LAS VEGAS (May 3, 2013) – The six fighters who will compete on the pay-per-view undercard portion of “MAY DAY: Mayweather vs. Guerrero” this Saturday, May 4 on SHOWTIME PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. participated in their final press conference on Thursday in front of a packed media center at MGM Grand.
Undefeated Eight-Time and Five-Division World Champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather (43-0, 26 KO’s), of Grand Rapids, Mich., defends his WBC Welterweight World Championship against Six-Time and Four-Division Champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KO’s), of Gilroy, Calif., in a 12-round bout that will also be for the vacant RING Magazine World Championship in the eagerly awaited main event.
On a stacked undercard preceding Mayweather vs. Guerrero on pay-per-view, Daniel “Ponce” De Leon (44-4, 35 KO’s), of Cuauhtemoc, Mex., risks his WBC World Featherweight World Championship against Two-Division World Champion Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KO’s) of Guadalajara, Mexico; Leo Santa Cruz (23-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Los Angeles, opposes Alexander Munoz (36-4, 28 KOs), of Caracas, Ven., in a 10-round bout for the vacant USBA Junior Featherweight Championship; and J’Leon Love (15-0, 8 KOs), of Las Vegas, faces Gabriel Rosado (21-6, 13 KOs), of Philadelphia, in a 10-round fight for the vacant NABF Middleweight Championship.
See below what the fighters and executives said Thursday:
PONCE DE LEON, WBC Featherweight Champion
“First of all I want to thank God, Frank Espinoza, my manager, Golden Boy, Mayweather Promotions, MGM, SHOWTIME, my team and everyone involved for making this fight possible.
“This is going to be a great fight. I’m very prepared. I’ve fought many times at MGM. Everyone wants to see a battle and that’s what I’m ready for. Don’t miss it.”
“I want to thank Golden Boy, Mayweather Promotions and SHOWTIME. My last five or six fights have been on SHOWTIME. People know me because of SHOWTIME. What can I tell you; this fight alone is a main event so, really, you have two main events on one card. It’s going to be a tremendous fight.
“I want to thank Ponce for this opportunity. You guys know me. I’m ready. I’ll fight anyone as long as we give fans a good fight, I’m with it.
“I’ve dedicated this fight to my dad, who suffered a stroke a month ago.
“I’ve trained hard and I’m ready. I actually added something to my training; I call it Mexican judo: ‘ju’ don’t know if I’m going to box and ‘ju’ don’t know if I’m going slug, but ‘ju’ know I’m going to win.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ
“First of all I want to give thanks to Golden Boy, Richard (Schaefer), Mayweather Promotions and especially Al Haymon, my manager. Ever since I signed with him, everything changed for me. He has helped me a lot and is always there for me.
“Thanks to him, I was able to get my mom her first house. I owe it all to him and I’m going to repay him by giving him my best. I’m going to show the world who Leo Santa Cruz is.
“I’m very excited to be on this undercard. I know Munoz is an extremely strong fighter who comes forward. I’ve trained hard and worked hard. It’s going to be a war and I’m going to try and finish him before the 10th round.”
“I’d like to thank all of you for being here. They’ve put together a very good fight. We know Santa Cruz is tough. I’m prepared for this and I want to make all the fans in Venezuela proud.
“I’m excited about this fight and this opportunity.”
“I want to thank everyone involved for this opportunity…Al Haymon, my fight team and Mayweather Promotions. This will be a good fight. We have much love for Team Rosado. There is no bad blood.
“Both of us have a lot to prove. He came up a little short in his last fight, but he’s a tough guy. A lot of people are also saying this is a big step up for me, but I’m a fighter and this is what I do.
“It’s going to be a very good fight. We’re going to both put it on the line, but I will be victorious.”
“I want to thank God, Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions for making this fight happen. I’m excited for this opportunity. I fell a little short in my shot at a world title, but I got a taste of the big stage.
“I don’t think he has the experience I have and I’m hungry and determined. I had a great camp and I’m prepared to leave it all in the ring.
“I expect to have a lot of Philadelphia fans on hand here. I can’t wait to open the show and give the fans a great fight.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“On behalf of Mayweather Promotions, we would like to thank you all for coming out. We have a great main event and a great undercard. Ponce De Leon-Mares is a main event in itself. We have what fans want to see…a strong lineup of fights.
“In the first fight on pay-per-view we have two guys who will put it all on the line. J’Leon Love told me he wanted this fight, that he wanted to fight Rosado and then asked if I could go out and make it. I said ‘sure.’ Personally, I think this is a tremendous fight to open the show.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“What’s better on Cinco de Mayo weekend than ‘MAY DAY?’ This is the week for boxing. Mayweather is back with a vengeance, facing a very difficult, tough, young, hungry Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. The main event is a highlight but the undercard is just as important.
“Match Mares against Ponce and you’ve got a real fight, a war. Mares is a smart guy, intelligent with great boxing skills and a big heart who goes forward with a passion. He’s fighting a guy, Ponce, the champion, who is known for his punching power and is ready for the fight of his life. Neither guy wants to hear this, but I can see a trilogy.
“We have a tremendous fight with Leo Santa Cruz, who when we think of him, we instantly think about action, excitement and fighting with passion against Munoz, who a lot of people don’t know, but who’s here to win. I’m really looking forward to this one. There’ll be guaranteed action and fireworks.
“In my eyes, the first fight on pay-per-view is another interesting match, one you don’t want to miss, between Love and Rosado. Both have an opportunity to seize. It’s there for both of them.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
“When we, Richard, Oscar, Floyd, Al and Leonard, first started talking about this event, we immediately came to the conclusion that a world-class main event deserved a world-class undercard, and that’s what we put together. These aren’t filler fights. These aren’t no-name fighters. These are ‘name’ fighters in tough, meaningful fights. Top to bottom, this is the highest-quality undercard for any event I can remember.
“I’m extremely excited and extremely proud to be involved with these three fights. I’m especially proud because several of the fighters have been groomed and developed on SHOWTIME. J’Leon Love was featured twice on SHOWTIME EXTREME, Leo Santa Cruz actually hit the trifecta last year: he fought on SHOWTIME EXTREME, SHOWTIME and CBS and Abner Mares has fought on SHOWTIME his whole career and is a staple of the network.
“The weigh-in on Friday will be televised live on CBS Sports Network and SHOWTIME. Also, for the first time in recent history there will be a live post-fight show, thanks to CBS Sports Network, on Saturday night. We are pulling out all the stops with the newest technology. There will be 16 cameras, the most ever used in the history of network.
“As you can tell, I’m very excited. See you on Saturday.”