Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
Frank Smith, Matchroom Boxing CEO:
“The NXTGEN shows give these young fighters the opportunity to be ready for when they step up to that next level. They come here, they see the backdrops, the press conference – it gives them everything they need. I was just talking to Hamza about how confident he is about talking – I said if he’s got 10% of what Sam Jones has then he’ll be alright. It’s exactly what they need, the right fights and the build-up as well. 

“Going back to the fight in December, Peter was winning every round. He’s a fighter Peter and he wants to test himself. He wants to move quickly and take real fights. Brilliant fighter – we believe he’s got so much more to give. That’s why we’re here headlining with Peter. It’s a shame that the Ja’Rico O’Quinn rematch didn’t happen, but that’s not going to define Peter’s career. If it happened great, but if it didn’t, it doesn’t matter.

“Now we move on, Marc Leach is going to be a real test for him. It’s probably a harder fight as well. He’s got an awkward style and it’s a real fight for Peter McGrail. Too many people in boxing think that a loss defines them in the sport. The reality is if you’re willing to take tests and willing to step up and take real fights – that’s what the sport is about.”

Peter McGrail:
“I was gutted it wasn’t Ja’Rico. Obviously originally it was so things were good, but there’s a lot on the line for this fight. It’s a British Title Eliminator and it’s for the WBA International belt – and obviously a former British Champion. If anything, I’m going to be in a better position when I win on Saturday. That Ja’Rico fight is always going to be there and I’ll always be looking to avenge that loss. If Ja’Rico is watching, hopefully after this fight he doesn’t flap it again and he’ll get over to the UK, or I’ll even go back to America again. That’s in the future. Since that opponent got changed I’ve been fully focused on Marc Leach and that’s what is happening on Saturday. A loss doesn’t define anyone. If you like at 95% of all the greats – there are losses on their records. Especially after coming back from a loss, I’m looking to put a show on on Saturday and close the show – especially headlining in my home city in front of a packed arena full of Scousers.”

Marc Leach:
“I don’t turn down no fights. I’m in the sport to be the best. Peter McGrail is a lot better than my original opponent that I was set to face, so for me it was a no brainer. We said yes straight away. I’ve lost my last two and he lost his last fight. We’re both coming off the back of a loss and we’ve got a lot to prove. A loss doesn’t define a person – I’ve learnt from my losses and I’ve come back stronger. Hopefully when I win on Saturday it puts me back in the mix for the rest of the titles. It gets my name back in the mix for the top class fights. That’s what I’m in the sport for. I want to keep on proving myself and keep on showing what I’m about. I’ve just seen his last fight. For me he was comfortably winning that fight and switched off for a split second and got caught with that one punch. Sometimes that’s all it takes in boxing. He’s not going to be able to switch off against me. I’m going to be more elusive, throwing shots at him everywhere so he’s going to have to be switched on. I’m looking forward to a tough ten hard rounds.”

Beatriz Ferreira:
“She is so wrong. I see these challenges and I seize these challenges. I see this as an opportunity to prepare and train for winning the gold medal. I will show how focused I am on winning this World Title in the ring on Saturday. I thought I’d train hard previously before I started preparing for this fight. Yes, ‘The Beast’ is going to be unleashed on Saturday. I really can’t wait to face these excellent opponents. Everyone is asking for these fights and I believe that I am getting to a level for when the opportunity comes I really can’t wait for it. I will be ready and I will be ready to beat them.”

Yanina Del Carmen Lescano:
“I want to say thank you very much for the welcome. As I said yesterday, it is very important for me to have this new opportunity to win a World Title and it is really important given that I would become the first female fighter from my hometown to become a World Champion. It’s really important for me, my family and all the people that support me. It depends on the way things develop during the fight. Obviously we have prepared for the fight and we have a fight plan, but we’ll really see how things play out in the ring and then take it from there. We feel as a team that she’s not quite 100% focused on this fight and this could work in our favour.”

Junaid Bostan:
“A trip full of lessons inside and outside of the ring. Not to speak too much about it – for once – been there and done that. I’m looking forward to showing the lessons that I’ve learnt on Saturday. Everybody talks about pressure but nobody puts more pressure of me than myself. I’m a perfectionist – I want to look good and I want to perform. It goes without saying, I want to win by any means necessary. That’s what I plan on doing on Saturday – in flying colours. Of course it’s always nice winning your first title as a professional, it will be a good moment, but at the same time, the way I’m getting hyped up, the way I’m getting talked about – I’m on for bigger and better things. I know Lee Cutler has that English Title at the moment, whether he vacates or not, I’ll fight whoever is fighting the eliminator after that. I’m here for it all. The prediction is a Junaid Bostan win – don’t be surprised if I get him out of there within the distance. If not, I’m looking at giving out a boxing lesson – a hard hard beating for 12 rounds.”

Jack Martin:
“I’m just here to project myself on the big level now and prove that I’m here. Prove that I deserve to be here. I’ve worked so hard – I didn’t have a great amateur pedigree. I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am on the small hall shows. I’ve been underdog time and time again, and proved so many people wrong. We’ve been working a lot smarter and a lot harder in the gym this camp. I know that I can do that, just with my natural heart, I know that I can go to deep waters and I know that I can handle myself there. This is about being a bit more smarter. Junaid isn’t just going to get dragged into that, He’s a clever fighter, I’ve got the utmost respect for him. It’s about being a lot more smarter now and realising that I can fight and box.”

Joe McGrail:

“It was a night of mixed emotions with obviously me winning and our Peter losing. That’s behind us now we’re both looking to put unbelievable performances on this Saturday with Peter getting back to winning ways. I’ve had a little watch of Ryan Walker and I know that he’s going to come and he’s going to have a go. He’s not just going to try and survive or anything like that – he’ll just walk onto more shots which is better for me. I’ve got this one my first eight, probably another eight and then it’ll be ten-round level and hopefully a title by the end of the year.”

Ste Clarke:

“I found out I’m on the card last week. I’ve got boss support. I’ve always had big support, so I appreciate everyone coming out and buying tickets so quickly. I’m buzzing to be back out again so quickly and I want to thank Eddie, Frank and my team for getting me out so quickly. First year as a pro I want to stay nice and active so I’m going in the right direction. Middleweight has always been a busy division. I’m looking forward to big fights in the future with some of the prospects who are coming up now. We’re focusing on what we’re learning in the gym and we’ll continue to improve and gain that experience.”

Maiseyrose Courtney:

“That’s what I said to Tony the other day – I’m either doing really well or I’m easily beat. If people want to call me out and chat a little rubbish about me I don’t mind it. I like fighting. I always say I like fighting and I like chinning people, that’s what I like to do. I’ve got an eight-rounder next. I’ve been asked to fight Chloe Watson for the EBU – do her and then whoever is next, I’ll do the rest of them! I’ve got the best team around me, Tony knows exactly what he’s doing with me. He wouldn’t even bring title fights like that up to me if he didn’t think I was ready to beat them.”

Hamza Uddin:

“It’s been amazing honestly, to see the platform and the levels here. It’s incredible for me, I’m just used to fighting! This is all new to me, the talking, I just want to get in there and fight. In terms of the quality of my opponents, we want to be moving fast. I’m ready for whatever the team is ready to give me. Give me anyone. Whatever style I bring it’s fireworks. If you want me to keep my hands low and move around, or if you want me to stand there and go like Mike Tyson – I can do anything you want! I’ve got power, I’ve got speed, I’ve got timing, I’ve got IQ like Einstein. Anything you want i can do. Whatever my opponent does, I’ll adapt and take him out! Don’t blink. I will be the first British Bangladeshi World Champion – nobody from my heritage has ever come close to this level. We’re getting there but we’re not there. We’re not talking about years, we’re literally talking about the next 12 months – we want to go really fast!”

Frankie Stringer:

“I’ve stayed in the gym but you need to be back under the lights don’t you. This is my first Matchroom show so I’ve got to impress. I can’t wait. I was at the Everton-Liverpool game last night. I was made up. There were a few unhappy reds commenting on my picture. I put a little post up and I got a bit of stick off it. I’m watching and sparring undisputed champions like Josh Taylor. I’ve got Liam Smith who’s been there and done it looking after and guarding my career. It’s helped me a lot and it will in the future.”
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