Undefeated rising star and WBC Silver 118-pound titleholder Abner Mares participated in a Los Angeles media workout on Thursday, just nine days before he will take on IBF bantamweight champ Joseph King Kong Agbeko in The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Saturday, August 13, live on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
Undefeated lightweight rising star Luis Ramos Jr., (19-0, 8 KO's), of Santa Ana, Calif., and "Dangerous" David Rodela (15-4-4, 6 KO's), of Oxnard, Calif., also participated in Thursday's workout in preparation for their 10-round lightweight bout on the Aug. 13 non-televised undercard.
Undefeated and heralded prospect Carlos Molina (14-0, 7 KO's) of Norwalk, Calif., participated in the workout and will face an opponent to be named in an eight round junior welterweight bout.
The highly anticipated 12-round world title matchup between New York-based Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs) of Accra, Ghana, and Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens, Calif., by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, was originally scheduled for April 23, but was postponed when Agbeko was injured moments after arrival at Los Angeles International Airport during fight week.
Here's what the fighters had to say during Thursday's workout:
"Training has been going perfect. This fight is really big for me - it's for a world championship, it's for the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament, it can lead to bigger fights and I'm headlining in Vegas - so what else could I ask for?
"Training was different this time than it was for April 23. I know I'm getting ready for the same guy, but we made the camp completely different. We went down to Mexico to train and we switched gyms. It's all new faces in there sparring and it went really quick. I feel like we just started camp last week.
"He (Joseph) always trains hard and I know he'll be ready. He's a champion, but I want his belt.
"Everyone got invited to join this tournament but, for whatever reason, not everyone accepted. We fought the best, we fought hard fights and the winner deserves to be recognized as the best bantamweight in the world.
"There are a lot of fights out there and I want to make them, but I have to beat Joseph first. I want to fight the best and, right now, Joseph has the belt."
Luis Ramos Jr:
"Training went great, but I still have a lot of work to do. It's not going to be an easy fight. I'm in the best shape of my life and ready for next week.
"I don't think there is a rivalry between David and I. It's a long drive from Oxnard to Santa Ana.
"The only difference between us is he has lost and I haven't. He's going to try to take my undefeated record away and I'm not going to let him. I've worked too hard to keep an undefeated record to lose it."
"It's my first fight at 10 rounds, so we've put in a lot more work, but we're adapting to 10 rounds of sparring and everything is going as planned.
"Ten and 12-round fights are where all the good opponents are and I want to be known as one of those guys. I'm slowly working my way to get to that point, to get to the top of the division."
"I jumped into Victor's (Ortiz) training camp as he has a pretty big fight coming up [Sept. 17 against Floyd Mayweather, Jr.]. He motivates me and I push him as well.
"I can get motivated for any fight. I think his record speaks for itself. He hasn't lost yet, but do I think he's fought anyone as tough as me? I don't think so.
"I've never been in a boring fight and I won't be on Aug. 13. I like to give the fans their money's worth.
"I never duck anyone. He may be undefeated but he's never faced anyone like me."
"It's been a good training camp. I've been training with Abner, so it's been going great. Whenever you train with someone who is going for a world title, there is that added intensity.
"I've been sparring with all kinds of different styles. I'm ready for anyone.
"It's been a long layoff. I haven't fought since last November. It's been frustrating, so I'm going to take out my frustration on my opponent."
The world championship event is promoted by Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions and is sponsored by Corona.
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, along with a limited number of VIP suite seats priced at $150, are on sale now and may be purchased at the Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.