“I’m a fighter, I’m a world champion. I want to impress the American fans, but I also want to win,” said WBO junior middleweight champion Sergiy Dzinziruk (35-0, 23 KOs) on Thursday. Dzinziruk, his challenger Daniel Dawson (34-1, 24 KOs), unbeaten prospect Vernon Paris (20-0, 13 KOs) and rugged Juan Santiago (12-3-1, 7 KOs) gave their last comments in advance of their ShoBox fights Friday night on SHOWTIME live at 11PM ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
“Normally, it’s not a good thing to change an opponent at the last minute. But, we had enough time to see Dawson’s tapes and study him, so we’re ready.
“We know what we need to do to beat him. We’ve watched enough to know what his weaknesses are.
“There’s going to be a feeling-out process in the beginning, but then I’ll adapt and do whatever it takes to win the fight.
“The European style is a little bit different, but that doesn’t matter. I’m going to do everything I can to win this fight.”
“I was always in the gym, even during my layoff. I always had fights promised to me that never came through. So, I’ve always been in shape.”
“This is the right time for me, it’s the perfect opportunity. I’ve been waiting to get in the ring to show people what I can do.
“It’s a world title fight; it’s going to be tough. It’s a good challenge.
“I saw him a good amount in the gym, so I know what I’m getting into. I’ve been ready to fight for a while.
“I’ve had a lot of fights cancelled lately, so I’m hungry to get in there.
“In my layoff, we’ve been anticipating fighting, so the layoff shouldn’t hurt me.
“I like fighting against southpaws; I like their style, so that won’t be a problem at all.
“They say style makes fights, and this will be a great style matchup.”
“This guy was a late change for me, but that doesn’t matter. I was in the gym and fighting on this card anyways.
“I don’t know much about this guy, that’s how I fight. I’ll do what I need to do in the ring. Whatever happens, happens.
“I’m on the straight and narrow, focused and mature. I’m focused on my career and keeping my perfect record. I’ve got to fight to provide for my daughter.
“I’ve been training at Wildcard (gym) with Amir Khan, so I’ve been in there with some good guys. I probably did 15 rounds with him.”
“I like our chances with this guy. I know him as a fighter and I think we’ve got a great chance against him.
“I know he’s (Vernon) a slick fighter, but he fought Corey Alarcon, a stablemate of mine. He’ll have his hands full with me.”
“I’m an aggressive fighter. I like to be the bullies in my fights.
“I’ve never been knocked down, knock on wood, but I don’t plan on it happening tomorrow night.
“I’ve fought a few southpaws so I don’t think his style will be a difference for me. I know he can switch it up in there, so I’ll be ready for everything.”
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Curt Menefee will call the action from ringside with the Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
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.