates, please contact Jason Aron: Jason@jasonamedia.com; (201) 694-4359

CLARESSA SHIELDS VS. IVANA HABAZIN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Shields Habazin Header

CLARESSA SHIELDS VS. IVANA HABAZIN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Click HERE for Audio

Transcript Document

Dmitriy Salita
Thank you. I’d like to welcome all the media. We have a great night of action coming up on Saturday, October 5 live on SHOWTIME from the Dort Federal Event Center, Flint, Michigan, beginning at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT, Claressa Shields versus Ivana Habazin will headline a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION

The main event fighters will be joining us for today’s call to preview their clash for the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight World title. The undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields will look to make history once again by becoming the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion. She’s already a unified world champion at middleweight and super middleweight, just nine fights into her pro career.

She will have a tough challenge in the former world champion Ivana Habazin who is from Zagreb, Croatia, and she’s taking this fight very seriously and we’ll talk about her preparations in a little bit.

Tickets to the live event which is promoted by Salita Promotions can be purchased at Ticketmaster and the Dort Event Center box office.

I would now like to introduce Mr. Chris DeBlasio from SHOWTIME. The reason why we’re experiencing such a big growth on other platforms for women’s boxing and obviously on SHOWTIME is because SHOWTIME believes in Claressa and believes in women’s boxing.

It’s Claressa’s sixth fight on SHOWTIME and we are very blessed and honored to have this fight on this premium network. I’d like to introduce Mr. Chris DeBlasio to talk about the event.

Chris DeBlasio
Thank you, Dmitry. I appreciate that. So on behalf of Stephen Espinoza who is the man behind our support of the sport and of the women’s division in particular; and Gordon Hall, our executive producer who is the co-founder of ShoBox, our popular prospect-oriented series, and he’ll executive produce this SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION as well, I just want to say how proud we are to be part of the event. We know it’s going to be a special one, a homecoming in Flint, Michigan.

As you alluded to, SHOWTIME has a long history of featuring the best in women’s combat sports, from Laila Ali and Christy Martin in boxing from years ago to Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey in mixed martial arts more recently.

Since 2017, with Claressa Shields leading the way, we have these elite women boxers; Shields, Christina Hammer, Katie Taylor has appeared on the network and Amanda Serrano in several fights. Shields versus Habazin will be our eleventh women’s boxing bout since 2017 on the network. Shields led the way. In 2017, we presented the first women’s main event in premium television history when Claressa fought against Szilvia Szabados on ShoBox.

This event, October 5, we will support with a raft of digital content, short-form content to introduce and to advance the fighters that are going to be featured in the live event. That has become a signature for our network. A series being prepared right now is called THE RISE. It’s three parts and it is on various champions and fighters coming up. This one will be about Claressa Shields and her rise to the level that she’s at today and what the future holds.

RING RESUME is a detailed analysis and highlights of Shields’ biggest bouts to date; and another very in-depth and intimate feature called THE APPROACH, an in-depth look at the mindset of the fighters. These are found on YouTube and across all SHOWTIME Boxing social platforms. It’s something we’re really proud of and we think advances the appreciation and the fandom of these fighters to the casual and hardcore boxing fans.

We’re proud. We’re honored to be in business with Claressa Shields. As you said, Dmitry, this is her seventh appearance on SHOWTIME, each a seemingly more important bout. This is another potential history-making event, but she’s fighting a very tough competitor, someone who’s looking to make a statement here on SHOWTIME.

So we’re looking forward to a terrific contest and a great main event along with some terrific co-feature bouts. Jaron Ennis and Jermaine Franklin are going to try to showcase themselves and make important statements on the network also in tough competition.

So with that, I’ll turn it back over to you. I appreciate the time and the opportunity to be part of it. Thank you.

D. Salita
Thank you, Chris. Claressa has a star team inside and outside the right. She is managed by one of the best in the boxing business, Mr. Mark Taffet who I’d like to invite to make a few comments.

Mark Taffet
Thanks, Dmitry, and thanks, Chris, for joining us today. We started a few years ago with Claressa Shields and it’s on her broad shoulders that women’s boxing is receiving the recognition, the accolades and the growth that it’s experienced over the past few years.

Every time Claressa fights, we look to make history, and October 5 will be perhaps the greatest night of her professional career to date as she attempts to win the title in her third weight division faster than any man or woman in the history of sports. And the incredible thing is that in Claressa’s case, she’s doing it upside down. She’s going down in weight from 168 to 160 and now to 154. It’s going to be a very, very special night. It’s a very, very special and memorable for women’s boxing.

We’re thrilled that the big events are happening and Claressa loves the role that she plays in the continued ascension of the sport and to all of her goals going forward. Thanks for joining us and I’ll turn it back to Dmitry.

D. Salita
Thank you, Mark. Now, I’d like to introduce Ivana Habazin who is not really known in the United States, but in the official press conference announced the fight she came here and she has made a great appearance and was very confident. She’s definitely putting that confidence into her work.

She’s 20 and 3. She’s the former Welterweight World Champion. She’s from Zagreb, Croatia, but she’s been in camp in Colombia and now in Detroit. She’s gotten the best possible training expert for this fight and she has boxed with the world champions and fighters who are the best in their regions.

So I’d like to invite Ivana to talk about her preparations and what we can expect from her. Ivana?

Ivana Habazin
Hello, everyone. Thank you for having me. So my training camp this time was really long, like four months. I’m always in training, always ready and prepared, but this training camp was the hardest ever. I feel great, I feel in shape, I’m healthy. Sparring was good.

I have Raquel Miller in the camp. I have Chris Namus and Tnaja Ovsenik, and I will have Kali Reis next week too, plus I have two teammates from Colombia, one was like five times Colombia national champion. So they really pushed me and that was really, really hard.

I’ve never sparred hard before like this and I feel ready. I’m really confident and I’m coming to win. This preparation makes me much more confident that October 5 is going to be my night.

Q
How does Claressa compare to Cecilia Braekhus?

I. Habazin
I actually can’t compare Claressa and Cecilia because they are totally different fighters and I’m a totally different fighter. And I think that Claressa is definitely a tougher fighter than Cecilia and so physically she’s stronger than Cecilia. So she’s more aggressive and I think this fight is going to be tough. But like I said, I was never prepared like I am prepared now.

So I think maybe this fight for me – I will not tell you it’s going to be easier than the fight with Cecilia, but today I am a more complete boxer than I was before. And I have James Ali Bashir as my coach and we all know that he is definitely the best coach and I learned some new stuff and I’m ready to show that.

Q
How do you expect the weight drop for Claressa to affect her?

I. Habazin
This is really hard to say for me because I never in my life lost so much weight. So that depends on the fighter, how she’s going to prepare or what she eats. She has nutrition and all this stuff. But I really hope that it’s not going to be so effective on her, but maybe it will be because that was a lot of weight to lose. So we’re going to see. I don’t think about that because she’s young, she’s hungry. She likes to fight and she likes to win, which is the most important. She has the mind of a champion. So I think even though she needs to lose the weight, I’m not going to be a problem for her.

Q
What are your thoughts on fighting Claressa in her hometown? If the fight is close and it goes to the scorecards, what are your thoughts on that?

I. Habazin
I really don’t think about that the fight is in Flint. It’s not something important for me, where the fight is. For me, the only important thing is to win, and she’s the biggest name right now in women’s boxing and I want to beat her, that’s all, because I have 10 years in boxing and it wasn’t easy. My world was really tough and right now maybe it’s the last opportunity to do something big and I take it seriously and I’m 100% ready. So I’m not a person who’s going to let other stuff affect me. I have my goals and that’s all.

Q
What’s the difference between the fighter that you are now and the fighter that you were when you fought Cecilia Braekhus?

I. Habazin
Actually, it would be stupid to say what I changed because then I will say what’s my plan, you know, so I will say you’re going to see that. I worked on totally different stuff with my coach and we’re going to show that.

Q
Where does the confidence come from in saying that you’re going to knock Claressa out when she has never even been beaten before?

I. Habazin
I think I can punch, you know, and the difference before was in some parts, I wasn’t finishing people. That was my problem. Right now it’s a different story and like I said, I made the best preparation ever. Never, ever before in my life did I do a preparation like this and I feel strong. I really feel strong and I think I have power to knock people out.

So for this fight, this is my goal. I don’t believe in the scorecards. So when you knock somebody out and especially in that big of a fight, that’s the only way how you can win. And I was really prepared for that all the time.

Q
What was your first reaction when you heard that the fight was going to be delayed for a couple of months?

I. Habazin
My first reaction was, ‘damn, I will not see my dogs for two more months.’ That’s boxing. Everything is possible. Maybe in some way, I maybe expect something like that, but you never know – everything is possible. Everybody can injure and all this stuff. So I prepared myself to stay in the camp, training more. Maybe with this, actually, she helped me because I feel I’m much better right now.

Q
When you go through a loss, what are some of the things you learned from it, and how does that strengthen you mentally having a loss on your record?

I. Habazin
Yes, that’s actually a good question. When I lost the first time, I didn’t think that I lost that fight, but it’s okay. And that was the most painful stuff ever in boxing for me because I give always a lot in boxing and when I suffered this first loss, it was like, ‘oh, my god, everything is done.’

But at that time, I was young still and I was only like three years in boxing but when I came back to train after this, I was ashamed. I came in the gym and everybody was watching me and said, ‘Oh, you lose’ and all this stuff. Nobody was supportive. So every day, almost for one month, every day I am telling myself, ‘You will come back. You will come back. You will come back.’

Even if I didn’t know when I will come back, if I even have a chance or no, but I trained more than ever. And that was actually the first time when I figured out what is professional boxing, because before that I didn’t realize all this stuff and I was focused more on my university.

And after that, I changed everything and then like a year after, I got the chance to fight for the IBF title in Belgium and I said, ‘okay, I’m going to Belgium,’ and that was the hometown of Sabrina Giuliani. So, I came. I won.

After, the fight with Cecilia actually came too early because we didn’t have a chance to make a defense. My sponsor wasn’t supportive for me, so I have two options, to fight with Cecilia for a unification fight — it was the first unification fight in the history — or I can leave the title because I didn’t have logistics for defending my title.

So when I accept that fight, in some way, I knew that I can’t beat her because I didn’t have experience. And like one and a half months before the fight, I had one surgery too, so actually I wasn’t in my best shape and I wasn’t good. So maybe that fight I didn’t take very painful like the fight against Eva Bajic when she beat me.

And the fight against Mikaela Lauren, it was like two years after Cecilia. That was my first offer for the fight after three years and this actually was very, very tough for me because I was without fights. I was without money. I was in the gym actually in the underground when there was like one room without windows and I got the offer and I said, ‘Okay, I want to fight.’ But all preparation, I was so, so bad.

When we made pad work, I couldn’t be one minute on the pad because I would get tired. My heart would start beating so fast and I was thinking, ‘okay, maybe it’s because I start training too much too early.’ But actually, it was that I was so, so sick. And when I came to the fight, I knew before I needed to step in the ring, I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be good because I knew it – I don’t have power. My body didn’t have power, nothing, and I just said, ‘Okay, god, please save me, I want to be healthy when this fight is finished.’

But after that, I took a break from boxing for like six months and I said I will never box again. So after six months, I wake up one night and it was like 2 a.m. and I go back, I don’t know why, I hear some voice that told me, ‘Go and see the BoxRec.’ And I go to BoxRec and I saw Eva Bajic and I said, ‘Who is Eva Bajic? I never fought with her.’ And then I go and I saw that Eva came back after two years or two and a half.

And I said, ‘okay, you need to go back in the gym. You need to come back.’ And when I come back in the gym, I start training and the old symptoms – what I had in preparation for Mikaela Lauren – started again. It was very bad because I had like some cardiac – you know, my heart starts beating so fast. I was sweating all the time and I didn’t have power.

When I met medical, they said, ‘You have a thyroid problem and if you want to box again, you need to go in surgery immediately.’ I didn’t think about that, I said, ‘okay, let’s go,’ because I want to come back. And in 2017, I made two easy fights then came the offer for the IBO title. I said I want to fight. Even in that fight, I wasn’t 100% healthy because it was like one, one and half year to get healthy, but I made it.

And now, I can say that right now I am really, really 100% healthy. I am prepared and I am motivated more than ever because when I come back, I said I need to be not 100%, but I need to be 500% and I want to change something. I want to change my life. So right now, I think this is the right chance.

Q
You mentioned this was maybe your last big chance. Many people will say that a fighter with nothing to lose is the most dangerous opponent and perhaps we saw that with Otto Wallin. Do you feel you’re in this position that makes you dangerous?

I. Habazin
Yes, definitely, and I said that before the fight. I don’t have nothing to lose right now. I only can change everything and if not now, then when? So I’m ready, I’m 100% ready. I’m really focused on that. Four months I was training only for that fight, so we’re going to see what’s going to happen.

Like I said, this is boxing. One punch can change everything. You can be good all fight, but you can finish on the floor in the last second. So everything is possible. Claressa is a great fighter, but I believe in myself and that’s it.

D. Salita
Thank you. This is also a time when we have two superstar trainers in both of the fighter’s corners. I think it’s the first time in women’s boxing with Ali Bashir training Ivana Habazin and John David Jackson training Claressa Shields. So that’s going to be a very interesting test of stars as well.

Ivana, would you like to finish up with any closing statements?

I. Habazin
Yes, I just want to say thank you for this opportunity. I’m really happy because of that and at the end, actually, I really want for people to enjoy a good fight. So the better [fighter] is going to win and that’s all. I hope that’s going to be me. But I wish good luck to Claressa.

D. Salita
Thank you, Ivana. Now, I’d like to introduce Claressa Shields. Claressa, in her last fight headlined the biggest fight in women’s boxing history and put on a tremendous performance.

She really could have fought anywhere she wanted. We had offers from some big venues in Las Vegas, New York, Atlantic City, elsewhere throughout the country, but Claressa made her point to come back to Flint to give this fight back to the fans and the community she grew up in.

I want to list some of her accomplishments even though I know that most of you know them. She is 9-0 with 2 KOs since turning pro three years ago and will represent her town of Flint, Michigan on October 5.

She’s the first American boxer male or female in the history of the sport to win two Olympic gold medals. She became the sixth fighter in history, male or female, to unify all four major world titles in one weight class. She defeated Christina Hammer in the previous fight in April to earn that honor.

Claressa Shields has accomplished a lot in her life in boxing and as a humanitarian, as a role model, but she will be achieving her first on October 5 because it will be the first time that she’s going to be fighting as a professional in her hometown in Flint, Michigan. So Claressa, talk about your training camp, getting down in weight and how you’re preparing for this fight?

Claressa Shields
Yes, yes. Well, weight is not a conversation that I want to have. I don’t have a problem with my weight. If I did, I wouldn’t want to go down to 154 and accept this challenge. So weight is not a problem.

This camp and every camp, we just want to be a better version of myself. So, me and Coach John David Jackson said with the Hammer fight, we just want to fix a lot of mistakes. Now I know people on here are like, “How many mistakes did you make during the Hammer fight?” A lot, even though it was a unanimous decision, I beat her almost every round, it was still that me and my team having the mentality that we want to fix everything going into the fight with Ivana.

She has faster hands than Hammer. She’s coming from a lower weight class. She’s more comfortable with 154 and of course I’m losing weight. We want to get a knock out.

So the combinations are good. The jab was good against Hammer. We’ve just been working a lot of punches, making sure that we’re throwing our straights over, making sure that we’ll be pacing with our straight and make sure that we just have more precisions for this camp.

So it’s one hard camp. My body is kind of torn apart right now two weeks from the fight, but one more hard week of training and then the last week I get to wind down. So right now I feel really great.

Q
You’ve obviously shown a tremendous chin during your career and she said she’s going to knock you out, I just wonder what you think of that?

C. Shields
She’s going to say a whole lot. I think she called me fat. Many girls in boxing say they can knock me out and I do have a healthy chin and I like to go in and test every girl’s chin and everything like that.

So I respect that she’s coming with that kind of attitude, but, no, it’s not even possible to knock me out. I may have been dropped by Hanna Gabriels, but that was a shot with me off balance. It wasn’t something that hit my chin then I went down and I was woozy or like that. I’ve never been stung by a woman nor man. So Ivana is just talking.

Q
Did you happen to see her fight with Cecilia Braekhus?

C. Shields
There was a whole bunch of bouncing around. They both were off balance throwing their shot.

Ivana likes to put her head down and just throw punches. Whenever she feels like she’s in danger, she just goes in to a straight bull mode and puts her head down and start pulling in. So you have to use a really good jab against her.

I kind of feel like towards the end of the round, Ivana kind of tries to stay in and do a whole lot of holding, and dancing and pulling itself like that. But early on she tried to stand her ground and used her combinations, but it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before. I know for a fact I’m a lot stronger than Cecilia Braekhus so Ivana is going to have a lot of problem on her hands come October 5.

Q
How satisfying would it be to get this knockout in your hometown and have another history-making performance for you?

C. Shields
I just kind of feel like it’s not so much about the knockout, it’s about improvement to me. A knockout is great, but at the same time, I want to go in there and I want to look phenomenal. I want to be sharp. I want to work on everything that I worked on in camp and be able to execute it in the fight.

So I’m not going out there looking for the knockout, but I know that it’s going to come just because of how training has been going. I’ve been hurting my sparring partners with body shots and head shots. I’m doing this coming down in weight and my body is sore too.

It’s sore too, I’m breaking my body down and it’s getting stronger as I break you down, and I can feel going there and boxing in the eighth round and be strong and safe, and be able to do everything that I want to do and let my combinations go and let my hard body shots, the hard head shots still be explosive towards the end of the round.

So just knowing that, I feel like the knockout is going to come. But I’m not going to go out there trying to rush it, I just want it come. So I want to go out there and do everything that I’ve been working on in camp, and I believe everything is going to come together.

Q
Based on what you said earlier in the call, Claressa, were you happy with your performance against Christina Hammer?

C. Shields
I’m my biggest critic. That fight I was happy I became undisputed champion. But when I went back and watched the fight, to me, I made so many mistakes. I was like, “Oh, cut it off,” like I’m just like, “I’m over it,” you know what I mean? Like, I did really well, but I was just like, “Why didn’t you get the knock-out? Why were you not sending out all your shots when you should have sent out all your shots?” and just stuff like that.

For me, it’s just I’ve always been super hard on myself. So I give myself maybe a B minus for that fight, but I want to get an A. I want to do everything right in a fight and even get a knockout, or have it so I was just destroying her in every round, destroying her, destroying her and I’ll take her confidence away from her and I’ll hurt her.

I made some mistakes and she caught me with not even a whole lot of shots, but just the fact that she caught me with a shot that I shouldn’t have gotten hit with. It feels like that. But that is just me, my biggest critic, and me wanting to get better.

So everybody else tells you like “That was the best fight that we’ve ever seen and your defense is on point.” But I’ve known how to do all that stuff. I’ve known that I had defense. I’ve known that I could jab. I know what I could do. I just want to do it the best way that I know I can.

I watched it 40, 50 times. But each time I watch it, I’m seeing a different mistake and it wasn’t something huge, but it’s still just like, “This shouldn’t happen because we worked on it at camp.” It wasn’t a whole bunch, but it was just like just stuff that I see that maybe you guys don’t see.

Q
Do you feel that maybe if they change the rounds from two minutes to three minutes, you would have about three or four knockouts?

C. Shields
Yes, absolutely. Also the refs are super hard on me and It feels like they will not call the fight when I’m hurting these girls.

I can roll back and look at the fight where I fought against Sydney LeBlanc. I put her through eight rounds of hell and they just let her take that and maybe destroyed her as a fighter. She doesn’t want to fight since I beat her. And she came into the fight – me and her, she came down from light heavyweight to fight at 168 and I mean, I destroyed her from the first bell of the first round to the last bell of the eighth.

She never even landed more than 10 punches on me the whole fight and they didn’t even call it. So it’s like with three minutes, I will have a lot more time to break the girls down and be able to get them out there because I’ve hurt every girl that I fought. So as soon as those two minutes ring and it’s the end of the round, and they get that one minute rest, they come back in recuperated and ready to go in the next round. So you have to kind of start all over again.

But would it be in two minutes, I just got to I guess pick up the pace until they actually see that women boxing needs to be the same as the men, or at least give us three minutes a round so we can have the same amount of work time.

Q
Would that be a goal of yours to possibly push to three-minute rounds for one of your future fights?

C. Shields
Yes, absolutely. Me and my team have been going over, we’re just trying to figure out what’s the best way to go to the organizations about it. We don’t know if we want to go over and tell them, “Hey, maybe we could start off with 10 three-minute rounds, or maybe we can start off with 12 two-minute rounds.”

We’re just still going to try to figure it out and try to go with the best way to where it’s safe for the other world champions and also see what they agree with. I’m going to have a talk with all the girls who are world champions to kind of like have a vote on what they want to do because this is not just about me, I want it to about the other women too what they’re comfortable with.

I think the thing to understand is that women will always get paid less than the men unless we fight the same amount of time. So with that, one of the change that got to be made is either 12 two-minute rounds or 10 three-minute rounds.

I think that one of those has to change within this year to get us on the road to equal pay and equal opportunity as far as getting the big knockouts that we can get.

Q
Have you thought someone that you thought might be using PED’s when you fought them as a pro?

C. Shields
Yes, I’m not going to do that. Honestly, I don’t know. I wanted a VADA testing for Hammer. For some reason, we didn’t have it for that fight. But I wanted VADA testing for that fight, but we didn’t get it.

I’m happy that there’s VADA testing for this fight. But I think every world champion should be doing VADA testing especially after Mia St. John came out talking about she was on PEDs her whole career and all this craziness. I think that every world champion, male and female, should be open to do VADA testing because it’s just safer for the boxers and I think that they should be clean.

I’ve always been a clean athlete and I’m not going to say who I think do PEDs, I really don’t know. I hate to have to feel it’s been out there because I don’t know. People think “I just need this,” but I’m just strong because I work my ass off.

Q
What do you think you need to accomplish in order to be deemed the best female boxer of all time?

C. Shields
I think I’ve already accomplished everything to be the best female boxer of all time. But I think that some of the fans or media people may feel like you have to have 25 and 30 fights to be compared to Laila Ali. So I’m just taking my time, I’m racking up the belts and racking up the divisions and making history.

I’ll always be the world’s best and nobody is ever going to make me feel different about that unless somebody comes and beat me, and that’s not going to happen. So I’m going to keep breaking records and doing what no other woman has done.

If I feel great on 154, maybe we’ll stay on 154 and try to become undisputed there. Then if not, maybe I’ll just be looking to that160. I’m always going to go where the best fighter is and the toughest fighters are at, and try to make the most money.

Q
Do you think the nine fights that you’ve had is a better resume than o all the other female boxers in the sport?

C. Shields
Definitely, and that’s talking about the female of boxers, but the male boxers too. Male boxers have people their record is literally padded up so that you are about 20-0, right? 20 or 15-0 and they got padded records against easy opponents.

I haven’t fought against a person who’s had a losing record ever in my pro career, I think someone did the math and it was like 125 wins and seven losses all my opponents together so they’d be able to say that is a nice fight. Well, other boxers, male or female, say fought fighters like that. I haven’t fought against a fighter who has a losing record yet.

Q
Would you like to fight a male fighter in the future if you have opportunities?

C. Shields
I feel like right now I’m just going to fight in women’s boxing right now, trying to get an equal pay. I don’t feel like I should have to fight a man in order for us to be taken as serious athletes.

I’ve gotten in the ring with plenty of men. I fought 16 rounds this week with men, four different sparring partners. I can get in there with guys and I’m going to hold my own, and I know when it comes down to handling my business, I’ve never been knocked out by someone, or dropped, or anything like that.

So I don’t think there’s a difference between women and male fighters. That feels like it’s all about preparation. If you feel like if you have to get ready to fight again, if I have to be ready to fight against the male, I would change my whole training. I think I’m training hard until now.

But to get ready for a man, I would definitely upgrade and I think I have a great team who makes sure that I’m at my strongest, that I’m explosive, that my legs are strong and my muscles are strong. I feel like men have better body endurance than women and I say that because they’ve been fighting so long for so many more rounds in men than women just throughout my whole career.

Like even in amateurs, we’ve got four two-minute rounds; and the men, they have three three-minute rounds. And now in a pro, I’ve only fought 10 two-minute rounds; and men who are world champions have fought 12 three-minute rounds, so I don’t know how long. So when you have that, they just have a better body endurance than I think women do. But I think it’s all about the preparation.

Q
What does fighting in front of your home town friends mean to you especially with all that you’ve accomplished? And did you think that you would get this homecoming fight sooner in your career or later in your career?

C. Shields
No, I feel like that the fight came at the right time. I wanted to be super accomplished when I went back home to Flint and that’s just because I want the kids to see that like I’m from Flint, Michigan and I have accomplished all this. I’m not waiting for the end of my career to come back to Flint, I’m coming back and I’m going back to Flint in the peak of my career.

I’m going back while I’m the world champion, while I’m the undisputed champion, while I’m breaking records. I’m bringing the fight back to Flint and I feel like me becoming a three- time division world champion, the best time to do so is now. I feel like that was the perfect fight to bring back to Flint while we have all these other fights that are going on. I just feel like right now is the right time to just inspire the city and inspire the kids.

Q
In this fight being your first fight at 154 pounds or really your first world title fight at that weight class, is this sort of the start of a journey to maybe try to do the same thing as you did at 160 and unified the entire division, or is this sort of a one-time deal at 154 and then move back up to middleweight?

C. Shields
I don’t really know yet. I feel like it really depends on how I feel doing the fight. I feel great right now. I’ve been doing great in camp. I’ve been eating healthy and dropping the weight the way that I’m supposed to. I’m dehydrated.

So it’s all about going into the fight, actually catching 154, getting on the scale and getting in the ring. So what I’m going to do there is going to fight.
.
Q
How does that impact your performance in the sport also having another really big visible job as a role model?

C. Shields
I’m only 24 years old and I think that women’s boxing has been quiet long enough. I feel like we haven’t got our due just because we haven’t spoken up enough about it.

I feel like there are women who did speak about it, but they’ve spoken about it in the wrong way like they just came up at people the wrong way and it’s more of like a “I’ve got the skills to pay the bill. I’ve got the power to knock people over.” And I’m not just talking to impress like I would go in there and try to do it. I’ll really just try to go in there and do whatever I say, and I feel like I’ve been putting on performances that even men aren’t putting on.

So I don’t really feel the need to have to be quiet and has to be whatever they call lady-like. Like I’m a lady and I spoke a lady, and I’m going to do what I want to do and that makes me feel good at night. The day that you can hear me not talking, something is wrong. So I’m going to do what I want to do.

As far as me being a role model, I feel like I’m a great role model like you don’t see me in the newspaper talking about like killing nobody or going to jail. I hadn’t been arrested. You don’t see me drinking so I feel like I’m a great role model and I just want to tell everybody to be who they are, and don’t try to pretend to be somebody you’re not for social media or for cameras.

You’ll never have to keep lying about who you’re not. So it’s about me being comfortable with myself and just being who I am and doing what I’m most comfortable doing. And I feel like I’m being a great role model if I’m doing that because a lot of girls look up to me and they say, “You being so confident makes me confident,” so why would I stop being confident.

ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. SHAWN PORTER GRAND ARRIVALS FEATURE EXCITING MUSICAL PERFORMANCES & FIGHTER WORKOUTS TUESDAY AT XBOX PLAZA AT L.A. LIVE

Spence Porter Header

 

ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. SHAWN PORTER GRAND ARRIVALS FEATURE EXCITING MUSICAL PERFORMANCES & FIGHTER WORKOUTS TUESDAY AT XBOX PLAZA AT L.A. LIVE

Hip-Hop Artists Casey Veggies, Young Miller Tha Don, Ohana Bam, Mariachi Band & More Kick Off Fight Week at Unique Event

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC EVENT BEGINS AT 5 p.m. PT

Grand arrivals and media workouts for the welterweight title unification clash between IBF Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and WBC Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter will kick off fight week on Tuesday evening at Xbox Plaza at L.A. Live with a unique combination of boxing’s best and Los Angeles’ diversely vibrant music and entertainment culture.

To celebrate the blockbuster “Spence vs. Porter” event taking place Saturday, September 28 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View, the fighters’ grand arrivals and media workouts will begin at 5 p.m. PT and feature all pay-per-view fighters including Spence and Porter, Anthony Dirrell, David Benavidez, Mario Barrios, Batyr Akhmedov, Josesito Lopez and John Molina Jr., plus Robert Guerrero & Joey Spencer, who compete in FS1 PBC Fight Night Prelims.

In addition, and to recognize L.A.’s cultural scene, special performances by well-known L.A. hip hop artists Casey Veggies, Young Miller Tha Don and Ohana Bamwill take place. Plus, one of the area’s best Mariachi bands, Mariachi Espuelas de Jalisco, will be on-hand. The entire event will be hosted by Jason Lee from Hollywood Unlocked, who also appears on “Love and Hip Hop LA”, Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” on MTV and who recently signed a lucrative contract with the iHeartRadio network for HU.

Fans who can’t attend the special event live will be able to livestream the festivities on FOXSports.com and the Premier Boxing Champions YouTube Page.

Spence vs. Porter headlines pay-per-view action beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT that will also feature WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell against unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in an explosive 168-pound showdown, unbeaten rising star Mario “El Azteca” Barrios meeting fellow unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov for the WBA Super Lightweight Title and rugged veteran Josesito López battling battle-hardened brawler John Molina Jr. in a 10-round welterweight attraction.

FIGHTER GRAND ARRIVALS & MEDIA WORKOUTS – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

When: Tuesday, September 24 beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT

Featuring: Fight week grand arrivals and media workouts for pay-per-view fighters Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Anthony Dirrell, David Benavidez, Mario Barrios, Batyr Akhmedov, Josesito Lopez and John Molina Jr., plus Robert Guerrero & Joey Spencer, who compete in FS1 PBC Fight Night Prelims.

Performances from Hip-Hop artists Casey Veggies, Young Miller Tha Don and Ohana Bam, plus Mariachi band and appearance from Jason Lee of Hollywood Unlocked.

Location: Xbox Plaza at L.A. Live, located at 800 W. Olympic Blvd.; Los Angeles, CA 90015

Los Angeles-born Casey Veggies is a renowned rapper and songwriter and a founding member of the popular hip hop collective Odd Future. As a solo artist, he has toured internationally and worked with a slew of other rap superstars including Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla Sign, Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, YG, Dom Kennedy, Hodgy Beats, Juicy J, Kirko Bangz, Hit-Boy and Domo Genesis, among others. The 26-year-old has also performed sold-out shows with Roc Nation artist Rita Ora at SOB’s in NYC and appeared on MTV’s RapFixLive.

New Orleans native Young Miller Tha Don is a rapper, actor and humanitarian, currently living in Beverly Hills. Miller is related to hip-hop superstar Master P and has performed internationally with many of rap’s best-known artists. Under his D. Miller brand, Miller designs and distributes clothing, shoes, accessories and electronics. He is also known for providing clothing and food to the homeless at various shelters and underserved areas of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles-based Chicago native Ohana Bam is a rapper once acclaimed by Rolling Stone Magazine as an “Artist You Need to Know.” Often compared to fellow Chicago native and superstar Chance the Rapper, Bam rose to prominence on the strength of his albums Tree Up and Pigeons & Planes. Bam’s work showcases impressive versatility that spans rap, pop, dancehall, rock, soul, and more.

A force in the Southern California urban community, Jason Lee is the CEO of Hollywood Unlocked, an influential pop culture blog with 1.6 million Instagram followers. Lee burst onto the scene on “Love & Hip Hop Hollywood” and was also featured on MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out”. This year he signed a deal with iHeartRadio to host a weekly radio show featured on 50 iHeartMedia Urban Contemporary stations nationwide.

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

Top Super Welterweight Erickson Lubin Battles Former Title Challenger & U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in WBC Title Eliminator Saturday October 26

Top Super Welterweight Erickson Lubin Battles Former Title Challenger & U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in WBC Title Eliminator Saturday October 26 Live on SHOWTIME® from Santander Arena in Reading, PA

Former World Champion Robert Easter Jr. Makes Super Lightweight Debut Against Battle-Tested Veteran Adrian Granados in Co-Feature of Event Presented by Premier Boxing Champions

Plus! Former World Champions Rau’shee Warren & Emmanuel Rodriguez Duel in WBC Bantamweight Title Eliminator to Open Televised Action at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

Tickets on Sale Now!

READING, PA. (September 23, 2019) – Top super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin returns to take on former world title challenger and U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in a 12-round WBC title eliminator on Saturday, October 26 live on SHOWTIME from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa., in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. making his super lightweight debut against battle-tested veteran Adrian “El Tigre” Granados in the 10-round co-featured attraction. The televised opener will see former world champions collide as Rau’shee Warren takes on Emmanuel Rodriguez in a 12-round WBC bantamweight title eliminator.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and King’s Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com or at the Santander box office (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.).

“Top to bottom this is a card that guarantees action featuring fighters highly motivated to make statement victories,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Erickson Lubin is fast on the track to another world title opportunity, but he’ll have to get through a veteran with a tremendous pedigree in Terrell Gausha. With exciting former champion Robert Easter making his 140-pound debut against all-action Adrian Granados, and a bantamweight duel between former world champions Rau’shee Warren and Emmanuel Rodriguez, the fans in Reading and watching in SHOWTIME are going to get their money’s worth Saturday, October 26.”

Orlando, Florida’s Lubin (21-1, 16 KOs) was one of the fastest rising contenders in boxing as he quickly raced to the top of the ladder to challenge Jermell Charlo for the WBC 154-pound championship in 2017. Since the setback against Charlo, the 23-year-old has scored three straight stoppage victories to regain his momentum toward a championship run. In February, Lubin became the first boxer to stop former champion Ishe Smith and is coming off a TKO victory over Zaharia Attou in his last fight on June 29 on SHOWTIME

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to showcase my talents once again on SHOWTIME,” said Lubin. “I’m focused on the task at hand, and that’s beating a world class opponent in Terrell Gausha. My plan is to put all of the belt holders in my division on notice with a victory. I’ve been in camp for five weeks with five weeks to go. I’ll be supremely conditioned and fundamentally sound on October 26. You’re definitely not going to want to miss it.”

The 31-year-old Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) is a brilliant ring tactician with an impressive boxing pedigree that included representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics. Born in Cleveland and now living in Encino, Calif., Gausha suffered the only loss on his record when he dropped a unanimous decision to long-reigning WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy Lara in 2017. He most recently fought to a disputed split draw against former super welterweight champion Austin Trout on May 25.

“This is going to be an action-packed fight with me and a strong young fighter like Lubin,” said Gausha. “He’s a good test for me. Lubin will be the fourth southpaw in a row that I’ve faced and I’m ready to go again. I’m just at a point where I want to fight the best and most challenging fights possible. He called me out and I’m definitely going to be ready for him on October 26. The fans won’t want to miss it.”

A former IBF Lightweight World Champion, Easter (21-1-1, 14 KOs) won the belt with a split decision victory over current champion Richard Commey in 2016 at Santander Arena in Reading. The 28-year-old from Toledo, Ohio successfully defended the title three times before losing it to four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in a 2018 unification clash on SHOWTIME. He is coming off a split draw against Rances Barthelemy in his last fight on April 27 and will be making his super lightweight debut when he steps in against Granados at the site of his first world championship fight.

“I’m moving up to 140 pounds and I’ve been preparing really hard for this fight,” said Easter. “Expect me to come out and be very explosive on October 26. I anticipate Granados coming to fight like he always does. He’s a fighter who always comes prepared and puts his heart into it, but I’m going to do the same thing and show that I’m ready to make a statement in this division.”

The 30-year-old Granados (20-7-2, 14 KOs) has battled a slew of accomplished junior welterweights and welterweights over the course of his career including Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner and most recently Danny Garcia in April. The 30-year-old from Chicago will return to 140-pounds where he’s had most of the success in his career, including his 2015 stoppage of a then-unbeaten Amir Imam.

“I’m expecting a tough fight against Robert Easter Jr. on October 26,” said Granados. “Our styles mesh well. Easter is a sharp fighter and that’s why I’m giving it everything I have in training camp. I’m looking to bounce back from my last fight and show everyone that I still have a lot to give the sport of boxing. Easter is a technician in the ring but I’m a warrior and I’m going to come with everything that I have.”

Fighting out of his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, Warren (16-3, 4 KOs) is looking to climb back into the championship ranks, having won the WBA bantamweight title with a majority decision over Juan Carlos Payano in 2016. The 32-year-old lost the title to Zhanat Zhakiyanov by majority decision in 2017 and is coming off a decision loss to Nordine Oubaali in a January title clash. Warren won his first 13 pro fights after an amateur career that saw him represent the U.S. at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

“I’m ready to bounce back and prove I’m still one of the best bantamweights in the world,” said Warren. “This is a great fight for me to do that. After this fight I’m ready to get that belt back again because I miss it. I know these fighters can’t beat me when I’m at my best.”

The 27-year-old Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) will also look to put himself back in position to reclaim a 118-pound belt with a win on October 26. Fighting out of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez won the IBF Bantamweight World Title with a unanimous decision victory over Paul Butler in 2018 and defended it successfully against then-unbeaten Jason Moloney. He most recently was stopped by unbeaten champion Naoya Inoue in their May title bout.

“I’m super excited to return in a great fight like this,” said Rodriguez. “Warren is a very good fighter and a victory over him will put me where I want to be. I’m thankful for the opportunity to get closer to reaching my goal of becoming a world champion again in 2020. I have learned from the mistakes of my loss and I’m confident everyone is going to be talking about my performance on October 26.”

SHAWN PORTER, ANTHONY DIRRELL & ROBERT GUERRERO LAS VEGAS MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES & PHOTOS

Spence Porter Header

SHAWN PORTER, ANTHONY DIRRELL & ROBERT GUERRERO LAS VEGAS MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES & PHOTOS

WBC Champion Porter Faces IBF Champion Errol Spence Jr. in Welterweight Title Unification that Headlines FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles

Dirrell Defends Super Middleweight Title Against Unbeaten David Benavidez in Pay-Per-View Co-Main Event While Guerrero Headlines FS1 PBC Fight Night Prelims

Photos from Leo Wilson/Premier Boxing Champions

LAS VEGAS (September 18, 2019) – WBC Welterweight Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter, WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell and former three-time world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero hosted a media workout in Las Vegas Wednesday as they near their respective showdowns taking place Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Porter will headline the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View in a highly anticipated welterweight title unification against Errol Spence Jr., while Dirrell defends his belt against unbeaten David Benavidez in the pay-per-view co-main event as part of action beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Guerrero will take on Jerry Thomas in a welterweight attraction that highlights FS1 PBC Fight Night Prelims preceding the pay-per-view and beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from Barry’s Boxing Gym in Las Vegas:

SHAWN PORTER

“Shawn Porter is going to leave the ring with two belts. I’m going to hit him. I’m going to hit him hard and I’m going to do things you’ve never seen anyone do against Errol Spence.

“I’m expecting there to be adversity for Errol. There’s going to be a moment where he realizes he’s losing this fight. He has to be solid psychologically. I don’t know if he’s going to be in the ring. I believe I have the advantage there and that I know how to get into his head.

“I think Errol’s confidence is natural like mine. But I think that he’s fed his confidence to the point where some arrogance has come out. I think he’s going to show that in the fight early on. He’s going to have to adjust. Once he recognizes that, I expect the arrogance to go out the window and that he’ll have to figure it out.

“I’ve never seen Errol go through any adversity in the ring. I don’t think anyone has been able to challenge him the way I can challenge him. I’m really looking forward to it.

“There’s a combination that comes from Shawn Porter that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s the speed, power, agility and intelligence. You have to make a lot of adjustments on the fly and be ready. I’m hard to prepare for. Spence probably has one or two things that he’s expecting, but it’s not going to go that way.

“I’ve been in Errol’s position before and I know what it’s like to think that all I had to do was show up and be me. I’ve gotten to a point where I realize now that I have to do more.

“I don’t think there’s too much to figure out with Errol. The game plan is to make him make the adjustments. Things don’t always go to plan, but I still think I know what he wants to do in there. He’s not going to give you a lot to adjust to, but what he does do, he’s supreme and he’s great at.

“Southpaws always bring the best out of me. I’m young again. You’re going to see the best Shawn Porter.

“I think Errol has a lot more to lose in this fight. He’s never had to deal with a loss, and most people aren’t expecting him to lose. He’s in the perfect position being considered a top welterweight. But from my perspective, I just have absolutely no intention on losing.”

ANTHONY DIRRELL

“This is going to be a good fight. David Benavidez is a warrior and I don’t take anything away from him. But I know that I have all the tools to beat him. He’s never fought someone like me. Everyone he knocked out, he was supposed to knock out.

“I have everything I need in my arsenal. I’m versatile. I can switch it up if I need to. If I need to sit in the pocket, I can. If I need to box, I can. I just don’t think Benavidez is what everyone makes him out to be.

“I’m going for the knockout. I go for the knockout in every fight. If it doesn’t happen, I can still go 12 rounds and come out victorious.

“This win would build my legacy. Some people expect me to lose, and I’m happy about that. This just takes my career to another level.

“I’m not looking past this fight. I’m focused on David Benavidez. After this fight I can talk about unification or whatever. Put first I have to take care of David.

“A loss is a loss no matter which way you put it. Whether you lose by a mile or half a round. That’s in the past and we’re only focused on the future. There’s an undefeated 22-year-old fighter trying to take what I’ve got.

“You put all the work in when you’re in the gym, then you have to leave everything in the ring. We trained too hard to not do that. I’m very confident. At the end of the day, the fans are going to win.

“I’ve seen Benavidez fight before. My coaches have watched him closely and will come up with the game plan. He’s quick, but we’ll be ready.”

ROBERT GUERRERO

“I feel great right now. Everything has been going smoothly and I can’t wait to just go to work out there. All the hard stuff is done, now it’s just maintaining and staying ready.

“I’m excited for this opportunity. I’m well prepared and ready to go. It’s like any other fight. You leave no stone unturned, execute your game plan and do what you have to do to win.

“The fans are going to get what they always get from me. I’m going to come to fight, take care of business and leave everyone with something to remember.

“In a lot of my fights, I just walked guys down. I’ve had guys like Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia fighting just to hang in there, and I wasn’t even fighting to my full potential. I was just walking them down. But my skills are boxing, that’s how I fought at the lighter weights. I got away from what I was good at.”

ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. SHAWN PORTER MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Spence Porter Header

ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. SHAWN PORTER MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Click HERE for Audio

Ray Flores
Thank you very much, operator. We greatly appreciate the media joining us from around the world. We continue the countdown for the big night of boxing coming your way on Saturday, September 28. That is a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. This is a stacked card from top to bottom.

It is a loaded event and our main event, which we are joined by the main event participants, is hotly anticipated welterweight title unification matchup, the IBF Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. and the WBC champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter, get closer to their battle for welterweight supremacy.

The four-fight Pay-Per-View card starts at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. It is preceded by FS1 PBC prelims that come your way at 7:30 p.m. Et/4:30 p.m. PT. Tickets for the event are going quickly and they are promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions. They’re available right now at AXS.com or if you live in the Los Angeles area, at the STAPLES Center box office.

Now a man that has been very busy promoting big events all over the world, the President of TGB Promotions, a man who knows boxing better than anybody, here is Mr. Tom Brown.

Tom Brown
Well thank you, Ray, and thanks everyone for joining us today. Both Errol and Shawn are having great training camps. There’s tremendous excitement about this fight and both fighters are in incredible shape. It’s really a sensational matchup and one of the best fights that can be made in boxing’s hottest division, the welterweights, with two world champions, unifying the title.

Errol Spence Jr. is one of the most talked about fighters in the sport. Many consider him to not only to be the best welterweight in the division but the best fighter in the world. But he’s going to get all he can handle from Shawn Porter, who has always faced the best of the best in his illustrious career. This is really the type of fight that elevates the sport of boxing. So it’s going to be a tremendous night of boxing, a big night on Saturday September 28. We have a great card and I hope everyone joins us. Thank you very much.

R. Flores
Thank you very much, Tom. And as Tom pointed out, both Shawn Porter and Errol Spence, Jr. are in impeccable shape. Now this man I’m getting ready to introduce, one of the champions, captured his title last September with a victory over Danny Garcia, also holds wins over the likes of Andre Berto, also Adrien Broner and Devon Alexander, while taking on the best in the division throughout his career, most recently coming off a title defense victory against Yordenis Ugas live on FOX in March. He is originally from Akron, Ohio but now living and training in Las Vegas alongside his father, Kenny Porter.

He is a two-time welterweight champion of the world. I know he’s very happy on this Tuesday, especially with his Cleveland Browns picking up a very impressive victory over the New York Jets yesterday. His record 30 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, 17 win by way of knockouts. Please welcome the always entertaining and charismatic “Showtime” Shawn Porter.

Shawn Porter
What’s up, everybody? Thanks for having me on. We’re about two weeks away and I couldn’t be any more excited than I am right now. So I’m even excited to do these interviews right now with you guys, so let’s go, let’s do it.

Q
Where does that mentality come from you where there really does seem to be a genuine willingness to just look down the list and fight the best guys available that you and your team can make a match against, Spence being the next one?

S. Porter
It’s how I grew up. It’s how my dad raised me and it’s where I come from. We were never allowed to shy away from any challenge and that’s the way I’ve lived my life. So when it comes to taking on Errol Spence, to me it’s like taking on any other fighter. It’s not like taking on, as everyone has coined him, the boogeyman or the best welterweight in the world. To me I’m taking on another great, exciting fighter and I’m going to beat that great, exciting fighter.

Q
So it is Spence specifically that you wanted to fight or was it Spence was a guy that had one of the other world titles?

S. Porter
I think it’s Spence specifically. I think it’s specifically Spence because of not only him having a belt but who is and what he’s done in the sport so far. Being undefeated and, again, being coined as the boogeyman of the division I’m like, “Yo, I need that. I need to beat that guy. I need to fight that guy.” And so that’s where the hunger really comes from for me.

Q
So then what was it can you say that put that in your mind or had your dad put that in your mind? Did you ever talk about that?

S. Porter
Again, it’s how I was raised. I can tell you story after story that would confirm that that was how I was raised. But I was ten years old playing football against guys who were 12 and 13 years old and it doesn’t sound that big but back then when you’re ten going up against preteens it’s a big deal.

So even at that young age, my dad has always challenged me and made sure I not only put out my best but I was going up against the best. And you look up, I’m 31 now and this is 100% familiar territory for me because it’s where I come from.

Q
Did you just embrace fighting all those big names pretty much right off the bat as long as the business was right?

S. Porter
Yes. For me it was always about embracing the name or the opportunity or the fighter, whatever you may want to call it. I think for me coming into the game, the way that I came into the sport and the business being ran the way that it was ran for me, I was always told who I would fight and there was never really ever a fountain of guys to pick from. They were always hey this is who’s next, this is when, this is where, and so that’s how I’ve been bred into this sport.

So when you talk about fighting the mandatory challenger, Yordenis Ugas, and why would you fight him and a lot of different questions were posed to me, in my mind he’s the mandatory, he’s the guy they told me I had to fight. That’s who I’m going to fight. So, again, I think it’s the mindset that I’ve had a very young age from that seems to resonate for me.

Q
Tom, I was wondering if you could speak to that.

T. Brown
Where I really saw it with Shawn the first time was it was our second PBC show on March 13 back in 2015 when Roberto Garcia pulled out. We brought another opponent in. There was never any questioning; he was fighting. We brought Erick Bone in and he was a tough kid. Both Shawn and his father just said whoever you get, we’re here to fight. So that’s where he really showed me that he was a fighter, both he and his father, just what he talked about, the way he was raised back in Ohio.

Q
Could you talk a bit about your time fighting at that much higher weight and some of the fighters you specifically fought there and if that gives you confidence going into this fight with Spence?

S. Porter
I think fighting 165 pounds is no secret that the majority of the guys that I fought as an amateur were a lot bigger than Errol Spence, not just bigger than Errol, they were a lot bigger than Errol Spence and I’m talking about guys like Daniel Jacobs, who fights at 160 pounds, 168 pounds now. I fought against Oleksandr Usyk, who is unified champion over there in the Ukraine, a heavyweight now. I fought him at 165 pounds back in the day when we were about 20 years old and beat him.

I have wins against Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade. Me and Andrade were one and one in the amateur division. The last time that we fought we were 165 pounds and I beat him to go to a tournament as the amateur. The experience is there. The experience against taller, bigger opponents is there.

For me looking at Errol Spence, I don’t look at him like he’s a bigger guy than me. I don’t think he’s one of the bigger guys in the division. I think that he’s been matched up against guys who have made him look a lot more powerful and bigger and stronger than he is. Trust me when I say he’s met his match in this one.

Q
Can you talk about how you’ve balanced broadcasting and fighting and if you’ve had problems straddling those two professions and your focus going into this fight?

S. Porter
I’m blessed because FOX Studios is just a rock’s throw away from Vegas so I can get there in just an hour. I do my thing. I actually have workouts and routines set around the filming and then on the ride home after we film. So it really has not been a hard thing for me to balance at all, the even more blessed part about it is I know the majority of the guys.

I’ve seen the majority of the fighters for a long, long time, then as amateurs and now I’ve known them as pros. So when it comes to things like being there to talk about these guys even that part of it is not strenuous for me because I know a lot of these guys, I know their styles, I know what they do, what they bring to the fight. So usually for me I’m just kind of shaping up on their statistics more than I am on who they are and who they bring to the ring. So it has not been a hard thing for me to balance and I’ve enjoyed it very, very much to this point.

Q
I know a couple weeks ago you mentioned that you were going to spar with Demetrius Andrade. I just wondered if you had the opportunity to do that and how it went if you did.

S. Porter
We’re still working on getting Andrade to Vegas. We tried to get him in D.C. He had some family conflicts going on and now we’re working on getting him into Vegas in the day or two so that we can get that last little bit of great work in. He’s a tremendous athlete.

We’ve used him time and time again when I fought southpaws and even when I fought orthodox fighters because he gives us such great work and he’s definitely a tough competitor and he makes it fun and enjoyable as well. So we do look forward to having him in Vegas and finishing up time with him in the next couple of days.

Q
Spence has said he’s going to knock you out and there are other people who have said that he’s going to be the first person to do that. Has that surprised your or driven you at all because you’ve always shown such a great chin?

S. Porter
I’m not surprised to hear him say he wants to knock me out. He’s even said I’m going to knock you out. I’m not surprised to hear him say that because I know his mentality. I know who he is as a person. He’s very, very driven and competitive, and I get that. The part about it for me is I think he may be trying to psyche himself out into thinking he can do it.

I think I have a proven chin. I’ve got a record for saying no fighter really wants to prove his chin. We never want to get hit, get hurt, anything like that but I’ve taken some pretty good shots from some top guys out there and I’ve managed to handle that and win and come out on top.

So when it comes to Errol Spence, I don’t look at his power any different than anyone else I’ve been in the ring with and I’m going to go at him like I’ve gone at Keith Thurman, like I’ve gone at Danny Garcia, like I’ve gone at Yordenis Ugas, Devon Alexander and the list goes on from there.

Q
Shawn, he said that you were a dirty fighter obviously in one of those FOX shows. Does that bother you or what was your opinion of that?

S. Porter
No, it doesn’t bother me. I think that’s his perspective. I think there may have been looking at film of me maybe and pulling on some things that he can take advantage of and he may think that my roughness, he’s misconstruing that for dirtiness.

If he can’t handle the roughness then you will find out real soon, and if that’s what’s working for us well then that’s what we’ll do. We’ll be rough, we’ll be hard, we’ll be rugged, we’ll keep the pressure on him and we all know pressure bursts pipes.

Q
Shawn, do you think it’s a psychological advantage for you a little bit that he’s thinking about that and that he’s mentioning this? Do you think that’s in his head a little bit or how do you view that?

S. Porter
At this point, I do. I think that there’s more than just that in his mind when it comes to fighting me. I think he knows that he’s up against a lot. I think that those certain things that he’s trying to be aware of or make the referee aware of, I think that that’s a mistake on his behalf. I think he may be looking at those things and overlooking other things, like my skill and my talent and my speed and my quickness and my boxing ability, So I think that he’s in trouble. I think it’s only a matter of time before the world finds out.

Q
When you look at Errol’s style, how do you see that faring against your style compared to when you fought Ugas? Do you see yourself having an easier or harder time dealing with Errol compared to Ugas?

S. Porter
No comparison. I think styles makes fights. I think you said it yourself. They’re two completely different styles. I think that they both have or in Yordenis’ case had, things that present problems for anyone that are in the ring.

I think for me I think my speed and my quickness against Errol Spence is definitely going to be superior. I think my foot movement is going to be superior and I think that it’s going to open up a lot more opportunities. I think that Yordenis in the ring with me was a little confused. He was expecting me to have a different style than I came to him with and I think that really shook him up. I’m expecting to shake up Errol Spence.

Q
One of the things I remember when we spoke a couple of months ago was that you wanted to have a pay-per-view main event on your resume and now that you got that, especially in a title unification, how does it feel being on this type of unique platform that so few fighters have had the opportunity to headline a pay per view?

S. Porter
It’s been a lot of fun. It definitely has been an eye-opener as well. Someone just sent me a picture telling me that the fights were going to be shown in theaters and I already knew that but to actually see it and have a preview of yourself at a movie theater is pretty cool. I’m at the theaters every other week so I’m going to do the best I can to sell the fight and let people know that they can go watch it at their local theater. I think that’s awesome.

It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to fight week. I hope it gets even more fun and gets more exciting. Fight week is something that I’ve been looking forward to.

Q
Given that the winner will have two of the four world titles, do you see this fight as the winner should be considered the number one welterweight in the world?

S. Porter
I do. I think that myself and Errol Spence, are the number one and number two guys. You call who you want to be number one and number two but the best part about it is one is about to fight two and one is about to get eliminated. I think that after I beat Errol Spence, especially the way I beat Errol Spence, I think that this will see me as the number one guy in the division.

Q
Will you talk to us about what you gained from that sparring with Benavidez?

S. Porter
That’s a big dude right there. That’s a fast dude. He’s competitive and honestly I really did enjoy the whole experience of being in the ring with him and being in the gym with him as well. He’s a dynamite guy. Being in the ring with him, I think at that point challenging ourselves and finding out where we were in camp and I think we found out that the conditioning that I was in at that point was great and we knew that we still had a couple of steps that we could pick up. But being in the ring with a big guy like that we definitely were able to find out that we were exactly where we wanted to be in camp at that point in time.

Q
Now I see that you predicted — do I have this right — you predicted an eighth round knockout of Spence next week?

S. Porter
Well someone else came on the line and they predicted that knockout. I did say I liked the thought of that prediction but I myself did not make that prediction, no, sir.

But if you’re asking me if I am going to knock him out, if I want to knock him out, heck yes. Do I have what it takes? Heck yes. And I think that we’ve come up with a great game plan and we definitely at some point will be looking at pressuring him and knocking him out.

Q
Is there anybody that you fought that’s maybe a little bit similar to Errol Spence?

S. Porter
If I had to say it would be between Danny Garcia and Kell Brook. I think that Errol Spence has great boxing ability, a great one-two, great basic fundamentals. He’s very, very fundamental structured, a lot like Kell Brook, and I think that that he tries to dictate the pace and do the things that he like to do in the ring, a lot like Danny Garcia. So I think he’s a mixture of those two.

Q
Does it bother you that people say that Errol’s on a whole different level as far as boxing and that you can’t box with him?

S. Porter
I’m from where LeBron James is from, northeast Ohio. He said in northeast Ohio everything is earned, nothing is given. With that being said, I know how it feels to prove people wrong. I know what it feels like to do the impossible and do the things that people don’t expect you to do.

So it doesn’t bother me that people don’t give me credit for my boxing ability or say things like me not being able to box with Errol Spence on the outside, things like that. It just leaves room for me to do what I do where I come from. Where I come from is proving people wrong and doing the impossible and that’s what I’m looking forward on the 28th.

Q
I know you’re always motivated but like is it motivations on another level right now because you want to prove so many different people wrong?

S. Porter
No. The odds, the betting odds, they don’t give me any more energy or drive to do anything different. It’s my understanding that I’m going to see a lot of people who say, “Hey, man, I bet on you, man. Thanks.” And there’s going to be a lot of people out there saying, “Man, I should have bet on you.” That’s always fun to hear and see. So I’m looking forward to that.

Q
Would you agree that the intensity in this fight is based on who’s the best at 147, it’s not personal. It’s more business?

S. Porter
I think it’s both and the reason why I say it’s both is because I think the business part of it is just about showing who’s the best fighter and who has the best style and who’s more determined, all that good stuff. But I think that at the same time we both are challenged to show that we have a great team, great families, all that kind of stuff. So, I think it kind of mixes a little bit. But in terms of there’s nothing personal in terms of me taking shots at him, at Errol or anybody else in the division based on what they do in their personal life. It’s all based around the business and the training and all that kind of stuff.

Q
Do you see the perspective that this is a legacy fight for you?

S. Porter
Yes, I think it’s cool to be in my position. I’m the only one that’s taken on all those guys and still here to continue moving forward. I think if anything if we do want to talk about the betting odds and things like that. I think you take into consideration what I’ve done and who I’ve done it against. And how I’ve performed. I think that if you take into account that I’ve fought Danny Garcia at in his prime basically, Keith Thurman in his prime basically. Just recently Ugas who is a great boxer. I think that if you take in all that into account you might say, man, like, alright I think this fight is going to be a little more competitive and harder to choose the winner than I think it is going to be.

S. Porter
I’m looking forward to the 28th. I’m sure you guys are used to hearing that. But the thing you’re not used to hearing is the world is about to be shocked. Team Porter has done a fantastic job at getting prepared for Errol Spence. We are overlooking anything that he can do in the ring. But we definitely feel like we are the superior athlete, the superior fighter. And we are all looking forward to the 29th and shocking the world on the 28th. Thank you, guys, so much for the interviews. And I’ll see you all soon.

R. Flores
This next fighter just gets it done and at a very high level. As his level of opposition increases, he continues to wipe out his opponents, and he has a very tough test ahead of himself. His record, 25 and 0, 21 wins by way knockout. Please welcome the reigning and defending IBF welterweight champion of the world Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.

Errol Spence Jr.
Hey how it’s going? Happy to be here. Training camp has been really good. I am excited that it’s only two weeks away. It’s going to be a great match up between two great champions. I’m always ready to fight. So, I hope everybody’s coming to the fight. It’s going to be an amazing night and might be the Fight of the Year this year.

Q
Porter seems to be a guy that would be more your equal than maybe your past few opponents. What is your opinion of that?

E. Spence
I see him as a tough opponent. He’s the world champion and he throws a lot of punches. He is very energetic. So that’s why he’s a success. He’s a rough guy and he does whatever it takes to win. So from that aspect and him beating Danny Garcia, I see him as a tough test.

Q
How are you prepared to deal with that element of the physicality he brings that’s not necessarily to the exact letter of the rules?

E. Spence
I’m a guy that I feel like I can ward it off or write it off. Or may do the exact same thing. So I feel like I’ve fought opponents just as physical as Shawn, or just just as strong as him. I feel like that won’t really play a part in this fight.

Q
Were you disappointed you couldn’t get Pacquiao next and sort of settled for Porter?

E. Spence
I was just looking for the next available guy. I wanted a unification fight too. Shawn Porter was the easiest fight to make and the quickest fight to make. So, that’s why I decided with the fight, Shawn Porter.

I wanted the chance to beat Pacquiao. Pacquiao is a bigger name and a bigger fight. So, of course I wanted that fight. But Shawn Porter is the champion too. He has the build. So, I definitely wanted to unify too. I knew that if I wasn’t going to get Pacquiao there was going to be a good chance I was going to fight Shawn Porter.

Q
Mikey Garcia had maybe a little bit of a bigger name, maybe a bigger fan base. I think most people would look at the fight between yourself and Shawn perhaps is the more competitive fight. Where do you stand on that? Which is the bigger fight in your mind?

E. Spence
I’d say Mike Garcia is the bigger name than Shawn Porter. But as a fan friendly fight or as an entertainment fight and tough fight, I would say this fight with Shawn Porter is going to be I feel like way more entertaining than the Mikey Garcia fight. I feel like the Shawn Porter fight is bigger just because it’s a unification fight.

Q
Do you think that it’s been easier this time around just because you have the experience of preparing for a Pay-Per-View event against Mikey Garcia? Or would you say it’s more or less the same?

E. Spence
I think it’s a lot easier. Because the first fight I was traveling to New York doing things and going back to California doing things. So I was basically going in and out of camp. I would say the first time it was harder than the second go around.

Q
Do you believe the winner of this fight should be considered the best welterweight in the world?

E. Spence
Definitely. There’s no way around it. The winner is the unified champion. So, I definitely think the winner should be considered the top welterweight in the world and that makes me even more excited and hungry to win.

Q
This fight you’ve been a lot more vocal that you’re going for a knockout. Usually you’re’ more reluctant to say that. Just wanted to know if that has to do with his style how your styles will mesh, your overall respect for him as a fighter, or just the mindset you’re bringing to this fight?

E. Spence
It’s just my overall mindset and something I want. I feel like the way he fights and the way he comes forward, I think I can exploit that. But I can’t go in there and just force knock out. I’m going to try to work a bit and break him down.

Q
How do you prepare for that physicality that’s going to come with that fight?

E. Spence
Mostly by preparing mentally for it and having sparring partners that bring the heat and bring the pressure. I feel like I’m ready. And I know that Shawn is going to bring it but that’s why we work so hard to be ready for anything he brings at any time.

Q
Are you trying to probably make more of a statement in this fight, ?

E. Spence
Making that statement is something that I really want to do. It’s one of my goals in this fight is to knock him out. I’d be the first person and that would make it a real statement. I’m ready to go in there and deliver. I want it to be a great knockout.

Q
Do you feel beating Porter will give you that respect that you deserve or seek?

E. Spence
About the way I beat Mikey Garcia, because I just didn’t go in there. People thought I was just going to go in there and just bulldoze him. I just boxed and used my mind and made it a boxing match. So I think the people respect me from that standpoint. Where I just didn’t try to use my size to beat him up. But I definitely see how I want to win against Shawn Porter. I think people give me more respect and value my skills and my abilities.

Q
How you want to beat up Shawn Porter.

E. Spence
I just want it to be a calculated knock out. I don’t want to be going in just over anxious throwing a lot of punches and missing a lot of shots. I want to go for the knock out, be poised and pick my shots. I want to break him down and get a calculated knock out.

Q
What is it about Porter that has you working a little bit harder for this fight?

E. Spence
Porter’s a guy trains hard and of course he has dad in his ear pushing him. So he’s pushed to the limit every chance, every training. So that keeps me focused. Keeps me humbled. Because I know he’s going to come in shape. I know going to throw punches. And I know he’ll do whatever it takes to win. So, that keeps me basically on my toes. Keeping me training a little bit harder.

Q
How might Porter approach you as opposed to how he approached Ugás?

E. Spence
Shawn is the guy who just goes by the game plan. So I think the game plan is the try to beat me from the beginning and try to throw a lot of punches and bring me down. Try to stop me. So, I think that he’s going to be more aggressive than he was against Ugas.

Q
Did you think he won that fight?

E. Spence
I think either guy could of won. I think it was super close where either guy could have won.

Q
Did it surprise you that Shawn approached that fight the way that he did?

E. Spence
Yes, a little bit. I would have thought he would be more aggressive like he did in the later rounds, in the early rounds. But they tried that strategy. He still won at the end of the day. So, that gives him the motivation heading into this fight.

Q
Errol, do you think you have gotten under his skin by calling him a dirty fighter?

E. Spence
No. Because I’m not the first person to call him dirty. I don’t know if he’s a dirty fighter but he has a dirty style. A lot of elbows and things like that. But he’s good for a reason. Whatever works, he’s doing it.

Q
How important is it for you in your fight, Errol, in the beginning of the fight if things get rough and he does some of the things that you’ve mentioned to do that right back to him to let him know that you’re not going to tolerate that type of thing?

E. Spence
It could happen that way. But I’m not really worried about it. I think a lot of times, when he fights stronger, he isn’t dirty like that. Danny Garcia, he wasn’t dirty like that. I think he does that to fighters he can just push around. I’m not really concerned with his dirty tactics.

Q
How do you feel about getting this second pay per view?

E. Spence
Yes, of course. I started at SHOWTIME and I have a lot of love for SHOWTIME. Had my first fight on there. First title fight on there. So it’s a lot of first moments on SHOWTIME. So now FOX has had amazing promotion for all their PBC fights. Really getting bigger than getting slots in between timeouts for the NFL. So it doesn’t get bigger than that.

The promotion’s been great and getting all the commercial slots. We’re all very happy to have a promotion like this. It’s been a great ride.

Q
Can you talk a little bit about what role you play in having your hand on Man Down promotions? You have a couple fighters fighting on this card, if you want to speak on that a little bit.

E. Spence
Yes, I have Man Down Promotions co-promoting. We have a couple fighters fighting on the card. We’ve got Burley Brooks, Amon Rashidi and Fernando Garcia all getting in the ring.

I’m a guy that I don’t want to have a big stable of fighters. I want to have a few. So I can put my attention on just them and get them fights and make sure they’re busy and things like that. So I’m not looking to really find any more fighters than what I have now. So, I can be focused on them.

Q
How will you balance whether it a dog fight or a chess match against Shawn?

E. Spence
It’s just instinct. I feel like I know when to box and when to bang and how to pick and choose my spot and things like that. So it just happens naturally in a fight. I feel like at the first round, I’ll know definitely where it’s going. I’ll figure him out, break him down and tear him apart or I’ll beat him backing up.

E. Spence:
Everybody make sure you’re there. Make sure you order the Fox Sports PBC Pay-Per-View September 28. It’ll be an amazing event. I can’t wait. I’m in great shape. Shawn Porter, he comes to fight. And like I said, I’m looking for the knock out. So it might be Fight of the Year if he can withstand my punches for all 12 rounds.

ABOUT SPENCE VS. PORTER
Spence vs. Porter pits unbeaten IBF Welterweight Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. against WBC Welterweight Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a 147-pound title unification that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The pay-per-view event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell facing unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov battling for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr. competing in a 10-round welterweight fight.

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

ANTHONY DIRRELL VS. DAVID BENAVIDEZ, PLUS MARIO BARRIOS CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Spence Porter Header

 

ANTHONY DIRRELL VS. DAVID BENAVIDEZ, PLUS MARIO BARRIOS CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT & AUDIO RECORDING

Click HERE for Audio Recording

Ray Flores
Thank you very much operator and to the media joining us around the world as we are very excited because we are just under two weeks away until we have our mega event with Errol Spence Jr going head to head against Shawn Porter. Welterweight unification is on the line. That all comes your way on Saturday September 28. It is a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. What a main event but we have a sensational co-main event and a loaded undercard beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Today we’re going to be joined by fighters that are going to be involved in the co-main event which will see the WBC Super Middleweight Champion of the world, Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell taking on the former unbeaten World Champion David” El Bandera Roja” Benavidez. Also, in action and will be participating in today’s call, unbeaten rising sensation Mario “El Azteca” Barrios will collide against fellow unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov for the WBA Super Lightweight Championship. Tickets are going quickly. They are still available and it’s being promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions, Shawn Porter Promotions. They’re available at AXS.com.

Before we get an opportunity to hear from the fighters, let’s talk to one of the hardest working men in entertainment. He’s the President of TGB Promotions. TGB has had another tremendous year promoting events all over the world. Please welcome my dear friend, a man who knows boxing probably more than anybody, Mr. Tom Brown.

Tom Brown
That’s why I love Ray. Thanks everyone for joining us for this conference call today for what I believe will be an extremely exciting night of boxing all presented by Premier Boxing Champions on pay-per-view. it’s a big fight when you have it at the STAPLES Center, the home of big-time boxing. We have a spectacular undercard and it’s going to be non-stop action and a lot of excitement leading up to the highly anticipated Welterweight Unification plus the undercard with veterans like Josesito Lopez and John Molina.

Also on the pay-per-view portion of the show is unbeaten Mario Barrios taking on the unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov for the WBA Super Lightweight Title. And WBC Champion Anthony Dirrell against the unbeaten former champion, David Benavidez. Any one of these fights could easily steal the show so it’s going to be a great night. I’ll throw it back to Ray and thank you again.

R. Flores
Thank you very much to Mr. Tom Brown. Always working hard but we greatly appreciate his time. He’s very excited as is the rest of the world. Now with today being Mexican Independence Day I think it’s only fitting enough that we have one of the biggest Mexican stars in the sport here to kick off today’s call. David Benavidez has been quite active. He was on hand at yesterday’s huge festival here in Los Angeles celebrating the holiday and was a tremendous hit with the crowd — greeting fans, signing autographs, taking photos. He is just 22 years of age. Former Super Middleweight World Champion trained by his father, Jose Benavidez. They have tremendous chemistry with one another. Certainly a winning formula.

Talking about that winning formula, he was the youngest Super Middleweight World Champion in history when he won the championship in 2017 by defeating Ronald Gavril, most recently having coming off of a very impressive second round stoppage over J’Leon Love. That was a fight that co-main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View back in March. He’s undefeated 21 and 0, 18 wins coming by way of knockout. Originally from Phoenix Arizona, now training in Southern California. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome one of the fastest rising stars in boxing today. Here is David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez. David?

David Benavidez
What’s up guys? How are you doing? First of all, I want to say a Happy Mexican Independence Day. I was happy to see a lot of people celebrating Mexican Independence Day. The fight is less than two weeks away. Probably the biggest fight of my life and I’m just very excited to be here in this position.

Q
What about you has changed between now and a year ago?

D. Benavidez
What’s changed is that I’m getting older, I’m more mature. I feel like the situation did more good to me than bad. It’s made me realize that everything can be lost. It definitely took that to mature me and see that I had my whole life’s work taken away over one error. I’m more dedicated now, but I’m going to value things way more too. This is just a fight I want to look spectacular in.

Dirrell, he’s a great fighter, I take nothing away from him but I need these kind of opponents to reach my goals. I’m faster than last year, I’m smarter and my boxing IQ is higher. When I’m put in these types of situations, I never fold. The best comes out of me. This is my second pay-per-view fight that I’m going to be co-headlining and this is where I wanted to be my whole life so I’m going to take full advantage of this situation.

Q
My question to you is what should Los Angeles fans would look forward to come to see you on Saturday?

D. Benavidez
The fans can expect to see me in an exciting fight. I’m going to make it a war. I’m going in there and I’m looking for the knockout. I want to make my people proud this fight and it’s going to be a hell of a fight.

Q
Anything you would like to say to the fans that are going to come to see you from Los Angeles?

D. Benavidez
I’m fighting in my own backyard. I’ve got a lot of friends here, a lot of family here. A lot of people that support me. There’s a lot of Mexican people here so I’m definitely going to be putting on for them and it’s going to be an amazing fight. I’m going to try my best to knock Dirrell out.

Q
When you saw Anthony Dirrell win the title that you used to own, what did it make you feel? Do you feel like maybe he was not truly the champion and it made you all the more hungrier to show Dirrell that you are the rightful WBC Champion?

D. Benavidez
Definitely. I felt it as soon as he fought for the belt in February because when I fought was it two or three weeks after that. It was very hard just to go through seeing him win the title that was mine. But he’s the real champion and he fought for the Vacant Title so I’m not going to take that away from him. But knowing that that was my belt that I have, I’m just coming in this fight very hungry, very motivated. I have about three and a half months training. So I was very focused for this training camp. So this is the best thing that you guys are ever going to see. That you guys have seen actually, so I’m very excited to go in there and give a great fight and get my title back.

Q
Do you feel like when you made your return about against J’Leon Love that any ring rust was there that you knocked off? Was it enough time to really knock it off or do you feel like you really had to get that experience through your sparring sessions?

D. Benavidez
With the last fight when I fought J’Leon Love I wanted to get at least five rounds in. But I’m not going to complain for knocking this guy out early. But I’ve had so much sparring in this training camp and in the last training camp. For this training camp I’ve had at least over 200 rounds sparring. I feel like everything came into place. Everything is going really good and I’m just going to be extremely ready.

I’m not going to kill myself over the rounds because I didn’t get enough rounds for the last fight. I know exactly what I’m stepping into. We have an amazing game plan and like I said, I’m just ready to go.

Q
Was that sparring with Shawn Porter more to help out Shawn or did you feel like he was offering you something in the sparring that you were getting something that was useful to you as well?

D. Benavidez
Definitely if you’re a great fighter you can find things to try to help yourself. Obviously I’m bigger than Shawn Porter and heavier than him. So I wasn’t trying to kill him but the thing about Shawn Porter that makes him so good is that he’s a very good pressure fighter. So me, for what I was trying to do, I was trying to use a little bit more of my boxing skills, just to work on that in case I have to use that in the fight for Anthony Dirrell. So you kind of have to see in what areas you have to work on yourself.

I was boxing around a little bit. Trying to stop him with my jab, throwing a lot of jabs. So we both definitely walked away with something good from that sparring session.

Q
Final question, obviously there’s been a lot of chatter between Caleb Plant and you back and forth. Is it hard to block out the surrounding noise from a guy like Caleb Plant to focus on Anthony Dirrell or is that something that you’re use to and you just deal with it when time comes?

D. Benavidez
I don’t hear any chatter at all. I just hear some people saying that that would be a good fight. , to me personally he doesn’t tell me anything or I don’t hear anything from here. So it’s not hard to block something out when I don’t hear anything to start off with. But it’s the same thing as everybody else in the business. Caleb Plant, Anthony Dirrell, Callum Smith — there’s all these fights are great fights to be made. I just train and prepare for each fight that I have. So, yes it’s not hard at all. When it’s time for those fights to be made it’s going to be made.

Q
How important is it for you to make this effort to interact with the fans? Here you are training, the fight is coming up. You probably could have used a day off but you’re out with them. What’s that about to you?

D. Benavidez
It’s not only just for me, at the end of the day when I fight it’s for the fans, it’s for the coaches. There was a big celebration yesterday with Mexican Independence Day. They were celebrating that yesterday and they asked me if I wanted to be there. If I wanted to go sign some pictures for some fans and we ended up giving away some free tickets and shirts.

I’m in a position right now where I’m just blessed that people like to see me. When I was younger I didn’t really think I was going to get to this point but I’ve gotten so much love, not only from the father’s but from the kids, the mothers. Everybody likes to see me and they support me so definitely as much as they support me, I’m going to go and support them.

I have no problems signing and we signed a lot of pictures yesterday. We took a lot of pictures, gave a lot of shirts out, so it’s very important to me, just so I can be out there and they can see. They know that I’m out there and they know I’m not going to be that type of boxer that’s hard and never going to attend these events. I’m always going to attend these events. Because I feel like it’s very important to show the fans and the community that I’m out there for them just like how they’re there for me. So it’s very something – it was a very special day for me yesterday.

Q
How important also has it been this last year when you’ve been out of the ring to have your family around you, being a boxing family that understands what it’s all about?

D. Benavidez
It was very important. When we got suspended for a year we didn’t know what to do with our time. Obviously we trained but it’s like when you’re training and you don’t have anything coming up, you just train, you go home and talk about the mistakes that lead you to that point. And I felt like I matured a lot from that point, just talking to my father and my father being around me, supporting me and my family supporting me through this whole situation.

I feel like I’m very grateful just to have my family there with me always supporting me. At the end of the day, this is what I do it for. I don’t just do it for me. I do it for my family. Obviously I do it for my legacy when I get older too but I put my family before myself every time. So everything that’s good for me is good for them. I’m just very appreciative that they’re there supporting me no matter what.

Q
So you’ve been pretty vocal that you’re gunning for the knockout in this fight. I’m just wondering if you could talk about what gives you that confidence?

D. Benavidez
I’m 22 years old but everybody sees my strengths. They know I have a good speed. I’m very strong. I feel like with the confidence I have right now in my power, I feel like anybody who I hit, it doesn’t matter who it is, I’ll hurt them. I trained very hard for this fight. I had three and a half months I haven’t slacked on anything, my diet has been very good, my recovery has been very good, my strength and conditioning has been excellent. So all of these factors have given me so much confidence in my abilities.

Also what gives me a lot of confidence is knowing that Anthony Dirrell hasn’t been stopped. Knowing that nobody has knocked him out. So I want to push myself to the absolute limit and do something that not everyone has done. Anthony Dirrell has never been hurt, he’s never been knocked out. So imagine what that’s going to do for my confidence if I’m the only one who knocks Anthony Dirrell out, if I knocked him out in this fight, that’s what just keeps me going because I know I can. I know whoever I put my hands on I can hurt. It doesn’t matter who it is and I can do it a variety of ways. I can do it from body shots, I can do it from head shots, I can do it from liver shots, I can do everything.

So coming into this fight I know what I can do and I know who I’ve been there with. He has a lot of experience but I also have a lot of experience too. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been a professional for almost seven years now. I’ve been in big fights, I’ve been in 12 round Championship fights. I fought some great contenders. So as much experience as he has, I have as well. And I know I can hurt him, I just know I can hurt him. So it’s not of a matter of if I can hurt him but it’s a matter of when I’m going to hurt him.

I’m extremely ready, camp couldn’t have gone any better. A card like this in Los Angeles at the STAPLES Center, the stakes can’t be any higher man. I’m just ready to do this.

Q
Are you still developing in the gym? What do you have to say about that?

D. Benavidez
That’s why I’m so confident for this fight because this is a sparring session. This camp alone I’ve felt the strongest I’ve ever felt in my whole camp, in my whole life. That’s why I know when I’m going to catch Anthony Dirrell, I’m going to put him away because I just feel extremely strong. Last week I did 15 rounds in sparring. I think it was last Friday, no it was 16 rounds of sparring with four different guys. So I know I’m ready for this. This is the strongest I’ve ever been in my life and I just can’t wait.

D. Benavidez
I just want to thank everybody for the opportunities I’ve been put in, especially PBC, Sampson Lewkowicz, and my father Jose Benavidez. Everybody has been there with me even after those mistakes, they just still treated me really good. Nothing has changed. Like I’ve said, this is the biggest fight of my life fighting at the STAPLES Center and I can’t wait. I guarantee you there will be a new WBC World Champion come September 28. Thank you so much for everything.

R.Flores
This next young man you’ll be hearing from has an impressive record. He’s undefeated 24 and 0, 16 wins coming by of way of knockout. He’s continuing the great tradition of Mexican American fighters from the state of Texas. Another rising star looking to break into the title ranks. He’s a top 140-pound contender. He has gone ahead and rattled off eight straight knockout victories since moving up here to 140-pounds. Most recently having knocked out Juan Jose Velasco in two rounds in May back on FOX, he’s going to fight his toughest challenge to date in the fellow unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov.

He’s undefeated 24 and 0, 16 wins coming by way of knockout. Training in the Bay Area under the guidance of esteemed trainer, Virgil Hunter. Please welcome from San Antonio, Texas the undefeated Mario “El Azteca” Barrios.

Mario Barrios
Of course as a fighter, every training camp feels like the best one, but this one really has been a great camp. We left no stone unturned during this preparation for this fight. I’m aware this is my biggest opposition to date and I’m going to be exciting and go for that Vacant WBA World Title.

Q
I just was wondering from the moment that this fight has been made to now, what’s been going through your head? Has it been like a dream? Has it sunk in that you’re actually fighting for a Title?

M. Barrios
Yes, it’s definitely sunk in, which is why we really made sure we’ve done everything in this training camp in preparation for this fight. I’m well aware of the opportunity and what I’m facing. I’m well aware of the guy I’m going to be facing come fight night. If anything though, it’s been a lot of motivation. There hasn’t been any pressure whatsoever. I promised San Antonio a World Title a long time ago. The opportunity is now in front of me and nothing is going to get in the way of that.

Q
Do you expect nerves to be a problem? You’ve been on some big cards and some big venues. Are you doing anything special to battle the nerves? Do you expect that to be a problem come Saturday night?

M. Barrios
No, I don’t feel any nerves going into this fight. I’ve competed on some of the biggest fight cards in all PBC. This is my third time returning to the STAPLES Center. It’s always a great turn out there, especially, with the Mexican American fans and just boxing fans in general. I’m looking forward to it being a very packed night there but again, no nerves going into this fight. Nothing is going to stop me from going into the fight and dominating the way that we’ve been preparing.

Q
What would winning this title mean to you and to join that select group of San Antonio World Champions?

M. Barrios
Man, it’s one of the biggest I think accomplishments and biggest honors for me. Like I’ve said, taking the World Title back to San Antonio, to me I think only the fifth person in San Antonio history that’s been able to do that. Yeah so it’s going to be an indescribable feeling but first thing is first and that’s to go out there and take care of business next Saturday.

Q
What do you think you bring to the table that’s going to catch people’s eye?

M. Barrios
Not being full of myself but I think I could call myself an all-around fighter and then given my size in this division, I’m one of the biggest probably currently at 140-pounds. I use my size to my advantage and I can box very well on the outside. I work well off my jab but growing up in Texas I have a good amateur background as well.

I really learned how to fight in the inside, I guess you would say Mexican style and that I would brawl. So I’m able to box and brawl. People ask me about my style, I tell them I’m a boxer puncher. Because I’m not just a power punch. My last eight fights have been stoppages but it’s not like I’m just going out there and just winging shots and just catching lucky shots. Every fighter that I’ve stopped, they’ve been stopped in different ways, with different punches.

So I think this fight is going to continue to show the boxing fans about my presence and my place in the division and in the sport.

Q
Do you feel an advantage when you have a height advantage or a length advantage? I know some people say that they don’t feel one. Do you feel more empowered having a size advantage?

M. Barrios
Actually I would always prefer fighting someone that was closer to my height. A lot of times when I was early in my pro career I would fight some guys that were real short, almost too short and that actually presents a lot of trouble a lot of times but Akhmedov, he’s a good height, he’s not too short, not too tall. So whether he knows I’m fighting on the outside or whether it becomes a very busy inside fight, I’m ready for either one of those.

Q
I’m just wondering if you can talk about what the last few years of your career have been like?

M. Barrios
When I first started I was 18 years old when I turned pro and I turned pro at 122. So I was very new.

Most of my fights I was just going out there just and depending on my length and power to stop fighters as opposed to now I really, especially under the guidance of Virgil Hunter, I really gained an insight into all the little things that matter in this sport. When I started working with Virgil about three or four years ago, it really showed me a lot, because he was able to take me to that next level, that world championship stage, which is where we’re at. I think this time, being with Virgil and just maturing overall has been the biggest factors for me.

Q
Just wondering if you could give your assessment of Akhmedov in general and being an Eastern European fighter with relatively so few fights?

M. Barrios

Yes, Akhmedov he has an impressive amateur resume. He has the experience coming in with him but for one of the first times going into a fight, I’m actually the veteran. Of course the pros and amateurs they’re two different ballgames and come fight night I’m going to use everything that I’ve learned in past 24 fights and I’m going to put everything to use.

Again, I’m not saying I’m overlooking Akhmedov. I’m expecting the best version of him that has possibly ever showed up but, like I said, I’ve had a great camp. I know I’m ready to give him any kind of fight that he wants.

Q
Have you by any chance I know you said had kind of relationship with John Michael Johnson. Has he talked to you about fighting for a world title? Have you talked to him lately at all?

M. Barrios
No. I haven’t spoke to him in a while just aside from little comments that he will post on anything I post. But he gives his support which means a lot, especially coming from just my hometown.

All my family, my sisters, my parents, they’re all going to be there and then even just a lot of friends and family that are flying in for the fight. There’s quite a bit. it’s hard to even say.

I know my placement in my division and I know this fight it is a world title and it’s just going to propel me even closer to fighting the current champions.

I started boxing when I was six years old. As soon as I turned eight I started competing. So it’s always been a dream, but now that I’m here it feels surreal. I’m going to take this opportunity. , like I said, there’s nothing that’s going to get in the way of me and this world title.

Q
Is this fight being for the WBA title, was that sort of incentive for you to try and stay at 140 pounds a little longer or was that always plan to stay at 140 pounds through the rest of the year?

M. Barrios
That was my plan originally with the move up to try to dominate and to try to fight for as many of the world titles as I possibly could. Right now I’m still making the weight comfortably, so that goal is going to remain the same. There’s no doubt I’m going to move up to welterweight eventually but that time isn’t now.

Q
Is this fight a statement fight to those aforementioned champions saying that you’ve arrived and you have your case being made for being one of the best junior welterweights in the world?

M. Barrios
That’s exactly how I look at it. I wanted this fight. I felt I’d really proven myself in my past few fights but this one for sure, it’s going to put all the the world champions on notice that I’m right there knocking on the door to be fighting them next.

Q
I want you explain to the rest of the writers here what does Mexican-style boxing mean to you and how does it influence your style, your boxing style in the job you’ve put on for the fans?

M. Barrios
Yes I figure everyone’s general description of Mexican style is sitting there and pretty much just brawling. The body punches as well and just being able to mix it up and to keep that pressure. There’s no doubt that I possess those abilities as well as being a boxer.

But given the fight day close to Mexican Independence Day, which is actually today, I’m excited to go out there and put on for my people, for my city and just the boxing fans in general.

Q
What are you looking for to capitalize against this guy come fight night?

M. Barrios
Like I mentioned he has a great amateur pedigree so he has that experience but he doesn’t really have that experience in the pros. No matter which Akhmedov shows up and how he chooses to fight, I know that I’ll be able to adjust and use all of the tools that I’ve learned in my past 24 fights against him.

M. Barrios
I appreciate you all having me. I appreciate the media all coming in asking their questions and thank you to all the fans and supporters.

R. Flores
Next we will move on to Anthony Dirrell. He won his title by winning a technical decision over Avni Yildirim in February on FS1. His record is 33 wins, one loss, one draw, with 24 wins coming by way of knockout, he’s always in exciting matchups. He literally brings his best and brings everything that he has every single time he steps inside the ring. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the reigning and defending WBC Super Middleweight Champion of the World here is Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell. Anthony, opening comments.

A. Dirrell
How you all doing, how you all doing? You all can start with the questions. I’m just ready to fight. It’s been a long camp and a great camp and I’m just ready to get this job done.

Q
David says he wants to knock you out. Do you think he actually believes? What’s your take on that?

A. Dirrell
I think everybody is going in there looking for the knockout. Does that happen every time? No, but you’re going to go in there and look for the knockout. Boxers don’t get paid for overtime so of course you’re going to go in there and say we’re looking for the knockout. It makes sense everybody wants you to knock opponents out. That’s what I’m going in there for. I’m looking for the knockout. I think I do it every time and I’m ready for the 28th. I’m ready to defend my title and be successful at it.

Q
How do you rank the challenge of facing him compared to the rest of the fighters you fought in your career?

A. Dirrell
I think he’s a good fighter, but the toughest I don’t know. I haven’t been in there with him. Styles make fights. You can only can say how the guy is if you’ve been in there. But he’s a tough guy. He’s a tough kid. He’s 22 years old. He’s going in there to take what’s mine and I got to defend my title of course, and I’ll be successful doing that.

Q
Do you think that you have an advantage in that you can try to exploit maybe that inexperience against guys at the world level?

A. Dirrell
I think everybody has power, especially with 10 ounce gloves on. I don’t know what kind of power he’s got. Every fighter he knocks out, he was supposed to knock out, just like every fighter I knocked out, I was supposed to knock out. But, like I said, I think styles make fights at the end of the day. I’m going in there, looking for the knockout. I’m going in there doing what I need to do to win this fight. If I don’t get the knockout, I definitely can go 12, and I’m just prepared. I’m mentally amd physically ready for this fight.

Q
Is retirement or talk about retirement still somewhat in the back of your mind after you approach your fights or is that something that you’ve kind of put on hold for now?

A. Dirrell
You don’t think of retirement in a fight this big. You think of the fight. You think of the task at hand. Was I thinking about retiring after the last fight? Of course. I’m getting older and I want to spend time with my family, but I’m not getting old enough where somebody’s going to come in there and just whip me or beat me. I’m going in there prepared, fully ready for this fight and I can’t wait for it to happen on the 28th.

Q
How are you going to use your experience to outthink David Benavidez?

A. Dirrell
You’ll have to see on the 28th. I’m not going to sit here and talk about my game plan. You’ll just have to see on the 28th. I know it’s going to be a hell of a fight, especially with a guy like David Benavidez. He’s coming to fight. And everybody knows from my previous fights, even my last fight, I’m coming to fight also and that’s not going to stop me.

Age is nothing but a number. George Foreman did it at, what, 50? Bernard Hopkins did it at 50. You do it because you want to do it and your body is allowing you to do it. So me being this age is not an excuse. I’m going to go in there and do what I need to do to win this fight.

Q
Where do you think David Benavidez stacks in there with your opponents based on what he’s accomplished so far?

A. Dirrell
I don’t know. I have to get in there and fight him. I can tell you better after the fight but right now he’s a champion. He knocked people out he wasn’t supposed to knock out. He did what he was supposed to do. And I just feel I’m so much better, so. Like I say, on the 28th and all the talk is over with. It’s just the fight.

Q
It looks like that you fought at the STAPLES Center 13 years ago, it’s hard to believe it was that long ago, but you’re certainly going to be in an arena where most of the fans are going to be there for your opponent. Does that fire you up? How do you use that?

A. Dirrell
I don’t use it. It’s just me and him in the right. You can’t use that. You use that, you’re messing up your game plan. It’s me and him in the ring and that’s all the matters.

Q
How important is the family support to you and what does it mean to you to have them there?

A. Dirrell
It’s very important. My family’s been there through my whole career. I’ve been boxing almost 26 years and they’ve been there for our ups and downs, blood, sweat and tears so I’m really thankful for them, thankful for my wife. My kids even watch my fights. So I’m really thankful that they’re by my side and I’ve got a family that I can depend on.

Q
How much do you believe your experience will play a factor in this fight?

A. Dirrell
I think it’ll be a big factor. I think I’m a little more polished in that area and just going there and stick to my game plan and do what I need to do to win this fight, no matter how the win comes, as long as it comes.

Q
When you’re fighting do you develop a dislike for your opponent at all or is it strictly business?

A. Dirrell
No, it’s business. It’s strictly business. There’s no personal issues. It’s business. They’re trying to knock you out and you’re trying to knock them out. That’s all it is. I have no animosity or anything towards David at all. I think him and his family are good people. They’re respectful people and that’s good but on the 28th all that respect goes out the window.

Q
It’s been well documented that David Benavidez sparred Shawn Porter. Do you feel that that’s kind of a waste of time for him or what are your thoughts on that as far as in relation to your fight with him?

A. Dirrell
I think he’s sparred with Shawn one time. That has nothing to do with me. Shawn isn’t very tallwe don’t even have the same fighting style, nothing. Shawn can get something out of it but not David, I don’t think. But his sparring at the end of the day you spar who you can spar and just get the experience. Like I said, I don’t know.

Q
What’s the key to your longevity in the game?

A. Dirrell:
Just fight smarter, not harder. I think my last fight was a little hard. I made it hard. But you’ve just got to fight smarter and hit and not be hit, that’s the game. That’s boxing. On the 24th, will there be war? It might be. Will it be a boxing match? It might be. I don’t know. I’ll have to determine that when I get into the ring.

Q
Can you describe what “Flint Strong” means and what kind of energy does that bring into the fight with you being from Flint and being from a long line of great Michigan fighters?

A. Dirrell
“Flint Strong” is we’re all the city. We’re all one. We all support each other from Myles Bridges to Kyle Kuzma, Javale McGee and Monte Morris and many more. You’ve got a lot of people that are from Flint. You’ve got a lot of these athletes that rep Flint. If you look at any one of their tattoos, I bet they have Flint on them or A1O. it’s just us sticking together as a city as a whole and trying to make us better.

A. Dirrell
Just tune in. If you can’t get there, definitely tune in. It’s going to be an amazing show at the end of the day. The fans will win. The fans are who we’re coming out there to do this performance for and at the end of the day, they will win. And, like I said, if you can’t be there, order it. It’ll be a heck of a card.

ABOUT SPENCE VS. PORTER
Spence vs. Porter pits unbeaten IBF Welterweight Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. against WBC Welterweight Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a 147-pound title unification that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The pay-per-view event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell facing unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov battling for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr. competing in a 10-round welterweight fight.

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

NON-TELEVISED UNDERCARD ANNOUNCED FOR CLARESSA SHIELDS vs. IVANA HABAZIN

Shields Habazin Header.png

NON-TELEVISED UNDERCARD ANNOUNCED FOR CLARESSA SHIELDS vs. IVANA HABAZIN ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5 AT DORT FEDERAL EVENT CENTER IN FLINT, MICH.

FLINT, MI. (September 17, 2019) – An all-Detroit shootout and an appearance by an exciting and popular international female fighter will highlight the non-televised undercard of the Saturday, October 5 event at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich that is headlined by the Claressa Shields vs. Ivana Habazin 154-pound title fight live on SHOWTIME.

“Homecoming for Herstory,” features undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields taking on former world champion Ivana Habazin in a battle for the WBO Junior Middleweight World and WBC Diamond Super Welterweight Championships. The SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT telecast will also see undefeated Saginaw, Mich., heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin (19-0, 13 KOs) facing Czech Republic’s once-beaten Pavel Sour (11-1, 6 KOs).

In support will be an exciting five-fight mix of local and international talent, topped by a classic “All Detroit” 10-round showdown between West Detroit’s WBO No. 13-rated super flyweight Jarico “Great Lakes King” O’Quinn (12-0-1, 8 KOs) and East Detroit’s James “O.G.” Smith (13-2, 7 KOs).

Stepping in for her third pro fight in the U.S., IBO Super Welterweight Champion Hannah Rankin (7-3, 1 KO) from Glasgow Scotland takes California-based veteran Erin Toughill (7-5-1) in a six-round showcase.

“Homecoming for Herstory” is promoted by Salita Promotions. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and at the Dort Center box office.

Also scheduled for action will be Saginaw, Mich., cruiserweight Robert Simms (9-3, 3 KOs) going into a six-round battle against Columbus, Ohio’s Michael Glasscox (6-3-2, 5 KOs); undefeated Kazakhstani heavyweight Izim Izbaki (2-0, 1 KO) facing Mount Morris, Michigan’s Troy Albring over four rounds; and undefeated welterweight Jacob Bonas (3-0-1, 2 KOs), one of the last of the young fighters trained by the late, great Emanuel Steward, taking on Indiana’s Norfleet Stitts in a four-rounder to open the card.

Action Packed Lineup of Undercard Attractions Round Out Blockbuster Night Headlined by Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter Welterweight Title Unification

Spence Porter Header

Action Packed Lineup of Undercard Attractions Round Out Blockbuster Night Headlined by Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter Welterweight Title Unification Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. 

Featuring 2016 Mexican Olympians Misael Rodriguez & Lindolfo Delgado, Hard-Hitting Super Lightweight Fabian Maidana, Plus Unbeaten Prospects Including Light Heavyweight Burley Brooks & More!

LOS ANGELES (September 17, 2019) – A loaded night of exciting undercard fights will feature top contenders and rising prospects stepping into the ring as part of a blockbuster event headlined by the welterweight title unification between Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and “Showtime” Shawn Porter Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell facing unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov battling for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr. competing in a 10-round welterweight fight.

Undercard action will see a pair of rising prospects and 2016 Mexican Olympians in action as 2016 bronze medalist Misael Rodriguez (9-0, 4 KOs) battles Detroit’s Brandon Maddox (7-2-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight bout while Lindolfo Delgado (10-0, 10 KOs) takes on Mexico’s Jesus Zazueta Anaya (6-4-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight duel.

The lineup continues with hard-hitting super lightweight Fabian Maidana (16-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-round fight against Mexico’s Ramses Agaton (21-10-3, 11 KOs), plus a trio of Dallas-natives compete as prospect Burley Brooks (3-0, 3 KOs)enters for a six-round light heavyweight fight against Mexico’s Fabian Valdez (3-5), welterweight Amon Rashidi (7-0, 5 KOs)takes on Mexico’s Alfonso Olvera (11-6-3, 4 KOs) in an eight-round fight and featherweight Fernando Garcia (12-1, 7 KOs) duels another Dallas-native in Juan Antonio Lopez (14-7, 6 KOs) for an eight-round bout.

Rounding out the card is unbeaten rising prospect Leon Lawson III fighting out of Flint, Michigan in an eight-round super welterweight contest versus Mexico’s Alan Zavala, super lightweight prospect Justin Cardona in a four-round bout against Norcross, Georgia’s Archie Weah and undefeated Mexican super featherweight prospect Jose Valenzuela taking on Dallas-native Charles Clark in a six-round attraction.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.