Fighters competing on this Saturday’s Canelo Álvarez vs. Caleb Plant SHOWTIME PPV undercard went face-to-face and previewed their respective showdowns at a press conference on Thursday before they enter the ring in a Premier Boxing Champions event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)
Thursday’s press conference featured two-time super middleweight champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell and exciting contender “Madman” Marcos Hernández, who meet in the 10-round co-main event, former super bantamweight world champion Rey Vargas and Mexico’s Leonardo Báez, who square off in a 10-round attraction, plus super lightweight contenders Elvis Rodríguez and Juan Pablo Romero, who will battle in a 10-round fight that kicks off the pay-per-view telecast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
The event is promoted by Canelo Promotions and TGB Promotions and sponsored by Hennessy and Value.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
“Expect fireworks. I know Marcos brings a good game and he’s a come-forward fighter. It’s going to be a hot one. I’m trying to make my mark and get my shot at the winner of the main event. So I have to make a good statement. I know it won’t be easy and I’m ready for the challenge.
“This is a big opportunity under one of the biggest fights of this year. I need to get a win and get back to where I was. Once I get this victory on Saturday, we’ll see where the win takes me.
“I believe I’m still one of the elite fighters at 168 pounds. At the end of the day, what I think is all that matters. I bring a lot to the table. I don’t back down from anyone. Come Saturday, you’ll see what this camp did for me.
“I want to leave no doubt in peoples’ minds about who should have next at the super middleweight belts. I’m ready for this opportunity. I gave everything I had in camp and you’ll see it on Saturday.
“With me being a veteran in the game, I think I’m well-equipped to handle the winner of Saturday night’s main event, no matter who it is.
“I want to fight for something. At this point in my career, I want to fight for something and that’s those world titles. That’s what I’m looking to get to after this fight.”
“I’m thankful for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to turning this into more opportunities past Saturday night.
“I’ve never said no to a fight. If the fight gets to me, I’m going to say yes. I’m grateful to fight a multiple-time world champion. I’ve fought at and around 168 pounds before, so I’m not worried about the weight. I just want to fight.
“It’s up to everyone else to decide what a win means for how I’m considered as a fighter. I’m just looking forward to getting in the ring, fighting and giving it my all.
“Anthony Dirrell is a two-time world champion and it’s going to be a tough test for me. I’m just looking to be my best and I believe that will be enough.”
“I’m very proud to be fighting on this card. I’m eager to show everyone what I can do after two years away. I’m ready for Saturday.
“If you think that I’m rusty, you could not be more wrong. I’m here to show that I can still bring the fight. I’m still very much a contender. We’ll see what happens on Saturday, but I’m confident in my skills.
“If the fight with Gary Russell Jr. is on the table, then I’ll be ready to take it and go after the featherweight title. Right now though, we’re just focused on Saturday and nothing past that.
“The layoff I’ve had has happened for a couple of different reasons. I had a situation with my former promoter, and once I had that settled, the pandemic happened. Then I had an injury, but all of that is in the past now. I’m ready for an amazing fight on Saturday.
“This is going to be an all-out war on Saturday. It’s going to be a brawl from start to finish.”
“I’m here to make sure I make the most of this opportunity on the big stage. Canelo is the biggest draw in boxing and it’s an honor to be a part of this event. I’m going to do my best to come out with a win and give the fans the kind of fight they deserve.
“If a knockout presents itself, then I’m not going to shy away from it. But we had a great preparation and we’re ready to go the distance. Rey Vargas is a quality fighter who we’re ready for.
“We’re prepared for any way that Vargas wants to fight. We know what we’re up against, but I worked hard to make sure I give the fans a great fight.”
“It’s been a long road for me to get here. I’m thankful to everyone who’s helped me. I had to work hard and fix a lot of mistakes. I’m a much better fighter now and I’m confident I’m going to show it all off on Saturday.
“I want to show everyone that I’m the real deal. I’m a different fighter and a different person than I was in the past. I have to show everyone that I’m up to the challenge in this fight.
“In my last fight I committed a lot of mistakes. There were three main things that I’ve worked on. The first is throwing efficient combinations, then strengthening my defense, and third is being more agile in the ring. All of those things are going to make me better in this fight.
“If I beat Romero on Saturday, it’s going to be a new beginning for my career. I’ve worked hard to get here, but I want more and I believe it’s possible. I’m going to show everyone on Saturday how far I’ve come.”
JUAN PABLO ROMERO
“This is going to be a special weekend for all Mexicans. I’m thankful to be a part of this undercard and to Canelo for opening the door for us. There are a lot of great fighters up here and I’m excited to provide an exciting show for the fans and leave with a win.
“My goal here is to prove that the Mexican style of boxing is alive and well. I’m going to go in there, be aggressive and get the win no matter what.
“We don’t care how many people he’s knocked out because we’re aggressive as well. We’re secure in knowing that if we do what we set out to do, we’re going to be okay in the end.