PHOENIX – Unbeaten two-time world champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavídez and super middleweight contender Kyrone Davis went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they meet in the main event this Saturday, November 13 live on SHOWTIME in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Footprint Center in Phoenix.
Also featured at Thursday’s press conference was David’s older brother and longtime contender José Benavídez, along with Argentina’s Francisco Emanuel Torres, before they meet in the 10-round co-main event on the telecast beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
The Benavídez brothers have their sights set on impressing their hometown fans in long-awaited homecoming bouts Saturday night, which will mark their first time entering the ring in Phoenix since 2015.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Sampson Boxing and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are available for purchase through Ticketmaster.com.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from the Footprint Center:
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“I’ve had a tremendous training camp this time around. Hats off to Kyrone Davis for stepping up to the plate and taking this fight. I’m on a knockout streak and I’m keeping it going Saturday night. The fans want to see knockouts and that’s what I want to give them.
“I’m excited to have fans back in attendance, after my last couple of fights took place in the bubble. The energy is going to be crazy. I can’t wait to get in there.
“We went right back into training camp after Davis stepped in as the replacement. I’m just happy the date was still salvaged. I’ve trained with multiple sparring partners in the gym, so I’m used to adapting to different styles. We’ll adapt to what he brings on Saturday.
“I’ve had a lot of support from the people here and it’s been amazing. Last time I was here, it was on my brother’s undercard. I’m ecstatic to be back fighting in front of a crowd. I can’t wait to feel the energy from the people.
“Once opponents feel my pressure, they realize it’s a whole different type of power. I want to see how he’s going to react to the power, combinations and speed. I’m going to keep doing what I do best and have fun.
“I’m not thinking about Canelo. I’m just thinking about Kyrone Davis. I’m excited to give my fans a good show. I worked extremely hard for this fight and trained like it was for a world title. I’m ready for whoever they want to give me to fight next.
“I’m always going to try to knock my opponent out. Not just Kyrone, but everyone who comes after him. I’m a warrior and I’m going to give the fans a war. It’s going to be a great night for me and my brother.
“My brother is still my role model. I still look up to him a lot. When we’re sparring, we try to take each other’s heads off and we might go days without talking, because it gets so serious. But he’s providing motivation for me every day. Especially the way that he came back from his injury.
“Kyrone Davis is a live dog. He knows what he’s up against. I’ve had a tremendous training camp and I’m going to make this a fun fight. We’re not scared of each other, and that makes it a great fight.
“It means the world to our whole family to be here in this position. I spent most of my childhood at Central Boxing Gym. The first mural out there was of my brother and I said that I wanted to be up there next. It’s really motivating knowing that Phoenix has our backs.”
“Sometimes with stepping-stones, you trip. We’ve seen it happen plenty of times. My job is to make sure Saturday night isn’t his night. I’m looking to have a good time and put my all into it.
“I’ve been doing this my whole life. Stepping up on two weeks’ notice is nothing for me. A guy trying to cheat is disrespectful to the sport. It’s my duty to the sport to step in
“This is going to be a world class fight. I’m coming to fight and I’m coming to win.
“I showed that I can fight on this level against Anthony Dirrell. That performance put me in position to get this fight. I’m looking to put on a show. We’re going to have a good time.
“All good things must come to an end. His knockout streak is cool, but who you fight matters. I’m nicknamed ‘Shut It Down’, not lay down. He’s supposed to want to put on a great show, but I’m looking to do what I have to do to win.
“I’m always ready. When they call me and tell me it’s time to fight, I’m ready to go. I’ve had some experience taking fights on short notice. Every time we go through something, we take it and apply it to everything we do going forward.
“To see my name in the big lights, is a gratifying feeling. But it’s not just great to be here, I want to show what I can do at this level.
“I’m a smart fighter and my style changes depending on my opponent. We have a game plan and I’m going to follow it.
“I’ve never lost over 160 pounds. All of my losses were from shrinking down to 154 pounds. I’m feeling great at this weight and I’m ready for any way that this fight goes. I’m mentally and physically prepared.
“I can guarantee a great fight and that I’m going to win.”
“I’ve had a great training camp. I’ve been out for a few years, but I never stopped loving boxing. If anything, I love it more. I’m coming with bombs Saturday. I’m hungry and I’m ready to eat.
“I learned a lot from my last fight. I feel like I’m a different animal now. When I say I’m going to do something, I do it. He better not run on Saturday. I’m coming to break his ribs with body shots.
“I don’t care how busy he’s been. He’s never seen anyone with power like mine. You better be ready for Saturday night.
“He’s a bum just like the bums that he’s fought. I’m back to take this clown out and show everyone that I’m going to be the next 154-pound world champion.
“I’ve always loved boxing. Ever since I was young. Now having my own children, I’m even more motivated than ever. I’m so grateful to my whole family for all their support throughout these long training camps. I’m happy where I’m at.
“We’ve had a long road and I’m just thankful to everyone who’s supported us. It’s been six years since we fought at home, but I love it here. We’ve worked hard at this since we were little kids. We’ve come so far and I’m just trying to keep learning new things every day.
“My brother and I push each other to be on top. We’re the best sparring partners either of us could ask for. We don’t believe in a rivalry, we just want to push each other to be the best that we can.”
FRANCISCO EMANUEL TORRES
“I’m thankful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to Saturday night. This is the biggest fight of my life. I can’t let it pass me by. This is the kind of stage I dreamed of ever since I was a little kid. I’m going to make the most of it.
“You can say whatever you want up here on a stage. Maybe his prediction of a knockout will be true, but he still has to go in the ring and face me. We’ll all find out Saturday night.
“I prepared really hard for this fight and I’m ready to counter anything he can throw my way. You can bet on that.
“I don’t care that Jose is fighting in front of his fans. I’ve been an underdog before and I’m comfortable in that role.
“I don’t care about what he says. I’m just focused on doing what I have to do.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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