Usyk/Joshua…A Rematch of Alternate Endings…..

Prologue

It is late in a London pub this Saturday night. The sound is deafening. As a non boxing enthusiast walks by, they wonder why the noise is louder than usual…….

At that same exact moment, 1,600 miles away in an undisclosed oblast, the boisterous output of countless Ukrainian soldiers shakes the very soil they are protecting……….

The rematch between Oleksandr Usyk 19-0 (13), and Anthony Joshua, 24-2 (22) this Saturday night in Saudi Arabia will provide the conclusion to the opening herein. 

The rematch is the tale of two stories, or alternate endings, as you will. The curtain rises……

Act 1-First Ending…..USYK, The Champion…..

Usyk is a modern day Picaso, painting on the canvas of the squared circle fight after fight.  In his first fight with Joshua, Usyk performed a masterclass taking the title from the former champion. 

A former top cruiserweight champion, now wreaking havoc in the heavies, he is on a similar career path reminiscent of a legend from Atlanta. 

Back in February, this rematch was the last thing on the champion’s mind as his beloved homeland of Ukraine was senselessly invaded. The overused idiom, “fighting for something larger than yourself” can unapologetically be inserted here as Usyk left boxing to fight for his country. At the urgence of his fellow soldiers, he left to pursue the rematch with Joshua. 

As long as Usyk doesn’t get careless, which he has never shown to be, this fight will be one-sided. Usyk will be even more dominant this time around. He knows the power Joshua possesses, and he has the edge of having bested him the first time around. In fact, Usyk was close to putting Joshua in serious trouble late in the first fight, last September. 

What we know….Usyk possesses the blueprint to beat Joshua. Working from his southpaw stance, a stance that Joshua admittedly admires and credits for giving him difficulty, Usyk circles, works in and out, and lands power when the opportunity presents itself. That said, it is the active jab of Usyk that is the core of the blueprint. 

In the first fight, it was Usyk’s jab that caused Joshua to reset, over and over. The southpaw’s  jab confused Joshua, and he fought cautiously, not knowing when the left power shot would come. In fact, this caused Joshua to correctly keep his right glove sealed tightly to his face, keeping himself out of harm’s way. This is textbook; however, Joshua was so cautious, he negated his own advantage, the power of his right hand.  Joshua was trapped in the tangled web that is the genius of the Ukrainian. 

Usyk needs only to follow his game plan from last September, and improve upon it. Use his speed, which was a factor against the heavy muscled lumbering approach of Joshua, and mix in the sneaky power left like he did initially in Round 3 and then throughout the fight. The jarring effect of Usyk’s power left caused Joshua to rethink everything, and arguably had him doubting his own gameplan. 

Joshua has been almost embarrassingly complementary regarding Usyk’s southpaw style. I’m unsure if he believes he can be successful. Usyk can use this to his advantage and possibly switch stances, confusing Joshua and providing an opportunity for a huge opening.  

In the lead up to this rematch, Joshua’s energy is off, not in a physical sense, but in a mental one. His body language is off and he appears to visibly show signs that he has doubt he can actually win. Usyk’s job is half done, the other half is the easy part for a painter.   

Intermission

Act 2-Alternate Ending…..Joshua The Challenger…..

Anthony Joshua, are you all in? Have we already begun to see the decline? The oddity of the first fight with Andy Ruiz goes without saying. Even in the rematch, although one-sided, was not overly convincing in a stylistic sense, and more of a case of a lesser Ruiz, than an improved Joshua. 

Flash-forward to the first fight with Usyk, and it is clear, something is amiss. Sure he KO’d Kubrat Pulev in between; however Pulev is a tailored made-flat footed opponent who was fighting on a 13 month layoff. 

Combine all of this with the aforementioned vitality zap, and Saturday night may be the longest of his career yet, unless he focuses on the basics.

In the first fight, Joshua’s body attack was non-existent, his jab was sloppy and non committal, and his inability to fully commit to his power provided a recipe to relinquish his belts.    

If Usyk had any vulnerability in the first fight, it was his inability to fight off his back foot. If you look close enough, you can see that Joshua’s angles and movement were giving Usyk a bit of confusion. When Joshua moved Usyk back even with a lazy jab, Usyk looked uncomfortable, and he had to reset, stopping all of his beautiful movement. The problem is, Joshua could not sustain it, and he allowed Usyk to dictate the terms. Further, Joshua did not cut off the ring, and  allowed Usyk to control the space. 

If Joshua is to be successful in the rematch, he needs to fight tall, and commit to the jab, which carries a four inch reach advantage. Use the stick as a weapon, not just as a range finder. Be a big heavy against a blown up cruiser. Back Usyk up, and use combinations to set up the advantage. Work the body, and impose his will. 

That said, he must have success early and often. Heavily muscled fighters fatigue quickly. Evander Holyfield was the rare exception. Usyk appears bigger in the rematch than he was the first go; however, where Joshua’s size is more akin to a bodybuilder, Usyk’s size is more about endurance strength with speed. 

If Joshua fights tall, works behind the jab, and stays disciplined he can keep the superior boxer at bay. This will force Usyk to fight off of his back foot and not allow him to impose his will like he did in the first fight. 

Go back to the basics. Under the wise guidance of Robert Garcia this time around, Joshua may just be all in……

Epilogue

We may get a heavyweight version of Hagler v. Hearns at some point in this one, but only for a minute or so. I believe both bigs will try and make an early statement. Due to his speed, Usyk will get the better of it and will work under Joshua’s long reach, negating his power. Joshua will smartly understand that this tactic will not work, even though he is the bigger man. As such, each blueprint will have to be executed. 

There is a lot to like about Joshua’s chances after rewatching the tape and seeing that it is only the most basic components of the sweet science that he needs to execute to have success. That said, the physical piece is only half. You must have a mindset that knows no defeat. Usyk has that, Joshua has not shown that he does. 

Joshua will have more success and make things interesting; however, Usyk is just too good at this point in his career. He gets better with every fight and will be even better in the rematch. Joshua’s improved limited success will be his downfall. He will provide openings for the champion and will begin to take a beating. As the fight carries on past the middle rounds, and the heavily muscled Joshua begins to get arm weary, the speed of Usyk will become power and Joshua will find himself in trouble. His heart will say fight but his mindset will enter down that dark lonely land known as doubt. 

Joshua will show a warrior’s heart, but the referee has a job to do. Usyk’s combination punching with bad intentions are too much. 

Usyk TKO 8

As a loud patron leaves the London pub, the non boxing enthusiast  inquires of the uproar….the patron says..”Joshua was knocked out”. 

At that same exact moment, 1,600 miles away in an undisclosed oblast, the Ukrainian soldiers celebrate with pride as one of their own defends the world heavyweight championship…AND STILL!!!…….for these soldiers, and all of the Ukraine, all is right, if only for a moment…..

Curtain Closes

JERMALL CHARLO V. MACIEJ SULECKI

VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

JERMALL CHARLO V. MACIEJ SULECKI VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES  

WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo Battles Maciej Sulecki in Juneteenth Celebration in his Hometown of Houston Saturday, June 18

Live on SHOWTIME® From Toyota Center Headlining
Premier Boxing Champions Event    

HOUSTON – June 1, 2022 – Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo and former title challenger Maciej Sulecki previewed their upcoming championship showdown during a virtual press conference Wednesday before they meet on Saturday, June 18 live on SHOWTIME from Toyota Center in Houston in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
 
Charlo will hold a Juneteenth celebration in his hometown for the second-straight year on June 18, headlining in Houston again after defeating Juan Montiel in an action-fight last year at Toyota Center. Charlo seeks a fifth successful middleweight title defense but will have to get by the veteran Sulecki, who has gone the distance with former champions Daniel Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade and has added longtime Polish contender Andrzej Fonfara to his training team ahead of this fight.  

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast will also feature undefeated top super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem battling Mike Plania in the 10-round co-main event, and unbeaten lightweight contender Frank Martin facing Panama’s Ricardo Núñez in the 10-round telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT  
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at toyotacenter.com. Martin vs. Núñez is promoted in association with Man Down Promotions.  

Here is what Charlo and Sulecki had to say Wednesday:  

JERMALL CHARLO  

“Juneteenth is my day and I’m happy to be performing again on the main stage in my city at Toyota Center. It’s going to be a great night of boxing against another tough opponent. I’m ready to get in there.  

“My opponents always talk. Once they get in there with me, they see that it’s a whole different story. I wanted someone like him who will come in not scared and ready to fight. That’s what I need.  

“I’m in my prime and I’m ready for everybody. No matter who they put in front of me, I’ll make the adjustments and get the win. All those names are just names to me.  

“Sulecki is a good challenger. A lot of people might not know him but he’s been in there with top competition. This is the right timing for this fight against a strong opponent. I’m ready for whatever he brings. He says he can beat my tactics, but once he’s in there he’s going to have to survive.  

“I’m not in a rush. I’m the champion at 160 pounds. So these guys have to fight me no matter what. I have my sights set on bigger opposition. We’ll move forward when it’s time. If I have to move up to 168 to do that, let’s look at the drawing board after this fight.  

“Juneteenth is a big holiday in my city and my town. It started in Galveston only 30 miles away from Houston. It’s a holiday here and I’m the best person to represent it at this time. I’m thankful to fight Juneteenth weekend.  

“I’m very familiar with Sulecki. I’ve trained with one of his friends and he’ll be able to tell him what that heat is going to be like in the ring.  

“This is going to be another war. I’m going to be in the pocket and ready to go. Whatever he does, I’ll make the adjustments. If I hit him with something flush, I’m going to knock him out.  

“It motivated me to see my brother Jermell capture those goals that we’ve both always wanted. That’s something that I want to do. Sulecki is standing in front of that goal right now. Everyone wants to be champion, but not everyone is destined to be a champion.  

“I’m fighting to get the biggest names and get the biggest fights. I’m fighting for my legacy. I’m fighting for something way bigger than just fighting Sulecki.”  

MACIEJ SULECKI  

“I took this fight because I like to be the underdog. I like to go into the lion’s den, I’m comfortable there. I took this fight because I believe I’m the better fighter. I’m ready to take my chance. I live for that moment to fight against one of the best fighters in the world.  

“I don’t think Charlo is a better fighter than Andrade or Jacobs. I think they’re all similar fighters. Charlo is still a great fighter with an explosive punch. I’m just ready for this fight. I’m going to make it all happen on June 18 in the ring.  

“Both fights against Jacobs and Andrade have prepared me for this fight. Charlo has made mistakes before and I want to exploit those mistakes. I know what it takes at this level now.  

“Charlo is a different fighter than past opponents and I respect him for being a champion. I’m ready to face the best Charlo possible on June 18 and my only focus is on winning this fight.  

“Words don’t win fights. This is going to be a different story than my other fights against top guys. I’ve been here before and training hard and I’m just ready to show everything on June 18.  

“Since I was a child I always dreamed of that green belt. This is the fight of my life. I’ve done everything that I needed to do to get to this moment. I want to be the new champion on June 18.  

“The talking doesn’t matter, it just matters what happens in the ring. I don’t think about anything but what I have to do. We prepared very well for this fight. Charlo is strong, but I have a good right hand too.  

“I’m here because I always give my best. For the fans who are watching this fight, they’re going to see a lot of emotion and fire from me. I’m going to show everyone that I’m a great fighter and I’m not afraid of anyone. Charlo will bring the same thing and I know we’ll give the fans a great fight. I can’t wait to step into the ring on June 18. The ring will clarify everything.”  

DANNY ROMAN TRAINING CAMP QUOTES AND PHOTOS

Press Release For Immediate Release

DANNY ROMAN TRAINING CAMP QUOTES AND PHOTOS

“Every man has a weakness, and I’m going to exploit Fulton’s…I’ll be throwing a lot of punches till the final bell.”  

Former Unified Champion Roman Takes on WBC and WBO 122-Pound World Champion Stephen Fulton Jr. This Saturday, June 4 Live on SHOWTIME® from The Armory in Minneapolis Headlining Premier Boxing Champions Event  
MINNEAPOLIS – May 31, 2022 – Former unified super bantamweight world champion Danny Roman shared insight into his training camp and more as he nears his showdown to regain top billing against unified WBC and WBO 122-Pound World Champion Stephen Fulton Jr. taking place this Saturday, June 4 live on SHOWTIME from The Armory in Minneapolis headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.  

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Warriors Boxing, are on sale now and can be purchased at the Armory at http://ArmoryMN.com/ and through Ticketmaster. The Fulton vs. Roman fight is promoted in association with Thompson Boxing.  

The Los Angeles-native Roman (29-3-1, 10 KOs) first became a champion in September 2017 when he traveled to Japan to stop Shun Kubo and capture the WBA belt. After three successful defenses, Roman added the IBF title in a 2019 action fight against then unbeaten T.J. Doheny. Following a narrow split-decision loss to Murodjon Akhmadaliev in 2020, Roman bounced back with dominating victories over Juan Carlos Payano in September 2020 and Ricardo Espinoza in May 2021.  

Now, he will look to regain his unified status at 122-pounds against the fast-rising Fulton in a matchup of highly-skilled and aggressive combatants. Here is what Roman had to say ahead of Saturday’s showdown:  

On his matchup with Stephen Fulton Jr.:   “I’m up against a very skilled fighter who doesn’t have many flaws, but every man has a weakness, and I’m going to exploit Fulton’s. I believe my style will be very difficult for him to adjust to. He’s never been in the ring with an experienced fighter like me. I know what needs to be done to be victorious in this fight. The world will see a greatly improved version of myself in this fight. I’ll be throwing a lot of punches till the final bell and I’m preparing to go the distance.”  

On fighting for another world championship:   “I’ve worked my way back to this position with a lot of sacrifice, dedication and perseverance. These opportunities don’t come by for most fighters, so I’m grateful to my entire team for believing in me and sticking by my side. I’m fighting for two world titles, this time for the WBC and WBO belts, and best believe I’m going to leave everything in the ring.”  

On his recent training camp:
“I’ve added some elite strength and conditioning to my weekly workouts for this camp and I feel stronger than ever. In addition, I’m super focused on my diet and eating correctly. I’ve paced myself perfectly in this camp, and I know on fight night I’ll be peaking.”
 
On fighting once again on SHOWTIME:   “I’ve never lost a fight on Showtime, so it’s fair to say I relish the fact that I’m fighting on this network. Everyone knows that if you’ve fought on SHOWTIME, you’ve made it to the pinnacle of boxing. SHOWTIME is legendary for having shown some of the greatest fights in boxing history. I’m hoping my fight with Fulton lives up to the great fights of the past.”  

CLARESSA SHIELDS AND HANNAH RANKIN MIAMI MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES AND PHOTOS

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.