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  Leigh Wood vs. Michael Conlan &
Undercard Press Conference Quotes


Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:


ďAs Iíve said before, almost ten years since Carl Frochís historic victory in Nottingham Arena, weíve been looking to bring a mega-fight back to this city for some time. 10,000 sell-out on Saturday and the atmosphere is going to be incredible, 3000-4000 Irish also in attendance for what will be a tremendous match-up.

ďThis Saturday we have a solid undercard, so many great fights, great fighters, great prospects. People returning to the World Championship scene, people looking to make their mark in the world rankings.

ďJust under 10,000 people in a sold-out arena will see a great fight with an incredible atmosphere. Huge support from the city of Nottingham and a huge number of Irish fans coming to see if Michael Conlan can become World Champion.Ē

Leigh Wood:

ďIím buzzing to be here, itís been a long hard road to get here, back in 2014 that was a terrible night. I knew the reasons behind it, and I went away and corrected it. Same with both of the defeats Iíve suffered, I went away, changed my team and improved as a fighter. I stayed disciplined, lived the life and thatís why Iím bringing this big night back to Nottingham, I couldnít be happier.

ďI couldnít be happier with my camp, my team, everything is on point. As Mick said, Iíve got the best version of him and heís got the best version of me, thereís no excuses after the fight the best man will win.

ďWe rocked up at fight camp and people were basically saying good luck, thanks for turning up, we were taken aback and didnít know what to say to them. I said in interviews I was going to win the fight, confidence has never been an issue with me, Iíve been confident when most kids didnít have anything to smile about, Iíve been confident in the gym without fights and through injuries and defeats. I was confident in my ability and that Iíd get there, now Iím here.

ďThis is fairy-tale sh*t, honestly, of all the arenas for Carl I was at in the seats screaming, Iím now headlining in the same arena. This isnít the peak or where I stop, Iím going to go further than this. The city ground fight that youíve tangled in front of me for so long, you [Eddie] said after this fight itís happening, so Iíll hold you to that but eyes on Saturday night first. Iím coming to get the job done and look good doing it.Ē

Ben Davison:


ďIím over the moon with the training camp that Leighís had, preparation doesnít stop until the first bell but weíre ready and very confident. Leigh knows exactly what he needs to do and itís just a case of getting in there and doing it now.

ďI think itís just very easy for people to go ĎMick on pointsí or ĎLeigh by stoppageí, thatís the outcome people can see but as I said before I think Mick punches harder than people think and Leigh boxes better than what people think he does. People said the same thing when Leigh was boxing Can Xu, he can only win by knockout, not only did he nearly beat him quite widely by points, but he beat him in the twelfth round.

ďI donít believe that this is the two possible outcomes of the fight, I think both guys are very versatile and potentially momentum shifts throughout the fight and adjustments will have to made by both. Itís a fantastic fight and thatís why weíve got a sold-out arena.

ďI highly expect Leigh to thrive under this situation, I donít think thereís any problems, Leighís one of the calmest fighters Iíve worked with in the changing room preparing for a fight. Itís just a case of getting in there and doing what he needs to do now.Ē

Michael Conlan:


ďIím ready to go, my confidence comes from preparation and my preparation has been fantastic. Iím very confident and very relaxed, weíre here in Nottingham and itís time to go, thereís not much more to say other than I really canít wait for Saturday night.

ďI know what kind of performance is coming on Saturday night, this is the most relaxed and calm Iíve ever been in a fight week. I donít feel any pressure, Iím here in the opponents back garden and Iíve got to rip the belt off him. Everyoneís here to see him, Iíve got fans coming in the thousands already so itís nothing new.

ďIím just here to do a job, I hope Leigh has had a fantastic training camp, I hope heís the best Leigh Wood thereís ever been because I believe I will be. Itíll make it all the sweeter when I beat him.

ďIím just expecting a fantastic performance by myself.Ē

Jamie Conlan:


ďWe came here six weeks ago full of confidence, weíve come here today even more confident. Confident in the preparation that was put in over the last eight week, confident in the mindset that heís brought into this fight and the mental attitude that heís put into the camp and the challenges heís faced in camp. Weíve come here to upset the applecart and spoil your boyís party Ė send the Irish home happy.

ďI fully expect Michael to become World Champion on Saturday. Regarding favourites and underdogs, we have no real thought on that. Weíve come in as the B side fighter and underdog mentality but weíre fully confident weíll become world champion. I truly believe this is his destiny, Leigh Wood is just an obstacle in his way that we must overcome. This is Michael Conlanís party, this is the one heís coming to take home, and this is the one that the fans will be able to sing about and tell each other about in bars for years to come.

ďI think thatís something that Leighís going to have to deal with, the mental stress heís going to be under, I saw it last night when he was doing his workout. Thereís going to mental pressure on him more so than on Michael, Michael has dealt with mental pressure throughout his career. He was thrown into the spotlight from day one, Leigh has done it when no one was watching, he won the world title in front of 25 people in your [Eddie] back garden.

ďThis is the big time, this is going to be where everyone is pressuring him on, expecting him to win Ė in his hometown as the favourite. In our hometown weíre the favourite, so the fans coming over are fully expecting Michael to win, fully expecting to be joyous on Saturday and going home with a new World Champion. As a family weíre just ready, weíve been waiting for this for a long time, destiny is in front of us and Leigh is just another object in the way.Ē

Caoimhin Agyarko:

ďI want to thank you [Eddie] for getting me on this card, especially straight after Christmas. Itís the opportunities I feel like I deserve, and Iíve been working hard, itís a great card to be on and itís going to be a very noisy night on Saturday. I canít wait to just get in there and put on a good performance.

ďWe hoped to get the Hassan N'Dam fight, former World Champion, but heís got a good record and I expect a tough fight Saturday night. Iíve prepared well and Iíve been sparring great, everythingís went to plan in camp, and I have no complaints. I just canít wait to get in there and put on a good performance, I feel like youíre going to see a different side to my game on Saturday Ė Rubio being a southpaw. I feel like heíll bring out the best in me in terms of that I can box a bit more and open up a bit more.

ďThatís the plan, I want to headline shows in Belfast, itís a great to be on this card with three other Irish fighters. I spent time on the Irish team with Garry and Thomas, Iíve boxed with Mick at training camps and heís from my hometown. Itís a great opportunity for me on this card but the plan is to go back home, and headline shows by the end of the year. I feel like after this fight or one more in the summer Iíll be ready for a big name.Ē

Juan Carlos Rubio:

ďI really enjoy taking on challenges and this will be another one for me. We did take the fight on very short notice, but we were already preparing, running and training waiting for this opportunity which presented itself.

ďIím going to come and give everything on Saturday, I want to give thanks to the champ for giving me the opportunity but yeah Iíll give it everything on Saturday.Ē

Terri Harper:


ďItís like Iíve never left now back at Lightweight. Iíve been trying to explain to my Grandma about moving up in weight and she said itís only 5 pounds, but that 5 pounds makes a huge difference. I had a good training session and feel like Iíve got weeks of training left in me and Iím full of energy.

ďIím just happy to be back and excited to get back out there on Saturday night, show everyone what Iíve been working on. This camp was about taking everything back to the drawing board, going back to basics and making slight changes that have been needed to be made for a while.

ďThe fightís been and gone now, it was a lesson learnt the hard way and Iím just excited to be here in the new weight division. Iím fully focused on whatís ahead and whatís to come this year.

ďAfter the last fight I thought, everyone was going to go off and disappear but to be fair Iíve probably got more fans. Iím just grateful to everyone whoís been there since day one and weíre on this journey together through the highs and lows, Iím doing it for them really and theyíre the reason Iím here.Ē

Yamila Belen Abellaneda:


ďHere we are accepting the challenge, it was put to us, and Iím really pleased to be here. Once the offer came in, we took it with both hands.

ďThatís what weíre here for. Weíve come here and put the work in, weíve come to win.Ē

Gary Cully:


ďIíve been looking for this chance, calling your name since I was 2-0. Iím excited that itís finally here, Iíve got a great opponent in front of me in Miguel Vazquez whoís been there and done it. Itís a big test for me as well and Iím looking forward to putting on an explosive performance on Saturday.

ďI think 2022 is the year that I plan on making a statement in the world rankings and stepping up in challenge and winning World Titles, Vazquez is the first step in doing so. Iíve been building on the down low on the MTK shows, the smaller hall scene for the last couple of years putting in big performances. This is my first kind of show on the big stage and Iím looking forward to showing everyone what I can do.Ē

Miguel Vazquez:


ďIím really happy to be here in the UK. Iím facing a great opponent so itís great to have this opportunity once again to show people in the UK that Iím still a big thing in boxing.

ďApart from whether or not I won or lost that fight, whether it was a robbery, you can call it what you like. I'm just so happy to be back again on these shores and show again what I can do in the UK, itís a wonderful country and Iím so happy to be here.Ē

Sandy Ryan:


ďThis is what I want, I said I want someone whoís coming to win, sheís trained for ten rounds like itís a World Title. Itís going to be a good fight; I respect her as a fighter and she has fought great champions but Iím different and sheíll see that Saturday night.

ďIím going to make the fight the pace I want to make it at, weíve got a good plan me and Cliff. Honestly, if I have to outbox this girl I will, if I have to go to war Iíll go to war.

ďEven now the people are seeing itís too early, when I believe in myself and my team believes in me, youíll believe in me after this fight. Iím just ready for anybody.Ē

Erica Anabella Farias:


ďWhen I was offered this fight, most fights Iíve had in my career have been for World Titles, so I train as if itís a World Title fight and Iíve been training as if this was a World Title fight. Iím always ready and accept the big challenges and I think champions are built over time, so Iíll be facing up as if this is a World Title fight.

ďI live for this sport; I enjoy every single moment whether itís the press conference of the weigh-in. Like I said, Iím focused for every fight like itís a World Title fight so you can expect me to go into the fight and coming out victorious. What I would say to Sandy Ryan is to keep her guard up.Ē

Nico Leivars:

ďI remember when I first got the call and got told that Iíd me on this card, itís literally 20 minutes up the road from me Ė itís my home city. Iím blessed to make my pro debut on such a big card, on my mateís undercard as he defends his World Title in my home city. Iíll just need to go in there now and make a good transition from amateur to the pros and put on a good performance.

ďWeíve got a good boxing scene in Nottingham and the surrounding areas, to get boxing in the city and on the big cards on TV is only good exposure and itís going to spur everyone on in their careers. I think itís good to put Nottingham and Mansfield in the spotlight.Ē

Thomas Carty:


ďMe and Dillian had a chat after the last one and we were looking to make a bit of a plan and see when get out again. It made the most sense to get me on this card, I was calling for it to be honest because I knew it would be a massive event and as you can see it. Big shoutout to Dillian, Matchroom and the team for sorting it.

ďIím looking forward to Saturday, I have a lot of people coming over to watch me. People from Dublin havenít been given many chances to go on big cards, to get the crowd over for big cards as of late. Iím absolutely delighted there will be a big crowd coming over on Saturday and hopefully progress on to the Irish Title before the end of the year. Iíll be the first person then to win it since Tyson Fury so looking forward to that.Ē

Thomas Whittaker Hart:

ďIíve had a terrible couple of years thinking my career was going to be over in the last twelve months but thankfully itís not. Iíve got a good opportunity on another good show, I want to push on for titles at the end of the year.

ďI want to try and get my hands on the British Title by the end of the year, itís what I thought about a lot when I wasnít too well and out of the ring. Thatís all I could think about, not being there and not having those belts, itís made me hungry and want it more Ė it could have done a lot for me as well."



 

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