The pound-for-pound king, WBO welterweight world champion Terence Crawford, renewed acquaintances with Kell Brook Wednesday afternoon, nearly nine months after they had a brief conversation at the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury 2 weigh-in inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
This time, they sat six feet apart on a socially distanced press conference dais three days before their championship showdown, which will air LIVE on ESPN and Deportes (10 p.m. ET), and exclusively on Premier Sports in the UK. When it came time to face off, they edged closer, neither man willing to give an inch.
In the co-feature — a rematch of one of the most memorable Bubble bouts — WBA super flyweight world champion Joshua “El Profesor” Franco will attempt to repeat the deed against Andrew “The Monster” Moloney. Franco upset Moloney via unanimous decision on June 23, as Moloney faded in the later rounds after suffering a pair of perforated eardrums.
At the press conference, this is what they had to say.
“I’ve always felt that I’m number one pound-for-pound in the world. This is what I do.”
“I’m not the one to quit on a fight, but I can’t say the same about him. I wish him the best.”
“At the end of the day, this is nothing new to me. I have fought in an arena where there are 50 people. I’ll go in there and get the job done as I always do.”
“I’ve been after this fight for a long time. I’m more than ready! I’m in the best condition of my life, and I’m ready to become a two-time world champion. I’m like fine wine. I’m getting better as I get older. I’m ready.”
”I think Terence knows I’m not an easy fight. I want him to bring the best out of me. I’m pushing myself to perform the best I can. I pulled myself away from my family and from all the distractions. I’m making the sacrifice of being away from my family because I want to be great.”
“It will be great for the UK for me to come through and become world champ against the number one fighter in the world. I know who Terence is, and that’s why I have prepared the way I have. I’m a big welterweight, and I can punch with both hands. This is what I do. The talking is done. All the work has been done. It’s time to perform.”
“It’s great to be back in The Bubble, and now that I have the title, it is even better. I have more confidence and I’m getting better. I have the confidence of having Robert (Garcia) in my corner. That is great. He has great experience. We are looking for better opportunities after Saturday.”
“I’ve never been so determined to do something in my life. I’m thankful for the opportunity to redeem myself. For the past five months, I have prepared myself to leave with that belt around my waist. That belt means everything to me. It’s my son’s future. I’m not leaving without it.”
“It wasn’t my best night, but you are going to see a much better fighter this time around. He is going to think he is in the ring with a different fighter.” SATURDAY’S CARD
ESPN & ESPN Deportes, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Terence Crawford vs. Kell Brook, 12 rounds, Crawford’s WBO welterweight world title
Joshua Franco vs. Andrew Moloney 2, 12 rounds, Franco’s WBA super flyweight world title
ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Joshua Greer Jr. vs. Edwin Rodriguez , 8 rounds, bantamweight
Tyler Howard vs. KeAndrae Leatherwood, 8 rounds, middleweight
Duke Ragan vs. Sebastian Gutierrez, 4 rounds, featherweight
Vegas Larfield vs. Juan Alberto Flores, 4 rounds, bantamweight
Raymond Muratalla vs. Luis Porozo, 6 rounds, lightweight