Whaddya think, will the underdogs go one for three? Or will Arnold Khegai, Francisco Santana and Ivan Redkach offer up an O-fer, and lose to Stephen Fulton, Jarrett Hurd and Danny Garcia on Saturday night at Barclays Center, and on Showtime premium cable?
The underdogs SOUNDED confident at the Thursday presser in Brooklyn to hype the PBC card; here are quotes from the top of the card talent:
BROOKLYN (January 23, 2020) – Two-division world champion Danny “Swift” García and hard-hitting Ivan “El Terrible” Redkach went face-to-face at the final press conference Thursday before they battle in a WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator that headlines action this Saturday, January 25 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
The press conference also featured former unified champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd and Francisco “Chia” Santana squaring off before they compete in the 10-round super welterweight co-feature, plus unbeaten sensation “Cool Boy Steph” Stephen Fulton Jr. and fellow unbeaten Arnold Khegai previewed their super bantamweight title eliminator that opens SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on-sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from the Tillary Hotel in Brooklyn:
“It’s been a long, 10-week training camp putting in the hard work. We did everything we were supposed to do. We covered everything we needed and we’re ready to go. I’m glad I had a safe camp with no injuries, because you should see the best Danny Garcia on Saturday night.
“It feels great to be back at Barclays Center. This feels like my home away from home. My fans from all over will be here and I’m excited to show my skills for them. I feel like I have unfinished business in Brooklyn. On Saturday, we’re going to get the job done.
“Every fight from now on is a fight for my legacy. I’m a young veteran now. I feel great and I know that I’m one of the best fighters in the world. I’m here by popular demand. The rankings are what they are, so I just go in and do the fighting. I’m focused on showing the world that I’m a force to be reckoned with.
“I’m not Devon Alexander and I’m not any of the people that Redkach has knocked out. Don’t try too hard in there because you might knock yourself out.
“There’s no pressure on me. I just have to go in there and get this victory. Whatever the future brings I’m ready, whether it’s Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao. None of it happens without a win on Saturday.
“My mind is fully focused on Saturday night. I trained 10 weeks for this fight and I can’t overlook him. He wants to have a breakout fight, but I’m prepared for what he brings to the table. After that, I’m ready for whoever wants to fight me.
“I think fighting Zab Judah in Brooklyn was my favorite at Barclays Center. He was from Brooklyn and we had a lot of bad blood, it was a crazy atmosphere. Every fight at Barclays Center has been a great experience though.
“I just have to stay locked in mentally, while also enjoying every minute of the buildup. You have to embrace every minute and make the most of it.
“It doesn’t matter who I beat or who I lost to, come Saturday night, Redkach is going down. I’ve worked too hard not to leave Saturday with this win.”
“I want to thank my team and everyone who was with me during training. This Saturday night I’m going to give everyone a great fight. Thank you to Danny for taking this fight, we’re going to put on a great show. You don’t want to miss it.
I had a very long camp for this fight. It was a really good camp. We had a routine that we worked on and we’re going to use it in the ring on Saturday night.
“Danny García is a good fighter, but I have a game plan. That game plan is going to end with me knocking him out. You’re all going to see it on January 25.
“I respect Danny García and what he’s done, but what I’m bringing to the ring will be the best performance of my career.
“It’s going to be a very exciting fight for the fans. Danny García has lost in the arena before and I’m going to make it happen again. This is going to be a very interesting fight.
“Fighting at welterweight lets me work on my skills and my strategy even more during training. I have more power and I feel like a smarter and more prepared fighter at this weight.
“I know that he picked me because I’m a southpaw, but I’m ready to give Danny a rude wake up. If he’s not 100% and focused mentally, he’s going to be in trouble when the bell rings.”
JARRETT HURD (below, left, with Santana, in Amanda Westcott photo)
“This is the second time I’m on a card with Danny García. We have two ‘Swifts’ on same card. I like to call it ‘Swift’ squared. We’re both bringing excitement and I’m sure it’ll be a great turnout. There’s definitely going to be a storm coming on Saturday, because I always bring it.
“I always come ready to fight. I know that Francisco Santana is going to bring his A-game and I can’t wait to get in there and compete.
“Julian Williams losing didn’t affect my motivation. I still have that same motivation no matter what. I’m focused on this fight and I wasn’t worrying about Julian’s fight. I’m sure he’ll bounce back again. We still have this task on Saturday and we haven’t thought about anything past it.
“I definitely want to get hit less, that’s first and foremost. I’m in a lot of Fight of the Year candidates, but I don’t want more of those back and forth fights. I want to control the fight and give a dominant performance Saturday and for the rest of my career.
“I’ve been working on using my height and reach in a different way. I usually use my size to pressure and walk guys down. I think now I can be the taller and rangier fighter in the ring. But at the same time I still have that pressure style in my back pocket.
“We still don’t know who’s the best at 154 pounds. I know in my heart that I’m number one and just had a bad night. I still want to stake my claim to that title.
“Even if I say I will be more defensive, I’m always going to bring the storm. I just have it in my heart to be an action packed exciting fighter.”
“I want to thank Jarrett Hurd for giving me this opportunity. It’s going to be an honor to step foot in the ring with an elite fighter and a former unified champion.
“I said at the last press conference that no one gives me a shot to win. I was checking the betting spread and I’m a big underdog. They think I should just stay home, but everybody knows I come to fight. Regardless of whether I’m the underdog or not, I’m going to bring it.
“I love to fight. That’s what I come to do. I’m excited to be in a position to perform again on Saturday night. I’m going to give everyone a great fight when that bell rings.
“This is the biggest fight of my career. Like he said before, just because he lost, doesn’t mean that he’s out. He’s still an elite fighter in this division. Once you’re in the elite division, you have to have respect for every single person that steps foot in that ring. It just takes one punch to end the fight.
My motivation has always been there, because of who I’m facing in this fight. This is the biggest opportunity of my life. I get my motivation from my family and from my kids. It’s been a long sacrifice, but there are always great rewards after the sacrifice.
“You have to tune-in Saturday. The people have only seen a small portion of what I can do. I’m known as a guy who just comes forward. But I’ve been doing this for a long time and I think my experience will speak for itself on fight night. It’s going to be a hard task, but I’m prepared and ready.”
STEPHEN FULTON, JR.
“I’m ready. There’s no secret why I’m here. They know everything about me. They know my style. So I know their game plan. Opponents always think they’re going to come in there and rough me up. But I can take care of everything he brings and I’m going to show it again on Saturday.
“It’s going to be the same as every other undefeated fighter I fought before. They lack the knowledge of fighting me and what that’s really like. They all try to fight me the same way, but no matter how they fight me, I find a way to win.
“I plan on being myself. I’m going to put on a great performance against another good fighter. When I’m cool, calm and collected, I cannot be stopped. It just naturally happens.
“Like he’s said, we’ll see it all in the ring on Saturday. We’re just talking now, but I can’t wait to get in there on this big stage and continue to make a name for myself.”
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity and for everyone who helped to make this fight happen. You guys will get a great fight on Saturday night. I came here for the belt and we’ll decide it all in the ring on Saturday night.
“We will see what happens Saturday night. He can talk about his style and his competition, but none of it matters when we’re standing across from each other.
“This is a big opportunity for me. This is a step in my career to where I want to go. I’m going to give everything in the ring against a very good opponent.
“I will be the first fighter to defeat Stephen Fulton. It’s what we’ve worked on during training camp. I know that I have exactly what I need to take care of business in the ring.”
CHRIS DEBLASIO, Senior Vice President of Communications, SHOWTIME Sports
“SHOWTIME is in the midst of an excellent run, with eight live boxing shows across 10 weeks, featuring the biggest names in the sport. It began with Gervonta Davis, Jean Pascal and Badou Jack. It also includes Gary Russell Jr. and Guillermo Rigondeaux coming up, plus the men seated up here today.
“On Saturday we have a great mix of bouts. There’s three young prospect on our SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN show, featured globally on Facebook and YouTube. Then at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, we have three high stakes bouts. For different reasons each of these men up here today are in a must-win situation.
“For Fulton and Khegai, this is more than a chance to shine under the bright lights. This is a chance to earn a fight for a world title next. For Danny Garcia and Jarrett Hurd, these are two men in the top-five of the two deepest divisions in boxing. They need strong performances on Saturday night to maintain their status and regain their titles.
“Ivan and Francisco have the chance to break into the ranks of the elite on Saturday, and with a strong performance, win, lose or draw, they too can stay into the hunt for a world title. We have high stakes, intriguing fights up and down the card and we look forward to a great night on Saturday.”