“Back in the UK, back in the London bubble here at Wembley ahead of a huge night of World Championship boxing this Saturdayat The SSE Arena, Wembley, live and exclusive on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN around the world. We have literally not stopped so far this year. It’s great to be back in London after watching one of the best fights I have ever seen in my life last week in Dallas between Estrada and ‘Chocolatito’. This week Lawrence Okolie goes for the WBO World Title against Krzysztof Glowacki. Next week we’re in Gibraltar for the big rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin.”
Lawrence Okolie – Hackney, England – 15-0, 12 KOs – fighting Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO Cruiserweight World Title:
“I think that everything’s all about timing. It’s been a good ride to get here, and I feel like it’s my time to go out there and become World Champion. There’s nothing for me to be tense about, I’ve done all the training so it’s just about going in there and getting it done.
“All the other stuff is extras, I’m here to enjoy my life to the best I can. In terms of boxing, Shane will tell you my training record shows I put 100% every day in the gym which is why I’m able to go out and do what I do.
“The most important thing is having self-belief. Every boxer believes in themselves, but I take it to another level. Some people call it arrogance, but I believe if you don’t believe in yourself wholeheartedly, you’re not going to be able to get onto a stage like this and still shine. I’m really excited about Saturday and do what needs to be done.
“I’ve done everything I need to do in training, so whatever eventuality happens, happens. However, in my mind, that’s not going to happen. I need to show that I’m a level above even though my experience isn’t necessarily there.”
Shane McGuigan, trainer of Lawrence Okolie:
“His only two loses are Usyk and Briedis, he has mixed it with the top boys. He spoiled the party when Al Haymon brought Marco Huck over and he’s boxed away from home a few times and has always put on his best performances. We have to be lively and on it.
“Lawrence was lucky to get out on December 12, get a run out and this weird atmosphere being inside the bubble – seeing your opponent on a regular basis. It’s going to be lively night, but hugely confident Lawrence will come away with the victory.
“Lawrence hasn’t been tested yet, and he’s not going to be tested until he’s in with the top boys. He’s flown through the amateur rankings, went to the Olympics, done his thing in the professional rankings and cleared everybody out. This is his biggest challenge but if he can blow out Glowacki he’s got to get his props. People haven’t really appreciated how good he is.”
Krzysztof Glowacki – Walcz, Poland – 31-2, 19 KOs – fighting Lawrence Okolie for the vacant WBO Cruiserweight World Title:
“This is a privilege for me, I will fight strongly and I’m very confident for Saturday night. Okolie is an undefeated fighter so I’m expecting a very tough fight. It will be a strong fight; we can guarantee it so you cannot miss this one.”
Fiodor Łapin, trainer of Krzysztof Glowacki:
“I think it’s normal because when Glowacki was fighting for his title he was very self-confident, and experience was on our side, but we’ll see what happens. First of all, he [Krzysztof] will have to avoid those huge punches and then hit him hard. We’ll see how it goes.”
Joe Cordina – Cardiff, Wales – 11-0, 7 KOs – fighting Faroukh Kourbanov in a ten-round Super-Featherweight contest:
“It’s good to be back, obviously it’s been frustrating for me with the pandemic and the hand injury. It had to make a decision to crack on and get some momentum in my career or take the time out and come back 100%.
“Everyone was talking about me being the next big thing. It’s okay people talking about it, but I’ve got to go out there and do it. I’m glad to be back and Saturday and going to pick up where I left off.
“I’ve made it clear in previous interviews and since I’ve turned pro, the main thing for me is to win a World Title. I wasn’t interested in the British, Commonwealth and European Title, the only thing I got into boxing for was to win a World Title. For me it’s all about putting on a good display of boxing on Saturday, a clinical performance, and getting myself one step closer to a World Title. If I want to be boxing for a World Title anytime soon, I’ve got to overcome someone like Kourbanov on Saturday.
“It’s a stacked division, there’s a lot of world champions at the top level and I’m looking forward to it. The main focus for me is Saturday night against Kourbanov, I’ve got the come through him with flying colours before I start kicking down the door at world title level.”
Faroukh Kourbanov – Liege, Belgium – 17-2, 3 KOs – fighting Joe Cordina in a ten-round Super-Featherweight contest:
“I’m thankful for the opportunity, I know Joe is a great fighter and it’s not going to be easy. I’m going to give it 100%. I know he hasn’t boxed in a while, but I know in England the level of boxing is high and he probably has some really high-level sparring partners. It’s going to be tough fight but I’m going to bring my A game.”
Anthony Fowler – Liverpool, England – 13-1, 10 KOs – fighting Jorge Fortea for the WBA International Super-Welterweight Title:
“He’s an ideal opponent for me to see what level I’m at in this stage of my career. I want to push on now, I’ve been boxing at the English Title level winning easily. I want to push on, he’s potentially at European level so he’s a good fighter. He’s elusive, really tough, skilful and he’s going to frustrate me and make me work for with win. He’s a great test for me.
“I think I’ve really found my feet with Shane; I feel like everything’s coming to fruition. I’m 30 now, big and strong, I’ve been around the pro game for a few years now. I’ve been in the gyms sparring top fighters and I’m coming in to my own. Shane’s a perfect coach for me, I’ve found my feet in boxing and this fight is going to show people that Fowler can fight, and he’s finally adapted to the pro game.
“I want to be in the fights where people say Fowler’s going to get beat. I want the big names, Sergio Garcia, I want to show people what I can do. I know what I’ve got inside me, and I want to show it.”
Jorge Fortea – Sueca, Spain – 21-2-1, 7 KOs – fighting Anthony Fowler for the WBA International Super-Welterweight Title:
“Thanks for the opportunity to come here, I’m really happy and it’s a wonderful opportunity. You’re going to see from the first bell what I’m going to do and take advantage of this opportunity.
“It was a great experience for me facing Bakhram Murtazaliev for the number one position in the world. I’ve fought quite a lot at home, but I’m prepared to go away to seek other opportunities. I do have that experience of travelling as well.”
Chris Billam-Smith – Bournemouth, England – 11-1, 10 KOs – fighting Vasil Ducar for the WBA Continental Cruiserweight Title:
“I’m thankful to Vasil for taking the fight. I was slightly frustrated with trying to find an opponent, but I’m really pleased we’ve got a proper fight and proper live opponent on Saturday. I’m looking forward to picking up another belt.
“He’s in the deep end again and we’ll be showing that again on Saturday night. I’m very respectful towards him, I’ve seen how he boxes, and he was out sparring, I’m aware of the dangers of the fight but ready to put a career best performance on Saturday.
“It would be great to have a show down in Bournemouth in the summer. Southampton is not that far and there are some good fighters from there as well. It’s been a while since anyone from Bournemouth from note has had significant play in the boxing scene, but I’d love to reignite that and bring a show down there.”
Vasil Ducar – Brno, Czech Republic – 9-3-1, 8 KOs – fighting Chris Billam-Smith for the WBA Continental Cruiserweight Title:
“I’m very happy for this opportunity, I’m looking forward to Saturday night and I want to show the people a great fight and what I have to offer.
“I learnt a lot from my previous fights, I have no great background because I’m from the Czech Republic. When I got the offer for the World Title on my seventh fight, I took it. I see now it was very early, but I learnt a lot and I’m ready for the big fights.
“I want only to be the champion in the ring and use my hands. I’m only thinking about the fight, not about before or after, my plan is to win my next fight. It’s simple but it’s the best plan for me.”
Ellie Scotney – Catford, England – 1-0 – fighting Mailys Gangloff in a six-round Featherweight contest:
“It’s been a bit mad, a good sixth months off but I’m buzzing to get back in the ring Saturday night.
“I feel like you can tell by the opponents I’m being matched with that I just want every fight to learn something new. I want to get going for good.
“It’s a big step-up, but a step up I believe I’m ready to take so I’m looking forward to it to Saturday night.”
Mailys Gangloff – Aix-les-Bains, France – 4-1 – fighting Ellie Scotney in a six-round Featherweight contest:
“I didn’t know that I was prepared to be in such a big fight. I’m very glad to be here so thank you to Matchroom for the opportunity.
“I really don’t know what to expect, I feel good so I think I will make a beautiful fight. We don’t have a lot of opponents who are game to fight. I’m very glad to be here with a real opponent.”
Ramla Ali – Bethnal Green, England via Somalia – 1-0 – fighting Bec Connolly in a six-round Featherweight contest:
“Anyone that steps into the ring, you don’t take them lightly. I know this is a serious fight and for me it’s just a step closer to what I want to achieve. You need to take the hard fights as and when they come, you shouldn’t ever shy away from them. You want to prove yourself and that’s what I want to do.
“For me, this fight wasn’t my initial opponent – thanks for Beck for stepping in. I’m happy to take these fights, be in these hard fights, even if it means earlier in my career, I just want to prove myself.
“There’s a lot of good female talent in this country and I know there’s a lot around the world as well. I’m very excited about competing all around the world, I’ve done all the international boxing for the last four years and for me personally I want the biggest fight of my career to be in America, Mexico or Asia.”
Bec Connolly – Swindon, England – 3-8 – fighting Ramla Ali in a six-round Featherweight contest:
“That’s what love about fighting, you never know what you’re going to get, and you have to adjust in the moment. I’m pretty excited, haven’t had much preparation only three days. I’ve had three spars at camp but I’m ready to go.”
Bradley Rea – Stretford, England – 9-0, 3 KOs – fighting Lee Culter in an eight-round Super-Middleweight contest:
“Lee is a great fighter, but there’s not much opportunity going about at the moment. It’s a fight I believe I can win, he believes he can win, it’s going to be a great fight.
“With no crowds and the smaller shows, we’ve both missed out and not been able to box for a year. It’s a massive opportunity, we both know what a huge opportunity it is and what it could lead to. That’s why on Saturday I’m ready to put it all on the line so it’s going to make for a great fight.”
Lee Cutler – Bournemouth England – 7-0, 4 KOs – fighting Bradley Rea in an eight-round Super-Middleweight contest:
“I know it’s going to be a cracking fight, me and Brad has sparred before and been in the ring together. I know what style he brings; he knows what style I bring; it just makes a cracking fight for the fans.”
“I can’t wait to hear the punches landing, hopefully you hear that thud and not the crowd that’s drowning it out. The pressure is on, we want a show down in Bournemouth. I want to deliver tomorrow night and bring a shown down to Bournemouth in the summer.”