Boxing News - Latest Headlines


Anthony Dirrell vs. David Benavidez, plus Mario Barrios conference call transcripts

- Latest Anthony Dirrell Errol Spence Jr Shawn Porter David Benavidez Dirrell vs. Benavidez Fox Sports pay-per-view Mario Barrios Spence vs. Porter

Anthony Dirrell and David Benavidez quotes for September 28:


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

R. Flores

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


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

Tom Brown

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

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


R. Flores

Thank you very much to Mr. Tom Brown. Always working hard but we greatly appreciate his time. He’s very excited as is the rest of the world. Now with today being Mexican Independence Day I think it’s only fitting enough that we have one of the biggest Mexican stars in the sport here to kick off today’s call. David Benavidez has been quite active. He was on hand at yesterday’s huge festival here in Los Angeles celebrating the holiday and was a tremendous hit with the crowd — greeting fans, signing autographs, taking photos.

Benavidez was the youngest super middleweight says Flores

He is just 22 years of age. Former Super Middleweight World Champion trained by his father, Jose Benavidez. They have tremendous chemistry with one another. Certainly a winning formula.

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

David Benavidez

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

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

D. Benavidez

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

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

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

D. Benavidez

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

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

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

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

D. Benavidez

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

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

D. Benavidez

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

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

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

D. Benavidez 

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

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

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

D. Benavidez

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

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

D. Benavidez

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

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

Benavidez has no problems signing autographs

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

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

D. Benavidez

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

Benavidez glad to be supported

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

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

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

Benavidez looking to KO Dirrell

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

I know I can hurt Dirrell says Benavidez

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

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

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

D. Benavidez

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

Benavidez guarantees victory over Dirrell

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

R. Flores

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

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

Mario Barrios

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

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

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

Barrios looking to show the fans what he’s made of

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

M. Barrios

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

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

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

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

M. Barrios

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

R. Flores

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

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

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

 

A. Dirrell

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

Anthony Dirrell

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

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

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

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

A. Dirrell

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

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

A. Dirrell

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

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

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

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

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

A. Dirrell

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

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

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

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

A. Dirrell

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

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

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

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

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

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

A. Dirrell

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

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

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

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

ABOUT SPENCE VS. PORTER

Spence vs. Porter pits unbeaten IBF Welterweight Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. against WBC Welterweight Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a 147-pound title unification that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The pay-per-view event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell facing unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov battling for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr. competing in a 10-round welterweight fight.

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

Subscribe (Free!)
Search

The views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of BoxingNews24 or its affiliates.

Facebook Button Twitter Button Twitter Button

Privacy Statement l  Back to top of page l Cookies Policy l Boxing Resources l Contact Us