GARCIA VS. CHEESEMAN + UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Eddie Hearn:

“I feel a real transition now in British boxing. I’ve said it before, the older guard are starting to come to the end of some of their careers. We saw David Haye step away from the sport, Tony Bellew and so many other great Saturday night headliners are close to being in those final phases of their careers. 

“Now, you have the young lions at The O2. We want to give them the big platform and opportunities to shine. There’s so much pressure for the boys on this top table. I love the pressure that’s involved. I can’t believe we’re only two days away from Jake Ball vs. Craig Richards, it feels like we’ve been waiting for this fight for two years. Everybody wants to get on and get to the next level. The loser of that fight is out of the picture. Young Felix Cash in against Rasheed Abolaji for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title. He has to win and look good doing it. 

“Garcia vs. Cheeseman is a great fight and I think it’s a 50-50 fight. On paper, Garcia has much more pedigree and experience that Ted. But he’s stepping up and I love the fact that we’ve got a local boy headlining his first card at The O2.”

Sergio Garcia – Torrelavega, Spain – 28-0, 13 KO’s – defending the EBU European Super-Welterweight title against Ted Cheeseman:

“I’m happy to be here for this fight and for the show that we’re going to put on. It’s a really big showcase and I’m sure that I can put the best of myself out there. 

“To be honest, I like being the away fighter. All of the pressure is on the home fighter. I’ve just come here to show what I’ve got and to put in a good performance.

“If he wins, he will have deserved it. If I win, I will have been better than him. There won’t be any excuses from me. I’m 100% fit and feeling ready.”

Ted Cheeseman – Bermondsey, London – 15-0, 9 KO’s – challenging Sergio Garciafor the the EBU European Super-Welterweight title:

“These are the tests that I want. This is the right test for me at the right time. I’m heading a show at The O2 and I’m only 23. I didn’t expect to be at this level so quickly. I’m excited to get in there and get the win. 
 
“I don’t feel nervous. I’m fully confident of winning and performing. The only pressure that’s on me is I need to put in a big performance. I’ve got to this level and I want to stay here and go higher. There’s bigger and better things to come. 
 
“These type of fights push you to the next level. Things are coming off in the gym and I’m looking very sharp. If he comes to fight we’ll meet in the middle and clash. It’s going to be exciting for the fans to watch.”

Lawrence Okolie – Hackney, London – 10-0, 7 KO’s – defending his WBA Continental Cruiserweight title against Tamas Lodi:

“It’s amazing to be on a card with so many great fighters. For me now it’s all about putting into practice what I do in training in fights. I need to be a bit more relaxed and be myself more in fights. I need to progress fight by fight. 

“The pressure is on me to put in some big performances. I’m used to pressure though, within my ten fights I’ve headlined two shows. This is normal, you just do what you do. I said when I turned pro I don’t want to waste time boxing lots of journeyman, this Saturday I have to because people in Britain are better at talking that fighting. I’ll get the win and push on to big fight.”
 
Jake Ball – Surrey, England – 12-1, 9 KO’s – fighting Craig Richards for the WBA Continental Light-Heavyweight title:

“It’s plain and simple. All the talking is done now. Roll on fight night, let’s rock and roll. Ive been through those hard fights, dug deep and gone into the trenches to get the win. Come fight night Craig is going to be shown his level. There’s levels to the game and I’ll show Craig he’s not on my level. Craig Richards is getting knocked out.”

Craig Richards – Crystal Palace, London – 13-1, 7 KO’s – fighting Jake Ball for the WBA Continental Light-Heavyweight title:

“First of all I’d like to thank everyone for coming out. I want to say happy birthday to Peter Sims as well. It’s been a tremendous camp. We moved over to the Matchroom Gym with Tony and we’ve been working with the boys. We’re over there working hard. Development has been great and I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a very long time.

“Everyone is in for a thriller on Saturday night. I’ve trained very hard and I want it bad – he wants it bad. We’ve got two days left, I’m just hoping Jack’s still alright and turns up on the night.”

Felix Cash – Wokingham, England – 10-0, 6 KO’s – fighting Rasheed Abolaji for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title:

“This is my first 12 round fight. I did 10 rounds last time. I’m looking forward to getting in there and showing everyone what I’m all about. He mentioned the judges and they definitely won’t be needed on Saturday.”
 
“He’s tough, I expect him to be tough for a few rounds but there’s levels in this sport and I’m levels above this guy. I need to show him that and that’s what I intend to do. I’m looking forward to getting in there and doing a job on him.”

Rasheed Abolaji – Lagos, Nigeria – 11-4-1, 6 KO’s – fighting Felix Cash for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title:

“I am set for the fight. I was here in 2017, I fought against Sam Sheedy, I believe I won. The judges felt otherwise. So on Saturday I’m not going to leave it in their hands.”

John Docherty – Montrose, Scotland – 2-0, 2 KO’s – fighting Prezemyslaw Binienda in a four round Super-Middleweight contest: 

“I’m looking for the KO. I’m looking forward to being on a big bill on the undercard of my gym mate Ted Cheeseman. I’m lookin a great night and hopefully getting another knockout. They’ve all got titles in my gym and it gives me motivation. I just want to have a title fight. I’ve only had two fights and I’m looking forward to the future. Hopefully I’ll have a title soon.”

Fabio Wardley – Ipswich, England – 5-0, 4 KO’s – fighting Morgan Dessaux six round Heavyweight contest:

“It’s nice to have back-to-back fights at The O2. It’s a great venue and it’s great to be on the same card as so many up and coming fighters. I’m looking forward to getting out there again and just showing everyone more of my skills and what I’m about. I’m letting people know that I’m here and I’m ready to make an impact on the  Heavyweight division. After a few more fights I’ll be aiming for titles and I’m ready to go. 

“There’s no names in particular that I’m hunting right now, I’m very focused on myself and my own personal development. The Souther Area and the English titles before the end of the year would be nice.”

Dano Zaxo – Hammersmith, London – 3-0, 2 KO’s – fighting Bartosz Barczynski in a four round Cruiserweight contest:

“We got the call and we jumped at the chance. This is going to be a big one for me, it’s my first big show a lot of people coming along to watch me. They’re going to be excited to see what I’ve got for them. It’s a pleasure to be part of the show, thanks for the opportunity.”

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GARCIA VS. CHEESEMAN + UNDERCARD QUOTES

Picture By Mark Robinson.


Eddie Hearn:

“Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming today. Firstly, Happy New Year. 2018 – wow, what a whirlwind. When you look back at the amount of events, the events themselves, it was a great year for boxing. There are so many young stars coming through. I get the feeling and the warmth that this is a new beginning and a new start, particularly for a lot of people sat at this top table. There seems to be a changing of the guard. There are so many great fighters that are coming into the closing stages of their careers. When you look at this card, you see exactly the opposite. 

“This is great that you have a young fighter local to The O2 who has had 15 fights and is willing to take these kinds of steps against Sergio Garcia, a European Champion – top 5 with the WBC and top 15 with many other organisations as well. It’s a massive step and these young fighters are being prepared to step up to these levels quicker than historically they’ve done before. It applies to Ted Cheeseman and it also applies to Lawrence Okolie, just ten fights in and number 8 in the World on BoxRec. There’s a lot of opportunities for the young guys coming through and on February 2 we see a lot of them step up.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Boxing:

“Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had a great Christmas. What a fantastic 2018 it was – finished with the wonderful night at The O2, not only the Whyte-Chisora rematch but also Charlie Edwards, what a scene that was when he won the World title. It just goes to show that stars can appear if you believe in yourself. 

“The opportunity is knocking for so many young fighters this year. The stage is there. Boxing has revolutionised in London, The O2 is a phenomenal venue. February 2nd is a warm welcome back, there’s some great talent on the card at all sorts of levels. The most important thing is that they have the chance to breakthrough this year. You have to take the chances. We want stories, we want narratives, we want personalities. Stories and narratives build, that’s where we get the huge fights. 

“This is where is starts and I think 2019 is the start of a new era for the youngsters. I think by the end of the year there will be three or four guys topping bills and hopefully for them becoming Box Office stars themselves. The opportunities are there, the talent is huge around the gyms in the country. We can’t wait to get going on February 2nd.”

Sergio Garcia – Torrelavega, Spain – 28-0, 13 KO’s – defending the EBU European Super-Welterweight title against Ted Cheeseman:

“In truth this is a great opportunity for me and Spanish boxing, we’re going to put on a show. I have a lot more experience than him but at the end of the day this is boxing so I’ll have to put in a performance on the night. It’s nice to hear my promoter backing me but right now the challenge is on February 2nd so I’ll take care of that night and then we’ll see what comes next.”

Ted Cheeseman – Bermondsey, London – 15-0, 9 KO’s – challenging Sergio Garcia for the the EBU European Super-Welterweight title:

“For this fight, it’s a European title, he’s highly ranked with the World governing bodies, and the thing is once you win a European title, there’s only one other step after that. When you turn pro, your goal is to be a World Champion. You don’t yourself fully know if you’re going to achieve that.  “You don’t even know if you’re going to get a shot at it, but if I win this fight on February 2, and I’m highly confident I will after watching my opponent’s fights and studying his style, then I’m in line. I’m there, I’m in line, I’m basically there for a world title shot. “As you say, it’s a World level fight, so I’ll go and put on a good show on February 2, and show how much I’m improving and show what level I’m at.” Lawrence Okolie – Hackney, London – 10-0, 7 KO’s – Cruiserweight:

“I did a lot of learning inside and outside of the ring in 2018. It was a good learning year, I packed in a lot of experience into 10 fights. I want bigger tests and more grudge matches in 2019. It’s about balance, I was pushed fast in the amateurs. There’s a big gap from domestic to World level and I’m still learning.”

Jake Ball – Surrey, England – 12-1, 9 KO’s – fighting Craig Richards for the WBA Continental Light-Heavyweight title:

“I’ve been training well and preparing hard for it. The actions that I’ll show on February 2nd will speak louder than any words that I can say. I respect Craig and I know he’s a good fighter, but he isn’t as good as me and it’s as simple as that. Come fight night I’ll show it. I’m not afraid of any man.

“When I fight Craig in February I’ll be 100% fit and ready. I pulled out through injury, it’s not as if I had another fight lined up. All the hard work in the gym will show on the night.”

Craig Richards – Crystal Palace, London – 13-1, 7 KO’s – fighting Jake Ball for the WBA Continental Light-Heavyweight title:

“Im not going to pretend that the last few months haven’t been frustrating. With Jake ‘no balls’ pulling out, it’s been frustrating. He called me out in June and he’s been sitting on the bench injured since. Then we was meant to fight in October but he lost his balls and followed through in his trousers. Then we were meant to fight in December and it didn’t happen. Why didn’t you turn up in December?”

Felix Cash – Wokingham, England – 10-0, 6 KO’s – fighting Rasheed Abolaji for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title:

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a long time coming. The Commonwealth belt is right up there and I’m looking forward to going in there and putting a performance on. I want to show everyone what I’m all about and push on towards some bigger fights. Obviously it’s one fight at a time but I’ve got full confidence in my abilities. Hopefully once I get my hands on this Commonwealth title more fighters will be tempted so step in the ring with me. I’ll go in there, bust this fella up and then bring in the next one.”

John Docherty – Montrose, Scotland – 2-0, 2 KO’s – taking part in his third professional contest at Super-Middleweight:

“My first two fights went very well. I’m looking forward to getting out again on February 2nd and progressing with my career. Fighting in Italy was a good experience for me, I already had experience of fighting all around the World as an amatuer but the atmosphere in Italy was unique. I’m looking forward to getting another knockout on February 2nd. I would say I’m ready to step up now but Tony Sims and Eddie Hearn keep my feet on the ground. When the opportunity comes I’ll be ready.”

Fabio Wardley – Ipswich, England – 5-0, 4 KO’s – Heavyweight:

“December 22 was a great card and a great night to be a part of. I announced myself and showed everyone a little bit of what I can do. It was a fairly easy night for me, a comfortable win. I’m ready to go again. I’m excited to get out there in front of a big stage again and show off. 

“I pay attention to what’s going on in the Heavyweight landscape but at the same time I’m focused on my own career and I’m looking at titles and where the gaps are in the division. There’s a lot I can do and I bring something different that a lot of Heavyweights don’t have. I’m just looking forward to having a very busy year and making more of a name for myself.”

Charles Frankham – Crowthorne, England – making his professional debut at Super-Featherweight:

“I’ve been working really hard with Tony (Sims) and the boys. I’m looking forward to getting in there now and doing the job. I feel like I’m ready for the pro game now. I’ve been sparring with Martin J Ward, Joe Cordina and Ricky Burns – they’re bringing me on loads. I’m going to take my time and try and get as many bouts under my belt as I can in 2019.”

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CHEESEMAN GETS EUROPEAN TITLE SHOT AT THE O2

Picture By Mark Robinson.

Okolie, Ball, Richards and Cash return on February 2
Ted Cheeseman clashes with undefeated Spaniard Sergio Garcia for the EBU European Super-Welterweight crown at The O2 in London on February 2, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
 
‘The Big Cheese’ gets his European title shot after outpointing Asinia Byfield in an all-action battle for the Lonsdale belt at the Copper Box Arena in October, and the Bermondsey favourite knows a win over Garcia could secure a mouth-watering fight with Liverpool’s Anthony Fowler.
 
Bitter Light-Heavyweight rivals Jake Ball and Craig Richards finally get in on after Ball pulled out of their October meeting at short notice due to injury, and there is no love lost between the pair who have been trading insults over Twitter ever since. 
 
Felix Cash won his first professional title in October and now he gets the chance to add a second when he takes on Nigeria’s Abolaji Rasheed for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title, with the Wokingham man determined to make up for lost time.
 
Undefeated British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion Lawrence Okolie returns to action after wrestling the Lonsdale belt from Matty Askin at Wembley Stadium, and the Hackney powerhouse is aiming to add more belts to his collection in 2019.
 
Further exciting additions to the card will be announced soon.
 
Tickets for February 2 are on sale from midday today (21/12) and available to purchase from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)

Tickets are priced at £30, £50, £80 and £150 (VIP)

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