Maxi Hughes vs. Jovanni Straffon
Jack Bateson vs. Felix Garcia
Headingley Stadium in Leeds, England 4/9/21
Maxi Hughes and Jack Bateson were both in good spirits as they spoke to the media at the final press conference ahead of this weekend’s huge event.
Hughes (23-5-2, 5 KOs) challenges Jovanni Straffon (24-3-1, 17 KOs) for his IBO lightweight title, while Bateson (13-0, 3 KOs) meets Felix Garcia (7-2-1, 3 KOs) at the event at Headingley Stadium in Leeds on Saturday, live on DAZN.
The final press conference took place on Thursday, and Hughes, Straffon, Bateson and Garcia all made their intentions perfectly clear ahead of fight night.
Hughes said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’ve worked hard and been in the professional game 11 years, but believe I am just getting started. Whoever is the oldest world champion, I want to break that record.
“I’m the Cinderella man, and that was clear when my Mrs said to me that before I go out of this house that it needs cleaning! I’ve been cleaning the house, but when I go to the ball on Saturday I’ll have two glass slippers on.
“I have the experience, I’m older, and wiser. You can’t buy, beg, borrow or steal experience. When you’ve been doing it as long as I have, I’ve been around some top domestic opposition, and it’s led me to where I am.
“It’s a cliché saying everything happens for a reason, but every fight I’ve taken and not got the decision has led me to this. Now is the time to capitalise and reap the rewards and put my name up there in the top 10 across the sanctioning bodies.
“Josh Warrington has been a great world champion, and not only did he win the world title, he defended it in great fashion. I just look at what he’s doing in the gym and copy it.
“We get on well as well aside from boxing, and it’s brilliant to be bouncing off each other in the gym. We help each other and it’s been great to share camp with him.
“Straffon is a tough opponent, and even if we didn’t see the Tennyson fight and we got to fight him, you just have look at his record and see he’s heavy handed, so let’s not test it and stand and trade.”
Straffon said: “Thanks for the welcome, it’s great to be back here in England. This is not a fight between Mexico and the UK, it’s just between me and my opponent in the ring. I have the hunger in these fights, and I look at it as if this belt was vacant.
“Any fighter in front of me is a block in the road and I have to take it away. It’s like they’re a thief taking money from my family. I come to fight, and I hope he will as well.
“I’m not overlooking Maxi in this instance. It is dangerous when fighters do that. On Saturday you can be assured we will be shouting Viva Mexico!”
Bateson said: “I’m buzzing to be back here in Leeds with a crowd, and I’m looking to shine. This won’t be the last time I’m on one of these big cards and I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ve known Josh Warrington since we were young kids growing up. I want to be where he is now. He’s set the way and paved the path, and I’m sure that one day if I keep working hard, I can be where he is and doing it for the city.”
Garcia said: “Thanks to Matchroom for the opportunity to be here. I’ve prepared extremely hard and you’ll hopefully see the best of me on Saturday.”
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