Photos: Rich Kane – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Quotes from the final press conference for this Saturday’s four world title fight extravaganza as boxing returns to Brooklyn at the brand new Barclays Center.
Danny Garcia, Unified Super Lightweight World Champion: “Saturday night, at Barclays [Center], will keep these belts here on the East Coast. See you Saturday night. I want to thank God for giving me an opportunity to be here and showcase my skills on this level. I want to thank my dad, my family who helped me get through camp. I had about a 10-week camp, a hard, strong camp. Got my rounds in sparring and miles in running. Did my conditioning. I put in the hard work. I sacrificed all the things I love to do just to perform and give the fans at the Barclays Center a great fight. I’m ready. I’m going to keep the belts here on the East Coast, and I will see on Saturday.”
Erik Morales, Former World Champion and Future Hall of Famer: “It is an honor to be in New York for the first time fighting to regain my title. It is hard to be in an arena with such of great fighters, but I’m here, and trust me I’m ready. And certainly, each and every one of them is going to do the best that they possibly can to steal the night. I have been training very hard for Saturday. I’ve done tremendous preparation. I’ll assure you it is going to be an explosive night. What you saw in March, it is definitely not what you are going to see on Saturday. I assure you I will regain my title.
“Many might ask, why do I keep fighting? Many of you question me, and I see it in your eyes. You wonder if I’m continuing because of economic status. And I tell you no. It’s not for money. Others might ask if I am not leaving boxing because there is a resistance to leave it. I tell them no as well. We have it planned out, the retirement, and it will be soon. We’re very relaxed. We’re very happy with the work that we have done for this particular fight up to this moment. I’m ready. I have done a tremendous job in preparation. I have done all of the work. I invite you all to come out Saturday night because I assure you it’s going to be an explosive night of boxing.”
Paulie Malignaggi, WBA Welterweight World Champion: “I am very fortunate and blessed to be part of this team. I get to reap the rewards through my hard work to now be a part of this tremendous show. It’s pretty incredible. You grow up and everybody wants to have a big fight in their hometown. Growing up in New York, the thing that we always dreamed about was Madison Square Garden, but it was because we did not have something like the Barclays Center to dream about. Now we do. I feel so happy. Again, I am blessed and fortunate to be part of this opening show where I think that young kids will come out one day, and come out to the fights and, and dream to be part of big shows just like there in their future. It’s no longer just Madison Square Garden.
“You can dream about being part of the Barclays Center and part of a big event here. We’re coming with fireworks. We’re coming with flash and with some big, big fights. And it’s not just my fight. This is an unbelievable show. This is just the first one. I know Golden Boy will keep doing this on a huge level. And I intend to be part of it. I want to continue to be part of it and continue to be part of these huge shows. Being in bigger fights. And I want to be part of the centerpiece of bringing their thing here to the Barclays Center.
“It is a feeling that you have whenever they announce your hometown when you are fighting. Every fighter is proud of where they come from. And I get that extra charge when I’m in there, and they say Brooklyn, New York. I always get that extra charge. But, I know it’s going to be that extra, extra charge on Saturday night when they say from Brooklyn, New York and I am fighting in Brooklyn, New York. And I am being announced as a world champion. I have got a worthy challenger in front of me. I know what it’s like to have all these goals in front of you and all these dreams in front of you and want to accomplish big things. I know what Pablo Cesar Cano is going through and thinking, because I’ve been there, you know. And I know I have got motivate kid in front of me who will come with all his heart, and he’s supposed to.
“I said a while ago, they did not give me for free, I had to go to the other side of the world and defeat a world champion for it, and I intend to keep it right here in Brooklyn. It’s going to be a fight. He [Cano] keeps saying it will be a war. He’s motivated, and that I made big mistake. Listen, man, we can do wars. We can do boxing matches. I have done it all. I have 35 pro fights. I’ll be 32 next month, and I have been in there with the best and fought some of the best, won some, lost some. Won two world titles as you know. There is nothing that I have not seen. So, be at war, a tactical match. So, there is nothing new on Saturday night that I can expect to see that I haven’t already seen and that I’m not prepared to deal with. Come and bring it on Saturday night. It’s funny, I was talking to somebody the other day, and they were like, you must be so excited, and I am like, it’s crazy. Usually I don’t lose sleep over fights. I am calm, but, I do keep waking up, and I keep like waking up and I’m burning myself at night. These guns, they are smoking, and they are ready to go. Saturday night, we are pulling the trigger. Oh, yeah. Smoking. Smoking.”
Pablo Cesar Cano: “I’m very glad and motivated to be here in New York, and also to be part of this great card. To be participating in a card with such great champions and great fighters. But I’m here because God put me on this road. Golden Boy gave me this opportunity. And I promise I’m not going to let it go. I want to thank the champion for giving me this opportunity. But I think he made big mistake because I’m ready. I’m prepared. And I’m going to be the next welterweight world champion.
Hassan N’Dam, WBO Middleweight World Champion: “To start, I speak here with my heart. I have dreamed of this. I thank you again. This is a dream. To go to United States to defend your belt. At the Barclays Center, many people don’t know me in United States. It’s an opportunity for them to know me because I want to be a King, a King of Middleweight, of this division. I do want you to see a show on Saturday night. I am a French showman.”
Peter Quillin, Undefeated Number One Rated WBO Middleweight Contender: “Thank you all so much. This is an historic event right here. This is an historic event and is something that everybody should be want to be part. I want to thank Hassan for giving me the opportunity to fight him. We are brothers in boxing. I don’t look at him like I hate him because I don’t know him. But I know when it’s time to step in the ring, it’s about business, and that’s what I am [all about]. But, I am just very blessed. Like I said, I’m going to save the best for last, I want to thank God. I don’t take anything for granted. I was sleeping on my boy’s floor on the northeast side of Manhattan on his floor not knowing where I would be. If I would have questioned it, I would probably have doubts about today. But, I know that I have the skill to pay the bills. And come October 20, I will look you in the eye, Hassan, and you will see all the pain I will endure on you. This is what it’s about, about me working hard for this. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity, and I am glad I got it with you [to N’Dam], because I am going to show the world what I am all about.”
Devon Alexander, Former World Champion: “I’m here. This has been a long process, but I thank God for getting me here to another point in my career. I’m excited to be here to prove myself once again. I have a lot of doubters. I still have a lot to prove. I am still going to prove myself by taking on Randall Bailey. You guys say that he’s Knockout King Bailey, but Saturday night I will show you what I’m going to do to him. I don’t run from anybody. I will fight anybody. I’m a throwback fighter. And I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll. I have been ready since September 8. I’m just like a cannon, shoot me out and I’m ready to blast.”
Randall Bailey, IBF Welterweight World Championship: “I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, am I going to make it? Well I am here and it’s going down on Saturday night. And you all forgot to mention one of the promoters of the show, Kevin Cunningham, he’s been doing great job of promoting this show. So, I’m looking way too forward to Saturday night. It will be a great show. I plan on putting on a great show, along with all of the other fighters come Saturday night.”
Danny Jacobs, Hot Middleweight Prospect: “Wow, a standing ovation. That means a lot to me. This moment wasn’t promised, me standing before you. So to have an opportunity to perform Saturday night is a dream come true. As a professional, I never had the opportunity to fight in Brooklyn. So this is, this is my first fight back, so this is very special to me. We don’t know what’s going to happen Saturday night so thank you for believing in me and taking the chance. Brooklyn is in the house! Do you understand? I’m a Brooklynite, so for me to be able to perform in front of these people means everything to me. I have a lot of pride saying that I come from Brooklyn. You know, and a lot of great Brooklyn fighters have never the opportunity to have an opportunity such as this. So, I’m very honored and humbled to be able to say I was a part of this first historic event. God is good. I want to thank for your support, and Saturday night you will see the return of Danny Jacobs. Thank you very much and God bless.”
Eddie Gomez, Rising Junior Middleweight Star: “Let me catch my breath. What can I say? I’m honored to be fighting on this card with all of these great champions. Once they open the doors, I am ready for the fight. I am excited. Come October 20, I want everybody to come out and support us.”
Luis Collazo, Former World Champion: “I am not much of a talker, but if you’re looking for a fight, I’ll give you one. Thanks for my trainers. As a fighter, there are many ups and downs, but you keep moving forward and it helps to have a great team to keep me focused. This is a great opportunity. And I will represent Brooklyn until the day that I die.”
Dmitry Salita, Former World Title Contender: “I want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to be on this great show. It’s a great honor to be on this card. I look forward to putting on a great performance. I know that I have to look impressive. I have to look great to put myself in title contention. And can that’s what I plan to do on Saturday night. I also want to say that three fighters on the show, myself, Luis Collazo and Danny Jacobs are from the City Boxing Club. And, and boxing people from New York City, Jimmy O. passed a year and a half ago, so you know, his memory lives on. I will also represent them on Saturday night.”
Boyd Melson, Rising Junior Middleweight Prospect: “Most importantly, this is an incredible chance for me in boxing. I am wearing this band (on his left wrist) to remind me of why I’m here – to donate my winnings to a clinical trial to cure spinal cord injuries. I am hoping that I can unite my boxing career with my ‘Team Fight to Walk’ efforts for this cause. We have already raised $100,000 but we have lofty goals that keep me motivated and strong.”
Oscar De La Hoya, President, Golden Boy Promotions (after announcing he will match Boyd’s purse and make a personal donation to “Team Fight to Walk.”): “There is a buzz in the air with Golden Boy, Showtime and Barclays bringing championship boxing back to Brooklyn. People are talking about this event all over New York and we are excited to be a part of it. Making history Saturday night, four world title fights, championship boxing back in Brooklyn. You really don’t want to miss it. We are proud to be putting this event on regular Showtime rather than pay-per-view. It could have easily have been on pay-per-view because of the magnitude of this event. Thank you very much to the Barclays Center, and thank you very much to all the champions who are here. Tomorrow we do have the weigh-in taking place at the Barclays Center. It’s open to the public, so come down, meet the fighters, watch them weigh in. I will be there signing autographs, taking pictures and we’re looking forward to all the fans coming down there Friday at 1:00 p.m.”
Melvina Latham, NYSAC Chairman: “Be still my heart. This is so exciting to have boxing back in Brooklyn. As the New York State Athletic Commission Chairman, I’m your welcoming committee and you are here. What else do I need to say?”