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Photos: Jesse Hart vs. Gavronski, Shakur Stevenson Final Presser

Boxing is being featured for the first time at the recently opened Ocean Resort Casino (formerly Revel), which is located steps from the Atlantic City boardwalk. (photos by Mikey Williams).

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Heavyweights will take center stage on Saturday evening when Philadelphia's Bryant "B.Y." Jennings faces Alexander "Sascha" Dimitrenko in the 12-round heavyweight main event. In the co-feature, Philadelphia native Jesse "Hollywood" Hart will defend the NABF super middleweight title in a 10-rounder versus Mike Gavronski. Jennings-Dimitrenko and Hart-Gavronski will be broadcast on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET, with the entire undercard to be shown on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

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Shakur Stevenson (7-0, 4 KOs), the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist will headline the ESPN+ portion of the card against Carlos Ruiz (16-4-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout.

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The fighters and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum gathered Thursday for the final press conference. This is what they had to say.

Bob Arum

“This is a terrific card because any time you highlight Philly fighters, you’re going to get fights. Philly fighters bring the heat. They’re exciting.”

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Bryant Jennings

On whether he still has the hunger: “If you’re not hungry, you don’t eat. And if you don’t eat, then you starve. If you starve, then you die. And I want to live. I’m hungry. I didn’t eat. I need to eat. Just make sure it’s vegan. In fact, it don’t gotta be vegan because Saturday, I’m eating Russian!”
 
On whether he’s a different fighter following back-to-back defeats in 2015: “Every fight is a different fight. As you grow, things change. You make changes as you grow in your sport and your craft. So, yeah, I’m a different fighter.”
 
On fighting taller fighters like Dimitrenko: “As a kid, I was told, ‘never tell your secrets.’ You thought I was about to say something {laughing}?”

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Alexander Dimitrenko

"This is a great opportunity for me. I'm here to win this fight. I'm 36, and I have big plans. I want to win this fight. I look forward to make this fight and to show what I can."

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Jesse Hart

On his 2017 title loss to Gilberto Ramirez: “I never looked at it as a loss. I always look at it as a lesson. I think I’ve raised my IQ of boxing. It gave me a better outlook on being in that position, and I think it just gave me a lot more to look at toward the sport of boxing, not just the championship of the world. I learned a lot from that fight. That fight taught me a whole lot.”

On his father, perennial former middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart: “{Winning a world title for him} motivates me a lot. When I’m up at 4:15 in the morning out there doing my road work, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind, getting a world title for my father. That’s the motivation. I think that’s the motivation for myself, and to be the best.”

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Mike Gavronski

On fighting so often in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington:  “Because that was the only thing I could do at the time. But, you know, now I’m here, and I’m happy to be here.”

On his fighting style: "A great show. Every time out, I come to perform. I come to fight. One way or another, you’re going to love me at the end of the day.”
 
On his advantages against Hart: “I don’t know. These are my kind of people. Blue collar workers. The crowd will eventually be on my side. I’m pretty sure. I would hope so. And, you know, we’re running and gunning. That’s all we can do.”

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Shakur Stevenson

“When I was younger, I used to come {to Atlantic City} all the time. We used to come here for vacations and stuff, and I came here to watch the {Bernard Hopkins-Antonio Tarver} fight. I don’t know. I’m excited. I can’t wait to fight.”

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