TOMMY FURY BACK IN THE FOLD

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT AND Love Island star Tommy Fury will make his much-anticipated return to the ring on December 21 at the Copper Box Arena, live on BT.

The smooth-talking and strapping 20-year-old charmed the watching millions on the ITV2 hit show after entering the group and ultimately partnering up with his now girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague.

Fury placed his boxing career on pause to take part in the romantic reality show, having clocked up two wins since turning professional in December 2018, marking the occasion with a win over Jevgenijs Andrejevs in his hometown of Manchester.

He followed up his debut victory with a first round stoppage of Callum Ide in Leicester before swapping punching for Reality TV and topping up his tan on the Spanish island of Majorca over an eight-week period.

Despite his growing celebrity status, Fury has always maintained that his priority will always remain the sport of boxing and he will take the next step in his career in London against an opponent to be confirmed shortly.

“I am delighted to welcome Tommy back into the fold on our huge end-of-year show at the Copper Box,” said promoter Frank Warren.

“Tommy is a young man so taking a little bit of time out to pursue a television experience will have done him no harm at all and we always felt certain that he would be back in the ring sooner rather than later.

“In this day and age it is important for boxers to project their personalities to the public and Tommy is now one of the best known young fighters in the business.

“Now he has got to turn his mind back to what he does best and that is boxing. I am sure his new army of fans will be supporting him every step of the way.”

Further details of Tommy Fury’s return to the ring on December 21 will be revealed at a press conference on Monday, at which he will be in attendance along with main event attraction and Heavyweight star Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois.

Tickets will be on sale on Monday at 12pm via Seeticketsand Ticketmaster.

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HEAVYWEIGHT SENSATION DANIEL DUBOIS LANDS WBC SILVER TITLE SHOT AND DEFENDS WBO INTERNATIONAL BELT AGAINST JAPAN’S KYOTARO FUJIMOTO ON DECEMBER 21

DANIEL ‘DYNAMITE’ DUBOIS (13-0, 12KOs) takes on a new front on his prolific title hunt when he challenges for the WBC Silver Championship at the Copper Box Arena on December 21 against Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1, 13KOs). Dubois’ recently won WBO International Title will also be on the line. ‘The Fight Before Christmas’ will be televised by BT.

Still just 22, Dubois has already collected a staggering eight title belts in just 13 fights as a professional, with the WBC Youth, Southern Area, English, WBO European, WBO Global, British, WBO International and Commonwealth titles all to his name – in just 39 rounds of professional action.

Last month Dubois was added to the top 15 of the WBC rankings and he now gets to mark the occasion with a tilt at the governing body’s Silver title belt that successfully winning would further strengthen his position. The previous holder of the belt was Dillian Whyte, who made three successful defences of the title between April 2016 and December 2018. Dubois also holds a number 9 ranking with the WBO and number 15 ranking with the IBF.

December 21 will represent Dubois’ fifth fight of a productive year that has seen him record four KOs and not being taken beyond the fifth round at an assortment of major venues across the capital. He now returns to the Copper Box for the first time since December 2017, having recently showcased his explosive talents twice at the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arena and the o2 Arena.

Fujimoto holds a strong record of 21-1 with 13 wins coming via KO. A resident of Tokyo, his only reverse came in his sixth fight back in 2012 and he is the current holder of the WBO Asia Pacific title that he won by stopping Herman Ene Purcell in the ninth round in May 2017.

He has subsequently made three defences of his belt, winning all by stoppage, and he is ranked at 12 by the WBA. Fujimoto will be a first Asian opponent for Dubois, having previously sampled the experience of opponents from Africa, Eastern Europe, as well as North and South America.

“I wanted to defend my British Title but no one would step up to fight me. I want to be fighting world champions within the next 12 months and when the opportunity to fight for the WBC Silver Title was made available, a belt that Dillian Whyte held until his last fight, I jumped at it. I’ll also be defending my WBO International title I won in my last fight” said Dubois on his latest assignment.

“Fujimoto has a good rating and is a great stepping stone on my path to the top.

“He will have his own ambitions and I know he was rumoured before to be considered for a fight with Anthony Joshua, but I will be knocking that ambition out of him on December 21st when I knock him out.”

Promoter Frank Warren added: “This is all about continually increasing Daniel’s experience levels against tough opposition. He has made huge and rapid strides in a short space of time and Fujimoto will present the ideal and a legitimate test at this point in time.

“Daniel cannot afford to underestimate Fujimoto and I am sure he won’t. Fujimoto is ranked highly by the WBA who, incidentally, are the only governing body not to include Daniel in their top 15, so hopefully this is another box he will be able to tick with an impressive performance on December 21. A win here will see Daniel ranked by all the major organisations.

“It has been a big year for Daniel and the combined record of his last three opponents stood at 49-1 before coming up against our man and Daniel completed his work in under 10 full rounds of action.

“We shouldn’t overlook what Daniel is fighting for here because the WBC Silver and WBO International belts have been the headline prize on pay-per-view shows staged in the UK in recent times and is the established pathway towards a shot at the world title, which is the direction Daniel is heading in as we move towards 2020.”

There will be a press conference on Monday to announce the full card. Details to follow.

Tickets will be on sale on Monday at 12pm via Seetickets and Ticketmaster.

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FRANK WARREN PAYS TRIBUTE TO CAREER OF NICOLA ADAMS OBE

Britain Boxing – Frank Warren & BT Sport Press Conference – BT Tower, London – 23/1/17 Nicola Adams and Frank Warren pose after the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

FRANK WARREN HAS paid tribute to the career and achievements of Nicola Adams OBE after the WBO world flyweight champion announced her retirement from the sport earlier today.
 
The 37-year-old, known as ‘The Lioness’ can claim to be the undisputed Golden Girl of British boxing.
 
Her gold rush at major amateur tournaments began in 2011 at the European Union Amateur championships in Katowice, Poland, right through to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
 
The only blemish, if you can call it that, came at the 2012 World Championships when she collected silver, but otherwise it was gold all the way.
 
World champion, two-time Olympic champion, Commonwealth Games gold, European champion – Adams was truly the leading lady and pioneer of the modern elite of women’s boxing.
 
She became the pride of Britain in 2012 when, at the London Olympics, she defeated the world No.1 Ren Cancan from China in the final to claim the first Olympic women’s boxing Gold medal.
 
Four years on in Rio, Adams successfully defended her crown, defeating Sarah Ourahmoune of France in the final, leaving the only new ground to be broken being in the professional ranks.
 
Hall of Fame promoter Warren revealed he had been converted to the potential of women’s boxing by the accomplishments of Adams and proceeded to sign up the national treasure as a professional.
 
Adams launched her professional crusade in Manchester in April 2017 on the first show broadcast live by BT Sport, defeating Virginia Noemi Carcamo over four two minute rounds.
 
Frustrated with her display, Adams reasoned that females should also be able to perform over three minute rounds and was obliged when she returned to her home city of Leeds in the May, where she received a rousing reception from the locals at the FD Arena.
 
Maryan Salazar was stopped in the third round of a blistering display and the reward for Adams was a trip to Canada and a place on the undercard of the Billy Joe Saunders v David Lemieux world middleweight title fight. Soledad Macedo was overcome in the third round.
 
It was back to Leeds – this time Elland Road – in May of last year when former world title challenger Soledad del Valle Frias was blitzed in the first of ten scheduled rounds.
 
The WBO Interim world title was next on the Adams agenda at the Leicester Arena in October when Isabel Millan was in opposition. The Mexican proved a tough nut to crack but Adams prevailed on points to win her first title.
 
She was due to challenge for the full WBO at the Royal Albert Hall in March but injury prevented a fight with Arely Mucino going ahead. Adams was later appointed world champion without fighting by the WBO due to the inactivity of the former title holder.
 
In September Adams finally got the opportunity to fight in London for the first time since her Olympic success when she took on Maria Salinas in a first defence of her title at the Royal Albert Hall.
 
A closely-fought encounter that was deemed to be a split draw by the judges ultimately proved to be Adams’ curtain call as a professional boxer, bringing a glorious and unprecedented career to a close.
 
“It was my absolute pleasure and privileged to promote the professional career of Nicola and it is just a pity that it has come to a conclusion,” said promoter Frank Warren in reaction to the news of  his first female star calling it a day.
 
“Nicola has that star quality in abundance that very few possess which will see her make a success of whatever she chooses to do.
 
“I am personally delighted that we guided Nicola to the winning of a world title and that she was able to realise that ambition in the professional ranks.
 
“Her accomplishments will go down in history and she will always be an icon of British sport. It is no secret that I, along with many others, once held reservations over the depth and marketability of women’s boxing in this country and it was Nicola who won us all over with her Olympic exploits, her unquestionable talent and huge personality.
 
“She will be much missed in the sport of boxing, but will remain an inspiration to others for many generations to come.”

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Decastro Sensationally Stops Castaneda in Five in Lincoln.

Photos courtesy of Mirek Marcinski

On Saturday night, at the Engine Room at Lincoln University, the local fans turned out in force to support local lad Nathan Decastro in his defence of the World Boxing Union (WBU) Super Middleweight World title he’s held since April as well as attempt to add the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Crown to his collection against late replacement Fernando Castaneda from Mexico.

Originally Decastro was due to face Nicaraguan Jose Varela, however on Wednesday Varela, who was in Spain at the time, was refused an exit visa by the Spanish Authorities when he arrived at Barcelona Airport for his flight to the United Kingdom, so was unable to make the trip to Lincoln.

The fight itself was quite a messy affair, due to Castaneda’s continual holding, following Decastro landing a vicious body shot early on in the first that clearly was affecting the Mexican, as each time Decastro came forward and let rip he’d grab hold to prevent further punishment to the body.

Rounds two and three were in similar vein although to be fair there was a bit more boxing, rather than wrestling, action. Decastro worked the body of his foe whenever he got the opportunity, which wasn’t that often due to the Mexican’s tactics of hit and hold.

Round four was far more open following referee Lee Murtagh having stern words with Castaneda about the holding, so much so there were a few venomous exchanges that followed, however each time Decastro targeted the body Castaneda would still initially grab hold, so Decastro began firing exocets to the head.

Decastro clearly had enough of being frustrated by Castaneda’s tactics as the fifth stanza began, the Bardney man changed tactics slightly and began to go forward far more as well as quicker and land some serious shots in the first minute or so, Castaneda responded in kind but quite ineffectively due to his determination to protect his body from further punishment by keeping his distance. 

About half way through the round Decastro backed the Mexican toward the rope and feigned a jab, causing Castaneda to raise his hands just enough to create an opening and let rip with a massive hook to the body that sent the Mexican to the canvas doubled up in pain. 

Castaneda initially tried to rise, but immediately collapsed and writhed in pain, Referee Lee Murtagh immediately waived the fight off and summoned the doctor to the ring as Decastro and his team began their celebrations. Official time of stoppage one minute and thirty eight seconds of the fifth round.

Prior to Decastro-Castaneda see Sophie Varley in action against Jaime Bates for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Bronze Championship.

Have to say this was a cracking fight from start to finish, the two girls fought hard for the entire two minutes of every single round. Varley landing some seriously big shots, including one in the sixth that shook Bates to the core, her legs were gone but somehow she managed to not just stay on her feet but was savvy enough to give herself a few seconds to recover her composure by hanging out a jab to keep Varley at bay.

Each round was all action and seriously close, so much so that I couldn’t split them, score wise, on a few of the rounds and each to my mind had secured a couple of rounds and have to admit I thought that the result would be a draw, I was wrong (I’m clearly not Judge material) as the three experienced judges scorecards read; Adrian Thorne 57-59, James Ancliff 57-58 and Graeme Beauly 56-59 all in favour of Jaime Bates.

Prior to Varley-Bates was another cracking fight between Sheffield’s debuting Zac Lane and Nicaraguan Frederick Castro. 

The clash in styles was what really made this fight, Castro has a distinct forward coming all out attack style, whilst Layne’s emulates the style of Prince Naseem, and boy oh boy the youngster made this style his own, dipping and swaying out of danger before throwing stinging counters each time the Nicaraguan attacked. Saying that I should stress Layne isn’t one dimensional at all, when needed he was more than happy to go toe-to-toe, letting rip with extremely fast and powerful lefts and rights. 

It was great fight to watch, close and all action throughout. After four fantastic rounds Referee Lee Murtagh scored the contest 39-37 in favour of the Debuting Zac Layne, much to the annoyance of Castro and his corner who surrounded the referee disputing the score, which I fully understand as he was the most aggressive but have to say Layne neutralised the Mexican’s attacks with ease and his countering was sensational and to my view had done more than enough to secure the victory.

Prior to Layne versus Castro was another all action thriller, the time between two unbeaten fighters Sugar Atahasan from the Turkish Republic of Cyprus against Leeds’ Jack Jones.

Atahasan dominated the first stanza utilising his reach advantage to extremely good effect. However he didn’t have it all his own way especially as the fight progressed into the second as Jones patiently worked away fashioning openings before letting rip with big shots to the body and head of Atahasan.

Atahasan stepped up a gear and really went for it in the third, and as in the first dominated proceedings. Much of the same in the fourth, well until about midway through when Jones took advantage of a defensive error by Atahasan and landing a peach of a shot that sent the Turkish Cypriot to the canvas. Atahasan barely touched down and was on his feet in an instant and on the restart went in hard and fast though to the end of the round. 

After four sensational rounds Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard read 37-38 in favour of Jack Jones. 

The fourth contest of the night pitted Orkney based Liverpudlian Paul Peers against Tanzania’s Amos Mwamakula in a four rounder.

Again what a fantastic all action war, Peers went in hard and fast and kept piling on the pressure with massive shots to body and head for the entire first round, Mwamakula is as clearly as tough as they come to withstand the intense powerful attacks from Peers.

The second was slightly less intense, as Peers elected to switch tactics slightly, slowing the pace and picking his shots. Much the same in the third, but in the fourth Peers stepped up the pace a little and as in the first targeted the seriously tough Tanzanian’s body. 

After four excellent rounds of boxing Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard read 40-36 in favour of Paul Peers.

Prior to Peers vs Mwamakula was a heavyweight contest between Barrow-in-Furness’ Lee Kellett and Lithuania’s Tomas Vaicickas.

Again this was a full on war, with both men going full out for much of the contest. Kellet’s performance was the best I’ve seen from him in quite a while, he looked confident and really was putting so much power behind his shots. 

Vaicickas is as tough as they come and happily absorbed the big shots coming his way from the Barrow man before countering style. Whilst Kellet dominated the first coupe of rounds, Vaicickas came into his own in the third after he stepped the pace up. 

The fourth was all Kellet though, so much so that as the fight entered the final minute the Lithuanian appeared to give up and just stand with his back to the ropes due to the pace Kellett had set and just absorb punches at will. 

After four great rounds it was to Referee Lee Murtagh’s scorecard, which unsurprisingly read 39-36 in favour of Lee Kellett.

The second fight of the night pitted the Turkish Republic of Cyprus’ Metin Turunc against Puerto Rico’s Jose F Leon.

Turunc started hard and fast, throwing massive bombs at every opportunity and literally was battering Leon, who could barely find an opening to counter with so many big shots constantly coming his way.

The Puerto Rican’s corner were so concerned that around the minute mark of the first round his corner threw in the towel in an effort to save their man further punishment, however Referee Lee Murtagh just kicked the towel out and let the fight continue, which it did but not for long as Turunc landed another huge shot to send Leon down and out on the one minute and twenty seven second mark of the first round. 

Please don’t get me wrong, yes it was all one way traffic, as seems to be the norm with Turunc, I’ve seen him fight before and know just how relentless he is, Leon tried his hardest to stay in the fight but was outclassed by the seriously tough and powerful Turkish Cypriot.

The opening fight of the night really set the tone for the whole evening, as I hope I’ve made clear earlier that all bar the main event and of course Turunc vs Leon, the fights were all closely fought Battle Royale’s of the highest level, well believe me the opening bout, between debuting Lewis Mulberry and Gerona, Spain based Nicaraguan Pablo Narvaez, was another level again, it was sensational.

Mulberry really went for it right from the opening bell and boxed sensationally, Narvaez is a talent so no surprise he was up for a battle and gave as good as he got in return, however things went slightly awry for the Nicaraguan in the first when he got caught by a peach of a shot and sent to the canvas – will say I’ve seen Narvaez in action a few times and this is the first time I’ve seen him down, so kudos to young Mulberry.

Round two see Narvaez being a little more defensively minded, albeit still happy to go toe-to-toe with the big punching youngster. Round three though see a reverse in fortunes as Narvaez really started to take a foothold of the proceedings, which enabled Mulberry to showcase his defensive talents and sensational countering. The fourth was an out and out war with both men going for it for the full three minutes. After four scintillating rounds of boxing Referee Lee Murtagh scored the contest 39-37 in favour of the debuting Lewis Mulberry. 

I have to make Mulberry versus Narvaez the fight of the Night, it was magnificent, and also have to say Mulberry really impressed, he’s the real deal, he has all the tools in his chest to go all the way to the top in our beloved sport, I for one can’t wait to see him in action again that’s for sure.

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WATCH: ANTHONY CROLLA – THE LAST DANCE

Manchester legend bids farewell on Saturday
Anthony Crolla faces Frank Urquiaga in his farewell fight at Manchester Arena on Saturday November 2, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

‘Million Dollar’ made his professional debut at Manchester Arena – then MEN Arena – back in 2006, outpointing Abdul Rashid. In a professional career spanning over 13 years Crolla has fought at the iconic North West venue a total of 13 times, and he is ready to say an emotional goodbye to his legion of fans this weekend.

In an incredible career of highs and lows, Crolla reached the very top of the sport, winning the WBA Lightweight crown against Darleys Perez on a hugely emotional evening at Manchester Arena in November 2015 before successfully defending his title against Ismael Barroso at the same venue the following year. 

Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) fittingly returns to the scene of his greatest triumph to call the curtains on his time as a pro. Ahead of the big night, Crolla took a trip down memory lane with Matchroom Boxing to relive some of his favourite memories at the iconic North West venue. 

WATCH: ANTHONY CROLLA – THE LAST DANCE 

“I enjoy the pressure because there is so many other fighters who would love to be in the position of headlining at the Arena, this place means so much to me. I’ve sat here in the upper tiers as a young lad and have to pinch myself sometimes.

“I remember on my debut I was the live float, I was 19 and it was the dream. I ended up boxing in front of about 300 people that I’d sold tickets too and I will always remember it, it was a dream come true.

“The ringwalk is one of my favourite things about being a fighter and the reception that they give me in Manchester every time I walk out is amazing. 

“I don’t know much about Urquiaga but I know that he is capable, he lost on points when he fought for the European title but I believe I should be beating him. That’s what I will do, I will go out on a massive high on November 2 and enjoy this last dance.

“I have never avoided anyone throughout my career and I’m going to have to be on it to get the win. 

“I will miss walking out in this Arena, no matter what event I come to see at the Arena, all I see is a boxing ring in the middle of it. I know that this will be the last time that I make this ring walk but I can’t get emotional, I can in the hotel after the fight but on my way to the ring I’ve got to keep my head together and enjoy it.

“I want to get out of boxing while I have taken more from boxing than boxing have taken from me and now I believe is that time.

“I believe that I can still fight at a great level and I feel fantastic in the gym but it could be one fight or one camp too long and it could effect me in my later life, I don’t want to be that guy.”

Crolla vs. Urquiaga is part of a huge night of boxing in Manchester. 

Main event sees Irish star Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) attempt to create history by becoming a two-weight World Champion as she takes on Christina Linardatou (12-1, 6 KOs) for the WBO Super-Lightweight World title, Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight title against English Champion Jack Cullen (17-1, 8 KOs), Martin Bakole (14-1, 11 KOs) aims to build on his knockout win over Kevin Johnson, Qais Ashfaq (7-0, 3 KOs) fights for his first pro title as he meets Joe Ham (16-1, 6 KOs)fortheWBA Continental Super-Bantamweight crown, recent Matchroom Boxing signing Terri Harper (8-0, 5 KOs) makes the first defence of her IBO World title against Vivian Obenauf (14-5, 7 KOs)and there’s also action for Sheffield Super-Lightweight Dalton Smith (3-0, 2 KOs), Birmingham Featherweight Gamal Yafai (16-1, 9 KOs), Heywood Super-Lightweight Nathan Farrell (2-0) along with the professional debut of Leeds amateur standout Hopey Price.
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HARPER PREPARED FOR “WILD” MATCHROOM DEBUT

Denaby talent makes first defence of Super-Feather World title in Manchester
Terri Harper says she is expecting a “wild” fight with Viviane Obenauf in the first defence of her IBO Super-Featherweight World title at Manchester Arena on Saturday November 2, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.

The undefeated Denaby talent (8-0, 5 KOs) stopped South Africa’s Nozipho Bell in eight rounds to land the IBO title at the Magna Centre in Rotherham in July before putting pen to paper with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing last month. 

South Yorkshire’s first female professional boxer is all too aware of the threats posed by Obenauf, a two-time World title challenger from Brazil who took Undisputed Lightweight World Champion Katie Taylor the distance at Manchester Arena in 2016.

Obenauf (14-5, 7 KOs) was most recently seen on these shores blasting Liverpool’s Natasha Jonas in four rounds to earn the WBA International Super-Featherweight title in Cardiff, but Harper insists that she won’t be lured into a shootout with the 33-year-old. 

“She’s going to be a tough opponent and it’s going to be a tough fight,” said Harper. “She’s a live opponent and she’s coming to win a World title. I’m ready for the challenge. I don’t want to be fighting nobodies. I want to be in these big fights and this is a great chance for me to put on a good show for my debut.

“We’ve watched a lot of the stoppage win she got against Natasha Jonas. Obenauf is a bit unorthodox and a bit wild. It’s about being smart and making sure that I don’t get caught with silly shots. This is exactly the type of fight I wanted for my Matchroom debut and I think you’ll see another level to my game.”

Harper joined the pro game 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.

Irish star Taylor has paved the way for women’s boxing in recent years and has long been someone that Harper has looked up to throughout her amateur and pro career. ‘Belter’ is delighted to be fighting on her undercard as she strives to create even more history by becoming a two-weight World Champion.
 
“If someone had told me two years ago that I’d be boxing on the undercard of a Katie Taylor World title bill I would have just laughed,” added Harper. “Funnily enough my birthday is on November 2 so I’ll be hoping to celebrate in style with a big win.

“Before we got the fight date my partner was going to buy me tickets to be sat at ringside for the Katie Taylor fight. I think she’s quite happy now she’s saved herself a bit of cash! It’s a real honour to be fighting on her undercard. Us women can box and we do deserve to be on the big stage.”

Harper vs. Obenauf is part of a huge night of boxing in Manchester. 

Main event sees Irish star Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) attempt to create history by becoming a two-weight World Champion as she takes on Christina Linardatou (12-1, 6 KOs) for the WBO Super-Lightweight World title, Manchester favourite Anthony Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) prepares to bid an emotional farewell as he takes on Frank Urquiaga (13-1-1, 1 KO)in his final fight, Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight title against English Champion Jack Cullen (17-1, 8 KOs), Martin Bakole (14-1, 11 KOs) aims to build on his knockout win over Kevin Johnson, Qais Ashfaq (7-0, 3 KOs) fights for his first pro title as he meets Joe Ham (16-1, 6 KOs)fortheWBA Continental Super-Bantamweight crown, Birmingham Featherweight Gamal Yafai (16-1, 9 KOs), Heywood Super-Lightweight Nathan Farrell (2-0) along with the professional debut of Leeds amateur standout Hopey Price.
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“I’M READY TO GO AGAIN RIGHT NOW!” SAYS ALEX DILMAGHANI

Crayford ace remains frighteningly focussed on fulfilling his dream of sitting on a world championship throne but has to deal with Fonseca first
Alex Dilmaghani headlines the York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Saturday 16th November when he finally takes on world class Nicaraguan Francisco Fonseca with the IBO Super-Featherweight World Championship on the line, exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5.

The 28-year-old southpaw super featherweight – slippery, strong and savage in equal measure – stumbled on a pothole in late September when his WBA International Title challenge was scuppered at the 13th hour after Fonseca was withdrawn be BBBofC doctors after citing an illness shortly before the ring walks.

 ‘Some said Fonseca looked nervous at the weigh-in. Though he was perhaps half an inch taller, I looked bigger all round, far healthier, far stronger,’ claims‘Dilma’ who is now undefeated in well over eight years and 15 starts, many of which took place in the brawl halls of Mexico where he served a brutal ring apprenticeship.

‘We know Fonseca is big at the weight but he’d had eight weeks to prepare and, in previous articles and interviews, he’d said he’d pretty much been ‘on weight’ for a few weeks. 

‘I only learned the fight was off at about five to nine, after I was gloved up, warmed up. When the Board official approached, I just assumed it was to notify me that it was ‘Walk Out’ time. But I knew they’d not joke about something like that. I’m a big student of the sport but I’ve never come across anything remotely similar.

Ferocious Fonseca, a two time world title challenger with dynamite in his fists, had been recruited as a litmus test for the Mick Hennessy promoted Southampton law graduate who had presented himself as a world champion-in-waiting after forcing 25-2-1 Slovakian hard case Martin Parlagi to crack in eight on dazzler Dilma’s UK returnat Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse last May.

But, confronted by adversity, the one time hired help for Mexican Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez demonstrated the bloody-mindedness and consummate professionalism that many knowledgeable minds believe will ultimately see him coronated at the highest stage. 

My initial emotion was ‘pissed off’. It messes with your mind. I wasn’t good to be around,’ disclosed Dilmaghani.

‘Making weight is not an issue for me – I could still make featherweight, if needed – but you think of all the heartache you’ve put yourself through in prep, the sacrifices you’ve made. You think about the plans you’d made to relax after the fight. You think about not getting the win, not being able to move on.

‘This was my long overdue break at crashing the major rankings, announcing myself on the world stage but there’s no point crying over spilt milk.  It dawned there’s nothing I could do to change it. There’ll be many more fights. At least I got the experience of another full camp, press conferences, weigh-in etc. You just have to accept that, in this industry, fights can get called off at late notice…..just not THAT late. 

‘I knew if I lost focus, it’d only harm me in the long run so I channelled the anger back into my training. The gym has always been where I go to vent my aggression and I was back there on the Monday (30th). 

‘My philosophy is, I train all year round to improve. Similar to martial artists, I treat boxing as a craft that I need to master so I try to improve every day that I’m at the gym. Others might take time off after a fight and harm their bodies, going up and down in weight. Not me. 

‘But I know my limits. There’s no risk I’ll go stale. I don’t ‘over push’ it. Sparring puts mileage on the clock so I only do that close to a fight, as a necessity. I took two weeks off sparring after the Sept 28th date but I’ve loads of good sparring recently. ‘I’m ready to go again right now or in three weeks. Nothing will deter me.’ 
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Nigel Benn Statement – Benn out through injury but show to still go ahead

(Made by an appointed spokesperson on behalf of Nigel Benn).

After sustaining a shoulder injury in training yesterday (28 October 2019) afternoon, Nigel Benn regrets to inform his fans and supporters that will not be fit to box on November 23rd. Father time has NOT caught up with him at all, as his preparation and sparring had actually progressed better than expected at this stage of his preparation.

Nigel had several anti-inflammatory injections, primarily into one shoulder joint last week, but this treatment has failed in its efforts to reduce the acute pain that is significantly affecting his punching power and full movement on one side. 

He is devastated at this setback. Years of organisation has gone into this event, and many people (aside from himself) will be affected by his inability to fight.

This setback will likely mean that he will never get the closure he sought. In his own words “I hope my fans will respect that I have no say in this decision. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause to my loyal fans who have bought tickets, The British and Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) for sanctioning me, undercard fighters, the venue, suppliers and anyone else who is affected by my announcement. God bless you all.”

The venue (Resorts World Arena) and the 2 appointed ticket agencies – The Ticket Factory and Eventim are currently in dialogue with the head of BIBA (Gianluca Di Caro), in an effort to rescue the event, given 10 fights are still arranged. However, refunds for ticket holders are available from the respective agents upon request.

STOP PRESS

WBF European & International Champion Tommy Jacobs versus former IBF World Champion Joshua Clottey likely headline fight for revised event

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I’M LEVELS ABOVE CULLEN SAYS CASH

Jack Cullen and Felix Cash at the Principal Hotel in Manchester where it was announced that they will fight on the undercard on 2nd November 2019 at the Manchester Arena. 17th September 2019. Picture By Dave Thompson
Commonwealth king predicts early night in Manchester
Felix Cash believes that he is “levels above” Jack Cullen and is determined to prove it when they meet for the Commonwealth Middleweight crown at Manchester Arena on Saturday November 2, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

The unbeaten Wokingham talent (11-0, 7 KOs) landed the Commonwealth title in style by taking out Nigeria’s Rasheed Abolaji in the opening round of their clash at The O2 in February earlier this year but hasn’t fought since after an injury ruled him out of his July 6 date with Cullen.

‘Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver’ has enjoyed a breakout year, stopping Jack Sellars in eight rounds to win the English title at the Bolton Whites Hotel in May before halting Dillian Whyte protege John Harding Jr on his Sky Sports debut in Liverpool three months later. 

Despite his opponent’s recent run of impressive form, Cash insists that he has more than enough in his armoury to deal with Cullen and has predicted that their eagerly-anticipated domestic showdown won’t go the scheduled 12 rounds.

“I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a while and now it’s time to deal with this fella in good fashion,” said Cash. “There are a few weaknesses in his game which I have seen and no disrespect to John Harding Jr but he’s no Felix Cash and if he stands and trades with me then he’s going to be in trouble and he will walk onto one.
 
“He works hard Cullen, he’s a grafter who throws a lot of shots but that suits me because he is going to be there to be hit, I don’t think that he will see the twelfth round. This is the perfect fight for me to come back and show everybody how good I am.

“He’s tall and he’s awkward but I do believe he has never been in with a man or a fighter like me of my calibre. No disrespect to him but he’s been chinned before and I plan on doing the same. He is a decent fighter but there are levels in boxing and I believe that I am levels above him.

“It doesn’t matter what stage it is or how many fans he has got, it’s only going to be me and him inbetween them four ropes and I’m going to show him that there are levels.” 
 
Cash vs. Cullen is part of a huge night of boxing in Manchester. 

Main event sees Irish star Katie Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) attempt to create history by becoming a two-weight World Champion as she takes on Christina Linardatou (12-1, 6 KOs) for the WBO Super-Lightweight World title, Manchester favourite Anthony Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) prepares to bid an emotional farewell as he takes on Frank Urquiaga (13-1-1, 1 KO)in his final fight, Martin Bakole (14-1, 11 KOs) aims to build on his knockout win over Kevin Johnson, Qais Ashfaq (7-0, 3 KOs) fights for his first pro title as he meets Joe Ham (16-1, 6 KOs)fortheWBA Continental Super-Bantamweight crown, recent Matchroom Boxing signing Terri Harper (8-0, 5 KOs) makes the first defence of her IBO World title against Vivian Obenauf (14-5, 7 KOs)and there’s also action for Sheffield Super-Lightweight Dalton Smith (3-0, 2 KOs), Birmingham Featherweight Gamal Yafai (16-1, 9 KOs), Heywood Super-Lightweight Nathan Farrell (2-0) along with the professional debut of Leeds amateur standout Hopey Price.
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I’M READY TO CREATE MORE HISTORY SAYS TAYLOR

Katie Taylor press conference at the Principal Hotel in Manchester where it was announced that she will fight Christina Linardatou on 2nd November 2019 at the Manchester Arena. 17th September 2019. Picture By Dave Thompson
Irish star attempts to become two-weight World ruler in Manchester
Katie Taylor says she is ready to create more history by becoming a two-weight World Champion when she faces Christina Linardatou for the WBO Super-Lightweight World title at Manchester Arena on Saturday November 2, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

Taylor (14-0, 6 KOs) completed her journey for Olympic gold to undisputed Lightweight World Champion with a thrilling points win over Belgium’s Delfine Persoon on the blockbuster Joshua vs. Ruiz card at Madison Square Garden on June 1. 

In a landmark moment for women’s professional boxing, Taylor jumps up in weight to 140lbs to headline at the iconic Manchester venue, and the Irish star has her sights set on Matchroom Boxing stablemates Amanda Serrano and Cecilia Brækhus should she come through her latest test. 

“This is a huge opportunity for me to become a two-weight World Champion and I’m ready to create more history for myself and my country,” said Taylor. “I’m very aware of the challenge that Christina brings. I do believe that she’s the best 140lbs in the division and I cannot wait for a very exciting and hard fight.

“It’s a new challenge moving up in weight, I’ve worked very hard in the gym to build up. You’ll see the very best of me and I’ll need to be on my game because I think Linardatou is the number one at 140lbs and she’s had some great wins in her career. 

“It’s going to be a huge 12 months for me, but I have to get past Christina first. I only take one fight at a time and my focus is completely on this one. She brings a lot to the table and I’m very aware of the challenge. She is an excellent World Champion and it’s going to be a big test for me but one that I’m confident of overcoming.

“There are still so many huge fights out there for me like the Amanda Serrano fight, a rematch with Delfine Persoon and a fight with new Matchroom signing Cecilia Brækhus, but the first goal is November 2nd and winning another World title.”

Taylor vs. Linardatou tops a huge night of action in Manchester. 

Manchester favourite Anthony Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) prepares to bid an emotional farewell as he takes on Frank Urquiaga (13-1-1, 1 KO)in his final fight,Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight title against English Champion Jack Cullen (17-1, 8 KOs), Martin Bakole (14-1, 11 KOs) aims to build on his knockout win over Kevin Johnson, Qais Ashfaq (7-0, 3 KOs) fights for his first pro title as he meets Joe Ham (16-1, 6 KOs)fortheWBA Continental Super-Bantamweight crown, recent Matchroom Boxing signing Terri Harper (8-0, 5 KOs) makes the first defence of her IBO World title against Vivian Obenauf (14-5, 7 KOs)and there’s also action for Sheffield Super-Lightweight Dalton Smith (3-0, 2 KOs), Birmingham Featherweight Gamal Yafai (16-1, 9 KOs), Heywood Super-Lightweight Nathan Farrell (2-0) along with the professional debut of Leeds amateur standout Hopey Price.
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