By Ryan Burton
LAS VEGAS - The six elite 154-pound fighters competing on Saturday's SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader went face-to-face for the first time Thursday at the final press conference before they enter the ring live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Photos by Stephanie Trapp.
In attendance Thursday and headlining the event were WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Erislandy Lara and top contender Vanes Martirosyan. Televised coverage begins live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT and features IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo taking on former champion Austin Trout plus undefeated challenger Jermell Charlo battling hard-hitting John Jackson for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now. Ticket prices start at $39, and are available online at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000;www.ticketmaster.com.
Twin brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo celebrated their 26th birthday Thursday and were celebrated with a cake at the final press conference that took place at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan. On Saturday they look to become the first twin brothers to hold world titles at the same time in the same weight class.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
"I plan on going in there and getting into my zone and making the adjustments that will allow me to be victorious.
"One difference between this fight and our last fight is that I'm coming into this fight 100 percent healthy. I'm not making any excuses but I had a fractured knuckle going into our first fight. I still felt I was winning the fight. This time I'm not going to leave any doubt about who is the best.
"I have no pressure on me. I feel calm. Part of that comes with experience but I also know that I'm going to go in there and execute my game plan like I always do.
"I'm always stuck in controversial fights because of my fighting style.
"I'm excited to be sharing the stage with the Charlo brothers. We have trained together, so being part of this with them is great.
"Vanes's a lot more passive than he was for the first fight. He was telling me I better be ready.
"I'm going to do what I have to do. Put my game plan together, put my punches together, I'm going to do everything that I have to do to be victorious on Saturday night.
On how he's improved from the first fight...
"The fundamentals are always there. Every fighter gets better with every fight. You get a little bit more experience and that's the difference."
"I've had a tremendous camp. I have a great team. I've had incredible sparring partners and I can't wait for the real thing on Saturday.
"I'm in the best shape of my life and I've never been so ready. I don't have to tell you what I'm going to do up here, because you're going to see it on Saturday night. Actions speak louder than words. This is going to be the best Vanes you'll ever see.
"This time around I am definitely going to be more aggressive. I cannot wait for Saturday.
"There is a different feeling for me in this fight than ever before. It's for a world title, this is as big as it gets.
"It is the 'Dream' versus the 'Nightmare,' and you'll definitely see the 'Nightmare' on Saturday night.
On what he saw in Lara's eyes when they faced off...
"A fighter looking at another fighter. I see hunger in both eyes.
"A lot of the first fight, I was kind of inexperienced but we've matured a lot throughout the years. Four years into this game, a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge in the game so there's a lot I learned from the first fight.