Six of the world's best 154-pound boxers met face-to-face at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan on Thursday at the final press conference for this Saturday's world championship tripleheader live on SHOWTIME. Photos by Stephanie Trapp/Ed Diller.
The Premier Boxing Champions event taking place at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®, features five fighters ranked in the top 10 - and four in the top five - in one of boxing's deepest divisions. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and is headlined by WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Erislandy "The American Dream" Lara making the sixth defense of his title against undefeated contender Terrell Gausha.
In the co-feature, WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell "Iron Man" Charlo will defend his title against fellow unbeaten No. 1 contender Erickson "Hammer" Lubin. IBF Junior Middleweight Champion "Swift" Jarrett Hurd makes the first defense of his title against former world champion Austin "No Doubt" Trout in the televised opener.
Tickets to the event are on sale now and start at $50 (not including applicable fees). Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here's what the fighters had to say on Thursday:
"I'm feeling great. I'm right on weight. Like I said, this is the fight I've been waiting for and that I've wanted, so I'm ready to fight.
"I really want to go out here and make a statement and be the first to stop Austin Trout and send him into retirement.
"Here's the thing, in my last four televised fights I've never possessed the same style. Austin Trout doesn't know what style I'm coming out with in this fight. I never look the same in any of my fights so he can say that he prepared for a toe-to-toe matchup and that he prepared for me moving around, but he doesn't know what I'm bringing to the table. I've got a couple tricks up my sleeve.
"[My height] is going to be a big factor because he's going to try and move around and box from the outside, but I'm the taller, longer guy. So it's going to be hard for him to stay on the outside, let alone stay on the inside, which he isn't going to want to do either because I'm the bigger guy. It's going to play a big factor and make it more difficult than he thinks.
"They say it's easier to become a champion than to defend a belt. Right now this is my chance to defend my title and bring it back home. I can't wait to represent."
"When I become champion on Saturday night I will continue to represent this game with class and dignity. I know this sounds like a campaign speech, but the beautiful part about it is that I don't need your votes. I don't need anyone to vote me in. I get to go in there and take it with my two hands. I have the faith that I can do it, but we all know faith without works is dead. But I've put in the work. So I have faith in the work behind me. My experience is just the icing on top to go in there and become the two-time world champion and stake the claim as the best 154-pounder in this game.
"Honestly, I didn't see a big frame up there, I just saw a tall guy. His shoulders look lean and his arms look lean. Either he's sucking down for weight, or he's just a little guy in a big, tall man's body.
"He's right in saying the fight isn't going to go the distance, but it's funny because he's not going to be the one doing the knocking out. You know this man isn't going to last 12 rounds.
"I'm going to drown this kid. We're taking him into deep waters. He's never been there. This is unchartered territory for him.
"Two-time Trout. I like that. I need that belt in order to solidify my legacy."