WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale continued their war of words and further escalated their longstanding feud at the final press conference Thursday ahead of their showdown this Saturday live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Also featured at the final press conference were WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. and former world champion Kiko Martinez, who meet in a 12-round bout for Russell’s world title. Those two bouts will be part of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME, while three undercard fights will stream live on SHOWTIME Sports social platforms beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from Barclays Center:
“These fighters always get into great shape and think they have the game plan to beat me. They think they’re going to catch me. It’s not going to work. Nothing this guy has prepared for is going to work.
“I hope he brings the best he can bring. This is more than just a boxing match. I’m passionate about what I do. This has been a long time coming for me and Dominic. He asked for this, and he shall receive.
“It’s going to be an amazing night for me, and a sad night for him. Being heavyweight champion is a big responsibility. Not everyone is made to be a champion. It’s more than being glamorous or carrying around this prestigious belt.
“I’m super excited for this fight. Virgil Hunter and myself had a great camp. It was truly one of the best of my life. I’m mentally focused and physically right.
“I’m excited to be back and get another knockout win. Getting that WBC belt is everything to me. This is my Super Bowl.
“Victory for me on Saturday is everything. Wilder doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into. He’s in for a fight. He better be confident in his abilities, because Saturday night, he’s going to be in the toughest fight of his life.
“I’m going to beat Deontay so bad that he’s not going to ever want to lace up the gloves again. Sports are 80% mental. When I’m done with him, the mental aspect is going to be beat out of him.
“I’m going to put on another explosive performance. I’ve been dreaming for the last year about hearing ‘and the new.’ It’s a beautiful thing and I can’t wait to make it come true and have my hand raised.”
GARY RUSSELL JR.
“I’m hungry and ready. Anyone that I step in the ring with is standing in the way of my goals. Anyone trying to stop me, is in a dangerous position.
“We’re going to try to control the pace of the fight with my jab. I don’t think he’s going to get past the jab. He’s going to try to get rough and physical. My plan is to make the adjustments that I need to get this win.
“It’s always a family affair with the Russells. We move as a unit and we excel as a unit. My family is where I pull all my energy from. It’s never a distraction. They give me the fuel I need.
“In boxing you need to have full trust and belief in your coach. I couldn’t imagine a better fit than having my dad. Even if he gives instructions that might not be 100% right in my eyes, I know that it’s going to be the best thing for me.
“Deontay and I were on the same Olympic team, plus Dominic and my little brother Gary Antuanne Russell were also U.S. Olympians. It makes for an amazing card on Saturday night.”
“I come to fight and get that title. I had a very smooth training camp and feel 100 percent physically.
“I think my experience is superior. He thinks I’m only a pressure fighter, but he hasn’t seen me box the way I’m going to box him on Saturday.
“This is the biggest opportunity of my life. To be on this platform and be able to fight for the championship is very special. I’m going to make the most of it.
“I hope that Russell doesn’t take me lightly because I still have a lot of abilities left. It’s going to be a great fight for as long as it lasts.”
Photos by SHOWTIME