Boxing’s longest reigning heavyweight champion, WBC titlist Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder,and hard-hitting Cuban slugger Luis “King Kong” Ortiz went face to face at the final press conference Thursday before they rematch in the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View main event this Saturday, November 23 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Thursday’s press conference also featured three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz and Miguel Flores as they previewed their showdown for the vacant WBA Super Featherweight title that serves as the co-main event of the pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at www.mgmgrand.com or www.axs.com.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas:
“This is a great card with great champions and fighters up here. What more could you ask for? Nothing more needs to be said. Now it’s time for action. I’m looking forward to giving everyone the best of me.
“We train very hard to be prepared and go to war. You already know what to expect. The hard part is the waiting. This is what it’s all about. I can’t wait for Saturday night. My opponent has to be perfect for 12 rounds, and I only have to be perfect for one second.”
“This is the holy grail, to be taking on the true heavyweight champion of the world. I want to be considered one of the greatest fighters ever from Cuba. I am very thankful to the trainers who I had as a child who taught me the sport.
“I definitely want to thank Deontay, and my whole team, for getting me this opportunity for a rematch. This is what life is all about. This is not going to be my last opportunity. I’m here to fight and that’s what you’ll see on Saturday night.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ
“I think I’ll still throw a lot of punches at the new weight. I always train the same no matter what. My dad says that I need to be working for the whole three minutes of each round. (Video HERE)
“The only thing that is different for this fight is that we’re working on our power. We’re working on sitting down on our punches because we know the fighters in this division are bigger and stronger.
“My strength and conditioning coach has been having me do more weights than usual and I’m sparring with bigger guys than usual. The ones I’ve sparred before say that I’m hitting even hard than in the past.
“To all the fans, I’m really happy and excited to put on another great show for you. Miguel and I are going to give a great show for the fans and try to steal the show. It will be hard with this main event, but we’re going to try our best to make it the fight of the night.
“Once the fans see how great the fight is, they’re going to see how amazing a fighter Miguel Flores is. We know what he’s capable of and that’s why I trained so hard to get this win.
“To become a four-division world champion would be a huge accomplishment for me. I never dreamed of winning titles in four divisions. Not many fighters can say that and I’m happy and excited to get in the ring Saturday and make this new dream come true.
“I love fighting for Mexico and I think they’re going to be proud of my performance Saturday night. I fight for them and I hope they keep supporting me as my career goes on.”
“Leo is a great champion but we’ve worked hard. In boxing people see the hands fly, but I’ve got ring knowledge. We’re going to offset what he does and get the victory Saturday night.
“There’s not much left to be said. We’re ready. Leo is a great fighter and I respect his family. But when we step in that ring. I’m trying to be like Wilder and knock him out. Leo and I are definitely going to steal the show with an action packed fight.
“I’m feeling great. We’ve had about a year of camps where Leo was the main focus on the radar. We’re calm, relaxed and ready to let it all go Saturday night. I know it’s going to be a tough fight, but we had a great camp to put on an exciting match.
“There’s going to be a little bit of everything. When you have two Mexican fighters, you just can’t help it. When you take a shot, you want to get it back. But I also know we have to remain smart and calm.
“I know his dad tells him to try to box so we know we have to be ready for that too. If he wants to box we’re ready for a technical fight. But if he wants to brawl, I’m ready to start hooking.
“Everything is going to work for me in there. You want to work and not get hit, but I know that I can take it and give it. On Saturday night, we’re going to give it.
“We have worked a lot on trying to slow down the pace of fighters who throw a lot of punches. I’ve been a volume puncher all my life as well. We’re both warriors and people are underestimating me. I love it because I’m going to give them a surprise Saturday night.”