IBF Cruiserweight Champion Murat Gassiev and former champ Krzysztof Wlodarczyk went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they enter the ring this Saturday, October 21 in the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight quarter-final from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Also facing off Thursday and competing in featured bouts on October 21 were Polish contender Mateusz Masternak and once-beaten Stivens Bujaj, who meet in a WBSS cruiserweight reserve match and unbeaten Polish contender Maciej Sulecki and former title challenger Jack Culcay, who square-off in super welterweight action.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from BB King’s Blues Club & Grill:
"I have a great opponent who is a very tough two-time champion. He is experienced and this will give me a great challenge on Saturday.
"I worked hard with Abel Sanchez all camp to put on a great performance on Saturday night. To be a champion and defend my belt is something I always dreamed of. I want to stay in this position for a long time.
"When we faced-off I looked inside his eyes and saw that he is very serious. He’s ready for a big fight and I will make sure this is a great fight on Saturday.
"This is someone who earned his chance to fight me. I will always challenge the best in the division no matter who they are.
"I don’t like to think ahead to a potential matchup with Yunier Dorticos. It would be a great fight but my focus is fully on Wlodarczyk.
"I feel great physically. This is an exciting tournament with four world champions. This is a great opportunity for all the fighters.
"I’m so thankful to be a part of this tournament. This is the best way to unify titles and show everyone that I am the best cruiserweight in the world."
"I have a great challenge in front of me on Saturday night. This is a young, tough opponent who earned his belt. I am going to have to be at my best and I feel I will be.
"What I can say is, we are going to find out who is better in the ring on Saturday. We’ll see who has what it takes to make the next round of this tournament.
"I have to be the smarter fighter in the ring. I think I can take advantage of my experience by staying smart and making the better adjustments.
"My training has been very good and I feel completely ready for Saturday night. I’m going to be ready for anything Gassiev throws at me. We will find out who the better man is.
"I hope everyone on this card gets through healthy and may the better man win. This is what boxing is all about.
"I’m very thankful for the chance to fight in this tournament and for a belt and I look forward to making the most of it."
"It’s very important for me to be fighting here in the U.S. and I’m excited for this chance. I’m in great shape after training in Poland and London and I feel strong heading into the fight.
"My opponent is someone that I am familiar with from sparring and I have to take him seriously. In the end, I will be too much for him.
"I feel very strong and ready to put on a great performance for the Polish fans on Saturday night. This will be a great fight for the fans."
"I’m really motivated heading into this fight. I’m feeling as healthy as I have in years. I’ve had a really strong training camp and stayed focus on what I have to do Saturday.
"I already dominated Masternak in sparring years ago and I’m ready to do the same when we fight. I’m going to be prepared to adjust and show-off my skills.
"I love fighting here near my home. It’s a seamless transition into fight week with all the work we’ve done leading up to it.
"This is going to be a great fight. I’m definitely trying to steal the show and just do whatever it takes to grab the victory."
"I’m very happy to be fighting here in the U.S. for this fight. Last time I fought here was 15 months ago and I had a great victory. I love this opportunity.
"I think the move to super welterweight will be great for my career. I feel at my very best fighting at this weight and I’ll get even more comfortable at the weight as I continue.
"Training camp is always very difficult but it was a good grind. I’m very focused and not thinking about anything other than beating Culcay. If I can defeat Culcay, there are a ton
"I am in great shape. I am strong, fast and ready for this. This will be a great fight and I can’t wait to get in the ring."
"This is a great matchup and I anticipate that the fans are going to really enjoy our styles. I’m going to bring it to him. This fight could steal the show on Saturday.
"I know that Sulecki is a good undefeated fighter, but I’ve prepared for everything he can bring to the ring. The winner of this I feel will definitely be in line for a title shot.
"I am very confident after fighting Demetrius Andrade. I’ve always known I could compete with the best and that fight proved it. Now I just need to make the adjustments to look even better this time.
"I fight for Germany and Ecuador and I can’t wait to get in the ring and fight with pride until the final bell.
"This was the best training camp that I ever had. I’m just hitting my prime now and I will show off all of my skills."