Josh Warrington defends his IBF world featherweight title against Carl Frampton in an all-British blockbuster, live and exclusive on BT Sport Box Office on December 22 and the pair today launched a three-city promotional tour that began on Park Lane in London before Leeds and Belfast provide the next staging posts.
Below are a selection of quotes from today’s proceedings at the Grosvenor House from the fighters, along with promoter Frank Warren.
You look at fights the fans want to see and wait to see and normally they don’t happen until one of the guys is past his best or on the way out.
This is a fight involving two of the best British fighters who are in the top four in the world and are certainly two of the most exciting, well supported boxers in this country. It doesn’t get any better than this.
They are at the top of their game and the two of them are fighting each other. This is a fight that anyone who has any interest in boxing or any idea about boxing – styles making fights – this is the one.
This is the fight that really does matter and it will go down as one of the best fights in recent years.
You look at the best ticket-selling fighters in this country and the top four are Anthony Joshua, Carl and Josh, then Tyson Fury. They are the biggest ticket sellers and these two guys have the most vociferous and most passionate supporters.
The atmosphere in the venue is going to be unbelievable and we have all the ingredients to make it a cauldron and a great, great event. This to me is what I am in the game for, to put on events like this.
I actually felt like I was cruising in second gear in my fight against Lee Selby, boxing to instruction.
Going into the second half of the fight I sat down on the stool and asked the old man if it was time to go up a gear, but he just wanted me to carry on doing what I was doing – making him look daft and out-boxing the boxer.
It was against all odds, especially with most people giving me no chance whatsoever. It was very satisfying and I backed up everything that I said. It was a helluva night and one that will stay with me until the day I die. Now I have got this world title I am not giving it up any time soon.
In my own head, when Carl moved up to featherweight and all my pals said he is coming for me now, I knew he had one hell of a fanbase and is one great fighter. I said yesterday in the head-to-head that I have enjoyed watching Carl over the years and I’ve almost been a bit of a fan watching him in some of his fights.
As soon as someone comes into your division you start keeping tabs on them and keeping your eye out for fights down the line.
Obviously after beating Lee there were options to have steady voluntaries, but there aren’t easy fights at world level because everybody wants to be where you are.
I treat everybody with the same mindset and I train my b*llocks off just like I do for every fight and work as hard as I can because it means that much to me, winning and going forward.
When the Carl fight came along it wetted the appetite and as a champion you want to prove yourself as the best.
I am ranked No.2 behind Carl and I believe I am No.1, simple as that really. Boxing fans want to see this and boxing is thriving in this day and age.
Some big fights aren’t happening because there are a few out there still digging in their heels, but I am a fighting man and I want to prove myself against the best.
I’ve said it and talked about it a lot that I wasn’t enjoying boxing a couple of years ago and was just counting down the days until retirement.
A change of team, since I’ve joined Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis, since I’ve teamed up with Frank and MTK, things seem to be going well for me and I’m enjoying boxing again.
That is the thing, I was winning big fights and beating good opponents when I wasn’t really enjoying it. Now I am enjoying it, I’m training well and smart, I believe that right now I am better than I’ve ever been.
Everything has made a difference and it is the people I am around. I am enjoying everything and I feel like I am training smarter now and not running myself into the ground constantly and over-training. I am doing it differently now with a much smarter approach.
I genuinely believe I am in my prime years now. I thought it was a very good performance by Josh against Selby and he did what he had to do.
He proved me wrong because I fancied Selby going into the fight like a lot of other people.
You have to look at his game-plan as well because people think he just likes to come forward and throw lots of shots. The plan his team came up with was very good, but he had to carry it out and execute it. He did that to a tee and credit to him.
I look at Selby and I knew he was really struggling with the weight and he had been for a while. I feel in that fight it caught up with him and you can tell from the fact that he is not coming back at super featherweight, but at lightweight. That tells you enough, but Josh did what he had to do.
Credit to him for taking this fight when he could have had a easier defence, but I agree there are not easy fights at world level, but he could have had an easier one. I think it is a big, big fight for British boxing and the biggest one of the year.
This will be the sweetest world title because I’ve been written off. I genuinely believe I am back at my best. I understand that Josh isn’t Donaire or Luke Jackson, this is a tougher fight and I am expecting a tougher fight.
He is full of confidence at the minute, but I believe I am a better fighter and I will prove it on the night. I feel like I have beaten better fighters than Josh already and I think that is going to be the difference.
Tickets go on sale for Warrington vs Frampton on Wednesday at 12pm. Tickets will be available to purchase via Ticketmaster and Eventim.