Fight week for the final World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight quarter-final kicked off Wednesday with media workouts at the Everlast Lab in Hoboken, N.J. before the clash between IBF champion Murat Gassiev and former champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk headlines action this Saturday, October 21 from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. live on AUDIENCE Network. Photos by Stephanie Trapp/Ring Star
Promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with World Boxing Super Series, tickets for the live event are on sale now and are available at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available to purchase at the Prudential Center box office.
Also in attendance Wednesday and competing in featured bouts on October 21 were Polish contender Mateusz Masternak and once-beaten Stivens Bujaj, who meet in a WBSS cruiserweight reserve match and unbeaten Polish contender Maciej Sulecki and former title challenger Jack Culcay, who square-off in super welterweight action.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
"I've been working very hard in Big Bear, California with Abel Sanchez for about 10 weeks preparing for this fight. We are like a family up there. I have my Russian brothers, plus Gennady Golovkin, who is definitely like an older brother to me.
"Abel has helped me so much. He hasn't tried to change my style. He's just gone in and made my style better. He means so much to me.
"My last fight was my first title shot and I felt great in the moment. My nerves were calm and I feel like this is what I was made for. I want to be in this position for a very long time.
"I'm very thankful to be a part of this tournament. I'm very happy to be a part of this. This is an opportunity to be a unified world champion and prove that I'm the best in the division.
"My opponent has a lot of experience and has been in a lot of tough fights. He's been in more fights than me, so I just need to be ready. I'm prepared for 12 rounds or a short fight. This is what I train for.
"I will show everyone what I am all about on Saturday night. I'm not a big talker, but I will speak loudly with my fists on Saturday."
"Training camp went very well and I am physically ready for this challenge. You will see how strong I am mentally when I get in the ring on Saturday.
"I have to be ready for anything. I know that he worked hard to get in there and hurt me so I'll have to be ready to fight back against anything he does.
"Everyone knows that my experience will help me. I've had a lot more pro bouts than Gassiev. But I also will need to display smart boxing. I think I am the more intelligent fighter and will show it on Saturday.
"My first goal is to win and become IBF world champion. That would put me in a special place in the history of Polish boxing as a three-time world champion. Winning this tournament would be very prestigious and lucrative for me.
"It's always great to have the support of the great Polish fans. They really support all of their guys from Poland. But I have lots of experience fighting on the road with no Polish fans so it will just be a nice bonus.
"It's going to be a clash of styles, I don't know exactly what it will look like, but I can guarantee that it's going to be exciting."
"I had a good camp. My sparring was strong and I was very happy with the training in Poland. I finished my camp in London for some new sparring and everything is all set for Saturday.
"I have a very good opponent. He's going to use his boxing skills. We sparred with each other a few years ago and it was good, hard sparring for eight rounds. It could help me on Saturday but sparring is different from a real fight.
"It's very important for me to fight in the U.S. and to perform well. I haven't fought in the U.S. in seven years so I'm excited to be back. I'm motivated to do well and keep getting big fights.
"I'm fully concentrated on this opponent. I have to get in there and take care of my strategy. I don't know exactly how the fight is going to go, but I will be ready and have a plan for everything."
"I feel perfect physically. I'm ready to rumble on Saturday night. We've done all the conditioning, sparring and dieting to be in the right position on fight night. I did what I had to do.
"I've been training here in New York, mostly in the Bronx but also moving around and finding the best possible sparring to prepare for Saturday.
"He's a tough opponent and I can't underestimate him. I've trained to win. I'm going to come out on top one way or another.
"I've sparred with Masternak before, so I know what I'm dealing with. I'm going to go in there and pick him apart. He's an aggressive fighter who will come forward and throw power punches, but I'm ready for that.
"I'm so happy with where my body is at heading into this fight. This is the best I've felt in a long time. The shoulder injuries are behind me and I'm healthy now.
"I can't really say what the fight will look like but I hope everybody comes out Saturday to see the show. I feel comfortable fighting in the New York/New Jersey area and I can't wait to go get this win."
"Everything was perfect in training camp and I feel very strong. I worked well with my coach and we were on the same page all of camp. I worked very hard and I'm ready to show-off on this big card.
"I know that Culcay was a great amateur champion and an interim champion in the pros, so he's obviously a very good fighter. But I will win this fight because I'm better and stronger more determined to get the win.
"I saw Culcay fight Demetrius Andrade. It was a good fight, but I don't think Andrade performed well. Culcay lost but he made it very competitive so I know that he will be a challenge.
"I feel better at super welterweight than I did at middleweight. I always knew I could go down in weight and now was the time. So far I have felt much stronger at this weight.
"I am fully focused on fighting Culcay. First I must beat Jack Culcay, but I want to fight all the best fighters in the division. Jermell Charlo, Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd, I'm ready for all of them.
"It's a lot of extra motivation to fight in front of the Polish fans. They are the best fans in the world and I'm ready to perform."
"I feel perfect physically. This was one of my best training camps ever. I trained for about five months in Germany. I had four or five very tough sparring partners to get me prepared for this.
"Sulecki is undefeated and that's the most important thing I know about him. I trained my hardest for this and on Saturday you will see the best versus the best.
"I have speed, I have gained strength and I will show the mix of Ecuadorian and German styles. I was an amateur champion and now I'm going to be a champion in the pros.
"I learned against Demetrius Andrade that I can fight with anybody. I can compete with anybody in this sport. I'm going to show my experience on Saturday night."