Boxing fans and media members gathered at Placita Olvera in Los Angeles Wednesday as fight week kicked-off for Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN headlined by Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KOs)taking on Abner Mares (29-1-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday, August 29 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Televised coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with a super bantamweight world title fight between Hugo Ruiz (35-2, 31 KOs)and Julio Cesar Ceja (29-1, 26 KOs). Mexican brawler and Southern California favorite Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (23-5, 19 KOs)worked out for the fans that came out to Placita Olvera before he takes on Hector Munoz (23-15, 15 KOs) Saturday night.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $25, $50, $75, $150 and $300, not including applicable fees and service charges, and are on sale at AXS.com or by phone at 888-929-7849 or at STAPLES Center.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
LEO SANTA CRUZ
“We both have a lot to prove. Neither of us wants to lose. I know he’s really hungry to get the victory. I don’t want my first defeat so I’m going to go out there and put a show on.
“I have to pressure him and stay on top of him. I have to do what I always do. If that doesn’t work, we have different plans. We know the way to victory.
“This is a huge fight for Los Angeles. Everyone in the city has wanted us to fight and now they’re going to get it.
“We’re excited and happy to give the fans a great fight. At the end, the best man will win.
“You’re going to see a lot of action. I train hard to bring action. That’s what I do. We’re going to break him down little by little.
“No one wants to lose. We’re going to leave everything in the ring. When two Mexicans fight each other it’s always bloody. We both have everything to lose.
“Fight by fight I’ve been learning and picking up new things. I am definitely a brawler but I can box too. I want to finish my opponent once I get in there.”
“It feels good to be fighting in my hometown. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to fight here in Los Angeles. Headlining at STAPLES Center means the world to me and my fans. I can’t wait for August 29.
“I’m going up against a young, undefeated, talented and strong Leo Santa Cruz. He’s never tasted defeat. All of that motivates me to go in there and be the first one to take him down.
“I’m past my loss and I’m looking toward a fourth world title and making history in this sport.
“Being in Los Angeles means so much to me personally. I work so hard for these opportunities. But it’s for everybody, my family, my fans and everyone. I work hard in the gym every day for them.
“My experience is going to be the difference in this fight. I’ve faced tougher opponents and been a three-time champion. Every time that I fight someone at this level, it brings the best out of Abner Mares.
“Everything I overcame has brought me here and made me the person that I am. I’m more determined now than I’ve ever been.
“I have to win. My gameplan is to get the win. I am in there to destroy. I know what I have to do.
“Anything is possible. He has a lot of talents but I’m going to take what comes my way and put in a great performance.”
“Winning this fight means everything. I am prepared for a great performance.
“I’m very happy and very motivated for this fight. I’m ready for Saturday night.
“Ceja is a great fighter but we prepared one hundred percent to win this. It’s going to be the best of Mexican boxing.”
JULIO CESAR CEJA
“This is a big opportunity for me and I am coming to knock Ruiz out. That is the plan.
“I want to be world champion. It is right in front of me. My time is here and I know I have the skills to get there.
“This is going to be a great fight for the fans. We are going to exchange and show our heart and the best man is going to win.”
“I’m honored to be part of a card of this magnitude. After my last victory I took one week off and got right back in the gym.
“Santa Cruz vs. Mares is great because I know that when two Mexicans get in the ring, they leave their heart and soul in there. I’m excited to put on a show for the fans in the arena Saturday and be part of a historic night.”