There was no love lost between Chantelle Cameron and Anisha Basheel as the duo exchanged heated words during Thursday’s final press conference ahead of Saturday’s huge #MTKFightNight event at the Brentwood Centre.
Unbeaten Cameron (10-0, 7 KOs) faces Basheel (8-5, 8 KOs) in a final eliminator for the WBC world title live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and also live on iFL TV, with the WBC Silver title also on the line. Cameron has the home advantage and momentum of an undefeated fighter as she enters the bout as the bookies favourite - use the best uk suppliers for inplay or live betting in Boxing.
A massive card also sees Michael McKinson (16-0, 2 KOs) look to add another belt to his collection when he faces dangerous Russian Evgeny Pavko (18-2-1, 13 KOs) for the vacant WBO European welterweight title.
There is a fantastic Southern Area welterweight title fight as Shaquille Day (12-0, 2 KOs) goes up against Louis Adolphe (10-1, 1 KO), with the mind games continuing as Adolphe refused to turn up at the press conference.
World-ranked Thomas Patrick Ward (26-0, 4 KOs) returns to action in association with Salita Promotions, as he faces Brayan Mairena.
The undercard also includes many rising stars, including Harlem Eubank, Josh Adewale, Jamie Whelan, Jack Martin, Quaise Khademi and Frank Arnold.
Here’s what they had to say at today’s final press conference:
Cameron: “Basheel claims she’ll bully me, well physically nobody has ever bullied me, so that won’t happen. I could box her head off for 10 rounds, but I can also go in there and have a tear up too and I’d still beat her.
“It’s going to be a very good fight and I can’t wait to be in that ring. She thinks I’m a bridge for bigger things but she’s wrong. I’ve got the momentum going now and my training camp has gone really well.
“I’ve been pushed hard to my limits and I’m really confident for this fight. She’s a big puncher but she’s got to feel my shots as well and when she does she’ll realise she’s in trouble.”
Basheel: “I am the hardest puncher in the division. Chantelle needs to know that she’s a bridge and a stepping stone for me. She is the dust that I will clear out of the way to get to Katie Taylor.”
Basheel’s Promoter Craig Rousseau: “Basheel is only 22 so she’s young and hungry. She won the Commonwealth title in her last fight and has fought all of her big fights away, so this is no different.
“This is a huge fight and Chantelle Cameron is a great fighter. She’s not 10-0 for nothing, but this is the key to the big door for Basheel, and you’ll see the real business from her in the ring on Saturday.
“I want to thank MTK Global for hosting us and putting this fight together. Both girls have got great power, footwork and speed, so it’s going to be a brilliant fight.”
McKinson: “Since my last fight we tried calling out British fighters and big names but nobody wanted it, so I take that as a compliment. I’m now looking forward to Saturday and it’s another step up against a dangerous puncher.
“I’m ready to do the business and Pavko will be taken to school like the rest of them. I’m still only young at 25 so I’m always learning and developing every day in the gym, but I want these big fights.
“I can’t look past Pavko just yet and we’re going to take it one fight a a time, but I’m confident and I’m excited for the names we could potentially have next.”
Pavko: “I have fought movers like McKinson in the past. It’s an awkward task, but I’m confident. He fought an English puncher in his last fight, but someone from Russia is a different ball game.
“Winning will change my life. My next step is McKinson, and I’m sure he wants a better life too, so may the best man win.”
Day: “It’s been 12 fights waiting for a chance like this and now I’m finally in the right place with MTK Global as they have got me a title fight, so I’m happy to be here.
Adolphe hasn’t come to the press conference but I don’t care what he’s doing or not doing. I’m doing my training in the gym and I’m ready to go, so he can do what he wants.”
Ward: “It’s great to be back and to be shown on ESPN+ so the American fans can continue watching me. I’m looking forward to Saturday, and the plan is to get a good win and then look forward to big challenges.
“Since I’ve signed with MTK Global it’s been fantastic. World title fights is what I want, so whoever has a world title belt in the division I’m looking towards them. I’m happy to fight whoever is put in front of me.”
Adewale: “I’m excited for this fight. Since my last fight we’ve been working on preventing people from spoiling fights like my last opponent did. I just want to get on with taking on whoever I can, and I’ll fight whoever is put in front of me.”
Martin: “Thanks to MTK Global for giving me my debut on such a big platform. I’m looking forward to getting out there and showing the world what I can do as a professional. The plan is to get a good couple of wins under my belt this year to set up for a good 2020.”
Khademi: “Boxing on an MTK Global show is a great opportunity to show my skills. It’s one of the biggest platforms around and I’m here to put on a show. Nobody seems to want to fight me, but I’m going to produce another great performance.”
Promoter Lee Eaton: “This is a brilliant show. Top of the bill is a fantastic fight between Michael McKinson and Evgeny Pavko. McKinson is one of the most feared and avoided welterweights in the division, and we’re expecting big things for him in the future.
“It’s a great opportunity for Chantelle Cameron and Anisha Basheel too. Anisha is a massive puncher with eight knockouts in a row, but Chantelle is WBC Silver champion and is looking to earn that mandatory position and get that Katie Taylor fight.
“We also have a brilliant Southern Area title fight between Shaquille Day and Louis Adolphe, plus the return of 26-0 Thomas Patrick Ward, so that’s a great addition to the card.
“Further down we have the likes of Jack Martin, Josh Adewale and other great fighters too. We have three championship fights and a great eight rounder live on ESPN+ in America, plus even more on iFL TV, so we can’t wait.”