Unbeaten welterweight champion Keith Thurman and veteran welterweight Josesito Lopez, plus Brooklyn’s undefeated heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki, hosted a press conference Saturday night to discuss their fights taking place Saturday, January 26 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Kownacki battles former title challenger Gerald Washington in a 10-round contest and unbeaten featherweight contender Tugstgogt Nyambayar take on Claudio Marrero to open the telecast, all leading up to the Thurman vs, Lopez main event.
Here is what the fighters had to say Saturday.
"I feel great physically. We’re working really hard and just getting back into everything we did before the injury. It feels tremendous and I’m so happy to be able to do this back in Brooklyn. January 26, you will see the return of the number one welterweight in the world.
"I need to come back and stay active and healthy. I’m going to remind everyone this year why I’m one of the baddest men on the planet. At the end of the day, I’m here to make a statement that ’One Time’ is back.
"I have one belt, and I’m missing one belt. I’m going to re-establish my own accomplishments this year, then go from there. We’re taking it one fight at a time. Right now my eyes are set on Josesito Lopez.
"I’m a world-class fighter. I’ve fought through injuries my whole career. A real fighter ends up getting addicted to the game. There’s nothing better in this life than being under those lights and being part of the action.
"My legacy is not over. Unification against Danny Garcia was not enough for me. Ultimately, I’m just waiting to be presented with a man who is better than me. There might not be one, but I’m not afraid to let my ’0’ go.
"I need fights like this against a guy like Josesito Lopez. He’s going to be there and give the fans a great fight. He’s coming to take me out. He looked like he was in shape a month ago when I first saw him.
"It’s been a long time and I’m truly honored to be back. It’s been hard for me to not be in the ring while I wait for the elbow to recover. I’m so happy to be back."
"I’m really excited to be here tonight. Keith Thurman is a world-class, elite fighter and I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.
"I’ve been in this position before and I’ve never shied away from big battles. This is another big one and I’m going to be ready for it and become world champion.
"I’m sure Keith Thurman is as strong and skilled as anyone I’ve ever faced. He’s undefeated for a reason. I give him his respect for that. I’m preparing for him to be the best fighter I’ve ever faced.
"We’re both experienced fighters who have fought world class competition. I’ve faced my share of tough heavy punchers. I’ve pretty much seen it all. Come January 26, we’re going into deep waters and we’ll see how each of us reacts.
"No matter how active Thurman has been, the importance of this opportunity doesn’t change. If anything we might see a better and healthier Keith Thurman than we’ve seen in years. I’m expecting the best Keith Thurman there is.
"I’m going in against one of the toughest welterweights out there. I don’t need anyone to believe in me but myself. I’m going to give it my all to come out with that title."
"January 26 is going to be a great night. Every time I fight, it’s very exciting. I throw a lot of punches and bring the pressure. Gerald Washington is going to be a tough test, but if I get through him, I’m even closer to a title shot. That’s the ultimate goal.
"It’s a little bit of a fairytale story. I was just a little kid from Brooklyn wearing the Golden Gloves and now I’m fighting at Barclays Center. It’s a whole new environment. Hopefully next year I’m the main event. That’s the goal and it’s going to be a dream come true. I have to keep working hard to achieve it.
"I think when I fought Iago Kiladze, he was also a runner who could box. I managed the ring very well with him so I’m looking to do the same with Washington and punish the body. The taller they are the harder they fall.
"Gerald Washington is a tough exam. He’s a former title challenger and I know he’s going to bringing his "A-game." My goal is to become the heavyweight champion of the world and in order to do that I have to get by Washington. That’s what I plan on doing."