Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“Well good afternoon, the final week of Fight Camp this Saturday live and exclusively on DAZN around the world as we close out with a tremendous card with some of the biggest names and stars in world boxing headlined by an incredible fight. Joshua Buatsi against Ricards Bolotniks in what is a WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title Eliminator. A tremendous card.”
Joshua Buatsi – Croydon, England – 14-0, 12 KOs – fighting Ricards Bolotniks in a WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title Eliminator:
“This is it, Eddie. This is the fight. You’ve been eager to make it happen from early on and when this was offered to my team we said yeah straight away. It’s a good fight, the ring outside looks good, I’m looking forward to it.
“That’s good for me, I’ve said it before we can go into there to box, with a strategy, but sometimes you’re going to have to fight, sometimes the tactics will go out the window and it’s man against main. We’ll see what happens and how it goes, but I’ll be prepared, I’ve covered all aspects, I’m ready.
“It will be a good gauge to see where I’m at, I think a good performance from my myself with give you the green light to get the belt. Either way I’ll be prepared.”
Ricards Bolotniks – Riga, Latvia – 18-5-1, 8 KOs – fighting Joshua Buatsi in a WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title Eliminator:
“I wanted this fight straight after the Golden Contract, and now I’m here and I’m so happy. I’m ready for Saturday, and I am only here for the victory.
“Buatsi is a big star here and a good boxer. He’s strong and tough, and I want a street fight with him. In Latvia I was always fighting on the street. Boxing is more professional, but I want a war and I’m sure me and Buatsi will have a massive fight.
“I’m focused on Saturday, but after this of course I want the World Title. I have the perfect team around me, and this is the right time.”
Joe Cordina – Cardiff, Wales – 12-0, 7 KOs – fighting Joshuah Hernandez in ten round International Lightweight contest:
“We were scheduled to fight at the end of August in LA, obviously that didn’t happen, the opportunity came up to fight here at Fight Camp and I haven’t fought here yet. It’s something I wanted to tick off my list, so I jumped at it with both hands, Tony and I both said 100%. We had a list of opponents and wanted to pick the hardest. Joshuah Hernandez is 10-3 but those three loses are little blips. He’s a tough opponent and I’m looking forward to it.
“As we’ve said in previous press conference and since I started boxing, my aim is to be a World Champion and that’s what I plan on doing. Obviously Joshuah Hernandez is in my way and he’s trying to stop me, I just need to get through Saturday night and if I’m going to go on, challenge and win World Titles I’ve got to beat people like Joshuah. He’s a very good opponent and his record doing show how good he is.
“The cycle before us like Kal Yafai four years on he went on to win a World Title, same as Callum Smith. This time around the boys and girls have finished the Olympics and now it’s our time – don’t get me wrong I’m a couple of fights away but we’re in touching distance. I’m there, I can see it, feel it, and I just want to get closer and closer. Saturday night I need to beat Joshuah Hernandez to get that little bit closer to my dream which is to become a World Champion.”
Joshuah Hernandez – New Jersey, USA – 10-3, 8 KOs – fighting Joe Cordina in ten round International Lightweight contest:
“I stay ready, I stay prepared, in the gym working on my mental and physical strengths. I feel ready to go, the past is the past, my record isn’t pretty, but it is what it is. If you do your research, the only person to beat me is Chris Colbert, I should be 12-1. It is what it is, I’m here to prove a point.
“God doesn’t make mistakes, I’m a man of faith and coming off work I’m a schoolteacher. Once the school year ended, normally I pick up a job for summer, but I just felt like a had a blessing coming my way. I spoke to my family and said I’m not going to work this summer, I’m going to focus on the sport, focus on boxing and here we are. I’m blessed and I’m ready.”
Michael McKinson – Portsmouth, England – 20-0, 2 KOs – defending his WBO Global Welterweight Title against Przemyslaw Runowski:
“It feels different being the A-side, there is a lot more pressure, but I enjoy that. He’s a tough opponent, but it’s a solid test for me. Runowski is on form, and him and his team are confident, but what I do best is ruin that confidence. Round by round it will fade.
“I’m focused on Runowski and not thinking about anybody else, so I’ll get the job done in style and then move on. He has the type of style to make me look good. I’m excited to put on a good display of boxing.
“I do well under pressure, and proved that last time out. There is more pressure on me with me being the favourite and it’s new territory for me. It’s a great occasion on a big show, and I know I’ll perform, that’s all that matters.”
Przemyslaw Runowski – Slupsk, Poland – 19-1, 5 KOs – challenging Michael McKinson for the WBO Global Welterweight Title:
“I am ready for this big fight. I have trained very hard and have had a two month camp with very good sparring. I’m ready to showcase my skills on Saturday, and I’m very confident I will win.”
Hopey Price – Leeds, England – 4-0, 1 KO – fighting Claudio Grande in a six round Super-Bantamweight contest:
“It’s good to be back here at Fight Camp, there’s a bit more of an atmosphere this time. Two fights scheduled within four weeks, but let’s got it twisted most prospects wouldn’t have taken this fight knowing I’ve got a ten-rounder in my hometown of Leeds in only three weeks’ time, but these are the fights I want. Italian prospect, 5-0, three knockouts, all I’m concentrating on is Saturday night and doing a good job.
“I’m fully focused on Saturday night, Headingley is in the back of my mind, I’ll just get the job done first on Saturday night and we’ll look towards Leeds after that.
“It’s what I wanted, to step up faster, if anything it’s been a bit of a blessing in disguise because I’ve had more time to work in the gym and more time to spar top quality fighters. Kid Galahad won the World Title last week, I’ve done numerous rounds with him during lockdown, I feel it’s brought me on a lot more as a fighter rather than 3 or 4 more fights against these lower opposition fighters. I’m ready to fight these unbeaten guys, step up and look good doing so.”
Claudio Grande – Massa, Italy – 5-0, 3 KOs – fighting Hopey Price in a six round Super-Bantamweight contest:
“I’m grateful for the opportunity, I came here to win, and I can’t wait for Saturday.
“I will take this opportunity on Saturday to show my skill and I’m grateful once agaisnt for the fight.”
Kash Farooq – Glasgow, Scotland – 15-1, 6 KOs – fighting Luis Gerardo Castillo for the vacant WBC International Bantamweight Title:
“I’ve been training really hard for this fight, and I know he’s going to bring a good Saturday, but I’m prepared for whatever he brings and I’m going to do anything win and pick up another title.
“In my last fight I got dragged into it a little bit, but you want to win the easiest way possible and that’s what I’m going to do Saturday night. I went back into the gym and worked on the mistakes I made last fight. This fight I’m going to do whatever I can do win, trying to win the easiest way possible, if that means going to the bell then I will.
“I’m fully focused on Saturday night; I’ve been like that since my amateur career. Since my first fight I’ve taken it one fight at a time because in boxing you don’t know where you can after you next fight. For me, Saturday night is all I’m thinking about, I don’t care what happens after that.”
Adalberto Sanchez, trainer of Luis Gerardo Castillo:
“Thanks for having us, we think that each fight is different, we’re putting our record and the losses behind us, we’re prepared to win. Luis wants the belt, he’s confident in his work and that he’s going to win. He wants to make history in the ring not because of his condition but because he wants to put up a good fight.
“We have great communication; we have to have it outside the gym as well in order to create these signs and this language. Sometimes it’s complicated and sometimes we get desperate when giving instructions, strategy, and motivation with the physical situation we’re in. We improve our communication every day and we’re confident that we won’t have to worry about communication in the ring – Luis’ talent will show with everything he’s learnt over the years, and we’ll have everything we need to win the belt.
“We’re very confident in winning and the work we’ve done, you mentioned Lara and our camps actually coincided with this fight. As Mexicans, as warriors, we always put everything in the ring to bring a good, no one going to regret watching – it’s going to be a great fight and we’re confident of winning.”
Raymond Ford – New Jersey, USA – 8-0-1, 4 KOs – fighting Reece Bellotti for the vacant WBA Continental Featherweight Title:
“My last fight was a great learning experience, I fought another undefeated prospect, but what people don’t know is I took that fight on short notice and on top of that I recently had a daughter – I had to take a week off during my camp. My team was trying to get me to pull out of the fight, but I was telling them even on my worst day he couldn’t beat, and that was true.
“I feel like I won the fight easily but that’s in the past now, we’re here with Reece Bellotti so my full focus is on him.
“I feel like Reece Bellotti somewhat resembles Perez so that was another reason I wanted to take this, to show people that I can handle pressure easily. I know he’s going to be there, be tough, and that’s what I’m looking for.
“I’m very excited about this being my first title, I was definitely watching the Olympics supporting Team USA, Davis, Johnson, Jones, Torres – shoutout to all of them, they did their thing in the Olympics. Hopefully we can all sun it up and do the same thing we did in the amateurs in the pro game.”
Reece Bellotti – Watford, England – 14-4, 12 KOs – fighting Raymond Ford for the vacant WBA Continental Featherweight Title:
“I’m back again, it’s good to back, back with fans will be a little bit different – a bit of an atmosphere. It’s a good fight and I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait to get back to winning ways.”
“Probably more than ever, like you say, I’ve been in these types of fights. People that have beaten me are good fighters, they’re going on to do really good things so I’m at that level where I now need to push on, get a win and propel myself to bigger fights.”
“You can always rely on power, you have to have a different game plan, work on different strategies to get to these fighters. You can’t just thing oh I’ll go in and bomb them out, it’s not always the case – hopefully we see that Saturday night. We’ve been working, getting great sparring, that’ll show Saturday night.”
Zelfa Barrett – Manchester, England – 9-5-2, 1 KO – fighting Viorel Simion in an eight round International Lightweight contest:
“I was working hard, originally fighting a Mexican in Mexico, but you’ve done your magic Eddie and now I’m here. I appreciate the chance, thank you.
“My mum was my best friend; she’d want me to fight and not be bumming around and feeling sorry for myself. I appreciate you getting me out and keeping my mind active.
“I want it for myself, I know I won the fight, but I can perform better than that. We’ve changed a few things in the background so we’re ready for this guy – it won’t go twelve rounds. I know for a fact it won’t go twelve rounds so beat this guy Saturday, back in the gym and Kiko in Manchester. Then I’m ready for these big boys, the World Title Eliminators or European. I just to want to beat Kiko, I’ll be ready then.
“We all started at the bottom, amateur days coming up, Lindon is my brother – it’s nice to have him here we’re both shining together. It’s a ripple effect, put on a good performance Saturday night and it’s onwards and upwards.”