SMITH VS. RYDER + UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Eddie Hearn:

“It’s always great to be in Liverpool and even better when we’re bringing World Championship boxing to the city and even better when you’ve got one of your own defending his World Championship. It’s also not just any one of your own, the number one In the division, Callum Smith – the reigning WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight Champion of the World. 

“I am delighted to confirm his opponent, his mandatory challenger John Ryder, of course on one of the hottest spells in the division right now. Stoppages, four of them on the bounce against Jamie Cox, Patrick Nielsen, Andrey Sirotkin and Bilal Akkawy on the Canelo card recently in Las Vegas. He’s on a great run of form and it is so good to have a domestic fight for the World Championship like I said, I was talking to Callum about the top 15 and looking at voluntary defences and sometimes it’s difficult when you have achieved what he’s achieved to really get your teeth into one of those and I know that you lot want to see a good fight. You want to see someone who is coming to fight, coming to win and achieve their dream of becoming a World Champion and Callum Smith knows that this is a very real test and challenge and he’s dealing with his mandatory at the right time.

“We talk about the Anfield fight and there is a lot of people on this card, who will be part of that Anfield dream if you like. Talks with Liverpool FC are ongoing about a fight in May and I know that Callum Smith and John Ryder aren’t thinking about this but as a city there is a massive opportunity. I think that everybody on this card, from the Scouse side who wins then they’re going to be coming along for the ride at Anfield as well. John Ryder has different ideas, he’s here to gatecrash that party and here to become World Champion and win those three belts. This is a great main event on November 23, live on Sky Sports and DAZN. 

“Adam Smith is delighted with this fight. For Sky Sports to have a big domestic World Championship fight on Saturday night Fight Night is very important for Sky, us and Callum Smith who is coming back from boxing on the road, in the WBSS, winning the titles in Saudi Arabia and defending them at Madison Square Garden, now getting the chance to defend his World Championships in Liverpool and I think that you guys are going to get behind him. Tickets go on sale to Fight Pass members today at 2pm and general sale tomorrow.

“As usual, we are focusing on the city and making sure that we have all the best fighters from Liverpool on the card. This is going to be a great fight, we look forward to a great night in this great city on November 23 at the M&S Bank Arena, great undercard as well with plenty more to be added moving forward.”

Callum Smith – Liverpool, England – 26-0, 19 KOs – defending his WBA World, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles against John Ryder:

“It’s good to be back in Liverpool, I said that when I turned professional I was good enough to win a World title and bring it home to the city and this is my chance to perform in front of my own fans. I thought that winning a World title was the top of the mountain but when I won it I realised it wasn’t. There is a lot more boxes I want to tick, Madison Square Garden was one, defending my World title in Liverpool is definitely one and there is talk of a massive 2020 for me. All of that disappears if I slip up on November 23 so I am fully motivated. I worked hard to become a World Champion and I am going to work even harder to keep it – That all starts on November 23.

“Every fight in my career has been a must-win from my debut until now, I’ve always thought that if I want to get to where I want to be then I can’t lose. I need to keep winning and see how good I am by challenging myself against the biggest names in the division and the best names in boxing and I can’t go on and do that if I lose against John Ryder. He is a good fighter on a good run of form but so am I, I am number one in the world for a reason and the best version of me beats every Super-Middleweight on the planet and that includes John Ryder.

“People always talk about 175 and it is an option, I would love to be a two-weight World Champion. I want to stay in boxing to achieve as much as I can and becoming a two-weight World Champion is something that I would like to do. I want to clear up at Super-Middle and unify the division and become undisputed. I am massive for the weight but I have got a great team and a great nutritionist and I am very dedicated. I do the weight well and my last few performances show that I can do the weight well and as long as that’s the case I will keep winning and clean up the division. 

“There is massive fights out there, I am in a division where there is four undefeated World Champions and I believe that I am the best. If you have got a belt at my weight then you’re part of my plans and they’re the fights that I want. They’re the fights that motivate me but like I said before, I am fully focused on November 23 and John Ryder and I don’t just want to win, I want to win well and put on a big performance.”

John Ryder – Islington, England – 28-4, 16 KOs – challenger Callum Smith for the WBA World, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles:

“The Akkawy fight was a box ticked, it’s a dream to fight in Vegas on such a prestigious card but this is the real dream now, a World title fight. I have got a great team around me, Tony is working hard on my boxing and I just believe that I am in the best place possible mentally and physically. I have worked hard, I have had four hard fights and beat the number one in Patrick Nielsen. It has taken me longer than expected to get here but I am here now and this is a fight that I believe I can win. He is a great champion, he beat a great champion to win the belts and he is the world number one – I want to test myself against the best.”

Charlie Sims, Manager of John Ryder:

“This is a huge moment for John Ryder. It’s an extremely proud moment for me being part of John’s team. Anyone who knows John’s career knows that he’s had all time lows. There’s been times in John’s career where we didn’t know where he was going to go. This is by far, not only the biggest fight John could get, but this is challenging for the number one spot in the Super-Middleweight division and I think the run of form that John’s on, he’ll be walking into this fight believing that he’s going to win on November 23, so we look forward to that fight.”

David Price – Liverpool, England – 25-6, 20 KO’s – defending his WBA Continental Heavyweight title:

“I am just enjoying the sport again, I think the Dave Allen fight was the first fight in years that I actually felt like I’d won. Even though I had won, I was analysing after it saying it wasn’t good enough and maybe being a bit too hard on myself but that one was a performance. I ticked a lot of boxes that fight and I’ve never really used proving people wrong as a motivation but that felt good and I was like this is f*****g great! I want people to keep doubting me but initially after the fight I thought I can get a big fight now and cash out but after a week or so, I realised its not the time to cash out yet.

“If I can play my cards right and continue to perform, I can go further and it adds to the story which is already quite interesting. I’ve had ups and downs and interesting things happening to me and you could write a book about it. I am just so happy that I have got the opportunity again to fight on a Matchroom show on Sky. The people seem to be getting behind me again and I just want to build on it and move onwards and upwards. 

“It is only now, when my confidence is up that I can truly recognise it was down. Everything is just flowing and feeling easier because I’m enjoying it and my confidence is back up. When I think back to the Povetkin fight my confidence wasn’t there and I was more just hopeful of winning, now I will be getting in the ring and believing that I’m going to do a job.”

Craig Glover – Liverpool, England – 10-2, 8 KO’s – facing Chris Billam-Smith in a Cruiserweight contest:

“I sort of echo what Chris says. Stylistically me and Chris is a really good fight. That spar we had, you can’t take too much from it, but I think everyone that watched it was like ‘wow’. It’s a must-win fight for the both of us so it’s all on the line. I think it’s going to gel and potentially be fight of the night. The only thing that matters is me winning this fight. There’s big fights out there but this is the only fight that I’m thinking of. This is the fight that I’ve got to win.”

Chris Billam-Smith – Bournemouth, England – 9-1, 8 KO’s – facing Chris Craig Glover in a Cruiserweight contest:

“Thanks for having me on the show. I’m looking forward to it. I boxed in the M&S Bank Arena as an amateur in the ABA’s so I’m familiar with he place and the city as well. Last time was a great experience, it was a good fight, one we thought that we won. We felt comfortable when the final bell went. That’s obviously a rematch that I’d like in the future. First off I’m fighting Craig, we’ve sparred before and Craig is a great lad but this is business and it can only be a cracking fight, I’m certain of that. We only sparred the once but it was a close spar, it was a good spar and a good one to watch. I knew then that we would meet at some point in the future. It’s a cracking fight and we’re both exciting to watch with come-forward styles. I believe that it will be an absolute barnburner.”

Anthony Fowler – Liverpool, England – 10-1, 8 KO’s – taking part in a Super-Welterweight contest:

“It’s great to be boxing in Liverpool. It’s my third fight of the year. I’m very grateful to have the chance to box in front of my home crowd which is great. I want to keep winning and get that rematch to make things right and then move onto bigger and better things. There’s no point in me fighting at catch weights when I’m not going to move up. I need to make 154, make it well, get used to it and then when I get the rematch eventually, I’ll be ready at the weight. I never lost that fight because of the weight, I’d love to make excuses but I lost it because of my own mental state. I’ve learnt my lesson from looking past people and being over confident and every fight now I’m treating as a World title fight. On November 23 I’ll be ready for anything. I’m hoping Fitzgerald comes through his fight with Cheeseman, I’ll be gutted if he loses but either way I don’t really care, I’m not bothered by the belt I just want the rematch.”

Tom Farrell – Liverpool, England – 16-2, 5 KO’s – facing Sean Dodd in a Super-Lightweight contest:

“I thought I was going to be earmarked for this show anyway to be honest. I had my eye on a decent fight to get the ball rolling and get me back in contention for 2020. I think Masher was the last person that I had on my mind. Like you said there, we are good mates and there isn’t going to be any animosity between us, we’re not going to be calling each-other all sorts, we’ll leave that to anyone else who wants to have a go.

“We’ll definitely be putting on a good show for the fans. I think there will be loads of us there. As you said, I always have a good crowd behind me and the Birkenhead faithful are always there for Masher. I’m one of the most liked lads in Liverpool fighting against one of the most liked lads in the UK in Masher Dodd. We’ll get in the ring on the night and put on a good fight for the fans. It’s a fight that we both had to take really. I’m coming off a defeat in March, 6 months ago. I just want to get active again and get the ball rolling. I want to get a good win to get the rust off and then it’s full steam ahead to November 23.

“I think this is Masher’s last chance, he’s a bit older than me. I think he tried to blag Steve Wood before and say he’s only 31 but he’s not he’s 35. I’ll be 30 on November 23 so I want to be celebrating that night with all of my family and friends. It’s going to be a massive night and I’ve had plenty of big nights. Our careers have run sort of like parallel at the same sort of time but I think I’ll have enough experience and enough quality on the night to come out and springboard myself back into contention and get my career back on a good path. The last 12 months have been a bit difficult for me and my career has stalled a little bit so this is a big chance for me to push on and get a title.”

Thomas Whittaker Hart – Liverpool, England – 2-0, 1 KO – taking part in a Light-Heavyweight contest:

“I’m looking forward to fighting in Newcastle, I’ve just got to get the job done there and then hopefully come back here and do my first six rounder, put things together and hopefully get another knockout victory. I’ve got a lot of experience behind me from my time with Team GB so I’m not really worried about how fast I move. I’m just taking it all in and enjoying it at the minute.”

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SMITH MEETS RYDER IN LIVERPOOL HOMECOMING

Domestic World title clash lands on November 23
Callum Smith will defend his WBA World, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles against WBA mandatory challenger John Ryder at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on Saturday November 23, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) landed the WBA World title and was crowned World Boxing Super Series Champion following a stunning seventh round knockout victory over British rival George Groves in Saudi Arabia last September – a win that also saw the Liverpudlian claim the vacant Ring Championship.

He put those titles on the line for the first time against two-time Olympian and former Middleweight World ruler Hassan N’Dam on his US debut at Madison Square Garden in New York earlier this year, flooring the French-Cameroonian three times in three rounds as he delivered a clinical display.

‘Mundo’ returns home to fight in his native Liverpool for the first time since outpointing Sweden’s Erik Skoglund in September 2017 knowing that a win over his fellow Brit Ryder is vital if he is to secure a dream fight at Anfield next year.  

Ryder (28-4, 16 KOs) earned the number-one ranking with the WBA with a seventh round technical knockout win against previously undefeated Russian Andrey Sirotkin in their final eliminator clash at the Copper Box Arena in London last October.

‘The Gorilla’ stopped Bilal Akkawy to win the vacant interim WBA Super-Middleweight title last time out on the undercard of Saul Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and in doing so kept himself in line for Smith’s crown.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to return to Liverpool as World Champion to defend my titles,” said Smith. “It’s always been a dream of mine to bring World Championship boxing to the city and hopefully this is the first of a big run of fights here.

‘My last three fights have been on the road in Germany, Saudi Arabia and New York and whilst they have been incredible experiences, there is nothing quite like a big fight night in Liverpool. It’s also pleasing that I get to be involved in a domestic fight against a tough opponent in John Ryder.

“He has fought his way to mandatory challenger and is on a big run of knockout wins that make him full of confidence. I’m working hard in camp to be at my best and make a statement as we head into a huge 2020. Right now the focus is on Ryder and defending my belts in style in my city on November 23.”

“I’m buzzing to be fighting for the full World title,” said Ryder. “I’ve worked hard to get myself into the mandatory position and keep myself there. I feel like I’m in the form of my life and this opportunity has come at the perfect time. Callum Smith is a great opponent and a great champion but I feel unbeatable at the moment. 

“He’s an undefeated World Champion and he hasn’t put a foot out of line so far, so I know what I’m up against on November 23. With the form that I’m in now, I believe that I can beat anyone. I’m confident that I’ll get it right on the night and get the victory. 

“People will see me beating Callum as a big upset but I don’t see it like that. I believe that I’ve got the ability to win and that’s what I plan to do. This is the chance that I’ve taken. I’m heading into the lion’s den to get the win and shatter his Anfield dreams.”

“I always love coming to Liverpool but when one of their own headlines in a World title fight, there’s nothing quite like it,” said Eddie Hearn. “I’m so happy Callum gets this chance to return to the city as champion in a brilliant domestic fight. Callum has established himself as the number 1 Super-Middleweight on the planet right now and John Ryder is on a brilliant run that has seen him become the WBA interim champ and the mandatory challenger. It’s Liverpool vs. London in what I expect to be an intriguing fight for the 168 marbles.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Callum Smith returns to Liverpool as the world’s best Super-Middleweight for an exciting domestic clash against John Ryder, who is in red-hot form.

“It’s brilliant to have Smith back on Sky Sports, in one of the pivotal nights in our stacked boxing schedule. An Anfield night could lie ahead for him, but Ryder has really transformed his fortunes in recent months and has earned his shot at a World title. 

“We’re expecting another electric atmosphere on November 23 in Smith’s home city, a thriving hotbed for sport as Liverpool target the Premier League title.”
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DILMAGHANI-FONSECA SHOWDOWN TOO HARD TO CALL – BOOKIES CAN’T SPLIT THEM AHEAD OF BIG FIGHT

Tomorrow night’s mouthwatering WBA International Super-Featherweight showdown between the silky southpaw smarts of Crayford’s classy Alex Dilmaghani and the atomic hitting of Nicaragua’s Two-Time IBF World Title challenger Francisco Fonseca is a front runner for this season’s most competitive match up and even the bookmakers, those shrewdest of judges, are struggling to split the pair.

The top-class collision headlines the Hennessy Sports event, in association with VIP Boxing Promotions, at the Premier Suite, University of Bolton, exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5 from 9pm.

Bookies’ Coral and Ladbrokes both have the fight ‘pick ‘em’ at 10/11, while Betway sway marginally with home hope ‘Dilma’, placing the lethal Latino a very live 17/20 nap. 

However, for those that sense that the action is unlikely to last the scheduled 12 rounds, heavy hitter Foncesa is the preferred pick with William Hill who offer appetising odds of 7/2 for him to add Dilmaghani to his list of 18 early victims. The Anglo-Iranian, who has culled five of his last seven early, is himself 5-1 to dispense with the judges.

Seldom are these blessed shores with such a high grade, even money international pairing and with Channel Five screening live on free-to-air, there’s no reason to miss out on what promises to be a potential Fight of the Year candidate.

At today’s official weigh-in, Dilmaghani weighed in a shade under the super-featherweight limit at 129.6lb (9st 3lb 10oz), while Fonseca hit the scales lighter at 129.1lb (9st 3lb 1oz).
Chief support on the talent stacked card sees undefeated starlets Jack ‘The Giant Killer’ Flatley and Harry ‘Hammer Time’ Scarff fight it out over 10 rounds for the former’s English Super-Welterweight Championship. Bolton wonder Flatley, a former national amateur finalist at both junior and senior level, is yet to be beaten in 16 but the ex-England international can expect to be stretched right to the limit by 7-0 Derby six footer Scarff in a mouthwatering match-up.Promoter Hennessy’s son, Michael Hennessy Jr, an all action middleweight who is undefeated in two, is set to feature in a six rounder.  A full undercard featuring several of Steve Wood’s rising talents is set to garnish an unmissable night of entertainment.Passions are sure to run high when Darwen’s robust Mickey Ellison (9-2) locks horns with Manchester technician Charlie Schofield (unbeaten in 16) in a seriously spicy looking Eliminator for the English Super-Middleweight Championship.Popular Wigan welterweight James Moorcroft and Oldham’s turbo charged Andy Kremner will be banking to triumph in separate six rounders before clashing against each other back at the Bolton Whites in December. The former goes up against Manchester circuit fighter Sam Omidi whilst the returning Kremner seeks to become the first to stop Cannock tough man Lee Gunter.Prestwich pressure fighter Sean Ben Mulligan, beaten just once in 11, endeavours to edge yet further up the domestic super-welter rankings by prevailing in a Roses rumble with 71 fight Driffield warmonger Danny ‘Lethal’ Little. Wigan lightweight Rhiannon Dixon makes her exciting debut over four rounds against nine fight Lithuanian Vaida Maseokaite, a regular visitor to these shores. Stretford’s Bradley Rea, Wigan’s Andrew Fleming and Stockport’s Jack Booth are three local lads who’ll be seeking to extend their perfect slates. Middleweight Rea, described as ‘a serious talent’ by promoter Wood, will be hoping to go seven-up in an Anglo-Scottish affair with Stranraer’s significantly more seasoned Paul Allison. Also over six, Fleming, a strong super-lightweight southpaw, intends to stretch his streak to eight against an opponent still to be announced while Matthew Hatton’s all-action super-middle starlet Booth will be looking to defuse ‘Baltic Bomber’ Genadij Krejevskij from Lithuania in an intriguing international four-rounder.
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NIGEL BENN RETURNS TO THE RING FOR CLOSURE

It’s official, former WBC & WBO World Champion Nigel Benn will return to the ring one last time for CLOSURE.

The event will be held on the 23rd November 2019 at Resorts World Arena, located in the National Exhibition Centre, Perimeter Rd, Birmingham, England.

The event will be broadcast globally upon the EpicentreTV broadcast platform on Nigel’s own channel: WWW.Epicentre.TV/Nigel-Benn

So why is he returning to the ring?

“This one is for me and has been many years in the making. 

“My return to the ring is an itch I need to scratch. I feel fitter, stronger and more focused than at any time in my career. 

“Age is nothing but a number, I still have good movement, quick hands and a good whack. I have been training for five years ahead of this event, the last two years intensively and as an elite athlete ahead of the fight. 

“It is eight weeks until I return to the ring, and I am only a couple of Kilograms off weight. I feel strong and looking forward to stepping in the ring for the last time in November. 

“Looking back at my career I feel I cheated myself. Even though I accomplished so much, I was walking on the dark side; cheating, taking recreational drugs at parties and smoking weed. Starting at eight years old, I smoked cigarettes throughout my entire career! 

“Towards the end of my career my life was out of control. When I hit my lowest point, I attempted to take my own life. 

“By reconnecting with my faith, I have made the changes needed and now live a blessed life in Australia with my beautiful wife Carolyne and three of my eight wonderful kids. 

“I want my return to the ring to demonstrate to anyone who is struggling that no matter how low you feel and no matter how bad things get there is always hope, there are people that can help you and you can always make the change to be a better version of yourself.” 

Nigel BennNigel will face former WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Sakio Bika who is 15 years Nigel’s Junior. 

Sakio Bika is one of the toughest boxers of the last two decades. In his 20 year career, Sakio has never been stopped and has taken undefeated boxing superstars Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward the distance giving them the hardest night of their lives.

So why Sakio Bika?

“I respect Sakio immensely, he is a true warrior and did not want to take an easy option. He has shared the ring with some of the great world champions of recent years. He will come to fight and will not take a backward step. It will be a war” said Nigel Benn

Ticket and Broadcast Information can be found at the following event destination page – WWW.Epicentre.TV/Nigel-Benn

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WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER: DUBOIS vs TETTEH

Queensberry Promotions are proud to present Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois vs Ebenezer Tetteh, for the vacant Commonwealth Heavyweight Title, live from the historic Royal Albert Hall. The show will air live on BT Sport.

Daniel Dubois is the most exciting heavyweight prospect in world boxing and is a further example of how Queensberry Promotions is the premier destination for exciting, homegrown British talent.

RUNNING ORDER – ROYAL ALBERT HALL
Fight # 1 – 18:30 hrs

4 X 3 Minute Rounds International Lightweight ContestMOHAMMAD BILAL ALI 9st 10lb 4oz 
V  
ALEKSANDRS BIRKENBERGS 9st 7lb 2oz

Fight # 2 6 X 3 Minute Rounds Heavyweight Contest
JONATHAN PALATA 16st 4lb 4oz
 V        
CHRIS HEALY 19st 5lb 2oz

Fight # 3 4 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Lightweight Contest
EITHAN JAMES
V        
FONZ ALEXANDER

Fight # 4 8 X 3 Minute Rounds Middleweight Contest
DENZEL BENTLEY 11st 7lb 6oz
V        
KELCIE BALL 11st 7lb 12oz

Fight # 5 8 X 3 Minute Rounds International Super-Middleweight Contest
WILLY HUTCHINSON 12st 9lb 13oz                
V        
BORISLAV ZANKOV 12st 7lb 10oz

Fight # 6 6 X 3 Minute Rounds International Bantamweight Contest

DENNIS McCANN 8st 8lb 4oz                  
V        
GEORGI GEORGIEV 8st 6lb 4oz

Fight # 7
THE WBO WORLD FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
10 X 2 Minute Rounds
NICOLA ADAMS OBE 7st 13lb 14oz                
V        
MARIA SALINAS 7st 12lbs 4oz

Fight # 8
THE WBO EUROPEAN SUPER-FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
10 X 3 Minute Rounds @ 130 lbs
ARCHIE SHARP 9st 3lb 5oz                    
V        
DECLAN GERAGHTY 9st 3lb 5oz

Fight # 9
THE VACANT COMMONWEALTH AND WBO INTERNATIONAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
12 X 3 Minute Rounds
DANIEL DUBOIS 17st 2lb 6oz                  
V                    
EBENEZER TETTEH 15st 7lb 4oz
——-

Fight # 10 – Floater # 1 4 X 3 Minute Rounds Lightweight Contest
SAM NOAKES 9st 11lb 14oz                    
V        
CHRIS ADAWAY 9st 11lb 6oz

Fight # 11 – Floater # 2 4 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Middleweight Contest
LEWIS EDMONDSON                    
V        
Gianni Antoh

Hot on the heels of a successful show at the York Hall on the 14th September, Queensberry Promotions further burnish their credentials as the premier destination for exciting, homegrown British talent on September 27th as Daniel Dubois takes aim at another accolade.

‘Dynamite’ headlines the Royal Albert Hall when he meets Ghana’s Ebenezer Tetteh for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight crown and WBO flyweight champion Nicola Adams defends her title for the first time against experienced Mexican Maria Salinas, live on BT Sport.

The card will also feature WBO European super-featherweight champion Archie Sharp who makes his second title defence against Dublin’s Declan Geraghty.

Middleweight banger Denzel Bentley, heavyweight Jonathan Palata, lightweight Mohammad Bilal Ali and precocious bantamweight talent Dennis McCann are also in action.

Exciting prospects Lewis Edmondson, Eithan James and Sam Noakes all make their professional debuts.

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DANIEL DUBOIS HAILS LENNOX LEWIS AS GREATEST INFLUENCE ON HIS BOXING STYLE AHEAD OF COMMONWEALTH TITLE CLASH

WHEN PUSHED ON which former boxer supplied the greatest influence on his style, Daniel Dubois had little hesitation in naming the most successful British heavyweight of all-time.

Lennox Lewis, a three-time world heavyweight champion, twice lineal champion and the last to be able to call himself the undisputed champion of the world was the name put forward by star in the making Dubois ahead of his bid to win the Commonwealth title at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday.

Dubois takes on the unbeaten, 19-0, Ebenezer Tetteh in the latest staging post on his route to the top of the division. Success on Friday will make it seven different title wins in just 13 fights.

Lewis called it a day in June 2003 with a record of 41-2-1 following victory over Vitali Klitschko in Los Angeles, with the future champion Klitschko stopped in the sixth due to a severe cut.

He has in the recent past spent time with Dubois, advising the now 22-year-old with a few punching pointers, which perhaps reveals why the current British champion likens his approach to the 1988 Olympic gold medallist.

“If I had to pick I would say maybe Lennox Lewis for his jab and all-round athletic ability,” considered Dubois, who added that his overall style is not based on a specific individual. “My game really is based on the bits and pieces I learned at my amateur clubs and where I am now.

“I am a solid, fundamental boxer. Basic boxing, but effective.”

Certainly effective, but Dubois doesn’t view himself as travelling along in the fast lane and insists his development will continue over the next 12 months.

“Still progressing because this is still an ongoing case. I am in no rush but I see myself climbing the ranks and adding a few more titles to my resume.”

Daniel Dubois headlines the bill when he meets Ghana’s Ebenezer Tetteh for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight crown and WBO flyweight champion Nicola Adams defends her title for the first time against experienced Mexican Maria Salinas, live on BT Sport.

The card will also feature WBO European super-featherweight champion Archie Sharp who makes his second title defence against Dublin’s Declan Geraghty.

Middleweight banger Denzel Bentley, heavyweight Jonathan Palata, lightweight Mohammad Bilal Ali and precocious bantamweight talent Dennis McCann are also in action.

Exciting prospects Lewis Edmondson, Eithan James and Sam Noakes all make their professional debuts.

Tickets for the September 27 bill at the Royal Albert Hall are available to purchase from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.royalalberthall.com. Prices £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 Ringside.

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“FONSECA’S A WORLD CLASS OPERATOR, I’M A WORLD CLASS OPERATOR. IT’LL BE A WORLD CLASS FIGHT!” SAYS ALEX DILMAGHANI

Britain’s best kept boxing secret until late May, classy Crayford super-featherweight ace Alex Dilmaghani is fast evolving into one of the hottest trends in the ‘hit’ parade as he heads towards his showdown this Saturday (28 September) against dynamite hitting Francisco Fonseca at the Premier Suite, University of Bolton, exclusively live on Channel 5.

Since returning to Blighty following a five-year exile mastering his craft at the fabled Romanza Gym in Mexico City, prime time terrestrial TV slots and glossy spreads in the trade papers have suddenly alerted the cognoscenti of the slick and speedy 28 year old southpaw’s soaring talent and colourful back story.

Latest to seek his testimony were talkSPORT’s Fight Night presenters Adam Catterall and Gareth A.Davies who invited ‘Dilma – who is unbeaten in over eight years ago – to serve as their study guest last week.The 19-1- 1NC starlet, who has stopped five of his last seven, opened up by explaining the circumstances that led to a Southampton University graduate jetting 5,500 miles to enrol at one of the most savage fight facilities on the planet.

‘First and foremost, I was doing a law degree, just playing with boxing,’ explained the Mick Hennessy promoted, Lee Wilkins trained Dilmaghani.

‘Initially, I only went out on holiday, I made great friends out there, a second family. It was only after I finished my degree (2013) that I properly took (boxing) seriously and moved out to Mexico. ‘At Romanza, they were expecting a blond, blue-eyed boy but I looked more Mexican than they did,’ continued the Redhill-born rumbler who served as a spar hand to a stream of world champions, most notably Juan Manuel Marquez, the legendary seven-time, four weight world champion. 

‘There, I engrossed myself in the boxing culture. There’s a gym on every corner. Training, sparring, was like a fight. Sparring before (Mexico’s legendary octogenarian Hall of Fame trainer) Nacho Beristain, you’d not want to mess up. He’s very critical, a perfectionist. If you missed a punch, he’d call out ‘You Imbecile. Do it again.’ He never got to call me an imbecile!

‘It was like a university, more like going to school than going to the gym. I learnt my trade; the fundamental principles of the techniques plus the attitudes. 

‘In that gym, not only were there world champions but also plenty of hungry guys. As Nacho’s time was limited, we’d all spar heavy, fighting for his attention, trying to impress him. There’s a term, ‘iron sharpens iron’. 

‘And they had the best weigh-ins in the business, open air with palm trees in the background. Unbelievable.‘At the Romanza, I started to change my style. Mexican fight fans don’t appreciate a ‘stand-off’ style. At live events, all the fights are toe-to-toe and if one fighter takes a breather, the crowd starts booing! 

‘As a foreigner, fighting out there, I needed to bring it, come forward, adopt a Mexican style, put my shoulder and hips into punches. ‘Nacho’ showed me the techniques. ‘Nacho’ teaches a very unique style to all his guys, different to the other Mexican fighters. He has the lead hand up and the back hand slightly lower….he favours combinations and feints.’

This Saturday, at the White’s Hotel in Bolton, dazzling Dilma gets a golden opportunity to bulldoze his way into the sanctioning bodies’ world rankings when he gambles against Nicaragua’s ultra-violentFonseca – a 25 year old two-time IBF world title challenger who has sent 19 of the 25 conquests on his ledger down the trap door before the scorecards were called.

The top graders clash from the Vacant WBA International 130lb title but, even if he prevails, Alex informed the radio presenters that he didn’t discount a dip down to featherweight, if the right fights at the right price present themselves.

‘I can make featherweight or super-featherweight, I just want the fights, the money,’ he stresses.‘Mick (Hennessy, his manager-promoter) offered this fight (date) to plenty of people and you’d not believe how many turned it down, from British champions, European champions, Commonwealth champions. I can’t name, names, that’s for Mick. All were offered the fight but they didn’t want it.

‘But I can make feather. That’s one option. Right now, (more than a week before the fight), I’m 132lbs (9st 6lbs, just two pounds over the super-feather cut-off). I make (super-feather) easy. Boxing’s a lifestyle to me. I don’t have training camps. Training camp is all year round. After a fight I’ll take just a few days off, then I’m back on it.’ 

Regarding the decision to return to the land of his birth, Dilma informed talkSPORT listeners:‘England is the number one place for boxing, along with US. The money’s here, the TV’s here. I teamed up with Mick Hennessy. He’s a great guy and we’re doing great things. 

‘I’ve got a lot of great friends in Manchester. There’s a lot of educated fight fans there plus some good food places in the food quarter to check out. It’s always a pleasure.

‘Channel Five is the best platform in boxing. The TV figures (for boxing) are unbelievable. And it’s a great card from top to bottom.’ 

And while this Friday’s South American co-challenger has only conceded to high grade US world champions Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer during his 28 fight, six year paid career, when grilled about the lethal hitting Latino, Dilma casually responded:‘I know he’s going to get beat! 

‘He’s a come-forward, experienced, world class operator and I’m a world class operator so it’ll be a world class fight. He comes to fight. I come to fight. I’m a right-handed southpaw so dangerous with both hands. It’ll be entertaining. Tune in!’
Chief support on the talent stacked card sees undefeated starlets Jack ‘The Giant Killer’ Flatley and Harry ‘Hammer Time’ Scarff fight it out over 10 rounds for the former’s English Super-Welterweight Championship. 

Bolton wonder Flatley, a former national amateur finalist at both junior and senior level, is yet to be beaten in 16 but the ex-England international can expect to be stretched right to the limit by 7-0 Derby six footer Scarff in a mouthwatering match-up.Promoter Hennessy’s son, Michael Hennessy Jr, an all action middleweight who is undefeated in two, is set to feature in a six rounder.  

A full undercard featuring several of Steve Wood’s rising talents is set to garnish an unmissable night of entertainment.

Passions are sure to run high when Darwen’s robust Mickey Ellison (9-2) locks horns with Manchester technician Charlie Schofield (unbeaten in 16) in a seriously spicy looking Eliminator for the English Super-Middleweight Championship.

Popular Wigan welterweight James Moorcroft and Oldham’s turbo charged Andy Kremner will be banking to triumph in separate six rounders before clashing against each other back at the Bolton Whites in December. 

The former goes up against Manchester circuit fighter Sam Omidi whilst the returning Kremner seeks to become the first to stop Cannock tough man Lee Gunter.

Prestwich pressure fighter Sean Ben Mulligan, beaten just once in 11, endeavours to edge yet further up the domestic super-welter rankings by prevailing in a Roses rumble with 71 fight Driffield warmonger Danny ‘Lethal’ Little. 

Wigan lightweight Rhiannon Dixon makes her exciting debut over four rounds against nine fight Lithuanian Vaida Maseokaite, a regular visitor to these shores. 

Stretford’s Bradley Rea, Wigan’s Andrew Fleming and Stockport’s Jack Booth are three local lads who’ll be seeking to extend their perfect slates. Middleweight Rea, described as ‘a serious talent’ by promoter Wood, will be hoping to go seven-up in an Anglo-Scottish affair with Stranraer’s significantly more seasoned Paul Allison. 

Also over six, Fleming, a strong super-lightweight southpaw, intends to stretch his streak to eight against an opponent still to be announced while Matthew Hatton’s all-action super-middle starlet Booth will be looking to defuse ‘Baltic Bomber’ Genadij Krejevskij from Lithuania in an intriguing international four-rounder.
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“DANIEL DUBOIS HAS THE JAB OF LARRY HOLMES” SAYS FRANK WARREN

FRANK WARREN has compared rising heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois with all time great Larry Holmes.

The Hall of Fame promoter admits he has burdened Dubois by describing him as, ‘The best young heavyweight in the world.’Now he has jabbed even more praise towards the young star whose career he is masterminding.

Holmes held a world heavyweight championship from 1978 to 1985 making 20 world title defences a record only bettered by Joe Louis and Wladimir Klitschko.

Dubois has to live up to his promoter’s high praise when he challenges Ghanaian Ebenezer Tetteh (19-0, 16KOs) for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight crown at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Friday (September 27), live on BT Sport.

Warren said: “Daniel is a special young man.“As my boxing mentor, the late Ernie Fossey said, ‘If you can’t jab, you can’t fight.’

“Good fighters have great jabs and Daniel has a great jab. It is a big comparison to make at this stage of his career, but Daniel has that Larry Holmes jab. I love seeing fighters who can jab.”

If Dubois overcomes Tetteh it will be his seventh professional championship in just 13 fights.He has already won WBC Youth, Southern Area, English, WBO European, WBO Global and British titles since turning professional in April 2017.

Last week he was voted Young Boxer of the Year by the Boxing Writer’s Club and picks up that award at a gala dinner next month.

Dubois is also ranked 15 by the IBF and seven in the WBO rankings for the belts owned by Andy Ruiz Jr.

He hammered Nathan Gorman to become British champion in his most recent fight and Warren added: “He has had a fantastic year and gone from strength to strength.” 

Daniel Dubois headlines the bill when he meets Ghana’s Ebenezer Tetteh for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight crown and WBO flyweight champion Nicola Adams defends her title for the first time against experienced Mexican Maria Salinas, live on BT Sport.

The card will also feature WBO European super-featherweight champion Archie Sharp who makes his second title defence against Dublin’s Declan Geraghty.

Middleweight banger Denzel Bentley, heavyweight Jonathan Palata, lightweight Mohammad Bilal Ali and precocious bantamweight talent Dennis McCann are also in action.

Exciting prospects Lewis Edmondson, Eithan James and Sam Noakes all make their professional debuts.


Tickets for the September 27 bill at the Royal Albert Hall are available to purchase from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.royalalberthall.com. Prices £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 Ringside.

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TERRI HARPER SIGNS WITH MATCHROOM – DEBUTS IN MANCHESTER

Denaby talent defends World title on Taylor vs. Linardatou undercard
Undefeated Denaby Super-Featherweight talent Terri Harper has signed a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and will make the first defence of her IBO World title against Vivian Obenauf on the Taylor vs. Linardatou undercard at Manchester Arena on November 2, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 
 
Harper, South Yorkshire’s first female professional boxer, joined the paid code in November 2017 after a successful stint in the amateurs that saw her win three national titles and take home a silver medal for England from the European youth championships in Poland in 2012.
 
The 22-year-old has won all eight of her pro contests to date and picked up the WBC International Lightweight title with a sensational stoppage of Nina Bradley in March earlier this year before taking out Nozipho Bell in eight rounds to earn the IBO Super-Feather World title in July. 
 
Obenauf (14-5, 7 KOs), a two-time World title challenger from Brazil, is no stranger to fighting on these shores. She took Irish star Taylor the distance in Manchester back in 2016 and returned to the UK a year later to challenge Chantelle Cameron for the IBO Lightweight World title in Leicester.
 
In her next fight she stopped Liverpool’s Natasha Jonas in four rounds to earn the WBA International Super-Featherweight title in Cardiff before challenging Maiva Hamadouche for the IBF Super-Featherweight World title in Paris. 
 
“I was in disbelief when I found out that I’d be signing a promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing,” said Harper. “I got the news shortly after I won my IBO World title in July and I was delighted. It’s crazy how much has happened in the short space of two years.
 
“I always expected to go quite far with my boxing but not as quickly as I have done. Everyone dreams of signing with Matchroom and I believe I’m in the perfect place to fulfil my potential. We originally planned on having around ten fights before pushing on towards titles but opportunities came up and we knew we were ready.
 
“Katie Taylor has paved the way for women’s boxing in recent years and to be defending my World title on her undercard on my Matchroom debut is absolutely massive and I can’t wait to get out there in front of the TV cameras again. 
 
“I’ve been in the gym for a solid two months waiting for my fight date to be confirmed. They’re all going to be tough fights from now but that’s what I’m in this sport to do, prove myself against the best names out there.”
 
Stefy Bull, Manager of Terri Harper, said: “It’s a pleasure to be working with Matchroom Boxing again. I’ve had a long relationship with them through Gavin McDonnell and I believe they are the best promotional outfit out there. Terri is a special talent and I know that Eddie will deliver World title opportunities for her on the biggest stage. Terri will grab those opportunities with both hands.”
 
Harper vs. Obenauf is part of a huge night of action in Manchester.
 
Main event sees Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) attempt to become a two-weight World Champion when she meets Christina Linardatou (12-1, 6 KOs) for the WBO Super-Lightweight World title, Manchester favourite Anthony Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) bids farewell at the venue he was crowned World Champion, rising Light-Heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi (12-0, 10 KOs) steps up again to take on another former World title challenger in Blake Caparello (30-3-1, 13 KOs), Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight title against English Champion Jack Cullen (17-1, 8 KOs) and Gamal Yafai (16-1, 9 KOs) and Qais Ashfaq (7-0, 3 KOs) continue their march towards titles. 
 
General sale tickets priced £40, £60, £100 and £250 (VIP) are available NOW via Manchester Arena (www.manchester-arena.com), StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com). 
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“DILMAGHANI HAS GOOD BOXING SKILLS BUT MY EXPERIENCE IN WORLD TITLE FIGHTS WILL BE THE KEY TO BEATING HIM” SAYS DANGERMAN FRANCISCO FONSECA

Nicaragua’s iron-fisted Francisco Fonseca believes Alex Dilmaghani has bitten off far more than he can chew by agreeing to face-off against the formidable former Two-Time World title challenger at the Premier Suite, University of Bolton, on Saturday 28th September.

Presented by Hennessy Sports and VIP Promotions, in association with Infinitum and Voltarol, Dilmaghani v Foneseca is exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5 this Saturday from 9pm. 

The WBA International Super-Featherweight Championship – and a lofty world top-ten rating – are at stake in this high-grade collision and the mix of styles should mesh to produce a potential classic.

‘Dilma’ might be four years Fonseca’s senior, profiting from home advantage and undefeated in over eight years but that certainly doesn’t daunt the destroyer from the land that delivered ring legends such as Alexis Arguello and ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.   

Coached by his older brother Jose Fonseca and two weight WBA World Champion champion Rosendo Alvarez – the ONLY boxer to put a stain on Mexican great Ricardo Lopez’s brilliant 52 fight unbeaten career (TD8, 1998) –  the lethal Latino arrived in Bolton last night boasting seven more pro starts, 41 more pro rounds and a record that lists as many stoppages (19) as Dilmaghani has wins. 

Eight of the explosive-hitting Nicaraguan’s quick wins have come by clean count out. Make no mistake, the dangerous Fonseca brings serious firepower with a capital F and poses a significant threat to Dilmaghani’s ambitions.

Life began in El Rama, central Nicaragua in March 1994, although the family migrated south to seek a better life in Costa Rica, when feisty Francisco was just six. ‘We are 6 children in total, The three boys of us all boxed. I was introduced to the sport, aged 14, by my older brother Jose, a pro, who has already retired. My other brother is Freddy Fonseca (a 27-3-1 world ranked ex WBA 130lb challenger), who has just lost in Japan last weekend. Twice the three of us fought in the same show as pro,’ disclosed Francisco through an interpreter.

‘As an amateur boxer, I had 70 fights, only 6 losses. Several times I was the national champion. I like both styles, countering but also exchanging punches.’

Restricted to a four-round draw during his debut as a teenager back in December 2013, the Managua based banger then blitzed 19 successive opponents, with 13 of the vanquished failing to finish. 

The only other blemishes on his stellar 25-2-1 slate were a brace of IBF world title reverses over in the USA to two of the world’s elite, firstly to Gervonta Davis (LKO8, August 2018) and then Tevin Farmer (LPTS12, December 2018).  

Still only 25, fiery Frankie certainly hasn’t surrendered his dream of securing a World title crown.In addition to starring in Costa Rica, the Nicaraguan nightmare has previously wreaked havoc in Panama, El Salvador and the USA as a pro so certainly won’t be fazed by his maiden European venture and sent a .‘I am really looking forward to fighting in the UK, as it’s such a big place for boxing,’ states the 5ft 7 ½ in boxer-banger who has already racked up a hat-trick of stoppage wins in 2019.

‘I know I must win this fight to get a new shot at the world title again. It could be either points or stoppage but I will win. 

‘Though I was unsuccessful in those two previous chances at world level, I fought solid champions. Both fights left me great experiences and I know my experience in world title fights will be the key to winning this fight.

‘I’ve watched Dilmaghani and I can see he has good boxing skills. That’s why I am sure it will be a very good fight. 

‘My message to him is, ‘Make sure you train hard because I am 100% ready and motivated.’ 
Chief support on the talent stacked card sees undefeated starlets Jack ‘The Giant Killer’ Flatley and Harry ‘Hammer Time’ Scarff fight it out over 10 rounds for the former’s English Super-Welterweight Championship.

Bolton wonder Flatley, a former national amateur finalist at both junior and senior level, is yet to be beaten in 16 but the ex-England international can expect to be stretched right to the limit by 7-0 Derby six footer Scarff in a mouthwatering match-up.

Promoter Hennessy’s son, Michael Hennessy Jr, an all action middleweight who is undefeated in two, is set to feature in a six rounder.  A full undercard featuring several of Steve Wood’s rising talents is set to garnish an unmissable night of entertainment.Passions are sure to run high when Darwen’s robust Mickey Ellison (9-2) locks horns with Manchester technician Charlie Schofield (unbeaten in 16) in a seriously spicy looking Eliminator for the English Super-Middleweight Championship.

Popular Wigan welterweight James Moorcroft and Oldham’s turbo charged Andy Kremner will be banking to triumph in separate six rounders before clashing against each other back at the Bolton Whites in December. 

The former goes up against Manchester circuit fighter Sam Omidi whilst the returning Kremner seeks to become the first to stop Cannock tough man Lee Gunter.

Prestwich pressure fighter Sean Ben Mulligan, beaten just once in 11, endeavours to edge yet further up the domestic super-welter rankings by prevailing in a Roses rumble with 71 fight Driffield warmonger Danny ‘Lethal’ Little. 

Wigan lightweight Rhiannon Dixon makes her exciting debut over four rounds against nine fight Lithuanian Vaida Maseokaite, a regular visitor to these shores. Stretford’s Bradley Rea, Wigan’s Andrew Fleming and Stockport’s Jack Booth are three local lads who’ll be seeking to extend their perfect slates. 

Middleweight Rea, described as ‘a serious talent’ by promoter Wood, will be hoping to go seven-up in an Anglo-Scottish affair with Stranraer’s significantly more seasoned Paul Allison. Also over six, Fleming, a strong super-lightweight southpaw, intends to stretch his streak to eight against an opponent still to be announced while Matthew Hatton’s all-action super-middle starlet Booth will be looking to defuse ‘Baltic Bomber’ Genadij Krejevskij from Lithuania in an intriguing international four-rounder.

Listen to Alex Dilmaghani’s interview on talkSPORT Fight Night show last Saturday with Gareth Davies and Adam Catterall CLICK HERE (go to 04:34)

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