In the three pay-per-view fights preceding Saturday’s main event between Floyd “Money” Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) and Andre Berto (30-3, 23 KOs), Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-2, 17 KOs) will defend his WBO Junior Lightweight Title in a rematch against four-time world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-13-2, 29 KOs), Badou Jack “The Ripper” (19-1-1, 12 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBC Super Middleweight World Title against mandatory challenger “Saint” George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs) and former three-time world champion and Mexican power-puncher Jhonny Gonzalez (58-9, 49 KOs) will be opposed by Puerto Rico’s Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo (25-4, 16 KOs) in a 10-round 130-pound match.
Former IBF World Champion Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (27-7, 12 KOs) and longtime top-10 contender Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs), who will clash in a scheduled 10-round junior middleweight fight during “COUNTDOWN LIVE: Mayweather vs. Berto” telecast live on SHOWTIME® (6:30 p.m./3:30 p.m. PT), were also in attendance.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions LLC. are priced at $1,500, $1,000, $750, $500, $300 and $150 and are on sale now. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per household for all ticket prices except the $150 ticket category, which is limited to four (4) per household. To charge by phone or with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
“I understand that Salido is a strong fighter. We know each other well. That is why we trained very hard for this fight, even harder than for our first. I look forward to gaining this victory for all of Puerto Rico.
“The exposure for this fight is amazing; the entire world is going to be watching. We are so accustomed to each other and we understand that we have to put forth a tremendous performance on a card of this magnitude.
“I want to continue to be a world champion for all of Puerto Rico. I’m in peak condition and I’m ready to get the win.
“Salido can say whatever he wants. I know him and I was able to knock him down in the first fight. I’m confident I can go finish him.
“I understand why this fight is happening. Who wouldn’t want to see us go at it again? But I thought I clearly won the first time, and I am confident I will win again on Saturday.’’
“You saw what happened the last time we fought. You know this is going to be a spectacular matchup. I know Rocky very well and I know he is a smart fighter. Last time I got out of my game plan. This fight, I’m focused and looking forward to a great fight.
“I’m a better fighter than he is. I know that Martinez is going to run, but I’m in great condition to seek him and get the victory.
“It’s about getting on the inside for me. Martinez is an intelligent fighter and he knows how to use his reach. If I can get inside his chest and attack the body I will get the win.
“It’s going to be the best fight of the night. We’re going to exchange blows and pick up where we left off. I’m treating this like it is the biggest fight of my career and I can’t wait to demonstrate my skills one more time.”
“I’m very excited for this fight. We had a tremendous camp. We’re ready to go. I don’t talk much. I’m all about fighting.
“I’ve always believed in myself. Things happen in boxing. I worked hard and that’s how I got to this moment.
“I’ve always been the underdog in my opinion. I like it. It motivates me. I’m going to prove my worth Saturday night.”
“It’s great to be here. I’m happy to have my shot at the title. We’re ready. I’ve been traveling to Vegas to box since I was 13-years-old. Year after year I’ve always been successful out here, always with knockouts.
“British boxers have been doing well in the ring as of late, but there is no extra pressure or incentive. We’re very prepared. We know what we need to know about Jack. We wish him luck, because he’s going to need it.
“It’s a huge fight for me with the title on the line. I’ve been involved with higher competition but I haven’t taken my eye off of Badou Jack. We’re looking forward to a good win on Saturday.
“Training up in Big Bear was great. The first week I realized the difference in the heat and altitude. But mostly I love being isolated. Out here it’s peace, I’m purely in camp. No other distractions.
“I’m confident of winning. I’m always confident of winning. The best way to describe this fight is that Badou Jack is a good fighter, but I’m a better fighter. I’m better than him at every phase of the game.
“This is my second fight at 130 pounds and I feel much more comfortable, stronger, confident and secure than I did at 126.
“It is tremendous to be on this fight card. This is going to be a terrific fight. I’ve trained hard and I’m ready to go on Saturday. The reality is, this is the type of fight that can bring me a step closer to in another world title.”
“The main key, whether I box or slug, is to fight smart. I’m very excited for this opportunity. It means a lot to me to be on a card of this magnitude. I’m excited to weigh in tomorrow.
“When you have Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, you get a war. I have no doubt there will be blood in the ring. Jhonny Gonzalez is very experienced and was a great champion, and I thank him for taking this fight. I look forward to getting in the ring Saturday.”
“When I fought Cornelius Bundrage for the title, I knew I had to win. I had a lot of pressure on me. There was no doubt I had to win. It’s the same thing now. Vanes is a good fighter, but I have to win. I’ve had to bring myself up from the bottom.
“All of the other promoters gave up on me, but Leonard Ellerbe and Floyd took a chance on me and I’ll always be grateful.
“Vanes is a good fighter. It’s going to be a hell of a fight. I have to win. I have no choice. “
“Ishe is a good fighter. He’s been in with a lot of tough guys. I have a lot of respect for him. It’s going to be a really good fight.
“It’s a blessing to be here. I had a really good camp and I’m excited that the fight is here. It’s great to be a part of a show like this.
“I can’t wait for this fight. You’re all going to see ‘The Nightmare’ on Saturday night.”