Whyte vs Franklin undercard at OVO Arena, Wembley on Saturday 26 November, shown live worldwide on DAZN.
Fabio Wardley: “I always believe in myself, regardless of whether I’m the underdog or the favourite. It doesn’t matter to me. I know what I need to train for. I know what type of opposition I have in front of me, how prepared I need to be, how connected I need to be from the first minute and the first ring. All these things are things I’ve gone over 2, 3, 400 times in my head. I just sat there and visualized what I had to do. Whether I’m a favorite or not doesn’t matter. It doesn’t put any extra pressure on me. Even just me being here in these situations and on these big cards is a bonus. Like Nathan said, I come from white collar boxing. I put on a pair of gloves maybe seven years ago now. For me to be in these situations, there is no pressure on me. I know I’ve trained hard, I know I’m fit, I know I’m ready and I know I have the power to finish the fight if I need to. I just need to go in and do my job.”
“A lot of my friends have a game and everyone has been messaging me asking if I’ve seen the latest odds. They say they will jump on it and it will fix their Christmas. There’s no pressure on me now is there hehe. But I’m more than ready. I have had a great camp. Everything has been perfect. I think I’m the favorite. I have the experience and no disrespect; I have fought the better people. I should be the favorite, but at the end of the day, the odds are the odds. When we get in the ring on Saturday night, it doesn’t matter who the favorite is. It’s just me and him to fight. It doesn’t matter on Saturday.
“I said this about Fabio yesterday in an interview. From where he came from to where he is today – white collar background, no amateur experience, fighting for the British heavyweight title. That is an achievement in itself. But I’ve been doing this since I can remember. I know Fabio switched to boxing quite late – I think he was 18 or 19 or something like that. I’ve been doing this since I was 6 or 7 years old. I turned when I was 18 years old. This is my second fight for the British title and it’s fight 21 for me. I have split the ring with good resistance.
– It is absolutely a must-win match for me. The British title is the most prestigious belt in existence. I’m winning this Saturday night domestically I think, not just worldwide – domestically the Heavyweight scene is the best it’s ever been, so there are some fantastic fights that can be made there. But my full concentration is on Fabio.”
Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport:
“Thank you Chris and Darren. Welcome everyone to London this afternoon for a big night of boxing on Saturday at the OVO Arena Wembley live on DAZN around the world. The return of ‘The Body Snatcher’ Dillian Whyte vs Jermaine Franklin – 21-0 from America. It is a big big fight for the Heavyweight division. It’s also an outstanding card on a very busy weekend of boxing. I record our shows quite often but the show of the weekend is undoubtedly on DAZN live this Saturday night at Wembley. It’s a fantastic short, and there’s so much to talk about before we head to the press conference for the main event.”
“Firstly thank you Eddie, thank you Matchroom and thank you DAZN. It’s a big fight to be a part of. It’s a 50-50 fight, I’d say Nathan is the favourite, but I think there’s three to one odds online today for Nathan to win, which in my mind is absolutely crazy. If someone wants to make some money on salary, lump it. As for Nathan, it’s hard to believe he’s only 26 years old. He seems to have existed forever. I think this has come at the right time for him. He’s had a great camp – he’ll tell you about that in a minute. If you listen to Nathan’s story about the Daniel Dubois fight and what happened there and how it all fell apart – I know in boxing you hear every excuse, but if you hear this man’s apology for that fight, you will understand. This match has gone perfectly. He is back in a good frame of mind. I haven’t seen him like this in a while. He is very relaxed and he is ready to go. I think it’s a 50-50 battle – obviously I favor Nathan. I just thought the odds were a little crazy.”
“Hey everyone. I hope everything is ok with Craig Richards because he wasn’t there yesterday and he’s not here today. I hope we get a game on Saturday, I’m ready. Everything is ok. England – hello. Eddie Hearn thank you so much for giving me a chance to come here and fight on the same card with the big guys.”
“Finally I’m on the big stage. This is where I feel I belong. I’ve dreamed of fighting for Matchroom and I can’t wait to get in there on Saturday night. I have boxed all over the world. Everyone in boxing knows how good I am and what I’ve achieved – now it’s time to show the whole public and all the home fans how good I am. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about getting that experience in. I haven’t gone back to the corner yet as a pro, so I could do with a few laps on Saturday to show everyone what me and my trainer Ben Davison have been working on in training day in and day out. I’m ready to shine on Saturday. As an amateur it is much different. There are only three rounds. As a pro, it’s 12 rounds – you have to live life and do everything right or you’re just going to be found out. I’m ready to put it all in and win some titles hopefully next year – a British title or something, and go from there, keep climbing the ladder until I get to the top.”
Christian Nicol’s Andino:
“So first of all I want to say thank you very much. It’s great to be on such an important card like this against such a big prospect. I know he has good amateur experience and now he is moving into the professional field, but I am also someone who has a lot of experience. I want to come here and be a problem for him. I have studied my opponent and I would very much like to be a problem for him. I want to be the Grinch at Christmas for him.”
“She’s a two-time world champion and she’s been in the ring with the likes of Chantelle Cameron, Katie Taylor, Jessica McCaskill and gone far. She’s no pushover and no walkover, and I understand that, but you know I’ll take any fight. As soon as you presented this girl, I said yes, we’ll take it. The way I carry myself now is completely different. I don’t see her hitting me. I’m here for the long haul. Any woman can get it. All my focus is on Saturday. I can’t take any fight lightly after what happened early in my career. All focus on Saturday, but next year is going to be a very big year and there are some very big games to be made.”
Anahi Ester Sanchez:
“Thank you very much for the opportunity. I’ve been in some big fights like you said. This is another opportunity against Sandy Ryan. I have prepared for the match as I always do – very well. As you say, I have a good experience behind me – the fights I’ve had against McCaskill, Taylor and other top fighters. On those occasions, the night didn’t go my way, but I’m prepared for this to be my night against Sandy Ryan on Saturday.
“It’s been good so far. I wasn’t one of the guys who medaled at the Olympics so people didn’t get to see my skills etc but with Matchroom and the DAZN platform people are starting to see that now. You said my opponent has met all these guys – yes, that’s good, but he hasn’t met me yet. We’re going to enjoy ourselves on Saturday night. I think I’ve done well so far. As you said, I checked my chin. I have skills, I can box, I can fight and I think people will see that as we go on. While my trainer picks them and you pick them, I fight them. I’m not looking too far ahead. I just deal with what’s in front of me and people will see when we go.”
“I think it’s a very good opportunity for me to make a statement this weekend. As you just heard, he gave a good account of himself against an Olympic gold medalist. I haven’t chased those amateur medals. For the last two years I have been a professional and I think you will see how much excitement I am on Saturday night when I speak. I don’t feel like I should be held back. I think I’ll get better as the longer rounds come in. I train in the gym to become a 12-round fighter. I don’t train for six rounds. I can’t wait to show it.”
“Yes exactly. It’s a good opportunity to fight the top fighters. I like to test myself. I’m excited for the opportunity and the best thing is to fight the best fighters. I think that’s how I want to progress in my career. I didn’t have amateur experience, when my coach told me the fight was available I think we had two weeks’ notice, but straight away we were up and running. We went for it for the experience. We weren’t bothered about losing. We wanted to win, but we didn’t, but it was a good experience. I felt good in there. I didn’t feel outclassed or anything. I felt like I could hold my own. I’m looking forward to another tough fight with Mark Dickinson. With Mark’s style and my style, I think it will go well for a good fight. He doesn’t want an easy fight on his Matchroom debut and I don’t want easy fights. I think it will be a very entertaining fight.”
“Thank you for the opportunity. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get in there now. It was clear I was going to fight last month, but I had to wait. Now it’s my time. It’s amazing to have that experience around me in the gym, feeding off all the experience they have. It’s invaluable. The sparring is fantastic – I feel like I’m getting better and better week after week. It’s going to set me in good stead for the future.”
“Thanks for the opportunity. I’m delighted to be here and I’m delighted to be on such a big card. As you said, it looks like Katie is going to be a headliner at Croke Park. I’m looking out the window in front of my house and I can see the side of Croke Park. It’s going to be a historic night and I’m happy to be busy until then. Roll on Saturday night and roll on 2023.”