|TAYLOR vs KHONGSONG PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES|
|WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING returns to BT Sport on Saturday when Josh Taylor defends his unified WBA/IBF super lightweight belts against mandatory challenger, the unbeaten Apinun Khongsong from Thailand. Also in headline position is the return of former WBC world flyweight champion Charlie Edwards to the ring, where he will step up to bantamweight to take on Kyle Williams.|
Earlier today, the four fighters took part in an online media conference ahead of Saturday’s event and below is a selection of the pre-fight comments.
Kyle Williams (11-2)
It is his coming out party but we are here to spoil that. Charlie is a fantastic athlete, I have watched him throughout his career, but when we get in there it is two men and I am looking to take what he’s got. I fought for the British title against Farooq and it was not a fight I was completely outclassed in. I showed that I’ve got the goods to be at that level and just got caught. Against Thomas Essomba it showed I’ve got the toughness for the game and showed that when it gets hard I stick in there and continue to fight, as Charlie knows.
Charlie Edwards (15-1)
First and foremost I would like to say it is so good to be back. I’ve missed being on the stage, missed being at the press conferences and I am really looking forward to the fight. Outside of the ring it has been really great for me this year, I have really settled and that has helped me with my training. I am feeling good, feeling strong and I am looking forward to getting back in there, putting the dark times behind me of making that terrible weight and moving forward with my career. Kyle is a good fighter, he is tough, game, he is gonna come and he is gonna try and make it awkward in there. It is what we expect at this level and this is his world cup final, his golden ticket so we expect him to come and have a right good go.
With not having to make flyweight it is nice to be able to string a sentence together now! Last time I couldn’t even do the media stuff. It is good and I feel ready. It is chapter 2 and I am looking forward to it.
Apinun Khongsong (16-0)
I am happy to fight here and being behind closed doors is good for me because there will be no people and boxing fans. I am very proud to fight Josh Taylor because he is a very good champion. I have prepared very well to fight him on Saturday. The plan is to stop Josh Taylor by knockout.
Josh Taylor (16-0)
I don’t think not having a crowd will affect my performance at all. I’ve been practicing in the gym with no music, no noise and nobody speaking, so we have been replicating what the experience will be like. I’m looking forward to getting in there on Saturday and I have kept fit and in shape throughout the year. I can’t wait to put on a strong performance.
You will see on Saturday what changes I have made working with Ben (Davison) and I am not going to give away what we have been working on. It is good and we’ve been working on a lot of things and this is a nice start to a whole new book. This is the start of it, it is going to be better than the last one and I can’t wait to get going on Saturday.
Khongsong is standing in the way of where I want to go so I need to get rid of him. This is his introduction to world boxing and I am going to make it a painful one for him. He doesn’t belong at this level and I am a couple of levels above him. I am going to go in there and knock him out on Saturday.
I have seen a lot I can exploit. He is a very good fighter and very strong, punches with both hands with power, but it is not enough to beat me. I am just really looking forward to getting in there on Saturday and putting on a strong performance.
Live coverage on BT Sport 1 begins on Saturday at 7.30pm
|Pound-for-pound star faces Brit favourite in Heavyweight WAR|
|Ukrainian pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk will finally face British favourite Derek Chisora on Saturday October 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US, after their original May 23 date was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. |
Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) made the move to Heavyweight after dominating at Cruiserweight, ending his extraordinary spell at 200lbs as the Undisputed king with a phenomenal run of victories in his opponents’ backyard against Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew.
The 2012 Olympic Gold medallist began his assault on the Heavyweight division by retiring Chazz Witherspoon in seven rounds at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago last October and continues his bid to become a two-weight World Champion when he faces an in-form Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs).
Former World Title challenger Chisora scored a devastating second round knockout over Poland’s Artur Szpilka at The O2 in July 2019, a year on from his incredible eighth round KO win against Carlos Takam at the same venue, before blitzing fellow Brit David Price in four rounds in October 2019.
The Finchley powerhouse, who is guided by former two-weight World Champion David Haye, has lofty ambitions of his own and is planning on giving Usyk nightmares in his first real test in boxing’s glamour division as he looks to pull off what would be one of the best wins by a Brit in recent years.
“I have really missed boxing,” said Usyk. “I am working hard in my training camp to show a spectacular performance on October 31. I expect a real test in Derek – he is strong, tough and resilient. He is a really big guy and he hits hard.
“As a Cruiserweight, I reached the highest heights as Undisputed Champion and now I am following the same path as a Heavyweight. I need to test myself against world class Heavyweights on my new road to Undisputed and Derek stands in front of me.
“Many people say that Derek is a monster, but deep down he is a kind man. I don’t expect to see that good side of him. I know that he wants to break me, but I am water, wind and fire all together. Derek Chisora, I am coming for you!”
“Helllllo, Usyk, I’m ready for you, helllllo Usyk!,” said Chisora. “Usyk, I’ve been ready for you all year. It’s my home turf and after such a tough year for everyone, I’m going to give the British public the Halloween party they deserve and finally get revenge for my boy Tony Bellew!”
“Yesterday’s news from the Government was a kick in the nuts, so to bounce back with this fight at this time is so important for boxing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “You’ve either got to sit back and say ‘it’s not possible’ or find a way to make it happen, and I’ve got to say a big thanks to Team Usyk, ‘Del Boy’ and David Haye for staying patient and helping get this over the line.
“It’s an absolute firecracker and a fight that’s so important to the Heavyweight division over the next few months. We saw a stunning victory from Povetkin recently to shake up the mandatory situation, can WAR Chisora spring the upset and KO the undefeated Undisputed World Champ? I know he will do everything he can to try and get the victory and this will be another night of Heavyweight drama!”
“Oleksandr Usyk versus Derek Chisora is one of the most anticipated fights in the Heavyweight division,” said Alexander Krassyuk, General Director of K2 Promotions. “The fight was originally scheduled to take place in May, but I can assure boxing fans around the world that it will be worth the wait.
“Usyk is under huge pressure. He has to prove himself as a true Heavyweight, while Chisora has nothing to lose and is always dangerous. It will be a violent and bloody battle. I cannot wait to see them finally collide in the ring on October 31.”
“I see this fight with Usyk as the perfect opportunity for Derek to gate crash the world top 5,” said David Haye of Hayemaker Promotions. “He’s a massive underdog, with very few experts picking him to cause the upset. But I know something they don’t, I know Derek has the size, the chin and more importantly the heart to walk through hell to get this win.
“Derek cancelled his last family Christmas holiday in preparation for this very fight, and as a result has spent the best part of a year improving his boxing IQ, and building a relentless engine, he is ready to step in the ring with Usyk and wage WAR. The world will be shocked at what Halloween havoc Chisora brings to the party.”
Adam Smith, Head of Boxing Development at Sky Sports, said: “We’re very excited to announce the rescheduled date for Oleksandr Usyk versus Derek Chisora, an intriguing Heavyweight showdown with plenty at stake!
“Ukrainian star Usyk has already showcased his sublime skills on these shores in that dramatic battle with Tony Bellew, while Derek Chisora has rejuvenated his career since teaming up with his former foe David Haye.
“A potential fight with Unified Champion Anthony Joshua is already within Usyk’s grasp, but Chisora has big ambitions of his own, and with Haye by his side, could we see the battle-hardened Brit pull off a stunning upset? Usyk against Chisora has all the ingredients for a Heavyweight classic!”
Tickets purchased for the postponed event at The O2 in London on Saturday May 23 will be refunded. Please contact your point of purchase if you have any queries.
Liverpool’s unbeaten Professional Boxing Council (PBC) in Emeritus Champion Dayle Gallagher returns to the fray to face Spain based Nicaraguan Danny Mendoza as headliner for the next instalment of the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series, In association with PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA and NEON ENERGY DRINK, that takes place behind closed doors at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen on Saturday 3rd October 2020 and will be broadcast exclusively live on FITE TV.
The LET BATTLE COMMENCE series is proving to be a huge hit with fans of the pugilistic arts world-wide, due mainly it seems to it’s format of pitting elite fighters against exciting young prospects in short duration (six rounds maximum) all action battles, which is unique for televised professional boxing events these days, at least since the demise of the hugely popular Sky Sports broadcast Matchroom Sports PRIZEFIGHTER tournament.
The LET BATTLE COMMENCE series is also attracting a substantial female following, due to the inclusion of at least one female contest per event, so much so that an all female special event LET BATTLE COMMENCE VI – THE LIONESSES is set to take place on the 21st November.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE III retains the aforementioned exciting format, as besides Gallagher vs Mendoza, former WBC Fedecentro Champion David Bency and former PBC title challenger Sophie Varley make their series debuts, whilst former Elite Amateur Estelle Scott makes her professional boxing debut.
Essex’s unbeaten prospect Lewis Mulberry returns following his success on the inaugural event back in July, as does Heavyweight Liam Allan and Super Welterweight Adam Stewart, who faces Liverpool’s unbeaten Steve Sunners.
The full line-up for LET BATTLE COMMENCE III is:
Dayle Gallagher Vs Danny Mendoza
Liverpool’s unbeaten Dayle Gallagher makes his first appearance on the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series, on the 3rd October Gallagher takes on Spain based Nicaraguan Danny Mendoza.
Lewis Mulberry Vs Rafael Castillo
Essex’s exciting unbeaten prospect Lewis Mulberry returns to Aberdeen for his second appearance on the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series, where he will go toe-2-toe against Nicaragua’s Rafael Castillo.
Estelle Scott Vs Carly Mackenzie
Former Amateur star Estelle Scott from South Shields is set to make her professional debut against York’s Carly Mackenzie.
Sophie Varley Vs Tasha Boyes
Former PBC Title challenger Sophie Varley makes her first appearance on the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series and faces Tasha Boyes from York in a six round contest.
Craig Kelly vs David Bency
Paisley’s Craig Kelly takes part in his first fight under the BIBA banner and on the 3rd October will be going toe-2-toe with former World Boxing Council (WBC) Fedecentro Champion David Bency from Nicaragua.
Adam Stewart vs Steve Sunners
Someone’s ‘0’ has has to go, when Perth’s Adam Stewart, who stopped Alexander Zeledon on the first of the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series, takes on Liverpool’s unbeaten Steve Sunners.
Liam Allan vs Darren Burns
Exciting Aberdeen Heavyweight Liam Allan makes his welcome return to the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series and on the 3rd October will lock horns with Newry, Northern Ireland’s Darren Burns
LET BATTLE COMMENCE III, in association with PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA and NEON ENERGY DRINK, takes place ‘behind closed doors’ at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen and broadcast exclusively live on FITE TV on Saturday 3rd October 2020.
PPV ($4.99) is available to purchase now at www.fite.tv
|‘The Body Snatcher’ targets knockout revenge over ‘Sasha’|
|Dillian Whyte has an immediate opportunity to exact revenge over Alexander Povetkin on Saturday November 21 as the Heavyweight rivals collide in a blockbuster rematch, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.|
Whyte (27-2, 18 KOs) was sensationally knocked out by Povetkin (36-2-1, 25 KOs) as the Russian viciously halted ‘The Body Snatcher’s’ World Title ambitions in the finale of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex, last month.
Brixton’s Whyte had completely controlled the fight, flooring his opponent twice in the fourth round, but was smashed by a perfect left uppercut 30 seconds into the fifth that ended his hopes in a flash.
The 32-year-old will be hoping to regain his Mandatory position for the WBC Heavyweight World Title by levelling the score with Povetkin in what is the most important fight of his career to date.
“I’ve rested well, spent time with my family, and now that the date of the rematch is known, I will soon return to my training camp and prepare as thoroughly as I did for the first fight,” said Povetkin. “As I said before the first fight and after it too, Dillian Whyte is a good, strong boxer. I will be ready to enter the ring on November 21. I hope it will be another beautiful fight for the fans.”
“I’m over the moon to have the rematch,” said Whyte. “As soon as I got out of the ring, I was looking for confirmation that the fight would be on. I can’t wait to get back in the ring and get back what is rightfully mine. I’m looking to do what I said I would the first time and that’s beat Alexander Povetkin.
“There won’t be any major adjustments, but I just need to be more switched on and not get distracted. He was able to use his experience against me. I will be a lot more focused and sharper in the rematch. I’m coming to win and knock him out. I’m coming to even the score and the only way to do that is by knocking him out.”
|Marshall lands World Title shot against Rankin|
|Lewis Ritson will defend his WBA Inter-Continental Super-Lightweight Title against Mexico’s former long-reigning World Champion Miguel Vazquez on Saturday October 17, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.|
Ritson (20-1, 12 KOs) was originally slated to face Vazquez (42-9, 16 KOs) on April 4 in Newcastle before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the sporting world on its head and the event was postponed until a later date.
The Geordie favourite produced a career-best performance to beat bitter rival Robbie Davies Jr in an enthralling Fight of the Year candidate last time out in October to stay in line for a shot at the WBA Super-Lightweight crown.
Vazquez previously held the IBF Lightweight World Title for four years, making six defences of the title in that time, before losing to Mickey Bey via a controversial split decision in Las Vegas, and will provide a tough test for 26-year-old Ritson.
Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall (8-0, 6 KOs) meets Glasgow’s former World Champion Hannah Rankin (9-4, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBO Middleweight World Title – she was originally down to face New Zealand’s WBO Light-Heavyweight ruler Geovana Peres before the pandemic hit.
Also on the card, exciting Welterweight prospect Joe ‘Benwell Bomber’ Laws (9-0, 5 KOs) looks to progress to 10-0, 2016 Rio Olympian Qais Ashfaq (8-0, 3 KOs) returns in a Super-Bantamweight contest, Glasgow Bantamweight talent Kash Farooq (13-1, 6 KOs) makes his debut as a Matchroom fighter and West Rainton’s Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0, 4 KOs) resumes his World Title charge.
“I’ve had no time off,” said Ritson. “I’ve been in the gym the full year training hard, staying ready and waiting for a date to be confirmed. Nothing has really changed and now it’s full steam ahead for October 17.
“If I bring my A game then I’ll be very hard to beat and that’s what I’m planning on doing. We know what Miguel Vazquez is all about, he’s going to be a real test for me. I’ve had top level sparring with the likes of Josh Taylor that has kept me fresh.
“Once I get the win on October 17 I’m going to have a week off and then get straight back in the gym. I want to fight again by the end of the year, hopefully Eddie can keep the big fights coming. I want to keep pushing towards that WBA World Title, that’s the main goal for me.”
“I’m so happy that I have a fight date set in stone,” said Marshall. “It’s been a while, but I’m excited to be back in the ring. Hannah Rankin is a former IBO World Champion, so I’m expecting a tough hard fight against her but it’s one that I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s been a long road for me, so it would be incredible to become World Champion. It’s crazy to think I was meant to be fighting for a World Title in April at Light-Heavyweight and this is now at Middleweight, but that’s female boxing and you have to take these opportunities when they come.”
“This fight has been in the back of my mind since it was first talked about in February,” said Rankin. “I have proven time and time again I’m willing to fight anyone, anywhere, anytime and that’s the foundation my career has been built on.
“For this fight I’ll be stepping up to Middleweight and I’m relishing the chance to become a two-time two-weight World Champion having already held the IBO Super-Welterweight Title.
“With regards to Savannah, I’m excited for my chance to end the hype; as a professional she’s yet to be tested. On October 17 I will be crowned WBO World Middleweight Champion and I’ll be bringing that title back to Scotland. Scotland vs. England is always a fun clash in any sport!”
Five division World Champion and Promoter Lee Mcallister and the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) jointly announced an historic all female professional boxing event, that will take place in the United Kingdom on Saturday 21st November 2020 as part of the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series, in association with PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA and NEON ENERGY DRINK and broadcast exclusively live on FITE TV.
To date the LET BATTLE COMMENCE series, which are broadcast live on FITE TV and delayed broadcast in the UK on Sports Channel Network (Freeview/Youview Channel 265), has featured female contests on all events.
The first took place on the 18th July 2020 and hosted the professional boxing debut of ten time Kick Boxing World Champion Caitlin Foran against PBC International Silver Champion Jaime Bates.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE II, which was broadcast live on Friday 4th September, featured three female contests, the first featured PBC International Silver Super Flyweight Champion Nicola Hopewell versus Tasha Boyes, also featured on the card were Elite Amateur Stars Hollie Towl and Ellie Coulson who made their respective professional boxing debuts against Jaime Bates and Beccy Ferguson.
The upcoming LET BATTLE COMMENCE III, which takes place on the 3rd October features two female contests; Sophie Varley versus Tasha Boyes and Elite Amateur Estelle Scott makes her professional Boxing debut against Carly Mackenzie.
The interim card for the 21st November LET BATTLE COMMENCE VI – THE LIONESSES event sees WIBA Minimum-weight World Champion Denise Castle and MBC International Champion Marianne Marston co-headlining, against yet to be named opponents.
The stacked card hosts the rematch between Nicola Hopewell and Tasha Boyes, following Boyes’ unfortunate retirement during their previous encounter due to an arm injury.
Former ten time Kick Boxing World Champion Caitlin Foran will make her second appearance in the series and will face Shrewsbury’s Beccy Ferguson.
Former English National Amateur Champion Ellie Coulson will also be making her second appearance in the series, this time she faces Ester Konecna from the Czech Republic.
Ellie’s esteemed team mate at the Xbox Academy in Worksop, Hollie Towl, faces Italy’s Angela Cannizzaro.
World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai World Champion Natacha De Almeida from Switzerland, will be making her professional boxing debut against York’s Carly Mackenzie.
Former Elite Amateur, South Shields’ Estelle Scott, is back in action against debuting Kirsty Biswas from Middlesbrough.
Manchester’s Sophie Varley, who now competes at Super Flyweight, will face debuting Ivette Garcia.
Shrewsbury’s PBC International Silver Bantamweight Champion Jaime Bates will go toe-to-toe with the highly experienced Kenyan Jane Kavulani.
Further contests are planned, including a second World title fight between American Heavyweights Carlette Ewell and Gwendolyn O’Neil, subject to UK Government travel restrictions permitting.
Currently this event is being planned as a ‘Behind Closed Doors’ special event at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen, however it is expected that Spectators will be permitted to attend events by November, subject to government restrictions, and if they are then it is expected that the event will take place in London, subject to suitable size venue availability.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, in association with PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA and NEON ENERGY DRINK, will take place on the 21st November 2020 and will be broadcast exclusively live on FITE TV (PPV @ $12.99)
Photographs courtesy: Ali Campbell
The second event in the LET BATTLE COMMENCE ‘behind closed doors’ series, in association with PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA and NEON ENERGY DRINK, which was broadcast live on FITE TV, finally took place on Friday night at the the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen, after being forced to be rescheduled twice in August due to COVID-19 pandemic issues, the most recent due to Aberdeen being put back in lockdown just a few days before the event was due to take place on August 15th.
I’ve become quite used to watching sports without spectators the past few months, as have us all, but to actually be at a behind closed doors event feels so weird, there’s just no atmosphere, they seem so sterile, and that’s not just because everyone involved is wearing facemarks and surgical gloves etc.
However on Friday night my initial negativity at the lack of atmosphere soon evaporated, as the fights were nothing short of sensational, so much so that I often had to stop myself literally jumping to my feet and vocally supporting the warriors as they battled it out in the ring.
Anyway, enough of my waffling, let’s get onto the fights themselves.
The opening fight of the night see Teen Amateur Star Hollie Towl from Sheffield make her professional debut, against Shrewsbury’s Jaime Bates.
Those that know me are fully aware I am a huge fan of female boxing, but not many will know I’m also a fan of Jaime Bates.
I was lucky enough to be ringside when she beat Sophie Varley to lift the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver title in Lincoln last year, and I was also ringside when she stepped in at the last minute and fought former ten time Kickboxing World Champion Caitlin Foran in Aberdeen back in July, which she lost by a very close points decision, so I knew what to expect from her, performance wise, on Friday night.
What I didn’t expect to see though was a teenager as slick and controlled as the sensational Hollie Towl, wow what a class act.
As a side note I was a friend of, as well as an advisor for, Olympic Gold Medalist Luke Campbell during his amateur career and spent some highly enjoyable times at his training sessions with Terry Edwards at the TKO Gym in Canning Town during my stint as Managing Director, as well as sometimes at other gyms in London ahead of the Olympics in 2012.
Believe me Hollie is already at the level Luke was then, actually no, I’d say she is probably at a higher level, yeah she really is that good.
I was in seventh heaven watching these sensational talents in action against each other, it was like a symphony of the pugilistic arts to a level that is rarely seen, they both boxed supremely, their different styles perfectly complementing the others.
Towl though is another level, I would never try and deny her the much deserved plaudits of winning her first pro contest, to the same degree I have to praise Bates for the way she fought, she could have tried to ruin Towl’s flow by holding or even gone on a walkabout but she didn’t, she endeavoured to give as good as she got throughout.
The fifth round was such a disappointment though, not the fight itself but the way it ended.
Around the halfway mark of the round there was a horrible clash of heads that opened up a nasty cut over Bates’ left eye, it appeared so bad that Bates’ coach Giles Carter didn’t hesitate and immediately threw the towel in to the ring, leaving referee Graeme Beauly no option but to stop the contest on the one minute and thirty two seconds mark of the fifth stanza.
That was one seriously great fight, even though it was the first fight I was convinced that it would be the Fight of the Night and Hollie would be declared Fighter of the Night, however as it turns out I was wrong, that was just the opening shot on a night of unbelievably exciting pugilistic action.
The second fight on the card pitted Aberdeen’s Samer Carol, who was stepping up to the pro ranks for the first time, against Towl’s Xbox team mate Ben Gore, who was also making his professional debut.
Whilst not quite an all action thriller like the opening fight, it was without doubt a very good fight to watch, as it was more like a pugilistic chess match.
Gore’s game plan, of hanging out a straight arm jab, forced Carol to constantly adapt his game plan, as each time the local lad tried to work his way around the arm and get inside and let rip he would open up a gap for Gore to take advantage off and land a shot or two of his own.
It wouldn’t be until the third round that Carol finally had sussed out a route through and enjoyed some real success, in doing so forced Gore to change tactics and go toe-to-toe.
Gore adapted his original game plan slightly in the fourth and once again made life really hard for Carol, as once more he had to constantly change his approach in order to achieve any success.
After four intriguing, yet highly enjoyable, rounds Referee Graeme Beauly’s scorecard read 39-37 in favour of Ben Gore.
The next fight, a Heavyweight contest that also pitted debutant against debutant, see Aberdeen’s Craig Dick take on Essex hard man Michael Bassett.
I will say right away I have never really been a big fan of the Heavyweights, I prefer all action fights and it is so rare to see them when the big boys come out to play.
Well this particular fight has definitely changed my view of the division, it was awesome, I couldn’t look away, not even for a second, it was an exhilarating ALL ACTION affair from start to finish.
From the opening bell both lads went in hard and fast, the initial close quarters exchanges were phenomenal, huge shots flying in from both with seemingly little regard to defence, but as the round progressed the action slowed a little, Dick began to land some cracking shots, Bassett would respond immediately with a big right, some of which landed but most just leaving the Essex man open to receive a solid jab or a big right.
As the fight progressed Bassett appeared to become increasingly frustrated, leading to him changing his game plan ever so slightly and focus on letting rip with huge overhand rights, have to say probably could have been a very good plan, because if one had landed flush without doubt the local man would have made a visit to the canvas, however Dick is savvy and listened to his coach Lee McAllister’s instruction and kept his cool and didn’t let the fight develop into a brawl, which would have suited Bassett for sure.
What a fight, both protagonists constantly letting rip with huge shots, I have to admit I was surprised that it went the distance, I was expecting a knockout finish as both protagonists landed some seriously powerful shots, these lads must be made of granite!
After four sensational, and I mean sensational, rounds Referee Graeme Beauly’s scorecard read 40-36 in favour of Aberdeen’s Craig Dick.
I cannot argue Dick won the fight, but believe me it could have easily have been Michael Bassett, who I can’t wait to watch in action again, boy oh boy he’s such an exciting fighter.
Now I said earlier I was convinced that Towl versus Bates would be Fight of the Night, well I was wrong, and it shocks me that I am writing that a Heavyweight contest could or would be as exciting to watch as Craig Dick versus Michael Bassett was, this fight really does deserve the accolade of Fight of the Night, what’s more that wasn’t just my view (for what that’s worth) but also that of Boxing TV’s very own Dan Hewitt who was commentating on the night.
The fourth fight of the night see another teenage World Class Amateur, Worksop’s Ellie Coulson, making her professional debut.
On Friday night Coulson, the Amateur English Champion, faced Shrewsbury’s Beccy Ferguson, who also was making her pro debut. Ferguson’s route to the professional ranks couldn’t be any more different to that of Coulson if you tried, as the bubbly redhead honed her craft in the unlicensed ranks.
They may have progressed to the pro ranks from very different disciplines but on Friday the two warriors shared the same ring and went into battle right from the opening bell.
Initially Coulson controlled the proceedings with ease, utilising her height and reach advantage to keep the ever forward moving Ferguson at bay, however Ferguson soon started to exert some pressure of her own, even though it meant often having to take a few shots to get a shot off of her own.
Round two was much the same as the first, with Coulson dominating much of the round, please don’t get me wrong Ferguson took advantage of any inkling of a chink in Coulson’s armour she could find to land some cracking shots of her own, unfortunately for Ferguson, the youngster doesn’t seem to have many at all.
Ferguson had a little more success in the third, at times literally walking through shots to back Coulson towards the ropes and letting rip with both hands, Coulson though has sensational ringcraft, which prevented Ferguson getting too much time on the attack.
Coulson’s movement was nothing short of sensational, each time Ferguson came in she would throw out a solid jab, then as she stepped around her opponent would let rip with another shot or combination before Ferguson could reposition – sorry you need to watch the fight, I really cannot adequately describe the exquisite move, but will say it was class, seriously class.
The excellent round was virtually replicated in the following rounds, although the opportunities for Ferguson began to become fewer and fewer as the fight progressed, but when those opportunities arose the gutsy Ferguson went for it hammer and tongs right up to the point Coulson decided to spin out and let rip with a jab or combination.
After six highly entertaining all action rounds it was time for Referee Graeme Beauly scorecards to be announced, which was 60-54 in favour of Ellie Coulson.
I have to commend Beccy Ferguson, she really put on a great performance, which would under most circumstances lead to her hand being raised in victory, however she faced without doubt one of the best young boxers in the country, Ellie Coulson, oh and whose absolutely sensational performance rightly earned her the accolade of Fighter of the Night.
The fifth fight of the night pitted Denny’s unbeaten prospect Kevin Traynor in action against Nicaragua’s Johnson Tellez. If you watched the first LET BATTLE COMMENCE, you’ll know just how tough Tellez is as he went the distance against another unbeaten prospect, Lewis Mulberry, back in July.
What a cracking fight, to be honest it was almost a repeat of the storming Dick-Bassett Heavyweight Battle Royale but one third scale, as both fighters went to war for four scintillating rounds.
Traynor is a classy operator, naturally slick and stylish, but willing to get down and dirty in a toe-to-toe brawl when needed, and on Friday he needed to dig deep into his well stocked locker, as Tellez never stops coming forward and loves a good scrap.
Have to say if there was a Round of the Night award, Traynor-Tellez would have won that hands down for the second round, wow what a round, neither warrior would concede a centimetre let alone an inch, it was a truly enjoyable experience watching these two really dig in and go for it, personally I couldn’t split them and having seen the scorecards know that Referee Graeme Beauly had the same problem as he scored the round a draw, whilst talking scores, Graeme Beauly’s full scorecard was 40-37 in favour of Kevin Traynor.
All rounds were fantastic all actions affairs but round two stands out as something really special, like I said about Dick-Bassett, you just couldn’t look away for a singe second, it was that enthralling.
OK, now were onto the fight I was really waiting for, Worksop’s Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Champion Nicola Hopewell versus York’s Tasha Boyes.
I’ve been particularly looking forward to this contest since hearing about Tasha Boyes performance against Maria Cecchi in Italy a few weeks ago, which had earned high praise from the Italian media and I know just how good Nicola is, as was lucky enough to be ringside when she beat Ghana’s Anita Addy to lift the PBC crown back on March 7th.
This fight had all the makings of being a classic, and the way it started out it surely would have been, Hopewell came out hard and fast and let rip with fast double handed combinations, which coincidently is how I had anticipated Boyes would approach things!
Boyes is as savvy as they come and soon began to use her height and reach advantage to get back in contention, but Hopewell’s magnificent ringcraft and oodles of talent soon put an end to that and as the round was heading to its conclusion backed Boyes up and began letting rip with a barrage of shots, somehow Boyes managed to find a way out but only a temporary respite as Hopewell went in for the kill and let rip once more to send Boyes to the canvas.
Boyes must have landed awkwardly on her arm and aggravated the training injury she sustained in the week, as when she rose to her feet she was holding her arm and clearly in a lot of pain, her coach Giles Carter was so concerned he summoned Referee Graeme Beauly and retired her in the corner at the end of the round.
Have to admit that was a disappointing end to the highly anticipated contest, but there is some good news for Boyes as Hopewell has agreed to a rematch, I for one am really looking forward to that.
The headline fight pitted Professional Boxing Council (PBC) and World Boxing Union (WBU) International Champion Nathan Beattie (10-4-0) from Aberdeen against Nicaraguan Prospect Julio Bendana (6-2-0) in a non-championship six rounder.
Right from the off these two warriors went to war, Beattie getting the upper hand in the first stanza due mainly to his superior ringcraft and crisper shots. Cracking round.
Bendana secured the second round with a knockdown, that came at the right time for the Nicaraguan, as Beattie was really beginning to get into a flow, don’t get me wrong it was close at that point but Beattie was beginning to take control. Beattie didn’t seem quite the same after the knockdown, as was clear right from the start of the third.
Bendana went straight on the attack looking to carry on from where he finished the second, Beattie fought back but was clearly not right, then Bendana let rip with another huge shot to send Beattie down again, immediately his coach Lee Mcallister signalled referee Graeme Beauly and threw in the towel on the 32 second mark of the third round.
At the post fight interview with Boxing TV’s Dan Hewitt and PBC Champion Paul Peers who was co-commentator, Beattie said that he believes he had burst an eardrum in the fight, which had affected his balance.
What a fantastic event and I for one am looking forward to next instalment of LET BATTLE COMMENCE, which if all goes well and no other pandemic issues is scheduled to take place on the 19th September and like LET BATTLE COMMENCE II will be broadcast worldwide live on FITE TV and delayed broadcast in the UK seven days later on Sports Channel Network (Freeview/YouView Channel 265)
Promoter Lee Mcallister announced earlier that there will now be three female contests on the upcoming LET BATTLE COMMENCE II, in association with PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA and NEON ENERGY DRINK, which takes place ‘behind closed doors’ at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen and broadcast exclusively live by FITE TV on Friday 4th September 2020.
The first of these mouthwatering fights features Sheffield’s sensational Five Time National Amateur Champion Star Hollie Towl in action against reigning Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Champion Jaime Bates.
Towl began boxing at the age of 11 years and during her esteemed Amateur career Towl secured numerous accolades including; East Midlands Champion 2015 – 2020, National Champion 2014-2020 at three different weight classes, East Midlands box cup champion 2018 and 2019, National association of boys and girls club champion 2019, Esker Irish box cup champion 2019, Esker Irish box cup silver medal 2018, England boxing winter box cup champion 2019, Hull box cup champion 2019 and 2020, National welterweight champion belt holder 2019 and Xbox Academy champion of champions belt holder two years running 2018-2020.
Towl was invited to join the England Boxing National Pathway Squad and has sparred WBC World Champion Terri harper and Commonwealth Champion Nina Bradley.
Towl’s opponent on the 4th September is Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Champion Jaime Bates from Shrewsbury
Back in November 2019, Bates fought and beat Sophie Varley to secure the PBC International Silver Crown by a close unanimous points decision, the Judges scorecards reading; Adrian Thorne 59-57 James Ancliff 58-57 Graeme Beauly 59-56
In July Bates stepped in at the last minute to face ten time Kick Boxing World Champion Caitlin Foran on the first LET BATTLE COMMENCE event.
The fight was quite rightly declared the ‘Fight of the Night’ as it was a closely fought Battle Royale, Bates losing by a very close 58-56 points margin.
The second features Worksop’s Teen Amateur Star Ellie Coulson who steps into the ring for her first Professional contest against fellow debutante Shrewsbury’s Beccy Ferguson.
Coulson stated boxing at 12 years old and has had a stellar Amateur career, culminating in her winning numerous accolades, including; two time East Midlands champion, East Midlands box cup champion 2018 and 2019, Hull box cup champion 2019 and is the English Middleweight Champion and current belt holder.
Her opponent on the 4th September, Beccy Ferguson, comes from a very different pugilistic background to Coulson, having honed her skills within the realm of unlicensed boxing.
The final all female battle features the UK #1 and World #27 Ranked Super Flyweight Worksop’s Nicola Hopewell in action against Leeds’ Tasha Boyes.
Back on March 7th, just before the UK went into lockdown, Hopewell secured her #1 UK ranking on BoxRanking.Com, as well as secure the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Crown via a sensational second round knockout victory over Ghana’s Anita Addy at the Hoops Basketball Centre in Barrow-on-Furness.
As an Amateur Hopewell, a former England Pathway Squad member, shared the ring with a host of top class fighters including Commonwealth Gold Medalist and now undefeated pro boxer Lisa Whiteside and GB boxer Tori Ellis Willetts who is on the pathway for the Olympics. During her time at the Team GB facility in Sheffield Hopewell also sparred with the likes of double Olympic Gold Medalist Nicola Adams as well as WBC International Championship Challenger Nina Bradley and IBO and WBC World Champion Terri Harper.
Hopewell’s opponent on the 4th September will be 28 year old Tasha Boyes from York, who only got into boxing a couple of years ago, after hearing about two sisters whose parents had died in the Manchester Bombing and she wanted to do something to help them in some way, so she decided to participate in a ‘White Collar’ boxing event to raise money for the orphaned sisters. Boyes continued competing successfully on the unlicensed scene, competing in further Charity events to raise funds for those more in need than herself, until earlier this year. On the 15th August Boyes will be making making her professional debut
Nicola Hopewell and Tasha Boyes careers may have been via very different routes, but come the 4th September their journeys will lead them into the very same ring.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE II, is headlined by Nathan Beattie versus Julio Bendana, and features the aforementioned Ellie Coulson, who will be making her professional debut against fellow debutante Beccy Ferguson from Shrewsbury, Ellie’s team mate, at the Xbox Academy in Worksop and an equally sensational teen amateur star, Hollie Towl also makes her pro debut, against Shrewsbury’s Jaime Bates, whilst another fellow Xbox teammate Worksop’s Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Super Flyweight International Champion Nicola Hopewell is in action for the second time this year and faces York’s Tasha Boyes, Denny’s Kevin Traynor will be hoping to extend his unbeaten record as he faces the seriously Nicaraguan Johnson Tellez andmaking their pro debuts against each other are Super Welterweights Samer Carol and Ben Gore and in the Heavyweight division Craig Dick and Michael Bassett.
4th September 2020 LET BATTLE COMMENCE II PPV ($4:99) is available to purchase now on FITE TV https://www.fite.tv/watch/let-battle-commence-beattie-arauz/2p7rq/