“LAS VEGAS OF THE MIDDLE EAST” - BADOU JACK LOOKS AHEAD TO CLASH WITH USA'S SAMUEL CROSSED
Former two-weight world champion Badou Jack was full of praise for Dubai as he prepares to return to action on Friday's huge event at MotoSpace - which also includes fellow boxing superstars Muhammed Waseem, Rocky Fielding and Ohara Davies.
It is promoted by Ahmed A Seddiqi for D4G Promotions, and will be broadcast on ESPN+ in the USA in association with Top Rank, on ESPN Knockout in Latin America, and on IFL TV for the rest of the world.
Badou Jack returns to action against Samuel Crossed, Muhammad Waseem meets Rober Barrera in a flyweight world title eliminator, Rocky Fielding faces Emmanuel Danso, and Ohara Davies takes on Nicholas Mwangi.
Davies was originally due to face Ismael Barroso, but visa issues for Barroso means he has had to pull out of the fight, with Mwangi taking his place.
The final press conference took place on Wednesday, and here's what everybody had to say ahead of the highly-anticipated event.
Badou Jack said: "I'm very happy to be fighting here in Dubai. I've been coming here for about five or six years and I actually lived here for a while. So this is going to be the first of many fights in Dubai.
"This is the Las Vegas of the Middle East. Hopefully we can keep bringing big fights here and keep building and building the sport. My plan is to become a three-division world champion, and I feel I can put in a great performance at this weight.
"My whole camp has been in Dubai and we've had a great time. I've trained hard like I always do, and I'm going to get the win."
Samuel Crossed said: "I'm excited for this fight. It's the biggest test of my life and I'm going to give it everything. Camp has gone great, I fought not too long ago so I'm in great shape and ready to go.
"Size may play a factor in the fight. He's a strong fighter and has been world champion at super-middleweight and light-heavyweight, and I expect him to be strong at cruiserweight as well.
"It would change my life if I win on Friday. It's a great opportunity and I'll grab it with both hands. I'm ready and let's go out there and put on a show this week."
Muhammad Waseem said: "I have been to Dubai many times and had some good fights, and I have big expectations for this fight on Friday. I've worked very hard and I will prove myself as one of the best fighters in the division.
"I've dedicated a lot of time to my training and I am more than ready for Friday. I've had some great sparring and a great camp, and have worked very hard to get the victory."
Rober Barrera said: "I'm happy to be here in Dubai and I am ready. I have studied my opponent and I know what he is good at, and not good at, and I am going to take advantage of that.
"I'm going to keep my plans to myself as I'm not a big talker, but I will show my skills in the ring. I've been training a lot and I am ready, and I have already proved I am ready for a world title shot. I am going to bring it all, and I hope he is too. I didn't come this far to bring nothing."
Rocky Fielding said: "I'm delighted to be back. Last September I realised I wanted to fight again, so I came out to Dubai and while I've been training here this is the perfect time to come back.
"I've been back and forth and sometimes training here and then over with Jamie Moore in Manchester too, so I am fully focused on getting the victory on Friday.
"We'll get Friday out the way and then I want to get back active and kick on. First things first though, it's all about this fight with Danso."
Emmanuel Danso said: "I know that Rocky is a top fighter, and it is going to be a good fight. I have trained very hard and I'm going to put in a great performance. If the knockout comes, I will be taking it."
Ohara Davies said: "It was frustrating finding out about Barroso. He is a top fighter and I'd have loved to fought him. I was there when he fought Kevin Mitchell and to have the chance to test myself against him would have been good, but I'm pleased that I've still got a fight and can return this week.
"I can see Jack Catterall over there. Since we last fought he has done nothing, but I have kicked on and won the Golden Contract and now I'm ready to fight again, so fighting is the main thing. It's going to be easy work against Nicholas on Friday."
Nicholas Mwangi said: "Ohara hasn't fought anybody like me. I can fight, I can box, and I am ready for him. This opportunity has come and you can't say no.
"I will show exactly what I am capable of on Friday. I was already training for a potential fight in December, so I am well prepared and I will be victorious against Ohara Davies."
Promoter Ahmed A Seddiqi of D4G Promotions said: "It is a pleasure to have such big names coming here to fight, especially as there are many other big promoters launching their own shows coming up in the region.
"It is going to be a very special night of boxing. Of course Dubai is the 'Las Vegas of the Middle East,' and having these massive events is itself a huge achievement for the country. We have worldwide names on the main card, and then rising stars that are based here in Dubai in action on the undercard, so it is helping to massively building the sport."
The fight week activities continues on Thursday when the fighters hit the scales at the weigh-in, before the all-important fight night on Friday.