Photos: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
ISLA VERDE, Puerto Rico – The four fighters who will compete in this Saturday’s doubleheader on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) participated in the final press conference Wednesday at the Verdanza Hotel here.
In the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, Juan Manuel Lopez (30-0, 27 KOs) will risk his unblemished record and World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title against former International Boxing Federation (IBF) 126-pound titleholder Orlando “Siri’’ Salido (34-11-2, 22 KOs), of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico.
The co-feature from Ruben Rodriguez Coliseo in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, will pit promising, undefeated Luis Cruz (17-0, 14 KOs), of Philadelphia by way of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, versus late substitute and No. 8 IBF contender, Martin “El Brochas’’ Honorio (29-5-1, 15 KOs), of Mexico City, in a 10-round junior lightweight bout. Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc. will promote the doubleheader.
What the fighters had to say:
“I am very excited to be fighting at home and have worked very hard so that I can give my fans as good a fight as I can.
“Salido is a very good fighter. He is strong and will come after me all night long. I have to be smart and try to win as many rounds as I can, but if I hurt him I will go for the knockout.
“The Puerto Rico-Mexico rivalry is one full of tradition and I hope that this fight will become one of the most remembered in the history of these great confrontations between the two countries.”
“This is an opportunity for me to become a world champion away and I look forward to this fight. I expect it to be hard, but with my great preparation I feel that I can win.
“I am not intimidated to come to his home country for this fight. I know what I am capable of doing and I will be ready for war on Saturday.
“Many great fighters from both Mexico and Puerto Rico have been part of this great rivalry and I look forward to having this considered one of the best fights in the history of it.’’
“I am very happy to be part of this card and that I will be able to showcase my talent to a lot of people as part of the SHOWTIME telecast.
“I have a big responsibility fighting at home and will make my country proud on Saturday night.”
MIGUEL COTTO (Three-time world champion and Cruz’ promoter)
“We know that Luis Cruz is ready for this type of fight. He has trained very hard and will be ready to win.”
“I am grateful for this opportunity. A win will put me on the road to another world championship fight.
“I have come all the way here to give it my best and to win this fight. It should be a good fight and I am ready for it.”