Unbeaten rising star Chris “Primetime” Colbert and undefeated Dominican Olympian Hector García went face to face and tit for tat in a clash of styles and words Thursday at the final press conference before they meet in the ring this Saturday, February 26 live on SHOWTIME headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
During the event, Colbert briefly and humorously temporarily took control of the hosting duties and began peppering Garcia with questions about his chances on Saturday. Later, Garcia questioned Colbert’s commitment to boxing, likening his career to a “circus.”
The press conference also featured unbeaten 2016 US Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell and former world champion Viktor Postol, who meet in the co-main event, plus IBF Junior Bantamweight World Champion Jerwin Ancajas and undefeated Argentina Fernando Martinez, who meet to kick off the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday from The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas:
“I was a little disappointed when Roger Gutierrez dropped out of the fight. I had to put that disappointment aside and just hope that him and his team recover fast. Once I beat this guy right here, I want Gutierrez next.
“I want to thank Garcia for even taking this fight. Without that, I wouldn’t even be fighting on Saturday. Garcia is just a step in my way. We all have obstacles that we have to overcome, and this is another. I’m ready to test myself against the best.
“He has 10 knockouts but that doesn’t scare me. Everyone knows what I do. Every time someone has power against me, they get beat bad. I don’t know what I’m going to beat him with, but I’m going to beat him down.
“I’m not cocky, it’s just confidence in my skills. We’ve put in the work. I’m in Superman shape. I was ready to take that title.
“I want to fight the biggest fighters in the game. That’s going to be my legacy. Gary Russell Jr. is a tremendous fighter and I’m willing to give him an opportunity to fight for the title at 130-pounds. We’re both dogs and I don’t want any easy fights.
“I can do it all in the ring. How are you going to beat me if I can do it all? I’m a real fighter and I want to give the fans tremendous action.
“If he thinks I’m a clown, I’m going to juggle with him on Saturday and give everyone a show.”
“My team has worked tirelessly to have me ready for this great fight. I don’t consider this a dangerous fight, because I feel ready. Thanks to my team, I have the foundation to become victorious. I’m going to show the fans what I’m capable of Saturday night.
“I’ve seen Chris fight and what I really want to see, is if he’s all about boxing, or if he’s about the circus. I’m going to make him work for this.
“I’ve had tremendous training for this fight with Ismael Salas. I knew from the start that Salas would not be able to be at this fight because of a fight in the UK, but I’m confident in the work we’ve put in. I have a whole team that is more than capable.
“This is the moment I’ve always waited for. This is the chance to announce myself on a big stage. I know that I just have to leave it all in the ring.
“I jumped on the opportunity to take this fight against a great opponent like Chris Colbert. Boxing is what I am about. This is how I prove what I’m worth. There’s no greater motivation needed than that.
“Bottom line, I believe in my fists and my power. My boxing prowess as a whole and my ability to be versatile is going to help me win this fight.
GARY ANTUANNE RUSSELL
“A fighter of his caliber, beating him in any form is a statement. You can’t take anything away from what he’s done in this sport. He says he’s, well I’m driven driven too.
“A person who is determined can become dangerous. And I’m one of those determined people. We’re both going to bring our best. I’m coming to give a great performance.
“They’re going to say that I’m truly a superstar after this fight. That’s what I’ve been saying for a long time. I’m stamping it on Saturday night.
“I’m going to give a show like I’ve always done. It’s like the sun shining. This is what I do. I’m going to get in there and shine.
“This is the vision that me and my family have always had. We strive to have our own level of preparedness. We’re not just participants in this sport, we want to set our mark in this sport.
“To be the next rising superstar, that’s part of our plan. I’ve believed it all along, and now that other people are starting to see it, we’re getting that much closer to our goal. The plan is to keep the knockout streak going. Execution is always our goal. That’s the family credo.
“I hope that with everything going on back home for Postol in Ukraine that it motivates him and makes him hungry to give the world a great fight on Saturday.”
“I’m so glad to be back fighting here in the US again. I was waiting for this fight and I’m very hungry and excited to get into the ring again.
“I feel young and strong. I believe in myself. I’m very confident that I will become world champion again. This fight is a step toward achieving that feat again.
“Having Freddie Roach as a trainer is a huge boost for me. He’s always able to give me the right adjustments in training and during the fight. It just helps my confidence even more.
“The situation in Ukraine has escalated a lot and it’s hard not to think about it. I’m working on focusing on the fight. My family is in the middle of everything, but they are safe and that’s what is most important.”
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity to realize my dream and fight here in Las Vegas. I’m very happy that Martinez has trained so hard for this fight. Being a champion, I always want to bring a good fight.
“It gives me motivation that he’s an Olympian and that he has lots of experience in the amateurs. I’m excited for this fight. I’m feeling very energetic and I can’t wait to get into the ring.
“If I have the opportunity to get the knockout, I’m going to go for it. If I see an opening or a weakness, I’m ready to take advantage of it.
“When I defend this title, then I want the unification fight next. I’m ready to go wherever I have to in order to get that fight. But I’m definitely not overlooking Martinez. I know that he’s going to do his best and that excites me.”
“I have plenty of experience of my own. I’ve fought everywhere at every level. This isn’t my first rodeo. I’m going to take everything I’ve learned to try to become the new champion. That’s what I plan to do.
“My experience is going to show. This is my first fight in Las Vegas, but you will all be witnesses of how my experience in this sport will help me win this title.
“Ancajas and I have similar styles. We’re going to see who’s the best once the bell rings. I want to give the fans a great show and leave it all in the ring for Argentina.”