ASKIN CLASHES WITH OKOLIE FOR BRITISH CRUISERWEIGHT CROWN AT WEMBLEY


 
Matty Askin will defend his British Cruiserweight title against Lawrence Okolie at Wembley Stadium Connected by EE on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
 
Askin halted Welshman Craig Kennedy in six to claim the Lonsdale belt at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff in May 2017 before stopping Scotland’s Stephen Simmons inside two rounds at York Hall in March.
 
And now the former English Cruiserweight Champion is predicting an early night for former Team GB Olympian Okolie when the rivals collide at England’s national stadium next month.
 
“Every credit to Okolie, he’s vacated the Commonwealth title because he wants this fight but he’s going to end up flat on his back,” said Askin. “I can punch, I can box, and I can have a fight. I’ll do whatever I need to do against him to get the win. I don’t think it will go past four or five rounds, it definitely won’t go the distance.
 
“We’re both going to come out all guns blazing, it’s as simple as that. He’s going to come out thinking’s he’s going to bang me out straight away. I’m looking to go out there and tear his head off. I’ll be going in there and giving 110%, my 110% beats his 110% every day of the week. I believe that I’m a level above him.”
 
Undefeated Okolie landed the WBA Continental Cruiserweight title in his grudge match with Isaac Chamberlain in front of a huge crowd at The O2 in February, flooring the Brixton man twice in his first title fight.
 
He then added the Commonwealth belt to his collection in just his ninth pro outing when he delivered a devastating third round knockout of the previously undefeated Luke Watkins at London’s York Hall and is looking to make it three titles in three fights when he faces Blackpool’s Askin.
 
”This announcement is a fantastic day for me,” said Okolie. “My ultimate goal is to be the unified World Champion but before that I want to go down the traditional route, clean up domestically and prove to myself and the fans that I belong at that level.
 
“Matty Askin is a very experienced fighter who is ranked in the top 10 in the World. I want to start making my way towards the World scene and so I need to be able to beat people like Askin to do that.
 
“I’ve won the Commonwealth title in my first two years and I want to keep that trajectory going by winning the British title and hopefully winning a World title before the next Olympics.”
 
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “Lawrence is continuously surprising me with his desire to step up but this is by far his biggest jump yet. I rate Askin very highly and he has shown much improvement in his last couple of fights. This is another genuine 50-50 fight for the undercard and should be an absolute banger.”
 
Askin vs. Okolie lands on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s Heavyweight unification blockbuster with Russian powerhouse Alexander Povetkin, Luke Campbell gets a chance for revenge when he rematches Yvan Mendy in a Final Eliminator for the WBC Lightweight World title, with further exciting additions to the undercard will be announced soon.
 
General sale tickets are available via www.stubhub.co.uk the official ticketing partner or https://events.wembleystadium.com. For accessible tickets please call Wembley Stadium on 0800 093 0824.
 
Official ticket and coach packages with National Express are available via www.stubhub.co.uk, with 45 departure points across the UK.
 
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £400, £800 and £2,000 VIP plus booking fees.

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FURY: “THERE IS A TARGET ON MY BACK”


 
TYSON FURY believes that Francesco Pianeta will be in the mood to cause a huge heavyweight upset when they meet.
 
Fury (26-0) faces the Italian at Belfast’s Windsor Park on Saturday August 18, when they share top billing with Carl Frampton.
 
Pianeta (35-4-1), a 6ft 5in southpaw who weighs around 245lb knows a shock win could earn him a third world heavyweight title challenge and ruin Fury’s hopes of dominating the division once again.
 
Pianeta fell short against Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev, but Fury who recently returned after a two and a half year break said: “There is a target on my back.
 
“Pianeta is just one win away from being back right there among the best.
 
“Everybody brings there A game when they face me. They know it’s a lottery win if they can beat me.”
 
Fury doesn’t need to study Pianeta having sparred with him when his rival was an unbeaten world ranked prospect.
 
Former world champion Fury who beat Sefer Seferi on his comeback in June recalled: “I sparred with him in Germany when he was 26 and 0.
 
“He was tough, strong and he is a good opponent – very good.
 
“It was before he went on to fight Klitschko and Chagaev for world titles, but I was impressed.
 
“People say this is a big step up from Seferi and they can say what they want, but Seferi went the full distance with a current world heavyweight champion, Manuel Charr.
 
“He looked terrible against me, but that has happened to so many people. Wladimir Klitschko didn’t look much better against me than Seferi to be honest.”
 
Tyson isn’t cutting corners setting up camp in Manchester and staying at a hotel on the outskirts of the city away from his family.
 
Fury said: “I’m training hard in the gym every day. I’ve had no time off since the last fight. I’m getting in great shape and really focused on my job.
 
“I can’t wait to get in there and put on a show in Belfast.
 
“Time is flying and it does when you’re having fun. I have a great team around me and we have got everything bang on. I’ve never, ever been this happy with my training and routine.
 
“I’ve got everything sorted. I’ve got the right promoter, the right lawyers, have good people around me and I’m in a good gym atmosphere.”
 
Local idol and two time world champion Frampton defends his interim WBO featherweight crown against Australian Luke Jackson on the bill that is nearing a sell-out.
 
In only his sixth professional fight, Frampton’s great friend Paddy Barnes challenges WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales.
 
The bill also includes a light-heavyweight clash between Belfast’s Steven Ward and Dubliner Steve Collins Jr. Also in action is WBO European middleweight champion Luke Keeler, Conrad Cummings, KO king Lewis Crocker, Marco McCullough, Sean McComb and Steven Donnelly.
 
Very limited remaining tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie priced at £80, £100, £120, £150, £250, £400 (includes hospitality). Buying tickets over the phone – 0844 847 2455. To purchase Accessible Seating – 0333 321 9996

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NO SHOCK ON SCOUTING MISSION


 
The seventh round demise of WBO world light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev to the Colombian Eleider ‘Storm’ Alvarez came as no surprise to the mentor of Anthony Yarde, top trainer Tunde Ajayi.
 
Ajayi had his card marked that Krusher was about to be caught in a Storm by Frank Warren, when the pair chewed the fat over the division at a meeting last Monday.
 
Warren’s prediction prompted Ajayi to book a last minute working holiday for himself and the WBO No.1 ranked light heavy – who also holds the governing body’s European and Intercontinental belts after 16 unbeaten bouts as a professional – to Atlantic City to see firsthand if the promoter had called it correctly.
 
“Myself and Frank met on Monday and we both said in the meeting that Kovalev is ready to go,” said the Peacock Gym-based trainer. “I was going more by what Frank was saying and said that I needed to see it for myself.
 
“When I got home on Monday night I phoned Frank and said I needed to be there. Frank said it to me, ‘he is ready to go’ and, while I don’t like to second guess Frank, I did say I needed to see it for myself.
 
“So I said to Frank that I need two tickets to watch the fight. Myself and Anthony flew over and I saw it for myself from the fourth round.
 
“I said first of all that he had definitely gassed out, then from watching Alvarez for the first time I said to Ant that this guy can punch, although his record didn’t suggest as much.
 
“It is another indication of what I say in that records are very deceiving because you can look at someone and say he’s only had ten knockouts out of 20 fights and is not a puncher. The thing is, who is he fighting and what is the resistance factor?
 
“Sometimes, when careers are building, you are in there with tough, durable guys. Kovalev, we all know what happened with the Andre Ward situation and the fact he is 35, plus reports of his bad lifestyle. All these things are bound to catch up with you.
 
“It seems to me that Frank was right. Kovalev was doing well and from ringside, when he did a little burst at the end of the sixth, I said to Anthony, that is his lot and he has no more than that.”
 
Ajayi admits that heading Stateside and taking in events at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has left both trainer and fighter wanting more of the same for themselves and it appears that Anthony is already an increasingly popular fight figure across the Atlantic.
 
“Absolutely, it is where I’ve always wanted to be as a trainer and it is where Anthony wants to be as a fighter. All these things tick boxes for Anthony because he is seeing these guys live, realising they are not invincible and realising that TV is very flattering.
 
“It makes you look bigger than what you really are, it can make you appear faster than you really are and another thing you don’t get on TV is the sound effects of the punches!
 
“Being there is real and it puts things into perspective.
 
“My overall analysis is I am very optimistic, confident about the future, but I am also realistic in seeing things for what they are at the present moment.
 
“I am opening Anthony’s eyes because this is where he’s going to be. The fan love was amazing, with literally every step we took it was ‘hey Yarde, Yarde’ or ‘can I get a picture Yarde’.
 
“It was everywhere, every step we took – even going for a walk on the beach this morning. It was crazy, in the restaurants they all knew Anthony Yarde.”
 
Before heading home on Wednesday, Ajayi and Yarde have been invited behind closed doors to train at the gym of Danny Garcia as he prepares to face Shawn Porter for the WBC world welterweight title in September.
 
“On Monday and Tuesday we will be training alongside Danny Garcia. Everybody knows Danny Garcia has got a closed camp, but the dad – Angel – and Danny has requested us and said it would be an absolute honour and privilege to have us in the gym.
 
“He has got a massive fight against Shawn Porter coming up, so us being in these sorts of places is as a result of the collective work of myself, Anthony and Frank. The hard work we have put in to get Anthony into the position he is now.”

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CAMPBELL REMATCHES MENDY IN WBC WORLD TITLE FINAL ELIMINATOR


 
Luke Campbell faces Yvan Mendy in a WBC Lightweight World title Final Eliminator at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on September 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
 
The rivals will go again in a highly-anticipated rematch of their December 2015 fight which Mendy won via a shock split decision at The O2 in London.
 
Olympic gold medallist Campbell endured a harsh lesson at the hands of Mendy, picking himself up off the canvas for the first time in his professional career.
 
Frenchman Mendy is ranked number one at Lightweight with the WBC and is undefeated since 2015, winning ten bouts and picking up the WBC Silver Lightweight title along the way.
 
Campbell went on a five-fight winning streak after suffering his first career loss to Mendy, before being edged out by Jorge Linares last September in another split decision loss when challenging for the Venezuelan’s WBA title.
 
He returned to winning ways against Troy James in May and is determined to avenge his loss to Mendy before fighting for a World title under new trainer Shane McGuigan.
 
“I want to clear Mendy off my record,” said Campbell. “For reasons that I’ve talked about previously I should have never got in to the ring that night but what’s done is done, and I can’t wait to right that wrong on my record on fight night.”
 
“Mendy’s always been on my list for sure, he’s been winning and it will be a very tough fight. He is a tough competitor, strong and durable.
 
“I am now a completely different person and a different fighter all-round. I’m 10 times better than I was when he beat me three-and-a-half years ago. I’m bigger, I’m wiser, my boxing ability is 10 times what it was back then.
 
“I’ve already struck up a great relationship with Shane and I have no doubt that he is going to take me to the next level. I want to become a World Champion and Shane has a proven track record of achieving that with his fighters.”
 
“I’m within touching distance of landing a shot at the WBC World title and Luke Campbell is standing in my way,” said Mendy. “I’m willing to fight anyone to get my hands on that green belt – I beat him before and I will do it again. This time he will not hear the final bell.”
 
“I knew that Eddie Hearn would do his best to make this rematch happen and I’ll be fully prepared on September 22. Seven fights and two and a half years later, it’s time to confirm that I deserve the chance to fight for the WBC title.”
 
“This is probably the biggest moment of Luke’s career so far,” said Eddie Hearn. “Win and he could challenge Mikey Garcia for the title, lose and his aspirations of fighting for a World title are over. It’s a 50-50 fight and a great addition to what will be a huge night of boxing.”
 
Campbell vs. Mendy lands on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s Heavyweight unification blockbuster with Russian powerhouse Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on September 22.
 
General sale tickets are available via www.stubhub.co.uk the official ticketing partner or https://events.wembleystadium.com. For accessible tickets please call Wembley Stadium on 0800 093 0824.
 
Official ticket and coach packages with National Express are available via www.stubhub.co.uk, with 45 departure points across the UK.
 
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £400, £800 and £2,000 VIP plus booking fees.

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JACKSON BELIEVES FRAMPTON IS FINISHED


 
LUKE JACKSON insists that Carl Frampton is on the slide.
 
The outspoken Australian challenges interim WBO featherweight champion Frampton at Belfast’s Windsor Park on Saturday August 18.
 
At stake for Frampton is a likely fight with IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington but Jackson is out to prove that Frampton is no longer the force he was.
 
Jackson, 33, believes that Frampton (25-1) has dipped as a fighter in his three contests since defeating Leo Santa Cruz two years ago.
 
“Across the board he is phenomenal, but I don’t think he is as good as he once was,” explained Jackson.
 
“In the first fight against Leo Santa Cruz he boxed out of his skin and deserved to win, but he hasn’t looked the same since.
 
“Carl is a very good fighter who does everything good, but I don’t honestly think he does anything great.”
 
Jackson’s comments suggesting the Frampton is struggling will rile the Belfast man but he isn’t asking for forgiveness.
 
He added: “We are going to punch each other in the head. I don’t really care if what I say upsets him.
 
“I respect him as a fighter, I respect him as a man but I am coming to beat him, not coming over to be friends.
 
“I don’t know if he wants me to call him a Hall of Fame fighter or the greatest, but I don’t think he is.
 
“He is very beatable and I think I can beat him, simple as that.”
 
Also on the BT Sport televised bill Lineal heavyweight king Tyson Fury faces a step up when he tackles two-time world title challenger Francesco Pianeta.
 
In only his sixth professional fight, Frampton’s great friend Paddy Barnes challenges WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales.
 
The bill also includes a light-heavyweight clash between Belfast’s Steven Ward and Dubliner Steve Collins Jr. Also in action is WBO European middleweight champion Luke Keeler, Conrad Cummings, KO king Lewis Crocker, Marco McCullough, Sean McComb and Steven Donnelly.
 
Limited remaining tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie. priced at £80, £100, £120, £150, £250, £400 (includes hospitality). Buying tickets over the phone – 0844 847 2455. To purchase Accessible Seating – 0333 321 9996

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CORDINA VS. DODD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES


 
Frank Smith: “It’s great to be back here in Cardiff for another fantastic evening of boxing at the Ice Arena Wales. We have hosted two massive nights here recently topped by Heavyweight king Anthony Joshua and now it’s time for the youngsters to make their mark. British boxing is in such a good place at the moment and the JD NXTGEN series is a fantastic way to showcase some of the best up and coming talent in the UK. There’s a huge array of talent featuring on Saturday’s show and I’m looking forward to an exciting night.”
 
Kody Davies: “I want to thank everyone involved in getting me on this show. Joe and Sean are old Team GB team mates of mine and it’s good to be fighting on their undercard. Me and Gavin have been putting in some serious hours in the gym and it’s going to show on Saturday night. I can’t wait for you all to see what I’m capable of.”
 
Daniyar Yeleussinov: “I feel good and I’m very happy to be here in the beautiful city of Cardiff. I’m looking to put on an exciting performance and make some new fans so make sure you come and see me fight.”
 
Dylan McDonagh: “I’m excited to be here in Cardiff. Thanks to Matchroom for getting me on this brilliant show. This is my moment and I’m ready to seize my opportunity. I’m not scared of anyone and don’t care who they put in front of me. I believe that I’ll do a job on Sean on Saturday so make sure that you tune in.”
 
Sean McGoldrick: “I’ve recently changed trainers. Everything has been great with Gavin. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life and I can’t wait to fight in Wales for the first time in my pro career. I’m ready to put on a big performance for everyone.”
 
Natasha Jonas: “Boxing has taken me all around the World but never to Wales so it’s nice to be here in Cardiff. My opponent is a durable opponent, she went the distance with Katie Taylor. I want to showcase my talent. I just need to tick another box off and show what I can do.”
 
Sean Dodd: “I’m looking forward to getting back to winning ways and getting my hands back on the Commonwealth title. I’m ready to make a big change and put in a good performance. I can see that Joe has a great family backing him so it’s just like being back at home for me, it’s nice to see. I wish the very best for the both of us. I need to stick to my game plan, work hard and get the win. This is a massive test for me and I’m really looking forward to getting in there and seeing what happens. I’m up against it but in life you get nowhere without taking risks. I’m ready for this.”
 
Joe Cordina: “I won my first professional title here in Cardiff on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s win over Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium and it’s good to be making the first defence of it here as well. I’m in a proper fight now. Sean is great fighter, he’s got a lot of heart and he’s got a great fanbase that will be making a lot of noise on Saturday. It’s going to be a hell of a fight. This will be my hardest fight in the professionals to date. There’s going to be fireworks. I’m going to give it everything I have to come away with the Commonwealth title. I’m fighting for my kids and there’s no way that I’m wasting this opportunity.”
 
Main event at the Ice Arena Wales sees Joe Cordina and Sean Dodd clash for the Vacant Commonwealth and WBA International Lightweight titles, Welsh Commonwealth Gold Medal man Sean McGoldrick fights on home soil for the first time in the paid ranks against unbeaten Irishman Dylan McDonagh, Natasha Jonas steps up her hunt for World honours with a first defence of her WBA Super-Featherweight Inter-Continental title against Viviane Obenauf, Rio Olympic Gold Medal stand-out Daniyar Yeleussinov fights for the third time in the pros, unbeaten Featherweight talent Jordan Gill continues his journey to more titles and Light-Heavyweight talent Anthony Sims Jr. makes his debut under new promoter Eddie Hearn with action elsewhere from Birmingham Super-Bantamweight Gamal Yafai, Lytham Lightweight Scott Cardle, Newport Super-Middleweight Daniel Barton, Cardiff Light-Heavyweight Nathan Thorley, Gloucester Welterweight Akeem Ennis Brown and Pontilanfraith Light-Heavyweight Kody Davies.
 
Very limited remaining tickets are on sale at www.stubhub.co.uk priced at £40 (unreserved) £70 (reserved floor seats) and £150 (ringside VIP).

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JACK CATTERALL V OHARA DAVIES and ADAMS IN WORLD TITLE ACTION


 
HALL of Fame promoter Frank Warren will stage a massive night of boxing at Leicester Arena on Saturday October 6.
 
The show will feature Britain’s number one female boxer Nicola Adams (4-0) challenging for her first world title on the BT Sport televised card.
 
One of the biggest fights in domestic boxing takes place when Chorley’s WBO intercontinental super-lightweight champion Jack Catterall (22-0) meets WBC international super-lightweight champion Ohara Davies (18-1) with both belts at stake.
 
Londoner Davies isn’t scared of shooting from the lip and the build-up and fight against Catterall where the winner will be primed for a world title tilt will not be for the feint-hearted.
 
Warren believes Daniel Dubois (8-0) is the finest prospect in the heavyweight division, but the man who has KO’d every opponent faces his toughest night against Kevin Johnson (32-10-1).
 
The iron-chinned American went the distance with Vitali Klitschko in a WBC world title challenge in 2009 and also lasted the 12 round distance with Tyson Fury in a world title eliminator.
 
He represents a huge step up in class for Dubois who is tipped to dominate the heavyweight division.
 
The rivalry between Leicester hero Lyon Woodstock (11-0) and Welling’s Archie Sharp (13-0) has spilled over on social media and the pair will settle their spat in the ring.
 
Woodstock will be defending his WBO European super-featherweight title and the winner will be in line to face British champion Sam Bowen (13-0).
 
Bowen has his first ever fight under Warren’s promotional banner on the bill with his British title likely to be on the line.
 
Adams opponent will be confirmed in the next week.
 
Warren said: “We’re pleased to be back in Leicester and bringing top quality boxing to the East Midlands.
 
“I am so pleased that we have put together such a strong card stacked with competitive fights for fans and those watching on BT Sport.
 
“Jack and Ohara is just a mouth-watering fight and we decided to put it on neutral territory in fairness to them both.
 
“Last time we went to Leicester one of the reasons we had a good turnout was because of local hero, Leon and that is a big reason we are there again.
 
“His fight against Archie is a pick ‘em and like Jack and Ohara, they are enemies and not friends.
 
“There is plenty of beef there and it could come down to the coolest head on the night in both fights.
 
“When Nicola turned professional I promised she would get a world title fight and we have delivered that in her fifth professional fight.
 
“And Sam Bowen, I am absolutely delighted he has signed a promotional agreement with us and also to be working with his manager Carl Greaves who has been vocal about how good Sam is.
 
“There are big fights in and outside our stable for him with Lyon, Archie and Zelfa Barrett all in the queue, but I know Carl is looking beyond British titles.
 
“Everyone knows my opinion on Daniel Dubois and Johnson may well be the man to give him rounds. I don’t think too many if any prospects have met Johnson so soon in their career.”
 
Full ticket and press conference details will be announced very shortly.

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ANTHONY SIMS JR. SIGNS WITH MATCHROOM BOXING USA


 
Anthony Sims Jr. has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA.
 
The unbeaten Indiana Light-Heavyweight talent is set to fight for the first time under new promoter Eddie Hearn this Saturday at the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff, live on Sky Sports.
 
The 23-year-old has reached 14-0 in the paid ranks with 13 of those wins coming inside the distance, and the decorated amateur and cousin of Floyd Mayweather Jr is thrilled to be joining Hearn and is aiming to graduate to title action soon.
 
“It feels amazing to be teaming up with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Sims Jr. “This is the biggest step that I have taken in my career to date and now I have the platform to show the World what I’m capable of.
 
“Floyd always told me that skills pay the bills and I believe that I possess the skills to take me to the very top of this sport. Signing with Matchroom will give me opportunities to fight higher class opponents and challenge for championship belts.
 
“I’m thrilled to be fighting in the UK for the first time this Saturday and I’m looking forward to making some new fans in Cardiff. I’ll be looking to keep the KO train going with another big performance.”
 
Sims Jr. aims to make his debut on the streaming giant DAZN in October.
 
“I’m delighted to be working with one of the hottest Light-Heavyweight prospects in World boxing,” said Promoter Eddie Hearn. “His achievements in the amateurs speak for themselves, he’s a former No 1-ranked United States amateur and is already on his way to being a huge success in the paid ranks.
 
“This is a brilliant addition to the growing Matchroom Boxing USA team and I’m looking forward to guiding Anthony towards major titles in the future.”
 
Main event at the Ice Arena Wales sees Joe Cordina and Sean Dodd clash for the Vacant Commonwealth and WBA International Lightweight titles, Welsh Commonwealth Gold Medal man Sean McGoldrick fights on home soil for the first time in the paid ranks against unbeaten Irishman Dylan McDonagh, Natasha Jonas steps up her hunt for World honours with a first defence of her WBA Super-Featherweight Inter-Continental title against Viviane Obenauf, Rio Olympic Gold Medal stand-out Daniyar Yeleussinov fights for the third time in the pros, unbeaten Featherweight talent Jordan Gill continues his journey to more titles with action elsewhere from Birmingham Super-Bantamweight Gamal Yafai, Lytham Lightweight Scott Cardle, Newport Super-Middleweight Daniel Barton, Cardiff Light-Heavyweight Nathan Thorley, Gloucester Welterweight Akeem Ennis Brown and Pontilanfraith Super-Middleweight Kody Davies.
 
Very limited remaining tickets are on sale at www.stubhub.co.uk priced at £40 (unreserved) £70 (reserved floor seats) and £150 (ringside VIP).

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WHYTE VS. PARKER PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

WHYTE-PARKER PROMOTIOM
FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE,
RIVERSIDE HOTEL
CANARY WHARF,
LONDON
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
DILLIAN WHYTE AND JOSEPH PARKER COME FACE TO FACE AHEAD OF THEIR FIGHT ON EDDIE HEARNS MATCHROOM PROMOTION AT LONDONS O2 AREANA ON SATURDAY (28th July)

 
Eddie Hearn: “Dillian Whyte’s career is on a ferocious upward curve right now, and the ‘Body Snatcher’ has grasped the chance to fight former World champion Joseph Parker with both hands.
 
“Dillian could easily have sat back and waited for his shot at WBC king Deontay Wilder, but the Brixton man is not one to wait patiently in line. Behind Wilder and Anthony Joshua, Dillian is the biggest name in the division and he’s top of the ‘who needs him’ club at Heavyweight as a dangerous customer that can beat anyone on his day.
 
“Joseph is a softly spoken and likeable man – but make no mistake that in the ring, he’s all business and has bad intentions for Dillian – this is a real 50-50 contest and I’ve no doubt that the winner will be in World title action very soon.”
 
Dillian Whyte: “Joseph is a fighting man, that’s his heritage, but he’s short of options. He could have gone to USA to fight Bryant Jennings for a small purse and no attention or come to the UK in front of a sell-out crowd and get better pay and a more prestigious fight.
 
“He’s motivated – he knows beating me gets him close to another shot at AJ, so that’s what makes him dangerous: “if I do Dillian, I’m back in the big time again” – but he’s got to get past me first.
 
“For me, it’s progressing my career. You have to have consistency and be active, keep fighting, go through training camps. It doesn’t matter how small the progress is, as long as you keep progressing then you will improve and grow. I’m getting better, stronger, smarter… I’m like a fine wine in the cellar, ageing, maturing and tasting sweeter.
 
Joseph Parker: “We had options on the table and Dillian had a fight with Pulev lined up. Credit to David Higgins and Eddie Hearn, they did a tremendous job in locking the fight in really fast. When you have two fighters that want to fight each other that makes it easier for the business men.
 
“David is a great promoter and he looks after me, he’s done a tremendous job getting me yet another great fight. It was important to get back in the ring in another big fight straight away.
 
Dillian is on the cusp of fighting for a World title and beating him would put me right back at that top table.
 
“I haven’t seen the best of me yet, there’s a lot more to come. It’s a case of getting more experience, learning in the gym and working on my craft, making improvements gradually.
 
“There won’t be any excuses from me. I’m here to do damage and I’m here to punch with bad intentions. I’m going to break him down and he’s going to take a lot of punches. He’s been talking a lot of smack in the build up and I believe that is a sign of self doubt. I hope he’s ready to take a lot of punches because I’m going to give it to him real bad. He thinks I can’t go to war, lets wait and see.”
 
Katie Taylor: “Kimberly is my mandatory challenger and I cannot wait to get in there and showcase my skills again, hopefully with an impressive performance.
 
“I have big dreams and big goals. I would love to become the undisputed champion. There’s two more belts to go and I’m very, very hungry for them.
 
“I have the WBA and IBF belt but that’s only the start for me. I hope to be the undisputed champion soon and the next few months are going to be really exciting for me.”
 
Kimberly Connor: “This is a whole new World for me coming over here and being involved in such a huge show. Katie has accomplished a lot and I have huge respect for her. I’m really looking forward to fighting her. I’m the massive underdog in this fight and I’m coming to take those belts home with me.”
 
Carlos Takam: “I’m very glad to be back here in the UK. When I was offered the fight against Dereck I immediately accepted it. Dereck is as tough as they come and I’m prepared for a tough night.”
 
Dereck Chisora: “Carlos took AJ rounds, he’s a tough guy so this is no walk in the park – it’s a marathon. He goes rounds with good fighters so I know that I’ve got 12 rounds ahead of me. They asked for this at the beginning of the year but there was no right slot for it at that time.
 
“I know it’s going to be a long night, there’s no two ways about it. I didn’t learn anything from his AJ fight as he was fighting a different game than he’ll bring tonight, I just want him to be in front of me so we can have a good time.
 
Nick Webb: “I’m really excited about this weekend and doing the job. It’s a great opportunity for me to progress towards the British title. I’m going to break him down and finish him.
 
“Everyone knows Dave and everyone loves him, I like him too, but this is business and I’m going to show him what I’m all about.
 
“We are competitors and I’m there to take him out. The fight has come out of nowhere a bit but I’ve always wanted the fight. We’ve always traded words over social media so it’s good to finally get him in the ring.”
 
Dave Allen: “Eddie offered Joe Joyce to fight Nick. Then my name was mentioned in an interview if that was off so I sent Eddie a message straight away.
 
“Who wouldn’t want to be part of another big PPV show? I’ve been involved in a few now and I couldn’t say no when I knew there was an option to fight on this card.
 
“Win, lose or draw this is going to be my last fight for a while. People might say that’s not the best thing to say before a big fight, but it’ll help drive that extra 10 per cent out of me. I’ve been in some good, hard fights in recent years and I think it’s time to rest up and revitalise myself.
 
Conor Benn: “I’m ready for this fight. This is almost like a hindrance on my career, I know I’ll beat him on my worst day. Nothing was right for me that night or lead up to that first fight.
 
“I was jetlagged coming back from New York. I didn’t think I was going to fight when I come back – I thought the year was done so my weight wasn’t too great and my face suffered an allergic reaction out there as well.
 
“I need to prove that I’m a level above my opponent here. I’m ready to box. I know I can box and I’m ready to have it and entertain the British public.”
 
Anthony Fowler: “I’m the hungriest that I’ve ever been. I’m fighting an ambitious 8-0 prospect in Craig O’Brien who won’t want to lose his unbeaten record. These are the kind of fights that I want to be involved in at this stage of my career. This is the fight where everyone is going to see what I’m really about.
 
“It’s great to be fighting on another Dillian Whyte undercard. I put on a good show last time out at The O2 and I’ll be looking to do the same tonight. This is the biggest test of my pro career to date and I’m ready to go to war if I have to.
 
“The plan is to keep on winning and to fight for a belt towards the end of the year. I haven’t got a specific title in mind, I just want a belt wrapped around my waist by the end of 2018.”
 
Joshua Buatsi: “I’m excited to be fighting for my first pro title. Knowing that a belt is on the line has helped fuel the hours and hours of hard work that I have been putting in to my training.
 
“I really thrive when I fight at The O2 and I’m looking to turn it into my Lion’s Den. I love fighting here and I’m going to put on a memorable performance for all of my fans.
 
“My team have the experience and the knowledge to guide my career and to make the correct decisions which allows me to prepare and continue to improve.”

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WEBB: JOYCE ‘BOTTLED’ JULY 28 SHOWDOWN


 
Nick Webb has accused his old amateur rival Joe Joyce of ‘bottling’ the chance to face him on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s Heavyweight clash with Joseph Parker at The O2 in London this Saturday.
 
Promoter Eddie Hearn had planned on setting up a Commonwealth Heavyweight title fight between Champion Joyce and unbeaten challenger Webb but the Olympic Super-Heavyweight silver medallist took to his Twitter account last week to explain that he would not be fighting on the July 28 show.
 
Webb, 30, immediately accepted the opportunity to fight for his first pro title but was left bitterly disappointed by the ‘Juggernaut’s’ statement. The Chertsey man is hopeful that the fight can be made in September if he comes through his British title eliminator with Dave Allen.
 
“Joe has been very vocal in calling out the likes of Jarrell Miller and Bryant Jennings but he bottled it when he was offered the fight with me,” said Webb. “If you want to be mentioned with the top Heavyweights in the division then you can’t be turning down fights against little old me.
 
“He said that he’ll fight any Heavyweight in the World, ‘let alone Nick Webb’, but that clearly isn’t true. Yes, he is in the process of changing trainers but if he is as good as he tells everyone he is then he should be able to get past me without one in his corner.
 
“Joe beat me in the amateurs and I’d love an opportunity to get my payback. All of my focus in on Dave Allen this Saturday but when I get through him hopefully me and Joe can get it on in September on the Joshua vs. Povetkin undercard at Wembley, that would be amazing.
 
“I’ve come a long way since my amateur days and I’d prove that by becoming the first man to beat Joe in his pro career and taking his Commonwealth belt home with me before marching on to the British title.”
 
Webb vs. Allen is part of a huge night of boxing at The O2 topped by the crunch Heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and former WBO ruler Joseph Parker, former Heavyweight World title challengers Dereck Chisora and Carlos Takam square-off for the WBA International title in a must-win match up, Katie Taylor continues her quest to unify the Lightweight division when she defends her WBA and IBF titles against mandatory challenger Kimberly Connor, Joshua Buatsi goes for his first pro title when he fights Andrejs Pokumeiko for the WBA International Light-Heavyweight crown, Conor Benn fights for his first pro title in the WBA Continental Welterweight strap when he rematches Frenchman Cedrick Peynaud after their epic first encounter at York Hall and unbeaten Super-Welterweights Anthony Fowler and Craig O’Brien put their 0’s on the line.

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