Photos by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
All four fighters stressed the importance of what tomorrow night means to them at Thursday’s weigh-in, just one day out of their appearance on ShoBox: The New Generation THIS Friday, LIVE on SHOWTIME® (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Both main event boxers — world-ranked welterweight Freddy “El Riel’’ Hernandez (28-1, 1 NC, 19 KOs) of Lynwood, Calif., and former world champion Mike Anchondo (30-2, 19 KOs) of La Puente, Calif., — weighed in at 148.5 pounds just 28 hours or so before their highly anticipated 10-round welterweight battle.
In the co-feature, 2004 Olympian Luis Franco (6-0, 5 KOs) and Wilton “Pretty Warrior’’ Hilario (12-1-1, 9 KOs), of Saint Louis Park, Minn., by way of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, will face off in an eight-round super featherweight bout in the co-feature at Buffalo Bills Resort & Casino in Primm, Nev. Franco weighed in at 128 pounds and Hilario at 127.5.
What the fighters had to say on Thursday:
“I’m going to use my reach and my height. I’m not going to go down to his size. I’m going to fight my fight being the taller guy.
“I respect Mike Anchondo as a person but in the ring it’s either his family or my family and I’m going to take care of my family.
“I know everyone wants to talk about my knockout against (DeMarcus) Corley (on Feb. 5). I have a lot to show people.
“A win in this fight could put me in line for a world title shot. That’s the goal. That’s what we’re after.”
“I know some people might have forgotten about me over the last few years but I here to say I’m back.
“People think I won a questionable decision last time on ShoBox against (Mauricio) Herrera. It wasn’t as close as they thought. I notched the ‘W’ and that’s all there is to that.
“I’m not concerned about his height, absolutely not. I’m think it’s a small advantage to me, no pun intended. It’s an advantage because he’s going to have to come down to my level.
“I’ve run into him in boxing circles. We’re both from L.A. You know how that goes. I know him and he knows me. Best of luck to him tomorrow. I’m going to do my thing and he’s going to do his.”
“I know all eyes are on me Friday night. It’s very exciting for me to get this opportunity.
“It’s been out there, the Olympic class of 2004 is one of the best around. I have to show I’m worthy of a chance like this even though I’m a new pro at 6-0. That’s what I have to do tomorrow night. I have to show I belong among the world’s best at this stage of my young career.
“Wilton Hilario is a formidable opponent, I know that. I have fought good opposition in such a short time. He will see I have experience and how I rise to the occasion tomorrow night.”
“People keep talking about me just taking this fight on three week’s notice. But I’ve been training so it doesn’t affect me at all. I’ve been down in Mexico City for three weeks training with Orlando Salido and helping him get ready for Yuriorkis Gamboa. That’s something not a lot of people know so I think I’m going to surprise some people.
“Being on SHOWTIME is great. But it doesn’t matter. I’m happy for the opportunity but I fight my fight either way. It doesn’t matter to me.”
* * *
The doubleheader is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.