“People aren’t giving van Heerden a chance here which surprises me. For people to be saying, ‘why’s he fighting van Heerden?’, that’s a backhanded compliment really. They are trying not to show me respect but really they are because you wouldn’t have put me in this position two years ago, three years ago, four years ago. So, it doesn’t really matter what people think at the end of the day because progression is real.
“I love challenges. I thrive off of challenges, so do all fighters. We are all competitive and we love to compete and this is a challenge. This is a different type of challenge that I am prepared and will overcome with flying passing colours.
“I’m going to go in if I see an opportunity. I’ll take it.
“I knocked out Algieri out like no one else has. I’m going to knock Van Heerden out like no one else has. I believe that passion and hard work can get you anywhere.
“It’s not emotion, I just fight with passion. I work extremely hard and it ain’t just me working hard. It’s six years of sacrifice to let a moment like this slip between my fingers.”
Chris van Heerden:
“All respect for Conor for giving me this opportunity. I have nothing but respect for him. I am ready for this. I have visualised this moment… I was supposed to fight in the UK a couple of times… It was always a dream and a vision. I have what it takes to be in that top 10. I see it. I didn’t come here for paycheck. I didn’t come here to get a fight. I came here for my career. I came here to win and get my career back on track and get back in that top 10. I do believe in myself, and I do believe that I have everything it takes to get right back up there.
“I respect Conor Benn and I believe he is right up there with the best and that is why I took this fight. I want to be competitive and if you talk about boxing, I do believe I am a better boxer than Conor, all around better boxer. He’s an angry, aggressive fighter. He’s a fighter. I’m a boxer. And I do believe that I have the skill to show that I am a better boxer than Conor.
“I was offered a bunch of other fights, way easier fights. But I believe that Conor is right up there, and I am there to test him and see if he’s really, really legit.
“I just wish my dad was here because we spoke about this moment for a long time. I left him for eight years, every birthday, every Christmas, chasing this dream. And then my dad was brutally murdered three years ago. But we did it and we are here. So, I feel it. This is it.”
“It was a good fight last time but for me this is giving me the opportunity to put this to bed and prove my performance can be so much better than it was last time. And, I have proved that in camp. I will put on a superb performance on Saturday night.
“Now I know the ways to get around him and get the knockout.”
“The last fight was so close and I’m so happy to get the rematch so we can set the record straight and get the win again… He may have to cancel Bournemouth because I am winning this on Saturday night.
“As long as I win on Saturday night, that is all that I’m focused on. It is a must win. And I have to stay concentrated on it. I am fully focused.
“He did it the gentlemanly way and gave me a shot (of rematch) when he didn’t have to give me one. There was so much controversy with the first one. The respect is earned and I don’t have any ill feelings especially because the fight we had was one of the fights of the year.
“As long as we are in the ring throwing shots, I need to be switched on.”
“I’m more than ready. As you know, I love to fight. I stayed in the gym to stay ready. What builds a fighter are these experienced fighters. I know she’s a fighter and she’s well-seasoned. It tells me that she’s never been stopped before, so I know what’s important and I know what I need to do come Saturday night.
“You will see a dominating performance even if it goes the distance, you will see a seasoned fighter – you know just a different calibre of who I am. We want the knockout, and the power is real.
“I will be undisputed at 130 pounds. I believe it and I’ve received it. I understand who I am as a fighter. That fight with Mayer is a big fight for women’s boxing and as we continue to grow the sport, we will continue to build in the sport.”
Edith Soledad Matthysse:
“I’ve accumulated a lot of experience and it’s very important in my game. I’ve come here to win and I’m hoping to clock up a win on Saturday not only for me but also for my country, Argentina.
“Saturday, I hope to be leaving here victorious.”
“Last fight was in the bag, but it was what it was. I’ve shook it off. I’ve gotten over it through Christmas and I’m back training hard. He wants to knock me out so it’s going to be a belting fight.
“The game plan is to box and do what I do best. We will get through this, flying colours and hopefully see a rematch once we get past this, no injuries.”
“I’ve been watching Jack for the last two or three years and I’ve always fancied his fights. I was hoping to get this fight.
“I know the plan on Saturday night and I’m looking forward to it.
“All that’s on my mind right now is to knock him out. There’s nothing else I’m going into the ring with. Just to knock him out and get him out of there.”
“This weekend is my opportunity to box in front of my friends and family. Since I started the sport, people have been desperate to get behind me and now is the time.
“We went away to Spain and there was no pressure on me at all. It was about going in there and concentrating on the job, relaxing and settling down.”
“I think he (Gudino) is going to pose a few different looks… I think I’ve just got to go out there and enjoy myself. And again, I’ll put on another display or artistic violence. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and putting on a show for the fans.
“I believe in myself. I know what I’m capable of. Those who know me know what I’m capable of. For me, it’s about when the opportunity comes, you’ve got to be ready for it and take it. Which I’m sure I will be and when the time comes, I’m sure it will be special.”
Mario Angel Gudino:
“I’ve been taking up experiences around Europe. I’ve been in Belgium and Norway on my journey here. Come Saturday, it’s a great opportunity for me to extend that experience and hopefully take away a victory.”
“I know he’s very durable. I’ve not really stopped since April last year, no longer than a week off from the gym. It’s about building up momentum, getting through every fight. And I think that’s when you’ll see the best Cyrus Pattinson.
“It’s all about getting the rounds in. Going from three rounds straight in Essex, it’s a big jump going to eight… I obviously want to get to that level to start competing for titles.”
“I’m happy that I’m out again and I can build on the momentum. I just want to keep busy and keep fighting… I can push on and keep looking for a title. I want to keep fighting and keep progressing to different levels. I am happy.
“I’m coming to win. I’ve had a lot of experience in the amateur game. I’m used to people commenting on it. You will see more skills. I’m happy about it and I’m looking forward to the fight and putting on a great performance.”
“I’m absolutely buzzing to be here… Manchester Arena, it’s what every kid dreams of when you come from Manchester. I’m just from down the road in Salford. Done a lot of tickets like you said. It’s just a very proud moment for myself coming from the small hall scene. This is my opportunity to take on the big stage and I have to take advantage of that.
“This is what dreams are made of. This is my opportunity and I’ve got to seize the moment. Most importantly, I’ve just got to enjoy it.
“In boxing, it’s a funny old game. You never know where you’re going to be or where you’re going to end up. So, I’ve got to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
“It’ll be good to get out again ahead of the big one in Spain next month.
“The best James Metcalf can win this fight, definitely.”