CONLAN VS. GILL + UNDERCARD FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Fri, 01 Dec 2023
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“If Michael Conlan loses, his career is over. But if he wins and wins well… It’s a funny old game, isn't it? You lose: Bye-bye. You win: Wow! What’s ahead – Joe Cordina? Josh Warrington? There are massive fights ahead. We went to Dublin in May and everyone left the arena (after Katie Taylor lost) with their head in their hands and then Michael got beat by Lopez the following week and it was like Irish boxing was finished.
“Now (after Taylor won and if Conlan wins) I’m looking at it, thinking: ‘We might not just come to Belfast and Dublin next year, we might go to Limerick (with Paddy Donovan) or Cork’.
“Michael sells. He’s expected to beat Jordan Gill and he’s coming off a knockout defeat but we should have 7,000 in there on Saturday which is a big old crowd. You know he sells, you know the atmosphere will be fantastic and we have a lot of guys at 130lbs that he can fight.
“If he was to make a statement he will walk straight into a massive fight. If Conlan went to the City Ground in Nottingham (for a Leigh Wood rematch) he might bring 8-9,000. If he went to Cardiff (to fight IBF champion Cordina) he’d take 5-6,000 or Joe might come here for a big outdoor show for the World Title (possibly Croke Park).
“Michael has the benefit of being able to draw crowds wherever he goes and that will walk him into a big fight but if he loses it’s over. He’s got to look good, he can’t struggle and look like a faded fighter. It’s got to be a performance where everybody goes: ‘Wow!’ Then those other fights become very easy to make.”
“There's an awful lot of reasons why. I know I'll get him out of there. He lacks something. he has quit in him. And that’s it.
“I’m not going back and saying this happened in sparring, this happened in sparring. Sparring is sparring. Things happen.
“But if you wanted to take confidence from anything, you know, I definitely can. And I’ve seen an awful lot of things throughout that time and even in his performances since that time, I’ve seen an awful lot of things where you go ‘yeah ok, I understand’. ‘I know what I got to do.’
“So, going into Saturday night you can look back to the sparring all you want and I’m sure he probably does an awful lot but I’m just focused on the job and that’s going in there and getting the win on Saturday.”
"I feel great. There's no pressure on me at all. That's the way I'm looking at this. This is a massive opportunity for me to put myself where I need to be. I'm just buzzing and ready to go. I'm feeling strong and I'm feeling great. Tomorrow on the scales I'm not going to look like a skeleton like I did at 126lbs. I should have moved up maybe 3 or 4 years ago. One fight that highlighted that I have no quite in me is the Guerfi fight. Whether I have to do that again we'll find out. It's going to be a great fight. When he boxed Leigh it was fight of the year. I'm expecting another one on Saturday. I'm really excited and ready to go. All of the pressure is on him. He's the star of the show, I'm just the opponent."
"I think he's feeling the nerves and the pressure of being involved in a big fight on this stage. Obviously I'm well used to it having been involved in big fights - Prograis, Jack Catterall. People like that. I'm well used to this. This is something I buzz off. This is a game to me - I love it. I love this fight week drama. It's something I feed on - the buzz of Belfast City for this Belfast vs. Belfast fight. I think it's been 40 years since the last big Belfast vs. Belfast fight. The buzz in the city is crazy. Everywhere I go - barber shops, down the street, the shopping centres. They're talking about this fight. Experience is the key thing I have here. Lewis is unbeaten, 17-0, he's had a great career so far but essentially he hasn't really fought at any high level."
"A win against Tyrone sets me up with some huge opportunities, especially heading into next year. I've got the platform with DAZN, a Belfast vs. Belfast of this magnitude as well hasn't happened for years. I'm excited. Tyrone is a good fighter - tough as old boots. He's durable as well and he's been around. He has the experience too like he always says. I'm looking forward to putting on a show and finally getting an opportunity to show everyone what I can do."
"It's been a dream to box back here in Belfast on a massive card. I used to go and watch fights at the SSE as a kid so to be fighting there in a massive fight is unbelievable for me. Troy says it's a massive step-up for me, but at the time it was a massive step-up for him against Cheeseman as well. Everyone has that one fight where they have to step up to the plate. That's going to be on Saturday night for Caoimhin Agyarko. This has been the best camp I've ever had. I'm looking forward to going out and putting on a punch-perfect performance. I believe I'm better in every department. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Troy has had a very tough career the last five years, he's been in wars and got a lot of miles on the clock. He only fights one way. I'm prepared for the best Troy Williamson. It's going to be fireworks."
"Thank you to Matchroom Boxing for giving me the opportunity, but you've made the wrong choice calling out my name to face Caoimhin. I'm coming on Saturday night to give it my all and get the win. I set a high pace. People underestimate my boxing IQ and ability but I can box, and you're going to see that on Saturday night. Caoimhin hasn't boxed at my level. He knows that, you know that and everyone here knows that. He keeps on saying that it's a big step up for him, which it is. We're going to see what he's got, I'm going to take him to the well and we're going to see if he can cope. I've trained really hard. I'm injury free for the first time in four or five years which is a massive confidence boost. I'm punching harder than ever. I'm stronger than ever and I'm coming to put on a show."
"As many of us know, me and Sam were stablemates for around two years maybe. We've sparred hundreds of rounds and we know each other really well. I know what Sam does well and he knows what I do well. It's going to be a game of who can stop who doing what they do best. I believe that I have a great boxing IQ. Judging from our spars - you'd have paid to watch them. I've shared a camp with everyone at this table I think. This is probably the best show that Belfast has ever seen, in terms of 50-50 fights, in terms of atmosphere on fight week, in terms of social media and everyone asking me and stopping me in the street. It's really the best card Belfast has ever seen and I just can't wait to be a part of it. Sam is trying to get his career back on track with big fights. All of his fights, even the ones where he's lost, they've been very competitive. I'm trying to break through to the big scene with the big names and to get on more Matchroom cards."
"I really appreciate you getting me back in there at the top level. I've prepared well and I'm looking forward to this fight. I know how good Sean is. Like he said, you'd pay to watch our spars. It that's anything to go by it's going to be a great fight. Whoever turns up on the day and get's it right is going to win. I'm going to make sure that's me, I'm going to bring my A game. It's an important fight. My last fight was a big loss against Dalton but I feel like I held myself well in the fight. I know I've got the talent and the ability to still push on again and reach the top. There's loads left in me and I'm looking forward to showing that."
"I wanted to be active and that's what I've done. Three fights in the space of two months, it's unheard of. I'm very humble and grateful to be in this spot. Massive thank you to you and Frank for getting me this active. I love being under the lights, under that pressure. I feel like I was born to do this job. I just take it all in my stride. I'm looking to put on a massive performance to end the year.
"This is a massive opportunity. I've trained really hard and I can't wait to make a statement on Saturday night."
"Thank you Eddie for the opportunity. I'm ready to showcase my talent. Are you ready son? I was born ready son. Let's go, let's have it."
"It's going to be great. There's a big crowd coming up from Belleek. I'm just glad to get the opportunity. I'm an all-action fighter and I plan to be in exciting fights. On Saturday night it will be no different - I can't wait for it."
"I'm ready to go Eddie. I've been in the gym for a long time now waiting for this moment. I'm grateful to be out at the end of the year and get the ball rolling. It's the right time for me to turn pro because I won everything as an amateur, I had no interest in going on to become a senior. I wanted to train with the pros, learn my trade in the professional game and work my way up.We're a good team down at the iBox Gym, we all work hard. Al Smith is a good trainer, he's been around a long time. I'm ready to go."
PhilBoxing.com has been created to support every aspiring
Filipino boxer and the Philippine boxing scene in general.
Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org