Galal Yafai vs Tommy Frank press conference quotes
Below are a selection of quotes from today's press conference in Birmingham ahead of this Saturday's NXTGEN show at the Utilita Arena topped by the WBC International Flyweight Title clash between Olympic Champion Galal Yafai and Sheffield's Tommy Frank, shown live worldwide on DAZN.
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
"We're here in Birmingham ahead of a massive NXTGEN card. These cards are so important to the development of British boxing, of the talent you are going to see competing around the world on the global stage. This city really needs more boxing. It was actually five years ago since we were last here for Amir Khan's fight against Samuel Vargas, which of course we'll never forget as well. This time, it's the new generation, it's the next generation. These guys have the task, the responsibility to be flag-bearers for British boxing over the next few years. Of course when you look at the past, and Matchroom's history with the sport across Anthony Joshua who we saw last week, Tony Bellew, Carl Froch and ten years today since Darren Barker famously won his IBF Middleweight World Title. Let's give him a round of applause. We know he's very shy on this day every year to talk about it. These guys, some of our best young prospects, have the task, have the opportunity, the platform to go and achieve that. This weekend live around the world on DAZN one of the best prospects, not even a prospect anymore, Galal Yafai, the Olympic gold medallist from Birmingham has an opportunity to make another step forward in challenging for World Title honours. A tremendous card as well. Cyrus Pattinson against Conah Walker – great fight. Sol Dacres, who I think is a real sleeping giant of the domestic and international Heavyweight division, and so much more as well."
Galal Yafai (4-0, 3 KOs):
defending his WBC International Flyweight Title against Tommy Frank
"Thanks to everyone for coming. I don't usually stay in Birmingham too long, but it's my home city. I'm always training in Sheffield. I'm excited I get to fight in Birmingham. I've fought all over the world. It's my first time in ten years fighting here so I'm looking to put on a show on Saturday. I've fought all over the world – Russians. Kazakhs, the Mexicans that you put me in with – I'm sick of them now. We've got Tommy Frank here now. I've known Tommy for a while. I've seen him box. He's a good fighter. I want to say he's underestimating me as a professional fighter. I heard something about how they think I'm a good amateur fighter but not a good professional fighter just yet. We'll see on Saturday. I think I'm ready for those World level opportunities now but it's just the experience. Quality-wise, I'm just as good as the top guys in the division but they've got experience – 19/20 fights. Can Tommy get that out of me on Saturday? We'll have to wait and see won't we. There's always pressure. I love boxing. Tommy doesn't have any pressure on him. He's expected to lose. Every top athlete has to deal with pressure."
Tommy Frank (15-3-1, 3 KOs):
challenging Galal Yafai for the WBC International Flyweight Title
"It's just a massive opportunity for me. It's the opportunity to change my life in many ways on Saturday night. Obviously Galal is an Olympic gold medallist, been there and done it as an amateur. He won a WBC International Title in his first fight. He's had four ten round fights and he's a very accomplished fighter. He's from a boxing family, he's been there and done it. I don't know if he's going to be the toughest but he's definitely going to be one of the most quality and the fighter with the most pedigree that I've fought. I just believe it's everything for a reason. I believe I've got this opportunity for a reason. Coming off a loss I didn't think I was going to get it. I did get it and I just believe this is a chance of a lifetime. Ultimately, I want a call back from you (Eddie Hearn) to get on more of these shows."
Cyrus Pattinson (6-0, 4 KOs):
defending his WBA International Welterweight Title against Conah Walker
"To be honest with you I've reiterated time and time again, I'm not interested in any other fight other than Saturday night. You can watch any interview that I've given, I've never mentioned any other fight apart from the fight on Saturday. That's the only thing that matters. That was always the gameplan going into the Jenkins fight. That's what we had been working on in the gym. I know that Conah likes to fight in that similar sort of style. I'm going to bring the same energy as him and it's going to be a great fight. I've prepared for this fight like the contender, like it's a vacant title. I'll be able to sit and reflect after I've won the title again on Saturday. I know that Conah is a very dangerous fighter – he's strong, he's fit and he comes forward. He's an intelligent fighter – a lot of people overlook his amateur background as well. I've got complete respect for him. I know what he's going to bring."
Conah Walker (11-2-1, 3 KOs):
challenging Cyrus Pattinson for the WBA International Welterweight Title
"This is the pinnacle of my career so far. Like you say, I'll take any fight at the drop of a hat. I don't know if you remember but in Manchester I came and sat next to you and said, 'if you've got any lads, get me on your shows and you won't be disappointed'. I'm here to fight, I'm going to echo what Solomon said. I want to take big fights and fight for titles. That's what boxing is about. Get out there and have a fight. Too many people think about their records. Just get out there and test yourself. Have a dingdong and crack on. I respect Cyrus for taking this fight with me because in my eyes I think it's a banana skin. There's all this talk about the Riston fight, they might as well cancel that now. I'm taking that belt and it's coming home with me back to Wolverhampton. Simple as."
Solomon Dacres (6-0, 2 KOs):
faces Chris Thompson over ten rounds at Heavyweight
"I believe that I'm ready to go at any level. I've sparred all of the World Champions over the last few years. I've been round the world as an amateur on the GB Squad. I just want to fight and I want to win titles. I don't want to pad my record out or anything like that. I'm just ready to go. Even last week when Dillian Whyte was pulled out the fight, we don't talk too much I put the offer straight in and said we'll step in. I'm sure many other people did that as well. We just put our name forward straight away. We don't hesitate. We want to take fights and we want to improve. I like to work off what my opponent is doing. The last one with Ismay, he came to fight so I picked him apart with the openings. He didn't come to survive and hopefully my man over there is game and willing. I'm just going to pick him apart and do what I do in the ring."
Chris Thompson (12-4-1, 7 KOs):
faces Solomon Dacres over ten rounds at Heavyweight
"Thank you very much for having me here. Thank you to Matchroom. I'm excited for the opportunity. Sol Dacres is the current English Champion, me being the former South African and African Heavyweight Champion. I'm excited for the opportunity. I'm aware of the stage that I'm on and I know that I've got to take the opportunity with both hands and show the world what I can do. I'm going to enjoy myself in there. We didn't come as an opponent, we came to win. That's what I'm going to do on Saturday night, I'm going to come and I'm going to beat him. We'll be back on Matchroom shows before the end of the year."
Khaleel Majid (10-0, 3 KOs):
faces Alessandro Fersula over eight rounds at Super-Lightweight
"It's about stepping up now, taking each fight as it comes, getting better and improving. This year I want to be, god willing, moving into title contention. Training camp has gone really good. I was in a good position to go and train with Buddy McGirt. It's a shame he can't be here on Saturday but we'll get the job done. It's about kicking on now and seeing what I can really do."
Jordan Flynn (9-0, 1 KO):
faces Kane Baker in a ten round English Super-Featherweight Title Eliminator
"It's going to be a good fight. To be honest I didn't think the fight was actually that tough. It might have looked tough on TV and stuff but it didn't feel tough. I had 2.5 weeks with my new coaches to get ready for the fight. That was the worst version of me on the night and it was still enough to beat the best version of Kane Baker. This Saturday you're going to see a completely different Jordan Flynn against this guy. I'm going to bake him again. He keeps saying that I've only beaten people, journeyman and they've all been bums, but he's one of the guys that I've beaten as well so I think he's putting himself in that same category."
Kane Baker (19-10-1, 1 KO):
faces Jordan Flynn in a ten round English Super-Featherweight Title Eliminator
"I'm 100% ready to go. Thank you and Matchroom and the whole team because dreams don't come true for people like me but on Saturday night they will. A massive show in Birmingham, it's something that I couldn't have dreamed for, especially on the back of a loss. I just can't wait to let it go on Saturday night. Every time I roll the dice. On Saturday night I'm looking for that double six. I watched it back and I still believe I won the first fight, but I've got to do a better job this time. I always dig deep and I can't wait. The shovels are out now ready to start digging. I'm ready to start digging deep. I'm want to let everyone that is coming, family and friends, what Birmingham is about. How we get down. That's what I'm going to do on Saturday night."
makes his professional debut against Michael Gonxhe over four rounds at Lightweight
"What can I say? It's going to be a special moment and I can't wait to showcase my skills. I achieved a lot as an amateur but now it's time to show the world what I'm about. It's going to be sick, I'll have the whole city behind me. Saturday is going to be a special night. I can't wait to show you what I'm about."
Aaron Bowen (2-0, 1 KO):
faces Wilmer Baron over six rounds at Middleweight
"I've got another tough opponent this time. I think his style is going to gel with me better. He was awkward and slippery last time. I'll look to meet this guy head on. It doesn't look like he's going to take a back step so it should be a good fight in front of all of the fans. I think this fight is going to bring the best out in me. The last one was tricky and small. I've sold over 300 tickets and I've got the bit between my teeth from the last one – I wasn't overly happy with my performance. I feel like me and this guy are going to clash in the middle. There's some good fights on the card but I think we can steal fight of the night."
makes his professional debut against Sean Jackson over four rounds at Bantamweight
"All of the work is done, from amateurs to pros now. No we're ready. Saturday night is going to be a big night of boxing. After 70 fights I've had 28 knockouts as an amateur which is quite a lot of knockouts. Expect an explosive performance on Saturday."
Muhammad Ali (2-0):
faces Francisco Rodriguez over four rounds at Super-Bantamweight
"I'm only 18 and I'm still learning and developing. We take it one fight at a time. I've got all of my team mates who have been in the game a much longer time than me. Seeing them doing it is helping me. I'm excited. My last fight when I was an amateur I was 15. The amateur and the pro side are completely different. You're getting punched with 8oz gloves with no head-guard. It's completely different. Hopefully I will get my fanbase up and I will get them excited. If the knockout comes, it comes."
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