IT’S SHOWTIME! LEGENDARY HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCER JIMMY LENNON JR. TO INTRODUCE DeGALE-EUBANK CLASH

Premier Boxing Champion (PBC) and Poxon Sports are delighted to announce that legendary boxing International Hall of Fame ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. will introduce James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr. ahead of their electrifying Super Middleweight clash at The O2 on Saturday 23rd February, exclusively LIVE on ITV Box Office.

Lennon’s golden voice has thrilled millions of fight fans over the last 30 years, with his famous catchphrase “It’s Showtime!” elevating the excitement to fever pitch at sell-out arenas in more than 32 countries across the globe and at over 1,000 world title fights.

DeGale v Eubank Jr headlines a superb show that also features the explosive Commonwealth Heavyweight Title showdown between the Champion Joe Joyce and challenger and Former World Champion Bermane Stiverne; the long awaited return of Former IBF World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby; plus the British Light-Heavyweight Title Eliminator between Andre Sterling and Ricky Summers.

Lennon said, “I’m thrilled to be joining PBC and Poxon Sports for this big event on February 23rd. The fight card line-up looks fantastic and rich with competitive fights. And the main event certainly has the potential to be an epic event. On that upcoming night at The O2, I simply can’t wait to see DeGale and Eubank Jr. make their walk to the ring, introduce them before their respective fans and then sit down to watch the action unfold along with the thousands of vocal, chanting and singing Brits. It’s going to be magical and there is no place in the world I would rather be!”

The blockbuster fight between bitter rivals DeGale and Eubank Jr. kicks-off 2019 in sensational style and Lennon cannot wait to be at the very centre of another defining fight on these shores.

Jimmy said, “Announcing fights in the UK holds a special place in my heart for a number of reasons. The fans are the best in the world creating an unparalleled atmosphere that I wish boxing aficionados across the globe could experience even once in their lives.”

A 2013 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Jimmy has been at the microphone for hundreds of iconic bouts, including Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield, Winky Wright vs. Félix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao and most recently Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury.

He has been in the vortex of so many illustrious clashes in the UK, and some of the most famous were in the talent packed 168lb division, involving legendary names like Joe Calzaghe, Steve Collins, Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Richie Woodall, Robin Reid and Carl Froch.

Lennon recalled, “I have had the opportunity to be a part of a number of historic battles in the UK.  And some of the most memorable events have been, coincidentally, in the 168-pound division like the DeGale vs Eubank showdown.  Certainly, I have many fond memories of being a part of great events in the UK like the Tyson fights, the Naseem Hamed performances and many others but it is uncanny how the British Super Middleweights have risen to the top throughout the years. I have had the chance to announce Joe Calzaghe, Steve Collins, Nigel Benn, Richie Woodall, Robin Reid and Carl Froch among many others.  More recently, I have announced current British greats like Callum Smith, Chris Eubank, Jr., James DeGale and the recently retired George Groves.”

Jimmy’s UK announcing debut was on one of the most defining nights in the rich heritage of British boxing, the near mythical confrontation between Chris Eubank Jr’s father and Nigel Benn on October 9, 1992 at Manchester United’s Old Trafford, which took place in front of 42,000 fans who crammed into the stadium and the millions who watched on ITV.

Jimmy reminisced about that famous night, which is etched into the memories of so many fight fans, “My very first event in the UK was for Benn v Eubank 2.  I’ll never forget the great action, the boisterous crowd and the chilly circumstances at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester…the coldest I have ever been at a boxing event!”

He was in the ring to announce many of Super Middleweight great Joe Calzaghe’s fights, arguably Britain’s finest ever boxer, including his 2006 demolition of IBF champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, an American who had been compared to Mike Tyson and was considered one of the hottest prospects in World boxing at the time.

He remembers Calzaghe’s fights with affection, “I also remember fondly the many Joe Calzaghe fights I announced and the mastery with which he dismantled his opponents.  I recall how so many of my America colleagues predicted that Jeff Lacy would destroy Joe and ignored my disagreement with them.  I had been in the centre of the ring for numerous Calzaghe fights and was well aware of his exceptional skills. History records that I was right and Joe was brilliant that night.”
Tickets available from www.AXS.com and Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality from www.sportandmusic.co.uk This fight will be shown exclusively on ITV Box Office. For further information and updates, please go to www.itvboxoffice.com
For further event information, please visit www.poxonsports.uk and www.premierboxingchampions.com or follow on Twitter and Instagram at @PoxonSports, @PremierBoxing, @ITVBoxOffice, @ITVBoxing and join the conversation with #DeGaleEubankJr Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PoxonSports/, www.facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions and www.facebook.com/ITVBoxing/

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GARCIA VS. CHEESEMAN + UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Eddie Hearn:

“I feel a real transition now in British boxing. I’ve said it before, the older guard are starting to come to the end of some of their careers. We saw David Haye step away from the sport, Tony Bellew and so many other great Saturday night headliners are close to being in those final phases of their careers. 

“Now, you have the young lions at The O2. We want to give them the big platform and opportunities to shine. There’s so much pressure for the boys on this top table. I love the pressure that’s involved. I can’t believe we’re only two days away from Jake Ball vs. Craig Richards, it feels like we’ve been waiting for this fight for two years. Everybody wants to get on and get to the next level. The loser of that fight is out of the picture. Young Felix Cash in against Rasheed Abolaji for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title. He has to win and look good doing it. 

“Garcia vs. Cheeseman is a great fight and I think it’s a 50-50 fight. On paper, Garcia has much more pedigree and experience that Ted. But he’s stepping up and I love the fact that we’ve got a local boy headlining his first card at The O2.”

Sergio Garcia – Torrelavega, Spain – 28-0, 13 KO’s – defending the EBU European Super-Welterweight title against Ted Cheeseman:

“I’m happy to be here for this fight and for the show that we’re going to put on. It’s a really big showcase and I’m sure that I can put the best of myself out there. 

“To be honest, I like being the away fighter. All of the pressure is on the home fighter. I’ve just come here to show what I’ve got and to put in a good performance.

“If he wins, he will have deserved it. If I win, I will have been better than him. There won’t be any excuses from me. I’m 100% fit and feeling ready.”

Ted Cheeseman – Bermondsey, London – 15-0, 9 KO’s – challenging Sergio Garciafor the the EBU European Super-Welterweight title:

“These are the tests that I want. This is the right test for me at the right time. I’m heading a show at The O2 and I’m only 23. I didn’t expect to be at this level so quickly. I’m excited to get in there and get the win. 
 
“I don’t feel nervous. I’m fully confident of winning and performing. The only pressure that’s on me is I need to put in a big performance. I’ve got to this level and I want to stay here and go higher. There’s bigger and better things to come. 
 
“These type of fights push you to the next level. Things are coming off in the gym and I’m looking very sharp. If he comes to fight we’ll meet in the middle and clash. It’s going to be exciting for the fans to watch.”

Lawrence Okolie – Hackney, London – 10-0, 7 KO’s – defending his WBA Continental Cruiserweight title against Tamas Lodi:

“It’s amazing to be on a card with so many great fighters. For me now it’s all about putting into practice what I do in training in fights. I need to be a bit more relaxed and be myself more in fights. I need to progress fight by fight. 

“The pressure is on me to put in some big performances. I’m used to pressure though, within my ten fights I’ve headlined two shows. This is normal, you just do what you do. I said when I turned pro I don’t want to waste time boxing lots of journeyman, this Saturday I have to because people in Britain are better at talking that fighting. I’ll get the win and push on to big fight.”
 
Jake Ball – Surrey, England – 12-1, 9 KO’s – fighting Craig Richards for the WBA Continental Light-Heavyweight title:

“It’s plain and simple. All the talking is done now. Roll on fight night, let’s rock and roll. Ive been through those hard fights, dug deep and gone into the trenches to get the win. Come fight night Craig is going to be shown his level. There’s levels to the game and I’ll show Craig he’s not on my level. Craig Richards is getting knocked out.”

Craig Richards – Crystal Palace, London – 13-1, 7 KO’s – fighting Jake Ball for the WBA Continental Light-Heavyweight title:

“First of all I’d like to thank everyone for coming out. I want to say happy birthday to Peter Sims as well. It’s been a tremendous camp. We moved over to the Matchroom Gym with Tony and we’ve been working with the boys. We’re over there working hard. Development has been great and I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a very long time.

“Everyone is in for a thriller on Saturday night. I’ve trained very hard and I want it bad – he wants it bad. We’ve got two days left, I’m just hoping Jack’s still alright and turns up on the night.”

Felix Cash – Wokingham, England – 10-0, 6 KO’s – fighting Rasheed Abolaji for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title:

“This is my first 12 round fight. I did 10 rounds last time. I’m looking forward to getting in there and showing everyone what I’m all about. He mentioned the judges and they definitely won’t be needed on Saturday.”
 
“He’s tough, I expect him to be tough for a few rounds but there’s levels in this sport and I’m levels above this guy. I need to show him that and that’s what I intend to do. I’m looking forward to getting in there and doing a job on him.”

Rasheed Abolaji – Lagos, Nigeria – 11-4-1, 6 KO’s – fighting Felix Cash for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title:

“I am set for the fight. I was here in 2017, I fought against Sam Sheedy, I believe I won. The judges felt otherwise. So on Saturday I’m not going to leave it in their hands.”

John Docherty – Montrose, Scotland – 2-0, 2 KO’s – fighting Prezemyslaw Binienda in a four round Super-Middleweight contest: 

“I’m looking for the KO. I’m looking forward to being on a big bill on the undercard of my gym mate Ted Cheeseman. I’m lookin a great night and hopefully getting another knockout. They’ve all got titles in my gym and it gives me motivation. I just want to have a title fight. I’ve only had two fights and I’m looking forward to the future. Hopefully I’ll have a title soon.”

Fabio Wardley – Ipswich, England – 5-0, 4 KO’s – fighting Morgan Dessaux six round Heavyweight contest:

“It’s nice to have back-to-back fights at The O2. It’s a great venue and it’s great to be on the same card as so many up and coming fighters. I’m looking forward to getting out there again and just showing everyone more of my skills and what I’m about. I’m letting people know that I’m here and I’m ready to make an impact on the  Heavyweight division. After a few more fights I’ll be aiming for titles and I’m ready to go. 

“There’s no names in particular that I’m hunting right now, I’m very focused on myself and my own personal development. The Souther Area and the English titles before the end of the year would be nice.”

Dano Zaxo – Hammersmith, London – 3-0, 2 KO’s – fighting Bartosz Barczynski in a four round Cruiserweight contest:

“We got the call and we jumped at the chance. This is going to be a big one for me, it’s my first big show a lot of people coming along to watch me. They’re going to be excited to see what I’ve got for them. It’s a pleasure to be part of the show, thanks for the opportunity.”

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CHEESEMAN – I’LL NEVER SHY AWAY FROM A CHALLENGE

Picture By Mark Robinson.

‘The Big Cheese’ ready to conquer Europe
Ted Cheeseman says he is ready to announce himself on the big stage when he takes on Spain’s undefeated European Super-Welterweight Champion Sergio Garcia at The O2 in London on Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 
 
The Bermondsey star, 15-0, inflicted a punishing defeat on Reading bad boy Asinia Byfield to claim the vacant British title last time out. A defence of the Lonsdale belt didn’t interest ‘The Big Cheese’, who has instead opted to continue his push towards World glory. 
 
“To be honest, sometimes you sit there and think ‘cor, I could do with an easy one now’, but as a fighter you love being involved in testing fights,” said Cheeseman. “You want to get everyone talking about you and to be known as someone that is tough and will fight anyone. I think I’m starting to get a reputation as someone that won’t turn down a challenge.
 
“I’m one of those fighters who will always look at what opportunities there are out there for me. After the Byfield win, Charlie Sims asked me if I’d looked at any opponents to defend my British title against. There isn’t anyone else at British level other than Fowler or Fitzgerald that I’d be interested in defending it against. I’d rather not just have an easy defence and try to win the belt outright. I’d rather push on and aim at what I turned pro to do, and that’s to become a World Champion.
 
A step-up to European level has been difficult for fellow Brits such as Lewis Ritson, who suffered his first career loss to Francesco Patera at the Metro Radio Arena in October, but Cheeseman believes his ring experience will help him earn another impressive victory in London.
 
“On paper, Garcia looks exceptional,” admitted Cheeseman. “He’s 28-0, 13 knockouts. A lot of people are saying to me ‘Do you really need this fight yet? Is it a step too far?’. But I’ve got a good manager, a good coach. I’m coming on in the gym all the time. These are the fights I need. I’m pushing on and hoping to go all the way.
 
“I’m feeling much more experienced now with my timing in the ring, my ring craft, and I can’t wait to get in there and show everyone how good I am. I’ve had test after test and I’m 100% confident of getting the win. It’s not like I’ve just had one test and now I’m stepping up. I’ve done it for the last two years. I’m firing on all cylinders in the gym, feeling really good. 

“Since my seventh fight, I boxed Lloyd Ellett who was 20-1, I boxed Jack Sellars who was 5-0, I boxed Matt Ryan who was 14-1. These are all tough British opponents. Then I fought Carson Jones, Paul Upton and Asinia Byfield. I’ve been building steadily and I’m ready for another challenge this weekend.”

Garcia vs. Cheeseman tops a huge night of action in London. 

Light-Heavyweight rivals Jake Ball and Craig Richards finally face-off in a highly-anticipated grudge match for the WBA Continental title. 
 
Unbeaten British Cruiserweight Champion Lawrence Okolie returns to action as he defends his WBA Continental title against Hungary’s Tamas Lodi

Rising Wokingham Middleweight talent Felix Cash fights for his second professional title when he takes on Nigeria’s Abolaji Rasheed for the vacant Commonwealth strap.

Preston’s Scott Fitzgerald keeps busy in a six round contest ahead of his mouth-watering domestic clash with former GB teammate Anthony Fowler in March. 
 
Scotland’s fast-rising Super-Middleweight talent John Docherty aims to make it three KO’s from three fights, Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley looks to go 6-0, decorated amateur Charles Frankham makes his debut at Super-Featherweight and Hammersmith Light-Heavyweight Dana Zaxo takes part in his fourth professional contest.

 

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YARDE: “I CAN FEEL IT GETTING CLOSER”


ANTHONY YARDE BELIEVES he is rapidly closing in on a shot at a light heavyweight world title.

The charismatic 27-year-old, who carries explosive speed and power, faces his latest and most challenging audition yet against former European champion Mehdi Amar at the Morningside Arena in Leicester on February 23, live on BT Sport.

An impressive victory over an opponent who has suffered only one early finish – in his fourth fight due to injury – and was only defeated on points by the formidable now world champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk last year, will likely lead the WBO towards mandating the 17-0 Yarde to challenge the winner of this weekend’s rematch between Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev.

Yarde, who has been happy to bide his time up to now, suspects himself that his moment of world title truth is looming closer.

“I have said to myself when the time comes I have got to be ready,” said the WBO Intercontinental champion. “Sometimes they say it is energy, that you can feel things and I can feel it getting closer so I am pushing myself to the limit, literally, in trying to become a better fighter.

“I am trying to digest information in the best way I can, I am trying to become a better technical fighter who is more explosive, more powerful, more relaxed. Every aspect I am trying to work on.

“I said it right from the start of my career, I am not really training for now, I am training for the future.”

Yarde, along with his trainer-manager Tunde Ajayi, undertook a scouting mission back in August for the original Kovalev-Alvarez encounter in Atlantic City and witnessed first-hand the toppling of the Russian known as Krusher.

He views targeting the winner of the sequel as a logical sequence of events.

“Most definitely,” added the strapping six footer. “These are the world champions and I’ve always said it doesn’t matter who the champion is, I have just got to be ready for when I get to that stage. I am very nearly at that stage now, I am ranked No.1 by the WBO and No.8 in the world by BoxRec,  so that is a very big position – top ten in the world after 17 fights.

“So it shows I am doing something right and I’ve just got to keep working hard.”

So will Yarde, who doesn’t study boxing religiously, be tuning into BoxNation to see if Kovalev can recapture former glory against Alvarez?

“I might watch Alvarez-Kovalev, but I won’t be watching it to see what they are doing because I try not to watch my opponents to see what they are doing well.

“If you consistently watch a possible opponent you start to worry about what they do well. I just need to worry about what I do. I’ve seen Kovalev fight a few times – before I was even a professional – so I know what he is about and I know he is slowing down, although he has still got the power, obviously.

“But until I am booked to fight these guys I don’t need to pay them any attention.”
 
Anthony Yarde’s defence of his WBO Intercontinental light heavyweight title against Mehdi Amar at the Morningside Arena shares top billing with the British super featherweight champion Sam ‘Bullet’ Bowen. Local fighters CJ Challenger and Kyle Haywood do battle for the vacant Midlands Area super welterweight title, with Nathan Gorman, Lyon Woodstock, Ryan Garner, Willy Hutchinson, Tommy Fury, Ryan Hatton and Mark Chamberlain also featuring on the card.

Tickets are available from £40 are on sale NOW via Eventbrite

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ARMY HERO CHEZ NIHELL KICKS OFF PRO CAREER ON DeGALE-EUBANK JR. CARD

London (29 January 2019) LCpl Chez Nihell, 6-time UK Combined Services Champion and England’s reigning ABA Elite Super Heavyweight Champion, will make his pro debut on a massive stage at The O2 on Saturday 23rd February, promoted by Poxon Sports for Premier Boxing Champion (PBC). 

Chez, a member of The 27 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, will step between the ropes on an electrifying night headlined by the long-awaited clash between bitter rivals James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr., the fiery head-to-head between Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Joe Joyce and Former World Champion Bermane Stiverne, the return of Former IBF World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby, exclusively LIVE on ITV Box Office.

Chez, who served in Afghanistan with The 1st Battalion Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, has been part of the Army Elite Boxing set-up since 2013.
The powerful switch hitting counter-puncher won the England Super Heavyweight Title Series belt in 2016 and defended it three times before being crowned ABA Elite Super Heavyweight Champion 2018 to join an exclusive class of boxers including Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Dereck Chisora and Joe Joyce. 

Having capped off his amateur career in style, Chez made the decision to turn pro after being named British Army Sportsman of the year in November 2018.

With the backing of the British Army he has received special permission to combine his status as a serving soldier with launching his professional career. 

To add an intriguing sub plot to the story, Chez will have his wife LCpl Alanna Nihell in his corner. Alanna, who is a serving soldier herself and was the first female to Captain the Army Elite Boxing Team for two successive years, is an official Second and decorated champion having secured three ABA Lightweight titles and a Commonwealth Games Bronze Medal in 2014. 

There’ll be booming support from The Army in The O2 stands on February 23rd, for what promises to be an explosive night of raw action.  

Looking ahead to fighting in front of a huge army crowd, Chez said, “This is what dreams are made of. You only make one pro debut and to make my debut on a stacked card at London’s 02 live on ITV, with the British Army and my wife Alanna, who is and has been a major part of my army and boxing life (that’s how we got together), with me on this new part of my boxing and army life is very special. I thank them all and all concerned for making this happen.”
Tickets available from www.AXS.com and Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality from www.sportandmusic.co.uk This fight will be shown exclusively on ITV Box Office. For further information and updates, please go to www.itvboxoffice.com
For further event information, please visit www.poxonsports.uk and www.premierboxingchampions.com or follow on Twitter and Instagram at @PoxonSports, @PremierBoxing, @ITVBoxOffice, @ITVBoxing and join the conversation with #DeGaleEubankJr Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PoxonSports/, www.facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions and www.facebook.com/ITVBoxing/

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BALL: TALK IS CHEAP – CRAIG RICHARDS IS GETTING KNOCKED OUT

‘The Blade’ vows to silence ‘mouthy’ South London rival
Jake Ball has promised to knockout Craig Richards when they clash for the vacant WBA Continental Light-Heavyweight title this Saturday at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
 
The bitter rivals were scheduled to meet on the John Ryder vs. Andrey Sirotkin undercard at the Copper Box Arena in October, but a hand injury forced Ball to withdraw from the contest just days out, leaving Richards frustrated at his “embarrassing” opponent.
 
Ball fought once during an injury-plagued 2018, halting Philip Kotey in September, but with his hand fully recovered, ‘The Blade’ is looking to make a statement in his first fight under new trainer Dominic Ingle.
 
“It’s my first full camp with Dom and everything has gone really well,” said Ball. “I’ve improved all areas of my game since I moved to the Ingle Gym; speed, fitness and strength. There’s World class sparring for me with the likes of Billy Joe Saunders. To move onto that next level, you need to surround yourself with like-minded people and everyone in the gym is striving to be the best. 
 
“I’m learning new things every day and we all push each other to our limits. It’s brilliant to be involved in such a thriving gym and I’m already feeling the benefits. I’m looking forward to getting in there and being involved in Championship fights again. It’s time to show everyone what I’ve been working on with Dom, Craig better be ready.”
 
The pair traded insults at a heated press conference earlier this month, where Richards labelled “No Balls’” a “time-waster” and questioned whether the Surrey man genuinely wanted to share the ring with him in October. Ball insists he is unfazed by Richard’s accusations and is predicting an early night for ‘Spider’.   
 
“He’s dwelling on the past,” said Ball. “He keeps on sounding off about dates in October and December, but if I was him I’d only have this Saturday on my mind. He still fought and got paid in October. I was the one that missed out on a pay check through injury. I don’t know why he’s frustrated – I should be the one that’s frustrated. 
 
“He was very mouthy at the press conference, but I saw right through it. I could see fear in his eyes when we faced off. He doesn’t want this, he knows that I’m a level above him. The only opponents he’s fought at Light-Heavyweight, apart from Frank Buglioni, are 5′ 9″ journeymen. 
 
“On Saturday he’ll be in against a massive 6’ 4” Light-Heavyweight. I’m a bigger puncher, better boxer and beat him in every department. He’s not going to know what hit him come Saturday. Actions speak a lot louder than any words I can say. Craig Richard is getting knocked out.
 
“I respect Craig and I know he’s a good fighter, but he isn’t as good as me and it’s as simple as that. I’m not going to talk him down though. I’m fighting Craig because he’s a decent level and I don’t want any easy knock overs. Like I say, he’s a good fighter, just not good enough.”

Ball vs. Richards is part of a huge night of action in London.

Bermondsey star Ted Cheeseman steps up again when he challenges undefeated Spaniard Sergio Garcia for the European Super-Welterweight crown.
 
Unbeaten British Cruiserweight Champion Lawrence Okolie returns to action as he defends his WBA Continental title against New York’s Shawn Miller

Rising Wokingham Middleweight talent Felix Cash fights for his second professional title when he takes on Nigeria’s Abolaji Rasheed for the vacant Commonwealth strap.

Preston’s Scott Fitzgerald keeps busy in a six round contest ahead of his mouth-watering domestic clash with former GB teammate Anthony Fowler in March. 
 
Scotland’s fast-rising Super-Middleweight talent John Docherty aims to make it three KO’s from three fights, Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley looks to go 6-0, decorated amateur Charles Frankham makes his debut at Super-Featherweight and Hammersmith Light-Heavyweight Dana Zaxo takes part in his fourth professional contest.

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STERLING AND SUMMERS CLASH IN BRITISH LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE ELIMINATOR ON DeGALE-EUBANK JR. CARD

Ricky Summers photo courtesy of Jane Warburton/BCB

Andre Sterling and Ricky Summers will meet in a British Light-Heavyweight Title Eliminator on the stacked O2 show on Saturday 23rd February.

Sterling versus Summers adds to an action-packed evening, promoted by Poxon Sports for Premier Boxing Champion (PBC), headlined with the long-awaited clash between bitter rivals James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr., the explosive showdown between Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Joe Joyce and Former World Champion Bermane Stiverne, the return of Former IBF World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby and the UK debut of Marsellos Wilder, exclusively LIVE on ITV Box Office.

28-year-old Andre Sterling’s career has been going places fast.  In his last fight out in November 2018, the New Cross fighter was crowned Southern Area Light-Heavyweight Champion after outpointing the tough Kirk Garvey at The York Hall, Bethnal Green.

That career best win put Sterling forward for his British Title Eliminator opportunity and he knows a victory could land him a dream shot at the prized Lonsdale belt.

The former Fitzroy Lodge amateur is now unbeaten in nine fights with four finishing inside the distance since turning pro in April 2017. 

This will be the first time Sterling steps out onto the biggest of stages at The O2, but he’s in a bullish mood and is ready to grasp his golden chance. 

Sterling said, “This opportunity is massive for me and I’m grateful. I’m feeling good, happy with my close-knit team, and I’m having a superb training camp. My sparring sessions have been great, and my weight is just where I want it to be. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for and I’m ready. It’s going to elevate me to a new level. My future is very bright and there will be big fights ahead for the British public to savour.” 

He added, “Ricky is a good fighter, there’s no doubt about it, but I’ll have too much for him. There’s no way he’ll keep up. I’ll show no mercy and you can tell Ricky that much. I hope he’s ready because I’ll be bringing huge fire power to the fight. That isn’t to say I won’t be vigilant about when I unleash the lion from the cage; you’ll see my boxing skill and pedigree on show. Just watch out.”  

For 31-year-old Ricky Summers, who hails from Tipton in the West Midlands, he has already come within touching distance of the British title after challenging for the title against then Champion Frank Buglioni in July 2017 at The O2.

He gave Buglioni a hard first title defence and took the Londoner into the trenches before losing on the scorecards in an action-packed fight. It certainly enhanced Summers’ reputation and he’ll now look to capitalise on that experience against Sterling.

He rebounded strongly after that night, displaying an array of skills, a combination of fast hands and powerful shots, to out box Gonzalo Romero and Tayar Mehmed to take his record to 15 wins from 16 fights.

Not only does Summers feel ready to get back into title contention, but he feels he is even better placed to do so than when he fought Buglioni.

Summers said, “I bounced back in the right way after the Buglioni fight. I lost that night because of experience. Frank wasn’t a better fighter, but he had already boxed on the big stage. Now I have that experience of having already fought at The O2 to take into the ring with me this time. That’s going to be invaluable. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to get back in the spotlight, and I’m going to take my chance this time. There’s a lot on the line: the loser has nowhere to go, while the winner has bigger things to plan for.”

He added, “I think Andre Sterling is a good fighter and I respect him. He’s accumulated a good record since turning pro. He’s a skilful boxer, but he’s heavy handed. It will be a good clash of styles. I’ll have far too much for him though. I’ve improved tremendously as a fighter. I think the size difference between us will be a factor too.”

Both men have a great opportunity to step up in front of a huge crowd at The O2 and will put everything on the line to secure a victory that with will open doors and propel their careers to new heights.

Tickets available from www.AXS.com and Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality from www.sportandmusic.co.uk

This fight will be shown exclusively on ITV Box Office. For further information and updates, please go to www.itvboxoffice.com 

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LEICESTER 23RD FEBRUARY EVENT PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

PLEASE find below quotes from today’s press conference for Frank Warren’s big card at Leicester’s Morningside Arena on Saturday February 23, live on BT Sport.
 
British super-featherweight champion Sam Bowen (14-0) heads the card against an opponent to be announced after Ronnie Clark pulled out.
 
Anthony Yarde (17-0) defends his WBO intercontinental light-heavyweight title against Mehdi Amar (35-6-2).
 
Super-featherweight Lyon Woodstock (11-1) and super-lightweight Sam Maxwell (10-0) are also in action, while there is a Leicester derby between CJ Challenger (9-0) and Kyle Haywood (8-0) with the Midlands Area super-welterweight title on the line.
 
FRANK WARREN
“Yet again Clark pulled out. It is ridiculous and I don’t know why he wanted the fight in the first place. We want Sam Bowen to defend his British title if anyone has the balls to step up, but he will be fighting. Sam is talented, does the job in style, dedicated and the chances will come.
If Lyon can get on track we could make him against Sam Bowen later this year.  If Anthony can stop Amar that will be a statement. This year is about making it happen. These are the sort of fights he wants. I could have made him a world title fight last year, but it is not about fighting for it  but winning and defending it. He is getting there. Sam Maxwell has been patient and this year is going to be his year. If he hasn’t got a meaningful title around his waist by the end of the year I’ll be very surprised. A fight against Ohara Davies shouldn’t be hard to make.”
 
SAM BOWEN
“It was disappointing when we found on Wednesday that Ronnie was out because our styles made a great fight, but potentially we have bigger and better opportunities. When I won the British title I was buzzing, and it allows me to have big, big fights. I am in the sport to provide for my family and getting big fights will let me do that. “
 
ANTHONY YARDE
“It is a line you hear, but whoever you put in front of me I have a job and that is to win the best way I can and that is a knockout. I am not world champion yet, and I try not to focus on the competition. I focus on where I am mentally and physically. I try not to get caught up in the hype because hype doesn’t last.”
 
LYON WOODSTOCK
“People assumed the loss to Archie Sharp would hit me. To me what I learnt and took away was massive. I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself and I wanted to know what was next. I am doing okay and in under two years made steps some haven’t. I will do what is needed to become a world champion. I won’t be defined by the Sharp loss. There is not one person who is in my sights and whoever it takes to bowl over to get there I will. I wont fixate on one person. I’m targeting no one but if he (Sam Bowen) is in the way so be it.”
 
SAM MAXWELL
“I have had ten fights and Frank had told me to be patient, but now I am being stepped up. I just want to challenge people like Ohara Davies. I have been ready to step up for a while.”
 
KYLE HAYWOOD
“What a fight this will be. It is a fight that has always been on the cards and it’s not who is the best in Leicester, but in the Midlands. We have boxed on same cards as amateur and supported each other, but we knew we have been on the same path. I’m so excited. This is everything. There is no animosity, but we both think we can win.”
 
CJ CHALLENGER
“It is a great fight, Two undefeated boxers putting it on the line and all the Leicester boxing community should be excited. Too many boxers are frightened by losing their 0. Kyle is a good operator, but on the night I will pull it out of the bag.”

Headlining the show at the Morningside Arena is British super featherweight champion Sam Bowen and is joined by light heavyweight Anthony Yarde as he takes on former European champion Mehdi Amar in the evening’s co-headline fight. 

Local fighters CJ Challenger and Kyle Haywood do battle for the vacant Midlands Area super welterweight title. Nathan Gorman, Sam Maxwell, Lyon Woodstock, Willy Hutchinson, Ryan Garner, Tommy Fury, Ryan Hatton and Mark Chamberlain also feature on the card.

Tickets priced at £40, £60, £100 & £150 are available and on sale NOW via Eventbrite.

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SMITH VS. EGGINGTON PLUS UNDERCARD QUOTES

Eddie Hearn:

“Wow – what a turnout. I love this place. Liverpool is so unique. I don’t get as many boos here as I do in most cities! We’re delighted to be here. I never thought that I’d sit next to this man on my right (Liam Smith). We’ve wanted him for about three or four years but finally Liam is where he should be, with us at Matchroom and Sky. We’re delighted to announce a major show on March 30th at the M&S Bank Arena. I think this is one of the best cards we’ve put on in Liverpool for a long time. Three really good Championship fights on the top table. It’s going to be a great night.”

Liam Smith – Liverpool, England – 26-2-1, 14 KO’s – fighting Sam Eggington in a Super-Welterweight contest:

“I’m in a vital part of my career now. I think Sam is a good opponent to get started. I wouldn’t want a big southpaw coming for my first fight under you. I’ve got to put in a performance that makes you think you’re right in signing me at this stage.
 
“On that note, I feel it’s a bad part of Sam to take the fight at this moment.”

On the Canelo and Munguia defeats:
 
“Those two fights, proper like night and day for me. Obviously the ‘Canelo’ fight, we all know how good he is – he was one, two, three steps ahead of me, everything I tried, but I’ll stay in there and tough it out with anyone, if necessary, if I can do.

“The Munguia fight, I feel the momentum killed me. I had one fight in 10 months. He had five fights in 2018. In that fight, he was very, very green, and he wasn’t experienced.

“Things that I could try early doors were just coming off, and then obviously he kicked in and I started to fade towards the back end, he didn’t.

“That’s a fight I would definitely love again down the line with momentum. That’s a big part of signing for Matchroom. I feel they’ve got the dates, enough pull around the world to keep me busy.”

Sam Eggington – Stourbridge, England – 23-5, 15 KO’s – fighting Liam Smith in a Super-Welterweight contest: “I’m buzzing with this fight, I didn’t expect any sort of fight like this, to get someone like Liam Smith, a former World Champion. “Like you say, I haven’t got no pressure, I’m just going to put the work in, and come up on the blind side and get a win that no-one is going to expect. “They’ve always been good, competitive spars. Probably could have sold tickets for a few of them on their own, so come March 30, it will be a fight not to miss.” Joe Hughes – Malmesbury, England – 17-3-1, 7 KO’s – fighting Robbie Davies Jnr. for the British and EBU European Super-Lightweight titles:

“I’m really excited to be going into such a big fight. In the past I’ve found myself get a little bit complacent if I’m not really up for a fight, if it’s not too much of a challenge, but I know this one is going to be a very big challenge. The motivation is to not only defend my European title but to win that prestigious Lonsdale belt.

“I was on a lot of small hall shows trying to shift tickets early on in my career and I’m from a small place, it was a bit of a struggle. I’m where I feel I deserve to be right now. A win here moves me further along to a shot at World honours.”

Robbie Davies Jnr. – Liverpool, England – 17-1, 12 KO’s – fighting Joe Hughes for the British and European Super-Lightweight titles:

“Everyone close to me knows what I was going through at the time of my first loss. I was in a bad place. Since that defeat I’ve rebuilt and luckily I’ve joined up with Matchroom.

“Beating Glenn Foot for the British was a real big step in my career. I could have had an easy British title defence but I want to move to that next level. My career has stagnated in the past and I’ve stayed at the same level but now it’s time to push on.

“I made sure that I had my name in contention for this fight. I’ve always wanted to be on these big shows. It’s a massive fight for me – it’s a must win.”

Anthony Fowler – Liverpool, England – 9-0, 8 KO’s – fighting Scott Fitzgerald in a Super-Welterweight contest:

“I am a level above Scott, I know that for a fact. I always have been. As soon as I was an amateur I was better than Scott and under Dave (Coldwell) I have just gone to the next level again. “I haven’t showed it yet because it has been too easy. We’ve been saying to Eddie Hearn we want proper fights from about a year ago, but this took a long time for it to materialise. This is better for me and worse for Scott. “I will be ready, 11st on the dot. I’ll be fully prepared and whatever Scott does I’ve got an answer for. I am just a bigger, better, stronger fighter. Five rounds… he’s going to fall.” Scott Fitzgerald – Preston, England – 11-0, 8 KO’s – fighting Anthony Folwer in a Super-Welterweight contest: “It’s a fight that I’m really looking forward to. I always knew this fight was going to happen. I’m the underdog going into this fight which is fine by me.

“Every day I wake up and I’m really motivated. I’m grafting at least two or three times a day, recovering and resting right. I was after this fight as soon as it was mentioned. I broke my hand in my last fight, this fight was meant to happen at the end of last year.

“I feel like I’ve turned 27 and finally grown up. Every day I’m doing what has to be done and that’s not just in the gym, I’m coming home and eating the right things and enjoying doing it because I don’t want to lose this fight. I want to win it and I know I can win it.”

David Price – Liverpool, England – 23-6, 19 KO’s – Heavyweight contest: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s ten years to the weekend that I turned pro and I haven’t even had 30 fights yet. I haven’t got much mileage on the clock, that’s the truth. I’ve had six stoppage defeats, two of them have been genuine knockouts. The other four, I’ve kind of beat myself.

“The older I’m getting the wiser I’m getting, more mature. I do still believe that my best years are still to come. I haven’t got many years left but I am looking after myself and living the life. Heavyweights mature later in their careers.

“There’s a lot of big names in the division who all need dance partners and there’s no reason I can’t throw my name back in the mix with a couple more wins. The opportunity is here to do it and I appreciate it greatly. I intend on delivering on March 30.”

Craig Glover – Liverpool, England – 9-1, 8 KO’s – Cruiserweight contest:

“In my last fight I showed everyone a bit more of what I’m all about. Simon Vallily underestimated me. Everyone that steps in the ring with me now will know that I’m real and they won’t underestimate me. I always believed in myself. It wasn’t really a surprise beating Vallily. It was more about showing people that I’m at that level and I think moving forward I’m ready.”

Natasha Jonas – Liverpool, England – 6-1, 5 KO’s – Super-Featherweight contest:

“I know I’ve got the skills. It’s fine doing it all in the gym but you’ve got to produce it on the night. I still don’t feel like I’ve produced my best but it’s coming. Some of my biggest achievements have come after my worst failings. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and carrying on.”

Tom Farrell – Liverpool, England – 16-1, 5 KO’s – Super-Lightweight contest:

“Hopefully I’ll get a title shot for this one. I think we’re looking at a shot at the Commonwealth or an international title. Them two up there (Joe Hughes and Robbie Davies Jnr) have got most of the titles at my weight at the minute though.

“Last year wasn’t a great year for me, it was a little bit frustrating but I’ve been patient and stayed in the gym. I’m already feeling fit and strong in the early part of camp. I can’t wait, it’s going to be a great show. I’m hoping to have an opponent named soon. I’m looking forward to the night and I’ll definitely have a belt wrapped around my waist at the end of it.”
  Ged Carroll – Liverpool, England – 9-0 – Super-Lightweight contest:

“I’m just glad to be back on such a big show. Hopefully this will be the start of a big year for me. I’m hoping a big sponsor will come along and get behind me. I should get some more attention once the bigger fights come along. I’ve just got to do what I’ve got to do and carry on working hard.”

Tom Hart – Liverpool, England – making his professional debut at Light-Heavyweight:
 
“I’m just looking forward to it now. I had a great amateur career. I’m looking forward to getting the show on the road in the professionals. I’m lucky to be starting on such a big platform with Matchroom and Sky Sports. There’s a lot of good domestic Light-Heavyweights out there. My style is better suited to the pro game.”

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JOYCE FACES ACID TEST AGAINST STIVERNE AT THE O2

Undefeated British sensation Joe Joyce faces Former World Champion Bermane Stiverne Defends Commonwealth title alongside return of Former World Champion Lee Selby on massive DeGale v Eubank Jr. card, LIVE on ITV Box Office Fast rising star makes fearless move in just EIGHTH pro fight to fast track towards World Title Stiverne says it will be Joyce’s nightmare when he gets knocked out  Legendary promoter Don King promises to ‘Re Joyce’ when Stiverne recreates McCall victory over Lewis in London 

Poxon Sports and PBC are delighted to announce that heavyweight sensation Joe Joyce will defend his Commonwealth title in the biggest test of his unbeaten career when he takes a gigantic leap up to confront the Former WBC World Champion Bermane Stiverne on Saturday 23rd February at The O2, exclusively live on ITV Box Office.

Joyce vs. Stiverne, promoted by Poxon Sports in association with Ringstar Sports and Don King Productions, will feature alongside the return of Former IBF World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby as one of the chief-supporting contests on an action-packed show, headlined with the thrilling all-British clash between fierce rivals James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr.

The 6ft 6in ‘Juggernaut’ from Putney, South West London, has destroyed all seven of his opponents since turning professional in October 2017 after capturing the Silver medal at the Rio Olympics and has singled himself out as one of the most feared talents in the heavyweight division.

It’s a monumental test for Joyce to be facing a former World Champion in just his eighth fight, the rock-solid and sledge-hammer hitting Stiverne, born in Montreal, Canada, of Haitian descent and based out of Las Vegas, has fought some of the biggest and best in the division, including Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola.

The fight has added bad blood thrown in resulting from a sparring session between Joyce and Stiverne in which Joyce was angered by comments from Stiverne in an interview afterwards when he said he took Joyce to school.

Joyce said, “I had respect for Bermane Stiverne. We sparred in Las Vegas; he said he took me to school in an interview etc, it got ugly and it made this fight happen. I tried to be respectful of him, but he’s rude and was having none of it. He is a former World Champion that has gone 12 rounds with Deontay Wilder and will give me a real challenge; but my engine and my power will be too much for him, a fact he should be aware of!”

Joyce’s promoter Richard Schaefer, Chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports, said, “After only seven fights Joe Joyce has become the number five ranked Heavyweight in the world.  But the spectacular way in which he has won all of his seven fights by knockout have made him the number one fan favourite in the Heavyweight Division.  Taking on the heavy-handed Former World Champion Stiverne shows that no challenge is too big for Joe as he continues to march towards the Heavyweight World Championship.  Simply put: Joe Joyce has become must see TV, so make sure to tune in on February 23 or come and watch him live at the O2 in London!”

Stiverne said, “I told my promoter Don King to get me any man on earth and I will fight for the right to prove myself to the world.  Then the phone rings, it’s Don, he tells me Joe Joyce – a boxer with only seven bouts – agrees to meet me! ‘Seven bouts?’.  Seven fights and he has the audacity to box me? I have stopped Chris Arreola, Ray Austin, the then undefeated Kerston Manswell – and a boxer with seven fights wants to box me?!.’ I said to Don ‘Sign it, take it, grab it,’ I’m ready.  Seven fights – and he wants to box me?  For me it is a dream come true – but for Joyce it will be a nightmare.  I will knock out Joe Joyce and step over him to KO Anthony Joshua.  I’m primed and ready. The real Bermane Stiverne will be there on February 23 and will knock out Joe Joyce en route to regaining my heavyweight crown.”

Stiverne’s legendary promoter Don King, added, “It is with my greatest pleasure that Don King Productions can announce our return to Jolly Old England – the ‘Cradle of Boxing” where my pugilistic giant – the Former Heavyweight Champion of the World Bermane Stiverne begins his comeback at the expense of the Giant Joe Joyce.  Unfortunately, for the local fans of Joe there will no ‘re Joycing’ – as my once – and future champion Bermane Stiverne will slay Joyce just like St. George did the dragon of old.  But no matter, we will pick up the pieces and bring back Joyce just as I have brought back and helped build many a future together.  I recall when I came here with Oliver McCall and he was given no chance against Lennox Lewis.  Then the underdog became the top dog when Oliver KO’d the previously unbeaten champ and we went home with the title.  History will repeat itself of February 23 when Bermane sends another undefeated Englishman to defeat.  Now retooled, resuscitated, renewed, rejuvenated and recommitted Bermane Stiverne will resurrect his career on February 23 when the ‘Lord of Ring” crushes the “Lord of the World” – ‘Juggernaut” Joyce on his inexorable march to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.  Bless all British fans, God Save the Queen – but heaven help Joe Joyce!  We will see you on February 23rd.”

WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder also put forward his thoughts on the intriguing match up, he said, “Joe Joyce will be a good test for him (Stiverne). I’ve seen Joe Joyce before. He’s a good fighter. Joe Joyce fought Joe Hanks on my undercard with Tyson Fury but I didn’t get a chance to see him fight that night. But I’m looking forward to seeing him against Stiverne.”

Richard Poxon, UK Promoter for PBC, said, “I’ve known Joe from his amateur days up in Sheffield. His success at the Olympics didn’t surprise me at all. He’s transitioned well to the pros now and is clearly in a hurry. The heavyweight division is the one that everyone is looking at again and I fully expect Joe to be in the thick of the action in the coming year. Taking on a former WBC World Champion in only your eighth fight clearly shows what Joe’s ambitions are.”

Since embarking on his pro career in his quest to become World Heavyweight Champion, the quietly spoken Joyce has let his destructive fists do the talking in making bold statements to make the boxing world sit up and take notice of the fast-rising star.

In October 2017 he astounded critics when he choose to fight the hardened Former British title challenger Ian Lewison, who had just extended big-punching Dillian Whyte to ten rounds, for his pro-debut and pounded him down in eight rounds.  

Then in only his fourth fight with only 12 rounds under his belt and inside seven months of turning pro, Joyce demolished the Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Lenroy Thomas in just two rounds – setting a new record by heavyweight boxer to win the Commonwealth belt.

In his last fight, American fights fans got a brief taster of what the British star is all about when he smashed through Joe Hanks in a round to win the WBA Continental title at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles in making his glittering U.S debut.

Joyce, now ranked #5 in the world by the WBA and progressing quickly towards a World Title shot, faces unquestionably his sternest career test to date against the vastly experienced and equally big-hitting Las Vegas based Haitian who has knocked out 21 opponents of his 25 wins in his 29 fight career.

Stiverne formerly held the WBC crown for two years after defeating Chris Arreola on points in April 2013 to win the title and then in the rematch destroying him inside six rounds in the first defence of the title in May 2014. The rock solid Stiverne then pushed the dynamite-punching Deontay Wilder the full twelve round distance in the next defence of his WBC World Heavyweight title clash in January 2015. Stiverne became the first man to take Wilder beyond who at that point had obliterated all his opponents inside four rounds. 

In the rematch nearly three years later, Stiverne stepped in at the last minute when Wilder’s original opponent Luis Ortiz failed a drugs test and due to his inactivity was stopped in a round.

Stiverne is now looking to return to the elite heavyweight mix and a victory over Joyce would propel him back into the limelight and on course towards a potential world title opportunity.

Tickets available from www.AXS.com and Inner Ringside/VIP Hospitality from www.sportandmusic.co.uk

This fight will be shown exclusively on ITV Box Office. For further information and updates, please go to www.itvboxoffice.com

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