(Photo credit: Golden Boy Promotions) LAS VEGAS, NEV. (Sept. 12, 2013) – Unified WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine Light Welterweight Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and current WBC Inter-Continental Light Welterweight Champion Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse proved that there is more than one main event scheduled at MGM Grand in Las Vegas this Saturday night. The bout headlines one of the strongest undercards in boxing history and precedes the highly anticipated matchup between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez.
Also featured on the undercard are Ishe Smith vs. Carlos Molina in a 12-Round battle for the IBF Junior Middleweight Title, and Pablo Cesar Cano vs. Ashley Theophane in a 10-Round Welterweight battle.
Here’s what the fighters, promoters and trainers had to say during the today’s press conference:
DANNY GARCIA, Unified Super Lightweight World Champion
“I had a great camp. I trained very hard. I’m prepared for this fight. Come Saturday night I’m going to put on another epic performance.
“I’m starting to feel like a young veteran.
“I’ve been counted out a lot of times, but always find a way to win.”
LUCAS MATTHYSSE, WBC Interim Super Lightweight World Champion
“Yes, I do believe I should be the favorite. I’ve been coming and getting those very important wins. Come Saturday I know I’m going to come out with the victory.
“I am very well prepared and I want to thank everybody. We are ready to go.”
ISHE SMITH, IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion
“Pray for Oscar De La Hoya and that he gets through this and comes back healthy. Oscar was a great champion and has done a lot for this sport, so please pray for him.
“Carlos is a good fighter and I’m just happy to represent Las Vegas on this big stage and put together a good fight and go out here and execute the game plan.
“To be here today, sometimes I have to step outside my body. I’m just happy to be living life and sharing my testimony with people. I’m excited about this fight.”
CARLOS MOLINA, Top Junior Middleweight Contender
“I’m ready to go. I just want to fight, I wish the fight was right now. I’m in top shape. I want to go out there and prove that I’m the best 154-pounder in the world, no matter who it is. I’m ready.
“Let’s bring up Lucas with a big applause, this Saturday he will become the next World Champion.”
PABLO CESAR CANO, Top Welterweight Contender
“I don’t like to talk, like my opponent. I like to talk with my fists. Saturday night, I’m going to talk with my fists. We’re going to put Mexico in the No. 1 spot, from top to bottom.”
ASHLEY THEOPHANE, Former British Junior Welterweight
“I want to thank the whole Mayweather staff, Floyd and Leonard for giving me this big opportunity. Working with Mayweather Promotions has been amazing. I’m from London, so I’m representing the U.K. in this big event.
“I’ve got Cano here and he’s a very good fighter. But when you look at his record and you look at mine, who has he beaten? He hasn’t beaten anybody. I can guarantee that a lot of the boxing experts and writers here don’t know the guys he’s knocked out. It’s all good to have 20 knockouts and 26 wins, but if you’re knocking out nobodies then it doesn’t mean anything.”
RICHARD SCHAEFER, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
“As it relates to live-gate, we have a new gate record. The official number now is $20,300,150. So we broke the $20 million mark.
“This is an event within the event. Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse is a main event anywhere, it could be its own PPV. Clearly one of the most anticipated fights in the sport of boxing. I want to give a big thank you to Floyd Mayweather for giving his ‘OK’ to have this amazing showdown on this card. This is without any question the best one-two punch in boxing PPV.
“This is not just a co-main event; it really is top-to-bottom an absolutely fantastic card.
“We are hitting this one out of the park. This PPV is tracking and it’s tracking well, very well. We couldn’t have done it without SHOWTIME PPV, they really have stepped up. What they have done with the SHOWTIME and CBS platforms is unheard of.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“This card, from top to bottom, is the best card that I’ve personally seen in a number of years. The co-main event with Garcia and Matthysse, that’s a main event within itself. It’s going to be a tremendous fight.
“Ashley did it the old-fashioned way. He paid his way to Las Vegas and said he was going to make a name for himself, make his way into Mayweather Promotions.
“He came to our gym and had been training in our gym for about a month or two. Then Ashley asked to box Floyd. From there, the rest is history. He’s 33-5 with 10 knockouts.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, EVP SHOWTIME Sports
“This year has been the strongest programming lineup, the best and biggest fights, and the strongest year for SHOWTIME Sports in a long, long time. It’s been a perfect lead up for this event. For boxing fans, this is Christmas in September, there’s no other way to look at this. And I can’t wait to open the presents at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday.
“This is not an undercard. Regardless of what you’ve heard or seen, this is not an undercard. Danny Garcia has headlined two SHOWTIME cards, Lucas Matthysse has headlined three SHOWTIME cards, Ishe Smith headlined a card for us in February and Pablo Cesar Cano was the co-feature last October in Barclays.
“The bottom line is this event has four main event fights. This is an event where everyone should be in their seats or in front of their TVs by 6 p.m., because all four fights will promise fireworks.”
KEITH KEISER, Nevada State Athletic Commissioner
“We are very happy to be here on Mexican Independence Day weekend at the MGM for this huge fight card on Saturday night.
“We’re very pleased to have this many great athletes up on the stage and in the ring at one time is quite impressive; more impressive than I even thought possible.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, President of Golden Boy East
“I’ve been involved in a lot of big fights, but this is huge. To see an undercard that could just as well be a main event anywhere in the world, it just makes it even better. You get a chance to see boxing at its best.
“Enjoy, because you never know when you might see great fights like this. They only come around every so many years. Thanks for representing that boxing is still alive.”
ANGEL GARCIA, Danny Garcia’s father and trainer
“People still underestimate the champ of the world.
“People still don’t give the Americans props.
“Danny had to earn his, he had to fight for his. I told him that since he was a young kid, nobody will ever give you anything.
“Danny knows how to win. Saturday night, I swear to you, I will not be back-washing my words. If I am, I will cut my head off. I’ll cut my head off, because blood is thicker than anything.”