With the nation counting down to Froch v Groves 2 this weekend, the Wembley Stadium spotlight turned to the undercard on Wednesday with a press conference featuring GB Olympic gold medallists Anthony Joshua and James DeGale.
Joshua kicks off the Unfinished Business card on Saturday night against fellow Brit Matt Legg while DeGale will be the mandatory challenger for the winner of Froch v Groves if he beats Brandon Gonzales in their Super-Middlewieight clash.
“This event is going to be once in a lifetime for me so rather than putting pressure on my shoulders I’m just going to enjoy the experience. Everyone is here for a good time and myself and my opponent are going to put on a great show,” said Joshua who is undefeated in five fights and won gold at London 2012.
DeGale is on the cusp of his first ever world title shot but must get through the undefeated Brandon Gonzales if he’s to face the winner of the main event later this year: “This is the fight I’ve been waiting for. Wembley Stadium with 80,000 people is going to be unbelievable.
“I’m up against a good opponent in Brandon Gonzales who is confident but I’m on my journey to become world champion and no-one is going to stop me,” said the 28-year-old Londoner who was outpointed by George Groves in 2011.
Gonzales shares a trainer with Amir Khan in Virgil Hunter who questioned DeGale’s attitude at the press conference: “James DeGale needs the big nights and the bright lights. If things don’t go his way then he thinks about quitting the sport. Anyone can shine in the bright lights but sometimes you’ve got to shine in the dungeon,” said Hunter.
Doncaster’s former Bantamweight world champion, Jamie McDonnell, is aiming for his second world crown when he meets Thailand’s Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat for the vacant WBA belt: “I’m going to win this world title and put my name back on the map. My life is on the line in this fight, I need to win this fight and those big pay days are going to come once I get this title.
“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a massive stage to show people all across the world what I’m about. I believe I’m the best at bantamweight and I intend to prove it.”
Essex lightweight Kevin Mitchell will also have a world title shot coming his way if he beats Montreal’s Ghislain Maduma on Saturday night: “I’ve fought in front of 20,000 at West Ham but there’s going to be 80,000 out there. But I’m ready for this, I’ve trained hard. I’ve been in the gym solidly for a year now and I don’t think there’s a better time for me to have this fight and then go on and win the world title.”