Santa Cruz v. Avalos & Mares v. Gutierrez Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos

Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes
Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos
Tripleheader Headlined Headlined by Santa Cruz vs. Avalos &
Mares vs. Gutierrez World Title Fights Saturday, October 14 from
StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Click HERE for Photos from Erick Ramirez/Ringstar Sports
CARSON, CALIF. (October 12, 2017) – Fighters entering the ring for Saturday’sPremier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes tripleheader event went face-to-face at the final press conference Thursday before they compete at StubHub Center.
PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes is headlined by three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz defending his featherweight world title against Chris Avalos, while four-time world champion Abner Mares defends his 126-pound championship against once-beaten Andres Gutierrez. Televised coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT with unbeaten rising contender Eddie Ramirez taking on former world champion Antonio DeMarco.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $30, $50, $75, $100, $150, and $250 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit HERE.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from Whiskey Red’s in Marina Del Ray:
“I’m very happy to be in this position. I’m going to give a great show to the fans. There are a lot of great fighters here and we’re all going to try to put on the best performance of the night.
“I just want to give the fans a great fight. I’m going to bring the fight to Avalos and I hope he stays in there and looks to make it a war as well.
“I’m prepared, motivated and focused. I need to win on Saturday so that I can get the Mares rematch. That’s the fight that we want.
“I’m definitely not overlooking Avalos. I know that I have to fight a dangerous guy. He’s going to come to take my belt and he doesn’t care about any fight I want in the future.
“I hope that all my fans enjoy this fight because I’m going to give it my all. We worked really hard and trained really well for this fight. I have to take care of Avalos before I can worry about any other fights.
“I always prepare the same for my opponents. People have their opinions on each guy, but I respect all of my opponents the same.
“We’ve worked on versatility during training camp. You never know how an opponent is going to come out so I have to be ready to do anything and adjust in the ring.
“It’s important for me to give the fans in Southern California a great fight. These are the best fight fans and I always owe it to them to be at my best.
“This has been another very hard training camp for me and my team. No matter who the opponent is, we work hard every day and build each other up.”
“It’s really a blessing to be here. I’m thankful to my team for giving me a strong, hard camp that has me very confident heading into this fight.
“This is a great card to be able to show my skills on. With so many high-level fighters, it’s a chance to do my best with the world watching.
“I’m happy Leo took this fight and gave me the opportunity to prove myself. I know that I still have a lot to give and this is exactly the chance I need to show everyone that.
“I’m very confident heading into this fight. Leo and I sparred a lot when we were amateurs. I’m going to take that experience and use it to my advantage on Saturday.
“I’m going to come to fight and I’m going to come to win. I’m sure Leo will as well. It’s going to be an exciting fight from start to finish.”
“I’m really happy to be in this position. I’m fighting a great competitor. He’s a hungry kid who has the opportunity of his lifetime. He’s going to take advantage of it
“I trained really hard. There were no shortcuts. It was hard training every day. Fighters like Gutierrez are the most difficult because they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
“It feels great to be back in this position fighting in what is basically my hometown. Everyone knows that StubHub Center is the ‘War Grounds.’ After Saturday night, I’m anticipating that everyone will go home happy.
“I can’t wait to get back in that ring. I want to give the fans a great show and make sure they leave satisfied. I’m really excited to take in the atmosphere before I enter the ring and go to work.
“The game plan always changes depending on the opponent, but I’m also ready to adjust during the fight. I have to stay focused and ready. In the end I think it’s going to be a great fight for the fans.
“Robert Garcia has taught me a lot and he’s brought some extra things out of me. I’ve looked great in sparring, but now it’s time for me to bring it into the ring.
“I definitely see some of myself Gutierrez. I was once the young fighter looking to upset the established veteran. That’s why I’ve trained for this fight like I’m facing any of the champions or top fighters. I know that it’s a tough fight and I’ll be ready.
“I think this fight will make me better. I like to entertain and I’m going to give you a really good show on Saturday.
“I’m honored to be here and give the fans a great fight on Saturday. What happened before the Frampton fight is behind me. I’m prepared and I feel very strong.
“I know that Abner is the highest level fighter that you can face. I have to be at my very best to win a world title. That’s the kind of challenge that I want and I’ll be ready for anything.
“I hope that Abner is not underestimating me. I want him to be at his very best so that when I win. My plan is to go in there and fight hard until the fight is over and show everyone how I compete.
“There’s no quit in my body. I’ve worked too hard to get to this point of my career. I’m going to absolutely give it everything I have and then some.
“I want to give everyone a great fight. I’m ready for a war. I’m excited to put on a spectacular performance.”
“I had a great training camp and I’ve put all the hard work in. I stay in the gym so I’m always ready for an opportunity like this.
“My team is really important to me and they get a lot of the credit for getting me to where I am. We work hard and push each other every day in the gym.
“I get better every single time I get in the ring. This is going to be another learning experience for me as I get to where I want to go in my career. This is still only the beginning.
“Fights like these are ones that all champions have to go through before they reach the top level. It’s important to win, but also to impress when I’m in the ring.
“DeMarco is a guy with a lot of experience so I know that he thinks he has that advantage over me. All I can do is be at my best. I’m confident that my youth, speed and power will be the difference in the end.
“I can’t wait to showcase myself this Saturday and I hope to see everyone there. DeMarco is fighting for his career so I know that he is going to come prepared and put on a great fight.
“I want to thank everyone for being here and I’m thankful to be on this stage. This is another great experience for me in my career and one that I’m not going to take lightly.
“I also want to thank Eddie Ramirez for putting in the work and accepting this fight. I know that he will come prepared to give the fans a great show.
“It’s a blessing to be on a card of this magnitude. With guys like Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, I can’t stress how blessed I feel. I can’t wait to get in the ring.
“I have put myself through a terrific training camp for what I hope will be a great fight. I’m ready to prove to myself. I want to show the fans that when things get difficult, you can still overcome and come out victorious.”
RICHARD SCHAEFER, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports
“It’s going to be party time this Saturday from StubHub Center. There will be a lineup of champions, including Mikey Garcia and many more, at the Fan Fest on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. Live music, food trucks and autograph signings for all fans, so make sure you show up early.
“This is a great showcase for the sport of boxing and for these great fighters up here. This action will be seen across the world and we’re thankful to have the chance to lift up these great fighters.
“This is a 12-fight card that is going to be a boxing festival at StubHub Center. Besides the three TV fights we have two rising Olympians in Eimantas Stanionis and Mexico’s Misael Rodriguez, the first Mexican Olympian to bring a medal home in 16 years.
“Eddie Ramirez is rising in the sport and he will face a very familiar name in boxing in Antonio DeMarco. DeMarco knows that this is his chance to prove that he still has a lot left, but Ramirez will try to add another name to his contender resume.
“Andres Gutierrez has an opportunity to go in against a true legend of the sport in Abner Mares. You don’t always get a second chance in this sport so I know that Gutierrez is going to be prepared. This is a fight that you don’t want to miss.
“Abner is a true student of the sport and he’s had a lot of great trainers in his life. We have seen what happened with how Abner reinvented himself by working with Robert Garcia. Some people had written him off, but he proved that he is still among the elite.
“The main event is another fight that will bring non-stop action. Chris Avalos knows that this is his moment, maybe his last chance, to capture a world title. These are the kind of fights that you truly can’t underestimate their opponents, because they are going to come ready to take it from you.
“Leo Santa Cruz is a true champion of this sport and truly on of its’ nicest competitors. He beings non-stop action every time he fights and I know that with this chance to perform on FOX and FOX Deportes, he will be at his best.”

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Chris Avalos & Abner Mares vs. Andres Gutierrez  PBC on FOX & FOX Deportes Media Conference Call  Transcript & Audio

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Chris Avalos & Abner Mares vs. Andres Gutierrez
 PBC on FOX & FOX Deportes Media Conference Call 
Transcript & Audio
Click HERE for Audio Recording
Richard Schaefer
Hello, everybody. Welcome to today’s media call.
I’m really excited that we have a little over a week to go until this great doubleheader at the war grounds at StubHub Center in Carson, California. We all know that fights there always deliver.
Somehow it always brings out the best in fighters. The atmosphere is just one of a kind. I can report that ticket sales are very strong. They have been very brisk and actually some of the price categories were sold out. We’re trying to put some more 30 and 50 dollars for sale, so I anticipate a big crowd at StubHub Center on Saturday, October 14 for a huge night of world championship boxing.
Two world championship fights with Leo Santa Cruz versus Chris Avalos, and Abner Mares versus Andres Gutierrez. The Premier Boxing Champions card will be on FOX, network FOX, and FOX Deportes. Live coverage will be starting at 7:30 pm ET and 4:30 pm PT.
The doors will open at 12:30. The first fight will be shortly after. We’re going to have a big night of fights in Carson, 12 fights in all.
It’s going to be a very exciting undercard as well, the non-televised portion. We have among them, two Olympians, A Mexican Olympian who came home with bronze medal for Mexico, as Misael Rodriguez will be fighting his fourth fight. He’s 3-0 with two knockouts.  
He’s trained by Robert Garcia. And then we have Eimantas Stanionis, who is quickly developing a huge following here in Los Angeles and he’s training at the Wild Card with Freddie Roach. He will have his fourth fight as well. He has three wins, three knockouts at the welterweight division. We have more experienced guys as well like Robert Marroquin and Ivan Redkach on the card, so a little bit of everything. We have two kids from Oak Hill, California, Jerry Perez and Jose Perez early on in their career showcasing their talent.
So, be sure you tell your readers or listeners to come out early and to be part of a great Saturday afternoon and evening at StubHub Center. The weather is beautiful here now in California this time of the year, so really excited to see you all there.
I’d like to thank as well Tom Brown and Brittany Goossen-Brown of TGB Promotions for this co-promotion again. And I understand Tom is not on the call, but I’m sure we’re all going to see him during fight week.
The first fight of the televised card is going to be Eddie Ramirez against Antonio DeMarco. We all know Antonio DeMarco from Tijuana is a guy who always comes to fight. One of those guys who is never in a bad fight.
He is looking to give a stern test to an undefeated fighter, Eddie Ramirez, with a 17-0 record with 11 knockouts in the super lightweight division. So, I think that’s going to be a very exciting fight and I think it’s going to really show us all where Eddie Ramirez is in this particular point in his career. We know that Antonio DeMarco will certainly come to fight.
Next up is going to be the world championship fight between one of the most legendary and biggest names in the sport, multi-division, multi-time world champion, Abner Mares versus Andres Gutierrez. Andres Gutierrez joins us from Guadalajara, Mexico. He has a record of 35 wins, one loss, one draw and 25 knockouts.
He was actually supposed to fight earlier this year in a title eliminator against Carl Frampton. He looked very strong, it looked great and then he had the freak accident in the shower, I understand, over there in Ireland and he couldn’t fight. He suffered severe cuts.
But he is ready to go. And he gets another bite at the apple as they say. He was supposed to fight Frampton, one of the big names at the 126-pound weight class and that didn’t happen.
Now he has a chance to go with an even bigger name, Abner Mares, here in Los Angeles. And this all Mexican showdown, this all Guadalajara showdown, actually, is surely going to light fireworks. I’d like to introduce to you now, Andres Gutierrez.
Andres Gutierrez
I am ready, I’m very focused, excited down here in Guadalajara. My training camp is going well and I’m extremely motivated. All right.
R. Schaefer
It is always a pleasure — a special pleasure, frankly an honour – form me to introduce one of my closest friends in this sport. An amazing champion inside the ring and an amazing father, husband and human being outside of the ring. A fighter I have known since actually before he went to the Olympics in 2004 where he represented the Mexican Olympian team.
He obviously came and conquered the professional world, facing some of the best 118, 122 and 126-pound champions over the years. He is born in Guadalajara as well and trains in California with famed trainer Robert Garcia who really, I think that Robert Garcia and Abner Mares make the perfect team. I think Abner Mares most recently dropped Jesus Cuellar in a hard fought victory last December for the WBA Featherweight title.
We saw the game plan Robert and Abner put together and how Abner executed against this fantastic game plan. I think they make an unbeatable team. Abner Mares is here to stay and has great fights ahead of him. But, first comes first, he knows that the Gutierrez is a tough customer and has only one loss, is a good puncher as well. It’s going to be fireworks. And it’s a pleasure now for me to introduce to you, Abner Mares.
Abner Mares      
Richard, everybody on the line, thank you so much for having me on. I’m really honoured and happy to be fighting on this card. I’m fighting once again in, you can say my hometown, Los Angeles.
I always showcase great fights here at StubHub Center in Carson, California. I’m looking forward to showcasing once again alongside Robert Garcia, the new Abner. I know every fighter always says that, but I think I’ve proven it. I approved it against Cuellar in my last fight in December and I will once again against Andres Gutierrez come October 14.
Richard, a close friend of mine, thank you so much and I’m excited to have my second fight promoted by Ringstar Sports. My first fight was with Cuellar and now second fight, so I’m looking forward to that.
Everybody in my camp from Robert Garcia all the way through, thank you everybody so much. I’ve been waiting for this.
Robert Garcia     
Like Abner said, or like Richard said, we make a really good team together with myself and my family.
Everything that’s working is working really good. Training has gone great, sparring is beautiful. We have great sparring partners, young, hungry kids that want to prove themselves against Abner. And Abner is doing his work being able to control those young contenders that want to get in there and hurt him.
Abner’s been able to do it all. Things have gone great. We’re waiting for a good fight. We know Gutierrez is a young kid that is hungry for this title opportunity. So, we know we’re going in there against a hungry, young fighter that wants to become a world champion.
That’s why we have to be very well prepared and come October 14, now we’re going to prove what we’ve done in the gym and bring it to the ring.
When you started to lay the groundwork for this training camp, were you trying to put a game plan in and prepare for the rematch with Santa Cruz and then a little surprise and things change? Or, can you just take me through when you realized that it would not be the rematch next?
R. Garcia             
Look, we were training for Leo Santa Cruz and we started training camp early, like three, four months ago we were already in the gym and preparing for Leo Santa Cruz so that’s what we were expecting. But, then when the news came that, that we had to fight somebody else, we wouldn’t stop. We continued training, we continued sparring the same way we were sparring. We didn’t do many changes.
I added a couple of kids to sparring, two kids. A couple that were already getting Abner ready for Leo, which, you know are a little big taller than Abner and fight a little similar to Leo, but I kept them because we’re not looking past Gutierrez because he a hungry kid that’s coming to become a world champion. I want to continue doing the work that I’m doing.
So, if everything goes well on the 14th, by the time we fight Leo we get another four, five, six months, whatever it takes of preparing for Leo because Leo’s not an easy kid to beat. So, we got to start preparing to beat Leo like we were. Things happen for a reason. The fight was postponed until next year. But that just gives me what is it four, five, six months more of training Abner to be able to beat Leo.
Is that a good thing to have more time to train with Robert to prepare for trying to get revenge on one of your losses?
A. Mares
You know what, that’s the way I look at it. At first, I’m not going to lie, and most people know I felt upset. I felt a little irritated that I wasn’t getting that fight.
Because at first it was solid, but at the same time, things happen for a reason, like Robert said. But, it gives us that much time to get ready even more for the Leo Santa Cruz fight. But, again we’re not looking past Gutierrez, he’s a great fighter, he’s a hungry kid, I’m not that old and people make me sound old, but I’m not.
But, I remember when I was that age, 26, and I got my opportunity for a world title. So, I can imagine how happy he is and really looking forward to this fight. But, again I’m no push over, I’m in my prime, I’m in my movement, I’m strong, I feel great.
I already said I’ve been doing really, really good in spar sessions. I really look forward to just making a statement that we are here to stay.
You’re the one with the tougher fight, it seems between you and Leo. Can you give me your thoughts about being put in that position when you’re supposed to be getting ready to fight the rematch?
A. Mares             
You can put me in the first fight, second fight, last fight. It doesn’t matter, there’s no such thing as, I mean obviously there is, a main event, but people know which one is the best fight out there. So, I think people are going to go watch both of us, obviously, see how we look. But I do feel like I got the tougher opponent, but you know we are planning to make it seem like it’s a showcase but it’s a good fight. But I’m not looking at his opponent, I’m focused on mine, he’s focused on his opponent. At the end of the day I just want to perform, look great and get ready for not just Leo but any fight that’s going to happen.
Richard, could you speak to your challenges in promoting a double header of probably will be action fights, but it’s not the rematch. So, some people perceive it as, “Oh, it’s a good card”. But it’s not what they thought it would be, which is the rematch between Abner and Leo?
R. Schaefer
Well, it certainly has been a bit of a challenge because the people are really excited to see these two, Abner and Leo, fight each other again. But I have to say this fight here, “The Jaguar” against Abner, this is a real fight.
This is not a soft touch. This is not, like, a tune up and Abner knows that and they know as well that the Jaguar is going to be coming to take what is his, what is Abner’s, that world title. So, this is by no stretch of the imagination, anything even remotely close to a tune up.
This is a real fight. And it will be real action fight because both guys are, I think, stylistically very made for each other. So, I think it will be a great fight. And I think fight fans, true fight fans, the Hispanic fight fans, the Mexicans and the others, they know that this is a real fight and that’s why I think they will come and they will support Abner.
Everybody has something to look forward to for the early part of next year. I’ve been told by the fighters and their management teams that a deal structure is in place. Assuming everything goes well, that they will fight each other March of next year here in Los Angeles.
Were you going to fight on this card even if there was no assurance that a Santa Cruz rematch was coming, or was it important to know that the next fight would in fact be a rematch?
A. Mares             
Mothing’s for sure in boxing, to be honest. I’m just looking forward to getting in the ring. I got Gutierrez now. That’s the guy I’m fighting, that’s the guy I’m focused on. So, I’ve been saying, if it’s not Leo the next fight, even though they saying it is, it might be 90 percent, I want Frampton too.
And if not Frampton, I want Oscar Valdez, if it’s not Oscar Valdez, any world champion out there. So, we’re not just looking at Leo now because we’ve been through that. So, that was a good question you’re asking, so my answer is I just want any champion, but obviously there’s a key and the fighter to fight will be Leo after Gutierrez.
R. Schaefer         
I can just add to that as well. I agree with Abner. Abner is one of the most legendary and biggest names coming out of Mexico in the sport period. So, Abner Mares is not going to be sitting around and waiting around and waiting around for anybody, and I really mean anybody.
The fact is the 126-weight class is pretty deep and as a matter of fact, I talked to Frank Warren earlier this week as well. And I know that Abner would be absolutely open to a Frampton fight because that’s what he told me. But, you know first thing’s first.
This is not, as I said, this is not a tune up and we don’t want to give it away, but once this fight is over and everything goes well, then I will very quickly sit down with Abner and his team to map out, okay, can we get Leo, yes or no? Obviously, that’s what we want and if we can’t then, you know, we move on.
They said you’re not going to sit around and wait for anyone. But this is only your second fight in almost two years. How frustrating has that been for you?
A. Mares             
It is, and it isn’t. I think timing is the best thing and being realistic. To be 31 and to be learning so much right now with Robert Garcia, it’s just amazing.
Not too many people could say that, at this age they’re still learning and doing things that you never thought I could have done. it’s just excitement to showcase them now on a final fight.
So, going in again with Gutierrez, we plan on doing like we did with Cuellar and move forward. So like I said, it is, and it isn’t. Here’s how I look at it, obviously this is my Christmas list.
If I get Frampton over Leo next on the list, any order, Leo, Frampton, Gary Russell Jr., Oscar Valdez and if I could make it jump to 130 and if you’re still there Gervonta Davis. I’ll fight them. That’s four or five fights that could totally be my career right there.
So, I’m putting a number on my career because you got to think of the future, so that’s the way I see it.
How has training camp gone and how do you feel leading up to fight night?
A. Gutierrez
I feel great. This is an unbelievable moment in my career. I’m very much deep in training in Guadalajara very excited for this matchup and working with Alfredo Guzman and we’re ready to go to the United States and make our journey there.
Can you tell me what is the most difficult part of facing somebody like Gutierrez who has nothing to lose and everything to win?
A. Mares             
I’ve been there, I know how he feels, so I work with that. I don’t feel like I’m no pushover, so it’s just excitement to be fighting someone good and at the end of the day I’m going to go in history. Knowing I’m someone that’s fought nothing but great fighters. So, I’m really proud to be fighting Gutierrez.
What are your thoughts on the people that are saying you’re being brought in to lose and you’re a heavy underdog? What are your thoughts on that?
A. Gutierrez
Look, I’m coming to surprise everybody. I feel very good. It is my dream to bring home the World Championship and I’m going to go ahead and really shock boxing fans in Los Angeles. I am not just an opponent.
Robert what have you seen in Gutierrez that you have to change if you were training for Santa Cruz?
R. Garcia
We just added a couple sparring partners that are more similar to Gutierrez. But we continue doing the same thing and continue to fighting the way I want against Gutierrez or Santa Cruz and we just continue doing the same kind of workout, the same plan that we already have because I want to continue preparing Abner because I know eventually that fight will happen.
We’re not looking past Gutierrez. Gutierrez is a young lion and I told Abner and I told everybody in camp, “You know, these kids are the most dangerous guys because they got nothing to lose and they come to fight or become world champions.”
So we’re definitely prepared for Gutierrez with adding a few sparring partners that fight similar to him, but the training camp and the plan continues to be the same.
Could you ask Andres how devastating it was to go through what he went through the day before the Frampton fight?
A. Gutierrez
The reality is I’m back 100% from what happened in the whole Carl Frampton situation. That’s all behind me. My focus is Abner Mares. I’m ready for Abner Mares. You all will see on October 14 that I am 100% and extremely focused and ready.
R. Schaefer
Thank you everybody. If we can have this group make closing statements please.
A. Gutierrez
I want to say thank you to all the media and thank you all to the fights fans. The reality is I’m going to bring my best when I step inside the ring next Saturday, and I feel very strong and I’m looking forward this opportunity.
A, Mares             
I just want to thank everybody. I want to thank my team. I want to thank you guys, the media, plus FOX and FOX Deportes. Shout out to everybody that’s making this possible. I’m looking forward to October 14, and let the best man win.
R. Schaefer
Thank you, Andres, and thank you, Abner. We are all excited seeing you next week and we are going to get it going next week with some activities here and around Los Angeles to promote the fight. So I’ll see you all next week.
Now, let’s move on to Leo Santa Cruz against Chris Avalos. With Leo, there’s another guy where you know he’s never going to be in a bad fight. He is definitely, pound-for-pound, one of the most exciting fighters and he throws punches in bunches. So he is going to be coming home here to Los Angeles to the StubHub Center on October the 14th to defend his featherweight world title which he won in great fight earlier this year against Leo Santa Cruz.
He’s facing, with Chris Avalos, somebody who is another exciting fighter who comes forward. He had a shot at the title in 2015 when he was fighting Carl Frampton in Belfast, challenging for the IBF World Super Bantamweight Title. Here he comes again, trying to win to take the title away from Leo Santa Cruz. He’s clearly going into this fight as the underdog.
But it’s exactly these kind of fights where you have the overwhelming favorite, Leo Santa Cruz, maybe taking a round less in sparring because you are such a big favorite. And even mentally, I’ve seen it before where fighters just prepare differently. Then with Avalos, this is his chance. This is his opportunity and he’s going to come in ready and he’s going to come in at the best shape and the best condition he can and we will see who will on Saturday night, October 14. One thing I do know is that it will be an exciting fight because Avalos always comes to fight.
It’s a pleasure for me now to introduce to you, with a record of 27 wins and 5 losses with 20 knockouts, the heavy-handed fighter coming out of Lancaster, California who most recently scored a TKO victory over Miguel Flores on a PBC FS1 card on July 18. Please welcome Chris Avalos.
Chris Avalos
Training’s been good and I’ve been ready, been in training actually since, like March getting ready for the Flores fight. I haven’t stopped training and I’m doing really good in sparring. I did lots of rounds in sparring and jogging every day and every weekend.
R. Schaefer
I like to introduce to you now one of my absolute favorite fighters, a very good friend as well, who I have a pleasure to work with for many, many, many of his fights. He is – just like I mentioned about Abner, he’s a tremendous champion inside of the ring, a great human, a great son and father and husband —  afamily man all around. Truly one of the nicest men in the sport.
But also maybe one of the most exciting guys in the ring as well. Never in a boring fight. He held world titles in three different weight classes — 118, 122, 126 pounds — and he is one of the stars, one of the big names in the sport. Please welcome my friend, Leo Santa Cruz.
Leo Santa Cruz
Thank you for the nice words and for the introduction. Thank you to all the media, to all the fans I’m just excited. I’m very happy to be back in the ring. I was ready to go back in the ring and then a long layoff and now I’m ready to get back in there. So I’ve been training hard, sparring, and I’ve been doing everything 100% — learning new things with my dad. I’m just ready to step in the ring and give a great performance for all the fans like I always try to do. I just go out there thinking about the fans and that’s what I’m hoping to do this time, because Avalos is a tough fighter, with big power, so I know we’re going to give a great fight because we’re both going to go out there and, you know, try to get the win, go toe-to-toe and make it a war.
How surprised were you that you were tapped to get this shot at a world title against the featherweight that many people consider the Number 1 guy in the weight class?
C. Avalos            
Yes. It was a big surprise but even though it was a surprise I honestly thought I was going to get a world title shot later on, maybe next year, like middle of next year. But now that it’s here now, I’m ready.
What it would mean to sort of derail the best laid plans for a Santa Cruz versus Mares rematch?
C. Avalos            
Yes, it’d be a blessing. I’ve been in training and I’ve been working hard, staying focused, at the gym and jogging and if I’m not in the gym I’m with my family. So it’s been a really good chance for me, so yes, I’m really planning to pull an upset that night.
Is this do or die for Chris Avalos’ career?
C. Avalos            
Exactly. Yes, well actually it is. Yes, and that’s how I feel about it. That’s exactly how I feel about it.
From your point of view, why is the rematch with Mares not happening now?
L. Santa Cruz     
We both came from a long layoff. He fought in December. I fought in January. I think we had both decided to get a fight before but I’ll never overlook under any opponent. Every opponent is dangerous to me and they say the underdog opponent are the most dangerous because they come hungry, they come for the opportunity.
I did think it was a matter of time and just wanted to set the right time and I think that’s why it got changed because people thought it was maybe too soon. We had the Mayweather/McGregor fight, the Canelo and Triple G fight. So there were other big fights and it would definitely be hard to focus on this fight right now.
I was ready for any opponent. I was get ready for any opponent. If I’m going to fight the champion or any opponent, I’m training the best and I’m going to go out there and be very smart and patient and do what I have to do.
Abner says that it was actually your team that said, “Forget about the rematch right away, as far as this fight.” And said that it was really the decision that your father made. Can you address that please?
L. Santa Cruz
Yes. I think it was kind of my father’s decision because I was getting ready because they told me I was going to fight Mares, so I was getting ready for Mares. I was in camp, and then they came and I think they asked my dad that for his opinion or something like and I think my dad said I had the long layoff and that he wanted me to get another fight before going in there with Mares. So that’s what I think – that’s what happened. But, yes, I think it was kind of my dad’s decision that he would prefer for me to go and and get a fight before fighting Abner a second time. So I said, “All right. If that’s what you want, well let’s go for it.”
How did that decision with you and your father go down?
L. Santa Cruz
I said, “I’m ready. I could fight (Mares) right now.” And my dad said, “Yes, I know you could and everything but I think you don’t know how your body is going to react. This is the longest layoff you have had. I really don’t know how your body’s going to look or feel, so I don’t want to risk it.” and I said, “Okay. I’ll listen to you and we’ll go with that.”
Okay, but if everything works out for you guys on October 14, Leo, are you committed to fighting in the early part of next year as Richard said — approximately March?
L. Santa Cruz     
Yes. Of course. When he told me that, I had told him, “Okay. Yes, but I want to get this fight and if I win. We get Mares, I want to face him right away.” And they say, “Yes.” So they’re going to do everything that’s possible to make it as soon as possible. And I think that’s going to be next fight if everything goes good.
Chris, do you believe this is your last shot at a title?
C. Avalos            
Yes. I believe it is like I answered earlier, I didn’t expect it’d be so soon. But I feel like I’m ready and I’ve been training hard for it. So I really can’t say if it’s my last or not. Just know that I’m ready for it. I’m going to give it my all October 14. I will leave everything I have in the ring.
How bad do you want the fight with (Mares)?
L. Santa Cruz     
Really bad. I want it ever since that first fight. He said right after that he wanted the rematch I said I would give it to him. The fans loved that fight. We both gave a great fight and it was a great turnout, so I said, “I’ll give it to you. Why not?” I said, “If he would have beat me, I would have liked him to give me the rematch.” I said, “Since I beat him, I said I would give him the rematch.” But he has that – there was never a talk about it anymore or there were no probably no interest or anything until now.
I said, “One night, I want that fight.” And like I said, I’m not looking past this fight. First I want to get this fight, and if we both get our wins, we’ll work everything to get our fight next – in the beginning of the year.
And as far as Avalos, are there any excuses that you might have if something goes wrong in your training or the lack of fighting?
L. Santa Cruz     
Anything can happen in boxing. Sometimes you get caught with a big shot or it’s not your night. Anything’s going to happen. If I lose, I know how to recognize that he was better fighter. I don’t make any excuses. I’m training 100% like if I’m fighting any other champion. And that’s what I’m looking for in this fight. He’s going to come with everything he got. I know this is an opportunity and a dangerous fighter so I know I’m really focused, real dedicated, and putting everything in the ring and come October 14, there are going to be no excuses.
My question is for both Leo and Richard. Given the events of last month in Mexico, I was wondering what you guys thought the emotions would be and what the emotions are right now heading into what is essentially an all- Mexican card?
R. Schaefer
Well first of all, I want to just send my condolences to everyone affected by all of these incidents, whether it was Mexico, the earthquake, or Puerto Rico, or more recently that horrible shooting in Las Vegas.
What always encourages me in all that tragedy, puts a little smile on my face, is how the boxing community comes together whether it’s promoters helping financially or fighters helping and cheering up the local communities, the boxing community is really a fraternity and I’m very proud to be part of that and I hope we all rally and try to help and do whatever we can. And I think, for the fighters on the card, being Mexican, my wife is Mexican is born in Mexico, for them to unify to do something for their countrymen and countrywomen it’s very significant and I’m sure that they are going to give their best for the pride of Mexico, fighting for their country.
And maybe giving some much needed distraction to these people in Mexico or in Puerto Rico or whereever it is around the world to maybe just forget for a moment and through their actions in the ring, their entertainment in the ring bring some joy into their lives. And I am sure that Mares or Gutierrez or Avalos or others on the card would all second that sentiment.
Have you gotten a sense from him or any of the other fighters how difficult this has been?
R. Schaefer
It’s very difficult because there is a very close Mexican community – and I see it in my own family with my wife as well. We all have relatives in Mexico, in and around Mexico City so it definitely impacted many, many lives, whether it’s immediate family or friends or other relatives. Clearly lives were impacted everywhere. So that’s definitely something which is on everybody’s mind.
L. Santa Cruz     
Yes, I’ve been upset listening to all those things, disasters like the earthquake, plus everything in Texas, and Puerto Rico and now the shooting in Las Vegas.
I put myself in those people’s shoes that have families there or the people that were there, that you could never take anything for granted. You can never take life for granted and it’s very hard and I wish to help in any little way I could.
Right now, my main focus is the fight. I want to go out there and give a great fight for the fans and everything I’m going to do on that fight day and everything I’m going to do out there is for all those fallen people that have been killed in the earthquakes and the shootings and everything. We’re going to go out there and fight for them to bring them something to distract as best we can.
I just feel very bad and I want to help everyone. Right now I’ve been very busy in training and trying to go out there and just give my family a good future.
R. Schaefer
Well then, I’d like to thank all the media members and I just want to say something which is really interesting through here on this conference call and something which one of the first people who actually asked a question mentioned. How difficult was it to sort of like overcome the fact that Leo and Abner are not fighting each other?
You see that in this call today as well, it makes this card that much more interesting from in-the-ring action because we’ve seen many examples in boxing — in sports — where the underdog turned around and beat the favorite. Was it because of maybe the favorites — or the world champions in this case — maybe didn’t prepare as much? Is it because the underdogs came in better than anyone expected?
Many examples are out there and to talk about the potential Santa Cruz/Mares fight early next March, I think only throws oil into the fire for Avalos and Gutierrez to really come and give their very best to become world champion. Both of those guys have tremendous opportunities to become world champions and I know they will be ready, and I hope that my two friends, Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, know what’s at stake and that they know that they have a target on their back and they better be ready.
So it will be an exciting night, an exciting double-header with two of the most exciting fighters, two Mexican superstars fighting life network FOX and FOX Deportes. What a showcase for boxing. What a showcase for these fighters on this card. What an opportunity and what a great deal for the people up in Los Angeles for as little as $30 to be able to be part of this exciting night of boxing.
So with that, for those who are not be able to be in Carson, make sure you watch it live – 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT. Looking forward to see you all next week.

Chris Avalos Gets Controversial TKO Victory Over Miguel Flores

Chris Avalos Gets Controversial TKO Victory Over Miguel Flores after Five Rounds of Premier Boxing Champions
TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 & BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes Main Event Tuesday Night 
from Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana


Unbeaten Light Heavyweight Prospect Ahmed Elbiali Stops Christopher Brooker in the Second Round


for Photos from Hosanna Rull/

Premier Boxing Champions

(Photos to be added shortly)


 (July 18, 2017) – In a battle of exciting featherweight brawlers, Chris Avalos (27-5, 20 KOs) was awarded a TKO victory after the doctor ruled that Miguel Flores (21-2, 9 KOs) could no longer continue due to a cut sustained during their featherweight matchup that headlined Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes Tuesday night from Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana.


The action packed showdown came to an end after the fifth-round when the doctor deemed that the cut over Flores’ left eye was too serious for him to continue the fight. Because referee Bruce McDaniel ruled that the cut was caused by a punch, and not a head butt, Avalos was given the stoppage victory.


“I’m disappointed by what happened,” said Flores. “We were winning the fight. Everybody saw what happened. We saw the referee say it was an accidental head butt, but this kind of stuff happens in boxing. They took it away from me.”


“I didn’t get the victory the way I wanted, but I got the win,” said Avalos. “It was a good back and forth action fight. We both had moments where we went after each other and the other guy always came right back.”


The cut in question occurred in round four, from what appeared to be a grazing of heads on the inside, but was contested by Avalos.


“We caught a little bit of a head butt, but I don’t remember any cuts coming from it,” said Avalos. “I didn’t see any blood from the head butt. I saw blood after I threw a right hand.”


Flores was ahead 48-46 on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage, and had put Avalos on the canvas with a good combination and follow-up flurry in the third round. The fight had been highlighted by consistent powerful exchanges on the inside before coming to an unsatisfactory finish after the fifth round.


“The cut was bothering me and I couldn’t really see out of that eye,” said Flores. “It was just a matter of time until I got the knockout though. I was breaking him down. I’ll learn from it and get better. I definitely want an immediate rematch next.”


“I was proud of what I was able to do and I thought it was a really good fight,” said Avalos. “He’s a good fighter and I’d definitely give him a rematch.”


Additional action saw light heavyweight prospect Ahmed Elbiali (16-0, 13 KOs) remain unbeaten with a dominant stoppage of Philadelphia’s Christopher Brooker (12-4, 5 KOs) in the second round of action.


Elbiali came out aggressive from the start, looking to land big power shots with both hands while Brooker quickly sought to establish his movement and consistently tied up Elbiali when the action moved to the inside.


Both men received a warning from referee Bruce McDaniel midway through the first round for hits to the back of the head and it was later on in the round when the referee deducted a point from Brooker after another illegal shot.


Elbiali began the second round continuing his aggressive style and stalked Brooker until he could unload power shots in the corner. After landing several big shots that began to slow Brooker, Elbiali rained down multiple overhand rights that left Brooker hunched over before a final left hook put him on the canvas. The referee jumped in and called a halt to the bout 1:48 into the round.


“I had a decent performance tonight, I was definitely a little sloppy but I’ll have to look at the tape,” said Elbiali. “I still have a lot to learn and plenty of improvements to make. At the end of the day, I got the knockout that I was looking for

Miguel Flores Training Camp Quotes & Photos

Miguel Flores Training Camp Quotes & Photos


Featherweight Prospect Battles Former Title Challenger Chris Avalos Tuesday, July 18 in Premier Boxing Champions
from Rapides Parish Coliseum in 

Alexandria, Louisiana


for Photos from Hosanna Rull – iRULL FOTOS


HOUSTON (July 14, 2017) – Featherweight prospect
Miguel Flores returns to the ring looking to show that he still has what it takes to be a contender in the featherweight division when he battles former title challenger
Chris Avalos in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS
on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes July 18 from Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana.


Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features undefeated
Ahmed Elbiali (15-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round showdown against light heavyweight prospect
Leo Hall (8-2, 7 KOs).


Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing in association with Keep Punching Entertainment, are priced at $150, $80, $50, $30 and $22, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster
at or by calling 1-800-745-3000 or at the Rapides Parish Coliseum Box Office.


Here is what Flores had to say about training camp, his matchup and more:


On his recent training camp:

“I’ve had a tough training camp with a lot of hard, but smart training.  I stepped up my strength and conditioning, in addition to going back to the basics.  My coach, Aaron Navarro and I, agreed that it would be
best to focus on the fundamentals of boxing.  I’m in great shape and plan on performing at a high level.”


On his matchup with Chris Avalos…

“At this level in my career there are no easy fights.  Chris Avalos has been in the ring with some of the best fighters in the world and I’m expecting a grueling fight.  I know he’s coming to win, but I believe I
have the skills to come out on top.  It’s going to be one of those hard-fought fights that the fans can appreciate.”


On returning to FS1 and FOX Deportes in another tough fight after suffering his first defeat:

“Fighting in the main event on FS1 and FOX Deportes is exactly what I need right now.  It was definitely a hard learning experience suffering my first loss, but one that I took in stride.  No fighter ever wants to
suffer defeat, but it’s what that fighter does to get back on top that matters.  Looking back, I know what I must improve on and everyone will see that improvement against Avalos. It’s very important for me to be fighting in front of a nationally televised
audience, because I want to show the world that I have what it takes to get back into world title contention.  This type of fight brings out the best in me and my warrior spirit will be shinning on fight night

Featherweight Prospect Miguel Flores Takes On Former Title Challenger Chris Avalos

Featherweight Prospect Miguel Flores Takes On Former Title Challenger Chris Avalos in Main Event of Premier Boxing Champions
July 18 from Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana


Plus! Unbeaten Ahmed Elbiali Battles Leo Hall in Showdown of Light Heavyweight Prospects


Tickets on Sale Now!


(June 28, 2017) – Featherweight prospect
Miguel Flores (21-1, 9 KOs) will return to the ring to face former title challenger
Chris Avalos (26-5, 19 KOs) in a 10-round showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions
TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes July 18 from Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana.


Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features undefeated
Ahmed Elbiali (15-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round showdown against light heavyweight prospect
Leo Hall (8-2, 7 KOs).


“I’m very excited to be fighting back on FS1 and FOX Deportes,” said Flores. “I’ve learned a lot since suffering my first defeat but now it’s time to get back in
the win column. I’m up against a very tough fighter in Carlos Avalos.  I’m just ready to let my hands go and provide the fans with some great action.  This will be a classic Mexican war that the fans will enjoy.”


“I’m excited to get in the ring and show that I’m still very dangerous every time I’m in there,” said Avalos. “Flores hasn’t faced somebody like me and if he thinks this will be an easy comeback fight
for him, he’s in for a rough night. I’m going to leave it all in the ring and give the fans watching an action-packed fight. I know I have what it takes to walk out of there with a win.”


Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing in association with Keep Punching Entertainment, are priced at $150, $80, $50, $30 and $22, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased
through Ticketmaster at or by calling 1-800-745-3000 or at the Rapides Parish Coliseum Box Office.


 “Miguel Flores is anxious to bounce back from the first loss of his career and going up against Chris Avalos is the perfect
opportunity for Miguel to show what he’s made of,” said Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing. “The fans at the beautiful, newly renovated Rapides Parish Coliseum are in for a treat and the show fits in nicely with the Premier Boxing Champions shows
that are always televised on FS1 Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays.”


Originally from Michoacan, Mexico, but fighting out of Houston, Flores will look to bounce back from his first pro defeat in February to veteran contender Dat Nguyen.
The 24-year-old had a big 2015 beginning in May with a victory over German Meraz and followed up by wins against Juan Ruiz, Carlos Padilla and Alfred Tetteh. He started 2016 with a headlining win over Mario Briones in January before dominating Ruben Tamayo
over 10 rounds in May and scoring a decision over previously once-beaten Ryan Kielczweski in August.


The 27-year-old Avalos enters the ring with a wealth of experience, including a world title challenge against Carl Frampton and a battle with current champion Oscar
Valdez. The fighter out of Lancaster, California earned his world title shot with victories over Yasutaka Ishimoto, Rolly Lunas and Drian Francisco. Avals has also been triumphant over previously unbeaten fighters Yenifel Vicente and Khabir Suleymanov.


A native of Cairo, Egypt now residing in Miami, the 26-year-old Elbiali had success in four TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAY appearances over the last two years. Those three contests saw him score a first round
knockout of Fabiano Pena and eight-round unanimous decisions over Mariano Hilario and Andrew Hernandez. Most recently he delivered a first round stoppage of Jackson Junior in March in a fight broadcast on FS1 and FOX Deportes.


Leo Hall steps back into the ring looking to rebound from decision defeats to top prospects Earl Newman and Christopher Brooker. Fighting out of Detroit, Hall turned in 2014 and won his first eight
pro fights. The 22-year-old has won seven of his eight bouts by way of knockout since his pro debut