Wood vs. Conlan Nottingham
Press Conference Quotes
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
ďThank you, Nottingham, for turning out today, it was
actually ten years this May coming that we were sat here for
Carl Froch vs. Lucian Bute. Ten years since we were last in
the Nottingham Arena for a major fight night, a world
championship fight night.
ďThat night still reminds me of how great boxing is, one of
the greatest nights in British boxing history and of course
coming up on March 12, we have another tremendous night.
Weíve been wanting to come back to this city for a long time
and now weíve got the excuse to do it with a brilliant fight
Ė the World Featherweight title between Nottinghamís own
Leigh Wood against Belfastís Michael Conlan.
ďItís just a brilliant fight for both guys, for Michael
Conlan heís got the profile, the amateur pedigree, for a
long time heís been widely regarded as a World Champion in
waiting. This young man to my right, Leigh Wood, people
should be proud of, heís really done it the hard way in the
ďWood boxed on small halls shows, fighting as the away
fighter, suffered defeats when he probably shouldnít have,
took last minute fights. In our back garden in the summer,
produced one of the best performances from a British fighter
for a long time, dethroning Can Xu to become the World
ďOn March 12, Nottingham gets the chance to celebrate one of
their own as a World Champion. Itís always great to have a
kid from the city, a Nottingham boy, that gets a chance to
defend his world title in front of his people live on DAZN.Ē
Leigh Wood Ė Nottingham, England Ė 25-2, 15 KOs Ė making the
first defence of his WBA Featherweight World Title against
ďIím extremely focused, I was here as a young boy watching
Froch do it, I was supposed to fight on that bill. To come
here and watch Froch do it gave me that experience, how we
handled the pressure throughout the week, I was taking it
all in because I knew my time would come.
ďTen years old I wanted to do this, I wanted to be here in
this seat right now and Iím not going to let it slip. Iím
one fight away from a City Ground fight which is my dream
and Iím not letting it slip.
ďIím not looking at that fight [Warrington], Iím not
bothered about the belt, or the money. Iím here to do a job,
Iím focused on Conlan and I know what I need to do to win.
Iím working on the next seven weeks, practicing exactly what
I need to do to come out and get the win. After the fight,
weíll look at whatís next and the belt situation.
ďI respect him [Conlan] as a fighter, heís not a fighter
Iíve watched and thought he does anything unexpected or
special. I do rate and respect him as a fighter, making sure
Iím doing everything I need to do to win. He is quite
tricky; weíve looked at him in great detail.
ďSocial media wise, it seems like heís got all of Team
Conlan trying to rattle me, but it is what it is, I give
what I get. He can do what he wants to try and throw me off,
but I just see it as a weakness, trying to get any advantage
he can Ė itís not going to work one bit but do that
ďThis fight is everything to me. I donít need to discredit
him, tell him what he wasnít done or performances, I know
what Iím capable of and I know what I can do, Iím going to
go out and do it Ė set up a massive fight, my dream fight at
the City Ground."
Ben Davison, trainer of Leigh Wood:
ďItís a tremendous fight and as Jamie and Michael said, the
travelling Irish fans will cause a great atmosphere, the
Nottingham fans have just shown theyíll bring a great
ďEvery blood, sweat and tear that both these lads have put
in over the years from when they both started boxing, it all
boils down to this fight and this moment. Thereís pressure,
a hell of a lot of pressure, whoever can handle, accept, and
learn how to use that pressure can create a diamond on the
night. Itís a fantastic fight and it will be a fantastic
turnout on the night.
ďThis is Michaelís first World Title shot and Can Xu was
Leighís first World Title shot, obviously itís a dream to
fight for a World Title but for Leigh Wood itís always been
his dream to box for a World title in Nottingham. Heís got
that now and thatís what brings the pressure for Leigh, heís
dealt with pressure before and heís very good with dealing
with it, I believe that will show on the night.
ďItís hard to explain but it still shocks me how hard Leigh
hits, itís freakish. Iíve trained him for over a year now
and when I put the pads on it still shocks me. That isnít
going to win this fight, Michaelís a very versatile fighter
who can adjust throughout the fight, through the rounds as
well. Preparation, tactics, Leigh understanding what he
needs to do and when he needs to do it, thatís going to be
Michael Conlan Ė Belfast, Northern Ireland Ė 16-0, 8 KOs Ė
challenging Leigh Wood for the WBA Featherweight World
ďI was elated for him, I wished Leigh good luck on the week
of the fight and really wanted him to win. Iíve got a lot of
respect for him, he seems like a really good guy and I've
heard loads of good things about him. I have the utmost
respect for him as a person and fighter but fuck all that
until after the fight. Letís get the fight done.
ďIíve been in with big punchers my whole life, Iíve had over
250 fights in the amateurs and sparred numerous rounds with
big punchers Ė Oscar Valdez.
ďI have answer for anything Leigh does, I know what type of
fighter he is, he punches hard yes but slow feet and curly
head. Iíll punch ahead of him.Ē
Jamie Conlan, Conlan Boxing:
ďI believe itís destiny, Michael has always been tipped in
Ireland to be one of the best boxers ever to come out of the
country. Heís proved that as an amateur, he become the only
male World Champion from Ireland as an amateur.
ďHeís progressed nicely as a pro and when the opportunity to
come to Nottingham come up, and there was some bitching and
moaning, we were very happy because we sat down and said
thatís what itís meant to be. To become World Champion, you
must go to the opponents back yard and beat him in front of
his own family, friends, thatís how to state a legacy.
ďThe energy thatís coming across from Ireland, the ferocity
and hostility thatís going to be in that arena. Weíre very
excited and Iím very proud as a brother, very proud to be
part of his crew and see him progress to get to this moment.
This is the one, this is destiny.
ďNo doubts at all, on March 12 heíll be champion. We came
just the two of us, thatís how confident we are, we donít
need to bring everyone in our gym and watch him to a press
conference. Weíve come here, itís business, very excited.
ďBelfast, when they get behind their own, itís hard to beat.
As a city we donít have much, boxing is our sport and
passion, our boxers in Ireland and Belfast especially as
back page news. In England footballers take priority, in
West Belfast where weíre from boxers are lauded over any
other sportsman because they understand that Belfast is a