Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:

“Welcome to a packed Intercontinental here in Edinburgh, where we’ve had to turn people away, we’re blown away by the attendance. This has got a real old school feel about it, the good old days of real British grudge matches. Nearly two years ago to the day which will be April 27, we saw the fight for the undisputed championship. Some say the most controversial fight in the history of British boxing. Sometimes these fights take time to make. The hatred runs deep is the slogan for this fight and that’s why it’s taken two years to get these two great fighters together. Times have changed, their careers have changed, but the rivalry continues, and I cannot wait for this huge night, April 27, the Leeds Arena and live on DAZN around the world. 

“We wanted to give the DAZN subscribers value for money, make no mistake, this is a pay-per-view fight, and back in the day I would have been lapping it up. But to give it to DAZN subscribers as part of your subscription, is unbelievable value for fight fans and part of a huge schedule on DAZN.”

(Matchroom interview) “You talk about bringing two guys together in one of the biggest fights in boxing, one of the biggest fights in British boxing history, with this kind of hatred, you are going to see that. You can try to keep people as calm as you like, but with two years of personal attacks from fans and both sides, this is just what is on the line and it’s going to spill over. 

“I’ve come late to the party, but I’ve seen it first-hand, Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton was probably the closest thing to this, where you had Joe Gallagher and Shane McGuigan, now you have Sam Jones, Top Rank, Matchroom, Josh and Jack. And at some point, Josh probably thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this, I’m not giving him the shot, I’m World champion, I won the fight, I’m moving on’. Whereas really, this fight should have happened instantly. It was so big and it’s still so big, April 27, Leeds is going to be packed, the whole of the UK will be watching this fight, the build-up is going to be epic, we just need to stay a little bit calm.

“There’s a lot of talk about these mega-fights going to the Middle East and Saudi Arabia are doing an incredible job of delivering the fights that sometimes we’re not getting to see. But we must make sure that the big all-British fights happen in this country, and this is a great example of a fight that everyone else wanted to do as a pay-per-view, DAZN stepped up and said ‘no, it’s part of your subscription’. That’s massive for us, massive for DAZN but massive for British boxing because this has got an old school feel to it. The multi-city press tour, the noise from the crowd, this is Frampton-Quigg, this is Haye-Bellew, Froch-Groves, those kinds of rivalries and they made British boxing what it is.

“It’s an interesting on who is favourite. Jack is coming in off two wins and looked good, Josh is coming in off a defeat., albeit to Teofimo Lopez. There is a suggestion that Josh might be coming towards the end of his career, but you know he’s going to be up for this fight, if you can’t get up for this fight, you aren’t going to get up for any fight. After today and everything that has happened in two years, the best Josh Taylor will be there on April 27, and I think the best Jack Catterall will be there too because this is must-win for both. This isn’t the undisputed championship, this is career-defining, it could be career ending for the loser.   

“After today, after tomorrow, after the build-up, trust me, this is going to be huge on April 27. When that first bell goes, the anticipation from 12,000 in Leeds, the millions watching around the world, it’s what we want and it’s putting British boxing back on the map. 

“You still want that face-off moment, let’s be honest, this is the fight game, this is prize fighting. I want people to look into the whites of their eyes and just show me how much you want it. Hate runs deep, show me the hate, give me a build-up. 

“When we made the move to DAZN we made it for many reasons, but one was that we felt the pressure to do too many pay-per-view fights. We wanted to bring PPV fights as part of your subscription, what DAZN are offering right now is unrivalled globally. We have come from a tremendous show in Oaxaca, this weekend we’re in Orlando for Edgar Berlanga, coming up there’s Joshua-Ngannou, Fury-Usyk, Haney-Garcia, the fights are endless. It’s every single week, but you need the big pay-per-view fights as part of the subscription, it’s taken its time, we’ve had a lot of fights fall by the wayside, Joshua against Whyte, Benn against Eubank Jr, but now we’ve got Taylor-Catterall.”

Josh Taylor:

“It’s going to be a great night. It’s going to be action-packed. He says he’s coming to knock me out, he’s never knocked anyone out in his life. So, we’ll see what happens, I can’t wait for it, it’s going to be class.

“I don’t hate anyone, but I don’t like this guy and I can’t wait to smash his brains in, what little brains he’s got. 

“This is about me and Jack. He’s had three promoters in two years, we went to get the fight done straight away, I picked up the injury which was a bad one and took a long time to get over it, and Jack took another fight. I took my mandatory at Madison Square Garden; Jack fought a nobody and then a 40-year-old and still couldn’t put him away. 

“We’re here now and I’m looking forward to it. It’s kind of a crossroads fight. It’s evident that in my last two fights I haven’t been great, so i have a point to prove, I need to be back to my best and win this fight to keep my career on the go, so it’s a big fight.

“The last time his tactics were to spoil and hold and steal the fight which is what he tried to do, and the judges didn’t like it, so if he comes to fight, great, the referee this time doesn’t allow the holding. You lost, why don’t you go and phone the police again? Write a letter to your MP again, you grass.”

(Matchroom interview) “He’s riled up, he tried to put his hands on me again, he’s trying to wind me up, but he hasn’t got the brains to wind me up. It wasn’t about me getting the abuse but my family getting it, some guys in the media like talkSPORT started mentioning corruption and all that sort of stuff, that’s when the nature of the abuse changed. It was threats to my wife, her business address got put online, threats of violence and my little sister was getting it too. I kept my mouth shut after the fight for a couple of months. I said a couple of things back to a couple of people and suddenly, I’m the asshole. You can’t win. But when the family start getting involved, it’s a different kettle of fish, say what you want to me all day long, but when it’s family, it’s out of order. 

“I’ve not really watched the first fight because I know I was so crap, it was unbelievable, it wasn’t me. I’ve watched Jack a few times in other fights, and he doesn’t do anything different in any of his fights. So, I know what to expect, if he wants to come and fight this time, great, because then hopefully we don’t get a referee that allows the constant holding and spoiling, slowing the pace down and all that. Because that ruined it the last time. We were on the floor, we fell three or four times, and it was a crap fight for people to watch. 

“I could retire today and have had a career one in 65 million, because I’m the only undisputed champion in the four-belt era in the UK. I could be happy, but this fight, I’m right up for. Forget titles, championships, belts, I just want to fight this guy, and I’m up for it in training and enjoying it. The ambition and hunger are there. There are bragging rights, it’s right up there and I can’t wait. 

“After the Jose Ramirez fight there was talks of moving up to Welterweight and becoming a two-weight World champion, facing Terence Crawford and that kind of stuff, and I was excited by that and up for it, instead of looking at what was right in front of me, the threat that was right there, that was a mistake I made and I won’t be doing that again for sure. 

“I can’t wait for Manchester tomorrow. It’s quite convenient that it was 1.30pm here in Edinburgh and 5.30pm tomorrow there when everyone has finished work, a nice sneaky trick there. Sam makes it all about him, I’ve never met such a fame-hungry guy in my life. 

“It’s a Josh Taylor win, whether on points or stoppage. I’m very confident of getting him out of there, especially the way he’s acting, trying to be all aggressive, that plays into my hands, if he comes like that he gets knocked out.”

Tom Grant:

“Without this becoming the Sam Jones show, I just want to thank Matchroom, Top Rank, DAZN and ESPN for making this happen. A lot of hard work has gone into it from a lot of different people, a lot of moving parts, and we’re thrilled it’s all sorted now. It has been a long time coming, through no fault of Josh’s. Jack will attest that I went to see him just after the first fight to see if we could make it happen, Josh gave up a number of his mandatory defences to see if he could pursue this fight. It didn’t happen, and act of God where Josh picked up an injury, but we’re back here now and I am glad it’s all sorted. 

“It’s the side of boxing that not a lot of people get to see. I’m not sure that Sam did get Josh more money, I think Josh commands his own fee, but it’s by the by, we’re here now. As much as this fight is an opportunity for redemption for Jack, perhaps justifiably, it’s an opportunity for retribution for Josh, because he’s had a lot of shit over a prolonged period of time, particularly directed at his family, and any man in this room, if they suffered the vitriol that his wife and his sister has suffered, they would feel a certain way about it. This is the opportunity for Josh to put it right.”

Jack Catterall:

“It’s been a long time coming. I’m excited now, it feels real being here today. I got a warm welcome on the way in, but they’ve obviously changed now, but I am excited, we’ve finally caught him. I don’t believe he wanted to fight me, but he’s here now, he’s showed up and I’m going to smash his head in on April 27.

“Two years on I’ve stayed in the gym, I’ve picked up two victories since then, he went to New York and got smashed and I believe he’s on the decline and I am going to capitalize on it and put him to bed.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, I am coming in there to do damage. They’ve titled it hate runs deep but hate is a strong word. I think for me, I don’t care that much about Josh, the respect is not there, right now he is the enemy, and that’s all that I can focus on.

“I’ve never ducked a challenge in my life, I understand that this is a big fight, it’s going to put me in the picture for bigger fights, but I am fully focused on April 27, and I can’t wait to get in there.”

(Matchroom interview) “I’ve not bumped into him or seen him; he’s been in hiding for two years. He came out today, he didn’t look too clever, but the juices are flowing and I’m excited for this.

“In the immediate aftermath I thought that the rematch wouldn’t happen, but then over the last two years, it was still being talked about and people were constantly asking me ‘when’s the rematch?’ And he would be getting the same, so ultimately, I always felt that it would happen. 

“He didn’t want this, he had great plans to go to 147lbs and challenge for World titles up there. He cemented 140 but unfortunately for him, his biggest fight is me. I know that he’s my biggest fight, I can accept that, but for him I think it’s frustrating that he can’t go up and fight Crawford etc, because it stinks still so he’s got to fight me.

“I want to prove myself and fight the best, if this is the fight and victory that I need to put myself one step closer to the world titles, then game on. I want to be involved in big fights and this is a big fight. It would have been the cherry on top if we could have got it for a World title, I have ambitions to go on and win a World title, but this fight is worthy of a World title, and it gets me up for it.

“We’re going into round 13, we’ve shared the ring, when you have been in the ring with someone whether it’s sparring or a fight, you get a feel for that person. You have to look at the landscape, the fight was two years ago, we’ve both aged two years, I’ve had two wins, he’s had the loss against Lopez, it’s a different fight. I’m going in there feeling that I’m still getting better, I don’t know if we can same the same about him.  

“I don’t gamble, but in my head I am the favourite. I’m not as emotionally invested as Josh is, I want to go in there and knock him out, do everything in my power to finish him. If that doesn’t come, I’ll beat him from pillar to post for 12 rounds. 

“Credit to the fans today for turning out, it’s nice to see the fans turn out and support.”

Sam Jones:

“It’s been torturous to try to get this fight done. I have worked my nuts off, day in, day out, to get this fight. I got Jack more money for the fight, his lawyer will tell you, I’ve played a very big role in this fight. We’re here now,. It’s a massive, massive fight and we’re going to get an all-British classic. I think Jack has got Josh Taylor’s number seven days a week and twice on Sunday. It’s just a fact, you can boo all you want. We’re sat here because Jack beat him the first time. Josh is a fantastic fighter, the last time I was in Edinburgh was when Josh won his Commonwealth title against Dave Ryan, I’ve always given him his props, he’s a fantastic fighter that’s done things the hard way in boxing. But ultimately, he should have three defeats on his record, Regis Prograis beat him, Jack definitely beat him, and Teofimo Lopez most certainly beat him. It’s a fact. Getting Josh i the ring was very, very difficult, he didn’t want to box, he didn’t want to box in London, he wanted a massive ice skating rink for the ring, a 22 foot ring, he didn’t want to box in Manchester, we’re finally here, we’ve caught him in a net, and Jack Catterall is whooping him again on April 27.”

Alfie Sharman, VP DAZN:

“Thanks for everyone for coming today, it’s great to be here in Edinburgh.  What a fight we have on DAZN on April 27, I can feel the tension up here and there’s a fantastic atmosphere in the room. The fight poster sums this one up perfectly, there is bad blood, there are scores to settle. Josh is one of if not the greatest Scottish fighter of all time, Jack was so close to defeating Josh before and has had an incredible run of fights since that night. 

“This fight slots into an unmatched schedule on DAZN, there are dozens of great fights coming up and DAZN was today confirmed as the global host broadcaster of Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou on March 8. We have Devin Haney vs. Ryan Garcia, Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk, to name just a few, and these guys on April 27, further cementing DAZN as the global home of boxing and we’re incredibly proud to be giving this fight as part of your subscription to all DAZN subscribers around the world.”
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