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:
"We had a strong camp with my sparring partners in Dallas. We know who's below us. This young guy here [Lubin] has a big fight coming up. I already know what I have to do. They got to be the ones that try and figure out a game plan. Try and come up with a 'Plan B' or 'Plan A.' You got a lot of hype man, a lot of people around you buzzing. They keep you going, they keep you rowdy. That's good. We clap too, we love it. We enjoy it. But Saturday night, the fight that I thought should have been the main event of the card is going to be the one that steals the show. We did this before, we will do it again.
"I'm undefeated, he's undefeated. Regardless of if he has the same amount of fights that I have, he's hungry. He's been running his mouth a lot lately. That has a lot to do with the reason why my team gets rowdy. We get rowdy and that's the kind of energy we feed off of. When you continue to do what you do, I just got to back it up in the ring and I can't worry about what my opponent says and what his team says, because nobody has to fight but us.
"Let's get in there and get comfortable in the ring. Hopefully I make him pay for the mistakes he's making right now.
"It's so important for me to bring a world title back to Houston. I told my brother [Jermall] that I'm competing with one of his knockouts against an undefeated fighter. It's not about the world title because my city needs it. My family needs it. My son loves it. Therefore, I've got my life on the line.
"I'm very excited. I'm very confident, I had a great training camp and I'm just ready to go on Saturday.
"I hear it a lot, that I'm younger and he's more experienced. It doesn't really get to me, I know it is a huge step up because I'm fighting for the WBC title, not because of my opponent. I've seen everything in the ring. I've seen all types of fighters through training, fighting and through amateurs so this is definitely a big step up when it comes to me fighting for the WBC title.
"This definitely should have been the main event, but you got an experienced guy like Lara in the main event, which I don't complain about. I know I got to go in there and take care of business. We're both young. I'm not even in my prime yet. I'm ready to capture this title and I'm hungrier than ever and I know he's hungry. He's fairly young and we're both undefeated and we both have a huge entourage. We're just backed up by a lot of people and we got hype behind us. We're ready to see who's the hype and who's the real deal.
"Orlando hasn't had a champion in a very long time, or maybe never. This means everything. I'll be a big, huge inspiration to Orlando. I am already a huge inspiration to Orlando. I can't wait to bring it back to Orlando to give more people hope to go out there and do something positive."