Hard-hitting rising welterweight contender Eimantas Stanionis and former world champion Luis Collazo went face-to-face at a press conference Thursday to preview their showdown that headlines FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes this Saturday, August 7 from The Armory in Minneapolis.
The press conference also featured unbeaten welterweight and two-time Venezuelan Olympian Gabriel Maestre and Mykal Fox, who meet for the Interim WBA Welterweight Title in the co-main event and former-two division world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” and Luke Santamaría, who duel to kick off the telecast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Warriors Boxing, are on sale now and can be purchased at the Armory at http://ArmoryMN.com/ and through Ticketmaster.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday in Minneapolis:
“I’m very excited to fight here. I fought in Minneapolis in 2019 and the fans are great here. They love a good show. I want to thank the whole PBC family for this opportunity against a great fighter in Luis Collazo.
“Collazo has faced the top guys and he likes to fight fire with fire like I do. I am prepared for an action-packed fight.
“I got confidence from my last fight knowing that I can go 12 hard rounds. I got tested in that fight against Thomas Dulorme, but I think it was my worst night. I was not at my best. This time I’m 100% prepared and ready to go.
“I just have to win and keep winning. I want to get to the world title shot. Lithuania has never had a pro world champion and I want to make history. I have great competition on Saturday and I want to show that I can compete with any of the top guys.
“I think I deserve the title shot if I win on Saturday. I’m ranked high by the WBA and I’m going to be in position to fight the best sooner rather than later.
“I think I can compete with the top guys right now. When you go into the ring, it doesn’t matter who the favorite is. I like to give 100% of my heart into the ring. This is an entertainment sport and we’re entertainers. That’s my mentality coming into the fight.”
“I can’t wait for Saturday night. It’s been a long road and I’m just eager to step back in the ring and do what I do best on fight night.
“This is going to be my last fight on Saturday night. The sport is overwhelming in many ways and sometimes it’s hard to enjoy it. Even saying that, I’m bringing everything I’ve got on Saturday. I’m going to leave my mark once again.
“Right now the only thing he has on me is age. Age doesn’t matter though, when you fight and stay in the gym like I do. That’s what I do for a living. I’ve been consistent and there’s no excuses coming into this fight.
“You can’t compare one fighter to another really. It doesn’t matter if they have similar styles. You have to prepare for each guy to the best of your abilities. Once that bell rings, everything can change real quick.”
“I’m very happy for this opportunity. I want to thank my whole team for putting me in this position. I worked so hard for this fight and I just want to tell the fans in Minneapolis that I’m going to bring a great fight on Saturday.
“I know that the U.S. fans like action and I’m going to bring that. I don’t like to run around the ring, so they can expect a war on Saturday.
“I would love to fight Jamal James after this. But first thing is first. I need to take care of Mykal Fox. I’m going to show everyone what I have on Saturday and then take it from there.”
“I’m very excited for this fight. I’ve done the backup thing a few times, and it’s a stale feeling when you don’t fight. I’m a fighter and I want to compete and I can’t wait to step in there on Saturday night.
“I think I have an advantage coming in as a late replacement. I was in the gym training for this card already. It’s going to be hard for someone to flip and fight someone with my attributes. I think I have a different style than Cody Crowley. I’m not coming off the couch, I’m going to be ready to go 12 rounds if need be.
“We have a full welterweight card here, so I think any of us could face Jamal James next. If I win this belt, I’d for certain be excited to face James. I want to take the interim off the title and fighting Jamal is a great way to do that. He’s going to have a front row seat to watch us perform.”
“Thanks for having me here in Minnesota. I’m excited to be here and share the stage with these great fighters. I thank Luke for taking on this challenge. I’m just here to get some rust off and get back into title contention. That’s my purpose.
“I feel good, I feel strong and I’m happy. That’s the most important thing. I can’t wait to get in there and show out. I see a good couple of years for me ahead. I have to take it one fight at a time and take care of Luke on Saturday.
“Fans are going to see a great show on Saturday. It’s a great card from top to bottom. I’m back to being myself. I’m fast and explosive, with power. I’m known as a boxer-puncher, so you’re going to see a bit of everything on Saturday.
“This is his biggest opportunity yet in his career. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be ready and come to fight. Anybody I fight, knows they have to come ready. He knows I have a name. Any time a fighter steps into the ring, he’s a threat. I have to treat him as such.”
“This is a great opportunity for me. He’s been in the ring for a long time and has a lot of experience. I’m looking forward to putting on a good show and giving the fans a great fight.
“A win would put me where every fighter wants to be, on top. I trained with everything I have. We’re ready to go home with this win.
“I’m going to be in there doing my thing. I’m definitely going to make this a memorable fight and leave it all in the ring.”