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ANDRE BERTO vs. JESUS SOTO KARASS
KNOCKOUT KINGS II
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Tripleheader
Saturday, July 27, LIVE on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT)
From AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
ANDRE BERTO, Former Two-Time Welterweight World Champion:
“Everything has been going well. I have a new team with Virgil Hunter and we’ve been putting in good work. San Antonio asked for me and we’re here. Saturday night is definitely going to be something to tune into.
“Soto Karass is a tough opponent, but I’m here to represent and give these people a real good show.
“Our styles match up well. It sets up for an exciting fight. He’s a tough veteran that keeps going and brings the action and I’m one of the top guys that like to dish out punishment. This fight sells itself.
“I feel like I just need to go in here and do what I know how to do. I’m positive that I can do the things that I know how to do. If I do that, it might be a short night. It’s called Knockout Kings, baby.”
JESUS SOTO KARASS, Veteran Welterweight Contender:
“I’m getting into the ring to kick my opponent’s ass. That’s my game plan.
“I’m ready. I’m two pounds away [from making weight]. The weight is not a problem. I can’t wait until Saturday night. The Mexican fans here motivate me and I’m going to show why I’m the champion on Saturday night.
“I want to tell fans to come support and help Jesse James Leijah and Mike Battah in their campaign to support breast cancer awareness. I’m a part of it. Please come and donate $10. It’s cheaper than a six pack.”
OMAR FIGUEROA JR., Undefeated Texas Rising Star & Number Three Rated WBC Lightweight Contender:
“This is it. This is what we’ve been working so hard for.
“I live only four hours away, so this totally feels like home. Texas has the best fans in the world and I’m glad to be a Texan.
“My plan is to go in there and give a great fight. He’s a great guy and he’s ranked number one for a reason. I’ve prepared really hard for this fight and I’m ready to go 12 hard rounds.
“This is what it comes down to. It’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs, full count. There’s no room for butterflies.
“This is what we’ve been working for 17 years for and it’s finally here. I’m not going to let it slip.”
NIHITO ARAKAWA, Number One Rated WBC Lightweight Contender:
“It’s great to get this opportunity for a world title. I’m going to bring the world championship back home with me.
“I don’t care what people say. I’m just happy to have the chance to fight. I know he’s the favorite here in Texas, but I’m ready. I’m ready to get in the ring.”
DIEGO CHAVEZ, WBA Interim Welterweight World Champion:
“We’ve worked very hard. I’ve had two opportunities with Paulie Malignaggi slip away and fall out, so it’s been a long time out of the ring, but I’m back in shape and ready to go. We know Thurman is very strong and he’s coming to fight, but I’m prepared for that.
“The strategy is no secret. Thurman is a strong kid and he’s going to come forward. I can’t let him come forward. I have to meet him in the center of the ring and land my punches.
“My punches are strong and they’re going to hurt him. Nobody has ever hurt him before. I think my punches will and I’ll stop him before the 10th round.
“My title stays with me and it’s going back to Argentina. I’m going to knock him out.”
KEITH THURMAN, Undefeated Number Four Rated WBA Welterweight Contender:
“I’ve been training real hard back in my camp in Florida. It’s about to be a fight Saturday night. Someone is going to sleep, I can guarantee you that. No matter what side of the fence you’re on, you better bet on the KO. No lie. One time, baby…that’s the nickname. I come and bring it all the time.
“It’s going to be a show. This is a great card with a great undercard. It’s Knockout Kings II and we’re trying to do it big here in San Antonio.
“I guarantee Saturday night you’re going to see a great performance. I’m a warrior for life. I prepare for death in every battle. I’m not scared of this. He’s 22-0 with 18 KO’s and I’m 20-0 with 18 KO’s. That’s why I can guarantee you someone is going to sleep.
“Come out and show your support, but don’t blink.”
ANTHONY DIRRELL, Undefeated Super Middleweight Contender:
“I will knock him out, but I’m not going for it.
“My brother beat him, but that has nothing to do with me. I’m just too good for him. He has nothing on me.
“After I beat him, I want a [world] championship. I’m going for Sakio Bika. That’s next. That’s the belt I want.
“I had the best training camp of my life. There’s no way I lose this fight.”
ANTHONY HANSHAW, Super Middleweight Contender:
“Training camp was good. I’m ready to go. I just came off of a bad loss. I should have won the fight, but I’m ready to go. I’m in tip top shape. I didn’t take any time off. I got this call and I was ready to go.
“I fought his brother and that pushes me. I fought Andre, but I wasn’t in good shape. I went into camp at 205 pound and had to get down to 168. I was weak, but I’m good now. I don’t think about his brother at all. I’m ready to go.”
EMANUEL LEDEZMA, San Antonio Super Middleweight Prospect:
“It feels great fighting in my back yard. We have a lot of die-hard fans here that want to see a good show, so we’re going to give it to them.
“We hit it hard. We always do. This fight is a rematch. I already beat this guy and I’m going to do it again. I did rock him in the fourth round last time, but this time if I do catch him, I’m going to finish him.
“I always prepare 100 percent, but as San Antonians we have to make a statement. We have to let people know that when they come into our house we’re going to make them feel it. This guy wants to come into our house and make a ruckus and we’re not going to let it happen.”
FELIX PIEDRA, Super Middleweight Prospect:
“I’m here to make a statement. He’s a local favorite, but I’ll have some fans form Weslaco here rooting for me. I’m going to win over the San Antonio fans by the end of the night.”