THE HEADLINERS FOR Saturday’s championship triple-header in Telford gathered at the International Arena this afternoon for the final press conference ahead of fight night, live on BT Sport 1 from 7pm.
Jason Cunningham defends his European super bantamweight title against Terry Le Couviour in a second defence of his belt. Also on the bill, Stoke favourite Nathan Heaney defends his IBO International middleweight crown against Diego Ramirez from Argentina and Liverpool super bantamweight Andrew Cain fights for the vacant WBC International Silver title against Pablo Ariel Gomez, also from Argentina.
Northampton super lightweight Eithan James, Liverpool super bantamweight Brad Strand and Worcester welterweight Owen Cooper also feature on the night, alongside York’s George Davey and Atherstone’s George Bance, who are both in action at welterweight.
Telford pair, super lightweight Macaulay Owen (2-0, 1 KO) and flyweight Bradley Thompson (3-0) complete the card.
Below are a selection of quotes from today’s proceedings.
“This is definitely different and it has been a long road to get here. 10 years as a pro, all these titles, and I am finally in the home corner where I belong. Terry talks about pressure but, for me, I am enjoying every bit of the experience and I am going to enjoy this. There is no pressure on me, I will go out there and perform, to show I am No.1 in Britain, Europe and pushing towards world honours.
“There is a target on my back with these prospects coming through. They are going to want me but there is only one man on my mind on Saturday. That is all that matters.
“I am prepared for whatever Terry has got to bring. I’ve got that much experience, I can fight, I can box and deal with whatever he brings. What people underestimate is I am very durable and very, very tough. If Terry wants to bring that game then he is probably going to find out the hard way.
“We are both hungry and will bring our best, but there is one man who is going to win and that is me. This title means everything to me, they all do, as they have all been something of my journey and all done from the away corner.
“This will be my third European title fight in 11 months so I have been very active and I am in the form of my life. The belt comes home with me on Saturday night, simple as that.”
Terry Le Couviour
“I am in my best condition now. You can look at me on the internet but I was like an amateur fighter, training two or three times a week only. Since two years ago I have trained three times every day like a professional and I am very different. I am in very good condition and I trust in my chance here.
“Cunningham is a very good fighter with a good strategy. I have found a good English trainer and I have been taught how to win this fight. I believe it will be a very good fight and I am not afraid to lose. There is no pressure on me, only on him. I will give everything and it will be a war.
“It is not the first time fighting away because I have fought in Italy and won easily. I don’t know if this will be different but I will not have any regrets. I will do everything and this is my chance.
“For me this is like a dream and that is why I have trained very hard. I feel good and I know I can win.”
“I think this is a great opponent for me to have. Diego is a proper fighter and a proper warrior. I’ve seen some great wins on his record and he obviously has the win over Bradley Skeete, which was a massive upset on a Frank Warren card and no doubt he wants to do the exact same again.
“I think our styles will match well. Yes, he is a southpaw, he is awkward in some senses, but I think I will know what to do to control that.
“There are 1,200 coming from Stoke and the support is absolutely incredible. With it being Easter weekend there are a lot of people on holiday so to have this amount coming again – double what we had last time in Telford – is amazing. It will be a great atmosphere.
“We don’t know how it will play out until we get that first round out of the way, but your support is always going to help you. If bad times come along in a fight they will be there backing me all the way and keeping me going. I boxed behind closed doors and it sort of dulled my performance slightly because my fans are like the 12th man in football. They can’t fight for me, but they can certainly push me when the going gets tough or I let my shots go.”
“I had a very good experience in the UK beating Bradley Skeete and I think I will repeat the same experience and win against my new opponent. He is a good fighter and very strong but there are some points I will attack and win the belt for Argentina.
“It is very clear to me how I will win, but it is my secret and you will see it on Saturday night.The fan support is not a problem for me.”
“I was devastated about the Liam Davies fight falling through, but only for about an hour, then I realised it was never about Liam Davies anyway and it was always my night. My night to show who I am and to put a proper performance in. So it didn’t really matter in the end. It would have been nice to have beat him because he has said a few things about me and it was a fight that people wanted to see, but I am not bothered at the end of the day and it is no odds to me. I’ve still got a fight and I still get to perform on Saturday.
“There is needle with every fella because he is trying to take my life away and food off my kid’s table. So no, it wasn’t difficult to switch focus to Gomez because a fight is a fight and all that matters is I perform the way I can.
“I definitely stayed on it when the first fight fell through and I was just waiting for the phone call to say I was back on. Then I got the call to say it was back on for a title and I was happy.
“I look at Jason Cunningham and I feel I have got the beating of anyone. The belt is looking pretty and I would love a little bit of that, maybe this year or next, we will see. I put myself at the top of the division, never mind the UK, and I know I am capable of that. As long as I perform and be who I am on the night, there is no-one who is going to stop me, no-one.
“Pablo is getting put down, that is what you can expect. Pablo’s going to sleep.”