Hard-hitting rising welterweight contender Eimantas Stanionis and former world champion Luis Collazo went face-to-face at a press conference Thursday to preview their showdown that headlines FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes this Saturday, August 7, from The Armory in Minneapolis.
(Photo credit: Sean Michael Ham/Premier Boxing Champions)
The press conference also featured unbeaten welterweight and two-time Venezuelan Olympian Gabriel Maestre and Mykal Fox, who meet for the Interim WBA Welterweight Title in the co-main event, and former-two division world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” and Luke Santamaría, who duel to kick off the telecast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday in Minneapolis:
“I’m very excited to fight here. I fought in Minneapolis in 2019, and the fans are great here. They love a good show. I want to thank the whole PBC family for this opportunity against a great fighter in Luis Collazo.
“Collazo has faced the top guys, and he likes to fight fire with fire as I do. I am prepared for an action-packed fight.
“I got confidence from my last fight, knowing that I can go 12 hard rounds. I got tested in that fight against Thomas Dulorme, but I think it was my worst night. I was not at my best. This time I’m 100% prepared and ready to go.
“I have to win and keep winning. I want to get to the world title shot. Lithuania has never had a pro world champion, and I want to make history. I have a great competition on Saturday, and I want to show that I can compete with any of the top guys.
“I think I deserve the title shot if I win on Saturday. I’m ranked high by the WBA, and I’m going to be in a position to fight the best sooner rather than later.
“I think I can compete with the top guys right now. When you go into the ring, it doesn’t matter who the favorite is. I like to give 100% of my heart into the ring. This is an entertainment sport, and we’re entertainers. That’s my mentality coming into the fight.”
“I can’t wait for Saturday night. It’s been a long road, and I’m just eager to step back in the ring and do what I do best on fight night.
“This is going to be my last fight on Saturday night. The sport is overwhelming in many ways, and sometimes it’s hard to enjoy it. Even saying that I’m bringing everything I’ve got on Saturday. I’m going to leave my mark once again.
“Right now, the only thing he has on me is age. Age doesn’t matter, though, when you fight and stay in the gym as I do. That’s what I do for a living. I’ve been consistent, and no excuses are coming into this fight.
“You can’t compare one fighter to another, really. It doesn’t matter if they have similar styles. You have to prepare for each guy to the best of your abilities. Once that bell rings, everything can change real quick.”
“I’m pleased about this opportunity. I want to thank my whole team for putting me in this position. I worked so hard for this fight, and I want to tell the fans in Minneapolis that I will bring a great fight on Saturday.
“I know that the U.S. fans like action, and I’m going to bring that. I’m not particularly eager to run around the ring so that they can expect a war on Saturday.
“I would love to fight Jamal James after this. But first thing is first. I need to take care of Mykal Fox. I’m going to show everyone what I have on Saturday and then take it from there.”
“I’m very excited about this fight. I’ve done the backup thing a few times, and it’s a stale feeling when you don’t fight. I’m a fighter, and I want to compete, and I can’t wait to step in there on Saturday night.
“I think I have an advantage coming in as a late replacement. I was in the gym training for this card already. It’s going to be hard for someone to flip and fight someone with my attributes. I think I have a different style than Cody Crowley. I’m not coming off the couch; I’m going to be ready to go 12 rounds if need be.
“We have a full welterweight card here, so I think any of us could face Jamal James next. If I win this belt, I’d for certain be excited to face James. I want to take the interim off the title, and fighting Jamal is a great way to do that. He’s going to have a front-row seat to watch us perform.”
“Thanks for having me here in Minnesota. I’m excited to be here and share the stage with these great fighters. I thank Luke for taking on this challenge. I’m just here to get some rust off and get back into title contention. That’s my purpose.
“I feel good, I feel strong, and I’m happy. That’s the most important thing. I can’t wait to get in there and show out. I see a good couple of years ahead. I have to take it one fight at a time and take care of Luke on Saturday.
“Fans are going to see a great show on Saturday. It’s a great card from top to bottom. I’m back to being myself. I’m fast and explosive, with power. I’m known as a boxer-puncher, so you’re going to see a bit of everything on Saturday.
“This is his biggest opportunity yet in his career. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be ready and come to fight. Anybody I fight knows they have to come ready. He knows I have a name. Any time a fighter steps into the ring, he’s a threat. I have to treat him as such.”
“This is a great opportunity for me. He’s been in the ring for a long time and has a lot of experience. I’m looking forward to putting on a good show and giving the fans a great fight.
“A win would put me where every fighter wants to be, on top. I trained with everything I have. We’re ready to go home with this win.
“I’m going to be in there doing my thing. I’m definitely going to make this a memorable fight and leave it all in the ring.”