Photos: Tom Casino / Showtime
Several of the featured fighters for Saturday’s “History at the Capitol” event at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. worked out for media members at Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Washington, D.C. The Showtime tripleheader headlined by future Hall of Famer Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins against Beibut Shumenov in a light heavyweight world championship unification.
WBA super light heavyweight world champion Beibut Shumenov: “I’m feeling great, most of the work has been done. I cannot wait to show what I am capable of. To show the world that I am the best light heavyweight in the world. I haven’t missed any days of training. Every day after my workout my body was exhausted and the next day I was always excited to go to the gym. Every day was valuable for me, every day I saw improvement. It made me happy to go to the gym.”
IBF light heavyweight world champion Bernard Hopkins: “I’ll say that Shumenov is saying the right things because anything else contrary to that would hurt the fight and will not help ticket sales. People want to see you when you’re still relevant, so to me this is the time to show and perform on a worldwide stage. Shumenov wants to make a name for himself by defeating me. All the young guns want to make it big, and beating me would do that for Shumenov, but that’s not going to happen.
“To me, there are no butterflies. I’m eager, but it’s controlled for that moment to come and then we’ll have the fireworks. That’s the good part about it. I’m on stage, and as any entertainer loves the stage, you love the attention. Washington, D.C. is the nation’s capital. This is part of the foundation of East Coast boxing. So when you talk about D.C., you also say Philly and New York. There’s rich tradition and it’s all about history here.
“I think my longevity has a lot to do with the early preparation in my life and my career. I took care of myself like I always have for the last 20 years and I’m reaping the benefits now. A lot of it has to do with just what I do and don’t put in my body. A lot of long-term discipline and staying the course, and not derailing many times during down time, or binging on things that aren’t good for you. I think that plays a big role in longevity.”
IBF welterweight world champion Shawn Porter: “I’m excited to being fighitng in D.C. for the first time. I’ve been training well and the team is working very hard. We’re excited to get out there Saturday night and show what we can do. Paulie is a good fighter, he’s skillful, crafty and smart. I have everything it takes to beat him, I’m just as fast, just as quick. We’re going to go after him Saturday night.”
Paulie Malignaggi: “I enjoy being here, it’s experience. I fought in D.C. in the amateurs, and this is my first time as a professional. So this is a great welcome back. I think Bernard can do amazing things at his age, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to do that for many more fights. Shawn Porter is a young, hungry guy who wants to make his mark on the sport, but I’m in his way. He’s aggressive. He’s got a certain physicality, but we’ll be ready for him.”
WBO middleweight world champion Peter Quillin: “I’ve been in there working on my ability and showing what I can do. Nobody can beat me. What do I know about my opponent? I know he’s bald and that he’s from the Czech Republic. I also know he has a white hat on today and that he didn’t want to say ‘hello’ to me. This is a business, and when you get out of the ring, you’re going to get your check. There’s nothing emotionally involved in that. I just know that I’m coming here to handle business. I trained superbly for this fight. I know I have a lot riding on me, and that doesn’t discourage me. I just know that I have to work hard, and stay focused, hungry, and motivated, and stay inspirational to my fans. That’s what it’s all about.”
Lukas Konecny, former WBO interim jr middleweight champion: “I expect a first class fight, he’s a good champion but not a great one. I want to take the belt home with me. I’m training twice a day, like I’ve done for over 20 years. I’ve got a lot of experience. I’ve been watching his fights with my trainer and I think we have a great plan.”
Undefeated Welterweight & 2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali: “I know my opponent has a lot of experience. He’s a veteran. I know I’ve learned from him, and he’s a good fighter. I’m not underestimating anybody. I’m training hard, and I’m just ready to go out there and do what I do. I don’t really have a game plan for anybody really. Once I see what kind of style they have, I know what to do right away. I don’t have to know who I’m fighting months before. It could be a week before my fight, and I find out who I’m fighting and I know what to do.”
Zachary Ochoa: Training has been going good. It’s an honor for me to be fighting here on Bernard Hopkins’ undercard on Saturday. It’s been great, we work hard like we always do and I can’t wait to fight on Saturday. I know I have a tough opponent, but it’s my time to show the world what I’ve got. I know my opponent is a tough guy. He’s a tough veteran and he’s got a lot of fights -a lot more fights than me- but it’s my time to go out there and do my job and handle my business. We’ve been doing things like we always do. We stick to the game plan. I’m not going to say too much, but we do what we do. We work hard. We make sure we’re always in good shape, and we have a game plan that we’re going to stick to and do what we’ve got to do.”
Marcus Browne, undefeated light heavyweight & 2012 U.S. Olympian: “Bernard is a legend in my weight class, and it’s just like going to school. I have my fight of course and I take care of business, and then I go and take notes and learn what I can learn from the greats. My professional debut and my second fight were in California. But getting to fight in D.C. is great. I get to show my talent here and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s not right around the corner, but it’s like being down the block from New York City. This is a boxing town. So I just want to go out there and do what I have to do and look impressive.”
D’mitrius Ballard: “I know that my opponent is from Kansas City, but I don’t know too much about his style. I know that my opponent is a southpaw so I’m working on that. I’ve just been working my way through my punches so they’re ready.”
Lamont Roach: “It feels great to make my professional debut. I’m ready. Puerto Ricans are very good fighters, so we’ll see what my opponent has to bring to the table.”
Tickets priced at $25, $50, $75, $200 and $300, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, are on sale now and available online at http://www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling (800) 745-3000. The DC Armory Box Office will be open on fight night only from 3 p.m.-10 p.m. ET.