Five Future Fights Fans Would Love To See...

  • By Behind The Gloves
  • 17 Aug, 2017
So far, this year, boxing fans have had little to complain about (although someone always will) with some unbelievable clashes including the historic event of Joshua v Klitschko at Wembley Stadium. And with some absolute bangers coming up this season such as Canelo vs Golovkin, and Crawford vs Indongo; two fights which for sure are contenders for fight of the year, we get greedy and weigh up future fights that we would love to see in the coming season (Anthony Joshua v Amir Khan cheating face off not being one of them…).

Dillian Whyte v Derek Chisora II

One of the top fights for next season has to be Whyte v Chisora part two. After the dramatic and hilarious build up between the pair, followed by a more equally matched fight than imagined, fans got a blockbuster of a boxing match, with many thinking Chisora should have been the one to walk away victorious but with Whyte taking it by split decision.

He has since, with Eddie Hearn, been trying to secure a big money fight against Deontay Wilder in the US, but to no avail, and talks of a rematch with Joshua have also been rumoured. For now, it may be better if he turns his attention to other possible avenues, and what could be better than a trash talk sensation rematch?

Whyte is next fighting on August 19 in Nebraska against 38-year-old Malcom Tann (nope, me either) who has lost three out of his last four fights, which keeps ‘The Body Snatcher’ busy for the moment, but both have very much kept the social media trash talk alive (including Chisora insulting Whyte’s family) meaning that there could hopefully be a rematch on the cards in the not too distant future.

 

https://twitter.com/TeamFA/status/893833219547594752

 

Chisora seems to be waiting in the wings after his scheduled fight against Robert Helenius was postponed back in May due to a number of mysterious reasons, which also means a deal could perhaps be worked out for late 2017, early 2018. He has also been mentioned alongside Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller as another possible opponent if a rematch were not to be made.

Chisora told   Sky Sports :”The rematch is going to happen. The world is going to have to see the rematch. I’m going to destroy that guy. I’m going to batter him from corner to corner. I’m not even joking, I’m going to destroy him. I’m going to have to knock him out.

“I would relish that fight, I would love that fight, I would take that fight any time.”

Whyte also has not been opposed, as long as the cash is right.

“It can happen, but the problem is Dereck Chisora doesn’t know how to negotiate or do good business,” Whyte told Sky Sports   in reply . “Yes, the fight can happen. All Eddie has to do is pay me and look after me the way I deserve to be treated. I’ve beaten Chisora already. The only reason I would fight him again is if the money is right.”

Come on promoters, get your wallet out!

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder

This has got be the big daddy of all Heavyweight fights that no one would want to miss. This is the fight Deontay Wilder is chasing (and chasing, and chasing) and with a Klitschko rematch down the toilet with his retirement announcement, this fight has to be on the cards for 2018.

Joshua has his ordered mandatories to deal with first, in the form of Kubrat Pulev and Luis Ortiz (perhaps not the most action-packed fights) but when it comes to an equal challenger, the Bronze Bomber has to be the closest in power and talent on the scene as it stands currently.

On a mission to ‘#Unify’, Wilder was quick to jump in as soon as Joshua defeated Klitschko, and despite Eddie Hearn’s attempts to pacify him with Dillian Whyte for 4 million dollars, the WBC Champion is having none of it.

Hearn is keen to build Joshua’s profile in the US before such a huge fight which would be shown on PPV on both sides of the pond. And with Wilder winning all but one of his 38 fights by knock out (with an incredible 18 knock outs in the first round) the fight would definitely bring fireworks.

The Bronze Bomber does need to ensure he is keeping himself active in the ring however, if he has to wait out these mandatory challenges first, fighting just once so far this year, against Gerald Washington back in February. Nonetheless he is pushing for the fight as soon as possible.

He said on social media (full video above): “Eddie Hearn, I know you weren’t expecting Klitschko to retire like this man, he had all of us guessing. But don’t go pulling your hair out, weeping and moaning,”

“You tried to lend me your little black spare tire, Dillian Whyte, knowing that after usage I wouldn’t even gain a yard. Let’s not mess about here mate. We’ve got an opportunity to turn a year into three months and make one of the biggest  heavyweight title fights in history. I don’t want to hear nothing about mandatories, I’m sure the sanctioning bodies, all the sanctioning bodies, will overrule on this one. This fight is inevitable, so it will happen. So call, let’s go. We’ll be waiting.”

As will we…

Jorge Linares vs Mikey Garcia

Back in March there were huge rumours of a Lightweight mega fight between the top two fighters – Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares.

Garcia told   ESPN , “I want to fight this summer, whether June or July, or maybe even August if the Linares-Crolla winner doesn’t come out injured or cut and we need to go to August so they can be ready for me. I think it’s also probably the best fight. Linares has proven himself in three different divisions by winning world titles. Even after being stopped he bounced back and regains another world title and was looking great. It shows you the calibre of fighter he is. He has proven himself and he has the skills. There’s no other match that’s as competitive   [at Lightweight]   as that can be.

“I think Linares wants to fight me and prove himself and make a great fight for the fans.”

Since then, unfortunately their attentions seem to have both been taken elsewhere, but with both fighters continuing to go from strength to strength.

 

https://twitter.com/SkySportsBoxing/status/888040332306395136

 

After outclassing Anthony Crolla not once but twice, four-time World Champion in three weight classes, Linares, who is ranked the number one Lightweight boxer by   BoxRec   and   ‘Ring Magazine’   now is set to take on Luke Campbell, his WBA mandatory, in California, despite Garcia pushing for a summer clash. He has also been out of action for a while recovering with a broken hand which he injured during his rematch with Crolla.

Unbeaten Garcia’s last bout was fought on July 29th at Light Welterweight against former four-weight World Champion Adrien Broner, who he beat convincingly in every round, with Linares even taking to social media to congratulate his potential future opponent on the win.

 

https://twitter.com/JorgeLinares/status/891493845875261441

 

After the fight, Garcia said was open to any boxer coming over to Showtime whether that be at 135lbs, 140lbs or even 147lbs.

If he was to stay at Light Welterweight there would be a few other great options including Indongo or Crawford, who are also facing each other in just over a week, but you cannot help but feel he should go back down to face Linares ‘The Golden Boy’ from Venezuela, in what would be a hugely exciting action-packed battle with two of the most skilful boxers in the world.

Garcia recently told   Sky Sports   that he would “really like to unify lightweight and become the man, the king of the division” before he chooses to move up in weight.

“Taking this fight with Adrien Broner is a very interesting fight and I wasn’t able to secure any unification fights at the moment.

Hopefully a unification will be on the cards for early 2018, now Linares has recovered and all being well in both their upcoming fights this year, our dream fights for 2018 are shaping up quite nicely in this run down so far.

Vasyl Lomachenko v Guillermo Rigondeaux

Known for his excellent hand speed, accuracy and skill, ‘Hi Tech’ seems to have his pick of the bunch at the moment after another superb win against Marriaga last weekend, even offering himself up as a sparring partner to McGregor, after Paulie Malignaggi’s controversial departure from his training camp.

With many potential opponents being explored at various weight including the likes of Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares at 135lbs as mentioned above, the most spoken about still has to be the challenge of Guillermo Rigondeaux.

After both established themselves as top amateurs, Cuban Rigondeaux is unbeaten in 17 fights (with 1 no contest) as a professional, while Ukrainian Lomachenko has moved to 10-1-KO7, challenging unsuccessfully for a world title in only his second pro fight before winning the WBO title next time round. Both seem set for success with many fans likening them in styles and skill.

Even Lomachenko has noted the fans enthusiasm for the potential bout.

He told   ESPN   – “Personally I would like to fight Mikey Garcia, as well, I support what the fans want. Fans talking a lot about my bout and Rigondeaux bout. I would love to fight him if it’s somehow possibility we can make that fight.”

And it appears Rigondeaux is ready, hitting up social media with his opinion and chasing Lomachenko for not agreeing a deal yet.

Although Lomachenko thinks it is one the fans want, he believes it will be like the Marriaga fight all over again. When asked on his potential opponent’s style, he said to   BoxingScene.com   “First of all let me tell you, I am not asking to fight him. I don’t need him, he is asking to fight me. He wants, but he has to understand if he’s gonna step in the ring I’m gonna destroy him just like a tank.”

“I don’t think that fight is going to being me a lot of glory because after that fight everybody is going to be saying I beat an old, little guy”.

Ouch!

A month ago though it seems like they were one step closer to what the fans want at least, apparently agreeing a possible weight of 126lbs.

Andre Ward vs Adonis Stevenson

With Stevenson calling out the winner of Kovalev v Ward II, another huge fight for 2018 could be ‘Son of God’ v ‘Superman’.

 

https://twitter.com/andreward/status/876819434110943233

 

After defeating Kovalev in the eighth round, Ward has many an opponent at 175lbs but is also possibly considering a move up in weight class. As well as Stevenson, there is also the possibility of names being thrown in the mix such Badou Jack, Anthony Dirrell or George Groves.

‘Son of God’ Ward, the unbeaten American has proven himself the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world and will now be looking to reinforce his legacy  at this weight as well as earn top dollar. Fighting Stevenson would be a sure way to do this by unifying the titles. Ward currently holds the WBA, WBO and IBF Light Heavyweight titles, with Stevenson still holding the WBC. Winning the last belt would be one big reason why this fight would be amazing.

Betway  have Stevenson as the 6/4 betting favourite to be Ward’s next opponent however on paper, if it’s going to happen it needs to be within this next season. Stevenson is now 39 years old and has not fought outside of Canada since 2011. Ward is unbeaten and arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the world – if Stevenson thinks he can do this, it needs to be sooner rather than later or it may be a case of ‘the late and the great’.

 

Article by: Charlottle Lily Prior

You can follow Charlotte on Twitter at: @charlottlelily89

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]
By Behind The Gloves 17 Jan, 2018

Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO)  featherweight world champion Oscar Valdez , the man who swims with a fully-grown pet alligator, will begin the third year of his championship reign by defending his title against former World Boxing Association  (WBA) super bantamweight world champion and current No. 2 world-rated featherweight contender Scott Quigg .  For Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs), of Nogales, Mexico, this will be his fourth title defense since winning it in 2016.  Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs), of Lancashire, England, will be making his U.S. debut.  The Valdez vs. Quigg world championship fight will take place Saturday, March 10, under the stars at StubHub Center  in Carson, Calif.  It will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. EST on   ESPN  and  ESPN Deportes  and stream  live   on the ESPN App.  Additional fights on the live  telecast will be announced shortly.   

Promoted by   Top Rank ®, in association with Matchroom Boxing, tickets go on sale Tomorrow! Wednesday, January 17, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT.  Priced at $206, $104, $53 and 27.50, including facility fees, they can be purchased online at AXS.com, by phone at (888) 9AXS-TIX, or by visiting the StubHub Center box office.  

The all-action undercard will feature undefeated WBC Continental Americas super featherweight champion  Andy Vences (20-0, 12 KOs), of San Jose, Calif; top-three world-rated junior welterweight contender Alex Saucedo (26-0, 16 KOs), of Oklahoma City;  2016 U.S. Olympian and three-time U.S. Amateur Champion Mikaela Mayer (3-0, 2 KOs), of Los Angeles;  and 2012 Olympic silver medalist and middleweight contender Esquiva Falcäo (19-0, 13 KOs), of Vitoria, Brasil. 

“I know that my March 10 world title defense against Scott Quigg will be a fun one for all the boxing fans because our styles combine perfectly to make a real war," said Valdez. "As usual, on March 10, I will leave it all in the ring at StubHub Center, to show everyone that I’m one of the best featherweights in the world"

“This is a fight that I’m really looking forward to.  It’s a great fight," said Quigg.  "I have a lot of respect for Oscar and his team.  We’ve been in the gym together in the past, helping each other prepare for a fight.   They are good people.  I’ve been in training for four weeks already and now I’ve just linked up with Freddie Roach to begin the last eight  weeks of camp.  This is a great opportunity for me -- making my U.S. debut on a great platform on ESPN --  and I’m confident on March 10 I’ll become World champion again.”

"Oscar Valdez has passed every in-ring test with flying colors, but the biggest test of his professional career will take place on March 10 against Scott Quigg, who like Oscar, rarely leaves a fight in the hands of the judges.  The fans watching at StubHub and live across ESPN's platforms are in for an exciting night and a sensational card, which will be announced shortly," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum ,.   

"I'm delighted to get this fight made - I feel it's one of the best fights in the division right now," said Quigg's promoter Eddie Hearn.  "Both guys like to come forward and throw aggressive combinations and I do not believe we will hear the final bell.  What I do believe is that on March 10 Scott Quigg will become a two-weight World Champion in a fight of the year contender, live on ESPN"

"We’re very excited for the fight against Quigg. This fight will further showcase Oscar’s skills and will demonstrate that he is a star," said Frank Espinoza, manager of Valdez.  "Oscar is one of the best in the world and against Quigg he’ll prove it once again.”

Valdez, who represented México in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, was the first Mexican fighter to qualify for two Olympic games.  He is considered one of the bright lights of the featherweight division and a new face for boxing's next generation.  He will be making the fourth defense of the world title he won on July 23, 2016 via a second-round knockout of undefeated No. 2 rated Matías Rueda.  Rueda entered that fight having won his previous 10 bouts by stoppage.  In his first defense, which took place, on November 5, 2016, Valdez blasted out No. 1 contender Hiroshige Osawa via a seventh-round TKO.  On April 22, in his 2017 debut, his first pay-per-view event that featured him in the main event, Valdez went toe-to toe for 12 rounds with No. 1 contender Miguel Marriaga, winning a unanimous decision.  Marriaga, a three-time world title challenger, went into that fight having won 15 of his previous 19 bouts by way of knockout.  In his most recent fight, on September 22, he again went mano a mano in a 12-rounder that had the fans on their feet throughout the fight.  This time Valdez won a unanimous decision over Genesis Servania, the No. 4 world-rated contender.

Quigg, who has fought all but once in his native England, is trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach.  After capturing the WBA interim super bantamweight world title in 2012 and making one successful title defense that same year, he was elevated to WBA super bantamweight world champion in 2013.  Quigg successfully defended that world title six times, four of them by way of knockout during his three-year reign.  He lost the title via a split decision to International Boxing Federation (IBF)  champion Carl Frampton in a 2016 title unification bout.  Since that fight, Quigg has moved up to the featherweight division and won his past three fights, including a 12-round featherweight  title elimination bout against Simion Viorel.  Quigg is currently world-rated No. 2 by the IBF and No. 4 by the WBA.

For more information visit:   www.toprank.com , www.espn.com/boxing ; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing , facebook.com/espndeportes ; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing , twitter.com/trboxeo , @ESPN   @ESPNBoxeo  

@ESPNDeportes . Use the hashtag  #ValdezQuigg  to join the conversation on Twitter.


Source: Top Rank [Press Release]

By Behind The Gloves 17 Jan, 2018
With his 30th birthday approaching next month, touted Super-Middleweight prospect Umar Sadiq is in an almighty hurry to get his career moving.

‘My goal is to be world champion within three years,’   declared the 6ft 3in university graduate who forsook a lucrative career in accountancy to pursue his ring dreams last year.

‘I’ve three aims for 2018. One is to test myself against any other prospect of similar experience. A second is to fight anyone lingering around British title level by the end of the year. The third is to accept any national title fight.  

‘At this stage of my development, I’ve no intention of calling people out or building up rivalries with people who may change weight class by the time I reach championship level. Believe it or not, I’m capable of making Middleweight myself so I watch and respect all the main players between 160-175lbs, I just don’t shout ‘em out!

 ‘But I know I’m more than capable. In addition to   Lawrence Okolie, I’ve been sparring the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, James DeGale, Frank Buglioni, Joshua Buatsi and Anthony Yarde.’

Born into a middle class family in Kaduna, north-west Nigeria, the former boarding schoolboy emigrated to the UK aged 12 but didn’t embrace the Noble Art until his late teens.

‘To my knowledge, there is no history of boxing in my family. Thierry Henry and David Beckham were my heroes as a kid,’   states ‘Top Boxer’ who made a very polished pro debut when outclassing one-time squaddie Lewis Van Poetsch over four rounds at the Copper Box Arena last September.

‘I was naturally athletic, good at running and always playing football and basketball with my friends inside those ‘cages’ on the estate but I was already 16 years old when I first laced up for boxing.  

‘Initially, I only did it for fitness, to pursue a healthy life style rather than for competition. Then, when I was 19, I got p***ed at a party yet, despite just three hours sleep, I still turned up to training the next morning and performed very well in a spar against a fella who won the Novices that year. That convinced me that I had something I just couldn’t ignore.

‘At 20, I had my first bout under Tony Cesay at Fulham and Brunswick and, two years after, I moved to the Repton.

‘I went in the ABAs five times but was either beaten by the eventual champion or in ‘disputed’ circumstances. Only Kirk Garvey   (10-1 as a pro)  beat me fairly.’

During a nine year, 45 bout amateur innings which ran parallel to his college studies and accountancy career, the Ilford based starlet captured University, London and English titles and wore the international singlet of both his native and adopted homelands. Representing the former, he made it to the 2016 Olympic Qualifiers in Azerbaijan

‘I first tried to qualify for Nigeria at the 2012 London Olympics but got injured. In 2016 they invited me to try again which was an honour. I took six weeks paid leave and, within a fortnight, had beaten all the competitors and qualified for the team,’   recalls the erudite and articulate Umar who conceded a contentious decision to a Russian at the second stage.

For his pro career, slickster Sadiq has opted to align with highly regarded ex West Ham amateur coach Brian O’Shaughnessy at the ‘Kool BoxGym’ in Bethnal Green.

He explains: ‘ In the ABAs, I had to face another Repton guy so we were given neutral coaches. I was given Brian who was at West Ham at the time and I was very impressed by how calm and relaxed he was, how clear his instructions were. He’s also a great pad man. When I needed a coach to prepare me for the Olympic Qualifiers in Azerbaijan, I knew he was the perfect person. We’ve been together ever since.    

‘There’s five pros at our gym but I set the pace, set the benchmarks. I’m ridiculously competitive, try to be the best at everything I do. My mantra is ‘There is no opponent.’ I’m all about being the very best that I can be. If I’m on point, I beat them all.

‘I’m broad shouldered and long armed. The main adaption I needed to make   (for the pros)  was to stop bouncing and instead glide around the ring. I’m also learning to really pick my shots rather than just throw my hands.’

So it’s full steam ahead for a second four rounder at the Copper Box on February 10th where the loose goose promises to deliver a clinic for those in attendance.

‘It’s been five months since my last fight so I’ve a lot to get off my chest,’   warns Umar.

‘You’re going to see another skilful composed action packed performance. I don’t like getting touched but Adam Jones  has never been stopped before so I intend to really ‘stick it on him’!’
 
Follow Umar: @TopBoxerSadiq (Twitter/Instagram) and umartopboxersadiq (Facebook)

Tickets for 'The Untouchables' priced at £50 (Lower Tier), £70 (Floor), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor) and VIP/Hospitality £250 are available via See Tickets, Eventim and Ticketmaster.
 
See Tickets
0871 230 7148
www.seetickets.com
 
Eventim
0844 249 1000
www.eventim.co.uk
 
Ticketmaster
www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Source: Frank Warren PR [Press Release]
By Behind The Gloves 16 Jan, 2018

Tickets for the blockbuster Heavyweight World title unification clash between Anthony Joshua MBE and Joseph Parker go on pre-sale to Matchroom Fight Pass members at midday on Monday January 22 and general sale on Tuesday January 23 ahead of the March 31 event live on Sky Sports Box Office. 

Tickets for the event are priced at £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 – with VIP tickets priced at £2000.

Tickets go on sale for the fight by the official ticketing partner,  www.StubHub.co.uk    

  • Fight Pass Members: tickets on sale midday on Monday January 22
  • General sale: tickets available at midday on Tuesday 23 January

Coach packages also go on sale at midday on Tuesday via www.seetickets.com  with various pick up/drop off locations available throughout the UK.

For accessibility, ambulant and wheelchair tickets – please contact the Principality stadium via 02920 822432 – also on sale from midday Tuesday.

Don’t miss out on tickets. Sign up now and add your delivery address and payment details on StubHub here

Official Hospitality packages are available to purchase directly from Principality Stadium Experience. Both private suite and premium lounge packages are available to purchase, with prices starting from £450 per person + VAT. For further information please call the team on 02920 822 413.

Official Hospitality packages are also available via Sportsworld via www.sportsworld.co.uk  or by calling 0208 9712966

You are strongly advised to plan your travel to Cardiff before purchasing your tickets and will need to allow plenty of time for additional security checks at Principality Stadium.


Source: Matchroom Boxing [Press Release]

By Behind The Gloves 15 Jan, 2018
A calf injury has forced Zolani Tete to postpone his WBO World Bantamweight title defence against Omar Narvaez.
 
Tete, 29, was due to defend his crown at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday 10th February, but will now make his mandatory defence against the Argentinian at a later date in 2018.
 
“I’m hugely disappointed to have to postpone my fight with Omar Narvaez.” Said Tete. “Unfortunately I picked up a calf injury that has severely hindered my training and the only option was to postpone the fight.
 
“I train as hard as I fight so there is always a risk of picking up injuries. World Championship defences are incredibly tough and it is unsafe fighting when you are not fit. Narvaez is a two-weight World Champion so it is vital that I am fully prepared for him.
 
“I am determined to put on another explosive performance for my UK fans when I face Narvaez. After I beat him the plan is to unify the Bantamweight division against Ryan Burnett. It is a fight that the boxing World wants to see and I am hopeful that it will happen in 2018.”
 
Frank Warren’s bumper ‘Untouchables’ show still features some of the best British talent around, with Bradley Skeete, Anthony Yarde, Daniel Dubois and Zelfa Barrett all looking to make statements to kick-off a huge 2018.
 
British Welterweight Champion Bradley ‘Super’ Skeete (27-1, 12 KO’s) faces IBF Inter-Continental Welterweight Champion Laszlo Toth (25-3-1, 17 KO’s) for the Vacant WBC International belt. Skeete is ready to prove his World class credentials and knows that a win on February 10 will take him a step closer to a dream World Title shot.
 
“This is an opportunity to add another belt to my collection,” said Skeete. “Toth has won the IBF European and Inter-Continental titles and should provide a good test for me. I have strong ratings with the WBO and IBF, winning this title will push me up the WBC rankings as well.
 
“2018 is the year that I will prove I’m a World class fighter. I know that my style would give anyone trouble, it’s why I’ve been avoided. I’m ready and waiting to prove what I can do against the best!”
 
Ilford Light-Heavyweight Anthony Yarde (14-0, 13 KO’s) defends his WBO Inter-Continental and European Light-Heavyweight titles against Frenchman Tony Averlant (26-9-2, 5 KO’s). ‘The Beast’ is determined to pick up from where he left off in 2017 after becoming the first man to stop Nikola Sjekloca with a heavy-handed display which last less than four rounds.
 
“I enjoyed a successful 2017, winning three belts and stopping all five of my opponents,” said Yarde. “2018 is going to be an even bigger year but whatever is meant to happen will happen, I’m not in any rush. My job is to keep my head down, work hard and enjoy the journey.
 
“I’m hoping that Averlant is a durable opponent, he’s only been stopped twice and one of those stoppages was against former WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion Juergen Braeher. I’m looking to gain some crucial extra minutes in the ring.”
 
Heavyweight sensation Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois (6-0, 6 KO’s) defends his Southern-Area belt against Kent’s DL Jones (8-0-1). The Peacock Gym powerhouse claimed the title after knocking AJ Carter out cold in the opening round with a massive right hand at the Copper Box Arena back in September and is promising to start 2018 with another explosive KO.
 
“I’m ready to start 2018 with a bang,” said Dubois. “I’m working hard to be the best that I can possibly be and I’m feeling good. Everything is going great, I’m just staying in the gym, staying focused, and staying dedicated to it.
 
“I’m looking forward to being back at the Copper Box Arena, it’s starting to feel like a home venue for me and I always get a great reception from the fans. I’ll be looking to send them home happy on February 10.”
 
English Super-Featherweight Champion Zelfa ‘Brown Flash’ Barrett (19-0, 12 KO’s) fights for the first time in the capital when he takes on Spain’s Ivan Ruiz Morote (18-8-1, 7 KO’s) over ten rounds. Manchester’s Barrett is closing in on a salivating showdown with rival Super-Featherweight star Lyon Woodstock.
 
"I rate him as a person,” said Barrett. “He's a nice guy. He's a good fighter. Anybody in my weight division, they all can get it. So I'll just say he's a good fighter and I respect him as a person.
 
"I only do my talking in the ring. There'll be no fight talk, there's nothing personal. He's a cool guy, he wants to do his family proud so you can't take that away from him. All I’m focused on for now is getting the win in style on February, it’ll be my first so I’ll be putting on a show.”
 
Hard-hitting Southampton Super-Welterweight Joe Pigford returns to the ring after a brutal KO win over Aaron Morgan in May 2017; all-action Welling Super-Featherweight talent Archie ‘Sharpshooter’ Sharp aims to improve his unbeaten record to 12-0; gifted Southampton Featherweight Ryan ‘The Piranha’ Garner looks to get his career back on track when he fights over four rounds; Ilford Welterweight Hamzah Sheeraz returns to the scene of his impressive TKO debut win over Duane Green; stylish Ilford Super-Middleweight Umar Sadiq and former Team GB Flyweight Harvey Horn both look to go 2-0 while Beckton Lightweight and Anthony Yarde gym mate Mohammed Bilal Ali makes his professional debut.
 
Tickets priced at £50 (Lower Tier), £70 (Floor), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor) and VIP/Hospitality £250 are available via See Tickets, Eventim and Ticketmaster.
 
See Tickets
0871 230 7148
www.seetickets.com
 
Eventim
0844 249 1000
www.eventim.co.uk
 
Ticketmaster
www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Source: Frank Warren PR [Press Release]
By Behind The Gloves 15 Jan, 2018
When unbeaten cruiserweight contender Isaac Chamberlain (9-0-0, 4 KO's) stepped off of the plane at Kyiv International airport, he did so with 1,486 miles between himself and his hometown of Brixton.

It is further away from home than the precociously talented 23-year-old had ever envisioned being, and while this is not his first visit to the Ukrainian capital, there is still a sense of wonderment in his voice as he describes his journey from mis-guided south London youth, to bonafide cruiserweight contender.

"It is a bit strange when you think about it." said Chamberlain, in an exclusive interview with Behind The Gloves .

"Where I come from, nobody ever thinks you will make something of yourself. Everyone is always so caught up in what's going on around you, that you don't really realise there is a whole world out there."

Boxing has taken Chamberlain to new places - both inside and outside of the ring.

After picking up the sport as a teenager at the behest of his worried mother, Chamberlain has seen himself travel the world, giving himself purpose and, in his own words, becoming a better person.

"When I was young, my cousin was mixing with the wrong crowds and he ended up getting stabbed. It was a terrible experience for my whole family, and my Mum wanted to keep me out of trouble. So she sent me to the boxing gym."

Despite being regarded as one of the brightest prospects in British boxing, his initial proficiency as a pugilist was far from the polished performer we see today.

"The first time I went in there, I got beaten up!" laughed Chamberlain.

"I didn't know what I was doing, but I loved it. In Brixton, there's not always a lot to keep you occupied, but as soon as I found the boxing gym I thought "this is where I belong". It gave me purpose and made me grow up and be a better person. Ever since that first day, I've never wanted to do anything else."
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