Joshua vs. Franklin undercard press conference quotes

March 29 2023

Quotes from the undercard in London

Fabio Wardley:

“I’m really buzzing to get back to The O2. It has turned into my home away from home. I’ve boxed there I don’t know how many times now, five or six. I’ve said loads of times, there’s nothing that really beats at packed out O2 Arena. That atmosphere, that buzz, is something I live for and I thrive off. When I’m in the thick of it in a fight and the crown is going nuts, it is one of those special moments that you don’t get in any other arena. Saturday night is going to be the same. There’s one thing that I do and that’s entertain the fans, however it comes, maybe to the concern of my team and stuff. I get myself in some sticky situations but I live for those moments, that buzz and that thrill of the fight. Just really getting stuck in is everything that I’m about. It has been a crazy journey starting at white collar at a show that has maybe 200 people in to now at The O2 that’s got 17,000 people in. It has been a wild ride but I’m thankful for every day and I’m thankful for the opportunity. I’ve boxed as chief support on some big cards in the past but nothing beats an AJ card and nothing beats a packed out O2 Arena. Those two things are going to bring out the best in me. It is going to be a great performance again on Saturday.”

Michael Polite-Coffie:

“This is a fight that I was actually talking about a lot before the call even came. I guess it just manifested itself. To me, the only thing I’m seeing is the W. I know it is going to be a good fight. I expect it to be action packed and difficult but I’m ready to weather the storm.”

Galal Yafai:

“I’m not going to lie, as you probably already know, I wasn’t looking forward to going over to San Antonio. I like fighting in the UK. I don’t get to fight here often. I fought at The O2 on my debut, hopefully it’s a same kind of night. They’re all tough fights, as you saw in my last fight. I got a bit of stick in that fight. I had my issues but I get to prove those people wrong who don’t think that I’m that good anymore. We’ll see on Saturday night and the foreseeable future. The criticism doesn’t bother me. I’m not going to lie, I’d rather have people criticise me than people up my ass. I’ve had that for the last year or two after the Olympics. We’ll see what happens in the future and we’ll see how good I can be.”

Austin Williams:

“First I want to give all of the thanks and glory to god because I feel like he always moves things around for me in an amazing way. I was just supposed to be on this show doing commentary and the hard work that I consistently put in had me ready to fight, and to fight an actually good opponent. That’s what I always want to do, that’s what I aim for. I aim to fight guys who I know are going to come with their A game, especially when fighting me because they feel like they can take a lot from me. I’ve learnt to just use that as fuel. I’ve learnt to use that as my advantage because I can never slip-up, I can never take a day off, I can never get comfortable. I’m not only thankful for Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, I’m thankful for fighters like River who are willing to take fights on short notice against somebody like me. He has a lot to gain, I have a lot to lose. I need him just as much as he needs me. I definitely love experiences like this because River has a lot of advantages that people don’t mention. I’m coming to his hometown. I’m coming somewhere where he’s familiar. I’m coming here as an American and I have to win to decisively, I have to put on the best performance.”

River Wilson-Bent:

“It’s a brilliant opportunity. I’m very grateful to Eddie and Matchroom. I boxed three weeks ago on Saturday. I was chilling at home on Sunday, got the phone call asking if I wanted to box at The O2 on the AJ undercard against Ammo Williams, and obviously I was in. I’m always ready, I’m always fit to be in these fights. It’s a great opportunity.”

Campbell Hatton:

“It’s basically an instant turnaround which is exactly what we want. I think we’re showing those improvements every time, we’re on the eight rounders and it is going to bring the best out of me. I think I’ll be much better over long fights because all my mistakes happen when I rush things. Having the extra few rounds is just going to benefit me. I think we’re going to see the best performance yet this weekend. The way that I was boxing early on it was clear that I was just too eager to please and I was just trying to go 100mph with everything. Last time out I showed that I am thinking about going up and down the gears. It’s going to be the same again this weekend. I’ll look to show a calculated performance.”

Louis Fielding:

“I just want to thank Eddie and everyone at Matchroom for the opportunity. It’s a massive stage to be on so I’m really privileged to be a part of it, and obviously fighting the likes of Campbell Hatton, we know who he is because of his dad, it’s a big name. I’m happy to be here. I’ve been training hard and it is a massive opportunity for me to kickstart my career on and get a good win under my belt. If there’s no risk there’s no reward. Campbell is a good kid and he’s got good people around him, but me beating Campbell Hatton propels me onto bigger things.”

John Hedges:

“Obviously this is my fourth fight at The O2 now and it’s only my eighth fight so I’ve been very privileged to have these opportunities. Thanks to Eddie Hearn and the Matchroom banner. I want to start stepping it up now. I’ve got a good opponent with a decent record in Daniel Bocianski. I’m looking to do the job in style. I’ve had a great camp and I’m ready to go now. I’m putting the weight on and it’s gradually. It’s obviously my maturity, I’m 20 years of age and I’m on my eighth fight so I’m doing something right. It’s just about taking the right fights at the right time and progressing nicely. We’re on the eight-rounders and then we’ll get our eyes on some titles.”

Jordan Flynn:

“First of all I just want to say a big thank you for the opportunity to Eddie, my management 258. It’s a great opportunity on the big stage. I feel like I deserve to be here, this is where I should be. It’s a good opponent. It’s definitely a step up, and it’s a step up that I’m ready for. I feel like the better opponent I face, the better I’m going to fight, and you’re going to see that on Saturday night.”

Kane Baker:

“I’m blessed to be here, I really am. It’s a massive privilege. Something I thought that I would never get to do is fight on an AJ undercard, so I’m ticking off some boxes. Massive thank you to Eddie and everyone at Matchroom. I’ll turn up on Saturday and I’ll be throwing leather all night, don’t worry about that.”

Juergen Uldedaj:

“Hello everybody. I’m happy to be here and i’m excited for this opportunity that has been given to me. It is a pleasure to be part of this big platform. I’m looking forward to Saturday night. It is always a pleasure to be around AJ and I’m excited for his comeback fight as well. I hope that Eddie will be impressed with my performance and send me a contract because I’m ready for the big fights.”

Ziyad Almaayouf:

“First, I just want to thank Prince Khalid and Skill Challenge Promotions, Matchroom and 258 for this amazing opportunity. The shoulders that you see on me right now carry the weight of so many, and the lightest of them is mine. I’m here to represent, and this is what I love to do. What happened in my last fight, maybe is not what many wanted, but it was what was written. I’m always ready to adapt to what is written. Nothing is going to change this fight. It is a new opportunity. I am the first Saudi to fight at The O2. The first Arab to fight at The O2. To many these are just small milestones but I didn’t even think I’d be the first to fight at my own local arena back home. I’m here now and I can’t stop smiling. I hardly believed it when Eddie Hearn said my name just then. I’m here for a good show. Every fight for me, I like to put the pressure on myself. The pressure is something that I welcome because it is such heavy pressure during camp when you are putting that work in. On fight night, when I am representing that big pressure of my country Saudi Arabia, that huge pressure of the Arab world, that pressure turns into a parachute and it turns into my cape. I put that cape on on fight night and this is what I use to fly. There is nothing more than I like to do than to put on a show and possibly even deliver that knockout blow.”

Peter Kadiru:

“It was a long camp, a hard camp. I’m really grateful for this opportunity here. I want to thank 258, I want to thank Matchroom Boxing and my brother Derek Chisora. I’m looking forward to the fight and I’m ready to go. It was my first time being in a camp outside of Germany. It was a whole new experience for me and I learnt a lot in Dallas. I’m ready to show this on Saturday.”