|Frank Smith, CEO of Matchroom Boxing:|
“Hello everyone and thank you for joining us here in Peterborough today ahead of a stacked JD NXTGEN show on Saturday night at the East of England Arena. It’s the start of a busy month for Matchroom Boxing. From here we go to Milan, New York, Philadelphia, London and then back to Liverpool. It’s a busy month live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
“These are the kind of cards that are really going to build up the sport of boxing and the new names of boxing in the UK. We’re very excited to try a new market here in Peterborough. There’s over 2,500 tickets sold and this man to my right (Jordan Gill) has sold 1,200 of those. I think he deserves a round of applause for that.
“It’s exciting to give the likes of Jordan Gill the opportunity to headline his own show. These are the guys that are hopefully going to come through and make names for themselves in the UK and beyond. This is why the JD NXTGEN series is all about. It’s a huge card stacked from top to bottom.”
Jordan Gill – Chatteris, England – 22-0, 6 KO’s – fighting Emmanuel Dominguez for the Vacant WBA International Featherweight title:
“This is a really big step on the ladder for me. To be headlining in Peterborough so close to my home town is a dream come true and to have such a good card behind me is a dream come true as well. Thanks to Matchroom, thanks to Eddie, thanks to Frank. Also thanks to my manager Dave Coldwell who has worked very hard to get me here. It’s been a long road and I’m just really excited. I’ve had so much support locally – everyone is coming out to watch it. It’s a good arena, its like a big tin shed with a low ceiling so there’s going to be plenty of noise in there. I’m looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere.
“I think the crowd is going to lift me. I’m going to go out there and enjoy it. When I beat Ryan Doyle in the fashion that I did it made a lot of people in the business stand up and take notice. A lot of people were expecting me to get beat and I knew in my heart that I’d do what I did. For me, this is another step on the ladder and another step forward. To get a WBA top 15 ranking will be great. We can push on and see what happens after that but my sights are firmly set on Emmanuel Dominguez on Saturday night. I think it is going to be a hard fight. I’m expecting 12 rounds of action. They breed them tough in Mexico.”
Emmanuel Dominguez – Aguascalientes, Mexico – 24-7-2, 16 KO’s – fighting Jordan Gill for the Vacant WBA International Featherweight title:
“It’s really nice to be here. Thanks for the welcome. This is the first time that I’ve set foot on British soil and it’s been great. I’d like to thank the promoter of this event Matchroom Boxing for this fantastic opportunity. I think that the experience that I’ve gained fighting in Mexico will help me. Every fight I’ve had in Mexico has been against a really tough opponent. I think it’s very important that I’ve got that backstory. Those tough opponents have helped me develop this massive hunger that I’ve got. I’ve come here to win and I’m carrying that belt back to Mexico.
“Jordan’s support will serve as an extra inspiration and help to drive me on. We’re over here to try and create a surprise. I’m sure I can win on Saturday night. I have a huge inspiration in the form of my family and the people close to me. It’s a real dream. It’s also a dream of mine to become a World Champion. Jordan represents a real step up in class for me. I hope I can win that belt on Saturday evening.”
Richard Riakporhe – Walworth, London – 8-0, 7 KO’s – making the first defence of his WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title against Tommy McCarthy:
“First of all I want to thank my manager Dillian Whyte for getting me this opportunity. It’s like a dream come true. Boxing on small hall shows at York Hall to fighting on the big stage. I’ve fought on a few of Dillian’s undercards and the Usyk vs. Bellew undercard where I won my first title against Sam Hyde in Manchester. I’ve become like a reference to people all over the World. If you dedicate yourself and strive for greatness then your dreams will come true. It takes a lot of sacrifice and discipline. I’m happy to be here, I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“I need to take these challenges and deal with them in order to get to where I want to be. If you want to stay at this level then you need to keep on grinding. Tommy said that I’m like a big novice and he’s absolutely right. I’m a big novice with big power, big heart, big will, big desire and ambition. I’m going to leave the ring with my hand raised, by any means necessary.”
Tommy McCarthy – Belfast, Ireland – 13-1, 6 KO’s – challenging Richard Riakporhe for the WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight title:
“Thanks for having me and thanks for the opportunity. I feel good, I’m happy to be here and I’m very confident. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to be on this stage for the past two years. My career got off to a very good start and then it was very stop-start. I feel like I’m back where I belong, fighting in Championship fights on TV. This is a big opportunity and I’m not going to let it slip. I’m ready, I’ve been looking World class in the gym. I’m excited.
“Lawrence Okolie has cleaned up domestically. A few years ago he wasn’t even a pro and I was leading the pack at Cruiserweight. A win against Richard puts me back into contention for a big fight with Lawrence and beyond. But I’m not looking past Richard because he is undefeated and he’s hungry. I just feel that it’s all down to me on the night. If I perform to my best then I’ll get the win.”
Leigh Wood – Nottingham, England – 20-1, 10 KO’s – fighting Abraham Osei Bonsu for the Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight title:
“I’m very excited. I’m sure it will be an exciting fight on Saturday night. I want to thank Dave Coldwell for delivering this fight for me. Jordan played his part in making this possible and Matchroom Boxing as well. It’s been hard with fights falling through – I was getting a bit down about it all. I’m here now and I’m being trained by Ian Grant. He’s had me all over the place, down in Wales, Nottingham and Sheffield training, he’s even had me down at the National Space Centre training at zero gravity. I’m buzzing, I’m happy and excited. I just want to get in there now and show everyone what I’m about.
“I’m expecting a hard fight and I’ve trained for a hard fight. I’m not looking past it, but after this fight I want to be really busy, fighting two or three more times this year if possible. My eyes are on Saturday night. I’m going to enjoy myself, all the hard work is done.”
Abraham Osei Bonsu – Accra, Ghana – 13-3-1, 11 KO’s – fighting Leigh Wood for the Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight title:
“I just want everyone to understand that I’m here and I’m on a mission and I came for a title. It doesn’t matter how many people are here to support Leigh Wood – I will take that title away.”
Anthony Sims Jr – Indiana, USA – 17-0, 16 KO’s – fighting Mateo Damian Veron in a ten round Super-Middleweight contest:
“I want to thank Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing for having me. It’s great to be back – it’s like my second home. I love being here. I’m basically a Brit now. When I’m looking at a fighter I’m not specific about names or builds or ethnicity. They have two legs and two arms just like me. I just plan to move up and take my time. Rome wasn’t built within one night. Everything worth having in life takes time so I’m going to do the same with my career.”
Mateo Damian Veron – Buenos Aires, Argentina – 28-21-3, 8 KO’s – fighting Anthony Sims Jr in a ten round Super-Middleweight contest:
“Thank you for having me. I’m really excited about this challenge. I’m not scared at all in any way whatsoever. I’ve trained really well and I’m looking forward to the bout. Let the best man win. Anthony Sims is a very good boxer. I feel that we share the same ambitions and beliefs in this industry. We all want to go as far as we possibly can. I think it is going to be a very emotional occasion on Saturday night.”
Joe Steed – Wisbech, England – 4-0 – fighting Miguel Aguilar in a four round Super-Welterweight contest:
“I can’t wait to show my skills. Training camp has gone well, it’s been based locally. I’ve got some good support coming down and I can’t wait to get the job done and then move on from there.”
John Docherty – Montrose, Scotland – 3-0, 3 KO’s – fighting Yailton Neves in a four round Super-Middleweight contest:
“I’m feeling good. I’ve had a very good camp, sparring the likes of John Ryder. I’ve got a good journeyman in front of me on Saturday, he’s very slick and he’s not been stopped many times. The Doc is going on the hunt for another knockout and hopefully I can get four knockouts in a row. I’m looking forward to Saturday night and a big performance.
“Ricky Burns is in the gym with me every day and he’s always pushing us on in every session. He wants to do extra work all of the time and that’s the reason he was a World Champion. He’s coming up to watch me on Saturday so hopefully I can put a show on for him.
Qais Ashfaq – Leeds, England – 4-0, 2 KO’s – fighting Fadhili Majiha in a six round Super-Bantamweight contest:
“I’m really enjoying the pro ranks. I’m having a good time in training and enjoying my boxing. As they say, a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and I’ve been getting better in every fight. I’ve had a good camp. This kid is a good opponent. He’s got more stoppages than I’ve had fights so that shows how talented and experienced he is. He’s just another hurdle in the way and I’ve got to get over it on Saturday night.
“As you can see they’re already pushing me very fast – my opponent on Saturday is very experienced. I’m ready for titles whenever my trainer, management and promoter feels I’m ready. Let’s push on. It’s my second year as a pro and I want to get better and better with every single fight.
Kieron Conway – Northampton, England – 9-0, 3 KO’s – fighting Gabor Gorbics in a six round Middleweight contest:
“I feel good. I had a nice long training camp for this one. My last performance weren’t too good, it started putting doubts in people’s heads. I’m here to make and statement and to get the job done. I’m aiming for titles by the end of this year, at Super-Welter or Middle. Either way, I’m looking for titles this year.”