|Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“A huge night of boxing planned for Sunday, I’ve always felt there is massive potential for Sunday boxing, and you’ll see it in full action and flow this weekend – starting at 3pm in London and main event expected in the ring around 9pm live on DAZN.
“Of course, the WBO Cruiserweight World Championship on the line between Lawrence Okolie and Michal Cieslak from Poland, as well as a huge supporting cast on the card.”
“I’ve had 17 fights, 14 by KO, on the weekend it’ll be 18 and 15 by KO. Everyone can say what they want about the opponent until after I’ve beaten them and then we’ll be onto the next one and we’ll see what everyone says about him.
“I think power is secondary, it’s more so for fans and my opponents to watch and see what I’m doing. In the ring, as I’m going to show on Sunday, there’s so many other things that I do that are overlooked. It all ends in a KO which is why people care about the power.
“Nothing else has mattered since the fight got signed, it’s up to be to wipe the smile off his [Cieslak] face and all of his Polish teammates on Sunday.
“It’s a must, 100% ends in a KO. 1 million percent.”
Shane McGuigan, trainer of Lawrence Okolie:
“Cieslak put on a fantastic performance against Makabu and I thought arguably could have won that fight. He’s only got the one blemish on his record, but these are the fights we need for Lawrence Okolie, he is the best Cruiserweight in the world, I know that for a fact – we just need to go out there a prove it.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work, he [Lawrence] joined me in early 2019. He’s always had power and has now learnt how to maintain the distance, be a bit more disciplined, keep range, but he’s still learning all the time. That’s the scary thing, when he moves up to Heavyweight, I believe he’ll be a two-weight World Champion. Massive hopes for Lawrence and I think it’ll be a showing of his true ability on Sunday.”
“To be honest, I don’t care what other people think like media or supporters, I’m focused on myself and on what I’m going to do Sunday.
“I am aware that there will be a lot of supporters from my city of Radom and other places around Poland, I can’t wait to fight in this bout.
“Today I’m focusing on myself so I’m not interested on how hard he punches and how strong he is, I’m going to do what I have to on Sunday and I’ll be celebrating then.”
Andrzej Liczik, trainer of Michal Cieslak:
“I can confirm that Cieslak is very well prepared for the fight on Sunday, he will go out there and defeat the opponent, Lawrence Okolie.
“I think that you will all find out on Sunday, we’ll confirm how we do it.”
“It’s exciting to be here, I’m used to being stuck in the middle of nowhere fighting. It’s good to be here, loads of cameras and people around, I’m just ready to fight. It seems more real now seeing Bautista over there speaking, the only thing I’m thinking about is fighting and putting on a show for people. Moving on and moving forward.
“He’s coming here to win; he’s not coming here to lose. I’m the so called ‘Golden Boy’, he’s looking to knock me off my perch. We’ve had a few upsets with Mexicans coming over recently, I don’t think that’ll be the case on Sunday. It’s a good learning fight for me and I just want to remind people how good I am.
“It’s what I’m used to when I went to the Olympic games, fighting the best in the world. I don’t want to fight someone who’s come to survive or to say they’ve fought me or on a Matchroom bill. I want to fight people that are going to test me, to progress me and make me better. I’m sure I’ll show that on Sunday.”
Carlos Vado Bautista:
“I’m really happy to be here on this excellent bill, it’s going to be a great night. To be fair whether or not Galal is making his debut, it’s not relevant for me, all I know is he’ll be ready, I’ll be ready as well and we’re going to have a war.
“I think the past is not so relevant, we’re both going to be ready, I don’t think he’s going to be any less prepared for ten rounds then myself. We’ll be going all out for it, both of us.”
“I’m happy to fight on this Matchroom show, probably the best promotor in the world. I’m ready for this fight, I really believe in myself and to prove who I am and why I’m a champion. Jordan Gill is a good technical fighter but I’m ready for him. I hope on Sunday it will be a great fight.
“At my age of 34, Bantamweight is really hard for me, when I had the opportunity to fight for the title at Featherweight, I was really happy.”
“That’s why I win, I’m looking forward to it, it’s a big challenge and I thrive under pressure. The pressure is on, I’ve got to win this fight but I’m looking forward to it.
“There’s always disappointment and ups and downs, I’m a stayer and I’ll just stay until the end. I turn up to the gym every day and just do what I have to do, I feel like this is what’s meant to be for me, I don’t know when I’m going to get there but I will in the end. I’m looking forward to this fight.
“It’s an exciting time to be in the division, this is a massive fight for the European Title. Get the fight won and you’re up there so it’s all to play for. I’ve had the domestic fights, boxed Cunningham, beat Ryan Doyle for the Commonwealth, boxed Reece Bellotti who was Commonwealth Champion as well so this is the next step and I feel like I’m ready for the challenge.”
“No athlete likes to take time out of the sport they love but sometimes it’s needed and what we have to do, I took that time and everything’s back and firing at 100%. That was the plan, to get into a nice even place and have a really big year, I’m kicking it off with a big one against an opponent that’s been in with some top-level operators. That’s the way we’re starting things and I’m only looking to get bigger from here.
“There’s a lot of talk about me moving and going towards the British Title clash with Nathan Gorman, I’ll never look past the opponent in front of me. I’ve still got a job to do on Sunday, get through that okay and quickly look towards bigger and better things.”
“He’s really good but I’ve been in the ring with a lot of top guys and put in a lot of good work at home. I’ve been staying in shape waiting for the call and now I’ve got it, here I am.
“A lot of guys want to test how they do compared to how some of the other top guys have done, I’ve just been staying in shape and waiting for the call. I’m really happy to be here and I appreciate Matchroom for bringing me over.”
“I’ve made the weight so easy this time, I’ve got a new nutritionist who has been a great help to me. You’re going to see a different animal on Sunday night, now I’m in the ring fully fuelled, in the best shape of my life and so mentally focused. I know this guy has never been stopped but come Sunday night I’m going to stop him; I’m going to break him down and stop him.
“I look back and I showed a lot of weakness that fight [Smith], I showed a lot of flaws that I needed to correct. I think making that weight took a lot out of my performance, I was really disappointed how I faded so fast in the fight, I really a really bad struggle getting down to the weight.
“I’ve come away, rebuilt and I’m fully focused ready for Sunday night. This is the first fight in years I’m really excited, I’m used to sitting here thinking when is the weigh-in, I can’t be arsed being here because I just want to weigh-in. Now my families down here I’m fully fuelled and can’t wait.”
“I know that this is a big opportunity for me, and I will intend to make the most of it.
“I will be able to defeat Anthony Fowler and I will show this on Sunday. I will showcase boxing of the highest level.”
“It was more of what we’re used to seeing in the gym when I boxed last time out in Bilbao, it was a lot more relaxed and composed – it’s going to be the same this time. That’s the mindset I’m going in with for the rest of my career, I’m not going to be rushing my work, I’ve learnt from my mistakes so I’m looking forward to building on my last performance.
“I think having an opponent that’s going to come and win, he’s going to be confident coming into the fight, he’ll have seen me at my worst in the Tottenham fight and that’s not what’s going to be happening again. He’ll be really up for it and fancy his chances, he’ll leave a few more gaps, when I’ve got a more ambitious opponent that’ll bring the best out in me.”
“I just can’t wait, all the hard work is done, I’m just ready now.”
“It’s just another opponent to me, I think I’ve been in with better so I’m just here to do my job.”
“I think if you look at my recent performances I’m getting better, I think the main thing is I’m gradually maturing each fight and filling the weight out. At the minute Light-Heavyweight is good enough so I’m going to stay there for a little while and hopefully make a name for myself and pout on a massive performance Sunday night.
“We all push each other in the gym and work hard, we’re lucky to have a trainer like Mark Tibbs and his dad Jimmy, really the only way is up. We’re all pushing each other, Ebanie’s got a World Title fight coming up and Johnny’s staying active, it’s a great stable to be part of.”
“It’s exciting, I’m ready to go. It’s been very similar to the GB experience, there’s more media and people watching. I’m looking forward to getting started.
“People always speak about the amateur experience; this is a different game so regardless of what experience I’ve got I’m starting over now, and I’ve got to treat is accordingly.
“My mom always told me to mind my own business and right now my business is Sunday so let’s handle that.”
“It’s very exciting to spend some more quality time with Tony and Peter Sims, obviously since I made the move from the Gold Coast to Essex a lot of people are calling me quite mad. Nice sunny weather with the beach to come over here with the quite dark and cloudy weather.
“The boxing is second to none here, the sparring I’ve been getting is quality as well, I’ve been sharing a lot of rounds with Daniel Dubois this camp. I’m really keen to get in there and showcase these newfound skills, I’m quite confident this is going to be a career best as well.
“I can feel that after 8/9 weeks I’ve spent with Tony too, so I’ve levelled up a lot as well and the sparring has massively contributed to that as well. We don’t have that quality of sparring back home in Australia, I’ve done this much sparring for a prep ever, three times a week over here with high quality opponents, I just can’t wait to get in there.
“I’m quite lucky, Eddie has made me quite active, I only fought a few months ago. I’ve got my next fight on Sunday and we’re looking at quite a quick turnaround once I get through Bracamonte – that’s quite a blessing on its own
“We’re gelling with Tony at the moment, building up that relationship and working very well together too. I’m very excited for the future and what it brings, I just can’t wait to showcase all these skills on Sunday.”