Usyk vs Witherspoon: Final Press Conference Quotes & photos
Fight Season on DAZN continues this Saturday night at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, the site of the very first U.S. fight on DAZN one year ago. All of the fighters gathered in downtown Chicago this afternoon to speak with the media ahead of Saturday’s stacked event.
In celebration of the one-year anniversary, DAZN and Matchroom Boxing USA return with an action-packed card featuring the heavyweight debut of undefeated Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 11 KOs) against seasoned veteran Chazz Witherspoon (38-3, 29 KOs), who replaces Tyrone Spong following a positive drug test earlier this week. In the co-main event of the evening, Russia’s Dmitry Bivol (16-0, 11 KOs) will defend his WBA World Light Heavyweight Title against Lenin Castillo (20-2-1, 15 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. Kicking off the main broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on DAZN, WBC and WBA World Female Super Light titlist Jessica McCaskill (7-2, 3 KOs) of Chicago will meet Erica Farias (26-3, 10 KOs) of Argentina in a rematch of their hotly-contested fight which highlighted the first DAZN event in Chicago.
The three-fight preliminary card starts on DAZN at 7 p.m. ET and features three undefeated rising prospects in separate bouts. Charles Conwell (10-0, 7 KOs), Anthony Sims, Jr. (19-0, 17 KOs) and Arthur Biyarslanov (4-0, 4 KOs) will showcase their elite abilities in front of the packed crowd on the Chicago’s South Side.
Below are quotes from today’s final press conference.
“I want to thank my team for acting fast with the circumstances that took place earlier this week. My team is the best team, thank you to everyone who is here with me, especially my amazing wife and trainer. I invite you to Wintrust Arena on Saturday night to witness a show.”
“Thank you so much to my team. So many people on the internet are talking badly about me, asking me why I got this shot. But it’s all about my team. I am not with a big time promoter and there’s no red tape in my career. I trust everyone around me. I am now at a point where I need to take this shot. There’s a huge opportunity for me here. It came knocking and I opened the door to see who it was, and here I am. Usyk is a great guy, I have the utmost respect for him. I am not one to get up here and talk crazy. That’s not me. I am a guy that is going to show up and rumble. I’m never scared, my heart don’t pump Kool Aid. I am the bigger guy and I am going to come in there and mix it up. I am looking for lightning to strike here, but I am coming to rumble.”
“First and foremost, before we begin today, our thoughts are with Errol Spence this morning.
“This crazy adventure started a year ago right here in Chicago. Some laughed and some questioned us when we proclaimed we would assemble the best fight schedule in boxing. One year later, we have the best schedule in boxing. It all started right here.
“We are expecting about nine thousand fans on Saturday night. This is a great fight city and has a big future for huge fights in the U.S. We are thrilled to be back with an excellent card. The heavyweight debut of Oleksandr Usyk, the return of Dmitry Bivol, a rematch of one of the best fights on DAZN this year between Jessica McCaskill and Erica Farias.
“When you get a call like I did on Monday that Tyrone Spong had failed a drug test, you need to move quickly or there is a chance that there is no show at all. We want to say a special thank you to Chazz Witherspoon. He has been undefeated for nearly six years now and we have talked to him about a bunch of different fights of the years. He stepped up here to take a shot at Oleksandr Usyk and we are grateful.”
“I am glad to be in Chicago. This is a beautiful, clean city. I really like it. Thank you to DAZN and my promotional team, Eddie Hearn, Kathy Duva and World of Boxing. We had problems getting an opponent on this date. But Lenin Castillo stepped up for this opportunity. This is going to be a great fight on Saturday and I hope everyone tunes in.”
“Thank you to everyone for this opportunity especially Eddie Hearn and DAZN. I appreciate this chance. This is my first time in Chicago and I am glad to have the opportunity to take the belt away from Dmitry Bivol on Saturday night.”
“Welcome to my city! Thank you to everyone who was here last year when I fought the first time on DAZN. I put in the work, every single day. I will be in the gym on Sunday, running or something. I used to have days off but now I am a World Champion. The work ethic is the difference. But go get DAZN if you don’t have it already because this is going to be a great fight on Saturday night. If you don’t have DAZN, go and get it. You can go on there and watch a bunch of my old fights and get a taste for what you will see on Saturday night.”
“I am back in Chicago and I am here to get back what belongs to me, my WBC belt.”
Anthony Sims Jr.
“I’m still alive. Thanks for asking everyone. I am back and ready. I am ready to challenge the bigger names after the fight, I am ready for a big shot. Eddie seems to forget about his other Anthony over here. He has Anthony Joshua but here is Anthony Sims. I plan to have a good time. It’s an honor to fight with guys like Dmitry Bivol on the card. See you all on Saturday night.”
“Thank you all for coming out. I want to thank DiBella, Matchroom and DAZN. Otha Jones and I had a great camp. I worked incredibly hard and I am ready to make an impact on Saturday night.”
“I am excited for this card, there’s a lot of talent. I am glad we all got here safe and healthy. Conwell is a great fighter and has a lot to prove but so do I. They look at me and my demeanor, and the fact that I am well-spoken and well-mannered, and they ask me why I box? This is what I love. This is going to be an entertaining fight and it’s going to be a great night.”
“First of all, I want to thank Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing and DAZN for putting us on this great event. We are more than ready and come Saturday night I will show the world some great boxing.”