|BOY JONES JR is no more and being reborn as Ben Jones.|
The Essex lightweight aims to unveil his new fighting style and the name change when he returns to action at Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium on Saturday May 18, live on BT Sport.
Baby-Faced Ben is known as a laugh a minute character who loves playing the fool, but that is consigned to the scrap heap after teaming up with new trainer, Micky Burke.Jones (18-2-1) returns to action on the Billy Joe Saunders v Shefat Isufi bill in his first contest since his losing on points against Craig Evans in a WBO European lightweight title challenge last November.
“My trainer Mick and manager Andy Ayling sat down with me and said, ‘this ‘Boy’ look has got so stop,”
he explained.“Boxing isn’t a game you can play and you can’t be stupid in the sport. I have got to start using my brain.
“I’m a smart kid believe it or not and pretending to be dumb is like a, ‘Get out of jail free card’. People don’t really talk to you and I could get away with being stupid.
“I’m not stupid and I have learnt a lot these past few months. I am growing up and want to buy a house for my son.“I am rebranding myself. I’m not Boy Jones Jr, I’m Ben Jones. I’m not playing the Boy card anymore.
“On social media I am known as ‘Boy,’ but I might put myself as Ben Jones (Boy).”
Jones, 22, split with trainer Dominic Negus earlier this year and is now under Burke at the Ibox gym in Bromley meaning a 70 mile round trip every day from his Essex home.
He explained: “It is never not awkward because I was with Dom for a few years, but sometimes you need a change.
“Sometimes the change is bad and sometimes it can be good. To be honest people are saying it has brought the best out of me.
“I am starting to box a bit more, using my feet and looking different in sparring. Micky has changed my style massively and I am more of a boxer.
“One reason I came to this gym is because I like the styles of boxers like Bradley Skeete and Lerrone Richards.
“This is the right move for me because of how they box – be flash and slick. I love that slick style.
“They have changed my style, but I am enjoying it.
“I have got the love back. I went through a stage of not enjoying the sport and didn’t want to do it.
“My mum and missus were telling me, ‘Come on, you can get back into it’. Mick has done really well getting me back into boxing.”
Billy Joe Saunders v Shefat Isufi headlines the bill at The Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage FC with unbeaten heavyweight Joe Joyce in the chief supporting contest.
Tickets can be purchased via borotickets.co.uk and are priced as below:
£250 – Hospitality£150 – Pitch£100 – Pitch£75 – Pitch£50 – Stand£40 – Stand
|Uttoxeter hellraiser Josh Groombridge concedes he lacks the nous to outfox the field when eight of the nation’s brightest middleweight hopefuls trade leather at Ultimate Boxxer III, at Indigo at The O2 on Friday 10th May, so it’s his intention to simply outlast and outblast them! |
UB III, sponsored by MansionBet,is exclusively live on BT Sports, BT Sports’ You Tube channel – available to anyone to watch for free – and the dedicated boxing channel BoxNation.
‘I know some of the others in UB are better technically than me so I have to be fitter than they are,’ acknowledges the Staffordshire terrier who has already clattered four hapless victims inside three rounds whilst compiling a 7-1 pro card.
‘I train four hours every day. I’m up at 4.30 to run three or four miles, five times a week, before starting work as a laser operative in Derby at six. I graft a minimum 55 hours per week, then bomb over to the Impact Gym in Stoke for boxing training.’
The power punching 26 year old acquired his Popeye strength by pumping iron throughout his teenage years.‘I don’t lift any more,’ says Josh.‘I did the weight training at the right time, in my teens. I’ve sparred plenty of decent lads like Sam Eggington and Marcus Morrison and they all comment on how strong I am.
‘My dad’s mate got me into the boxing. When he took me on punch pads at the gym, he couldn’t believe how hard I punched. ‘I never boxed amateur – hence my technical ability is not the best- but had about 30 white collar (contests), winning about 25. My aim ain’t the best but, when the radar is right, they tend to tumble. My coach Scott Lawton (former English lightweight champion) and I couldn’t be any more bipolar!
Joltin’ Josh hails from Uttoxeter, a north midlands market town more synonymous with horse racing than prizefighting. ‘It’s a little place where everybody knows everybody,’ explains Groombridge who was born in the nearby beer town of Burton.
‘Those who don’t particularly like boxing, like me and enjoy the way I fight. Every time it’s like a gungho western! I’ve already shifted over a hundred tickets for UB and I’m trying to get my hands on more. ‘No doubt some competitors will dismiss me as a country simpleton. There might not be much boxing going on but it’s like the wild west here. Loads of cowboys and Indians. A tough man’s town. They’re always scrapping at the races.’
Though five rivals land at Indigo with unbeaten slates, outsider Groombridge encountered the sour taste of defeat in April 2018, stopped in the seventh of a scheduled eight rounder by Cameroun hardcase Emmanuel Moussinga.
He explains: ‘After tagging Emmanuel with a few quite early, I tried to take him out and completely gassed. I simply couldn’t give any more. My own fault, a learning curve. I hope other entrants read something into it but there’s absolutely no chance I’ll get stopped over three rounds.’
UB III represents his first venture outside his home county as a pro and he is frothing with excitement.
‘The O2 is the Mecca of British boxing at the minute. If you make it big, it’s where you want to box. I intend proving I deserve to be there,’ states Groombridge.‘I don’t waste energy on being negative about opponents. I’m not in boxing to go unbeaten, I’m in the sport to compete with the top lads. I’m fully aware some of the others have fantastic ability but, over three rounds, I can dig in with anybody.
‘These fights are gonna be very fast, very frenetic sprints and the ‘messiness’ will suit me. I might not have the most variety but I’m strong at middleweight and I’ll bring a good chin and hard hands. I’ve already stopped several tough, tough journeyman.
‘As well as my big punch, I bring heart and belief. I’ll take my chance and put it on ‘em, force ‘em to answer questions they’ve not answered before.
‘If I might take the missus for an ice cream but I’m not thinking of the money, just the opportunities.
‘I intend to be the very, very best I can be and hopefully, that’ll be enough. I’ve a puncher’s chance with any of them.’
|Ultimate Boxxer III is on Friday 10th May at The Indigo at The O2 and starts off with the exciting showdowns:|
Quarter-Final 1: Kaan Hawes v Kieron Conway
Quarter-Final 2: Tey Lynn Jones v Derrick Osaze
Quarter-Final 3: Sean Philips v Josh Groombridge
Quarter-Final 4: Joe Hurn v Grant Dennis
An action packed undercard will see the return of the highly-rated and undefeated Light-Heavyweight talent and UB II winner Shakan Pitters and unbeaten super-middleweight prospect Idris Virgo who is out to prove to critics he is more than just a reality star.
|Remaining tickets are available from ticketmaster.co.uk AXS.comand ultimateboxxer.com priced at: £30 Balcony Standing (General Admission) |
£35 Floor Standing (General Admission)
£55 Upper Balcony Seats
£70 Outer Ringside
£100 Inner Ringside
£200 Kings Row (Padded Balcony seats, separate bar, VIP entrance) For all VIP & Corporate Packages please contact www.sportandmusic.co.uk
|Heavyweight favourites to battle it out on July 20|
|Dave Allen will face David Price in a huge domestic Heavyweight showdown on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s clash with unbeaten rival Oscar Rivas at The O2 in London on July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office. |
Allen (17-4-2, 14KOs) stopped former WBA World Champion Lucas Browne in three rounds at the Greenwich venue last weekend, flooring the Australian with a crunching body shot to claim a stunning victory in his first ever main event fight.
‘White Rhino’ has taken his career to new heights after four straight stoppage wins and the hugely-popular Doncaster man believes that another win over Liverpudlian Price could earn him a shot at one of the top ten Heavyweights in the World.
Price (24-6, 19KOs) returned to winning ways with a TKO victory over Hatfield’s Tom Little last December and then recorded a win over Kash Ali at The M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool after being bit twice during a controversial fight that ended in Ali’s disqualification.
The former British and Commonwealth Champion is determined to prove that he still has plenty left in the tank and is all too aware that nothing less than a win on July 20 will suffice as he looks to throw his name into the Heavyweight World mix once more.
“This is the fight that I’ve wanted for years,” said Allen. “I wanted it three years ago but it probably wasn’t the right fight for me at the time. Now it’s the right time for me and it’s the biggest domestic fight out there. There may be other fighters out there that are better than us but I think me and Pricey have two of the biggest fanbases in the UK.
“We’re both really exciting fighters and we can both punch, either of us could end it with one shot. It’s a great fight and one that I’m really excited to be involved in. This won’t go past four rounds. I’m going to try and outbox him and I’m going to try and take him out with one shot as early as possible. I want to beat him in the first two or three rounds while he’s still fresh and at his best. His game plan will be to try and knock me out within the first few rounds so the fans will love it.
“A win over Price would put me one fight away from a World title shot. It puts me in the shop window for the Joseph Parkers and Alexander Povetkins of this World. On the back of three victories then Lucas Browne and David Price I believe that I’m ready for a top ten Heavyweight and that for me is a final eliminator for a World title fight.”
“It’s a great fight and it’s come at a good time for the both of us,” said Price. “It’s a fight that will capture a lot of people’s interest. Dave Allen has got a good following and I’ve got a good following myself. It’s going to be an interesting night that’s for sure.
“Dave is a durable fighter and he’s on a good winning streak. His last fight was a great win so he’ll be coming into this one with his tail up but I’ve won my last two fights as well. It’s going to be explosive. It’s two big punchers and it might be a matter of who lands first.
“Dave is known for his toughness so it won’t be a good idea for me to go out there and try to land a big one early. It’s about me trying to use my attributes to my advantage. It’s two completely different types of fighters and two different sized men. I’m a lot bigger than Dave Allen, that can be a good thing or a bad thing.
“It’s a massive fight. I think me and Dave Allen have been slated to fight a couple of times in the past and it hasn’t happened for whatever reason but this time there’s big upsides for the winner. There’s a hell of a lot on the line which makes for an intriguing fight.”
“This is a big domestic clash and a complete 50-50 Heavyweight match up,” said Eddie Hearn. “Dave Allen’s story has touched sports fans all over the country and he returns to The O2 after his epic KO of Lucas Browne. We all know David Price inside out – a huge puncher but also vulnerable at times, he is coming off two solid wins and wants another major Worldwide name in the division. I have no idea who will get the job done but I cannot wait to see it unfold on a huge night at The O2. Don’t blink!”
Tickets for Whyte vs. Rivas are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300, £500 and £800 VIP.
General Sale tickets are available to purchase NOW from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
Dominant Decastro Reigns Supreme In Lincoln.
Report: Gianluca Di Caro
Photographs courtesy of Mirek Marcinski
It may have been unseasonably cold, OK but still seasonly wet, in Lincoln on Saturday night but the inclement weather didn’t prevent fans of the pugilistic arts turning out in force to watch local hero Nathan ‘Nightmare’ Decastro challenge Ghana’s Daniel Adjei Sowah for the World Boxing Union (WBU) Super Middleweight Championship of the World at the magnificent Engine Shed venue at the University of Lincoln.
I say local fans, but it wasn’t just local fans in attendance as I see so many people I know, including media, and not just from down south, where I’m from, but from all over the UK, Europe and Africa. That’s how much interest there was in this particular showdown or perhaps the event itself, as the whole card had an international flavour, with fighters from Europe, Africa and South America competing.
I can understand the interest, after all Decastro is not just unbeaten but has a 90% knockout ratio and is famed for sending Chris Eubank Jr to the canvas with just one punch back when the pair locked horns in the amateur ranks, and on the other side of the ring Sowah has an almost equally impressive knockout ratio, albeit in his case he’s stopped the same amount of opponents as Decastro has had pro fights!.
OK, enough scene setting let’s get down to the action, and there’s plenty of that.
Right from the off there was no no pussy footing about with this pair, oh no both protagonists went straight on the attack, the action was intense, both men digging deep into their arsenal of power shots for the first half of the round.
As the round entered the second minute Decastro started targeting the Ghanaians body with some incredibly powerful hooks, so much so you could see Sowah wincing each time an Exocet landed on his lower ribs, after one such assault Sowah stepped back, which left the perfect opportunity for Decastro to switch his attack and let rip with a huge right to the temple that sent the Ghanaian down.
Sowah tried to prevent himself going fully down by grabbing Decastro’s shorts, however the force of the shot was too much and instead of remaining on his feet, this action led to not only Sowah going down but also Decastro being pulled down on top of him… with his shorts around his knees.
Sowah made the count but looked a bit dazed, luckily just after the fight resumed the bell rang to end the first round, otherwise I am sure Decastro would have at least put him down again, if not KO him.
Sowah came out strong at the start of the second, but as soon as Decastro landed another huge right, changed tactics and started surreptitiously holding Decastro every time the opportunity arose out of Referee Lee Murtagh’s view.
Decastro didn’t say a word, instead started working the body on the inside, especially the lower rib region, which appeared to be troubling the Ghanaian. On the occasions that some space opened up Decastro would let rip with big head shots, before making slick excursions to the body to let rip with big hooks and vicious uppercuts.
Round three was more of the same, some fantastic boxing from Sowah, but as soon as Decastro lands a big shot to the head the Ghanaian grabs hold which opens up other opportunities for Decastro to target the bottom rib area. It was like a vicious circle every time there’s space Sowah boxed his socks off, but the moment Decastro lands a big shot he grabs hold or tries to get on the inside.
Around about the thirty second point of the break between rounds three and four, Sowah’s coach summons Referee Lee Murtagh and retired his charge in the corner.
At point of retirement, the scorecards of Judges Charlie Cardona (Malta), Roger Barnor (Ghana) and Stephen Smith (England) were all identical reading 30-26 in favour of Decastro.
Following being presented the WBU Championship belt by British & Irish Boxing Authority’s Secretary General David Smith, Decastro made a statement on air aimed at Colchester’s Tommy ‘Sweet T’ Jacobs, who had been calling Decastro out on social media, during which he announced that he will make a voluntary defence against Jacobs on June 22nd.
Have to say when Decastro-Sowah was announced I thought that it would be a fantastic fight, which it was, albeit short, but Decastro-Jacobs, well that is mouthwatering prospect for all fans of the pugilistic arts.
Preceding Decastro-Sowah was a heavyweight contest between Cumbria’s Lee Kellett and Ireland’s Ryan Kilpatrick.
Cracking four rounder for the fans, some great boxing from both lads, whilst yes there was the occasional attempt to land a knockout blow, the majority of the fight was just nice boxing.
Kellett had the upper hand for the vast majority of the fight, Kilpatrick showcased his boxing skills when the opportunity arose. Mind you the Irishman seemed to be battling with not just Kellett but also a rather loud mouth spectator, whom he would beckon in to the ring on numerous occasions, whilst defending against the ever moving forward juggernaut better known as Lee Kellett!
After four entertaining rounds Referee Roger Barnor’s scorecards read 40-36 in favour of Lee Kellett.
As a side note, there was also a battle of the corners going on, as Kellett was cornered by multi-World Champion Lee McAllister, whilst Kilpatrick had no less than the aforementioned World Boxing Foundation (WBF) European & International Champion Tommy Jacobs.
Prior to Kellett-Kilpatrick see Scotland’s Nathan Beattie in a four rounder against Ghana’s Michael Barnor
For the first couple of rounds there really wasn’t much to separate the pair, other than Beattie was slightly more busy than his Ghanaian counterpart. Cracking rounds, my notes scribbled at the time described them as ‘technical war’, which pretty much described them I suppose.
There were some notable moments in round three, Barnor stepped up the pace and landed a big right, that he followed up with a clinical combination that backed the Scot towards the ropes allowing the Ghanaian to control the proceedings for the first time.
However as the round progressed Beattie began to claw back his advantage with some equally slick combinations of his own before landing a series of thunderous shots to wrestle back control of the round.
Right from the opening bell of the fourth stanza Barnor seemed to be on a mission, taking the fight to Beattie, and once in range switched stance and let rip with some crisp combinations that forced Beattie to box of the back foot.
Beattie once again wrestled back control of the round in the second minute, forcing Barnor back with each attack. With about thirty seconds or so remaining Barnor stepped it up again, however this time Beattie just stood his ground and much to the delight of the crowd so began a toe to toe war until the final bell tolled.
After four highly entertaining rounds Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard read 40-36 in favour of Nathan Beattie.
The opening fight of the night pitted debuting Sugar Atahasan (Turkish Republic of Cyprus) against Pablo Narvaez (Nicaragua).
Atahasan started hard and fast taking the fight to his more experienced opponent, Atahasan keeping Narvaez at bay with good strong jabs and slick combinations, Narvaez only able to demonstrate flashes of his undoubted talent, so much was the Cypriot’s domination of the first couple of the rounds.
In the third though, Narvaez began to get the crowd behind himself, entertaining the crowd as he tested Atahasan to the limit with some sensationally slick hooks to the body and crisp lightning fast combinations.
Fourth and final round was a cracker, both lads really going for it for the entire three minutes.
After four truly enjoyable rounds of boxing Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard read 40-37 in favour of Sugar Atahasan.
Have to say really, really enjoyed this fight, without doubt Atahasan has a serious future in the sport, I know it was his pro debut, but believe me he fought like an established pro, not a novice.
To the same degree I hope I get to see Narvaez in action again as was impressed with him at times too.
There may have only been four contests on the night, but they were four highly entertaining fights and my pugilistic thirst was well and truly slaked, they were that good!
|The World Boxing Super Series has partnered with Sky Sports and Matchroom Boxing to exclusively broadcast the three massive Semi-Final doubleheaders in the UK starting April 27 from the USA. |
Sky Sports, the UK’s premier sports broadcaster, includes the World’s premier boxing tournament to its schedule with the quest for the Greatest Prize in Boxing, the Ali Trophy, entering the much-anticipated semi-final stage.
The WBSS joins top boxing stars such as Anthony Joshua on the UK platform and adds some mouthwatering match-ups over the next few months as the finalists are decided, such as: Nonito Donaire vs Zolani Tete, Regis Prograis vs Kiryl Relikh, Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez and Ivan Baranchyk vs Josh Taylor.
“The WBSS is delighted to be working with Sky Sports and Matchroom Boxing to bring our sensational semi-finals to as many UK fans as possible,” said Kalle Sauerland, Chief Boxing Officer of Comosa, the organiser of World Boxing Super Series.
“Boxing fans can look forward to colossal nights of boxing. Supreme athletes in the Bantamweight, Super-Lightweight and Cruiserweight divisions are putting everything on the line for a place in the finals of the WBSS where the Ali Trophy awaits the winners.”
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “I’ve admired the talent of Josh Taylor for a while and I’ll look forward to another red-hot atmosphere in Glasgow as Taylor bids to become the latest in a line of proud Scottish World champions.
“It’s wonderful to add The World Boxing Super Series semi-finals to our stacked Sky Sports schedule for the summer. The fearsome Naoya Inoue and four-weight champion Nonito Donaire also bring star quality to a tournament featuring World title fights, former champions, and unbeaten contenders, starting this Saturday on Sky Sports.”
“I’m delighted to bring these fight nights to Sky Sports and particularly pleased to air the big May 18 card from Glasgow,” said Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director.
“It’s a massive chance for Josh Taylor to become World champion and the fight between P4P star Inoue and Rodriguez is a cracker.”It completes a huge May with action every weekend – we begin with the Middleweight unification between Canelo and Jacobs on May 4, then we return to Nottingham on May 10 for the latest instalment of the JD NXTGEN series – May 18 in Glasgow followed by the WBC World Heavyweight title clash Wilder vs. Breazeale from New York and then on May 25 the undisputed Cruiserweight champ Oleksandr Uysk makes his Heavyweight debut against Carlos Takam in the States. This builds us into the US debut of Anthony Joshua at MSG on June 1 – what a schedule!”
WBSS Semi-Finals details:On April 27 at the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA, USA:
The semi-final stage of Season 2 of the World Boxing Super Series opens with USA’s WBC Diamond Champion Regis Prograis (23-0, 19 KOs) facing Belarus’s WBA World Champion Kiryl Relikh (23-2, 19 KOs) in a Super-Lightweight semi-final and the WBC Diamond Champion & WBA Super World Champion, American-Philippine Nonito Donaire (39-5, 25 KOs) meets South Africa’s WBO World Champion Zolani Tete (28-3, 21 KOs) in a Bantamweight semi-final.
On May 18 at The SSE Arena in Glasgow, Scotland:
In a sensational doubleheader of the undefeated: IBF World Champion Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12 KOs) of Belarus faces Scotland’s WBC Silver Champ Josh Taylor (14-0, 12 KOs) in a Super-Lightweight semi-final and Japanese superstar and WBA World Champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15 KOs) battle it out with Puerto Rico’s IBF titleholder Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) in a Bantamweight semi-final.
On June 15 at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia:
It’s Cruiserweight semi-final extravaganza when Cuba’s Yunier Dorticos (23-1, 21 KOs) faces USA’s Andrew Tabiti (17-0, 13 KOs) and Latvian hero Mairis Briedis (25-1, 18 KOs) meets Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki (31-1, 19 KOs).
Season 2 divisions:Bantamweight
Nonito Donaire vs Zolani Tete – 27 April, Cajundome, Lafayette, LA, USA
Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez – 18 May, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland
Regis Prograis vs Kiryl Relikh – 27 April, USA, Cajundome, Lafayette, LA, USA
Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk – 18 May, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland
Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki – 15 June, Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia
Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti – 15 June, Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia
The World Boxing Super Series at glance
Organised by Comosa AG, the World Boxing Super Series kicked off its inaugural season in September 2017, featuring the Cruiserweight and Super-Middleweight divisions.
Season 2 started in October 2018 and includes Bantamweight, Super-Lightweight and Cruiserweight. In each weight class, eight elite boxers battle it out in a bracket-style elimination tournament, with four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and one final.
This makes for seven top fights per weight class, and a total of 21 fights in Season 2 staged in premier venues around the globe.
The winners of the World Boxing Super Series will rightfully receive The Greatest Prize in Boxing, the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Please visit our website www.WorldBoxingSuperSeries.com for more information or follow @WBSuperSeries on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
|‘White Rhino’ stops former World Champion at The O2|
|Dave Allen scored a stunning stoppage win over former WBA Heavyweight World Champion Lucas Browne at The O2 in London. ‘White Rhino’ floored his Australian rival with a crunching body shot in the third round of their main event clash. |
After earning the biggest win of his career to date, the Doncaster favourite said: “I want more now, I’m greedy. I proved I can punch at the highest level. He’s not what he once was but it’s a very good win. A very good win. This tops the Nick Webb night. The left hook to the body was beautiful.”
Finchley Heavyweight Derek Chisora bounced back from his December KO loss to Dillian Whyte with a comfortable ten-round decision against Senad Gashi in the evening’s chief support bout.
Chisora, now 30-9 (21 KOs), was largely untroubled by his opponent and took the role of the aggressor throughout the fights. The ringside judges scored the fight 100-90, 100-91 and 99-91 respectively.
Sunderland Welterweight ace Josh Kelly dominated and dropped previously undefeated Przemyslaw Runowski three times for a comfortable ten round unanimous decision, as he retained his WBA International title.
‘PBK’ had been out of action since a TKO win over Walter Fabian Castillo at the Manchester Arena in November, but the 2016 Olympian, now 9-0, looked as skilful and fluid as ever against the brave Pole.
Joe Cordina looked brilliant as he dropped Barnsley’s Andy Townend three times on his way to a sixth round TKO as he picked up the prestigious British Lightweight title in his ninth professional fight.
The ‘Welsh Wizard’, making the first defence of his Commonwealth crown, dismantled Townend in brutal fashion and forced an impressive stoppage after a flurry of punches to the head and body downed the ‘KO Kid’ for the third and final time in round six.
Rising Welterweight prospect Conor Benn remained unbeaten with a comprehensive points win over Czech Republic’s Josef Zahradnik to move to 14-0 (9 KOs). It was ‘The Destroyer’s’ first outing since his rematch win over Cedrick Peynaud at the same venue way back in July 2018.
Benn was on top throughout the eight-round contest and showed no signs of ring rust as he knocked his tough opponent down in the seventh round before being awarded the fight by a 80-71 margin.
Explosive Brooklyn Middleweight talent Nikita Ababiy scored yet another knockout win as he progressed to 4-0 (4 KOs) after blitzing Dimitri Faltin in his first professional fight in the UK; Watford Bantamweight starlet Shannon Courtenay picked up her second professional win against Roz Mari Silyanova, outpointing the Bulgarian 40-36; Manchester Cruiserweight Sam Hyde got back to winning ways with a first round KO win over Josef Jurko; Islington Super-Bantamweight Sam Cox notched his fourth career win with a 40-37 points win over Georgi Georgiev and Brixton’s John Harding Jr outpointed Mirsoslav Juna to progress to 7-0-1 (1KO).
|‘Body Snatcher’ welcomes unbeaten ‘Kaboom’ to the capital on July 20|
|Dillian Whyte will face Oscar Rivas for the number one Heavyweight spot in the WBC at The O2 in London on Saturday July 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.|
Whyte (25-1 18KOs) holds the number one slot with the WBC and puts that on the line as the hard-hitting ‘Body Snatcher’ continues to blast his path to a World title shot. The Brixton banger put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing Del Boy in the 11th round.
The 31-year-old Briton will be gunning for a tenth straight win against Rivas, with wins over Joseph Parker, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne sandwiched between his two wins over Chisora. Whyte has become a must-watch fighter since rocking old foe Anthony Joshua in their battle at The O2 in December 2012, and yet again takes on a high-risk challenge as he cements his spot as the leading Heavyweight contender in the world.
Rivas (26-0 18KOs) is yet another dangerous customer for Whyte to risk his number one rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas travelled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders, with ‘Kaboom’ ranked at number ten with the WBC, seven in the IBF and a lofty five with both the WBA and WBO.
The Canadian-based 31 year old carried an impressive amateur record into the paid ranks, beating Kubrat Pulev in the 2008 Olympic Games a year after landing silver in the Pan-American games – and with 18 KOs in 26 fights since turning over, July 20 promises to be an explosive war between two in-form big-punchers, with huge stakes on the line.
“I am very happy to be fighting again at The O2 in July,” said Whyte. “Oscar Rivas is undefeated and ranked in the top 10 across the board of all the governing bodies. He has been one of the most avoided heavyweight fighters in the last few years.
“His KO victory over Bryant Jennings sent shockwaves through the division and Tyson Fury just turned down ESPN/Top Rank’s offer to fight him. I am over the moon that he has accepted the fight. He has a great amateur and professional record, including a win over Kubrat Pulev.
“I am more than happy to carry on fighting top 10 fighters like Rivas until I get my well-earned shot at Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.
“I can’t wait until July 20 to fight again at The O2 which is one of the best venues in the world for boxing.”
‘‘I have waited for this opportunity for a very long time,” said Rivas. “Dillian Whyte is an excellent boxer, a World class fighter and the number one contender. He deserve all my respect for his accomplishments and I am grateful for the opportunity he is giving me.
“This is exactly the kind of challenge I was hoping to get. I am undefeated, I am planning to keep my perfect record after July 20 in my quest to get the ultimate opportunity to become World champion.”
“This is a great fight with both men coming off explosive late knockouts,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rivas is undefeated and looking to take Dillian’s number one spot but as we know, The O2 has become a fortress for him of late and this is set to be another war. We are planning a huge night of boxing on July 20 with a monster card topped by the brilliant heavyweight headliner.”
“First I would like to thank Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing who made a proposal impossible to turn down,” said Yvon Michel, President of Groupe Yvon Michel. “Oscar Rivas was willing to step up and face Anthony Joshua for June in New York and representations were made.
“It might not be his turn now but instead he is extremely happy, to be earning an eventual World title opportunity, by proving he is the best amongst the contenders against the outstanding Dillian Whyte. On July 20 a new star will be born!”
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Dillian Whyte is risking it all again as he battles the dangerous Oscar Rivas at The O2, which has become a happy hunting ground for ‘The Body Snatcher.’“Dillian has already delivered exciting wins over Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora at the same venue, but he could have his hands full against Rivas, the unbeaten Colombian with his own world ambitions.“Expect another enthralling showdown when Whyte returns in the summer, and we expect to have a stacked card before a sizzling main event.”
Tickets for Whyte vs. Rivas are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300, £500 and £1,000 VIP.
Tickets are available to purchase for O2 Priority customers on Tuesday 23 April at midday via The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and go on sale to Fight Pass members on Wednesday 24 April at midday via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk)
General Sale tickets are available to purchase at midday on Thursday April 25 from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
|ALLEN VS. BROWNE WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER|
BOXING STARTS 16:45
6 x 3 mins Cruiserweight contest
SAM HYDE 14st 10lbs 1oz v JOZEF JURKO 14st 2lbs 8oz
4 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight
SAM COX 8st 8lbs v GEORGI GEORGIEV 8st 8lbs 3oz
6 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
JOHN HARDING Jr 11st 3lbs 8oz v MIROSLAV JUNA 11st 4lbs
(Brixton) (Czech Rep)
18:20 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK
4 x 2 mins Bantamweight contest
SHANNON COURTENAY 8st 6lbs 9oz v ROZ MARI SILYANOVA 8st 7lbs 7oz
4 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
NIKITA ABABIY 11st 6lbs 8oz v DMITRI FALTIN 11st 7lbs 1oz
(Brooklyn, NY) (Finland)
19:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
8 x 3 mins Welterweight contest
CONOR BENN 10st 8lbs 9oz v JOSEF ZAHRADNIK 10st 5lbs 5oz
(Ilford) (Czech Rep)
12 x 3 mins British & Commonwealth Lightweight Championships
JOE CORDINA 9st 8lbs 4oz v ANDY TOWNEND 9st 8lbs 7oz
10 x 3 mins WBA International Welterweight Championship
JOSH KELLY 10st 6lbs 9oz v PRZEMYSLAW RUNOWSKI 10st 6lbs 9oz
10 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
DEREK CHISORA 18st 7lbs v SENAD GASHI 15st 10lbs 6oz
12 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
DAVID ALLEN 17st 6lbs 2oz v LUCAS BROWNE 17st 10lbs 1oz
|Heavy-hitting German prepared for battle|
|Senad Gashi has promised to go to war with Derek Chisora when the Heavyweight bad boys collide at The O2 in London this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. |
Gashi (17-2, 17 KOs) returns to The O2 after he was stopped by Carlos Takam in seven rounds on the Whyte vs. Chisora 2 undercard in December. The heavy-hitting German hopes a win over Chisora will push his name towards title action in 2019.
“I definitely think I can win against Derek Chisora,” said Gashi. “I have visualised this fight in my head many times. I have fought in my head 10 times against Derek Chisora, nine times I won and one time I got disqualified.
“I’m going to make a great fight. I had a great training camp with my team and my coach. I’m going to give my best and the people are going to enjoy it for sure. I’m glad to be back in the UK and this time I’m going to get the win.
“I had just three days notice for my fight with Takam. But I had to grab the chance because it was a great opportunity to box in London against one of the best in the world and I had nothing to lose. I know I’m a warrior and I make every fight a war.”
Chisora vs. Gash is part of a huge night of boxing in the Capital.
Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen (16-4-2, 13 KOs) faces the biggest night of his career against Australia’s former WBA Heavyweight World Champion Lucas Browne (28-1, 14 KOs), Sunderland’s ‘Pretty Boy’ Josh Kelly(8-0, 6 KOs) takes on the toughest opponent of his career to date in the form of unbeaten 17-0 Pole Przemyslaw Runowski and Ilford Welterweight prospect Conor Benn (13-0, 9 KOs) makes his long-awaited return to the ring against Czech Republic’s Josef Zahradnik (10-2, 5KOs), Brooklyn Middleweight prospect Nikita Ababiy (3-0, 3 KOs) makes his UK debut and Watford Bantamweight Shannon Courtenay fights for the second time as a pro after her debut win at the Copper Box Arena.
General Sale tickets for April 20 are available to purchase from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
BRITISH boxing great Ricky Hatton has warned Josh Warrington that he faces the fight of his life against Kid Galahad.Warrington makes the second defence of his IBF world featherweight title against mandatory challenger, Galahad at the First Direct Arena, Leeds on Saturday June 15.
Hatton says Warrington’s huge army of hometown fans face a nerve jangling night when Sheffield’s Galahad gets his long-awaited world title tilt.
“This fight is as tough as they come and hard to call,” says former world super-lightweight and welterweight champion, Hatton.
‘The Hitman’ has seen Galahad from close quarters in the gym when he took boxers to spar with Galahad (26-0) and his gym-mates at the Wincobank gym.
Hatton added: “I used to take Zhanat Zhakiyanov who was WBA bantamweight champion to spar Kid Galahad. I saw then that Galahad can really fight.
“This really is a tough fight, but since Josh became world champion I think he has warmed to it.
“It’s a very good fight and you’ve got to heap all the praise on Josh Warrington.”
Warrington (28-0) caused an upset when he defeated Lee Selby 11 months ago to become world champion, and was the underdog again when he made a successful first defence against Carl Frampton.
Hatton said: “Champions are judged on how good they are by the fighters they faced. Josh has beaten Lee when he was the underdog and Carl, a multiple world champion.
“Now, he is in with another quality fighter, Kid Galahad.“His confidence has gone up another couple of gears since becoming a world champion. He is coming off the fight against Frampton and you won’t see many better fights in a boxing ring.
“He is on the crest of a wave and while your confidence is up you might has well face these people like Kid Galahad because it needs to be up.”
Although Hatton is full of admiration for Warrington, he believes that Galahad may have more natural talent than the defending champion.
Hatton explained: “Josh has a very high work rate, he doesn’t leave you alone. Look at the Frampton fight, Carl was the better boxer and judge of distance, but Josh took that away from him.
“That is what you do with fighters who have more talent. Take the talent away – bully them, rush them and keep on top.
“I think he will employ similar tactics against Kid Galahad who is very, very talented. Josh has got a very good boxing brain and he is going to need it against Kid Galahad.
“Kid Galahad is very talented, but sometimes people with the most talent don’t win. It is about the right tactics and game plan.“That is why I pick Josh ever so slightly, but this fight is tough.”
Tickets for Warrington v Galahad are available via Ticketmaster and are priced as below:
£450 – Hospitality
£300 – Floor
£200 – Floor
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor/Tier
£75 – Tier
£50 – Tier
£40 – Tier