British Cruiserweight title challengers Craig Kennedy and Matty Askin were present as part of a packed press conference in Cardiff today ahead of Friday night’s exciting card, which will take place at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff on Friday May 26th, live and exclusive on Channel 5, sponsored by Maxi-Nutrition.
With an array of media and fans before them, fighters from across the bill were given the opportunity to have their final say before their big night.
The packed card features Andrew ‘Superstar’ Selby, who gets a huge opportunity to move into a prime position to challenge for the WBC World flyweight crown – currently held by Japan’s Daigo Higa, when he faces off against Nicaragua’s dangerous Cristofer Rosales, 23(15) – 2.
The Motorpoint Arena Cardiff bill will also feature fan favourite Craig Kennedy, who boxes in the co-main event, in what is sure to be the biggest fight of his career when he challenges Blackpool’s English cruiserweight champion Matty Askin for the vacant British cruiserweight title.
Aside from the main events, the undercard for May 26th at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff will be packed full of some of the best boxing talent that the UK has to offer. The highly-rated Chantelle Cameron makes her professional debut against one of Katie Taylor’s former opponents, Poland’s Karina Kopinska, with 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Fred Evans also having his first paid outing against Belgium’s Najim Fennane.
Prospect Ashley Brace returns to action one month after winning the WBC International female bantamweight title in a six-rounder, while Cardiff’s undefeated 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Nathan ‘Thunder’ Thorley, 6(3) – 0, will feature in a six-round international light-heavyweight contest. Pontypridd’s light-heavyweight prospect Jermaine Asare, 7(1) – 1, will also feature on May 26th in Cardiff when he faces off against Libya’s undefeated prospect Malik Zinad, 8(7) – 0, in an intriguing clash over eight-rounds. Other local talents appearing on the big Cardiff bill on May 26th will be Barry’s undefeated cruiserweight Jonathan O’Kelly, Swansea’s unbeaten super lightweight Kristian Touze, and Treharris’ Gavin Gwynne.
Doors will open at 5.30pm at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff on Friday May 26th, with boxing commencing at 6pm.
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES:
Barry McGuigan: “It’s a great card all-round, and I’m very much looking forward to it. The co-main event is a sensational fight at Cruiserweight. Craig Kennedy versus Matty Askin has got the potential to be one of the domestic fights of the year, and of course we’ve got Andrew Selby, who’s an unbelievable fighter.
“He’s fighting in an eliminator for the WBC world flyweight title in only his ninth fight, he’s a great talent. His opponent Cristofer Rosales is a superb fighter who can really bang, he’s here to win.
“We’ve got two world class debutants on the bill. Fred Evans and Chantelle Cameron are two outstanding talents, and it’s a very exciting time. Chantelle had a hundred amateur fights with 85 wins, and we think the pro game will be really suited to her.
“Fred Evans is also a sensational fighter. He’s a southpaw, and he can both box and fight. He had a bit of a lull in his career, but he’s going to come back and prove to everybody that he’s a bit of a coy at super-welterweight. The card is packed full of talent, and I hope spectators have a great night whether that be at the venue or watching on TV.”
Craig Kennedy: “Friday is going to be a massive event for Wales, so we need to thank Cyclone Promotions for brining big time boxing here. He (Askin) is not number two in Britain for no reason, but I’m unbeaten, whereas he’s been beaten, and I’m looking forward to fireworks if he sticks to his end of the bargain.
“I’ve got nothing to lose, so I’m going to put it all on the line and make sure that British belt stays right here in Wales. If he wants to take my ‘0’, he’s going to have to go to a very, very dark place.”
Matty Askin: “It’s going to be a mouth-watering fight if it goes to plan. We’ve talked the talk, so expect fireworks once we get in there. I’m the number two in Britain behind Tony Bellew. He’s gone up now, so I’m looking to make a statement and prove that I am the number one in the UK at my weight.”
Andrew Selby: “I learned everything from my brother and I got all my skills from the champion [Lee Selby]. Hopefully, on Friday, you’ll get to see those skills, and hopefully everyone tunes in for a great night of boxing. My opponent is tough, he can hit hard, but he can’t catch me.
“Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’m ready for a world title. I’ve got the experience. I’ve boxed all over the world and had a lot of top amateur fights, so I’m ready.”
Cristofer Rosales: “I’m very grateful to be here and to have this opportunity. I have more experience than Selby and I’m very confident going into this fight.”
Fred Evans: “I’ve been training very hard for this debut, and it’s been a long time coming. I can’t wait to get the show underway, and to show boxing what they’ve been missing.
“I’m feeling stronger. There’s a few things to adapt to as a professional, but I just can’t wait to get in there and show everyone what I’ve been practicing.”
Chantelle Cameron: “I don’t think the amateur style suited me as much, because I’m more of a long-endurance kind of fighter. Over six rounds, I’m going to get more out of it, and I’m going to enjoy it.
“We [herself and Katie Taylor] boxed once in an amateur semi-final, but never again since then. I always wanted to box Katie as an amateur, so hopefully that can happen as a pro.”
TICKETS TO SELBY vs ROSALES ARE ON SALE NOW AND ARE PRICED £42 AND £62, WITH VIP TICKETS PRICED AT £102 AVAILABLE FROM MOTORPOINTARENACARDIFF.CO.UK & WWW.TICKETMASTER.CO.UK OR CALL 029 2022 4488.