NEW YORK, March 6, 2019 – The media gathered on Wednesday afternoon at the Dream Hotel days before undefeated WBA World Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol makes his fifth title defense against Joe Smith Jr. at Turning Stone Resort and Casino on March 9.
WBO Super Lightweight titlist Maurice Hooker will also be defending his belt against undefeated challenger Mikkel LesPierre, and Callum Johnson will be taking on Sean Monaghan. In a press conference the fighters discussed their preparations and predications before the fight, which will be broadcasted live on DAZN.
“I don’t want to talk too much because I don’t have many jokes. I’m ready to fight. I hope that Joe is ready too and we can make a great fight and don’t miss our fight.”
Joe Smith Jr.
“I’d like to thank Bivol for offering me this opportunity. I put everything I had into this training camp. I worked real hard. I look forward to this Saturday to put on a great show for everyone. This is what every fighter dreams of, having a shot at the world title. This is my shot, and the work has put in over the years and I’m going show that this Saturday.”
“I’m in shape, I know you’re in shape, and I’m looking for the knockout. I’m going to show why I’m the WBO champion. I want to thank everybody. I took the hard way, I’m not giving up yet.”
“There’s not much for me to say, I’m ready for this fight. Let’s go to work. I’m not much of a talker, I like all my actions to show and prove. I’m ready, I’ll see you Saturday night.”
Joseph Markowski, DAZN Executive Vice President, North America
“As we stand here today, DAZN has the best schedule in boxing – only six months since our launch. And March 9 in Turning Stone kicks off that stretch.
“Interestingly, the man who’ll kick start this run for DAZN is the same man to headline HBO’s final World Championship Boxing – light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol. And in Joe Smith Jr. he is in against a man with heavy hands and a penchant for upsets. It should be a cracker.
“On St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, we’ll see Tevin Farmer and Katie Taylor defending their titles in Philadelphia. Late this spring, we’ll also see the returns of Regis Prograis and Ryan Garcia. Just this week, we announced the rematch between pound-for-pound star Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada in late April. Then, of course, the blockbuster events featuring Canelo vs. Jacobs and Anthony Joshua’s U.S. debut against “Big Baby” Miller at Madison Square Garden.
“And we’re not stopping there. We’re moving closer to finalizing three more fight nights in this time frame that will perfectly illustrate the value of being a DAZN subscriber. It’s an exciting time for boxing and we’re proud to be at the very heart of it.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director
“We have massive show on Saturday on Turning Stone, double world championship header, two very important fights on the card. We have had a great few days, week traveling around with Daniel Jacobs coming up on DAZN on May 4. The schedule that’s up over there, and going up on social as well is unquestionably the best schedule in boxing right now on DAZN.”