During Wednesday’s final press conference at Le Bonne Entente in Quebec City, both Adonis “Superman” Stevenson and Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika promised a knockout when they meet in the main event of the debut presentation of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on CBS Television Network this Saturday, April 4, at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT.
The hard-hitting Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs) will defend his light heavyweight world championship against former super middleweight world champion Bika (32-6-3, 21 KOs) in the main event from the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City.
The case was the same with the co-main event fighters as both undefeated light heavyweight and two-time Russian Olympian Artur Beterbiev (7-0, 7 KOs) and former light heavyweight world champion Gabriel Campillo (25-6-1, 12 KOs) expected to win via KO this Saturday afternoon. Campillo, sporting a Tom Brady jersey, even promised he would win in dramatic fashion like this year’s Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.
Below are quotes from the fighters and trainers from Wednesday’s press conference:
“I know Sakio is going to try to take my title, but I’m prepared for that.
“I know he was a champion. I made the move from 168 to 175 pounds and it worked well for me. I expect him to bring his best at 175 pounds. He’s a former champ so I’m preparing to face a champion.
“I’m looking for the KO because I’m from the Kronk Gym. Knockouts sell. But I can go 12 rounds, that’s not a problem. I train for 12 rounds.
“My trainer has given me a great plan. He knows Sakio Bika very well and we’ll see what happens in the ring.
“Bika is still going to have the same power moving up in weight. He should actually be stronger.
“I’m very focused because I know Bika is very dangerous. I know he’s going to come into the ring and try to give me trouble.
“I’m a knockout artist. I can do a lot in the ring, but first and foremost I’m a knockout artist.
“I’d love to unify the belts eventually, but I’ll let my manager Al Haymon take care of that.
“My mentor Emanuel Steward always told me that as soon as I enter the ring the knockout is what sells. I’ll definitely be going for the knockout this Saturday on CBS.”
“I’m ready to go toe-to-toe. Adonis Stevenson vs. Sakio Bika on CBS, baby.”
“To beat a great fighter you have to be your best. I’m looking to take the WBC title back home.
“I’ve fought everyone – I’ve never ducked an opponent – and I don’t know if he can handle the pressure.
“I feel more comfortable at 175 pounds. I want to test the big boy [Stevenson] and I feel like I can do that. On Saturday we’ll see.
“He’s knocked people out, but I’ve never been knocked out. On Saturday I’ll be the one to knock him out.
“I’m very hungry to get a world title back. I trained very hard at light heavyweight to get a title back.
“I didn’t come here to Canada just to walk and look around. I came here to take this belt back home and I’m very confident I’m going to do that.
“Training camp went very well, we put in good work and now we’re here in Canada ready to shock the world.”
JAVAN “SUGAR” HILL:
“Training camp was very good as always. Nothing different, just hard work perfecting his boxing and the basic fundamentals. We’re looking for him to make a mistake and catch him.
“The way you prepare for an unorthodox fighter like Bika is to make sure your basics are sound. You have to have a good jab, you have to have good movement and you have to have ‘super power’ And I have “Superman.
“Emanuel also told me the knockout sells. It’s something that we both know and it’s something that is imbedded in us. We’re looking for the knockout on April 4. Sometimes I see things that Adonis is looking to do before he does it. So I’ll just be sitting there waiting for Adonis to catch Sakio Bika making a mistake and getting a knockout.
“I’m super proud to represent Kronk Gym. That’s why I wear my hat here. Kronk to me is like my family name and that’s what I live by. I was born into Kronk when I was a little kid going to a tournament with my uncle Emanuel and all I remember is the Kronk fighters winning. And that’s what I do now: win.
“Adonis is an artist, he’s a KO artist. My prediction for Saturday is a knockout on CBS.
“There’s been a lot of talk and now it’s time for action. Toe-to-toe on April 4. Don’t miss it.”
“We had a great training camp. Everyone was relaxed. We had great sparring.
“He was making 168 pretty easy, but stepping up he’s able to eat whatever he wants. The weight is good. We think he’s going to be good and strong at 175. It’s a good move for him.
“He’s never had any problems with power, so I think the extra weight and energy should be good for him at light heavyweight.
“All this talk about Stevenson fighting (Sergey) Kovalev has motivated him pretty good. I think it gave him a pretty good picture of how the business of boxing works. He realizes that when the bell rings he needs to do something about it and he’s motivated by that.
“I can’t say if Stevenson is overlooking him because I’m not around him enough. But I know the fans and media want to make the Kovalev fight. It was good for Bika to hear that because it motivated him. He knows he has an opportunity to do something about it. On Saturday afternoon he can change all that.
“If Stevenson does what he says he’s going to do – meet him in the center of the ring and go toe-to-toe – this is going to be a tremendous fight.
“If he comes to the center of the ring and fights and goes toe-to-toe then this fight won’t go the distance. If Stevenson comes to trade I think he gets knocked out. If he runs around the ring and boxes then it could be a different outcome.”
“I don’t think this is a big challenge for me. I’m ready to face the world champions and raise the bar higher. This is just another opponent for me.
“This is another step that will move me closer to facing the champions at 175 pounds. I want to put on a solid fight and show that I’m one of the best fighters in this division.
“A knockout is never a goal for me. I’m trying to show my work and my dedication in the ring, but usually that’s what happens. Usually I finish with a knockout but that is not my main goal. My main goal is to box and show my skills.
“My motivation is to face the champions. That’s why I work so hard every day in the gym. I will get there soon.
“Why not face Kovalev? I’m ready. When I turned professional my goal was to meet the champions. He’s a champion now and I’d like to face the champions.”
“We started training Jan. 1 and camp has been very good. We’ve been working very hard and I think I’m in great condition for this fight.
“Beterbiev may not have a lot of professional experience, but he’s had a very long amateur career. So we know that he’s ready and is a good opponent for us. We’ll see how he handles things once we get past the 5th, 6th and 7th rounds.
“To get ready for a hard-hitter like Beterbiev required lots of conditioning training. We worked the neck and the chin a lot. We think we’ve got a great chance in the second half of this fight though considering Beterbiev hasn’t really been tested like that.
“As for a prediction, I’m going to knock Beterbiev out in the seventh round.”
PBC on CBS, headlined by the light heavyweight world championship fight between Stevenson and Bika, is promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and presented by Videotron and in association with Mise-O-Jeu. Tickets are on sale now at the Pepsi Coliseum box office in Quebec, by calling (418) 691-7211 or (800) 900-7469, online at www.billetech.com, at GYM (514) 383-0666 and Champion Boxing Club (514) 376-0980. Ticket prices range from $25 to $250 on the floor.