Abner Mares, Jhonny Gonzalez, Leo Santa Cruz, Victor Terrazas pre-fight quotes

All four fighters from this weekend’s Showtime card recently held a media conference call to discuss their upcoming clashes on Saturday night. Right here, you’ll find what the fighters had to say about their training and preparation, and what they expect in the ring. Take a look at the full collection of quotes from the Abner Mares vs. Jhonny Gonzalez and Leo Santa Cruz vs. Victor Terrazas doubleheader.

Jhonny González
Now, first of all, I want to say good morning to all of you. Thank you very much for being here. It’s a great honor and pleasure for me to be on this call. What can I say? The moment is near; the moment of the fight is near and I’m very excited.

Abner Mares

Richard, thank you for the kind words. Everyone, good morning. Happy to be here, happy to be on another press conference call and ready to give you guys another exciting fight come August 24th at the Stub Hub Center. I’m blessed, I can’t wait and it’s going to be really a magnificent night for the sport of boxing.

Q

I wanted to ask you how to do you feel physically and do you think it’s going to be easier for you this time around making weight? And also you talked about how you felt stronger and how your power carried, so if you can talk a little bit about that, too.

Mares

Well, good morning, first of all. I feel it’s going to be a lot more comfortable making weight, yes, because I’m moving up on weight. This is the second time fighting at this weight class. But then again, I am gaining muscle, so it’s not as easy, but then again it’s not as complicated making weight. I’m not struggling and I’m going to be strong, I’m going to be strong come August 24th. I can’t wait. Jhonny González is a tough fighter that I have in front of me and again, I feel strong physically and mentally.

Q

My question is for Abner and Jhonny González. Hey, guys. Do you feel coming into this fight it might be a little bit easier since you guys used to be sparring partners years ago? Is that going to affect the fight?

Mares

I’ll answer that question first. I don’t think so. Not at all. I think I proved that last fight when I fought Daniel Ponce de León. We had sparred many times. We were gym partners, we sparred many times, like I said, and it didn’t affect me or it did not affect him. I saw a different Ponce de León that night. I was able to win things out, but, again, you can’t expect the same type of fighter when you spar them come fight night. So I’m not looking for that. I know Jhonny comes with his A game, so I got to expect a tough Jhonny.

Gonzalez

No, not at all. That was many years ago; that was at the beginning of Abner’s pro career when he was just getting started. I think he’s demonstrated to the world and everybody that he’s a three-division world champion and the class that he has. He’s a tremendous fighter and one of the best in the division, so that, the sparring, has nothing to do with what we’ll see on Saturday night.

Q

Would there be an affect from the sparring in the past, that they know each other’s styles?

Mares

No, not at all. I expect the best Jhonny González. He’s going to come with his A game. That was many years ago we sparred. I appreciate my past sparring experience, because I learned a lot and gained some experience. But the winners will be the fans that are present and the fans in Mexico on Saturday the August 24th because they are going to see a great fight.

Q

What do you expect going into this fight with Abner? How has the preparation been? How has training been?”

Mares

Like all my other training camps; I always prepare 100%, especially for the most important fights. I added even more on this training camp because I’ve said it in the past, I’ve said it in weeks past, Abner is the best featherweight in the planet right now and for me to take his place I have to be very well prepared. What I can assure you is we’re going to give the public a great fight.

Q

Jhonny do you think this is your last big fight and are you close to retirement?”

Gonzalez

No, not at all. My body still feels great. My body’s still responding in the gym and the trainings. I definitely think this is a very important fight at this moment and we are looking forward to it and then going up another division to the super featherweight and then at that point fight even bigger fights there.

Q

There’s been fighters in the past that in the early stages of the career have had tough fight after tough fight and there has been an affect on them. Do you think you’re taking these fights at the right time or it’s been premature?”

Mares

No, I’m not. I’d say they happen at the precise time. I’ve learned from every fight. I’ve gained experience and I haven’t been beat up in any of my fights. I’ve learned a lot, gained experience and continue getting better and better and it’s been at the right age.

Q

Jhonny, how has it affected you now that you’ve been without your title for over a year?” What did you see in that fight between Abner and Ponce De Leon? Did you see any weaknesses or strengths or something that you saw when Abner won seeing that you lost your title to Ponce?

Gonzalez

In that fight with Ponce De Leon I wasn’t 100 percent mentally and physically there and that’s apparent. You have to see the difference. Styles makes fights. Ponce De Leon is a southpaw. Abner’s not a southpaw. He’s a clean fighter. I can’t say the same about Ponce De Leon. So I am coming in 100% prepared mentally and physically prepared and I think you’re going to see it on fight night.

Q

Jhonny, how frustrating was it to lose the way that you lost to Ponce De Leon after having established such a run in the division and successful title defenses?

Gonzalez

I was not frustrated at all. I was prepared physically very well, but mentally I wasn’t. I had some outside issues that affected me, some personal problems. I learned a lot experience wise. I went in there knowing that mentally I wasn’t there and then the head butt just broke my concentration even more. But now I learned from that experience to not go in there that way and this time I’m physically and mentally prepared.

Q

Can you shed light on any of the personal problems that you had?

Gonzalez

It was personal. Family issues.

Q

Given that you lost to Ponce De Leon and Abner beat him, and not only that Abner is ranked by The Ring as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, how rewarding and how easy is it to focus on a fight that could take you right back into the top level if you beat him?

Gonzalez

You pretty much answered your own question. It’s definitely motivating for the same reasons you said. He’s the best fighter, I’ve been saying it, at 126 pounds and that’s why we prepared 100% knowing that if we beat him we didn’t just beat anybody, we beat the best. We’ve trained very hard in the gym. We’ve prepared ourselves very well, as we know he did. So what I can tell you is come fight night it’s going to be a great fight for the public, the fans. Just like everybody’s expecting it to be that’s what we’re going to give them.”

Q

In every fight probably up until now, even the Ponce De Leon fight, there’s been an element of you have something to prove. The last fight you were looking for pound-for-pound performance, which you in fact turned in and were able to be ranked in the top 10 pound-for-pound. Now you’re probably perceived as the favorite because of everything you’ve done and the fact that he lost to a guy that you just beat. How do you motivate yourself for a fight like this and is there any extra pressure now that you’re the absolute favorite in this fight?

Mares

Well, first of all, no pressure at all, because I’m training the same way I train for all of my fights, all my previous fights, so I’m with the same hunger, the same desire to win every fight and to give a great show come fight night. I’m really glad and I’m blessed that people are seeing what I’ve been saying, that I’m one of the best fighters out there and I’m proving it fight after fight, fighting all these tough opponents. But as each fight comes to me, as each fighter keeps getting tougher and tougher there’s always something to prove. With Jhonny what do I have to prove? I have to prove that I am now one of the best, I’m one of the elite and I have to beat Jhonny. I can’t lose and I just have to win. It’s a fight where I can’t lose. And again, I’m fighting a tough fighter, an experienced fighter, close to 60 fights, 48 knockouts, great puncher, an experienced fighter. So his fight does not take anything away from me. I gain a lot.

Q

Do you think, either from you or your fans, that they want to see something sensational? Your last fight you had a knockout against a guy that was coming to beat you. Is there an element of “I have to top what I did the last fight” given your status now?

Mares

Well, yes, there’s always that. Well, I mean me, personally, there’s always that room for improvement or for learning. I go in the gym wanting to learn something new, as I have been doing it fight from fight, because I’ve been taking all these different opponents, different styles, and now I’m fighting a different style, a unique style in Jhonny; a clean fighter, really finesse boxer/puncher. So I have to go in there and just be better, show a different Abner Mares. And I can’t wait. Believe me, I trained hard, I trained differently for a different style, and you will see a different Abner Mares.

Come August 24th; a week from now you guys will see a different Abner Mares. You guys will see a tremendous fight from Jhonny and myself; a great fight. Boxing world wins. Can’t wait to prove again that I’m one of the elite. And I want to thank Showtime, I want to thank Golden Boy for always giving me good fights, for putting me on great defense, and this is another great fight for boxing. Thank you so much to all the press and come join us August 24th and if you can’t watch it on Showtime. It will be a tremendous fight. Thank you, Jhonny. Let’s give the fans a great fight.

Gonzalez

I want to thank everybody for calling in and for participating. I want to thank Showtime. I want to thank Golden Boy. I want to thank my promoter, Promociones del Pueblo, for having the confidence in me. I want to thank a great friend, a great fighter, a great champion, Abner Mares, for giving me this opportunity. And I also want to tell the public they’re going to enjoy a great type of fight that only happens when two Mexicans fight. Thank you, all. Thank you very much.”

Victor Terrazas

I can assure you all that it’s going to be a great fight. Leo Santa Cruz is a strong fighter; he comes forward. He started from the bottom and he’s been chipping at winning, getting wins, just like we all do. I now have the title and I’m going to go in there to defend it with all I have so that we can give the public a great fight. And the best man, the best prepared fighter will win that night.

Leo Santa Cruz

Thank you very much for the words; I really appreciate it. I want to say greetings to everybody, and I’m very happy and excited for August 24th. I want to say that I’m ready. I’m training 100% and with my family over here, with my brother, my dad, and my whole team, I’m really ready. I know that with Terrazas it’s going to be a great fight. He’s a warrior. He’s a Mexican fighter; he comes forward with pressure in the ring. I’m going to do the same, because I want that title. I know he wants to defend the title. I know how we are, that when we win something we don’t want to lose it and I know he had struggled a lot for to win that title and that he’s going to come 100% prepared too. But I’m the same; I want that title. I want to win the same title for the same fight and I’m going to go give everything and give the fans what they want, a great show and a great fight.

Q

Is there anyone in your career that you have fought in the past that you believe that resembles Victor Terrazas fighting style?

Santa Cruz

I think he’s like all great Mexicans warriors, maybe like Guevara, he’ll fight as he comes forward. He has great techniques and great ring experience. He comes forward, attacking, working the body and working a few different techniques… But we’re going to work that in the gym, we’re working very hard, and we’re going to fight.

Q

How much of a difference has it been for the past two training camps, for the fight with Munoz and then fight for this, to train to fight at 122 as opposed to trying to make the bantamweight limit?

Santa Cruz

It hasn’t even been the same. There’s a difference, I mean the fighting with the weight class, before I’d have to go down to 118; it was a little bit more trouble. But we’ve been training the same, I think and doing the same. We have been doing different techniques that my dad’s been teaching me with my brother, and we are learning different things with style, because he kind of drops his jab, so we’re going to work on those things, like little mistakes we’ve seen on him on video we seen, and that’s what we have been doing. So everything else is the same; we train 100 percent for every fight, we don’t take any fight easy, we just we train hard.

Q

On Leo Santa Cruz on the same fight card as Abner Mares on this card and on past cards.

What’s the relationship between you two and do you see him as a potential future opponent, without looking past Victor Terrazas, of course.

Santa Cruz

No, if everything goes good I will win the title and hope to defend it. If the fans want the fight, I would want that fight. He’s my friend, we talk good and everything. I wouldn’t want to fight him, but if the fans want it we’d have to give it to them, because we have to give want the fans want and if they want that fight we will make it happen.

Q

Victor, how does Leo rank to the opponents you faced and what do you see as the most difficult aspect of his style?

Terrazas

No, I see him as very strong, obviously he’s a young strong fighter, and stronger than my past opponents. And I’ve been saying it; it’s a great honor to be on this mega card underneath Jhonny González, underneath Abner Mares. I’m very, very motivated. I’m very grateful and looking forward to it.

Q

Leo, how does he rank to your past opponents and what are his most difficult aspects of his style?

Santa Cruz

Oh, I think out of my entire career he’s the one with most experience, he is better than anyone I have fought in the past, he comes forward pressuring a lot. I think that his best attribute is the pressure in terms of punches, because he’s like a Mexican warrior coming forward and I think he’s going to come forward non-stop. If he’s always going to be right there in front of me we’re going to have a war. And, like he said, the better fighter is going to win the match, whoever trains hardest and whoever deserves it better is going to win the match.

Q

Leo, how is your brother?

Santa Cruz

He’s really good. Right now he is already gaining weight. He’s been around. He’s in the gym with me; he helps me out, give me water and things, like gloves and stuff like that. He’s doing really good. Thank you.

Q

How is that having him there? How is that for you emotionally? Does it add to your motivation?

Santa Cruz

Yes, it does. Before when I used to come train for my other fights he always used to stay home because his body was hurting and I was thinking maybe he was going to have to go to the hospital. He went to the hospital and then he came back, and then in a couple days he had to go back to the hospital so that really made me worry and I was not concentrating so much on the fight or on training. But now that I know that he’s right here and his body doesn’t hurt or he doesn’t have something wrong with him it gives me more confidence, more … and I am able to concentrate here in the gym. I am more relaxed and focused.

Q

People have been the talking about the potential for a Mares/Santa Cruz fight for quite a while. How far away is a fight like that right now and potentially what venues do you see, or locations, Mexico, United States?

Q

The question is for Leo Santa Cruz. He hasn’t had this much rest between fights in a while, so my question is did it help more physically or mentally? And also all this time off, even though it’s only four and a half months, what did it allow him to prepare? How did he prepare differently having a little bit more time?

Santa Cruz

Well, yes, the timing it helped me a little bit, because I had more time to work on things that I had to work on. My dad has been watching videos and he has learned from my mistakes and things I need to improve on, and we’ve been working on those things. So I have had more time to work on those things and more time to prepare, like more conditioning and strength, stuff like that. But at the same time I think I prefer fighting more sooner. I know when I’m not fighting I feel uncomfortable; I want to keep on fighting. But the promoters and the managers know what they’re doing, and I think my body needed to rest. I think that’s a good decision they made. In my down time I learned a lot of new things and that helped me a lot.

Terrazas

Well, once again I want to thank everybody for having me on this call. I’m very excited, very happy to have been here. And also I want to remind everyone that when you get two Mexicans in the ring you can expect the best, and the best you will get on Saturday the 24th and the best will be the winner. Thank you very much.

Santa Cruz

I want to say thank you to WBC for this opportunity. I want to thank my manager, Al Haymon, Golden Boy, Richard, Showtime for this opportunity. On August 24th I’m going to go out there and give my best. I’m going to give it 100 percent to show the fans who I am and that I’ve come 100 percent prepared to give a good fight, same as Terrazas. I know he’s coming prepared too, because he doesn’t want to lose his title. And we both have struggled a lot to get to this point, so we both going to give a war out there and we’re going to leave everything in the ring. I am very excited and happy for August 24th.

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