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  Gary Russell Jr. vs. Mark Magsayo
Final Press Conference

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. and unbeaten top challenger Mark Magsayo went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they meet in the SHOWTIME main event this Saturday, January 22 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.

The press conference also featured super lightweight contenders Subriel MatŪas and Petros Ananyan, who meet for a rematch in the 12-round co-main event, plus hard-hitting featherweight contender Tugstsogt ďKing TugĒ Nyambayar and once-beaten contender Sakaria Lukas, who square off in the 10-round telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from the Music Box at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J.:


ďAt the end of the day, Iím a gladiator and I love what I do. I love showing the skillset that I bring to the sport of boxing. Nothing has come easy for us. This is not unfamiliar territory for me or my family.

ďThere are no concerns about ring rust. Iím always in the gym. I havenít taken two months off from training since I was about four or five. Boxing is not just what I do, itís a lifestyle for me.

ďIf I go out there and I destroy Mark on Saturday, then the big fights that I want, those fighters wonít be in a rush to face me, not that they are now anyway. Iím always trying to give the same message when I enter the ring. I believe in intellect over athleticism, no matter the situation.

ďMark is actually willing to put it all on the line. Heís going to go out there and give it his best. A lot of other fighters want to hide from the best. But I know Mark wants this badly. Itís a pleasure to share the field of battle with him.

ďHe said heís going to show his skills and thatís what Iím looking forward to. I wish other fighters would step up like he did. Thatís what the sport of boxing needs.

ďIím competing in the first month of the year, so if we can get through the fight injury-free, weíre going to try to swing back around this summer. I just need a willing opponent. Iím willing to move up in weight, but if I move up, I want to compete against another champion.Ē


ďGary is a really good fighter. Iíve wanted to fight him for a long time. Now the opportunity is here and I canít wait for the fight. Iím not expecting any ring rust from Gary Russell.

ďI think Iím the fighter who wants to beat him more than anyone else has. Iím here to give him his second loss on Saturday night.

ďI can fight and I can adjust. I have speed just like Gary does. On Saturday, weíll put our skills up against each other.

ďManny Pacquiao is my idol, ever since I was a kid. I started training at eight-years-old because of him to one day become world champion. Now that time is here. Iím so happy that Manny signed me to his promotional company and Iím grateful.

ďI learned a lot from the Julio Ceja fight. I showed that I can adjust, that I can brawl and that I can box when I have to. That fight has helped me so much.

ďItís great to have Freddie Roach and Marvin Somodio helping me every day. I thought that I already knew boxing, but when I came to the gym they corrected my mistakes and made me a much more accurate puncher.

ďFilipinos are born strong, we are warriors. Iím going to bring that attitude and that mentality into the fight.Ē


ďThis is a great opportunity for me to show the world who I am. Iím so excited that my mom is here to watch me fight for the first time in the U.S. Iím excited and Iím ready. Saturday is showtime.

ďOn Saturday youíre going to see my improvements. All of the questions about me and about what happened in the first fight, theyíre going to be answered in this fight.

ďItís either him or me, but one of us is getting knocked out. I need to make this a big victory to redeem myself and my career.

ďIíve always promised my mother since we started boxing that Iím going to buy her a home of her own. I havenít done that yet, but I promise Iím going to fulfill that promise.

ďEveryone knows how I fight and that Iím a fan-friendly fighter. Thatís not going to change, but Iím so much better in so many ways and Iím going to display my skills in this fight.Ē


ďThis fight is a very good opportunity for me. Iím ready to give everyone a big fight. I have to thank Matias, because heís giving me this chance to fight him again on a big stage like this.

ďEveryone knows itís been difficult through the pandemic and Iíve been wanting this fight throughout the whole time. I promise Iím going to be ready on Saturday night. Iíve been waiting for a long time for this one.

ďIím just taking it one step at a time. I want to be world champion one day, but those fights donít matter to me yet. Itís all about this fight on Saturday night.

ďI believe in my heart that Iím ready. I just love to fight. Knockout or not, it doesnít matter. Iím going to show my skills and give it my all to win this fight. This is the kind of fight that boxing needs.Ē


ďI believe in myself and Iím excited to take advantage of this great opportunity for me. Iím ready to give everyone a great fight.

ďIíve seen what I needed to see from Lukas. Iím going to do everything I can to win this fight and Iím confident in the result.

ďI would definitely love another fight against Gary Russell Jr. I want the winner of the main event. Iím focused on my fight, but I want another shot at the title.Ē


ďThis is the stage where I want to be. Iím ready to go on Saturday night. I donít want to go back, I want to stay on this stage and keep climbing.

ďStyles make fights. This is short notice for me, so Iím just prepared to go in and do what I do best. Anything can happen. Talk is cheap, itís a different story when you get smacked in the face.

ďItís been my dream since I was young to fight on events like this in the U.S. I have to leave it all in the ring and make sure there is no doubt about what I can do after Saturday night.Ē


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