WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING returns to BT Sport on Saturday when Josh Taylor defends his unified WBA/IBF super lightweight belts against mandatory challenger, the unbeaten Apinun Khongsong from Thailand. Also in headline position is the return of former WBC world flyweight champion Charlie Edwards to the ring, where he will step up to bantamweight to take on Kyle Williams.

Earlier today, the four fighters took part in an online media conference ahead of Saturday’s event and below is a selection of the pre-fight comments.

Kyle Williams (11-2)
It is his coming out party but we are here to spoil that. Charlie is a fantastic athlete, I have watched him throughout his career, but when we get in there it is two men and I am looking to take what he’s got. I fought for the British title against Farooq and it was not a fight I was completely outclassed in. I showed that I’ve got the goods to be at that level and just got caught. Against Thomas Essomba it showed I’ve got the toughness for the game and showed that when it gets hard I stick in there and continue to fight, as Charlie knows.

Charlie Edwards (15-1)
First and foremost I would like to say it is so good to be back. I’ve missed being on the stage, missed being at the press conferences and I am really looking forward to the fight. Outside of the ring it has been really great for me this year, I have really settled and that has helped me with my training. I am feeling good, feeling strong and I am looking forward to getting back in there, putting the dark times behind me of making that terrible weight and moving forward with my career. Kyle is a good fighter, he is tough, game, he is gonna come and he is gonna try and make it awkward in there. It is what we expect at this level and this is his world cup final, his golden ticket so we expect him to come and have a right good go.

With not having to make flyweight it is nice to be able to string a sentence together now! Last time I couldn’t even do the media stuff. It is good and I feel ready. It is chapter 2 and I am looking forward to it.

Apinun Khongsong (16-0)
I am happy to fight here and being behind closed doors is good for me because there will be no people and boxing fans. I am very proud to fight Josh Taylor because he is a very good champion. I have prepared very well to fight him on Saturday. The plan is to stop Josh Taylor by knockout.

Josh Taylor (16-0)
I don’t think not having a crowd will affect my performance at all. I’ve been practicing in the gym with no music, no noise and nobody speaking, so we have been replicating what the experience will be like. I’m looking forward to getting in there on Saturday and I have kept fit and in shape throughout the year. I can’t wait to put on a strong performance.

You will see on Saturday what changes I have made working with Ben (Davison) and I am not going to give away what we have been working on. It is good and we’ve been working on a lot of things and this is a nice start to a whole new book. This is the start of it, it is going to be better than the last one and I can’t wait to get going on Saturday.

Khongsong is standing in the way of where I want to go so I need to get rid of him. This is his introduction to world boxing and I am going to make it a painful one for him. He doesn’t belong at this level and I am a couple of levels above him. I am going to go in there and knock him out on Saturday.

I have seen a lot I can exploit. He is a very good fighter and very strong, punches with both hands with power, but it is not enough to beat me. I am just really looking forward to getting in there on Saturday and putting on a strong performance.

Live coverage on BT Sport 1 begins on Saturday at 7.30pm
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Alex Dilmaghani will finally challenge the reigning European Super-Featherweight Champion Samir Ziani on Saturday 5th September, exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5 in the UK.

Presented by Mick Hennessy for Hennessy Sports in association with LadbrokesInfinitum, Numan and Everlast, the five-fight card to be staged behind-closed-doors at a purpose built TV production facility in Wakefield, also features the Southern Area Super-Flyweight Championship between Sammy Cantwell and Ricky Little; cruiserweight talent Isaac Chamberlain and fast-rising middleweight prospect Michael Hennessy Jr; plus a further name to be confirmed.

All-action Dilmaghani (19-1-1, 8 KO’s) was due to face Ziani (31-3-1, 6 KO’s) for the European title on April 25th, but the show was subsequently postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Hennessy has worked hard to ensure that his charge still had his title challenge upon the recommencement of boxing.

Dilmaghani, 28, is raring to return to the ring and finally lay his claim on the prized European title.  

It will be almost a year since his last fight in November at the York Hall where he fought a thrilling battle against the Two-Time World title challenger Francisco Fonseca for the IBO World title that ended in a draw, but was one of the fight’s of the year.

The Crayford southpaw displayed his never-say-die warrior’s heart by fighting with a bad cut above his left eye from the ninth round, he pressed the fight and although it was very close at the end, many ringside observers felt that Dilmaghani had done enough to be given the decision.

He will need all that and more when he comes up against the solid and experienced Ziani from from Blagnac, France, Ziani, 29, makes the second defence of his European title against Dilmaghani and it will be the first time he has fought in the UK despite having previously fought in Spain, Denmark, Morocco, Ukraine and Italy in his 35-fight career that has seen him capture the French and WBC & WBA International titles. 

He won the vacant European title by forcing Spaniard Juli Gigner to retire in the sixth round in his Barcelona backyard last year and putting his title on the line against ‘Dilma’ holds no fear for him.Ziani was last out in October when he made the first defence of the title over the Belgian challenger Faroukh Kourbanov with an unanimous points win.  

He has never been stopped in the three points losses on his record and one of those was to the big-hitting former IBF World Lightweight Champion Richard Commey in a very tight fight that some had Ziani winning. 

Dilmaghani said, “It’s been a long and frustrating time to wait, but I’m so happy that Mick has worked hard behind the scenes to make sure the title fight stayed on and now I get my chance at the European title and it’s live on free-to-air Channel 5.  Full respect to Ziani he’s coming over here to defend his title, but I will be relieving him of the belt. I can’t wait for it, it’s going to be great fight and real thriller for the viewers’ on Channel 5.”

Ziani said, “I’ve had plenty of extra time to prepare for Dilmaghani since the fight was postponed and I’m ready to fight him right now.  I’ve boxed everywhere and in other fighters’ countries so fighting him in England does not worry me one bit. He is in for the fight of his life so I hope he has studied and prepared himself in the meantime because he won’t know what’s hit him.”

Hennessy added, “It’s a relief to finally announce the fight is back on between Samir and Alex and the European title will still be on the line.  Like everyone, I was really looking forward to seeing this one in April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, it made it impossible to stage until restrictions had been eased.  I’d like to thank Gary Hyde, The BBBofC, The EBU and Channel 5 for their input and foresight in keeping this fight together and with the aim of getting it on as soon as possible.  I’m delighted that we’ve managed to deliver that and I’m sure their styles will make for a truly great fight on September 5th.”

For further information go to www.hennessysports.com or social media: Facebook @HennessySports, Twitter @HennessySports and Instagram @hennessysports 

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Promoter Mick Hennessy oversees the long-awaited return of Championship Boxing to UK free-to-view TV screens exclusively LIVE on Channel 5 on Saturday 22nd August and has added a further title fight to the show.

The five-fight card, presented by Hennessy Sports in association with Ladbrokes, Infinitum and Numan, will be staged behind-closed doors at a purpose built production studio and is headlined with the long-awaited battle for the Vacant British Light-Heavyweight title between Shakan Pitters and Chad Sugden.

Hennessy is delighted to bolster the big fight-night with a sizzling Midlands derby that pits Birmingham’s Kaicee Benjamin and Wolverhampton’s Conah Walker in a fiery clash for the Vacant Midlands Area Welterweight Title with plenty of pride and honour at stake.

All-action Benjamin (10-0-1, 2 KO’s), the former Midlands Area Champion, is in fine recent form having made two defences of the title and seen off three unbeaten fighters (Shaquille Day, Levi Ferguson and Alex Fearon) in his last four fights. 

Rival Walker (7-0-1, 2 KO’s) will be looking to cause an upset and beat the favourite Benjamin to prove that he is the real deal.  The former standout amateur took the unbeaten record of Nathan Bendon and then forced then unbeaten Ohio Kain Iremiren to a draw and is pumped up for the challenge against Benjamin

In addition to the Pitters-Sugden and Benjamin-Walker showdowns, an action-packed card also features the highly anticipated return of Brixton cruiserweight title contender Isaac Chamberlain (10-1-0, 4 KO’s) as he targets titles on his comeback, Birmingham super-welterweight talent and Love Island star Idris Virgo (5-0-1) and fast-rising Sevenoaks middleweight prospect Michael Hennessy Jr (3-0-1).

Hennessy said, “It’s fast building momentum towards an exciting and long-awaited return for British boxing on the free-to-air TV platform Channel 5 on August 22nd.  We’ve got a fantastic main-event in place with the British Light-Heavyweight title showdown between Shakan and Chad and that is now complimented with a Midlands Area title clash between Kaicee and Conah.  Not only that, but we have the exciting return of cruiserweight star Isaac who’s on the road back towards challenging for titles, plus reality TV star Idris and young prospect Michael complete the card.  This is a statement that our sport is finally back and where it belongs on the big-stage on free-to-air Channel 5 for everyone to watch without having to pay.”

For further information go to www.hennessysports.com or social media: Facebook @HennessySports, Twitter @HennessySports and Instagram @hennessysports 

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VIDEO: Pearson Vs Aduku 7th March 2020

On Saturday the 7th March 2020 Cumbrian fans of the pugilistic arts packed the Hoops Basketball Centre in Barrow-in-Furness to support local heroes Lee Kellett and Callum Pearson, as they co-promoted their first professional boxing event, which they also co-headlined.

Today’s Go-Boxing ‘Fight of the Night’ is between Barrow’s own Callum Pearson (5-1-0) versus Ghana’s Daniel Aduku (11-2-1) for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Super Welterweight Championship.

What an absolutely sensational Battle Royale this contest proved to be, it was an all action war – enjoy.

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