Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman: “It’s a bit chilly here compared to Las Vegas, we’re on one hell of a run, of course in Madison Square Garden just a couple of weeks ago – we saw a fight of the year contender between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jr. Last week we were at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for another great fight between Devin Haney and JoJo Diaz Jr.
“We’re in Liverpool for a tremendous fight card, a double header with Conor Benn and Katie Taylor. We’re expecting around 7,000 at the M&S Bank Arena, a great city and we can’t wait to be back on Saturday night.”
“I know Algieri’s a test, he’s a step up, he said I haven’t been tested but it’s getting a bit boring saying I haven’t been tested. Every fight moving forward for me is potentially going to be a test, Formella said exactly the same thing, so did Vargas. You don’t get ranked top five in the WBC, WBA, ranked in the IBF and WBO for nothing. I plan on passing these tests with flying colours and that’s exactly what I do.
“I know Algieri’s going to come in there to win, I’ll exploit his mistakes as well because I see holes in his armour. I’m just ready to fight man, I always get like this during fight week, get intense and animated – ready to go. I want to get in there Saturday night and iron someone out.
“Algieri is a better version of all my last opponents, and he beats everything they do in my opinion in terms of boxing IQ, cuteness, knowing his way around the ring. People say he can’t punch but anyone with 8oz gloves can punch. I’m well prepared, I’m not concerned about what he brings to the table because I know what I can do.
“Algieri is going to come, he’s going to throw and try to win, which him and his team believe he can. I’ll exploit holes in his armour, he’s up against a young lion, up against someone who’s on the come up. Every single camp I go in to I give it 100%, I level up every single time and can only beat who you put in front of me, and I will deal with them. Not only do I beat them, but I learn, school’s never out.
“I had to show a lot of grit and determination of overlooking an opponent early on in my career, I know now never to do that. When someone asks me about other fights, I don’t entertain the thought, at the end of the day none of them materialise if I don’t get through Algieri. Once I get through him, and I believe I will, then the doors can open.”
“Training camp has gone great, I feel great and got in here early, we’ve all adjusted very well to the time zone. We’re happy to be here, I know a lot of European fighters are enamoured in fighting in the States, but a lot of us are enamoured about fighting here because of the fan base here in Europe and in the UK – the UK fans are some of the best in the world. The opportunity to be here and fight in front of those crowds is a big feather in the cap for me in my career.
“I’m excited for fight night, it’s going to be electric, I think we have the opportunity to put on a fantastic fight. You [Eddie] mentioned Lopez vs. Kambosos as potential fight of the year, I think this fight will potentially be a rival to that in terms of a style match-up and what I bring to the table. I think this is going to be a fantastic fight and everybody should tune in.
“I’ve been around this game a long time and I’ve been in with the elite of the elite, I’ve been on both sides of the table. At the end of the day, skills pay the bills and experience kills, so we’re coming in here with our experience, our skills, and we’re going to utilise that plan to find a victory.
“I’m in fantastic shape, fight week is a lot longer when you don’t have to worry about the weight. I’m just raring to go, I just can’t wait for fight night, I still feel like it’s far away. The weight has been a bit of a blessing.”
“I’m very aware of the challenge on Saturday night, I haven’t overlooked Sharipova at all, I know what she brings, and I’m prepared for whatever comes my way Saturday night. I’m also aware that there’s so many big fights out there for me, the bigger names that could possibly happen next year, so I’ve got to get through Saturday night first and focus on the bigger fights ahead.
“You’ve seen so many upsets so far this year in the boxing world when people have maybe gone into the ring underprepared or overlooking certain opponents. I know that obviously can’t happen, I’ve made that mistake before as an amateur fighter where I have overlooked opponents – being beaten and learning the hard way. I’m 100% prepared and focused coming into the fight, I’m ready to put on a big performance.
“I can’t wait, this is such an amazing card with so many packed fights, it’s going to be an amazing atmosphere and an amazing night – full of so many Irish people travelling over for the fight. It’s going to be a loud arena so I can’t wait to get in there and perform.”
“I feel very confident and welcomed here in this city, I have a great respect for Katie Taylor. She’s been my idol all the time but I’m coming here to win.
“I was preparing well, thanks to my team for their support and I’m ready for the fight on Saturday night.”
Robbie Davies Jr:
“It’s a great fight for me to come back to definitely, Hank’s been in with some of the top names in the division. In Liverpool fighting is embedded in us so I won’t be shying away from anything he brings to the table. I’ve been working hard in the gym and I’m ready to go on Saturday night.
“There’s definitely a big team bonding in the gym, Shane has had a lot of belief in me since I started, picking out a few things we need to change. Each step forward now we’ll showcase a little bit more of what we’re working on in the gym with Shane – Saturday night is going to be the start of it, and we’ll push on for a big 2022.
“This is a must win for me, the Lewis Ritson defeat didn’t go my way, it was a bit disappointing. When I fought the Mexican kid, everyone watching seen what went on, but I’m a much better fighter since being with Shane. It’s given me a belief back in myself and I’ll show that Saturday night.”
“We’ve been training hard, preparing for this fight, we’re ready to get this title.
“After that fight fell out, we went back home and stayed in the gym, stayed ready. We always stay ready to fight man, you show up and be prepared and ready to fight – that’s what we do.
“This is going to be a great fight; it’s going to be war. I will be victorious.”
“I can never overlook anybody, I’ve got Miko on Saturday so he’s my focus at the minute. I’ve never been shy to make clear that being a World Champion is what I want and that’s where I want to be. First thing’s first, I’ve got Saturday to deal with.
“My performance wasn’t the best at Fight Camp, I felt comfortable and didn’t get out of second gear and I still got the win. I was out for eighteen months and when I got back in the gym I worked on a lot of things and took it into the fight. All I want to do this fight is building on my last camp, building on that performance, and getting a similar result.”
“This is a great opportunity for me, it’s a last-minute fight but I’m in great shape and ready to make a good fight on Saturday night.”
“It’s good times, obviously fight number one was a belter, belter card in Liverpool. You’ve [Eddie] brought another belter card to Liverpool, got me and Joe on it, I’ve trained alongside French and Cordina, I know Robbie Davies, watching Benn and Taylor for years. Boxing on a card alongside these is a privilege and I’m looking forward to Saturday.
“The experience of the first fight will be with me for life, probably won’t get anything like that until I’m fighting for titles. It’s good to get that on my debut, I’ve got that under my belt, a good six rounds and the first of my professional career. I’m looking forward to performing on Saturday, keep the ball rolling and pushing on for a big 2022.”
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase myself on this platform and what an honour it is to fight on Katie Taylor and Conor Benn’s undercard. I’ve had the privilege of being in training camps with Katie so fighting on her card means so much to me. I’ve got 150 crazy Irish fans coming over for Saturday night so it’ll feel like, I can’t wait to get in there and put on an explosive performance.
“I want to be in the best fights possible and in the past, it has been hard to match me. I’ve got an unbeaten fighter in front of me on Saturday night, so I look forward to getting past that test, being in some fights next year and going back to Belfast and headlining a show there – putting my name in the Middleweight division.”
Noe Larios Jr:
“I’m happy to be here, I feel blessed, I’m super stoked to have this opportunity. I’m just here to do my job on Saturday and get the job done. I’m happy to be part of this undercard.
“I think at some point there’s a time you have to fight the bigger guys and bigger opponents. This is that time and we’re ready for it on Saturday.”
“I’m lucky to be here and to be in this situation. Five years ago, I was playing professional football looking upwards of getting to the Premier League and then some. If you’ve followed me recently, you’ll see what the story is and the what the journey has been.”
“I’ve got quite a big following, I think it’s relatable to loads of people in Liverpool, we’ve all made mistakes and I’m just trying to build myself back up – not in football anymore but in boxing. Hopefully the support continues, and I can climb up these rankings and do something in boxing.
“People used to snigger when I was boxing and playing football but in my 17 amateur fights I snoozed half of them – I was knocking out everybody in the amateurs. If people will comment and look down, they’ll find out when they fight me.”
“I’m glad to be still fighting, thanks for having me on the card, I was absolutely gutted when Guerfi pulled out, I thought this was going to be the weekend I won that European Title and push on. This is boxing and these things happen, it’s been delayed, and I look forward to a good fight on Saturday.
“I was miserable for about an hour, horrible to be around and upset, but you have to get out of bed in the morning and push on. I’ve stayed in the gym all year, I feel like I’ve been mandatory for this title for ages so I’m looking forward to getting the win on Saturday night, looking good for the fans who have travelled and pushing on for the European Title.
“It’s a great division and I’m glad to be a part of it, I feel like getting Saturday out of the way, win a European Title and my name’s well and truly in the mix. If I get a final eliminator or a defence of the title, maybe even a straight World Title shot next year, let’s go for it and push on – I want these big fights.”
“I’ve been boxing in these sports halls, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, all over the world over the past five years, it’s going to be nice to come out and box in front of all my friends and family in a big stadium like the M&S Bank Arena.
“Hopefully I can take that amateur experience into the pro game, I had a few WSB fights for the five rounds distance so I can hopefully take that experience into the professional ranks and be Matchroom’s next star.”
“It’s a brilliant card to be making my debut on, it’s special for me to be on the card with my brother Peter – I’m happy.
“My older brother, he’s like my best mate but I also look up to him. He’s a role model to me.”