Keith Thurman vs Mario Barrios final press conference round-up

Ryan Hafey

Former world champions Keith “One Time” Thurman and Mario “El Azteca” Barrios went face-to-face for the first time Wednesday, as they previewed their showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View this Saturday, February 5 from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

The press conference also featured four-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto’’ Santa Cruz and Keenan “Bedo’’ Carbajal, who faced off ahead of their co-main event duel on the pay-per-view telecast beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are available at axs.com.

Both Thurman and Barrios will look to rebound from their first career defeats with statement victories on Saturday night to put them back on the path toward another world title. Each fighter expressed confidence that not only will they emerge victorious, but that they’ll do so in fan-friendly fashion.

Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from Michelob ULTRA Arena:

KEITH THURMAN

“It feels great to be back. The time is now. It feels natural. I was born and raised in this sport. This is where I belong and I’m grateful to be back in this beautiful fight town of Las Vegas.

“I missed the action. I love the sport and I love what I bring to the table. I’m looking forward to the challenges that Mario Barrios brings to that ring.

“I’m just happy to be here. I’m back where I belong, which is at the forefront of the sport of boxing. I’m facing a young and capable fighter. He’s a big little dude. It was a fun experience to size him up today.

MARIO BARRIOS

“I never take away too much from the faceoffs. All that matters to me is that we’re fighting on Saturday. I knew that I’d have the height advantage on him. I’m moving up in weight, but I’m still the bigger fighter.

“’I’m in this sport to fight the best. There’s never been a name that I’ve turned down. I want to keep testing my abilities and prove to everyone that I belong. That’s why I picked such a difficult fight for my welterweight debut.

LEO SANTA CRUZ

“I’m excited to be back and entertain the fans. I’m hoping there will be no ring rust because I’ve had a lot of time training hard in the gym. You never know until you’re in the ring, but I’ve been feeling good leading up to this fight.

KEENAN CARBAJAL

“Everyone fights to be legendary. This is my opportunity to be great. I’m ready to show the world who I am.

“My intelligence is going to be my biggest advantage. The ex-factor is my trainer Danny Carbajal. I believe he’s the best trainer in the world. I know I’m going to step in there the best version of myself.

“I believe that I have many physical advantages over Leo. I just have to go into the ring and use them and listen to my corner.

“This is the biggest fight I’ve ever been in, but I feel comfortable. I feel at home. This is where I belong and come Saturday I’m going to show everyone the level that I’m at.

“There are going to be a lot of punches in this fight. Just like Leo, I’m never in a boring fight. I come to hurt my opponent. I don’t feel satisfied until I see them break. There’s going to be nothing but heavy punches exchanged.

“This is my moment. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. Come February 5, expect to see a war and a fight that’ll be talked about for many years to come.”