The six boxers, who will compete on a tripleheader Friday, Aug. 9, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., are prepared and ready to go after weighing in Thursday at Fantasy Springs.
The three bouts will be broadcast on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In the 10-round main event, unbeaten, hard-hitting Deontay Wilder (28-0, 28 KO’s), of Tuscaloosa, Ala., will try to extend his winning and knockout streaks when he meets former world heavyweight champion Sergei “White Wolf” Liakhovich (25-5, 16 KO’s), of Scottsdale, Ariz., by way of Vitebsk, Belarus.
In two 10-round co-featured scraps, Francisco “El Bandito” Vargas (16-0-1, 13 KO’s), of Tijuana, Mexico, opposes left-handed Brandon “The Untouchable” Bennett (16-0, 7 KO’s), of Cincinnati, Ohio, in a clash of undefeated junior lightweights, and unbeaten junior middleweight Jermall “The Hitman” Charlo (14-0, 10 KO’s), of Houston, Texas, gets tested for class when he takes on Antwone Smith (23-4-1, 12 KO’s), of Miami, Fla.
WEIGHTS: Wilder tipped the scale at 224 pounds, Liakhovich weighed 232.
Vargas weighed 130 pounds, Bennett 129.
Charlo weighed 154 pounds, Smith 159 (Smith was fined 20 percent of his purse for coming in heavy).
Below are some final thoughts from the headlined boxers
“I think this is going to be a great fight. I don’t think they could have picked a better opponent for me. Liakhovich is a very tough guy. I know he is coming to fight. I don’t expect this to be easy. He’ going to put in all on the line, and that’s what I want. I want to see where I’m at. I always feel I have something to learn. At the same time, I’m looking forward to putting on a great show.
“If he shows up like he supposed to, and fights like he’s supposed to, this could be my toughest fight to date. But I know what I can do and I want people to see that. It’s great fighting in the main event on ShoBox. I expect many of my fans will be watching. I hope to make some new fans, too,
“The hard work is in the gym, in the training. I go 100 percent and I expect the same from those around me. I don’t have ‘yes’ men in my camp. If I’m doing great they let me now. If not, they say I can do better. This is a stepping stone for me, fighting the best of the best. I’m excited.
“My approach going in is to be patient, establish my jab and use my distance to keep him away. I don’t go in looking for a knockout. They just happen. I don’t put pressure on myself to knock anybody out. I like to keep my mind clear and focused.
“This is a 10-round fight and I’m ready to go all 10 rounds. Part of me wants it to go all 10, part of me doesn’t want to put it in the hands of the judges. But at the end of the day, all I want to do is win.’’
“I’m going to take him into deep waters. We’ll see if he can take as much as he can give.
“I’ve trained off and on with Mike McCallum for almost five months, but eight weeks for this fight in particular. I don’t want to make any excuses, but I had a lot of problems with my previous training camps. There was so much B.S. This may have been my best training camp ever.
“I still feel I’m a dangerous fighter. I’m very confident. Only time will tell if he made a mistake fighting me. But we will know tomorrow night.
“It’s hard to say what Wilder will bring. He’s got a very strong right hand, but he’s very predictable. I don’t see a lot of things special about him. I just know I’ll be ready for every second of every minute.
“I’ve been off 17 months, but I was off 16 months when I won the world heavyweight title. I’m happy to get a big fight like this at this point in my career.’’
“This is a tough opponent. I’ve trained super hard. This is going to be a great fight.
“I think pressure and good defense are the keys for me. He’s a quick southpaw, but I’ve fought two southpaws in my career, including one in my last fight. Southpaws are always a problem; you always have to make an adjustment.
“I hope he comes at me and fights inside, but I expect him to box.
“My dream was always to make the Olympic team. It’s a tough process being a pro, but my motivation to win a world title is the same as it was in the amateurs. You can only win so many medals in the amateurs.
“Fighting an undefeated fighter, this is a big step up, but we’re ready.’’