Fighters competing on the huge Premier Boxing Champions on CBS and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING cards held an open to the public final press conference Thursday before they enter the ring this Saturday, July 18 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
The evening event on SHOWTIME® features Mexican superstar Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.(48-2-1, 32 KOs) returning to the ring to face Marco Reyes (33-2, 24 KOs). In the 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) meeting 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 betweenChris “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 is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR.
“I know I have a tough opponent in front of me. I’m ready. I’ve prepared very well with Robert Garcia. He has a great trainer too in Nacho Beristain.
“I’ve recovered well from my last fight. I had too much time away from boxing before. On Saturday everyone will see me at my best.
“When two Mexican fighters take the ring, there’s going to be a lot of action. You don’t want to miss any of this one.”
“I have a great deal of admiration and respect for Julio Sr. and Julio Jr.
“There is something magical that happens when two Mexican fighters step in the ring. I am very determined and ready to put on amazing performance.
“I will leave my all in the ring against Chavez Jr.”
‘”This is the biggest shot I’ve had and I’m going to give it my all. This fight is very important to me.
“This is going to be a great fight. I promise that I’m going to leave everything in the ring on Saturday night.”
“This is my first time on this big stage. I’ve fought all over the world and I just want to thank everybody for this great opportunity.
“I promise that I will give the best I have and a great fight this Saturday night.”
“When I get the belt, I will hold it with pride with the name of “Young Master.
“I’m coming to put on a show and do damage. This is my title shot right here. I am not thinking of anything past this fight.”
“El Paso is a big boxing city and people here love their boxing.
“I know that Gonzalez Jr. has a height and reach advantage on me. I think he’s going to try to keep it long. He’s young, hungry and from a good pedigree, I’m expecting a good fight.”If I can perform at my best I should be able to get rid of this guy. I want to be explosive and that’s not disrespect to my opponent.”There really isn’t anything different I did to prepare for this fight. We must get close to him. I brought in sparring partners similar to the stature of my opponent.”If you want to create a legacy in boxing you must come to the United States. It’s important for me to come here, the time was right.”There’s a few names I would like to fight next, possibly Scott Quigg, Abner Mares and Gary Russell.
“I’m can go forward, move back, stay in the pocket and most importantly I just do whatever it takes to win.
“I have an exciting style and the Mexican-American fans will appreciate it. They love an all-action style and I’m going to show them that I have a crowd-pleasing style.
“Everyone has been very friendly since I arrived in America. I’ve met many approachable and nice people. The weather is very different from back home so I’ve gotten to do some sunbathing in between training sessions, which is nice.”
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ JR.
“I love being in the underdog role because every time I’ve been in the underdog role I’ve come out with the victory. I not only win, but I get the knockout. I love everything being against me.
“Having my dad as a former world champion can be hard. There can be a lot of pressure from my dad to be better than him. But he always has my back and is in my ear. I got a lot of experience from my dad.
“Frampton is a very intelligent fighter who hits hard. He’s too aggressive sometimes because in boxing you have to be more intelligent and try not to get hit. He’s a very good fighter; there’s a reason he is a champion though.
“In every fight you have to give it everything you have, no matter who you’re in there against. You have to leave it all in the ring and that’s what I do.
“I can box, but I’m Mexican so I like aggression too. It’s going to be a war. I want that title and I know he’s not just going to give it to me. I have to go get it.”
“I’m honored to be fighting for the first time in El Paso in front of these terrific boxing fans.
“I love fighting and I’m thrilled that fans all over the country can watch this fight on CBS Saturday afternoon.
“Fred Kassi is coming to win, this is a big opportunity for him, but I plan on putting on a show and being victorious on Saturday.
“Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. was a hero to me when I started fighting and it’s a thrill to know that he will be watching my fight in person.
“I want the green belt, it’s the one I’ve always wanted. After Kassi I want to fight Deontay Wilder and become a champion.”
“I thank Chris for this opportunity; it’s great to be fighting on this big day of boxing in the presence of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
“Chris is a hard-hitting heavyweight and I have a lot of respect for him but come Saturday I will have my hand raised.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Chavez Jr. Trainer
“There’s not much left to say. We had a great training camp. Everyone on the team has done what they had to do.
“Julio followed the instructions all camp and we’re ready to give the fans a great fight.”
JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ SR., Chavez Jr.’s Father
“I was ready to talk trash, but after Nacho was so kind I will follow in his footsteps.
“There is something special when two Mexicans step into the ring. I can promise my son is ready and I can promise a great fight.
NACHO BERISTAIN, Reyes’ Trainer
“I have nothing but respect for Chavez and his team. I’ve known them for many years. I will not speak badly of them. I know on Saturday everyone is going to get a great fight on a massive platform on SHOWTIME with two Mexicans going toe-to-toe in the ring.”
BARRY MCGUIGAN, Frampton’s Manager
“I didn’t even know Frampton was from Belfast when I signed him. Once I learned more about him I thought that this was meant to be, his background is so similar to mine.
“The more I saw from Frampton the more I saw that he could really compete at the highest level of this sport.
“I’ve invested six years into Carl and it’s been the most enjoyable and gratifying experience of my life. Shane has developed into an incredible boxing coach and I’m hugely proud of him.”
SHANE MCGUIGAN, Frampton’s Trainer
“I used to box with Carl as an amateur and when my dad (Barry) used to ask me who I thought would be the best pro on the Irish team I’d say, ‘it’s Carl Frampton, he’s got world class style.’
“Five years ago my dad asked me to hold the pads for Carl a couple of times and it just gelled. Here we are today. We work really well together and I feel I found my forte as a coach.
“Gonzalez is no pushover but I don’t think he’s on Carl’s level. I think Carl is going to knock him out in an exciting fight. This is about making a statement. Next thing you know we’ll have the massive super fights coming.”
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ, Gonzalez’s Father & Former World Champion
“The words other people say about this fight, they are only words. The fight is going to beSaturday and everyone is going to see what happens.
“My son is very prepared and he’s going to win. We’ve done everything right in camp. It’s my son’s time and he’s coming to win.
“They got the wrong opponent for Frampton. My son is a very strong fighter and everyone will see on Saturday.
“I love Mexico and this fight is going to be for Mexico.”