Eddie Hearn, President of Matchroom Sport:
“We know this main event fight between Michael Conlan and Lee Wood is taking place in Nottingham, but we wanted to come to Belfast because it’s been a while since we’ve been here for a fight.
(Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)
“Many times, over the years, we have seen young fighters from Belfast come in and fill the arenas, here at the Odyssey Arena, and of course fight with great success in England and America.
“This young man, Caoimhin Agyarko, we haven’t really had the opportunity to have a proper press conference with him due to the restrictions of COVID and the world we live in, but we are happy to welcome this young man to Matchroom Boxing and the DAZN team.
“About three or four years ago, someone called me and said we have an exceptional fighter here that you need to take a look at. We get a lot of phone calls; we had just finished the Olympics, we were hiring fighters, and unfortunately, I had never heard of Kawimhen Ajjarko And I didn’t sign him that day.When I watched him fight next, I kicked myself really fast and said we lost one there.
“When Paul Ready and STN had the opportunity to sign him recently, we signed him immediately. He won his first title, the WBA International title in Liverpool, a fantastic performance and I am happy to announce that Caoimhin Agyarko will be in a big title fight at the March 12th card in Nottingham. “.
Lee Wood – Nottingham, England – 25-2, 15 KOs – Made the first defense of his WBA world featherweight title against Michael Conlan:
“I’m not a role-playing monkey, I’m a fighter. I’m not a media dream, and I haven’t been well managed; I’ve done it from the bottom up. I’ve earned it all from my back the hard way.”
“In my opinion, I don’t think Mick was ever in a 50/50 fight, that’s new to him, but I’ve had those challenges. I’ve been to the bookmakers, not a favourite, and come out the other side from a pressure standpoint. He’s right, There will be a lot of people and a lot of pressure, but I thrive under pressure. Throughout my career, I’ve been thrown in and out the other side, we have seven weeks to find out, and I can’t wait.
“My greatest asset I don’t speak even a little bit about is dedication; I’ve put my life on hold because boxing is everything to me. I don’t need to pick out his performances; I know what I’m going to do, and I know exactly what I’m going to do. From a young age, it’s always been that he’ll look back at these defeats, But this will work in my favour.
“Michael is a great fighter, he has had some great victories and it will be a huge challenge, but I know what I need to do on fight night. He is a great champion, a great public image in Ireland, massive, all the best on fight night because he will need it.”
“I’ve been there before, in fights in my career, in my life. I’ve never had a promoter, anyone, point me in the right direction, and my dad didn’t take me to the gym from a young age. I walked into the gym on my own at age 10/11 And it took a lot to do, to get to this point on my own. I came here on my own with pure determination, determination, resilience, and a refusal to give up, that’s what it takes to fight this battle, and that’s what I do.”
Ben Davison, Lee Wood coach:
“There is a whole difference between saying that I think someone is going to lose a battle and being realistic, which is vital in my opinion. You can lose a war if you go in the wrong direction about a disagreement. This is a battle either man can lose if he goes in the wrong direction in The fight – which is why it’s drawn so much, ticket sales are flying in. It’s that kind of fight.
“I think it’s important for me to be realistic; you have to have the mental strength to absorb that and perform at your best.
“Lee is very mentally strong, I’ve worked with other elite fighters, and I have one of the best mindsets to fight a fight with any soldier I’ve ever worked with. I believe in Leigh, and I believe in his mentality of course.”
“There were adjustments along the way, maturity, whatever – I stand by what you said. I’m not going to be fooled into saying that Mick can’t do some rounds; of course, he can. He’s a very talented boxer and a versatile fighter. I think there are certain tendencies and habits that allow We have the opportunity to find that changing moment of the fight that will happen at night.
“I don’t think physical size would be a factor; no, although he is not known as a strong fighter, Mick is stronger than his record might suggest. There is a reason why he struggles to gain superhuman weight, he’s not petite, but Lee is weight. A good sized feather. I don’t think we will fight the battle by relying on physical attributes, which is tactical he will win this battle.”
Michael Conlan – Belfast, Northern Ireland – 16-0, 8 KOs – Leigh Wood’s challenge for the WBA featherweight title:
“I’m in the back garden, and I want to come in and say what I want to say. There was no fear in me, I’m there, and I’m going to talk nonsense and say what I want to say. Les Stutter tries to spit things out and it doesn’t make sense, but you know, that’s part From the fighting game.
“I love this; these things get me ready to go; I can fight now. I’m happy to go now. Mine isn’t and doesn’t even have to be fight night 100%. That’s the thing, I’ve stayed pro, I’ve been in training since September, and I thought I was I fight in December – I keep training, I keep fit, I keep fit. On March 12th you’ll hear I’m new, and that’s all I want to say.
“I know exactly what it’s like to fight under the pressure of a fight at home, I’ve done it three times, and each show was huge. There were so many people, so many expectations, a purpose-built yard in a garden. This guy just doesn’t understand it, he’s never felt it; You can see that his behavior has changed from yesterday.
“He doesn’t understand the pressure that comes with fighting in your city, he’s had the opportunity to fight in MSG, he can come to Belfast and fight if he wants to. But no, he wants to fight in Nottingham, on the City Ground, before he retires. He knows I can defeat him. .
“There are chances that anyone, anyone, will lose, I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but he won’t defeat me. It’s that easy. I respect him as a fighter and a person but again fuck all that until the fighting is over. Once the war is over, shake hands with him. Happy days, I can’t wait.
“I’m ready to go straight to the end, and it doesn’t matter; this fight means everything to me. I’ve taken myself away from my children; the first time I saw them four weeks ago was last night, and it will be the last time I see them since seven weeks until the fight This is my life; the only thing I know is boxing. Believe me, on March 12th I will be 100% new.
“This is the beginning of my journey to become the best fighter in the world, and once I win this belt, I will continue to do what I have to do next. I have to win this belt first before I think about it.”
Jimmy ConlanConlan Boxing:
‘We know we’re the B side in this, and we didn’t fly on private jets this morning; we passed on friendly British Airways with the security guys – it was very stressful. We said yesterday what this means for family, Michael and Ireland.
Michael has carried the Irish flag since 2012, a pressure on his shoulders that other fighters cannot fathom. Lee can’t fathom the pressure Michael had to fight under his influence, whether through the Olympics or the World Championships as an amateur, under the microscope as a professional, making his debut as a card-top.
“Nobody does that; it brings you more scrutiny and more eyeballs, which is hard to match; he had to learn in front of everyone and learn the hard way because he was open to criticism and scrutiny. It was all worth it to get to this point because There was a lot of learning, ups, and downs during his four years in the professional world.
“We’ve done it all over America, here, and now we’re going to Nottingham. Like I said yesterday, that’s destiny, going into an opponent’s backyard and becoming a legend, creating a legacy. Tearing him away from him in front of his family and friends, the people he’s jammed with, won’t It gets sweeter.
“We’re working-class kids from West Belfast, and it’s an area that makes them strong; we’ve been through hard times. It’s rooted in us. Everyone in this room has a little bit of a fight they don’t get in places like Nottingham. This is a tough city. They are born strong.”
“He’ll check everything, and I expect this to be his toughest test; Lee Wood is a great fighter – the hardest featherweight in the world I’ve heard Ben say. He said yesterday he hit harder than Oscar Valdez, he’s going to test Michael differently, no doubt about it.” .
“He’s strong, he’s tall, he’s bigger, he’s got all the advantages, they think he’s more skilled. They think he’s got every advantage over Michael, so it’s exciting. He adds to the plots, he proves that people are wrong and that the big ship we’re carrying on our shoulders.”
“It will be so good when March 12 comes around, seated at 11 midnight with the new WBA World Featherweight Champion and so sweet to everyone.
“Everything I started yesterday was true, I let him have, and he didn’t, so he lied. Whatever he says from here on out, I can’t believe it’s nonsense.
“I love Leigh, and I love Ben, but everything I said was true. I think Ben believes in the power of me. Does he believe in anything else? No, he didn’t.” We also have more evidence, screenshots from texts that clarify Ben’s suspicions about Lee Wood.
Caoimhin Agyarko – Belfast, Northern Ireland – 10-0, 7 KOs – Unbeaten middleweight competitor:
“Another Irish card, it was a great win for me last time around, a great learning battle, an unbeaten opponent who came to fight. I could have done better, but thankfully I came out in quick succession and am looking to improve from that win.”
“Belfast fans, amateurs and now in my professional career have always supported me. I saw in Liverpool it was very loud when I was fighting, and I expect the same in Nottingham – especially with Mick on the card. It’s a great card for me. By the end of the year, I want Lead the shows or fight back home in Belfast and give them some great nights out.
“I’ve said in the past that I’m a novice for ten fights, two more of three moves, and I’ll be ready for title shows back home. I’m putting myself in the top 15 in the world and that’s where I wanted to be by the end of 2021. Heading into 2022. I should go get some names registered.
“Irish invasion, everyone in this press conference is going to be in the fight and so much more. It’s going to be so loud, I can’t enjoy the moment, I hope to have a good performance and a good win.”
Wood vs. ticket prices.
Public sale tickets can be purchased on StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) now.