Click Here For A Replay Of The Weigh-In
Photo Credits- Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME
Click Here For A Replay Of The Weigh-In
Photo Credits- Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME
GERVONTA DAVIS VS. HUGO RUIZ FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES AND PHOTOS
Super Featherweight Champion Davis Joined by Promoter Floyd Mayweather Ahead of Title Defense Against Former Champion Ruiz This Saturday Live on SHOWTIME®
From Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. and Presented By Premier Boxing Champions
Photo Credits-Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME
LOS ANGELES (February 7, 2019) – WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis and former world champion Hugo Ruiz went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they go toe-to-toe this Saturday night in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, Calif. and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Also facing off on Thursday were fighters who will enter the ring live on SHOWTIME in televised undercard attractions. Undefeated super lightweight Mario Barrios will be facing Mexico’s Richard Zamora, while former world champion Javier Fortuna will step in against lightweight contender Sharif Bogere as part of live SHOWTIME action kicking off at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and Sampson Boxing and tickets are sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
Davis was joined on-stage by his promoter, legendary boxer and Mayweather Promotions President Floyd Mayweather. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday at the Westin Los Angeles Airport before Saturday night’s event:
“I’m so excited to come back strong in 2019. This is the year that could put me over the top and put me at the highest level.
“The opponent change didn’t really affect me. In the amateurs we fought four or five times a week so we always had different opponents. I had been sparring someone taller than me in training camp anyway. I think a fighter should be ready and able to adapt to anything that is in front of him in the ring. I’m ready and I hope Ruiz is too.
“Training camp has been great. I’m ready for Saturday night. We planned on fighting Abner Mares, but he had an injury and we hope to still get him down the line if everything is okay with his health.
“Hugo Ruiz is a great opponent. He’s going to come to fight on Saturday night. He’s been telling the media he’s going to knock me out, so I hope we get an action packed fight for the fans. I’m glad Ruiz is coming for the knockout. We owe it to the fans and I’m praying that he comes ready to give them a great show.
“I feel like I’m the fighter that can be the next big star. I’m working towards it. I’m just a kid soaking it all in right now. Saturday night, I hope everyone is ready, because it’s going to be action.
“Ruiz’s record speaks for itself. I’ve watched him and he has some pop. He’s accurate and I’m ready for it. I don’t think I’ll have any ring rust. I’ve worked with a lot of great fighters in the gym. I’m just excited to get back in the ring.
“I want to give my fans all over the world a great show. Everyone tuning in is going to see a great performance. Hopefully Hugo will live up to his word, because I’m going to live up to mine.”
“I’m very happy to have this opportunity. I’m going to leave everything in the ring. I have a lot of faith in my boxing skills. I trust and believe that there is going to be a new world champion on Saturday night.
“I’m in rhythm and in shape. I’ve been very active leading into and since my last fight. Davis is a tremendous champion, but he doesn’t intimidate me. I’ll be ready for him come Saturday night.
“This is a great opportunity to fight a southpaw, as I had originally been training for a lefty before my opponent changed in my last fight. I also fought a southpaw in November. I’ve been training with a lot of lefties for a while. I’m more than ready for this opportunity.
“Davis is a strong champion and I know this is a big opportunity for me to fight someone of his caliber. I’m ready mentally and physically for the greatest opportunity that has been given to me.
“At 130-pounds I feel more power than ever and I will demonstrate that on Saturday night. This is a big challenge for me. This is the opportunity that I’ve been waiting for throughout my 12-year career. I don’t plan on wasting it.”
“This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited for it. I’m looking forward to going out there and putting on a great show for the boxing fans.
“I’m ready and I’m prepared to take full advantage of this chance to make a statement on Saturday night. I want any one of the champions in this division, but I’m not looking past Zamora. I just know that the work that I put in will pay off.
“I have big things on the horizon and Zamora is in my way. I’m focused and ready to make this a great night. If he wants a war, I’ll give him a war.”
“I’m very happy and thankful to be in this fight. This is the opportunity I’ve been looking for. I’m ready to compete and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by.
“This is definitely a big step for me in my U.S. debut. If I can get a win over Mario Barrios, then I would be able to reach a lot of dreams that I have.
“I come well prepared and I’m expecting a war. I’m going to be ready to go and battle until the end. You’ll see that I’m going to leave it all in the ring.”
“I’m going to give the best that I have in the ring. I’m going against a good boxer with a good record, but it doesn’t matter what obstacles are in front of me. I’m going to come through with a big win on Saturday night.
“We have a new team and a new trainer that is going to give the fans the best Javier Fortuna possible on Saturday.
“A victory against Sharif Bogere is very important for me and a stepping stone to where I want to get. It’s going to be a difficult fight, but I’m ready to make this a very tough night for him.”
“We are going to make this a great fight on Saturday. Fortuna is a good fighter and tough guy. I expect him to bring a lot of fireworks. I’m prepared for it and I have the game plan to win.
“Every day is a tough test in life. This is going to be just another fight. I’m prepared and I have a great team behind me. I’m coming on Saturday night for what belongs to me.
“Fortuna has a big name and is a step up for me. This win will put me up there toward the top and I’ll be prepared for whatever challenge comes after that.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, President of Mayweather Promotions
“It’s great to be here with so many young talented fighters. I could remember 23 years ago when I was in that same position. When you’re in this position you have to take advantage of it. Opportunities like this come once in a lifetime. You must go out there and give it your all.
“I want to see these fighters become great and become stars. The records that I’ve set were made to be broken.
“I remember when Gervonta Davis first came to my gym. He worked hard and believed in himself. Sometimes we did two-a-days. If we didn’t think the job was done right, we’d come back and correct it. We continue to strive every day to be the best we possibly can be. Gervonta works extremely hard, but he can’t take anything for granted in this fight.
“I think Hugo Ruiz is more dangerous opponent than Abner Mares. Abner is a tremendous fighter, but Ruiz is very tough and he has good knockout power. This is a great matchup and the kind that people want to see. It’s all about putting on great shows and Saturday will be another blockbuster.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“We have a great event this Saturday night with great fights from top to bottom of this card. This is going to be a great night of boxing.
“Gervonta Davis has reached goals beyond just the boxing ring. I know the impact that Gervonta has on the youth all around the world. When it comes to excitement, explosiveness and knockout power, this is something new that the fans are getting a chance to witness.
“At the young age of 24, fans have come to know Gervonta for his punching power. But he’s also a very skilled boxer. This is one of the things that he’ll be able to showcase moving forward in a number of big fights he’s going to have.
“We know he has a tough challenge in front of him. Anytime you have a last minute replacement who’s an excellent fighter, it’s a big challenge. Ruiz is an aggressive fighter and we expect nothing but a great fight.
“Gervonta Davis has the full arsenal. In my opinion, he’s the most exciting fighter and the biggest puncher in the entire sport. It takes more than knockout power and I think you’ll see an array of his skillset.”
SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ, President of Sampson Boxing
“It really is an honor for me to be involved in this great show. These are going to be three great fights. Hugo Ruiz had been training for a southpaw before an opponent switch led to him fighting a right hander last fight. After a few more weeks leading into this fight, Ruiz is 100 percent ready for this challenge.
“Trust me, this is going to be a rough fight. I believe that Davis will have his hands full with Hugo Ruiz. Ruiz comes from a family of fighters and he is a true Mexican warrior who will leave it all in the ring on Saturday.”
GERVONTA DAVIS VS. HUGO RUIZ FIGHT WEEK MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES & PHOTOS
Photos Credits- Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME
WBA Super Featherweight Champion Davis Defends Title This Saturday Against Former World Champion Ruiz Live on SHOWTIME® From Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. and Presented By Premier Boxing Champions
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (February 6, 2019) – WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis and former world champion Hugo Ruiz were on-hand at Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica Wednesday as they near their showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Saturday, February 9 from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California.
Wednesday’s workout also featured fighters who will enter the ring live on SHOWTIME in televised undercard attractions. Undefeated super lightweight Mario Barrios will be facing Mexico’s Richard Zamora, while former world champion Javier Fortuna steps in against lightweight contender Sharif Bogere in the opening bout of the tripleheader beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday in Santa Monica as they prepare for their Saturday night attractions:
“I was just watching Hugo Ruiz as I came in here. All I know is that he is fast, he has some speed. It looked like he has some power and good timing. I actually think that this is not a walk in the park, like people think. The fact that this is a late change doesn’t concern me because once I get in there, I’ll be able to make adjustments. I’m ready.
“It’s great to make it to this level. To have people under me like ‘Truck’ [Lorenzo Simpson], it feels amazing to inspire them to go further in life. It makes me want to push harder so that I can become the best that I can be.
“I come from a city with a lot of violence and things like that, but my mind was always focused on what I wanted to be in life. I traveled when I was super young, so my mindset was never like a typical eight-year-old. I won my first nationals when I was 10 years old. I’ve seen the world and I’ve seen the bigger picture. At that time, coming up in the gym, there were guys that I was looking up to that were getting killed in the streets. There were days in the gym where we would get a call that guys we trained with had been killed. I knew that it’s either boxing or things wouldn’t turn out too good. I knew I had to stay in the gym and stay focused.
“Camp is going great. I feel ready for Saturday night. I’m disappointed that I’m not facing Abner Mares but it doesn’t change too much. I heard that he hurt his elbow at first, I didn’t know that it was his eye. Once I heard it was his eye, I took it more seriously.
“I wanted to fight Abner. We could probably have done it back home but I gave him the chance to fight in LA. I am the champion, so I’m willing to give him another shot.”
“I feel great. I just came off of training for my last fight but I just feel like I’m continuing that training. I think it’s going to serve as great preparation for this next fight. It’s only going to be a benefit for me.
“I think this is going to be an explosive fight. We’re both known for our knockouts and this is a fight that can end at any moment. It’s going to be by a knockout.
“Out of my 39 wins, 33 of them are knockouts so I can say with confidence that I can knock out Gervonta Davis. No fighter is invincible and that’s a really possible outcome on Saturday.
“Gervonta Davis is a great fighter. I’ve watched him fight and I know that he’s a very strong fighter with a lot in his arsenal. There’s a reason why he’s a world champion right now but we know what we’re looking for. We have the hunger and the ambition to be triumphant. We have everything we need to beat Gervonta.
“I took the fight on short notice and I just fought, but I am ready. I trained very hard for my last fight and I still feel more than ready to go. I’m very excited to have this world championship opportunity and I am going to take advantage of it and show the world what I can do.
“I had a fight in November where I was training for a lefty. I then had another fight in January where I was preparing for a lefty. They changed my opponent last minute but I was still ready to go. I’ve been preparing for a lefty for five months and I think that’s a huge advantage for me.
“The reason I have so many knockouts is because I like to surprise my opponents and I really think I have something that I can surprise Gervonta with. Come Saturday, we will see how many ways I can surprise him.
“Gervonta is a fighter just like I am. We both are going in there with all the will to win and come Saturday I think we are going to give the people the show that they really want to see. I am ready to put on a spectacular show.”
“I feel great. I’ve been training out in the Bay Area with Virgil Hunter since the beginning of December. I was getting great work, sparring with Devin Haney. We got about two or three weeks of great work just going at it. That was tremendous experience just keeping up with him. He’s a very explosive fighter and ahead of the curve for his age. I finished off camp sparring with Amir Khan, who is getting ready for his Terrence Crawford fight. So overall, camp was great.
“This is going to be one of my toughest fights but I put in all the hard work in camp and I’m going into Saturday night with no doubts. If I get him hurt, I’m going to look to finish him off but the knockout is not something I’ll be looking for right away in the fight.
“I’m thinking about the weather a little bit, but at the end of the day I’m a fighter and I’m going to overcome anything I have to in the ring. Whether it’s raining, whether it’s cold, once the bell rings it doesn’t matter what the weather is.
“I always try to go into my fights being as smart as possible. I always want to box as much as I can but at the end of the day, I’m Mexican so if I get caught with a good punch I’m going to want to sit there and bang. I’m definitely expecting some fireworks. It’s going to be an action-packed fight and I guarantee you one of us is going to go down. I’ve worked my ass off to make sure I’m not going to be the one on the canvas.
“Sparring top guys like Devin Haney and Amir Khan has been great and a huge advantage for me. People would pay top dollar to see that, but all of us were just there appreciating the work because we all need it. That was world class work. You really can’t beat it.
“Texas has always been a hotbed for boxing, especially in the cities of San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Now, we have a lot of upcoming fighters that are really showing out. It’s only a matter of time before Texas becomes one of the main capitals for boxing.
“In the next 18 months, I’ll hopefully get a shot at a world title. I want to face any one of the champions right now. I feel I’m ready. I’ve worked my ass off to get to this point and I feel it’s only a matter of time before we get that title shot. Right now, my sight is set on the junior welterweight division and we’re going to try to take over the division as much as I can. But at the same time, I’m 6’1″ and it’s only a matter of time before I outgrow the division but as long as I’m here and I can make the weight healthy and I feel strong, we’re going to continue to dominate.”
“This is my first time in Los Angeles and I’m really excited to fight in a place like LA. This is a really well-known place to fight that I’ve known about my whole life and I’m ready to put on a showcase that people will recognize. I want people to see me as a great fighter from here on out.
“I’ve been very focused this entire training camp. My opponent changed late but my objective has not changed whatsoever. Whoever I face on Saturday, I’m ready to fight.
“I’m only 25 years old. Some would say I got a late start because I only started training and boxing when I was 15 or 16 years old but it’s always been in my blood. My grandfather was a boxer and I always knew the sport was going to be my calling at the end of the day.
“We look forward to showing off this weekend. I’m ready to show the people of the United States who I am. I want to stand out and showcase what I’m all about. I’ve shown what I can do in Mexico and now I want everybody in the U.S. to show who I am in America now. To be surrounded by so many talented fighters here, this is the type of fighter I want to be. I want to be recognized the same way the other top fighters around here are.
“I think that Barrios’ height is something that I need to think about but I’m not worried about it. I’ve learned how to fight against different styles and I’ve fought many different fighters so I am ready for whatever comes my way. I just want to put on a great show so the fans will only have good things to say about me.”
“I feel good. We are in weight and in great shape. On Saturday, I will be the best fighter I can be. My new trainer and I are in top shape. We had a really good training camp. This fight is important for me. On Saturday my career at 135 will be defined.
“I have been working very hard in the gym. I have a great strategy and the fans will see on Saturday night what I’m all about. Bogere is aggressive, he comes forward and is a very good boxer but I’m not concerned. I move forward and I’m aggressive too. I can take him.
“Hopefully, that chicken Gervonta Davis will go up to 135. If not, I’m willing to come down to 130 to fight him. I want his belt. I respect his promoters, they know how to take care of him and I have no problem with that but I’m just hoping that he’s willing to fight me. He has shown a lack of respect as a human being. He hasn’t done what a champion should do and he’s fighting guys he shouldn’t be fighting.
“What do I think of Gervonta’s new opponent? Everybody has social media and can see what the fans are saying about it.
“My fight against [Robert] Easter is hard to swallow. It was one of those fights where you go in there, you work hard, you show you are the better fighter but the judges don’t reward you for it. I know I was the better fighter. I won that fight. A lot of people saw it the same way but sometimes the judges go for the business side of things. I was hoping for a rematch but nobody ever gave me the opportunity.
“I want to fight the best fighters out there. I don’t care who they are. If they have a title, I’ll fight them. If they are good, I’ll fight them as well.”
“Javier Fortuna is a veteran. We have similar experience. He’s been there for a long time but so have I. I think we’re going to put a on a good show for the people. He makes mistakes and I’m going to capitalize on those.
“This is a dream for me. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years since I was a little kid. I have a passion for this sport and a lot of people to make proud. Those people keep me going through all of the tough times, the injuries, the setbacks, I’m just so thankful that I have another day and another blessing. I’m so thankful for this opportunity.
“I’m happy to have an opponent finally step up to the plate. I feel people have been avoiding me but he stepped up and I think we’re going to put on a great show. We both have an exciting style and I’m looking forward to Saturday. In his fight against Robert Easter Jr., I think he did his best to win the fight but he came up short.
“As my trainer always tells me, keep knocking on the door. One day, they’re going to open the door. Saturday, they will open the door. After Saturday night, the world is going to see the ‘The Lion’ back in the top ten in the world.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“This is a guy [Ruiz] that just fought on the Broner card. He’s in great shape, he’s a great fighter and he’s coming to put on a performance on Saturday night. ‘Tank’ is in great shape but he’s got to be cognizant of a guy that he hasn’t prepared for. We’ve seen what has happened in other fights, specifically the [Jermall] Charlo fight. [Matvey] Korobov came in as a last-minute replacement and it was a tough fight. Certainly tougher than he had anticipated but that’s part of the sport. ‘Tank’ has to be ready for anything.
“Gervonta has a tough opponent in front of him Saturday night. Any time you are preparing for a specific guy, it’s going to take a minute to get used to your new opponent. It will be interesting. ‘Tank’ will have to figure it out but I think he will be able to go to work and figure it out.
“I’m always confident in ‘Tank’. He’s one of the top fighters out there in the sport. He’s the biggest puncher in the entire sport and he’ll eventually be the biggest star in the sport. This is the start of a very big career for all of his U.S. fans and the international fans as well. He’s ready to take over the entire sport and Saturday night is just the start.
“Anytime you lose a great fighter like Abner Mares from your card, obviously there is always a little bit of a shakeup. My prayers go out to him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery. Abner is a great champion, a great human being and a guy that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. He will be able to hopefully bounce back.”
Press Release For Immediate Release
SHOWTIME SPORTS® TO LIVE STREAM GERVONTA DAVIS VS. HUGO RUIZ FIGHT WEEK EVENTS LIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
THURSDAY: FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE – 4:00 P.M. ET/1:00 P.M. PT
FRIDAY: OFFICIAL WEIGH-IN – 4:00 P.M. ET/1:00 P.M. PT
SATURDAY: SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN – 8:00 P.M. ET/5:00 P.M. PT
DAVIS VS. RUIZ | SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9
LIVE ON SHOWTIME® AT 10 P.M. ET/7 P.M. PT
FROM DIGNITY HEALTH SPORTS PARK IN CARSON, CALIF.
WHAT: SHOWTIME Sports will present live streaming coverage of fight week events in advance of this Saturday’s Super Featherweight World Championship between undefeated WBA champion Gervonta Davis and former world champion Hugo Ruiz live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
Each event will stream live on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page. YouTube embed codes and links are listed below.
In Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main event, Baltimore’s Davis, who has 19 KOs in 20 professional fights, will make his first defense of the WBA title against Mexico’s Ruiz, an all-action brawler with 18 first round knockouts on his resume. In the co-feature, undefeated 140-pound contender Mario Barrios will take on Richard Zamora in a 10-round super lightweight bout. The telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with a 10-round lightweight bout between former world champion Javier Fortuna and former world title challenger Sharif Bogere.
SHOWTIME will present live streaming undercard action and pre-fight analysis on social media platforms beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT this Saturday. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN will feature a 10-round super lightweight matchup between former world title challenger Erickson Lubin and former world champion Ishe Smith, as well as a 10-round super lightweight bout between Juan Heraldez and Eddie Ramirez.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT
Final Press Conference – The Westin Los Angeles Airport
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page: https://s.sho.com/2RYiogy
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8 – 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT
Official Weigh-In – The Westin Los Angeles Airport
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page: https://s.sho.com/2BcWfR7
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 – 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN – Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page: https://s.sho.com/2GdewRX
Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz International Media Conference Call Transcript and Audio Recording
Click HERE for Audio
Thank you everybody for joining this call. I’d like to kick the call off and commend Premier Boxing Champions, Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and the network for saving this really special card that’s going to take place Saturday, February 9.
Everybody’s aware of the unfortunate injury to Abner Mares, who was going to fight Gervonta Davis, but fortunately a great replacement was found in Hugo Ruiz. Now I’m going to turn it over to Stephen Espinoza to make opening comments.
Thanks very much. By now all of you are aware of the substitution. I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that Abner was heartbroken at this development about the injury.
The Davis fight was a fight that Abner asked for, that he pursued and is a fight that’s in his backyard. It was well on its way to breaking the attendance record and it remains to be seen whether that will happen or not but certainly had the cards stayed together it almost certainly would have broken the attendance record based on the trajectory of ticket sales.
At this point the priority was in fact saving this card. We’ve got a whole host of various fighters who’ve been training very hard for this. They all want to remain active. Davis wants to remain active so it was a priority to save this card and to find the best possible, available opponent.
There were a number of options pursued, a number of calls went out to a variety of different fighters. Not surprisingly it wasn’t easy to find someone who was willing to take on Gervonta Davis on ten days’ notice. Thankfully we did get Hugo Ruiz interested and he immediately accepted after he understood the situation.
Hugo Ruiz obviously was on our January 19 PPV on the Pacquiao vs. Broner undercard at 126-pounds. He will be moving up in weight further and I realize that there has been some concern about that. But the one thing that gave us comfort in approving this opponent was the physical size. Hugo Ruiz has a significant height advantage and reach advantage over Gervonta Davis.
Yes, this will be his first fight above 126 but his body frame gave us some confidence that he would be able to be competitive in this fight. In fact, with his reach advantage and height advantage he presents some problems to Davis that Abner did not. So we’re looking forward to a very competitive fight.
We know Hugo is here. He was disappointed that he did not get the title shot that he expected to on the Pacquiao undercard. And in a certain way there’s karma is repaying him in that he gets a title shot here on February 9.
Thank you so much Stephen. Now I’m going to introduce Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions to make a brief comment of just about the card in general. Leonard?
Thank you Kelly. I’d like to thank everyone for joining today’s call. As Stephen mentioned with Hugo Ruiz being a last-minute replacement, his reach and height advantage, that does create somewhat of a problem obviously because anytime as a fighter when there’s a last-minute replacement you haven’t trained and prepared for this particular fighter.
So Davis is going to have to obviously make some immediate adjustments for those things with the height and reach advantage that Hugo brings. Again Hugo is a proud Mexican warrior and we expect a very, very entertaining and exciting fight for the fans.
Okay thanks so much Leonard. At this time I’d like to introduce Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions to make the introductions for Hugo Ruiz. Tom?
Well thank you Kelly. I want to say thank you to Sampson Boxing who is the promoter of Hugo Ruiz. Sampson’s always got these guys that we’ve never heard of and they step up and they’re household names a few years later.
It’s also great to be here at the former StubHub Center, the premier outdoor boxing venue of the United States at Dignity Health Sports Park. And three out of the last six Ring Magazine and BWAA Fights of the Year have all been at the Dignity Health Sports Park. And let me tell you they weren’t all Fight-of-the-Year candidates going into the fight.
I know Hugo Ruiz very well. He fought two absolute wars for me back in 2015 and 2016 for the WBC title against Julio Ceja. And a couple weeks ago, as Stephen said, he didn’t blink an eye when there was a last-minute opponent change.
Ruiz is a more experienced guy and experience matters. That’s what he’ll need to rely on in this fight. So it gives me great pleasure to introduce the former world champion, Hugo Ruiz.
Well first of all good afternoon to everybody, this is Hugo Ruiz and I’m very happy with my promoter Sampson Lewkowicz to get this fight. Sampson told me keep yourself ready, there might be something coming down the pipe and that’s how I got this fight to fight for the 130-pound championship. I’m very happy, training hard.
I also want to thank my father who’s going to be in my corner. So this is a big opportunity for me for this fight that’s taking place on February 9 and I cannot wait for the February 9 date.
Have you had time to sort of process what these last two weeks have gone for you?
Basically I was preparing to fight a southpaw before my opponent was changed on the PPV bout. So I had that change and I’ve been basically still training for a southpaw in the last two weeks. I’ve been feeling very strong and very active. And that last fight was basically, it was more like a training then a real tough fight, so I’m ready. I’m rested and I’m good to go.
Aside from your size what else do you think you have that makes you think you can beat Gervonta Davis on February 9?
I’m very hungry. I want to of course be a champion at 130. Those are the other attributes that I have besides what you stated. The height advantage that I have I feel very comfortable at 130. Sampson has taken me to be a champion at 118, 122. I’m close to 126 but also this is a big challenge for me I understand that, but besides the height, it’s the hunger that I have to be champion at 130.
If you fought on January 19 what day did you get back to the gym after that fight?
I was back training that Tuesday after the fight, I was back in the gym.
How familiar are you with Davis?
I’ve seen him fight of course a few times and I know he’s a counterpuncher. He looks for the knockout just like me. So this could be very electric starting early because as you well know I’m also a guy that looks for the knockout from the first round immediately. So that’s what I’ve seen and it should be exciting.
Are worried at all that Davis might have the natural advantage in strength and size?
No not really. I feel very comfortable at this weight. If I was 126, if I was planning for 126 this Saturday coming up, the 9th of February, I wouldn’t have made it because I’m already going to make 130. That’s how strong I feel at this weight so that does not pose a problem for me against Gervonta Davis.
Why did you go back so quickly to the gym after your last fight?
I usually take maximum five days off a week after a fight but with this fight with Guevara there was really not that much physical abuse from my part. I didn’t receive that many hard hits. So I started training right away.
My promoter Sampson told me, “Hey stay active there might be something coming up the pipe.” And that’s what happened. So I’m glad that I started that Tuesday after the fight.
If the fight on the Pacquiao undercard would’ve been a little more taxing this wouldn’t have been possible for you?
That’s correct, if the fight would’ve been more physical draining if it would’ve been a toe-to-toe battle where I would’ve received a lot of punches and stuff then maybe I would’ve not taken this fight. But I continued my training leading up to the fight with Guevara and I just continued it because again, I felt physically well after the fight. There were no major damages.
How much of a factor do you feel maybe rust will be for Davis?
Yes, definitely I think that rust might show. I’ve been very active. I fought in August, November and just a couple of weeks ago. You lose a lot of rhythm when you don’t fight for a while so that might definitely be an advantage that I have going into this fight.
Can you use your boxing style that you currently have to defeat Davis or do you feel you need to adopt another style and how quickly can you adopt that style?
No my style will definitely not change. That’s been my style. I didn’t think this fight would come so soon but I definitely was looking at being champion at 130. This is a great opportunity that’s been given to me to fight this upcoming week. My style will not change. I will look toward the knockout against Gervonta Davis. If you’ve seen my 39 wins, 33 have come via the knockout. So I’m going to maintain my style, that’s the way I fight.
Thank you so much Hugo for joining us for that part of the call.
Now we’re going to turn it back over to Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions to make the formal introduction for Gervonta Davis and his trainer Calvin Ford.
Thank you Kelly. This next gentleman, he’s really more than a coach. His call of duty, it really goes far beyond the ring. And because of his actions, he really gained and earned respect from many different people including myself, in addition to all the young kids that are out there, all the teens and a lot of fighters that he mentors.
He’s really helped people through the streets of Baltimore. He’s done a phenomenal job in playing a vital role in Gervonta’s entire career. He sets a really positive example for all the youth that are in that particular area. There’s not enough accolades to go around to say about Calvin. So without further ado I’d like to introduce Calvin Ford, trainer of Gervonta Davis.
Training camp has been going great. We’ve made a transition here to Los Angeles. Everything is going fine and whatnot. We were looking forward to fighting Abner Mares. Just looking forward for that, but this happens in a fight. I hope he gets better so we actually get another chance at him but right now we’re just concerned about this new opponent we have in front of us.
I think he a little bit stronger and I know from watching some of his, he’s going to come to put on a good show for this upcoming fight with Gervonta Davis.
He became the youngest reigning American champion in 2017 obviously fighting on SHOWTIME after knocking out Jose Pedraza at just 22-years-old. He became also the youngest two-time world champion last April when he knocked out Jesus Cuellar in round three.
So without further ado, he’s earned the reputation in sports and entertainment as being the next PPV star, the WBA Super Featherweight Champion of the World, Gervonta “Tank” Davis.
I just want to say I’m excited for February 9. I’m looking forward to my new opponent. Sorry to the fans who purchased tickets thinking that I was fighting Abner. My main focus was fighting Abner.
February 9 I’m just trying to give them an action-packed fight no matter who I fight. I’ll put on a great performance for the fans so they can enjoy the fight and go home with something to talk about.
What was your mindset when you first heard that Abner got injured?
I was actually asleep when I got a call that Abner pulled out. At first I thought he was lying but then I had to think, if I was in his shoes I knew his health means more than our fight. Hopefully he will be okay and we’ll get another shot at fighting him sometime in 2019 but my main focus is on February 9 and on my new opponent.
Why do you truly believe that Ruiz is a stronger opponent than Abner?
I believe that he’s stronger because look at his knockout ratio. He’s 39 and 4 with 33 knockouts. That had to play a big part. And I didn’t even know he was coming up from 126. I didn’t know that. I just knew that they gave me a new opponent. I didn’t know who he was, I’m just excited for February 9.
How relieved are you knowing that everything you have set out for 2019 is going to stay on course?
I’m actually in a better space knowing that I. I never had dates lined up like this with me being the main event. I have my dates and I’m just super excited. This camp I really haven’t been down, so I’ve been happy knowing that I have a big future and three big fights lined up for me. I’m just excited. I’m just soaking it all in, making sure I’m training hard so every fight I bring excitement to the sport. I’m just, I’m in a great space right now.
What do you think is the main difference between Hugo Ruiz and Abner Mares stylistically if there is any?
I believe that Hugo, he’s more aggressive than Abner. I think he has more pop on his punches. I just watched a little clip of him. I haven’t studied him like that. I just watched a little a clip once I knew who I was fighting just to be aware of what I have in front of me.
Did you actually get a chance to watch Hugo at all when you were there at his last fight?
I was doing a SHOWTIME interview right after. So my main focus was the SHOWTIME interview so I didn’t watch his fight.
Gervonta have you heard the criticisms that you replaced one guy moving up in weight for another guy moving up in weight? How would you respond to that?
My mind was focused on Abner. Not to throw any other fighter under the bus but, Vasyl Lomachenko, he fought someone that was two weight classes under him and not only one time, he fought another person that was smaller than him, Rigondeaux and Miguel Marriaga.
But I’m just excited to put on a great show no matter who I’m in there with. It’s all about the performance that Gervonta Davis puts on and I’m here to put on a great performance.
Leonard was it in your mind and belief that we will absolutely salvage this show and find somebody for Gervonta Davis?
Most definitely. That was definitely the mindset. Obviously he’s a prideful champion. He’s been off for, it’ll be ten months when he steps in the ring and he needed to fight. So Hugo was the best available guy that we could find. He’s in shape. He’s ready. He’s a proud Mexican warrior. He’s going to put on a very entertaining fight for all the fans in attendance and all the fans that are watching on SHOWTIME.
Have there been any changes in preparation or training camp by the time you guys found out about the new opponent, or since it was too close to fight day have you guys been pretty much sticking to the same routine?
No we’ve been sticking to the same routine. We didn’t change anything. Actually Gervonta has various different sparring partners in there because I’m still a student of the game too and I always say you never know when a fighter is going to change their stuff. If you look at when Gennady Golovkin fought Danny Jacobs, he went southpaw. So you have to prepare yourself for anything that’s going to happen that night. So we look at different looks and just like you prepare for anything else. Most coaches and trainers want to prepare for any situation that’s going to come so you’ll be prepared for it.
This camp I actually sparred different type of guys. I sparred someone that’s come after me. He was much taller with a longer reach, so I thank him for the work and things like that because now I needed it. I’m excited. Nothing other than training. We’ll adapt to whatever was in front of us, so. I’m just excited to see what he brings February 9.
Is there a lot more excitement for this fight considering that it’s been a long time since you last fought?
I’m just excited. This is my first main event in the US, so like I said I’m in a great space right now. I know that 2019 is very big for me and I’m just soaking it all in. I don’t feel like I should be nervous though when you have good food on your plate. I’m just, I’m ready.
How will you take advantage of the taller fighter with the longer reach, how do you plan to take advantage of this guy?
We’re not going to try to take advantage, we’re just going to see, what type of fight he’s going to bring. Tank, he’s in a good spirit. He’s been great this camp. He’s been coming in doing what we asking him to do. If you look at his Instagram he’s been posting how he’s coming along. Everything has been on point.
So when we look at a situation of opponent change, we want to roll with it. The main thing is, we want to put on a good performance, because at the end of the day that’s what you all are going to talk about especially after the long layoff.
So we’ve been preparing for the long layoff. We want to make him look sharper and like he never was off the ring. That’s going to show that he’s not looking past this opponent right here, but to let everyone know, man he’s the truth and that’s what we trying to show. Tank is the truth. Gervonta is the truth.
What do you consider a good performance?
Like I always say if you watch any of my interviews it’s what the opponent brings to Tank because you all still haven’t seen the best of Tank. Watching him sparring with certain people and doing certain thing, it gets real exciting there. So I’m just waiting to see what Tank does.
Tank is like Michael Jordan to me in the ring. He puts on a show and makes you watch what he going to do next. So that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking for a great performance from him.
For me it’s just getting in there to do what I do best. I want to just capitalize off of that mistake and make them pay for it all night, that’s all. Show them that I’m not just best in my weight class, I’m probably like one of the best fighters on TV, if not the best.
Leonard what assurances did you get from each other that that everything was going to go smooth this year?
It’s actions. He knows firsthand that in 2018 a lot of things happened and a lot of things people don’t know about and that those were personal things. Again he’s a young man. He made a few mistakes and he stepped up. He owned those mistakes and he’s moved on.
He wants to have a phenomenal year and everything’s in place for him to do that. We think the world of Gervonta Davis. We think that he’s going to eventually be the biggest star in this sport and right now he’s the most exciting fighter in the entire sport.
So that’s what we’re looking forward to, him just getting back. That’s why Floyd was very adamant to me when Abner fell out. He called me it was, like really the wee hours of the morning and he said, “Tank has to fight.” And we’re all on the same page with that.
He’s young, he needs to be active. He wants to be out there showcasing his skills to show you that he is what he is. And again come next Saturday night I think we can expect another sensational performance from Tank.
Leonard was Ruiz on that short list immediately or did you initially reach out to other fighters who ultimately declined?
Yes, there was a short list but I want to give props to Tom Brown. With Tom being a Hall of Fame matchmaker and an excellent promoter, and again with having the resources and having worked with a lot of these fighters, being in his position, it made things that much easier.
So there were a few options, a few guys we looked at but this was the best guy who was available. We know style-wise that he brings excitement. He’s a very aggressive fighter with a bunch of knockouts. And he’s coming to bring the fight for the fans. He’s a proud Mexican warrior and we know there’s going to be a very entertaining fight. His style and Tank’s style are matched very well and it’s going to be a very, very entertaining fight.
Gervonta how are you maintaining your focus with the opponent change?
I’m not tripping off of changing opponents and things like that because when I actually first started, they used to change my opponents a lot. A lot of fighters used to pull out and things like that. And also I came from the amateurs. We used to fight five times a week and with different opponents then.
So I’m not really tripping off the opponent change. All I’m here to do is put on a good performance on February 9 and we’re looking forward to it.
Okay great. Gervonta we’re all looking forward to it and we appreciate how great of a boxing star you are for this sport and the sports world in general. So congratulations on your careers to date and we look forward to seeing you fight on Saturday night. Thank you so much to the media for joining us and we will see you next week at the fights.
Three-Division, Four-Time World Champion Abner Mares Sustains Injury; Forced To Withdraw From Match Against WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis.
Davis Now Set To Take on Former World Champion Hugo Ruiz in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Main Event Saturday, February 9 at Dignity Health Sports Park In Carson, California live on SHOWTIME®
LOS ANGELES (January 30, 2019) -Three-division, four-time champion Abner Mares has been forced to pull out of the WBA Super Featherweight title match against two-time super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis on Saturday, February 9 after suffering an injury while training.
Davis will now defend against former world champion Hugo Ruiz in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, with coverage beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Ruiz is an all-action brawler who previously picked up a world title at super bantamweight in 2015 and most recently defeated Alberto Guevara in January on the Pacquiao vs. Broner PPV event in a featherweight fight. Ruiz, who owns 18 first round knockouts, floored Guevara in the opening minute and cruised to a near-shutout decision victory.
He had originally been slotted for an interim title shot against Jhack Tepora in January before Tepora missed weight, but will now have his chance to fight for a belt against one of the most-feared punchers at 130-pounds on February 9. The 30-year-old from Sinaloa, Mexico stands at five feet, nine inches tall, nearly four inches taller than Davis, and has won three straight fights leading up to this fight.
“I trained for three months to fight a southpaw when I fought in January,” said Ruiz. “When the opponent changed, it was hard to adjust in 24 hours. After the fight I immediately went back to the gym, because you never know what’s going to happen in boxing. I’m 100 percent ready to knockout Gervonta Davis.”
“Hugo Ruiz has another opportunity to fight for a world title because he’s demonstrated that he’s devoted to boxing and his career,” said Sampson Lewkowicz, Ruiz’s Promoter. “He went right back to the gym after his last fight. He’s ready for another great opportunity to be a world champion and he’s going to take advantage of that opportunity.”
Mares injured his right elbow during sparring at the Robert Garcia Boxing Gym in Riverside, Calif. Mares said he had experienced soreness in his elbow following the past two fights, but nothing that had ever given him nor his team concern.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat this. I’m disappointed and devastated that I’ve injured my right elbow in sparring,” Mares said. “This is something that I haven’t had happen to me during my career and the feeling is just horrible. I will be going to see my doctor about this and am prepared to follow whatever recommendations and rehab that gets me back into the ring. I’m healthy, not afraid of doing the work and I will be back. This is a temporary setback. Don’t count me out.”
“Boxing is a sport of brains, passion and physical punishment,” said Mares’ trainer Robert Garcia. “When you’re in the ring sparring with talented, top-class sparring partners, the chances of injuries are very high. That was the situation in this case. He was sparring top young fighters and he injured his elbow. He cannot fight like that, especially in a fight against Davis.”
Mares, who has engaged in numerous memorable fights throughout his storied career, was seeking to move up in weight and looking to capture his fifth world title in a fourth weight class.
MANNY PACQUIAO DEFENDS WBA WELTERWEIGHT WORLD TITLE WITH UNANIMOUS DECISION OVER ADRIEN BRONER ON SHOWTIME PPV® FROM THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS
Photo Credits- Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Marcus Browne Wins WBA Light Heavyweight Title With Unanimous Decision Over Bloodied Badou Jack; Nordine Ouballi Captures Vacant WBC Bantamweight World Title With Unanimous Over Rau’shee Warren
Pacquiao vs. Broner Main Event To Air Saturday, January 26 At 9 p.m. ET/PT Followed Later That Evening By ALL ACCESS: PACQUIAO VS. BRONER EPILOGUE
LAS VEGAS (Jan. 19, 2019) – All-time great Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao cruised to a comfortable unanimous decision over Adrien “The Problem” Broner to defend his WBA Welterweight World Championship on SHOWTIME PPV® Saturday night in front of a sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The scores were 117-111, 116-112 twice.
The global icon and boxing’s only eight-division champion Pacquaio – who was fighting for the first time as a 40-year-old, and the first time in the United State in more than two years – used effective jabs and sustained body work in his 70th professional fight that was watched by an announced attendance of 13,025 fans, including the retired Floyd Mayweather.
“I proved in my last fight against [Lucas] Matthysse and now I proved it again: The Manny Pacquiao journey will still continue,” Pacquiao said.
Asked by SHOWTIME’s Jim Gray if he would like to rematch Mayweather in the future, Pacquiao said he’d do it if Mayweather unretired.
“Tell him to come back to the ring and we will fight,” Pacquaio said. “I’m willing to fight Floyd Mayweather again if he’s willing to come back to boxing.”
SHOWTIME Sports official scorer Steve Farhood scored the fight 118-110 in favor of the Filipino Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), giving Cincinnati’s Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) only the fourth and the 10th rounds.
Broner said he thought he did enough to win the fight. “I beat him,” he said. “Everybody out there knows I beat him. I controlled the fight, he was missing. I hit him clean more times. I beat him.”
Pacquiao maintained a strong pace throughout the fight, throwing 47 punches per round compared to Broner, who averaged almost half that output. Broner was limited to single-digit total connects in every round while Pacquiao exceeded double-digits five times.
“I wanted to push more but my trainer said don’t be careless,” Pacquiao said. “Wait for him, counter, and that’s what I did.”
In the co-feature, Staten Island native Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) won defeated a bloodied Badou Jack (22-2-3, 13 KOs) by upset unanimous decision for the Interim WBA Light Heavyweight belt. The scores were 119-108, 117-110, 116-111.
Jack suffered a gruesome five-inch cut to his forehead after an accidental clash of heads in the seventh round of the fight. The former Olympian Browne told Gray the head butt did not affect the outcome of the fight.
“He couldn’t find me before that [head butt],” said the 28-year-old Browne, who made his professional debut on ShoBox: The New Generation following the 2012 Olympics. “He couldn’t find me. I was just too sharp, too slick, too anything. He was coming with his head all night. He kept coming with his head.”
The Las Vegas resident and former two-division champion Jack was taken immediately to the hospital for observation. Jack, who was fighting in his seventh consecutive world title fight, gave all the credit to Browne. “I was flat,” he said. “I don’t know what it was, but no excuses. I would love the rematch. Now I have to rest, get the head fixed and hopefully get that chance in the future.”
Browne was the more active fighter, throwing 515 total punches to 303 for Jack. Browne connected on 103 of his power punches compared to just 58 for Jack.
The taller, southpaw Browne said he stuck to his game-plan and peppered Jack continuously with his strong straight left jab. “He thought he was going to take me to deep water and drown me, but I was in shape,” he said. “Teddy Atlas, you think you have the best light heavyweight? (Oleksandr) Gvozdyk, let’s go.
“I just used my athletic ability and did what I do best, and that’s box the hell out of people.”
In a rematch of their close 2012 Olympic showdown, France’s Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11 KOs) captured the vacant WBC Bantamweight World Title with a unanimous decision against Cincinnati’s Rau’shee Warren (16-3, 4 KOs). The scores were 117-111, 116-112, 115-113.
“This was my dream,” said Oubaali, who was making his U.S. debut. “I made my dream come true, my American dream. I want to thank all the people of America and France who supported me.”
By winning the all-southpaw matchup, the 32-year-old Oubaali became the first French-born champion in 11 years.
The first six rounds were close as both fighters were separated by four or fewer punches. Oubaali controlled the fight in the middle rounds, with SHOWTIME’s official scorer Steve Farhood giving the more active Oubaali rounds five through 10 before giving Warren the close 11th.
“I felt like I was doing pretty good in the beginning of the fight but after the fifth or sixth I let off the gas,” said Warren, a former world champion. “I was using my jab and wanted to finish it with my left hand. The judges saw it the way it was. He wanted it more. You could tell. He had his foot on the gas.”
The seventh round was the most action-packed of the fight with Oubaali going on the attack and hurting Warren by landing effective combinations. Oubaali pulled away in the final six rounds as he out-landed Warren 100-51 in total punches and was the effective aggressor and the more active fighter.
Following the ninth round, Warren’s trainer Barry Hunter could be heard telling Warren he needed each of the final three rounds if he was going to win the fight.
“I put on the pressure,” Oubaali said. “I had the speed. He is a very good boxer – he’s slick, and he’s smart. This is a very big night to win my first world championship.”
In the telecast opener, Hugo Ruiz (39-4, 32 KOs) was successful in his featherweight debut as he dominated late replacement Alberto Guevara (27-4, 12 KOs), knocking him down once in the opening minute of the fight and winning easily on all three judges’ scorecards 100-89, 99-90 twice.
The fast starting Ruiz, who has 18 previous knockouts in round one, showed his early power and he sent the former two-time world title challenger Guevara to the canvas with a strong right followed by a left uppercut at 1:41 of the first round.
“It was hard for me training for a southpaw and then getting a new opponent I knew nothing about,” said the 30-year-old Ruiz, from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, who is a former world champion at 122 pounds. “The other guy was a puncher and this guy is a boxer. It’s tough to fight a guy who is just trying to survive out there and running. He came in and got caught early, and that set the pace for the rest of the fight.”
Mexico’s Guevara was fighting on just one days’ notice after Jhack Tepora failed to make the 126-pound weight limit on Friday.
“It was supposed to be a title fight,” Ruiz said. “I was so disappointed and my mind wasn’t totally in it.”
PACQUIAO VS. BRONER PPV UNDERCARD FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS
Photos Credits-Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
Two-Division Champion Badou Jack Battles Unbeaten Marcus Browne for Interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title
Former Champion Rau’shee Warren Takes on Unbeaten Nordine Oubaali for Vacant WBC Bantamweight World Championship
Unbeaten Jhack Tepora Defends WBA Interim Featherweight Title Against Former Champion Hugo Ruiz
Saturday, January 19 on Pacquiao vs. Broner SHOWTIME PPV® Event From the MGM Grand Garden Arena In Las Vegas & Presented by Premier Boxing Champions
LAS VEGAS (January 17, 2019) – Before they enter the ring on the undercard of this Saturday’s Pacquiao vs. Broner SHOWTIME PPV® event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, fighters competing in PPV action squared-off against their opponents at the final press conference Thursday in Las Vegas.
The press conference saw a stare down and some verbal sparring between former two-division world champion Badou Jack and unbeaten contender Marcus Browne as they near their battle for the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Title.
The event also featured former champion Rau’shee Warren and unbeaten Nordine Oubaali, who battle for the vacant WBC Bantamweight World Championship, and WBC Interim Featherweight Champion Jhack Tepora and former champion Hugo Ruiz, who compete in a 12-round attraction that opens the PPV at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
In the main event, Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao,boxing’s only eight-division world champion, will end his two-year hiatus from a U.S. boxing ring when he returns to Las Vegas to defend his World Boxing Association Welterweight World Title against former four-division world champion and must-see attraction Adrien “The Problem” Broner.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with About Billions Promotions, are on sale now and start at $200, not including applicable service charges, and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from MGM Grand:
“We had a great camp. As usual, I’ve been in the gym training hard. It’s nothing new to me. I’m on weight and I’m full of energy. I feel blessed.
“Marcus Browne is a young up-and-coming guy. You have to respect everyone who steps into the ring. I’m ready for this challenge.
“On paper Marcus Browne isn’t on the level with the guys who I’ve fought. Who knows? He might be a great champion. But either way, I’m focused on what’s in front of me. If he doesn’t respect this challenge, that might be his downfall.
“Everybody opponent has talked about me and said I’m a basic fighter, but after the fight, they have excuses. I don’t want to hear any excuses after Saturday.
“If Marcus Browne really believes that this is his time, then that will bring the best out of me. I’m not a trash talker, but I’m extremely motivated now. I hope he comes to fight. My prediction is to win and dominate.
“Marcus has never been in this position so I think he’s a little nervous or he doesn’t know how to act. He’s disrespecting world champions and he’s never even won a title.
“I’m dedicating this fight to all of the refugees out there. If you go to badoujackfoundation.org you can find out about the refugee kids that I’m fighting for.”
“My team has sacrificed their holiday to grind it out with me in camp and It’s got me ready for Saturday night. I’m in the best shape of my life physically, spiritually and mentally.
“I have respect for Badou Jack for stepping up to the plate and giving me this opportunity. In boxing you have to fight the guys who are hungry for opportunities and I’m that guy.
“I’m not trying to disrespect anyone he’s fought, but I feel like he hasn’t fought top level guys since moving up to this division. I’m young and hungry and I’m ready to go. I’m a different animal than what he’s seen.
“Hopefully after this fight they’ll say that this kid has something about him. Some pizazz, some sauce that I never seen before. My ideal year is winning this fight and getting on the phone and then discussing future plans.”
“I’m ready man. I’m focused, I’m hungry, I’m ready to get in there, weigh in and do what I have to do. I’m tired of talking. I’ve been put on hold a couple times, but I’m prepared for this moment right now.
“Badou is a strong, smart-headed as a fighter and just disciplined. A win over Badou would give me the respect that I deserve. But I gotta win first, and that’s what I’m here to do.
“I’m ready to go right now. I’ve worked so hard for this moment in my career. He’s fought six world champions in a row, but he hasn’t fought a real light heavyweight like myself. Come Saturday night, we’re going to go wherever we have to go to get this victory. I’m leaving Las Vegas with this win.”
“I had a wonderful training camp. There’s nothing like fighting someone you lost to in the Olympics. I know Roy Jones Jr. felt like that when he got cheated in the Olympics. In this rematch, It’s going to be a way different fight.
“I’ve been in camp for about three months. My coach has seen me overcome different situations in training. I had the toughest sparring I’ve ever had in camp and I want to thank them for getting me to this point.
“Oubaali hasn’t fought anyone like me. Getting in the ring with me is a whole different story than when we met the first time. It’s an honor to get my revenge.
“I’m a different fighter from when I fought for the title the first time. In this fight I’ve picked up something different, which is my jab. I feel like I’m going to control the whole fight with my jab, my speed and my timing.
“In the professional ranks you have to sit down and pick your shot more than you did in the amateurs. When I land that shot, I’m going to put my foot on the gas and finish the job.”
“I’m doing this for everyone who supports me and helped me to this moment. Saturday is a big fight for me to get my first world title.
“To have this fight in Las Vegas makes me very happy. This is the fight capital of the world and it makes it an even more special moment to be here.
“I fought Rau’shee Warren in the amateurs, but I know in the pros it’s totally different. I know that I have progressed even more since I turned pro and am better than when we fought in the Olympics.
“Rau’shee is a good, smart and slick fighter, but I have the strategy for this win. I have the power that he lacks. I’m going to accomplish my American dream.
“I came here to win a world title, not look at the lights. People may not know me now, but after this fight, people will know my name and know I’m a world champion.”
“I’m ready for this fight and I’m thankful to Manny Pacquiao and my team for making this happen. I wish my opponent good luck and I’ll see you in the ring Saturday.
“I’m just excited for Saturday night and I can’t wait to step into the ring and show the world my abilities and what I can do.
“I don’t go into a fight expecting a knockout, but it comes automatically to me. The same thing will happen this Saturday. Knockout win.”
“I’m very emotional and I’m thankful for everyone who helped me get this opportunity. My team is a family and we’re here to take advantage of this opportunity.
“I have a big responsibility to come and put on a good fight for everyone in the arena and watching on SHOWTIME and all over the world.
“I’m tall enough and strong enough for this weight class and I’m coming to get another knockout on Saturday. I’m more experienced than Tepora and I believe that I know how to start fast and break my opponent down.
“I have won titles at bantamweight and super bantamweight and now I’m going to become champion at featherweight and continue to prove I am a great fighter.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“This is a terrific undercard. I’ve promoted 14 PPV fights over the last 12 years, and hands down this is the best undercard thus far. It’s just a great night from top to bottom.
“Tepora vs. Ruiz will certainly be an all-action fight to open the telecast. Rau’shee Warren will enter trained by the renowned team of Barry Hunter and Patrice Harris, while Oubaali has the legend Roy Jones Jr. in his corner. I believe this all adds up to a war on Saturday.
“The co-main event could possible steal the show. Mayweather Promotions’ own Badou Jack will be taking on Marcus Browne, who’s a great fighter that is very hungry. Marcus feels like this is his time and he feels he’s going to prove it on Saturday.
“Words can’t express how I feel about Badou Jack. He’s my favorite fighter. He’s done so much for the sport in a short period of time. He’s looking to put on a great show come Saturday night.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
“The combined record of these six fighters is 134 wins against just seven losses. You don’t see that level of quality top to bottom very often. These are also exciting all-action affairs.
“Tepora is coming off six straight knockouts, and 11 knockdowns in those fights. He’s looking to keep that streak going. If you’ve seen Hugo Ruiz fight, you’ve probably seen him in a Fight of the Year candidate, because that’s what he does.
“Rau’shee Warren and Nordine Oubaali are fighting in an Olympic rematch. Rau’shee is another fighter with high-quality fights on his resume, and Oubaali is aggressive himself, with five straight knockouts.
“Badou Jack vs. Marcus Browne is a matchup of two top-10 light heavyweights who were homegrown on SHOWTIME. This is Badou’s 13th appearance and Marcus 8th appearance on the network. Badou has one of the strongest resumes in boxing and is one of the underappreciated stars in the sport. He’s facing another great fighter in Marcus Browne, who’s looking to keep his unbeaten streak alive.
“Top to bottom this is a card worthy of your attention. We’re proud of what we put together and we’ll see you on Saturday night.”
Two-Division Champion Badou Jack Battles Undefeated Top Contender Marcus Browne for WBA Interim 175-Pound Title On Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner SHOWTIME PPV®
Presented by Premier Boxing Champions Saturday, January 19 From the MGM Grand Garden Arena In Las Vegas
Plus! Former World Champion Rau’shee Warren Meets Unbeaten Nordine Oubaali for Vacant WBC Bantamweight Title & Unbeaten Featherweight Jhack Tepora Takes on
Former World Champion Hugo Ruiz
LAS VEGAS (December 17, 2018) – Two-division world champion Badou Jack will battle unbeaten top-rated contender Marcus Browne for the WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Title Saturday, January 19 on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner SHOWTIME PPV® event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The pay-per-view undercard will also see former world champion Rau’shee Warren taking on France’s Nordine Oubaali for the vacant WBC Bantamweight World Championship in a rematch of their 2012 Olympic matchup that was edged by Oubaali. In the opening bout of the four-fight PPV telecast, unbeaten Jhack Tepora will take on former world champion Hugo Ruiz in a 12-round featherweight clash.
In the main event, Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, will end his two-year hiatus from a U.S. boxing ring when he returns to Las Vegas to defend his World Boxing Association Welterweight World Title against former four-division world champion and must-see attraction Adrien “The Problem” Broner.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with About Billions Promotions, are on sale now and start at $100, not including applicable service charges, and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.
“Not only will the fans witness a tremendous main event, they will get to enjoy three action-packed match-ups that will add another level to the pay-per-view portion of the card,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Both Jhack Tepora and Hugo Ruiz are looking to make a name for themselves in the stacked featherweight division, while Rau’shee Warren and Nordine Oubaali are in the prime of their careers and battling for the WBC title. Mayweather Promotions’ Badou Jack has made an exemplary statement for his career inside and outside of the ring and is focused on further strengthening his resume, while Marcus Browne is looking to showcase his talent on boxing’s biggest stage.”
Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs) has fought twice at light heavyweight since relinquishing his super middleweight world title to campaign at 175 pounds. The 35-year-old, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden, represented his father’s Gambia in the 2008 Olympics and now lives in Las Vegas. Jack won the super middleweight world title with a majority decision against Anthony Dirrell in 2015 and successfully defended the title three times before he relinquished the belt following a hard-fought majority draw against James DeGale in one 2017’s best fights. In his first bout at 175 pounds, Jack stopped Nathan Cleverly to pick up the WBA light heavyweight title before fighting to a majority draw against Adonis Stevenson in his last fight on May 19.
“I’m looking forward to getting back onto another big stage to perform for my fans across the globe and prove I am one of the best fighters in the world,” said Jack. “I plan to show off my skills with a dominating performance on January 19. I always want to fight the best, and he’s the best that’s available right now. I’m always 100 percent ready and I’m going into this fight stronger, faster and with more experience than ever before.”
The 28-year-old Browne (22-0, 16 KOs) will be taking a step up to face an elite opponent when he battles Jack. A member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team, Browne moved up the contender ladder in the 175-pound division with brute force and power, scoring three straight knockout victories against Thomas Williams, Jr., Sean Monaghan and Francy Ntetu. Browne, who was born and raised in Staten Island, N.Y., scored a unanimous decision victory over Lenin Castillo in his last fight on August 4.
“This is really an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to showcase my talents on a big time pay-per-view card featuring Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner,” Browne said. “Badou Jack is a championship-caliber fighter and one of the toughest guys you can fight in the light heavyweight division. I’m ready for the step up in competition and focused on being a household name in the sport sooner rather than later.”
Warren (16-2, 4 KOs) is looking to return to the world championship ranks with a victory over Oubaali. The 31-year-old became the first three-time Olympic boxer from the U.S. when he qualified for consecutive Olympic teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012. His Olympic run came to an end against Oubaali when he lost a narrow 19-18 decision in the first round of the 2012 London Games. A southpaw from Cincinnati, Ohio, Warren won the WBA Bantamweight World Championship with a majority decision over Juan Carlos Payano in 2016 and lost the title the next year to Zhanat Zhakiyanov by split-decision.
“This fight means everything for me and it’s about to be the biggest moment of my career,” Warren said. “Not only am I fighting for the WBC belt, but it’s on pay-per-view. When I first won the title it was like winning the gold medal at the Olympics. After I lost the title, it made me much hungrier and I want to get it back even more. I fought this guy in the Olympics, so I’m fighting for revenge. This isn’t the Olympics. This is 12 rounds and I don’t think he’s fought anybody like me. I have no choice but to put it all on the line on January 19.”
The 32-year-old Oubaali (14-0, 11 KOs), an unbeaten southpaw from Lens, Pas-de-Calais, France, has knocked out his last five opponents. His most recent KO of Luis Melendez on April 17 moved Oubaali up the ranks to position him for a world title shot. Oubaali, who is the sixth of 18 children born in France to parents who are from Morocco, twice represented France at the Olympics, qualifying in 2008 and 2012 when he defeated Warren.
“Many people are waiting for this fight because it’s the second time we meet,” said Oubaali. “I beat Rau’shee Warren at the 2012 London Games in a great battle. In the meantime, Rau’shee captured a world championship and lost it. Right now, I’m the WBC No. 1 ranked bantamweight fighter in the world. It will be a great fight in Las Vegas on January 19 and I intend to beat Rau’shee again to become the new WBC world champion.”
The 25-year-old Tepora (22-0, 17 KOs) has steadily risen up the ranks since turning pro in 2012 and most recently captured the WBA interim featherweight crown with a ninth-round stoppage of Edivaldo Ortega in July. Representing Cebu City, Philippines, Tepora enters his U.S. debut on January 19 with stoppage wins in 11 of his last 12 contests.
“It has always been a dream to fight in the United States,” said Tepora. “I never dreamed that my first fight in the U.S. would be on a card with Senator Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner. I look forward to a tremendous fight on January 19 and defending my title versus former world champion Hugo Ruiz. As you all know the best rivalry in boxing is Filipino vs. Mexican. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Fighting out of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, Ruiz (38-4, 33 KOs) will make his featherweight debut on January 19 after picking up two victories in 2018. The 30-year-old won a super bantamweight world title with a first round stoppage of Julio Ceja in 2016, avenging his previous loss to Ceja in one of 2015’s most exciting fights. He now seeks to position himself for a world title at 126 pounds with a victory against Tepora.
“I expect it to be a good fight because Tepora is undefeated and a good Filipino champion,” said Ruiz. “But I’m ready. I don’t think he can handle my power. I’m going to knock him out. I want to do my best to win the title. I’ve been watching videos of him and I’ve been training hard. I’m really focused on how to beat him. I’m still young, but I’ve got the experience to handle him in this fight.”