Members of the media and fans got a preview of what to expect in the ring on Saturday with former World Champions Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse and “The Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov during today’s final press conference for Matthysse vs. Provodnikov at the Oneida Nation’s Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.
In what is sure to be an all-action fight to remember and a treat all fight fans are excited for, Argentina’s Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (36-3, 34 KOs) will look to reign over a new division at 147 pounds and has picked Ruslan Provodnikov “The Siberian Rocky” (24-3, 17 KOs), the toughest available foe, for the ultimate test. Due to unprecedented demand, tickets are now sold-out but fans can catch all the action live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
Below is what the fighters, promoters and trainers had to say today at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.
LUCAS MATTHYSSE, Former Interim WBC Super Lightweight World Champion:
“I want to thank Oscar and Mario for making this fight happen. I want to thank Ruslan for accepting the fight. I am very happy.
“We did a great job in training camp, and I am prepared and ready for Ruslan. I am going to give a great performance on Saturday.”
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV, Former WBO Super Lightweight World Champion:
“I want thank everyone for being here and supporting this event, and I want to thank all who made this fight happen, Golden Boy Promotions, Banner Promotions and HBO.
“I am glad Lucas and team are so sure of themselves because I am positive that once I am in the ring my actions will speak for themselves. I am here to win and I will do everything to win this fight.
“No one can stop my will, my will, will not be broken.
“I fight for an idea, for myself, for the people and to make history. I am fighting one of the best fighters, and I feel like this will make history. I don’t do it for the fame or the money.
“I met Bernard a long time ago and he told me: ‘make your own history,’ and I feel like I have been doing that.
“This is going to make a great fight, the fans have waited long for, and let the best man win.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President and Founder of Golden Boy Promotions:
“It’s a pleasure to be working side by side with Banner Promotions and HBO, making this great fight, the fight that the fans want to watch.
“When I was here at Turning Stone Resort Casino last year for the International Boxing Hall of Fame induction, I stood up and preached on how we should put aside our egos to make fights for the fans. This is the perfect example of what boxing can be when you have two great fighters face each other in the ring. Putting on the great fight is what Banner Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions is all about.
“HBO is one of the best partners in the business, they are committed to putting on the best fights on television. When you watch HBO, you know it’s the best.
“Mario is the top promoter in Argentina, a partner who understands our philosophy, and he trusts us. They have been instrumental to put on the best boxing in the last 10 years. We have to thank partners like him for our success.
“Lucas is one of the best fighters to come out of Argentina. He has a great fighting spirit. He has the best combination of being a brawler and can also box and move when he wants to. This great combination makes him a boxer-puncher, which makes him fun to watch.
“Lucas’ record speaks for himself, with one of the best percentages of knockouts in the sport.”
ARTIE PELULO, President of Banner Promotions:
“This is going to be the best fight of the year.
“I have to thank my partners at Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya and Eric Gomez. It’s very rare and great that two fighters in their prime have decided to face each other in the ring.
“I want to thank Turning Stone Resort Casino, they are a first class operation.
“Both these fighters have gotten here fighting tough, top fighters. They want to fight the best just like Oscar and Bernard who are here today. Ruslan and Lucas believe that they are the best, they are fighting each other in their prime, something that is very rare in the sport.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Partner:
“We are here to make the best fights. The kinds of fights the fans want to see.
“I want to address the media: you all get a chance to write about good fights, you follow them and you know who the fighters need to fight to be on the highest level. To be able to continue to put on the best fights, we need you to put pressure on us to continue to do strive to put on the fights the fans want to see.
“Here, you have two great warriors in Lucas and Ruslan. The fight was talked about and then it was done, and that is what boxing is all about. We want to start a good vibe in the boxing world.”
MARIO ARANO, Manager to Lucas Matthysse:
“We are very happy and thankful to be here. I want to thank HBO, Golden Boy Promotions and Banner Promotions for making this fight happen. I want to personally thank Artie Pelullo and Ruslan for accepting the fight.
“Team Matthysse has done a great job in getting Lucas in the best shape for this fight. Lucas has worked really hard and is prepared to bring the best possible fight against Ruslan on Saturday.
“Lucas belongs in the major leagues, and on Saturday he will show the world why.”
VADIM KORNILOV, Manager for Ruslan Provodnilkov:
“I want to thank the whole team for making this fight happen.
“Ruslan is ready for this fight, this is something he has been waiting for to show that be is the best in his weight class.
“I also want to thank Oscar De La Hoya for saying that the winner of Matthysse – Provodnikov should fight the winner of Mayweather -Pacaquio, Oscar that fighter will be Ruslan.”
ANDREI NAPOLSKIKH, Co-manager for Ruslan Provodnikov:
“This is one of the fights Ruslan has been waiting for, and we are looking forward to a good fight on Saturday, April 18.”
LUIS “CUTY” BARRERA, Trainer for Lucas Matthysse:
“On Saturday, Lucas will prove he belongs with all the greats in the sport.”
MARVIN SOMODIO, Trainer for Ruslan Provodnikov:
“I would like to thank Oscar, Golden Boy Promotions and Banner Promotions for the opportunity. I also want to thank Freddie Roach for having us be part of his team.
“This is my third time at Turning Stone Resort Casino. The first two times we were victorious, and this time I know it will be the same.”
Doors on Saturday, April 18 open at 7:00 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and the HBO Boxing After Dark telecast at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
Matthysse vs. Provodnikov is a 12-round junior welterweight bout presented by Banner Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions in association with Arano Box Promotions and is sponsored by Corona Extra, Mexico, Live it To Believe It! and Khortytsa Vodka. Doors are currently scheduled to open at 6:00 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 6:50 p.m. ET and the HBO Boxing After Dark telecast will being at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.