BROOKLYN – Former world champion Erislandy Lara, WBA Super Welterweight Champ Brian Castaño, heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz and the rest of the fighters competing in the Premier Boxing Champions event taking place this Saturday live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, participated in a media workout at world famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn Wednesday.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader is headlined by Lara as the former long-reigning champion challenges Castaño and also features exciting heavyweight contender Ortiz battling former world title challenger Christian Hammer in a 10-round contest. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with once-beaten contenders Bryan De Gracia and Eduardo Ramirez squaring off for a 12-round featherweight clash.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also 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 in Brooklyn:
“I’m really excited and happy to be performing back at Barclays Center, the best arena in the world. I can’t wait to give my fans here another strong performance.
“I have a young strong opponent that we’ve prepared for. He’s a world champion and I’m ready for the challenge. Saturday, it’ll be my time to take his belt.
“Castano is undefeated but he hasn’t fought anyone yet. He’s definitely never fought anyone close to my level. After Saturday night, he won’t be undefeated any more.
“I’ve worked hard and done what I had to in training to be at my best Saturday. I like to fight an aggressive fighter and I think our styles will mesh on Saturday and give everyone a great fight.
“I’ve done everything right in training camp. No stone has been left unturned. Everything is perfect and I’m ready to fight. Ronnie Shields has gotten me into a position to be great on Saturday.”
“This is the most important fight of my career. This is the best I’ve ever felt physically and mentally, so this fight could not be happening at a better time for me.
“Lara is a very skillful fighter. His technique is great, there’s no doubt about it. When I get into the ring, I will be able to figure out the perfect game plan. I’m fully prepared, but once I see him, I will know how the fight will go.
“First thing is first and I have to take care of Lara on Saturday night. I’m planning to win the fight and of course I want to unify titles. I’m ready for any of the champions after Saturday night.
“I’ve watched most of Lara’s fights and I’m sure he’s seen my fights too. I know what I have to do and I couldn’t be more prepared.
“I’m very proud to be representing Argentina here at Barclays Center on a card of this magnitude on SHOWTIME. I couldn’t be any happier because I know what this moment can represent to others. It’s motivation that fighters from Argentina can make it to the highest level.”
“I want to be world champion. I’m going to go in there on Saturday and put on a performance that gets me another shot at the title. I’ve been preparing to be explosive on Saturday night.
“I have a very strong and durable opponent. I know he can go 12 rounds with a top fighter like he did with Alexander Povetkin, so we’re not taking any chances. I’m not Povetkin though. So he’s not going the distance with me.
“Our strategy going into a fight is always the same. Get into the best shape, do our job and when the knockout comes, blast him through the ring.
“Whoever they put in front of me, I’m going to go in there and try to knock them out. I’m not going to change for anyone. If fighters avoid me, there’s nothing I can do about it.
“If there is a chance to rematch Deontay Wilder, that’s the fight I want. That’s the fight to make. I want to give the fans the fights they want.”
“Training was very good and I’m very prepared. We’ve taken this fight very serious because I know how big of an opportunity this is. I’m fully concentrated on this fight and bringing home a victory.
“Ortiz is a great fighter who’s obviously accomplished a lot, but I’m the younger fighter and I believe that will be my biggest advantage. I’m going to take every chance I get to do damage in the ring.
“We’ve been training with a lot of strong southpaws and also fighters with great boxing ability. Everyone in my camp put in great effort to get me in a position to be successful.
“This is my first time in the U.S. and it’s been a great experience. I definitely want to come back. On Saturday I’m going to give everyone a big show and make a name for myself here in the U.S.
“I take every fight against top fighters and I will fight them anywhere in the world. I want to be a champion, so I know I have to travel. I have to go in there and prove myself. I’m going to leave it all in the ring and show the best version of myself.”
BRYAN DE GRACIA
“I’m very excited for this fight. A lot of people are talking about this fight and this card and I’m really looking forward to being in a position to show off my skills.
“This is a great opportunity for me. This is the perfect step forward in my career. I am completely prepared for this fight. I want to prove that I’m the best in the world and this is my chance to do that on a big stage.
“I’m going to combine the great passion of Julio Cesar Chavez with boxing ability and skill to give myself the best chance to win on Saturday. I’m so ready to represent Panama in the ring on the big stage.”
“I am prepared and ready to come for another victory. I have a strong opponent and I am looking forward to giving it my all so the fans can leave with a good taste in their mouth. I’m going to give them what they want.
“I have never fought in such a big city like Brooklyn. I am very thankful to be here for the fans and I am ready to give them an exciting show. I represent the Mexican style of boxing but I am also very strategic and can box from the inside and outside. I come from Sinaloa, Mexico and I am here to make a statement.
“I have a lot of love and respect for Julio Cesar Chavez. Watching his fights always excited and motivated me and I’m going to try to use that inspiration in the ring.”
Photos Courtesy of Stephanie Trapp / Showtime