"My training in Las Vegas was very good, we had terrific sparring and I’ve been finishing off the last two weeks of camp here in New York City."
"I’m not in awe of fighting Ruslan at all. I’ve watched him fight in the past and I have a very strong game plan to beat him. I’ve seen what works against him and just as importantly what doesn’t."
"Emmanuel Taylor who I beat in February was a hard punching, strong fighter who had knocked out a high number of opponents. I wasn’t supposed to beat him or Jose Peralta. The underdog role fits me perfectly."
"I’ve always loved boxing, but I had success at kickboxing and initially pursued that. My favorite fighter was Oscar De La Hoya, at his peak he could do it all. But boxing has always been my passion, my love."
"I was in a couple camps with Marcos Maidana and Brandon Rios, sparring for weeks. Both of them, like Ruslan are aggressive, very strong fighters who I had success against in training."
"Yes, I’ve got options with my (clinical nutrition) degree, I don’t have to fight but I don’t think that should be a factor in wanting to win any less. I’ve wanted to be a world champion since I started boxing and I want to win just as badly as Ruslan does next Saturday."
"Barclays is a beautiful venue and I’m sure both of us will have a large fan bases
cheering us on."
"Of course I said yes immediately when offered the fight, fighting for a world title and on HBO is a terrific opportunity. But, also I know that I can beat Ruslan."
"Sure many people will be shocked when I win, but not me."
"Long Island has been terrific to me with their local support, it would mean a great deal to the people of Huntington for me to win the world title."
Their world title bout will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®, beginning at 10 PM ET/PT.
All photo credits: Claudia Bocanegra
June 10, 2014