Canelo vs. Jacobs Undercard Final Press Conference
The undercard of the spectacular Canelo vs. Jacobs card
hosted a press conference featuring Vergil Ortiz Jr. (12-0,
12 KOs), Mauricio "El Maestro" Herrera (24-8, 7 KOs), Joseph
"JoJo" Diaz Jr. (28-1, 14 KOs), Freddy Fonseca(26-1-1, 17
KOs), Lamont Roach Jr. (18-0-1, 7 KOs), and Jonathan "Polvo"
Oquendo (30-5, 19 KOs).The event will take place Saturday,
May 4, 2019 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be
streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Below is what the fighters had to say at today's press
Vergil Ortiz Jr., Super Lightweight Prospect:
"I trained really hard for this fight. I was training hard
before I knew I was fighting Mauricio Herrera. I was
sparring 10 rounders in February. I'm more than ready for
this fight. Mauricio has never been stopped. I've stopped
everybody. I'm more than ready to go into this fight. I'm
prepared. Mauricio has been in there with Danny Garcia and
Jose Benavidez, who I do believe he beat, and in my eyes he
is a world champion. We all know who won. But those guys
weren't me. He didn't fight me, he didn't fight Vergil
Ortiz. We're going to see how the fight plays out May 4th.
"About my dad. I really wouldn't be here without him. He
didn't have the best childhood growing up and he made sure
he did everything in his power that I did. I don't think his
dad was there for him when he grew up but he made sure he
was there for me. My mom wasn't there. He played both parts.
That's something you don't see all the time. Usually it's
the mom who stays with the kid. My dad is the one who stayed
with me, was there for me. Thank you dad, I love you."
"On a more serious note, I can't wait to eat tacos after
this fight. I'm hungry. Other than that, hopefully after
this fight, I get a world title shot soon. There's a couple
fights out there. Like, Maurice Hooker, we're both with DAZN.
So, Eddie, make the fight with Maurice Hooker happen please?
We're both from Dallas, we're both on DAZN, I grew up
watching Maurice Hooker on Golden Gloves, he knows me as
well. In a couple years, I'll take on Errol Spence too. I
don't mean that like I'm going to go through everybody. I
just believe in my ability."
Shouting out to Miguel Cotto in the crowd: "I want to thank
Cotto. He was one of my favorite fighters growing up, my dad
based my style off of Cotto. I don't know if he knew that."
Mauricio Herrera, Former Interim WBA Super Featherweight
"This fight is really motivating. As many of you know my
career has gone through ups and downs. In 2014 when I had
fought Danny and felt I'd been robbed and then had the
chance to win a WBA interim title which I won, and then
later that same year, I got robbed again. That really left
me in a bad place. I didn't care for boxing and I was
unmotivated. A lot of the fights you see where they're close
and I look bad in, it's because I'm unmotivated in those
fights. I'm slowly getting my motivation back."
"This kid Ortiz has 12 wins and 12 knockouts, undefeated. On
Saturday I'm really motivated. I do want to bring my career
back. I trained really hard. You're going to see I'm not an
old lion. And if I'm an old lion, I'm a hungry lion. Come
Saturday, you're going to see a great show. Don't tune me
out. Saturday, you'll see the Maestro comeback."
Joseph Diaz Jr., Super Featherweight Contender:
"I'm going to go out there and showcase that I'm the next
superstar in boxing. Freddy, I appreciate you coming down
from Nicaragua but come Saturday night you ain't gonna get
that victory bro. You're going to go home sad with a couple
black eyes. I'm very, very focused. I've been training my
ass off. 2018, I dealt with a lot of adversity. My dream is
to become a world champion, and 2018 really hurt my heart. I
was really at rock bottom. Just being focused and having
good family supporting me through the rough times, it really
meant a lot to me, it made me more motivated, it made me
more into a savage and into a beast. I've been training my
ass off and I'm very determined to turn into a champion by
the end of the year. Come May 4th, I'm going to show you
that I'm the real deal."
"Everybody says I have a sno-cone head now but it's all
Freddy Fonseca, Super Featherweight Contender:
"I know the challenge I have in front of me, I know that
JoJo is the favorite, but we're coming in the best
conditions to ensure victory for Nicaragua. I'm very happy
for this opportunity because it's my opportunity to show
that I will be a world champion by beating JoJo Diaz."
Eric Gomez, President of Golden Boy:
On Vergil Ortiz Jr.: "Vergil Ortiz is a top prospect in
boxing. I've said it before. There's other good prospects
out there but the skills this kid has, I haven't seen in a
long time and I've been promoting boxing for 20 years. He's
incredible, he can do it all. This is a tough test. This a
real test for him. I was a little worried when Robert Diaz
came into my office and said Mauricio will fight him. I was
worried but I believe in his abilities. In order to beat
Mauricio Herrera and to prove he's a tough prospect moving
into a contender status, he's going to have to be
victorious. This is the biggest test of his career. Where
else, a better place, than the T-Mobile Arena here in Vegas.
We'll see if he's ready to shine or not."
On Mauricio Herrera: "Mauricio Herrera is a tough, tough
veteran. He's fought everyone in this sport. He gave Danny
Garcia life and death in Puerto Rico. He's been doing that
for a long time. You name it, he's fought the who's who in
boxing. He's here to prove he can still compete at a very
high level. He's fighting a tough, tough prospect that's
coming up. He's faced every kind of style, every kind of
fighter in different positions, world champions, prospects,
contenders. He's ready to put on a show on Saturday.
On JoJo Diaz Jr.: "He's ready to fight for a title, but he's
gotta get past Saturday's test. There are a few options for
him if he gets past this test, and we feel that for the next
fight, he should be able to fight for the title. There are a
few champions there lurking around."
Lamont Roach Jr., WBO International Super Featherweight
"The time is now for those who haven't seen me. This is the
type of opponent that we've been waiting for, for a long
time. This is where we are going to capitalize and show that
we are ready for a world title in the 130-pound division.
This is not the first time I've faced a veteran and probably
not the last time. We trained our asses off in camp, we had
good sparring, good strength and conditioning camp, trained
mentally, and I'm just ready to be a world titlist and it
starts with Saturday night."
Jonathan Oquendo, NABO Super Featherweight Champion:
"This will be a unification fight because I have the NABO
Super Featherweight belt while Lamont Roach has the WBO
International Super Featherweight belt. The whole world
knows all the hard wok I put in for this Saturday. We know
the quality of fighter that he is, we know the capabilities
he has. But I like challenge. He likes to fight, I like to
fight, and we're going to make sure we have a great battle
and a victory for Puerto Rico."
Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions:
"This Saturday, we're going to have a big fight between
Jonathan Oquendo and Lamont Roach. This will be a
unification fight between international titles because
Jonathan Oquendo is the proud owner of the NABO Super
Featherweight belt, and after that, he'll be looking for a
world title. He has done all the necessary preparation to
ensure triumph and a victory for all of Puerto Rico."
John Ryder, Interim WBA Super Middleweight Contender:
"With Lemieux, it was a big upset but we got a great
replacement in Bilal Akkawy. I think we're all in for a real
treat come Saturday night."
Bilal Akkawy, Super Middleweight Contender:
"This is a big opportunity. It's an opportunity for me to
prove myself. It's a world title fight so there's no way I
would turn down a fight like that. I'm going to make the
most out of the opportunity come Saturday."
Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport:
"This is a big fight for the mandatory position of Callum
Smith. It's a huge opportunity for John Ryder. He's turned
his career in extraordinary fashion. We know what a tough
fight this is. We knew David Lemieux was a tough fight but
we know Bilal Akkawy comes in as a young man, extremely
hungry, very dangerous, and this is going to be a very
Sadam Ali, Welterweight Contender:
"I'm excited for this fight. It's on a big card. 26-1
underdog? That's crazy! I'm excited, ready for any opponent,
any style that comes to me. I understand it's a big
opportunity for him, he's been waiting for a moment like
this, I know he's coming strong, but I'm excited to go out
there and shine. I'm ready to go."
Anthony Young, Welterweight Contender:
"As a person, all I can ask for is opportunity. Getting the
opportunity to fight a former world champion in Sadam Ali,
who defeated a legend. They got me 26-1 underdog, so if
you're looking to win some money, put it on me. Sadam is
Muslim, I'm muslim, that's my brother, but Saturday, one of
us has got to go, and it ain't gonna be me."
Joseph Markowski, Executive Vice President of DAZN North
"Saturday night is not just important because we're unifying
titles in the middleweight division. When you put on events
of this magnitude, you know you will have a significant
audience and a perfect opportunity to introduce future
headliners to sports fans. At DAZN, we're invested in the
sport of boxing - not just its biggest names. And while we
put great emphasis and resource into fights like May 4, we
put on more than 100 fight nights a year and know how
important it is to build the next generation."
"We are committed to these boxers, making sure we broadcast
their bouts so fans can witness their talents as they ascend
to becoming main event fighters."