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September 08, 2017

TONIGHT ON SHOWTIME: BENAVIDEZ VS. GAVRIL

Press Release: All six super middleweight boxers made weight on Thursday, one day before a Showtime tripleheader tonight (Friday, Sept. 8th) from the Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Here are the official weights: 


David Benavidez: 167.5 Pounds vs.
Ronald Gavril: 166.75 Pounds (vacant WBC title);

JíLeon Love: 168.25 vs. Abraham Han: 167; and

Caleb Plant: 167.25 vs. Andrew Hernandez: 166.25.

Here is what the boxers had to say at the weigh-in:

DAVID BENAVIDEZ:
ďIím a little surprised the title shot came this early. My dad told me to be ready and if the opportunity came, I need be ready to show up.

ď[Gavril] thinks Iím a kid, I know it. Iím 20 years old, but Iím going to let him make the mistakes and let him come forward, then Iím going to take over.

ďHeís never faced someone like me. Iíll let him think what he wants to think. I know what I can do. This is the biggest fight of my life and I have to take advantage.

ďLeaving Phoenix was probably one of the best things Iíve ever done, especially for my boxing career.

ďI canít keep my mind away from boxing and I have to stay sharp because the fights are getting harder and harder.

ďThe last few fights have been tough and I canít go in there just thinking about the knockout. I have to take them apart piece by piece. My approach has changed. Iím not going in there just wailing away like Mike Tyson. Iím going to dissect them.

ďI see that heís a pressure fighter and has good body work. He only has one speed and doesnít have any other gears. Iíve watched a lot of film on him and feel like he has some weaknesses that I can expose. Iím going to end this in a knockout! Iím ready to go 12 rounds, but Iím going to knock him out.

ďIíve dedicated myself the most I ever have for any fight this time. I had sparring partners exactly like Gavril.

ďI feel comfortable at this weight, but I can see myself going up to 175 at some point, maybe three or four years from now.

ďI know if I win Iím going to be the youngest super middleweight world champion ever. Thatís just frosting on the cake.Ē

RONALD GAVRIL:
ďOur camp was extended by two weeks because we were supposed to fight on Aug. 26. But the world title fight came up so we had to go for it.

ďIím going to make him fight. Iím a more experienced fighter and have a higher boxing IQ than my opponent.

ďIím not overlooking Benavidez. Heís a tough fighter and we know it. My trainer [Eddie Mustafa Muhammad] has been working with me on a game plan. Iím going to be ready for whatever he has to bring.

ďIt was a great camp and we had the best sparring partners, including Badou [Jack] and Jose Uzcategui.

ďIíve watched video of Benavidez. He throws lots of combinations and quick hands. They say heís a highlight reel, but he will be exposed on Friday night.Ē

JíLEON LOVE:
ďI know Iíve had a year-long layoff, but Iíve always been in the gym just working on my mistakes and polishing my game. Iím past the prospect stage and now Iím a contender.

ďHeís not as smart as me. Iím coming to make a statement. Heís going to try and bring the fight to me, but it doesnít matter. Iíve had some bigger guys in sparring, light heavyweights.

ďItís easy to be comfortable, but Iíve learned from my mistakes. Iím blessed to have Floyd [Mayweather] in my life, but he wonít always be there. I have to be able to do some things for myself. Everyone knows Floyd has it all, but he still busts his ass and works hard.

ďTheo Chambers is back training me now and I had to go back to Kronk Gin Detroit to let the dog come out. I started with him when I was 14 years old.

ďI want guys like James DeGale, and the winner of Benavidez and Gavril. Why not? Iím hungry for whatever. Iíll do whatever I have to do be world champion.

ďSometimes you need some time off and a layoff is good. I healed my mind and my body. Weíve worked on some things and now we are ready to put it on display. Iíve learned from my mistakes.

ďBoxing just comes natural to me and Iím feeling really good about my chances Friday night.Ē

ABRAHAM HAN:
ďI wasnít always focused on my career, but Iíve gotten it back and my sister [current IBF womenís Featherweight World Champion] Jennifer is a big reason for that. I had to figure some things out. She beat my butt all the way through high school. Guys would see me with black eyes and know that she would beat the crap out of me. It was kind of embarrassing when you get beat up by your sister.

ďThis is a big opportunity for me. I lost two split decisions [to Sergio Mora and Fernando Guerrero] and both could have gone either way. I had the only knockdowns in both fights, but I was on the ĎBí side so you know how itís going to go.

ďEl Paso is trying to become a fight town and we have a lot of good trainers, but we still have a ways to go.

ďI injured my shoulder a few years ago and couldnít use my right shoulder so I started fighting more southpaw. Iíve done a lot of mixed martial arts growing up, and it hasnít been hard switching from that to boxing.

ďJíLeon Love has one of the best teams in boxing in Mayweather Promotions. I have to throw punches in bunches.Ē

CALEB PLANT:
ďIím just going to go in there calm and relaxed as I always do and make adjustments as I need to. I could tell you everything I plan to do, or what could happen, but this this is boxing and everyone knows how it works. It depends on whatís going on inside the ring, and I will make adjustments.

ďMy opponent does different things and is very durable and comes to fight. We know he moves well and can do different things and be the aggressor. He has different dimensions. Weíre not overlooking him.

ďThis isnít the first time itís happened, and it wonít be the last, having to face a different opponent than we trained for. At the end of the day itís all about being able to make adjustments, in the ring and in life. I donít expect anything less than an A-plus performance.

ďIím not taking this fight lightly. This is no joke. Boxing is life and death to me. Itís all I have and itís been my whole entire life since I was nine years old. I donít have anything else.Ē

ANDREW HERNANDEZ:
ďIíve had about a week notice for this fight. Of course Iím going to say yes. Iím not going to run from any fighter or opportunity. Caleb is a tremendous prospect and they are talking about him fighting for a world title soon. So much opportunity can come from this.

ď[Caleb] doesnít have many weaknesses. He has good hand speed and pretty good power and very good defense. Heís the total package and I have my work cut out for me. But Iím very confident in myself and I hope I can take him into deep waters.

ďHopefully I will fight the best fight I can and pull off the upset.Ē

ďIíve had some upsets during my career. Iíve been doing this long enough and hopefully someday maybe Iíll fight for a world title and get a nice payday before itís all said and done. Iím very hungry.Ē



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