WBO Bouts at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday, live in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports Box Office, and worldwide on DAZN.
Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport:
“What a delight to be here in Manchester ahead of a huge night of boxing this Saturday from the AO Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN around the world. This is the card of the year so far. There’s so much to talk about here today from the big Heavyweight main event to the Undisputed World Championship, to the World Light-Heavyweight Championship and much more.”
Derek Chisora – Finchley, London – 32-10, 23 KO’s – fighting Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title:
“I love fighting, throwing yourself in the World Title shot is okay. Dillian Whyte has been in the World Title shot for the last five years, he hasn’t gone anywhere. I don’t to put myself in those positions, I want to put myself in positions where I get to fight good fights. This is right, I’m fighting Joseph Parker and after that we’ll see what happens.
“I want to do what I do best, come forward, fight, chuck hell and do what I do every day. Roll the dice and rock and roll – go at it. I’ll come out of the gates and just go.
“The guy has a spider bite, we can’t deny it, we don’t know if it’s true or not, but he had it and now he’s here – we’re not going to cry over spilled milk. David did a good impression wearing the spiderman suit early on the morning, it was okay. The fight is here now so we’re not going to talk about history anymore, that’s why it’s called history.
“It’s going to be a great night; good things are happening. It’s a big card, but we don’t have that little edge on with the fans, it’s depressing but what can we say.
“The king is back, long live the king – I’m back. I’m buzzing, to all those fans at home, I’m going to bring smoke and I know my opponent is going to bring something which is going to be on his bike – but it’s going to be okay. He’s going to be cycling back to Australia but it’s all good. I know right now I’m still laughing and joking but when I come tomorrow, you’re going to know what time it is.”
Joseph Parker – Auckland, New Zealand – 28-2, 21 KOs – fighting Derek Chisora for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title:
“I’m very prepared for this fight, I’ve had a great training camp with Andy in Ireland, then we moved over to Morecambe and got some great sparring under our belt, great pad work, bag, everything. I feel like with this fight, physically and mentally, I’m in a great place – probably the best I’ve been in a while.
“Two totally different styles, Junior Fa’s style was move and hug, punch every now and then. With Derek it’s no secret, he’s going to come forward and apply the pressure, throw punches everywhere. My hands are going to have to be up, down and all around.
“I think this is the perfect fight at the right time. We’re right there, get a good victory and there’s many other great fights out there to be made and to position yourself when the titles are free to fight for. This is a big card, not only the main event but the undercard fights are very exciting, I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Katie Taylor – Bray, Ireland – 17-0, 6 KOs – defending her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles against Natasha Jonas:
“This is why we’re taking the fight; we don’t take any easy fights. I’m in this sport to fight the best, in terms of training camps every one’s the same, we train for every single fight as if it’s going to be my hardest. My mind set and mentality doesn’t change fight to fight so I’m looking forward to a great fight on Saturday.
“The fight was nine years ago, we were both very different fighters to what we are now. I think we’ve both developed and matured into great pro fighters. The fight is going to be completely different Saturday night then it was in the London Olympics. What works in the pro game doesn’t work in the amateur game – this is a completely different fight.
“I think my last few performances have shown I’m at my peak, I’ve shown my best in the last few performances. My last three fights were probably my best performances as a pro, so I feel like I’m definitely improving and getting better each time.”
Ross Enamait, trainer of Katie Taylor:
“We’re here to win the fight, we train hard for every fight. This is Katie Taylor’s twelfth World Title fight; this is there twelfth fight period. Every fight is a big fight, we’re coming to win and we’re here to win on Saturday.
“She’s going to be as sharp as ever, we looked great the last fight, we beat Persoon clear in the second fight regardless and what he’s [Joe Gallagher] saying over here. The fight before that we looked great, there’s no slide, you’re going to see the best Katie on Saturday.”
Natasha Jonas – Liverpool, England – 9-1-1, 7 KOs – challenging Katie Taylor for her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles:
“Every time I’m asked to step up, I do, and I perform. Being the underdog for me is no different, I’m always the underdog on the big night. The more you tell me I can’t do it, the more I’ll prove you that I can.
“You’ve got to remember that going into the Harper fight we’d just come off a lockdown, financially I didn’t know when I was going to box again, I had the baby 24/7 because the schools were shut, and I was in a bit of pickle of where I was going to go or where my opportunity was going to arise.
“Obviously we got that opportunity, and the baby came along to all the sessions, she was a big part of that camp. It was great to be back, and I was starting from down the mountain mentally, physically, emotionally. Now I’m not there, after the Harper fight, I’m at the top of the mountain. I’m starting at the Harper fight and building up from that. Everything says that I’m much better than from the Harper camp and I know I had to be there.
“I think in boxing one punch changes everything. I do believe I have power; I don’t want to make prediction or disrespect anybody by saying that. After the traumatic experience of round 8 against Harper, I promised myself that they are learning curves and that will never happen again. If I get that opportunity, it’ll be the end of the fight.”
Joe Gallagher, trainer of Natasha Jonas:
“It’s good to see the bookies are giving Natasha a better chance against Katie then they did against Terri Harper, that’s good for a start. Its friends reunited, Katie Taylor – what can you not say about her. What she’s achieved, she’s a national hero back in Ireland, what she’s done for female boxing across the world, nothing but respect for her.
“This is the fight business; come Saturday night this is strictly business. Katie Taylor, she’s the media darling, Natasha Jonas is going into the fight after a great career performance. She won the WBC Super-Featherweight title, only two people in the world didn’t think she got it, but apart from that she’s a World Champion in my eyes.
“Natasha Jonas now moving up to Lightweight, here she is now taking on what people describe as the greatest all time female fighter. This is a fight that if there was to be three-minute rounds for women’s boxing, this would be it. If you go back and watch their London 2012 Olympic fight, it was brilliant. But to show how much both have improved since then, it would be better in 12 x 2 or 10 x 3 contest.
“We’ve got a ten round sprint here; we’re seeing that with Natasha fight of the year with Teri Harper. We’re going into this fight with the bookies siding with Natasha more, the judges are to come and do what they need to do, not to be here in awe of Katie or Matchroom. They come here and score what happens, Sky have got to commentate on punches landed, not where they’re from or what’s going round.
“Natasha is a strong live underdog, I’m telling you now Katie Taylor, whether she wants to say it or not, this will be the hardest and most disciplined training camp she’s ever had for any of her fights. She knows the serious threat Natasha Jones brings. They know the threat, what we want in this fight is fairness by the judges and the commentary to score on what’s seen. If everyone does their job, including me and Natasha, we’re going to have a new Undisputed World Champion come Sunday morning.
“Sit back, enjoy your popcorn and enjoy what it is – it’s the biggest female fight the UK and Ireland has ever seen. We’re privileged to be part of it and see this event. We’ll roll onto Saturday night.”
USYK OUTPOINTS CHISORA – RESULTS FROM LONDON
12 x 3 mins WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title
OLEKSANDR USYK WUD12 (117-112, 115-113, 115-113) v DEREK CHISORA
Oleksandr Usyk passed his first major test in the Heavyweight division by outpointing Derek Chisora and winning their high-stakes clash via unanimous decision.
HANDOUT PICTURE COMPLIMENTS OF MATCHROOM BOXING Oleksandr Usyk vs Derek Chisora, Heavyweight Contest. 31 October 2020 Picture By Dave Thompson.
Ukraine’s undefeated Olympic gold medallist and former Undisputed WBO Jr. Heavyweight Champion answered doubts about his natural size by displaying his electric footwork and razor-sharp punch accuracy against Chisora at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
Usyk remains the WBO Mandatory Challenger to Anthony Joshua, who watched from ringside, and who he intends to fight in 2021.
“I was very happy to be back in the ring,” Usyk told Matchroom afterwards. “I haven’t fought for more than a year. It was a huge pleasure for me. You saw my smile when I went into the ring. I really want to thank god for this victory. Derek has big power, he has strong punches but I was prepared for it.
“I didn’t think about his boxing IQ. All I was thinking about was the boxing and what I wanted to do. I am very thankful for Derek giving me this opportunity. I am very thankful to this family and his team. I am happy. He is a good man. Anthony (Joshua), how are you? I am coming for you.”
Usyk told Sky Sports: “Chisora a big guy, a hard guy. I was expecting a fight like that, I was expecting a tougher fight. My plan is to go to my home, maximum time with my family. Training and improving myself. Not just World Champion, the Undisputed World Champion [is my aim].”
A disappointed Chisora reacted to defeat: “I feel great. I was pushing the pace. I’m just disappointed with the result, gutted. To everybody who can’t make it [to the fight], I’m gutted for everybody. In the Heavyweight game, you have to fight not box. I gave a couple of rounds away.”
10 x 2 mins vacant WBO Middleweight World Title
SAVANNAH MARSHALL WTKO7 (1:59) v HANNAH RANKIN
Savannah Marshall became Britain’s latest World Champion by stopping Hannah Rankin in seven rounds to win the vacant WBO Middleweight World Title.
HANDOUT PICTURE COMPLIMENTS OF MATCHROOM BOXING Savannah Marshall vs Hannah Rankin, Vacant WBO Middleweight World Title Title. 31 October 2020 Picture By Dave Thompson. Savannah Marshall celebrates.
The former amateur World Champion was a class above her Scottish rival from the opening bell and kept herself on course for a potential showdown with American star and former amateur foe Claressa Shields.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” Marshall told Matchroom. “Fair play to Hannah. She’s an amazing fighter with big heart and I’ve got loads of respect for her. I’m just thrilled to bits. I knew I was good enough. I’ve always known I was good enough. The chances have just never been there for me. Thank god it came tonight. Me and Hannah sold that fight, we really sold that fight. I don’t know what it was like for her but there was no real bad blood there for me.
“With Peter testing positive two weeks ago, I thought that was just typical me! I just had to ride the wave. I think England has got the best female professional boxers. COVID was a blessing because it’s brought them all out. I’m the first female boxer to be an amateur World Champion and a professional World Champion. I beat the men. I beat the men to it. It’s just a dream.
“The pool isn’t that big at the higher weights. I’d like to go up to Super-Middleweight. I’m not really interested in Super-Welter. I think my power stays at Middle. I’ve just battered Claressa Shields’ mate. I’ve just battered her best mate. I’m sure she said Hannah was going to stop me. So what does that say about her boxing IQ. She couldn’t get Rankin out of there. Hannah is a brave fighter. Claressa couldn’t do that. Me against Shields is the biggest fight in women’s boxing. Let’s get it on. I want a piece of it.”
Oleksandr Usyk’s huge Heavyweight clash with Derek Chisora at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday October 31, include the WBO Middleweight World Championship Bout between Savannah Marshall and Hannah Rankin shown, live on DAZN in all of its nine markets including the U.S and Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Ahead of Oleksandr Usyk’s huge Heavyweight clash with Derek Chisora and WBO Female Middleweight World title bout between Savannah Marshall & Hannah Rankin at The SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday October 31, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all of its nine markets including the U.S., all fans are invited to watch all events prior to the fights.
Oleksandr Usyk – Kiev, Ukraine – 17-0, 13 KO’s – fighting Derek Chisora in a Heavyweight clash:
“There will be no war. I bring peace – pure, clean boxing. He will definitely want to hurt me badly but I won’t stand in front of him. I don’t know why everyone is talking about a test at Heavyweight because, all of my life, I have been tested by Heavyweights. In the World Series of Boxing I was a Heavyweight – people wanted to hurt me but didn’t manage to. If the king of animals would be considered according to the size, then it would be elephant, not the lion. An elephant is a friend of the mouse!”
Derek Chisora – Finchley, London – 32-9, 23 KO’s – fighting Oleksandr Usyk in a Heavyweight clash:
“People tell me that I hold the key to the rich and famous! You shall not pass! He will try to box. I can’t box. It will be a shoot-out. When I hit him, he’ll be hit, there is nowhere to hide. I need a fair referee. I want this fight to be fair. I don’t want to be dancing or wrestling. I want both of us to work fairly. I have to keep marching forwards. He will try to wrong-foot me but I’m ready. People will be surprised.”
🗣️ "There will be no war… I bring peace! It will be pure boxing" – @usykaa