If you have a spare moment to read anything else boxing related that isn’t about the Mayweather/ McGregor circus: then make it about the World Boxing Super Series!
Starting next month, eight top boxers will battle it out in a revolutionary bracket-style elimination tournament with four quarter finals (September & October 2017), two semi-finals (January and February 2018) and one final in May next year.
The winner will take away the coveted ‘Muhammad Ali Trophy’ as well as a share of the $50 million prize pool, depending on how successful they are in the tournament. The competition will give the participants exposure all around the world, raising their profile and perhaps gaining them some new fans that they would not otherwise acquire.
"The World Boxing Super Series will create the next superstars in world boxing," promoter Kalle Sauerland told UK Business Insider.
To be eligible, the fighters had to be rated in the Top 15 in any (or multiple) of the four major world rankings (WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF) . They will now battle it out over the course of nine months to take home the trophy and the lion’s share of the prize money.
In the Super Middleweight category, we will see a number of exciting boxers including our very own ‘Saint’ George Groves, Callum Smith and Eubank Jr., as well as unbeaten Matchroom contender Jamie Cox.
In Monte Carlo last month, the top four seeds carefully selected their opponents from the unseeded fighters and now we take a closer look at the pairings.
Callum Smith vs Erik Skoglund
September 16th - Echo Arena, Liverpool, UK
The first fight in the Super Middleweight category will be Callum Smith v Erik Skoglund in Liverpool on September 16. Smith, the number one contender for the WBC, selected Sweden’s Skoglund who is coming down from Light Heavyweight to participate in the competition.
26-year-old Skoglund is currently undefeated with 26-0, 12 KOs. He is an orthodox fighter who is 6ft 1, with most of his recent fights taking place in his hometown of Sweden as well as Germany, Finland and Denmark.
“To kick off the quarterfinals against an undefeated top guy is massive. I couldn't be happier with the choice," said Skoglund at the press conference in Monte Carlo.
“The preparations are going very well,” he also told the Swedish Press at an Open Gym workout.
“I am in the shape of my life and I need to be because Callum Smith is the toughest opponent I could ask for.”
Skoglund has also been sparring with four-time Super Middleweight World Champion Mikkel Kessler to help him in his training. “I am full of confidence ahead of fighting Callum Smith. I don’t feel any pressure. The pressure is on Callum, everyone expects him to shine in Liverpool, but I’m happy to be the underdog. I’m relaxed and ready to steal the shine and create the surprise,” he said.
Callum Smith gave up his position as mandatory world title challenger to enter the series. He is also undefeated with 22-0 (17 KO's) and as well as having the higher KO percentage, is also the taller man at 6ft 3. He also has the advantage of fighting in his hometown to kick off the contest.
“This is my home, and this is where all my best performances as a professional have been. I like fighting in Liverpool, and with the crowd behind me, I will have an added advantage on Sept. 16,” said Smith.
“There are no easy fights in this tournament. It's the best fighting the best, but I believe I made the right decision in Monte Carlo. That's not to say Skoglund is not a good fighter. I think he is a very good fighter. His record speaks for itself, but I think stylistically, he was the right choice for me. It will be a tough test. On paper, Skoglund is probably the best fighter I've ever faced, and I will need to be at my best to beat him. But every time I've been up against it in my career and every time there's been that fear factor, it's brought out the best in me.”
Smith decided to enter the contest, fed up of waiting around for mandatory fights to be made. He continued: “It won't still be up in the air whether there's going to be a changed location. I took too long waiting around and I had to make a decision.”
He is already looking ahead in the competition, relishing the prospect of a potential all-British battle with WBA ‘Super’ World Super Middleweight Champion George Groves.
“That's a huge fight,” Smith said. “It's common sense, we're both from Britain. He's a world champion and I want to be a world champion. That's a fight that without the tournament I have always wanted and felt would happen, but this tournament gives us a chance to make it happen sooner rather than later.
“As long as I win my first two fights, and he wins his then I'm sure it will make for a massive fight, a huge fight back home.” He finished.
Chris Eubank Jr. vs Avni Yildirim
October 7th - Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany
Chris Eubank Snr selected Turkey’s Avni Yildirim to face his son in the World Boxing Super Series, in what many have described as a controversial choice.
Yildirim (16-0-0, 10 KO’s) , also known as ‘Mr Robot’, is well ranked across the board, standing in the top 5 for the WBC, WBA and IBF belts and ranked seventh for the WBO.
“Avni is a come-forward fighter. I don't think he knows how to go back," Eubank Snr said at the press conference. "He brings war, and that will make for a spectacular fight. Once my son gets past Arthur Abraham, he will do the same to Avni. Chris Eubank Jr. is an upgraded version of me.”
Eubank Jr. is the more experienced fighter out of the pair, boasting a record of 25-1-0 (19 KO’s) with his sole defeat coming at the hands of WBO World Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders. Since then he has had notable wins against Dmitry Chudinov, Renold Quinlan and, most recently, Arthur Abraham.
Ahead of the start of the competition, Eubank Jr. has been training with the Money Team in Las Vegas in the lead up to Mayweather vs McGregor. He will also be putting his IBO Super Middleweight title on the line against the Turk. However, many have questioned the choice which pits him against potentially one of the best in the competition in the opening round of bouts.
Unbeaten 26-year-old Yildirim insists Eubank Snr has made a mistake by selecting him for his son.
“Chris Eubank, I respect. Before, he was a good fighter. His son I think is not a good boxer. I’m really, really ready for a great fight,” he said.
“Everybody thinks Chris Eubank Jr. wins but ‘Mr Robot’ – in September – will win. It is my time. This is Champions League, when the tournament finishes, I am [a] hero,” he said in Monte Carlo.
Yildirim has had a good amateur career and has boxed in various countries including Germany, America, Italy and Mexico. All but three of his victims have had winning records and he has regularly had to face opponents in their home country. In his sixth fight, Yildirim defeated former Light Heavyweight World Champion Glen Johnson, and he also holds impressive stoppage wins over Janne Forsman and Schiller Hyppolite. He has sparred against some of the best fighters in the world including James De Gale, and many think he could be the dark horse in the competition.
George Groves vs Jamie Cox
October 14th - SSE Wembley Arena, London, UK
Top seed, competition favourite and current holder of the WBA ‘Super’ World Super Middleweight title, ‘Saint’ George Groves (26-3-0, 19 KO’s) selected fellow Englishman, unbeaten Jamie Cox (24-0-0, 13 KO’s) from Swindon to face first at the SSE Wembley in October.
Despite the fact Cox is undefeated, Groves does not think he will be much of a hurdle to overcome. He told press in Monte Carlo:
“Me and Jamie are old buddies. We've known each other a long time now. I quite fancied a bit of a domestic dust-up. I've provided him a great opportunity, he's fighting for a world title. It's also a strategic move. It's a long tournament, so I picked the easy guy first.” Groves said.
“The biggest risk in this tournament is that you need to preserve yourself because the fights come around so quickly. I felt capable of beating any of the four unseeded guys but I think Cox is probably the easiest route. I'm not afraid to say that.”
“But there doesn't need to be trash talk. I picked him because he is the weakest. He looked out of his depth here, there are a lot of big names about.” He said.
The choice, as with Eubank Jr.’s, seemed to be a less obvious one to outsiders though, with Cox having a reputation as a something of a handful and all-round strong puncher, but Groves is confident in his ability to overcome his compatriot.
“I don't think Cox is big enough as a super-middleweight, I don't think he's had the tests that I've had, he hasn't been hit as hard by anyone as I do,” he said.
Former adversary Carl Froch, who fought (and defeated) Groves twice – including in their epic clash at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 people – has also taken the time to back his old foe, often discussing how he thinks Groves will succeed overall in the competition.
Southpaw Cox, who is ranked ninth by the WBA, also sees himself as the dark horse.
He told Sky Sports : “Maybe people will see me as the dark horse of the tournament. If that's the case, I'm ready to cause a shock. I train very hard and I've done it in the gym before with top champions and now I've got the platform to do it on the world stage.
“Maybe they might take their eye off the prize when it comes to me. More fool them if they do because I'll be training for every single fight like it is the final.” Said Cox.
Ticket for the fight at the SSE go on sale this Wednesday.
Jurgen Braehmer vs Rob Brant
The last – but by no means least – bout to be scheduled in the competition sees former two-time Light Heavyweight World Champion Jurgen Braehmer taking on undefeated American Rob Brant, with date and location yet to be decided.
Braehmer is quite considerably the most experienced boxer in the contest with a record of 48-3-0 (35 KO’s), but possibly to his detriment in keeping up with the hectic tournament schedule. With a possible 3 fights in 9 months, Braehmer’s age may well play a determining factor, with the German veteran, 38, considerably older than the rest of the competitors.
A southpaw fighter, Braehmer has not boxed as a Super Middleweight since 2007, but will move down a weight division to take part in the World Boxing Super Series at 168 pounds. This could seemingly give him an advantage against his first opponent, Brant, who is coming up a weight class from Middleweight.
The 38-year-old German lost his secondary 175-pound world title to Nathan Cleverly in October 2016, waived his contractually obliged rematch clause, instead moving down in weight to compete in the tournament, possibly in search of a higher paycheque.
“I am looking forward to the tournament,” said Braehmer in Monte Carlo. “I am prepared. The change of the weight class is not a challenge for me. I have made more than 30 professionals fights at super middleweight and will now return to my original weight class.”
Minnesota’s Brant (22-0-0, 15 KO’s) , who is 12 years Braehmer’s junior, is currently ranked at number two by the WBA at Middleweight. He is the same height as the German at 5ft11 but does have a slightly shorter reach.
Brant’s promoter, Greg Cohen told BoxingScene.com : “Rob’s been a little frustrated by the length of time it’s taken to get his mandatory opportunity, so we reached out to Sauerland and we were fortunate enough to be accepted into the tournament – the only American in the tournament and we like Rob’s chances.”
Brant has never fought as a pro as a Super Middleweight but his promoter does not feel that this will be an issue.
“Rob is a fighter who was a national amateur champion in the US at 178 pounds, fighting guys at 168 is a non- issue. When you look at the line-up everyone is really good but I don’t see anyone who I would consider a superstar or unbeatable,” he said.
It seems Braehmer agrees: “Since I could not pick any opponent anymore, I got the strongest guy," he said. "The others apparently avoided him. I look forward to the start of the tournament, and I am curious to find out when and where the fight will take place." He said.
Carl Frampton's highly-anticipated return to the squared circle did not go exactly according to plan, with a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Mexico’s Horacio Garcia in front of an adoring hometown crowd at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
After a turbulent 2017, which saw the Northern Irishman suffering his first professional career loss to Leo Santa Cruz - in addition to splitting with long-time trainer Shane McGuigan and undergoing a promotional shake-up – Frampton was able to close out a difficult year on a somewhat positive note, securing victory with slightly generous tallies of 98-93, 97-93 and 96-93 on all three judges’ scorecards.
Throughout the early rounds, the former super-bantamweight and featherweight titlist was seemingly content to play the cool matador to Garcia’s rampaging bull, picking his opponent off with cute counters complemented by evasive footwork. However, as the fight progressed into the middle rounds, Frampton became increasingly tired in the face of Garcia’s obdurate surges forward, who was at that point growing in confidence and connecting with more frequency.
The former two-weight world champion then abandoned his previous counterpunching-oriented strategy, and elected to become embroiled in an entertaining slugfest with his opposite number from Guadalajara – with domestic rivals Josh Warrington and Scott Quigg, as well as Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez, seated ringside.
As the thrilling exchanges between the two prompted deafening roars from the Belfast crowd, the consternation pervading the arena was tangible during the seventh round after a slip from an apparently off-balance Frampton was incorrectly deemed a knockdown by referee Victor Laughlin.
Nevertheless, Frampton regained his composure and was ultimately able to see off the characteristically tough Garcia in what was, all things considered, a relatively nip-and-tuck affair.
Meanwhile, super-flyweight Jamie Conlan’s first crack at a world title was unsuccessful as IBF titleholder Jerwin Ancajas simply proved to be too much on the night for the previously undefeated challenger.
A resilient, albeit overmatched Conlan was repeatedly knocked down and pummelled with debilitating shots to the midsection, until referee Steve Gray called a halt to proceedings in the sixth.
There was additional success for Irish fighters on the card, however, as undefeated prospect and former Olympian Paddy Barnes moved to 5-0 after delivering an exquisite body shot to Nicaraguan Elicier Quezada in the sixth-round, claiming both the WBO intercontinental flyweight title and his first stoppage win in the process.
WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete also wowed ringside spectators with a jaw-dropping thunderous one-punch knockout over compatriot Siboniso Gonya in the very first round.
In taking just eleven seconds to dispose of his opponent, the heavy-handed South African reportedly set a new record, and will now undoubtedly be coveting unification fights with the likes of Ryan Burnett and Luis Nery, in order to stake his claim as the best 118-lber in the world.
Report by: Navi Singh
You can follow Navi on Twitter at: @hombre__obscuro
In just over three weeks’ time, boxing fans will be treated to a historic match-up. On December 9th in Madison Square Garden, New York, Vasyl ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko will defend his WBO Super Featherweight title against Guillermo ‘El Chacal’ Rigondeaux; the first time in boxing history that two double Olympic gold medallists have faced each other in the professional ranks.
The statistics attached to the impending matchup are impressive. Between them in the amateur ranks, the two pugilists went a mind-boggling 871 wins combined to only 13 losses. As professionals, they are multiple world title holders who share a combined record of 26 wins, 18 by way of knockout, with just a single loss.
In view of the historical nature of the match-up and such figures, one would expect it to be one of the most heavily-hyped fights of the year. From Rigondeaux’s perspective: it has been anything but.
Within the last 24 hours, Rigondeaux has taken to social media to express his dissatisfaction with what he perceives to be the under-promotion of the fight. Reading between the lines, it is a clear shot being fired at Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions, the current promoters of Lomachenko and formerly of Rigondeaux, with whom he parted in 2014 in less than amicable circumstances. For Rigondeaux, the turning point was his decisive 2013 victory over the then-WBO Super Bantamweight Champion and '2012 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year', Nonito Donaire, who he schooled in a fight which was far more one-sided than the scorecards suggested. Rigondeaux claims that Arum and Top Rank never forgave him for extinguishing the lights of one of the brightest stars in their stable. For Arum and Top Rank’s part, Rigondeaux’s defensive style of fighting made him a far more difficult sell to boxing audience, especially in comparison to the all-action style of the defeated 'The Filipino Flash'.
Carl Frampton returns to the ring at Belfast’s SSE Arena this Saturday, in what will be his debut under the guidance of new promoter Frank Warren and new trainer Jamie Moore. 'The Jackal' will be eager to close the book on a tumultuous period which saw him lose his WBA featherweight world title and have his homecoming bout cancelled at the eleventh hour, before going on to split from trainer Shane McGuigan and depart Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone promotions: all in the space of seven months.
With both camps remaining tight-lipped regarding the fall-out, little is known as to what triggered the Belfast fighters shock August split from the McGuigans. The news came on the heels of weeks of speculation surrounding Frampton’s future with the promotional outfit, triggered by the fighter's resignation from Cyclone’s board of directors on the 21st of July.
The Belfast hero will be seeking to return to winning ways in his home city this weekend, having dropping a twelve round decision to Mexican three-weight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz in their Las Vegas rematch in January of this year. The disappointing reverse remains his last trip to the ring.
In what will be his first non-title contest since April 2014, Frampton will look to unleash ten months of frustration upon featherweight contender Horacio Garcia, who faces the unenviable task of occupying the away corner in-front of a partisan crowd this Saturday. The Mexican enters the contest as a heavy underdog, with his thirty-seven fight record devoid of notable names barring 2012 US Olympian Joseph Diaz, to whom he succumbed to a lop-sided decision victory in December of last year. “Violento”, however, will be looking to seize the opportunity to enter the upper echelons of the 126 pound weight class with a shock-win over one of the division's elite, forcing himself into title contention for 2018.
In Frampton, Garcia will face a fighter who has appeared reinvigorated of late, having rediscovered his love of the sport in working with new trainer Jamie Moore. The former two-weight king joined Moore at his Manchester training base, initially on a trial basis, after his aforementioned split with Shane McGuigan earlier this year. Following a successful inauguration, the Northern Irishman decided he need look no further, and subsequently announced that he would resume his career with the former European 154 pound champ in his corner. In just two short months, fighter and trainer appear to have struck up an almost-instantaneous chemistry, with Frampton making all of the right noises as he bids to make a successful return to the ring.
After piecing together the final parts of his new team in the ensuing weeks - with announcements that he had signed with boxing management outfit MTK as well as Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren - Frampton returns to the sport with a renewed sense of vigour, and will be hoping to recapture the form that made him 'Ring Magazine 2016 Fighter of the Year'.
The move to the Warren stable opens up the possibility of future domestic clashes with both Josh Warrington and IBF World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby, with the latter scheduled to fight on the veteran promoter's December 9th card at the Copper Box Arena in London.
With a plethora of potential big fights on the horizon - both at home and across the Atlantic - the twenty-nine-year-old will look to put a stacked Featherweight division on notice with an emphatic victory over Horatio Garcia in front of his adoring public this weekend.
Garcia will be joined at ringside by fellow Guadalajara native Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who will be hoping to see his Golden Boy stable-mate spring an upset victory. Most however, believe that Garcia would require the Mexican superstar to join him in the ring if he is to have a realistic chance of upsetting the local hero.
After proclaiming 2017 to be "the worst year of my career", Frampton has afforded himself every opportunity to ensure 2018 is, in fact, the exact opposite. While one would imagine sterner - and more lucrative - bouts are on the horizon, Frampton will undoubtedly have his eye fixed firmly on Horacio Garcia this weekend. With an adoring fanbase tuning in on an action-packed evening for Belfast boxing, Frampton will be keen to remind observers of the sport as to who the city's top dog is.
'The Day of The Jackal' is Saturday evening, live on BT Sport and BoxNation...
Article by: Gareth Gonet
You can follow Gareth on Twitter at: @garethgonet
Emerging Super Bantamweight prospect Lucien Reid (7-0-0 4 KO's) has said he will challenge for titles at the beginning of 2018, after a ‘slow start’ since turning over in the professional ranks two years ago.
Reid - nicknamed ‘Lethal’ - established himself as a talented amateur, claiming a Senior ABA Elite 54kg title in 2013 and was a finalist at 56kgs the following year. Thus far as a pro, however, for reasons unknown to him, the East Londoner has struggled to gain momentum.
Following nearly one year of inactivity, Reid resumed his career when he returned to the ring to victorious against Michael Mooney in May, before beating Jose Aguilar in September on the undercard of former-stablemate Billy Joe Saunders' WBO World Middleweight title defence against Willie Monroe Jr.
The 23 year-old looks to continue the reinvigoration process of his career on December 16th at the Brentwood Centre, where he will attempt to improve his record to 8-0 and put on another exciting show for the fans.
"I’ve got no opponent just yet, but I’ll be looking for a more game opponent and I’ll be boxing for titles early next year.” said Reid, in an exclusive interview with Behind The Gloves .
"I know I’m boxing for titles early next year. I’ve spoken to Adam [Booth] and he said when I had come off that long eleven month lay-off it wasn’t the right time to be going into hard fights. He wanted me to get more rounds underneath my belt and learn the trade more as we hadn’t been together that long."
Reid, who parted ways with his former trainer Peter Sims last November, is now - as mentioned previously - under the tutelage of esteemed and highly-respected coach Adam Booth, who he says says is having a massive influence in his corner.
”We’re starting to really bond and I’m really starting to take to the style." he stated.
"He [Booth] wanted me to get more rounds, and December 16th we want a game opponent who is actually going to give me them: then when I fight for titles, I’ll know where my fitness is at over ten to 12 rounds."
Throughout the years, boxing has seen many of its best known participants refuse to acknowledge their decline, instead stubbornly opting to remain in the sport well beyond their sell by date: more often ending in disaster than in glory.
Those in the boxing who reside outside of the ropes however, can enjoy a more substantial lifespan than the sports combatants. One such example is British Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren, who after almost forty years in the fight game is enjoying something of a career renaissance; in no small part due to the signing of his exclusive rights deal with broadcasting giant BT sport in November of last year.
Throughout a stellar promotional career, the Londoner has been a leading player in the UK boxing market, having been responsible for promoting some of the sport’s most illustrious names including Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Prince Naseem Hamed.
Warren would see his high standing in the UK market go largely unchallenged throughout the noughties, with main promotional rival Barry Hearn opting to scale down his involvement in boxing in order to focus on other sporting ventures.
In 2011, the veteran promoters decision to leave Sky Sports for his own fledgling network BoxNation - coupled with the emergence of promotional upstart Eddie Hearn (son of the aforementioned Barry Hearn) - would bring an abrupt end to the dominance which Warren had enjoyed over the previous decade. The younger Hearn’s meteoric rise within the sport would see an exodus of top names from the Warren stable, including future world champions George Groves, Tony Bellew and James DeGale, all seemingly enticed by the effervescent Hearn’s bold plans for U.K. boxing.
Without the financial backing of a major broadcaster, the next five years would see Warren struggle to deliver major fights for his top fighters, who were failing to garner wider exposure: owing largely to the fact they were plying their trade exclusively on a subscription boxing channel, well beyond the view of the wider sporting public.
Throughout this period, Warren would lose out to Matchroom in the signing of several much sought after prospects, including 2012 Olympic gold medallists Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell. Warren would also watch from afar as his bitter-rival Hearn accomplished a landmark promotional feat, in selling out Wembley Stadium for the Froch vs Groves rematch in 2014.
Evidently dismayed at losing his position atop the British boxing industry, the Queensberry boss would continually levy public criticism upon his younger rival at every opportunity. The subsequent discourse between the pair would result in a promotional cold war, akin to that seen across the Atlantic between Oscar De La Hoya and Top Rank supremo Bob Arum. The prospect of major inter-stable fights would resultantly enter the realms of fantasy, where it remains to this day.
In recent days, former lineal heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury, released a video on social media of his pad workout at the Hatton Gym, as he continues to talk up a boxing comeback in the near future. Fury, of course, has not been seen in the ring since November 2015 when he sensationally dethroned Wladimir Klitschko on a famous night in Düsseldorf, Germany: rendered inactive by a combination of anti-doping and mental health issues.
In that time, we have been subjected to a painfully predictable and, quite frankly, tiresome trend of Fury vacillating between announcing his permanent retirement from the sport and, alternatively, vowing a comeback to rival Muhammad Ali.
Let me make things clear from the outset: mental illness is a terrible affliction which I would not wish upon anyone.
In this respect, Fury deserves our full sympathy and well wishes. The racism which he has been subjected to by members of the public on account of his Irish Traveller heritage is despicable and must be condemned unequivocally. Moreover, as a boxing purist, I regard him as a talented and heavily underrated exponent of the sweet science. In fact, I would favour a mentally focussed and in-shape Fury to outpoint current WBA 'Super' and IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, should the two ever meet in what would be a blockbuster domestic clash. It would, however, seem that we are still a long way away from both presumptions.
Unbeaten Irish star John Joe Nevin can’t wait to return to the ring on Friday 24th November and kick-start his career as aims to make 2018 his year.
The 2012 Olympic Silver medallist has his first fight in Britain as a professional at the Tolworth Recreation Centre on the undercard of female World Champion Pink Tyson, alongside Lenny Daws, hot prospect Yusuf Safa and many more.
Nevin is heralded as one of the most decorated amateur boxers ever with an illustrious record that reads: Double Olympian, 2012 Olympic Silver, 2 World Bronze, European and European Union Champion, 15 times All Ireland Champion; a staggering 255 amateur contests - of which 210 were Internationals - with just 15 losses.
The Mullingar ace has had various problems from physical, personal and promotional issues since turning professional, but the 29-year-old has put together a solid eight-fight unbeaten record that has seen him campaign in American and Ireland.
His last fight was on 26th August 2016 at the Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia when he defeated Jesus Lule, winning every round in the six-round contest. He was scheduled to fight in September this year, but medical licensing and opponent issues meant that that it had to be postponed.
However, Nevin is now thrilled to return to London where he celebrated the pinnacle of his amateur career by winning Olympic Silver alongside a standout Irish team that included Michael Conlan, Katie Taylor and Paddy Barnes.
“It’s fantastic to return to London where I’ve had so many amateur fights and great memories, but of course the highlight was lifting silver for myself and the Irish team, that is something I will never ever forget,” Said Nevin.
“The Irish team was packed with so many talented fighters like Michael, Katie and Paddy and they’re all doing amazing in the pros. I’ve had my troubles, but through all of that I’m proud to hold an undefeated record and there is so much ahead of me now,”
“I feel that in a way, the rest has made me stronger and maybe that is for the best. Remember, I had 255 amateur fights with almost all of those at a high level over 20 years and I’ve had no real breaks, so now I feel strong again and I just can’t wait,”
Nevin will step up to super-lightweight and take on Killamarsh’s Lee Connelly over six-rounds at the Tolworth Recreations Centre and then look for some big fights next year."
He added, “I wanted a heavier opponent and to get some more rounds in and I didn’t want someone who was going to tumble over so boxing at super-lightweight is where I see myself being most effective from now on,”
“I’m in the gym every day with my trainer Jim McDonnell, he’s a tremendous coach and along with his sons they form a top team and now it is up to me to become a champion,”
“For now I’m focusing on the 24th November and then looking at a big 2018 when I know some exciting opportunities are going to come my way. Long term the aim is to become a world champion and I believe I can do that.”
Female World Champion Pink Tyson, real name Kallia Kourouni, from Sparta, Greece, headlines the show, promoted by Hennessy Sports in association with Joey Pyle and John Edwards.
Morden’s favourite fighting son, “Lightning” Lenny Daws makes his long awaited return to the ring. Daws looks to return to winning ways as he targets a third shot at the European Super-Lightweight crown and win it for a third time following his close attempt in February this year against Anthony Yigit.
Undefeated Bexleyheath Super-Featherweight prospect Yusuf Safa returns to action following his win on the Hughie Fury-Joseph Parker undercard and aims to target his first professional title shortly.
Two-time Olympian John Joe Nevin from Mullingar, Ireland, has his first in Britain as the supremely talented 28-year-old continues to build on his unbeaten record.
Heading up an exciting undercard will be: Iver Heavyweight Naylor Ball; Mitcham Super-lightweight Cheznie Hawkins; Farnborough’s George Lamport, Camberley Lightweight Jonny Phillips; Chertsey Lightweight Tony Vincent makes his highly-anticipated professional debut and Mitcham Super-lightweightZahayr Al Quahtani.
Doors open at 5:30pm with boxing commencing at 6pm.
Source: Hennessy Sports [Press Release]