Fighters participating on Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions on NBC card took part in the final press conference today at historic Fenway Park in Boston before their respective fights at Agganis Arena, with televised coverage starting at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, are priced at $250, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now.
Here are what the press conference participants had to say:
“A title means everything. It completes you as a fighter. That’s the top of the food chain in this sport, and that’s the pedestal we’re all trying to reach – world champion. Everybody wants to be a world champion. The greats had it and now we want it. It would mean more for my city, my family and my friends, and it’s something I’ll always be able to look back it. It would put me in the record books for life.
“There was a time when I didn’t want to do interviews. I didn’t want to go to fights. I didn’t want to hear fans online and on social media. I closed all them down because I didn’t want to hear people ask, ‘When are you fighting again? Talking about talent wasted, or saying I’m glad he’s gone.’ It hurt because there was nothing I could do. I was powerless even with all the power in the world.”
“Andre says the belt doesn’t mean anything to him in the fight – well, the belt means everything to me and more. I am here to make history and it doesn’t happen without that title.
“There’s nothing but respect between us, but ultimately, we’re going to take each other to dark territory on Saturday night, it’s going to be a brutal battle – and one that I am going to win.”
“This is home for me and I’m thrilled. I know I have a good undefeated fighter in front me, so I’m looking forward to a competitive matchup. It’s going to be a great fight for the fans.
“This is an exciting day for me. I saw Pedro Martinez pitch so many times here at Fenway and he’s going into the Hall of Fame. Also, my fellow countrymen Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz have made so much history here.
“Being here today and then having the weigh-in at Faneuil Hall tomorrow and fighting on Saturday, it’s just an amazing experience.
“This is a great opportunity for me. I’ve dreamed of fighting on a grand scale like this since I first started boxing.
“The entire experience has been awesome. It’s going to be an interesting fight. I’m going to keep coming forward. I’m going to keep boxing all night.
“Everyone should look forward to an action packed night, I know it’s going to be an interesting matchup.”
“A couple of years ago Ken Casey and I talked about bringing boxing back to the city of Boston. Fast-forward to today and we’re doing it.
“I’m excited to be part of it and to see boxing in Boston blossom. It’s good for the city and all the young boxers in this area.
“I know I have a tough opponent in front of me and I won’t take him lightly. I’m planning on putting on a show for the fans come Saturday night.”
“I’m an aggressive come forward, in your face boxer from the first bell to the last.
“I was full steam ahead when I got the call for this fight. I train all the time, I don’t take breaks and I’m always looking for an opportunity. I couldn’t be happier.
“Danny O’Connor is one of the best in my weight division in New England. Everything he does, he does well.
“I just need to keep my head and continue to come forward, I can’t get frustrated. I’m going 100 percent the full way through. If I’m busy and I fight smart I get good outcomes.
The Saturday, May 23 edition of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC features Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) and James DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round super middleweight showdown and Edwin Rodriguez (26-1, 17 KOs) vs. Craig Baker (16-0, 12 KOs) in 10-round light heavyweight match up. . Live coverage of this special Memorial Day weekend afternoon edition of PBC on NBC starts at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT on NBC and goes until 6:00 pm. ET/3:00 p.m. PT when the action switches over to NBCSN from6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT until 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.