LOS ANGELES – IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and WBC Welterweight World Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter went face to face Tuesday in Los Angeles at a press conference to preview their 147-pound championship unification that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Also in attendance at Tuesday’s press conference, and competing in pay-per-view action beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT were WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony Dirrell and unbeaten former champion David Benavidez, who meet in a 168-pound title fight, unbeaten contenders Mario Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov, who battle for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr., who battlein a 10-round welterweight fight.
The event also featured former three-time world champion Robert Guerrero and unbeaten super welterweight prospect Joey Spencer, who compete in separate attractions as part of FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Prelims on FS1 and FOX Deportes beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. Guerrero will face Jerry Thomas in a 10-round welterweight bout.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday at the open to the public event from STAPLES Center in Star Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles:
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“This is going to be an amazing event. The co-main event could be the main event on any normal, but this main event is going to be fire. You know it’s man down when I get in the ring and we’re going to show you just that on September 28.
“Shawn is a warrior who always comes to fight and leaves his heart on the table. He always comes ready, but I’m in shape and ready for him too. We’re both always in exciting fights and that’s what we’re going to give the fans.
“You’ve seen my growth over the years to where I’m fighting in bigger and bigger stadiums and headlining the pay-per-views. Now I’m in a unification fight, which is what I’ve wanted for a long time.
“I know Shawn will keep this same energy on fight night. It’s going to be an amazing moment when I get this knockout at STAPLES Center.
“This is what I’ve been waiting for. I had to be on the sidelines and watch Shawn fight Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, but now I’m in that group. I have the opportunity to fight these top guys and make my name known.
“My whole thing is that I’m looking for the stoppage. I want to make a statement that I’m clearing out the division. I want Manny Pacquiao and all of the top names in this division.”
“This fight demands this kind of excitement and energy that we have here today. We’re coming to the STAPLES Center for these fans, because they give us the energy that we need.
“Being in this position is amazing and I love it. I’ve always looked forward to opportunities like this and I’m going to bring this same energy into the ring.
“I know what’s about to go down. I know how great and how special this fight is going to be. The closer we get, the more excited I get. We will be prepared for it.
“People don’t understand the level that Errol and I are on. He’s expecting the same thing I’m expecting. We’re both training to go 12 hard rounds and out class each other. It’s all about that one moment, and I know I have what it takes to make that moment all mine. I’m looking forward to it.
“It was only a matter of time until this fight happened. I’ve been patient my entire career and never rushed anything. For me, this fight is happening on time. He’s amongst the elite of this division now and will be after September 28 no matter what.
“When I beat Errol Spence Jr., it doesn’t mean he’s going away. He’s still elite. But I’m going to take care of him September 28 and go after Manny Pacquiao. That’s the plan.”
“Benavidez is a come forward fighter who throws a lot of punches. You can frustrate him and do what you need to do to counteract that though.
“I’ve had some tough fights and people think that because of those fight, Benavidez is going to beat me. I feel otherwise. I’m the champion. I’m older and smarter and I’m going to go in there and defend my title successfully.
“I’m an experienced fighter. I’ve been doing this for 25 years going back to my amateur days. He’s only 22-years-old and he can’t possible know what I can do. He’s going to find out on September 28.
“I can’t only rely on just my experience. I have to throw punches and go in there to execute my game plan.
“Him going for the knockout definitely excites me. We’re going to give the fans something to see. They’re coming to see a knockout and I’m planning to give it to them.
“Being an underdog is great, it motivates me. I’m fine with it because I can prove everybody wrong at the end of the day. It’s about making history, and you can’t make history if you don’t go in there and take a chance.
“I’m ready. We’ve been wanting this fight for over a year. Now it’s here and we’re both ready to go. I’m looking for the knockout and I know he is too.
“I know that I can take a punch, but we’ll see if he can. He’s been dropped before, as have I. I’ve come back from worse than that though. We’re both warriors and we’re both going to be ready to give the fans something to see.”
“Anthony Dirrell is a tough, rugged fighter who has a lot of experience and has been in there with the best. He has height and reach like I do. We’re putting together a good game plan.
“Fighting in Dallas in front of 50,000 people was definitely one of the biggest fights of my life, but I feel like it’s just getting better and better from there.
“It’s a dream come true fighting at STAPLES Center. I’ve always dreamed about fighting here in front of all my people. It’s going to be like I’m fighting at home.
“The winners of this fight are going to be the fans. It’s going to be a great fight and I want to steal the show and put on the fight of the night.
“I have the opportunity to become the youngest two-time super middleweight world champion in history. I’m working hard to do my best to give the fans an action packed fight and accomplish my goals.
“There’s a lot of motivation for me because he has my title. We have respect outside the ring, but none of that will be in the ring. We’re both going for the knockout and it’s going to be a war from round one.
“There are a lot of things that I can do. I can box on the inside and I can brawl. I think Anthony Dirrell is going to want to make it a brawl and stay in there with me. That’s how he fought his last fight and we know there’s a lot we can do if he brings that style.”
“Fighting on a card like this is a dream come true. This will be my third fight at STAPLES Center and I always get a lot of love in Los Angeles. It’s always an exciting experience and I’m looking forward to it again.
“I’m fighting for a title and I’m not going home to San Antonio without it. I know that he’s going to bring everything he’s got. This will be my toughest opposition by far, but that won’t change anything on September 28.”
“This a great opportunity for me to be part of such a momentous card. I’m grateful to my whole team for getting me this opportunity and I’m training to take full advantage.
“On September 28, it’s going to be a great fight. I’m going to start writing my history in this fight by winning this title.”
“I’m excited to be a part of this great card. It’s been seven years since I had that great showing at STAPLES Center against Victor Ortiz, and it’s a great feeling to be back.
“I’m going to put on a show, just like I did my last time fighting at STAPLES Center. I’m going to deliver another great performance.
“Expect fireworks. We’re going to start this pay-per-view off right and get things ready for the rest of this card. It’s going to be a night you don’t want to miss.”
JOHN MOLINA JR.
“Here we go again. It’s going to be another exciting fight. This is a long time coming for the both of us. We both have a never say die attitude and that’s what you’re going to get on fight night.
“Make sure you’re there on September 28, because you’re going to enjoy this fight. We’re both going to leave it all in the ring, just like everyone expects us to.”
“I’m excited to be back on this stage again. We have two great champions in the main event and it makes for an exciting night from top to bottom.
“I just wanted to say something about the shooting incidents that have happened in our country. One of the incidents happened in my hometown in Gilroy, California, so a portion of my purse is going to go to the victims of that tragedy.”
“I’m really happy and honored to be a part of this card with all of these great champions. I can’t wait to go out there and put on a show.
“It’s amazing just to be in the building, let alone to be fighting on a card like this. I’m really excited to give all the fans a great show.”
|Photos from Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions|