Regardless of what you think about the idea of putting Shannon Briggs and Fres Oquendo together for the WBA heavyweight title next month, the two are going to try their best to make you a believer.
Briggs and Oquendo held a press conference recently to discuss the fight, which takes place June 3.
Below are highlights:
Heavyweight contenders Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs and Fres Oquendo faced off for the first time before they battle for the WBA Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, June 3 in the main event of Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo taking place at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The two-time heavyweight champion Briggs and three-time title challenger Oquendo participated in a highly energetic press conference at Hard Rock Live as both men, along with representatives from their camps, proclaimed victory on June 3. Also in attendance were a trio of former Heavyweight champions who plan on attending fight night including Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Briggs’ trainer Chris Byrd, adding to the anticipation for the Heavyweight title bout.
Tickets are on sale now and are priced at $75, $100, $150, $250 and $500; ringside seats are sold for $1,000; ringside tables with six seats are $5,500 and 10 seats are $11,000 (plus a $5 Facility Maintenance fee applies). All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. *Additional fees may apply.
Here is what the participants had to say:
“This has been a long journey. Five years ago, I was depressed and out of the boxing game, but then my daughter was born. I took a stand. I said that I’m going to do this for her. Everyone doubted me. When I met with Kris Lawrence, he listened to me talk for hours on a Monday and then on Friday he called me and said ‘Let’s Go Champ!’ That was the beginning of the comeback.”
“I lost 145 pounds and I went around the world, meeting people and trying to inspire them, but they were inspiring me too. It’s a huge motivation to me to see these people and get the response from people who say that I was able to inspire them.”
“We’re here now. We got the shot. I look forward to becoming a champion for a third time. I’m fighting a very good fighter in Fres Oquendo. He’s a seasoned guy, but he’s out of his league. This isn’t his time.”
“I’ve heard things that he’s said about me, that it might be an easy fight. But he has no idea how motivated and how focused I am right now. I just can’t wait for the bell to ring so that the people can look up and see me smash him.”
“I’m coming out in the first round and I’m gunning for you. As soon as the bell rings, I’m coming to take your head off. If I don’t get you in the first, I’ll get you in the second. All the way to the 12th. I got Liakhovich at 2:59 of the last round and you might have to go that way too.”
“I’m happy and excited. The time is now. I’m home in Florida where I’ve lived for the last 18 years. I’m training like never before. I might have taken two weeks off in the last four years. I’m looking forward to glory. I want to see the people around the world saying “LETS GO CHAMP!”
“It’s a pleasure to be here for this historic event. Shannon and I go way back. We’re gentlemen of the sport. We carry ourselves with dignity. We’re going to go after it.”
“We actually shared a twin bill on my HBO debut in 2001. That was a special night for me. I’m thankful to Shannon for stepping up and facing a fighter of my caliber. I’m going to go in there with everything that I have. It’s not going to be easy in there for him.”
“I’m dedicating this fight to my son’s friend Jaxon King, who passed away last year at five years old. I have a non-profit that helps a lot of at risk youth in Chicago because I was one of those kids. They all mean so much to me and I’m going to have Jaxon in my heart that day and give me the extra edge to do what I have to do.”
“I’ve been in there with the best in the sport. This is a very special fight for me. This is life and death for me. I’ve fought everywhere in the world, sometimes I didn’t get the decision, but I’m going to bring it every time.”
“I hope to see everyone out there on fight night. It’s going to be a great night of boxing. I can’t wait to make history on June 3.”
EVANDER HOLYFIELD, 2017 International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee
“I’m honored to be here and see boxing back. I know that this is going to be a great fight. I wouldn’t miss it. I’ll be there ringside on June 3 here at Hard Rock Live.”
“The important thing is that one of these guys is going to be the oldest heavyweight champion in history. I thought it would be me, but the person who walks out of here will be able to say they did it. It shows that these guys take care of themselves and are dedicated to the sport. I can’t wait.”
CHRIS BYRD, Briggs’ Co-Trainer & Former Heavyweight Champion
“I’m a boxing guy. I love this sport. I’ve known Shannon and Fres for a long time. It’s crazy that Shannon is 45 and still wants to learn every day in the gym. He wants to win this fight so badly. He wants everything he does in camp to be the best, so he can be the best in the ring.”
“It’s scary when Shannon Briggs gets in front of you. The power, speed and athleticism is crazy. I think Shannon Briggs is the best heavyweight in the world right now.”