With less than a week away to fight night, Shawn Porter, Kell Brook and undercard fighters talk about their training camp experiences and expectations surrounding their big fights this Saturday, Aug. 16 at StubHub Center in Carson, California, USA.
In the main event, undefeated IBF Welterweight World Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter will defend his title against fellow unbeaten British sensation Kell Brookin a 12-round bout. In the co-feature, Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika seeks to retain his WBC Super Middleweight Championship when he faces Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell in a highly anticipated 12-round rematch of their Dec. 2013 split draw. In the opening fight of the telecast, Omar “Panterita” Figueroa Jr. will put his WBC Lightweight World Title on the line when he faces mandatory challenger WBC Silver Lightweight Champion Daniel “Tremendo” Estrada in a 12-round bout.
Fight week has arrived, and as the Aug. 16 fighters wrap up camp, they answer a series of training camp related questions that offer some insight into their final preparations for this Saturday’s bouts.
Q: You’re essentially done with training camp at this point, how did everything go?
A: Shawn Porter (training in Las Vegas) – “Yep, it’s all over as of last week. We just finished, and my dad was very happy with how everything went. We did 15 rounds of sparring to close things out.”
Kell Brook (finalizing his training in Las Vegas) – “We got some great work done. We’re winding everything down, and I’m feeling fresh for fight night.”
Sakio Bika (training in St. Louis) – “Everything has gone smoothly. My team and I have been working very hard and they have been very supportive. The weather has been great, and I haven’t had any injuries. So everything has gone well.”
Anthony Dirrell (training in Detroit) – “It’s going well. It’s just hard work. We’ve been working to make it harder than last camp so that I can keep getting better.”
Omar Figueroa Jr. (training in Weslaco, Texas) – “Everything is going well. This is one of the best camps we’ve had. We’re excited for a great fight.”
Daniel Estrada (training in Mexico City, Mexico) – “I have been working very hard for the past five weeks. I’ve been running around 4 a.m. in the high altitude of Mexico along with my team that includes Juan Manuel Marquez, Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Beristain and Raul de Anda, and to know I am receiving the advice of one of the greats in the sport [Marquez] gives me the peace of mind that I am doing the right thing for this upcoming fight.”
Deontay Wilder (training in Tuscaloosa, Ala.) – “Everything has been going as planned. This has probably been one of the shortest training camps I’ve had. That thrills me though. A lot of fighters claim to be athletes, but on the night of the fight I’ll show exactly how athletic and ready I am. I’ve been missing the ring and I’m ready to get back.”
Jorge Linares (training in Las Vegas) – “I’m very happy not only because I have a fight coming up, but also because I’m at home once again. I’ve been training with Ismael Salas for two years now and I feel like I’m at home here, so everything is going great.”
Q: We’re less than a week from fight night. How are you feeling physically?
A: Shawn Porter – “I’m in the best shape of my life, but I always try to stay prepared.”
Kell Brook – “Mentally strong, and physically ready.”
Sakio Bika – “I’m feeling very good, I’m ready to defend my belt. Everything has been great in St. Louis.”
Anthony Dirrell – “Great, if I’m not ready by now then I’m not ready. I feel ready to go.”
Omar Figueroa Jr. – “I honestly feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I only took a week and a half off after my last fight. So I’ve been super active ever since I started training for my last fight.”
Deontay Wilder – “I’m good to go. I’m always in shape. I’m always in the gym. I treat boxing like my nine to five. Others may not take it seriously, but this is a sport where you can get hurt if you don’t protect yourself and take it seriously. So I’m always tuned up and ready to go for my fans.”
Jorge Linares – “[Fight night] It’s basically here, so I’m excited and feeling well. I’ll be on weight and ready to fight.”
Q: Has your game plan stayed consistent, or has it evolved since you started camp?
A: Shawn Porter – “It stayed consistent. We always train hard.”
Kell Brook – “It’s always been the same. We’ve been training 100 percent the whole way through.”
Sakio Bika – “Kevin [Cunningham] and I always do the same thing. He keeps me positive, focused and working very hard to get ready for Aug.16.”
Dirrell – “We’re working on some of the same strategies and some different ones, but they’re old things that I know will work on Aug. 16.”
Omar Figueroa Jr. – “We’ve changed a few things just because we want to try to encompass everything. We work on boxing, brawling, speed and movement. Hopefully it all comes together for me at the same time.”
Deontay Wilder – “This is boxing, and this is the heavyweight division. So you can’t take anyone lightly. I’m not treating this like a warm-up. My main focus is fighting for a title, but I’m not looking past my opponent on Aug. 16.”
Q: What have you been doing to pass the time when you are not in the gym?
A: Shawn Porter – “I’m normally at home relaxing, and I love going to the movies too. You can usually find me at one of the two.”
Kell Brook – “I rest and sometimes I like to have a walk down the strip. It’s nothing too strenuous though.”
Sakio Bika – “We go to the movies, or I’ll go to the mall and try to walk around and keep busy. This is not the craziest city, so there aren’t a lot of distractions. That makes this a great place to train.”
Anthony Dirrell – “I like to play games. We’ve got a gaming system, and we go to the movies. We don’t do anything too big though because the focus has to stay on the fight.”
Omar Figueroa Jr. – “I have my daughter with me almost every day. So I spend a lot of time with her. I also play video games.”
Deontay Wilder – “I love the water. So I swim a lot. I get massages. We go to the movies and I spend time with my kids. I’m traveling a little bit too. It’s tough to fit everything in, but I love being a father and I love being around my kids. However, even when I’m away from the gym my mind is focused on boxing. I’m always working on things and trying to figure out how to get the world title. I’m so ready to go for the title fight that I shouldn’t even need a training camp. I’ll have one, but I feel like I’m prepared right now.”
Q: In terms of diet, are you doing anything specific during this camp?
A: Shawn Porter – “Nope, we know what works and we know what got us here. We stick to that.”
Kell Brook – “Not really, I’ve just been sticking to it and staying in great health.”
Sakio Bika – “No, I’m not doing anything special really. I eat what I want to eat, but I eat clean. I never have to cut much weight.”
Anthony Dirrell – “No, I’m eating the same things as always. I don’t have a problem with weight. I’m careful with what I eat, but I can eat what I want.”
Omar Figueroa Jr. – “Yes, this camp has been totally different. It has to do with me maturing as an athlete. I’m closely following my diet plan. I’m eating every three hours, and I’m avoiding sodium and carbs. I’m surprising myself this time around. I got myself in line because this is for the good of my career.”
Deontay Wilder – “No, not really. As a heavyweight I can basically eat anything. But I have a high metabolism as well so that helped. I just try to make sure to eat the right things.”
Jorge Linares – “I’m right on weight. I feel good and even though this fight is not at my regular weight of 135 pounds, I feel very good. Whoever can’t make weight with the extreme heat here in Las Vegas, has serious issues. Thankfully, I feel very good.”
Q: What is the one thing you can’t eat during training that you miss most?
A: Shawn Porter – “I stay away from most things actually. My diet is typically just clean, organic food with lots of vegetables.”
Kell Brook – “There’s no one thing really, I just try to eat healthy all around.”
Sakio Bika – “It’s not about food for me. The one thing I don’t have in training camp is my family and my friends. Here in training camp I don’t have anyone, and I miss the people that are closest to me. I miss having breakfast and dinner with my family. But I know this is business. I’m here to train. I know in a couple of weeks and I can see those important people again, and they understand what I’m doing here.”
Anthony Dirrell – “No sweets!”
Omar Figueroa Jr. – “I feel like I’m a pregnant lady with some of the cravings I’ve been having. Lately I’ve been wanting gummy bears, and pork rinds – stuff that I don’t even eat normally.”
Deontay Wilder – “I’m staying away from the fried foods.”
Q: What is your biggest motivation while training?
A: Shawn Porter – “It’s all about the prize. I know what’s to come and where I’m headed. The outcome is what motivates me to put on a great performance for the fans on fight night.”
Kell Brook – “I like to prove people wrong and challenging myself. My family helps a lot too.”
Sakio Bika – “It’s about family first because I have to come here and work hard to provide for them. I love what I’m doing, and I love boxing. At the end of the day it’s about coming here so that I can put food on the table. That’s why I wake up early in the morning.”
Anthony Dirrell – “My two-year-old son motivates me to make a better life for him and my family.”
Omar Figueroa Jr. – “My family is most important, and the kind of lifestyle that I’m able to offer my whole family means a lot to me. I want to look out for my parents and my brothers too. I want to be able to give them the lifestyle that they’ve always wanted. I’m prioritizing things like my daughter’s college fund too.”
Daniel Estrada – “I have been waiting for this opportunity for almost a year. I’ve been the mandatory challenger for a while, but for some reason I couldn’t get the fight for the title. Now the opportunity is here and I am very positive I will become a World Champion on August 16.”
Deontay Wilder – “My motivations is fighting for a world title. I need to go into the ring and take care of my opponent on Aug. 16. I have to fight to win and succeed in order to provide for my family.”