MURRAY: I DON’T WANT THIS TO END


MARTIN MURRAY RELUCTANTLY concedes that it is a case of win or bust for him when he defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against the dangerous Hassan N’Dam on Saturday.

In what should be a compelling contest at the Manchester Arena, the 36-year-old four-time world title challenger bids to extend his winning run to five against former WBA Regular champion N’Dam and place himself in pole position for a fifth strike at world honours.

Should it not go his way against the 36-3 Frenchman, the final bell will likely call time on the career of the 37-4-1 stalwart from St Helens, who doesn’t see himself embarking on another lengthy rebuild when he has a young family to consider.

“It is the rebuild, working your way all the way back up again,” reasoned the 6ft middleweight. “I’ve got too much going on for that and my family is my main priority.

“I don’t hold it against boxing because the life we have got is because of boxing – my whole family know it. It does at some stage affect my family life and I won’t let it go on forever.

“So that is why I won’t rebuild again,” he confirmed, before relaying a tale of how a Christmas voyage on the high seas hit some turbulence due to fight scheduling.

“We booked a holiday 18 months ago – a cruise around Asia – and we go on December 20. I am now fighting on the 22nd, so now my wife, my kids, my mum fly over on the 20th, then I’ll fight and fly on the 23rd with my dad. We get to Vietnam on the 24th, but they will be at sea and don’t dock until the 25th so I am not going to see my kids until Christmas Day.

“They are the sacrifices I am making and, what I am saying is, with a loss for me I would not rebuild and do it all again.

“Some people are lucky to get one shot and I’ve had four. I believe that if I fight for another world title, no other British fighter will have done it. Frank Bruno and George Groves won it at four and nobody else has won it after five times.

“I know there will definitely not be a sixth and all I want to do is become world champion. I do really feel it is my destiny.”

Knowing that the book will be closed on his career should his arm not be raised aloft after his fight on BT Sport Box Office on Saturday night, Murray confesses is something that drives him harder in training to delay the reading of the final chapter.

“Of course it does, it helps with momentum and keeping young. I love going to the gym and the crack we have there. I love it when I feel fit and when I’ve got a big fight announced. I love everything about it – apart from the last two weeks when the dieting gets hard.

“I don’t want this to end, so it is keeping me focussed, although it (retirement) is there and I know it is going to happen. I don’t want it to end so I am training as hard as I can and as smart as I can as well.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. Mark Heffron and Liam Williams contest the vacant British middleweight title and Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Razvan Cojanu, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Billy Joe Saunders makes his return to the ring and Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

Elsewhere on the bill, world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1), Manchester’s 12-0 Light Heavyweight Lyndon Arthur and 7-0 Darlington middleweight Troy Williamson also return to action.

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester Arena.

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BOWEN-CLARK BRITISH TITLE BUST UP LANDS IN LEICESTER


Sam Bowen makes a highly-anticipated first defence of his British super featherweight title against Ronnie Clark at the Morningside Arena, Leicester on February 23, live on BT Sport.

Light Heavyweight sensation Anthony Yarde (17-0) will also return to action in a defence of his WBO Intercontinental light heavyweight title. The show will feature a number of the city’s finest young prospects, including a Midlands Area title challenge for 9-0 super welterweight CJ Challenger and the return of 11-1 super featherweight Lyon Woodstock.
 
Elsewhere on the bill, 14-0 Cruiserweight Jack ‘One Smack’ Massey will look to climb the world rankings as he challenges for the WBO European cruiserweight title.

Bowen, 26, was originally scheduled to defend his title against Clark, 33, this weekend before the 14-0 man from Ibstock in Leicestershire was forced to withdraw after suffering a rib injury in sparring against his gym-mate David Avanesyan.

It was a setback which disrupted some strong momentum built-up by Bowen, who won the Lonsdale belt against Maxi Hughes in April before – after signing a promotional agreement with Frank Warren – adding a second belt to his collection with a hugely impressive fourth round stoppage of Horacio Alfredo Cabral for the vacant WBO Intercontinental title at the same Leicester venue in October.

Bowen will be bidding to vindicate his firm belief that he is the top man in the domestic division against the wily Scot from Dundee, who recorded a significant upsetting of the odds in his last fight in February.
In front of a packed house at York Hall, Clark lived up to his pre-fight promise and de-railed the unbeaten quest of formidable prospect Zelfa Barrett to win the vacant IBF European title.

Clark spectacularly sent Barrett to the canvas in the sixth round before proceeding to win via a majority decision at the end of 12 rounds.
 
Featherweight talent Ryan Garner (7-0), Scottish Light Heavyweight amateur standout Willy Hutchinson (6-0), Tamworth’s 4-0 Light Heavyweight Ryan Hatton all return to action in Leicester along with a second professional outing for Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury at Light Heavyweight.

Tickets from £40 are on sale NOW via Eventbrite.

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COJANU STEPS IN TO FIGHT GORMAN IN MANCHESTER

COJANU STEPS IN TO FIGHT GORMAN IN MANCHESTER
Razvan Cojanu will step in to take on Ricky Hatton-trained heavyweight prospect Nathan Gorman on December 22nd after the late pull-out of Gorman’s original opponent, Alex Leapai.

Romanian-born Cojanu was scheduled to fight Britain’s other big heavyweight prospect, Daniel Dubois this Saturday at the Brentwood Centre but due to illness, Dubois was forced to withdraw from the bout.

But fortunately for both fighters, Cojanu will now make his way up north next week and challenge Gorman at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd, live on BT Sport Box Office.

“I’m disappointed Leapai didn’t get on the plane. He’s given it some bad mouth which isn’t really my style, but in my world, if you are going to do that then you come and have a fight. Words are cheap, maybe he regretted his words knowing what was coming?” said Gorman.

He continued: “I thought it was going to be a big let down trying to get an opponent this late but at the very last minute, Daniel’s bad luck has proved well for me; that’s ironic really.

“I get to fight a guy who fought for a world title just last year and took Joseph Parker the distance, so he is a better opponent in many respects.

“He is here, he is in the country and I’m looking forward to putting on a show again at the Manchester Arena.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. Mark Heffron and Liam Williams contest the vacant British middleweight title and Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Razvan Cojanu, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Billy Joe Saunders makes his return to the ring and Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

Elsewhere on the bill. World flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0) return to action. Manchester’s 12-0 Light Heavyweight Lyndon Arthur and 7-0 Darlington middleweight Troy Williamson also return.

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester Arena.

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FLANAGAN: ‘I’M HUNGRY TO GET A WORLD TITLE BACK IN 2019’

Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith Livepic


Former World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Lightweight Champ Terry Flanagan is aiming to rule the roost again in 2019, after suffering his only two career defeats this year. 

Terry, 33-2 (13), hoped to become a two-weight world champ in June when he took on Texan Maurice Hooker for the vacant WBO World Super Lightweight crown in his home city of Manchester – but ended up on the wrong end of a split decision. 

Then, in October in New Orleans, ‘Turbo’ was outpointed by highly-rated, big-punching American, Regis Prograis after entering the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS); this time hitting the canvas for the first time in his career.

With those setbacks behind him, Flanagan has since revealed that tendonitis – and an inability to do roadwork – hadn’t helped with making the lightweight limit.  With the problem now resolved,the Mancunian says he would definitely compete again at lightweight if the right opportunity presented itself, but also still hopes to land the big fights at super lightweight.

“Personally, I thought the Prograis fight was a close one,” explained Flanagan, who is back in the gym, ticking over with trainer Steve Maylett.  “Other than the round when I got knocked down, which he won clearly, I even came back at him in that round.  He’s a good fighter, don’t get me wrong, bu the never dominated me in any round, but obviously he was the home fighter and I knew it was going to be hard winning on points over there. 

“We were hoping I’d catch him coming in, but he fought differently to what we expected.  It was good tactics from him,we expected him to try and blow me away, but he went on the back foot.  We trained for him to walk onto shots, but he never really committed to anything.  The round where I did try and go forward, I got put on my arse, so maybe if I’d have done that more I might have got knocked out!  It was a bad night for me, but it was a good experience going over there and fighting away from home.  It was just a shame about the result.

“I’m in between lightweight and light welter, and I just want the quickest route back to a world title.  I can still make lightweight, and I’m plenty big enough for light welterweight.  It’s just that I fought one of the most awkward fighters at 10 stone (Maurice Hooker) and then came up against the [WBSS} favourite in his hometown!  I don’t think I did enough to win the Prograis fight, but everyone was saying ‘itwon’t go past a few rounds’, and I felt as strong as him in there. 

“I’ve said to [manager] Steve [Wood], whatever comes up first, whether it’s lightweight or light-welter, then I’m easy. I’d face anyone – Lomachenko, Mikey Garcia, Crolla, Luke Campbell, Josh Taylor – those big fights are the ones I want; and I’ve proved that.  My first fight at 10 stone was a world title fight after being out of the ring for 14 months, and when I lost I could have had an easy warm up, but I wanted to get in and test myself against the best

[against Prograis]

.  Josh [Taylor] is a great fighter, I rate him highly.  I think he’ll win the WBSS and, down the line, it’s the kind of fight I want.

“I’d like rematches with Hooker and Prograis too, I want them more than anything, to avenge those losses.  I thought the Hooker fight was close, it was a split decision and I thought I might have done enough to nick it.  He’s a good fighter though, and has just got another good win, but I said to Steve that I’d even have gone over to Texas to fight him, but it never came off.

“Looking back at the Hooker fight, for the first four or five rounds until I got the bad cut, I was winning comfortably, but I just lost my head.  I never got hurt against him, and he was the big guy, the 10-stone fighter.  Prograis was meant to be this massive puncher but I was never hurt until the knockdown, and it was a flash knockdown.  I was up quick, and had my legs straight away.

“I know people will be looking at me and saying, ‘he lost his last two fights, the wheels have well and truly fallen off’, but it’s not the case.  I had the longest unbeaten record of any active British boxer, but that pressure’s off now.  That was holding me back, my trainer said to me in fights I was winning that I was holding back because I didn’t want to get beat; I was just doing enough to win.  I needed to just go in and let my boxing flow, and I think that’s what will happen now.  I was always more worried about losing than winning the fights.  I still feel fresh, hungry and that I’ve got a lot more to give.  You still haven’t seen the best of me.”

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FLU FORCES DUBOIS OUT OF COJANU CLASH


Daniel Dubois (9-0) has been forced to withdraw from his fight with Razvan Cojanu scheduled for Saturday night (15th December) at the Brentwood Centre.
 
The BT Sport televised show will go ahead as planned, however, today’s scheduled press conference at the Grosvenor House in London has been cancelled.
 
Dubois, who came down with flu this week, is bitterly disappointed that he will not be fit to box on Saturday night and is deeply apologetic to his fans.
 
Dubois said: “In a sport like boxing, if you are less than 100 per cent health-wise going into the fight, then the only sensible option is to withdraw and go again on another date. It is bitterly disappointing for me, all the same, because I was looking forward to reaching double figures in professional fights before Christmas.

“That will just  have to wait now and I can only say I am sorry to Razvan and the people who were coming out to watch me on Saturday night.”
 
Promoter Frank Warren said: “This is a big blow but the show must go on. I feel for the fans and for Razvan but if Daniel has got the flu, there’s no way I’m letting him fight. It’s important we still deliver to the live and the TV audience and they can look forward to seeing many of London’s finest boxing talents on Saturday night.”
 
Saturday night’s show at the Brentwood Centre will go ahead as planned with 9-0 Super Flyweight sensation Sunny Edwards and Junior Granados clashing for the WBO Intercontinental Super Flyweight Championship. Former British Welterweight Champion Bradley Skeete also returns to action and takes on Argentina’s 16-2 Diego Ramirez.
 
Also showcasing their talents in Brentwood will be exciting super featherweight Ryan Garner (7-0), super welterweight Hamza Sheeraz (5-0), former Team GB flyweight Harvey Horn (3-0) and middleweight Caoimhin Agyarko (1-0). Cruiserweight James Branch (2-0) is also in action and there are debuts for lightweights Mark Chamberlain (Portsmouth) and Mohammad Bilal Ali (Beckton).

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BILLY JOE BACK ON HUGE WARRINGTON-FRAMPTON CARD


Billy Joe Saunders makes his long-awaited return to the ring next weekend (Dec 22) at the Manchester Arena after being added to the blockbuster bill topped by Josh Warrington defending his IBF world featherweight title against two-weight world champion Carl Frampton.

The year of 2018 has represented a period of enforced inactivity and injury frustration for the former WBO world middleweight champion, who relinquished the belt following the failure of the Massachusetts Commission to issue him a licence for his mandatory defence against Demetrius Andrade in Boston back in October.

Two scheduled defences against Martin Murray were both aborted due to injuries suffered by the champion, resulting in Saunders not building on the momentum of a hugely positive and busy end to 2017.

His last fight and perhaps his career-best performance to date came nearly a year ago when he travelled to Canada to put his title on the line against the big-hitting David Lemieux.

The Canadian was hardly given a look-in against Saunders at his slickest and a shutout scoreline was recorded on the card of one judge. Three months previously at the Copper Box, the Hatfield man – who trains in Sheffield under Dominic Ingle – widely outpointed Willie Monroe jr, who is set to fight Jermall Charlo for the WBC Interim world middleweight title on the same night as Saunders’ own return.

There is a strong middleweight theme running through the Manchester card, with a barnstorming clash scheduled between Mark Heffron and Liam Williams for the vacant British title, while Martin Murray, who is bidding to put himself firmly in the world title picture, takes on a tough assignment against Hassan N’Dam.

Now Saunders is added to the mix, where he will take on the experienced Hungarian Zoltan Sera in a bid to extend his perfect professional record of 26-0. Sera, 33, who has fought at light heavyweight in his last two fights, has recorded 22KOs from his 32 wins.

Despite his hopes of making a lucrative defence in Boston being dashed, Saunders has remained in training and will be looking to reclaim his world title property in 2019 after sharpening his highly-skilled tools against Sera in Manchester.
 
IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. Mark Heffron and Liam Williams contest the vacant British middleweight title and Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

Elsewhere on the bill. World flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0) return to action. Manchester’s 12-0 Light Heavyweight Lyndon Arthur and 7-0 Darlington middleweight Troy Williamson also return.

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester Arena.

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MOORE: BEATING SELBY WAS JOSH’S BIG NIGHT


JAMIE MOORE says that Josh Warrington will struggle to replicate his stunning performance when he took Lee Selby’s IBF World Featherweight title in May.Warrington (27-0) upset the Welshman and he is now the underdog again ahead of his first defence against Frampton (26-1) on Saturday December 22, live on BT Sport Box Office.

Frampton’s trainer Moore believes that was a once in a lifetime performance from Warrington in front of 25,000 fans at Elland Road, home of his beloved Leeds United.

“I think Lee Selby was probably his big night – I’ve got to be honest,” said Moore.

“Was Lee dead at the weight? No.  Absolutely not, because he wouldn’t have made it through 12 rounds. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like.

“Was he tight at the weight? Yes. But, a lot of fighters are tight at the weight. I don’t think you can take away from Josh’s performance by saying Lee was dead at the weight.

“I think Josh raised his game. That was the night he looked for in the whole of his boxing life. From being a kid he would have wanted to win a world title and hopefully had it at Elland Road.

“You can understand how he performed like that. But, Carl Frampton is a different level. To me, he is an elite level fighter.”

Moore is an admirer of Warrington, but when he breaks down their clash that many believe will be Fight of the Year he insists there is only one winner and doesn’t expect a 12 round distance contest.He added:

“Josh brings pace and work rate so we know Carl has to be on his game physically and he is on track.

“His jab, his judgement of range and distance. You can’t just go in there and out work someone who has got the skill set of Carl.

“It takes a lot more than that. You have to set those sort of things up and Carl is very good at stopping an opponent in their tracks or anticipating what they’re gonna do.

“His feet are nice. He has got an unorthodox defence so he’s not a typical hands up, fast feet boxer. He dips, rolls and slides and has an odd rhythm.

“Even though I know it will be competitive in fights like this where the styles are going to gel well, the better fighter with the skill set usually wins.

“Josh will be surprised how hard Carl hits. Since Carl moved up to featherweight people think he is not a puncher, but going in with the opponents he has been in with you can understand why he goes the distance.

“I am not giving away clues for the game plan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Carl gets him out of there.

“It won’t be early because I think Josh has got a good set of whiskers, but I think it will be a case of  breaking him down slowly and later on Carl will get to him.

“The way Carl’s performing, the mindset he’s in, the form he’s in – I can’t see anything but a big Carl Frampton win.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office.

Mark Heffron and Liam Williams contest the vacant British middleweight title and Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

Elsewhere on the bill. World flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0) return to action. Manchester’s 12-0 Light Heavyweight Lyndon Arthur and 7-0 Darlington middleweight Troy Williamson also return.

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester Arena.

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FRAMPTON: WARRINGTON HAS HAD AS MANY KNOCKOUT WINS AS I’VE HAD WORLD TITLE FIGHTS


CARL FRAMPTON SUSPECTS there is an underbelly of arrogance that is beginning to show in the words of his forthcoming opponent Josh Warrington, who he challenges for the IBF world featherweight title at the Manchester Arena on December 22, but counters by pointing out that he has fought in as many world title fights as the champion has victories via KO.

Northern Ireland’s national treasure is concluding his preparations for the BT Box Office showdown in Manchester with his trainer Jamie Moore and insists his own attitude towards opponents remains unchanged despite the gruelling effects of the business end of camp.

However, he believes the same cannot be said for Warrington, who he considers to be showing his true colours with comments regarding how the blockbuster collision will play out.

“I think I am a pretty laid back person and I don’t necessarily have a dislike for Josh Warrington,” Frampton told the launch edition of The Boxing Podcast. “But, I think there is something bubbling beneath the surface and he is a bit more arrogant than he lets on.

“It is just a few things that I have seen recently and it is starting to seep out. Maybe he is getting a wee bit carried away with this world title and fair play to him because he is a world champion and he is entitled to be proud of that.

“He is getting a bit too carried away though and I think there is a bit of arrogance in there somewhere that he is trying his best to keep away from the public.

“It is just a few wee things that he’s said. He’s said he’s going to knock me out and he doesn’t need to say that.

“It is a bit of an outrageous comment coming from a guy whose had as many knockout wins (six) as I’ve had world title fights. I don’t think he needed to say that.

“Also just a few little things that he’s said and done. I feel there is arrogance bubbling under the surface.”

Frampton added that the obvious edge that accompanied the build-up to Warrington’s world title win over Lee Selby in May might well come to the fore again this time around.

“Potentially, but I’ll just do what I’ve always done and I’ll respect opponents if I’m respected. I take it all with a pinch of salt and carry on thinking about myself and my own performance.

“I don’t get to caught up in it all, but we’ll see, as it gets closer and he gets a bit more on edge he may say a few things that aren’t that savoury. It doesn’t bother me.”
 
IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. Mark Heffron and Liam Williams contest the vacant British middleweight title and Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

Elsewhere on the bill. World flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0) return to action. Manchester’s 12-0 Light Heavyweight Lyndon Arthur and 7-0 Darlington middleweight Troy Williamson also return.

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester Arena.
 

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BROOK VS. ZERAFA WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER


DOORS 16:30
 
BOXING STARTS 17:00
 
4 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight contest
CALLUM HANCOCK 12st 1lb 9oz v IVAN NIKOLOV 12st 2lbs
(Sheffield)                                          (Bulgaria)
 
6 x 2 mins Lightweight contest
TERRI HARPER 9st 9lbs 2oz v FERICHE MASHAURY 9st 9lbs 5oz
(Denaby)                                      (Tanzania)
 
18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK 
 
6 x 3 mins Welterweight
ANTHONY TOMLINSON 11st 6lbs 1oz v INNOCENT ANYANWU 10st 6lbs
(Sheffield)                                                   (Netherlands)
 
6 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight contest
QAIS ASHFAQ 9st 3oz v JAY CARNEY 8st 12lbs 7oz
(Leeds)                              (Liverpool)

19:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

8 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
KID GALAHAD 9st 6lbs 1oz v BRYAN MAIRENA 9st 4lbs 12oz
(Sheffield)                                 (Nicaragua)
 
10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest
ANTHONY FOWLER 10st 13lbs 6oz v JOSE CARLOS PAZ 11st 3lbs 2oz
(Liverpool)                                              (Argentina)

12 x 3 mins Final Eliminator for IBF Super-Featherweight Championship
JONO CARROLL 9st 3lbs 6oz v GUILLAUME FRENOIS 9st 3lbs 5oz
(Dublin)                                         (France)
 
12 x 3 mins WBA International Welterweight Championship 
JOSH KELLY 10st 6lbs 7oz v DAVID AVANESYAN 10st 6lbs 6oz
(Sunderland)                           (Russia)
 
12 x 3 mins Final Eliminator WBA Super-Welterweight Championship
KELL BROOK 10st 10lbs 2oz v MICHAEL ZERAFA 10st 13lbs 8oz
(Sheffield)                                   (Australia)
 
FLOAT
 
4 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
SHAKIEL THOMPSON 11st 6lbs 1oz v KONSTANTIN ALE

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BROOK VS. ZERAFA PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Picture By Mark Robinson.


Eddie Hearn:

“We’re looking forward to a big show on Saturday. We’ve been to this great city many times. It feels like we’ve been coming here years with Kell, starting out at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre of course, travelling to the US when he beat Shawn Porter for the World title, defending his World title here in Sheffield, coming here to Bramall Lane fighting what is now probably regarded as the number one 147lbs fighter in the World in Erroll Spence in front of 25,000 people – it was a great night of boxing. 

“Seeing him today, I think he looks fitter, healthier, chirpier and more excited than I’ve ever seen him in his career so far. A fit, hungry and healthy Kell Brook is a very dangerous fighter. I believe that we’re going to get a fantastic performance from him on Saturday night. 

“There’s talk about the future, there’s talk about Amir Khan, one thing I know is that Kell Brook has many miles left on the clock. When there’s hunger in his heart, I believe he’s one of the best 147lbs fighters in the World.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing:

“We spent a lot of time here in Sheffield back in the late 90’s with the likes of Prince Naseem Hamed of course, Ryan Rhodes and our own Johnny Nelson. Kell Brook was just a young kid then coming through. It’s fantastic to see how he’s developed over the years. This is a wonderful fighting city, I’m really looking forward to being back here on Saturday night, it’s a great December with New York next week for Canelo vs. Rocky and then Whyte vs. Chisora at The O2 – a pre Christmas cracker. 

“It’s a great bill and it’s fantastic to see Kell back, I agree with Eddie, he looks in terrific shape and obviously he’s got the fire reignited alongside John Fewkes. Have a great one Saturday night, we’ll see you there.”

Kell Brook – Sheffield, England – 37-2, 26 KO’s – fighting Michael Zerafa in a Final Eliminator for the WBA Super-Welterweight World title:

“I’m feeling very fresh. I feel reborn. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and I am so happy. We got all the hard work done in our training camp. It couldn’t have gone any better. I’m raring to go now for Saturday. I’m looking to put a serious performance on.”Amir Khan is a con man, they should call him Amir ‘con’. This is his last big fight under Matchroom and I thought it was nailed on. He shook my hand and looked me dead in the eye and said we would fight next.”What can I do, I’ve bent over backwards and said I’d come down to 147. I’m doing everything I can for the fans, he’s turned his back on them. Everyone knows it’s him that’s running off. I want any elite fighter and could weigh in at 147 tomorrow if I wanted, I’ve got that buzz again.”I want the top guys, Shawn Porter with the WBC title if he wants a rematch or I’d love to bring Errol Spence Jr back in the summer and get the win.”

Michael Zerafa – Melbourne, Australia – 25-2, 14 KO’s – fighting Kell Brook in a Final Eliminator for the WBA Super-Welterweight World title:

“It’s a huge opportunity for me and the team. Kell Brook has done a lot of great things for the sport. We know it’s going to be a great fight but we’ve come prepared. His name is a World title to me. No stone has been left unturned, he’s just a man. He’s got two arms and a head and he bleeds red. The best Michael Zerafa is going to be there and it’s going to be fireworks.

“We’ve been studying him throughout our camp. He’s a great fighter but we saw a lot of flaws – too many holes in a ship and it sinks. We’ve got a game plan in place and come Saturday we’ll lay it all out.”

John Fewkes, trainer of Kell Brook:

“Kell is in fantastic shape. It’s great to be a part of this if I’m honest with you. Kell is happy and he’s been dragging me out of bed at half past six in the morning. This camp couldn’t have gone any better. I’m looking for a very special performance on Saturday. He has another two, three or four years in him at the top of the game – easily.”

Blake Caparello, trainer of Michael Zerafa:

“The good thing about Michael is that he comes into camp fit and only a couple of kilos over weight, so we can focus straight on the boxing. He’s coming over here in great spirits. The English public have been awesome towards us. I know they think he’s coming as an opponent but Michael isn’t an opponent, he’s coming here to win. Kell Brook’s name is a World title to Michael so we’re coming to his back yard to beat him.”

Josh Kelly – Sunderland, England – 8-0, 6 KO’s – defending his WBA International Welterweight belt against David Avanesyan:

“I need someone to come and really try to take my head off. A lot of people want to take my head off because I look like an arrogant guy. I’ve got a switch when I go into the ring, I’m a different man in there. I’ve got a lot of respect for David Avanesyan. It’s four weeks since my last fight, it has been a quick turn around. I’m feeling fresh and relaxed, I feel nice. 

“Stylistically I’m ready for this sort of fight. It’s sort of the typical boxer versus fighter match-up. It’s going to be a great fight and a night that I’ll enjoy.”

David Avanesyan – Tabynskoe, Russia – 22-3-1, 11 KO’s – challenging Josh Kelly for the WBA International Welterweight title:

“This is a big fight for me. I like this fight, I want this fight, I’m hungry. I’m ready for this fight. I will do my best, everything is good. 

“Josh was a very good amateur boxer and I’m expecting a tough 12 rounds against him.”

Jono Carroll – Dublin, Ireland – 16-0, 3 KO’s – fighting Guillaume Frenois in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Featherweight World title :

“I need to be in with people that will test me. This Frenchman is very experienced. I hope he is up for a war because us Irish love to go to war. I’m ready for anything. I’m looking to impress, I don’t want to just win this fight – I want to impress and I’m going to show the little peanut head Tevin Farmer that I’ll eat him alive when his time comes.

“I truly believe that the only person that could test me to my limits would be someone like Gervonta Davis. That would be a dog fight, me and him going head-to-head. That would be a war, you’d see the true Jono Carroll go to war. 

“Nothing is going to stop me, I don’t really look too much into who I’m fighting. I just try to be the best boxer that I can possibly be and the rest takes care of itself. I’m getting better and better each time I fight because my level of opposition is getting better and better.” 

Guillaume Frenois – Aisne, France – 46-1, 12 KO’s – fighting Jono Carroll in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Featherweight World title:

“I’m very pleased to be here in Sheffield, it’s a great place for boxing. When the IBF ordered this Final Eliminator I was determined to come and get my chance to fight for the World title. After a two month camp I’m ready to win. If you target a World title  you must be a warrior, he will meet a French warrior on Saturday.”

Anthony Fowler – Liverpool, England – 8-0, 7 KO’s – fighting Jose Carlos Paz in a 10 round Super-Welterweight contest:

“Dave Coldwell knows that I need tests, there’s no point in me getting in the ring and just dominating people like I have been. I’ve had 8 fights and I’ve been cocky. I haven’t broken a sweat so far, it has been easy and straight forward fights. This lad has been at the top level, he’s ranked 40 on BoxRec – much higher than me, so he’s mixed at a much higher class and this is the fight where I show what I’m about. It’s going to be a great fight.”

Kid Galahad – Sheffield, England – 25-0, 15 KO’s – fighting Bryan Mairena in a 8 round Super-Featherweight contest:

“It was a good win out in Boston, he was a tough kid. I did everything that I had to do in that fight to win. Hopefully on Saturday I’ll get this kid out of the way and then I’ll be ringside watching Frampton and Warrington on the 22nd.

“I’d like to thank Eddie Hearn, Matchroom and Sky Sports. Three fights this year and hopefully next year you can get me four fights. I’ll be fighting for the World title, win that and then another three fights after that.”

Qias Ashfaq – Leeds, England – 3-0, 1 KO – fighting Jay Carney in a 6 round Super-Bantamweight contest:

“I can’t wait to get out there now, it’s been a long training camp. I’m starting to finally feel myself in the pro game. Before I turned pro I had a good year and a half off with injuries and sorting a promotional deal out but now I’m in the best place in the World at Matchroom Boxing. I feel amazing, it’s a little step up against Jay Carney this weekend and I’m looking forward to showing what I’m made of. 

“I’m ready to step up, I’ve taken my time so far. I’m ready to step up slowly and next year hopefully get a few titles around my waist as well.”

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