Current world champion Jhonny Gonzalez and once-beaten world ranked welterweight contender Vanes Martirosyan participated in a media workout on Monday at the Main Event Sports Club in Glendale, Calif., six days prior to their respective upcoming fights on Saturday, March 28, at the The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
In the 12-round main event on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader, the hard-hitting, current WBC Featherweight World Champion Gonzalez (57-8, 48 KOs), of Mexico City, will defend his 126-pound title against talented once-beaten former world title challenger Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md.
In the 10-round co-feature, battle-tested, world-ranked contender Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., will take on undefeated rising star Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs), of Houston, in an important super welterweight showdown.
Here’s what the boxers as well as trainers, Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain (Gonzalez) and Dean Campos (Martirosyan), had to say Monday at the Los Angeles-area gym:
JHONNY GONZALEZ, WBC Featherweight World Champion
“First off, I would like to apologize for not participating in the media conference call that took place this morning. I have never missed a conference call before, and I take full responsibility for missing the call. I know how important these calls are and I promise that I will not miss another one.
“I have been very focused for the past three months during my training camp. I have been training in the high altitude in Toluca, Mexico.
“I have had two title defenses since beating Abner Mares and I am excited and ready for my fight on Saturday.
“Ever since beating Mares, I feel like I am finally getting the respect and support from the fans and media that I deserve. I get recognized all of the time now. The recognition motivates me to work harder than ever before and not let my fans down.
“I feel like I am in my boxing prime. There is still so much to prove and show to the world that I am still at the top of my game and capable of fighting with the best.
“In my fight on Saturday I am going to bring the same energy and intensity that I brought in my fight against Mares.”
VANES MARTIROSYAN, World-Ranked Contender
“I am in great shape, training camp has gone great. I am just as excited for this fight as I was when I fought for the U.S. team in the Olympics.
“I feel like this fight is more of a test for him [Charlo], and I have to make sure he fails the test.
“I used to work with Ronnie Shields [Charlo’s Trainer] for about three years. I am pretty sure they have a game plan for me, but I am a totally different Vanes than the one who used to train with Shields. I hope they are getting prepared for that Vanes because I have changed a lot since then.
“All I can do is prepare and go out there and win the fight. After I lost my fight to Demetrius Andrade I felt like a loser. I can’t lose this fight, I’d rather die than go out there and lose again.”
IGNACIO “NACHO” BERISTAIN, Gonzalez’ Trainer
“Russell has fast hands and he recovers quickly. He has had knockouts at different weight levels. But we’re working really hard, and on Saturday you guys are going to see a different Jhonny Gonzalez.
“I don’t just believe in Jhonny because he’s my fighter, but because he’s fought and trained immensely hard — he knows what he wants.”
DEAN CAMPOS, Martirosyan’s Trainer
“Vanes is such a quick learner. He is able to pick up everything that I am trying to teach him to accomplish everything that we want to do to win this fight.
“We must exploit Charlo’s weaknesses. Charlo is a good fighter, but everyone has weaknesses. My job is to prepare him as best as I can so that he can get in the ring with the best opportunity to win this fight.
“I want to supply him with ideas to unlock that final last edge to come out on top. If he is able to do some of the things that we go over in camp, then he will be in a good position for a victory come Saturday.”
Tickets for the live event are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50, and $25, plus applicable fees are on sale. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available online at www.ticketmaster.com.
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