Heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder and unbeaten Gerald Washington kicked-off fight week with a media workout in Alabama Wednesday before they headline Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes action this Saturday, February 25 from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama.
Also working out at Round 1 Boxing Gym and featured in televised action beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT were rising super welterweight contenders Tony Harrison and Jarrett Hurd, who battle for a vacant junior middleweight world title, plus hard-hitting Dominic Breazeale and undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh, who meet in a 10-round heavyweight battle.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday:
"This started as a dream and now it's a reality. It's always a pleasure to come back home and do it again. We're going to keep it going. I love being at home.
"If I had doubted myself because of injuries, then I wouldn't be here. At this point, I'm ready to go. We all know that when I step into the ring, no matter what's wrong with me, I'm going to go to work.
"Washington might be my most athletic opponent. That should make it interesting and even better than my previous opponent. Everything that happened was a blessing in disguise. Everything works out the way it's supposed to.
"From the time I got into the ring, I wanted to focus on the aspects of my game that needed improvement, not my injuries. I knew everything would take care of itself if I kept working hard. There's enough on your mind in the ring without worrying about an injury.
"I'm just happy to be back in the sport I love. I'm ready to put on a show for the world and for my state."
"This felt like destiny. It's the year of the Rooster and it's my time. It was only a matter of time and it happened to come early. I'm grateful I stayed in the gym and I stayed prepared. It's just a matter of me locking in on Deontay Wilder.
"Me and my team are ready. We work hard all of the time. This is the sport of boxing and opportunities can pop up.
"I have a lot that Deontay hasn't seen before. He's young to the sport of boxing like me. Every fight for me has been a learning process. I'm an unorthodox fighter and I know how to use my size. I'm more athletic than all of the guys he's been in the ring with. I'm big and strong and I can punch. It's going to be a good fight. Deontay won't be able to hit me from outside. It's going to be a matter of who has better fundamentals, who's sharper and remembers that defense wins championships.
"I'm definitely going to work hard every round. I'm trying to win every round. Knockouts do happen. I'm not expecting any favors. I know I have to beat him convincingly. I have to do it all the way.
"Luckily I boxed as a kid so when I picked it up again I already had the love and passion. People don't want it for real after they get hit in the face. It's a hard road but you have to take those bumps and bruises to climb and reach this level.
"You have to look at a guy's strengths and weaknesses. They're right there for everybody to see. I plan on being the best me that night. I'm looking to exploit everything."
"Training camp was great. I can always tell when the training is over because I feel so ready to fight. My last week of sparring is usually the most brutal. I have no complaints and everything went smoothly.
"We focused this camp on getting into the best shape that we could. Nothing worth having comes easy. We grinded every day from sun up until sun down.
"I'm just going to do whatever it takes to win. This is a big fight for both of us. Saturday night, all we're focused on is winning. That's the name of the game."
"I feel really good. Training camp went well. It was about a seven-week training camp. I'm on weight and ready to get in the ring.
"We had another strong camp and we came up with a great game plan. We're focused on how we can beat Tony Harrison on Saturday night.
"We want to go in there and dictate the pace. I'm going to establish my jab and keep my timing sharp. If we can get that going in the first round then we should be able to do good work.
"I know in the later rounds he's going to start slowing down, so I could see myself getting a late stoppage and if not, a unanimous decision."