BARRY MCGUIGAN, Frampton’s Manager, Former World Champion & Hall of Famer
“Being here is great. I never got a chance to fight here in New York. I’ve always known that Frampton would be a sensation over here. We’ve always wanted to be here on the east coast. We’ve worked very hard with the Irish community to get his name out there. It’s been fantastic.
“This is a can’t miss fight. It can’t be a bad fight, no matter how you look at it. It’s going to be an exciting fight. It might start off tepid, but it’s going to develop into a phenomenal fight. The mesh of styles is going to make this a Fight of the Year candidate.
“It was a wonderful experience being at the Empire State Building yesterday and it was our first opportunity to meet the Santa Cruz family. They’re wonderful people and Leo is an incredible fighter. He’s not arrogant and he’s the sort of guy that everybody likes. We admire Santa Cruz, but we believe that Carl is going to put on an amazing performance Saturday night.
“What’s important is winning on Saturday night. We put so much time and commitment to this game. You don’t want to do all that work and lose. Getting the win is vital.”
“I don’t feel any pressure at all. To me, it’s just another day at the office. I have faith in my abilities and confidence in what I can do as a boxer. I’m excited to be back. I’m going to go in there and take care of business like I always do.
“The New York fans have always showed me a lot of love and support. No matter what, they’re in for a good boxing match. The fans are great and they want a great fight. I never look to make a boring fight. I always want to put on a show. I want to give the fans something to talk about.
“I’m more motivated than I ever have been before. It’s been a long time of working hard in the gym every day.
“I’m very happy to be back and I want to accomplish a lot more. I think you’re going to see a better Mikey on Saturday. My will to win is higher than it’s ever been.
“Being on a card like this is a reminder of everything that I can be. If there is interest in me right now, it shows that someone believes in me. We put everything else aside and focused on this date. After that, I’m looking for a world title.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Mikey’s Brother & Trainer
“I think that Mikey is going to put on a great performance. Anything could happen in boxing. Mikey should look good and he should win convincingly.
“I think the interest that people have in Mikey’s future shows how much potential he has. He’s a guy who could be a big name to help carry the sport.
“We haven’t been listening to anything outside of the camp. We stopped any conversations outside of training to get 100 percent focused on this fight. We’re looking to come back stronger than ever.”
“We’re both coming off of long layoffs. I see the fight pretty even. Garcia might have some advantages of being the bigger guy but I’m not worried about that.
“The new weight feels good. It’s different but it’s nice to not have to kill the body to make weight. We’ve been on weight for two weeks. I’ve brought some power with me as I go up in weight. I feel strong.
“I’ve been doing everything right in training camp. My specialty is moving my hands and excellent footwork.
“I feel like I can beat Mikey Garcia. I have some things that I think will give Mikey Garcia a lot of trouble. I have the tools. We know that Mikey is the favorite. Everyone thought LeBron James was going to lose in the Finals when he was down 3-1, but this is a sport and anything can happen.”
“I take this sport seriously. Everything I do, I do 100 percent. I’m here for the city of Detroit. The city needs something to rejuvenate and that’s what I’m trying to do. I want to bring big-time boxing back to Detroit.
“This is going to be a fan-friendly fight. This is going to be like Thurman vs. Porter. The styles are just perfect for this fight. I’m going to be at my best on fight night.
“Being here in New York is great. I can tell right away that it’s a great fight atmosphere and I love it.
“It was a very long camp. I’m in great shape and ready mentally. I have a lot to prove in this fight and I’m excited to get in there.
“I watched a 15-second clip of him and then I shut the video off. I don’t want to make adjustments off of him, I want him to adjust to me. I know that he’s a tough competitor. You can’t take anything away from his record.
“I’m taking it one fight at a time. I just want to get the respect that I deserve. That’s what I’m coming for. They call me for a fight and I say yes.
“I think I’m at my best right now. I’m starting to peak. I’m starting to find my grown-man strength and my second wind in the ring. When I’m going in late rounds I feel comfortable.
“Whoever wants to fight; they know I’m going to say yes. I just want to compete. I’m fighting for my city and I want to see where I’m at. I’m ready to carry the load for Detroit boxing. I wouldn’t want to be from anywhere else.
“My team is definitely the strongest it’s ever been. I’m in a really good place mentally right now. I think I’m going to show a whole new level on Saturday night.”
“It’s the most important fight of my life. I think it’s a very interesting fight, with it being my first time in America. I’ve enjoyed it a lot so far. New York never sleeps. There are always many different kinds of people. It’s a nice city.
“Having Ricky Hatton as my trainer helps me because of his great experience. He’s been in many big fights and he’s a great trainer. I’m very comfortable working with him.
“I am aiming for a knockout, but I’m ready for 12 rounds. It’s boxing though, so anything can happen. It could be over very quickly.
“This is a big chance in my life. It’s a big step and I’m ready to take advantage of it.”
RICKY HATTON, Rabchenko’s Trainer
“This isn’t exactly like fighting, but I do get very nervous and tense in the corner. I’ve fulfilled my dreams and now I’m here trying to help other fighters fulfill their dreams. I get nervous but I’m confident in him.
“Sergey has been a pleasure to train. I think he’s going to be a world champion. I really do. He’s been a European Champion and he’s overcome his loss. I think this is the best he’s ever been. We’ll hope that it translates to Saturday night because he certainly has the potential to be a world champion.
“I can’t train fighters that I’m not fond of. I’ve known Sergey for a number of years and I’m here for him. I have a feel for being in the corner with him. There is a different type of nerves I have being in the corner.”
“I hope the crowd enjoys this fight. I really want to put on a show for the local fans and represent for my home.
“It would normally be strange to fight a guy I know so well. But I know he’s a competitor. I’ve known his mentality since the amateurs. He’s coming to win. Once the bell rings, this guy isn’t taking any prisoners. I trained with that same mentality.
“I know we’re both competitors. Who wants the bragging rights on Saturday night?
“Hopefully we can bring some fans of ours to the building on Saturday night and they can become fans of Santa Cruz and Frampton.
“This is a great crossroads fight. I trained for the competitor that I know he is and I’m ready to put on a show.
“This fight gives me an opportunity to keep dreaming in that ring. I have an opportunity to do some things that people don’t think I’m able to, but I feel like I still can. I’m going to put my skills to good use and accomplish what I’m set out to do.
“It’s not about impressing myself, it’s about getting the job done to the best of my abilities. I want to prove to people that I still have more left than they think.”
“This is all business. Paulie is a friend now and he’ll be a friend after. But I’m trying to make it to Paulie’s level. He is successful and I’m trying to do the same thing. Boxing is my outlet to reach those goals.
“There was a time when I was away in prison. I would receive boxing magazines in the mail and see Paulie there and on TV. I wanted to be Paulie’s competition and have his success. By him giving me this opportunity I can accomplish that. I’m thankful but I’m taking him down.
“I don’t want to sound overconfident. You’re going to see a chess match. Paulie is a boxer. When he makes a mistake, I’m going to capitalize on it. The rest will be a surprise.
“This is the biggest fight of my career. If I beat Paulie, my career will jump to the next level. I can get the big fights that I’m looking for. I’m never looking past Paulie and I’m focused on the task at hand.”
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July 27, 2016