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Maxi Hughes (defends IBO World Lightweight title against Kid Galahad): Only Barry knows if he’s the same after that KO. Speaking to Terri about it, she had the same with Alicia Baumgardner on the same night, but she’s exorcised those demons in March by getting back in the ring. I spoke to Tony Bellew, and he said, no-one gets to see if they have exorcised the demons until they get back through the ropes and get hit on the chin by eight ounce gloves. There was genuine compassion there, no-one likes to see a fellow fighter go down as heavy as that and see paramedics rush to the ring. We never think it’s going to happen we just want to get in, fight and get home to our families.
I don’t put pressure on myself in terms of ‘get through this fight and the next fight is massive’. It’s the way I live my life. I’ve got two young kids that I adore, and being a full-time boxer means I am around them more, that’s where the pressure comes because I want to keep living that life. What comes next will happen, nothing is guaranteed, I just want to keep being a full-time fighter and the best Dad to my kids.
The form and momentum are with me, but I am underdog again and that’s something I am used to, it’s just how I approach things regardless of what people think, the bookies think; we’re confident as a team in what we’re doing and that’s the most important thing – getting my hand raised and hearing ‘and still’.
Kid Galahad (moves up to Lightweight to challenge Hughes): I always put big pressure on myself in every fight. I’ve got the underdog mentality, every fight is do or die and I must do a job on Maxi Hughes, and I will. This new weight I feel fresher, I’m not struggling, and I feel great.
With the Kiko Martinez loss, that’s boxing, it can happen, I went straight back into the gym. You (Eddie) said to me to go on holiday and have a break, but I had to get in the gym and clear my mind, think about how it went wrong, I know what I did wrong, we’ve adjusted it and on Saturday night we’ll see that.
Maxi’s mate Josh got KO’d by Mauricio Lara and he came back to win a World title, so it depends how you are built. I think if Maxi got KO’d the way I did, he would have been finished but I am a different gravy to him, and on Saturday we’ll see.
It’s not mind games, it’s the truth. I got KO’d by Kiko, he asked his trainer to pull him out of a fight because he had a bloody nose. That’s the truth, I’m not sugar-coating it, I would rather go out on my shield, that’s the difference in our mentalities.
Stefy Bull (manager of Maxi Hughes, trainer/manager of Terri Harper): Maxi has probably had the best rise in British boxing over the last few years, very unexpected with some fantastic wins and fights he wasn’t meant to win. The bookies have him as the underdog again and he relishes that. Maxi has been training for Barry for nearly 12 weeks, but we’ve had things thrown our way like the Ryan Garcia fight or the Jorge Linares fight, but Maxi has just stayed focused on Barry.
They might be counter punchers, but I don’t see this being a boring fight at all. They both have a lot of pride, it’s a Yorkshire derby, there’s a bit of needle between them, and I am looking forward to it as a fan, not just as Maxis’ manager. It’s intriguing with Barry coming up a couple of weights, but Maxi is in his prime, he’s not showing any signs of decline and he hasn’t dropped a round in his last two fights. A confident fighter is very hard to beat, Maxi is a big strong Lightweight, this is his division, and he’s not going to want to let the title go because a Maxi Hughes win does warrant a super-fight next that could be life changing. He is the easiest fighter to manage because he just says yes, or yes but can you get me a bit more money. He will fight anyone, and I think the fans are in for a fantastic night.
I think Barry is going to be better at Lightweight, I really do. Dominic is one of the best trainers in the world, he knows what he’s doing, and Barry will be rejuvenated, stronger and full of energy at 135lbs. I’ve been with fighters that struggle to make weight, Terri is one of them but the McDonnell twins, Robbie Barrett; we’re in a weight-making sport and some people that aren’t in boxing don’t realize how fatigued fighters come but they are still having to grind it out because they have that belt. So, I think Barry will be better, but Maxi is ready for that, and it’s going to be a better fight for it.
Dominic Ingle (trainer of Kid Galahad): I don’t think four pounds was going to be enough headroom for Barry, and a lot of fighters that move up from nine stone, they may have one fight at Super-Featherweight, but they tend to move up to Lightweight. It was always a struggle but when you are in the World champion position, you cannot really turn down fights as that belt is your bargaining power. Kiko still has fight in him, he proved that against JW when he broke his jaw, he’s a massive puncher, and Barry just got caught, and the resistance to the shots just wasn’t there.
Barry has never had a problem taking a shot, so I do believe it was down to making weight. So, I think we will see a different fighter on Saturday, a more hydrated and powerful Kid Galahad, back to his usual ways. Maxi is a good fighter and he’s come good the last couple of years and it’s his title to defend, but we’re here to take it and hopefully we do.
He can’t take any chances or leave anything to doubt, he’s got to put it on Maxi and leave no doubt. Maxi is a good boxer, he likes to move and can fight when he has to, but it’s the last chance saloon for Barry and he has to win and make a good impression if he wants the big fights at Lightweight. There’s pride on the line, they both have to win this, defeat for either of them is probably the end of the road.
Hannah Rankin (defending the WBA and IBO World Super-Welterweight titles against Terri Harper): I don’t believe Terri is big enough to be at this weight ad she’s going to find that out on Saturday. I’m a true 154lber, WBA and IBO World champion and I’m building my strength and development as a fighter, so I am looking forward to putting on a show.
Moving up so many weights, I don’t think she can be the same because things change when you add weight to your frame. I’m expecting the best version of Terri though, she’s a former World champion for a reason, I have a lot of respect for her and her team, but I don’t think she’ll be the same at 154.
There are some very exciting fights out there and a unification with Tasha Jonas is on the cards, that’s one of those things that just fuels my fore for the fight, I only see my arm being raised but those fights will have to wait, my focus is on Terri.
Terri Harper (moves up to challenge Rankin for the WBA and IBO titles): I’m excited, this is the first camp that I can say I’ve really enjoyed, not just because of the weight but everything else. I feel I have my chance to become World champion again, I’ve got the fire burning and I’m hungry for it and I know getting the win at the weekend will open even more doors, so I am excited.
People don’t realize that I walk around at 10/11/12st, so me cutting weight to get to Super-Featherweight, that was reckless, and I was fighting World class fighters under fueled, tired, and unhappy. So, when we got this chance to go up the weights, I just knew I would feel comfortable at the weight and go in there knowing I can handle myself.
I’ve matured as a fighter; I’ve experienced a lot of things. Hannah thinks I am quiet, timid, and shy but I’m here to show that I do have a voice and it’s not Stefy on my twitter, I can handle myself.
Cyrus Pattinson (faces Jorick Luisetto for the IBO Continental Welterweight title): I’m more than happy to step up, my camps haven’t been smooth sailing recently with fights falling through. So, this opportunity has come at the right time for me, and I believe that that it wouldn’t have come if I wasn’t ready, so I am going to get that title on Saturday.
I want these fights and these titles. I’ve been sparring 16 rounds in the gym with bigger lads, so I know that I am more than capable. All my years with Team GB, I’ve always been prepared to fight anyone and it’s onwards and upwards from here, I don’t want to stay in a comfort zone at all, and this fight has got me switched on.
Solomon Dacres (fights Dominic Akinlade over ten rounds): The Sokolowski fight was great, especially looking at what he’s done since then, and my last fight in July was a good test too. I just need to stay active; we’re moving up to ten rounders and kicking on to the next level, I’m being let off the leash.
I’m not here to hang about, I’ve got great stamina for a Heavyweight, and I train very hard, so let’s go to the ten rounders and push on to bigger fights. That’s what we’re in boxing for, to win titles, so let’s go and get those title fights. The next 12-18 months I feel we’re going to be knocking on the door for them.
Cheavon Clarke (fights Marcos Karalitzky): We’re here to step up, not hide behind mediocre fighter, I want to show the people what the excitement is about. You need experience, I don’t come to KO people but as and when it comes, I will take the opportunity. I know that you (Eddie) will navigate me as I need to be, and I’ll handle whoever is in front of me.
Junaid Bostan (2-0 and makes his Matchroom debut): I said to you in Sheffield, Eddie, get your pen and paper out as you will be signing me after this. I’m not surprised to be here, but I am privileged. I’ve got big things that I am planning, and I am going to make the most of every opportunity. I’m looking to put on a big performance on Saturday and carry on with my career. He’ll be 2-1 on Saturday night, I will do as I am told as I’m in good hands with my team.
Mohammed Sameer (4-0 Middleweight): I got the call last Friday from my manager Lee Eaton, I got tickets on Monday evening, and we’ve already sold 150, so we’ve got a lot of people coming on Saturday and they will make plenty of noise. I’ve always dreamed of being on cards like this so it’s a dream come true and I’m ready to perform on Saturday.
I’ve got an exciting style, I come to fight, and I am going to show everyone what I am about.
Rhiannon Dixon (Anthony Crolla-trained Lightweight, fighting Edina Kiss): When Anthony put that tweet out (about working hard) I thought ‘get the violins out!’ I’m the one making the weight, all he’s bothered about is his hair! I think it will be a good learning fight for me. She’s got a lot of experience, she’s been in with Amanda Serrano, Mikaela Mayer, so I am looking to put on a good performance.
We’re looking at stepping up in. 2023 and hopefully fighting for some titles, it’s an exciting time and going over to Spain last time out and dealing with that fight, I think it’s put me in good stead.