WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter and top welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they battle in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes this Saturday night from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Also squaring-off at Thursday’s press conference and competing in PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes action Saturday were hard-hitting welterweights Abel Ramos and Francisco “Chia” Santana, who meet in a 10-round attraction, and unbeaten heavyweight Efe Ajagba and veteran Amir Mansour, who battle in an eight-round attraction to kick off the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from the Marriott Los Angeles Airport:
“This is special. I feel great and I’m ready to go. I’ve done everything that I need to do so that I’m ready for this point right now.
“I’m sure Ugas has looked at what I do in the ring and sees how tough and rough it is to fight me. He thinks he’s the better boxer and has more technical skills, which is fine with me. He can say what he wants, but the talking is done after today.
“We wanted something different for this fight and we had worked with Barry Hunter from a distance for a while. I think my dad (Kenny Porter) would agree that going out to their gym in Washington, D.C. was one of the best moves we’ve made in boxing.
“Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr. or Manny Pacquiao. Those are all big fights that people want to see. If this fight goes the way we want it to go, those guys are the goal for the next fight.
“I think he’s going to try to clinch with me and also try to catch me coming in. But I’ve been down that road before and I’m going to show you something different on Saturday. I’m more than comfortable that we’ll be ready to make all the necessary adjustments.
“People want to see knockouts. That’s the best way to solidify a win. We’ve seen things not go my way before on close scorecards. We’ve worked on adding some more power and we’ll see on Saturday if it all comes to fruition.
“I’m looking forward to this fight going differently than last time I fought at this venue, against Kell Brook. I’m going to make sure it goes my way this time, but there’s no added pressure because of it. It’s total focus on getting this job done the best way that I can.”
“I’m full of pride to be here today in this great fight. This is the opportunity I’ve wanted and I’m going to take full advantage.
“I am 100 percent better technically than Shawn Porter. It’s going to make this a great fight on Saturday and we’re going to give the fans an incredible night.
“Shawn and I sparred a couple years ago but I’m a way different fighter than I was then. You’re going to see an elite fighter on Saturday.
“I am taller than Shawn, but in the ring, there isn’t a big difference. If he prefers to fight taller fighters, I actually think that will be to my advantage. I’ll show you why on Saturday.
“This is a very evenly-matched fight. I’ve come a long way and now people are giving me the credit that I deserve and that I worked so hard for.
“Being in this position is very motivating for me. Especially because of this big platform in the main event on FOX. I’m going to do what I do best and what I love to do the most.”
“I’m feeling really good. Training camp has gone well. I’m excited to be on this big event and I’m ready to put on a show for all of the fans.
“It’s going to be hard to avoid staying in the pocket and brawling. Whatever comes up in the fight, we’re going to be ready to execute. I believe I have the better boxing skills. My advantages come on the outside. That’s what we’ve seen from the videos.
“We both have fought a lot of tough guys, early in our careers as well. We’ve been in against top guys again and again. We’re pretty even from that standpoint.
“Whenever they offer me a name, we always say yes. I look at some tape first, but I’m always going to accept any challenge in front of me.”
“At the end of the day, it’s a fight. We all know how this sport is. It’s a sport of surprised and it can end in the blink of an eye. I have to be prepared physically and mentally. Expect fireworks
“This is going to be an action packed fight. We have similar styles and similar records. Abel and I are both considered fighters who just need one more extra push to get the recognition that we deserve. We both get a great chance to display ourselves on Saturday. This is our chance to be seen.
“You have to adjust during a fight. That’s what makes a fighter special. On Saturday night I’m going to have to make the proper adjustments to make this my own fight and come out with a victory.
“I was a self-made fighter until I started working with my trainer Joseph Janik. We’ve been working together for 10 years now. When he first met me, people said I couldn’t crack a bag of peanuts. All it took were some minor adjustments to get going on this career I’ve had. I’m still learning and I can’t wait until Saturday.
“People keep telling me this will be my first step up, but I consider every fight a step up. I’m looking forward to giving people a great show. I’m ready to knock him out in any round.
“This opportunity to fight on this card against Amir Mansour is a big one for me. I’ve got work to do on Saturday and I’m prepared to get the win.
“I used to play a lot of soccer when I grew up in Nigeria, but anyone can play football, not everyone can box.
“Every time I step into the ring I know it’s going to be my biggest challenge so far. Ronnie Shields and our team have gotten me into great shape to be at my best Saturday night.”
“I’ve had an opportunity to train and prepare for this fight and I feel great right now. I’m not a fighter to make excuses but I wasn’t as prepared as I needed to be for my last fight.
“I’ve never fought the tomato cans. Ajagba is going to have a tough night. He’s going to have to perform at his highest level and I’m just going to do what I normally do.
“I’ve always fought the best and taken on any challenge. Ajagba better be taking me seriously because I’m going to bring something he’s never seen in the pros. I’m here to win, not lay down.”