Before they enter the ring at Barclays Center, fighters competing on Saturday’s card headlined by the middleweight title showdown live on SHOWTIME® between Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs and Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin held a media workout Wednesday at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.
In attendance at the workout were both main event fighters, co-main event participants Jesus Cuellar and Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo along with Chris Algieri, Erick Bone and “Sir” Marcus Browne, who will have their fights aired on SHO EXTREME (7 p.m. ET/PT).
Competing in separate undercard fights and also in attendance at Gleason’s Wednesday were Heather “The Heat” Hardy, Yuri Foreman, Will Rosinsky and Joe Smith Jr.
Tickets for the live event start at $50, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and sponsored by Corona. The Algieri vs. Bone and Rosinksy vs. Smith Jr. fights are promoted in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“Not only are we fighting for the bragging rights in Brooklyn, but we both want to be at the top of the middleweight division. All the top middleweights are fighting each other and we’re right in that realm.
“I believe my speed is my greatest advantage. My skill, my ring generalship … I could go on and on. Ultimately it’s about going in there and proving it.
“I think taking a loss before benefits me. I know exactly how to prepare and how to prepare to make sure I never have that feeling again.
“He’s gonna have to hit me to test my chin. This sport is about hitting and not getting hit. Anybody can be knocked down, but you have to land shots. Every time I’ve gotten knocked down, I’ve gotten up.
“My prediction is that I’m going to have my hand raised in victory. Whether it’s by knockout or decision, we’ll have to see.
“This camp has been different because I’ve had a pre-camp. We had three weeks of just strength and conditioning. I got in shape to get ready for camp. When it’s all done, it’s going to be a 10-week camp.
“Mentally I feel like I’m strong and I like where I’m at physically. My weight is good and I feel healthy. We’re going to give the best of everything.
“A lot of people are excited about the fights. I’m just excited it is finally here and I’m hoping to come out with a victory in impressive fashion.
“This is a boxer vs. a boxer-puncher. If I get a guy hurt. I can get a guy out of there as well. My punching power is there. I have more knockouts than Quillin and I’m going to be at my best on Saturday.
“I’m thankful for all my fans. I want everyone to know that I’m coming to represent Brooklyn and this show will not disappoint on Saturday night.”
“Distractions are in your head, but they can be a bit more here in New York. It’s nice to get away to Miami and be able to concentrate on training and have everything right there.
“The buzz around Brooklyn is I am the new champ. I came to New York with a small city mindset but big city dreams and now they are all coming true.
On chatting with Floyd Mayweather Tuesday night at Barclays Center: “It’s funny because I was speaking to a school today, but when I first met Floyd Mayweather, it was at my school and I was like ‘man I could be like that too one day’ and I told him about it. He didn’t understand why I said that, ‘it all started because of you’ and he said ‘what do you mean’ and I told him what happened. We laughed about it and that’s all I needed right there. I didn’t need him to do anything for me just to know that it all started back with him coming to my school and speaking to kids like me and look where I am now. I was only 14-years-old.
“You can expect fireworks in the month of December. We’re going to be throwing everything we can possibly throw.
“Being in Miami with all the Cuban history there was great. Boxing was like a fighter lifestyle. I was around many people who were inspirational beyond words.
“When I went to the (Erislandy) Lara fight we were looking for parking and I went up to a guy and I asked if we could park there. He goes ‘tu eres chocolate?’ (you are chocolate) and I said yes, and he said ‘do you know how much Cuban people love you?’ I had never realized that before and it made me more inspired, to speak more Spanish, to understand my people. Cuban people are my people, I never would deny that and I am very blessed. I am also a black American as well so I want to set a good example, especially where the time in the world is in right now for black people. I want to be an inspiration for both.
“We’ve got a plan A, plan B, plan C, plan D, plan E, plan F. We are going to go to beyond, but most importantly I am very happy. I am spiritually happy and thankful. You fall out of fear and fall into faith and you can never deny yourself, so that’s where I am right now.
“By being Cuban automatically you fight from a different point of perspective of the globe when it comes to fighting. For me, I’m thankful and more inspired to work even harder because I do have fans that I would never expect would be my fans.
“I haven’t seen ‘Creed’ yet; I am only focused on this fight. I want to create my own ‘Creed’ moments in this fight.
“Altogether I think it’s probably about an equally matched fight. You have two determined guys fighting for their own personal reasons; he’s fighting with a cancer story, I’m also fighting with that. My uncle passed away of cancer so I fight with a piece of him as well.
“I’m just Peter Quillin. All I know is just go in that ring, train against whoever it is, no matter who it is and do my best.
“My mom always said, ‘sometimes it takes getting put on your ass to know where you’re at’ so it could be helpful to him that he’s tasted defeat. He’s been there before, you fight with the reason that you don’t ever want to be there again or he could’ve even gotten better after that sitting on his butt, now he wants to fight harder.
“My prediction for Saturday? A new champion of the world.
“I’ve never been in this kind of moment before where I had to fight one of my friends. You never want to hurt your friend, but in this fight, I want to hurt Danny so what does that tell you about our friendship right there? Sometimes you don’t want to be friends with the guy that beat you up.
“It’s going to be sort of like July 4th but on Dec. 5th. You are going to expect fireworks, two determined guys throwing punches trying to win for two different reasons and you’re going to get an entertaining fight.
“I just have to let my hands go and not have a worry in the world because when you’re in there, you’re in there and there’s no way you can leave unless you leave in a stretcher, hand up or with a draw like we did in that fight.”
“I’m coming here very prepared. I know Oquendo is a tough fighter and we are not taking him lightly. We’re ready for a 12-round championship fight.
“We know there will be a lot of Puerto Ricans supporting him, but they won’t change anything. They can’t get in the ring.
“You’re going to see a great fight on Saturday and you’re going to see Jesus Cuellar walk out of the ring a world champion.
“I want to fight the best in the division. There are many good fighters and I want all of them. I have no fear and I am extremely confident in my abilities.”
“I come ready to fight. I didn’t want to take off a lot of time after I beat Jhonny Gonzalez. The opportunity for a world title shot came and I had to take it.
“I know he is a very strong fighter, but we are coming to win. I’m happy to be here in New York with the Puerto Rican fan base behind me. I never thought I’d be fighting for a world title here in New York on the biggest stage.
“It’s going to be a war. I like to stay there in the pocket. It’s going to be blood in the ring and you can expect that on Saturday.
“I had a great training camp up in Palm Beach, Florida for the first time leaving Puerto Rico, my hometown for training but on Saturday you’ll see a great Jonathan Oquendo and I’ll come out victorious.
“I have been training since after the fight with Jhonny Gonzalez. I went to Mexico to visit the virgin of Guadalupe and that Monday I was training and for me it was excellent.
“My last victory gave me a lot more energy, a lot more hunger and I know on Saturday we’ll come through victorious.
“Cuellar is a very strong boxer who exerts lots of pressure and we’re ready for that. We know of his record and the great success that he’s had. He’s the current champion and will be until the 5th.
“I’ve always wanted to fight here in New York and I never thought that it would be for a world title.
“It doesn’t matter which way, whether it’s a KO or decision, on Saturday I’m going to win.”
“I feel a lot more comfortable now with (trainer) John David Jackson and having a second camp. We got more weeks with him and haven’t really stopped training. Now I think we can settle in a little more, make some adjustments that were not able to make prior but now I feel a lot more comfortable.
“Being a favorite or not doesn’t change how I prepare for a fight but absolutely, this is the fight of his life. I’ve been here before fighting bigger names than myself but that’s just kind of the life cycle of boxing.
“Barclays Center is my favorite place to fight. I’ve had my best performances here and the fan support has always been fantastic. So I am looking forward to putting on another great show.
“Barclays Center is a premiere venue and it’s great and easy for my Long Island friends to come out and get right in there.
“I’ve learned and gotten more comfortable in the ring now but this is going to be a tough fight to fight. Everybody at this level is good so I’ve got to go out there and perform.
“I feel fantastic, I feel stronger, everybody says I look better. My power has definitely increased now that I am in a higher class and I am making weight very easy.”
“Camp has been strong, it’s been great, it has been one of the best camps that I’ve had so far.
“I feel good because Algieri has a big name. It’s going to be a challenge but in boxing once you get in the ring it doesn’t matter who comes in first or who comes in last in these fights. There’s no A and B, they’re so close.
“It has been very positive being here in Brooklyn to do my camp and training here. Being able to spar with the many great boxers who are here, it’s all a positive experience.
“For the fans that will see me on Saturday, I believe that I am a great boxer and they will see a great fight. They should keep an eye out for me because they will remember my name.
“We’re going to box and I trained to win and we are prepared for just that.”
“You can expect fireworks, speed, good boxing ability, but, most importantly, a W. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m ready to put on a good show
“Staten Island will come out to support, but I’m a New York fighter through and through. The whole city will be there supporting me.
“He’s tall, throws a lot of punches. We’re going to be ready for whatever he brings. He can get right-hand happy and we’ll be ready to counter that.
“Everyone who fights me, they’re all coming for my 0.
“In boxing at the end of the day, when you’re a young undefeated fighter, everybody wants to take that ‘0’ so that’s what makes guys hungry but for me personally I’m not worried about that. I’m just worried about what I’m going to do and what we’ve been working on in the gym to apply that on fight night come Saturday.”
“I had no break during Thanksgiving, we went straight through; matter of fact my mom is having our whole family over on Sunday for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s going to be a celebration and I’m going to eat my mashed potatoes like a good Irish girl is supposed to.”
“One thing I can say about my opponent is that she fights like a champion fights. There’s a different caliber of fighter that you go in there with and she’s not a quitter, she doesn’t give up. I couldn’t intimidate her, I couldn’t push her around and that’s something I’ve prepared for. She knows what I have and she’s not afraid to stand toe to toe with me so it’s going to be a battle.
“Her talent does motivate me. It brings something out of me and it puts on a better show for the fans and it gives a better show for female boxing. Holly Holm did not prove that Ronda Rousey couldn’t fight, it proved that more than one woman could fight at the same time. So, when two women can go in there and really go at it and give the people a show, it’s not just one girl doing a great job, it’s two women.
“I’m looking to prove that I am the champion, that I am the “First Lady” of Barclays Center.
“I’ve kept on this winning streak and I think I’m ready for the more elite fighters. I consider myself to really be a contender at this point so I’m looking forward to this. I’d like to start matching up for the world titles and all the girls who’ve got them.
“My trainer always says that there are only four punches in boxing, you better learn how to do them perfect every time you throw them and they’re getting there. So, I feel good, experienced, just being around certain things, not being surprised by anything because I’ve seen it before. All of those things play in to it.
“It’s surreal to be in this position. I still can’t believe sometimes people say ‘hey champ’ and I say ‘what? yea that is me.’ Just to be associated with this and how people think of me, to see me, to be mentioned on this card is an honor.”
“I don’t do predictions but I can predict that I am going to win.
“I feel good, with this comeback I am feeling these little butterflies here and there. I am happy that it is right here. The training is all done.
“The preparation has been great, I love the routine, I like to challenge myself and push myself to the limit extra hard but it’s a new feeling. I’m also trying to maintain my cool and not get into my head.
“There is extra motivation because there are so many great fighters on this card and everyone wants to showcase their talent, including me.
“My goal is to go up the ladder, be successful and challenge the world champion, whoever it may be at the time.”
“I know him because we sparred a lot. I know the adjustments I had to make we’re ready for because we were in front of each other but sometimes you just keep the same game plan.”
“On a week to week basis, I train in the day and work night or work in the day and train at night, depends. On a night tour I train in the morning then work the night tour, get off and go back to training. So, I might not be home for about a day and half. My commitment is 100 percent, it’s no problems at all.
“My goal is to fight for a world title. It’s a common goal in boxing. I want to make money and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
“This is an easy week, my weight is good. Being at 174 is not too heavy for me so I’m not really sucking to make weight last minute. I weighed out in the gym at 173½ yesterday so I am rehydrating up to 175/176 pretty easily.
“There are actually some similarities between fighting and being a firefighter because it’s a controlled chaos as they say. Same idea with the fight, you’re going crazy in your head but you’ve got to stay controlled and stay on your game plan. If your corner tells you something you’ve got to take that in and use it for the next round.”
JOE SMITH JR.
“Training camp has been going real great, done a lot of sparring and a lot of running. I feel great going into the fight, I feel in the best shape of my life and I’m ready to put on a good show.
“I don’t think there’s problems really that my opponent is going to present me with but I’m in the best shape of my life, so as long as I let my hands go there’s nothing that he can do.
“I’m a big puncher and I’m looking to throw a lot of hard punches and put on a good show.
“It’s a great opportunity, it feels good to be a part of something like this.
“I predict that there’s going to be a lot of punches thrown and most likely at some point in the fight I’m probably going to hurt Will and get him out of there.”