ZAB JUDAH AND ERROL SPENCE JR. VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Boxing legend Zab Judah joined WBC and IBF champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. for a virtual press conference Wednesday as the fighters discussed the undisputed championship and previewed Spence’s upcoming welterweight championship unification clash against WBA champion Yordenis Ugas taking place Saturday, April 16 live on SHOWTIME PPV from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Just the 12th unification fight in the rich history of the welterweight division, Spence vs. Ugas will join other classic unification matchups at the weight class such as “Sugar” Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns I and Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. Spence will look to add a third belt by defeating Ugas, moving him one step closer to becoming the first undisputed welterweight champion since Judah accomplished the feat in 2005.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday:
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“It’s motivating to hear from Zab. When you grew up watching a person and now it’s your turn and they give you high praise, it’s especially motivating. I appreciate Zab’s support. A lot of older fighters don’t really give their support to the younger generation. I give much respect to Zab. His support means a lot.
“I remember when I was younger, watching Zab winning all the belts. That’s something I wanted to do. I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be doing that. It’s a dream come true. I just have to stay focused because every fight is the most important fight. This is the third time I’m taking someone’s belt. The welterweight division has had a lot of great fighters and a lot of great champions so doing it at this weight class is such a big accomplishment.
“It’s definitely gotten easier to fight in my hometown. You get a lot of pressure from fans, media and friends but you have to block all that out and focus on the task at hand. It’s still special to fight at home in front of your family, your friends, your day one fans too. That ring walk is special too—walking out and seeing familiar faces. You don’t get that in other places but at home they can come out and watch you fight.
“All of my training camps have been at home. I rarely go to a fight hotel unless I’m fighting out of state. I like the comfort of being at home, being around my family. I don’t like getting on planes, especially when you’re trying to make weight. You’ve got to hop out the plane, go to a boxing gym that you’re not familiar with. I’d rather just stay home.
“I don’t see any trickiness in Ugas. I think people put too much emphasis on that. Most Cuban fighters move a lot, get on their toes but Ugas is not even that. He’s a guy who tries to fight, he wants to fight and trade shots. I boxed Mikey Garcia, I banged with Kell Brook and Shawn Porter. I boxed in the paint with Lamont Peterson, slipping and countering. I don’t stand in front of opponents.
“I’m adding to my legacy. Every fight that led up to this is just as important as this fight because they got me to this point. If I didn’t beat those guys I fought when I was 9-0, 10-0, then I wouldn’t have gotten the Kell Brook fight. If I didn’t beat Brook, I wouldn’t have got the Shawn Porter fight, Danny Garcia and everything else. So, every fight means a lot to me because it leads me to better fights and more accomplishments.
“Being a student of the game and just my style makes me a throwback fighter. I feel I’ve always had a professional style, even in the amateurs. I was going to the body then, stopping people to the body. I always had that patience and that’s why I was highly-regarded once I turned pro. Also, I have a laid back personality so I transfer that over to my fighting ability.
“It’s about working hard every day, striving and staying on the grind. I want to show everyone that they don’t have to worry about anything. I’m going to perform to the best of my abilities and I’m 100%.
“It feels good to prove all the doubters wrong. It motivates me. For all the people who say certain things, I just use it as fuel. On April 16, they’re going to see not even the same version of me but a better one.
“Everybody tune in on Saturday, April 16. If you can’t be there at the AT&T Stadium, make sure you order it on SHOWTIME pay-per-view. It’s going to be an amazing event, an all-action fight. It’ll be one-sided on my end but you will see an exciting fight.”
ZAB JUDAH, Last Undisputed Welterweight Champion
“I have a lot of respect for Errol. Number one, for him being the human being he is. He’s a solid, solid fighter I’ve been watching since the amateurs. Errol was a guy who always stood out there. When he turned to the pros and began making a name for himself, I started watching him. He’s about to do something big and become the next undisputed welterweight champion of the world. I feel great passing on the torch, no joke. No joke.
“I feel I don’t have to give Errol any advice. He just needs to do what he has to do to win this fight – work behind his good jab and let his combinations go. Like I said, to pass the torch is dope. Errol Spence is the guy for the job.
“For me, I used to like Pernell Whitaker and he was an undisputed champion. Mike Tyson was another one who was undisputed champion. I got to live out my dream and watch those idols and be around those guys.
“It didn’t matter to me where I fought. Even when I went to win the undisputed championship of the world I had to go to St. Louis and Cory Spinks’ hometown and it was a crazy time for me. I got death threats and all kinds of stuff. But that meant nothing to me. I was focused. I was locked in. I know how Errol feels. When you’re locked into something and it’s your time, there’s nothing that can stop you. Nothing or nobody.
“I like watching [Errol] in the Shawn Porter fight, and the Danny Garcia fight. Errol showed a lot of heart and pulled through. He looked to be confused at times and he pulled through it. Shawn Porter came in with a bunch of ugly looks, but he figured it out. Even in the Danny Garcia fight he got caught with a good left hook, but he went back to his jab and started boxing. That’s a great thing about being great left-hander. You can start back with the jab and it’s all back together again.
“Yes, I would say Errol Spence is a throwback fighter. I would say he has throwback qualities. He’s still a young man and of this era, but he has throwback qualities.
“It was a phenomenal feeling when they strapped those belts on me. And I was in ring and I saw all these colorful belts being passed onto me. It felt like I had a bag of Skittles. I was so happy seeing all those colors. I was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ And when I got back to New York they really embraced me and I had a parade and all kinds of things. The city opened up definitely.
“Yordenis Ugas is a very talented fighter. He’s a very hard worker and is a guy who’s worked hard to get where he is. And I have a lot of respect for him. I’ve never fought a Cuban fighter but I used to spar with Joel Casamayor and sparring with the Cubans fighters you know they are very crafty and they do a lot of things that we normally don’t do. Just little types of tricks that they got.”