Heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and bruising Polish challenger Artur Szpilka took time out of their intense training schedules to exchange some words on a media conference call Wednesday before they meet in the ring on Saturday, January 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Wilder and Szpilka will meet in the first heavyweight title matchup in Brooklyn in 115 years as the American heavyweight champ looks to defend his belt for the third time.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Warriors Boxing and Sferis Knockout Promotions, start at $25, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.comor by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Purchase before January 1 and receive a 10% discount. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“I’m always in shape. I’m always in the ring because I’m in love with this sport.
“There’s so much rich history in Brooklyn. Barclays Center still needs a face. Why not me? I have friends and family in New York. That’s the mission that I’m on.
“Don’t get too overwhelmed by the opportunity, Szpilka. You still have to do something with it.
“Once I knock Szpilka out, I want all the Polish fans to come on the “Bronze Bomber” train as I bring the heavyweight division back to the top.
“I’m the guy who has everything it takes to be heavyweight champion of the world. It’s not just about being great inside the ring, it’s about being able to do great things outside of the ring. Not everyone has that. I love to be out there with the people.
“I don’t care who it is. It doesn’t matter who is in the ring with me. I love a fighter who’s not scared because it gives me the motive to knock him out. I don’t play around because I mean business.
“I’m looking for a grand show. It’s going to be a great performance to kick off 2016. This is going to be a huge year for me. I’m knocking Szpilka out and I’m sending a message to everyone who stands in my way.”
“I hope that you hear loud and clear, I can win this fight. My mind is ready, my body is ready. You’re done January 16.
“I have everything that a good boxer needs. I’m very confident and I know that this is my time. I have respect for him, but he’s never fought somebody like me. Everybody he fought but Bermane Stiverne was a bum.
“Only three people have actually tried to fight him. Everybody else had already lost before they got into the ring.
“I wanted this fight. This is my time. The heavyweight titles are wide open. There’s new blood for boxing.
“There is a big difference between me now and two years ago. I trust in my corner. You will all see a new Artur Szpilka on January 16.”