Fighters competing on Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes event took part in a media workout Wednesday as they near their respective showdowns this Saturday night at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now, and can be purchased at AXS.com.
Wednesday’s workout featured Mexican contender Rafael Rivera, who will battle WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz in the main event.
Also working out Wednesday at City of Angels Boxing Club were unbeaten former champion Omar Figueroa and hard-hitting John Molina Jr., who battle in super lightweight action, and unbeaten prospect Donnie Marshall, who faces fellow-unbeaten Sebastian Fundora in a super welterweight bout that kicks off televised coverage at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Unbeaten 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas was also in attendance, as he competes in a TV swing bout.
The fighters will go face-to-face at a press conference on Thursday that will feature former two-time world champion and Southern California favorite Fernando Vargas. Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“When I got this opportunity, I didn’t think twice. I was training and ready and I wanted this challenge. I’m here to make the most of it.
“Like I always say to my fans, be ready for a great fight. I’m looking to make this very exciting and interesting. The belt is coming back with me to Tijuana.
“I never look for the knockout, but I’ve still been able to get them. I’m ready, so I hope he’s also ready to give the fans a great fight.
“This is a big challenge for me. I’m coming for that world title. I want to prove how good I am and become a world champion for my fans in Tijuana.
“I love to face the best fighters out there. Leo is a fighter who throws a lot of punches. We’ve seen it and we’ve studied it. But I don’t think he’s very fast. I’m faster than he is and I have to take advantage of that. I have to counter him when he comes in and do my job.”
“I’m looking to come back strong against Molina. My style is always to go in there for the knockout and give the fans a great show. The sooner we get him out of there, the better.
“We know that John Molina is a tough fighter. He’s been in there with some of the best in the world and he’s given them problems. We expect him to bring a great fight.
“We’ve seen Molina box before and make things difficult for certain fighters. I’m going to try to make the fight my style of fight and we’ll see if he obliges. Once he feels the power, he might choose to box.
“I don’t think this goes past six rounds. I’m confident about that. We’re going to be ready for anything Molina brings.
“I’ve been doing a lot of healing physically, mentally and spiritually. I’m looking to show on Saturday that I’ve got everything together.”
JOHN MOLINA JR.
“I feel excited and confident. Maybe overconfident, but I am ready. We did our job in the gym and now we are ready for the fight.
“I have to expect the best version of Omar Figueroa. He is a smart kid. I don’t know if he is trying to entice me into a war right away. I don’t know what his game plan is, but we will find out on Saturday.
“Fans need to tune in on FOX and FOX Deportes February 16. This is going to be a war and I believe we’re going to steal the show.
“This isn’t my first go around against a Joel Diaz-trained fighter. I did it before with Ruslan Provodnikov and now it is my job to beat Figueroa.
“I am not affected by being considered the underdog. Every one of my fights, fans make money. I think Provodnikov I was 11-1. When you become a veteran in the sport, you stop worrying about stuff like that. Talk is cheap.
“There is a lot at stake for me. I don’t feel pressure, but there is a lot at stake. Every fight of my career I have something to prove and Saturday is no different.”
“This is my first big opportunity and I’m ready to take full advantage. I’m going to show everybody where I’m at.
“I’m going to take it as it comes in the ring. We have a game plan, but I’m a creator in the ring. I create on the go. I’ll fit in where I can and go with the flow of the fight.
“The only challenge I see is his height. He’s obviously very tall at six-foot seven-inches. We know what we have to do to break him down. I don’t even really see the height as a challenge, because I spar with heavyweights all the time.
“I’m 10-0, but I only started boxing when I was 20, about 10 years ago. I don’t have the time like young prospects who want to play around, I want to fight any and everybody I can right now.”
“I feel excited and anxious to get back in the ring. I’m ready physically and mentally. I know that my opponent won’t be ready for the heat I’m going to throw at him.
“This year I’m looking to be busy. I want to be back in the ring in April if everything goes well on Saturday. After this fight I’m going to move to Los Angeles and add trainer Roberto Alcazar to my team. He’s had a lot of experience in big fights and I think he’s going to be a great help. I can really understand clearly what he’s trying to teach me.
“I’m going to show everyone that I’m the real deal once again. I’m going to prove why these fighters can’t make it through a fight with me. This year is all business for me.”