LIVE THIS SUNDAY: ON THE BOX SEASON 6 FINALE! FEATURING JAMES TONEY, JOE CORTEZ, GIANLUCA DI CARO & MICHAEL FAFERA…ONLY AT BOXING TV

This Sunday tune into the World’s #1 Boxing Talk Show ‘On the Box’ with host professional commentator Dan Hewitt.

This week on the Season Six Finale episode we speak with Boxing Legend James “Lights Out” Toney, Hall of Fame Referee Joe Cortez, Unbeaten Prospect Michael Fafera and British and Irish Boxing Authority head Gianluca Di Caro. 

The Big Boxing Quiz will also be back with prizes to give away.

Presenter Dan Hewitt seemed quite excited about the Season Finale episode, saying “It’s going to be a great show. Hall of Famers, unbeaten prospects and plenty of controversy along the way. 

“Boxing TV look forward to bringing the fighters to the fans in this fantastic season finale of the World’s number 1 boxing talk show”

Watch ‘On The Box’ Season Six Finale LIVE at www.facebook.com/boxingtv1 and at www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwQ-sj-oxkY from 7pm (GMT), 3pm (EST), 12pm (PST) on Sunday 17th May 2020

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BIBA COVID-19 Guidelines ahead of Resuming Boxing Events

Gianluca Di Caro

Vice President

British & Irish Boxing Authority

With regard to the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement on Monday, regarding possible changes to the current regulations with regard to the COVID-19.

Today I am writing stating the British & Irish Boxing Authority position with regard to these possible changes, especially those relating to sporting events.

We urge everyone who can work from home to continue to do so, only those whose jobs are deemed essential or working within the manufacturing sector etc should be traveling to work.

According to Government guidelines Gyms are NOT deemed essential at this point, though state that gyms may be able to reopen in July, so I urge people to be responsible and maintain the current rules regarding exercise.

The same applies to travel, if you can avoid public transport please do – Drive, Bike or Walk if you need to go out, and those that have no option but travel on public transport please cover your face and nose and wear surgical gloves – and most importantly WASH YOUR HANDS properly for a minimum of twenty seconds regularly and carry/use hand sanitiser.

The Government plan with regard to ‘Behind Closed Doors’ events is currently stating possibly from June 1st 2020, subject to infection and death levels continuing to be on the downward curve.

We already have the venue sorted for the first event, which is a hotel so all in attendance will be contained within a single location.

We have doctors, paramedics and specialist medics arranged as well as private ambulances and even an Air Ambulance in case we are unable to use the local NHS hospital and we need to transfer any head trauma cases to a private neurology facility within 40 minutes flight time.

All ‘behind closed doors’ events will be limited to a maximum of FIVE (5) contests per event and limited to a maximum of SIX (6) rounds.

The only officials in attendance at an event will be the Referee, Supervisor and Time Keeper. 

Officials level may be reduced further when possible to just Referee and Supervisor, in the cases where the Supervisor is also a qualified Time Keeper.

PPE will be worn throughout the event by the ringside officials and others in attendance and the Referee must wear a mask and surgical gloves when officiating a contest.

It should also be noted that we will be limiting the level of corner men to TWO (2) maximum per Boxer, Cornermen will be required to wear full PPE throughout the contest.

Also please note: That  standard spit buckets will not be allowed, instead we recommend two enclosed containers along with funnel and tube. Once a contest is concluded and prior to next contest the container will be sealed and the tube and funnel disinfected before reuse.

Each competing boxer will be required to wear a surgical-mask which may only be removed once he or she has entered the ring.

There will be FULL Personal Protection Equipment as well as hand sanitiser available for all in attendance at the events and we will be undertaking testing ahead of the events for all people taking part as well as regular taking of temperatures of those in attendance at the venue.

Rapid result testing will be undertaken at the venue, Professor Graham provides information regarding testing below.

HOWEVER whilst the plan is in place for ‘behind closed doors’ events for TV for when the restrictions are lifted, provisionally from 1st June, we cannot see these taking place, even with the precautionary practices we have applied during the COVID-19 pandemic, before mid to late June 2020 and possibly later as the BIBA policy for ‘getting back to business’ is that until the infection and death rates are drastically reduced the British & Irish Boxing Authority will NOT even consider giving permission for these events to go ahead, in order to protect the NHS as well as those participating at the events.

Our reasoning for this is whilst infection and death rates are lower than those even just one week ago, both the infection and death rates in the past week are still too high to safely consider returning to business as normal.

Myself personally will be continuing to observe the long standing ‘Stay at Home’ and ‘Social Distancing’ advice and urge all BIBA members to do the same wherever possible.

I will now hand over to the British & Irish Boxing Authority’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Graham to discuss testing, this includes pre all events.  

Professor M.R. Graham MBChB; JCPTGP; PhD; FRSM; MPhysoc; BASEM; MICR; MCSFS; PCCMH; APIL Expert; FSB

Chief Medical Officer (CMO)

British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA)

Testing will be mandatory for everyone in attendance at an event.

BIBA are fully qualified to provide the Corona Virus tests to determine immune status and infection status at the next available contest on all Boxers and associated coaching and training staff and attendees.

BIBA has accredited Forensic Scientists, to conduct SARS-Co V-2, (COVID-19) Antibody Tests, using the BioMedomics COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test Kits.

The testing kits are manufactured by BioMedomics and distributed by Oxford Biosystems and are MHRA, EU and FDA accredited testing kits available in the UK.

The tests can be conducted at any residence or venue.

#BIBAChangingBoxingForGood

www.boxbiba.com

www.britishandirishboxingauthority.com 

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MATCHROOM LIVE AVAILABLE NOW!

Enjoy hundreds of hours of action for free
Fight fans across the world can now enjoy hundreds of hours of classic archived moments from Matchroom Boxing’s illustrious history in the sport courtesy of Matchroom Live.

The new platform allows fans to delve into the history books of all of Matchroom Sport’s offerings from over the past 30 years across a wide range of sports including darts, snooker, fishing and tenpin bowling. 

FANS CAN SIGN UP TO WATCH THE FREE ARCHIVE BY CLICKING HERE

 Fans can watch an extensive catalogue of content featuring the likes of Anthony Joshua, Katie Taylor, Chris Eubank Sr, Nigel Benn, Tony Bellew, Carl Froch and many more.Hours of Fight Night Classics, 101 Great Knockouts, Prize Fighter and Pro Box Classics will feature, as well as Eddie Hearn’s brand new Talk The Talk show starring former Cruiserweight World Champion Tony Bellew, with plenty more content to come.Matchroom Live has the ability to cast to virtually any device whether that be a console, Smart TV, or connected device.
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“By the end of the year, yes!”: Warren open to Dubois vs Wilder within a year

HALL OF FAME promoter Frank Warren has sensationally claimed he’d be willing to match Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois against Deontay Wilder “by the end of the year”.

Speaking to Queensberry Promotions’ Lockdown Lowdown show, Warren said a potential bout would be contingent on ‘Dynamite’ first overcoming Joe Joyce.

He said: “If Daniel comes through his fight with Joyce… then yes, by the end of the year yes.”

Deontay Wilder was last seen on February 22nd when he was outclassed and stopped by Tyson Fury in Las Vegas, losing his WBC crown in the process.

Warren believes that in that contest ‘The Gypsy King’ revealed the blueprint to beating ‘The Bronze Bomber’ and that will be Wilder’s undoing in the future.

In later comments to Queensberry Promotions, Warren said: “Tyson has shown how beatable Wilder is. Once their rematch is out the way, I’d have no problem matching Daniel with Deontay. 

Wilder is good, don’t get me wrong, but my man will be miles better in time.”

22-year-old Greenwich bruiser Dubois has amassed a fearsome reputation as a devastating knockout artist in his 14 professional scraps to date but his promoter believes it’s his other attributes that really set him apart.

“Daniel’s big and powerful and everyone knows he can punch, too. But he’s a good boxer. I’ve said before that he has a Larry Holmes-like jab and he works the body as well as any heavyweight on earth.

I’ve been telling people how good Daniel is and once the world starts going back to normal, i’ll have no doubt he’ll show you.”

Prior to the coronavirus crisis ‘Dynamite’ was scheduled to meet fellow Londoner Joe Joyce in a mouthwatering domestic clash but has since been hunkered down in a new Hertfordshire pad.

Keeping fresh by training alongside his boxing siblings, Prince and Caroline, Daniel told The Sun on Sunday he was raring to get back to work, saying: “I just want to get on with it.”

Whilst no-one can predict what comes next in these uncertain times, Daniel’s promoter Warren is certain he can predict what would happen if Dubois got to step in the ring with the American Wilder.

“Daniel is the best Heavyweight prospect on Planet Earth and he’ll have far too much for Deontay Wilder. I truly believe that.”
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MASOOD ABDULAH SIGNS FOR QUEENSBERRY

NATIONAL AMATEUR LIGHTWEIGHT champion Masood Abdulah is set to turn professional under the promotional guidance of Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions.

A product of Islington Boxing Club, Abdulah enjoyed a rapid rise through the amateur ranks that culminated in him winning the National Championships (formerly ABAs) last April – having previously won gold at the Three-Nations Championships – all inside of 30 fights.

The 26-year-old concluded his amateur stint on 34 fights, having last season also won the Novices, Development and Intermediate Elites, competing in 14 fights over a four-month period.

He will enter the professional game as a super featherweight.”I am honestly over the moon,” said the articulate Abdulah on securing a promotional platform to showcase his talents. “I haven’t been boxing for that long and I have managed to get in with one of the best promoters out there. I am ecstatic about it, very excited and looking forward to the journey.

“I met Frank Warren and he wished me the best of luck and said he hopes I can carry my success in the amateurs into the pros. I think I have a professional style because I sit down on my shots and don’t bounce in and out and I look to stop fights every single time.

“It was keeping tabs on his younger sibling that saw the university educated North Londoner sport the boxing gloves for the first time, but it was the older Abdulah who stood the test of time and went on to enjoy unexpected success.

“I had my first fight on February 9, 2017 and I only joined the boxing club just so I could spend time with my younger brother,” he revealed. “He used to box and I used to kick box and after university I wanted to spend more time with him because we grew apart.

“The more time I spent boxing the less he spent boxing, which was weird. It was just a way of me keeping an eye on him, but then he beat me up in the gym and I needed to get him back.

“I think that saw us grow apart again because I came down and took over his sport. We speak once in a while now and we have got each other’s back, no matter what.”

Promoter Warren added on his new recruit: “Masood has enjoyed huge success in such a short space of time and it will be fascinating to see if he can emulate these accomplishments in the pro ranks.

“Winning what used to be known as a senior ABA title with so little experience suggests that he has got what it takes and I am looking forward to launching the second phase of his career.

“I am sure he will be one to watch.”
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HEARN AND BELLEW: TALK THE TALK EPISODE TWO OUT TODAY!

Bisping and Helwani join for MMA and Boxing chat
Eddie Hearn and Tony Bellew are back with the second instalment of our ‘Talk the Talk’ series, which airs tonight at 6pm (BST) on YouTube.
 
Following the success of the first episode featuring Ant Middleton and Derek Chisora, the duo are joined by former UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping and ESPN’s Ariel Helwani for a boxing meets MMA discussion.
 
Bellew and Bisping traded verbal jabs over a potential fight back in 2017 and come together for the first time to discuss the rumours, Bisping’s rise to becoming the first Brit to land UFC World honours, which fighters have what it takes to succeed in the opposing sport and much more. 
 
MMA guru Helwani later joins Hearn and Bellew to discuss the return of UFC 249, Dillian Whyte’s potential crossover plans and fighting behind closed doors.
 
“The first episode went really well, the numbers were good and there were loads of headlines from it,” said Hearn. “This is a fascinating chat with Bisping and Ariel as we talk about the two disciplines.”
 
“The MMA world is crazy, I’ve been a massive fan for years,” said Bellew. “It was great to speak with the best UFC fighter to come out of the UK in Michael Bisping.”
 
Talk The Talk premieres tonight at 6pm (BST) tonight
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HEANEY JOINS THE QUEENSBERRY SQUAD

HUGELY POPULAR STOKE middleweight Nathan Heaney has signed a promotional agreement with Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions.

Known as ‘Hitman’, the 10-0 Heaney fought on a Queensberry show – and delivered an impressive performance – back in November at Arena, Birmingham where he overcame Nelson Altamirano via a fifth round stoppage.

His most recent encounter, shortly before lockdown in mid-March, saw him defeat Christian Schembri to claim the vacant IBO Continental super middleweight title on his home patch of the Kings Hall in Stoke.

In June 2019, the now 31-year-old won the vacant Midlands Area belt on points after edging Tom Stokes over 10 rounds.

Heaney’s public profile has been notably increased in recent months by the social media release of his ring entrances in front of his passionate Stoke fans bellowing out the Tom Jones 1968 hit ‘Delilah’.

The ring walk and raucous atmosphere has captured the imagination and Heaney hopes his exploits result in major TV shows finding their way to his home town now he is under the promotional navigation of Frank Warren.

“It is like a childhood or young adult’s dream for me,” said the lifelong Stoke City supporter.

“When I was a young amateur years ago and you had the dream of winning an ABA title and that sort of stuff, the whole idea behind it was so you could get signed by Frank Warren in the end.

“That was my goal all the way through. So it is like a dream come true for me to be signed by Frank Warren. He has always been the top dog and there is no-one else like him, so this is a dream for me.

“It is a strange one because I know Frank normally signs young fighters but, while I am 31, I am a young 31 and was a late developer as well growing up. I think that is why the seniors were always tough for me in the early part of my amateur days, just because I didn’t have that man-strength.

“I genuinely now feel like I am a 24-year-old and have, one hundred per cent, got some good years left in me,” he added, before suggesting his social media stardom can only help in propelling him to the next level.

“The video that went viral of me recently means people across the country recognise my name a little bit more, but I have also been performing well and I won the Midlands Area title against a good kid, while being matched really well.

“So while I’ve got the entrance and all my supporters, luckily I can fight as well. It would be horrible to have all this support and not be able to back it up in the ring.

“I think they can really do something with my crowd because I believe the occasions to be amongst the most exciting in the UK. They don’t stop singing all the way through, they are loyal as anything and I really believe Frank Warren and Queensberry can build something around my support – I really do.

“I will wait to see what the plans for me are in terms of what titles to go for and who they want me fighting. Be it Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool – I know I will take a lot of people with me.

“While plans are, indeed, being drawn up down promotional corridors, Heaney himself has recently become something of a target for fellow 160-pounders with several call-outs coming via social media channels.

“It’s funny because at first I thought they were just calling for me because they thought they could beat me, but then I realised. There is a lad down south – I don’t want to mention his name – who keeps mentioning me and I know why he’s doing it.

“When you mention the Stoke lad they know they will sell loads more tickets. It is like using my name and my supporters to basically jump start their careers, whereas I had to put the graft in and build up my following.

“They are just trying to jump on the train. If they had half a football backing and their supporters knew they were fighting a lad from Stoke, they would sell hundreds more tickets.

“I replied saying ‘pay your dues to the professional game, win some ranking points and then I will happily sort you out. Until then stop talking about me because my missus is getting jealous!

“I’ve got a few fighters wanting to fight me now so I won’t be short of opponents when we get going again.”
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Nicola Hopewell ‘Lockdown’ Video Diary

Former Amateur star Nicola Hopewell, who made her Professional Debut around two weeks before the global lockdown, against Ghanaian Amateur star Anita Addy, recently made a video diary covering one day of her adapted routine during this crisis.

Before we get to Nicola’s Video, here’s a little about her amateur career and accolades as well as the widely published report on her pro debut against Anita Addy.

Nicola, who was on the England Talent Pathway for twelve months, traveled to different gyms around the country, training with England coaches. 

Whilst on the ETP system, she attended a three day Team GB training camp in Sheffield and sparred with the Italian boxing team. 

Nicola has also shared the ring with the best in the country at her weight 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. Nicola has also sparred professional boxers Nicola Adams, Nina Bradley and Terri Harper.

Nicola’s Hopewell’s Amateur Accolades – belts, box cups and championships:

•  East Midlands Champion 2015 to 2019

•  National Development Silver Medalist 2015

•  National Development Champion Gold Medalist 2016

•  National elite semi finalist 2017 (bronze medal)

•  National elite quarter finalist 2018

•  National elite semi finalist (bronze medal) 2019 

•  East Midlands Elite flyweight belt holder 

•  Central England Elite flyweight belt holder

•  East Midlands Box Cup silver medalist 2018

•  Esker box cup gold medalist 2018

•  Esker best over seas boxer belt holder 2018

•  Esker trophy 2018 – runner up for overall best boxer 

•  England winter women’s box cup gold medalist 2018

•  Hull box cup gold medalist 2019

  • Esker box cup silver medal at 51kg 2019
  • Esker box cup gold medal at 54kg 2019

Below is the widely published report on Nicola Hopewell’s Professional debut, that took place on the 7th March 2020 at the Hoops Basketball Centre in Barrow-in-Furness.

First fight off the night see former England Pathway Amateur Star Nicola Hopewell challenge Ghanaian former Elite Amateur fighter Anita Addy, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Super Flyweight International Silver Championship.

Both protagonists were cautious in their initial approach, both working hard behind their jab, testing the other’s mettle with crisp fast flurries. As the round progressed Addy began to load more power into her shots, which in turn led to Hopewell returning equally powerful shots and for the rest of the round the pair entertained the assembled crowd with some sensational boxing.

Hopewell comes out hard and fast in the second, soon backing Addy into a neutral corner before letting rip with both hands, Addy initially began to fight her way out from the corner but Hopewell had an answer for everything the Ghanaian threw at her and kept forcing her backed up against the ropes before letting rip with a peach of a head-shot to send Addy crashing to the canvas. 

Hopewell’s power in that shot proved too much for the tough Ghanaian, who was unable to rise to her feet before Referee Lee Murtagh’s count reached its conclusion. Official time of stoppage just Twenty Seconds of the Second Round.

Follow Nicola Hopewell on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nicola.hopewell 

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Marianne Marston Appointed Coordinator of Female Boxing for the RBO Championship

The President of the Royal Boxing Organization (RBO) Sébastien Pitois has announced that Marianne Marston has been appointed the Coordinator of Female Boxing for the Championship Organization.

On making the announcement Pitois said, “We have spent a long time searching for the right person to head up the RBO Female Championships and believe we have found the perfect person in Ms Marston for the role.

“Whilst we are aware that Marianne is still a licensed fighter, we made the decision to move quickly to secure her for the role before she retires from the ring later this year, as we are more than aware that when she does she will be approached by other organisations due to her exceptional contacts within the sport, especially within the realm of Female Boxing.

“Our prompt actions have been proved fully justified, as within days of our agreeing terms she has already recruited an exceptional international team for the RBO Female Championships, as representatives of the Championships as well as a highly qualified Chief Medical Officer to oversee all medical matters relating to the Female Championships.

“Once the pandemic crisis is contained, we look forward to getting back to business and are incredibly excited to see how the RBO Female Championships develop under Marianne’s stewardship.”

www.rboboxing.com

Marianne Marson – Female Championship Coordinator 

Tel: +44 (0)7501 013483

E.Mail: marianne@mariannemarston.com

About The Royal Boxing Organization (RBO)

Luxembourg based Championship organization, The Royal Boxing Organization (RBO), was founded in 2017 by former boxer, boxing journalist and matchmaker Sébastien Pitois.

Mr Pitois explained his background in the sport “it was my grandfather who garnered my passion for boxing, he was a close friend of former French Champion Gilbert Lavoine.

“I started boxing, initially just as an enthusiast, but then I began exploring other avenues within the sport I grew to love with a passion. 

“I wrote articles on boxing as well as created a massive network of boxers, promoters and commissions, which led to myself obtaining an International Matchmakers license and matchmaking internationally.

Eventually I achieved my dream of developing a World significant Championship organization, the Royal Boxing Organization (RBO) in 2017.”

RBO Champions:

Cédric Bellais 

Michal Dufek

Jaques Tshikub Muvad

Mathieu Gomes

Jakub Chval

Ayanna Vasquez

Caroline Andre

Cedric Pate

Valentina Keri

Jasmina Nadj

Brandon Borg

Thomas ‘Balboa’ Martino

Pezhman Seifkhani

Patricia Berghult.

www.rboboxing.com

About Marianne Marston – RBO Coordinator of Female Boxing

Marianne had wanted to box from a young age, to appease the lively youngster her mother took her to the local boxing gym – Norwich Lads Club – however on making enquiries on joining she was told that it’s called Lad’s club for a reason! 

So with boxing out of the question, Marianne turned to fencing (foil), rather successfully and by age fifteen was seeded sixth in England (Under 16’s)

It would not be until many years later that Marianne eventually got to try some boxing, whilst recovering from an illness she went to her local LA Fitness to get fit again. She met personal trainer, Choleton Senior, who coincidently was a former boxer. 

Choleton started teaching Marianne basic boxing and was impressed at her natural ability. He stepped the training up and Marianne stepped up accordingly, Choleton advised Marianne that she should find a boxing gym, as he believed she had what it takes to progress in the sport.

Following his advice Marianne joined Gleason’s London gym. She was assigned a trainer, Joe Kenwright – one of the England Amateur Boxing Team coaches.

Joe was so pleased with the ability of his charge that after one of her sparring sessions, in which Marianne sent her professional opponent (a lightweight with a 13-0 record) to the canvas twice with her lightning fast combinations, he suggested to Marianne she should look towards boxing in America, as there were so few British female professional fighters in any class that she would not be guaranteed to get fights in the UK. 

In 2007, Marianne who was regularly visiting New York, Boston, LA and Philadelphia on business, had already been training at Freddie Roach’s gym in LA and Francisco Mendez’s gym in New York when she was in those cities, decided to try and find a gym in Philadelphia as she spent more time there than any other city in America. 

She had made an appointment to visit Joe Hand’s gym when by complete accident she met legendary Heavyweight Champion of the World Smokin’ Joe Frazier at a coffee shop opposite her hotel.

Joe and one of his boxers, Chandler ‘Smoking Bull’ Durham, had popped in to the crowded coffee shop, where the only vacant seats were at the table Marianne was seated at. Chandler asked Marianne if she minded if they sat at the table, she of course obliged.

Polite conversation followed, but a little later the conversation moved on to boxing, to which Marianne responded that she had just started boxing, Joe asked her to shadow box, which she did. Chandler then asked her did she realise who the older gentleman was, Marianne hadn’t, even though she was a long time Smokin’ Joe fan.

Joe laughed, when she profusely apologised for not recognising him, before inviting her to try out for him at his landmark North Philadelphia gym.

A few days later Marianne made the short trip to Frazier’s gym from her Central Philly hotel, when she arrived Joe was nowhere to be seen, but his son Marvis said he was expecting her and said he’ll be taking her for the trial.

Marianne hadn’t noticed that Joe had arrived during the pad work session, that was until she heard him say from ringside ‘great hook’.

After the session had finished Joe told Marianne he was impressed by what he had seen and then asked her to join Team Frazier, adding that he wanted to personally train her as often as he could.

In October Joe told Marianne that her only being able to train with his team for 4-6 weeks every couple of months was not helping her cause and suggested she committed herself to spending 6 months in Philadelphia, so he could get her ready to turn professional.

In February 2008 Marianne made the decision to spend six months in Philadelphia, split into two three month visits, and took a lease on an apartment. Just over one month after she had done this Smokin’ Joe Frazier’s Gym was forced to close. 

Marianne’s dreams were shattered as she now not only didn’t have a gym but also no management or trainers.

About a month later Marianne relocated to the James Shuler Memorial Gym in West Philadelphia, within a few weeks or so Livvy Cunningham, the wife and manager of two time IBF Cruiserweight Champion Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham invited her to join their team.

Later that year, following a sparring session with Christina Leadbeater, promoter Ivan Cohen approached Livvy Cunningham with an offer to sign Marianne and debut her early in 2009.

Pennsylvania Boxing Commissioner Greg Sirb, who was also present, was equally impressed and agreed to license Marianne, subject to her obtaining a P1 Professional Athlete Visa.

In February 2009 Marianne returned to the UK, to obtain the aforementioned visa that would enable her to fight, on the undercard of Brian Cohen’s WBC Continental Americas title fight in South Philly on the 9th May that year.

Unfortunately the American Embassy in London refused her application, mainly because she hadn’t competed in an international competition in the UK. 

What followed next was a full on media campaign, initiated by a Philadelphia journalist Kerry O’Connor and supported by some of the biggest names from the City of Brotherly Love.

Within days the campaign went global, almost instantly the American Immigration service was inundated with e.mails and phone calls from tens of thousands of boxing fans, calling for them to allow Marianne to return and fight.

Needless to say, bureaucrats being what they are by nature, they refused to change their decision.

However, that wasn’t going to stop the Mr Cohen, who came up with a plan, code named ‘Team America’, with the intention of bringing over a team of Philly based boxers, comprising of Hammerin’ Hank Lundy, Daphir ‘No Fear’ Smith, Brian ‘Bionic Bull’ Cohen, Gerald ‘The Jedi’ Nobles, Eric ‘The Outlaw’ Hunter, Tim Witherspoon Jnr, Nathalie Brown and Christina Leadbeater, to take on a UK team that would include Marianne.

Supporting ‘Team America’ on this mission were some serious ‘Big Guns’ in the form of World Stars, Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham, ‘Terrible’ Tim Witherspoon, Buster Drayton, Robert ‘Bam Bam’ Hines and of course the man who ‘discovered’ and brought Marianne to America in the first place, Smokin’ Joe Frazier. 

However, the British Boxing Board of Control soon put an end to that plan, by refusing to license Marianne.

On enquiries as to why they would not license someone who has support from such boxing luminaries as Joe Frazier, Steve Cunningham, Tim Witherspoon, Ivan Cohen etc, plus a twelve fight contract already, BBBofC General Secretary Robert Smith stated that ‘She just wants a license so she can go back to America, why should we license her, she’ll have to get an American one.’ Before voicing his personal beliefs – that women should remain in the “kitchen” as opposed to in the “boxing ring”.

Shortly after being refused her license, Marianne signed management papers with famed British manager and coach Johnny Eames.

Marianne moved her industry leading Women’s Boxing Classes – www.womensboxingclasses.com – to the TRAD TKO Gym, where besides offering boxing and boxing fitness classes, Marianne also developed an all female team, with most of her squad regularly competing in White Collar boxing events in London as well as one, Kimberley Leah, progressing to compete in the Amateur ranks.  

Throughout a two year period Marianne appealed the BBBofC decision on numerous occasions, After the fourth appeal, Marianne decided to take an alternative route and successfully applied to another European sanctioning body in August 2011.

Finally overcoming the ridiculous levels of bureaucracy, from both the American Embassy and the British Boxing Board of Control, Marianne was finally able to fight, or was she.

Well yes and no, because the BBBofC still wouldn’t allow her to fight in the UK on an overseas license, even though various promoters and boxing luminaries had lobbied on her behalf, but this all changed in 2012, following the German Boxing Association (GBA) becoming the second European organisation, after Luxembourg Boxing Federation (LBF), to take advantage of European legislation that allows other European boxing organisations to sanction events in the UK and vice versa.

In April 2013 Marianne finally made her long awaited professional debut, against Hungarian #1 ranked Gabriella Roman, who she stopped on the 1 minute and 47 second mark of the first round.

In her second fight Marianne scored an even quicker stoppage victory, just one minute and 7 seconds of the first round, over late replacement opponent Catalina Lazar.

The World Boxing Union (WBU) European title was on the line for Marianne in her third fight, originally the contest was due to be against Bulgaria’s #1, World #26 ranked, Galina Gumliiska, a highly experienced Championship boxer – having fought for the European title twice, International title five times and also challenged for a World title previously – for the vacant WBU Europe Super Bantamweight title at York Hall on Saturday 30th November.

However, the event was forced to be rescheduled just ten days prior, following a spate of injuries and illness decimating the impressive card.

A new date was set, Saturday 1st March 2014, however two major problems occurred, the first just ten days before the event Marianne sustained an injury to her piriformis muscle during sparring with former British and European Bantamweight Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa. Marianne wound down the training sessions slightly in order to give the muscle a chance to heal.

The second was far more serious, just one week before the fight Galina Gumliiska failed to get medical clearance to fight, leaving Marianne’s team once more searching for a suitable opponent, unfortunately one couldn’t be found at Super Bantamweight, so the decision was made to challenge Hana Horakova for the vacant WBU European Featherweight title.

In the fight itself Marianne dominated the first three rounds, but during the fourth the muscle injury reemerged, limiting Marianne’s movement considerably, later it was found that the piriformis had actually torn during the fight, not just pulled like previously. 

After eight rounds the scorecards were read out and disappointingly for Marianne she lost the Championship battle by a close split decision. Judges scores read  Ken Curtis 75-78, Seamus Dunne 76-77 (both in favour of Hana Horakova) and Billy Philips 77-76 (in favour of Marianne Marston)

Marianne missed three proposed fights in 2015, 31st May, 5th July and 2nd August, due to the injury, then in mid-August it was announced that Marianne was to challenge for the MBC International Super Bantamweight title.

On Saturday 25th October 2014, her journey continued forward, as Marianne convincingly beat Hungarian #1, European #3 and World #31 ranked Marianna Gulyas to secure her first Championship, the MBC International Super Bantamweight Title. Judges Ben Doughty (UK) and Matt Hamilton (South Africa) scored the bout 100-89 and judge Lee Murtagh (Ireland) scorecard read 99-88.

It wouldn’t be until August 2015 before Marianne was back in action once more, due to another injury (Broken Ankle). 

On the 29th August 2015, at York Hall in London, Marianne faced and stopped Latvian Jekaterina Lecko in 1 Minute and 50 seconds off the second round.

Within days of that victory, Marianne was lined up to face South African former World Champion Unathi Myakeni for the vacant World Boxing Federation Bantamweight Championship on December 6th, however the bout failed to go ahead after Myakeni injured her hand.

The bout was rescheduled to March 2016, but unfortunately Myakeni was still not able to fight due to the injury. Unsuccessful attempts were made to source an alternative Championship opponent and once again the contest didn’t go ahead.

Early in April World Boxing Federation (WBFed) President Howard Goldberg contacted Marianne’s management offering the opportunity for Marianne to challenge their Super Bantamweight World Champion Gabisile Tshabalala.

After weeks of negotiations a deal was reached that would see Tshabalala traveling to the United Kingdom to defend her World crown against Marianne on July 2nd at the Arena UK in Grantham.

Immediately the announcement was made various World Championship organisations, who had been in negotiations for Marianne to challenge for their Championships, came forward and requested that the contest also be for their Championships and within a few days sure enough became a Quadruple Championship Unification Battle for the World Boxing Union (WBU), World Boxing Federation (WBFed), Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) and Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) Crowns.

However, this fight was also doomed to fall apart, after Tshabalala pulled out citing an injury.

Shortly after the title fight was cancelled Marianne was appointed to the board of the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) as Director of Female Boxing. 

Almost a year later to the day Marianne was co-opted onto the Association of Professional Boxing Commissions (APBC) Female Boxing Committee as Vice-Chairwoman.

In April 2020 Marianne was approached by the Royal Boxing Organisation (RBO) with an offer to be their Coordinator of Female Boxing, which she accepted.

Marianne immediately assembled a top class team, comprising off;

Bena Kaloki, a Kenyan A Star Referee, Head of Ring Officials at the Kenya Professional Boxing Commission and Chairwoman of the APBC Female Boxing Committee

Willeke Carli, Secretary General of the Italian Authority of Boxing (ITAB)

Sheila Beatriz Aires da Cunha, Boxer, Board member of the Nacional e Internacional Associação de Boxe (ANIB)

Iandra Carolina Santos Do Lago, Vice President Nacional e Internacional Associação de Boxe (ANIB)

Fatima P Ovelar Martínez, Board member of Asociación Nacional de Boxeo-Paraguay (ANB-Paraguay)

Vikki Duong, Secretary General of the Vietnam Boxing Council (VBC)

Georgina Badine, London based Swiss Banker, with extensive contacts within the Professional Boxing Industry.

Barbara Seretan Gold, a Hollywood Producer who is also highly experienced administrator and well connected within the Professional Boxing Industry

Dr Angela Jones, Chief Medical Officer.

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MATCHROOM BOXING LAUNCH NEW PODCAST

‘The Lockdown Tapes’ premieres podcast offering
Matchroom Boxing are pleased to launch the official ‘Matchroom Boxing Podcast’.

Our first series ’The Lockdown Tapes’ will alternate between Matchroom’s UK and US stable, airing every Wednesday and Sunday over the coming weeks and is proudly supported by WOW Hydrate.

Unbeaten Light-Heavyweight sensation Joshua Buatsi and WBC Lightweight King Devin Haney feature in the first two episodes of this 18 part series. 

Before The Bell presenter Chris Lloyd will host the series, speaking to fighters on the current climate, reflecting on their past moves in the ring, targets moving forward plus much more.

Fans can listen to Ep 1 with Buatsi here – 

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-lockdown-tapes-joshua-buatsi-ep-01/id1506174562?i=1000470391728

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1XfMNB6Ij8md5WWqzJTrGw

Matchroom Website: https://www.matchroomboxing.com/lockdown-tapes-podcast/

The series will also sit in a video format on our YouTube channel after 48 hours from when each podcast drops.

Additional Matchroom Boxing content such as ‘Born Fighter’ and ‘Unscripted’ will now also be released in Podcast format from here on so fans can listen on the go.

Managing Director of Matchroom Boxing Eddie Hearn said: “We’re always on the lookout to keep adapting and improving our content output. A podcast has been discussed for a little while and in the current climate, this was the perfect timing to launch the Lockdown Tapes series.”
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