One of the first big Premier Boxing Champions cards of 2018 goes down February 17 when two-division world champion Danny Garcia takes on former champion Brandon Rios from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas live on Showtime.
Garcia and Rios squared off for the first time recently, beginning the promotional tour for the card.
Also featured was the WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez, who defends his title against Ronald Gavril.
Below are highlights from the press conference featuring all four fighters:
“I feel really good mentally and physically right now. My body is rested and ready to have a great 2018 starting February 17.
“You have to be focused to succeed in a fight like this and I think Brandon Rios knows that. I’m training hard so I hope he is too. I’m never going to take a fight off.
“This is a classic fight of a boxer puncher versus a brawler. I’m going to be prepared for everything and start 2018 off right. I have to be the fighter I’ve always been.
“I’m healthy and strong and ready to fight. I’m putting the loss to Keith Thurman behind me and moving forward. I have to focus on being Danny Garcia on February 17. I can’t press and try to do too much, I just have to get the win.
“We were both champions at the same time at 140-pounds and we didn’t get a chance to fight then, but it’s all about timing in boxing. Things tend to work out and now we’re ready to go head-to-head.
“I never back down and I know that Brandon Rios sees that in me. I always come to fight. It’s going to be a great matchup with our styles and our determination.
“I like watching the last three fights of my opponent. I think it gives me a good indication of what he’s going to look like on fight night. I’ve been watching tape of my last fight too so we can get a great game plan together.
“I felt like I fought a good fight against Thurman. He didn’t really engage. I thought after the fourth round he was basically shadow boxing. I don’t blame him because you have to be dumb to stand in front of me. We’ll make some adjustments and add to what I already do well.
“I haven’t been offered the Shawn Porter fight but I think that would be a great fight. He likes to come forward and I’m a great boxer and counter-puncher. I think the fans would love it, but Shawn Porter should be careful what he’s wishing for.”
“Everybody knows my style. I’m not here to dance, I’m coming to fight. I’m going in there with my heart out to show the world that I’m still one of the best out there.
“I feel strong and I feel rejuvenated. My body needed some rest because all of my fights are wars. It took a toll on my body and now I feel as good as ever. I’m ready to show the world a different Brandon Rios.
“You have to fight the best to try to be the best. Danny Garcia has been up at the top of this sport for a long time. I’m always ready for a test.
“I used to not always take training and my weight as seriously as I should have. I was young and dumb and I made mistakes. Those mistakes are in my past and I’m in great shape right now.
“I’ve been training really hard to have a full gas tank on fight night. I could have stayed retired but I still have it in me and there is still more I can get out of this sport. I truly love boxing and I’m excited to be back in a big fight like this.
“I’m always confident when I get in the ring. Having Robert Garcia in there is having my brother with me. It’s just another voice that I’m used to and that I trust.
“Being back in the ring was a little bit nerve-wracking but I was happy to get the ring rust off. I did what I had to do and was happy to get through that experience. I’m really thankful to be in this position to fight Danny Garcia.
“I’ve been ready to fight any of the top fighters. I waited and took my time because I knew I would fight whoever would step up. I got what I wanted and now it’s time to take advantage.”