|Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“It great to be back in Sheffield, this is a tremendous fighting city and it’s been almost two years since we’ve been here for a major fight. Terri Harper and Kid Galahad boxed on that card and now we return with both of them in big fights.
“Kid Galahad had grinded for many years, a product of Brendan Ingle’s great Ingle Gym, now gets the chance to headline in Sheffield at the Sheffield Arena defending his IBF World Title. I know this is a very proud moment for himself and the Ingle Gym.
“Terri Harper who sits on the verge of a mega fight with Mikaela Mayer for the Undisputed Championship has a very, very tough fight against America’s Alycia Baumgardner – some tremendous action of the card. Chris Billam-Smith defending his European Title against Dylan Bregeon, Donte Dixon, one of the best prospects in the country, and so much other talent to be displayed on Saturday night live and exclusive on DAZN worldwide.”
“It’s took me a long time to get here, and I just can’t wait. Kiko mentioning Garcia and Joshua, mentally I’m different from those guys. Never in my career have I ever underestimated any fighter, on Saturday night trust me he’ll be wishing he never took this fight.
“Some of the names you [Eddie] gave me, I think Kiko was the best from all of them because he’s a former World Champion. He’s been at this level for 15 years, name me another fighter who’s been at the world level, or just below it, for 15 years, there hasn’t been. I believe I’m a different kettle of fish to him and on Saturday night I’m not going to take it easy on him, I’m going to seriously hurt him.
“Forget those unification fights for now, it’s all about Kiko Martinez on Saturday night, going in there and doing a job on him. I’m not looking to just go in there and win, he’s had some bad decisions in the past against Barrett and Warrington, so I know he’s going to come and not try leave it to the judge’s hands – that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to leave it to the judges’ hands, I’m going to go in there and seriously hurt him.
“All the razzmatazz and that I don’t really let it get to me I’m just focused on the fight. All the media stuff, the ring walk and people shouting your name, when I get to the venue I’m tunnel vision and ready to seriously hurt someone. I’m focused on what I’ve got to do, all that other stuff doesn’t really bother me, I’m here to win and stay champion for a long time.”
“First and foremost, it’s been two years of incredibly hard work, I haven’t had a day off in that time or any holiday – for my family or myself. It’s been constant hard work to get this opportunity so thank you for this opportunity to fight for this World Title.
“There have been many surprises recently in boxing, look at some of the surprises, Joshua vs. Usyk, we have situations where champions aren’t respecting their defences and their rivals. If Galahad doesn’t do the same and respect this fight, he’s going to get a big shock on Saturday night.
“I think you’ve seen the results of Spanish boxing learning from their errors over the years. We’re in a really good position at the moment and doing well.
“It’s been a long year; I had a tough time after the operations but here we are back on the main stage, and it feels like we haven’t been away. Even though I haven’t boxed for a year I’ve been in the gym non-stop, I had two weeks out to recover from the operation but since that I’ve been in the gym working, developing myself as a fighter not just physically but mentally. I’ve excited to get back out Saturday night and show everybody the improvements I’ve made, I’m not the same fighter I was a year ago and I’m ready to put on a show.
“Working with Danny over at Boxing Science, just the numbers that I’m hitting and PB’s I’m doing I know. Working with Andrew we’ve had time to enjoy ourselves in the gym and try new things, it’s just clicked. I’ve enjoyed myself and enjoyed training, I’m a completely different fighter, mentally, it’s always been the biggest thing. I lack self-believe and confidence, so I’ve been doing my own work outside the gym to take my mindset to the next level – here I am ready to go.
“I’ve never shied away from a tough fight since I turned professional with Andrew. He’d give me the choice of a couple of girls, and I would always say give me the toughest fight. That’s not just for me but for the fans as well, I’ve fought girls with winning records, former World Champions, reigning World Champions, that’s the reason why we chose Alycia. She’s a tough and respectable opponent, I want to be out there Saturday night making a statement and showing everyone I’m back.
“I know what I’ve got ahead of me on Saturday night, I’m not overlooking Alycia, but this is a steppingstone in my journey and career. I want to go on and push on to have a big 2022 and hopefully get a unification against Choi, push on for an Undisputed against Mayer.”
“My confidence is at an all-time high, I’ve been preparing for this moment for a very long time in my career and being in boxing for twenty years – this moment everybody dreams of. Here I am, well prepared and ready to give a great fight Saturday night. I’m ready to showcase what women’s boxing has been doing and give a different look on what a lot of boxing fans haven’t seen from me and from a women’s boxing perspective.
“It is a very dangerous fight for Terri, I pose a big threat, again just the experience I have with over 100 amateur fights and many former World Champion’s training camps. I’ve been prepared for these moments, just to go out there Saturday night to really do what I do best and get the win – I will become a two-time World Champion come Saturday night.
“Like I said, my confidence is at 100, there’s levels to this game and I believe I’ve been on that level, but I haven’t been given the opportunity to showcase that. Now on Saturday I’ll be able to show the many levels of boxing of what I have to offer to the sport and what I have to show Terri Harper Saturday night. She hasn’t been in the ring with somebody like me, I’m definitely going to show her and punish her every round.”
“It’s an honour to be Commonwealth, British and European Champion, I’m looking forward to defending the European Title on Saturday night. Last time out wasn’t my best performance, so I’m really looking to put on a clinical performance this time out.
“To lose by two rounds in Italy against an Italian, most people take that as a win, so I see him as unbeaten. He’s tall, awkward, he throws a lot of shots and moves well so we’re very aware of the dangers in this fight and on the same note as long as I perform to the best of my ability, I know I’ll come out on top on Saturday.
“The next twelve months is huge for me, and it’s fights like this I’ve got to perform in and keep progressing and doing the work we’ve done in the gym since the last fight. I’m ranked in the top seven in every governing body so I’m looking to push on, keep climbing those rankings until I get my opportunity – when it comes, I’ll be ready.”
“This is a big opportunity for me of course, I’m very pleased to have this chance at the title. Looking over the recent history there’s only been five French champions at European level so come Saturday I’ll put on a good show and hopefully I’ll be the sixth.
“It was a tough defeat to take against Turchi I have to say, obviously I respect the decision, it can happen in any boxer’s career that some decisions don’t go your way. I’m here to put on a great show, with Chris Billam-Smith I’m sure we’re both going to express ourselves and put on a good show for everybody.”
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s a nice little step up but obviously skills pay the bills, I should pass. It’s been eleven months, my last fight was on Billy’s undercard, I’m just looking forward to getting back out there I’ve got itchy knuckles man.
“Look good on Saturday and we move on from there but just got to get it out of the way. I’ve got to go in there, do my job, look good while doing it and sky’s the limit.”
“I’ve worked really hard throughout camp, mentally and physically I’m ready to face the best Dom Hunt. Hopefully he can return the favour, all the ingredients are there, it’s set to be a great fight.
“It’s like our World Title shot really, coming off the small hall shows to this and such a big platform, I’m really grateful to be here.”
“This is why we’re in boxing for opportunities like this so thank you to everyone for making this possible, it’s down to me now to go in and do the best I can and put on a show Saturday night.
“There’s no extra nerves because when I got into boxing, I didn’t set any targets or anything, I’m just in this because I love boxing. I don’t need to do it, but I do because I love it, that’s why I get up so early and do all the hard work because I want to do it. Saturday night is just an opportunity I never thought I’d get, I know it’s a hard fight, James is a really good fighter and I’ve just got to match that and do the best I can on Saturday.”
“I just can’t for Saturday, obviously training alongside Terri for our fights on Saturday has just been massive experience – money can’t buy that. I know I’m more than prepared Saturday night, get the ball rolling again and get my second fight out the way.
“I had my debut only six weeks ago so it’s nice to get straight back out there, six-week training camp and back in the ring, hopefully I can stay busy going forward as well.
“I think on Saturday night if I can go out there and get the stoppage that makes a big statement, I’m more than capable of doing that as well. I’ve got the power, I got the stoppage in my first fight, I’m not going to go out there and look for it. It’s just going to happen with what I work with my coach, the way we do things, it’ll just come when I break my opponent down, I’m sure I’ll work my way to that stoppage.”
“It’s a massive opportunity for myself, all of my family is from Sheffield so it’s good for them to come down and watch me. I’m just ready to put on a mature performance, I’m only 19 but I want everybody to know that I’ve got a good skill set and I’m ready to go do the business on Saturday.”
“I can’t wait, it’s unbelievable to be boxing alongside World Champions and other great fighters. I can’t wait to get the ball rolling Saturday night.
“If it was up to me, I’d be asking to fight for the British Title in my second fight, that’s why I’ve got the best management team, to pick the correct fights for me and move forward in my career.”
“I cannot tell you how grateful I am for you having me here, it’s the dream. I train so hard; most people dream of being a World Champion, but I just dream of being on a Matchroom show. My ultimate goal is a Commonwealth Title, I’m living the dream, on Saturday I’m going to prove I can actually fight as good as I can talk.
“I spent a lot of years on my own, now I’m so busy and I’m always around people, I’ve got my little boy, my team, I work in the gym. I love it, I’m busy, we all had a lot of time in lockdown, you can’t complain when you’re busy can you.”