Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
Brooklyn favorite Paulie Malignaggi plus IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander, WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika, WBA interim super welterweight beltholder Erislandy Lara, welterweight contender Shawn Porter, super middleweight contender Anthony Dirrell, rising light heavyweight and 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne, and undefeated welterweight and 2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali participated in a Brooklyn media workout at the famed Gleason’s Gym in advance of their fights on Saturday night at Barclays Center.
Paulie Malignaggi, Two-Time and Two-Division World Champion: “I expect the best Zab Judah. [I expect] a Zab Judah who is going to be fighting for his boxing career. I feel the same way. If we saw each other in the gym, we would try to knock each other out. There’s no love taps. With this much on the line you can bet we’re both going to have it out on Saturday. You have to be stubborn to have longevity. One or two losses can quickly demote you to a second level fighter, but you have to have the stubbornness to keep going. There’s a lot of emotion, but at the end of the day we gotta do what we gotta do to win. I want that Broner vs. Maidana winner, first things first. I have to get through Saturday night. A win over Zab Judah is what I want for Christmas. That suffices.
“It’s exciting every time you’re part of a big promotion, it’s not a world championship fight, but it still has that feel and that vibe. On Saturday night it will feel like it’s a championship fight in Barclays Center. We’re both motivated to win, but when you’re at this level anything can get you motivated for a fight like this. If you’re not motivated for this, you better check your pulse to make sure you’re alive.”
Devon Alexander, IBF Welterweight World Champion: “This time, I’m putting myself in Porter’s shoes, I know what its like to get excited for a world title match. His skills are limited and I’m going to come to fight. I feel good fighting here [in Brooklyn]. It is my second time and it definitely feels like home. They’re definitely bringing boxing back to Brooklyn. I’ve been in camp all this time. I’m back to normal and Saturday night you’ll see it. You can expect me to win and be explosive. I’m going to be smart and get the win. I know Shawn is hungry. I was in that position and now I’m in this position. I’m already there and I’m not losing to anybody. I’ve been blessed too much to want something for Christmas. I’ll be giving this year. After this fight we can expect bigger and better things. I’ll be a major player at 147. Whoever steps up to the plate next I’ll fight them too. Whichever fight is available after this, that’s the one I’m taking.”
Shawn Porter, Undefeated Welterweight Contender: “There’s a lot of excitement period. this is the biggest fight of my career. The week is here. We worked extremely hard this camp working on the mental and physical aspects of this fight. We pushed hard to beat the champ. We worked my heart out. We did 18 rounds in the gym. We’re going to mix it up. I’ve seen a few of his [Alexander’s] fights. He’s going to scrap. He’s been booed but he won’t be booed on Saturday night. He’ll come ready.”
Erislandy Lara, WBA Interim Super Welterweight World Champion: “My training went well and I’m ready to go. Dirrell talks too much. He’s all talk and no show. I’m a solid fighter with skills and I’m at the top of my division. On Saturday night it will be the better boxer, better puncher and more intelligent fighter. On Saturday night we are going to see who has the bigger heart and bigger balls.”
Sakio Bika, WBC Super Middleweight World Champion: “I feel good and I want to show the people at Barclays Center that I am one of the best. I want Barclays Center to become my second home. I feel happy to be back in New York. It’s going to be a good night for St. Louis. Everything we did there was good. I’m looking to maintaining my record and win this fight.”
Anthony Dirrell, Undefeated Super Middleweight Contender: “It feels great to fight at Barclays Center. It feels good to be on a big card. I’m experienced too. I’ve been doing it twenty years. I just know I’m an athlete I can do it all. That’s my plan, do what I want to do. I’m going to go in and do what I need to do to win. This is one of the hardest training camps I’ve had and I’m ready.”
Sadam Ali, Undefeated Welterweight Prospect and 2008 U.S. Olympian: “My last fight was here and I want to keep boxing in Brooklyn alive. I want to become a Barclays Center staple. It’s always exciting to fight there. I fought 200 amateur fights and waited for the right opportunity and the right people to get me here. I felt a little rusty in September fighting an awkward fighter, but I feel back to normal now.”
Marcus Browne, Light Heavyweight Prospect and 2012 U.S. Olympian: “I’m ready to show my growth from the last fight and put on a show. I like to have fun and make it look easy. I’m not trying to go eight rounds. I want to end my year on a good note and progress into 2014. My training was great, I was on weight a month and a half ago because I never got out of the gym.”
[Regarding his opponent Kevin Engel] “He’s tall and a righty. Past fights can be deceiving, but he didn’t look fast. I’m going to use that to my advantage and work my speed.”
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Judah vs. Malignaggi is a 12-round fight for the NABF and NABO Welterweight titles taking place on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Super Judah Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T, Grudge Match and Casamigos Tequila. In the co-featured bout, Devon Alexander puts his IBF welterweight title on the line in a 12-round bout against Shawn Porter, Erislandy Lara defends his interim WBA Super Welterweight title in a 12-round fight against Austin Trout and Sakio Bika defends his WBC Super Middleweight title against Anthony Dirrell in a 12-round bout. The SHOWTIME telecast begins at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m PT immediately following ALL ACCESS: Broner vs. Maidana which begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT. The telecast will be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP).