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Beterbiev-Kalajdzic Press Notes and Quotes

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Beterbiev-Kalajdzic Press Notes and Quotes

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Beterbiev-Kalajdzic Press Notes and Quotes

IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KOs) will take on the hard-hitting Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic (24-1, 17 KOs) spoke with the media Thursday afternoon at their final press conference in preparation for Saturday’s fight card at Stockton Arena (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) in the main event that will air on ESPN.

The co-feature will have Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20 KOs) make his seventh defense of his IBF junior bantamweight world title against No. 1. contender Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22 KOs).

Here is what the fighters had to say to the media.

Artur Beterbiev

“My preparation was excellent. I want to thank my new promoter, Top Rank, for this opportunity. I look forward to showing the American fans my talent, and I am glad to be fighting in such a great light heavyweight division.”

“I have a great opponent on Saturday night, but of course, I want to unify the titles. There are many great light heavyweights, and as a fighter, I want to test myself against the best. I want to be No. 1 in the division.”

Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic

“About two years ago, I quit boxing. I had a really bad injury, got a job and went up to 225 pounds. Mentally, physically, I was done. Then, I had this procedure, stem cells, and over time it did a miracle. Look at me now. I’m on ESPN fighting for a world title. Life is great.”

On his reaction when he was offered the fight

“I was excited because I had been telling my manager that {Beterbiev} was one of the guys that I would pick if I could. When I got the call, I didn’t hesitate. I took the fight. It’s going to be a fun fight. He comes forward. I come forward. It’s going to be a fun fight for the fans.”

“I tuned some things up, and you guys will see on Saturday night.”

Jerwin Ancajas

“My last fight – my sixth title defense against Alejandro Santiago Barrios – was a hard fight for me. This will be my seventh title defense. We are confident, but we respect the challenge in front of us. Funai is a good, tough fighter.”

On what he hopes to show this Saturday

“The last time I fought, I was not happy with the result. For this fight, we did some different things in training to prepare 100 percent for the challenge in front of us. We prepared for all different types of styles, which will help me adjust as the fight goes on. My sparring partners were excellent, and you will see the result of that training on Saturday night.”

Ryuichi Funai

On getting his first world title shot

“I am extremely excited to put on a great performance. I have a strong heart, and I will be aggressive. I thank Ancajas for the opportunity, but I am here to become the new champion.”

On Ancajas

“I see him as a very talented fighter who can do many different things in the ring. It is my job to make his job more difficult.”

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Marquis Johns is a unknown humorist and avid boxing fan. His love for the sweet science goes back to when matches were 15 rounds and has been covering fights since closed-circuit pay-per-views. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth is not only a quote by Mike Tyson, it's also a pretty good reminder to keep your guard up.

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