Danny Garcia vs. Jose Benavidez Jr.
Final Press Conference
Two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia and
exciting contender Jose Benavidez Jr. went face-to-face at a
final press conference on Thursday and gave verbal clues of
the explosive action they plan to dish out in a super
welterweight clash set for this Saturday, July 30 headlining
live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a
Premier Boxing Champions event.
Also squaring off on Thursday at the press conference were
Polish star and Brooklyn’s all-action Adam Kownacki and
Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen, who battle in the
heavyweight co-main event, plus unbeaten rising star Gary
Antuanne Russell and former two-division champion Rances
Barthelemy, who duel in the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®
telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Thursday’s event also featured rising prospect Vito
Mielnicki Jr., who faces tough veteran Jimmy Williams as
part of the SHOWTIME BOXING COUNTDOWN show streaming live on
the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing
Facebook beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say
Thursday from Barclays Center:
“It’s been 19 months since I’ve been in the ring and I’ve
been enjoying my life in and out of the ring. I’ve spent
time with my family, but I've still been staying in the gym
the whole time. I trained with young guns Chris Colbert and
Stephen Fulton Jr. To be honest, it feels like I never left.
“We had a tremendous training camp in Philly. We’ve done
everything we were supposed to do and my body feels great. I
knew that I was coming up to 154 pounds, so I built more
muscle. But most importantly I feel good mentally.
“Once Danny Garcia is mentally and physically strong, no one
can touch him. I’ve proved that before. I’m just excited to
be back at Barclays Center.
“I’m excited to be on this card with a lot of young
fighters. It’s tremendous and I can’t wait. The ‘Danny
Garcia Show’ is back. I definitely feel good and come
Saturday night you better make sure you get your tickets or
tune in on SHOWTIME.
“It feels good to be back. I’m back because I love to fight.
I’m a fighter and I love boxing. I knew once I took that
break, that I’d come back at 154 pounds. A lot of people
don’t know how I’ve been squeezing my body down. I think
people will be surprised about how strong I am.
“I want to chase a new dream. I want to be a three-division
champion. I have the skill and I have the will and I’m not
going to let anyone take it away from me.
“Nothing ever comes easy against Danny Garcia. Don’t try too
hard, because you might knock yourself out (to Jose
“I’m going to go out there and have fun and do what I do
best. I’m going to find a way. It’s going to be the same
thing you always see. I’m going to get this ‘W’.”
JOSE BENAVIDEZ JR.
“I’m ready. I feel strong and I’m happy to be here. It’s
exciting to be fighting in this big arena. I’m ready to show
the world that I’m the one at 154 pounds.
“I’m the bigger guy at this weight. I’m confident, I’m
strong and I’m ready. This is a new and improved me. Nobody
is going to touch me.
“I don’t have to look impressive. I’m going to show what I
am. I’m a beast. I know where my talent is and I’m going to
make it look easy.
“This is going to be a good fight. It’s going to be
fireworks. I respect Danny Garcia, but his dad talks too
much. I’m thankful for the opportunity, but we’re going to
let the fists talk.
“I’m done with the trash talk. I’m happy and I’m excited. I
can’t wait to get it on Saturday night.
“They can think what they want to think. I know what I’m
capable of and I’m going to prove it on Saturday. I’m only
focused on my work ethic and I’ve been training hard for
“To me, the talk is just a game. I respect everyone. I’m
more mature now. I’ve grown and I only care about what I’m
going to do on Saturday.
“This is going to be the end of the ‘Danny Garcia Show’.”
ANGEL GARCIA, Garcia’s Father and Trainer
“We don’t fear anybody. We never turn down any fights. This
isn’t anything new to us.
“When these guys are eye to eye, they’re the same size.
Don’t underestimate Danny.
“Jose Jr. doesn’t have the skills. We’re ready for him. July
30 on SHOWTIME, the ‘Danny Garcia Show’ is back. It’s the
greatest show on earth.”
JOSE BENAVIDEZ SR., Benavidez’s Father and Trainer
“This is a great opportunity for Jose to show his talent. He
has to look impressive in order to go to the next level.
“I want to thank team Garcia for the opportunity. We’re
facing a monster. But that just motivated us even more. When
Jose beats Danny Garcia, he’ll be at the top and open up for
“Jose has matured a lot and he’s super motivated. It makes
me feel comfortable and more secure that we’re going to have
a good fight Saturday.”
“It means everything to be back here. I’m focused and I
can’t wait to get a knockout victory and then go see my
family in Poland
“I don’t come to play, I come to fight. I’m trying to break
my own record with punches thrown. I’m here to fight,
welcome to Brooklyn Ali.
“I’m facing an Olympian. He’s a tough guy. He likes to keep
coming forward just like I do. I know he has a strong chin.
He beat a good heavyweight in Gerald Washington. He stopped
him. So this is definitely going to be a tough test.
“I’m going to have the same strategy as always. Come forward
and try to stop him. Welcome to Brooklyn, baby. I don’t like
to make predictions, but I don’t see this going the
distance. I want to come back with a bang and stop him.
“Right now, I’m just focused on Ali. I can’t look past him
because he can mess with all my plans. Right now, I’m just
looking forward to knocking him out.
“Fighting at Barclays is always quite an experience. For
anybody who hasn’t witnessed it, you’ve got to experience
it. Get your ticket. There are going to be a lot of red
shirts making a lot of noise on Saturday. It’s going to be a
ALI EREN DEMIREZEN
“I’m so happy to be here in New York. I understand I’m
facing an experienced fighter coming off losses, but I’m
here to win as well. My goal is to not give him a chance to
“I’m here for a battle. I’m expecting the fans who watch
this fight to come ready to see a war for as long as it
“This is a very important fight for me. This fight can get
me into the top 10 and to the fight with the world
“This is a chance for me to step up. I’m so happy to be here
in the U.S. It’s every boxer’s dream to fight in the U.S.
and I’m going to make the most of it.
“I’m not worried that I’m fighting in my opponents’
hometown. I feel that I’m known enough that I’m going to be
treated fairly and I’ll be able to execute my game plan on
GARY ANTUANNE RUSSELL
“I’m more tunnel-visioned now. That support system that I
once had with my dad is not there. But he gave us a lot of
tools to keep us going. It’s made me more focused on the
things that he did teach us.
“We all had an initial goal as a family. My father gave us
the blueprint, so we’re just trying to strive and keep it
“I know Barthelemy is trying to make things happen for his
country, but I’ve got goals too. It’s will versus will and
goal versus goal. This Saturday night, you have to be there.
“I’ve been training and going back and forth in my mind on
what I have to do. I have to win this fight so that I can
move on to my next mission. We’re drawing lines and then
keeping it going.
“We’re going to keep the knockout streak going. He’s going
to have to do his best. I’ve been grinding. I know he’s been
training, but is it the training that he needs to get
through me? He’s gotta bring his A-game.”
“I’ve had a goal for a long time to become a three-division
world champion. I had the dream snatched away from me when I
lost, but now I’m here and I’m thankful for the opportunity.
“I’m ready to show that I’m capable of winning this fight
for the Cubans and for all my fans tuning in to watch me on
“Styles make fights and we’re definitely going to give the
people what they want. It’s going to be a spectacular fight.
I know what Russell is about, but I believe in myself and I
know what I’m capable of doing.
“It’s all about my preparation, my experience and the great
team that I have around me. I won’t let my guard down. I
know that my opponent has heavy hands and that I’m going to
have to be focused during the entire fight.
“I can guarantee that I’ve left everything inside of the gym
to get ready for Gary. I’m going to show you what I’m
capable of when we get into the ring.”
VITO MIELNICKI JR.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity on a big platform. It’s
my first time fighting in Brooklyn and I’m excited to put on
a dominant performance.
“We had a great eight-week camp with my coach ‘Chino’ Rivas
and we’re ready to go. We want to put on a show, so make
sure you tune in early.
“Expect a dominant performance. I’m an explosive fighter and
you’re going to see why on Saturday night.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA President, Sports & Event Programming,
Showtime Networks Inc.
“Having Danny back is good for Barclays Center, good for
SHOWTIME and most of all, it’s good for boxing. We all know
by this point who Danny is. He fears no one. He doesn’t
hesitate to take any fight. He’ll fight anybody and
everybody and he’s proven that.
“Fourteen of Danny’s last 19 opponents have been world
champions. Among his opponents – Zab Judah, Amir Khan,
Lamont Peterson, Paulie Malignaggi, Keith Thurman, Shawn
Porter, Errol Spence Jr. It’s literally the best in the
division during this era. Thirty-nine fights with 15 current
or former world champions. He’s gone 12-3 against world
champions in his career. I don’t know about you, but that
sounds like a Hall of Fame resume to me.
“Jose Benavidez Jr. has very impressive credentials of his
own. His only loss is to one of the pound-for-pound greats
in Terence Crawford. Benavidez was an amateur prodigy and an
11-time National Champion. We’ve got two guys with great
resumes, but at the end of the day, none of that matters
when the bell rings. What we’re going to have, I promise
you, is an all-action fight. Neither one of these guys knows
how to take a step backwards.
“If you’ve never been to an Adam Kownacki fight at Barclays
Center, you’re in for a treat. It’s one of the best
atmospheres in boxing. The following that Adam has built is
something to behold. He brings out the Polish fans from
throughout the Tri-State area and it is a great atmosphere.
But you cannot overlook the Turkish Olympian Ali Eren
Demirezen. He is a tough competitor and a dangerous
“Gary Antuanne is one of the few undefeated ranked fighters
who has won all of their fights by knockouts. Of the ranked
fighters, only four have won all of their fights by
knockout. In my opinion, Gary Antuanne is the most
underrated fighter in his division. Rances Barthelemy has
his own credentials. A two-division world champion.
Experienced, skilled and an excellent technical fighter.
He’s trying to become the first Cuban fighter to win titles
in three divisions.
“I’m about as excited for this card as any as we have done
recently. Why is that? Top to bottom, we’ve got great
storylines. We’ve got name fighters, popular, fan-friendly
fighters in high-stakes fights. It’s not just the fights on
SHOWTIME. In the prelim stream, we have Sergiy
Derevyanchenko and we have Vito Mielnicki Jr. We have
quality top to bottom on this card.”