Fight week kicked off with media workouts at the Redstar and Castro Chiropractor Center in El Paso Wednesday for the huge day of boxing on Saturday, July 18 as Premier Boxing Champions on CBS and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING bring a full day and night of action to the Don Haskins Center.
The evening event on SHOWTIME® features Mexican superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (48-2-1, 32 KOs) returning to the ring to face Marcos Reyes (33-2, 24 KOs). In the evening’s co-main event, Puerto Rican Olympian McJoe Arroyo (16-0, 8 KOs) takes on Arthur Villanueva (27-0, 14 KOs) of the Philippines for the IBF Junior Bantamweight World Championship. Televised coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with undefeated 140-pound contender Amir “Young Master” Imam (17-0, 14 KOs) taking on veteran former world title challenger Fernando “La Fiera” Angulo (29-9, 16 KOs) in a world title eliminator.
The afternoon’s PBC on CBS event is headlined by undefeated Irish superstar Carl Frampton (20-0, 14 KOs) taking on Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez Jr. (25-1-2, 15 KOs). Televised coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT with a heavyweight showdown between Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4, 31 KOs) and “Big” Fred Kassi, (18-3-0, 10 KOs).
Tickets for the evening event, which is promoted by Chavez Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and Warriors Boxing, are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25 are on sale now. Tickets for the afternoon event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with Warriors Boxing and Cyclone Promotions, are priced at $50 or $25 for general admission and are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or the University Ticket Center at (915) 747-5234. Tickets are also available at www.ticketmaster.com.
Fans purchasing tickets for the evening session will also be provided a ticket in the same section for the afternoon card.
Here’s what the fighters and their trainers had to say on Wednesday:
JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR.
“I am trying to get back to the level I once was at. I spent a lot of time out of the ring with non-boxing issues, but now I feel fully focused in the ring.
“I feel more comfortable in the ring and I feel like I have the right tools to win this fight on Saturday.
“Each fight you must prove something, you need to win and put on a good show. I think the fans will see a great fight on Saturday between two Mexican fighters. When I fight I try to do my best in the ring.
“I think 168 is a good weight class for me. Going into my last fight I had an extended period of time off and I didn’t know how my body would respond.
“I will have two more fights this year, but I can’t look past this Saturday. I respect my opponent, because all my opponents are looking to beat me.
“Training with Robert Garcia has been great. I have a great connection with him because he knows how fighters are feeling in the ring.
“I am working more on my jab, I have changed a little bit of my style under Robert Garcia.”
“Training camp has been the best it has ever been and I am in great shape to win this fight.
“I am so excited for this opportunity to fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I have been counting down the days.
“I am not sure how it will end, but I know that I want the knockout. But, I have the preparation for 10 rounds so I just know I am going to win.
“I have the best trainer in my corner [Nacho Beristain]. He’s trained the best for many years. This is no mistake that we are training together and there is no room for mistakes on Saturday.
“He’s a great fighter. He doesn’t need to imitate Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., but he’s always trying to do it. He has skills, but as a boxer he keeps making the same mistakes imitating his dad. And that’s why he hasn’t done what he’s capable of in boxing.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen Saturday. They only thing I can tell you is that I’m ready to win and I will win on Saturday.”
“I’m very excited. Fighting for the first time in the United States on CBS, this is an incredible opportunity for me to get great exposure.
“His dad was a great champion, a great fighter. I respect both Gonzalez Jr. and his father.
“It’s just levels really, and I am at a better level than Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. He’s a good fighter, I’m giving him credit. He will come to fight and make it interesting, but I have all the tools to beat him.
“He will try to keep it long, most of my opponents do. I can punch very hard and when I hit people they tend to go backwards.
“From the start he will try to keep it a long fight, but it’s up to me to use tactics that will work. We have plan A and plan B, but we think plan A will work.”
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ JR.
“My career was going excellent until I made a mistake and took a fight that I shouldn’t have. My team was telling me no and I took the fight anyway which led to my first and only loss. They say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ and I truly believe that.
“They call Carl Frampton a superstar in the UK. He has a world championship. I’m a contender.
“When I become champion, I will have a following, especially when I beat Carl Frampton.
“Everyone has a different style. I’m an intelligent fighter. I’m a Mexican that just takes punches. I can take care of myself. I’m 23-years-old and ready to fight a good fight against a good opponent.
“I have to take advantage of this opportunity. It is a great opportunity for me and I can’t wait to fight on Saturday afternoon.
“There are weaknesses in Carl Frampton’s game, but I can’t tell you in case he hears my plan.
“Its easy to see a fighter and tell them they should have done this or that. It is different when you’re in the ring. I always prepare 100 percent. I prepare for 12 rounds.
“I’ve only fought outside of Mexico one time and it was here in El Paso. I knocked my opponent out and I’m looking forward to repeating that performance.
“There’s a ton of fighters in my weight class and I’m the one that got this opportunity.”
“Boxing forces you to be strong. It takes a lot to get in that ring.
“This fight is dedicated to Jake LaMotta. It is his birthday and a lot of people would get belts and not take them seriously, but he held belts with pride. I never met him, but I’m dedicating this fight to him.
“The goal is to fight for and win a world title.
“I’m a boxer-puncher. Every fight you learn something.
“Angulo is a veteran. He’s a good fighter. He’s been in title fights and fought some names. I’m prepared for a great fight.”
“The main thing is to give the fans a great show. I am going to go for that title. I’m working and grinding.
“Training camp has been going very well. I have been in camp for six weeks. The main thing about this fight is my boxing performance. My weight is what it is, this is me.
“I may not have the six-pack, but I will have the punch to knock somebody out.
“I am committed to boxing. I love boxing, and this training camp has been good for me.
“I would be a fool to say that it doesn’t cross my mind to fight again for the title. At the end of the day, Saturday is much more important than a title shot.
“I want my opponent out of that ring as soon as possible.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Chavez Jr.’s Trainer
“I can’t say I have noticed anything different because I haven’t been in his previous camps. All I can say is that he has showed me something that I didn’t expect.
“All I heard from the fans and the media was the way he conducted his training camps, but I was surprised. I got nothing but good results. He showed up to the gym every day and did everything he was supposed to do.
“He has sparred just around 100 rounds, that’s more than he has done in any other training camp. The training camp was much easier than I expected.
“I’m training Julio not just to beat Marcos Reyes, but I’m training Julio to get him better for three or four fights from now to look at something real big.
“This is the biggest opportunity in Reyes’ career, so we must be ready for him. He also has a great trainer in Nacho Beristain, who may be the best trainer ever, so we must be ready for that too.
“Right after Julio’s loss to [Andrzej] Fonfara, he got right back in the gym to prepare for this fight. He wants to fight on Saturday and then have two more fights before the end of the year. I think this is exactly what Julio needs, to stay active. The fighters that fight just once or twice a year lose their rhythm.”
JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ SR.
“Julio Jr. is in very good shape. He’s had a very good training camp with Robert Garcia and I’m very happy with him as a trainer.
“This fight is a must-win fight for my son. He cannot lose. It will hurt his career very much to lose again.”
“Carl is looking sensational. He’s looking better every time he trains. He’s maturing. You don’t get guys who mature when they’ve won the title. They normally mature as a fighter working their way up, but he’s relatively inexperienced.
“He’s only had 20 fights, but he had an extensive amateur career. He’s a very talented guy. Chronologically, he’s 28, but physiologically he’s more like in his early twenties.
“He’s hugely excited about his U.S. debut and today’s turnout has only amped that up. We know we’re up against a difficult kid.
“We think he’ll be more difficult than his last mandatory defense against Chris Avalos. We think he’ll be cuter than Avalos and fight more defensively. Carl is going to have to go get him. The bottom line here is we have to make an impression.
“He has to be exciting and make an impact and then we’ll come back again St. Patrick’s Day and try to get the winner of Santa Cruz and Mares.”
NACHO BERISTAIN, REYES’ TRAINER
“This will be my third fight training Marcos Reyes. The other two times I trained him, Marcos won by knockout.
“Although he performed well in those two fights, I can see a big difference in Marcos. He is entirely focused on boxing and is much more mature. His mind is completely on his opponent and that’s what will make the difference on Saturday.
“Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is trying very hard to become just like his father and gain the same amount of fame that his father received. The only thing I can tell you is that Julio Cesar Chavez is the greatest fighter in Mexican history; he is phenomenal and made his name working very hard.”