Benn vs. Vargas & Undercard
Press Conference Quotes
ďWeíre here back in London after a whirlwind global tour
that continues. Two weeks ago we were in sunny Gibraltar for
an incredible event with Dillian Whyte against Alexander
Povetkin. Last weekend in Uzbekistan for a thrilling night
with over 10,000 people in attendance for the homecoming
"Back in London now for a huge card live on Sky Sports in
the UK and on DAZN around the world. Conor Benn returns
against the fantastic Samuel Vargas in what should be a
thrilling fight. Two womenís World Title fights on the card
as well, Savannah Marshall against Maria Lindberg and of
course Shannon Courtenay against Ebanie Bridges for the
vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title.
"Next week we have the WBO Middleweight World Championship
in Miami between Demetrius Andrade and Liam Williams. Then
weíre in Barcelona, two Brits going for the European
Championships and then the huge card on May 1st of course Ė
Chisora vs. Parker and Katie Taylor vs. Tasha Jonas, Chris
Eubank Jr against Marcus Morrison, Dmitry Bivol against
Craig Richards, Scott Fitzgerald and Campbell Hatton on the
"Then thereís the small matter of 70,000 people at the
fantastic Dallas Cowboys Stadium for Canelo against Billy
Joe Saunders. Then weíre back in the UK for a May 15th show
that will be announced next week. Just a little few things
coming up for you."
Conor Benn Ė Essex, England Ė 17-0, 11 KOs Ė defending his
WBA Continental Welterweight Title against Samuel Vargas:
ďThis is definitely one for the fans. Iím chomping at the
bit; this is a fight Iíve been calling for a long time now
and this is another fight where I can show my levels and
ďYou can judge me on my last performance, or the performance
before that, but Iím always evolving and learning from
previous fights and the mistakes Iíve made. This is the sort
of fight where I really do show what Iím capable of.
ďWe donít know the ceiling to my career, we donít know where
the limit is because I came into the game raw and naive. Iím
learning and I plan on displaying all of that come Saturday
ďIf you watch Vargasí fights he comes in and he brings it
but so do I. Of course, heís tested at a higher level and
got more experience than me, but everyone I fight moving
forward is going to have experience on me, Iíll always go
into the fight the less experienced fighter because of my
lack of amateur background, because Iím only 24.
ďPeople will question that, itís my job to prove them wrong,
itís my job to get in there and do a number on him Saturday
night. Itís going to be my hardest nights work, I know what
he brings, heís a tough South American who loves to fight
and fights with his heart on his sleeve. Youíve got to give
him credit where itís deserved.
ďI keep getting asked now about other fights, I made the
mistake once in my career looking past opponents and look
what happened Ė I hit the deck twice and it turned out to be
my hardest nights work in my career. Iím fully focused on
Vargas; I know what he brings and heís in there to win and
show me how itís done.
ďIíve been training hard for this fight; Iíve been working
hard and visualising this fight and Iím ready to go.
Whatever he brings, Iíll match it Ė itís going to be a
shootout at some stage of this fight.
ďEvery time weíve said itís a test Iíve passed with flying
colours. With Koivula people were writing me off again,
saying heís too experienced, and then what happened. I
stepped up again against Sebastian Formella and what
happened. I rise to the occasion and I will rise to the
occasion, I will make sure I match it.
ďTonyís trained me harder than ever for this camp. Heís
really pushed me; I donít often say I need a break, but I
needed a few this camp. When youíre talking about sacrifices
try four years, not being with family Ė thatís really hard.
ďMy little son now, we only had a few days off when he was
born to spend time with him, so your mind and emotions are
still on the fight. Even when Iím holding him, Iím thinking
about the fight. Twitching in my sleep about the fight. Itís
going to be nice after this to sit down and emotionally
relax with my new family.Ē
Samuel Vargas Ė Bogota, Colombia Ė 31-6-2, 14 KOs Ė
challenging Conor Benn for his WBA Continental Welterweight
ďIím blessed, Iím happy and had a good training camp. I feel
like everything has fallen into place for me to have a great
show Saturday night. Iíve put my heart and soul into this
training camp, working with Bones Adams. Iíve lots of rounds
in the gym and Iím really excited to be here. The moment is
here, itís time.
ďI donít really compare, I was 24 once, I was young once
upon a time and when I look at myself then and now, I just
laugh. I just think I bring too much into the ring for him.
ďItís kind of sad we donít have fans in the venue, I was
looking forward to having a lot of fans there because it
wouldíve beee a great energy, you need that. The fans in
London have a lot of love and support which Iím thankful
ďThis is a fan friendly fight, he fights, I fight my ass
off. I fight for my family, for everything I have, for the
desire to win and become better at life and boxing, thereís
so many motives I have to fight for.
ďI never make no excuses, even in my loses, I always work my
ass off in training camp. This fight in particular, I
havenít seen my family or Lee in two months. Everybody keeps
telling me how focused and driven I am because itís all Iíve
done, thereís nothing else to do but box, study, know my
enemy and do my job.Ē
Savannah Marshall Ė Hartlepool, England Ė 9-0, 7 KOs Ė
defending her WBO Middleweight World Title against Maria
ďIf anything, this is a tougher fight than the original
fight we had. Maria is very experienced, tough and been in
with some of the best in the world Ė Christian Hammer twice.
Iím expecting a tough fight come Saturday.
ďIíve had a twelve-week camp, so Iíve prepared for
everything. Whatever Maria brings Iím more than confident
Iíve got the answer for.
ďI think itís every boxers dream of being the Undisputed
Champion and I do believe that is the biggest fight in
female boxing, but I canít look past Maria at the moment.Ē
Maria Lindberg Ė Malmo, Sweden Ė 19-6-2, 10 KOs Ė
challenging Savannah Marshall for her WBO Middleweight World
ďUnfortunately, this was so sudden, and I didnít have much
time but Iím more or less always in training. Iím prepared,
this is a new experience for me as Iíve never taken a fight
like this with such short notice. Thereís a first time for
everything, Iím excited and looking forward to Saturday.
ďIím more experienced as a professional, I think I have
three times more fights than Savannah and many Title fights.
Iíve fought some really good fights, so the experience is
definitely on my side. I have my style and I know how Iím
fighting, thatís the way Iím going to make it hard for her
Shannon Courtenay Ė Watford, England Ė 6-1, 3 KOs Ė fighting
Ebanie Bridges for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title:
ďThis is more than just a fight, this is an opportunity for
me to change my entire life, my familyís life. This is the
reason I got into boxing and Iím excited to achieve my dream
ďWe have very different opinions when it comes to fighting.
She talks more about the weigh-in, all I care about is the
fight Ė Iím a fight fan. This to me is a World Title, why
are we not talking about the fact this is a world title
fight. This is a fantastic fight.
ďSheís an exciting fighter, sheís aggressive and comes
forward, Iím aggressive and I come forward. Our styles are
going to mix, so letís talk about the fight, thereís nothing
else to discuss.
ďIím just excited to fight. I can understand why sheís
saying she wants to get more eyes on the sport, but I want
to get more viewers for the correct reasons. Katie Taylor
didnít work her backside off to pave the way for women like
Ebanie and I to talk about underwear.
ďIíve got a 14-year-old sister, my coaches have daughters,
my god-daughter, I want to be a good role model and show
them hard work and motivation gets you here. Not flaunting
ďIíve got a cool, calm and collected head. Weíve had a game
plan since day one of this fight, Iíve got the best team
behind me keeping me nice and calm. My game plan is my game
plan, weíve stuck to it in sparring, and itís worked
beautifully Ė itíll work even better on Saturday.
ďThis fight isnít my Everest; this is just the start for me.
Win the World Title, join the likes of Savannah Marshall,
Katie Taylor, Terri Harper and another British woman to hold
a World Title. I want to bring another World Title to
Britain; we saw it with Lawrence Okolie a few weeks ago and
I want to be the next one.Ē
Ebanie Bridges Ė New South Wales, Australia Ė 6-0, 2 KOs Ė
fighting Shannon Courtenay for the vacant WBA Bantamweight
ďThis same way Iíve got noticed is the same way Iím getting
this fight noticed. I feel like womenís boxing needs more
eyes on the sport, we need to do whatever we can. I truly
believe that the reason this fight has got so much talk
about it is because of me, because of the different
approach. I think thatís whatís helping getting eyes on the
sport, getting talk on the sport and building it.
ďWhat does matter is what happens in the ring, thatís all
that matters. If we can get as many people as possible to
watch the fight, then Shannon and I can show to more diverse
number of viewers that women can fight. Thatís my goal, get
the views and once the people are watching Shannon and I are
going to put on a show.
ďIíve been fighting and into martial arts since I was five,
I havenít been a boxing fan for just five or six years, I
was boxing fan well before I started in the sport. For me,
the boxing part is very important to me, but I feel like we
need to get more views on womenís boxing and Iím willing to
do whatever it takes to get that.
ďI think me winning this World Title will show people you
donít have to be like everybody else to achieve these goals.
Thatís what Iím going for.
ďIím savage, I want to go in there and f**k this shit up.
Iím not here to play around, Iím here to get the job done. I
donít play around in boxing, when I fight, Iím there to hurt
you. I might look the way I look, but I canít wait to get in
the ring and show people how I fight. The more people I can
get to tune in to watch the Bomber, I couldnít have asked
for a better platform, Iím going to do whatever I can.
ďWe both have the power to knock people out, so a knockout
or stoppage is very possible. Itíll come down to our
conditioning and heart to see if it goes the ten rounds. If
it does go the ten rounds, itíll be a very exciting ten
ďI truly believe if I win this fight on Saturday night, Iíll
become a superstar. If Shannon wins it sheís still Shannon,
she still has to beat Rachel Ball. Sheís a World Champion
but I just think itís different. Iím very excited to be that
person and to be a new face and character in womenís
Alexander Espinoza Ė Managua, Nicaragua Ė 20-2-2, 8 KOs Ė
defending his WBC International Silver Bantamweight Title
against Kash Farooq:
ďWe know there are some great champions from Nicaragua, and
youíll see another one Saturday night.
ďI believe very much in myself and Iím looking forward to
retaining my International crown. I believe I can beat
anyone at world level and go on to win a World Title
Kash Farooq Ė Glasgow, Scotland Ė 14-1, 6 KOs Ė challenging
Alexander Espinoza for his WBC International Silver
ďIím been preparing for this fight; I know what to expect on
the night and Iím really confident Iíll put in a good
performance and get the win. Heís going to bring it.
ďI was pleased but thereís always room for improvement. I
went back, took a couple of days off and went right back to
the gym. I trained right through Christmas, New Year and my
birthday. It was a good performance, but I want to improve
every fight, I want to get better, and this is another fight
where Iím going to showcase my skills and look good.
ďI think he [Alexander] will be there all night, but thatís
going to make me look even better. Itís going to give me
opportunities I didnít get last fight. Expect a good
performance off me but never say never he may surprise me.Ē
John Hedges Ė Takeley, England Ė 1-0 Ė fighting Stanko
Jermelic in a four-round International Light-Heavyweight
ďIt was a hard debut but looking back on it now and I
couldnít have asked for a better one. Itís prepared me for
whatís to come in the future. Taking a southpaw one a couple
daysí notice was probably something I shouldnít have done,
but Iím glad I did, we got the win, and we push on now for
my second fight and Iím looking to shine.
ďIíve trained hard, Iíve had some class sparring and sparred
some great names Ė British Champions all at
Light-Heavyweight. Iíve trained hard, been around some good
boys and putting everything in, Markís been away but I had a
few weeks with him.
ďMe, Steven Andrews, Mark Tibbs, Jimmy Tibbs and Ian have
all been down there doing the job, putting the work in and
making sure I can have a good performance this time.
ďItís a proper Essex gym, weíre having it down there Ė itís
lively. I canít knock it, itís a proper gym and Iím enjoying
it down there. Iím enjoying being in good company and
ďIím trying to take the pressure off myself, I donít want to
swallow on it. Iím ready to go, Iíve put the work in, and
this is the fun part. I want to prove to people what I know
I can be and what Iíve done before Ė Iím ready to go now.
Stanko Jermelic Ė Split, Croatia Ė 0-5 Ė fighting John
Hedges in a four-round International Light-Heavyweight
ďIíve had good training camp; I feel like Iím ready to face
John. Iíve watched Johnís previous fight and Iím ready to
fight on Saturday.Ē
Nick Campbell Ė Glasgow, Scotland Ė Professional Debut Ė
fighting Petr Frohlich in a six-round International
ďI suppose you do need to be mad to get into boxing, but I
love it. Iíve loved the sport since a young age, so it just
felt like the right thing for me to do at the time Ė give up
rugby and go to boxing.
ďHere we are, no better stage to make your debut and Iím
buzzing for it I canít wait.
ďScotland is famous for their lighter weights; weíve got
Josh Taylor and Kash Farooq who is fighting with me on this
card at the weekend but thereís never really been a good
Heavyweight. Thereís a void there, one that I want to fill.
ďMy rugby background is going to help me with this, with the
pressure. Iím taking it in my stride, using the pressure to
perform, put on a show Saturday night and show that Iím here
to make a statement.
ďI got into this four years ago, I went through the amateur
set up and been down Sheffield sparring guys in the GB
squad. Iíve been over the world the Scotland, always testing
myself and see how I went.
ďAs far as Iím concerned, the only way is up and anybody who
doubts me is just more fuel to my fire.
Petr Frohlich Ė Most, Czech Republic Ė 2-30-1, 1 KO Ė
fighting Nick Campbell in a six-round International
ďIím so pleased and grateful for this opportunity to fight
here in London, particularly given the current climate. Iím
going to give my best and show what a quality boxer I am.Ē