“My team and I decided to move our camp to Las Vegas so we could have a perfect camp. We spent 15 weeks in training, so I’m well prepared. Hopefully Leo is well prepared and we give the fans what they want to see.
“We know Leo is going to come with a lot of punches and I’m going to be explosive. It’s all about giving fans a treat. I’m grateful to be in this position and I’m ready. Saturday night is going to be a memorable night.
“Not to take anything from him, Yuriorkis Gamboa was just trying to survive against me. It’s harder to get punches off when someone isn’t trying to bring the fight. I know Leo is going to come to fight. I think this performance is going to put me up to the next level.
“I don’t think I have to knock him out, I just have to go out there and be great. Forget everything else, I just have to go out there and show everyone that I’m the top guy in the boxing world. That’s my main goal.
“Michael Jordan used to read the paper and do what they said he couldn’t do. That’s what I’m doing. I have to prove that I’m the baddest man in the sport on Saturday night.
“Leo is going to come to fight and it’s just about me stepping up and doing what I do best. You can see the potential in a fighter from the outside, but you have to see it actually come out in a fight to believe it. That’s the position I’m in. Everyone knows I’m great, I just have to show it.
“Leo has shown that he’s a top tier fighter, and he’s going up against an explosive, powerful fighter like myself. I think the winner should be in the top 10 of the pound-for-pound list.
“Floyd Mayweather has just told me to stay focused despite everything that comes with pay-per-view week. I have to get the job done first, but also do everything that comes with being the next pay-per-view star.
“I’m one of those fighters that knows how to focus when I have something big in front of me. None of the great fighters before me have frozen up when it’s crunch time. I’ve always been able to focus when big things are on the line. That’s what I did for this training camp.
“I’m not really focused on anyone who isn’t Leo Santa Cruz. I can’t overlook Leo. As far as any other fighter out there, they just don’t matter to me right now. I’ll prove it along the way. This is one step closer to proving the point I want to prove.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ
“This is what I’ve always dreamed of. When I was a little boy, I wanted to be on this stage. I’m living that dream and I’m very happy and excited. I never thought I’d accomplish it. I thought it was like winning the lottery. But thanks to the fans, I’m here where I’m at.
“I’m facing the best fighter in the division. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I have to go against the best fighter. I wanted to challenge myself. I know this is a dangerous fight for me, but I want to test myself.
“We’ve both suffered and been through a lot to get here. Neither of us wants to go back to where we started. So I know we’re both going to give a great fight to the fans.
“I have the heart of a Mexican warrior. My dad has told me to fight a smart fight, but even though he’s going to say that, there’s a good chance I end up brawling with him at times. No matter what, we’re going to find a way to beat him.
“I don’t really worry about being the underdog. Everyone has their opinion. It’s my job to go out there and prove the doubters wrong. I trained hard to go out there and do that Saturday.
“Gervonta is the best opponent I’ve faced. He’s the strongest fighter I’ll have faced. The Abner Mares and Carl Frampton fights were great experience for this kind of fight. I learned a lot from those four fights and since then I’ve learned a lot more.
“It would mean the world to me to become a five-division champion. It would be another dream come true. I would put the Santa Cruz last name right up there with the best.
“Gervonta is a big guy and I know he’s going to come hit hard. But I’ve trained with bigger guys all camp and I’ve been able to take everything thrown at me.
“The fans want you to go and make it a back and forth war. I know against Gervonta I have to fight smart. I’m going to just try as hard as I can to listen to my father’s advice.
“I definitely took this fight to quiet the critics. People said I didn’t want to fight the big names. So I went after the biggest challenge in the division and that’s Gervonta Davis.
“I leave the opinions to the fans and media. My job is to get the win and give the fans a great fight. I’m going to give it my best and leave it all in the ring.”
CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Trainer
“Camp has been great. It was unbelievable. I really appreciate the work that he put in. I can’t wait to see Tank in the ring. I’m looking forward to great performances from both fighters.
“’Tank’ accomplished a lot of things that I’ve asked him to do, but this is the pinnacle of them all right here. Both of these families have walked the same line with different trails. They both have a chance to become greats with this win.
“Every time I look at ‘Tank’ now, I flash back to those younger years in the gym with him as a child. Now he’s the man I’ve always looked at him to be. He’s a family man, business man and a wonderful fighter. It’s amazing to see one of my boys all grown up.”
JOSÉ SANTA CRUZ, Santa Cruz’s Father and Trainer
“We had a really good training camp and understand the importance of this fight. Leo is fully prepared for this fight on Saturday and I expect him to have a great performance.
“I’m very thankful to be here. I’m so happy to be here with my son for such a big fight and be able to guide him and help him accomplish his dream.
“We know that Davis is a very strong and accomplished fighter. But Leo has just used it to motivate him in the gym every day and you’ll be able to see that on Saturday.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
“One of the biggest reasons I love boxing is because we get to witness young men, like ‘Tank’ Davis and Leo Santa Cruz, develop and mature right in front of our eyes. This is our ninth fight with ‘Tank’ and 13th with Leo. We have seen them mature as fighters and we have seen them mature as young men. We’ve seen them struggle, sweat, and triumph. We’ve seen them become fathers.”
“I remember the first time I met ‘Tank’, it was April 2016 in Washington, D.C. He was on the non-televised undercard of an Adrien Broner fight. He had already fought, he came over during the telecast and Floyd introduced him. I remember his very words, ‘This is my young fighter. Watch out for this kid.’ And we’ve been watching ever since.
“I remember the first time I met Leo was in June 2012. Shortly before his first world title fight. He was a very humble, quiet, soft spoken, almost shy young men. Very different from the guy that I saw in the ring about 48 hours after that. The point is, we’ve been along for the journey of these young men.
“They have been battling the odds, literally since birth. We were lucky enough to spend time with them during ALL ACCESS. They opened their hearts, their minds, and themselves to share their stories. The thing I’ve heard most is that the difficulty about this fight is not whether people want to watch it or whether they’re going to buy it, it’s who they’re going to root for. Because if you know these young men’s stories, what they’ve gone through, and what they’ve experienced, it is incredible.
“The bottom line is in these two young men we have two of the most accomplished and popular young fighters in the sport today. Leo has been a champion almost consistently since 2012. ‘Tank’ had sellouts or near sellouts in Los Angeles, Baltimore and Atlanta, just last year. We have got these two accomplished young men fighting on Saturday night. You have to respect their journey, where they come from, and respect the teams that come around him.
“We do know what’s going to happen on Saturday night. Leo is going to come into the ring, throw a lot of punches and show an activity rate that’s unlike just about anybody else in the sport. ‘Tank’ is going to show the power, speed, and the athleticism that has made him one of the fastest rising young stars that we’ve seen in sport in some time. Beyond that, it will be up to them, just like it’s been up to them for their entire lives.”
Fighters competing on the Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz Showtime PPV undercard previewed their respective matchups at a final press conference Wednesday before they square off this Saturday, October 31 from Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
The press conference featured unbeaten San Antonio native and WBA super lightweight champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and challenger Ryan “Cowboy” Karl, who meet in the co-main event, plus former super lightweight world champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis and unbeaten contender Juan Heraldez, who square off in in a 10-round showdown, and lightweight contenders Isaac Cruz and Diego Magdaleno, who battle in an IBF title eliminator to kick off the pay-per-view.
“I’m super excited to be back home for my first title defense. Come Saturday night, it’s going to be an explosive night of boxing throughout this whole card. I’m trying to steal the show in the co-main event.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I’m fighting at home and defending my title, so it’s just a dream come true. You have an Aztec warrior and a Texas cowboy going at it. I couldn’t imagine a better co-main event.
“We had another great camp with Virgil Hunter in California. I’m excited to continue to show everyone why I’m the best in my division.
“Ryan definitely comes to fight. He’s known for being a pressure fighter. I’ve always considered myself a boxer-puncher. I’ll try to use my jab and fight from the outside as much as I can. But I’ve been known to brawl on the inside as well. It’s going to end up being a fan-friendly fight.
“I’m a complete fighter. I have the speed and power. I also have height and length. I carry my power throughout twelve rounds. I’m a dangerous fighter from the opening bell until the very end.
“You’re going to see a completely different fighter on Saturday night. My last fight I showed the warrior that I am, and during the championship rounds, I made big things happen. Saturday night, I’m going to show everyone how I’ve improved.”
“You’re going to see a great fight on Saturday. We are going to steal the show, because I’ve come prepared. I’m at my very best and it’s going to make me victorious. We put the work in. I’m going to seize this opportunity now that I have it.
“I’m not worried about getting a knockout. I just have to be victorious and become champion. Nothing else matters.
“I’m healthy and injury free now. It’s been over two years since I could say that. It’s a new start in a way. I’m listening better and my corner is the best it’s ever been. I expect it to be a very explosive and exciting fight.
“I’ve known Barrios since the amateurs, but it never crossed my mind that we’d fight because he was much smaller than me then. He’s matured and gotten a lot bigger now, so I’m anticipating he’ll bring the fight to me on Saturday.
“I come to fight, I’m rough and ready and I’m coming to win any way possible. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve never been in a boring fight. Win, lose or draw, you’ll always get your money’s worth.”
“I’m excited to be here. Training has been amazing. I just want to go out there and prove that I’m still the best at 140 pounds. I was number one for a long time. This is the first step toward getting my belts back. I’ve been training differently than ever before. I’m really living like a fighter right now. I just have to go out and do what I know I have to do.
“I need a stoppage or a shutout. That’s what I’m looking for. He’s an okay fighter. I don’t want to degrade him too much, because I just feel like I’m the better fighter.
“This is my first step toward proving I’m still the best. You sit and go over the fight a million times in your head and it usually never goes that way. I’m just going to do me and show the world that I’m still here. I train too hard not to be number one. I don’t want to be behind anybody.
“We’re all going to do our thing Saturday night. It’s a huge stacked card. Order SHOWTIME PPV and watch me mess Heraldez up.
“I’m just taking it one fight at a time right now. The landscape in boxing changes all the time. I’m not worried about anything else other than Juan Heraldez.”
“I’m going to go out there and show everyone what the sweet science is all about. It’s about hitting and not getting hit. That’s my game plan.
“I believe that my style is exactly what boxing is all about. I have more advantages in my game than he does. I’m going to make sure that everyone sees it on Saturday night.
“Prograis had his chance to be elite, now it’s my time. He fought Taylor and lost. I didn’t really even watch more than a couple of rounds of that fight though, because I’m a completely different fighter than him.
“Prograis is a step up on paper, but all that goes out the window once we’re in the ring. It’s about boxing skills and toughness. I’ve been boxing all my life, so I don’t think I’m stepping up to him.
“I can box and I can punch. There’s not going to be anything else that needs to be said or done. This fight is going to prove to everyone that I have great boxing skills. It’s going to put me in a position to earn respect, win belts and make more money.
“I don’t think he’s going to be able to land clean shots on me because of my defense. You’ll have to ask him afterwards how hard I punch. I know his eye was really swollen after his last fight. Plan on seeing him look the same on Saturday.”
“I’m very happy to be here in San Antonio. I’ve been doing a lot of sparring for this fight, especially against southpaws. I’ve sparred over 200 rounds so I will be at my very best on Saturday night.
“I came to fight, I came to steal the show, and I came for the victory. I don’t need to talk too much. I can talk with my fists on Saturday.
“I’m very prepared to give Diego Magdaleno a great fight. I’m a classic Mexican fighter who keeps coming forward. I throw a lot of punches and I don’t break down after the early rounds. I love to give a good show.
“I’m facing a good fighter with a lot of experience. He’s had a lot of tough fights, but we came very well prepared to take the victory with us.
“After this fight, people will not be able to forget my name. I’m ready to keep giving more and more in the future.”
“I’ve fought in Texas so many times and I love fighting in front of these real fight fans. This started back in February when I kicked off 2020 with a roar. I was one of the last fights with a crowd, and now I’m back here with a crowd again. I’m relishing in the energy of this event.
“It’s my birthday and I’ve never felt this great. The whole world is right in front of me and I just have to go out and grab it.
“I’m bringing something huge on Saturday. You’ve never seen Diego on this much ‘fuego’ before. I never stopped believing in myself and that’s why I’m here today.
“I know I have to stay focused and stick to the game plan. I’m going to be true to myself. I have to be smart and everything else will be taken care of.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Since we first started Mayweather Promotions we’ve promoted over 20 pay-per-view fights, and I have to say that from top to bottom, this is one of the most stacked undercards we’ve had. That will bring nothing but excitement for the fans come Saturday.
“The opening fight is an outstanding lightweight fight with Isaac Cruz taking on the always exciting Diego Magdaleno in a title eliminator in one of boxing’s hottest divisions.
“Then we roll into former world champion Regis Prograis, who is always in entertaining bouts, taking on Mayweather Promotions’ own unbeaten Juan Heraldez. These guys have gone back and forth during the promotion. Heraldez has told me he thinks Regis is an average fighter, and Regis has talked his trash too. They get to settle it on Saturday night. This has the potential to steal the show.
“The co-main event is an all-Texas showdown with Mario Barrios against Ryan Karl. This will definitely be an exciting bout. They both have highly respected trainers in Virgil Hunter and Ronnie Shields. So you know they will be extremely well prepared. From top to bottom we have a very entertaining undercard, so make sure to tune-in Saturday night.”
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