- By Miguel Maravilla Photos by Stepahie Trapp -
Santa Cruz vs Martinez Final Press Conference
With only a few days to go WBA featherweight champion and two-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KOs) of Lincoln Heights by way of Huetamo, Michoacan, Mexico, and former world champion Kiko Martinez (34-6, 25 KOs) of Spain held a final press conference Thursday afternoon at the Honda Center in Anaheim for their championship bout taking place Saturday live on Showtime Championship Boxing.
TGB Promotions Tom Brown kicked things off.
"This is an outstanding featherweight match up between three-time world champion Leo Santa Cruz taking on former world champion Kiko Martinez. We also have a pair of hard hitting Mexican warriors in a rematch with Julio Ceja taking on Hugo Ruiz," Tom Brown said about Saturday's Showtime card.
The champ Leo Santa Cruz along with his father and trainer Jose Santa Cruz spoke on his upcoming fight with Martinez.
"I come well prepared for every fight, I don't underestimate any fighter. Kiko is a great fighter and comes forward with pressure and a big punch anything can happen in that ring. Hopefully he comes in well prepared because that is what we want to give a good fight,"Santa Cruz said. "Good luck to Kiko and may the best man win," Santa Cruz added.
"We want to thank everyone for being here. I expect Kiko to come in well prepared this will be a great fight," Mr. Santa Cruz said.
Martinez talked about the opportunity and vowed upset. Despite not having his trainer Gabriel Sarmiento in his corner for this weekends showdown, Martinez will have respected trainer and two-time Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia in the corner.
"I come well prepared, very motivated, and hungry to win. I will give you all a great show. This has been the hardest camp in my career. I expect a war here Saturday night," Martinez said.
Also on hand at Thursday’s final press conference were the co main event fighters as WBC super bantamweight champion Julio Ceja (30-1, 27 KO's) and his opponent Hugo Ruiz (35-3, 31 KO's) will square off in a rematch. The two battled it out last August as Ceja rallied from a third round knockdown to stop Ruiz in the fight round in a fight of the year candidate. Both fighters spoke about their upcoming rematch.
"The first fight was a war. Ceja was down in third round and came roaring back to stop him in the fifth to win the WBC title. I should pick up where it left off, we have a great opening fight," Tom Brown said.
"All week along everyone has talked about this rematch. You can expect a better fight this time around. You have heard what Ruiz has had to say. That he has trained harder for this fight, that's great so we can give the fans a great fight. This rematch will be much better," Julio Ceja said. 'I am coming to this fight well prepared, one-hundred percent physically and mentally prepared," Ceja said.
'I am happy being here again in Los Angeles. I would like to thank everyone that wanted a rematch, here we are ready again. We are coming in much more concentrated, stronger, physically, and mentally. We worked hard this camp so that everyone in attendance and watching on TV can be happy. If you liked the first fight, you will like this fight," Hugo Ruiz said.
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