Boxing

Keith Thurman – Mario Barrios


Former world champions Keith “One Time” Thurman and Mario “El Azteca” Barrios faced off for the first time on Wednesday, as they previewed their confrontation with the title FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View this Saturday, February 5 from the Michelob ULTRA Arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

The press conference also featured four-division world champions, Leo “El Terremoto ” Santa Cruz and Keenan ” Bedo ” Carbajal, who went head-to-head ahead of their showdown and main event on the channel. pay-per-view television starts at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

Ticket for the live event, promoted by TGB Promotion, currently discounted and available at axs.com.

Both Thurman and Barrios will be looking to bounce back from the first defeat of their careers with a claimed victory on Saturday night to put them back on track towards another world title. Each boxer expressed confidence that not only would they win, but they would do so in a fan-friendly way.

Here’s what the boxers had to say Wednesday from Michelob ULTRA Arena:

KEITH THURMAN

“It feels great to be back. Now is It feels natural. I was born and raised in this sport. This is where I belong and I am so grateful to be back in this beautiful battle town Las Vegas.

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

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

“This is what I love. I don’t care how many days it’s been since I’ve been in the ring, I breathe boxing every day of my life. I came here to show my talent to the world once again.

“I like to beat my opponents. Against everyone but Shawn Porter, I felt capable of beating them and surpassing them. During my fight with Manny Pacquiao, when I took him down, I didn’t let go. I believe I am 15 more punches away.

“I don’t need to waste punches in this fight. I need to take clearer and sharper pictures. I see the warrior spirit in Mario Barrios and I believe he will push me to fight even harder.

“It’s exciting to come face to face with someone who wants to trade. He stepped forward and faced me because he wanted to make a name for himself overnight. I respect that, but I’m here to stop him from following.

“At the end of the day, I’m just growing and I’m learning from everyone I’ve been in the ring. I look forward to showing everyone my poise and experience. I believe my experience will give me the upper hand.

“This is my presidential campaign, I’m back. Welding weight division is back. Without me, the division would have gone bad. I bring the most exciting fights in the welterweight division. With or without the belt, I’m the champion and that’s the statement I made on Saturday night.”

MARIO BARRIOS

“I never retreated too much from face to face. All that matters to me is that we fight on Saturday. I know that I have a height advantage over him. I’m gaining weight, but I’m still a bigger boxer.

“’I’m in this sport to fight my best. I have never turned down a name. I want to keep testing my abilities and proving to everyone that I belong. That’s why I chose such a tough match for my welterweight debut.

“It is a dream come true for me to take on this position. I was patient, focused and disciplined. Now I have a chance to make a name for myself in the welterweight division.

“The transition to the heavyweight category has been going on for a long time. Me and my team loved the results we had in camp and I can’t wait for Saturday.

“Fans will see a Mario Barrios always coming into the ring, but I will be a lot stronger. Speed ​​and movement will be the same and I’m happy to show that.

“Every time I step into the ring I bring that intensity and determination with me. You’re going to have to hit me something crazy to get me out of there. I will always keep coming. I’m there to do whatever I can to win.

“I will have to do everything in this fight. Thurman was the hardest fight for me and that’s why I took it. He can box, he can bang and he has good movement. We had to be ready for every style.

“Keith and I certainly have the potential to bring out the best in each other. It will be a great boxing night.

“I am wanting to make a statement and announce that I am here. Thurman is a great boxer, but my job is to go there Saturday night and do things better than him.”

LEO SANTA CRUZ

“I am very happy to be back and entertain the fans. I hope that the ring won’t rust because I’ve had a lot of time working hard in the gym. You never know until you’re in the ring, but I felt so good leading up to this fight.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring. We’ll see how my body reacts to firing on the night of the teamfight. My team and I really pushed each other during practice, so I believe we will deliver a great battle.

“It has always been my dream to fight here in Las Vegas. When I was a kid, I saw all the champions fight here. Every time I fight in Las Vegas, I leave everything on the ring.

“Hopefully everything goes well on Saturday, then I’ll be ready to fight Mark Magsayo (WBC Featherweight Champion). I wanted to fight Gary Russell Jr., but that fight never happened. I think a fight against Magsayo would be really great.

“Carbajal has the Mexican spirit to go forward and fight. This is a big opportunity for him, so I know he’s about to win. I never underestimate any boxer. I treat every opponent as if they were a champion.

“I wanted to prove to the fans that I was back and ready to return to the top sport. I will entertain the fans as I always do. That’s what the fans deserve. They come out for great games and that’s what I’ll bring to them on Saturday. “

KEENAN CARBAJAL

“Everybody fights to be a legend. This is my chance to be great. I’m ready to show the world who I am.

“My intelligence will be my greatest advantage. The old factor was my coach Danny Carbajal. I believe he is the best coach in the world. I knew I was going to step into it the best version of myself.

“I believe I have more physical advantages than Leo. I just go into rings 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 on Saturday I’ll show everyone my class.

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

“This is my moment. This is the moment we have been waiting for. Come February 5th, expect to witness a fight and a war that will be talked about for years to come. “



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