Premier Boxing Champions on Spike fight week kicked off in Chicago today with the final press conference before Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (20-2-2, 12 KOs)takes on Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-4, 16 KOs) in the main event on Friday, June 12 at UIC Pavilion.
Action begins on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/PT with a light heavyweight clash between undefeated knockout artist Artur Beterbiev (8-0, 8 KOs) and Alexander Johnson (16-2, 7 KOs).
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing in association with Group Yvon Michel (GYM) and Star Boxing, are priced at $151, $101, $51, and $31, not including applicable service charges, and are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or UIC Pavilion Box Office at (312) 413-5740. Tickets are also available at www.ticketmaster.com or by visiting the UIC Pavilion Box Office (Thursday or Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday:
“I want to thank the fans here in Chicago. This is a great opportunity to show my skills on national television on Spike.
“I’ve been eager to get back in the ring after my first title defense and Delvin Rodriguez is a worthy opponent.
“I’m going to be electrifying on fight night and the fans are going to see a spectacular performance from me.”
“I’m very excited for this fight. We had a great training camp. We’ve been going for about three months, and I really think this is one of the best camps I’ve ever had.
“Everything has fallen into place this time around. As a fighter, you always feel like there may have been something missing. For this fight we had enough time to prepare.
“I’m taking this fight as if it’s my last opportunity. That’s how I’m going to fight this fight. That’s how I’ve programmed my mind for this fight, as if my back is against the wall. This is my last chance at a world title.
“I’m facing a great boxer. He’s a very technical fighter and he has great skills. And that helps motivate me even more. It made me work so much harder for this fight.
“I’ve been reading a lot about what the media is saying about this fight. I promise the fans that whatever I have to do, this is going to be an exciting fight. It has to be an exciting fight for Delvin Rodriguez because this is my last chance.”
“I’m very glad to be here in Chicago for this fight. I’m ready for anything in the ring.
“If my opponent is going to call himself Alexander ‘The Great’ Johnson, then I’ll be ‘King Arthur’ and I’m here to win. Even though I make that joke I am here to win and that is the truth.
“We couldn’t do too much research on the new opponent, but we’ve looked through a couple of videos so we know the opponent is a southpaw and we’re ready for that.
“I don’t like to underestimate my opponents and I prepare for everybody the same. I’ll be ready to go against him.
“My last fight against Gabriel Campillo was against a southpaw, so it’s something I’m used to and I believe I have the knowledge so that it won’t be a problem.”
“I’m not a big talker. Friday we’ll see, but I think he (Beterbiev) is all hype.
“I’m willing to fight anybody any time anywhere. This is just another stepping-stone for my legacy.
“I was not aware of him before I took the fight, but I have fought big punchers before and my chin is strong. I will have no problem with his power.
“I come to win, no matter what day it is, what time it is, no matter what place it is; I always come to win. I’m always ready to fight. This is a boxer’s life.”
“I know that Manuel Quezada is a tougher fighter than the guy I fought last time in Chicago, but I’m so much better than I was then.
“My Polish fans always help me. When I fought Mike Mollo, and I went down, I heard them screaming my name; I know that I can’t disappoint them. I will always give them my best.
“Of course I want to knock Quezada out, and hopefully it will be seen on Spike.
“I want to be a bigger part of Premier Boxing Champions, but the most important thing I can do is what my trainer Ronnie Shields wants me to do in order to win.”