Crolla Edges Past Burns in Manchester

  • By Behind The Gloves
  • 08 Oct, 2017

Former WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla came out on top of the highly anticipated domestic clash with Ricky Burns at the Manchester Arena, taking home a unanimous decision, 117-112, 116-113 and 116-114 on the scorecards after a very tight affair.

It wasn’t the barnburner many were expecting, but is hard to take your eyes off the action that Crolla and Burns served up in Manchester. Crolla was rightly judged the winner, his work rate just about doing enough to edge it, as the two respected warriors try and kickstart one last potential charge at a world title.

It was a must win for both however, with Crolla coming into the fight after two losses in the same venue in front of his beloved hometown crowd to Jorge Linares, whilst Burns was comprehensively outclassed by Julius Indongo. 

The Scot was also fighting at lightweight for the first time since November 2015 and there were worries whether the 34-year-old would look good back at a weight where he held the WBO title.

With the win, Crolla improves to 32-6-3, whilst Burns drops to 41-7-1, but the two’s reputations could well earn them a crack at a world title in the very near future.

Burns worked well behind the jab in the first round, picking Crolla off well, but some body shots at the end of the round signalled “Million Dollar’s” intentions. Crolla stepped forward and threw more leather in the second, forcing Burns back and outworking the Scotsman.

It carried on in much the same vein with Crolla pressing the action and working the body well. The rounds were close, but Crolla was the busier of the pair, putting his shots together better and doing enough to edge this hard fought affair.

Burns finally began to pick up in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to take the round, with Crolla landing with some swift counters which made the former three weight world champion look ragged at times. Through six rounds, Crolla looked the better fighter in every department and the obituary writers were poised and ready to sign off on Burns’ storied career.

However, the “Rickster” did as he has done so many times before and found an extra gear in the seventh, matching Crolla’s body shots and landing a quality uppercut to tip the round in his favour. Crolla sensed the momentum moving away from him and picked up again in the eighth of what was proving a difficult fight to score.

Burns now had to dig deep and he did, drawing blood from the nose of the Mancunian as he began to tire. Crolla was struggling to anything clean now and Burns began to press forward, the right hand landing with more regularity.

It was a gruelling contest and as we entered the championship rounds, it was clear that Burns had to take them to be in with a shout of victory. He lived up to those thoughts by finishing the stronger of the pair and could have done enough to get the draw in some generous eyes.

Unfortunately, and correctly, none of the judges saw it that way and Burns slipped to the seventh defeat of his career. The 34-year-old claims there is plenty left in the tank, but it’s hard to see whether he still has enough in there to compete at world title level in a stacked lightweight division.

He has upset the odds many times during his incredible career, but this will be a bridge too far. As for Crolla, a clash with Luke Campbell, who is also a recent Linares victim, could be in the pipeline as he looks to win another world title. The rematch with Burns is not beyond the realms of possibility either, but for now Crolla goes on in search of one last crack at world title glory.


Article by: Matt Bevan

You can follow Matt on Twitter at: @Matt_Bevan68

By Behind The Gloves 21 Jan, 2018
Errol Spence Jr. retained his IBF World welterweight title with a thoroughly dominant eighth round stoppage of Lamont Peterson at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The undefeated Texan star was in full-control throughout, dominating Peterson from the opening bell behind a solid southpaw jab and a trademark body assault. Former two-weight World champion Peterson was barely in the contest, unable to mount any substantial offense, and resorting to a high guard in an attempt to survive against the fearsome young champion.

After being dropped to the canvas by a left hand to the temple in the fifth round, Peterson fought back bravely, surviving the ensuing onslaught and making it through to the end of the round. However, following a further barrage from Spence, Barry Hunter - longtime trainer of Peterson - read his man the riot act after the sixth round, threatening to stop the fight in the midst of Spence's dominance.

Despite a relatively low-key seventh round, the writing was on the wall for the D.C. native. Now sporting a badly swollen face, Peterson survived the seventh round, but after once again finding himself unable to make a dent in Spence, he was saved further punishment by his trainer one second into the eighth round.

The performance from Spence will enhance his already glowing reputation as one of the top fighters in the sport, and he made no secret in his wish for a unification with WBA/WBC World welterweight champion Keith Thurman in his post-fight interview.

Showcasing a snappy jab and murderous body-punching, Spence has laid down an early marker in 2018 that the rest of the divisional elite will have to follow. For Peterson, he was simply unable to deal with the freshness and relentless - yet measured - assault from 'The Truth'.
By Behind The Gloves 21 Jan, 2018
Marcus Browne def. Francy Ntetu via TKO1

Light heavyweight contender 'Sir' Marcus Browne (21-0-0, 16 KO's) continued his ascent up the 175lbs rankings with a blistering first round stoppage victory over Francy Ntetu (17-2-0, 4 KO's).

The unbeaten New Yorker wasted little time in securing his first victory of the year, landing a short left hand from his southpaw stance that dropped Ntetu heavily against the ropes. To his credit, Ntetu dragged himself gamely to his feet, but never truly recovered from the knockdown, and was defenceless when met with the follow up barrage from the Browne.

After taking a series of unanswered blows in the corner, Ntetu was spared further punishment by referee Arthur Mercante Jr., who stepped in to call a halt to proceedings at 2:15 of the opening round.

Browne moves on in impressive fashion, and in holding a lofty ranking with each of the governing bodies, can expect to challenge for a World title at some stage in 2018.


Robert Easter Jr. def. Javier Fortuna via SD12

IBF World lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. eked past the game Javier Fortuna to successfully defend his title and remain undefeated.

The performance was far from convincing on the part of the champion however, as he struggled to come to terms with Fortuna's unpredictable, awkward style. Fortuna, who was unable to challenge for the title after failing to make the 135lbs weight limit, was deducted a point in the second round for rabbit punches, which, ultimately, would come back to haunt him on the judges scorecards.

The bout was littered with close rounds, with Easter forcing the pace on the front foot while his opponent sought to walk him on to shots on the inside. Fortuna almost reaped the rewards for his gameplan, after a solid left hand in the fourth round seemed to hurt Easter. However, he was unable to capitalise, with Easter using his height and reach well to recover at the beginning of the next session.

Despite enjoying significant physical advantages over his opponent, Easter was dragged into close quarters by his opponent, and was caught regularly with southpaw left hands when fighting on the inside. After less than convincing performances against Richard Commey and Denis Shafikov, Easter once again failed to impress against Fortuna, with many feeling he was somewhat fortunate to come away with the victory.

On the other hand, Fortuna will leave the bout with his reputation arguably enhanced, after producing a gritty performance, despite ultimately coming up short. While the Dominican fighter was able to force the champion into fighting his fight for periods of the contest, he will perhaps regret his lack of activity in areas, in which he allowed Easter to control the tempo for large sections.

With scorecards of 114-113, 113-114 & 115-112, Easter secured the split decision victory and will move on with his undefeated record intact as he seeks to challenge the elite men in the lightweight division later in 2018. However, it must be said, a significant improvement will be required if the Ohio-native is to stand any chance against the likes of WBC champion Mikey Garcia and WBA & 'Ring' Magazine beltholder Jorge Linares.

Behind The Gloves [Rob Tebbutt] Scorecard: 114-113 Easter
By Behind The Gloves 20 Jan, 2018

It was announced last week that Canada-based Colombian Eleider Alvarez, who has held the status of mandatory challenger to WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson for more than two years, has withdrawn from the purse bid for a WBC interim world title fight against Ukrainian contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk. 

The situation is currently under the consideration of the WBC but it is hard to see any other outcome than Alvarez losing his mandatory status. It seems a bizarre decision on the part of Alvarez and his team at first sight. Winning the WBC interim title would not only have reaffirmed his mandatory status but have brought the promise of a more favourable purse split against the full champion. 

Alvarez’s promoter, Yvon Michel, has countered that his fighter has already fought three final title eliminators and that they see no logical reasons to fight a fourth. Based on this fact alone, some sympathy is due for the Colombian contender, but the truth - as always - seems to be the case in boxing, is more complicated than first meets the eye.

The predicament is merely the subplot to one of the most disappointing title reigns in recent years. Adonis Stevenson punched his way to stardom in 2013 when he obliterated Chad Dawson to capture the WBC light heavyweight title. He followed up by becoming the first man to stop former titlist Tavouris Cloud and then capped the year by smashing mandatory challenger Tony Bellew in six rounds, earning plaudits for his performances and the 'Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year' title. 

By Behind The Gloves 19 Jan, 2018
Hall of Fame Promoter Frank Warren will stage a double World Title card on Saturday 14th April featuring Billy Joe Saunders’ defence of his WBO World Middleweight Championship against domestic rival Martin Murray, alongside Terry Flanagan’schallenge for the vacant WBO World Super Lightweight title against unbeaten American Maurice Hooker. The card will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport and BoxNation.
 
Saunders, fresh from a 12 round masterclass against David Lemieux in the Canadian’s home town, returns to the UK to face long-time rival Martin Murray. Saunders’ career best performance in Canada has seen him risen to be considered by many the top active boxer in the UK and the Hatfield man is looking for 2018 to be the biggest year of his career.
 
Murray is the final hurdle for Saunders in obtaining a complete domestic whitewash of British and Irish Middleweights that already includes Andy Lee, Chris Eubank Jr, Spike O’Sullivan, John Ryder and Nick Blackwell.  Should Saunders overcome Murray on the 14th April it is likely to clear the path for a blockbuster showdown for all the World Middleweight Titles against the winner of the highly anticipated rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.
 
Saunders said:  ‘ Martin Murray is a good fighter and I have got the greatest of respect for him. But he’s in the way of what I’m aiming for this year and that is to become Undisputed Middleweight World Champion. He’s coming try and win my world title and I’m sure it’s going to be a good fight!’
 
Murray who many felt did enough to become a Middleweight World Champion against both Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm, only to be undone by the judges’ scorecards, is coming off a big win against Gabriel Rosado and will be out looking to scupper Saunders’ plans of facing Golovkin or Canelo and grab that blockbuster undisputed World title showdown for himself.
 
The St. Helen’s man said,  ‘ I rate Billy Joe as a fighter, he’s one of slickest out there and he is coming off of a great win and will be very confident. But I’m very confident, this is my time to become World Champion, as it’s the only thing I have left to do.
 
I’ve fought everyone and in my opinion at Middleweight I have only one genuine loss which is against Gennady Golovkin who is the best out there.
 
I don’t count Martinez or Sturm as genuine losses because of the scorecards. But this time around, in my first World Title fight at home, as we are both British fighters fighting on home soil, I know the best man on the night will get the win and leave the arena as World Champion.’
 
In the other World Title clash on the card, unbeaten former WBO World Lightweight Champion Terry Flanagan faces unbeaten American Maurice Hooker for the WBO World Super Lightweight Championship, in his first contest at the weight. Flanagan had defended his 135 lb World Title 5 times before relinquishing the belt to move to Super Lightweight, a more comfortable weight class for his stature.
 
Flanagan said:  ‘Hooker is a very good unbeaten fighter, he fights on the back foot and looks to catch you from distance. However I’m very confident I’ll be able to deal with anything he throws at me to become a two-weight World Champion. Winning this fight will prove I’m a legitimate 140lb fighter I’ll be looking to unify the belts later in the year.
 
Whilst undefeated American Maurice Hooker said:  ‘I’m looking forward to coming to the UK to fight Flanagan and to become World Champion. We are both undefeated fighters and I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic fight!
 
Details of the venue that will stage the event, the full announcement press conference and ticket information will all follow next week.


Source: Frank Warren PR [Press Release]
By Behind The Gloves 19 Jan, 2018

Errol Spence Jr (22-0-0, 19 KO's) will make the first defence of his IBF World welterweight championship this Saturday, when he faces former two-weight World champion Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO's) at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.

The bout is Spence's first since his ripped the title away from Kell Brook in an eleventh round stoppage, after travelling to Brook's home city of Sheffield in April 2017. 

Spence's opponent, 33-year-old Lamont Peterson, presents an intriguing challenge to the unbeaten Texan, having held the unified WBA and IBF light welterweight titles in 2011, and the WBA welterweight title in 2017. Peterson is also coming off a significant lay-off, with his last bout coming almost a year ago when facing David Avanesyan in February of last year. 

Many believe that while Peterson represents a solid test for Spence, he will have to produce a new career-best performance to pull off the upset. For Spence, he will seek to recapture the momentum gained from capturing the title, and set up a potentially exciting 2018 in the welterweight division. With Peterson suffering just one stoppage loss in his 39-fight ledger, against power-punching Lucas Matthysse, the fight presents an opportunity for the champion to make a statement to his rivals.

"My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook." said Spence. 

"I sparred him in the amateurs and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals and that is what I plan on doing on Saturday night."

Peterson has shown the ability to mix things up throughout his 13-year career, showcasing slick boxing skills in a contentious loss to Danny Garcia, while showing a more rugged, pressure-fighting style against Amir Khan in the D.C. native's marquee career victory in 2013. It remains to be seen what game plan Peterson will put into practice against Spence, who has looked irresistible in his unblemished foray as a professional.

"This is a fight I wanted and as I said before when I became a welterweight, I want to fight the best and make the fights that people want to see." said Peterson.

"I'm ready to give it my all and give the fans a great show."

With a blockbuster all-American clash against unified champion Keith 'One Time' Thurman long-mooted, Spence has no room for slip-ups against a tricky customer in Peterson. However, 'The Truth' will enter the bout as a heavy favourite, as he looks to lay down a marker in the 147lbs division.

After vacating his WBA World welterweight title in order to face Spence, Peterson has taken a sizeable leap of faith, and will be hoping that his experience will serve him well against the young champion. Spence is yet to complete a full twelve round championship bout - a feat Peterson has achieved no less than seven times - and will have to be wary against a very live underdog.

By Behind The Gloves 18 Jan, 2018

The hate between Dillian Whyte and Lucas Browne is real – but both men say that there’s more than pride on the line when they clash for Whyte’s WBC Silver Heavyweight title at The O2 in London on March 24, live on Sky Sports. 

The Heavyweight rivals came face-to-face at a press conference in central London today and left the media in no doubt that there is plenty of true venom behind their fierce social media spats are as they traded barbs before a face-off that ended in a frosty handshake.

That tense show of respect reflected the high stakes in the fight, with Whyte ranked number one in the WBC and former WBA champion Browne hunting a route to becoming a two-time champion – the pair will renew hostilities in two months’ time knowing the winner is in a prime spot to fight for a World crown this year.  

“I hope I can fight for a World title this year,” said Whyte. “Sky Sports and Matchroom are behind me and now it's my time to shine. If I can put on a good show in front of a good crowd at The O2 then they can't deny me.

“I'm highly ranked in all the governing bodies and I think I could become mandatory in two of them, so this is a fight with a top contender against an undefeated former World champion - so you have to say that win this, I deserve a World title shot.

“He's a solid fighter and he's got KO power. Any big guy can chin anyone at any time, but he's just got power. A lot of people are in boxing because they are big men - not because they have skill or heart - they're just physically big and over-powering smaller fighters.

“The guy is a bully and calls himself 'an enforcer' so you have to deal with that in a head-on way. Robert Helenius wasn't like that, he was cool, so I was cool, but Lucas has stepped to me in a demeaning way that I don't like, I take that personally and I'm not going to let it slide. He's giving it the big one because he's got insecurities. This is my city, he's in my backyard, and I'm not going to let him take liberties with me.

“You can't intimidate me. I've been right at the bottom and I've risen up, so nothing fazes me and I'm not scared of anything, especially not Lucas Browne. I'm more scared of my Mum than him.

“Of course, I want the rematch with Anthony Joshua, but the fight with Deontay Wilder would make the AJ fight even bigger if I had the WBC belt. I'm always going to want the Joshua fight because we have history and we keep winning then the fight is inevitable, but there's more to this sport for just fighting for pride, it's business, and the fights have to fit my strategy. If you win a World title, you go down in history as a Heavyweight World Champion, it’s the biggest accolade in sport and that can never be taken from you.”

“The build-up will be spicy and fun, but I think it's going to a great fight and all that matters is winning on March 24,” said Browne. “He calls me a ‘bully’ – well I'm going to show him what a ‘bully’ can do. I made my points today, I'm coming to fight, not for a payday or to roll over, I want his belt and I want to be a World champion again.

“I asked him if he was going to shake my hand and he did - I'm a gentleman. I still hate the guy and want to smash his face in at The O2, but man to man, this is a sport and we should respect each other for fighting.

“I don't like judges' decisions - it's not good for me to have my life and my career in the hands of three people outside the ring. If I KO someone - there's no argument, that's what I like.

“We're both at the point in our careers where we need to put in a big performance to stake a claim to fight for a World title, that's going to make me put it all on the line, and I think it'll do the same for him.”

Tickets for Whyte vs. Browne at The O2 in London are on sale now priced £40, £60 and £100 from   www.theO2.co.uk . VIP tickets priced £200 are exclusively available from   www.matchroomboxing.com

Face value tickets for March 24 are available from   http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/   . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.


Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]

By Behind The Gloves 18 Jan, 2018

Cyclone Promotions are delighted to announce that exciting contender Josh Taylor (11-0-0) will face Mexico's former two-weight world champion Humberto Soto (66-9-2) at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on March 3rd. The exciting Super Lightweight showdown will be screened live and exclusively on Channel 5 and is proudly sponsored by Maxi-Nutrition, Ladbrokes and Voltarol.


TICKETS FOR  ‘SCOTLAND’S FINEST’  – TAYLOR vs SOTO AT THE SSE HYDRO IN GLASGOW ON SATURDAY MARCH 3rd ARE NOW ON SALE NOW –  PRICED £40, £60, AND VIP INNER RINGSIDE AT £125 + BOOKING FEES, AND AVAILABLE FROM  WWW.TICKETMASTER.CO.UK  OR CALL 0844 844 0444.

 

Josh Taylor has established himself as one of the best Super Lightweights in world boxing, having become the first man to stop former long-reigning IBF world champion Miguel Vazquez last time out in Edinburgh. The 27-year-old is ranked highly by the WBC, IBF and WBO and is fast closing in on a World Title shot. First, though, Taylor must overcome his toughest test to date against Soto on Saturday March 3rd at the magnificent setting of the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

This huge night of championship boxing on March 3rd is entitled ‘Scotland’s Finest’ and will indeed feature the brightest lights in Scottish professional boxing on a stacked undercard.

Cyclone’s undefeated Jason Easton (11-0-0)will feature as chief support on the bill on March 3rd. The IBO Inter-Continental super-lightweight champion will box Sunderland’s Glenn Foot (21-3-0) for the vacant Commonwealth Super Lightweight championship, and this intriguing bout has ‘Fight of the Night’ written all over it. The all-action Easton has his hands full against former Prizefighter champion Foot, who also recently held the English title. 

Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Charlie Flynn (10-0-1) will make his eleventh appearance as a professional on the big SSE Hydro bill on March 3rd. The undefeated Lightweight will box in a six-round contest against an opponent to be named shortly.

Scotland’s former amateur star Lee McGregor (2-0-0) makes his third start as a professional on March 3rd when he features in an eight-round contest on the undercard.

Undefeated IBO World Lightweight championChantelle Cameron (5-0-0) will make her first defence of her belt against an opponent to be named shortly. The talented Northampton star will be looking to build on her title-winning performance in December when she stopped Brazil’s Viviane Obenauf.

Airdrie based Congolese Heavyweight sensationMartin Bakole (10-0-0) will box for the sixth time in the UK as a professional. The IBO Continental champion will look to build on his impressive first-round stoppage of Belgium’s Ali Baghouz last time out in Edinburgh with another solid win on March 3rd.

Elsewhere on the card, Glasgow’s undefeated Scottish Super Bantamweight champion Joe Ham will feature in a six-round contest and Edinburgh’s undefeated prospect Iain Trottermakes his sixth start as a professional on the big bill.


TICKETS FOR  ‘SCOTLAND’S FINEST’  – TAYLOR vs SOTO AT THE SSE HYDRO IN GLASGOW ON SATURDAY MARCH 3rd ARE NOW ON SALE NOW –  PRICED £40, £60, AND VIP INNER RINGSIDE AT £125 + BOOKING FEES, AND AVAILABLE FROM  WWW.TICKETMASTER.CO.UK  OR CALL 0844 844 0444.


The scene is set for a huge night of championship boxing on March 3rd in Glasgow, headlined by an action-packed encounter between two world-class Super Lightweight boxers in Josh Taylor and Humberto Soto, with the winner moving one step closer to a world title shot.

You can follow all of the build-up on our twitter handle - @CyclonePromo; and/or our Facebook page -  www.facebook.com/CyclonePromotions

Doors will open at 5pm at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on March 3rd with boxing starting at 5.30pm.


Source: Cyclone Promotions [Press Release]

By Behind The Gloves 18 Jan, 2018

LOS ANGELES – Bellator is joining forces with Boost Mobile, the undisputed value champion of prepaid wireless, in 2018 beginning with Bellator 192 on Jan. 20 in LA and available on the soon-to-launch Paramount Network. In addition to being featured throughout Bellator broadcasts, the long-term deal will see the wireless carrier as a key partner in the launch of unique virtual reality and digital content opportunities.

“Boost Mobile has strong roots in supporting mixed martial arts and we are excited to get back into the sport with the collaboration with Bellator,” said Peiti Feng, director of brand strategy and marketing communications at Boost Mobile. “This is a perfect partnership for Boost as the sport aligns well with our competitive spirit and will give our brand amplified visibility with Bellator’s passionate and growing fan base.”

“I’m thrilled to have Boost Mobile as a part of the Bellator family,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “We look forward to teaming up with an industry leader like Boost Mobile, who shares the same enthusiasm for their brand as we do, in a partnership that will create new and exciting promotional opportunities that connect with our passionate fan base.”

Boost Mobile and Bellator have come together to offer exclusive 360° virtual reality content and viewing experiences during televised events. Fans will be closer to the action than ever with special access to fighter walkouts, corner cams, locker rooms and fight footage, as well as custom playlists featuring some of Bellator’s greatest comeback moments hosted on Bellator.com .

Boost Mobile will also be featured prominently throughout the broadcast, including on-screen integration and placement inside the Bellator cage.

Additionally, fans can look forward to meeting their favorite fighters and Bellator personalities during Bellator meet and greets at Boost Mobile locations throughout the year.

For more information, please visit Bellator.com .

By Behind The Gloves 17 Jan, 2018
Carl Frampton believes he may have to produce a career-best performance to overcome Nonito Donaire in their April 21 blockbuster bout in Belfast.

Two-weight World Champion Frampton (24-1, 14KOs) came face to face with four-weight Champion Donaire (38-4, 24KOs) at a press conference at the Europa Hotel today (Wednesday) ahead of their SSE Arena Featherweight showdown, which will be screened live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

With Frampton aiming to book a World Title stadium date at Windsor Park this summer, ‘The Jackal’ has insisted that he considers his Frank Warren-promoted clash against ‘Filipino Flash’ to be a high-risk/high-reward opportunity.

 “I need to make sure that I’m going to put in the performance of my career, which it might take to win this fight,” said Frampton.

“I just take it one fight at a time. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but I’m going to do everything I can in training camp and in my preparation for this fight to make sure that I’m ready,” added the Belfast native, who is eyeing a future date against the winner of the upcoming Lee Selby-Josh Warrington IBF World Title fight or whoever emerges from a bout between his old rival Scott Quigg and WBO World Champion Oscar Valdez.

“There’s a lot on the line,” admitted Frampton “But these are all things that are in the future and there’s only one fight that I’m focused on at the minute.

“Nonito Donaire is a future Hall of Famer, a fantastic fighter… I need fights like this to get up for and I need big names.

“Nonito’s an amazing talent, a four-weight World Champion. He can punch and he doesn’t just knock people over, he’s put guys to sleep before. But that gives me wee bit of a fear factor and I think that’s when I’m going to be at my best.”

The April 21 bout will be a significant occasion for Irish boxing as two elite fighters go toe to toe.

Both men were previously recognised as Fighter of the Year by the Ring magazine, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America, with Frampton awarded that honour for 2016 while Donaire picked up the same gongs in 2012.

Forty-two-fight veteran Donaire, now 35, remains determined to reclaim World honours and he echoed his opponent’s comments when insisting that Frampton will bring out the best in him.

“We need an opponent we can truly respect and at the same time you have that voice behind you that says, ‘this guy is tough, this guy is good and anything can happen’,” said Donaire.

“It allows the warrior within us to come out and that’s something that we’ll show on April 21st that we do have it.

“One thing’s for sure, and I can see it from looking into Carl’s eyes, we’re both warriors and we’re willing to give it everything we’ve got for this fight. At the moment age is only a number for me because I’m very inspired to be here.”

While Frampton struggled at times during his most recent 10-round points win over Mexican Horacio Garcia last November – in a bout that marked the end of a 10-month lay-off following a number of changes to his team – the Irishman believes that victory will stand to him ahead of his April outing.

“Considering the year I’ve had, looking back on it, it wasn’t a bad performance,” said MTK Global-backed Frampton.

“I think that last fight is going to be a blessing in disguise for me,” added the Belfast man, who explained that Donaire was his No 1 choice as an opponent, despite the fact that the Filipino poses a real threat to his summer fight plans.

“Credit to the teams for working together – Richard Schafer [Ringstar Sports], MTK and Frank Warren – and for bringing a name like Nonito to Belfast,” said Frampton. “My objective is to win a world title, I’m hoping to fight for a World Title in the summer and what better opponent to get you ready for that other than Nonito Donaire?

“What would be the point in fighting a knock-over job? I don’t think that would be good for me or for boxing, so it’s just great to be involved on these big occasions.”

Limited tickets for Frampton vs. Donaire are available to purchase from the SSE Arena Belfast Box Office, www.ssearenabelfast.com  and 028 9073 9074.

Tickets range from £40 (Tier) to £400 (Inner Ring Hospitality)

Source: Frank Warren PR [Press Release]
By Behind The Gloves 17 Jan, 2018
Three thrilling All-Ireland domestic dust-ups have been confirmed for the undercard of   Carl Frampton’s   much-anticipated April 21 showdown against   Nonito Donaire   in Belfast.

Two-weight World Champion Frampton will clash with four-weight Champion Donaire at the SSE Arena in one of the most eagerly-awaited bouts to ever take place on Irish soil, live on   BT Sport   and   BoxNation.

The main-event participants will meet head-to-head at Belfast’s Europa Hotel this afternoon (Wednesday) ahead of April’s massive fight date.

And promoter Frank Warren and MTK Global have moved to install an undercard to match the occasion on what is set to be an action-packed bill.

Three all-Irish battles have been confirmed so far for the April 21 fight night…
 
-Jono Carroll (15-0, 2KOs) will travel to meet Belfast’s Marco McCullough (18-4, 11KOs) in a 12-round Super-Featherweight showdown for the IBF European title
 
-Tyrone McKenna (15-0-1, 6KOs) and Light-Welterweight rival Philip Sutcliffe Jr (14-2, 9KOs) will clash in another long-awaited Belfast v Dublin battle
 
-And WBO European Champion Conrad Cummings (12-1-1) and Irish champion Luke Keeler (13-2, 5KO) go toe to toe in what promises to be an all-action Middleweight affair
 
Both Meath-based Finglas native Carroll and McCullough will be looking to build on their respective third-round stoppage victories on the ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight bill in Belfast last November.

“I’m buzzing for the fight,” said Carroll. “I had a great win in Belfast last time out and this is another brilliant opportunity. Marco is a lovely lad, but I’m out to get another big win and take another step up the ladder on a massive bill.”

McCullough believes this will be a crossroads bout in his career as he looks to rebuild towards title contention.

“It’ll be a good domestic fight, I’m excited about it,” said McCullough. “A win would put me straight back into the mix for titles. Jono has really improved over the last year or so and both of us have a bit of power, so it’ll be a cracking fight. It’s nearly like a Belfast v Dublin undercard, so I’d say it’ll be a great atmosphere.”

The Light-Welterweight meeting of McKenna and Sutcliffe has been in the making for some time, with the rivals having been continually linked since clashing as amateurs back in 2012.

They will now finally meet in the pro ranks on April 21 in a bout that is sure to have Irish and UK fight fans on the edge of their seats.
 
“It’s a fight that every fan in Ireland wants to see,” said McKenna. “It’s one I’ve wanted for a long time and I fully believe I’m going to win. Phil Sutcliffe is saying I’m avoiding him, but now it’s finally happening and I’m delighted. It’s the two top Light-Welters in the country and it’s very exciting.”

After some heated words in recent times, Sutcliffe is keen to silence his rival.

“Tyrone’s got what he’s been shouting about, so we’ll see if he keeps his mouth going,” said Sutcliffe. “If he wants to talk then let him talk. I do my talking in the ring. I’m friends with everyone, especially lads on my team, but this is business and I’ll go in there and get the job done.”

The Middleweight clash of Cummings and Keeler seems sure to be a barnburner and while the fighters paid respect towards each other, both have predicted an early finish.

“It’s great that we’ll finally get it on,” said Cummings. “This is a tasty fight and I think the public will get their teeth into. Luke’s a brilliant boxer and a fellow Irishman – he’s always in good fights and so am I, so it will be entertaining however long it lasts. I’m really up for it.”

Echoing those sentiments, Keeler said: “It’s a cracking fight. A lot of people have been talking about it and there should be great interest. I’m feeling great and training has been going really well, so I can’t wait to get in there.”

Further undercard announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

Limited tickets for Frampton vs. Donaire are available to purchase from the SSE Arena Belfast Box Office, www.ssearenabelfast.com  and 028 9073 9074.

Tickets range from £40 (Tier) to £400 (Inner Ring Hospitality)

Source: Frank Warren PR [Press Release]
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