Welterweights Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) and Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) squared off at the final press conference ahead of Saturday’s action at London’s Copper Box Arena, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. Benn is defending his WBA Continental title against Vargas.
Conor Benn: “This is definitely one for the fans. I’m chomping at the bit; this is a fight I’ve been calling for a long time now and this is another fight where I can show my levels and experience.
“You can judge me on my last performance, or the performance before that, but I’m always evolving and learning from previous fights and the mistakes I’ve made. This is the sort of fight where I really do show what I’m capable of.
“We don’t know the ceiling to my career, we don’t know where the limit is because I came into the game raw and naive. I’m learning and I plan on displaying all of that come Saturday night.
“If you watch Vargas’ fights he comes in and he brings it but so do I. Of course, he’s tested at a higher level and got more experience than me, but everyone I fight moving forward is going to have experience on me, I’ll always go into the fight the less experienced fighter because of my lack of amateur background, because I’m only 24.
“People will question that, it’s my job to prove them wrong, it’s my job to get in there and do a number on him Saturday night. It’s going to be my hardest nights work, I know what he brings, he’s a tough South American who loves to fight and fights with his heart on his sleeve. You’ve got to give him credit where it’s deserved.
“I keep getting asked now about other fights, I made the mistake once in my career looking past opponents and look what happened – I hit the deck twice and it turned out to be my hardest nights work in my career. I’m fully focused on Vargas; I know what he brings and he’s in there to win and show me how it’s done.
“I’ve been training hard for this fight; I’ve been working hard and visualising this fight and I’m ready to go. Whatever he brings, I’ll match it – it’s going to be a shootout at some stage of this fight.
“Every time we’ve said it’s a test I’ve passed with flying colours. With Koivula people were writing me off again, saying he’s too experienced, and then what happened. I stepped up again against Sebastian Formella and what happened. I rise to the occasion and I will rise to the occasion, I will make sure I match it.
“Tony’s trained me harder than ever for this camp. He’s really pushed me; I don’t often say I need a break, but I needed a few this camp. When you’re talking about sacrifices try four years, not being with family – that’s really hard.
“My little son now, we only had a few days off when he was born to spend time with him, so your mind and emotions are still on the fight. Even when I’m holding him, I’m thinking about the fight. Twitching in my sleep about the fight. It’s going to be nice after this to sit down and emotionally relax with my new family.”
Samuel Vargas: “I’m blessed, I’m happy and had a good training camp. I feel like everything has fallen into place for me to have a great show Saturday night. I’ve put my heart and soul into this training camp, working with Bones Adams. I’ve lots of rounds in the gym and I’m really excited to be here. The moment is here, it’s time.
“I don’t really compare, I was 24 once, I was young once upon a time and when I look at myself then and now, I just laugh. I just think I bring too much into the ring for him.
“It’s kind of sad we don’t have fans in the venue, I was looking forward to having a lot of fans there because it would’ve beee a great energy, you need that. The fans in London have a lot of love and support which I’m thankful for.
“This is a fan-friendly fight, he fights, I fight my ass off. I fight for my family, for everything I have, for the desire to win and become better at life and boxing, there’s so many motives I have to fight for.
“I never make no excuses, even in my losses, I always work my ass off in training camp. This fight in particular, I haven’t seen my family or Lee in two months. Everybody keeps telling me how focused and driven I am because it’s all I’ve done, there’s nothing else to do but box, study, know my enemy and do my job.”