Lightweight world champions Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr. went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference two days before they enter the ring for a 135-pound title unification Saturday, July 28 live on SHOWTIME from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Joining them Thursday and competing on the three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) were Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis "The Real King Kong" Ortiz and former title challenger Razvan Cojanu, who meet in a 10-round bout plus unbeaten super lightweight contender Mario "El Azteca" Barrios and hard-hitting Jose Roman, who compete in a 10-round showdown.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, begin at $50, plus applicable fees, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit AXS.com.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from Conga Room at L.A. Live:
"This will be my first title unification match. It means a lot to face another unbeaten champion. It will help my legacy and my career. I'm taking the proper steps to move forward and cement my name for the ages.
"There isn't another fight in front of me right now that gets me excited other than this one against Robert Easter Jr. He's going to come with everything he has. This is definitely his biggest fight and I believe we'll be able to bring the best out of each other.
"Me and Robert Easter Jr. are the only unbeaten champions in the division. So in my eyes, the winner is the best fighter in the division.
"I'm very happy to be fighting again in Los Angeles. It's been seven years since I fought here. To give fans a chance to see this big fight live at STAPLES Center is a great thing. I'm very thankful that we could have the fight here. Most opponents wouldn't have come here.
"I'm coming back to STAPLES Center as a world champion and I have a chance to unify in my hometown. There's nothing better that I could ask for. I'm going to do everything I can to come out victorious on Saturday night.
"I'm glad that Robert is confident coming into this fight. I believe that he will show up the best possible version of himself. That's what gets me even more motivated and excited for this fight.
"I'm here to take the biggest fights and biggest challenges. I will be at welterweight very soon and I look forward to taking on the best there. Everyone says not to do it, and that's what excites me and motivates me the most."
ROBERT EASTER JR.
"I really don't pay attention to being 'overlooked' or what my opponents say leading up to a fight. On July 28 we still have to get in there and throw these hands. Nothing said by him or anyone outside bothers me at all.
"The only big name Mikey Garcia has beaten is Adrien Broner. I'm going to give him problems. I believe with our skills and record, the winner of this fight is the best fighter in the weight class.
"This can add big attention to my career. It can help me get the recognition that I deserve. I look at all my fights like a big fight, but obviously this is unification. You will see two warriors in there on Saturday.
"It's been a long time since I made my pro debut at STAPLES Center. You're going to get a lot of action and excitement on Saturday night. Expect the unexpected.
"I had such a great training camp with coach Cunningham and my dad. It was all boxing all the time and really what I needed heading into a matchup like this.
"Everyone will be able to see my hard work pay off on Saturday night. I'm not the one who likes to talk about it, I want to show everybody what I got.
"These are the kind of fights that I've always wanted to be a part of. It's a big fight that I know the fans are going to really enjoy. I'm going to give them something to remember.
"Being the underdog is what it is. Only one of us can be the favorite. We did what we had to do to prepare for this fight and on July 28 you'll see it all in action."
ROBERT GARCIA, Mikey's Brother and Trainer
"There's always risk in any fight. We're very well-prepared for this big challenge and Mikey is in a great place mentally. Easter is a tall guy who I'm sure will try to use his reach and fight from the outside. But we'll be ready for whatever he brings.
"This is obviously a big fight for Mikey against another elite boxer. When two undefeated guys are unifying, it's always big. We had great sparring partners who prepared Mikey to be at his very best.
"We're ready for the best Robert Easter possible. I'm not even looking at his past two performances. We've done what we had to do to be ready for this fight and the best version of our opponent."
KEVIN CUNNINGHAM, Easter's Co-Trainer
"Robert has always been a tremendous fighter and an excellent boxer when he wants to box. We just put extra emphasis on how we want to fight Mikey Garcia. Robert has the natural skill and ability, plus the size and reach to get this done.
"We're prepared to dictate the tempo, control distance and range and do everything we want to do. We've done it so far in camp and we're going to bring it into the ring on Saturday night.
"It's obvious for the last couple of weeks that Garcia has been talking more about future fights than this fight on Saturday night. I look at that as him overlooking Easter. However, Mikey is a pro with a seasoned trainer so I doubt he's being totally overlooked. He better be ready."
ROBERT EASTER SR., Easter's Father & Co-Trainer
"I always feel very confident about Robert's chances every time he steps into the ring. We had a good camp and I know he's ready. He's always ready, just like he's been for every fight leading up to this one.
"This fight is going to live up to the hype. Robert is going to go out there and show the world what he is really made of.
"We're going to go out there and get the win. We're going to impose our game plan on Mikey and make it a really long night for him."