Weights from Leeds:
Mauricio Lara 125.5 vs Josh Warrington 125.75
Conor Benn 146.5 vs Adrian Granados 146.5
Katie Taylor 134.75 vs Jennifer Han 134.25
Jovanni Straffon 134.25 vs Maxi Hughes 134.25
Ebanie Bridges 118 vs Mailys Gangloff 116
Eddie Hearn: “Thank you for being here in Leeds today, what a turnout, it feels so good. I forgot what this felt like, the big stage, the media, the fans, the atmosphere and anticipation for a massive night on Saturday in Leeds.
“20,000 people at Headingley Stadium, the home of Leeds Rhinos transformed for an epic night of boxing, live and exclusively on DAZN all around the world.
“This is one of the best cards we have ever put on and on Saturday night you are going to have a night and experience you will never forget. Inside the stadium, inside the ropes, the fans in the arena will get one of the best nights of live boxing they have ever witnessed and on screen we will bring you the best talent line-up in boxing.
“This Saturday Laura Woods leading the presentation with Tony Bellew, over to Darren Barker and Chris Lloyd, then we mix it up with Mike Costello the legend and Andy Lee. What a team we have here and what a night we have.”
“It’s good to be back, it’s nice of everyone to turn up and nice to see there’s going to be a big crowd on Saturday night – it feels normal. This is what I got used to, I got used to this big stage ever since I won the World Title. I’ve been looking forward to this for such a long time, we were talking about conquering the world together, winning the Ring Magazine belt, Las Vegas, New York and ride off into the sunset.
“What happened on February 13 happened, it was a hard lesson to take but this is where the next stage goes on, the next chapter begins. I’ve been about the game a long time and I can’t wait to redeem myself.
“I take him [Lara] very seriously, I think the first time he said that he saw fear in my eyes, there’s not fear in there I was just looking straight through him. I didn’t think that he could bring what he delivered and that’s my mistake, that’s me being too cocksure of myself. I won’t make that same mistake again; I have the fear factor about this one. He said some random comments about me slagging his dad off, I slag my own dad off, but there’s no personal animosity between me and Mauricio – it’s just business.
“When Anthony Joshua got his redemption against Andy Ruiz Jr, it was done and forgotten about and that’s going to be the same Saturday night. I’m sure he’s come over with a bit of an entourage, he looks smart today, had a haircut, but once he’s been done, he’ll have given me a massive lesson in my career but that will be it, we’ll move on.
“I’m a proud man and it would have made my toes curl to see and watch somebody else fight Mauricio Lara. I want to get my redemption, I feel that Lara is a great fighter, a strong fighter, but I feel like I’ve been at a higher level for such a long time and beaten fighters that are such a higher level than what he is.
“I turned a few book deals down last year and I think after February 13 publishers weren’t bothered about writing a book about Josh Warrington anymore. After Saturday night we’ll put it right, add a few zeros onto that book deal. Going back to normality, going back to a stadium, having people in the crowd – they’re my second wind, my adrenaline, my twelfth man, that little advantage. They’re part of Josh Warrington’s attributes, it’s going to be special to walk out, I’ll give them redemption.”
“I hope everyone is well, we have to think now that February 13 February is in the past. I’m now completely and 100% focused on putting on a good show on Saturday. I’m prepared not 100%, but 1000%. Perhaps people didn’t know me previously, but they do now in certain areas, there’s going to be a repeat of what happened – there are no surprises in life.
“It really hurt me that a great champion like him [Josh] didn’t give me the credit for my performance but that’s in the past now. I can’t wait for Saturday to come along now and I’m going to show him, in his words, that we’re definitely not on the same level – I’ll have my hand raised on Saturday night.
“I’ve prepared for a knockout, but I’ve also prepared for the twelve rounds, I can assure you it won’t go the distance.”
“This is the first fight in a long time where I’ve actually fought in front of a live crowd, the fact that’s here in Leeds, some of my best memories as a kid are visiting this city, going to Leeds United games at Elland Road. This city has a special place in my heard and I never thought I’d have a chance to fight here. I’m just so excited about it.
“This is a huge fight for both of us, I don’t overlook anybody, I can’t afford to get complacent and when you do it’s when you start to actually lose fights. I have prepared for this fight just like I’ve prepared for any fight. I’m expecting a tough challenge on Saturday, and I’m prepared for that.
“I feel great, I know I can’t do this forever, but I still feel very fresh right now and I still have plenty more years in the ring. This training camp has gone great, I feel sharp and strong, I can’t wait to produce one of my best performances on Saturday night.”
“My team and I have travelled a long way, all the way from El Paso, Texas, to be here to show the world what we have. I’ve worked my entire life for this kind of opportunity and I’m excited to be here – it’s my time.
“It’s already been life changing, we’ve worked hard, and I’ve overcome many obstacles to get to this point. I’ve never fought on this kind of a stage, so this is going to be amazing.
“I do have a lot of respect for Katie, I’ve studied her and it’s time to shine on Saturday.”
“It’s either going to be a proper serious fight or someone’s getting laid out, and it isn’t going to be me. That’s for sure. I work so hard, confidence is a luxury for the hard working, and people mistake by confidence for arrogance. But those people aren’t up with me running at 3 in the morning. I’m crushing it in the gym, and when I work as hard as I do, I have the right to be confident because I leave no stone unturned.
“Look at the shape of me. That’s a testament to the five years hard work, that’s a testament to my team working overtime, my strength and conditioning coach, my physio, my nutritionist, Tony, my agent, it all plays a massive part. Teamwork makes the dream work they say, that’s where we’re at. All I have to do is focus on beating the geezer up in the other corner, my team allows me to do just that – I’ve done it now 18 times.
“I’m very confident, Granados is a massive test, he’s been in with the top boys, the top dogs. He thinks he’s experienced and that he’s tested at a high level. What did Formella say, what did Vargas say. If they don’t want to believe the hype, I’ll make them believe the hype, it’s as simple as that. I work so hard to be denied and that’s where that ends. It’s been five years of hard work, I love this life, I’m a fighter.
“You’ve seen the change, the transformation, it hasn’t come overnight, and it hasn’t come easy. I’ve put the work in every single time, I give 100%, I’m leaving it all in there Saturday night.
“I don’t believe the hype whatsoever, not in the slightest, otherwise I still wouldn’t be getting up and doing my runs – I’d think I was all that and a bag of chips. I don’t rely on my power, I’ve been watching Granados’ fights, against Broner and Easter, he gave them one hell of a fight. One of the best Granados and I believe I’m going to get the best Granados. Create the hype and don’t believe it.
“I’ve had so many people come up to me and say it’s going to be some reception you know; it’s going to be incredible. I’m thinking they’re going to top my O2 debut you know, I just have a feeling about it. I’ve had such a warm welcome here, big shoutout to the Leeds supporters, thank you. We’ve got a job to do Saturday but after that, I might join you lot in the pub and have a beer.”
“First and foremost, I want to give thanks to God. Thanks to Eddie for reaching out for me, giving me this opportunity, everyone at Matchroom and DAZN. It was unfortunate, both of us were chomping at the bit for this fight, very exciting build-up and then a day before the weigh-in Conor tested positive for COVID.
“This is the age we live in now, although I was very frustrating and upset, everything happens for a reason, and I believe it worked out. Now we’re fighting in Leeds in front of 20,00 people, I’m excited, I’ve already dreamt about fighting here, overseas, I come from Chicago. It’s a dream come true, everyone has been very welcoming and accepting. Now it’s fight time and I’m ready to get this fight going Saturday.
“It’s boxing talk, I understand the confidence he’s portrayed and that’s why I’ve answered back and let him know I’m obviously not here to lay done either. I think it makes for an exciting fight, I think our styles are going to match well, l think we’ve got a classic in the making. May the best man win, may God protect us both and we both come out safely.”
“It’s great to be back here in England. What I would say about the fight is it’s not a fight between Mexico and the UK, it’s me and my opponent in the ring. What I will say is that I have the hunger when I go into these fights, I look at this as if this belt was vacant and I have to go in and win it – I have to show that hunger to do that.
“Any fighter that’s in front of me is a block in the road for and I have to take them away. They’re also a thief because they’re taking money from my family. I come to fight, and I hope he also comes to fight.
“First and foremost, I’m not overlooking Maxi in this instance, he shouldn’t either. It’s dangerous when fighters do that, I want to show I have the hunger, if he wants to win this fight, he’ll have to kill me. On Saturday you’ll be shouting Viva Mexico.”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity, I’ve worked hard and been in the pro game eleven years. I believe I am just getting started, whoever’s the oldest world champion, I’m going to try and break that record.
“A lot of people are now referring to me as the Cinderella Man, that couldn’t be truer, this morning my missus said to me this house needs cleaning before you leave this house. I’ve been cleaning the house, but when I go to the ball on Saturday night in Headingley I’ll be coming home with two glass slippers on.
“It’s the experience, I’m older and wiser, you can’t buy or steal experience, you’ve got to go out and earn it. Doing this as long as I have and being around some top domestic opposition, it’s all led me to where I am. Everything happens for a reason, every fight I’ve took and not got the decision has led me to this, now’s the time to capitalise on it and reap the rewards of the resilience, hard work and dedication I’ve shown.
“I want to put my name up there in the top ten across the world, hopefully across all the sanctioning bodies. While I’m in this red-hot form, get the win on Saturday and you better put me in the ring with Canelo in this form before it runs out.
“Josh has been a great World Champion, not only did he win the World Title, but he defended it successfully in great fashion. You only need to look at what he’s doing in the gym, copy what Josh does because he’s laid out how you become and stay a world champion. We get on well aside from boxing, it’s been brilliant bouncing off each other in the gym. It’s been brilliant to share training camp with him.”
“I’m actually really excited about this fight, watching her [Mailys] fight with Ellie, I think she has a great style, and our styles are going to gel really well together. I think with that it’s going to make it an exciting fight, she’s tough and I love tough opponents. I’m looking forward something exciting there, another good performance by myself. I’m only getting better, feeling stronger than ever, I’m looking forward to showing you all what I’ve got come Saturday night.
“Training with Brian Cohen in America and having those eight weeks in Philadelphia, I’m really focused on footwork and balance – plating my feet. We all know I’m strong but if you can’t get into position, it’s not effective. Now I feel like I’m really nailing that, we saw that with Bec, about the positioning and planting the feet to throw those shots to get my full power into it.
“My cut for this fight was easy, I just fought four weeks ago. I’m hungry as ever, I love to fight, I’m hungry to punch on.”
“It’s a good fight because it will be at my perfect weight class, I think I’ll bring something that couldn’t bring the last time I was here. I’m very excited, I hope it will be a very good show.”
“It’s good to keep busy, I’m glad I got out two weeks ago and it’s good to be back home, in front of my hometown and fans. It’s another step up, another step forward in my career, there’s a lot of good fighters on this show, a lot of fighters from Leeds, but I’m coming to steal the show on Saturday night.
“Another good performance this weekend and I’m looking to step up again and it won’t be long before the domestic titles come my way.”
“I’m definitely looking forward to it, in front of 20,000 people. I’d like to thank Matchroom, my manager Steve Wood and my coach for spending time training me.”
“I’m just going to do what I do best. Experience is going to play a major part on Saturday night.”
“I’m buzzing to be back here in Leeds with a crowd, now Covid’s on its way out. Thanks for the opportunity, Eddie and yeah, I’m looking to shine, it won’t be last time I’ll be on one of these big cards. I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ve known Josh since we were young kids, growing up, I want to be where he is now. He paved the way for us and I’m sure that one day if I keep working hard, I can be where he is and doing it for the city.”
“First and foremost, thanks for the opportunity to be here. I’m extremely happy to be here and I’ve prepared extremely hard for this night. Hopefully you’ll see the best of me on Saturday.”
“This is a massive opportunity for me, a big stage now coming from Bradford Hotel on my last fight jumping to this fight, it’s a massive opportunity for me and I cannot wait.
“I did quite well with tickets, a lot really. I’m one of the first ones on, I’ll get changed and watch Josh Warrington do his thing again.”
“I’m looking forward to it man, I can’t believe it, fighting in my hometown of Leeds. I went to university in Headingly, I used to live there, 2-minute walk from the stadium. It’s surreal even seeing my name here, so I can’t wait and I’m looking forward to it.”