The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Super Welterweight Bout – 12 Rounds
Danny Garcia – 152 ¾ lbs.
Jose Benavidez Jr. – 153 ¾ lbs.
Referee: Steve Willis; Judges: Glenn Feldman (Conn.), Anthony Paolillo (N.Y.), (Waleska Roldan (N.Y.
Heavyweight Bout – 10 Rounds
Adam Kownacki – 251 ¼ bs.
Ali Eren Demirezen – 262 ¾ lbs.
Referee: Eric Dali; Judges: Mark Consentino (N.J.), Martha Tremblay (Mass.), Steve Weisfeld (N.J.)
Super Lightweight Bout – 10 Rounds
Gary Antuanne Russell – 137 ¾ lbs.
Rances Barthelemy – 139 ½ lbs.
Referee: Shada Murdaugh; Judges: John McKaie (N.Y.), Kevin Morgan (N.Y.), Robin Taylor (N.Y.)
SHOWTIME BOXING COUNTDOWN
Stream Live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on the SHOWTIME SPORTS® YouTube Channel
Middleweight Bout – 10 Rounds
Sergiy Derevyanchenko – 159 ½ lbs.
Joshua Conley – 160 lbs.
Super Welterweight Bout – Eight Rounds
Vito Mielnicki Jr. – 153 ¾ lbs.
Jimmy Williams – 153 lbs.
Two-division world champion and Brooklyn fan-favorite Danny “Swift” Garcia will make his super welterweight debut against exciting contender Jose Benavidez Jr. in a 12-round showdown that headlines a stacked tripleheader Saturday, July 30 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also see Polish star and Brooklyn’s all-action Adam Kownacki returning to the ring to take on Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen in a 10-round heavyweight attraction, while unbeaten rising star Gary Antuanne Russell faces two-division champion Rances Barthelemy in a 10-round showdown to kick off the telecast.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, June 9 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased through seatgeek.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Thursday, June 9 at 12 p.m. ET.
Pre-sale tickets are available TODAY at 12 p.m. ET until 10 p.m. ET through seatgeek.com and barclayscenter.com with the code: BOXING
“This card on July 30 has everything a boxing fan could ask for and is set up to deliver compelling action from start to finish,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia has established a strong fan base in Brooklyn and will look to give them a show in his 154-pound debut against the always tough Jose Benavidez Jr. The heavyweight clash in the co-main event will be full of action as well, as popular heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki takes on Ali Eren Demirezen with both fighters looking to take a big step up the heavyweight ladder. Plus, Gary Antuanne Russell has garnered recognition as a future pound-for-pound star and can continue to solidify those credentials battling the crafty former champion Rances Barthelemy opening up the action on SHOWTIME.”
A world champion at 140 and 147 pounds, Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) owns one of the sports’ most impressive resumes as he now seeks to add a 154-pound title to his list of accomplishments. He returns to fight at Barclays Center for the ninth time, where he headlined the first ever boxing show at the arena in 2012 in his SHOWTIME debut. The Philadelphia native’s run through the super lightweight division saw him defeat a string of champions including Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt. As a welterweight, the 34-year-old added triumphs over Lamont Peterson, Paulie Malignaggi, and Robert Guerrero, defeating Guerrero for a vacant title in 2016. Garcia’s campaign at welterweight included narrow defeats to some of the sport’s most talented and rugged fighters –Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and unbeaten unified champion Errol Spence Jr.
“I feel blessed,” said Garcia. “I’m back like I never left. I can’t wait to return to the ring in front of the fans at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, who have always supported me, and for all my fans across the country watching on SHOWTIME. The ‘Danny Garcia Show’ returns July 30 and you don’t want to miss it!”
The 30-year-old Benavídez (27-1-1, 18 KOs) is the older brother of unbeaten two-time world champion David Benavídez and is trained by his father Jose Sr. A long-established contender, Benavídez moved up to super welterweight in his last fight after dropping a 147-pound title showdown to Terence Crawford in October 2018. Benavídez fought Francisco Emanuel Torres to a draw last November, his first action in just over three years. The Phoenix-native had previously earned wins over contenders such as Mauricio Herrera, Francisco Santana and Frank Rojas on his way to that world title opportunity against Crawford.
“This is a Mexico vs. Puerto Rico matchup and both of us have something to prove,” said Benavídez. “It’s going to be a great fight for the fans. I feel strong and I know I will end this one on fight night. I’m bigger and stronger than he is and come July 30, he will see the difference in power between us.”
The 33-year-old Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) returns to the friendly confines of Barclays Center where he has previously fought 10 times, compiling a 9-1 record with five knockouts. Born in Lomza, Poland before moving to Brooklyn when he was seven, Kownacki will step back into the ring after dropping a pair of explosive, fan-friendly fights to Robert Helenius. He owns victories over former world champion Charles Martin and former title challengers Gerald Washington and Chris Arreola. His August 2019 battle against Arreola set CompuBox records for heavyweights in combined power punches thrown and landed.
“I’m very excited to be back in the ring, especially back home in Brooklyn at Barclays Center,” said Kownacki. “I’m ready to show the world that Robert Helenius just caught me at a complicated time in my life, where juggling being a new father and a fighter was a new experience and learning how to manage both was something I needed to learn how to do. For this fight, my family went away to Poland while I’m in camp so I could only focus on boxing. It was a difficult decision to make, but the right one. Demirezen is coming off a couple big wins, so I know he will bring his ‘A’ game, but I need to beat him to be back in the heavyweight mix. Our fight on July 30 will be action-packed with my hand being raised in victory.”
A 2016 Olympian for Turkey, Demirezen (16-1, 12 KOs) has fought out of Hamburg, Germany in the professional ranks since turning pro in late 2016. The 32-year-old won his first 11 pro fights, including a second-round stoppage of Rad Rashid to capture a European heavyweight title in 2018. Demirezen’s first U.S. outing came in 2019, when he became the first person to go the distance against Efe Ajagba, losing by decision. Since that defeat, Demirezen has scored five-straight victories, including defeating former title challengers Gerald Washington in January and Kevin Johnson in May.
“I’m very happy to fight in the U.S. again on July 30,” said Demirezen. “After my big win in Miami [in January], I’m very confident I’m going to give everyone a great fight in Brooklyn. I’m ready for anything Adam Kownacki brings to the ring and I want to make a big statement with a win over him.”
A native of Capitol Heights, Md., Russell (15-0, 15 KOs) will be continuing on the legacy left by his late father Gary Sr., as he belongs to one of the sport’s preeminent fighting families and trains alongside his older brothers, former WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Jr. and bantamweight contender Gary Antonio. The 25-year-old Russell has yet to allow an opponent to make it to the final bell since turning pro in 2017 following his run representing the U.S. at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Most recently, Russell added the most impressive professional victory of his career thus far, as he became the first person to stop former champion Viktor Postol in their February clash on SHOWTIME.
When asked about his fight against Barthelemy, Russell cryptically said, “Deforestation is just a phase that shows there’s more space for growth and conquer,’’ and then stated that he would explain what he means after winning this fight.
A native of Havana, Cuba now fighting out of Las Vegas, Barthelemy (29-1-1, 15 KOs) added two victories in 2021, winning a unanimous decision over All Rivera in January before stopping Gustavo David Vittori in two rounds in November. A world champion at 130 and 135 pounds, Barthelemy owns notable victories over Argenis Mendez, Antonio DeMarco, Mickey Bey and Denis Shafikov. His only professional loss came in a 2018 140-pound championship rematch against Kiryl Relikh, with the only other blemish on his record coming via a draw versus former champion Robert Easter Jr. in 2019. Barthelemy also comes from a fighting family, as he is the middle brother between the younger Leduan and the older Yan, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.
“I’m thrilled to be competing on SHOWTIME, especially against an undefeated young lion like Gary Antuanne Russell,” said Barthelemy. “He’s knocked out every opponent he’s faced, but he’s going to find out real quick that I’m on another level. I’m more determined than ever to take this young kid to school. Don’t be surprised if I take him out, as I’ve been working on my power and explosiveness. The new and improved version of myself will be on display July 30 in Brooklyn.”
Here is what the workout participants had to say Wednesday from the DSG Boxing Gym:
“Training has been going great. We’ve been in the gym for three months straight so we’re towards the end now and we feel fantastic.
“The time off was very important. After you’ve been fighting for a long time, I’ve been fighting world champions for the last ten years, I realized that my body felt great, but my mind felt foggy. It felt tired. It didn’t feel sharp. I knew that I needed my mind to rest, have some fun, and spend some time with my family. I needed time to enjoy everything that I worked so hard for, start to miss the game of boxing and then come back strong. I think that’s what I’ve done.
“Benavidez is a tough fighter. He has some skills. Obviously, he’s 27-1-1 and he’s fought some good fighters. I expect the best of him.
“I want to knock him out but if the knockout doesn’t come, then we’re ready for 12 rounds. I just want to go in there and give the fans a great show.
“I always knew that 154 was my walkaround weight. A lot of people think I’m naturally small because I used to fight at 140 and 147. But I was squeezing myself down to get to those weights. Now I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser. I don’t think that’s the right thing for me to do to lose all that weight.
“2020 was a good and bad year for me. I fought twice and made a lot of money, but at the same time, there was the pandemic. It was a tough year for me outside of the ring. It was stressful for everybody. I just needed a break. I was tired. I trained hard at the beginning of the year and then we went through the pandemic. I had to wake myself up to train hard again for one of the biggest fights of my career. It just took a mental toll on me. I was mentally tired. I banged it out with Spence. He got the decision, but I was still able to go in there and scrap for 12 rounds. I knew if I just took a break and came back, nobody could touch me.
“I would definitely want to revisit the Spence fight at 154 pounds. We have history already. Once I start looking good at 154, there’s going to be a lot of great fights for me.
“You know what’s crazy? You miss the smell of the gym. When you haven’t been in the gym in a while and you walk in the gym, it’s like your mom’s homecooked food. I missed this.”
“I feel like a monster. I feel like I’m going to give the people everything that they’ve been waiting for and everything that they want to watch. They’re going to officially see the future of boxing like they do every time I’m out there and I perform.
“They changed my opponent two or three times. I have a new opponent that I’ve seen a few videos of online. He’s a clown. I’m just going to embarrass him. He’s just another guy in the way.
“It doesn’t matter who they give me. I’m the best light heavyweight in the world. I’m the best 175-pounder and I’m going to prove that every time out. They’re going to see that July 30.
“My talent speaks for itself. I’m pretty. My fighting shows that. I’m a dog. Everything you need in boxing, you’ll find in me. Watch me work. Watch me bring these titles back to the U.S.
“This is already written. I’m going to be one of the boxing gods at the end of the day when it’s all said and done. I’m not here to play no games or make no friends with nobody. I’m here to be the best in the world and the greatest fighter alive and the greatest fighter ever when it’s all said and done. So bring them on.”
ANGEL GARCIA, Garcia’s Father and Trainer
“Jose Benavidez Jr. is not a skillful fighter. He can’t fight going backwards. He doesn’t have any skill. He doesn’t dip. He doesn’t slip. He doesn’t duck hits. He just comes forward, I guess. I don’t know what they’re teaching him. I teach perfection. I don’t teach just going in and getting beat up.
“Danny did great fighting at 147 pounds. The Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter fights could have gone either way. And then the Spence fight, we were going through a lot of changes because of COVID. I’m not trying to sugarcoat anything. I’m just being honest. Danny was suffering from anxiety leading up to the Spence fight. There was too much going on. We had a difficult camp. I’m not making excuses. But he still did great and he still threw 750 punches.
“A happy Danny Garcia is a dangerous fighter. He’s looking great right now and he’s ready to show everybody he’s back.
“It’s always the ‘Danny Garcia Show’ when we come into Barclays Center. Everyone knows it’s going to be an exciting night and July 30 is definitely gonna be the same.”
“Don’t forget, we were supposed to fight Spence in March and then he had the car accident. So instead, we fought Ivan Redkach. But if the Spence fight would have gone down that day, Spence wouldn’t have had a victory.”
GARY ANTUANNE RUSSELL
“I’m up against a fighting style that I believe is similar to Viktor Postol’s. Postol is a little more defensive, but they’re both long and rangy opponents.
“It’s of course a plus that I was able to be the first person to stop Postol. But at our gym and with our family, we don’t magnify fights like these. We pay attention to our credentials, and don’t really worry about what our opponents bring. The way we train, we’re not going to run into styles that we’re not accustomed to.
“With this sport, you have to have diversity in your style. Because you never really know what kind of opponent you’re going to be facing. They might change up their fighting style based on yours. We just strive for excellence and execution.
“In the Postol fight he tried to use his length to keep me at bay. But we executed our game plan. It wasn’t about overanalyzing our opponent, but we saw that we could exploit his flaws. He pulled back a lot and he didn’t want to fight on the inside. We tried to keep ourselves in comfortable positions.
“We train for perfection every day. We know that execution is what wins fights. If our opponent can’t make the necessary adjustments to keep us off them, then that’s on them. This sport is a battle of wits. My will versus your will and my intelligence versus yours.
“My brothers have always been in my corner. We all now are so tunnel-visioned on what’s important. Our motto in the gym is that the ultimate revenge is success.
“If we come out unscathed from July 30, we’ll start working on the next opponent and get another fighter with great credentials in there. We’ll be looking at fighting for the titles. Our goal was to clean out the division. That’s the first goal, then we’ll start moving up to other weight classes eventually.”