Whyte vs Franklin undercard at OVO Arena, Wembley this Saturday November 26, shown live worldwide on DAZN.
Fabio Wardley: “I always have self-belief in myself regardless of him I’m underdog or the favourite. That doesn’t matter to me. I know what I need to train for. I know what type of opposition I have in front of me, how prepared I need to be, how switched on I need to be from the first minute and first bell. All of those things are things that I’ve gone over 2, 3, 400 times in my head. I’ve just sat there and visualised what I need to do. Whether I’m favourite or not doesn’t matter. It doesn’t put any extra pressure on me. Even just me being here in these situations and on these big cards is a bonus. Like Nathan said, I come from white collar boxing. I first put on a pair of gloves maybe seven years ago now. For me to be in these situations there’s no pressure on me. I know I’ve trained hard, I know I’m fit, I know I’m ready and I know I’ve got the power to end the fight if I need to. I just need to go in there and do my job.”
“A lot of my friends have a bet and everyone has been sending me messages asking if I’ve seen the latest betting odds. They’re saying they’ll jump on it and it’ll sort their Christmas out. There’s no pressure on me now is there ha. But I’m more than ready. I’ve had a great camp. Everything has been perfect. I do believe that I’m the favourite. I’ve got the experience and no disrespect; I’ve fought the better people. I should be the favourite but at the end of the day the odds are the odds. When we get in the ring on Saturday night it doesn’t matter who the favourite is. It’s only me and him that are going to fight. It doesn’t really matter come Saturday does it.
“I said this about Fabio yesterday in an interview. From where he’s come from to where he is today – white collar background, no amateur experience, he’s fighting for the Heavyweight British Title. That’s an achievement in itself. But I’ve been doing this since I can remember. I know Fabio transitioned into boxing quite late – I think he was 18 or 19 or something like that. I’ve been doing this since I was 6 or 7 years of age. I turned over at 18 years of age. This is my second time fighting for the British Title and it’s fight 21 for me. I’ve shared the ring with some good opposition.
“Most definitely it’s a must-win fight for me. The British Title is the most prestigious belt out there. I win this Saturday night the domestically I think, not just worldwide – domestically the Heavyweight scene is the best it has ever been so there’s some fantastic fights that can be made there. My full concentration is on Fabio though.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“Thank you Chris and Darren. Welcome everybody to London this afternoon for a big night of boxing on Saturday at the OVO Arena Wembley live on DAZN around the world. The return of ‘The Body Snatcher’ Dillian Whyte against Jermaine Franklin – 21-0 from America. It’s a big big fight for the Heavyweight division. It’s also an outstanding card on a very busy weekend of boxing. I quite often play our shows down but unquestionably the show of the weekend takes place on DAZN live this Saturday night at Wembley. It’s a tremendous card and there’s so much to talk about before the go to the main event press conference.”
“First off thanks Eddie, thanks Matchroom and thanks DAZN. It’s a great fight to be part of. It is a 50-50 fight, I would say Nathan is the favourite but I think it’s three to one odds online today for Nathan to win which in my head is completely crazy. If anyone wants to make a bit of money on payday lump on that. As far as Nathan goes it’s hard to believe that he’s only 26-years-old. He seems to have been around for forever. I think this has come at the right time for him. He’s had a great camp – he’ll tell you about that in a minute. If you listen to Nathan’s story around the Daniel Dubois fight and what happened there and how it all fell apart – I know in boxing you hear every single excuse but if you hear this man’s excuse for that fight then you’ll understand. This fight everything has gone perfectly. He’s back in a great frame of mind. I haven’t seen him like this in a while. He’s very relaxed and he’s ready to go. I think it’s a 50-50 fight – obviously I favour Nathan. I just thought the odds were a bit mad.”
“Hello everyone. I hope everything is alright with Craig Richards because he wasn’t there yesterday and he isn’t here today. I hope we will have a fight on Saturday, I am ready. Everything is alright. England – hi. Eddie Hearn thank you very much for giving me a chance to come here and fight on the same card with the big guys.”
“Finally I’m on the big stage. This is where I feel like I belong. I’ve dreamed of fighting for Matchroom and I just can’t wait to get in there on Saturday night. I’ve boxed all over the world. Everyone in boxing knows how good I am and what I’ve achieved – now it’s time to show all of the public and all of the fans at home how good I am. That’s what it’s all about. It’s all about getting that experience in. I haven’t gone back to the corner yet as a pro so I could do with a few rounds on Saturday to show everyone what me and my coach Ben Davison have been working on in the gym day in and day out. I’m ready to shine on Saturday. As an amateur it’s a lot different. There’s only three rounds. As a pro it’s 12 rounds – you need to live the life and do everything right otherwise you’re just going to get found out. I’m ready to put it all in and win some titles hopefully next year – a British Title or something and push on from there, keep climbing the ladder until I reach the top.”
Christian Nicols Andino:
“So first and foremost I want to say thank you very much. It’s great to be on such an important card as this against such a great prospect. I know he’s got some great amateur experience and now he’s moving into the professional field but I’m also someone who has a lot of experience. I want to come here and be a problem for him. I’ve studied my opponent and I very much want to be a problem for him. I want to be the ‘Grinch’ at Christmas for him.”
“She’s a two-time World Champion and she’s been in the ring with the likes of Chantelle Cameron, Katie Taylor, Jessica McCaskill and gone the distance. She’s no pushover and no walkover and I understand that, but you know that I’ll take any fight. As soon as you put this girl forward, I said yes, we’ll take it. The way I carry myself now is completely different. I don’t see her beating me. I’m here for the long run. Any woman can get it. All of my focus is on Saturday. I can’t take any fight lightly after what happened early on in my career. All focus on Saturday but next year is going to be a very big year and there’s some very big fights to be made.”
Anahi Ester Sanchez:
“Thank you very much for the opportunity. I’ve been in some big fights as you said. This is a new opportunity against Sandy Ryan. I’ve prepared for the fight as I always do – really well. As you say I’ve got some great experience behind me – the fights I’ve had against McCaskill, Taylor and other top fighters. On those occasions it didn’t go my way on the night but I’m prepared for this to be my night against Sandy Ryan on Saturday.”
“It’s been good so far. I wasn’t one of the guys that medalled at the Olympics so people didn’t get to see my skills etc but with the Matchroom and DAZN platform people are starting to see it now. You said my opponent has faced all of those guys – yeah that’s all good but he hasn’t faced me yet. We’re going to have fun on Saturday night. I think I’ve done alright so far. As you said I’ve had my chin checked. I’ve got skills, I can box, I can fight and I think people will see that as we go along. As my coach picks them and you pick them I’ll fight them. I don’t look too far ahead. I just handle what I’ve got in front of me and people will see as we go.”
“I think it’s a very good opportunity for me to make a statement at the weekend. As you just heard, he gave a good account of himself against an Olympic Gold Medallist. I haven’t been chasing those amateur medals. The last two years I’ve been a professional and I think you’re going to see how much of an exciting prospect I am on Saturday night when I make a statement. I don’t feel like I should be held back. I think I’ll be better when the longer rounds come in. I’m training in the gym to be a 12-round fighter. I don’t train for six rounders. I can’t wait to show it.”
“Yeah exactly. It’s a good opportunity to fight the top fighters. I like to test myself. I’m excited about the opportunity and the best thing is to fight the best fighters. I think that’s how I’ll progress in my career. Me not having amateur experience, when my coach told me that the fight was available, I think we had two weeks’ notice but straight away we were on it. We went for it for the experience. We weren’t bothered about taking a loss. We wanted to get a win but we didn’t get that but it was a good experience. I felt alright in there. I didn’t feel too outclassed or anything. I felt like I could hold my own. I’m excited for another tough fight with Mark Dickinson. With Mark’s style and my style I think it will go well for a good fight. He doesn’t want an easy fight on his Matchroom debut and I don’t want easy fights. I think it will be a really entertaining fight.”
“Thank you for the opportunity. I’m really excited and I just can’t wait to get in there now. Obviously I was meant to fight last month but I had to wait. Now it’s my time. It’s amazing having that experience around me in the gym, feeding off all of the experience they have. It’s invaluable. The sparring is amazing – I just feel myself getting better and better week after week. It’s going to put me in good stead for the future.”
“Thanks for the opportunity. I’m delighted to be here and I’m delighted to be taking part in such a big card. Like you said it’s looking like Katie is going to be headlining at Croke Park. I look out of my front window of my house and I can see the side of Croke Park. It’ll be an historic night and I’m delighted to be kept busy up until then. Roll on Saturday night and roll on 2023.”