WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Jean Pascal and two-division champion Badou Jack, plus former unified world champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and veteran contender Luis Arias, previewed their respective showdowns on a virtual press conference Tuesday before they step in the ring as part of the SHOWTIME PPV undercard of Mayweather vs. Logan Paul taking place Sunday, June 6 from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Pascal and Jack will meet for a championship rematch in the co-main event of the pay-per-view, while Hurd and Arias square off for a 10-round bout also on pay-per-view. The SHOWTIME PPV will air live beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also feature former NFL star wide receiver Chad Johnson making his boxing debut in an exhibition match against versatile fighter Brian Maxwell.
Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday:
“I’m very excited about the rematch. I’ve been training in Puerto Rico since December. I’ve been waiting this whole time for the rematch and I’m ready. I respect Badou, but he’s always whining after he loses. The judges said I won the fight and that’s it.
“The first fight, in the first six rounds I did everything well. I might have gotten a little overconfident. I took it a bit too easy after that. The fight got close because of that knockdown he got that wasn’t from a real punch. Without that, it wouldn’t have even been close. We’re going to settle this June 6 in Miami.
“I think I just have to pace myself a little better this fight. I got over excited because I’ve sparred with Badou before and know what I can do. I am a veteran, so I shouldn’t have gotten too excited like that. As far as knocking him down again in this fight, my mom taught me that anything you can do once, you can do twice.
“I do believe that Badou respects my power. If he doesn’t, then he better watch that fourth round again. But I also have skills with my power. I am naturally-gifted and I have the better skills. I was born for this sport and built to win.
“I really think the work in the gym will help so I don’t have ring rust. I’m a veteran. I’ve been here and done that. At this age, it’s better to have more rest than to be over trained. I had the right intensity in camp to make sure I’m not over trained.
“He’s coming for revenge and I’m coming with bad intentions. It’s going to be a great show, so make sure you tune-in for this one.”
“I’m feeling great with my new trainer Jonathon Banks. Physically I’m in amazing shape and I can’t wait. Another week and a half and it’s all going to happen.
“This has been in the works since our first fight. Last year Floyd called me and said, ‘it’s on.’ Then the pandemic hit and it got pushed back. There is a reason there is a rematch, because everyone knows who won that fight. It’s better late than never. I was back in the gym Monday after the first fight.
“There were three judges and Julie Lederman had it for me and the two other guys had never judged a big fight before. We have two judges for this fight: the right hand and the left hand. That’s it. I’m very confident for this fight and I’m not worried about the judges. I know Jean Pascal is a warrior, and I’m a warrior. I’m just ready to fight.
“Looking at the past, yes, I need to start faster. Every fight, that can apply. I will listen to my corner, and we’re going to figure out how to win the fight. By any means we need.
“He can say whatever he wants about when I knocked him down. I hit him five straight times and he swung and missed and I hit him. That’s why he went down.
“This is going to be a firefight. We already know that. Tune in to this fight. Boxing is not a game and I’m going to show everyone that and try to steal the show.
“I’ve watched the last fight once or twice, maybe three times. I just need to make some small adjustments. You can always do better. I’m more confident than last time. I know we are both warriors. We’ve fought everyone. We’re the same age (Jack is 37; Pascal 38), even though I look a little bit better. I’m looking younger. Nobody has seen my birth certificate. I’m not really 37. I’m 27.”
“Training camp has been great. I haven’t fought in a year and a half, so I had a chance to really take my time with this camp. I’ve had a lot of time to put in the work. I’m training with fighters like Terence Crawford, Shakur Stevenson, Troy Isley and a lot more. We’re all out here working day after day.
“Arias is a great fighter. This is going to be the type of toe-to-toe fight I like. He’s going to be there in front of me and ready to fight. He’s never been stopped, so I’ll be prepared to go the distance.
“We’ve seen this story before from Arias. He talks a big game but look at his fights against top fighters. It doesn’t matter what weight I’m at, Arias knows what’s coming. I suffered a loss, but I got the win in my last fight and I’m on my way back.
“I just need a dominant win on June 6. Luis Arias can make it ugly, but I have to go win convincingly and let everyone know I’m back. I don’t want to win in a sloppy way, I want to look good doing it.
“He might think he’s catching me at the right time, but it’s not going to be a good time for him on June 6. I can box and I can bang, it doesn’t matter. We’ll decide on fight night which style I’m going to use. I know that I can beat him either way.
“I tried to work on my bad habits after my loss. I was a straight-forward guy who just came at you. I wanted to show in my last fight against Francisco Santana that I can use my height and range if I need to. I wanted to box all 10 rounds and I did that.
“I still have too much unfinished business at 154-pounds. I have a lot of fights, including my rematch against Julian Williams, that I still want to get. I want to regain my titles. Me and Jermell Charlo is probably the biggest fight at 154 right now. I want to handle that before I move up in weight.”
“Camp has been excellent. I’m excited for the fight. I think this is a perfect fight and a perfect opportunity. It’s a great matchup. I’ve been working on the right things to make sure I’m one hundred percent prepared for this fight and I think I’m catching Jarrett Hurd at the right time. He’s switching styles. He really doesn’t know how he wants to fight.
“When this fight was brought to me, he was ranked No. 1 at the Ring Magazine at 154 and that’s part of why I wanted this fight. Leonard Ellerbe asked if I was willing to fight Hurd, and I said one hundred percent. It’s all about challenging yourself. This is another challenge and I never turn down a challenge. I’ve been in there with the best and there’s nothing that Jarrett Hurd can bring to the table that I haven’t already seen.
“A win puts me right back in the mix. I’ve always been just one step away from really getting into the mix with the big guys. My last couple fights have all been just one fight away from getting that world title fight. Once I beat Jarrett Hurd on June 6, I’ll be right there with the big dogs. He’s calling out Jermell Charlo and he wants to fight all these other big names, but he’s going to have to get through me. If he loses to me, I’ll be in position for the fights that he wants.
“It’s going to be a hard fight. If he wants to bang, we can bang. If he says he wants to box, he’s not the better boxer. But there’s only one way to find out and we’re going to find out in two weeks. I have to do everything that I can do to make sure that I show up and I impress.
“I’m still young and I’m still fighting my way through. I just needed to make the proper adjustments. I’m not going to be a desperate fighter. I’m going to go in there and fight the way I fight. I’ve always had championship-level fighting in me, but I just haven’t shown it. This is a perfect opportunity for me to show it.
“I’m coming after him. I have to win. He’s not going to have to find me. I’m going to be right there. If I have to box him in the middle of the ring or if I have to put my head in his chest and dog him out, then that’s what I got to do. From the opening bell to the final bell, if we make it to the final bell, I’m going to be on him. We’ll see what type of adjustments he makes, but I don’t feel he’s a better inside fighter than me and I don’t feel like he’s a better boxer than me.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“The world is buzzing about this whole event, including our terrific undercard with two great professional bouts. Hurd vs. Arias is going to be a scintillating bout. I’ve seen Luis up close and personal during this training camp and I know that he’s 100% prepared and ready to pull off the upset. Hurd on the other hand is looking to maintain his footprint in the 154-pound division and prove he’s the best at that weight.
“Pascal and Jack had a fantastic bout a year and a half ago on SHOWTIME. From the opening bell, those guys proved they are great warriors and we expect nothing less in the rematch on June 6. The fans are truly in for a treat on that night.
“The energy between these four fighters today has been incredible. As the promoter of this event, I’m excited, so I can only imagine what the fans are in for. Hurd and Arias are both looking to make a statement, and that’s going to roll right into Pascal against Jack, who are going to pick up right where they left off in their first fight.”