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  Robert Easter Jr. vs. Rances Barthelemy
Final Press Conference


Former lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. and former two-division champion Rances Barthelemy went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they meet for the vacant WBA Lightweight title this Saturday live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. PT /7 p.m. ET) from The Chelsea inside of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Also squaring off Thursday were former champion Viktor Postol and Frances Mohamed Mimoune, who battle in a WBC Super Lightweight Title Eliminator, plus rising heavyweight sensation Efe Ajagba and Germanys Michael Wallisch, who meet in a 10-round attraction.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas:

ROBERT EASTER JR.


Im not here to talk about any past or future fights. Right now Im focused on this fight against Rances. Come Saturday youre going to see what Ive put myself through during this camp.

Not only have I learned a lesson from fighting Mikey Garcia, but I also learn something new after every fight. I went back home to Toledo for this one and got back to basics with my dad and Mike Stafford. We put in the hard work and youll see it on display Saturday.

This fight is going to be a lot of action and I dont think its going to make it to the final bell.

Im highly confident right now coming off of the hard work in training camp. The connection with my dad is so great and all the time we spent in camp is going to pay off Saturday.

We had a tremendous camp. Im hungrier than ever right now to get back in the ring and show everyone that I deserve to be at the top. The only dance Im going to be doing on Saturday night, is to the bank.

RANCES BARTHELEMY


Im excited for this new opportunity that I have in front of me and Im not going to let it go to waste. Im taking that belt with me on Saturday night.

I always have good fortune fighting here at The Cosmopolitan and I believe Im going to take home the victory Saturday night.

I take nothing away from Robert Easter Jr., because hes a great champion. But I can do everything. I can fight on the inside, on the outside, I have power and Ive fought against great opposition.

I never dreamed of making it this far, especially coming from where I did. The dream of professional boxing didnt exist. To be in this position already, it makes me want to keep chasing bigger fights and leave behind a big legacy.

I have a very competitive fight in front of me. Ive worked with Joel Casamayor, who has great experience combined with mine. We have great chemistry and Im ready for everything to come together on Saturday night.

I thank Robert Easter Jr. for taking the challenge, but Im going to make him dance to the rhythm of the Cuban Salsa on Saturday night. Its going to get caliente.

VIKTOR POSTOL


My team and I had a great camp and Im excited to be here and see what my opponent is going to bring for Saturdays fight. Im ready for a great fight.

I trained hard like I always do. I have the experience against top fighters and Im ready to prove that Im still one of the best.

I want to become world champion again. Ive fought much better opponents than Mimoune and it will show on Saturday. My plan is to box, break him down and if the knockout comes, Ill take it.

MOHAMED MIMOUNE


Im very excited to fight here in Las Vegas and I want to tell the American fans that I guarantee a great fight on Saturday night. Im coming to win.

It was a very good camp, and it fully prepared me for war on Saturday night. Ive worked hard to be in the best shape of my career.

Every fighter is different, so well see if hes my toughest opponent once Im in there. I respect him and I know that hes a good boxer, but he doesnt have anything I cant handle.

Ive studied Postol closely and Im ready to fight. I have the strategy and game plan prepared to get the win. Im focused 100 percent on getting this win.

EFE AJAGBA


This is my first time in Las Vegas and Im very excited to be here. Ive been studying my opponent and I know hes a good fighter. I cant wait to get in there on Saturday and show off my skills.

Every time I fight I go back to Texas and start training again. Im facing a good fighter, but Ive been preparing for him. I have a powerful jab that Im looking forward to showing off.

In one year, or maybe two. I think Ill be fighting against top guys. Were going to keep stepping up. This is my first time fighting on SHOWTIME so Im looking forward to that step.

Its up to my opponent how long the fight lasts. I never say Im going in to knock him out. I have to feel it and find the moment and see what he gives me.

MICHAEL WALLISCH


I come from Germany to bring a show to the fans. I love this city already and I want to win so I can come back again. Im fighting a tough guy on Saturday, but Im also very tough. May the best man win.

I had a little less than a months notice for the fight but I had already been training and sparring very well. I think that Im going to bring that great work into the ring on Saturday.

I think for sure Im the toughest opponent of Ajagbas career. I will be the first rock that he has to climb. At heavyweight, everybody has power. We will see on Saturday what he has.

I trained very hard with Alexander Dimitrenko, who is another tall fighter. It prepared me well and I think were going to go toe-to-toe for as long as it lasts.

ROBERT EASTER SR, Easters Trainer


We were really focused for this camp. We stuck with what we know and went right back to how we started in this sport. Robert loved the camp.

Robert is hungry. Hes always been a hungry fighter. The loss was a huge lesson for him. He treats every fight like its the last fight. I see the fight going our way.

JOEL CASAMAYOR, Barthelemys Trainer and Former World Champion


Im very happy to be working with Rances. Hes a great fighter and weve been working together to perfect his boxing style. His improvement in a short time has been outstanding.

We are going to give the fans a surprise. We are winning by knockout. Its going to be Easter Dinner on Saturday night. He better be ready. Rances is bringing the knockout.

ROY JONES JR. (on working with Mohamed Mimoune leading up to the fight)


I like a lot of things about Mohamed. Hes a high-energy fighter and because of that, he can do anything that he wants to do. Ive explained to him that he needs to go out there and be who he is, and not let Viktor Postol be who he wants to be.

Mohamed needs to take control of the fight and keep control. If he gives control back to Postol, hes going to feel like he can dominate. You have to hold on to that momentum.

Its a very good matchup stylistically. Both guys are tall and long. I think Mohamed beats him in the end because hes smarter and hungrier. He hasnt been beat in a long time, and if he dictates the pace, hes going to win.

RONNIE SHIELDS, Ajagbas Trainer


Ajagba wants to learn everything in the gym. He wants to be the best heavyweight out there. He just turned 25 on Monday, so right now were just picking our spots and letting him develop. Were not trying to force anything. Slowly but surely hes moving along.

Hes still young in the game, but I think he could compete with a lot of the top guys right now. Its a learning process. He needs to take those steps one at a time. Were at a good pace right now that were both happy with. Within another year, hes going to make some noise.

LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions


What a terrific card we have this weekend from top to bottom. Its exciting to see young fighters on the rise, former world champions and more making up this great card.

Its not too often you get fights like these, with former world champions still in their prime. Ive seen Robert Easter Jr. mature through the ranks and fight on the big platforms. He came up short in his last bout against another great champion in Mikey Garcia, but I think he took invaluable experience from that fight.

Anytime you fight on that stage and come up short, you know going forward that you have everything to lose. Robert has a chip on his shoulder and hes coming to prove that hes still the man in the division.

I cant say enough about Rances Barthelemy. Hes already a two-division world champion with eyes on eventually winning a title in a third division. He knows on Saturday night he has his hands full. These two young guys are fighting for the same thing. Theyre both world class fighters coming to show who the better man is.



 

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