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  Ritson vs. Ponce Press Conference Quotes

Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport:

"We're back in Newcastle and what a place to return with fans. Although we only have 1,000 people in there on Saturday it will feel like the normal eight, nine or ten thousand we have up here. A massive moment in the career of Lewis Ritson against Jeremias Ponce in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Lightweight World Title which will of course lead to a shot at the Undisputed Lightweight World Championship against Josh Taylor. This is a fight to position themselves as Mandatory to that belt. Live on Sky Sports and live on DAZN around the world. It's a big card in Newcastle."

Lewis Ritson Ė Forest Hall, England Ė 21-1, 12 KOs Ė fighting Jeremias Ponce in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Lightweight World Title:

ďGetting past Ponce is what every kid dreams of, I feel nice and relaxed and I canít wat for Saturday in front of 1000 fans.

ďI think being back with the fans weíll see the best of Lewis Ritson, itís the best and most relaxed Iíve felt for a good while. No fans in the bubble is a bit flat, but weíre expecting an explosive performance on Saturday.

ďIíve had about 11/12 fights for Matchroom, I feel like a bit of veteran, Iím already 27, but still young and fresh and not took much punishment. Now the time the apprenticeship is over, weíre ready for the big fights.

ďI donít think weíre going to have go looking for each other, I think itís going to be a very hard fight Ė a tough night on Saturday night. But one I think we can get through.

Jeremias Ponce Ė Buenos Aires, Argentina Ė 27-0, 17 KOs Ė fighting Lewis Ritson in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Lightweight World Title:

ďWithout doubt this is the biggest fight of my life.

ďItís going to be very entertaining fight; Iím going looking for the knockout. If that doesnít happen so be it, but thatís the aim.

ďItíll be a dream for me personally, in Argentina we donít have many champions, but itíll be huge to get a shot at the World Title.Ē

Thomas Patrick Ward Ė West Rainton, England Ė 29-0-1, 4 KOs Ė fighting Edy Valencia Mecado in a ten round Featherweight clash:

ďLast time out wasnít my best performance but this Saturday night youíre going to see a different Thomas Ward. It was a bad cut, but we got it stitched up, it healed up and weíre ready to go.

ďEdyís a good fighter, the Mexicanís come and give it all theyíve got. Iím definitely looking to put on a good show, a good statement, move forward and smash up some of these World Champions that donít want to fight.

ďIím not looking past Saturday night; Iíve got a tough opponent in front of me whoís going to be coming and giving it his all. Iíve been rated quite highly for quite some time; Iím pushing on for those World Title fights. I want to fight them; do they want to fight me? Letís see, letís get it on.Ē

Edy Valencia Mecado Ė Culiacan, Mexico Ė 17-5-6, 5 KOs Ė fighting Thomas Patrick Ward in a ten round Featherweight clash:

ďItís a very proud moment for me to be coming here and I really do want to add to that list of Mexicanís that have caused an upset here. Itís a proud moment to be alongside you Eddie and my rival. I think for the fight I have the tools and mentality to be able to make this work, I think the only winner in this fight are the people watching.

ďHopefully, finally everyone can enjoy a good show. Mexican fighters come on the front foot and trade. Iíll wait to see what happens in the fight, Iím able to adapt my style, I have many different styles I can accommodate. Hopefully we can look forward to a great fight on Saturday night.Ē

Alen Babic Ė Zagreb, Croatia Ė 6-0, 6 KOs Ė fighting Damian Chambers in a six round Heavyweight contest:

ďI feel blessed every time Iím here. The surgery was bad, I didnít want to say it to myself, but I knew it was going to go down because that shoulder had been bad for the whole of the last year. I was talking to my inner self just hold on for a few more fights. Iíve done that now and my hand is feeling stronger than ever, Iím finally 150% back.

ďI did some things with the recovery which were different, Iíve been sending savage to my shoulder to recover it. Iíve been doing things differently, they told me Iíd be out for ten months, and I was back in two months. Iím so much better than before and Iím going to show it.

ďI want to be a fighter in three weights, Cruiserweight, Bridgerweight and Heavyweight. I donít care about the weight, that doesnít been I donít want to fight other weights, it means I donít care where Iím fighting. My heart will always be in Heavyweight, but I can fight Light-Heavyweight if you make me angry enough. I donít care about weights; I want to fight.

ďThey offered me so many tournaments and I said no I donít want someone whoís going to fall because they know they canít beat me. This is a guy [Chambers] who has a lot of knockouts, 11-1, heís a very good guy. Itís going to be tremendous battle and I think itís going to over inside 1-2. Heís a puncher but not much of a mover, this guy may be faster or stronger, I donít know but weíre going to find out.Ē

Damian Chambers Ė Dukinfield, England Ė 11-1, 7 KOs Ė fighting Alen Babic in a six round Heavyweight contest:

ďI know itís going to be a tough nightís work; Iíve watched him before on shows and he is a tough fighter, he comes forward just throwing punches. We got the call on Sunday, by coach said weíve got a fight do you want to take it itís against Babic, heís a tough guy Iíve watched before. Heís a Heavweight and Iím usually at Cruiserweight, heís got the advantage but straight away I said I think itís a good opportunity for me to showcase my skills.

ďI canít wait, Iíve been in the gym anyway training, over the last six days Iíve been in the gym training Ė sparring Monday and Tuesday. I had a tough session yesterday, we had a fight coming up anyway at the end of July, Iíve not fought in 16 months so we might as well take the fight. Itís not an easy fight, heís a tough man, Iím going to have to be on my A game and make no mistakes.Ē

Cyrus Pattinson Ė Alnwick, England Ė Professional Debut Ė fighting Yoncho Markov in a six round Super-Welterweight contest:

ďItís an amazing feeling, weíre finally here, weíve been waiting for a year now with the COVID situation. I was devastated with COVID kicked in because that opportunity to make my debut in Newcastle last time out was taken away. It feels like the stars have aligned and weíre back here in Newcastle and the debut is still on.

ďThe experience is second to none, all those times turning up to competitions and fighting these world ranked opponents and Olympic medallists. You canít get that experience elsewhere in the world, obviously the training camps youíve got to factor in as well. Going to Kazakhstan and sparring six rounds with fresh opponents, itís matures you as a person and excels you experience as well.

ďItís something that weíve both discussed before the debut came about, we didnít really want to take the four round fights which a lot of boxers usually take, usually with an opponent with a losing record. Instead, we wanted someone over six rounds, winning record, whoís going to bring the fight to us Ė thatís something Iím used to. I think thatís going to show the best out of me. Iím a humble person, I think that people can expect a good night and a good performance.Ē

Solomon Dacres Ė Birmingham, England Ė 1-0 Ė fighting Alvaro Terrero in a six round Heavyweight contest:

ďI hadnít even got my clothes off from the last one and you [Eddie] were asking me for the next one. I took it, Iím ready and itís good to get out pretty quickly again.

ďThatís what boxing is about, Iím looking to progress to the highest level of the game, so I donít want any easy touches. I want to be proven and having good fights I can learn from.

ďIíve said in the next twelve to eighteen months I want to be looking at British Title level and then pushing on. Itís a quick projection but I feel like Iím there technically and boxing wise Ė I just need the experience. All I need to do is get the fights under my belt and Iíll be ready to go at the higher levels. But on Saturday Iíve got to get through Alvaro.Ē

Alvaro Terrero Ė Cadiz, Spain Ė 5-11-2, 3 KOs Ė fighting Solomon Dacres in a six round Heavyweight contest:

ďIím delighted to be here.Ē

ďYes, I see him [Solomon] as a great opponent.Ē

Joe Laws Ė Benwell, England Ė 9-1, 5 KOs Ė fighting Chris Adaway in a six round Welterweight contest:

"I cannot wait. Chris Adaway, I know him personally, Iíve seen fight loads and heís a game competitor. Heís as game as they come, he never gets soft, he goes in there and gives all his prospects one hell of a go. Iím feeling good myself, Iím back in the best city in the world, I canít wait to go out there, put a show on and get back to winning ways.

ďIíve learnt not to block shots with my forehead. No, what Iíve learnt is that I do want to box. Last Christmas I asked myself questions of do I want this, but I do. Here I am, come Saturday night I canít wait to go out there. I might be nervous, but the crowds are back, but that nervous energy is what feeds me.

ďI got some stick about losing, but thatís just social media. It was a low point at Christmas but Iím a man, I picked myself up and Iím back. Mentally and physically, I feel great, Iím 26-years-old. Iím a young pup in this sport. The past 18 months have been hard for boxing but come Saturday itíll be a clip of whatís to come. The show will be electric.Ē

April Hunter Ė Wallsend, England Ė 3-0 Ė fighting Klaudia Vigh in a four round Welterweight contest:

ďIím thrilled to be back, Iím home with my people, my city. I canít wait to have a great performance Saturday night.

ďStrictly boxing Saturday night, Iím not going to get carried away. Iím going to show my skill, weíll see Saturday night.

ďI think the pool of boxing is going to keep expanded. The next 18 months is pivotal for me, Iíve had Rick Ramos calling fights out that Iím interested in. Iíve got my eye more on Jessica, but if thatís the fight Iíve got to go through to get to her then Iíll be happy to do it.Ē

Klaudia Vigh Ė Budapest, Hungary Ė 32-27-1, 2 KOs Ė fighting April Hunter in a four round Welterweight contest:

ďItís a big chance and Iím very motivated. I like to box in the UK every time, itís not my first time here. Iím waiting for Saturday night.Ē


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