BoxingFight Previews

Andy Vences, Erick De Leon Media Day Quotes

ANDY ‘El Tiburon’ VENCES and ERICK “Drywall” DE LEON are putting their undefeated records on the line when they face off in an intriguing 130-pound battle, this Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. It will be the ESPN-televised co-feature for the Oscar Valdez vs. Scott Quigg World Boxing Organization (WBO) Featherweight world title fight.

Vences and De Leon worked out for the media, Wednesday at Wild Card West Boxing Club, and discussed their upcoming bout.

Also appearing at the media workout were No. 3 WBO junior welterweight contender ALEX ‘El Cholo’ SAUCEDO (26-0, 16 KOs), former heavyweight title challenger ANDY RUIZ; 2016 U.S. Olympian MIKAELA MAYER; 2012 Brazilian Olympic silver medalist and middleweight contender ESQUIVA FALCAO (19-0, 13 KOs); and 140-pound contenderARNOLD BARBOZA, JR. (17-0, 6 KOs).

Saucedo will put his unblemished record on the line against the hard-hitting ABNER LOPEZ (25-8, 21 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Saucedo, from Oklahoma City, holds the WBO Latino belt and trains with Abel Sanchez’s stable in the mountains of Big Bear, Calif. He last fought on November 11, 2017, dropping Gustavo Vittori three times in the third round to force the stoppage.

Mayer (3-0, 2 KOs), will take on the rugged MARIA SEMERTZOGLOU (7-3, 2 KOs) in a six-round super lightweight bout. Mayer represented the United States at the 2016 Olympics, where she fell just one win short of advancing to the medal round. A Los Angeles native, Mayer will be making her StubHub Center debut against Semertzoglou, a two-time European title challenger who has never been knocked out.

Ruiz (29-1, 19 KOs), of Mexicali, Mexico, makes his ring return after a 15-month absence against DEVIN VARGAS (20-4, 8 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio. Ruiz last fought on December 10, 2016, when he lost a majority decision to Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO Heavyweight title.

Falcao (19-0, 13 KOs) will face SALIM LARBI (18-8-1, 5 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York.

And, in a 10-round crossroads battle of 140-pound contenders, Barboza Jr. will fight MIKE ‘Yes Indeed’ REED (23-1, 12 KOs).

The Valdez vs. Quigg world championship fight, along with Vences vs. De Leon, will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. EST on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and streaming live on the ESPN App. Additional undercard bouts will be shown on the ESPN App beginning at 7:35 p.m. EST.

Check out what the fighters had to say:

• Erick De Leon

Andy is the one that has started all of this bad blood. We’re both very hungry. We’re going in there to win. My team and I are focused, and I’m ready to come out with a good performance on March 10.”

“It’s a very exciting and interesting fight, and the fans are going to love it.”

• Andy Vences

I’m just ready to go, and I know that I’m going to take care of business on March 10. We’re getting close to a title shot, and Erick is the one standing in my way.”

“I feel like he’s never stepped in there with somebody like me. I feel like people are doubting my power and speed, and Erick is going to see what I’m all about.”

• Alex Saucedo

On a potential Jose Ramirez fight: “If he has a title, that’s somebody we want to go after. We did a couple rounds {of sparring} with him. I was hitting him all over. It was easy work. That’s how the fight would go, too.”

“I’m a fighter. I’m going to fight whoever they put in front of me. You’ve seen what I’ve done to the last guys I’ve fought, so I’m going to keep doing that. We don’t know if Ramirez is going to win this fight {March 17 against Amir Imam the vacant WBC Super Lightweight title}.”

“I don’t think Ramirez has that much power. I think Mike Reed just gave out against him. I didn’t feel no power at all when we sparred.”

“I’ve been working so hard. It’s just a matter of time until we get those big names.”

• Mikaela Mayer

“I’m always learning as a fighter. I still feel like I haven’t reached my potential. Coming from the amateurs to the pros, it’s a very different style — and I’m aware of that — so we’ve been focused on making that transition. I still have room to grow in terms of sitting down on my punches and getting the power shots in.”

On being billed as boxing’s next female star: “It’s not really pressure for me. I asked for this. I wanted more attention on women’s boxing, and I want to help try and pave the way for that. I thought going to the Olympics was my destiny and my calling, and maybe that was my stepping stone to get here, where I have a real platform.”

“I’m completely focused on my training, and I know a title shot will happen at the right time. This is my first six-rounder. I plan on having one more, do one or two eight-rounders and then maybe have a 10-rounder, a title shot.”

“There are a handful of women now who are making a name for themselves in the pros. I think that’s great. I know that Katie Taylor and I would be a great fight for women’s boxing.”

• Andy Ruiz

“Since my last fight, I’ve put together a new team. It has been a blessing to have two months training hard. This is a new beginning for me with this new team.”

On the Joseph Parker fight: “It was a good performance. The decision could’ve gone either way in my eyes.  Right now, it’s about training and taking it to the next level.”

• Esquiva Falcao

This is a very important year for my career, and I think this year I’m going to be fighting for a title.”

“I train hard for every opponent because I have to get through every opponent to earn the shot at the title.”

• Arnold Barboza, Jr.

“We looked at the Mike Reed fights where he looked his best, and we are ready for the best version of Mike Reed. I’m going to put the pressure on his and just stick to the game plan.”

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to show what I’m all about.”

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing, remaining tickets for the Valdez vs. Quigg world championship event are priced at $206, $104, $53 and 27.50, including facility fees, and can be purchased online at, by phone at (888) 9AXS-TIX, or by visiting the StubHub Center box office.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle