LOS ANGELES - Southern California-based fighters Josesito Lopez, Alejandro Luna, Misael Rodriguez and Maricela Cornejo hosted a media workout at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Riverside Wednesday ahead of their bouts this Sunday, April 9 from the Novo at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. Photos by Arnold Turner.
Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes action is headlined by the former title challenger Lopez taking on Mexico's Saul Corral in a welterweight matchup. Televised coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT and features the unbeaten Luna facing former title challenger Andrey Klimov and the pro debut of 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports, are priced at $30 general admission, $60 balcony reserved, $100 VIP balcony reserved and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased through AXS.com HERE.
The 2016 Mexican Olympian and bronze medalist Rodriguez and the former title challenger Cornejo will both enter the ring in separate undercard attractions.
Here is what the participants had to say Wednesday in front of over 100 attendees including media, civic leaders and boxing fans from the community
"First thing is that I can't look past my opponent on Sunday night. If all goes well, I know that bigger things are coming. I want to give fans fights that they'll remember for years to come. I'm that guy who wants to make great fights.
"I know that I'm facing a tough fighter from Mexico. I always know that these guys come with a real hunger to win. I've prepared very well and I'm ready to put on a show Sunday night.
"I've taken advantage of opportunities given to me in the past and I'm looking to take advantage of every one I get. I'm going to show off my abilities on Sunday.
"I'm in a good state of mind right now. I've been working for several months and I really feel 100 percent physically.
"This is going to be a good fight. He's going to come with the will to win. I'll be smart and use my abilities. I've been working on some new things and Sunday will be a glimpse of what's left to come.
"It's an honor for me to be the main event on a card with so many great young fighters. I remember that moment many years ago. These fighters are the future. This is just the beginning. I'm the present right now and I'm going to show that on Sunday."
"More than anything I think that the fans can expect fireworks. I'm fighting a crafty veteran guy in Klimov who has fought the best. He's fought guys like Terrence Crawford and Jose Pedraza. Our styles are meant for each other and I think they're going to clash. The fans are going to be the real winners.
"I say yes to every challenge they put in front of me. This is a big test. I feel confident in my training and I believe I can get past Klimov. I think getting this win shows that I'm ready to fight any champion in the lightweight division.
"I train 100 percent every time. I had a smooth camp and I'm ready to go. My work ethic is my secret weapon. I'm a believer that fights are won in the gym.
"I fight for the people every time I'm in the ring. They're paying money to see a great fight and I want them to get their money's worth.
"I've been under the radar but I think that in 2017 I'm going to put myself in the world title picture. I give it my all in the ring."
"I'm excited because I have a great team behind me with Richard Schaefer, Abner Mares and Robert Garcia. I feel strong and ready for this fight.
"I'm so happy to be fighting in Los Angeles, because it's like a second Mexico. I hope the fans all come out to see me because I'm going to work hard to be the next Mexican superstar.
"I'm going to keep working and getting stronger and better. I have to be consistent and have good training camps so I can reach my goals.
"Training with Robert Garcia has been great. He has had a lot of champions and I hope that I will be next. Him and his whole family are good people and they've treated me like family. I've learned a lot already.
"I have to be smart in the ring. I'm a Mexican fighter in my heart and I always will be. But I have to be smart and be ready for anything in the ring."
"Joel Diaz has helped me so much with the mental side of the game. The way he speaks so passionately about the sport, he transfers that to me. I feel that belief and trust. He gives me the right words to keep me going and unleash anything I was holding back.
"I work really hard at this sport. People didn't see me when I was coming up, but It's been a real journey. I've never backed down from anything. I'm proud to be a female fighter in the sport right now. Female athletes are getting more attention across the world than they ever have.
"Boxing means a lot to me. I've overcome a lot of obstacles. Getting in the ring and getting hit in the face is a lot easier than what I've had to go through. I love boxing because it's all about going for the win no matter what is thrown in front of you."
RICHARD SCHAEFER, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports
"All of these young fighters we're letting loose on Sunday are coming to fight. This won't be 'Dancing with the Stars', they will come to engage and destroy. These guys all have advanced skills and I look forward to seeing them in the ring.
"Misael Rodriguez is a very charismatic person. He's an entertainer and a fighter. With Abner behind him as a manager and Robert Garcia as a trainer, this is a kid who wants to surround himself with the best. Watching his career will be very exciting.
"Josesito had his biggest win, over Victor Ortiz, right across the street at Staples Center and he is ready for the next step in his career in a stacked welterweight division. I also believe that Alejandro Luna is on the cusp of being in world title contention if he can get through Klimov on Sunday. In addition, you have one of the most charismatic female stars in Maricela Cornejo going along with an incredible group of young talent making their debuts on Sunday.
"With this new young class of fighters coming out of Southern California combined with world champions like Leo Santa Cruz, Mikey Garcia and Abner Mares, Los Angeles is on its way to being the fight capital of the world again.
"I've never done an event on a Sunday and it definitely doesn't happen very often. I want to challenge the status quo and try different things. I am equally excited about this Sunday card as I have been for any card I've promoted because of all the great young talent."
ABNER MARES, Rodriguez's Manager
"I'm nervous and excited to see Misael in the ring on Sunday. He's a fighter with a lot of heart and the desire to become a world champion just like I was coming out of the Olympics.
"Our goal is to have Misael fight six times this year. We're going to go step-by-step to make him a champion.
"Misael is the future. He brings excitement and he's likeable. He's in a great weight class and the team he has behind him will get him to where he needs to go.
"Seeing Misael grow from the manager's side will be as exciting if not more than my own progression. I can't wait to take him to a world championship."
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