Two-time super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and three-division world champion Abner Mares went face-to-face for the first time Thursday at a press conference in Los Angeles, California, as Davis defends his WBA title against Mares on Saturday, February 9 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The Showtime Championship Boxing main event promises as both men bring their fan-friendly styles to the ring.
Below is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from the Conga Room at L.A. Live:
“I believe that Abner Mares is a future Hall of Famer because he’s fought so many top-level guys. This is big for me because this is my first time being a main event in the U.S. and I just feel blessed to be here.
“In 2019, I want to make a big statement not only in the ring but by letting the boxing world know that I’m the next star. I’m aiming to headline a pay-per-view by 2020 if everything goes right. I have great fights lined up for next year, without looking past Abner.
“As soon as I got off the plane, I went straight to the gym and got some work in with some guys there. We’re not taking Abner lightly. I’m excited and blessed to be in this position. February 9, I’m confident it will be sold out and I’m confident that I will be that next boxing star.
“I’ve always known that you can’t underestimate anyone in the ring. You have to look at your opponent like they’re equal to you. I understand exactly what I have in front of me.
“I don’t know what Abner sees, but he was sure he wanted to take this fight so obviously he sees something. I have power, speed, movement and really a blend of everything. I believe that I’m a better fighter than him.
“It’s all about being focused in that ring and doing my job. I’m coming to get Abner Mares out of there.
“I wanted to fight Abner Mares out here in Southern California. Floyd Mayweather fought Arturo Gatti in his hometown and that’s basically what I’m doing here.”
“One day I just thought to myself that this fight against Gervonta Davis would be a great matchup and that I can win it. There are other big fights at featherweight that I could have gotten. I’m taking this fight because of the challenge that it brings. I’m all about that.
“I’m coming off of a great close fight against Leo Santa Cruz. I’m a winner every time I fight. I come to prove people wrong and perform. Not too many people do that these days.
“We’ll already have 50 percent of the fight won just by having a good corner, a good team and a great plan. The other 50 percent is up to the fighter to perform. One thing is having the game plan in your mind but it’s another thing to go out there and perform that game plan.
“We’re not just going into this fight blind. I’m not stupid. I’m taking this fight because I see something in this guy. It’s a tough fight, no doubt. All fights are tough. He’s in for a good fight. At the end of the day, you guys have to stop worrying about my weight and if I’m too small. You guys are going to get a great fight and that’s all that matters. Sit back, look pretty and enjoy the fight.
“You can’t compare Jesus Cuellar to Gervonta Davis. I know some people wanted to compare how I did against Cuellar and how Davis did against Cuellar, but he fought him two years after I did. It makes no sense. Gervonta Davis has a different style than Cuellar and it’s going to be a good fight. He’s an exciting fighter and he’s a boxer. He’s a boxer that trades punches so it makes for an exciting fight.
“People are going to recognize me as someone who took on everyone. People say this will be a new style for me, but I’ve seen them all. This is team ‘no fear’ and we’re going to make this happen.”
CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Trainer
“This is a great chance for us to go up against the great team that Abner Mares and Robert Garcia make. We’ve been watching them for a long time and we’re looking forward to it.
“We’ve been doing this for many years. We know that when it’s time to lock in, we’ll be locked in. Sparring has been going well. We’re just taking our time and doing what we have to do to get ready. We have a great team and everybody is doing their part. It’s our time to show what we’re capable of.
“On February 9, that’s when Gervonta Davis is going to step up and show the world what he truly is. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Mares’ Trainer
“Abner is very motivated. We have very strong sparring partners and he’s doing a great job in the gym already. Come February 9, everyone is in for a surprise. I respect Gervonta Davis and his team, but I think Abner is hungrier and looking to make history.
“This is going to be a great fight. We’re excited to see a great crowd of fans out there to enjoy a fight that’s going to be full of action.
“We know that this is a tough challenge. I think of this like the Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana fight. Just like Davis, they said Broner is flashy, dangerous and this and that. But you all know what happened. Same thing is going to happen this time around.”