Danny Garcia, Jose Benavidez & Undercard Showtime Quotes
Two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and exciting contender Jose Benavidez Jr. went face-to-face at a final press conference on Thursday and gave verbal clues of the explosive action they plan to dish out in a super welterweight clash set for this Saturday, July 30 headlining live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Also squaring off on Thursday at the press conference were Polish star and Brooklyn’s all-action Adam Kownacki and Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen, who battle in the heavyweight co-main event, plus unbeaten rising star Gary Antuanne Russell and former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy, who duel in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Thursday’s event also featured rising prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr., who faces tough veteran Jimmy Williams as part of the SHOWTIME BOXING COUNTDOWN show streaming live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through seatgeek.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets are also available for purchase at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from Barclays Center:
“It’s been 19 months since I’ve been in the ring and I’ve been enjoying my life in and out of the ring. I’ve spent time with my family, but I’ve still been staying in the gym the whole time. I trained with young guns Chris Colbert and Stephen Fulton Jr. To be honest, it feels like I never left.
“We had a tremendous training camp in Philly. We’ve done everything we were supposed to do and my body feels great. I knew that I was coming up to 154 pounds, so I built more muscle. But most importantly I feel good mentally.
“Once Danny Garcia is mentally and physically strong, no one can touch him. I’ve proved that before. I’m just excited to be back at Barclays Center.
“I’m excited to be on this card with a lot of young fighters. It’s tremendous and I can’t wait. The ‘Danny Garcia Show’ is back. I definitely feel good and come Saturday night you better make sure you get your tickets or tune in on SHOWTIME.
“It feels good to be back. I’m back because I love to fight. I’m a fighter and I love boxing. I knew once I took that break, that I’d come back at 154 pounds. A lot of people don’t know how I’ve been squeezing my body down. I think people will be surprised about how strong I am.
“I want to chase a new dream. I want to be a three-division champion. I have the skill and I have the will and I’m not going to let anyone take it away from me.
“Nothing ever comes easy against Danny Garcia. Don’t try too hard, because you might knock yourself out (to Jose Benavidez Jr.).
“I’m going to go out there and have fun and do what I do best. I’m going to find a way. It’s going to be the same thing you always see. I’m going to get this ‘W’.”
JOSE BENAVIDEZ JR.
“I’m ready. I feel strong and I’m happy to be here. It’s exciting to be fighting in this big arena. I’m ready to show the world that I’m the one at 154 pounds.
“I’m the bigger guy at this weight. I’m confident, I’m strong and I’m ready. This is a new and improved me. Nobody is going to touch me.
“I don’t have to look impressive. I’m going to show what I am. I’m a beast. I know where my talent is and I’m going to make it look easy.
“This is going to be a good fight. It’s going to be fireworks. I respect Danny Garcia, but his dad talks too much. I’m thankful for the opportunity, but we’re going to let the fists talk.
“I’m done with the trash talk. I’m happy and I’m excited. I can’t wait to get it on Saturday night.
“They can think what they want to think. I know what I’m capable of and I’m going to prove it on Saturday. I’m only focused on my work ethic and I’ve been training hard for this fight.
“To me, the talk is just a game. I respect everyone. I’m more mature now. I’ve grown and I only care about what I’m going to do on Saturday.
“This is going to be the end of the ‘Danny Garcia Show’.”
ANGEL GARCIA, Garcia’s Father and Trainer
“We don’t fear anybody. We never turn down any fights. This isn’t anything new to us.
“When these guys are eye to eye, they’re the same size. Don’t underestimate Danny.
“Jose Jr. doesn’t have the skills. We’re ready for him. July 30 on SHOWTIME, the ‘Danny Garcia Show’ is back. It’s the greatest show on earth.”
JOSE BENAVIDEZ SR., Benavidez’s Father and Trainer
“This is a great opportunity for Jose to show his talent. He has to look impressive in order to go to the next level.
“I want to thank team Garcia for the opportunity. We’re facing a monster. But that just motivated us even more. When Jose beats Danny Garcia, he’ll be at the top and open up for bigger opportunities.
“Jose has matured a lot and he’s super motivated. It makes me feel comfortable and more secure that we’re going to have a good fight Saturday.”
“It means everything to be back here. I’m focused and I can’t wait to get a knockout victory and then go see my family in Poland
“I don’t come to play, I come to fight. I’m trying to break my own record with punches thrown. I’m here to fight, welcome to Brooklyn Ali.
“I’m facing an Olympian. He’s a tough guy. He likes to keep coming forward just like I do. I know he has a strong chin. He beat a good heavyweight in Gerald Washington. He stopped him. So this is definitely going to be a tough test.
“I’m going to have the same strategy as always. Come forward and try to stop him. Welcome to Brooklyn, baby. I don’t like to make predictions, but I don’t see this going the distance. I want to come back with a bang and stop him.
“Right now, I’m just focused on Ali. I can’t look past him because he can mess with all my plans. Right now, I’m just looking forward to knocking him out.
“Fighting at Barclays is always quite an experience. For anybody who hasn’t witnessed it, you’ve got to experience it. Get your ticket. There are going to be a lot of red shirts making a lot of noise on Saturday. It’s going to be a fun night.”
ALI EREN DEMIREZEN
“I’m so happy to be here in New York. I understand I’m facing an experienced fighter coming off losses, but I’m here to win as well. My goal is to not give him a chance to beat me.
“I’m here for a battle. I’m expecting the fans who watch this fight to come ready to see a war for as long as it lasts.
“This is a very important fight for me. This fight can get me into the top 10 and to the fight with the world champions.
“This is a chance for me to step up. I’m so happy to be here in the U.S. It’s every boxer’s dream to fight in the U.S. and I’m going to make the most of it.
“I’m not worried that I’m fighting in my opponents’ hometown. I feel that I’m known enough that I’m going to be treated fairly and I’ll be able to execute my game plan on Saturday.”
GARY ANTUANNE RUSSELL
“I’m more tunnel-visioned now. That support system that I once had with my dad is not there. But he gave us a lot of tools to keep us going. It’s made me more focused on the things that he did teach us.
“We all had an initial goal as a family. My father gave us the blueprint, so we’re just trying to strive and keep it going.
“I know Barthelemy is trying to make things happen for his country, but I’ve got goals too. It’s will versus will and goal versus goal. This Saturday night, you have to be there.
“I’ve been training and going back and forth in my mind on what I have to do. I have to win this fight so that I can move on to my next mission. We’re drawing lines and then keeping it going.
“We’re going to keep the knockout streak going. He’s going to have to do his best. I’ve been grinding. I know he’s been training, but is it the training that he needs to get through me? He’s gotta bring his A-game.”
“I’ve had a goal for a long time to become a three-division world champion. I had the dream snatched away from me when I lost, but now I’m here and I’m thankful for the opportunity.
“I’m ready to show that I’m capable of winning this fight for the Cubans and for all my fans tuning in to watch me on Saturday night.
“Styles make fights and we’re definitely going to give the people what they want. It’s going to be a spectacular fight. I know what Russell is about, but I believe in myself and I know what I’m capable of doing.
“It’s all about my preparation, my experience and the great team that I have around me. I won’t let my guard down. I know that my opponent has heavy hands and that I’m going to have to be focused during the entire fight.
“I can guarantee that I’ve left everything inside of the gym to get ready for Gary. I’m going to show you what I’m capable of when we get into the ring.”
VITO MIELNICKI JR.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity on a big platform. It’s my first time fighting in Brooklyn and I’m excited to put on a dominant performance.
“We had a great eight-week camp with my coach ‘Chino’ Rivas and we’re ready to go. We want to put on a show, so make sure you tune in early.
“Expect a dominant performance. I’m an explosive fighter and you’re going to see why on Saturday night.”
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from world famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn:
“I’m excited to be back at Barclays Center. I can’t wait. I’m here to show the world that I’m ready for this weight class. I feel strong and I want to go in there and make a real statement.
“He’s going to see what I bring into the ring on Saturday. I’ve had the right sparring for this fight and I prepared perfectly. It was really a perfect camp.
“It’s not about weight, it’s about skill. You don’t become a three-time world champion because you’re just bigger. It’s about skill and technique and that’s what we bring to the table.
“The only goal is to get this ‘W’ on Saturday, then we’ll start setting new goals. I expect Benavidez to come to fight, other than that, just expect me to do my thing.
“I’m going to be really strong on Saturday. This is a good weight class for me, especially at this point in my career. There’s a lot of good fighters in the division for me to fight.
“I have more strength, more stamina, I’ve done more sparring because I’m at this new weight class. This is the most rounds I’ve ever sparred in camp. Everything we do, we did it more this camp.”
JOSE BENAVIDEZ JR.
“I’m coming in with a bang. I take every fight like it’s the biggest fight of my life. I’m excited and I’m ready to go.
“I’m glad that Danny is confident. He’s going to find out on Saturday that 154 pounds isn’t for him. I fought Terence Crawford on one leg and gave him a fight. I know what I’m capable of and I’m going to fight like that.
“I’m not worried about what Danny is bringing. I know what I’m capable of. I trained hard and I’m doing this for my family.
“I feel great fighting at this weight. I’m a big guy. We had a tremendous training camp and I’m extremely motivated. I feel better than ever.
“My leg feels great. The biggest thing with this camp is that I’m happy. For all of these other camps I’m far away from my family but this camp we did it back home in Seattle. I just feel like this is my time to shine.
“My last fight I was trying to do too much, and because of that, I didn’t do anything at all. Everything happens for a reason and I feel ready to fight. I know that I can beat the best at 154, it starts with Danny.”
“It’s awesome to be back fighting at home at Barclays Center. I’m looking to put on a great performance on a big stage on SHOWTIME.
“I’m looking to come forward, attack the body and get him out of there. I’m trying to show the whole division that I’m back. The last couple fights didn’t go my way, but I’m going to show that it was just a bump in the road.
“I lost six percent body fat and turned it into muscle, so I’m feeling great. I want to be the old Adam and take no more steps backwards.
“I’m trying to win the title for Brooklyn. There’s still a lot I want to accomplish in the sport, including one day fighting back home in Poland.”
ALI EREN DEMIREZEN
“I’m here to fight. I’m not here to play around, I’m coming to win. This is a big moment in my career, but I’m going to do everything I can to have my hand raised. I know how important this fight is for my career.
“I said before the Gerald Washington fight that I’m here to stay (which he won by eighth-round stoppage). I want to achieve my dreams in the U.S. After this fight, the fans will know my name even better than before.
“I’m here to be the next great heavyweight fighter. I want to be known worldwide and follow in the footsteps of those who came before me.”
GARY ANTUANNE RUSSELL
“I’ve fought at Barclays Center before and I try not to overly magnify these fights and opponents, because this is what we do. We live for this, but it doesn’t define who we are. Because it’s what we do, we won’t undermine it’s importance.
“My father instilled a lot of information and wisdom into us. He installed in us moral integrity and moral fiber and I thank him for that. To keep that going on, that’s a chore that we’ve all taken on. It’s a priority.
“I wouldn’t want to have an unfamiliar person in my camp, so it’s great to have my brother Gary Jr. training me. If I can’t trust the person in my corner, then my fight would be real unfortunate probably. It’s a bittersweet thing, but it makes the transition easier.
“The point of this sport is to hit and not get hit. Rances Barthelemy is a crafty fighter. He likes to lure his opponent into a clean shot.
“My whole objective is to clean out the 140-pound division. That’s the goal in front of us.”
“I feel great here. I love fighting at Barclays Center. You can really feel the Latin heat there. They all come out and support. I love it and I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to this.
“My motivation is at an all-time high. He’s a future star and a quality opponent. My experience will be a factor though. In addition, my endurance and how I approach this fight physically will be key for me.
“This is an opportunity for me to achieve my goal and my dream, which is to make history for Cuban boxing. I’m prepared and I hope everyone tunes in for this on Saturday.
“I have no words to describe how this feels. This is a big responsibility for me, because I fight for Cubans everywhere. This country has been great opening doors for me and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to achieve my dream. At the same time, it is my duty to fight for my oppressed brothers and sisters in Cuba.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity. I fought a bad fight in 2019 against Robert Easter (in a split draw) and now it’s time for me to redeem myself and give the people the fight they want to see.”
VITO MIELNICKI JR.
“I’m feeling strong and ready to go. We had a great training camp down in Orlando and got some great work overall. We’re ready for whatever my opponent brings.
“The main thing I learned from my loss is that proper preparation prevents poor performance. You can’t expect to go into a fight with two weeks training and get the best performance. I learned a lesson that I’ll remember for the rest of my career.
“Ever since I got with coach Chino Rivas, we’ve really been on the same page. This is our second fight together and I’m ready to put everything on display.
“I expect to be more explosive and show a high punch output. I’m going to be precise and have a strong defense. I’ll show everything that I’ve been working on.
“I’ve fought in a lot of big venues, but to be fighting at Barclays Center is going to be a great experience and I can’t wait to put on a show.”
“I’m coming to shake the room. This is my hometown. I’m going to make sure this hurts for my opponent on Saturday.
“I feel good and I’m ready. These are the kind of fights I take to stay busy. I’m going to get all the way down to 168 for my next fight. I want to face Caleb Plant.
“The fans can expect fireworks. I’m going to show what I have. I’ve never given myself the full opportunity to show myself in these big moments and I’m just ready to go. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how seriously I need to take this sport and I’m ready now.”
evised card, and this will be a night full of action and worthy of the high standard SHOWTIME and Barclays Center have set.”
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