OPETAIA VS. THOMPSON + UNDERCARD FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Fri, 29 Sep 2023
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
"Welcome to Wembley ahead of a huge World Title double header on Saturday night, live and exclusive on DAZN, headlined by the number one Cruiserweight in the world, Jai Opetaia, the IBF and Ring Magazine champion against Britain’s Jordan Thompson. Ellie Scotney also making her maiden defence against Laura Griffa. There’s another fantastic Cruiserweight match-up with Cheavon Clarke against Vasil Ducar, a brilliant European title clash between Katharina Thanderz and Rhiannon Dixon, and some of the best young talent on disply with Ibrahim Sulaman, George Liddard, Maiseyrose Courtney, Shannon Ryan and the debut of Jimmy Sains."
"We’re ready, we deserve to be here, I have earned this spot and I am excited. I want to earn respect for my team and my country, I’m ready.
"It was a long recovery and a few things didn’t go to plan getting back in the ring, but we’re here now. We’ve grown outside the ring and inside the ring, I am just ready to show it on Saturday night.
"We adapt as well, to all different styles. I’ve been boxing my whole life, I’ve earned this, it didn’t happen by accident. So Saturday night, we do it again.
"I want to collect all the Cruiserweight titles. I’m winning this fight, however it happens, it happens."
"There was not really any time to plan for this, we’ve had to improvise, but I am some that firmly believes in myself and my potential, I know where it comes from and I am excited to go out there and prove to the world and to myself that I’ve got what it takes to become a World Champion. This is just another chapter to the story, another stepping stone, and we’re going to show everyone.
"Tony Sims doesn’t say anything unless he means it, Tony will tell you about the graft I have been putting in and the sacrifices I’ve been making, the changes I’ve made. I am someone that every time I walk in the gym, I leave it as an improved version of myself, I am like a sponge. The work ethic in the Matchroom gym is second to none. I’m so excited to be sharing a card with Maisey, George and Jimmy, and they will say the same, and it’s going to show on Saturday night.
"I am a very adaptable fighter, I’ve shown that in my fights. There are various styles I can incorporate in the ring, various ways I can win the fight, and we’ve prepared for whatever, we’re ready for whatever and we’re willing to do whatever it takes when it comes to it.
"There is absolutely no doubt about it, I know I have been highly blessed and I can’t wait to go out there and claim what’s mine on Saturday night. We all know boxing and what it takes to become a World champion, I am going to take the belts off him and I am going to do it by knockout.
"Something that I have lacked in my career is momentum, so to get a quick turnaround is going to be key, and I will show that. I am a completely different fighter from the one that boxed in June, I’ll stick to my boxing when I need to, but if it comes to biting down that’s always a place I am willing to go.
"All eyes are on Saturday night first, I know what she’s going to bring and I am fully prepared. I am hunted, but I hunting myself and you’ll see that on Saturday night.
"I’m getting closer to you on the table so something is going right. The Lynn AC is a special place, I have to thank you for what you have done. The doors are reopening tonight and I know that there will be many young females and males that will go there and one day could be sitting where I am or even right next to you. I am thankful for the opportunities and I am going to keep pushing for more doors to open."
Laura Soledad Griffa:
"Thank you very much for this great opportunity, this is something that we really enjoy experiencing. I feel that I am really well prepared to show everything that I’ve been working on with my team.
"It’s going to be a great fight, and if Ellie wants a war, we’re going to have one."
"It’s going to be a fun fight, we’re moving fast but no faster than I told you we were going to, if you remember the day I came in with the Dobermans! We already told you what was going to happen and we’re now here. Vasil is a good opponent, he’s come over here and caused problems for a few fighters, but I am Cheavon Clarke.
"The pedigree and being on the Olympic team has helped, but this is my style, it’s what I do, I don’t change because I am fighting someone else. This is what I bring and it will take me all the way.
"You want to see what is happening in the main event as they are in my weight class, so we’ll see what happens on Saturday and take it from there."
"I like coming to the UK every time and showing great fights. I hope to be better on Saturday night because I work hard every day with my heart and soul to give my best in the ring. This time, I will have a photo with you (Eddie Hearn) and the belt."
"It’s a big step up from my last fight but one me and my team are ready for. I’m just excited, we’ve been waiting a long time for this fight.
"Styles make fight and I believe Katharina will bring out the best in me. This fight opens up so many opportunities, so we will do the job on Saturday and move on from there."
"We have been training really hard and I am really excited for a new title fight. I can’t wait for Saturday.
"I saw her live in Bilboa and I remember saying that she had a great style, very technical and that’s what I like about this fight, it’s going to be difficult but I am looking forward to it."
"It feels great to be back. My last fight was an amazing performance, punch-perfect. There are things I could have done better but I have watched it back so many times and I am happy with it. This is an eight-rounder with a southpaw, another challenge and I am ready for it.
"It’s exciting - a ten rounder after this one which is good, and I will continue to show why I will be leading the Super-Flyweight division, I’m too fast, too sharp, too strong and too smart."
"I massively appreciate the opportunity to be on such a big card again. I had a great learning fight last time at The O2, I got the win and six tough rounds in the bank, so we move on to 5-0 on Saturday night and I then look forward to watching Jordan win the IBF and Ring Magazine belts with Maisey and Jimmy.
"I’m always in exciting fights and that’s how I plan to go on. Peter Kramer is a tough guys, he tucks up well and he is defensively sound, but when I get in there it’s a different game; I’m explosive and fast, and there is not much I haven’t got now. I’m looking forward to continuing to step up the levels and be in more exciting fights."
"It’s a good fight for me on Saturday, it’s another step up from my last fight. Martina has won a European title so it’s a good step up and it’s great to be on a card with all my stablemates in Jimmy, George and Jordan who will become World Champion on Saturday.
"If you let me Eddie, I’ll fight 12 three minute rounds, I’m ready to move onwards and upwards to eight and ten rounds. The training we do with Tony means we’re fit enough to do 15 x 3, that’s the blueprint and hopefully it’s my last six rounder."
"I’m really looking forward to it, I’ve been in the Matchroom gym for three years now and I can’t wait to show everyone what I can do. I’m hoping everyone from Repton and Essex can come down and support us.
"We’re very fortunate to all be on the same card on Saturday, training hard in camp together and we’ve all seen how hard we’ve worked for this, and we hope Jordan can do the job and become World Champion."
Limited remaining tickets are available from Stage Front.
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