Fighters competing on the Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz SHOWTIME PPV (9 pm ET / 6 pm PT) undercard previewed their respective matchups at a final press conference (video here) Wednesday before they square off this Saturday, October 31 from Alamodome in San Antonio in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The press conference featured unbeaten San Antonio native and WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and hard-hitting Ryan “Cowboy” Karl, who meet in the co-main event, plus former super lightweight world champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis and unbeaten contender Juan Heraldez, who square off in in a 10-round showdown, and lightweight contenders Isaac Cruz and Diego Magdaleno, who battle in an IBF title eliminator to kick off the pay-per-view.
Davis vs. Santa Cruz is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, GTD Promotions and Santa Cruz Boxing Club. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. The Alamodome has implemented a comprehensive health and safety plan to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. All fans attending the event will be screened upon entry and are required to wear a mask as well as follow social distancing guidelines. Tickets will be distributed in seat blocks known as “pods” to maintain distance between groups not from the same party. For more information, visit Alamodome.com.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday:
“I’m super excited to be back home for my first title defense. Come Saturday night, it’s going to be an explosive night of boxing throughout this whole card. I’m trying to steal the show in the co-main event.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I’m fighting at home and defending my title, so it’s just a dream come true. You have an Aztec warrior and a Texas cowboy going at it. I couldn’t imagine a better co-main event.
“We had another great camp with Virgil Hunter in California. I’m excited to continue to show everyone why I’m the best in my division.
“Ryan definitely comes to fight. He’s known for being a pressure fighter. I’ve always considered myself a boxer-puncher. I’ll try to use my jab and fight from the outside as much as I can. But I’ve been known to brawl on the inside as well. It’s going to end up being a fan-friendly fight.
“I’m a complete fighter. I have the speed and power. I also have height and length. I carry my power throughout twelve rounds. I’m a dangerous fighter from the opening bell until the very end.
“You’re going to see a completely different fighter on Saturday night. My last fight I showed the warrior that I am, and during the championship rounds, I made big things happen. Saturday night, I’m going to show everyone how I’ve improved.”
“You’re going to see a great fight on Saturday. We are going to steal the show, because I’ve come prepared. I’m at my very best and it’s going to make me victorious. We put the work in. I’m going to seize this opportunity now that I have it.
“I’m not worried about getting a knockout. I just have to be victorious and become champion. Nothing else matters.
“I’m healthy and injury free now. It’s been over two years since I could say that. It’s a new start in a way. I’m listening better and my corner is the best it’s ever been. I expect it to be a very explosive and exciting fight.
“I’ve known Barrios since the amateurs, but it never crossed my mind that we’d fight because he was much smaller than me then. He’s matured and gotten a lot bigger now, so I’m anticipating he’ll bring the fight to me on Saturday.
“I come to fight, I’m rough and ready and I’m coming to win any way possible. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve never been in a boring fight. Win, lose or draw, you’ll always get your money’s worth.”
“I’m excited to be here. Training has been amazing. I just want to go out there and prove that I’m still the best at 140 pounds. I was number one for a long time. This is the first step toward getting my belts back. I’ve been training differently than ever before. I’m really living like a fighter right now. I just have to go out and do what I know I have to do.
“I need a stoppage or a shutout. That’s what I’m looking for. He’s an okay fighter. I don’t want to degrade him too much, because I just feel like I’m the better fighter.
“This is my first step toward proving I’m still the best. You sit and go over the fight a million times in your head and it usually never goes that way. I’m just going to do me and show the world that I’m still here. I train too hard not to be number one. I don’t want to be behind anybody.
“We’re all going to do our thing Saturday night. It’s a huge stacked card. Order SHOWTIME PPV and watch me mess Heraldez up.
“I’m just taking it one fight at a time right now. The landscape in boxing changes all the time. I’m not worried about anything else other than Juan Heraldez.”
“I’m going to go out there and show everyone what the sweet science is all about. It’s about hitting and not getting hit. That’s my game plan.
“I believe that my style is exactly what boxing is all about. I have more advantages in my game than he does. I’m going to make sure that everyone sees it on Saturday night.
“Prograis had his chance to be elite, now it’s my time. He fought Taylor and lost. I didn’t really even watch more than a couple of rounds of that fight though, because I’m a completely different fighter than him.
“Prograis is a step up on paper, but all that goes out the window once we’re in the ring. It’s about boxing skills and toughness. I’ve been boxing all my life, so I don’t think I’m stepping up to him.
“I can box and I can punch. There’s not going to be anything else that needs to be said or done. This fight is going to prove to everyone that I have great boxing skills. It’s going to put me in a position to earn respect, win belts and make more money.
“I don’t think he’s going to be able to land clean shots on me because of my defense. You’ll have to ask him afterwards how hard I punch. I know his eye was really swollen after his last fight. Plan on seeing him look the same on Saturday.”
“I’m very happy to be here in San Antonio. I’ve been doing a lot of sparring for this fight, especially against southpaws. I’ve sparred over 200 rounds so I will be at my very best on Saturday night.
“I came to fight, I came to steal the show, and I came for the victory. I don’t need to talk too much. I can talk with my fists on Saturday.
“I’m very prepared to give Diego Magdaleno a great fight. I’m a classic Mexican fighter who keeps coming forward. I throw a lot of punches and I don’t break down after the early rounds. I love to give a good show.
“I’m facing a good fighter with a lot of experience. He’s had a lot of tough fights, but we came very well prepared to take the victory with us.
“After this fight, people will not be able to forget my name. I’m ready to keep giving more and more in the future.”
“I’ve fought in Texas so many times and I love fighting in front of these real fight fans. This started back in February when I kicked off 2020 with a roar. I was one of the last fights with a crowd, and now I’m back here with a crowd again. I’m relishing in the energy of this event.
“It’s my birthday and I’ve never felt this great. The whole world is right in front of me and I just have to go out and grab it.
“I’m bringing something huge on Saturday. You’ve never seen Diego on this much ‘fuego’ before. I never stopped believing in myself and that’s why I’m here today.
“I know I have to stay focused and stick to the game plan. I’m going to be true to myself. I have to be smart and everything else will be taken care of.”
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Since we first started Mayweather Promotions we’ve promoted over 20 pay-per-view fights, and I have to say that from top to bottom, this is one of the most stacked undercards we’ve had. That will bring nothing but excitement for the fans come Saturday.
“The opening fight is an outstanding lightweight fight with Isaac Cruz taking on the always exciting Diego Magdaleno in a title eliminator in one of boxing’s hottest divisions.
“Then we roll into former world champion Regis Prograis, who is always in entertaining bouts, taking on Mayweather Promotions’ own unbeaten Juan Heraldez. These guys have gone back and forth during the promotion. Heraldez has told me he thinks Regis is an average fighter, and Regis has talked his trash too. They get to settle it on Saturday night. This has the potential to steal the show.
“The co-main event is an all-Texas showdown with Mario Barrios against Ryan Karl. This will definitely be an exciting bout. They both have highly respected trainers in Virgil Hunter and Ronnie Shields. So you know they will be extremely well prepared. From top to bottom we have a very entertaining undercard, so make sure to tune-in Saturday night.”