Four of the top super middleweights in the world shared a stage Thursday afternoon as Badou Jack, Lucian Bute, James DeGale and Rogelio Medina participated in the final press conference for their fights this Saturday, April 30, on Showtime Championship Boxing from the DC Armory in Washington, D.C.
Televised coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT live on Showtime and features the WBC champion Jack battling the former champion Bute, while the IBF titleholder DeGale takes on the top rated contender Medina. The winners of these fights have agreed to meet in a world title unification later this year.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
"Both of us can punch, both of us can box. Anything can happen inside of that ring. I'm always ready to go 12 rounds. Everyone knows that I'm always in shape.
"Anything can happen, but I want to fight James DeGale. First I have to take care of business with Lucian Bute. Both of us are in our primes. We're young and confident and it would be a great fight.
"I have to take care of this former champion. He's a really good fighter. Some people say it's a 50-50 fight so I have to take this very seriously. I'm still training and preparing for this fight like I'm the challenger. That's how I prepare for every fight and this is no different.
"A lot of people wrote me off and I came back stronger. I love when people doubt me. I come back stronger and show people I'm a world class fighter. I've always believed in myself. I'm mentally strong and I work hard. I had a setback but it just made me hungrier and it made me a better fighter."
"I'm thankful for this big opportunity to fight for the WBC title. My training camp was very good. I feel stronger. It's two days until the big stage. I worked very hard for this opportunity. To be a two-time champion is a dream. On Saturday night you will see a new champion.
"I feel great. The pressure is not on my shoulders now. I'm not the champion, I'm the outsider. Badou is the champion and I think the pressure is on him. I came to Washington D.C. to perform, give the fans a good show Saturday night and the chance to become a champion for the second time
"I put on a good show against DeGale and that's what led to this shot. I'm very blessed to be in this fight for a world title.
"Badou is a good fighter. He has a good background in amateur boxing, he's a world champion, but he has nothing special. He does everything good but not exceptionally. I have more experience, more speed and I'm a southpaw. I think the advantage is on my side.
"I never considered retiring but there were three years where I had some physical and psychological obstacles. Now I'm back to being in big fights and I'm looking forward to taking Badou Jack's belt.
"This is going to be a spectacular fight. I want to look good in there and leave no doubt. I'm more aggressive than I ever have been and that will make it a great fight. I'm here to stop Badou Jack."
"Fight time is here. I'm feeling good and feeling fresh. Porky Medina is a good fighter. But there are levels to pro boxing and I am levels above him. Saturday night I'm going to show you a real performance. My last two fights have gone the distance, but this time it won't.
"I'm the best 168-pounder out there. I'm here to prove that. There is no one out there that can test me. There are big fights out there and good guys, but I believe I'm the best. I like this tournament style. It's the best boxing the best. It should always be like this.
"I'm starting to build a massive fan base back home and I haven't even boxed at home as a world champion. Me and Badou Jack would be a massive fight in the UK with two titles on the line.
"I've got everything covered with my game plan, trust me. I've gone extremely hard in the gym. We've watched tapes of him and I'm feeling good.
"This fight I need to make a statement. On my last two fights, I've gone the distance and they've been against top quality elite fighters. This time - no disrespect to Porky Medina - a good fighter in his own right but he shouldn't last the distance with me so I look forward to a good performance.
"Good luck to both men, but I'm coming for the winner of Jack vs. Bute. I want to unify the division."
"I'm the youngest fighter on this stage. I'm also the hungriest fighter. This is the biggest opportunity of my career. I'm here to give it my all and take the most of this opportunity on Saturday night. My dream is to be a world champion and it is right in front of me.
"I feel very excited. I'm ready to go because of the long layoff. It has been a while but I have been in the gym. I've been training for many months and even though I haven't had a fight, I have been training.
"I think that DeGale has a lot of good qualities as a fighter and I think that the fight is going to be very intense because I've been training hard for it. I've been training to put pressure on him and to make it an intense fight and try and knock him out.
"I've noticed that he's a quick fighter, he's fast. He's got good technique but I also see that he sometimes likes to stand and trade and I hope that he decides to stand and trade with me so we can give the fans a good fight.
"A win would be the biggest moment of my career. It would have a lot of significance. Historically in Mexico I would become only the second super middleweight champion, which would be very important to boxing and myself."
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Interbox in association with Matchroom Boxing, are priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster locations, or call (800) 745-3000.