TYSON FURY will face two-time world heavyweight title challenger Francesco Pianeta in his second comeback fight next month.
The lineal heavyweight champion will face the 6ft 5in Italian on Frank Warren’s blockbuster open air show at Belfast’s Windsor Park on Saturday August 18, which is live on BT Sport.
Fury, 29, ended a lay off of more than two and half years last month when Sefer Seferi retired on his stool after four rounds and southpaw Pianeta is a step up in class for the Manchester man.
German based Pianeta (35-4-1) has 21 knockout wins on his record, but fell short in world championship challenges against Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev.
Warren said: “The Seferi fight is history and Pianeta is a far better operator than him. His level of opposition tells you that.
“Tyson had been out of boxing for a long time and Pianeta is a good opponent for what is Tyson’s second fight back after his break.
“Tyson had a short rest after Seferi, but is back in full time camp ready for this challenge in Belfast.
“He needs rounds under his belt before moving on to the next level and this fight will do that and make him work for his win.”
Pianeta, 33, is a former WBO European and EBU EU champion and knows beating Fury will put him in line for another world title fight.
Hall of Fame promoter Warren added: “I am sure Pianeta will get into the Belfast ring desperate to upset Tyson.”
Fury (26-0) became the world’s premier heavyweight and Ring Magazine champion when he took the IBF, WBA and WBO belts from Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 – becoming the first man to defeat the Ukrainian great in more than 11 years.
The Belfast bill is topped by local superstar, WBO ‘interim’ featherweight champion Carl Frampton who faces Australian challenger Luke Jackson.
Another Irish star Paddy Barnes is in world title action when he challenges Nicaragua’s feared WBC champion Cristofer Rosales.
Among the undercard action is a cracking Belfast v Dublin clash between Steven Ward and Steve Collins Jr. Lewis Crocker, WBO European middleweight champion Luke Keeler and Marco McCullough are also in action.
Limited remaining tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie. priced at £80, £100, £120, £150, £250, £400 (includes hospitality). Buying tickets over the phone – 0844 847 2455. To purchase Accessible Seating – 0333 321 9996
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) announced the officials assigned for this Friday, July 13th bout between Mini Flyweight World Champion Ryuya Yamanaka (16-2, 5 KOs), from Japan, and Vic Saludar (17- 3, 10 KOs), from the Philippines, in a scheduled 12-round match.
The duel will be held at the Central Gym in the city of Kobe, Japan, as the main event of a fight card presented by Shinsei Promotions.
Californian Raúl Caíz, Jr will be the third man in the ring.
Daniel Sandoval, from California, Carlos Ortíz, from New York and Pinit Prayadsab, from Thailand, were appointed judges of the fight.
The supervisor of the fight will be Leon Panoncillo, Jr, Vice President of the Asia Pacific region for the WBO.
For Yamanaka, it will be the second defense of the title he won at the Shiroyama Sky Dome in Japan, on August 27, 2017, by defeating his countryman Tatsuya Fukuhara, via unanimous decision. He then defended the title against Mexican Moisés Calleros, who fell by 8th round technical knockout. For his part, Saludar, ranked third in the WBO at 105 pounds, has held the Asia Pacific and Oriental titles.
Promoter Kyle Gallagher announced earlier today that unbeaten Welterweight prospect Jonny McConville, is set to challenge Chandigarh India’s Neeraj Goyat for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Welterweight Championship, at the Jubilee Sports Bank in Liverpool on Saturday 8th September 2018.
McConville is in fine form and comes into this Championship contest off a first round stoppage win over Belfast’s Michael Kelly back in March this year, his third stoppage win in as many contests, the other stoppage victories being over Marty Kayes in December 2017 and Will Cairns in September 2017.
However McConville is in no doubt that this will be the toughest fight of his young career to date, his esteemed opponent on the 8th September is not only far more experienced but also Championship experienced, having been crowned the World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Boxing Council Welterweight Champion following his victory over Nelson Gulpe in New Delhi back in May 2015 and successive successful defences against Ben Kite in New Delhi back in October 2016 and then against Allan Tanada in Mumbai in August 2017.
By time Goyat faces McConville he may have successfully defended his title for a third time, as he is currently in camp preparing to defend his title in Canada later this month.
His esteemed opponent’s Championship successes do not seem to have fazed McConville one iota, as he made clear when he spoke earlier.
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity it’s something we have been working and training very hard towards.
“I am very excited to fight for my first title and to put on a show against such a decorated and experienced opponent as Goyat.
I want this so bad, I am definitely ready for this.”
Jonny McConville versus Neeraj Goyat for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Welterweight Championship will take place on the Kyle Gallagher promoted Victory Fight Club event at the Jubilee Sports Bank in Liverpool on Saturday 8th September 2018.
Tickets for the event are available from any of the boxers competing or direct from the VFC Ticket Line on 07711 098025
Scottish Commonwealth Games bronze medal man joins paid ranks
Talented amateur John Docherty has signed a promotional agreement with Matchroom Boxing.
Docherty landed Commonwealth Games bronze for Scotland in Australia in April, defeating England’s Ben Whittaker to reach the semi-final stage and land his medal.
The former Team GB man has chosen to join the paid ranks following his success Down Under and will follow in the footsteps of three-weight World ruler and Scottish legend Ricky Burns by training under Tony Sims in Essex.
Docherty will start life as a Super-Middleweight and will make his debut in the new season, and the 20 year old cannot wait to get his pro journey underway.
“I am so excited to get my pro career started,” said Docherty. “I loved my time with Team GB and representing my country in Australia was a huge honour, but that chapter is closed now and I cannot wait to test myself in the pro’s.
“It’s brilliant to team up with Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports, and training with Tony in Essex is going to bring me on so much. There’s lots of class fighters in the gym and of course, I’ll be training with Ricky, who is a legend in Scotland and someone I’ve always looked up to, so to be able to learn from him every day is going to be amazing.”
“I am delighted to welcome John to the team,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “John’s amateur pedigree speaks for itself and he has all the ingredients to be a big success in the paid ranks.
“He’s a fiercely ambitious young man that is eager to learn every day, which is vital to make it in this sport. John’s commitment to move down to Tony’s gym in Essex to be alongside his fellow countryman and Scottish great Ricky Burns shows how dedicated he is to becoming a star, and I can’t wait to see his journey get underway in the new season.”
Dave Garside says James Jazza Dickens needs to fight with a boxing glove on his head, ahead of the Liverpudlian’s rematch with Martin Ward at the Rainton Meadows Arena on July 27.
County Durham’s Ward faces Dickens, 23-3 (8), for the British Super Bantamweight Title live on Freesports (Freeview 95, Freesat 252, Sky 422, BT 95, Talk Talk 95), and the war of words between the southpaws’ camps is heating up ahead of the highly-anticipated clash.
Martin, 26-4-1 (5), and Jazza originally squared off in 2015 for the same title, with Dickens edging a close encounter via a split decision verdict. That contest was a bloody affair, with Martin having to veer from his game plan after suffering serious lacerations from head clashes.
Cuts aren’t a new thing for Ward, either. The West Rainton man also saw his 2014 IBF World Bantamweight Title challenge to Darlington’s Stuart Hall called off after just two rounds when another head clash ended his title hopes.
A former Commonwealth champion, Martin has fallen short previously to Lee Haskins for the British Bantamweight Title in 2013, and was recently stopped in two rounds by Abigail Medina in an EBU European Super Bantamweight Title challenge.
Sharing top billing on the card will be Martin’s brother Tommy, 23-0 (3), who took the British belt off Dickens in May 2017, before recently vacating. The 24-year-old is now concentrating on the world stage and, originally slated to fight Ionut Baluta, now fights for the vacant IBF European Super Bantamweight Title against Spain’s Alvaro Rodriguez, 8-1-1 (1).
Former heavyweight contender Garside, who manages the Ward brothers, believes there will be no slip-ups and is eyeing a win-double for both men on July 27.
“Martin’s first fight with Jazza could have gone either way,” said Garside, who fought for the British Heavyweight Title in 1987. “Martin was cut and had to box totally different to how he normally boxes. It was also Martin’s first fight at super bantamweight, he’s a lot stronger now, and I suspect you’ll see a different Martin Ward in there. He will have learnt from that first fight and I’m very confident. I have a lot of faith in Martin.
“Jazza is a good fighter but if you look at the last few people he’s boxed, they’ve all ended up with multiple stitches and that’s through use of the head. I just hope the ref is going to look after the fighters properly. He’s a nice kid is Jazza Dickens, but he needs to have a boxing glove on his head! We have to take the rough with the smooth, but I am confident that Martin will win this time.
“When you look at Tommy Ward against Jazza, Tommy never lost a round. People said Jazza was coming back, but all Jazza did was butt him in the face and cut his head. Jazza was completely out boxed for the first seven rounds; it was very one-sided. Tommy has his man-strength now, he’s not a boy any more, and he’s sitting down on his shots a lot more. He’s a beautiful boxer. I’m not really concerned about his opponent on the 27th; I have every faith in Tommy.”
Dennis Hobson Promotions, in association with Phil Jeffries and Dave Garside and sponsored by Steve Crump, presents Martin Ward and James Dickens contesting the vacant British Super Bantamweight Title, and Thomas Ward fighting Alvaro Rodrigues for the IBF European Super Bantamweight Title, at the Rainton Meadows Arena on July 27.
The show will be broadcast live on Freesports (Freeview 95, Freesat 252, Sky 422, BT 95, Talk Talk 95).
For ticket information contact 07747 611 020.
Liverpool ace to challenge Glenn Foot for British and Commonwealth belts
Robbie Davies Jnr has signed a three-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing – with the first of those bouts to be a British and Commonwealth Super-Lightweight title clash with Glenn Foot in Newcastle in October.
The Liverpool ace will meet the Sunderland man for the vacant Lord Lonsdale belt and the Commonwealth crown that Foot landed in March in Glasgow with an 11th round stoppage against Scotsman Jason Easton – and Foot puts that title on the line for the first time against Davies Jnr, who goes for his first big titles.
The 28 year old exacted revenge for his sole career loss in March on home turf against Michal Syrowatka, reversing the 12th round stoppage that he suffered against the Pole in London last July, and he’s thrilled to have a clear plan for his next three fights.
“I’m very happy to be part of the Matchroom team,” said Davies Jnr. “There isn’t any other promotion in the world not just in Britain like them. I know working with them can get me the big fights and the bright lights I’ve been craving.
“I respect Glenn, he’s a no-nonsense type fighter and a very hard, durable man. I know he’s going to bring his A-game but this is what I need, fights to push myself to showcase to everyone that I’m a cut above the rest. I work hard all year round and now it’s time I reap the rewards. And The New.”
“I am delighted to see Robbie box on our shows and on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in US,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The domestic 140lbs division is red-hot right now and the fight with foot will put the winner as the front runner in that pack.
“There are huge fights ahead for Robbie and it all begins in October in Newcastle.”
“It’s a pleasure to be linking up with Eddie and Matchroom,” said Davies Jnr’s manager Neil Marsh. “Under the Matchroom banner Robbie will explode on to the world scene. The Foot fight will be a great one for the fans but boxing is about levels. No disrespect to Glenn but Robbie will make his mark.”
Heavyweight ruler set to box at national stadium in September 2018 and April 2019
Anthony Joshua OBE has committed his future to his loyal UK fight fans with his next two fights to be staged at Wembley Stadium connected by EE in London.
Joshua will defend his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO crowns at the national stadium in the English capital on September 22 and will return to Wembley Stadium on April 13 next year for his 23rd pro fight.
The Heavyweight king has already set a post-war attendance record at the stadium when 90,000 fans filled Wembley Stadium to watch Joshua stop Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round of their stunning battle last April.
The 28 year old has since filled Principality Stadium in Cardiff twice, defending his belts against Carlos Takam in October before unifying the division by taking Joseph Parker’s WBO belt in March – with the two events in the Welsh capital pulling in over 150,000 fans.
With two more sell-outs at Wembley Stadium expected, Joshua will have sold in excess of 400,000 tickets over five huge World title fights, and the fan favourite is thrilled to be back under the arch for his next two blockbuster nights.
“I am returning to Wembley after two mega fights in Cardiff,” said Joshua. “I want to thank the supporters from Wales and Great Britain and also the people of London for patiently awaiting my return.
“Being north London born and raised it is in my blood. The opportunity to fight in such an iconic stadium is normally a once in career opportunity, so to be given the chance to fight there again is amazing. Wembley just added a fourth lion to the den.”
“I’m extremely honoured to get the opportunity to promote two more shows at the national stadium and delighted for British fight fans that Anthony has made this commitment to them,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“I don’t think anyone will either forget that night of April 29 against Klitschko and we plan to bring two more dramatic events to Wembley Stadium in September and April. Images from these AJ events make our country the envy of the boxing world and long may it continue.”
James Taylor, Senior Commercial Manager, Wembley Stadium said: “Wembley Stadium is home to the biggest and best sporting events and it is fitting that one of the world’s leading sports stars returns to fight under its iconic arch.
“AJ’s last appearance at the national stadium was a record-breaking event which will be remembered as one of the highlights in the venue’s history. We look forward to welcoming Anthony and his thousands of fans back to Wembley for two huge fights in September and April.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has ensured it will be possible to have capacity crowds at both events by working closely with Transport for London who will postpone planned engineering works and provide additional staff.
Sadiq Khan, said: “That incredible night last year when Anthony Joshua defeated Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in front of a record crowd will go down as one of our city’s greatest sporting events.
“I am absolutely delighted that Wembley is set to host these next two chapters of AJ’s remarkable career. We have once again worked closely with Transport for London to make sure this can happen and to allow for tens of thousands of boxing fans to travel to Wembley Stadium for the fights.
“I have pledged to bring the biggest bouts in world boxing to London and these epic showdowns will cement London’s reputation as the best city in the world for top-class sport.”
An announcement on the opponent for Joshua’s clash in September and ticket details will be made next week.
In a crowed activity held in Arecibo, the World Boxing Organization (WBO), with the collaboration of former world champion Samuel ‘El Torbellino’ Serrano, brought together several former Puerto Rican world champions along with currents boxers to recognize the trajectory of former three-division world champion Wilfredo ‘Bazooka’ Gómez.
“Had the WBO existed in the Gómez era, he would have been our champion. But we still celebrate him because of his legacy in the ring and his great humility as a person. This belt that we preset to him today names him a WBO ‘Honorific Champion of Champions’, yet it is only a small sample of the affection and admiration that we have for him,” said WBO president Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel.
An excited Gomez said that “I thank with the WBO and Paco for their support and recognition on this day. Thank you very much. I am very happy with everyone who is here.”
In addition to Valcárcel, Serrano and Gómez, former world champions Angel ‘Cholo’ Espada, Alfredo ‘El Salsero’ Escalera, Orlando Fernández, Ángel ‘La Avispa’ Chacón, Josué ‘Dickie’ Camacho, Alex ‘El Nene’ were present at the party Sánchez, John John Molina, Rafael del Valle, Iván Calderón, Daniel ‘La Cobra; Jimenez, Nelson Dieppa, Víctor ‘Luvi’ Calleja, three times world title contender Wilfredo Rivera, former NABO champion Daniel ‘Pipino’ Alicea, current boxers Víctor Bisbal, Jean Carlos ‘Lobo’ Torres, Wilfredo ‘Bimbito’ Méndez, Luis ‘Popeye’ Lebrón (WBO Latino Featherweight Champion) and amateur national youth champion Tatiana Ortíz.
Trainers Dennis Pantoja, Yoel Gonzalez, Félix Pagán Pintor, Margaro Cruz, as well as referees José Hiram Rivera and Roberto Ramírez, Jr., promoter Peter Rivera, and Chairman of the WBO Rankings C-ommittee, Edgardo López Sasso together with WBO legal advisor and member of the WBO Regional Titles Committee Gustavo Olivieri and other sports personalities were sharing in the activity.
Gómez won the gold medal in the first amateur world championships, held in Havana in 1974. He then jumped to the professional ranks and won world titles at 122, 126 and 130 pounds. He retired with a professional record of 44-3-1 with 42 wins by knockout, and is considered one of the best fighters of all time.
Photos by Victor Planas / WBO
Hall of Fame Promoter Frank Warren has today confirmed further undercard details for the Windsor Park event on Saturday 18th August, headlined by Belfast Hero Carl Frampton’s defense of his Interim WBO World Featherweight Title against Australian Luke Jackson. Frampton v Jackson will be broadcast live and exclusive in the UK on BT Sport.
An already mouthwatering undercard has been further strengthened with the addition of a Cruiserweight showdown between Steve Collins Jr and Steven Ward and slots for Irish stars Luke Keeler, Lewis Crocker and Marco McCullough.
The bill also features The Lineal World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury, who continues his journey towards reclaiming the World Title belts that he never lost in the ring and Double Olympic Medalist Paddy Barnes’ challenge for the WBC World Flyweight Title against Chrisofer Rosales.
In a surefire barnstormer, MTK Global Cruiserweights Collins Jr (12-1-1-KO4) and Ward (7-0-KO3) will clash with ‘Quiet Man’ Ward enjoying home advantage and looking to preserve his unbeaten professional record.
Collins Jr – son of two-weight world champion and Irish Boxing Legend Steve Collins – will be looking to make his mark in his first fight of 2018 having been narrowly denied the Irish title by a points defeat to Paddy McDonagh last year.
Dublin’s WBO European middleweight champion Luke Keeler (14-2-1-KO5), was highly impressive in securing the vacant belt with a points victory over Conrad Cummings at Belfast’s SSE Arena in April will make the first defence of his crown against a top rated opponent.
Further down the card, welterweight KO king Crocker (6-0-KO6) is looking to continue his astonishing start to life as a professional.
The Belfast boy has halted all six of his opponents to date inside three rounds – the latest feat a savage first-round stoppage of Adam Grabiec on the undercard of Michael Conlan’s homecoming.
Another local star added to the action is super-featherweight Marco McCullough (19-4-KO11), who is out for the second time this year after outclassing Arnoldo Solano on the undercard of Carl Frampton v Nonito Donaire in April.
McCullough has previously challenged for Irish, British, European and Commonwealth belts and is looking to continue his journey back into title reckoning.
Promoter Frank Warren said: ‘I’m delighted that further Irish talent has been added to this already bumper card. The Ward v Collins Jr showdown is set to be a great fight for the fans on a card that already boasts Frampton v Jackson, The Lineal World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury and Paddy Barnes’ World Title challenge against Cristofer Rosales.
I’ve been very impressed so far with Lewis Crocker who looks to have a great future and in my experience of promoting cards where Marco McCullough and Luke Keeler have featured, they are always in entertaining fights.
This is set to be the biggest night of boxing to ever take place in Belfast and we can’t wait to watch it all unfold amongst what I’m sure will be a fantastic atmosphere and a full house at Windsor Park.’
Limited remaining tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.ie. priced at £80, £100, £120, £150, £250, £400 (includes hospitality).
Buying tickets over the phone – 0844 847 2455
To purchase Accessible Seating – 0333 321 9996
Two-Time IBF World Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale MBE has today relinquished his title as he closes in on securing big-fights in the final phase of his illustrious ring career.
DeGale, a former British and European Champion, has ruled the 168 pound division split over two reigns as World Champion totalling almost three years and has been involved in six IBF World Championship contests.
The Londoner is proud to have held the organisation’s prestigious and famous red and gold World Title belt that has been worn by many of the great fighters at the weight including legends Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jnr.
DeGale began his first reign as IBF World Champion in May 2015 by making history to become Britain’s first ever Olympic Champion to win a world title when he sensationally defeated Andre Dirrell in Boston to claim the vacant belt.
The trail-blazing Londoner then continued his campaign across the Atlantic to gain respect from the media and fans’ as he made the first successful defence of the title against former IBF World Champion Lucian Bute in Canada in November that year.
In April 2016, DeGale returned to the U.S to make the second defence of the title against tough Mexican Rogelio Medina in Washington which he won on a majority decision.
DeGale then aimed to solidify his dominance of the 168 pound division by attempting to unify his IBF title against WBC World Champion Badou Jack in January 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. In an electrifying, all-action fight, DeGale retained his title by way of controversial draw that many felt DeGale had won.
A British homecoming world title defence against American Caleb Truax in December 2017 was ruined after DeGale lost his title on a points decision in a below par performance. He later admitted it was because he returned to the ring too soon after having career saving surgery to his shoulder following the Jack fight.
However, DeGale proved his champion’s heart by facing Truax in his backyard for the rematch in April this year in Las Vegas when he reclaimed the title with a dominant display to win clearly on the judges’ scorecards.
DeGale was due to be involved in a purse bid for his IBF mandated title defence against Interim Champion Jose Uzcategui this Thursday (5th July), but has now withdrawn.
DeGale said, “No World champion easily gives up their World title that they’ve earned the hard way in the ring and I’ve proudly held the IBF World title in two reigns with pride and distinction which is why it makes it very hard decision to relinquish the belt. It has been a pleasure to work with the IBF and I would like to thank president Daryl Peoples for allowing me to challenge and hold the distinguished belt that so many of the division’s great champions have held before for me. It has been a honour to be recognised as the IBF World Champion and I hope that by now vacating it will ease the transition to determine a successor between the Interim champion Jose Uzcategui and the next highly ranked available contender. I’ve achieved so much in my career, Olympic Gold, British, European and International titles and two-time World Champion and I believe I’m at the top of my game right now. I’m in the final phase of my career where I have a few good years left where I can be involved in massive fights and really leave a legacy in the division’s history. My team have been working very hard behind the scenes and we’ve got some very big and exciting news to announce soon.”