Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“Fight Camp Week 1 was a great way to kick off our new ground-breaking partnership with DAZN, capped by a Cinderella story with Leigh Wood ripping the WBA Featherweight World Title from Xu Can in a big upset at the top of the card.
“Shout out to Chris Billam-Smith and Tommy McCarthy on an incredible fight for the British, Commonwealth and European Cruiserweight Titles. It was a game-changing win for Jack Cullen against former World Title challenger Avni Yildirim and Anthony Fowler got the job done to set up his huge Liverpool showdown with Liam Smith on October 9.
“This week we have an absolute cracker for you. We expect more drama as we go into the World Championship fight – the IBF Featherweight World Title between Kid Galahad and Jazza Dickens.
“Three big Heavyweight fights on the card – Wardley against Nick Webb for the English Heavyweight Title. ‘The Savage’ Alen Babic back in action in a great fight as well. ‘The Romford Bull’ Johnny Fisher, and of course Aqib Fiaz and Ebanie Bridges against Bec Connolly to kick off the live action.”
Kid Galahad – Sheffield, England – 27-1, 16 KOs – fighting Jazza Dickens for the vacant IBF Featherweight World Title:
“It’s been a long time coming, I’m just focused, I can’t wait – Saturday night I’m going to IBF World Champion. I’m just focused, I’m in the zone.
“Jazza is a tough fight for anyone, no matter what level. I can’t actually remember much from the first fight; I can’t even remember what happened yesterday let alone what happened ten years ago. I just focus on what’s ahead. I’m focused on Saturday night and doing a job on Jazza Dickens.
“Every fight is life changing, for me every fight is life of death, Saturday night isn’t going to be any different.”
Dominic Ingle, trainer of Kid Galahad:
“It’s been long time; he’s been in camp almost from his last fight a year ago in February. He’s never been off it and the time’s arrived now; on Saturday night he’s going to take the belt and be World Champion.
“It’s always good to go through the process of making the weight, having the camp for the fight, it’s good to have that. When you’re on the level these two are, I don’t think it counts for much because it’s all about keeping active during the time between the fights. Galahad has been a constant pro, he’s kept moving, sparring, he’s kept active and he’s sharp. He’s not got any ring rust and there’s less mileage on the clock.
“Jazza has been in two great fights, one with recently crowned champion Leigh Wood, he’s got the chance on Saturday to take a title, if he doesn’t, I think he might get another chance against Leigh. I don’t think the inactivity on Galahad’s part is going to play any part in the fight.
“I said way back when their first fight happened, they were both big prospects at the time, you didn’t see fights like that of that magnitude – two guys fighting for the British Title. It was a cracking fight, nip and tuck all the way, Jazza was probably slightly in front in that fight until Galahad caught him with the left hand and stopped him.
“Look at how their paths have gone since, Jazza has had greats fights against great fighters, this is where they are now, back in a World Title fight – it shows the level of both fighters. I don’t think that first fight will have anything to do with this one, I think it’ll be a totally different fight.”
Jazza Dickens – Liverpool, England – 30-3, 11 KOs – fighting Kid Galahad for the vacant IBF Featherweight World Title:
“I’ve had great preparations thanks to my team, everyone around me. I’m grateful to be on this platform, DAZN and Matchroom, kicking off some great nights head. I’ve had great fights leading up to this point and it’s a fight for a World Title, I’ve ticked every box below so now I’m in a good position now.
“Of course, I had to take the opportunity but not on his [Galahad] terms, he might be slick but I’m better. I’m a good fighter, I know what I can do, he can be as slick as he wants. Slick doesn’t inflict any pain on me, he can be as slick as he likes, so I’ll win the fight how I want to win the fight. I’m looking forward to it.
“People talk about game plans, I don’t really consider them too much because they go out the window, when something is going well you keep doing it, you adapt on the fly. I’ll be resilient in there and able to adapt to anything that he brings.
“It’s the best to think like that, this sport is the best and worst, I’ve endured both sides and come through it. To get my crown on Saturday it would be beautiful, I’m grateful to be on this platform.”
Derry Matthews, team Jazza Dickens:
“It’s life changing for either fighter, Jazza had a great camp, George and myself have done everything right. Jaz has done everything we’ve asked of him – we’re looking forward to it. He’s coming off 4 great wins, picking up a couple of great belts on the way, getting good rounds in, making good fights look easy. We know he’s ready and we’re looking forward to it.
“Jazza deserved all the credit, he;s a proper athlete. People always talk about him, he stops for everyone, he’s a people’s champion – a true athlete. Saturday night is about him being world champion, then big things to come for him.”
Fabio Wardley – Ipswich, England – 11-0, 10 KOs – defending his English Heavyweight Title against Nick Webb:
“This is what I’ve been asking for, I’ve been asking for this fight, and you know with me I don’t turn down any fight, I don’t say no to anyone. Any name you’ve ever put forward to me I’ve always said yes, just make sure they turn up – it’s the same attitude with this.
“This is a good fight, it’s a good test and this is all I want to do, be in those good fights and push myself through. Ultimately, I’m coming through on the night.
“I’m always confident, I don’t think there’s any point being in this game if you’re not going to be confident with yourself and don’t have that self-belief. I don’t care what man is stood in front of me, what they’ve done before, no-one’s got in the ring with me. Nick has never got in the ring with a guy like me and he’s going to find that out on the night.
“Nothing else is acceptable but a KO victory, there’s no other way this is going. It’s not going to points, the judges aren’t needed, you can save yourself a few quid and send them home – they won’t be needed.”
Nick Webb – Surrey, England – 17-2, 13 KOs – challenging Fabio Wardley for the English Heavyweight Title:
“I’m looking forward to fighting now, I’ve trained really well, coming off a great win. Everybody doubted me then, everybody is doubting me now, it’s the same story and I’m ready to prove them all wrong.
“I see the fight totally different; I’m laughing at the fact I’m the underdog. I’m here to show people what I can do and I’m happy to be here.
“I’ll be in a great position if I win this and I’m ready to put myself in that position on Saturday night.
“I have the power and the boxing ability, everyone knows me for my power, but you will see that I can box very well. I’ve got it all and I’m ready to prove it.”
Alen Babic – Zagreb, Croatia – 7-0, 7 KOs – fighting Mark Bennett in an eight round Heavyweight contest:
“This is the place ‘The Savage’ was born when I walked out to that ring walk, I felt something and that is with me today, tonight, tomorrow and Saturday. I’m going to ruthless; I’m going to be at my best. I’m twice as strong now, I’m fully in da-zone. I can’t wait, all of you put your children away, it’s going to be a blood fest.
“I answered all those questions in Joe Joyce’s camp last week, we did 14 rounds with Joyce, he said after his fight with Takam that I hit harder in 18-ounce gloves then Takam did in 10. What should I explain more to people, I want to show that I fight against the biggest Heavyweights, Joe Joyce is much tougher than Bennett. He’s a nice guy but Mark is nowhere near the class of Joyce, I don’t see a bigger Heavyweight than Joyce around.
“You should ask Joe Joyce that question, we did eight rounds straight, I could do eight rounds more. I could do 25 rounds with Bennett, then you could bring in Nick Webb and I could do another 12 with him.”
Mark Bennett – Dunsville, England – 7-1, 1 KO – fighting Alen Babic in an eight round Heavyweight contest:
“This is a massive opportunity, I’m happy to be here. I believe that this is my time, I think that I’ve got the number of Babic so we’ll see on Saturday night.
“I don’t just think it’s the size, I do think that his work rate is relentless yeah I agree, but I can fight – he’s not the only man in the world who can fight. We’ll both have a scrap on Saturday, and I dare say the best man will win. I tipping it’s going to be myself, I’ve had a good camp, I’m ready for it.
“Hopefully the phone will ring after this fight no matter what but for my family and myself, this is a massive opportunity and I think this will open a lot of doors and avenues I’ll take with both hands. I’m ready.”
Johnny Fisher – Romford, England – 2-0, 2 KOs – fighting Danny Whittaker in a four round Heavyweight contest:
“I’ve got to be very switched on, I’ve trained very hard with Mark Tibbs and Steve Andrews, we want to show the improvements and I’m going to need to show the improvements to beat someone like Danny Whittaker.
“My second fight, Phil Williams, is someone that’s there to survive, he made life difficult but I still going the stoppage. I’m looking forward to a challenge of someone who comes to fight because when they come to fight, the openings will be there for me to exploit.
“That’s where I’ve gained my experience, I didn’t have the longest amateur career, my experience has been sparring Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois, Fabio Wardley, guys like that. That’s where my education has been formed, now it’s time to show those improvements when I step in the ring – hopefully every time I can show a little improvement.
“I’m looking forward to boxing in front of a handful of my fans who have come to support me, my dad’s coming to watch, it will be brilliant to have him ringside. My job is to win on Saturday, I’ve been prepared very hard, and I hope to do it in a very good fashion.”
Danny Whittaker – Silsden, England – 4-3 – fighting Johnny Fisher in a four round Heavyweight contest:
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity, I’m excited, relaxed, I’m putting no pressure on myself, I just want to get in there and do the business Saturday night. I look forward to putting on a good performance.
“It’s massive, a win here is a massive platform for me to push on for my career. Like you say, there’s no pressure on myself, I just want to put on a good performance. With a good performance, the quality of boxing I can produce will be good enough to win the fight.
“This is Heavyweight boxing; all it takes is one punch, so I need to be wary of Johnny I know he’s a big puncher. I’m looking forward to getting in there and the whole week – it’s an amazing event.”
Ebanie Bridges – New South Wales, Australia – 5-1, 2 KOs – fighting Bec Connolly in an eight round international Bantamweight contest:
“I thought that my last fight was a perfect introduction of ‘The Blonde Bomber’ to the world. I might not have had my hand raised but everything about that fight, the lead up and how it went down, I was very pleased with that. I’m happy to be back.
“When I’m in the gym, I don’t get my phone out and film myself, when I go to the gym it’s business. I’m very serious, you might not see a lot of my gym stuff, my training, working the craft, but I think that’s also a sign of me working hard. The other stuff I do is just me being The Blonde Bomber, having fun and engaging with fans.
“I’ll do anything for boxing, I haven’t been home in Australia since the beginning of March, I had to go to Mexico, that was an amazing experience. Being in Philly was just unreal, eight weeks of camp, I learnt so much and I’m excited to show everyone my improvements.
“I think everyone wants to get respect for what they train so hard in, to say that I don’t really care is pushing it, but everyone has their opinions. If people don’t want to give me their respect, I don’t care, but it’s nice when I do get it and get recognised for my skill and the hard work I put, but I’m not going to be bothered by it when I don’t.
“We’re going to see the very best Bec Connolly in there, so that’s going to be exciting as well – we’ve seen what she can do. On short notice dropping weight she looks shredded; we all know she’s a tough cookie. But come August 7 that cookie is going to crumble – I’m going to break it down and get that win.”
Bec Connolly – Swindon, England – 3-9 – fighting Ebanie Bridges in an eight round international Bantamweight contest:
“That [Courtenay vs Bridges] is the kind of fight, I as a fan, like to watch so big respect to both women after that fight. It’s not always about the skillset, it’s the type of fighter you like to watch. Boxing is a business at the end of the day, if you can’t put bums on seats and you’re not selling to people, you’re not anything – I think she’s [Ebanie] done a really good job of that.
“This is the thing in the women’s game that people don’t understand, there’s no depth in the division. You have here and the world class, with no one filling the gap. People forget that you say the Terri Harper, Natasha Jonas, Rachel Ball, but in my second pro fight I fought Kristine Shergold, she was a legit World Champion – I saw her win over 10 rounds against Kalliopi Kourouni.
“People like Elaine Greenan, she’s no joke of a fighter, none of them have been jokes. I kind of saw it as if you can’t get past me, you aren’t going all the way to the top. Hats off to the ones that are taking that tough fight in their first fight, because you know they’re class – the likes of Ellie Scottney.”
Aqib Fiaz – Oldham, England – 6-0 – fighting Kevin Baldospino in an eight round Super-Featherweight contest:
“I was supposed to be here last year, but everything happens for a reason, and I finally get my chance so thank you. I’m looking forward to Saturday night, I’ve got quite a few people coming so I look forward to a great night.
“This is great for my development, these sort of fights, they’re not easy, they’re learning fights. I’m learning the trade and like you say, I want to pick some titles up but first of all activity is key. I’ve been inactive for 10 months by the time we fight, as a prospect that’s a long time, get active and get some belts.
“He’s [Baldospino] definitely one of those opponents that if I’m not on my game he will cause me problems all night long, so I need to be the best version of myself and I look forward to a good performance.
“I remember last time I fought in Manchester there were on fans there and I didn’t really enjoy it too much. I’m glad they’re back, I look forward to a fight there later in the year. Firstly, I need to focus on Saturday and get the job done.”
Kevin Baldospino – Miranda de Ebro, Spain – 9-5-2, 1 KO – fighting Kevin Baldospino in an eight round Super-Featherweight contest:
“I’ve prepared well for this fight; I’m motivated for the fight and I’m glad to be on this card on DAZN. I like to come prepared and I’m ready for a great show on Saturday.
“I’m very motivated, I’m very willing, I’ve trained very hard, and everything’s has come together nicely. You’ll see in the fight on Saturday how well I’ve prepared for this.”