LAS VEGAS (Dec. 10, 2014) – British superstar and former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan and former two-division world champion Devon Alexander “The Great” made their ‘Grand Arrivals’ and performed a light workout on Wednesday atMGM Grand, just three days before their welterweight showdown this Saturday, Dec. 13, live on SHOWTIME.
Khan (29-3, 19 KOs), of Bolton, England, and Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs), of St. Louis, will square off in the 12-round main event of aSHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® quadrupleheader from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
In the co-feature, power-punching interim WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs), of Clearwater, Fla., will defend against consensus top-five ranked contender and fellow unbeaten Leonard Bundu (31-0-2, 11 KOs), of Lazio, Italy, in a 12-round bout.
Former three-division world champion Abner Mares (27-1-1, 14 KOs), of Downey, Calif., will return to the ring against Mexico’s Jose Ramirez (25-4, 15 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight battle and Jermall Charlo (19-0, 15 KOs), of Houston, will take on Lenny Bottai(22-2, 9 KOs), of Livorno, Italy, in a 12-round IBF junior middleweight title eliminator fight.
In matchups on SHOWTIME EXTREME (7 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), undefeated up-and-coming Jermell Charlo (24-0, 11 KOs), of Houston, will meet Mario Lozano (27-5, 20 KOs), of Chihuahua, Mexico in a 10-round junior middleweight scrap and unbeaten welterweight Errol Spence Jr. (14-0, 11 KOs), of Desoto, Texas, will take on Javier Castro (27-7, 22 KOs), of Chihuahua, Mexico, in an 8-round fight. Also, former world champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz (29-5, 22 KOs), of Ventura, Calif. will battle Denver’sManuel Perez (21-10-1, 4 KOs) in a scheduled 8-round match that will be featured on the SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREMEtelecast.
Here’s what the fighters had to say on Wednesday:
“I love these kinds of events, to be near the fans, because the fans are the ones who make you.
“On Saturday, you’re going to see an aggressive, disciplined boxer-puncher. It’s always been my dream to headline in Las Vegas and to be the main attraction at MGM Grand is a great motivation for me. People believe in me. Las Vegas believes in me.
“My career has gone by so fast. I’ve fought some of the biggest names and I’ve learned so much. But I’ve never had the focus and vision I have going heading into Saturday. I feel stronger and wiser and better than I did when I was 25.
“The stakes are so enormous. I am not looking ahead. There is no way I’m taking him lightly. He’s not a champion any more so I expect him to be even more motivated.
“This is going to be a great fight on Saturday.’’
“I’m so excited about fighting this Saturday. Finally fighting in Las Vegas is a dream come true. What’s better than this?
“He is good, but I am going to expose him with my speed and quickness. He’s fast, but I’m fast too. He’s got quick hands, but I’ve got quick hands too.
“I’m going to stay in the pocket and fight. I am so confident. The time is perfect for this fight. I would love to spoil Khan’s plans for the future. In fact – I’m looking forward to it.
“This is a high-stakes matchup that will take me one step closer to the top of the list.’’
“I’m really looking forward to this fight and getting back into the ring after eight months. This is a good opportunity for me.
“I’m looking at 2015 as my break-out year. Some fans have already jumped on the bandwagon; others want to see more from me.
“That’s why I am so anxious to get back in there; it’s another chance for me to showcase my skills. If I knock out Bundu inside four rounds, I’d fight Khan the same night.
“Some fans think that some fights don’t mean very much, but they all do. I want high-risk, high-reward fights. I’m not taking anything away from Bundu – he’s a good opponent and this is his greatest opportunity – but it’s my time.’’
“I feel I deserve this fight and am very excited about it. I’ve had a good career and fought a long time.
“Thurman is a skilled, heavy-handed puncher but I’m not scared of him. I have a lot of skills and you will see them against Thurman.
“This is my opportunity to prove that I am one of the top welterweights in the world, and that’s that I’m here for.’’
“The hunger is back, the motivation is back and I am feeling great. I’m excited and ready to fight. Being back with my old team has been huge. I want to start 2015 off in a good way. For me, 2015 kicks off this Saturday.
“I need to do what I’m supposed to do on Saturday. I want my rematch with Jhonny Gonzalez. Jhonny, I’m coming for you.’’
“I feel great and want to thank Mares for this opportunity. I’m well-trained. Saturday is going to be a great fight, just like you’d expect with two Mexicans fighting each other.’’
“I’m definitely excited about Saturday. You’re going to see a lot of action. I’m action-packed and always looking for a knockout.
“Look for a fast start. I am going to steal the show. I’m going to show him what American muscle is all about.’’
“I don’t like to say this is an opportunity of a lifetime but it is a great opportunity for me to make a name for myself in America against a very good fighter. That makes me very excited and anxious to fight him.”
“Me and Jermell, we eat, train and workout together. So it’s only natural we fight on the same card, although it doesn’t happen very often.
“I’m just happy to fight and ready to get it over with. It’s going to be a banner 2015 for both of us – two world titles for the both of us.’’
“I hope everyone sits back and enjoys the show because that is what I am here for: to put on a show.
“I’m so happy about coming back and fighting. This is home for me, and I missed it.
“All fights are different, all opportunities are different, but we are always prepared to win. We’ll take what we get in the ring, but if the right hook to the body is there we’re going to take it.”
“Royal Battle: Khan vs. Alexander,” a 12-round welterweight bout for the WBC Silver Welterweight Title, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Khan Promotions and The Great Promotions and is sponsored by Corona Extra, AT&T and Mexico – Live It To Believe It! The event will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. and will air on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). In the co-main event, Keith Thurman defends his interim WBA welterweight world title against Leonard Bundu. Additionally, Abner Mares will face Jose Ramirez in a 10-round featherweight bout and opening the telecast, Jermall Charlo will meet Lenny Bottai in a 12-round IBF junior middleweight title eliminator. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will also be available in Spanish via secondary audio programming (SAP). Preliminary bouts will be televised on SHOWTIME EXTREME (7 p.m. ET/PT).
For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com and www.sports.sho.com, follow on Twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing,@SHOSports, @AmirKingKhan, @TheRealDevonA, @KeithfThurmanJr, @abnermares00, @FutureOfBoxing, @TwinCharlo, @ErrolSpenceJr @viciousortiz, @MGMGrand and @Swanson_Comm follow the conversation using #KhanAlexander, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing and www.facebook.com/SHOBoxing, or visit SHOWTIME Boxing Blog at http://theboxingblog.sho.com/.