(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 12, 2013) –San Antonio solidified itself as a boxing powerhouse in 2013, so it’s only fitting that the home of the Alamo will host the final blockbuster boxing event of the year when Adrien “The Problem” Broner faces Marcos “El Chino” Maidana this Saturday, Dec. 14, live on SHOWTIME® (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
“I put San Antonio with New York City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles as one of the top boxing cities in the country,” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said during Thursday’s final press conference for “DANGER ZONE: Broner vs. Maidana.”
And the third SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event to emanate from San Antonio this year might be the best yet. Saturday’s telecast features four can’t-miss world championship fights with each fighter facing potentially the toughest test of their respective careers.
Here’s what the fighters, trainers and promoters had to say during Thursday’s final press conference:
ADRIEN BRONER, WBA Welterweight World Champion
“If he makes a mistake and I have a chance to get him out of there I’m going to get him out of there. If I just beat him to death, then I beat him to death.
“Who doesn’t want to see a young star on the rise like Adrien Broner fight a guy like Marcos Maidana, a hard puncher, a knockout artist with 31 knockouts? Who doesn’t want to see that? There’s always that ‘what if?’
“It’s going to be a hell of a fight. I don’t go for knockouts but I really feel I’m going to knock this guy out; I’m going to be his first stoppage. I’m going to stop this guy and we’re going to move on to the next one.
“Maidana is a good fighter, a hell of a fighter, but he’s not on my level. My career is going to the rooftop. It’s going to skyrocket. But this is just the beginning. It starts here.
“I don’t even think I’ve showed all of my abilities yet. Maidana is a different type of fighter and he might bring something else out of Adrien Broner that the world hasn’t seen yet. Or he might be a regular fighter after I make him look the way I make him look.
“Every boxer wants to be where I am right now. I am the person who is going to take over boxing after Floyd Mayweather. Everybody wants this position. So I don’t get mad when I hear that Keith Thurman wants to fight me – he’s supposed to. Who doesn’t want to be where I am.
“On Dec. 14 we’re worried about Maidana. I respect his coach; I respect him as a fighter. People say I’m being bashful, I’m being respectful. I can’t talk trash to someone who doesn’t speak English. He’s looking at me crazy right now and I don’t know if he’s faking or not. He’s a very respectful guy so I have to respect him, but on Dec. 14 I’m going to beat his ass. I’m going to beat his ass for sure. We can be friends after that.
“I’m not coming to play. It’s going to be the AB show and I’m going to be victorious. We don’t think about losing.
“I don’t watch tape but I’ve seen him a couple of times. Everybody knows Maidana makes a lot of mistakes and you can’t make mistakes with Broner.
“You never know. Maybe I have to sit in there and brawl it out with this guy for 12 rounds. Maybe I mess him up in two. Maybe one.”
MARCOS MAIDANA, Former WBA Super Lightweight World Champion
“I want to thank my team for working hand-in-hand with me, for all their help and support and for working so close with me. Thank you to Sebastian Contursi, Robert Garcia, Cecilio Flores and my right hand, my cousin “Pileta,” that’s been with me all the way.
“I’m ready for this fight; I’ve trained hard and I’m certain I have what it takes to come out victorious on Saturday.
“They might say Broner is one of the best, but I don’ think he is. He’s definitely different to any other opponents I’ve fought, but I’m prepared. I’m ready for him.
“I’m going to hit him hard, very hard, with all I have and I’ll get busy with him. I hope he’s ready, because I am.
“This is the hardest fight of my life. I respect Broner, but I don’t underestimate him. On Saturday, I’ll do my part; I’ll do what I came here for – to fight with my heart and do my best.
“I’m not a trash talker. I’m not that kind of guy and I’m not going to get into that. It’s just not my thing.”
KEITH THURMAN, WBA Interim Welterweight World Champion
“I’m just trying to bring the excitement. This card is called the “Danger Zone” and it’s a guaranteed fact that every time you come into the ring with Keith “One Time” Thurman you’re automatically stepping into the Danger Zone.
“This is the last fight of the year and the last fight of the year is my favorite fight of the year. I like to call it the icing on the cake. I’ve been training really hard for this fight. Soto is a real tough opponent. He gave (Andre) Berto his all. He claims he has a new passion for the sport. I believe the man. I saw it when he fought. I saw his passion and I’m truly looking forward to this fight.
“Christmas came early and I have two presents for Soto right here–my right and my left–two real nice packages. Like I said, this is going to be the icing on the cake.
“Last year I ended with a tremendous victory and I don’t think this fight is going to go the distance. I’m looking forward to putting him down on that blue canvas and make sure he gets to sleep real nice. “One Time,” every time.
“My promoters have been testing me and I’ve been passing every test with flying colors. So I’m ready for the world of boxing. I’m not afraid to lose, I’m not afraid to get beat. I want go out old school and fight the best of the best.
“My KO ratio is phenomenal, but, as a matter of fact, I’m disappointed that I didn’t knock out everybody. I’m the kind of guy that wants to knockout everybody. I’m “One Time,” every time. And that’s what I’m bringing Saturday night.
“I’m on the up and up. I’m on my way to the top. So this fight is important to get not just a victory but a KO victory so I can keep representing “One Time” Thurman.”
“I’m not afraid to put it all on the line. I’ve got “O” and I’m not afraid to let it go.
JESUS SOTO KARASS, Welterweight Contender
“It’s a very important fight for me, especially with the holidays coming up. I’d like to go enjoy the time off with a win.
“My promoters and manager put me against the best. I fight the best and the best comes out of me.
A lot of people don’t believe in me and they don’t think I have what it takes to beat Keith Thurman. But I’ve proven them wrong before and the people will respect me after the fight.
“I’ve been on big cards before. But my job is to go out and win and give the fans what they want. I’m coming to knock him out. If he wants to box I’m going to take him to school. My heart is in this fight.
“I’ve worked really, really hard for this fight. I’ve trained at the Ponce De Leon Gym in Monterrey, Calif., and this Saturday I’m going to show it in the ring.
“There’s not much to say, other than to those that don’t believe I’m worthy to be here, just wait to see me on the ring on December 14.
“For all the people that don’t believe in me, for all those that think I shouldn’t be in this position, I’m going to show everybody on Saturday night what I’m made off and I’m going to do it well.
“I want to thank Keith Thurman and his team for giving me the opportunity to fight for a world title again.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ, WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion
“I’m just excited to be on a great undercard with Maidana and Broner. I’ve trained really hard to be on these guys’ level and I want to defend my title. I know Cesar is a great fighter and that he has everything it takes to become a champion. And I’ve trained hard to give him a great war. We’re going to leave it all in the ring. May the best man win.
“I closed out 2012 with a great win on CBS and I’m excited to do the same this year on SHOWTIME.”
CESAR SEDA, Super Bantamweight Title Challenger
“I want to let you know that you are going to witness a great show on Dec. 14
“From my part, I’ve prepared very well and I assure you, you are going to see a great fight on Saturday night. I hope to see you all there.”
BEIBUT SHUMENOV, WBA Super Light Heavyweight World Champion
“It’s great to be involved in an event like this, one of boxing’s best of the year. I had a great training camp and can’t wait to show the American boxing fans what I am all about.
“I know Tamas is undefeated, he’s very ambitious and he came here to take what’s mine. But I’m not going to let him take my title. I’m going to fight hard for what’s mine. And I’m going to show the world that I’m the best light heavyweight champion of the world.”
TAMAS KOVACS, Light Heavyweight Contender
“This is a very big opportunity for me. This is the fight of my life.
“I’ve been training and preparing for this fight since September. On Saturday, I’m coming out with all I have.
“It took me forty hours to get to San Antonio. It was a difficult trip, but it was worth it. This is the fight of
my life. This is my chance and I’m going to take it.
“I know Shumenov is a good boxer, but I’m good and also clever. So, he better watch out.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Maidana’s Trainer
“Maidana is very happy to be here. We know we are facing a great champion, but Chino [Maidana] knows what he has to do, and he’s ready to do it. Come Saturday night, we are going to give the fans a great fight.
MIKE STAFFORD, Broner’s Trainer
“For this fight Adrien is going to show you something special. He’s going to give you a Christmas present. He had a great camp and this kid is something special. I want to thank Team Maidana for signing the contract. I know it is not easy to commit to fighting a guy like this [looking at Adrien Broner], he’s truly the best.”
RICARDO “DINAMITA” ALVAREZ
“I’m thankful for this fight, this is my first time fighting here. I’m thankful for my promoters, my camp, my friends and my family for all their support.
“December 14 at the Alamodome is going to be a good night for me, it’s my debut in United States and I’m really excited. “
RICHARD SCHAEFER, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
“It’s been a great year in boxing and a great year for boxing in San Antonio with spectacular events here in San Antonio. Thanks to the fans for embracing these fights. We promise to keep bringing the big fights and price the big fights appropriately starting at $10. This is our Christmas gift to the great fans in San Antonio.
“We would not be here without Mike Battah and James Leija, a very enthusiastic team to work with.
“Big thank you to Matt Black and Les Moonves along with Stephen Espinoza and their entire team for all their hard work in this incredible year for Golden Boy Promotions. “
MIKE BATTAH, President of Leija-Battah Promotions
“Welcome everyone to San Antonio from all over the world, very much appreciate your help in building up our business. I made a commitment to San Antonio to build boxing here. Our commitment will continue, it’s great to work with Richard and Golden Boy. Our commitment will stay and continue to grow.
“We have the will to build boxing; we have the skills the structure and the organization.
“One of the biggest cards in Texas in many years, fans will see a terrific night of boxing.
“JESSE” JAMES LEIJA, Texas Boxing Legend, Leija-Battah Promotions
“Want to thanks GBP for giving us this opportunity to prove ourselves. Mike Battah is an incredible businessman and a great partner. Also want to thank the fans of San Antonio, best fans in the world. This is truly an early Christmas gift for the fans to come out and enjoy the fights. We have the top fighters from Golden Boy Promotions on this card.
“Leo Santa Cruz, one of my favorite fighters is in a very tough fight against Cesar Seda.
“Continue to support these events and we will continue to bring the biggest events here to one of the greatest cities in the world.
NICHOLS LANGELLA, General Manager of the Alamodome
“We’re very proud to host this event. It takes a terrific passion and enthusiasm to put on this show. Thanks to James Leija, Mike Battah and Golden Boy for putting this tremendous event together.”