David Morrell Jr and Aidos Yerbossynuly meet Saturday night in a Showtime main event, with Morrell defending his secondary WBA belt at 168 lbs, in a fight that both know they must win to secure bigger opportunities at super middleweight.
The six main card fighters spoke at Thursday’s final presser.
DAVID MORRELL JR
“100 percent, I’m coming for the knockout. He’s the one that’s asking for it. It’s going to be for my team and for Cuban boxing. You don’t mess with the people of Cuba.
“I hope he’s not too hungry, because I’m not giving him anything to eat on Saturday night. I’m more focused and locked in than ever thanks to Ronnie Shields and my whole team.
“I appreciate Aidos stepping up to this fight, but now it’s time to show what I can do. I’m going to show the rest of the division what’s in store for them.
“I’m predicting an eighth-round knockout. I’m going to go into the ring as be the best version of myself.
“We’re in the home stretch now. I’m going to go in there and go for the win. Today was to show everyone how excited we are for this fight, because the fans should be pumped for this as well. We’re ready to put on a show for them.
“I feel bad for Aidos. He has no idea what’s going on and he doesn’t know anything about boxing history. I’m going to teach him on fight night. I’m taking him to school. He has it coming.
“My only focus right now is on Aidos. I’m not paying attention to any other fighters, but I’m going to be ready for them. I want to fight David Benavidez in my next fight. I respect everyone in the division, but I’m hungry for the biggest fights. I want to fight everybody.”
“I’m a hunter. I like hunting and it’s part of our culture. It’s hunting season right now in Kazakhstan, but I’m here in the United States and I’m here to hunt Morrell on Saturday night and bring that belt home.
“We respect the Cubans and their skills. But in the pros, there aren’t as many good fighters as in the amateurs. Whatever he has learned, I have those same skills. We both have power in both hands, and I’m going to let my fists speak for me.
“I’m always learning. I improved a lot with my training in Las Vegas because my coach, Kay Koroma, is a very experienced and well-known coach in American boxing. I had a good transition from the amateurs into the professional ranks and I learn something new with each fight. I grow as an athlete with each fight.
“There is nothing about David Morrell Jr. that concerns me. The danger with boxing is that every fighter is coming to hurt you. Every boxer is dangerous. There’s nothing special about him. I think that we are evenly matched fighters but the difference on Saturday night is going to be that I’m the smarter fighter and I want it more.
“If he’s promising something to his fans, he might have to apologize to them after he loses. I’m definitely coming to stop Morrell in this fight. I trained hard and I’m here to get the belt.
“If I get past David Morrell Jr on Saturday, then I’d like to fight David Benavidez next. I’ve sparred with Canelo Alvarez before and I respect him. To get that fight, I have to prove myself first. That’s why I want to face Morrell and Benavidez back-to-back.”
“I’m going to go in there to win. I don’t care if I finish the fight in the first or last round. I’m happy either way. My power will be there, but I’ll be ready for whatever happens.
“Sometimes you need to stumble not just once, but twice or more, to learn a lesson. I guarantee that I’ve learned my lesson and that you’re going to see the best version of me on Saturday night.
“This fight is just as important as when I went into Philadelphia and took the titles away from Julian Williams. That’s how serious I’m taking this fight.
“I’m staying at middleweight. I was putting my health at risk to make 154, so I’m fully committed to winning a world title at 160.”
“I’m here and I’m ready. I’ve been training in this camp since April. I’ve really been locked in this whole year. You’re going to see that I’m anything but a last-minute sub.
“I’m ready to put on an explosive performance. Everyone is going to see the work I put in it. This is where preparation meets opportunity. You’re going to see me at my best and with my hand raised.
“This is huge for me. I’m about to add a former unified champion to my resume. This changes the trajectory of my career. It’s all up from here and I’m about to show the world what I’m capable of.”
“Gallimore is a power puncher, but there are a lot of different skills you need in boxing. It’s not just power that decides who wins.
“This is my chance. I’m hungry and I will show it. This is like a holiday for me, because I’m here without pressure. I’m happy and I’ll show it in the ring.
“He’s had this break in his career, but I know he’s been training and sparring throughout it. Maybe he’ll feel some rust in the ring, but we’ll find out on Saturday.
“I’m very confident in the training that I’ve had. This is a step up for me and it’s something I’ve wanted for a while. I’m ready to perform on the big stage.”
“Ring rust is not going to be a problem. I started my career at middleweight, so I’m not worried about that either. We’ve been working on a lot of new things and on Saturday it’s going to show.
“He can say what he wants to say, because at the end of the day, he has to get in the ring with me. Everyone is going to see what I bring to the table on Saturday night.
“I’m definitely back. As I’ve said before, it starts with this opponent. The whole world is going to know that I’m back after they watch this fight.”