Home Boxing News Joshua vs Ngannou Final Presser Quotes

Joshua vs Ngannou Final Presser Quotes

Riydah, Saudi Arabia: Anthony Joshua and Francis N'Gannou during their Final Press Conference ahead of their Heavyweight Contest on Friday night. 6 March 2024 Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

A selection of quotes from the final ‘Knockout Chaos’ Press Conference ahead of Friday’s unmissable action at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, headlined by Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou, shown live on DAZN PPV.

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:

“Welcome everybody, good evening. Thank you to, as you said earlier, the Crown Prince, His Excellency Turki Alalshikh who has become one of our favourite people in boxing. Not just because he is delivering the fights the fans want to see, but his passion, his enthusiasm, and I think I speak on behalf of everybody here, the fighters, when I tell you this place is special. It feels like a second home for us. We’ve been here every other month now. People always ask me what it’s like in Saudi Arabia. Come and see it for yourself. Incredible. I think this fight card pound for pound is actually better than the ‘Day of Reckoning’ card top to bottom. I think there’s some fantastic fights on the card; of course you’ve got Zhang against Parker coming up in the second press conference, but look out specifically for these two guys – Israil Madrimov against Kurbanov, 10-0 undefeated against 25-0. That fight just officially been made for the WBA Super-Welterweight World Championship – the full title. Our Heavyweight charge Justis Huni against Kevin Lerena. Frank’s guy Nick Ball going for the WBC World Title against Rey Vargas – tremendous fight, and of course His Excellency’s favourite Mark Chamberlain against Gavin Gwynne, it’s a domestic blockbuster. Can’t wait, huge main event, huge undercard and another blockbuster here in Riyadh.”

On Justis Huni:

“As Kevin said, he was a fantastic amateur, one of the most successful Australian amateurs of all time. Only eight fights but last time out we placed him in Mexico against Andrew Tabiti who was a World Title challenger at Cruiserweight. I think it’s a great fight. Two smaller Heavyweights who are very explosive and very quick. Kevin is very experienced, we saw him do very well against Daniel Dubois. I think Justis is all up for the challenge. They want to jump in against all of the Heavyweights after this fight if they can come through. It’s a proper Heavyweight fight. Good speed, good action and I think it’s going to be a belter.”

On Madrimov vs. Kurbanov:

“Madrimov is a special fighter. I think already he would have taken this fight in his second or third fight. They wanted to move him really quickly. He’s had the benefit of plenty of experience globally around the world with us. He’s unbeaten in ten. Like you said there, this is just a real oldschool throwback fight. It’s impossible not to be a classic. Kurbanov we’ve seen great fights with Liam Smith and many others – he’s 25-0. It’s a massive opportunity for him, but this guy (Madrimov) we’ve always felt is very special. He’s a real athlete, he can really punch. This one I think could steal the show on Friday night, and now as I said for the full WBA World Championship at Light-Middleweight. It’s massive for both guys. You’ve got the likes of Terrance Crawford moving up to the division, looking to fight for World Championships. This will change their lives on Friday night. Kurabov is a great fighter but I believe my man will give us back to back World Champions with the WBA in two weeks.”

Anthony Joshua:

“God is good, life is good, no complaining. Had about ten days off (after Wallin win), get back to basics and get back on the grind. God is good, we’re happy. All will be revealed. Just straight up war, relentlessness, a good fight. That’s what everyone is here for – good fights. So yeah, stay tuned. If you’re here, I appreciate everyone coming out – much appreciated. His Excellency as well for putting the show on. If you’re at home, you know the score. Make sure you get it live on PPV. We’re not looking past this fight. This is my main focus. The incentives and all of that stuff, is just to win. That’s it. Just focus on my game plan and do what I’ve got to do.

“His first dream was to be a boxer which people forget. He was part of the Cameroonian team. He started MMA I think was it 24 or 26? So that wasn’t the first time he started hitting the heavy bag or hitting pads. He’s been doing it from a young age. His dream was to always be a boxer, so I know what I’m up against. I look at all of these small details. I spar, I do my film study, all that type of stuff. I keep it professional. On the night is on the night. That’s different. All of that textbook stuff goes out of the window, you’ve just got to be relentless and give it your best. It’s already written in the stars what’s going to happen and I’m just going to follow my destiny.

“It’s our duty to do what we’ve got to do. We work for these people out here, do you know what I mean? These are the fights that they want to see. We’re here to entertain them, so I feel the pressure. But that’s the life, this is what I signed up to do, it’s what I’ve devoted my life to do. So bring every challenge and competition and I’ll step up to the plate. I’ve been in the ring with Zhang, I’ve shared the ring with Parker, I’m going to share the ring with Francis, one day I’ll share the ring with Tyson, the last fight I shared the ring with Wallin. I signed to fight Baby Miller, I sparred Dubois, I signed to fight Bronze Bomber – I’m serious about the game. This is what we do. It’s my duty to work for these guys and give them entertaining nights.”

Ben Davison:

“He’s a pleasure to work with, he’s the ultimate professional and he loves boxing. Obviously that drives us. We’re passionate about boxing and he’s passionate about boxing. It makes for an enjoyable partnership. I just think there’s probably a false sense of confidence taken from the previous fight that he had. I think it’s going to be a completely different situation. We’ve prepared for him respectfully and professionally. Same as everybody, nobody knew what to expect last time. Everybody, being honest, was slightly dismissive. Now we know that’s not the case. Yes, you can say there was a lot of experience to be taken from last time but I still think it’s going to be a whole new experience. Dewey is an experienced coach, to think that he’s only got one layer to his game would again be underestimating him and we’ve not done that. We’re prepared for him to have some new layers to his game. We’re going to find out on Friday, but we’re very well prepared.”

Francis Ngannou:

“I think I haven’t shocked the world yet. But first of all I want to thank everybody here for making this happen. All of the promoters here. I also want to thank His Excellency, my brother Turki Alalshikh. I want to thank AJ for also being part of this. It always takes two to tango, so thank you for being here and for making this happen. But to answer your question, I really think I haven’t shocked the world. I’m in the factory, building, training, learning. I think when I’m really going to get it, I think that’s when the world is going to be shocked. I’m just working, building and learning about the sport. The sport that I have loved my entire life. I didn’t really have the opportunity to do it and get some experience. It’s just now that I’m really like working on that experience. I trust the process and I trust my team. The work that we are putting in is going to pay off. Everything is a clue. Every space that I have an opening I’m going to hit. So don’t you worry about the clue. I’m not going to leave any stone unturned and any opportunity unexplored. AJ had a flawless performance against Wallin in December. It was a great performance, I watched that fight closely. For me, that doesn’t do anything because I know I’m not Wallin. I know it’s going to be a different round, it’s going to be a different opening, a different feeling.”

Dewey Cooper:

“First of all I’d like to say thank you to His Excellency Turki Alalshikh and the kind beautiful people of Sadi Arabia. Happy Eid Mubarak as your embark into your Ramadan in a few days. Fighting Tyson Fury in his first fight was a magnificent challenge – a very complex highly dimensional boxer. He assembled so much information from that fight, of course he’s ready for two nights away from now. Of course he’s ready for Anthony Joshua. Of course he’s going to show vast improvements in every aspect – speed, power, conditioning, fight IQ. So just expect an exemplary performance from Francis Ngannou on March 8. The flaming ferocious fists of Francis will finish Anthony Joshua.”

Israil Madrimov:

“Hello everyone. I am so happy to be here. Thank you to His Excellency for giving this chance, this opportunity. Thank you to my promoters World of Boxing and Matchroom, my team, the WBA. I am ready. Inshallah. Let’s go! The potential Terrance Crawford fight would be very interesting for me but let’s focus on that fight in the future.”

Magomed Kurbanov:

“All of my life I have been fighting at home. For me, the home is everywhere with a ring. So when I was waiting for this chance for 16 years, so I’m going to use it. I will beat him the same way I have beaten my 25 opponents before him.”

Justis Huni:

“I’m happy and excited to be a part of this event. It’s massive for my career this fight. I’m going to look to put on a boxing masterclass on Friday night. Kevin is a tough challenger. He’s powerful and explosive so I’ve got to be cautious of whatever he’s going to throw my way. I’m not going to go out there looking for it (a knockout), I’m going to stick to my game plan, box smart and put on a boxing clinic.

Kevin Lerena:

“Of course. If you’re not stepping up to the plate or rising to the occasion then what are you in the sport for? Before we carry on I just want to give special thanks to and a special mention to Frank Warren, George, Eddie Hearn, Spencer and my whole team. It’s a big opportunity for me and another great opportunity to be on the platform, and thanks to His Excellency as well. Obviously they believe in themselves and that’s good, that’s what makes a good fight, but I believe in myself too. I know what I can do if I stick to my game plan and I do what I do best – make it explosive. That’s what I am; explosive and strong. There were a few comments from their team that I’m towards the end of my career. Well to be fair and to be honest I’ve had no amateur pedigree like Justis. He’s had a phenomenal amateur record. I just turned professional, so I’m only just getting going. I’m only learning just now and it’s been a phenomenal honour being in camp with Tyson – I learnt a lot. You’re going to see the best Kevin Lerena on Friday night. That’s what I can tell you. I don’t think he’s taken this fight too early. He believes in himself. He’s got a big amateur pedigree. 8-0 in the paid ranks, he had a good victory over Andrew Tabiti – I think that’s his best victory to date, but I’m a different competitor. He believes in himself, I believe in myself. Often that makes for explosive Heavyweight boxing. The Heavyweight game in the real pinnacle of the sport, so let’s make it a good fight.”