LAS VEGAS (Sept. 10, 2014) – With a stacked card coming to The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino this Thursday, Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz, Lateef “Power” Kayode, Jesus “El Jinete” Cuellar and Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez sat down with the media in Las Vegas to discuss their respective title bouts airing live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes.
Here is what the fighters said Thursday:
LUIS ORTIZ, Undefeated Heavyweight Contender
“I have worked very hard for this fight and it’s a great opportunity and I’m not going to waste it.
“I have seen one or two of Kayode’s fights and I am prepared. You will see my preparation materialize in the ring on Thursday night.
“Kayode is a trash talker and I take that as a sign of weakness.
“A lot of heavyweight fighters are in Cuba in amateur competitions, but I take pride in knowing that I am a professional Cuban heavyweight.
“I am going to continue working and doing my part and fight whoever steps up. I am the next heavyweight champion. I am going to keep doing my part so I can get there.”
“When I need to be a power puncher, I will do it. When I need to box, I will do it. When I need to be defensive, I will do it. When I need to attack and get the job done, I will do it. If there is a specific name for all of those styles – then that is the kind of fighter I am.”
LATEEF KAYODE, Undefeated Heavyweight Contender
“I feel as good as I did at cruiserweight, I’m still the same powerful guy.
“My trainer Freddie Roach has spent a lot of time in the gym with me. He has taught me a lot about my opponents and how to take advantage of them.
“I notice the difference when Freddie tells me things to adjust my game. He helped me with my footwork and positioning. He taught me new ways to make my opponents pay.
“Freddie told me that if I listen to him I will have no problem with this guy. He’s there to make life easier for me.
“I will be able to keep composure and keep calm in the ring. It’s not an easy task to fine-tune my brute force and strength but I feel great about where I am.
“After I knock Ortiz out or whatever I do to him, after that I will leave it up to my manager to try to get me a fight with Klitschko. I’m not scared to fight anybody.”
JESUS CUELLAR, WBA Interim Featherweight World Champion
“I feel good and ready. I have been training with Robert Garcia for this fight and we had a great camp.
“I feel blessed that the Latino fans especially the Mexican fans have been following me and giving me the support I need.
“I know that this is going to be a hard fight. I’ve been training hard for it in intense camp and I’m here to do my job and take the victory home.
“The fans expect me to show how I box and I am prepared to go the distance but I am also ready for it if it goes faster than that.
JUAN MANUEL LOPEZ, Former Two-Division World Champion
“This is a difficult fight but I’ve been a two-division world champion, and I wasn’t going to take easy fights that the public and my fans wouldn’t respect.
“We know 100 percent that my career is at stake and I can’t afford a loss, but that’s why we came ready and in the best possible shape. I don’t want my career to end on a note like the Francisco Vargas loss. We know what’s ahead of us and what this fight means. It’s very important for me.
“The person who I thought would have tried to convince me to retire was my mother. She’s been my biggest supporter and my biggest fan. She was there at the Vargas fight, and I really thought she was going to try to convince me to stop boxing. But she’s continued supporting and backing me 100 percent.
“Of course, I want to go for one big payday and retire. That’s every fighter’s dream, to get the biggest payday and retire. I always said at 32 I’d like to retire, but things happened to stall that a little bit. But I’m not going to go past 34. I want to retire before then.
“I see a very strong fighter in Jesus Cuellar. I see a young fighter that wants to be the best in the world and a champion. That makes him very dangerous. My advantage is that I’ve been here on this stage and the experience that I have at this level, you cannot buy it.”
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Ortiz vs. Kayode, a 12-round bout for the vacant WBA Heavyweight World Title, is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, in association with Greg Cohen Promotions and sponsored by Corona Extra, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Mexico, Live it to believe it!. The FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes broadcast airs live at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT.
Tickets, priced at $95, $65, $35 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes are on sale now and are available for purchase by visiting The Joint box office, calling 888.9.AXS.TIX or online at www.axs.com.