WBC Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo and highly rated contender Dennis Hogan went face to face Thursday at a final press conference to preview their world title showdown taking place this Saturday, December 7 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The final press conference also featured middleweight star Chris Eubank Jr. and top contender Matt Korobov, who battle for the Interim WBA Middleweight Title in the co-main event, and former champions Marlon Tapales and Ryosuke Iwasa, who square off for the Interim IBF Super Bantamweight Title in the televised opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on-sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from the Grand Ballroom at the Tillary Hotel Brooklyn:
“I’m ready and I’m back like never before. I have a tough opponent in Dennis Hogan who’s real confident and he’s bringing Ireland and Australia with him. It’s going to be a show. If he can’t take my shot, I’m going to hit him flush and put him out.
“I believe I have something to deliver that Hogan has never seen before. I’m back to my most explosive days in boxing. I feel great about my training and the way I prepared myself to get this victory. I think it’s going to be tougher than he thinks it is.
“My daughter’s birth has given me even more motivation to knock this guy out and when you come to Brooklyn, you’re coming to my house. There’s nothing he can do and nothing he can say. They all say the same thing until they have to get in there with me.
“If Hogan says he’s more powerful at middleweight, than he’s going to come to fight and stay in the pocket. If he comes to box, I’ll come to fight, and if he comes to fight I’ll be able to box him. Regardless, we’re going to make adjustments in the fight.
“I’m going to come with a vicious attack. If he can hold it, then I’m going to try again later in the night. However the game plan plays out, I’m going to stop him.
“Dennis Hogan, I’ll see you Saturday night. We’re going to give everyone a great night of boxing. I’m going to deliver something explosive and give Hogan a nice little Christmas gift.
“The birth of my daughter has given me a whole new level of motivation, but I’ve always been fighting for my family. It’s just a new blessing and taking the inspiration to another level.
“I still have time to make Knockout of the Year, so hopefully this guy’s power is what he thinks it is and he comes to fight. I’m ready to shut him down.
“When you’re the champ, people are coming for you. When people know you’re great, they want to challenge you. I’m okay with that. I was on that road and now I’m here. In due time, you will see me get all of the biggest fights.
“I love Brooklyn and the energy I get from the crowd. It reminds me of Houston because the food is good and all my fans and family are here. I love Brooklyn.”
“I just want to thank my team and Jermall’s team and everyone for making this fight and giving me this opportunity. It’s been a quick four weeks since our first press conference and I’ve gone to a whole new level of what I can accomplish and achieve in my training. I’ve left no stone unturned and I can’t wait to get out there on Saturday night and make my dreams come true
“I’ve always said that when you have a great atmosphere in the arena, it’s like a third guy in the ring. It gets me motivated and it’s always been a big thing for me. I’m going to feel like I’m fighting in front of my home crowd Saturday night.
“Every opponent that I’ve had thinks they’re going to knock me out. It’s not about how hard you throw a punch, it’s about how hard can you land a punch and that’s the difficulty people have with me. That’s one of my best attributes. When I land clean, they tend to realize I mean business and don’t want to come forward. I feel 20% more powerful and he’s going to feel my punches.
“We’re both professional athletes and we’re going to give the fans a great fight. One of us is going to walk away with the WBC belt and I truly believe it will be me.
“You’re going to see something explosive Saturday night. It’s two fighters who truly believe they’re going to win. That makes for brilliant viewing and I’m excited to deliver that to the public.
“I like fighting against taller fighters. It gives me more target and more opportunity to be elusive and show variations. I’m going to use my size to my advantage. You don’t really know what you’re up against with me until you’re actually in there.
“After the last press conference, I expected him to react and crack once I spoke, so I’m not surprised with what he said. It doesn’t matter either way, the talking has nothing to do with what goes on in the ring. He shouldn’t care what I have to say if he truly thinks that he’s going to win the fight. I think that’s a good sign for me, but either way I’m prepared for what happens in the ring.
“I’ve got an extra snap on my punches right now. The power is there, I’m strong, I’m not having to dehydrate as much and that’s going to make all the difference. I’m really excited. We built some extra muscle in certain areas for this fight and I feel a lot stronger because of that. My coach is brilliant at spotting weaknesses in opponents. Charlo doesn’t have many weaknesses but there are things that I can capitalize on with the right game plan. Even Muhammad Ali had these areas, so everybody has them and it’s about capitalizing on them.”
CHRIS EUBANK JR.
“My pro debut here in the U.S. has been a long time coming. It’s been a dream of mine to come out here and perform for you guys. Korobov is talking about decisions, but he will be stopped before the 12th round.
“I’m going to come for all the middleweight belts after this fight. I want all the big names. I’m 30-years-old and in my prime right now. Korobov is a great introductory fight for me in the U.S., then after that, it’s open season.
“There’s going to be a new kingpin in town after Saturday night. I’ve been fighting guys 20 pounds heavier than me. Now you put me in with guys my own weight, it’s going to be devastating.
“I’m at middleweight, so I’m the best in the division. Korobov is a great fighter and I respect him. He’s done a lot in the sport, but this is my time. I’ve worked too hard to come out here and not go through him.
“I’ve had a lot of big fights in the U.K., but now is the perfect time to introduce myself to the American public. Korobov is just standing in my way.
“I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was a kid and started boxing. To finally be here after all this time is a great feeling. Especially to be able to perform here in New York. So many great champions were born here and fought here. I haven’t come all this way to have a flat performance. I’m going to dominate this fight.
“There were a lot of good opportunities and money to be made at super middleweight so I did what I had to do. Now I’m in a position where there are great middleweight fights in the states so I can be back to my natural weight and takeover.
“I’m not playing around. I’m not here to fight nobodies and coast. I want the big fights and the toughest guys out here so everyone knows I’m the man. Korobov fits that bill as a world class opponent.”
“I’m so glad to be here in Brooklyn one year after I fought here against Charlo. I’m so prepared and ready to give everyone a good show and leave the fans happy. I’m going to give the fans what they want to see.
“Looking to my future, this is a really important fight. What’s happened in this past is in the past. I’ve prepared for this fight really well and I’ll be ready Saturday night to win this title.
“Everybody works hard in this sport and goes through things inside and outside of the ring. It’s our job to be prepared. Whatever it takes to win this fight, I’m ready. He’s overlooking me and it’s going to be his mistake.
“We’ve done our research on Eubank. I’ve only watched a little but my team knows him very well. We’ve known him for a long time and known he’s a great fighter, just like his father.
“I’m glad that Eubank accepted the fight against me. It’s another opportunity for me to fight the best in the division and prove that I’m right up there and as good as anyone at middleweight.
“I just have to go in there Saturday night and take this belt home. Any way that I can with any strategy that works best. Whatever it takes, I will win this fight.
“I loved fighting at Barclays Center and it was a great experience for me last year. I think having that experience will definitely help me in this fight. There are a lot of Russians in Brooklyn and I’m excited for them to come out and support me.
“I’m really happy to be back here, especially on the undercard to Jermall Charlo. It makes sense for us because if we both go in and take care of business, we can make the rematch happen easily.”
“I have trained so much and worked so hard to get here today. We’re going to put on a great show for you Saturday night, and the best man will win.
“I’m going to make this my fourth knockout in the U.S. I’ve worked really hard to make sure that happens and we give all the fans a lot of excitement.
“The training camp that I had was definitely one of the best of my career. I’m strong and ready to show off everything we’ve worked on.
“I’m very motivated for this fight. Every day we focus on becoming world champion again. It is up to me and my team to fight the right way and make sure do everything we can Saturday night.”
“My opponent has very good skills and is a tough fighter. But I also have good skills and a lot of experience. I will give everyone a great fight on Saturday night.
“I’ve been training very hard for a tough southpaw. I’m going to show you the adjustments I’ve made for southpaws on Saturday night. I won’t have any problems with his style.
“I think that my experience will definitely help me in this fight. I’ve fought all over and against every different style throughout my career. Not just in fights, but in sparring too. There won’t be anything we can’t handle.
“We definitely want to steal the show. We work hard so that we can leave it all in the ring and I know that Tapales will bring the same mentality to fight night. It’s going to make the fans the winners and the best man will have his hand raised.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
“This is our 20th event at Barclays Center, and 22nd if you count CBS, which is far more than any other network. We’ve been to Barclays Center more than any other venue since it opened. Anybody who is a fan of boxing knows what Barclays Center has done for the sport and we are looking forward to getting back there again.
“This is Jermall’s 10th fight on SHOWTIME. He is a graduate of ShoBox and this is his fourth fight at Barclays Center. We are proud of our history with Jermell and Jermall and bringing you what we feel is a very intriguing card.
“In our co-main event we have the U.S. debut of Chris Eubank Jr. and we are thrilled that it is with SHOWTIME. Of course his father, Chris Eubank Sr., has a history with SHOWTIME and we were proud to be a part of his career and now with Chris Eubank Jr. Chris’ last few fights were at super middleweight and now he returns to his more natural weight of 160. And all six of his victories at 160 were by knockout. So he is certainly someone who should be reckoned with at 160 or 168.
“As for Matt Korobov, he is certainly someone no one wants to fight. We have heard the dialogue around this fight and people question Chris on why he would do this fight – ‘It’s too tough a fight, too risky a fight. It makes no sense.’ Well, it does make sense if you are fighting for your legacy. If you are fighting for meaningful fights. If you’re trying to elevate the sport, these are exactly the fights that make sense and I give much credit to Chris Eubank Jr. and Matt Korobov for taking this very entertaining fight.
“In our main event, what can you say about Jermall Charlo. He is entertaining, he’s charismatic. He’s certainly, undoubtedly, one of the top middleweights in the world. And you can make a good argument, at least in my book, that’s he’s the very best middleweight in the world. I think the most effective think you can say about Jermall is that you never hear him called out. You never hear, or almost rarely, do you hear another middleweight call out Jermall Charlo. When it’s time to set up fights all of the sudden there’s a lot of amnesia going around. And the name Jermall Charlo doesn’t get mentioned, and for good reason. He is the boogieman of the division. When he put a call out for this fight, there are a lot of guys who did not answer and I can testify to that.
“I give much credit to Dennis Hogan because he did step up to a fight that many others did not. We are expecting to see a better Dennis Hogan than we’ve ever seen before, and he will tell you that himself. He’s fighting at a heavier weight of 160 and feeling much stronger.”