Daniel Dubois and his opponent at the Copper Box Arena, Kyotaro Fujimoto, went face-to-face for the first time at the BT studios in Stratford ahead of the bumper ‘The Fight Before Christmas’ show on Saturday night, live on BT Sport 1, with the WBC Silver and WBO International heavyweight titles at stake.
Also featuring in headline action is Liam Williams, who takes on the American Alantez Fox in a final eliminator to fight for the WBO world middleweight title.
Below are the key quotes from the lead characters on Saturday night’s card.
"I have not underestimated him because every fight I prepare for like it is for a world title. It is a good fight and I would never overlook anyone. I have not looked at him closely because I leave that to my coach and I just keep hard at work in the gym with sparring.
I will just do what I have done all year round. I have been active and I am ready to go again. It has been an amazing year and it will be an even better one next year.
I am young and ready to go, I have a lot of ability and I am ready to be pushed on now. It is about getting the right fights and Frank is mapping out a route to mandatories. I would definitely go in with someone like Joshua and it is what I have been dreaming of since the day I started boxing, being in massive fights and coming through and winning them.
This one will be another devastating finish and a good performance."
"I would like to acknowledge the hospitality of promoter Frank Warren and reciprocate with a bottle of Saki.
I just want to express how happy I am to have such a big chance with belts on the line. It doesn’t come around very often so, when I win, I will be even happier on Saturday.
As you know we have a lot of excellent boxers in the lower weights in Japan, but there aren’t many heavyweights to speak of. I want to make history here with my performance and create more interest in the heavyweight division in Japan.
There aren’t many people for me to spar with in Japan, so it has been a very enriching experience for me training in LA, especially getting to move around with bigger guys around Daniel’s size.
The power they have too, to experience that has been a good learning experience."
"It does promise to be a terrific show. We’ve got a great main event along with excellent support bouts with great competitive fights. Every one of them will be good fights, I am looking forward to it and I think we will give the fans value for money.
The winner out of Liam Williams and Alantez Fox will get Andrade. I think Andrade is fighting in January and whoever wins this will be in with him. Alantez is a quality operator, 6ft 4” tall southpaw and he obviously fancies the job by coming to the UK. I’ve got every confidence in Liam, who is with us and he has been craving a meaningful fight at this weight and we have delivered it to him.
It is not like he hasn’t been in the position of pushing for world titles before, but he seems to be much, much more comfortable at middleweight and I think we’ve got a real good fight on our hands with these two guys.
Fujimoto must be an Arsenal fan with hair like that, but who wants to be an Arsenal fans these days… For Daniel this is the chance to get a WBA ranking, Kyotaro is 21-1 and he lost that fight eight years ago. He comes from a fighting background and was a world champion kickboxer. He is game and he is coming over to fight Daniel, so he cannot take anything for granted.
This is all about Daniel. It has been a busy year and he wants to out with a bang to set himself up for 2020. All the big guns are fighting next year, Joshua regained his title and has got two mandatories coming, while Tyson is fighting DeontayWilder in February and they may another fight in the summer.
When the dust has all settled these guys will have a mandatory and maybe one of the titles will be freed up. It is Daniel’s job to win on Saturday and then by say October to get himself into a mandatory position to fight for a world title. That is where we are at.
People may laugh about it, but if I could make him and Anthony Joshua today I would make it. I am so confident and I know who I would have my money on."
"I’ve never fought anyone anywhere near my height and I am actually 6ft 5”. In my fight against Andrade I tore a muscle in my rotator cuff and, after carrying on using it, I tore my bicep in my left arm. I fought from round one to round 12 with several injuries in my left arm. I had surgery and sat out for about a year and this will be my fourth fight back.
He called me a skinny little rat and it was funny to me at first and I told him to call me the rat from Ninja Turtles. He’s sees me now and I don’t look like a skinny rat.
I’ve watched several fights and have studied him. I don’t take Liam lightly at all. No disrespect to the other fighters, but our fight is the best one on the card. I’ve watched him and I don’t think this is the guy to beat me. He’s never fought someone like me and it is not going to be a stoppage, man.
I can control the fight at whatever distance I want to. He is definitely underestimating me. I will box his ass off and come out victorious. There is nothing he can do in there to beat me."
"I really believe he is a quality fighter, even though I have said things. He is quality and he has got obvious advantages over me in height and reach. It doesn’t matter, but he is a good boxer and he is going to come and try and keep it long.
I am just going to tear though him and I will, one hundred per cent. It is a huge night after taking my losses a couple of years ago and I have come a long way from there. I am not going to allow a loss to happen again. I am fully prepared and, whether it is Alantez Fox in my way or someone else, I don’t think they are going to stop me. I am motivated and I fully believe I will beat anyone put in front of me right now.
I believe I have come on a long way since switching to Sheffield and Dominic Ingle has done very good things for me in terms of my training and even the way I approach each situation mentally. He has done a lot for me and I had a good trainer before in Gary Lockett and we remain friends.
I needed to take that next step and, for me, a big thing was moving away from home where I fully dedicate myself, whereas before I was cutting corners. Now everything is bang on and I’ve got no excuses. I am just looking forward to seeing the level I can reach when performing at my best.
I just think he is going to be in for a tough night and I am sure he thinks the same about me. It is going to be a good fight and I personally think we should be top of the bill. Jokes aside we should be the main fight because it is probably going to last three rounds, while Daniel’s will probably last one or two.
Our fight is the one to watch because there will be more to see. Although as soon as I clip him on the chin a couple of times he is probably going to go into his shell. I will pound the life out of him.
I will be top of the bill next time."
"I have had a good summer and it has been a bit different. I am a young lad and, when it got put to me at first (Love Island), I thought I am a young lad, I am 20 and what is the rush. Taking a few months out has done me no harm and it was something I wanted to do.
So I went on and did it and it has paid off massively. I don't want everyone to forget what I did before that. I am not a reality TV person, although I have done a few spin-offs from it, I am a boxer and it is what I have done my whole life from when I was small.
I don't regard myself as anybody sat at this table. If I had my way I wouldn't be on that wall because I've done nothing as a boxer. So forget about all that other stuff because it is not important.
It is a bit different when I walk down the street now, of course, but when you boil it down does it really mean anything? Is it really going to change my life that much? It is not really important.
The only thing I want in life is to be a world champion. Money and fame doesn't interest me. You can look back to when I was 14 or 15 and I am the same now as I was back then.
I've done a little bit of sparring with Tyson and I will be the first to say it was absolutely pointless! I never landed a shot and never even looked like landing a shot. It is experience, he is the best in the world and that is the reason why.
There is nobody better to spar with because I am learning everything I could possibly learn off him.
I would not be sat here right now if I didn't believe I could become a world champion. Believe me when I say that. Boxing is too hard of a game just to tip and tap, you've got to be all or nothing and that is the way I think about everything.
I will be a world champion in the future, but I am 20 year's old and there is no rush."