Seven of the boxers who will fight Saturday on at the StubHub Center in Carson, California took part in an open media workout Wednesday at Westside Boxing Club.
In 12-rounders on Saturday’s Showtime televised the tripleheader former four-division world champion Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs), of Gilroy, Calif., returns from a 13-month layoff to face Japan’s hard-hitting Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-1-1, 21 KOs) in a welterweight scrap and unbeaten, yet untested Gary Russell Jr. (24-0, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md., meets perhaps the greatest amateur boxer of all-time, Vasyl Lomachenko (1-1, 1 KO), of Ukraine, for the vacant WBO Featherweight World Championship. Former two-division world champion Devon Alexander (25-2, 14 KOs), of St. Louis, battles hard-hitting Jesus Soto Karass (28-9-3, 18 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, in a 10-round super welterweight match that will kickoff the telecast.
Former light heavyweight world champion, "Bad Chad" Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs), of Las Vegas by way of New Haven, Conn., makes his first start in 12 months when he takes onGeorge "Honey Boy" Blades (23-5, 16 KOs), of Indianapolis, Ind., in the featured bout.
In a battle of U.S. Olympians in the SHOWTIME EXTREME co-feature, 2012 U.S. Olympian and undefeated heavyweight Dominic "Trouble" Breazeale (10-0, 9 KOs), of Los Angeles, makes his 10-round debut when he takes on 2004 U.S. Olympic team captain Devin"Devastatin’" Vargas (18-3, 7 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio.
In non-televised fights that begin at 2 p.m. PT: Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (8-0, 7 KOs), Los Angeles, makes his debut for GBP against Michael Gbenga (15-14, 15 KOs), Lagos, Nigeria, six-rounds, light heavyweights; Sharif Bogere (24-1, 16 KOs), Las Vegas, Nev., faces a foe to be announced, eight-rounds, lightweights; Michael Hunter (4-0, 3 KOs), Van Nuys, Calif., takes on Jerry Forrest (7-1, 6 KOs), Lafayette, La., eight-rounds, heavyweights; the brother of Marcos "Chino" Maidana, Fabian Maidana (pro debut), Santa Fe, Arg., clashes with Alejandro Arteaga (3-8, 1 KO), Bakersfield, Calif., four-rounds, welterweights; and Marcos Hernandez (1-0), Fresno, Calif., vs. Dante Spinks (0-4), San Diego, Calif., four-rounds, super welterweights.
Below is what the fighters and Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions, said at Wednesday’s workout:
"Training camp went great. I feel fresh and I can’t wait to get out there. The time off felt good, I was able to recuperate my body and spend time with my family. There were a couple of things going on that kept me out of the ring but it’s now time to take care of business.
"I was able to incorporate CrossFit into my training regime and it made me able to get up to my optimal 147-pound weight. Before that I had trouble even trying to make weight.
"If I take care of business I would of course like to fight Floyd Mayweather; everyone would like that fight. I felt like I could give a lot more and I am excited to showcase everything that I have been doing to prove that I can hang with a fighter like Mayweather. Floyd is a pretty smart fighter but I can stay on my boxing game now, be a smarter fighter and walk guys down.
"I plan on providing an action-packed fight. Kamegai comes to fight and you know I always come to fight, so it should be very exciting. I look forward to showcasing a lot of stuff that I’ve been working on and put on a great show for the fans."
"I’m from Japan, and we respect everybody outside the ring. There is no trash-talk. In Japan, we think of Robert Guerrero as a multi-division world champion who fought Floyd Mayweather. That said, I didn’t fly all the way across the ocean to lose. I came here to not just win the fight but to have a decisive victory.
"I’m very confident and I feel I’m acclimated. I’ve been in America about 10 days. What I’ve worked on most since arriving is a way to avoid all his holding tactics and a way to keep him from being able to fight from long range.
"This is a very important fight and a tremendous opportunity for me. Not a lot of people know me now, but they will after the fight.’’
GARY RUSSELL JR.
"You always have to be careful no matter who you are competing against, I never overlook anybody. You must have a level of defensive discipline. As far as him in general, we’re ready; I don’t believe he has what it takes to win this fight. He’s not a volume puncher; he tries to be more accurate. Even if he tries to outbox me he doesn’t have the hand speed and boxing ability to make it a tough fight. I am overall physically bigger and stronger and it won’t be a good thing for him. He is most definitely a stepping stone for me. The objective is to get out of the ring with a victory; we never look at the venue or anything where my focus shouldn’t be on. I will look good and expose this guy.
"It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting, I come to win. Everything is in my favor in this fight in terms of the speed, power and general fight charisma and we will exploit that on Saturday. This guy is just not on my level.
"Every fighter I fight is a learning experience, you look at my fights now and you can see the maturity level from when I was 8-0, 10-0.
"A lot of these fighters are one-dimensional. There are good boxers with no inside game. When it comes to me, what makes me a lot better than the other fighters is how versatile I am in the ring. You can see me walk these guys down or turn the fight into a brawl. With each style that we adapt to, we have the same level of creativity and that is what sets us apart.’’