Lomachenko, Dance Like Nobody’s Watching…

Having watched the sport of boxing for just shy of 45 years, while never considering myself an expert: however, modestly, and self proclaimed, levels above “Boxing Twitter”, have definitely picked up a few things along the way. While drawn initially towards the brutality of the sport, as I grew older, and as some would argue, wiser, I began to see the beauty and grace of the sweetness in the science. 

I”ll bore you now with three personal case studies….

Hagler v. Leonard- Being more of a Hagler fan at the time, totally biased going in, and more importantly, not appreciating what I saw from Leonard in this fight. It was Hagler’s non-stop attack, and brutal approach that had surely won the fight, as I thought, only to be disappointed.  

Watching it many years later, again, wiser, it was the sweetness of Leonard, or sugar as you will that was the difference in the fight. I stood corrected. 

Tyson v. Holyfield-Again, loving the brutality early on, back in 1985, I became enamored with Kid Dynamite, a pugilist, my age, knocking out gown ass men for sport. (If interested in looking back at the first year of Tyson’s rise, search Standing-8.com for an article titled “Looking Back At The Rise Of The Baddest Man On The Planet”). 

I can still remember Lou Duva (RIP), chirping how his fighter would KO Tyson. Hell no, I thought, savage Iron Mike would be the difference.

Now, before you, yourself start chirping about how Holy was equally as brutal in his approach, I will stop you right there and say, I agree..absolutely; however, Evander undoubtedly had the better overall skill set. Holyfield’s gameplan in dismantling Tyson, was a thing of beauty. Holyfield’ s strategic foot placement, not allowing Mike to dig in and rotate his hips generating his fight-ending power, and allowing Holyfield to counter with precision. Go back and watch the little things in that fight and it will become clear. 

Lastly, Floyd Mayweather- Look no further than Pretty Boy Floyd, a.k.a., Money, and it all comes together. Mayweather perfected the art, hit and don’t get hit, movement, space, and finishing power with a mean streak when it presented itself. Ring generalship with a high I.Q., dominating. Say all you want about him, how he “ran”, and wouldn’t brawl, and I’d say, it’s a good thing you don’t manage and train fighters. While early on, I wanted him to get knocked on his ass, I again, grew to appreciate the brilliance of his game. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a great knock out just as much as the next guy; however, when it is set up with a solid gameplan, and executed at the precise moment of the blueprint, that is much more gratifying to me, then a quick KO. 

So, what does all of this have to do with Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-2 11 KO) V. Devin Haney (29-0 15KO)? Not much on the surface, but the granular….the movement of the sweet science, the dance..

Flash forward to 2014, the first time I saw Lomachenko. I had thought I had seen most of what a fighter can bring in the ring, but this was next level. The movement was like nothing I had ever seen. The footwork, oh, the footwork. As I would come to find out, the footwork was embedded in Loma at an early age by Papachenko. “You will learn Ukrainian Dance before you step in the ring”, a wise Anatoly would tell his son. 

Fight after fight, I would have to rewind the tape to see what my eyes missed, the step over move, the crossover move, punches strategically placed, as the dancer turned pugilist (no mas’d) one opponent after another. Masterclass, fight after fight, a new wrinkle each time..we had not been here before , and this was good. 

Of course, there was the Lopez fight, but that one fight, that loss, actually will be the difference in his successes against Haney. 

Additionally, leaving the sport to fight for his beloved Ukraine, said all you need to know about the man they call the Matrix. And, make no mistake, on all of those lonely nights, facing death at every turn, a fight for being undisputed is miniscule. Further, in those times in war, your thoughts are all you have, and while in the theater of operation, he no doubt drifted from time to time, back to his dream of being undisputed, and if he is ever given that opportunity again….., yes, he will not let it pass. 

If you look close enough, you can see that Loma is in Haney’s head, living rent free. Haney talks about “you should have fought me four years ago, it’ll be much worse now”, “you like to hit on the break, you are a dirty fighter”, “I’m going to retire you”, “I don’t like him”. It makes you wonder, who is Haney trying to convince? Loma or himself? 

Then yesterday at the weigh in…the push heard round the world, amateurish move, again a self convincing stimulus that is needed by Haney, because doubt is creeping in. In the post fight weigh-in interview, if you listened closely enough, you could hear the change in inflection in Haney’s voice. Something is amiss. On the surface the confidence is deafening, conversely,  those lonely quiet times when Haney is contemplating the fight, he envisions and fears a different outcome. 

Haney is correct in the fact that Loma would have benefited by fighting him four years ago. What Haney tries to hide in his self assured statement is..had that occured, Haney’s path would have been much different. He would not be undefeated, and surely not undisputed as he is today. The fight then would have been one-sided, advantage, Loma. This Saturday, all things considered, the fight is even, as much as Haney would like you to believe the fight it is just semantics.  

Loma will have many opportunities for success. Haney throws his punches wider than he should, and admires his body of work too much after throwing a punch, while not getting his guard tucked back to his chin. If you look closely, you’ll see he is open straight down the middle and severely open underneath, and wide open many times for an uppercut, as he throws his punches.  

I look for Loma to exploit Haney’s weaknesses once he overcomes the size and style of Haney. Haney will win most of the first third of the fight, at times, convincingly, but around Round 4, the tide will change. Loma will begin to find his rhythm, pick his spots, and oh, the sweet science, you beautiful game, will appear. Loma will begin to do what Loma does, dictate the terms, when and how he says. He will frustrate Haney, leading to a possible foul by the champ, but in the end the greatness of a forgotten champ will come through. 

Loma does not need to bark or push, he simply is waiting for fight night, for a chance to achieve the one & only goal that has ever mattered to him, becoming undisputed. It is not the path to undisputed that Loma would have preferred but it’s here now, and, as the underdog for arguably the first time in his career, makes him a very dangerous and live dog. 

On February 17, 1988, in a hospital in Bilhorod-Dnistrovs’kyi, Ukraine Anatoly and Tetiana Lomachenko welcomed their new baby boy into the world, and named him Vasiliy, meaning “King”. 

 Yes, undisputed was predestined. 




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:  


“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.”  


“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.”  


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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.”


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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 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.”


“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.”


“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.”


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Click HERE for Audio Recording

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


Pacquiao Thurman Header


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Ray Flores
Thank you very much to the media joining us from all over the world, we are beyond excited for next Saturday, July 20, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas — PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View — all starting at 9:00 ET/6:00 PT. It is headlined by the eight-division champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao battling the WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman in the main event.

This is a stacked car from top to bottom. It is the biggest event of the summer for boxing and it is can’t miss. Tickets for the event, they are going so fast. It is all being promoted by MP Promotion, TGB Promotions, Mayweather Promotions. They are on sale now. You can get them online axs.com, charge by phone 866-740-7711, or in person at any MGM Resorts International Box Office.

Also on today’s call they are available for questions if the media has any questions for them is the President of TGB Promotions Tom Brown, who does an amazing job and works tirelessly. Also the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, a man who knows Manny Pacquiao quite well, Mr. Leonard Ellerbe.

At this time, it gives me great honor and pleasure to introduce the man who’s been involved in boxing for quite a long time and is very familiar with Manny Pacquiao, his long-time publicist Mr. Fred Sternburg.

Fred Sternburg
Thanks so much, Ray. Welcome everybody. Thank you for joining us today. Manny had an amazing camp. According to Freddie and according to Manny it may be their best camp in many years. They’re very excited. It’s the biggest challenge they’ve had in a long time.

Manny has spent about four weeks training in the Philippines. He is finishing his fourth week here in Hollywood at Wild Card Boxing Club. And Freddie Roach is on the call with us. Freddie, you’re just down the street from us where we prefer you to be. How did you think camp is going?

Freddie Roach
It’s a very good training camp, good sparring, and he’s ready to go. We have one more day of sparring today and then we close the camp down. Just getting ready for the fight.

F. Sternburg
Great. And Manny is here as well. Manny, you’re ready to join us? Here he comes. He literally just finished his run and if you were here at his house today, you would have seen about over a dozen people doing sit-ups with him in the front yard. Manny does things just a little differently here. Manny, welcome to the call.

Manny Pacquiao
Good morning. Training camp has been very good and I’m ready for this call.

Did you ever think that you’d still be not only boxing professionally but still at a very high level at the age of 40?

M. Pacquiao
Yes, that’s what I’m trying to prove this time because we know that a lot of our fans and people in boxing were doubting my capability at the age of 40. So I have to prove something this time because at the age of 40 I’m not thinking about my age. I’m thinking about what I can do for the fans.

What is it that gets you doing sit-ups in your front yard in the morning and running and putting in the hard work to train for these fights?

M. Pacquiao
I really love exercise. I’m addicted to exercise. And even if I don’t have a scheduled fight, I always most every day I exercise and I’m playing basketball four to five hours almost every day. So when this time comes and when I have a scheduled fight, then I’m so motivated myself to work hard, to train hard, and to focus to the fight.

You could certainly exercise and do basketball and do all the things you just mentioned without actually getting hit, right?

M. Pacquiao
Yes. Actually after the fight I don’t go to the boxing gym. No boxing at all until I have a scheduled fight.

But I always exercise like playing basketball, sometimes jogging. But no boxing gym at all.

Freddie, what do you see as the motivation for his continued boxing career?

F. Roach
Well, it’s still what he does best. It got him to where he is today. We want to fight a high level person. We’re not in this game just to fight anybody. We want to be the best. And we’d like another championship and I don’t think we’ll stop until we get that.

Do you think Freddie that the opponent, Keith Thurman, is maybe the best of the opponents that Manny’s been with probably since the Mayweather fight?

F. Roach
You can say that. But I don’t think he’s the best fighter. We’ve fought a bunch of better fighters along the way. But yes, he’s a good, solid guy. And it should make for a very good fight.

Do you feel that Thurman has gone over the line with some of the things he’s said to you?

M. Pacquiao
Well, it is kind of over the line for me, but I’m not angry with him. I’m somebody very motivated by all he says. The trash talk that he did, he made even my mom get mad. But it gives me more motivation to focus the training and to focus on my condition, how hard I push the training.

And believe me, this is a very interesting fight for me because it has been a long time that I have focused like this for a fight.

How closely did you watch that fight against Josesito Lopez? And do you feel like watching that fight that he’ll be ready for you?

M. Pacquiao
I’m not considering his performance and style on that fight because he just came back from a long layoff of almost two years. So I understand that. This time, this fight I’m sure he’ll be in 100% condition and I’m sure he did a lot of things in training.

At this point at 40 years old, in the event that you lost this fight would you consider retirement or would you like to keep fighting?

M. Pacquiao
I’m still okay. I can still fight. My body’s reacting well. My mind and everything is fine. And that’s a big favor from God. This is a blessing.

Freddie, I wonder if you’re employing some reverse psychology when you’re saying no, you’re not predicting a knockout is going to happen for Pacquiao at this time. Is this a grand Freddie Roach plan reverse psychology?

F. Roach
No. Manny’s in great shape for this fight and we worked very hard for this fight. And someone asked me if we were looking for a knockout. No, we never look for knockouts. But if it comes, Manny’s in great shape right now and if Thurman wants to trade with us, he will get knocked out.

Do you keep up on the politics and do you stay in touch with your vital political operatives and allies when you’re overseas in America getting ready for a fight? Or can you leave politics alone and purely focus just on the boxing?

M. Pacquiao
I’m focused on my training here in America. We have a long office break. So we resume the work July 22 which is the State of the Nation Address of the President. That’s the start of the work. That’s why after the fight I have to go back to the Philippines to work.

But I’m hearing from my staff in the office, what bills that we’re going to file and what we’re going to do, how many resolutions to file before the session start open.

Are you going to fight one more time this year you think or is that still up in the air?

M. Pacquiao
Yes, there is a scheduled recess. But we will figure it out when the session starts.

How do you prepare for someone that you really haven’t seen at his 100% best in at least a couple of years?

M. Pacquiao
I’m not basing anything off his last performances in his last fight because he was coming from a long layoff of almost I think almost two years. So I understand that as a boxer I really understand that it’s hard to start again. But this time around he worked hard, he’s well prepared for this fight because he’s not fighting Lopez but he’s fighting Manny Pacquiao. So I’m expecting him to work hard and prepare 100%.

Yesterday at the media workout, I was reading that you said that Thurman remind you the most of Ricky Hatton of all the fighters that you faced in the past. And I’m curious to see why you think Thurman reminds you of Ricky Hatton?

M. Pacquiao
The style, the similar style like that. I think they have similar style. But not really the same but it does look like a similar style.

Does it enter your mind as sort of when the window of this great run is going to close or that doesn’t really enter your mindset?

M. Pacquiao
In balancing my body conditioning, my mind, and how I work hard, it depends on how I focus and work hard in training. Right now, I still hunger and I’m still enjoying this and happy to do a training preparation for the fight.

Even my coaching staff, they’re very happy because they’re still watching me and having to tell me when to stop, not watching me to push to do more. But watching me to stop because I might over train.

Has your style changed at all over the years or do you fight the same way?

M. Pacquiao
My style is still the same but I’m more experienced now compared to before. How I fight in the ring and my strategy, my footwork that’s not changing but it’s still the same. But I’m more experienced and my timing in the ring is better than ever.

Freddie from your perspective as the trainer, what do you see is the biggest difference in terms of let’s say training and preparation for Manny at this age versus how you guys prepared back when he was younger?

F. Roach
His work ethic is unbelievable. He wants to work every minute of every day. He wants to do 40 rounds a day in the ring and so forth. We do have to hold him back a little bit. We’re on a five-day running schedule right now instead of six and we’re giving him a couple extra days off during the week trying to get him not to over train because he does have a tendency of wanting to do that.

We got him right where we want him right now and he’s in great shape. He’s ready to go.

Is Keith Thurman the first opponent you’ve faced with a combination of both power and speed at the highest levels?

M. Pacquiao
In my experience, I’ve encountered many boxers that have speed and power. And this is not new for me. I think Thurman, he’s not really that quick but I have to be careful in the ring, in the fight. I have to make sure that everything is fine.

F. Roach
Thurman’s a strong guy and he’s a good puncher. Manny’s speed will overwhelm him, I feel. He hasn’t been in the ring with speed like Manny Pacquiao has and most people get overwhelmed when they face Manny. His speed is unbelievable and at 40 years old it’s as good as ever.

What are your dreams in boxing right now Manny?

M. Pacquiao
I just want to maintain my name in the top of boxing and continue my career. I already accomplished what I want to accomplish in boxing. I’m continuing my career because boxing is my passion. I have lots to do in this, especially because God gave me these blessings and favor that they gave me good health and this is speed and power.

How many fighters have you faced before that you think were better or more complete than Thurman?

M. Pacquiao
Thurman is a different style. Thurman I can say similar style with Ricky Hatton. But I won’t take him lightly. I have to make sure that I’m not careless in the ring.

What about your son fighting?

M. Pacquiao
My son is starting to do some boxing and I am going to support him.

If Thurman fights exactly as you expect him to are you going to knock him out?

M. Pacquiao
That’s going to be lovely if he fights toe to toe with me. Knockouts will come but I’m not saying that I’m going to have a prediction with this fight. I don’t want to be careless in the fight.

But if that chance is given to me, why not? I have to grab that possibility to knock him out.

If Thurman fights you the way Jeff Horn did, would that approach really bother you or would you welcome that?

M. Pacquiao:
Actually, on the Jeff Horn fight I think I over trained. That’s why I have to admit that. But this time around my coaching staff, Freddie, Buboy Fernandez, Justin Fortune, they’re watching closely to not let me get over trained so that in the fight I’m going to be throwing a lot of punches.

After the Horn fight, we learned a lot. I learned a lot. And we changed really the training, not the whole thing, but I give my body rest because it’s hard to make my body recovery when you hit the age of 40.

Freddie, Dan Birmingham and Keith Thurman confirmed that they’re coming directly at you and looking for a knockout early in the fight. Thoughts?

F. Roach
Yes. Talk’s talk. Let’s see who really shows up.

Do you feel as though Keith Thurman gives you any different challenges than Broner did?

M. Pacquiao
He has a different style compared to Broner. And I think this challenge is different than Broner’s fight. But I know Broner is faster than Keith Thurman.

Freddie you said yesterday it’s not like Thurman’s a world class fighter. Why did you say that?

F. Roach
Because I think Broner is a better fighter.

Will we ever see that Manny Pacquiao fight in the Philippines?

M. Pacquiao
That’s what I’m looking for, I’d like to.

F. Sternburg
All right. We’re ready to wrap up here. Manny, any last comments?

M. Pacquiao
Thank you everyone for this interview and I hope to see you in Vegas. And I can’t wait to fight on July 20 next week. Thank you.

F. Sternburg
Freddie before you clean the gym up before Manny gets there today, any final comments?

Freddie Roach
No, he’s just running and trying to catch up to the slowest fighter in the world. No comment.
It’s ‘One Time’ versus ‘All Time.’


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Thursday, June 27, 2019


FOX SPORTS PBC FACE TO FACE Premieres on FOX Sunday at 1:00 PM ET Previewing Much-Anticipated Battle

Four-Part PBC FIGHT CAMP, Featuring Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman, Debuts Sunday on FOX at 1:30 PM ET


LOS ANGELES – Today, FOX Sports announces a robust programming lineup to promote the highly anticipated FOX Sports Premier Boxing Champions Pay-Per-View headlined by Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman, including the premiere of FOX SPORTS PBC FACE TO FACE: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN on Sunday, June 30 (1:00 PM ET), immediately followed by the premiere of the half-hour PBC FIGHT CAMP: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN (Part 1) at 2:00 PM ET. Rounding out the schedule, the one-hour FOX SPORTS PBC COUNTDOWN: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN premieres on Saturday, July 6 (2:00 PM ET).

“Manny Pacquiao versus Keith Thurman is without a doubt the biggest fight of the year, and FOX Sports will get viewers pumped up for this blockbuster summer showdown with the PBC FACE TO FACE, COUNTDOWN and FIGHT CAMP shows,” said Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President of Content, FOX Sports. “Fans will get an unprecedented look into the lives of Manny and Keith, as they prepare for the biggest fight of their career. Viewers will not only see their training, but will also get an inside look at their lives in training camp.”

In the explosive FOX SPORTS PBC FACE TO FACE: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN, the two superstars trade verbal jabs and discuss their motivations and strategies heading into the fight with host Brian Campbell. In the show, Pacquiao says that Thurman’s trash talking won’t affect him: “I’ve been more than two decades in boxing,” says Pacquiao. “I’ve experienced all the hardest fights – when I fought De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Morales, Marquez, Hatton, Margarito, who’s much taller than me. Nobody will intimidate me.”

“I can see it, but that’s because I’m a champion, too,” says Thurman. “It’s just a fight. It’s just a black eye. It’s just another body shot. It’s not the first and it’s not the last. But this will be the first time you’ve experienced my punch, Manny.”

PBC FIGHT CAMP: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN is a four-part series detailing the lives and training regimens of both fighters. Cameras go behind the scenes and inside the lives of both men – following Pacquiao as he arrives in Los Angeles from the Philippines, spending time with fans at his LA home and training alongside the legendary Freddie Roach at Wild Card Gym. Meanwhile on Florida’s Gulf Coast, cameras embed with Keith Thurman, who has embarked on a whole new fitness and strength regimen. With new coaches, Yo Murphy and Kimberly Doehnhart, in addition to his long-time trainer, Dan Birmingham, Keith pushes his body to peak fitness.

PBC FIGHT CAMP series is produced by Five Films, the multi-Emmy Award winning production company founded by Scott Boggins and Craig Jenest that established the popular “athlete-follow” format in sports television. Building the anticipation for the fight, PBC FIGHT CAMP: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN Part 2 continues on FOX on Sunday, July 7 at 4:30 PM ET, with Part 3 airing on FOX on Sunday, July 14 (4:00 PM ET) and Part 4 debuting on FS1 on Thursday, July 18 at 8:30 PM ET.

The one-hour FOX SPORTS PBC COUNTDOWN: MANNY PACQUIAO VS. KEITH THURMAN explores how each fighter got to this fight. Take a look back at Pacquiao’s memorable and historic fights with Floyd Mayweather, Tim Bradley, and Adrien Broner. In addition, re-live Thurman’s battles with Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Josesito Lopez. Both Pacquiao and Thurman, along with their trainers and our panel of experts break down these past performances.

Finally, on Saturday, July 20 (9:00 PM ET), boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Philippine Senator and regular WBA welterweight champion Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) returns to face undefeated Super WBA Welterweight Champion Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) in a powerhouse 147-pound showdown live on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Leading up to the fights, PBC fighters offer unique, behind-the-scenes clips on the FOX PBC social pages. Follow @PBConFOX on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all updates throughout the #PBConFOX fights Saturday.
Viewers can live stream the PBC shows on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at FOXSports.com. In addition, all programs are available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

For more information, visit FOX Sports Press Pass.

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