Undefeated welterweight world champions Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they headline this Saturday, March 4 from Barclays Center, in Brooklyn,New York.
Also in attendance Thursday and opening the Showtime broadcast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT were undefeated rising star Erickson Lubin and once-beaten knockout artist Jorge Cota, who meet in a super welterweight world title eliminator.
Here is what the participants had to say:
"This fight has been brewing for a long time. Both of us wanted this fight. There’s a reason why this fight is happening. We’re young, we’re hungry and we’re not trying to wait around. It’s time for this to go down.
"I’ve had a great camp. This is nothing new to me. I’m happy to be in this moment with all these people here. I’ve had a dream since I was a little boy to be not just your average champion, but to be a great champion. Before I had that dream, Ben Getty believed in me and it’s because of him that I’m where I’m at today. He predicted this before anyone.
"Danny is a smart fighter. He’s swift. He keeps rising to the top. He knows he has people underestimating him now and that fuels him. For me, I’m fueled by legacy. I want greatness for myself.
"It’s Danny’s reputation against my reputation. We’re both prideful fighters. You’re putting two of the best together. He wants to prove that he can be a unified champion in two divisions and I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to get fights like this. I want to show how and why I’m better than my competition. Saturday night is my platform to show the world how great of a champion I am.
"Danny looks ready. But I stay true when I look at you. His eyes wandered, so I wondered a little what that means. What really matters is how the fight starts. You find out if the fighter carries momentum, or if it shifts. What happens, when we land our first big punches?
"He feels confident and I feel confident. I believe that I have more to offer. I feel that I can box my way to victory. I visualize outcomes. I don’t think Danny wins without a stoppage. If it goes to the scorecards, it’ll favor me.
"There hasn’t been one opponent who’s gotten in the ring with me and said that my power isn’t for real. I think my power and my boxing IQ will be the same. I can change it up. I can do what I need to do, so you are unable to do what you want to do.
"This is going to be a fight that you can’t miss. It’s going to be right in your house. If you can’t make it to the arena, you can make it to the couch. This is elite world class championship boxing in primetime. This is for all sports fans."
"This deserves all the media attention that it’s getting. I’ve been a champion for five years already and I’ve been a unified champion. Saturday I have an opportunity to unify another division. It’s always been a dream to unify multiple divisions and now I have my chance.
"We put in all the hard work. We did everything we had to do. I feel really good and I feel confident. On Saturday night, I’m going to be a unified champion again.
"I fight to win. I fight to secure my family’s future and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we train so hard for. I’m going to give the fans something to watch on Saturday.
"Legacy is very important to me. I have more milestones than Thurman. This is his biggest fight. I’ve been in big fights before. Every championship fight is a part of history.
"People say he’s the bigger man because he’s been at this weight longer than me. I’m taller than him, I’m wider than him and I have a bigger back than him. I feel like I’m the fresher welterweight.
"You can’t chase a legacy or money. When you get desperate, you’ll try to take a shortcut. Everything I do is for the love of the sport. I’ve been blessed to be in this position.
"I started boxing because I wanted a trophy. I wanted to show my friends a trophy. I didn’t know the value of a dollar, that came later.
"I’ve been the underdog before. All ’underdog’ means is that there are a whole bunch of people who don’t know what I can do. I rise to the occasion every time. I win because I’m better. On Saturday night I’m going to prove it again."