Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN and undercard fighters held a final press conference Thursday at B.B. Kings Blues Club & Grill in Times Square as they near their Saturday, August 1 showdowns at Barclays Center.
The event is headlined by undefeated star Danny “Swift” Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs) as he makes his 147-pound debut against two-time world champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs). Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. as middleweight world champion Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs) defends in his hometown against former world champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (28-3-2, 9 KOs).
Here is what the participants had to say Thursday:
“We had a tremendous camp, I’ve never felt so strong in my life. For the first time in my career I can actually train to get better.
“We’re just focused on training. We did everything in camp – we even chased chickens.
“I accomplished a lot at 140-pounds and I’m going to do a lot at 147. On Saturday at Barclays Center you’re going to see a spectacular Danny Garcia.
“I want to be known as a great Philadelphia fighter and a great Puerto Rican fighter. I’m the first Puerto Rican from Philly to ever be a world champion. I have the Philly skills and toughness with the Puerto Rican blood, it’s the perfect mixture.
“I’ve watched Paulie fight my whole career. He’s a tough veteran and I’m sure he’s got some tricks up his sleeve. I just have to go in there and stick to business on Saturdaynight.
“Barclays Center is my home away from home. We have a nice routine when we’re in Brooklyn. We keep it simple.
“I pay attention to the positive things in my career and that’s getting in the gym and working hard and getting better. That’s my main focus.
“Everything is better at 147. I feel stronger. My form feels good. The footwork is great. I can eat regularly now. Still disciplined but it’s a lot easier.”
“For Danny’s team, it’s only about him and for me it’s all about myself. My best versus his best. This is a big opportunity from me, professionally and personally. My career started 14 years ago in Brooklyn and people think it’s going to end Saturday in Brooklyn, but I’m not letting that happen.
“It’s been an emotional camp. I find myself thrust back into the limelight of a major fight when it was least expected. The question marks and doubts come up in my mind and that’s made it emotional. I work hard every day. I’ve quietly had one of my best training camps
“There are no excuses here. Saturday night is the best of Paulie Malignaggi. I look forward to testing myself against the best Danny Garcia. I’ve always loved and relish the big names and the big opportunities.
“Sometimes I lay in bed at night thinking about matchups between fighters. Now I’m thinking of myself in that conversation and we’ll fin out on Saturday how I stack up.
“Quietly but surely, I’m very confident about Saturday night. I’m bringing my best.”
“This is another great opportunity to showcase my skills. I’m on a good knockout streak and I feel confident about this fight.
“Sergio Mora is a Rubik’s cube, you have to figure him out. He’s crafty and I have the utmost respect for him. I’m 100 percent confident in my ability to go out there and put on a good show
“I hear Sergio is coming here to knock me out and if that’s the case this is going to be a real exciting fight. I look forward to it because I’m coming forward and if two guys are doing that it’s going to be a great fight.
“I’m excited to give these Brooklyn fans a great fight. I love being at home and seeing all of the familiar faces I’ve seen since the amateur days.”
I’m excited to fight at Barclays Center. Brooklyn is beautiful and has great fans. Lou DiBella is about to have another fighter named Sergio as a middleweight champion afterSaturday night.
“I think this is going to be a really successful fight because of all the stars up here. It’s a great event for boxing fans.
“I’m a grown man now and I’m looking to become a two-time world champion. This is my third time at a middleweight title shot but the first time an opponent showed up. I’m excited and ready to go. I’m thankful for everyone who has opened the door for me. This is it.
“Daniel is strong in the ring. He’s a powerful, confident champion. He’s not used to losing and he’s used to hitting his targets, but I’m the total opposite of that. It’s going to be tough for him.
“Until he gets in there with me and realizes how tough I am, then he’s going to realize he has a challenge coming to him. I want to take him out of his element.
“It’s a big burden to be a hometown fighter and he’s going to realize that. It’s detrimental to be fighting in your hometown and I think he’s too young to realize that. It’s going to be to my advantage on fight night.”
ANGEL GARCIA, Danny’s Father & Trainer
“Danny had a great camp. It was an awesome camp and he’s going to make a lot of noise. We’re not taking Malignaggi lightly, but we’ve come to win. We don’t come to lose.
“It’s not about Malignaggi, it’s about Danny. People can say whatever they want to say but we’re coming to make noise at 147. We’re not running from anybody.
“I promise you Danny will be the world champion at 147. I’ve seen visions of it. This is going to be a great fight and then after that anybody can get it.”
LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment
“I’ve known Paulie Malignaggi since he was a teenager and won the nationals in a big surprise to people. He turned pro on one of my shows and one thing I know about him, it’s that he’s not going to back down from a challenge and he’s going to give it 110 percent on Saturday.
“Danny Garcia has been a dominant force in the 140-pound division. He’s won fights by stunning knockout and he’s won by decisions. He always finds a way to win. That’s what he’s planning to do on Saturday night.
“Sergio Mora is here to challenge for another world championship. He comes in on a good streak of impressive wins. He’s always been known as a boxer and he’s been in the ring with the best fighters in the world.
“Daniel Jacobs is one of the best guys in boxing. His story of perseverance is one that has been told many times. He’s a young, strong champion looking to show that he’s got what it takes in the ring as well as outside of it.
“This is a fantastic card featuring four great fighters from Brooklyn on the undercard. We’re going to open the doors and immediately start with these great fights.
“This will be Heather Hardy’s fourth fight at Barclays Center and she will be joined on the undercard by Polish heavyweight from Brooklyn Adam Kownacki, who is looking to make some noise in the division.
“Rafael Vasquez has a truly inspirational story. He uses boxing to draw attention to the cause of autism and his wife who is battling courageously against cancer, and winning. I really want to see him get a world title shot, because his life has been a battle that he takes on with courage every day.
“We also have a terrific prospect in Prichard Colon from Puerto Rico. He’s undefeated and really an exciting guy to watch in the ring.”
BRETT YORMARK, CEO of Barclays Center
“It’s our 14th big night of boxing in Brooklyn and we’re really excited about it. It’s a business we’re committed to and one we want to grow. Our goal is to go monthly with big events at Barclays Center.
“With Paulie and Danny, it’s a big night to have them back at Barclays Center. It is the fourth time for both and they both represent Brooklyn so well.
“I want to welcome Sergio Mora for the first time and we’re excited to have you in Brooklyn.
“As we’ve told Danny Garcia before, this is his second home and we’re happy to have you and your father back.
“We’re excited to be on ESPN, because they provide an incredible platform for these fighters and the sport as a whole.
“We expect a great crowd on Saturday night and we look forward to an exciting night at Barclays Center.”