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  Joshua vs. Pulev & Undercard
Press Conference Quotes

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Managing Director:

ďThis is the curtain closer for a difficult 2020, but it doesnít get any bigger. The unified World Heavyweight Championship between Anthony Joshua and his Mandatory Challenger Kubrat Pulev.Ē

Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman:

ďKubrat Pulev is a really rugged fighter. Pulev went into very serious training in Bulgaria, heís in the best condition of his career. I look for him to not only beat AJ but to knock him out.

ďTyson Fury agrees with me that thereís a great chance that Pulev is going to upset the apple cart and beat Anthony Joshua. Thatís why they do the fights, to see what happens in the ring. Without question, whatever way the fight goes itís going to be very entertaining.Ē

John Wirt, President of Epic Sports and Entertainment:

ďWeíre finally here, two days away, itís exciting and weíre really happy to be here. For Kubrat, this fight is about father and country. Kubrat descends from an ancient people the Thracians. Those people prided themselves on the prowess of their warriors, and thatís what Kubrat is Ė a real warrior.

ďKubrat is here to do what his father dreamt for him. His father wanted two sons that would become boxers and eventually become World Champions.

ďHeís in incredible condition, heís lean and heís man on a mission. I believe on Saturday the referee will be raising his hand, I believe that Kubrat will knock Anthony Joshua out.Ē

Anthony Joshua:

ďThe pressure that I went through last year was tough, but it made me mentally stronger. I grew a thicker skin. Iíve always been tough and wanted to fight the best, thatís never been an issue.

ďWhat have I got to lose? Iíve got everything to gain. I want to be successful in boxing and the only way to be successful is take on big challenges. This is just another one Iím looking forward to competing with.

ďI want to promote boxing; I donít yearn for that credit. Iím very motivated, Iím hungry, thatís why I put myself forward for any opportunity. Iíve got a family to feed, friends I want to do business with, the worlds my oyster. At the end of the day, I canít expect anyone to love me if I donít love myself, so I respect myself, and thatís why I put in work every single day.

ďIíve been fighting at a top level ever since I walked into the gym. I had a three-year amateur career, going from walking into the gym to competing at the European Championships, World Championships and the Olympics.

ďIíve been punched by the strongest people many times but Iím still here today. That never changed me, just because I took a loss from Ruiz I donít think thatís enough to change someone. Every fighter trains hard, but itís character that separates us, and Iíve got a lot of character.

ďIím going to go into the fight, Iím definitely going to get hit and heís going to get hit, itís going to be last man standing.

ďItíll be good for the fans, but my focus will be just on Pulev. No disrespect to the fans coming in but Iíve got a serious job I need to complete. God willing Iím confident Iíll enjoy the victory after.

ďIíve known Kubrat Pulev for many years. I was in the training camp when his brother was sparring Warren Baister. I was in Klitschkoís camp when he prepared for Pulev. I understand some of tactics that need to go in to beating him.

ďIím prepared for the fight to go to the final bell, I feel like Iím a 15 round fighter not a 12-round fighter. If it needs to go 12 rounds, Iíll be more than capable to carry my stamina, my boxing IQ, concentration and strength until the final bell.Ē

Robert McCracken MBE, trainer of Anthony Joshua:

ďHeís had a great camp, he really enjoys boxing Ė weíve been doing more boxing sessions, two a day in some cases so heís been really enjoying that.

ďHeís sparring great, his athleticism is brilliant, and his physical strength is phenomenal. Thatís what people donít realise when they get in the ring with him, how he can move and how strong he is.

ďHeís worked long and hard on the discipline, doesnít underestimate anybody and takes everyone seriously. Heís not unified champion for no reason, heís a fantastic fighter and heíll only get better. This is a good fight for him and one we look forward to.

ďAnthony fights the very best fighters out there, thatís why heís achieved what he has achieved and why heís got the name heís got Ė he doesnít duck anybody. Kubrat Pulev is one of the best out there, heís a really good fighter, but I believe Anthonyís a better fighter thatís why heís the champ and we believe heíll prove that Saturday night.

ďI think heís gone through a learning experience; heís wasnít 100% going into the first Ruiz fight. We took the rematch and he won it comfortably, we always thought he would. Ruiz is a very good fighter, a very strong underestimated boxer.

ďAnthonyís Olympic Champion, Unified Champion, heís going from strength to strength. Heís enjoyed the camp, heís been disciplined, on point and Saturday night canít come soon enough.Ē

Kubrat Pulev:

ďIím ready to fight, we waited a long time for this fight. In 2017 I had a problem and thatís why I said to my trainer we must go for the win, not to fight now but fight a couple of years later. I knew the fight would come one day.

ďIím here now, ready to fight and win Ė I believe Saturday night I will take the win.

ďIn 2017 I was younger, but I also had a problem with the sparring, and I couldnít fight. Now Iím healthy, Iím ready and happy the fight Ė with the pandemic around the world itís not easy. Iím ready to get the win.

ďI think I have everything, Iím ready. Respect to Anthony, Olympic and World Champion, and a good fighter. Iím ready and I have everything to be Champion.Ē

Ibn Cason:

ďOf course, heís ready, this is what heís trained for his entire life. This is a big opportunity. Itís a trying time in the world right now and he [Kubrat] has a chance to take peopleís minds of it and take the victory.

ďHe can entertain the world so they can see his journey, what heís done on the road to become Heavyweight Champion of the World. Itís good for Kubrat to help the world on its way to normality. Weíre ready.

ďKubrat is mentally strong and I think weíll cause on upset on Saturday night.

ďOf course, you need somebody like Anthony Joshua to make the victory that much sweeter. If I thought Anthony wasnít the one to bring that diversity, then it wouldnít be a good fight. I think heís very well prepared, heís in his home country, heís got a lot to prove and heís going to come out guns blazing.Ē

Lawrence Okolie:

ďFor me, the most important thing is fighting. The Titles will come in due course, I thought it was my time this Saturday, but Iíll just have to keep the training going and beat a good undefeated fighter.

ďI feel like if anything this is a positive, Iíd won the British Commonwealth European Title and the World Title shot has just come. However, this feels like a final eliminator and itís added a bit of spice to Saturday for me. Heís got the world at his feet if he manages to win so Iíll have to make sure I go and do my thing.

ďThis is a great opportunity to put on a mature performance. Shane said heís not going to happy with me if I donít do certain things in this fight, so Iím going to make sure they get done.

ďItís one thing doing it in the gym, itís about executing it on fight day. There are certain things I do in the gym I donít do in the ring; itís about translating that. Iím happy to win, but thereís more that Iím capable of doing that I need to bring into the fights if Iím going to be World Champion.Ē

Nikodem Jezewski:

ďThis is a big chance for me, and Iíll take it. I have big respect for Laurence because heís an Olympian medallist, but this is a big chance for me, and Iíll do everything I can to win.

ďIíve had only five daysí notice, but Iíll give it everything Iíve got.Ē

Hughie Fury:

ďI believe Iím ready for all these fights and people are going to see a major difference. Iím very confident, I work hard, and people are going to see this on Saturday.

ďMariusz Wach is a tough fighter, heís been whacked a lot and heís still standing. Itís going to be a good fight, but Mariusz hasnít fought a fighter like me so Iím looking forward to it.

ďI can box, I can knock him out Ė see what I bring to the table. I believe in myself, the main this is to get the win. Iím looking forward to putting a show on and Mariusz hasnít faced anyone like me before.

ďI believe I belong in this division, especially at world level, and Iím going to take over Ė mark my words.Ē

Mariusz Wach:

ď43 other fighters were saying similar things like my opponent [Hughie]. I hope that this energy he has now will be there on Saturdayís fight. Iím certain Iím in some of the best form of my career and I want to win Saturdays bout.Ē

ďIt will be a very difficult fight for both of us, my opponent is much younger and wants to fight his way up to the title, but I want to stop. I also want to win this fight.Ē

Martin Bakole:

ďIím looking forward to this fight, I always call people out and want to fight the best. Saturday night I have one of the best opponents and Iím looking forward to it.

ďIn boxing if you donít take the risk, youíre not a professional. Iíve been training with AJ and some top guys out in the UK. This is a manís fights, so on Saturday weíll see what he brings to the table.

ďI am a big puncher and I can get punched, thatís the problem for him [Sergey]. Heís in big trouble because Iíll get him, weíll see whoís the best on Saturday night. Weíve both had 1 loss each, this means a lot and both of our careers are on the line.Ē

Sergey Kuzmin:

ďFor me, every fight is very important no matter who the opponent. As always, I come to the UK, so this is just a new goal for me facing Martin Bakole.

ďIn the Heavyweight division anything can happen, one punch can change everything. It depends how me or Martin will follow our plans for the fight. It can also go the distance, nobody knows.

Florian Marku:

ďIíve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Iíve been training really hard; this is my moment. I donít care who is in front of me, I donít see opponents. I only see only someone who is trying to stop me from reaching my dreams and making my families lives better.

ďIím not new in this game, I have been fighting since I was 12 years old. I have 170 kickboxing fights, I was four-time World Champion. This is not new for me.

ďMy Albanian fans make the difference. They fill stadiums wherever Iíve been, and I appreciate that. Now I will win with my performance and character with the UK fans.

ďI want to whoever thinks that they are the best fight in my division. Bring the best guys with the best records and youíll see what Iíll do to them. When they are in the ring with me, they change, when they are in front of me everything changes. When they see my speed and power, they will change.Ē

Jamie Stewart:

ďIím been ready since September, since my last outing with Hennessey Jr at Light-Middleweight. I did what I had to do to get the fight. Sometimes a boxer might not fight because of someone pulling out, so I thought I could grab this opportunity so get back out there and for people to see who I am.

ďI feel like thereís more to come for me. I took that fight on a two-week notice, I wasnít really training for the fight. Since after that fight Iíve been in the gym every day, non-stop, lowering my weight.

ďI feel ready and comfortable. I know heís dangerous, Iíve been saying for months I donít want to fight journeyman anymore. I need a test and a challenge, and I know heís a big puncher Ė thatís something I want to risk.Ē

ďIíve got a lot of people following me back home, so Iíve got to put on a good show. I want to be there fighting decent fighters, I want to show that Iím tough and ready.Ē

Kieron Conway:

ďIím massively focused, I always look at whatís in front of me and Iím not looking past it at all. Iím here to do a job.

ďI was gutted when Souleymane Cissokho pulled out but fair play to Macaulay for stepping in at such short notice. Iíve stepped in at short notice and I respect it. Iím here to do a job and Iíll fight fire with fire if I have to.

ďI took those short notice fights because I stay in shape. Iím huge for the weight, Iím big and Iím coming in with the presence. Itís going to overwhelm him.

ďA statement probably is needed but this is the perfect place to do it. Thereís going to be loads of people watching this, hopefully theyíre going to remember my name and a win will really cement it.

ďI think he [Macaulay] is quite delusional, knocking me about, I donít know where thatís come from. I donít think anyoneís come close to that yet.

ďAfter my last fight I took one week off; I always stay ready. I was ready to take any sort of opportunity that came up, I wanted another fight before Christmas. That was the mentality I had coming into this.Ē

Macaulay McGowan:

ďI took a bit of beating in my last fight, but lifeís about being resilient and Iím bouncing back. I know a lot of people are thinking I canít win on a weekís notice. I donít care what anyone thinks, Iím coming for the win.

ďIím coming for a fight, thatís all Iím coming for, itís going to be a fight. An absolute war.

ďIím here to entertain, have a good read and riot and go home to see my family. I stepped in on a weekís notice. I got a pasting in my last fight, I need to make statement, I need to go out there and do what I do best. Not think about it, go and do what I do best and have a good fight.

ďI wouldnít have taken the fight if I didnít think I could make a statement and win the fight.Ē

Qais Ashfaq:

ďYou can always learn something from a defeat. You learn more than you do from a win, because sometimes things that go wrong, if you win you might brush them under the carpet.

ďThat defeat will keep me in good stead down the line. Ashley Lane is no mug; heís only lost once in his last eight fights. Within those last eight fights he was a Commonwealth Champion at my weight.

ďIím ready to take on all the step ups, I take on all the fights Ė Iím not one to shy away from any fights. Thatís the way I mean to go on.

ďI definitely want to make a statement, but the pressure doesnít bother me. Pressure makes diamonds. Iím one of those people that has been to the highest mountains in the amateurs. It didnít bother me then; it doesnít bother me now.Ē

Ashley Lane:

ďAshfaq is going to be feeling a bit down after that loss to Mark Leech but Iím expecting him to bring a good performance and weíll bring a good performance. Itíll be a great fight and god willing Iíll have my hand raised.

ďI retired in September, COVID and the lockdown came, and I got a new job, boxing was behind me I was moving on. As I said that, Jamie and Chris rang me and said weíve got you a fight on the AJ show. Itís an opportunity you canít turn down.

ďI see this fight as a bonus for me. I walked away from boxing three months ago and I wasnít going to come back. Now Iím here at one of the biggest shows of the year, this is a bonus so no matter what happens on the night Iíve already won.

ďOne loss doesnít dictate whether you go on to win titles or not, so whatever happens Saturday, Ashfaq has got a future and Iíve got a few more years in boxing. God willing Iíll win, and I canít retire now.Ē


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