Three of the fighters who will be fighting on CBS Television Network’s portion of a boxing marathon on CBS and Showtime this Saturday (Dec. 15), at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, participated in a media workout Monday at the Ponce De Leon Boxing Gym in Montebello, Calif.
The three – undefeated IBF Bantamweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Los Angeles, his challenger, unbeaten Alberto Guevara (16-0, 6 KO’s) of San Diego, Calif. and 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz, of South El Monte, Calif. – each worked out for approximately 30 minutes.
Santa Cruz will defend against Guevara in a battle of unbeatens while Diaz will make his pro debut in the opening bout . Admission is free to the afternoon event that will also include three of Diaz’s U.S. Olympic teammates, Errol Spence of Brentwood, N.Y., Marcus Browne of Staten Island, N.Y., and Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra, California., who made their professional debuts on SHOWTIME’S ShoBox: The New Generation on Nov. 9.
Below is what the fighters had to say on Monday:
LEO SANTA CRUZ
“Considering that six months ago I was just a guy fighting on undercards to now being picked to headline and defend my title on free network television is hard to believe, but I’m so happy. It is a tremendous honor and something I am not taking lightly. I really want to thank my promoter, Golden Boy, my advisor, Al Haymon, CBS, SHOWTIME and everyone involved for making this happen.
“Winning the world title and making two defenses on SHOWTIME also had a lot to do with this happening for me, but this is also is validation for all the hard work I’ve put in my whole life. I wasn’t one of the guys in high school that once school was out went out and played. I went directly to the gym.
“I don’t drink or do any of that other stuff. I don’t go to clubs at night. I just train and fight; that’s basically been my life since I decided to dedicate 100 percent of myself to boxing. You can never learn enough in the gym and I continue to learn all the time.
“This is such an unbelievable opportunity. To fight on CBS is the greatest exposure you can get. I’ve always considered myself a hard worker, but I have worked even harder for this. I’m always a little nervous but I’m already a little more nervous than usual. Fighting in the main event on CBS is just so unbelievably great.
“I think I was about nine-years-old the last time there was a live fight on CBS (January 20, 1997, Bernard Hopkins KO 11 over Glen Johnson). I don’t remember watching it, but I’m sure my Dad did.
“Fans can look forward to seeing an exciting fight on Saturday. I know Guevara fought on one of my undercards once in Mazatlan, Mexico (July 30, 2011). I remember seeing him in the dressing room beforehand, but I didn’t see his fight. I know he’s a good boxer who will be looking at this as his opportunity of a lifetime. I felt the same way before my first title fight in June.
“I’ve fought boxers before. The way to beat them is to work the body, break them down, slow their movement and make them bang with me.
“This will not be an easy fight, but I’m ready and confident. I’m looking forward to winning on Saturday and then taking off for Christmas vacation, being able to kick back and relax for a while and eating some homemade tamales.”