WELTERWEIGHT world champions Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia participated in a media workout at world famous Gleason’s Gym Wednesday afternoon in advance of their primetime showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, this Saturday, March 4 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Also in attendance Wednesday and opening the broadcast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT were undefeated rising star Erickson Lubin and once-beaten knockout artist Jorge Cota, who meet in a super welterweight world title eliminator.
Additional fighters participating in the workout and competing in undercard action on Saturday included light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara, who takes on former world champion Chad Dawson, popular local unbeaten Heather Hardy, who battles Edina Kiss in a featherweight attraction, super lightweight Mario Barrios, who meets Yardley Suarez in an eight-round fight, unbeaten contender Sergey Lipinets and Florida’s Clarence Booth, who meet in super lightweight action and 2016 Haitian Olympian Richardson Hitchins, who makes his pro debut.
Here is what the fighters say:
“It feels great to be in this big fight. This is what we’ve been dreaming of. It feels like my destiny. When you put so much hard work into the sport, everyone knows you’re planting a seed. You have to watch it grow and nurture it before it starts to bear fruit.
“Brooklyn has one of a kind fight fans. The history of this city and the history of boxing in this city is exceptional. The appreciation they have for fighters is one of a kind. It’s always a blessing to perform for these fans.
“I expect the best of Danny Garcia. This is the biggest fight of either of our careers. I saw the best of Shawn Porter, but Keith Thurman was able to rise to the top once again.
“When you look at the facts and our records, it doesn’t get bigger than this. There’s no comparison to my other fights. This is the biggest of my career.
“The ultimate goal is to unify the division. It’s a blessing right now to have two undefeated world champions. These titles have only been brought together a few times in history. It’s a great opportunity. The winner is going to be that man to beat at 147-pounds.
“I believe that we will see the next superstar in the welterweight division after we unify these titles. Whoever becomes the undisputed welterweight champion of the world, will be on another level. We’re going to take our first step toward that Saturday night.
“I want to touch as many households as I can touch. I want the kids who come from the struggle; I want them to see me. They have to learn that they’re going to earn their stripes in life from training hard in the gym.”
“I’ve trained hard for this fight and I’m ready. Saturday night, I’ll be the new unified champion of the world.
“The atmosphere at Barclays Center is amazing. I’ve always requested to fight here and I’m glad they accept me. I can’t wait to fight in front of those great fans again.
“I’m prepared for the best Keith Thurman. I’m ready to make adjustments and fight like a true champion and get the victory.
“I’ve been training a long time for this fight. I felt great in the gym and I was really comfortable the whole time. I’ve had no struggle to make weight. I feel strong and I’ve had no injuries. That’s a perfect camp. We train hard, we train smart and we’re prepared for Saturday night.
“I always train to impress. I don’t need to add any extra pressure just because it’s a big audience. I have to go in there and keep my composure and be the same Danny Garcia that I always am.
“We just have to stay focused on Saturday night. We’re just worried about my game plan for the fight. There’s no distractions for me. I think everything will go smoothly.
“There’s always been some tough fights in the legacies of other great fighters. Each fight is a learning experience. Everything in my career has led me to this fight.
“People want to see the best fight the best. This is my chance to prove it to the world that I’m one of the best fighters in the world.
“I’m definitely a better fighter than Keith Thurman. He’s never been in the ring with a guy like me. Saturday night, I’m going to prove it. I’m the better counter-puncher, I’m sharper and I’ll prove it on Saturday night.”
“It feels great to be here. Training camp was amazing. We had lots of sparring and made lots of improvements from my last fight. I feel strong and I can’t wait until Saturday night.
“I don’t let anything get to me. I know what I can do. I’m going to go in there confident and be dominant. I’m going to be aware of everything and keep my mind sharp in the ring.
“My coach does the studying of the tape but I know he’s a strong Mexican power-puncher. We know he’s going to be aggressive, but we’re ready for any style he comes with on Saturday night.
“For every opponent, the game plan is different. We have a game plan, but we’ll be ready to adjust. At the end of the day, I have to go in there and win, and win impressively.
“Being on this card is a wonderful feeling. I get to open up for this tremendous fight that I think is going to be the Fight of the Year. I’m going to set the bar real high.
“I’m coming for that number one spot Saturday night. After that, I become the mandatory for Jermell Charlo. I’m going to win this fight in spectacular fashion, mark my words.”
“I know that it’s been a long lay-off but I’ve been staying in the gym and staying ready. I don’t think I’ll have any ring rust once I get in there.
“I’m going to take it round-by-round and see what he brings into the ring. I’m going to make adjustments off of what I see. I’ll assess the situation and take it on from there.
“I have a lot of motivation coming into this fight and I’m ready to move a step closer to a world title. This opportunity is something that I won’t let slip by.
“I know I have a very tough opponent in front of me, but I am too strong and I will be too good on Saturday night.”
“I got some rest after my last fight and get myself back together. The decision was to change trainers to Virgil Hunter. I’m happy with that decision and I had a great camp.
“I have more focus during this camp. It’s just my family and the gym. The same thing every day. I’m in possibly the best shape I’ve been in my life.
“I have a great jab that I have to use. I think I’m a stronger and more physical fighter than Chad Dawson. I know how to box inside and outside. Dawson has a lot of experience but I know I will be ready for anything he brings.
“There are a lot of Polish fans I’m expecting to see on Saturday night. I know that Brooklyn has a large population of Polish boxing fans. I’m ready for that feeling. I’m back and I’m going after a world title.”
“I’ve had my eyes on this fight date for a while. I knew that I had to get on this card. There had to be at least one woman representing our sport on this card.
“The women have to work three times as hard just to get to this point. Girls train just as hard as men and we’re working towards getting our due.
“We don’t just represent ourselves when we get in the ring, we represent our sport. There’s always an incredible amount of pressure, no matter what the stage is.
“Just before this fight camp I was coming off of an eight-week MMA camp. Thinking about a girl who can only hit me with two hands, I’m not worried at all.
“I’m excited to get back in the ring and put on a show for my loyal and dedicated fans who love to watch me fight.”
“I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to be on this card. We’re more than prepared for this fight. We have a tough opponent but I’m ready to take everything we’ve done in the gym and put it into the ring.
“My team has watched some tape on my opponent. I personally don’t like to watch too much of their tapes. Everyone fights different opponents differently. We came up with a game plan for this fight and that’s what we’ve been working on all camp.
“A win means everything to me. It’s going to help me climb the ladder and help me take another step in my career.
“I love fighting in New York. The people in this city are incredible and they come out for big fights like this. It’s huge to be on this stage and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
“The bright lights have never scared me away. I’m more motivated by the importance of this card. All I care about is what happens in the fight. I don’t see any distractions. I’m focused on my opponent.
“I prepare for every fight like it’s for a world title. It’s the same system for getting ready. But I am aware that people have a lot of tape on me now, so my team has been working on bringing something different to each fight.
“As of now, I’m the IBF mandatory, but I’m not looking past Clarence Booth. I want to take care of this fight and then move on to whoever is holding that belt in June or July. I want a world title fight next.
“I respect every man who steps into that squared-circle. Clarence Booth is a great fighter and I respect him for getting in the ring with me. He’s in my way and I plan on putting on a great performance.”
“Being in camp with Keith Thurman is like being in the school of boxing. We spar, get some good rounds in and he always gives me good advice.
“I’m prepared for anything on Saturday night. I’ve watched him a little bit. I see he’s a big puncher, but I’m a big puncher too. I’m ready to get to work.
“I can do it all in the ring. I can brawl, box and adjust to my opponent. I’m excited for this fight on Saturday.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I’m just excited to get in the ring and take advantage of it on Saturday night.”
“I’m excited to make my pro debut. I’ve fought in the Golden Gloves at Barclays Center before so there’s no pressure heading into this one.
“I’ve had a long amateur career and I think all of that prepared me for this moment. Everything I’ve been doing since I was 13 has led to this.
“I don’t know too much about my opponent but I’m going to go in there and adapt. We’ve trained to be prepared for this.
“I’ve always seen myself fighting on big cards and one day I’ll be the headliner. We’re finally on the right track towards what I’m looking to accomplish.”