Two-division world champion Danny Garcia and former world champion Brandon Rios faced off Thursday at the final press conference for their WBC Welterweight World Title Eliminator this Saturday, February 17 live on SHOWTIME from Mandalay Bay Events Center, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Garcia, who returns for his first bout since a unification showdown with Keith Thurman, promised to put on a show, while a confident Rios assured he was 100 percent prepared for what he deemed a “make or break” fight.
Saturday’s co-main event stole the show Thursday as undefeated WBC Super Middleweight World Champion David Benavidez promised to send top-rated contender Ronald Gavril into retirement in their anticipated rematch of a thrilling 2017 split-decision. Gavril, who floored Benavidez in the final minute of their Fight of the Year nominee, promised a different outcome in Saturday’s rematch.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with welterweight contenders Yordenis Ugas and Ray Robinson facing off in an IBF 147-pound title eliminator.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are available at AXS.com.
“I took a little under a year off just to enjoy my life. I’ve worked hard my whole life; I’ve been boxing for 20 years. I just wanted to be a regular person and let my mind rest, spend time with my daughter and enjoy some of my money.
“More than anything, I just felt like I needed the rest. It wasn’t about the hunger because I’ve always had passion for the sport. I love boxing. I love the competition.
“I’m back now and I’ve been in camp for three months. I’m training hard. I feel great and I feel confident.
“It was a close fight against Thurman. I walked out of there with no injuries. Thurman was the one with the elbow injury, so he took more punishment than me. I could easily be unified champion of the world right now. At the end of the day, I’m a champion. That’s my mindset. What doesn’t break me, makes me stronger.
“It feels great to be from Philly right now. The atmosphere is crazy. When the Eagles won the Super Bowl, it felt like I won. They motivated me to go out there and do what I have to do.
“It’s the Danny Garcia show so I’m going to go in there and do what I want to do. I’m going to dictate the pace. If we want to bang, we can bang. If we want to box, we can box.
“I’ve faced fighters that came straight at me before. I’ve faced fighters that moved. I’m prepared for whatever. I’m a young veteran in the sport and what made me a true champion is adapting to anything and overcoming adversity. If I have to overcome adversity on Saturday night, then I’m going to do that because that’s what I was built for.
“I need to get a victory on Saturday night. I can’t overlook anybody. I’ve seen some crazy things happen in boxing. One punch can change everything, so I’m just focused on Saturday night.”