Benn on Granados: ‘I’ve got his number on my worst day’

Conor Benn has put his Fight Camp disappointment behind him and is now fully focused on stealing the show when he defends his WBA Continental Welterweight Title against Adrian Granados at Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds this Saturday September 4, shown live worldwide on DAZN.

‘The Destroyer’ was set to headline the first Matchroom Fight Camp event last month before a positive COVID-19 test forced the Essex native to pull out of his clash with Mexican-American Granados on the Thursday of fight week.

Benn, a face of the British boxing future, upped his stock in a major way after a first-round destruction of Samuel Vargas in April to improve to 18-0 with 12 knockouts, and the surging 24-year-old knows that another standout victory will push him a step closer to a World Title shot in the 147lbs division.

“I was devastated,” admitted Benn. “I went home half not believing it. We did around eight tests. I was absolutely devastated. I worked extremely hard and had a blinding camp. It honestly pained me so much – I even shed a few tears. I’m going to go through adversity again. It’s just how you react to it. What’s for me won’t pass me, so come September 4 in front of 20,000 I’ll put on a show.

“I was quite worried about long Covid. A few people messaged me saying not to train too hard too soon. When I broke my jaw, and I had my first sparring session back, people were saying, ‘you’re going to be a bit hesitant’, and I thought, ‘no I’m not’. If it goes it goes. If my jaw goes it goes. I’m not going to have that at the back of my head.

“That was my mindset with training. When I was doing my sprints on the steps down at Leigh-on-Sea, how am I hitting my PB after Covid? How am I hitting my PB for a 5 miler? I’m not going to say it’s all been heaven because a lot of people have been affected by COVID, but I’m blessed to have made a full recovery in time for this huge show.

“I don’t have a message for Granados. I don’t. There is nothing to say. I let my fists do the talking. Everything that has been said from both parties has been said now. At the end of the day the promo is done. All that’s left to do now is fight, and come September 4 he is in for one hell of a fight. I know he’s going to bring it – but that gets me going. Let’s have it!

“He’s a tough durable guy, the only person to stop him is Danny Garcia. He won the fight against Adrian Broner. He gave hell to Shawn Porter. He fought Robert Easter Jr. He’s been in with the top boys, but he’s in with another top boy. I just want to fight now. I just want to get in there now.

“Vargas he’s going, ‘well yeah, you’re not Khan, you’re not Vergil Ortiz, you’re not Errol Spence, you’re not Danny Garcia’, nah I’m Conor Benn mate. That’s my approach – if they don’t want to put respect on my name then I’ll make them put respect on my name. At the end of the day I’m up for a hard fight, but I’ve got his number on my worst day.”

Benn vs. Granados is part of a huge night of action in Leeds, Mauricio Lara (23-2, 16 KOs) and Josh Warrington (30-1, 7 KOs) face each other again in a huge rematch for the Featherweight division, Undisputed Lightweight ruler Katie Taylor (18-0, 6 KOs) defends her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine crowns against her latest Mandatory Challenger Jennifer Han (18-3-1, 1 KOs), Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon (24-3-1, 17 KOs) makes the first defence of his IBO Lightweight World Title against the in-form Maxi Hughes (23-5-2, 5 KOs), Australia’s Ebanie Bridges (6-1, 3 KOs) looks to build on her impressive KO win over Bec Connolly at Fight Camp earlier this month when she meets Mailys Gangloff (5-2, 2 KOs), Super-Bantamweight prospect Hopey Price (5-0, 1 KO) steps up against Zahid Hussain (16-1, 2 KOs) in an all-Leeds clash, undefeated Super-Bantamweight talent Jack Bateson (13-0, 3 KOs) clashes with Felix Garcia (7-2-1, 3 KOs) over six rounds, 1-0 Super-Welterweight Brandon Stansfield takes on MJ Hall (2-61-2) and Light-Heavyweight Mali Wright makes his pro debut against Anthony Woolery (2-6).

Granados on Benn: ‘I’m going to have to stop him because I’m fighting England’s new golden boy in England’

Adrian Granados says he will “humble” Conor Benn when they collide for the WBA Continental Welterweight Title at the top of Fight Camp Week 1 in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday July 31, live worldwide on DAZN.

‘Tigre’, a 33-fight veteran who is no stranger to boxing’s biggest platforms, has gone the distance with former two-time Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter and former multi-division World Champion Adrien Broner in losing efforts – and the 31-year-old believes he is on another level to the opponents Benn has faced.

Benn produced dominant performances in his last two outings against Sebastian Formella and Samuel Vargas – leading to many in the sport labelling him as one of the new stars of the thriving 147lbs division – and Granados says that he will need to stop the 24-year-old Essex native if he is to come away with a victory.

“I want to beat Conor Benn and get closer towards a World Title shot of my own,” said Granados. “I’m not worried about whatever Conor Benn is saying. He’s saying he’s going to stop me. He’s saying he’s going to do this and do that. You know what? I don’t talk, I just show up, and that’s what I’m going to do.

“Confidence is good. That’s what we all have. I’m a confident fighter. I’m confident in my abilities. I just don’t talk the way he does. Some of the things he said about me, it’s like, ‘alright boy you’re going to find out now’. Don’t be talking all that mess because you’re going to get humbled real quick.

“I’m not anybody else you ever fought. He’s making it seem like he’s going to dismantle me, he’s going to destroy me. It’s like bro, you ain’t nobody. I didn’t even know who he was until recently. I’ve got respect for the Benn name. I respect him because he’s a Benn. It’s from his dad and what his dad has done.

“I’m going to have to stop him because I’m fighting England’s new golden boy in England. I’ve got to stop him. I know everyone was impressed with his fight with Samuel Vargas but he just kind of jumped on Sammy and Sammy wasn’t expecting all that. It was a great win for him, but I’m not Samuel Vargas.

“I kind of see myself as a loveable loser because I just can’t get a decision. I can’t get a win at the big stage. I give hell to whoever I fight. Have they looked at my losses and think I’m the right fight to take? My career could look so much different if the right decisions were made in my fights. I know that I’m going to show the heart that I’ve got and the balls that I’ve got.

“I’ve asked questions of much better fighters than Conor Benn and I’m not coming to the U.K. to make up the numbers. This is a big opportunity for me against a fighter I know they’re hyping to be the next big thing. They’ve made a mistake in picking me. This is a big moment for me and I’m taking it.”

Benn vs. Granados tops a huge night of action as Fight Camp returns with a bang, WBA Featherweight World Champion Xu Can (18-2, 3 KOs) puts his Title on the line against Nottingham’s Leigh Wood (24-2, 14 KOs), Tommy McCarthy (18-2, 9 KOs) and Chris Billam-Smith (12-1, 10 KOs) collide in a massive showdown for the European, British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight Titles, former World Title challenger Avni Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs) aims to bounce back from his loss to pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez when he takes on ‘Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver’ Jack Cullen (19-2-1, 9 KOs), Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (14-1, 11 KOs) promises to build on his huge third-round knockout win over Jorge Fortea, Manchester Lightweight Campbell Hatton (2-0) continues his young journey in the pro ranks against Jakub Laskowski (4-4-1, 2 KOs) and former amateur star Sandy Ryan makes her highly-anticipated professional debut at Super-Lightweight against Kirstie Bavington (3-1-2, 2 KOs).

Granados-Sanchez, Negron-Alexander added to Ruiz-Arreola undercard

An action-packed lineup of undercard attractions will enter the ring as part of a stacked boxing extravaganza headlined by former unified heavyweight champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. taking on all-action Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola in the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View main event this Saturday, May 1 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Portions of the undercard will be broadcast for free on the FOX Sports app and FOXsports.com starting at 4:40pm ET/1:40 p.m. PT. The undercard feed will also be made available to the PBC on FOX YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages. Ray Flores and Félix DeJesús will be on the call.

Undercard attractions will feature hard-hitting Adrian “El Tigre” Granados in an eight-round welterweight bout against Jose Sanchez, Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron taking on Scott Alexander in an eight-round heavyweight clash, rising prospect Fernando Molina facing Prisco Marquez in a lightweight fight and unbeaten prospect Anthony Garnica dueling Jesse Bazzi for four-rounds of featherweight action.

The FOX Sports Pay-Per-View begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Preceding the pay-per-view, FOX PBC Fight Night will begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and be headlined by WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara seeking a third title in a second weight class when he takes on Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna for the WBA Middleweight Title.

Granados (21-8-2, 15 KOs) has battled a slew of accomplished super lightweights and welterweights over the course of his career including Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia and most recently Robert Easter Jr. in October 2019. The 31-year-old from Mexico City, Mexico owns an upset knockout victory over then-unbeaten Amir Imam and returned to the ring in February 2020 to stop Arturo Herrera in two rounds. He will be opposed by Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Sanchez (11-1, 4 KOs), who owns a nine-fight winning streak heading into this step up against the veteran Granados. The 28-year-old has fought professionally since 2012 and delivered three victories in 2019, including a fifth-round TKO of Joe Gomez.

A 2008 Olympian from Villalba, Puerto Rico, Negron (22-3, 18 KOs) fights out of Miami, Florida and enters this bout the winner of back-to-back contests. Negron stopped the previously unbeaten Robert Alfonso in March 2020, before most recently knocking out Rafael Rios in November 2020. He faces the 32-year-old Alexander (16-3-2, 8 KOs), who has also won back-to-back fights entering May 1. The Los Angeles-native Alexander has won four of his last five fights overall dating back to 2016.

The 18-year-old Molina (5-0, 3 KOs) first turned pro in August 2019, scoring stoppage victories in his first two fights, before a successful U.S. debut saw him defeat Jose Zaragoza by decision in November 2020. A native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Molina most recently stopped James De Herrera in the first-round in January of this year. He squares off against Marquez (4-2-1, 1 KO), who fights out of Liberal, Kansas and is entering the fight off of decision losses to then-unbeaten fighters Arnold Dinong and Christopher Zavala.

Representing his hometown of San Francisco, California, Garnica (5-0, 3 KOs) returns to the ring after his last bout saw him score a decision victory over Luis Alvarado in February 2020. The 20-year-old delivered knockouts in three of his first four fights after turning pro in October 2018. He takes on the 29-year-old Bazzi (1-1) from Dearborn, Michigan. Bazzi turned pro in 2021 with a win over Andre Marquez before dropping a March contest to Francisco Javier Martinez.

Easter: ‘I want to be the top dog at 140 pounds’

Former world champion Robert Easter Jr. and all-action veteran Adrian “El Tigre” Granados will go toe-to-toe this Saturday, October 26 in a crucial super lightweight showdown as both fighters look to insert themselves into the title picture with a win live on SHOWTIME from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.

“I want to be the top dog at 140 pounds,” said Easter. “I have to go after those guys that have the belts in this division. It doesn’t matter to me who I fight. I just have to fight the best and to me all the belts in the division are up for grabs.”

“Beating Easter would definitely bring me back to championship contender status,” said Granados. “I feel like everything is on the line in this fight. I’m treating this as if my back is against the wall. Easter being a former champ would elevate me for sure, and a win against him would go a long way.”

The weight for this fight is of particular note for both fighters as Easter, a former lightweight champion, will make his super lightweight debut and Granados will move back down after suffering defeats to the 147-pound elite. Both believe big improvements could be in-store because of the weight.

“I’ll be stronger at this weight and more dominant,” said Granados. “I can do a lot more at this weight and it’s more natural for me. I’m stricter on my diet and I have to push a little more in training for this weight. But I’ve had more success at this weight and my body is still geared towards fighting at this weight.

“Overall, this has been night and day from the training camp for my last fight compared to this camp. I was so sick during camp for my last fight that we were almost ready to cancel the fight. This camp has been totally different. I feel completely healthy now and can’t wait to put on great performance on October 26.”

“I felt it was time to make the move up and explore a higher weight class,” said Easter. “Making 135 pounds wasn’t that hard for me, but I was taking off too much muscle to make that weight. Now I’ll definitely have more power and be better hydrated. I’ll feel much more comfortable heading into the fight and inside the ring.

“I know that the guys I’m facing in this weight class will be stronger too, so we’ve been working a lot with my strength and conditioning coach. We’re doing lots of legs and upper body drills. I’m focusing on staying strong, as well as keeping the cardio up.”

With Easter bringing his slick boxing style and top flight speed to the table, and Granados being known as a come-forward fighter who never lets his opponent rest, the winner could be determined by which fighter is able to impose their will and adjust as the fight progresses.

“Granados will come to fight,” said Easter. “I know that. I’ll try to use my boxing skills and not just stand there banging with him, but you never know how it’ll play out until we actually get in the ring. You can’t really put together a blueprint. I’ll just have to adjust to whatever style he brings to the table on October 26.

“Granados is a tough fighter, and I’ve had a plenty of tough fights, but he’s been in there with some great fighters. I know he’ll test me, but I’m ready for whatever he throws at me. I’m training really hard for this one.”

“I think this fight is a classic boxer versus puncher-brawler,” said Granados. “I am going to apply the pressure and I’m going to come out to take this one from him. I think Robert is a tough, good fighter, but I’ve been in there with lots of elite fighters.

“I’m excited to be back at my natural weight. I know that he’s the taller, longer fighter, but I’m not much shorter than him and I know that I have what it takes to beat him when I’m at my best.”

Easter-Granados, Lubin-Gausha set for October 26

Top super welterweight contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin returns to take on former world title challenger and U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha in a 12-round WBC title eliminator on Saturday, October 26 live on SHOWTIME from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa., in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features former lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. making his super lightweight debut against battle-tested veteran Adrian “El Tigre” Granados in the 10-round co-featured attraction. The televised opener will see former world champions collide as Rau’shee Warren takes on Emmanuel Rodriguez in a 12-round WBC bantamweight title eliminator.

 Orlando, Florida’s Lubin (21-1, 16 KOs) was one of the fastest rising contenders in boxing as he quickly raced to the top of the ladder to challenge Jermell Charlo for the WBC 154-pound championship in 2017. Since the setback against Charlo, the 23-year-old has scored three straight stoppage victories to regain his momentum toward a championship run. In February, Lubin became the first boxer to stop former champion Ishe Smith and is coming off a TKO victory over Zaharia Attou in his last fight on June 29 on SHOWTIME.

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to showcase my talents once again on SHOWTIME,” said Lubin. “I’m focused on the task at hand, and that’s beating a world class opponent in Terrell Gausha. My plan is to put all of the belt holders in my division on notice with a victory. I’ve been in camp for five weeks with five weeks to go. I’ll be supremely conditioned and fundamentally sound on October 26. You’re definitely not going to want to miss it.”

The 31-year-old Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) is a brilliant ring tactician with an impressive boxing pedigree that included representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics. Born in Cleveland and now living in Encino, Calif., Gausha suffered the only loss on his record when he dropped a unanimous decision to long-reigning WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy Lara in 2017. He most recently fought to a disputed split draw against former super welterweight champion Austin Trout on May 25. 

“This is going to be an action-packed fight with me and a strong young fighter like Lubin,” said Gausha. “He’s a good test for me. Lubin will be the fourth southpaw in a row that I’ve faced and I’m ready to go again. I’m just at a point where I want to fight the best and most challenging fights possible. He called me out and I’m definitely going to be ready for him on October 26. The fans won’t want to miss it.”

A former IBF Lightweight World Champion, Easter (21-1-1, 14 KOs) won the belt with a split decision victory over current champion Richard Commey in 2016 at Santander Arena in Reading. The 28-year-old from Toledo, Ohio successfully defended the title three times before losing it to four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in a 2018 unification clash on SHOWTIME. He is coming off a split draw against Rances Barthelemy in his last fight on April 27 and will be making his super lightweight debut when he steps in against Granados at the site of his first world championship fight.

“I’m moving up to 140 pounds and I’ve been preparing really hard for this fight,” said Easter. “Expect me to come out and be very explosive on October 26. I anticipate Granados coming to fight like he always does. He’s a fighter who always comes prepared and puts his heart into it, but I’m going to do the same thing and show that I’m ready to make a statement in this division.”

The 30-year-old Granados (20-7-2, 14 KOs) has battled a slew of accomplished junior welterweights and welterweights over the course of his career including Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner and most recently Danny Garcia in April. The 30-year-old from Chicago will return to 140-pounds where he’s had most of the success in his career, including his 2015 stoppage of a then-unbeaten Amir Imam. 

“I’m expecting a tough fight against Robert Easter Jr. on October 26,” said Granados. “Our styles mesh well. Easter is a sharp fighter and that’s why I’m giving it everything I have in training camp. I’m looking to bounce back from my last fight and show everyone that I still have a lot to give the sport of boxing. Easter is a technician in the ring but I’m a warrior and I’m going to come with everything that I have.”

Garcia: ‘I hope I didn’t scare Manny Pacquiao away’

Former two-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia(35-2, 21 KOs) dropped Adrian Granados (20-7-2, 14 KOs) three times before stopping him in round seven Saturday night in a welterweight showdown that headlined Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

“I’ve said it before, when Danny Garcia is at his best, nobody can beat him,” said Garcia. “I had gotten a little comfortable in the past, but I put my 110 percent into this fight and when I do, I beat everyone.”

Garcia got his offense started early, deflecting a right hand from Granados in round two and throwing a perfect left hook counter that dropped Granados for the first time in the fight. Granados continued to push and tried to change the tide, but an overhand right at the end of an exchange by Garcia sent Granados down for the second time in round two.

“It felt good landing that big left hook,” said Garcia. “I was proud of my performance. I thought I did a great job tonight.”

“He was very sharp in the exchanges,” said Granados. “That’s where he was catching me. I knew that’s what I had to avoid. But the toughness in me is always ready to go. I was willing to engage.”

Granados tried to find ways to slow Garcia’s momentum, but while trying to crowd Garcia he was too often caught with power punches on the inside. Round four saw Granados begin to bleed heavily from the nose and in round five Granados was dropped for the third time, this time from a combination Garcia delivered while he had Granados on the ropes.

“The way to make a statement tonight was to stop him,” said Garcia. “The game plan was to break him down. I have too many tools. I couldn’t let him hang around with me.

“He wanted to get closer to me and make it a dogfight. But I surprised him when I stood with him and banged to the body. Then I started making him miss and that’s when I stopped him.”

In round seven, Garcia landed 48% of his power punches according to CompuBox, and after buzzing him several times, unleashed a flurry while Granados was on the ropes that forced referee Thomas Taylor to stop the bout 1:33 into round seven.

“He caught me with some good shots but I really thought I was fine,” said Granados. “I think the referee was a little over-protective. I had a plan to go the whole fight and they stopped me on my feet. I was still catching him with shots. I was still dangerous and looking for a big shot to change the fight. The referee had to do his job though and I understand it.”

With the win, Garcia will look for more big fights with fellow elite welterweights.

“I hope I didn’t scare Manny Pacquiao away,” said Garcia. “I’d love a rematch with Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman, or a fight with Errol Spence Jr. I’m back!”

 Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

Garcia: ‘I’m going to show the world why I’m one of the best fighters in the world’

Former two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia(34-2, 20 KOs) and veteran contender Adrian Granados(20-6-2, 11 KOs) previewed their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes main event showdown at a press conference in Los Angeles Tuesday as they prepare to square off Saturday, April 20 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Garcia returns to the ring after a tough, close decision loss to Shawn Porter last September. There are a lot of big names to fight in the welterweight division, and a win over Granados gives Garcia another opportunity to get one of those big names at 147.

“This is another fight for my legacy,” Garcia said on Tuesday. “There have been a lot of great fights in my career, and this is another important one for me. I know he’s coming to fight, but I’m looking to make this one of my easiest wins.
 
“He’s a tough and aggressive fighter who likes to throw a lot of punches. He’s hungry, and that’s the type of guy that you have to watch out for. I’ve got to handle my business against Granados before I look to any bigger fights.”

Garcia has been in with some of best in the welterweight division, including close losses to Porter and Keith Thurman, but Granados is a tough night for any fighter, and that will be no different on April 20. Nevertheless, Garcia is prepared to show everybody that he is still one of the top fighters in the world.

“This is a big platform for me to perform on,” Garcia said. “I’m going to show the world why I’m one of the best fighters in the world.

“I plan on winning with style. I’m going to bring a lot of skill, a lot of will, a lot of power and I’m going to entertain my fans. April 20 will be the ‘Danny Garcia Show.’”

The April 20 broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. taking on Alexander Dimitrenko in a 10-round bout in the co-feature and unbeaten contender Brandon Figueroa battling Venezuela’s Yonfrez Parejo in a 12-round match for the WBA Interim Super Bantamweight title.

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

Garcia: ‘I cannot wait to get back in the ring and put on the Danny Garcia show’

Former two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia will battle hard-hitting veteran Adrian Granados in a 12-round welterweight bout that will headline the live prime time event presented by Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes on Saturday, April 20 from Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly StubHub Center) in Carson, California.

Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) has fought and defeated many of the most formidable opponents at 140 and 147-pounds spanning two generations-Erik Morales, Zab Judah, Kendall Holt, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi and Lamont Peterson among them. Six of his seven opponents in the welterweight division were former or current world champions and 12 of his last 16 opponents overall carried the same distinction. Included in that run was a headlining performance live on FOX in January 2016, when he defeated Robert Guerrero to capture his welterweight title in Los Angeles. Representing the fighting city of Philadelphia, the 30-year-old most recently lost an exciting and narrow decision to Shawn Porter in their September title fight.

“I cannot wait to get back in the ring and put on the Danny Garcia show once again,” said Garcia. “Granados was talking a big game when we first announced the fight and I plan on proving him wrong on April 20. The Southern California fans have always treated me right and I’m excited to give them a great fight.”

Fighting out of Cicero, Ilinois, Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs) has made a name for himself by delivering tough, action-packed fights against top fighters in the sport, including Shawn Porter and Adrien Broner. The 29-year-old burst onto the scene by shocking then unbeaten Amir Imam via a stoppage victory in their 2015 clash. After a fight last June against Javier Fortuna that ended in a no contest, Granados picked up two-straight knockout wins heading into this matchup.

“This is a huge fight for me and definitely one of the most important in my career,” said Granados. “I’m looking to dominate, look impressive and control the fight. I’ve fought in Southern California before and I’m looking to take advantage of the great Mexican crowd. This is Mexico versus Puerto Rico and Chicago vs. Philadelphia. It’s territorial on a lot of levels and you can expect us to leave it all in the ring.”

Heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz Jr. takes on Alexander Dimitrenko in a 10-round bout in the co-feature and unbeaten contender Brandon Figueroa battles Venezuela’s Yonfrez Parejo in a 12-round match for the WBA Interim Super Bantamweight title that opens the primetime FOX broadcast that begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME