McCANN VS BALUTA PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
FOUR MAJOR TITLE fights headline the card at York Hall on Friday when Queensberry return to the historic Bethnal Green venue with a show topped by the super bantamweight collision between Dennis McCann and Ionut Baluta for the WBO Intercontinental title belt.
The other title fights are the British and Commonwealth featherweight championship clash between the champion Nathaniel Collins – making his Queensberry debut – and his challenger Raza Hamza.
Ryan Garner fights for a first professional title against Juan Jesus Antunez for the WBC International super featherweight title and Raven Chapman makes a second defence of the WBC International featherweight title against the undefeated Lila Furtado.
The lead characters convened in London today for a media conference ahead of the event and the key quotes from the fighters are below.
He is more like my grandfather! This is a first of many main events and I have had the best camp I have ever had in my whole life. I am feeling very, very strong and I have really filled into this weight at super bantam. Friday night will be the best you have ever seen of Dennis McCann. Me and Baluta have done 100 rounds of sparring so he knows what I’m about, he knows. I am not going to say too much, but get your popcorn ready for Friday night because, believe me, it is going to be very explosive. I chose him and he didn’t choose me. He was moaning and groaning and didn’t want to take the fight because he knows what I’m about. You will see a big, strong Dennis McCann and I think this is where the KOs will start coming in. I am cut from a different cloth, I left school at 10 just to be a boxer and there isn’t anyone who trains as hard as me and there isn’t anyone willing to do what I will do. It is going to be a demolition job.
I am back in England again, my second home and on Friday I am looking forward to having a good fight. I am the boss, I am known as Il Capo, the Godfather, and on Friday he will find this out because I am in England again to win the belt. I am feeling very strong, I have had a very strong camp over in Marbella and I thank my trainer Albert for giving me a very good camp and I will show what I can do. I am not going to be knocked out, I did want the fight and I always said yes to it. On Friday you will see why I am called the Godfather and that doesn’t mean the grandfather. I respect Dennis and all his family, but sparring is one thing and fighting is another.
It is obviously a big opportunity for myself, I have been out putting in the work and have not lost a round yet as a pro. Some people have seen in the flesh what I can do and now it is time to bring it to the big screens. Raza said he has been in with lots of world champions but he has never been in with anyone like me. I am absolutely not paying any attention to his fight with James Beech jr because I don’t know what was going on with Raza in that camp. You can’t look at that one fight and think he is done for. He has spent time away from his family and that is not to be taken lightly. He has obviously prepared seriously, but the best Raza Hamza that turns up will bring out the best Nathaniel Collins. The best anybody doesn’t cause me a problem because I’m the best featherweight in the country. In all areas I am better than Raza.
I am ready, last time out I didn’t do myself no justice and I fought like an absolute idiot. This time I have got a chance to put it right. I didn’t prepare properly, I lived in Birmingham, I messed about and was over-confident, which was all my fault. This time I have been away from my family for 14 weeks, have not seen my little girl for four weeks. I am serious for this fight. He is a very good fighter and, for me to beat him, I need to be at my very best. It is now or never, isn’t it? You know and I know, my whole career I was meant to go on and achieve big things, so if I don’t win this I will never be an opponent. It is very good to be an underdog because everybody expects me to lose, but I have worked hard and I have never been an underdog before, amateur or pro. Look, I am fighting a good fighter, he deserves the credit because he has gone and beat somebody who beat me. I am meant to lose, but we will see what happens on Friday. This is my last chance, my only chance. There is no back-up plan.
I feel really good, it is my first title fight and it has been a long journey getting to this point in my career. Everyone knows the bumpy road it has been, but the main thing is we are here now and on Friday night I am going to put on a big performance and hopefully win my first title of many. I think this is the first year in three that I’ve managed to have more than one fight, so I am staying busy now. What I want to do is win this and keep progressing, that is all I want to do now. This has been a quick turnover from the last one, which is a good thing, so I got straight back in the gym with no distractions. I think you will see the best of me when I am most active. This has been a long time coming, I have been a pro seven years now, so it was only a matter of time before I got to the top table with the big boys. I am looking forward to staying here and, who knows, I can headline my own show one day in Southampton.
I am really looking forward to it, it feels like I haven’t been in the ring for a while, so it feels good to be back in there doing my thing and doing what I do best. This is the kind of fight I want. I need step-ups, especially with the progression Frank and everyone at Queensberry sees for me. To go against another undefeated fighter is going to be part of that step-up, someone who is going to come to win, come to throw everything. That is the fight I want, that is the fight I need and they are the fights I enjoy as well. I’ve not watched her, I leave that to my coaches and they can tell me what I need to do. I will just focus on what I do best. I think I have only showed 70% of what I can do and hopefully in this fight I will get to show you a little bit more. I am not just a come-forward pressure fighter and I do have a boxing IQ – and a good one.