Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions hosted the final press conference Thursday for the fight card taking place this Saturday, Aug. 24 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The card will be broadcast live on Showtime and Showtime Extreme
In Saturday’s main event of an explosive world championship doubleheader sees undefeated three-time and three-division World Champion Abner Mares (26-0-1, 14 KO’s), of Downey, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, will defend his WBC Featherweight World Championship against former Two-Division World Champion Jhonny Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KO’s), of Mexico City.
Unbeaten former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KO’s), of Los Angeles, by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico, will challenge WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KO’s), of Guadalajara, in the opening bout of the telecast.
Scheduled for Showtime Extreme: Antonio Orozco (17-0, 13 KO’s), San Diego, Calif., vs. Ivan Hernandez(23-9, 22 KO’s), Miami, Fla., 10 rounds, junior welterweights; Joseph “Jo Jo’’ Diaz Jr. (6-0, 4 KO’s), South El Monte, Calif., vs. Noel Mendoza (6-2-1, 1 KO), Phoenix, Ariz., 6 rounds, featherweights; and Dominic Breazeale(5-0, 5 KO’s), Los Angeles, vs. Lenroy Thomas (16-2, 8 KO’s), St. Catherine, Jamaica, 8 rounds, heavyweights.
Below is what De La Hoya and the boxers said Thursday from StubHub Center (all the boxers except Mendoza were in attendance):
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President Golden Boy Promotions
“Jhonny Gonzalez brings a lot to the table and is fighting one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world in Abner Mares. I believe they have Abner at No. 5, but I have to disagree with that. I put him up there at No. 3, if not No. 2. Jhonny knows he’s in for a tough fight. Abner knows he’s in for a tough fight. It’s going to be fireworks on Saturday night.
”For the boxing fans in L.A., this is what boxing is all about and this is what they deserve. Abner Mares is a special talent that we are witnessing in our era. He’s a talent that doesn’t come around very often. He’s fought nothing but the best. We all know Gonzalez. He’s a machine who is a tough puncher and a very calculated puncher. Jhonny knows this is his opportunity. Everybody knows that.
“When I first saw Abner fighting in the Olympics for Mexico in 2004 I just knew instinctively that he had that something that all champions have. There is no quit in his game and he has a long career ahead of him. And I wasn’t wrong about him. He’s already great and he keeps on proving it by wanting to only fight the best. And that’s what it takes to become great.”
ABNER MARES, WBC Featherweight World Champion
“I want to thank the entire Golden Boy staff for making this possible. I know them all, from the guy who cleans the office to the head honchos like Oscar and Richard (Schaefer). And I want to thank SHOWTIME. I’ve been a headliner like eight times and it’s just a huge blessing. I won’t disappoint. I promise you a great fight like I always do.
“This is another tough fight, but I want to fight nothing but the best. Champion, ex-world champion, whoever you bring, whoever the fans want me to fight, you know I’ll fight. I like and admire Jhonny Gonzalez. I like his style of fighting and know his camp because (Ignacio) ‘Nacho’ Beristain was my trainer for three years. I know the style and it’s nothing but finesse and nothing but pureness.
“I’ve seen my share of fights from StubHub in the stands, but now I’m ready to experience coming out and putting on a real show for the fans.’’
JHONNY GONZALEZ, Former Two-Division World Champion
“I want to thank Golden Boy and everyone involved for making this fight happen. I am very prepared. A fighter always wants to fight the best and I am fighting the best in Abner Mares.
“The question I’ve been asked the most is if I am looking at this as my last chance at the bigtime. Well, I am not. One way to stop getting this question from the media is to win on Saturday.
“Every fighter wants to get a shot at the world title, and then to win it, but my body feels good and I still feel I have a lot of fight left in me. I’m not looking ahead, but I can see a possible move to super featherweight in the future.
“I may have more knockouts than he has fights (actually, almost twice as many), but he had such a great amateur career than I think we are tied when it comes to experience.
“I am sure the biggest winners will be the fans and the sport of boxing because this fight is going to be a total war.’’
LEO SANTA CRUZ, Former IBF Bantamweight World Champion
“I’d like to thank Golden Boy, SHOWTIME, my manager, Al Haymon and everyone else. I’m 100 percent ready. I’m ready for war. I know that Terrazas is very tough and this will be the hardest fight of my career. I know that he’s been through as much as I have to get to this point. The good thing is that the belt will stay with a Mexican no matter who wins. May the best man win.
“We’ve trained really hard for this and we’re ready. My career depends on this so I have to just leave it all in the ring.’’