Category Archives: Premier Boxing Champions

David Benavidez Makes Dominant Return Stopping Love in 2

David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) made a huge statement in stopping veteran fighter J’Leon Love (24-3-1, 13 KOs) in the second round of their matchup. The contest took place at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas on March 16, 2019.

The first aired live on the PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View telecast which was headlined by Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia.

This was the first time Benavidez was seen in the ring in over a year when he defeated Ronald Gavril. Following a positive test for cocaine use, Benavidez was stripped of the WBC Super Middleweight title.

Benavidez didn’t just need to win on Saturday night, he needed to make a statement. He did exactly that as he made quick work of Love.

During the build up of their matchup both fighters quickly grew a dislike for one another. Love, who is traditionally a boxer that fights on his back foot, came out aggressive. He paid for it as Benavidez landed a few big shots that had him rattled with just a few seconds remaining in the first round.

The second started with Benavidez picking up right where he left off by hammering away at Love who had little-to-no answer. A right hand seemed to have Love out on his feet. From there, Benavidez landed a few more shots before the referee stopped the contest.

Following the knockout win Benavidez didn’t seem surprised in the slightest with the end result.

“I expected to knock him out,” said Benavidez. “But when I hit him with the first good shot, I knew he wasn’t going to last. I tried to pace myself, but it wasn’t necessary tonight.”

Now that he is officially back in action he quickly turned his attention to Anthony Dirrell who is in possession of the WBC title that was stripped of Benavidez.

“I saw Anthony Dirrell with the WBC belt,” said Benavidez. “He can’t call himself champion until he fights me. That’s my belt. I’m going to go get it. It’s mine.”

Dirrell won the vacant title over Avni Yildirim in February of this year by technical decision to lay claim to the belt. A clash between these is wanted and needed.

Benavidez was never defeated in the ring for the belt so his belief that he is still a champion is warranted. Dirrell however thinks otherwise. A matchup would settle the debate. Let’s make it happen.

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Errol Spence Jr. Shows Mikey Garcia He’s The Truth With Dominant Victory

The time finally came Saturday night, March 16, 2019 in Arlington, Texas, live from AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys.

IBF Welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. took on pound-for-pound great and four division champion Mikey Garcia in scheduled 12-round championship bout.

The highly-anticipated matchup brought all the stars to Jerry’s World, including a who’s who of boxing greats both new school and old. Everyone in the building was wondering the same thing, what’s going to happen during the main event?

In the lead up to this bout, Garcia was adamant that he possessed the blueprint to defeat arguably the most dangerous Welterweight in the division. In an era of boxing where fighters take calculated risks, Mikey Garcia dared to be great. Spence welcomed this challenge and promised to put on a spectacle for the masses. Both fighters made that long walk to the ring with roars from the crowd echoing throughout the stadium, it was time to fight.

Like many high-profile fights, the opening round was tense and neither fighter attempted anything too risky outside of establishing a jab and pace. Spence launched the jab and initiated a good amount, but Garcia followed up in the next round and let his hands go a bit more.

The tactical fight of two world champions had commenced. Spence began to find his range as his left hand was starting to find a home on the face of Garcia. For as many times as Garcia’s head was snapped back from the crisp double jab of Spence, Garcia held his ground.

In the fifth, Garcia came out and immediately rushed Spence back into his own corner and began to throw combinations, forcing the champion onto the ropes. At the midpoint of the fight, the Spence jab was the center point of the offensive attack and set up crisp and clean shots to Garcia’s head and body.

The mid-to-late rounds were all Spence and Garcia struggled to find his way inside the Spence guard. For every time that Garcia launched his attack, Spence was there to bully the smaller Garcia. The ninth round was dominated by the champion as he battered Garcia for virtually the entire three minutes, but Garcia’s heart and toughness were on full display despite being down on the cards.

The championship rounds had begun and Spence was in full control. Garcia was fighting on pure heart. Despite the cheers of the crowd after every landed shot from Spence, Garcia pressed on. Spence chopped away at the Garcia mid-section throwing hook after hook. Garcia needed a KO in the 12th to win the bout, but there’s a reason Errol Spence is named The Truth.

The final scorecards read 120-107 and 120-108 twice, all for Spence who dominated in front of his fans.

“The motivation fighting in front of my hometown crowd made me feel great. These people have supported me since day one and I wanted to put on a good performance for all of them,” said Spence after the unanimous-decision victory. “I give Mikey Garcia all the credit for taking this fight. I respect him so much and I appreciate him for stepping up.”

Garcia, who suffered his first professional loss, gave his opponent credit for executing a solid game plan.

“He came out here with a good game plan and kept the distance at his favor,” said Garcia after his first career loss. “I couldn’t get my rhythm going and he did what he had to do. I tried to make adjustments and he kept executing.”

Spence now seems to be moving on to his next big fish and all signs may lead to the eight division champion Manny Pacquiao.

“He’s broken records here before, he’s a legend in the sport and it’d be my honor to fight him next,” said the IBF champ after inviting Pacquiao into the ring.

With other names failing to step up to the plate–including Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter–a Pacman vs. Spence showdown is both pleasing and highly likely.

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Is Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia Good for Boxing?

When will decides to confront reason, an interest for the outcome is automatically conceived… and just like that, imagination is captured—for it’s that interest seeking results, that will always be amused until the day it finally meets the “truth”…(pun intended).

I believe this formula is best exercised through the boxing metaphor, and I will utilize this formula as a vehicle to explain the reason why I believe Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia is not only good for boxing, but why this fight is so important to the integrity of the sport. It serves as a reminder to the current and future generations of the sport, of what it takes to be great.

Imagination, curiosity, interest and demand—in that order–is the formula that boxing has applied to entice its sophisticated audience through a reminder of our still very relevant primitive drives.

The different factors that go into the formula determine the level of interest in a fight and it’s caliber. When the odds are stacked against a fighter, like Vanes Martirosyan vs. Gennady Golovkin, the interest is scarce and limited due to an inference to the best explanation, an easy prediction that doesn’t require much thinking.

When the formula involves two seemingly equals, like Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, for example, the interest in the fight expands because the public prediction is split right down the middle, 50/50, and the demand for boxing increases reinforcing its relevance… a good thing for boxing.

But every once in a while, there are those rare factors that rarely meet, who ultimately go on to fill in the void of their generation and represent their current state of boxing. Factors that far exceed rationality, factors that successfully capture the imagination–factors like Errol Spence and Mickey Garcia.

These rare fighting events (or matchups), go on to be recognized as mega fights. Since the “Fight of the Century” between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, mega fights are what the boxing public demands, and this Saturday, boxing will once again welcome its audience to find yet another answer we have all been waiting for.

Mickey Garcia, moving up two weight divisions to fight Errol Spence, a feared and avoided champion in his own weight division, is definitely good for boxing because the bravery and confidence in fighters nowadays seem to be foreign an alien. Garcia’s will to be great is reminding the current fighters of the standard a champion needs to follow in order to secure and emphasize their legacy as an all-time great. An old reminder; “If there’s no risk, there’s no glory.”

My imagination was captured when I first heard of the fight. The risks at stake for Garcia are huge, but the risks he’s taking will be the ultimate reward in his career. To use a word being loosely thrown around, a victory over Spence will grant Garcia “immortality.”

Garcia is following the giant footsteps that have been laid by memorable champions, and the standard Garcia is exercising is an example of a man daring to be great, again. All my praise goes to Garcia, he meets the Tao teachings of Lao Tzu: “The best athlete wants his opponent at his best.” And to speak on Garcia’s will: “When opposing forces are engaged in conflict, the one who fights with sorrow will triumph.” This factor is the reason why this fight is so intriguing.

Spence has so much at stake also, and is the man with more to lose, although, in my opinion, Spence will dominate Garcia. I don’t see the fight pass six rounds because of how confident Spence is in his abilities and skills.

This can also be the reason why he may seem to be overlooking Garcia’s determination, so Spence has to be as methodical as Garcia, otherwise, to quote again from the Tao Te Ching: “There is no greater misfortune than underestimating your opponent. To underestimate your opponent is to forsake your three treasures.”

But in the end, two fighters willing to put their perfect records at stake will sure bring out the best of each other’s abilities come Saturday night.

Furthermore, something about Garcia caught my attention during Wednesday’s final press conference, something that made me reaffirm the foundation of my prediction. With my imagination already captured, I imagined the face-off taking place on the street or in a park. Two kids from the hood, champions of the street, rumor of their city, hours away from finally facing each other.

On the left side stands Errol Spence, looking down on Garcia’s gaze, confident in his preparation and determined by his belief of already being the best in the world, looks dead into Garcia’s eyes. Ready. On the left stands Garcia, brought there by his fighting fate. Uncertain whether to look ahead of him and engage in the stare-down, or steer his eyes away from Spence’s— he didn’t look too confident.

The point of no return has been left far behind and Garcia has no other option than to honor his fighters code with dignity and give his all. If he wins, that’s a plus, but for him, having faced an opponent like Spence, and surviving to tell the tale, is the real victory, the kind of victory he’s there for…the kind of victory that will always find him victorious.

Then, when both men turned around to face the cameras after their face-off, Spence looks at the audience, expressionless, ready, and solid like a rock. Garcia, on the other hand, seemed to have digested the reality of the situation he found himself in and the impact of the danger ahead of him became evident in his expression, full of doubt as he halfheartedly smiled at the cameras.

Seeing the face-off through the lens of my imagination, in the street setting, I concluded that Spence will be the clear winner based on face value.

Spence will more than likely dominate Garcia, especially if Garcia’s idea of successful determination lies on the hope of summoning hidden aggression that he believes will surmount through to a victory.

This clash of will vs. skill, sparks interest because the limits of the will are unknown…and the unknown reward that dwells in the abyss of the will, is monolithic and far more rewarding in the instances in which it prevails.

So all in all, this type of excitement is what keeps people returning to the sport, and it raises the bar for future competitors to perform in a similar setting if of course, they dare to be great.

Again, its bouts like these that go on to demonstrate boxings essence, and the more fights like these we get, the less likely will people trade boxing for MMA. With that being said, yes, Spence vs. Garcia is definitely good for boxing.

“The ageless rivalry of thought propels the kind of actions that force a man to bring about the best of their ability and reveal the true essence of their character and that of his opponents—and in the realm where such fights exist, both men step into the ring already as ‘winners.’”

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Mikey Garcia vs. Errol Spence Jr. | Fight Preview & Prediction

IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) defends his title against four-division world champion Mikey Garcia (presented by Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event this Saturday, March 16, 2019, at the world famous AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View fights begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Read on for a complete preview and prediction for Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia and let us know who you are picking.


MAIN STORYLINES

Jason Janik/FOX Sports

A fight featuring two fighters on the pound for pound list is rare but is exactly what is going down Saturday night March 14th.

Mikey Garcia is rated seventh and Errol Spence Jr. 10th on The Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list.

Mikey Garcia is moving up two divisions from the Lightweight division after a unanimous decision win in the IBF & WBC unification fight against Robert Easter Jr. in July.

Garcia wants to put his name in the history books by challenging the boogeyman of the Welterweight.

If Garcia were to upset Spence Jr., and become a five-time world champion, he would immediately move to the top of the boxing world alongside fellow Mexican fighter, Canelo Alvarez.

Spence Jr. wants to be the best in the division, and in the world that is no secret. He wants the challenge of facing Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao, or Terence Crawford.

In the meantime of securing those unifying title fights,

Spence Jr. is accepting the challenge that Mikey Garcia poses in the ring. Garcia is another big-name opponent in Spence Jr’s way of becoming a boxing superstar and unifying the division.

These two fighters are known to be humble, not talk trash, and let their actions in the ring do the talking. However, the last scheduled press conference before the fight brought out the tension in both fighters.

Errol Spence Jr. said, “Keep that same energy, you been having, you want to act all humble here in front of me, but when you’re doing different interviews you want to talk trash, keep that same energy.”

He later exclaimed he was tired of the press conferences, interviews, and just wanted to get in the ring already.


STRENGTHS FOR EACH FIGHTER

Errol Spence Jr.

Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing

Errol Spence Jr.’s strengths are his power, body attack, and jab.

Spence Jr is the divisions hardest puncher, he has the power to stop anyone.

His body punching is relentless and will start immediately to wear down his opponent.

Spence Jr. has an excellent jab and everything he throws it set up and works off of the jab.

Mikey Garcia

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Mikey Garcia’s strengths are his footwork, combination punching, and power.

Garcia isn’t the quickest fighter, but his footwork and angles are excellent. This helps set up his offense or quickly turns defense into offense.

Garcia’s power is telling, he has 30 KOs in 39 fights. He has dropped fighters in every division on his way up to 147. His combination punching is smart and helps him hurt his opponents frequently.


WEAKNESSES FOR EACH FIGHTER

Errol Spence Jr.

Sky Sports

Errol Spence Jr. doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. He has a solid defensive game, good footwork, power, and accuracy.

Spence is patient, not a reckless fighter, he will take his time and then pounce on his opponent.

There isn’t something that Garcia can obviously take advantage of, outside of Spence being a southpaw.

Mikey Garcia

Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing

Mikey Garcia’s defense and finishing are his weaknesses.

Garcia lacks the killer instincts to finish his fights, most notably his last three bouts. One at 135 pounds, and two at 140 pounds. He is a boxer-puncher but doesn’t throw a high-volume of punches, there will be spots of inactivity.

Garcia’s defense isn’t elite, and he is there to be hit, he has the tendency to exchange in fights.


THE WINNER AND WHY

Showtime Boxing/ Amanda Westcott

Errol Spence Jr comes away with the victory due to his power, body punching, and patience.

There is little Garcia will be able to do to hurt Spence, or get in his head to break his cool and calm demeanor. Garcia is underestimating Spence Jr.’s elite boxing skills.

Errol Spence Jr. will take his time as we’ve seen him do in past fights. He will work the body of Garcia, and slowly dismantle him until the KO or TKO is evident.

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Video | Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia Weigh-In

Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia hit the scales and face off one last time before their championship clash on Saturday night.

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Video | David Benavidez Wants Caleb Plant

The PBC on FOX crew caught up with Benavidez in Dallas on Wednesday ahead of his fight against J’Leon Love.

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Head-to-Head Discussion | Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia

It’s been way too long, but Round By Round Boxing‘s Head-to-Head Discussions are officially back!

It’d be remiss of us not to shout out the semi-retired (or maybe fully retired?) boxing scribe Lou Catalano, who alongside RBRBoxing‘s Editor-in-Chief Alex Burgos launched the head-to-head idea after they met writing for Bleacher Report.

The head-to-head series is pretty straight forward and is basically just a fun way to argue. Two writers break down a fight with two keys to victory for their given fighter of choice.

What better way to make a return than to take on the highly-anticipated fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia.

In Spence Jr.’s corner we have the aforementioned Burgos, while Staff Writer Hans Themistode throws it down for Garcia.

Before the two undefeated combatants actually step into the ring on Saturday night, RBRBoxing‘s Alex Burgos and Hans Themistode go head to head and break down two keys to victory for each fighter.

Read on for the keys to victory and let us know who you think will win this Welterweight clash.


Key No. 1 for Mikey Garcia
Don’t Be A Hero

Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia

Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing

BY HANS THEMISTODE

I know we’ve all heard the reports and seen the videos of Mikey Garcia training at the SNAC facilities. From the outside looking in, it seems as though he has increased his muscle mass.

Garcia has never been a big guy by any stretch of the imagination, but for his contest against Errol Spence Jr. he knew he needed to change. In 39 professional fights, Garcia has taken out 30 of his opponents inside the distance. His power is more than respectable.

The Welterweight division and Errol Spence Jr. are a different beast entirely.

The need to build muscle mass is evident. Going up essentially two weight divisions and challenging the hardest hitter in said division is a tall order. It isn’t just that Spence Jr. has demoralizing power, but it’s also that he is huge for the division. Spence Jr. has the build of a Middleweight. Seeing him compete at that weight class one day would shock no one.

From all accounts, Garcia looks good. With his natural power and training that he has put forth in the SNAC facilities he should be able to get Spence Jr.’s respect, but please Mikey, don’t be a hero.

With his new found strength he could be looking for the knockout. That would be the wrong decision to make. Spence Jr. wants to turn this into a war. He understands that he has the size advantage and would welcome a fire fight.

What Garcia should do is stay on the outside and box. There are times where he should stand his ground, but those moments should be few and far between. Use the jab, create angles and box your way to a unanimous-decision victory.

 

Key No. 1 for Errol Spence Jr.
Don’t Get Cute

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

BY ALEX BURGOS

Errol Spence Jr. needs to be himself. Seem like an obvious key to victory? Well, how many times have we seen fighters look completely different when they’re in against another top-flight fighter. Too many times.

The Truth, the guy that many people think is the best Welterweight and will annihilate Mikey Garcia, is the one who needs to show up on Saturday night.

That version of Spence Jr. won’t be gun shy early on. He won’t stand in the pocket and simply feint or reset. He won’t be pushed back or be made to fight a fight that doesn’t benefit him. Those are all things that could happen, and if they do then Garcia will be in a great position to box 12 rounds and win a decision.

Spence Jr. must show the same confidence and style that he has against the likes of Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson and most recently Carlos Ocampo.

The point here is don’t get cute and try to become someone else. Be Errol Spence Jr. Be The Truth. There’s more than enough in that guys arsenal to defeat Mikey Garcia.

 

Key No. 2 for Mikey Garcia
Be Explosive And Accurate

Marilyn Paulino

BY HANS THEMISTODE

Mikey Garcia normally wins his fights with power and accuracy. He’s never been the fastest fighter, but in this matchup he holds the edge in that department as well over Errol Spence Jr.

Garcia needs to be first. Show Spence Jr. that there is a difference in hand speed. If he sits back and allows Spence Jr. to take the lead it’ll be a short night. Garcia also needs to be accurate with his shots, which shouldn’t be a problem. The four-division champion is extremely precise with his punches. Spence Jr. might try to outwork his smaller opponent, but that game plan will fall apart if Garcia is landing the cleaner and more effective blows.

Speed and accuracy shouldn’t be a problem for Garcia, but being his normal explosive self might be. Garcia has never campaigned in the 147-pound division. Sure he did win a title in the 140-pound division, but he only fought there one time in his career. His power needs to translate in his new division if he wants to compete with Spence Jr. No one expects him to be the stronger fighter, but he must gain Spence Jr.’s respect quickly or else he will be hunted down all night long.

The game plan seems simple but executing it is another thing. If Garcia can successfully land the cleaner shots, showcase his speed and prove that he still has plenty of pop in his fists then that will lead to an upset victory in the favor of Garcia.

 

Key No. 2 for Errol Spence Jr.
Work the Body

Marilyn Paulino

BY ALEX BURGOS

Errol Spence Jr. is a murderous body puncher. It’s the reason many folks–including myself–think Spence Jr. would fold Keith Thurman.

Mikey Garcia’s brother and trainer, Robert Garcia, famously said (before the Robert Easter fight) that Mikey doesn’t do sit-ups, and by the looks of his physique, no one has any reason to doubt that. For this fight though, Garcia teamed up with Victor Conte and the SNAC squad. Whether that adds to his punching power, ability to take a punch and stamina remains to be seen.

Regardless of if SNAC’s Kool-Aid gives Garcia any special powers, I’d make him prove that he can take it downstairs by working the body early and often.

The best way to welcome Garcia to the Welterweight division is by making him feel the pressure and tapping him to the body with straight lefts and hooks. Spence Jr. uses the straight to the body not only to measure his opponents but to hurt them. Once Spence Jr. gets on the inside, a place Mikey Garcia definitely doesn’t want to be, Spence Jr. should explode with hooks and look to break Garcia down.

As Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson, Carlos Ocampo and countless others eventually realized, Spence Jr. is not a fad or a gimmick–he’s The Truth.

 

Who do you agree with? Who will win Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia on Saturday, March 16, 2019? Drop a comment with your keys to victory.

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Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia: 3 Keys to Victory for The Truth

Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) takes on Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) Saturday night, March 16 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia have a lot to lose in this upcoming bout, but with a victory even more to gain. Both fighters are undefeated and looking to cement their legacy as one of the best fighters in boxing history.

Although all things look to be in Spence Jr.’s favor with Garcia moving up two weight classes and the fight taking place in Spence Jr.’s backyard—Garcia’s pure talent and power should not be slept on. This is one of the most anticipated bouts in recent years with two of the best in the business.

Saturday night, we are all in for a treat. This fight could go a number of different ways with a countless amount of outcomes. Though Spence Jr. is the obvious betting favorite going into this bout Garcia has been underestimated before and come out on top.

For Spence Jr. to continue his reign as IBF Welterweight champion of the world he must dial in on the following three keys to victory.


Be Physical

Janer Bigio

Errol Spence Jr. is the bigger man coming into this fight and he needs to make that very apparent to Mikey Garcia.

When the fight gets in close, Spence Jr. needs to push him around and show him that his power is going to be a difference maker.

In the clinch, Spence Jr. needs to push him off and keep coming forward. If Spence Jr. is able to keep Garcia on his back foot this fight will not go the distance.


User You Jab

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Errol Spence Jr. is coming into this fight with height and reach advantages. For Spence Jr. to come out victorious Saturday night he needs to stick and move behind his jab.

If Spence Jr. is busy with his jab it will allow him to move in when he wants to move in seamlessly.

The jab will also allow Spence Jr. to keep the distance when he is trying to mitigate Mikey Garcia’s attack.


Attack the Body

Mikey Garcia walks around in the mid-to-high 150s, so making weight will not be difficult for him. Garcia is doubtfully going to be super shredded which is a huge advantage for Errol Spence Jr. in this fight.

If Spence Jr. is able to use his left hook and speedy combinations to the body it will take Garcia’s legs away. Garcia is the faster and smaller opponent so attacking the body will slow him down and eventually break him.


Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing

It is few and far between that we get to see a fight like this—these are two undefeated fighters at their prime. Like I said before there are so many ways this fight could play out.

You will not want to miss Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia. Saturday night, March 16 we will witness two of the best putting it all on the line. Both men are prepared and ready to make a statement.

Will Spence Jr. remain the IBF Welterweight Champion or will Garcia shock the world and dethrone him?

You can purchase this PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View via your cable provider or purchase and stream it live on FoxSports.com.

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Mikey Garcia Fighting For Legacy Against Errol Spence Jr.

At 31 years old, Mikey Garcia has accomplished more than most do in the sport of boxing.

Born in Oxnard, California in 1987 to Mexican immigrant parents, Garcia has risen through the ranks and has become widely regarded by many as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport–and for good reason.

Garcia, the brother of former titleholder Robert Garcia, began his amateur boxing career at the age of 14 and quickly found success. In 2003, for example, he won a silver medal at the National Junior Olympic Championships, competing at 125 pounds.

Then in 2004, he won a gold medal at the National Junior Golden Gloves Championships and a silver medal at the National Police Athletic League Championships, competing at 132 pounds at both events.

Moving on, Garcia then won a bronze medal at the National Golden Glove Championships in 2005 and a gold medal at the National Police Athletic League Championships that same year. He once again fought at 132 pounds in both of those events.

Following his successful amateur career, Garcia, who now trains under the tutelage of his father, Eduardo, and his brother, Robert, decided to turn pro in 2006 and sign with Bob Arum’s Top Rank. Since turning pro, Garcia has seen nothing but success inside of the ring, as he’s compiled an undefeated 39-0 professional record with 30 of those victories coming by way of T/KO. He’s also won titles in four divisions to date.

Despite his instant success, it actually took Garcia quite a while to get his hands on a title. After amassing a 20-0 professional record that included 17 victories by way of stoppage, however, he earned the chance to compete against Thomas Villa in April 2010 for the vacant IBF USBA Featherweight title.

The fight ultimately proved to be of little challenge to Garcia, as he walked through Villa, finishing the fight in the opening round and becoming a titleholder for the first time.

Between 2010-13, the Mexican-American Garcia continued to hone his craft and improve his in-ring resume, winning and defending various versions of Featherweight Titles and improving his record to an ultra-impressive 30-0.

He then finally received his first crack at a recognized world title while also receiving quite a step up in competition, as he was booked against Orlando Salido in January 2013It didn’t look like it was a step up in competition though, as Garcia dropped Salido four times early on before securing a decision victory and becoming a world champion for the first time.

It was at that point that he moved up in weight in pursuit of more gold, a theme that has since become common in relation to his career.

Taking on then WBO Junior Lightweight champion Roman Martinez in November 2013, Garcia found himself in a bit of trouble after being dropped in the second round. However, he remained composed, bit down on his mouthpiece and showed the heart of a warrior and the grit of a champion. He ended up taking control of the fight and finishing it in the eighth round to become a two-weight world champion.

Following the victory of his second title in as many divisions, Garcia took on Juan Carlos Burgos in January 2015 in New York City. Once again, Garcia got off to a slow start, but he remained composed and successfully defended his Junior Lightweight title for the first time.

With a perfect 34-0 professional record and titles in two weight classes, Garcia appeared to be on his way towards insurmountable heights. Then, however, came a major setback, as issues with Top Rank ultimately kept him out of the ring for the next two-and-a-half years.

Losing a somewhat significant chunk of the prime of his career certainly wasn’t ideal, but Garcia picked up right where he left off upon his return to the ring in July 2016, scoring a fifth-round TKO victory over Elio Rojas in Brooklyn, New York.

Following that victory, Garcia decided to continue his trek through various weight classes on his quest for greatness and once again, it paid off. With the WBC Lightweight title on the line, Garcia took on Dejan Zlatičanin in January 2017. As he had so many times up until that point, he made easy work of his opponent, scoring a third-round knockout victory and cementing himself as a three-division world champion.

But, three weight classes conquered just wasn’t enough for Garcia, who’s hunger for greatness is never-ending. So, after outpointing Adrien Broner in July 2017, the 31-year-old fighter challenged Sergey Lipinets for the IBF Junior Welterweight title in March 2018.

When the fight finally took place, Garcia took care of business, as usual, dropping Lipinets in the seventh round and winning via a comfortable margin on all three judges scorecards. The Mexican American from a gang-ridden town in Southern, California was now a four-division champion.

As one can imagine, however, that accomplishment wasn’t enough for Garcia either. It is, however, widely respected by the boxing community, which is why it would be completely acceptable for Garcia to remain at 140 pounds or even drop back down to 135 pounds, the weight class he seems to be most suited for, as he did in his last bout.

But as has been seen throughout his illustrious career, Garcia feeds off the next challenge and the next challenge must be bigger than the previous for him. In his mind, he’s already won titles in the four aforementioned weight classes. He needs something more, something bigger.

With that being said, it’s no surprise that he’ll be giving up four inches in both height and reach and moving up two weight classes to challenge IBF Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in the main event of a PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View event this Saturday, March 16 in Arlington, Texas.

Given his skill and the size advantage Spence will hold, this seems like a daunting task for Garcia, which is why his family and his team urged him not to take the fight. But for Garcia, taking the fight was a no-brainer and it wasn’t because of the large magnitude of the fight or because of the money it would reward him with.

No, it was because he wants nothing more than to be great. And as many have before him, Garcia is willing to jump around from weight class to weight class and dare to be great, even when the odds are stacked against him.

And that’s because of legacy, and more specifically, the importance of legacy to Garcia.

“It’s funny because a lot of times with other careers, other fighters, they start off looking for legacy, looking for titles and at the end of the career, it changes,” Garcia told ESPN. “It becomes more of a financial reason, it’s a business. They look for the biggest, most lucrative fight, so they can make the biggest amount of money and take the biggest purse home, not necessarily for the titles.”

Garcia mentioned that he has the money, and to be fair, he has the accomplishments as well. 

“They don’t really care about the titles–they vacate that title at the moment to fight the guy that’s going to make them the most money,” continued Garcia. “But for me, it was kind of reversed. I did it early for the money and fine, I got a title–it’s not that important, it wasn’t that special. Now, it’s different. I’ve already had the money–yes, there’s a lot more that I can make–but that’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it to cement my name and add to my legacy and keep the Garcia name living for years to come.”

If he were to retire right now, he’d be remembered as a remarkable fighter, one of the best of his time, and quite possibly a Hall of Famer.

This fight, however, is about more than that. Garcia wants to separate himself from the many other remarkable fighters who have entered the squared circle. He wants to leave a lasting legacy and a lasting impact on the game.

In order to do that, Garcia will indeed have to overcome a tall, tall task in Spence. But, if he’s successful, he’ll be revered forever.

The post Mikey Garcia Fighting For Legacy Against Errol Spence Jr. appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia Fighter Grand Arrivals & Media Workout Quotes & Photos

Welterweight Champion Spence Jr. & Four-Division World Champion Garcia Headline PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View Event This Saturday from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

DALLAS, TX (March 12, 2019) – Unbeaten IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr. and undefeated four-division world champion Mikey Garcia made their grand arrivals for fight week Tuesday and participated in an open to the public media workout as they near their blockbuster showdown that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event this Saturday from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Tuesday’s event at Renaissance Dallas Hotel also featured fighters who compete on the pay-per-view undercard Saturday night making their grand arrivals and showing off their skills for the fans and media in attendance.

PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View action begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features unbeaten former 168-pound champion David Benavidez taking on veteran contender J’Leon Love, former bantamweight champion Luis Nery facing former champion McJoe Arroyo and heavyweight fan-favorite Chris Arreola battling unbeaten Jean Pierre Augustin.

Tickets for this showdown, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now, and can be purchased at SeatGeek.com, the Official Ticketing Provider of AT&T Stadium.

Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday from a packed ballroom at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel:

ERROL SPENCE JR.

“It means a lot to have all these fans out here today supporting me. This is where I started. This is where my heart is. I’m going to give everyone a great show on Saturday.

“I’m making sure that I don’t get caught up in the moment. I’ll do think about the moment after the fight and celebrate with my people. I’m tunnel vision on Saturday night and I can’t wait. My motto is ‘Man Down’ and I’m here to again show everyone why I’m the best.”

MIKEY GARCIA

“It’s amazing to have this great support from the local fans and media here. I’ve fought in Texas many times and won two world titles here. I’m looking for a third on Saturday.

“I have the timing, the speed, the footwork and defense. I have all the skills needed to win this fight. I could have taken easier fights than this, but they didn’t spark the fire in me. This fight does exactly that.”

DAVID BENAVIDEZ

“J’Leon Love is always going to be a tough fighter and make the fight hard. He can punch and he can move. I’m expecting a hard fight and I have a game plan for anything he brings on Saturday.

“It’s amazing to be on this stage. It’s really a dream come true. This is as big as my title fight. This is going to be a massive event so I have to get a knockout for my fans.”

J’LEON LOVE

“I’m hungry just like every other fighter. I’m hungry like a boxer who is having their first moment in the sport. That’s how I feel right now.

“I’m not going to be an easy fight for Benavidez. The Peter Quillin fight is behind us. There were some things happening that didn’t allow me to be great, but I’m over them now and I’m ready for a spectacular performance Saturday night.”

LUIS NERY

“It’s going to be a real war on Saturday night. I’m prepared for a very tough fight. My opponent leaves his guard open a lot and I think I can knock him down with my hooks. I’m ready to get a great victory.

“I’m very proud and happy to be competing on this great pay-per-view card. I think I’m going to score the knockout in round five or six and show everyone why I’m the best bantamweight in the world.”

MCJOE ARROYO

“I’m the type of fighter that lets the fight unfold and develop. I have to see how my opponent is going to react and be intelligent.

“My speed is going to be a big key. Both with my hands and my legs. I have to avoid getting hit by the big shots. I’m going to take it round-by-round.”

CHRIS ARREOLA

“I know that he’s a fighter who is going to be crafty and try to move around. He’s going to try to keep me off balance and that’s why I made sure I came in great shape for this fight so I can chase this kid around.

“I have to be smart and work behind my jab, while also being aware of what he can do with his left hand. This is a fight to show that I’m back and ready to challenge the best heavyweights.”

JEAN PIERRE AUGUSTIN

“We’ve been training to steal the show on Saturday night. Chris is going to keep coming forward. I’m going to have to rely on my youth, my foot work, my speed and my brain so I don’t take unnecessary shots.

“It’s definitely an honor to be on this platform. For me to find myself in this position, it’s hard to put into words. I’m going to get a definitive win on Saturday night.”

The post Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia Fighter Grand Arrivals & Media Workout Quotes & Photos appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Shawn Porter Looking Ahead After Disputed Win Over Yordenis Ugas

They got the win–and that seems to be quite enough for Shawn Porter who retained his WBC Welterweight title with a hotly disputed split decision victory over Yordenis Ugas on Saturday, March 9.

“The crowd was expecting a big brawl, but that’s not the way this fight needed to go tonight,” said Porter. “The style that we used left the fight close. As the clock ticks, you have to do what’s working. Tonight the foot movement was working and it made Ugas have to reset.”

Porter seemed determined to show a different style as he looks to keep evolving as a fighter.

“I was very focused the entire fight and just listening to my corner,” said Porter. “We wanted to out box him and eventually turn it on and press him. But my dad did not think that was the smartest way to win the fight. We fought this way for 12 rounds and no one has ever seen that from me before.”

Given the fact that referee Jack Reiss seemed to miss a clear knockdown in Ugas’ favor in Round 12, the Cuban fighter has spent most of Sunday, March 10 posting highlights of the knockdown on Instagram.

Ugas obviously feels he was robbed. Do you think Porter and Ugas should be mandated to fight again?

 

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Graphic photo by Tom Casino/Showtime

The post Shawn Porter Looking Ahead After Disputed Win Over Yordenis Ugas appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Photos | Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas Fight Night

WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter retained his title with a close split-decision victory over Yordenis Ugas Saturday night in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

“The crowd was expecting a big brawl, but that’s not the way this fight needed to go tonight,” said Porter. “The style that we used left the fight close. As the clock ticks, you have to do what’s working. Tonight the foot movement was working and it made Ugas have to reset.”

“I showed tonight that I belong with the elite fighters at welterweight,” said Ugas. “All I can say is that I’m ready to fight any of the top names in the division. I’ll be back.”

The early rounds were defined by Porter using his jab to try to cut down the distance, while Ugas worked power shots and jabs to the body. Porter had some success on the inside landing on Ugas’ chin during flurries, but was unable to hurt the Cuban.

In round five, both men stood in the center of the ring for an extended period of time throwing power punches that had the crowd on their feet. Ugas began to work cleaner on his counterpunching as the fight went on, and Porter focused on movement while trying to snap his jab.

“I was on my toes all night,” said Porter. “I was very focused the entire fight and just listening to my corner. We wanted to out box him and eventually turn it on and press him. But my dad did not think that was the smartest way to win the fight. We fought this way for 12 rounds and no one has ever seen that from me before.”

Porter’s activity clashed with the sharp countering and body punching from Ugas. According to CompuBox, Porter was more active on a per round basis, throwing 42.9 punches per round to 37.4 from Ugas. Ugas held the advantage in body punches landed at 57 to 34, while the two fighters each landed 79 power punches.

In round 10 Porter began to bleed from his right eye due to an accidental head butt, but late in round 11 he landed one of his most significant punches of the fight when he backed Ugas up with a left hook to the head. After 12 rounds, the judges’ scorecards reflected that there were numerous close and hard to score rounds as all three judges agreed on only the fourth and ninth rounds, which went to Ugas and Porter respectively.

One judge saw the fight 117-111 for Ugas, which was overruled by scores of 116-112 and 115-113 for Porter. Both fighters believed after the fight that they had done enough to win.

“There’s no doubt about it, I was robbed tonight,” said Ugas. “After the first round I figured him out and dominated the fight. He had no answer when I was pushing him back. I dominated the fight in my opinion.”

“We fought a good smart fight tonight,” said Porter. “I was consistent and I thought we won a majority of the rounds. We got the win, we’re still champion and we’re looking forward to what is next.”

The post Photos | Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas Fight Night appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Shawn Porter Edges Yordenis Ugas to Retain WBC Title

WBC Welterweight world champion Shawn Porter retained his title with a 12-round split decision win over Yordenis Ugas Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Porter won via scores of 116-112 and 115-113, while the third judge had it 117-111 for Ugas who looked like he did enough to win but came up short.

“We wanted to out box him and eventually turn it on and press him,” said Porter. “But my dad did not think that was the smartest way to win the fight. We fought this way for 12 rounds and no one has ever seen that from me before.”

While Porter was the champion coming in, Ugas as the challenger had to impose himself on the champ. Most rounds could have gone either way. Ugas applied pressure throughout the fight, but needed a knockdown in the judges’ eyes.

“There’s no doubt about it, I was robbed tonight,” said Ugas. “After the first round I figured him out and dominated the fight. He had no answer when I was pushing him back. I dominated the fight in my opinion.”

The fight was close in the early rounds with both fighters having their moments. Porter was landing head shots while Ugas was attacking the body.

Porter resorted to defensive tactics, jumping in-and-out of the action and making Ugas miss at times, but he was out boxing Porter and landing solid counters.

“I showed tonight that I belong with the elite fighters at welterweight,” said Ugas. “All I can say is that I’m ready to fight any of the top names in the division. I’ll be back.”

This was the first title defense for Porter since beating Danny Garcia for the belt last September. Ugas had won eight straight before tonight’s loss.

“The crowd was expecting a big brawl, but that’s not the way this fight needed to go tonight,” said Porter. “That style that we used left the fight close. We got the win, we’re still champion and we’re looking forward to what is next.”

The post Shawn Porter Edges Yordenis Ugas to Retain WBC Title appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Staff Predictions | Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas

WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter will make his first title defense in primetime as he battles mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas.

The matchup takes place on Saturday, March 9 and headlines a night of action on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes, live from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California.

Read on for Round By Round Boxing‘s staff predictions for Porter vs. Ugas and let us know who you think will win.

Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions – 2019

Name Win Loss Total Fights Win Percentage
Alan Garcia 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero
Alex Burgos 2 1 3 0.66666666666667
Amber Williams 2 1 3 0.66666666666667
Andrew Kang 0 1 1 0
Brandon Glass 0 1 1 0
Brianna Rodriguez 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero
CJ Halloran 2 1 3 !ERROR! division by zero
Eric Ramos 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero
Joseph Hammond 1 1 2 0.5
Joseph Rodriguez 3 0 3 3
Joshua Diaz 0 1 1 0
Julio Sanchez 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero
Michael Burnell 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero
Peter Nieves 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero
Porfirio Barron Jr. 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero
R.L. Woodson 3 0 3 1
Robert Contreras 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero
Sarah Gruber 0 0 0 !ERROR! division by zero


Hans Themistode, Staff Writer

Yordenis Ugas is a damn good fighter. He’s won eight straight fights and has earned this spot.

Ugas is a really good fighter, but Shawn Porter is a great one. It might be a little rough on the eyes like many of Porter’s fights, but expect him to pick up the unanimous-decision victory.

Prediction: Porter

 

Andrew Kang, Staff Writer

Shawn Porter has too much juice and talent against Yordenis Ugas.

Prediction: Porter

 

Amber Williams, Photographer

Prediction: Porter

 

Michael Burnell, Staff Writer

Shawn Porter defending his WBC welterweight strap this weekend against Cuban born Yordenis Ugas will be fun to watch… as long as it lasts.

Ugas is solid and skilled, running up an impressive record of 23-3 against largely nondescript competition.

This fight will be several steps up for the young prospect, which represents both a great opportunity and incredible challenge.

Porter’s resume is studded with champions, former champions, contenders and prospects. There will be one more added to his growing list of scalps as he overwhelms Ugas with his rough, swarming style and stops him in Round 9.

Prediction: Porter

 

Joshua Diaz, Staff Writer

I have Shawn Porter turning this into his preferred style of fight.

He will force Yordenis Ugas to fight his fight–a rough, rugged, phone booth fight.

Porter is on another level that Ugas can’t compete with.

Prediction: Porter

 

Eric Ramos, Staff Writer

Yordenis Ugas upsets Shawn Porter by 10-round knockout.

Prediction: Ugas

 

R.L. Woodson, Staff Writer

Yordenis Ugas has worked his tail off to get here, and he presents some unknowns for Shawn Porter in terms of how Ugas performs under the bright lights of a world title fight.

I’m not sure Ugas brings any one facet to the fight that could trouble Porter. Porter may be able to box more and dictate pace when he wants.

Expect Ugas to show he deserved the fight, but Porter’s respect for his craft and superior game likely gets him a unanimous decision.

Prediction: Porter

 

Robert Contreras, Staff Writer

Shawn Porter has reached the crescendo of his career after defeating Danny Garcia. He’s earned this headliner on national television against Yordenis Ugas, who is a slippery opponent.

The Cuban Olympian has even gained some traction to pull off an upset. But Porter’s mauling attack is a nightmare for anybody in the world and the defending champ will outwork his man. Porter by unanimous decision.

Prediction: Porter

 

Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief

Yordenis Ugas has an impressive boxing background and story. The Cuban Olympic bronze medalist didn’t make good on his potential the first time around, but after returning to the sport following a two-year break he has scored a series of solid victories over the likes of Jamal James, Bryant Perrella and Ray Robinson.

Ugas has taken advantage of every opportunity put in front of him since his two-year hiatus, and Saturday night will be no different.

Shawn Porter probably presents one of the most frustrating and difficult styles for any boxer to deal with, but Ugas has been around the block. If Ugas can keep Porter on the end of his jab and limit the effectiveness of Porter’s leaping attacks, the Cuban can have success like Kell Brook did.

The weight issue gives Ugas another small edge, so we’ll see what Porter has left in the tank in the middle-to-late rounds. I’ll take Ugas by close but clear decision.

Prediction: Ugas

The post Staff Predictions | Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas Final Press Conference Quotes & Photos

WBC Welterweight World Champion Porter Makes First Title Defense Against Mandatory Challenger Ugas in Premier Boxing Champions on FOX & FOX Deportes Main Event Saturday Night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)

CARSON, CALIF. (March 7, 2019) – WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter and top welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they battle in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes this Saturday night from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Also squaring-off at Thursday’s press conference and competing in PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes action Saturday were hard-hitting welterweights Abel Ramos and Francisco “Chia” Santana, who meet in a 10-round attraction, and unbeaten heavyweight Efe Ajagba and veteran Amir Mansour, who battle in an eight-round attraction to kick off the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from the Marriott Los Angeles Airport:

SHAWN PORTER

“This is special. I feel great and I’m ready to go. I’ve done everything that I need to do so that I’m ready for this point right now.

“I’m sure Ugas has looked at what I do in the ring and sees how tough and rough it is to fight me. He thinks he’s the better boxer and has more technical skills, which is fine with me. He can say what he wants, but the talking is done after today.

“We wanted something different for this fight and we had worked with Barry Hunter from a distance for a while. I think my dad (Kenny Porter) would agree that going out to their gym in Washington, D.C. was one of the best moves we’ve made in boxing.

“Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao. Those are all big fights that people want to see. If this fight goes the way we want it to go, those guys are the goal for the next fight.

“I think he’s going to try to clinch with me and also try to catch me coming in. But I’ve been down that road before and I’m going to show you something different on Saturday. I’m more than comfortable that we’ll be ready to make all the necessary adjustments.

“People want to see knockouts. That’s the best way to solidify a win. We’ve seen things not go my way before on close scorecards. We’ve worked on adding some more power and we’ll see on Saturday if it all comes to fruition.

“I’m looking forward to this fight going differently than last time I fought at this venue, against Kell Brook. I’m going to make sure it goes my way this time, but there’s no added pressure because of it. It’s total focus on getting this job done the best way that I can.”

YORDENIS UGAS

“I’m full of pride to be here today in this great fight. This is the opportunity I’ve wanted and I’m going to take full advantage.

“I am 100 percent better technically than Shawn Porter. It’s going to make this a great fight on Saturday and we’re going to give the fans an incredible night.

“Shawn and I sparred a couple years ago but I’m a way different fighter than I was then. You’re going to see an elite fighter on Saturday.

“I am taller than Shawn, but in the ring, there isn’t a big difference. If he prefers to fight taller fighters, I actually think that will be to my advantage. I’ll show you why on Saturday.

“This is a very evenly-matched fight. I’ve come a long way and now people are giving me the credit that I deserve and that I worked so hard for.

“Being in this position is very motivating for me. Especially because of this big platform in the main event on FOX. I’m going to do what I do best and what I love to do the most.”

ABEL RAMOS

“I’m feeling really good. Training camp has gone well. I’m excited to be on this big event and I’m ready to put on a show for all of the fans.

“It’s going to be hard to avoid staying in the pocket and brawling. Whatever comes up in the fight, we’re going to be ready to execute. I believe I have the better boxing skills. My advantages come on the outside. That’s what we’ve seen from the videos.

“We both have fought a lot of tough guys, early in our careers as well. We’ve been in against top guys again and again. We’re pretty even from that standpoint.

“Whenever they offer me a name, we always say yes. I look at some tape first, but I’m always going to accept any challenge in front of me.”

FRANCISCO SANTANA

“At the end of the day, it’s a fight. We all know how this sport is. It’s a sport of surprised and it can end in the blink of an eye. I have to be prepared physically and mentally. Expect fireworks

“This is going to be an action packed fight. We have similar styles and similar records. Abel and I are both considered fighters who just need one more extra push to get the recognition that we deserve. We both get a great chance to display ourselves on Saturday. This is our chance to be seen.

“You have to adjust during a fight. That’s what makes a fighter special. On Saturday night I’m going to have to make the proper adjustments to make this my own fight and come out with a victory.

“I was a self-made fighter until I started working with my trainer Joseph Janik. We’ve been working together for 10 years now. When he first met me, people said I couldn’t crack a bag of peanuts. All it took were some minor adjustments to get going on this career I’ve had. I’m still learning and I can’t wait until Saturday.

EFE AJAGBA

“People keep telling me this will be my first step up, but I consider every fight a step up. I’m looking forward to giving people a great show. I’m ready to knock him out in any round.

“This opportunity to fight on this card against Amir Mansour is a big one for me. I’ve got work to do on Saturday and I’m prepared to get the win.

“I used to play a lot of soccer when I grew up in Nigeria, but anyone can play football, not everyone can box.

“Every time I step into the ring I know it’s going to be my biggest challenge so far. Ronnie Shields and our team have gotten me into great shape to be at my best Saturday night.”

AMIR MANSOUR

“I’ve had an opportunity to train and prepare for this fight and I feel great right now. I’m not a fighter to make excuses but I wasn’t as prepared as I needed to be for my last fight.

“I’ve never fought the tomato cans. Ajagba is going to have a tough night. He’s going to have to perform at his highest level and I’m just going to do what I normally do.

“I’ve always fought the best and taken on any challenge. Ajagba better be taking me seriously because I’m going to bring something he’s never seen in the pros. I’m here to win, not lay down.”

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