BROOKLYN (April 12, 2016) – Undefeated rising stars Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and “Sir” Marcus Browne started out as teammates on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team and will face the toughest tests of their careers when they enter the ring in primetime on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC Saturday, April 16 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The rising welterweight Spence Jr. will take on former world champion Chris Algieri in the main event while Browne kicks-off televised coverage at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT when he takes on unbeaten Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic.
With the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio nearing the opening ceremonies, it is poetic that both Spence Jr. and Browne will have the opportunity to launch themselves into the upper echelon of the sport as a new generation of rising stars get set to test themselves against the best in the world at the Olympics.
Here is what the fighters had to say about their Olympic experiences, fighting on the same card, advice to the 2016 team and more:
On fighting in televised fights on the same card:
Errol Spence Jr.: “My pro debut was on the ‘Night of the Olympians’ and it had me, Terrell Gausha, Marcus Browne, and Rau’Shee Warren. These are the kind of nights we envisioned. It’s so great to see my friends and Olympic brothers doing as well as me.
Marcus Browne: “We always thought about nights like these where we’re both center stage. This couldn’t have happened if we didn’t keep our records clean and fought hard. To have gotten to this point alongside an Olympic teammate is an amazing thing. I look forward to both of us being propelled to the next level.”
On their favorite Olympic memories:
ES: “My favorite memory is competing and being around all of the great athletes. I got to meet Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Serena Williams and Michael Phelps. All of these athletes that I had seen on TV. Being in that atmosphere helped me realize that I am a great athlete amongst other great athletes.
MB: “It sounds materialistic, but all the free gear we got was amazing. Coming where I come from, I had never been given anything like that before. I was surprised at the adoration I was getting from people. Everyone just wanted to make us feel a part of this unbelievable event.
On how the Olympics prepared them for the pros:
ES: “The Olympic stage prepares you for anything. It’s the biggest tournament in the world. Having media day and talking to all of those outlets and then having to train, it prepares you for the professional ranks. When you get to the top, you’re going to have to do those exact same things.
MB: “Fighting in front of 10,000 people that are cheering against you will prepare you for anything in this sports. A lot of people don’t get that until they’re at the highest level. The atmosphere is just so intense and the Olympic fans are so passionate.
On the bond they share with their Olympic teammates:
ES: “All of us on the team have a great bond. Anytime you spend four months in camp with the same group of guys and you’re training and losing weight together, you become very close. It automatically creates a natural bond and connection. They are like brothers to me.
MB: “There is always going to be that bond of brotherhood regardless if you talk everyday or every three years. Spending every waking moment with these guys and singing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ every morning, we build up a group bond and individual friendships that are so important to us.
On their impressions of the other:
ES: “Marcus was always the loud one in the Olympic training center. Marcus was always encouraging everyone to work hard and train harder. I want to be like Evander Holyfield. He and his Olympic teammates like Pernell Whitaker all held belts at the same time.
MB: “Errol and I are kind of opposites. Errol is more of a quiet and reserved guy. He works hard and runs like a gazelle. He fights hard and at the end of the day he is just a good dude. The plan is for all of us to be world champions and do great things.
On their advice to the 2016 U.S. Olympic team:
ES: “I would tell the 2016 team to just keep doing what they’re doing. Stay focused. Don’t get too big headed. Listen to your coaches and do everything you’ve been doing. The Olympics are right around the corner and we want to see medals in the men’s division this year.”
MB: “I just want to tell the team to make sure you get all the international experience you can get and fight hard for your country.”
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). For more information about USA Boxing, go to www.usaboxing.org