By Behind The Gloves 17 Oct, 2017

IBF World Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. (22-0-0, 19 KO's) will make the first defence of his title against former WBA Super Lightweight belt-holder Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO's).

The bout is currently pencilled in for January 2018 with Brooklyn's Barclays Center rumoured to be the chosen venue.  

'The Truth' will be eager to kick on from his title-winning performance last time out against Britain's Kell Brook, by shining in-front on a large US TV audience on CBS network Showtime .  Peterson, meanwhile, will seek to upset the odds once more, as was the case back in 2011 when he outpointed Amir Khan to unify the WBA and IBF 140 pound titles.  

The Washington DC-native should provide a stern test, but it one which most will expect 2012 Olympian Spence Jr. to come through in convincing fashion. With WBA/WBC Champion Keith Thurman (28-0-0, 22 KO's) having recently announced that he shall return to the ring in January, a blockbuster Welterweight World Championship double-header, featuring both men on the same bill has also been mooted.

Should Spence Jr. and Thurman come through their respective match-ups without any issues, the prospect of a tantalising unification bout between the two undefeated Americans becomes a realistic proposition: with talks of a summer showdown between the pair growing louder and louder. 

Article by Gareth Gonet

You can follow Gareth Gonet on Twitter at: @garethgonet

By Behind The Gloves 17 Oct, 2017

Carlos Takam has replaced Kubrat Pulev as the IBF mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua at Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office. 

Frenchman Takam is rated at number three with the governing body and has been on the hunt for a showdown with the British star, and gets his golden chance at ripping away Joshua’s titles in the Welsh capital after Pulev picked up a shoulder injury in sparring.

“I received a call from Kalle Sauerland late afternoon to inform me that Pulev had injured his shoulder and maybe ruled out of the fight – this was later confirmed by his doctor,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “IBF rules state that the mandatory will go to the next fighter in line which is Carlos Takam. 

“When the Pulev fight was announced I made a deal with Takam's team to begin camp and be on standby for this fight. When I called them this evening they were overjoyed and good to go. It's a difficult position for AJ having prepared meticulously for the style and height of Pulev, he now faces a completely different style and challenge in Takam – this hasn't happened in his career before but he is ready for all comers on October 28.”

Joshua’s clash with Takam is part of a huge night of action in Cardiff where the 2012 London Olympic Gold medal man’s bitter foe Dillian Whyte aims to take a giant step to his first World title shot by facing Robert Helenius for the WBC Silver strap.

Kal Yafai defends his WBA Wold Super-Flyweight title against Japanese mandatory challenger Sho Ishida and Irish sensation Katie Taylor challenges for her first World title as she takes on two-weight World champion Anahi Esther Sanchez for the WBA Lightweight crown.

There’s a mouth-watering British and Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight battle between Frank Buglioni, Lenroy Thomas and Dave Allen rematch for the Commonwealth Heavyweight title and Team GB Olympian and Welsh talent Joe Cordina appears in his fifth pro outing.

A limited number of tickets remain on sale via .

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

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 Travel & Hospitality packages are also available via Sportsworld via  or by calling 0208 9712966

Please ensure you plan your travel into the city before purchasing your tickets and allow plenty of time for additional security checks at the venue - please visit  to view the travel page for the event.

By Behind The Gloves 15 Oct, 2017
From the Barclays Center in New York, Showtime carried a card featuring three Super Welterweight Champions defending their titles. It was a card that had garnered much attention due to the fighters involved and subsequent match-ups that could be made following the night's results.
Jarrett Hurd def. Austin Trout via 10th round RTD

In the first bout of the evening, undefeated IBF World Super Welterweight Champion Jarrett 'Swift' Hurd (21-0-0, 15 KO's), made the first defence of his title against former WBA belt-holder Austin 'No Doubt' Trout (30-4-0, 17 KO's).

The fight would represent a solid test for Hurd, with the veteran Trout having shared the ring with stellar competition throughout his career, with the likes of 'Canelo' Alvarez, Miguel Cotto and Erislandy Lara among the names on his resume.

The early rounds of the contest saw Trout rolling back the years, doing tremendous work behind a snappy southpaw jab and using his customary elusiveness to off-set the tense-looking Hurd. The 27-year-old Champion appeared flat-footed, plodding forward and looking unsure of himself offensively. In his previous outing in claiming the IBF title against Tony Harrison, Hurd had similar problems, struggling to pin Harrison down before eventually grinding him down for the stoppage.

Despite Trout's early success, it was evident that his shots were having little effect on the young, strong Champion. Hurd continued to march through Trout's best work, closing the distance in a bid to keep the pressure on the older man. Trout would continue to work hard in an attempt to put rounds in the bank, but the question would be whether or not he could sustain his efforts.

The middle rounds saw Hurd begin to find more consistent success, culminating in a huge seventh round wherein he hurt Trout on several occasions with a series of solid right hands. An accidental headbutt saw a cut open up over Hurd's left eye, however, the Champion was unfazed, and appeared energised by the sight of his own blood. Hurd would once again walk through the best Trout had to offer, applying more and more pressure and systematically breaking his man down.

Entering the tenth - and final - round of the contest, referee Eddie Claudio called for the ringside doctor to inspect Trout’s badly swollen right eye. The fight would continue, with Hurd smelling blood, and laying a beating on the stricken Trout from the beginning of the session. After hurting Trout with a succession of heavy blows, Hurd unloaded in the final thirty seconds of the round in a bid to score the stoppage. To his credit, Trout would survive the onslaught, but after wearily trudging to the corner, he was met by the ringside physician and his cornermen who called a halt to the contest.

After a slow start, Hurd picked up the pace through the middle rounds en route to earning a solid victory against an experienced, name-opponent in Austin Trout. While he still showed his inexperience in stages, it would prove to be a successful learning fight for the Maryland-native and one that he will surely grow from. After suffering his first stoppage defeat in a long career, 32-year-old Trout will surely contemplate retirement after his second consecutive reverse in World title fights. For Hurd, his next bout could come against WBC and WBA Champions Jermell Charlo or Erislandy Lara respectively: both highly-anticipated unification bouts that would be warmly received by boxing fans.

Jermell Charlo def. Erickson Lubin via 1st round KO

In a match-up of considerable intrigue and interest, undefeated hot-shots Jermell Charlo (30-0-0, 15 KO's) and the precocious Erickson Lubin (18-1-0, 13 KO's) squared off for Charlo's WBC World Super Welterweight title.

Lubin, earmarked by many as a future star after turning professional under Mike Tyson's 'Iron Mike Promotions' in 2013, had been fast-tracked through the rankings towards a title shot. After blitzing his way through a series of fringe contenders, Lubin found himself in the mandatory slot for Charlo’s WBC title. With the bout pitting two of the sport's best young fighters against each other. Fans questioned whether lupin had bitten off more than he could chew at the early stage in his career, whereas others questioned whether Charlo would be able to keep pace with the talented 22-year-old challenger.

... Those questions were answered rather quickly.

The first - and only - round of the fight began with both men probing patiently in the middle of the ring. Considering the undoubted talent of each fighter, the chess-match was of little surprise. While Lubin appeared to settle quickly into the bout, the contest exploded into action with 28 seconds left in the round when Charlo uncorked a perfect right uppercut that landed high on the temple of Lubin.

While appearing seemingly innocuous at first glance, replays showed Lubin ducking into the shot, causing maximum damage as he dropped heavily to the canvas in eery fashion. The referee waved off the contest with the count at six, handing Charlo a spectacular first round blowout victory: it was quite the statement from the unbeaten Texan, and made a mockery of pre-fight predictions of a closely-contested battle.

In his post-fight interview, Charlo spoke of his desire to unify the division against fellow American Jarrett Hurd, who had retained his IBF strap in the previous bout in the evening.

Erislandy Lara def. Terrell Gausha via 12 round UD

Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14 KO's) retained his WBA World Super Welterweight title with a convincing - if underwhelming - twelve round unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Terrell Gausha (20-1-0, 9 KO's).

Former Cuban amateur standout Lara is a headache to fighters and fans alike for his perceived 'safety first' approach in the ring. While his skill and ability have never been in question, Lara has faced criticism throughout his career for a lack of excitement. Despite being an undoubted master of the sweet science, fans want action and Lara historically does not always provide it. Regardless, following his measured performance in defeating Gausha, Lara has now defended his WBA Super Welterweight title six times in a row.

The fight, however, did not provide much action, as evidenced by fans counting down the last ten seconds of the rounds and others leaving the arena before the final bell. The biggest moment came in the fourth when Lara landed a right hook-left hand combination that dropped Gausha to the canvas. However, showing the same composure that has drawn ire from his many detractors, Lara was unwilling to step on the gas and go for the stoppage, instead remaining in control for the remainder of the fight.

To his credit, Gausha had some moments of his own, but was never able to sustain his work sufficiently to be a threat in the fight. Lara remained composed until the end of the contest, essentially cruising to a resounding unanimous decision victory with scores of (117-110, 117-110 & 116-111).

In truth, Gausha's performance was largely disappointing and he will have to improve drastically in order to warrant another title shot. Lara on the other hand is in desperate need of an adequate dance-partner in order to raise his own game and get the recognition his talent so obviously deserved. In his post-fight interview, Lara stated he would be willing to face either Jermell Charlo or Jarrett Hurd in a unification bout. He did say that while he and Charlo are friends, having trained together under Ronnie Shields, boxing is a business and if it has to be done he’ll do it.

Erislandy Lara has the skill many don’t: he just needs a special type of fighter to bring it out.

Article by: Mike Rueda

You can follow Mike on Twitter at: @wolf2988
By Behind The Gloves 15 Oct, 2017

Zhanat Zhakiyanov believes he’s got the bigger heart in his clash unification clash with Ryan Burnett at the SSE Arena in Belfast on October 21, and that will see him add Burnett’s IBF Bantamweight crown to his WBA Super title live on Sky Sports and HBO.

Zhakiyanov climbed off the canvas twice in the opening round in Ohio against Rau’shee Warren in February, but pulled away from the champion to rip his title away via split decision.

The Kazakh enters hostile territory once again in Belfast as he looks to repeat that feat against Burnett, who defends his belt for the first time since claiming it from Lee Haskins in June with a dominant display.

The pair are familiar having sparred when Burnett was beginning his career, and while Zhakiyanov was impressed by Burnett’s win over Haskins, the 35 year old believes his experience and CV shows he’s going to be able to dig deeper and claim both titles next weekend.

“Ryan was a young pro at the time we sparred and has developed into a worthy champion,” said Zhakiyanov. “However, he needs to understand that I have also developed and travelled around the world fighting better opposition.

“I travelled to the U.S to beat Rau’shee Warren in his home town where I went down early and pulled myself off the canvas. I don’t know if Ryan has that experience and heart that I have.

“You have to congratulate Ryan on a good victory over an awkward opponent back in June to win the IBF title, but my style is different to Haskins.

“In comparison to my other opponents, Burnett ranks high but I don’t believe that that he’s the best that I have faced so far. I’d say Karim Guerfi and Rau’shee Warren are better.”

Zhakiyanov’s clash with Burnett tops a huge night of boxing in Belfast as Paul Hyland Jnr defends his IBF European Lightweight title against Stephen Ormond and James Tennyson puts his WBA International Super-Featherweight title against Darren Traynor.

Burnett’s Adam Booth gym mate Josh Kelly fights for the fourth time in the paid ranks, as is his Team GB Rio Olympic teammate Anthony Fowler.

A host of local and Irish talents appear on the bill with Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy, Super-Lightweight Tyrone McKenna, Lightweights Joe Fitzpatrick and Gary Cully and Super-Featherweight Feargal McCrory.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £33, £44, £65 and £105 from the SSE Arena Belfast at  (ticket price includes inside charge) 

VIP tickets priced at £150 are exclusively available from

Face value tickets for October 21 are also be available from  . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

(Photo Credit: Mark Robinson)

By Behind The Gloves 15 Oct, 2017

Dillian Whyte will face Robert Helenius for the WBC Silver Heavyweight title at Principality Stadium in Cardiff on October 28, live on Sky Sports Box Office. 

Whyte made his US debut in August with a 16th KO from 21 wins over Malcolm Tann in his first action since his epic win over Dereck Chisora in their fight of the year contender in Manchester in December.

Whyte has been hunting a big name bout to move into prime position to land a World title fight and has landed that test in the shape of ‘The Nordic Nightmare’, and the two-time European champion Helenius is gunning for a win to land his first World title shot.

Brixton’s Whyte is hunting his own World title showdown with WBC king Wilder, and both he and promoter Eddie Hearn believe a standout win over the giant Finnish-Swede will bring that fight a step closer.

“It's been a very frustrating few months trying to get someone to fight me,” said Whyte. “I thank Robert for stepping up and in two weeks’ time we will fight for the WBC Silver title in Cardiff. I love to fight and I'm looking forward to being back in the ring, getting the victory and moving on to challenge for the World Heavyweight title.”

“This is a huge fight and I’m excited about fighting the winner of last December’s thriller between Whyte and Chisora,” said Helenius. “Chisora and I were scheduled to fight in May but he ran. To my understanding Dillian is not a runner and he will stand and fight. This is a big fight for the Heavyweight division and may the best man win.”

“This is a fight we have been working on for some time and I'm pleased to add it to the huge October 28 show in Cardiff,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “I think we have made it very clear, we want to make Dillian vs. Deontay Wilder and this WBC Silver title will put us in prime position. Helenius is a giant of a man with plenty of experience and this is a tough test for Dillian, it's going to be explosive.”

Whyte’s clash with Helenius is part of a huge night of action in Wales, topped by Anthony Joshua MBE’s World Heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev.

A star-studded cast line-up in support of Joshua’s clash with the Bulgarian, as Kal Yafai defends his WBA Wold Super-Flyweight title against Japanese mandatory challenger Sho Ishida and Irish sensation Katie Taylor challenges for her first World title as she takes on two-weight World champion Anahi Esther Sanchez for the WBA Lightweight crown.

There’s a mouth-watering British and Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight battle between Frank Buglioni, Lenroy Thomas and Dave Allen rematch for the Commonwealth Heavyweight title and Team GB Olympian and Welsh talent Joe Cordina appears in his fifth pro outing.

A limited number of tickets remain on sale via .

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

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 Travel & Hospitality packages are also available via Sportsworld via  or by calling 0208 9712966

Please ensure you plan your travel into the city before purchasing your tickets and allow plenty of time for additional security checks at the venue - please visit  to view the travel page for the event.

By Behind The Gloves 15 Oct, 2017

George Groves has successfully advanced to the semi-final stages of the World Boxing Super Series with a stunning fourth round stoppage over Swindon’s Jamie Cox.

The challenger certainly made an impression in the opening rounds with his aggression, landing several power shots that appeared to fluster the WBA 'Super' World Super Middleweight champion.

Groves appeared out of his comfort zone early on as Cox got the better of several exchanges, backing the champion up against the ropes and landing some crowd-pleasing flurries.

However, the Hammersmith native’s class, composure and experience enabled him to find occasional openings for the right hand, before connecting with a sickening right uppercut to the body in the fourth round that left his opponent reeling on the canvas and unable to continue.

After winning their respective quarter-finals, Groves is now scheduled to meet Chris Eubank Jr. - who required a mere three rounds to emphatically dispatch of Turkey’s Avni Yilidirim last weekend in Stuttgart - in a mouth-watering domestic clash. The semi-final contest is expected to take place around January or February and potentially is a stadium fight, according to promoter Kalle Sauerland, with Stamford Bridge the rumoured destination.

“I wasn’t particularly impressed, but he did what he had to do.” Eubank Jr. said in regards to his rival’s performance.

Article by Navi Singh

You can follow Navi on Twitter at: @hombre__obscuro

By Behind The Gloves 14 Oct, 2017
Amidst a plethora of high profile match ups, this Saturday’s super-welterweight triple header at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center has somewhat flown under the radar. The PBC on Showtime card will see three of the four belter-holders from the stacked 154 pound division, put their titles on the line against a triumvirate of hungry challengers.

In the main event WBA Super champion Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KO’s) faces off with the undefeated Tyrell Gausha (20-0-0, 9 KO’s). The Cuban, who is perhaps best known for his contentious reverse to Mexican pay-per view star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, burst on to the world scene back in 2012 with a first round knockout of Ronald Hearns – son of legendary six weight champ Thomas “Hitman” Hearns. 'The Gold of Guantanamo' then captured the WBA 'Regular' strap with a decision victory over Ishe Smith in late 2014. A series of successful defences were to follow, before being granted 'Super Champion' status by the governing body prior to his last contest (a 4th round KO of former champion Yuri Foreman). Having been schooled within his homeland's rigorous amateur programme, 'The American Dream' possesses an impressive arsenal of boxing skills, including impeccable timing, defence and a rapier like left cross which he lands with stunning precision. In-spite of his wealth of talent and world championship success, Lara has thus far failed to capture the imagination of the American boxing public: who are - for the most part - un-enamoured with his patient, defensive approach.

In the opposite corner on Saturday night will stand undefeated challenger Tyrell Gausha. Whilst undefeated, the Ohioan is very much untested at world level. 'The Grandmaster’s' best win to date came via a 7th round TKO of veteran gatekeeper Orlando Lora: with Lora retiring on his stool due to a cut eye at the end of the sixth. Prior to the finish, Gausha had exhibited impressive counter-punching ability, continually getting through with sharp counter left hooks on his slower opponent. Whilst the thirty-year-old has shown flashes of promise thus far in his fledgling career, it is hard to imagine that many will be tempted by the wide betting odds being offered on the WBA World Super Welterweight crown changing hands this Saturday.

Chief support will be provided by WBC boss Jermell Charlo (29-0-0, 14 KO’s) defending his title against the highly-touted Erickson Lubin (18-0-0, 13 KO’s) in a mouth-watering clash between two of the sport's brightest talents. Now in his second defence, the Texan will seek to silence his detractors once more, following a devastating knockout of Charles Hartley last time out.

Having left long-time trainer Ronnie Shields following a lacklustre decision win over Vanes Martirosyan in 2015, the younger Charlo twin (by one minute) appears to be flourishing under the tutelage of Derrick James, demonstrating notably improved punching power in his most recent trips to the ring. The Houston native comes into Saturday’s contest on the back of three straight stoppage wins, courtesy of his new found heavy artillery: with which he will be looking to extinguish the world title dreams of one of boxing’s brightest young prospects.

Lubin meanwhile, will seek to announce his arrival at boxing’s top table in only his nineteenth pro fight. The Floridian caught the attention of many boxing observers whilst still in his teens, with a series of blistering performances on the now defunct ESPN Friday Night Fights series – having turned pro with Mike Tyson’s 'Iron Mike Promotions' back in 2013. A skilful southpaw with power in both hands, 'The Hammer' has exhibited skills which unquestionably belong in the upper echelons of the sport. That said, there are many within boxing circles who believe that the opportunity has come too early for the twenty-two-year-old, who has yet to go twelve rounds thus far in his promising career. Unsurprisingly, the challenger is not amongst those who subscribe to that particular school of thought.

With both men confident of victory and either capable of ending the fight with a single punch, we can expect fireworks - in a bout which is likely to steal the show from the headline pairing.

Whetting the appetite at around 8pm local time, will be an interesting clash between undefeated IBF belt-holder Jarret Hurt (20-0-0, 14 KO’s) and one time conqueror of Miguel Cotto, Austin Trout (30-3-0, 17 KO’s). The Maryland native will be looking to kick on from his coronation last time out, in which he shared several closely matched rounds with Detroit’s Tony Harrison, before ending the contest in the ninth with a devastating right cross to capture the vacant IBF World Super Welterweight strap. With accuracy, speed and sublime punch variety to boot, 'Swift' is one of vast crop of exciting young fighters in boxing’s stacked 154 pound weight class, who will be clamouring to establish themselves as the divisions kingpin over the coming year.

In Trout, the newly crowned champion will face what is likely to be his toughest challenge to date. Trout is a former world champion of four successful defences, who at the age of thirty two, will be desperate to reclaim his place among the divisions elite. 'No Doubt” is capable of providing a testing nights work for anyone at eleven stone, possessing a tricky southpaw style, against which many have found difficulty in establishing any sort of rhythm: just ask Miguel Cotto.

Whilst many see 'Swift' as a future star within the sport, it must be remembered that Trout will not arrive at the Barclay’s Center on Saturday to make up the numbers. Win or lose the New Mexican will ask questions of the relatively inexperienced Hurd, we shall soon find out if the champion can answer in the affirmative.

With three exciting world title match ups in one night, all involving the same weight class, boxing need’s more shows like Saturday’s Super Welterweight blockbuster. Let us pray that the fights live up to our lofty expectations, so we can look forward to more nights like this in the not too distant future.

Article by Gareth Gonet

You can follow Gareth on Twitter at: @garethgonet
By Behind The Gloves 14 Oct, 2017

Liam Cameron is the new Commonwealth middleweight champion after he took apart cross city rival Sam Sheedy in eight rounds at the Ponds Forge Arena in Sheffield on the first of Free Sports live televised events.

Cameron, who had claimed before the clash that he would retire if he couldn’t get past Sheedy, and the 26-year-old threw everything into his last stand, putting the former champion down five times before it was waved off in the eighth.

With the win, “Cannonball” improved his record to 20-5, while Sheedy slips to 18-3 after an entertaining contest in which Cameron slowly marched down his smaller opponent, unleashing body shots that “Speedy” simply had no answer for.

Sheedy started the first defence of his title well, getting through with the more accurate work, whilst his movement kept him away from Cameron’s swinging shots. However, when Sheedy did go to work, his blows had no effect on the bigger man in Cameron, who walked through everything he threw.

Cameron began to utilise the body shots in the second, which Sheedy was feeling immediately, wincing as they landed. Sheedy tried to fight in bursts, as he desperately sought to move away from the forward matching challenger who stalked him around the ring.

Cameron took the second and then the third, his pressure taking its toll on the champion, before really pressing home his advantage in a one-sided fourth, which saw Sheedy visit the canvas three times and also see a point deducted by referee Phil Edwards for use of his head.

It was a 10-5 round in favour of Cameron, the left hand to the body proving to be too much for Sheedy, who rose in defiance and showing plenty of bravado as he survived the round.

The fifth and sixth were much better for Sheedy, who now was in a world of trouble and way down on the scorecards. Cameron continued to ominously march forward, but “Speedy” gutsily took the fight to the challenger, as he emptied the last of his reserves.

However, Cameron remained composed and patiently awaited his next opportunity, which was handed to him in the seventh, as he sunk in another left to the body, which saw Sheedy’s knee briefly touch down and referee Edwards administer another count.

Cameron decided to take the fight to the champion, putting to rest the thoughts that he would be exhausted and drained at the weight, unloading a barrage of blows which sent Sheedy careening backwards into the ropes, clearly out on his feet and kept standing by them. It was just on the bell, but the referee rightly gave him what was to be his fifth, and final count.

Sheedy went for broke in the eighth, but an uppercut staggered him and Cameron unloaded a flurry of big shots, which Sheedy took flush, negating to pick his hands up and try to defend himself. Edwards stepped in to save the now former champion 40 seconds into the round.

It was the culmination of a tough career for Cameron, who has always done it the hard way and finally got the big night he has always craved. The two have had plenty of back and forth on social media, but it was good to see a show of respect as Sheedy raised his victorious rival’s hands in acknowledgement after the announcement.  

The two shared high a highly entertaining bout which kickstarted Free Sports live coverage of boxing, which will be on a monthly basis.

Article by: Matt Bevan

You can follow Matt on Twitter at: @Matt_Bevan68

By Behind The Gloves 13 Oct, 2017

This week, York Hall plays host to the latest instalment of Matchroom's 'NXT GEN' concept.

Headlining the card is a Featherweight contest between unbeaten Watford prospect Recce 'The Bomber' Bellotti (10-0-0, 9 KO's) and Commonwealth Champion Jason Cunningham (23-3-0), with the Doncaster man's Commonwealth strap on the line.

Tricky southpaw Cunningham represents something of a step up in quality of opponent for the talented Bellotti; with the 28-year-old fighters three losses coming against experienced and quality operators Ross Burkinshaw, Jason Booth and current WBA World Flyweight Champion Khalid Yafai.

Power is perhaps the key highlight when comparing the two men. Common opponent Jamie Speight was dispatched of mercilessly in eight one-sided rounds by Bellotti last time out, while Cunningham laboured to a ten-round points victory back in March.

More title action sees Epsom's Charlie Edwards (10-1-0, 4 KO's) square off against unheralded Nicaraguan Pablo Narvaez (8-4-6, 1 KO).

Edwards - who's only loss came at Flyweight when he bravely battled with then IBF boss John Riel Casimero on the Golovkin-Brook undercard - returns to action having captured the British Super Flyweight title in his last outing. Under the tutelage of renowned trainer Adam Booth, Edwards is once again plotting a route back to World title contention, and will be hoping for no slip-ups against the unknown Narvaez.

Hard-hitting Super Welterweight prospect Ted Cheeseman (10-0-0, 7 KO's) gets another opportunity to sharpen his skills, facing Panama 's Aristides Quintero (20-9-1, 17 KO's) in an eight round bout. Quintero has lost his last four, including two inside the distance, and is expected to offer little in the way of resistance for the unbeaten Tony Sims-trained prodigy.

Also featured is Liverpool's Natasha Jonas (2-0-0, 2 KO's) who faces off with Lithuanian Ana Starovoitova (3-0-0, 1 KO). Jonas will be looking to continue her march towards a possible showdown and rematch with Irish sensation Katie Taylor, while also paying close attention will be Northampton's Chantelle Cameron: who is also no doubt eager to get a big domestic fight with either Taylor or Jonas.

Matchroom's forgotten man Issac Chamberlain (8-0-0, 3 KO's) gets fellow Londonder, Ossie Jervier (4-4-0, 4 KO's) in their eight round Cruiserweight contest.

Both fighters have shared 10 rounds with Wadi Camacho for the Southern Area Cruiserweight Title.

Chamberlain famously took a brave points victory despite dislocating a shoulder early on in the contest with Camacho, while Jervier was beaten on points last time out against the Canning Town slugger.

Chamberlain has been on his travels lately, getting in world-class sparring with the likes of WBO Crusierweight boss Oleksandr Usyk and Cuban Mike Perez.

Expect the south Londoner, Chamberlain, to take the victory, as he moves ahead towards a possible bout with new Commonwealth Champion Luke Watkins. Chamberlain was a keen observer as Watkins claimed the title with a stoppage win against Robin Dupree this past weekend, and has already expressed his desire to face the new champion in the near future..

Making up the bill, Crystal Palace Super Middleweight Craig 'Spider' Richards (9-0-0, 3 KO's) faces Hungarian  road warrior Istvan Zeller (38-18-0, 12 KO's), William Webber (1-0-0, 0 KO's) meets debutant Eric Israel and Harlem Eubank (1-0-0, 1 KO's) is also scheduled for four.

Article by: Jaime Ingleby

You can follow Jaime on Twitter at: @jaime_ingleby79

By Behind The Gloves 12 Oct, 2017
BROOKLYN (October 12, 2017)  - Top heavyweight title contender Dominic Breazeale will take on Eric Molina in a 12-round WBC title elimination match on the undercard of the showdown between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, Nov. 4. The event is presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
The stacked card will also feature former welterweight champion Shawn Porter taking on Adrian Granados and Sergey Lipinets battling Akihiro Kondo for the vacant junior welterweight title in televised bouts. The live three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Plus, five-time world champion Amanda Serrano of Brooklyn takes on Marilyn Hernandez, Long Island's Seanie Monaghan (28-1-0, 17 KOs) makes his ring return to face Evert Bravo (23-6-1, 17 KOs), from Arboletes, Colombia, and Brooklyn's Chris Colbert (6-0, 2 KOs) battles Long Island's Titus Williams (7-0, 2 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout.
New prices have been set for tickets to see the event live at Barclays Center, giving fans an unprecedented opportunity to see the heavyweight champion of the world in a rematch against the only contender who has taken him a full 12 rounds.  
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at ,  or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
"We've recognized that Deontay's opponent has changed, and we've restructured ticket prices to encourage as many fans as possible to attend a great night of fights, and the Heavyweight Championship of the world,'' said Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment, the promoter of the card. "Stiverne is thrilled for this second chance and he has nothing to lose. Bermane Stiverne is the only opponent that Deontay hasn't knocked out among his professional opponents. Deontay wants to fix that and Stiverne is looking to throw a wrench into Wilder's dream of heavyweight unification.''
Wilder (38-0, 37 KOs) dethroned defending champion Stiverne in January 2015 via unanimous decision in what was the promising challenger's toughest fight to date. With the win, Wilder became the first American heavyweight champion in nearly a decade and he has gone on to defend the title five times. Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) remains the only Wilder opponent to go the distance with the hard-hitting Tuscaloosa, Ala., native who has knocked out every other professional opponent on his long resume.  
Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs), who lives in Eastvale, California, is coming off a KO victory over Izu Ugonoh on Feb. 25. The 32-year-old Breazeale suffered the only loss of career in a heavyweight championship match against Anthony Joshua in London on June 25, 2016.
Eric Molina (26-4, 19 KOs) has twice fought for the heavyweight world championship. In his first title shot the 35-year-old from Weslaco, Texas was knocked out by Deontay Wilder on June 13, 2015. Molina lost via TKO to Anthony Joshua in his next opportunity on Dec. 10, 2016. Molina bounced back with a majority decision victory against Jamal Woods in his last fight on Sept. 2.
Five-division world champion Amanda Serrano (33-1-1, 25 KOs) will be making her fourth appearance at Barclays Center when she defends her super bantamweight world title against Marilyn Hernandez (26-10, 17 KOs). Serrano, who was born in Puerto Rico and lives in Brooklyn, successfully defended her title with a TKO victory over Edina Kiss in her last fight on July 21. Hernandez of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic scored a TKO victory over Maria Hernandez in her last fight on Jan. 10.
By Behind The Gloves 12 Oct, 2017
Los Angeles  - Today, FOX Sports announces multi-division and current 135-pound world champion Mikey Garcia ( @mikeygarcia ) and former multiple division world champion Robert Guerrero ( @GHOSTBOXING ) join the broadcast team as analysts for PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: SANTA CRUZ VS. AVALOS live on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Oct. 14 (7:30 PM ET), from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.. Garcia and Guerrero team with blow-by-blow announcer Sean Grande ( @SeanGrandePBP ) calling the fights. Brian Kenny ( @MrBrianKenny ) hosts the broadcast.
On FOX Deportes, Jaime Motta ( @MottaJaime )  joins blow-by-blow announcer Jesse Losada to call the action in Spanish.
The sixth installment of PBC ON FOX and FOX Deportes is headlined by sensational three-division champion Leo "El Terremoto" Santa Cruz (33-1-1, 18 KOs), who defends his featherweight world title against Chris Avalos (27-5, 20 KOs). The co-main event features four-time world champion Abner Mares (30-2-1, 15 KOs) defending his 126-pound championship against once-beaten Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1, 25 KOs).
The television broadcast opens with an exciting 10-round match featuring undefeated rising junior welterweight contender Eddie Ramirez (17-0, 11 KOs) versus former world champion Antonio DeMarco (32-6-1, 23 KOs).
Fans can live stream the fights on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FOX or FOX Deportes feeds. The fight is available on desktop at  and through the app store, or connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, fights are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.
For more, visit FOX Sports Press Pass, , , , and . Follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @Ringstar, @TGBPromotions, @FOXSports, @FOXDeportes and @Swanson_Comm and on Facebook at , ,  and .
By Behind The Gloves 12 Oct, 2017

Ryan Burnett has vowed to make Belfast proud as he puts his IBF World Bantamweight crown on the line against WBA Super champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov at the SSE Arena in Belfast on October 28, live on Sky Sports and HBO.

Burnett makes history by fighting in the first unification clash to be held in Northern Ireland, and the unbeaten starlet is looking to build on a magic night in June where he ripped the IBF strap from Lee Haskins with a dominant performance over the Bristolian.

That was the 25 year old’s first fight in his hometown for three years and he received a rapturous welcome to the ring – and when his hand was raised his win was greeted with a roar of approval from the fans who welcomed a new hero for the famous fighting city.

Burnett has since been honoured with a mural in the city and now the unbeaten champion wants to pay back the great support he’s received with another big performance next weekend and make his city proud.

“My Mum called me up and told me that they were putting a mural up and I couldn't believe it,” said Burnett. “It's such an honour. The first time I drove past it I thought, I grew up here as a kid and now my face is on a wall, it's made me so proud and it's given me an extra push in training.

“It was touch and go in my first fight if it was going to take off because I had been away from Belfast for so long, but it did. This time the profile has risen so much and this is a massive fight, so this is my moment to really become a name here. I'm living in the moment and enjoying it, I'm not taking it too seriously and putting too much pressure on my shoulders, I'm just lapping it all up.

“When I was growing up there was a lot of trouble and violence. It was installed into me as a kid to be a fighter, to stand up for myself and fight back, my dad would tell me to keep going even when I was just four or five.

“It all depends on how people are brought up, how they are tuned to life. What they've had to face. I've faced tasks that other people haven't had to face and that's given me a hunger that a lot of people don't have. I know I have got that dark side that I can turn to, it's been in me my whole life.”

Burnett’s clash with Zhakiyanov tops a huge night of boxing in Belfast as Paul Hyland Jnr defends his IBF European Lightweight title against Stephen Ormond and James Tennyson puts his WBA International Super-Featherweight title against Darren Traynor.

Burnett’s Adam Booth gym mate Josh Kelly fights for the fourth time in the paid ranks, as is his Team GB Rio Olympic teammate Anthony Fowler.

A host of local and Irish talents appear on the bill with Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy, Super-Lightweight Tyrone McKenna, Lightweights Joe Fitzpatrick and Gary Cully and Super-Featherweight Feargal McCrory.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £33, £44, £65 and £105 from the SSE Arena Belfast at  (ticket price includes inside charge)     

VIP tickets priced at £150 are exclusively available from

Face value tickets for October 21 are also be available from  . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.

(Photo Credit: Mark Robinson)

By Behind The Gloves 12 Oct, 2017
NEWARK, N.J. (October 10, 2017) - IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Murat "Iron" Gassiev shared his thoughts from training camp in Big Bear, Calif., as fight week nears for his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final showdown Saturday, October 21 against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J and on AUDIENCE Network.
Gassiev first arrived to train in the U.S. in 2014 and has worked with the renowned Abel Sanchez, eventually capturing his title with a victory over Denis Lebedev in December 2016.
"Abel is an amazing guy and he has pushed me very hard in the gym," said Gassiev. "He's really a father figure here in the gym. I have so much respect for him and the way that he treats people. The best thing that I ever did was come here to train with Abel Sanchez.
"We have very hard and intense training, but this is not ballet. He's preparing me for battle and I trust that he knows exactly what we need to do to have success."
"There are no world champions in my gym," said Sanchez. "Your belts stay at home. My gym is just a place to work and get better. I can already see the improvements in this training camp for Gassiev. He had Lebedev down but didn't finish him. Moments like that, you have to finish the job."
The 23-year-old from Vladikavkaz, Russia had a winding road to success in the squared circle, but quickly embraced the sport upon picking it up at 15-years-old.
"Boxing was actually not my first sport," said Gassiev. "My city has produced lots of Olympic and world champion wrestlers, so that was my first sport. Then I tried soccer, but that wasn't quite right either. One day I went to a boxing gym with my friend and right away I knew, this was what I needed. Eight years later, and I'm very happy where I am."
Gassiev has trained alongside the likes of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin up in the unique atmosphere and altitude of Big Bear.
"It's very important to be in a place like this because the only focus is training," said Gassiev. "This is what we do all day. This is exactly what I need to be at my best and win this tournament. I don't see my family for a long time, but it's part of my life. This is my business and I'm doing all of this for my family.
"We have a very diverse group of fighters here in Big Bear. We're all family and support each other. It's been a great experience for me and I've learned a lot about different cultures.
"Some guys who come in for sparring in Big Bear really don't anticipate how the altitude changes things. They think they can fight 10 rounds, but after three it is too much. This is the best place to prepare for tough fights."
"This has been a really smooth camp," said Sanchez. "I haven't had any more problems with sparring partners vanishing after a couple days in the ring with Gassiev. We have the tools to make him even better than in his last performance."
The winner of the Gassiev vs. Wlodarczyk fight will meet WBA champion Yunier Dorticos in a unification showdown in the WBSS semi-finals. However, Gassiev knows he cannot look past the two-time champion standing in his way in the quarter-finals.
"I know that I have to prepare myself for a tough fight," said Gassiev. "I'm facing an experienced fighter and it'll be a great test for my career. I'm ready for this.
"I have worked hard in this sport to become a world champion. I believed in myself and in my team. This tournament gives me the opportunity to be a unified champion and to fight the best fighters to prove it. I will show everyone who I am."
"This tournament is a peculiar beast and there are no second chances," said Sanchez. "I've always hoped for a great tournament where each fight is tougher than the last. I have big respect for Wlodarczyk and his trainer, but Gassiev has to knock him out if the chance arrives. I'm expecting this to be another great experience for Gassiev."
Promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with World Boxing Super Series, tickets for the live event are on sale now and are available at . Tickets are also available to purchase at the Prudential Center box office.
Featured bouts on October 21 will see Polish contender Mateusz Masternak facing once-beaten Stivens Bujaj in a WBSS cruiserweight reserve match and unbeaten Polish contender Maciej Sulecki taking on former title challenger Jack Culcay .

By Behind The Gloves 11 Oct, 2017

Conor Benn says he’s honoured to be the first UK fighter to box on a Matchroom Boxing USA bill – and he plans to make a big impact at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York on November 11. 

Benn improved to 9-0 on Saturday night with his seventh win inside the distance, a clinical first round stoppage over Nathan Clarke at the Manchester Arena.

The ‘Destroyer’ heads to the Big Apple to move into double figures in the paid ranks, and having turned 21 just a fortnight ago, the son of British boxing legend Nigel feels he’s progressing every day and believes his US debut is an important mark on his development.

“New York here I come!” said Benn. “I'm honoured to be the first Matchroom UK fighter to box on a show out there, it's a real blessing – it’s a massive chance for me to make a big impact in front of a new audience and it’s one that I am going to take.

“I'll fight anyone that is put in front of me, I leave that to Tony Sims and Eddie Hearn to decide my path. I'm only 20 and I plan on making this a long journey, so I need new experiences like fighting in New York as part of my learning curve. 

“If I rush myself it can all go pear-shaped as I don't have an amateur career behind me, so I will take my time and enjoy my career and especially the youthfulness of my career, and when I am ready to fight grown men and fight for titles, I want to rise and rise and keep it going, not go up and down like a yo-yo.

“I feel like I am improving every day, I think my technical skills are really coming on. The time will come for me but at the minute I'm all about learning my trade, and that's happening in the gym and it's going to continue in front of the US crowd.”

By Behind The Gloves 11 Oct, 2017

Coach John Costello believes George Groves made a big mistake when he selected Jamie Cox as his quarter-final opponent ahead of their all-British Muhammad Ali Trophy showdown on Saturday at the SSE Arena, Wembley in London.

Costello has been in Cox’s corner for the last 11 years and has helped shape the Swindon man into the fighter he is today. His first World Boxing Super Series test will see the undefeated 31 year-old challenge for the WBA Super World belt.

“We always wanted this fight with George Groves. We’d asked for this fight before so when George picked Jamie in Monte Carlo we was in our element. All our Christmases had come at once,” reveals Costello, who believes his boxer has the beating of any man in the super middleweight division.

‘’I’ve said it before and people have laughed at me. I’ve believe Jamie can beat any 12 stone fighter on the planet. People are talking about size but that has no relevance for me. Carl Froch was 12 stone 4 when he fought George Groves at Wembley, and I believe George was over 13 stone. Jamie will be heavier than 12 stone 4. Jamie would be dehydrated if he got into the ring at 12 stone 4.

“Size had no relevance that evening and it will certainly have no relevance on Saturday night. Jamie’s ability and what he brings will be very relevant because we’re taking that WBC Super Championship home with us. That’s 100% set in stone. We’re here to a do a job and that’s what we are going to do. George Groves made a big mistake when he picked Jamie Cox.”

Tickets for George Groves vs. Jamie Cox at The SSE Arena Wembley are available via

By Behind The Gloves 11 Oct, 2017

Lewis Ritson has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing.

Ritson landed the British Lightweight title in impressive fashion on Saturday night in Manchester, dominating outgoing belt holder Robbie Barrett before the towel came in during the seventh round to see the Lord Lonsdale belt change hands for the second fight in a row.

The ‘Sandman’ improved to 13-0 with his seventh win inside the distance, and the 24 year old is excited to be getting the chance to team up with new promoter Eddie Hearn and showcase his talents on Sky Sports.

“I’m so excited to be signing with Eddie and Matchroom,” said Ritson. “It’s happened so quickly. I got the win on Saturday, spoke to my manager then we agreed and have signed the contract straight away. It’s been a ride the last couple of days but I’ve enjoyed it.

“My Dad’s trained me since I was eight years old through the amateurs, then when I turned pro he didn’t have his license so I went back up to Scotland for a bit and have since come back down. It was one thing we always have spoken about winning, “Imagine what it would feel like to win the British!” and now we have done it.

“I always had it in the back of my mind, I would give the belt to him. For all the years training and bond we have between us.

“My next goal is to win it outright so he can have it for keeps then. It’s a buzzing division at the minute with the likes of Scott Cardle and Sean Dodd. They are the big domestic names at Lightweight and if I can beat them then I’ll be well on the way to keeping the belt for good. 

“They definitely interest me. Hopefully either one of them is my next move. You have Anthony Crolla, Ricky Burns and Luke Campbell who are World-level, but beneath that it’s Dodd and Cardle. I don’t think they should be hard to make being with Eddie as well.

“I like to fight on the front foot and be in your face. We were expecting a tough opening couple of rounds against Barrett and come on strong late on but it happened to unfold as it did. We got to him earlier than we had expected. He was getting up and down, I think it was good of Stefy to end it when he did he was taking some punishment.

“I think Eddie has pencilled in my first title defence for December time, squeezing one in before the end of the year. Then maybe February or March back home in Newcastle with Josh Kelly too. Eddie’s the boss now, so I’ve got to wait and see what he says and where the next fight is.

“Sky Sports is the biggest platform you can fight on, you can’t ask for much bigger. It’s going to spur me on a level and hopefully it can help the other North East fighters to feature and give them some coverage too." 

“People have been telling me about Lewis for a long time and on Saturday night we got to see why,” said Hearn. “Lewis put in a ruthless performance to win the British title with plenty of Geordie support in the Manchester Arena and I'm very excited about his future. 

“The North East is an important area for us to focus on with the development of Josh Kelly and I'm looking forward to bringing a major show there in the early part of 2018.”

By Behind The Gloves 11 Oct, 2017
At only eight fights in to his professional career, unbeaten cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain has recently enjoyed some of the best sparring the world has to offer. Fresh back from camp with Mike Perez, who was recently out pointed by Mairis Briedis in the World Boxing Super Series tournament, it appears Chamberlain left a lasting impression on the Cuban and his team.

“In the first sparring session I really gave it to him.” Chamberlain told Behind The Gloves  in an exclusive interview.

“He [Perez] hired these two American coaches to train him for his World title fight. This other guy who was there sparring who is 23-0 (19 KO’s) called Ryad Merhe, he is number 4 in the WBA, so I was like this guy must be good there are a lot of good prospects here to spar so they must be good. The other guy went in first and Perez just beat the sh*t out of him so I’m thinking I have to be really on point because I’m not about to get embarrassed or beat up.”

“I got in the ring and I took it serious, I took it like a fight. I was boxing him and I was basically outclassing him, and after we got out of the ring he was like ‘this guy is good man, I couldn’t see no punches coming man!’ - and he was giving me my dues and he was like ‘I’m gonna get you back!’”

“That was a big confidence boost because he is fighting for a World title and I’m an 8-0 professional and I’m doing that to him so imagine when I’m at that age and when I’m at that experience level how good I could be if I’m doing that right now.”

“As the days got on he got a lot sharper as he got used to me so the sparring was a lot harder, so obviously every time he went up a gear I had to go up another two gears so it was really intense, I didn’t just come here to be a punch bag and get paid, I came here to work to see what I could do against the best in the world and obviously there is nothing to lose: it’s just sparring. It was a great experience and they said next time we want you back.”

Chamberlain was also in Kiev to help the unbeaten WBO King Oleksandr Usyk prepare for his World Boxing Super Series fight with two-time champion Marco Huck (a bout that Usyk won by resounding tenth round TKO). It was an experience which has left the cruiserweight prospect even more confident about his future in the division.

“Usyk’s team contacted Matchroom and specifically asked for me. It was crazy I was like ‘wow these people actually know who I am!’. Sparring Usyk, he is like a level above everyone and the fact that I was one of their best sparring partners, and I was one of Perez’s best sparring partners, that’s what they told me”.

“It’s humbling knowing that I’m getting so much respect from these guys.” Chamberlain said glowingly.

“it’s a great feeling knowing that I have the talent and the skills to mix with the best in the world already. Just imagine four, five, six years down the line if I keep working hard, if I keep grafting and I keep humble who knows how far I can go”.

After spending time in the camp of two of the world’s finest cruiserweight boxers, Chamberlain believes that the World Boxing Super Series is a great ‘big money’ concept that deals with the question of who the best of the best are without the usual boxing politics. It’s a tournament that crowns one true champion in the division and something that he would be eager to enter in the future.

“I think it’s really good.” said Chamberlain.

“It shows every division should have one champion and it’s like a knockout tournament to see who is the best in the division and I think it’s a great concept. It’s the best fighting the best instead of all this other stuff like mandatories. It’s better, instead of fighting a guy that’s not even on your level its better just finding out who the true best in the division are. I would love to enter obviously I would and they are getting paid a lot of money as well it would be great.”

We are now entering the semi-final stages of the tournament and with The Muhammad Ali Trophy and a reported $50m up for grabs, Chamberlain is confident that Usyk will be the one to win the World Boxing Super series after sparring and spending time watching the Ukrainian and his preparations in Kiev.

“Usyk is just another level. The way he trains, how smart he is in the ring and everything, he is just another level. I definitely think he will win.”
Since his return to the U.K., Chamberlain has been busy preparing for his own fight on the NextGen card on 13 October, and is looking to make a statement in showing his fans how much he has developed as a fighter.

“I have a marker on my head where all these guys want my head so I got to be really on point now as they are all coming for me.”

“I have been working hard, basically doing what we have always been doing, but carrying on from the last camp. Especially from the sparring with Perez and Usyk before, my boxing knowledge has gone through the roof and it’s been sensational so I’m looking forward to showing everyone everything that I have learned throughout the camp.”

Looking to the future Chamberlain has big plans; he has his sights set on pleasing the fight fans with not only an all British show down with rival Lawrence Okolie but also the Commonwealth title.

“it’s a big money fight it’s a fight that all the fans are talking about everyone is talking about this future match-up and it’s great. It’s great for the sport of boxing, because it brings it in to the limelight and obviously it creates a lot of publicity as well when people talk about it.” Said the unbeaten Brixton star.

“I was flicking though channels and they put me on TV talking about it will probably happen next summer, but he has to develop a bit more as a fighter and as a professional I think before he can think about stepping in with me to be honest. I’m just focused on my next fight and hopefully I’m gonna challenge for the Commonwealth title next because Luke Watkins just beat Robin Dupre and I’m gonna call out the winner live on SkySports after I win on Friday!”

Article by Emmily Simcock

You can follow Emmily on Twitter at: @emmily_jane
By Behind The Gloves 11 Oct, 2017

This Saturday, WBA 'Super' World Super Middleweight titleholder George Groves will mark his entrance into the World Boxing Super Series against former England amateur team-mate Jamie Cox at Wembley Arena. It will also serve as his first defence of the title which he won in May of this year when he stopped Fedor Chudinov in the sixth round to become world champion at his fourth attempt and fulfil a lifelong ambition. As the sole titleholder and number one seed in the WBSS super middleweight tournament, he is indisputably ‘the man to beat’ in the field.

The career travails of the Saint have been well-documented since he turned professional back in 2008 after a successful amateur career which saw him win two ABA titles. He got a gut-check against Scottish hardman Kenny Anderson, edged amateur rival and fellow-prospect James DeGale in a battle of future super middleweight world champions, smashed fringe world-level guys like Francisco Sierra and Noe Gonzalez Alcoba and shut out a fossilized Glen Johnson en route to a domestic showdown with WBA and IBF super middleweight titleholder Carl Froch. It was a massive step up in class for Groves and he proved he belonged at that level, decking the champion in the first round and building up a points lead on all the judges’ scorecards before running out of steam and being sent reeling by a resurging Froch in the ninth round, causing judge Howard Foster to leap in and stop the fight with Groves still on his feet and furiously protesting the decision. Outrage abounded amongst fans and observers alike over the ‘premature’ stoppage and a second meeting was a no-brainer. In the heavily-hyped rematch in front of a then-record 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, the Cobra left no doubts, absolutely cleaning Groves’ clock with a mighty right in the eighth round.

It was back to the drawing board for Groves, still a young man. Following unconvincing performances in get-well fights against Christophe Rebrasse and Denis Douglin, he was thrown back into a title bout against recently-crowned WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack. After a bad start, getting dropped in the opening round, Groves fought his way back in the middle rounds, only to fade once again in the later rounds, allowing Jack to pull away and emerge on the right side of a split decision win. Groves faced rebuilding once again. He teamed up with new trainer Shane McGuigan and, after smashing Andrea Di Luisa and David Brophy in tune-ups, outclassed former world title challengers Martin Murray and Eduard Gutknecht, taking wide points victories over both. The Gutknecht triumph was tainted by tragedy as the German fighter suffered catastrophic injuries in the fight which left him mute and wheelchair-bound to this day. Victory did however put Groves in position to fight for a world title again and fourth time at the championship altar proved the charm for the Londoner as he overcame a broken jaw to stop the double-tough Chudinov in the sixth round and capture the WBA super middleweight belt, dedicating the victory to his stricken former foe Gutknecht. 

There is little that we do not know about Groves. The book is well and truly out on him, but even accounting for his career fluctuations, it reads fairly well. He will never be confused for a member of boxing’s elite, but he is still a very good fighter blessed with terrific hand speed, boxing ability and fight-ending power. Far lesser fighters have held world titles in this era. He hardly disgraced himself in competitive losses to a borderline hall-of-famer in Froch and a quality super middleweight operator in Jack. In coming back from those defeats to finally capture a world title in the aforementioned circumstances, he demonstrated that his mental and physical resilience, once questioned, are beyond doubt.

Jamie Cox was an amateur standout for England, winning a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. He and Groves have known each other for years, even sharing a room when competing together for England in headgear. It may come as a surprise to learn that the Swindon man is older than Groves and turned professional one year earlier. However, his career in the paid ranks has remained stuck in second gear, plagued by injury, legal problems outside the ring and inactivity (Cox did not fight at all in 2012 or 2014). There is also another problem. The highlight of Cox's professional career to date has probably been winning a Commonwealth title back in 2011 on points against unknown and unproven Obodai Sai, a fight which many observers felt he deserved to lose. Though he is undefeated, there is not a single quality name on his 24-0-0 resume, which is littered with journeymen and fringe-European level fighters. That he has accumulated only 13 knockouts against such limited opposition indicates that his power is not all that which his trainer John Costello and promoter Eddie Hearn have raved about. On top of all of this, Cox is naturally the smaller man. As an amateur he fought as a light welterweight and turned professional at welterweight. His controversial Commonwealth title victory came at light middleweight where he was talking about fighting as recently as 2015. Groves is a career super middleweight and a big one at that. 

As top seed for the WBSS super middleweight tournament, Groves was entitled to first choice of opening opponent and has made no secret of the fact that he selected Cox because he considers him to be the easiest available option. It’s hard to disagree with him. By no fault of his own, Groves is top dog in what is a fairly middling pool, in sharp contrast to the WBSS cruiserweight tournament which truly can be said to pitch the best against the best of the division. Cox, ranked number 40 in the super middleweight division by Boxrec, is paddling around in the shallow end. The difference between his level of opposition and Groves’ opposition is like that between dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant and ordering a kebab outside a nightclub at 3am. Expect Groves to triumph by early rounds destruction and move onto a WBSS semi-final showdown against Chris Eubank Jr., who looked sensational in delivering a scintillating knockout of Avni Yildirim at the weekend. It promises to be a far more intriguing and competitive fight than the one we will get on Saturday.

Article by: Paul Lam

You can follow Paul on Twitter at: @PaulTheWallLam
By Behind The Gloves 10 Oct, 2017
John Costello, trainer of undefeated southpaw Jamie Cox (24-0-0, 13 KO’s) has said George Groves (26-3-0, 19 KO’s) “will be in for the shock of his life” when the duo meet in the quarter-final stage of the ‘World Boxing Super Series’ at Wembley Arena on October 14. The Swindon born boxer was given his dream opportunity in the tournament when he was selected by the seeded ‘Saint George’ Groves to fight for his WBA ‘Super’ World Super Middleweight title earlier this year.

The Birmingham based trainer has no doubt his 31-year-old protégé Cox will be crowned world champion and believes Groves and his team may be underestimating the weaponry of Cox. Cox had success as an amateur and since turning professional in 2007 has won the Commonwealth Super Welterweight title before moving up weight class to capture the WBO European Super Middleweight belt in 2015.


"I’m very, very confident that Jamie will be world champion on October 14, there’s no doubt in my mind about that at all,” Costello told Behind The Gloves , “I’ve never doubted Jamie. He wanted this fight before George was world champion so I’m not going to start doubting him now. Jamie’s ready, and we’re going to do a job.”

"George will be in for the shock of his life. They’ve said they’ve got a few plans and will be setting traps. Well we’ve got a few traps of our own, I think what they’re forgetting is Jamie’s a world class amateur and a Commonwealth Gold medallist. George wasn’t a bad amateur himself but he’s not as accomplished as Jamie. Jamie is better than George is in my opinion.”

After picking Cox as his opponent in Monte Carlo, Groves insisted the Swindon boxer is too small to be a Super Middleweight, the world champion’s trainer Shane McGuigan also weighed in on the argument, “size is going to be a factor in this fight,” he said. However, Costello, trainer of Cox for over ten years, doesn’t buy into that and thinks the punch power of Cox will come as a surprise to Groves.

"His punch power is ridiculous, we’ve been in with people in the gym who’ve sparred with Jamie and bear in mind George is at least a good stone or a stone and a half heavier than Jamie in the gym, everyone has said Jamie’s punch power is superb compared to George’s. I know what Jamie can do. I’ve seen what he’s done with world champions and some top Cruiserweights, never mind Super Middleweights so there’s no doubt in my mind Jamie will get the job done.”

It can’t be argued this tournament is a step-up in terms of scale and class of opposition for Cox, who will be involved in his first ever world title fight. Groves captured the WBA ‘Super’ World Super Middleweight Title with a sixth round stoppage of Fedor Chudinov in May, his fourth and only successful attempt at becoming a world champion having missed out on the opportunity twice to Carl Froch in 2013 and 2014, then to Badou Jack in 2015.

Costello said: ”George has had these [big] fights before, but he failed miserably in three of them and was failing miserably in the last one until he caught Chudinov with a good shot. I thought he put a great finish together although I thought the finish was premature. I thought George was on his way to losing that time too so I think every time George has stepped up, outside of Chudinov, he’s come unstuck.


"That’s what I look at, he’s tasted defeat three times when he stepped up. Let’s have a look at what George has done when he’s stepped up, not talk about him stepping up - look at what he’s done when he’s stepped up. Now it’s time to judge Jamie and see what he does.”

Brit Callum Smith (23-0-0, 17 KO’s) got the Super Middleweight version of the Boxing Super Series under way earlier this month when he beat Sweden’s Erik Skoglund (26-1-0, 12 KO’s) by unanimous decision for the vacant WBC Diamond Title in Liverpool. Smith was victorious on the three judges’ scorecards 116-112, 117-110 and 117-111. Costello was in attendance for that bout and says he has thus far, been very impressed with the newly introduced knock out tournament.


"It’s been a fantastic spectacle so far, great for boxing, they’ve invested a lot into this competition and the show that we went to at the Echo Arena between Smith and Skoglund was fantastic.”

"I thought Skoglund performed tremendously well, the kid turned up to win. I thought it was a hell of a lot closer than the judges scored it, although I had Smith winning. The knock down in the 11th round in particular won Smith the fight. There’s no way I would’ve give it to him by five or six rounds. Listen I think Callum’s a talented kid but he’s not a Super Middleweight. He’s a Light Heavyweight.”

If Cox is victorious against Groves, he could get into the ring with long term target Chris Eubank Jr (25-1-0, 19 KO’s) in the semi final fight in the Super Middleweight tournament providing Eubank gets past unknown Turkish contender Avni Yildirim (16-0-0, 10 KO’s) on October 7 in Stuttgart, Germany.

In 2015 Cox’s then promoter Frank Warren made an offer to Team Eubank to make the fight but never received a response. The Swindon southpaw, who signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing earlier this year, had since took to social media to get Eubank into the ring. Promoter Hearn said in April he’d pay all of Cox’s purse to get the fight on but according to Costello, Eubank’s father Chris Eubank Sr, had no interest.


If I was Chris Eubank Jr’s father, I’d have avoided Jamie too, there’s no need for Chris to fight him. Chris is in a great position having Chris Eubank Sr as his father. Chris Eubank Jr doesn’t need Jamie, why would he want to fight Jamie? 


"The fight was put to him, Frank Warren put the fight to him and Eubank Sr flatly refused it and said ‘he’s not fighting Jamie Cox,’ Eddie Hearn also put the fight to him, in fact he went to Matchroom and was told Jamie Cox or nothing.”

Chris Eubank Sr approached Jamie in Monte Carlo and told him what a fantastic talent he was and that he has a huge future ahead of him. Chris Eubank [Jr.] is a good little fighter himself but all we’re focusing on right now is George Groves.”

Costello also expressed interesting thoughts on the enthralling recent encounter between Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Mexican challenger Saul Alvarez, which in the view of many, was tarnished by one rather peculiar scorecard.

"I was on the other side, personally I thought Canelo won by two rounds. I’m going to get slagged for that now! But that’s what I think. I thought the punch statistics were quite even, his ring craft was a hell of a lot superior and he landed with more force. I had Alvarez winning by two rounds, but a very close fight.”

"A draw? You can’t argue with it. 118-110 sounds ridiculous, but then you have got to look at how the judge was scoring each round. She could’ve had each round wafer thin, but look, she’s done it before. There’s definitely something wrong with her scorecards and in my opinion she shouldn’t be judging any longer.”

Article by: Isaiah Benjamin

You can follow Isaiah on Twitter at: @Mr_IsaiahG
By Behind The Gloves 09 Oct, 2017
Australian Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (17-0-1) is expected to take on Londoner Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran (17-1) in the maiden defence of his WBO world welterweight title.

Promoter Bob Arum, who co-promotes Horn, has suggested that the WBO world title fight will take place at the SunCorp Stadium in Brisbane on Friday 15th December, televised live on ESPN.

Brisbane’s Horn, 29, won the WBO belt last July with a highly controversial decision against eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao.

“Pac Man” was expected to agree to a November rematch but pulled out due to his Senatorial duties in the Philippines taking priority.

Top Rank founder, Arum, is already looking ahead to that potentially lucrative return, “If Horn beats this kid, we could do the Pacquiao rematch in the first part of 2018 or go right to a fight with [Terence] Crawford. Pacquiao might not fight again. Who knows?”

Corcoran, 26, has been described as a fringe contender, whose biggest fight came in July 2016, when he suffered his only career defeat in a British super-welterweight title showdown with bitter rival Liam Williams.

Managed by Frank Warren and trained by Frank Greaves at the Peacock Gym in London, he dropped down a division after that sole loss and recently edged past unbeaten Prizefighter winner Larry Ekundayo by split decision on July 8 to claim the vacant WBO Inter-Continental welterweight strap.

Winning that belt placed him at no.10 in the WBO world rankings, seven spots below stable-mate Bradley Skeete, also signed with Warren, who many anticipated winning the shot at the world title.

Horn’s selection for his first defence has been criticised by some, but his pick of a top-10 ranked opponent with the same number of wins should make for a good contest, even though “The Hornet” has one eye on a bigger fight in 2018 with either Crawford or Pacquiao.

Corcoran beat off WBO #3 Bradley Skeete, #8 Luciano Veron and #10 Ray Robinson to land the world title shot down under.

Arum favoured Corcoran’s style over other possible contenders, “Corcoran at least will bring the fight to Horn,” he said.

“We are clearing a location in Brisbane and then we can go ahead with the fight, which will now take place in December instead of November, which is what we were originally planning,” Arum said the fight probably will take place on Friday 15th December in Brisbane.

“We are waiting for the guys in Australia to finalise the plans for the stadium in the next day or two. They’re finishing that up and then we’ll send out the contracts, but everything is done with (Corcoran promoter) Frank (Warren) for the fight,” said Arum, adding that the Queensland government is heavily involved in bankrolling the fight, as it was when Horn faced Pacquiao in one of the biggest bouts in Australian history.

Horn won a debatable decision against Pacquiao on July 2 before a crowd of 51,000 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane in the first main event of Top Rank’s deal with ESPN.

Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, nearly knocked out the 29-year-old home fighter in the ninth-round but couldn’t put him away.

Most spectators thought Pacquiao, who had been bloodied by multiple cuts from accidental head-butts, was the clear winner, but he ended up losing his 147-pound world title by a unanimous decision on scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113.

Pacquiao had the right to an immediate rematch and said he planned to fight Horn again in November, but changed his mind because of a busy schedule with his day job in the Philippine Senate.

He may return for the rematch in 2018 providing that “The Hornet” gets past the “Hellraiser” first.

Follow JE Promotions on Twitter @GaryCorcoran21
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