Whyte vs. Franklin: Fight card weights & final press quotes
ALL TIMES ARE LOCAL
17:00 DOORS OPEN
17:50 LIVE ON BEFORE THE BELL
6 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
THOMAS CARTY 18st v PAVLO KROLENKO 17st 4lbs
(Dublin, Ireland) (Kharkiv, Ukraine)
4 x 3 mins International Middleweight contest
GEORGE LIDDARD 11st 8lbs v NIKOLA MATIC 11st 7lbs
(Billericay, England) (Caplinja, Bosnia & Herzegovina)
19:00 LIVE ON DAZN
6 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
MARK DICKINON 11st 10lbs v GIDEON ONYENANI 11st 9lbs
(West Rainton, England) (Chatham, England)
8 x 3 mins International Cruiserweight contest
CHEAVON CLARKE 14st 3lbs v JOSE GREGORIO ULRICH 13st 13lbs
(Gravesend, England) (Maria Juana, Argentina)
10 x 2 mins WBC International Super-Lightweight Title
SANDY RYAN 9st 13lbs v ANAHI ESTER SANCHEZ 9st 12lbs
(Derby, England) (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
6 x 3 mins International Welterweight contest
PAT MCCORMACK 10st 12lbs v CHRISTIAN NICOLAS ANDINO 10st 6lbs
(Sunderland, England) (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
12 x 3 mins vacant British Heavyweight Title
FABIO WARDLEY 17st 2lbs v NATHAN GORMAN 19st 5lbs
(Ipswich, England) (Nantwich, England)
12 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
DILLIAN WHYTE 17st 13lbs v JERMAINE FRANKLIN 18st 5lbs
(Brixton, England) (Saginaw, USA)
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“Welcome back from London everyone ahead of a huge night of boxing from the OVO Arena, Wembley live on DAZN around the world. A fight that is very important for the Heavyweight division. The main event – the return of ‘The Body Snatcher’ Dillian Whyte against America’s Jermaine Franklin. A tremendous card from top to bottom but this fight, very important for the world Heavyweight landscape and very important for the careers of both men – particularly from our side the British Heavyweight Dillian Whyte who returns to action after fighting for the WBC World Heavyweight Title against Tyson Fury. It’s a must-win fight on Saturday.”
“He’s had a lot of amateur fights. I had six amateur fights, people forget that. I had 6 amateur fights but one thing you’ve got to know is I can fight, and I can f**king fight. It’s as simple as that. Whichever way it is, I’ll get it done. Simple as that.
“This is boxing. Sometimes stuff happens. When you’re meant to have your best nights, you don’t and sometimes when you’re not meant to it happens. That’s just how boxing goes. You live and you learn from it. Hindsight is a bitch as they say.
“I try and listen to what my coaches say and what instructions they give. Sometimes you have a too-and-fro in your head. Buddy is calm. But don’t let Buddy’s calmness fool you. Look at the way Buddy used to fight, he used to set the pace and always fight aggressively so don’t let his calmness fool you.
“We know what’s in front of us. He’s young and he’s dangerous. Obviously he’s undefeated and he’s full of beans as we say here in the UK. It’s up to me to beat them out of him one by one. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.
“I don’t really take much notice of what’s said on social media. If you can’t say it to myself then screw you. They can say whatever they want. Listen, that’s their job, they’re meant to say that. That’s what we pay them to come here to do. I don’t care what people say about me or think about me.
“At the moment people are thinking I’m a wounded lion. All of these hyenas are looking to move in and have a little nibble here and a nibble there. What they’ve got to remember is I’m still a predator at the end of the day, and what predators do is they kill.”
“I believe anybody is a test. When the bell rings, you know the other guys’ intentions on winning, but to me everybody is a test and you never overlook anybody. I don’t give a shit who it is. If they’ve got one eye and one leg – you never underestimate them. You’ve got to be prepared for any and everything, and we have done that. Now we’re just ready to put everything together on Saturday night.
“Dillian has more than just punch power. After being with him for a couple of weeks you see this guy has a very good boxing IQ. He does a lot of different moves, it’s awkward and it’s crazy but it works for him. If I ever ask him something like why did you do that, he explains to me why. I’m like alright cool let’s make it a little better so we don’t get countered, or make it a little more effective. It was a great training camp so I have no complaints at all.
“I’m going to be 150% honest with you, I don’t study anybody. I prepare for any and everything. I’m not going to sit and work on the guy I’m training, who he’s fighting. I’m not worried about what they do because I’m preparing my guy for any and everything. I believe if you prepare for one thing, you see something and you look for it and it doesn’t happen in the fight, it’s too damn late. But if you prepare for any and everything no matter what the other guy does, you’ve got an answer for it, and that’s the key.”
“First I want to say thank you for the opportunity. I’m a real chill guy I don’t really talk a lot. I just like to take care of business when it’s time to. I’ve got the upmost confidence in myself and I’m ready to go to work. I’ve just got the upmost confidence in myself and my abilities. You keep bringing up him being stopped in his last fight but I don’t care about that. I’ve come in here and prepared like he’s a World Champion. That’s all we’re looking at. I’m just focused on this fight, I don’t like to dwell too much on the future, you can lose focus on what’s at hand. After this fight that’s where my focus will be. Until then I’m just strictly focused on business.”
“First of all it’s an honour to be here in London. The people here have been very kind and very hospitable to us. It’s an honour. We’re going to take full advantage of this opportunity we’ve got. I can recall Jermaine when he was a younger fighter, maybe about 12/13, at the time he wasn’t fighting for me but I told him – I said you’re going to be World Champion one day – not knowing that one day he would be fighting for me.
“His dad brought him to me about ten years ago and he said I’ve got to take him to another level and you’re the man for that. I said if Jermaine is determined and he wants to do this we can take him to the top because he does have potential. So we started off and we had a successful amateur career – two Golden Gloves National Championships, he was runner up one year and then he lost in the finals, came all the way back around and he made up for that and he won it.
“This guy, he knows how to win. We have great chemistry together, I go out there and give him an assignment and he takes care of the assignment. Nothing is new. His professional career has been built on the road, we went into his opponent’s backyards, in front of their fans, their family and we destroyed them. Just like we’ve come here to do with Dillian Whyte – in front of his fans, in front of his family – we’re going to destroy him. It’s nothing new. It’s nothing new to us – we grew to this.
“It’s a big step up and we’re prepared for this. This is a step where I’ve been mentally preparing him for, physically preparing him for ever since the first day that he walked in the gym. Getting this opportunity against Dillian Whyte, they talked about it maybe a year ago or something and we got all excited about it and it didn’t happen. I told Jermaine that’s okay it’s meant to happen and it will happen. Here we are, it’s going to happen. We’re not fearful of the big stage that we’re on – we are the big stage! We came here. The stage has got to get ready for us.”
“Thank you Eddie it’s always a pleasure to be here in the UK – amazing boxing culture, amazing fans, amazing media and the UK is the home of the Heavyweight landscape these days. I believe Jermaine is the top young American Heavyweight. I’ve been telling you about Jermaine for many years. This is his opportunity. A classic fight with a young guy fighting an older big name. I want to give a shout out and respect to Jesse Addison who has been here with him for a long time – from his first fight really. Jermaine is a National Champion, beat several undefeated fighters on his way up the ranks. We love it here but you guys are in for a big surprise on Saturday night.
“As you know we almost made the fight last year but it did not happen. I believe the timing is better for Jermaine now because Dillian did get knocked out twice out of his last three fights, although they were very high-level fights. However, I do believe that Dillian is underestimating Jermaine and Jermaine is very eager to win, very eager to be the best and I’ve seen it throughout his career. I’ve followed his since his young professional career and started working with him as a promoter three years ago. What I’ve seen is very promising. He’s ready for this big stage. He’s focused physically and mentally – he’s been here for about five weeks sparring with Tyson Fury and Daniel Dubois. He’s ready to rumble.”
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