Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME/Tom Hogan
LAS VEGAS (Dec. 11, 2014) – The Media Center at MGM Grand in Las Vegas was buzzing today as some of boxing’s brightest stars took to the stage and addressed the media ahead of their respective bouts on the “Royal Battle: Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander” fight card taking place this Saturday, Dec. 13 live on SHOWTIME from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Here is what the fighters had to say at today’s press conference.
AMIR KHAN, Former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion
“This is a great fight and a great fight card overall from top to bottom. It’s almost like pay-per-view. But it’s a great opportunity for my fans to see me fight.
“From me, you can expect to see a lot of explosiveness and movement. I don’t understand why Devon is saying he’s fought better than me when we’ve fought most of the same guys.
“I’ve fought a lot of top guys, too. It sounds to me like Alexander is trying to give himself confidence; saying things to pick himself up.
“I feel like a different fighter at 147 pounds. I feel stronger. I’m happier making weight.
“I am not taking this fight lightly. I am not looking past it one bit. Devon Alexander is tough and I am going to stay focused.”
DEVON ALEXANDER, Former Two-Division World Champion
“I am ready to go 15 rounds if we had to. This is a tough test and I’m ready.
“I’ve dreamt of this my whole life. Headlining in Las Vegas is a dream come true and I plan on taking full advantage of this.
“I’m as prepared mentally and physically as I’ve ever been for a fight. If you look at my resume, I’ve fought top guys throughout my career. Khan is a good fighter and this is going to be a great fight.
“I’m going to stand and fight. This isn’t going to be a track meet. At least not for me.
“I know I’ve got a lot of fans back home pulling for me and I’ve got some fans in the UK too that will be rooting for me on Saturday night too.”
KEITH THURMAN, WBA Interim Welterweight World Champion
“I know a little about my opponent; he just beat an unbeaten 28-year-old and he was a 2000 Olympian. Bundu is active in the ring and likes to get into a rhythm. He’s not a huge puncher but he places them right where they can do damage. He’s making his U.S. debut.
“I plan to provide him with a traditional ‘One-Time’ welcome to America. I plan to come out and box smart and take it from there. My shoulder is fine and I’m excited about getting back in the ring.
“I’m not looking past Bundu, but I’m looking through him to 2015 when I expect to start fighting Top-5 fighters on a consistent basis.’’
LEONARD BUNDU, Undefeated Welterweight Contender
“I’m excited to be here. I am here to gain some respect. I am 40-years-old, but I feel much younger. I know it is a hard test for me on Saturday, but I am going to give it my all.
“I am Italian and like fine wine, I get better with age.”
ABNER MARES, Former Three-Time, Three-Division World Champion
“I’m willing to fight anybody. There are some great possibilities for me: Leo Santa Cruz, Jhonny Gonzalez, Lomachenko. If these fights can be made, I want them.
“Expect the old Abner Mares on Saturday. The hunger is back, the passion has returned. I’m back with my original team.
“I’ve won three world titles in three divisions but I don’t call myself a former three-division champion. I think of myself now as a future four-division world champion.”
JOSE RAMIREZ, Top Featherweight Contender
“This Saturday, I will be facing a tough fighter in Abner Mares. This Saturday is going to be a war between two Mexicans and I am here to be victorious.”
JERMALL CHARLO, Undefeated Junior Middleweight
“I am happy to be on this show. Lenny says he is seasoned and I am ready to serve you all some Italian sausage.
“Me and my twin brother have been through a lot of adversity. Getting world title shots and not being able to compete in them, but we overcome it and we are ready to put on good shows on Saturday night.
LENNY BOTTAI, Junior Middleweight Contender
“What do I expect from the fight? I expect a great battle. I expect it to be a stepping stone to make my name in the U.S.
“I hear that I keep getting called a seasoned fighter. I come from Italy where the cheese is the best seasoned cheese in the world, so I am going to show what seasoned fighters can do.”
JERMELL CHARLO, Top Junior Middleweight Prospect
“Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to fight for the world title. I moved past that. I am staying focused and in control of what’s going to take place on Saturday.
“I am going to continue to grow, continue to stay smart and stay focused.”
ERROL SPENCE JR., Top Junior Middleweight Prospect
“It is going to be another great performance. Hopefully by next year I will be fighting one of these guys in front of me and fighting for a world title.”
VICTOR ORTIZ, Former Welterweight World Champion
“Once again we are starting over. This was a very tough camp, but we are here. I am sharing this podium with some great fighters. I am at the back [of the dais] today, but you better believe I will be in the front with the fans someday soon.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions
“Saturday night is going to be one of those nights where every fight is action-packed and entertaining.
“This card is stacked. It is going to be a special treat for all of the fans that watch it live at MGM Grand or live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
“It is a token of appreciation to all of the fans and saying thank you. Thank you for supporting this wonderful sport of boxing.
“Both of the main event fighters understand that they are facing greatness in each other and it is going to be a tough fight. A tough fight for both guys, but that is what they love.”
“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/.