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Beterbiev vs Kalajdzic: Final press conference quotes

Artur Beterbiev and Radivoje Kalajdzic are ready for Saturday’s ESPN show.

Top Rank
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

This Saturday night on ESPN, going up against the Canelo-Jacobs show, Top Rank has a pair of world title fights from Stockton, California, headlined by Artur Beterbiev defending his IBF light heavyweight title against Radiovoje Kalajdzic.

IBF super flyweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas will also defend against Ryuichi Funai. The show will start at 6:30 pm ET with prelims on ESPN+, and continue at 10 pm ET for the main card.

Artur Beterbiev

“My preparation was excellent. I want to thank my new promoter, Top Rank, for this opportunity. I look forward to showing the American fans my talent, and I am glad to be fighting in such a great light heavyweight division.”

“I have a great opponent on Saturday night, but of course, I want to unify the titles. There are many great light heavyweights, and as a fighter, I want to test myself against the best. I want to be No. 1 in the division.”

Radivoje Kalajdzic

“About two years ago, I quit boxing. I had a really bad injury, got a job and went up to 225 pounds. Mentally, physically, I was done. Then, I had this procedure, stem cells, and over time it did a miracle. Look at me now. I’m on ESPN fighting for a world title. Life is great.”

“I was excited because I had been telling my manager that {Beterbiev} was one of the guys that I would pick if I could. When I got the call, I didn’t hesitate. I took the fight. It’s going to be a fun fight. He comes forward. I come forward. It’s going to be a fun fight for the fans.”

“I tuned some things up, and you guys will see on Saturday night.”

Jerwin Ancajas

“My last fight — my sixth title defense against Alejandro Santiago Barrios — was a hard fight for me. This will be my seventh title defense. We are confident, but we respect the challenge in front of us. Funai is a good, tough fighter.”

“The last time I fought, I was not happy with the result. For this fight, we did some different things in training to prepare 100 percent for the challenge in front of us. We prepared for all different types of styles, which will help me adjust as the fight goes on. My sparring partners were excellent, and you will see the result of that training on Saturday night.”

Ryuichi Funai

“I am extremely excited to put on a great performance. I have a strong heart, and I will be aggressive. I thank Ancajas for the opportunity, but I am here to become the new champion.”

“I see him as a very talented fighter who can do many different things in the ring. It is my job to make his job more difficult.”

Gabriel Flores Jr.

“Since I was in elementary school, since I was an amateur, I always looked at this beautiful arena with a dream of fighting here. I was born and raised in Stockton, California. I’ve never lived in any other city. I had tough times here, but I love my city. I lost my mom, I lost an uncle. So, I’ve been through a lot, and I’ve overcome it. I just want to fight in my city, so come May 4, there’s going to be a lot of kids in attendance, a lot of parents, the whole community. They’re going to see me do something great, which is go after my dreams. I’m becoming successful. I’m going after my dreams. They’re going to see that they have a lot of opportunities out there. They’re not limited. They’re in this city and they can stay hungry and fight for what they want.”

“I’m ready. I’ve seen his tape. I see what he’s going to try and do. When I go in there, my boxing IQ is high. It’s definitely something he hasn’t seen before. I’ve fought in national and international tournaments {as an amateur}. I’ve seen every style.”

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