Eddie Hearn:“Good afternoon. Wow. How lucky are we to be here. Absolutely stunning scenery and stunning weather. We’re very grateful to everybody in Gibraltar.
Three or four weeks ago I wondered if this could be done. They say it always seems impossible until it is done. Just a couple of days to go before a historic moment here in Gibraltar, the rematch for the WBC Interim Heavyweight World Title between Alexander Povetkin and Dillian Whyte, live and exclusive on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN around the world.
(Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)
We cannot wait to give you a night that you will not forget. It has been a tremendous experience so far and we’re looking forward to the next couple of days before the main event on Saturday night.”
Alexander Povetkin – Russia – 36-2-1, 25 KOs – fighting Dillian Whyte for the Interim WBC Heavyweight World Title:
“I’m very happy to be here, I’m relaxed, confident and the only thing on my mind right now is to go out on Saturday and show some good boxing.
“I’ve almost forgotten about the last fight because this is finished. I think that Dillian will be better in the second fight than the first. At the same time, I’ll try to be more careful, pay attention more to my defense.
“I don’t have this mindset that I’ll knock him out. It could go the distance; I’m not focusing on the knockout and I’m going to follow my plan.
Max Mikhaylov, World of Boxing:
“It’s a pleasure to be here, thank you to Matchroom it’s a pleasure to work with you. We never avoid anything, the same moment it was proposed we said yes. Alexander is not a boxing to avoid anyone.
“This is maybe one of the keys to the success of Povetkin and the team, we’re relaxed. There’s no rush anywhere, we’re doing everything we’re comfortable with.”
Dillian Whyte – Brixton, England – 27-2, 18 KOs – fighting Alexander Povetkin for the Interim WBC Heavyweight World Title:
“The first fight was a good fight, we both fought well, I knocked him down a couple of times and he came back to win – he landed a good punch. I’m glad that he took the rematch, I’m glad we’re here again. We’re about to get it on again in two days, I want to say a massive thanks to the Gibraltan people and team who have made this happen.
“This is the most important fight of my career. Like I said this is boxing, I’ve been through ups and downs my whole life so I’m using to bouncing back, proving people wrong, showing people what I can when they’ve written me off.
“I’m good. People talking about the defeat, it’s nothing. I’m doing something, changing my life and I’m constantly improving.
Povetkin’s a good fighter, top amateur, gold medallist, but I’m learning, improving, and getting better every day. Saturday I’m going to leave it all on the line once again.
“The main thing is the win; I’m a competitor and I hate losing so I want to make it 1-1. I’ll get the win whatever, you’ve seen me adapt in different fight – getting off the floor and winning, out jabbed fighters that faster than me. My coaching team has worked hard on different plans and working different areas.”
Xavier Miller, trainer of Dillian Whyte:
“The first fight, that chapter has ended now, it’s done. We’re just looking forward to Saturday. We’ve worked hard, all credit to Dillian he got straight back to work after. It’s straight business on Saturday.
“The tone of the fight, the way the fight was it was only going one way. But this is Heavyweight boxing, we’d made no excuses but gotten straight back into camp. All we want to focus on now is Saturday, last fight is done. We have to win on Saturday and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Fabio Wardley – Ipswich, England – 10-0, 9 KOs – fighting Eric Molina in a ten-round Heavyweight contest:
“I’ve come from the same breed, cut from the same cloth as Dillian. There are no easy fights, we take all opponents when they come and big chances and opportunities when they’re in front of us. This is one of those, not just for the fight but for the occasion as well.
To be a part of an event like this is great, I’m looking forward to Saturday, putting on a fantastic performance and really showcasing some of my skills.
“The team and I are looking to do it all, we’re looking to do the big fights when they’re there in front of us and then come back around for some big level domestic dust ups when they’re there as well.
We’re taking all the opportunities that are in front of us and relishing the moment. I’m fortunate to be part of events like this, I’m thankful and looking forward to a big fight on Saturday.”
Eric Molina – USA – 27-6, 19 KOs – fighting Fabio Wardley in a ten-round Heavyweight contest:
“Fabio’s young, a rising star in England. When I first got the call to be honest, I’d never heard of the guy. While looking into him it reminds me a lot of myself, coming in with one amateur fight and I was the same age as him when I got started. I’m hoping to come in Saturday and give him everything he’s got to learn.
“When Eddie Hearn calls with an opportunity I don’t give no excuses. Training camp was difficult, it was filled with a lot of adversity. It’s all mental, my team says it’s all mental, so we’ll be good to go Saturday.
“The only thing I’ve got going for myself in this fight is my experience. Coming into these fights as I can get older, they don’t get easier. There’s a new generation of Heavyweights coming up, Fabio is in the mix, this is a type of fight I need to see where I’m at. I need to see if I can mix it with these young lions, I’m looking forward to the test on Saturday.”
Ted Cheeseman – Bermondsey, England – 16-2-1, 9 KOs – fighting James Metcalf for the vacant British Super-Welterweight Title:
“It’s lovely to be part of a big event but it’s just business when you get there. It’s natural, I’ve done this time and time again but it’s just about getting into fight mode and doing the business Saturday night.
“I can box, and I can fight, after the first few rounds, you’ll see how the fight’s panning out and I’ll know then what I’ve got to do to win the fight. Whether it’s come forward and march JJ down or box on the back foot, I know I’m capable of both. I’ve got plans A, B, and C ready, but we’ll see what happens Saturday night.
“If the bookies were right every time, I’d be a millionaire. No disrespect to JJ, but this is his first time on a big event. He will be loving it but there will be a lot of nervous energy with it. I’ve done this time and time again, I’ve got the York Hall to O2 fights, for me this is natural – he’s never really done a big occasion and big opposition fight.
“For me, I’ve had hard fights one after another. As much as people say it takes it out of you, I’ve never been smashed apart from when I fought Garcia, but my head wasn’t there.
Since then, I’ve been improving loads, I’m still young and still feeling fresh and I feel after I got my win against Sam Eggington, I’m going to be ten times the fighter I was then coming from a win.
“I believe JJ is going into unknown territory and for me I know I can dig deep. We’re going to see if he will sink or swim on Saturday night.
James Metcalf – Liverpool, England – 21-0, 13 KOs – fighting Ted Cheeseman for the vacant British Super-Welterweight Title:
“I can box, and I can fight, I’m ready to do both.
“It’s a must-win for me. I feel like I’ve been owed this chance for a while and now it’s come I’m going to take this with both hands.
“I’ve grown up watching my dad box, being proud of him, now it’s my turn to return the favor.
“I’m soaking up the experience, enjoying it. I’ve been on undercards with Tyson Fury and Josh Warrington, this is a lot better but I’m alright with it all.”
Campbell Hatton – Manchester, England – making his professional debut in a four-round Lightweight contest with Jesus Ruiz:
“I’m really excited, the nerves are slowly starting to come in. People have been saying has all the media been getting a bit much, but it hasn’t. It’s doing me good because it’s a bit of a distraction from Saturday night to keep the nerves away.
“Just really excited, ready to go, and been flying in the gym. I did my last punching session this morning, felt really sharp so I can’t wait to show everyone what I can do.
“The main bit of advice I’ve had from everybody is to stay calm. The number of eyes on me there will be nerves and I’ll be eager to please people. The main thing for me is to do myself justice.
“I want people to see the Campbell Hatton that’s in the gym, sparring, because when people see that it’s what impresses people. I do set a high pace, but I need to be calm and calculated about it.
“You always get people who have something to say, for me I just to go in there and do myself justice. If I’m the best Campbell Hatton I can be, I’ll be happy with that and it’ll be enough to impress the people who are behind me.
“With time I’ll be able to show people what I can do, staying calm is my main goal for this fight and doing myself justice.
Ricky Hatton, Dad, and Manager of Campbell:
“I’m very proud and nervous. He’s had a fantastic build-up, it adds a little bit of pressure but if I didn’t think he built to cope with the pressure I wouldn’t have allowed it to happen. He’s seen what I’ve done over the years, his brother, that’s what he wants.
“I did it, so he didn’t have to. He’s chosen to want to do it and I think he deserves a pat on the back for that. It’s one of the hardest games of all, I think he deserves credit for that alone and I’m very proud of everything and the attention he’s got this week.
“I’ve been saying to him [Campbell] all week do you want to get to where the top of the bill is, Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin, well let’s get used to it now. This is what it’s going to be like when you get there. This will stand him in good stead.
“This is his early days, it’s his professional debut, he wants to get off to a good start and impress. You’re going to get people saying it’s because of his Dad, he’s got to shut that out from his mind, do his own job, and if he keeps relaxed and composed everybody will like what they see on Saturday.
“I want him to do himself justice, he’s worked so hard and come on so quickly in a short space of time. He’s only had 28 amateur fights and it’s his pro debut on such a big stage.
I hope he does himself proud on Saturday, which he will do with all the hard work and adaptions he’s made to his game.”
Chris Kongo – Bermondsey, England – 12-0, 7 KOs – defending his WBO Global Welterweight Title against Michael McKinson:
“When I came into the sport, this is the fight I want. I don’t want to fight journeyman or people I know I can knockout in a round. I want competitive fights. Before this I was calling Michael out for a long time, I’m just happy to be here and happy the fight is on.
“People avoid his style, and a lot of people don’t like to fight southpaws. I don’t mind, I always find a way to win regardless. He’s got a good record and he’s a good fighter, I want to beat the best and I’ve got the beat these guys.
“I’m just going to leave everything that I’m going to do and leave it until Saturday. Whatever he brings I’ll always be able to adapt, I’m ready for it.
“Confident, 100%, Chris Kongo knockout is coming this Saturday.”
Michael McKinson – Portsmouth, England – 19-0, 2 KOs – challenging Chris Kongo for the WBO Global Welterweight Title:
“I believe I’m the best welterweight in the UK, to prove that I’ve got to beat Chris Kongo on Saturday.
“This is to chase our dreams. There’s no one in the UK that has a style like mine, I’m a problem for absolutely everyone. I’m a smart fighter, whatever he wants to bring I can adapt – I’m very clever. It should be an exciting fight.
“I’m taking it all in, everything’s been amazing. Now I’ve got my opportunity, I need to win to stay on this. I’m excited, it’s been an amazing week.”
Erik Pfeifer – Germany – 7-0, 5 KOs – fighting Nick Webb for the IBO International Heavyweight Title:
“Training has been very good, I’m in great shape and I will show everyone the best of me Saturday night.
“Dillian is a very strong guy it was a very hard sparring session. I left feeling perfect and I’m here ready to fight.
“I think this is my chance, I will use it and show the world who I am and how well I can box.”
Nick Webb – Surrey, England – 16-2, 12 KOs – fighting Erik Pfeifer for the IBO International Heavyweight Title:
“It’s a great stage, thanks to Matchroom to getting me on there and I look forward to fighting Erik there on Saturday.
“He’s [Erik] a great challenge, a great name who was a really good amateur. This is a great place to showcase my skills and I can’t wait.
“This is a must-win, there’s no other option – I’m winning and that’s that.”
Youssef Khoumari – Wembley, England – 11-0-1, 4 KOs – fighting Kane Baker in a ten-round Super-Featherweight contest:
“I’m ready to go, I’d like to thank Dillian Whyte and Eddie Hearn for the opportunity. I’ve had a good, long camp, everything’s gone perfect and I’m looking forward to a smoky Saturday.
“A lot of guys turn pro looking to be a part of events like this. I’m so privileged to be a part of an event his big and I’m going to grab it with both hands-on Saturday night.
“Dillian likes to say maximum violence all the time so on Saturday they can expect maximum violence from me.
“It’s going to be a very fan-friendly fight, both of our styles match. He likes to throw a lot of punches, I like to throw a lot of punches, we’re going to meet in the middle and it’s going to be a fantastic war for the fans.
Kane Baker – Birmingham, England – 14-7 – fighting Youssef Khoumari in a ten-round Super-Featherweight contest:
“I’m feeling comfortable in these events 100%, but I’ll always be a boxing fan with a license I can’t take that away. I can’t thank Matchroom enough for the year you’ve given me, I’m going to repay everybody on Saturday night with an explosive performance.
“Winner stays on, that’s given me a kick that I needed. Saturday I’ll win again, I just want to fight in your garden, Eddie. I’m not worried about titles; I just want to win this Saturday and fight in your garden.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to get the win Saturday night. I’m going to be in his face throwing punches all night.”