By Steve Kim
After being relegated to small club shows the past couple of years since signing with Roc Nation Sports, middleweight hopeful Luis Arias finally gets to perform the big stage as he faces Arif Magomedov this Saturday night from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
His fight is part of the HBO pay-per-view undercard that is headlined by the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev.
"I've always felt I had the skills to be fighting on the big stage and I felt I've been ready for a long-time,''said the native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin."But everything is a process and everything comes with it time and it's finally time."
Asked if there are any nerves going in, the undefeated (17-0, 8 KO's) 27-year old told BoxingScene.com - "No, no, I've got to take this like a regular fight. I'm taking this fight as if it were just another Saturday night and I can't put pressure on myself. When that bell rings everything goes out the window and I'm ready to put on an A-class performance."
So what exactly does he know about this Russian foe?
"I know a lot," said Arias of Magomedov, who has a record of 18-1 (11 KO's) - "I know everything there is to know about him. We actually tired to put the fight together a couple of months ago and it never got done. But it finally got done. I had already been watching him before. I had actually seen clips of him. I know everything there is to know about him and come June 17th I'm going to have the perfect game plan."
Does he box or punch Magomedov?
Arias states - "I'm going to do both. I know that I'm the bigger, stronger, fighter coming in. I'm going to see how he reacts. He hasn't fought anybody like me with the skills that I have. Regardless of my KO ratio I can hit real hard and we'll see how he reacts when he gets hit in the mouth. If he comes out hard, I'll go with the boxing, if he comes out timid and gets hurt right away I'm going to put the gas on him and get him out of there."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.