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.”
“We’re back in the bubble for a big night of boxing this Friday, the World Super-Middleweight Championship between Billy Joe Saunders and Martin Murray, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN around the world. It’s great to be here. We’ve been lifted by the news that fans will return for the Anthony Joshua versus Kubrat Pulev fight on December 12. 1,000 allowed into The SSE Arena, Wembley for that, so this effectively, touch wood, will be our last ever show, we hope, behind closed doors. We’re ready to make the most of it, and ready for a great night of boxing.”
Billy Joe Saunders – Hatfield, England – 29-0, 14 KOs – defending his WBO Super-Middleweight World Title against Martin Murray:
“First of all I’ve got to thank yourself and Sky for even getting us out this year. I didn’t think I was going to get out. All of the big fights were tied up, out of the fights that were left out there Martin Murray’s name was screaming out. We were supposed to fight twice before, it didn’t happen. He’s boxed for the World Title four times, he should have been a two-time World Champion, he was on the wrong end of two decisions.
“People are looking at this fight as a walk in the park for me and think I should win easily. If you look at Martin, he’s never took damage. He’s never been beaten up in a fight. Golovkin was what it was, he got him in his prime. I promised him his shot and it’s here. I believe that it’s my time to shine now. I’m doing this fight for my uncle Tom who passed away who was like a dad to me.
“I want the Jacobs fights and the Canelo fights and the Andrade fights now, but sadly everyone was tied up this year. The only one really worthy of taking the fight which was available was Martin Murray. He’s a four-time World Title challenger. In my opinion, two-time World Champion, so it’s not a bad pick out of the bunch.
“I know Martin is coming to fight. I haven’t been beaten on the UK soil since I’ve been 12-years-old. I’ve got a good track record, and I’m going to keep it that way. He’s going to bring a good game, but afterwards he can go back to St Helens, take his cash back and have a good Christmas and retire with the family, because that’s what I’m planning on doing, retiring him.”
Martin Murray – St Helens, England – 39-5-1, 17 KOs – challenging Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO Super-Middleweight World Title:
“This is my fifth one now. I know how hard a fight it’s going to be. I really rate Billy Joe. We’ve got unfinished business. Everything happens for a reason. I firmly believe, and truly believe that the pull outs years ago, all of the little set backs that I’ve had, have all brought me to this point and like I said, I’m fit, focused and ready.
“I get it, I get why he pulled out to be honest with you. We all want those bigger fights. It makes sense. There was a little bit of frustration at the time but I left that where it was and I’ve got nothing against Billy. We shook hands when I got beat in my fight against N’Dam, he was on the card with me. He’s here now and he’s honoured his word. He’s going to be in top condition himself and we’re going to lay it all on the line. It’s going to be a good fight.
“No one has ever done it in five times in the UK. I believe Groves four, Frank Bruno four, and I truly believe that there’s been a reason why I’ve picked myself up off the couch when times have been low and I’ve not wanted to go to the gym, but I’ve forced myself to get there. There’s been a reason for it and it’s for Friday. For me to achieve what no-one else has done in the UK.”
HANDOUT PICTURE COMPLIMENTS OF MATCHROOM BOXING Zach Parker and Cesar Nunez Press Conference ahead of their WBO International Super-Middleweight Title on Friday night. 2 December 2020 Picture By Mark Robinson
Zach Parker – Derby, England – 19-0, 13 KOs – fighting Cesar Nunez for the WBO International Super-Middleweight Title:
“I’ve got to focus on Friday night. He’s going to be a tough opponent. I can’t look too far ahead with this mandatory spot. My full focus is on Friday night and Cesar Nunez. You’ve got to make noise with every fight. That’s why people want to watch you, for the knockouts and the showbiz. Hopefully I can give a good performance and make a big fight next year with Billy Joe or any of the other World Champions. I think Saunders vs. Murray is going to be a good fight. It’s last chance saloon for Martin Murray so we’ll just have to see what version of him turns up. I’m picking Billy Joe on points.”
Cesar Nunez – Pamplona, Spain – 17-2-1, 0 KOs – fighting Zach Parker for the WBO International Super-Middleweight Title:
“First and foremost I would like to thank Matchroom and Sauerland for the opportunity. I’m coming to take this chance and win on Friday night.”