JOSEPH KING KONG AGBEKO
“I feel good, actually, great and I’m very happy to be back and fighting. I was never afraid that I would not fight again. I was surprised a thing like this could happen to me, but I knew in my heart that my career was not going to end this way. I mostly felt very bad that our first fight could not come off as scheduled.
“I have trained for nine weeks and my camp was excellent. At no point did I feel weak and now it is all behind my and I am focusing on Mares.
“There is no way I am going to lose this fight. I don’t watch a lot of tape on my future opponents and I have only seen a few rounds of Mares’ fight against Yhonny Perez, but I know he is a very good, fast, aggressive fighter with a big future in this sport.
“I have prepared for everything he brings. He may be the one running in this fight.
“I have dedicated this fight to my youngest child, Keira, who turns five six days after the fight. My motivation comes from both my kids.
“I am the only champion in boxing now from Ghana and I plan to continue to carry the torch from Azumah Nelson. Whether you are watching in the arena or on SHOWTIME, it is going to be a great, great fight on Saturday. The winner deserves to be recognized as the No. 1 bantamweight in the world.’’
“Naturally, it was difficult for me when our fight was cancelled, but eventually I got over it. I took a few weeks off and then was back in the gym. My camp was different this time around. We changed it up, first when I was in Mexico and then when I was in Santa Fe Springs (Calif.), just so I wouldn’t get stale.
“Actually, this camp went by fast and now my training’s done. I’m in great shape and very excited about fighting on Saturday. I’m totally focused and ready to explode.
“I look at this as my hardest fight, but winning the IBF belt and the SHOWTIME tourney on one night is something that can really set my career in motion. There are lots of opportunities for the winner after Saturday.
“I definitely believe the winner of this tournament should be called the top bantamweight in the world. To be the best, you have to fight the best and that’s what we have done. Other guys were invited to participate, but declined. That’s their business, but I’m sure I’ll be fighting one of them at some point.
“A chance to become the first homegrown Golden Boy world champion is very exciting to me. I definitely would like to be the first, but I don’t feel any nervous pressure.
“I’m really grateful for everyone involved in making this fight happen and for this tournament. Everyone knows that boxing’s little guys make the best fights. Fans are in for a real treat on Saturday.’’