FOWLER OUTPOINTS ROSE TO LAND WBO INTER-CONTINENTAL MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE

4 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
DYLAN EVANS WPTS4 (40-37) v ALEKSANDRS BIRKENBERGS

Anthony Crolla protege Dylan Evans secured a comfortable 40-37 points win over Latvia’s Aleksandrs Birkenbergs to move to 3-0 in the opening bout of the evening at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool. 

4 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight contest
THOMAS WHITTAKER-HART WKO1 (2:54) v IVO KRASTEV 

Anthony Bellew-managed Light-Heavyweight prospect Thomas Whittaker-Hart earned the first stoppage of his career, dropping Bulgaria’s Ivo Krastev at the end of the opening round to progress to 2-0.

4 x 3 mins Welterweight contest
NATHAN FARRELL WPTS4 (40-36) v DYLAN DRAPER

Manchester Welterweight debutant Nathan Farrell made a winning start to life in the pro ranks, breezing past Braintree’s Dylan Draper to take a 40-36 points win. 

8 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight contest
QAIS ASHFAQ WPTS8 (79-73) v SEAN DAVIS 

Slick southpaw Qais Ashfaq looked impressive as he outpointed Birmingham’s Sean Davis 79-73 to improve his unbeaten record to 7-0 (3 KOs)

8 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
MARTIN BAKOLE WTKO1 (1:20) v YTALO PEREA 

Martin Bakole blasted out Ytalo Perea in less than 90 seconds of their Heavyweight clash to move to 13-1 (10 KOs). The Congolese fighter has recently linked up with promoter Eddie Hearn and made a big impact on his Matchroom Boxing debut, swiftly stopping his Ecuadorian opponent, who had gone the distance with New York prospect Adam Kownacki.

10 x 3 mins WBA Continental Bantamweight Title 
SEAN McGOLDRICK v  THOMAS ESSOMBA WUD (96-94, 97-93, 98-93)

Thomas Essomba ended Sean McGoldrick’s unbeaten record with an upset points win to claim the vacant WBA Continental Bantamweight crown. The Cameroon-born man, who is a former English Bantamweight Champion, 
was aggressive from the start and proved to be too good for McGoldrick on the night.

10 x 3 mins English Middleweight Championship
JACK CULLEN WTKO8 (2:07) v JOHN HARDING Jr 

Jack Cullen defended his English Middleweight title with a commanding eighth-round stoppage win over the brave John Harding Jr. Cullen, now 17-1 (8 KOs), utilised his superior reach from the opening bell, gradually wearing down Harding Jr, who was dropped in the fifth round before the referee waved it off in the eighth as the south Londoner sagged on the ropes.

10 x 3 mins WBA Continental Super-Lightweight Championship
LEWIS RITSON WTKO3 (2:50) v MAREK JEDRZEJEWSKI 

Newcastle’s Lewis Ritson stopped Marek Jedrzejewski in three rounds to retain his WBA Continental Super-Lightweight crown, then vented his anger towards Robbie Davies Jr after they traded words on social media. Ritson produced a more controlled performance against Jedrzejewski, flooring the replacement opponent with a brutal body shot, and then forced the referee’s intervention with further spiteful punches to the ribs.

‘Sandman’ called for a domestic clash against Davies Jr afterwards, and the duo later became embroiled in an angry exchange backstage.”Robbie Davies is full of rubbish,” Ritson told Sky Sports. “It’s a 50-50 fight, me and Robbie, I’m in Liverpool. I’ll call him out if I want on camera, I don’t care.

“He’s been running his mouth on social media. I’m not about that. If he wants it next, he can get it. It’s a 50-50 fight, but I’ll smash him.”

4 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight contest
JOHN DOCHERTY WPTS4 (40-36) v DARRYL SHARP 

Hard-hitting Montrose Super-Middleweight prospect John Docherty was taken the distance for the first time in his professional career by the tough Middleton man Darryl Sharp. ‘The Doc’ banked some valuable and well-needed rounds as he outpointed Sharp over four rounds. 

8 x 3 mins Welterweight contest
ROBBIE DAVIES Jr WTKO3 (2:45) v MICHAL DUFEK

Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jr pounded Michal Dufek to a halt in the third round of their Welterweight clash. The former European Super-Lightweight Champion was a class above his brave Czech opponent, with the referee stepping in following a sustained barrage of hurtful punches.

Davies Jr confirmed the altercation with Ritson in his post-fight interview and also vowed to settle their feud by knockout.

“He walked past us and obviously I’d just been listening in the back, what he’d said,” Davies Jr told Sky Sports after his win. “I obviously had my own fight to think of, so I just stared at him. He was mumbling something.

“But we’ve been staying in the same hotel, and the god’s honest truth, my hand on my heart, every time I’ve looked at him, he’s looked away.”He will build the hype for the TV, but when it was just me and him, it was me who had front and not him.”If the offer is good enough and it makes sense to me and my team, I’ll stop him.” 

10 x 3 mins vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight Championship
ANTHONY FOWLER WUD (98-92, 98-92, 97-93) v BRIAN ROSE 
(Liverpool)                                                                (Blackpool)

Anthony Fowler returned with a wide points win over Brian Rose and then called for a rematch with Scott Fitzgerald.The Liverpudlian’s unbeaten record was ended by a split decision loss to Fitzgerald in March, but he produced a more controlled performance to defeat the experienced Rose with scores of 98-92, 98-92 and 97-93 at the top of the JD NXTGEN bill in his home city. 

Speaking afterwards, Fowler told Sky Sports that he wants Fitzgerald to come through an expected British title clash with Ted Cheeseman to set up a second fight.

“Hopefully Scott beats Cheeseman, because I believe Scott is a better fighter and then it would be a dream come true to box Scott at the end of the year. I don’t care where it is.”

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FOWLER VS. ROSE WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER

Anthony Fowler and Brian Rose weigh in ahead of the bout for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship. 1st August 2019. Picture By Mark Robinson.

DOORS: 16:30

BOXING STARTS: 16:30

4 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
DYLAN EVANS 9st 7lbs v ALEKSANDRS BIRKENBERG 9st 8lbs
(Moston)                              (Latvia)

4 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight contest
THOMAS WHITTAKER HART 12st 11lbs 8oz v IVO KRASTEV 12st 7lbs 12oz
(Liverpool)                                                           (Bulgaria)

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK

17:30 | 8 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight contest
QAIS ASHFAQ 9st 3lbs v SEAN DAVIS 9st 5lbs
(Leeds)                              (Birmingham)

8 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
MARTIN BAKOLE 18st 10lbs 6oz v YTALO PEREA 18st 4lbs 12oz
(DR Congo)                                        (Ecuador)

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS ARENA

19:05 | 10 x 3 mins WBA Continental Bantamweight Title 
SEAN McGOLDRICK 8st 5lbs 4oz v  THOMAS ESSOMBA 8st 5lbs 7oz
(Newport)                                             (Tyne & Wear)

10 x 3 mins English Middleweight Championship
JACK CULLEN 11st 4lbs 12oz v JOHN HARDING Jr 11st 5lbs 7oz
(Bolton)                                         (Brixton)

10 x 3 mins WBA Continental Super-Lightweight Championship
LEWIS RITSON 9st 13lbs 7oz v MAREK JEDRZEJEWSKI 9st 10lbs 10oz
(Forest Hall)                               (Poland)

8 x 3 mins Welterweight contest
ROBBIE DAVIES Jr 10st 5lbs 13oz v MICHAL DUFEK 10st 5lbs 6oz
(Liverpool)                                           (Czech Rep)

10 x 3 mins vacant WBO Intercontinental Middleweight Championship
ANTHONY FOWLER 11st 2lbs 8oz v BRIAN ROSE 11st 1lb 3oz
(Liverpool)                                          (Blackpool)

FLOATS

4 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight contest
JOHN DOCHERTY 12st 4lbs 2oz v DARRYL SHARP 12st 8lbs 6oz
(Montrose)                                        (Middleton)

4 x 3 mins Welterweight contest
NATHAN FARRELL  v     DYLAN DRAPER
(Manchester)                  (Braintree)

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FOWLER VS. ROSE PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Anthony Fowler – Liverpool, England – 9-1, 8 KOs – fighting Brian Rose for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title:

“Obviously in my last fight I learned a harsh lesson of going in all guns blazing and going for the knockout, not the win, so I learnt a lot that night and I’m just grateful to have a great fight straight away. I couldn’t think of anything worse than boxing some journeyman over six rounds like I did for my first nine fights. As Brian says, the respect is there and it is a great fight and he’s a great fighter but I walk into this fight knowing that I’ve given everything, every ounce of strength that I’ve got. I’ve trained my arse off, I’ve studied tapes, I’ve watched that last fight about ten times, it kills me to watch it. I’ve watched the mistakes, I’ve learned and I know with this fight that I’m at my best so whatever happens happens because I’ve given it 100%.

“I’d boxed him (Fitzgerald) before at amateur, I’d watched his whole career and I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t think he was capable of that performance so I just thought it would be a routine win. Obviously I got the shock and got proved wrong. I’ve learned not to underestimate anyone, I’m prepared for the best Brian Rose there’s ever been and I’m prepared to beat that fighter.

“Obviously that defeat is still there but you know what I haven’t slept for 15 weeks I’ve just been thinking I need to win this fight more than anything. It has been on my mind constantly. I need to win no matter what. I’ve been a bit obsessed with this fight and this fight is one more step closer to that rematch that I desperately want.”

Brian Rose – Blackpool, England – 31-5-1, 8 KOs – fighting Anthony Fowler for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title:

“I’m in the shape of my life. I am bigger and making the weight better. I’ve not made weight yet but I know tomorrow it will be easy, I’m on weight now. I’m in peak condition, this has the makings of a great fight. I respect Fowler and his team, we’ve spent a bit of time in Marbella together and I like Dave Coldwell and what he’s done with the lads, he’s done a great job, they’re actually friends of mine. It is nothing personal, it is just business, he’s looking to get his career back on track and I’m looking to revive mine. There’s no doubt in mine that I will be reviving mine.

“What started it was that I wanted no regrets. I didn’t want to finish my career on the loss of Jack Arnfield, he’s was one of my best friends, I didn’t want that to happen. I went to America and going to America changed my life. I got pushed to limits that I didn’t even know my body could go. I’m doing things now that I couldn’t even do at 24, 25 so for me, two or three years ago this could have been a good fight but I believe that he’s got me at the wrong time. It sounds mad because I’m 34 and I know Anthony thinks that he’s got me at the right time because I’m a little bit older and people think I’m past it but I honestly believe he’s getting me at the wrong time. I’m in the shape of my life. Like I say, I’m doing things in sparring and in the gym that I’ve never done before. 

“I think in the end experience is what will tell in the fight, but like you say it’s got the makings of a great fight. I know I’m going to get him and I’m sure he knows he’s going to get hit but as I said I think experience will take its toll and that’s what will win me the fight.”

Jack Cullen – Bolton, England – 16-1, 7 KOs – defending his English Middleweight title against John Harding Jr:

“This is a really important fight for my career. I’m just glad that John Harding Jr has taken this fight. I am the English Middleweight Champion and I’m staying the English Middleweight Champion. That’s a fact. I’ve trained hard so it doesn’t matter who you fight. As long as you train hard and you put the time and effort in. I can beat anyone, I’m ready. I’ll have a lot of fans in there, it’s going to be a good night.”

John Harding Jr – Brixton, England – 7-0-1, 1 KO – challenging Jack Cullen for his English Middleweight title:

“I want to thank everyone for coming out and I want to thank God for this situation that I’m in now. I’m getting so many messages of support from people that I’ve touched with my story and my progression. I’m so thankful. When this opportunity came I just said ‘yes’ straight away. As soon as they said who it would be against I said ‘yes I can take him’.

“It just fits so right with the situation of my life and my story. He’s got more experience than me and had more fights. I’m coming to take his crown and win. I just feel fired up about being the underdog right now. My heart is blazing and I’m ready for war. I’m just ready to go in there, all guns blazing. It’s going to be a good fight, it’s going to be war.”

Sean McGoldrick – Newport, Wales – 9-0, 2 KOs – fighting Thomas Essomba for the vacant WBA Continental Bantamweight title:

“This fight has really got me excited. I’m looking forward to this one more than any of my other fights. I’m really excited for it and it is a great fight. This is my first title fight which is a massive thing for me. I think our styles will gel. It will be a good fight.”

Thomas Essomba – Ryhope, England – 8-5, 3 KOs – fighting Sean McGoldrick for the vacant WBA Continental Bantamweight title:

“Firstly I would like to say thank you for this opportunity. I’m looking forward to Friday.”

Robbie Davies Jr – Liverpool, England – 18-1, 12 KOs – fighting Michal Dufek in a 8 round Welterweight contest:

“It’s great to be back in Liverpool. It’s another chance to show everyone what I can do. All of these unification fights coming back in the 140lbs division, that’s the mix I want to be in. I feel like I’ve paid my dues with the British, Commonwealth and European titles. I’m looking now for World title eliminators and pushing onto that World scene. That’s my main goal now. I’m having a tick over fight to keep busy but I’m looking for those big fights towards the end of the year. Friday night I’m looking to put on a performance and get a big KO win.”

Martin Bakole – Airdrie, Scotland – 12-1, 9 KOs – fighting Ytalo Perea in a 8 round Heavyweight contest:

“Firstly I want to thank my God, and thank you Matchroom for welcoming me to the team. Thanks to my coach Billy Nelson and to AJ for helping me. I’m looking forward to Friday night. I want to look good so Eddie can put me on his show in Glasgow. I’m very excited to fight live on Sky Sports. I can’t wait for Friday night.”

John Docherty – Montrose, Scotland – 5-0, 5 KOs – fighting Darryl Sharp in a 4 round Super-Middleweight contest:

“I’m here to put on a good show. When I get in that ring I’m looking for the knockout. On Friday night I’ll be looking for my best knockout yet. I’m looking forward to boxing in Liverpool. I’ve never boxed in Liverpool before so I’m looking forward to getting another big knockout. I’m ready to step up now. I feel like I’m ready but it’s just down to my coach Tony and yourself Eddie. I’m ready to fight these boys now. I think I’m British title level now. Never mind in a few months time.”

Qais Ashfaq – Leeds, England – 6-0, 3 KOs – fighting Sean Davies in a 8 round Super-Bantamweight contest:

“This kid on Friday is going to come to fight. I think that suits me perfectly. Liverpool has been good to me, I won my second senior ABA title here and I’ve boxed here plenty of times. I’ve not lost, so touch wood we don’t lose on Friday and we get an excellent performance and a excellent win.”

Dylan Evans – Manchester, England – 2-0 – fighting Aleksandrs Birkenberg in a 4 round Super-Featherweight contest:

“I was a bit upset when the Manchester card fell through because it’s every Manchester lad’s dream to fight at the MEN but I’m grateful to Matchroom for getting me on this show and I’m looking forward to putting on a big performance. It’s great working with Crolla. He’s been through everything in his career. I can only gain top experience from him. I’m picking more and more up each day.”

Thomas Whittaker Hart – Liverpool, England – 1-0 – fighting Ivo Krastev in a 4 round Light-Heavyweight contest:

“I was gutted about the show in Manchester but it’s probably worked out better for me now getting to fight back in my own city. I’m happy. It’s just about putting on a good performance on Friday night. My debut opponent hung in there at times. I was gutted to not get him out of there but it was all good experience for me. I came through the fight easily so it was a good night.”

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“I’VE GOT A NEW FOUND HUNGER” SAYS FOWLER

‘The Machine’ aims to bounce back in Liverpool
Anthony Fowler says he has developed a “new found hunger” after suffering the first loss of his professional career at the hands of Preston’s Scott Fitzgerald at The M&S Bank Arena Liverpool back in March.
 
‘The Machine’ looks to return to winning ways this Friday in front of his home crowd at the Exhibition Centre when he takes on Blackpool’s Brian Rose for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

Fowler, trained by Dave Coldwell in Rotherham, is all too aware that his clash with former World title challenger and British Champion Rose is must-win. The ex-Team GB star admits to learning valuable lessons from his Fitzgerald defeat and says there’s no chance of him overlooking 34-year-old Rose. 

“I’ve got a new found hunger,” said Fowler. “I got a little bit cocky last time. I thought it would be an easy fight and I got proved wrong, so I’ve been brought down to earth a bit. I completely underestimated him and that’s my own fault.

“It was a close fight all the way through. I felt as though I was winning going into the last round but I still wanted to take him out. Looking back, maybe I should have got behind the jab and boxed to a decision. It was all for grabs and I went for it, so it was what it was. 
 
“I’d had nine fights, it was a big occasion and I showed that I’ve got a lot in me, a lot of heart and a lot of strength. Even in the ninth round I still hurt him. I showed a lot but it’s still early days and I’ve got a lot ahead of me to learn. 
 
“Every fight is must-win. I take every fight very seriously. I learnt a lot from my last fight and I’ll take that experience into this fight. I’m not looking past anyone, I’ve learnt from that mistake. I respect Brian. He’s a good fighter and I look forward to sharing a ring with him.
 
“I always say you’re only as good as your last fight. My last fight was a title fight, obviously it was a loss but it was a great fight. He boxed a journeyman over six rounds. What you did years ago means nothing now but he’s got experience on his side. I don’t think he’s stopped anyone for years has he? But we’ll see. Hopefully he does drag me into deep waters because I can swim.”
 
Fowler vs. Rose tops a bumper JD NXTGEN card in Liverpool. 

Bolton’s Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs) defends his English Middleweight title against Brixton’s John Harding Jr (7-0-1, 1 KO) Forest Hall banger Lewis Ritson (18-1, 11 KOs) makes his second appearance at 140lbs as he defends his WBA Continental title, Heavyweight contender Martin Bakole (12-1, 9 KOs) returns to take on Ecuador’s Ytalo Perea (11-4-2, 7 KOs) and Welsh amateur star Sean McGoldrick (9-0, 2 KOs) meets Thomas Essomba (8-5, 3 KOs) for the WBA Continental Bantamweight Championship and Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jr (18-1, 12 KOs) returns after his European and British title win over Joe Hughes. 

There’s also action for hard-hitting Montrose Super-Middleweight John Docherty (5-0, 5 KOs),Leeds Super-Bantamweight Qais Ashfaq (6-0, 3 KOs), Anthony Bellew-managed Light-Heavyweight prospect Thomas Hart (1-0), Anthony Crolla Lightweight protege Dylan Evans (2-0) and Manchester Welterweight debutant Nathan Farrell.
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FOWLER V ROSE TOPS JD NXTGEN SHOW IN LIVERPOOL

Ritson v Hughes, Cullen v Harding Jr & Bakole v Perea land on August 2 bill
Anthony Fowler will headline his first ever show in his hometown at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool on Friday August 2 when he steps-up to take on former World title challenger Brian Rose on the latest instalment if the JD NXTGEN series, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 
 
Fowler (9-1, 8 KOs) lands a golden opportunity to bounce back from a first career defeat at the hands of Preston rival Scott Fitzgerald and ‘The Machine’ knows that nothing less than a win will suffice as he aims to climb the 154lbs ladder.  
 
Rose (31-5-1, 8 KOs) believes his superior experience will prove to be the difference on the night and ‘The Lion’, a former British champion, is determined to fire his name back into the mix one last time before he hangs up his gloves for good. 

“I want tests and I want to be involved in the big fights,” said Fowler. “To be headlining a show in Liverpool is a great honour. I’m not in this game to be taking easy fights. Brian has mixed it at the top level throughout his career and this is a fantastic chance for me to test myself against an experienced opponent.

“I learnt a lot from my last fight and we went away and improved in a few areas. I know that I’m in for a tough night’s work but this is a fight that I feel ready and prepared for. Brian is a known name and I think he’ll get the best out of me on the night. This is strictly business and I’m ready to do the business in what is a must-win fight for me.”

“I think he’s a good fighter but he’s certainly not ready for me,” said Rose. “I’m more experienced than him and I can do 12 rounds standing on my head. It’s a mismatch. 18 months out of the ring gave me time to think about what I wanted and I feel like I’ve got so much left in the tank to give. 

“If he doesn’t win this fight where does he go? He’s lost to someone that’s young and a prospect, and now he’s fighting me who people think is over the hill. He’ll have lost to a prospect and a veteran. The pressure is all on him and he has to pull out the stops. 

“I sparred with him a few years ago and I get on with him but quite recently he’s slagged me off on social media. It’s left a bad taste in my mouth but I’ll deal with that on the night. For me this comeback isn’t about money, it’s not even about achievement, it’s about knowing I’ve got something left to give the sport that I’ve served for so long.”

Forest Hall banger Lewis Ritson (18-1, 11 KOs) makes his second appearance at 140lbs as he takes on former European champion Joe Hughes (17-4-1, 7 KOs) in a tasty showdown for the WBA Continental title that could lead to a shot at Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jr. later in the year. 

Davies Jr. (18-1, 12 KOs) outpointed Hughes at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool to claim the EBU European crown back in April and keeps busy on August 2 knowing that a clash with ‘The Sandman’ could be next.

Bolton’s English Middleweight champion Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs) makes the first defence of his title against Dillian Whyte-managed Brixton man John Harding Jr (7-0-1, 1 KO) after his Commonwealth title shot against Felix Cash was shelved due to an injury to the champion. 
 
Martin Bakole (12-1, 9 KOs) returns to take on Ecuador’s Ytalo Perea (11-4-2, 7 KOs) after defeating former World title challenger Mariusz Wach in April, stopping the Pole in eight rounds in his first fight since a loss to Heavyweight contender Michael Hunter. 
 
Welsh amateur star Sean McGoldrick (9-0, 2 KOs) says he is ready to push on towards title action but the 2010 Commonwealth gold medallist must first overcome former Commonwealth and English Flyweight champion Thomas Essomba (8-5, 3 KOs).
 
There’s also action for hard-hitting Montrose Super-Middleweight John Docherty (5-0, 5 KOs),Leeds Super-Bantamweight Qais Ashfaq (6-0, 3 KOs), Anthony Bellew-managed Light-Heavyweight prospect Thomas Hart (1-0), Anthony Crolla Lightweight protege Dylan Evans (2-0) and Manchester Welterweight debutant Nathan Farrell.
 
 Tickets priced £40, £60 and £120 (VIP) are available to purchase now from the Exhibition Centre Liverpool (www.ticketquarter.co.uk) (Phone: 0344 8000 400), StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
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FOWLER STEPS IN TO FACE ROSE AFTER FITZGERALD INJURY

Opportunity knocks for ‘The Machine’ on July 6
Anthony Fowler has stepped in to face Brian Rose in a must-win fight at Manchester Arena on Saturday July 6, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US, after Scott Fitzgerald was forced to withdraw from his title defence against Rose through injury. 

Fowler suffered a first career defeat at the hands of Fitzgerald in March and was preparing to make his ring return on the July 6 card when he was handed a golden opportunity to take on former World title challenger Rose in the place of his bitter rival.

“I want tests and I want to be involved in the big fights,” said Fowler. “As soon as we heard the news that Scott had to pull out we grabbed the opportunity with both hands. I’m not in this game to be taking easy fights. Brian has mixed it at the top level throughout his career and this is a fantastic chance for me to test myself against an experienced opponent.

“I learnt a lot from my last fight and we went away and improved in a few areas. I know that I’m in for a tough night’s work in Manchester but this is a fight that I feel ready and prepared for. I was already massively motivated for my return on July 6 but this has given me another boost. 

“I’m already in great shape, I’d be ready to fight next week. Brian is a big name and I think he’ll get the best out of me on the night. I know Brian and consider him as a friend, but this is strictly business and I’ve got a job to do next month. This is must-win for me.”

“Everyone knows that I’ve got a loyal following and although the original fight with Scott was a big Preston vs. Blackpool derby, I’ll still be bringing big numbers to Manchester on July 6 as Fowler is probably a bigger draw than Scott,” said Rose. “He’s a more well-known fighter even though Scott beat him and it’s a better fight.

“On paper it’s an easier fight, I don’t see it like that but this has all worked out better for me because when I beat Fowler I’ll have more options ahead of me and we’ll be able to demand more. I’m really looking forward to fighting Fowler and to fighting on the big stage again. 

“It’s where I believe I belong, I’ve worked hard to get back on the big stage by fighting on those small hall shows which were great, but there wasn’t much exposure. I’ve done it all in the background, I’ve worked really hard over the last year to get myself fit and into the position that I’m in now and I’ll make it count next month.”

Fowler vs. Fitzgerald is part of a huge night of action in Manchester, Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) puts his British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight titles on the line against Jack Massey (16-0, 8 KOs), Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight crown against Bolton’s Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs), Anthony Fowler (9-1, 8 KOs) returns after his first pro defeat, Sheffield’s Dalton Smith looks to go 2-0 as a pro and Anthony Crolla Lightweight protégé Dylan Evans fights at Manchester Arena for the first time, with more exciting additions to the card to follow.

Tickets priced £40, £60, £100 and £200 (VIP) are available to purchase now via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), Manchester Arena via ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com).
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FOWLER RETURNS ON JULY 6

‘The Machine’ aims to return to winning ways in Manchester
Anthony Fowler will return to the ring for the first time since his loss to Scott Fitzgerald when he fights on the bumper July 6 card at Manchester Arena, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 
 
Fowler endured his first professional defeat at the hands of bitter rival and former GB teammate Fitzgerald at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool in March after being dropped in the final round en-route to a thrilling split decision loss. 
 
The Liverpudlian looks to get back to winning ways when he fights at Middleweight next month and is already targeting a huge rematch with the ‘Mad Man’ by the end of the year, and ‘The Machine’ hopes that the British title will be on the line this time. 
 
“I’m itching to get back out there,” said Fowler. “I had two weeks off and then I was straight back in the gym. I want that rematch badly. I’m just channelling all of the negative feelings that I’ve got into my training. I knew about this fight 6 weeks out, Dave weighed me and decided that I’ll be fighting at Middleweight. I’m very big for Light-Middle so I’m going to have a trial run at Middleweight and see how I feel. I don’t struggle to make 154lbs, but I’ll look a million dollars in sparring, feel strong and fit, and then on fight night I’ll feel flat. We’ll see how I get on but there’s still massive fights ahead for me at 154lbs.
 
“I didn’t give Scott the credit he deserved heading into our fight. I genuinely thought it was going to be an easy night. I went into the ring with the mentality that the fight would be easy and I paid the price dearly. It affected me mentally and my performance dropped massively because of that. I should have been more composed and calculated, I went in there trying to knock him out early. The second half of the fight really got to me because of that approach. I won’t be making that mistake again. 
 
“Obviously I just do what I’m told, I’m not the boss, but the ideal scenario for me is to get a good win on July 6 and then fight again at Light-Middleweight against a good opponent. Hopefully Scott will get past Brian Rose and beat Ted Cheeseman for the British title in September. I’d love the rematch in November or December if Scott will give me the opportunity. I hope he wants it too because the fans want it and it will be a decent pay day. The British public want to see it and I think it will definitely happen.”
 
Fowler returns on a huge night of boxing in Manchester where Lawrence Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) puts his British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight titles on the line against Jack Massey (16-0, 8 KOs), Scott Fitzgerald (13-0, 9 KOs) defends his WBA International Super-Welterweight title against former World title challenger Brian Rose (31-5-1, 8 KOs) in a huge Preston vs. Blackpool Lancashire derby and Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight crown against Bolton’s Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs), with more exciting additions to the card to follow.

Tickets priced £40, £60, £100 and £200 (VIP) are available to purchase now via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), Manchester Arena via ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com).
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BROOK VS. ZERAFA WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER


DOORS 16:30
 
BOXING STARTS 17:00
 
4 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight contest
CALLUM HANCOCK 12st 1lb 9oz v IVAN NIKOLOV 12st 2lbs
(Sheffield)                                          (Bulgaria)
 
6 x 2 mins Lightweight contest
TERRI HARPER 9st 9lbs 2oz v FERICHE MASHAURY 9st 9lbs 5oz
(Denaby)                                      (Tanzania)
 
18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK 
 
6 x 3 mins Welterweight
ANTHONY TOMLINSON 11st 6lbs 1oz v INNOCENT ANYANWU 10st 6lbs
(Sheffield)                                                   (Netherlands)
 
6 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight contest
QAIS ASHFAQ 9st 3oz v JAY CARNEY 8st 12lbs 7oz
(Leeds)                              (Liverpool)

19:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

8 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
KID GALAHAD 9st 6lbs 1oz v BRYAN MAIRENA 9st 4lbs 12oz
(Sheffield)                                 (Nicaragua)
 
10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest
ANTHONY FOWLER 10st 13lbs 6oz v JOSE CARLOS PAZ 11st 3lbs 2oz
(Liverpool)                                              (Argentina)

12 x 3 mins Final Eliminator for IBF Super-Featherweight Championship
JONO CARROLL 9st 3lbs 6oz v GUILLAUME FRENOIS 9st 3lbs 5oz
(Dublin)                                         (France)
 
12 x 3 mins WBA International Welterweight Championship 
JOSH KELLY 10st 6lbs 7oz v DAVID AVANESYAN 10st 6lbs 6oz
(Sunderland)                           (Russia)
 
12 x 3 mins Final Eliminator WBA Super-Welterweight Championship
KELL BROOK 10st 10lbs 2oz v MICHAEL ZERAFA 10st 13lbs 8oz
(Sheffield)                                   (Australia)
 
FLOAT
 
4 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
SHAKIEL THOMPSON 11st 6lbs 1oz v KONSTANTIN ALE

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BROOK VS. ZERAFA PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Picture By Mark Robinson.


Eddie Hearn:

“We’re looking forward to a big show on Saturday. We’ve been to this great city many times. It feels like we’ve been coming here years with Kell, starting out at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre of course, travelling to the US when he beat Shawn Porter for the World title, defending his World title here in Sheffield, coming here to Bramall Lane fighting what is now probably regarded as the number one 147lbs fighter in the World in Erroll Spence in front of 25,000 people – it was a great night of boxing. 

“Seeing him today, I think he looks fitter, healthier, chirpier and more excited than I’ve ever seen him in his career so far. A fit, hungry and healthy Kell Brook is a very dangerous fighter. I believe that we’re going to get a fantastic performance from him on Saturday night. 

“There’s talk about the future, there’s talk about Amir Khan, one thing I know is that Kell Brook has many miles left on the clock. When there’s hunger in his heart, I believe he’s one of the best 147lbs fighters in the World.”

Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing:

“We spent a lot of time here in Sheffield back in the late 90’s with the likes of Prince Naseem Hamed of course, Ryan Rhodes and our own Johnny Nelson. Kell Brook was just a young kid then coming through. It’s fantastic to see how he’s developed over the years. This is a wonderful fighting city, I’m really looking forward to being back here on Saturday night, it’s a great December with New York next week for Canelo vs. Rocky and then Whyte vs. Chisora at The O2 – a pre Christmas cracker. 

“It’s a great bill and it’s fantastic to see Kell back, I agree with Eddie, he looks in terrific shape and obviously he’s got the fire reignited alongside John Fewkes. Have a great one Saturday night, we’ll see you there.”

Kell Brook – Sheffield, England – 37-2, 26 KO’s – fighting Michael Zerafa in a Final Eliminator for the WBA Super-Welterweight World title:

“I’m feeling very fresh. I feel reborn. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and I am so happy. We got all the hard work done in our training camp. It couldn’t have gone any better. I’m raring to go now for Saturday. I’m looking to put a serious performance on.”Amir Khan is a con man, they should call him Amir ‘con’. This is his last big fight under Matchroom and I thought it was nailed on. He shook my hand and looked me dead in the eye and said we would fight next.”What can I do, I’ve bent over backwards and said I’d come down to 147. I’m doing everything I can for the fans, he’s turned his back on them. Everyone knows it’s him that’s running off. I want any elite fighter and could weigh in at 147 tomorrow if I wanted, I’ve got that buzz again.”I want the top guys, Shawn Porter with the WBC title if he wants a rematch or I’d love to bring Errol Spence Jr back in the summer and get the win.”

Michael Zerafa – Melbourne, Australia – 25-2, 14 KO’s – fighting Kell Brook in a Final Eliminator for the WBA Super-Welterweight World title:

“It’s a huge opportunity for me and the team. Kell Brook has done a lot of great things for the sport. We know it’s going to be a great fight but we’ve come prepared. His name is a World title to me. No stone has been left unturned, he’s just a man. He’s got two arms and a head and he bleeds red. The best Michael Zerafa is going to be there and it’s going to be fireworks.

“We’ve been studying him throughout our camp. He’s a great fighter but we saw a lot of flaws – too many holes in a ship and it sinks. We’ve got a game plan in place and come Saturday we’ll lay it all out.”

John Fewkes, trainer of Kell Brook:

“Kell is in fantastic shape. It’s great to be a part of this if I’m honest with you. Kell is happy and he’s been dragging me out of bed at half past six in the morning. This camp couldn’t have gone any better. I’m looking for a very special performance on Saturday. He has another two, three or four years in him at the top of the game – easily.”

Blake Caparello, trainer of Michael Zerafa:

“The good thing about Michael is that he comes into camp fit and only a couple of kilos over weight, so we can focus straight on the boxing. He’s coming over here in great spirits. The English public have been awesome towards us. I know they think he’s coming as an opponent but Michael isn’t an opponent, he’s coming here to win. Kell Brook’s name is a World title to Michael so we’re coming to his back yard to beat him.”

Josh Kelly – Sunderland, England – 8-0, 6 KO’s – defending his WBA International Welterweight belt against David Avanesyan:

“I need someone to come and really try to take my head off. A lot of people want to take my head off because I look like an arrogant guy. I’ve got a switch when I go into the ring, I’m a different man in there. I’ve got a lot of respect for David Avanesyan. It’s four weeks since my last fight, it has been a quick turn around. I’m feeling fresh and relaxed, I feel nice. 

“Stylistically I’m ready for this sort of fight. It’s sort of the typical boxer versus fighter match-up. It’s going to be a great fight and a night that I’ll enjoy.”

David Avanesyan – Tabynskoe, Russia – 22-3-1, 11 KO’s – challenging Josh Kelly for the WBA International Welterweight title:

“This is a big fight for me. I like this fight, I want this fight, I’m hungry. I’m ready for this fight. I will do my best, everything is good. 

“Josh was a very good amateur boxer and I’m expecting a tough 12 rounds against him.”

Jono Carroll – Dublin, Ireland – 16-0, 3 KO’s – fighting Guillaume Frenois in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Featherweight World title :

“I need to be in with people that will test me. This Frenchman is very experienced. I hope he is up for a war because us Irish love to go to war. I’m ready for anything. I’m looking to impress, I don’t want to just win this fight – I want to impress and I’m going to show the little peanut head Tevin Farmer that I’ll eat him alive when his time comes.

“I truly believe that the only person that could test me to my limits would be someone like Gervonta Davis. That would be a dog fight, me and him going head-to-head. That would be a war, you’d see the true Jono Carroll go to war. 

“Nothing is going to stop me, I don’t really look too much into who I’m fighting. I just try to be the best boxer that I can possibly be and the rest takes care of itself. I’m getting better and better each time I fight because my level of opposition is getting better and better.” 

Guillaume Frenois – Aisne, France – 46-1, 12 KO’s – fighting Jono Carroll in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Featherweight World title:

“I’m very pleased to be here in Sheffield, it’s a great place for boxing. When the IBF ordered this Final Eliminator I was determined to come and get my chance to fight for the World title. After a two month camp I’m ready to win. If you target a World title  you must be a warrior, he will meet a French warrior on Saturday.”

Anthony Fowler – Liverpool, England – 8-0, 7 KO’s – fighting Jose Carlos Paz in a 10 round Super-Welterweight contest:

“Dave Coldwell knows that I need tests, there’s no point in me getting in the ring and just dominating people like I have been. I’ve had 8 fights and I’ve been cocky. I haven’t broken a sweat so far, it has been easy and straight forward fights. This lad has been at the top level, he’s ranked 40 on BoxRec – much higher than me, so he’s mixed at a much higher class and this is the fight where I show what I’m about. It’s going to be a great fight.”

Kid Galahad – Sheffield, England – 25-0, 15 KO’s – fighting Bryan Mairena in a 8 round Super-Featherweight contest:

“It was a good win out in Boston, he was a tough kid. I did everything that I had to do in that fight to win. Hopefully on Saturday I’ll get this kid out of the way and then I’ll be ringside watching Frampton and Warrington on the 22nd.

“I’d like to thank Eddie Hearn, Matchroom and Sky Sports. Three fights this year and hopefully next year you can get me four fights. I’ll be fighting for the World title, win that and then another three fights after that.”

Qias Ashfaq – Leeds, England – 3-0, 1 KO – fighting Jay Carney in a 6 round Super-Bantamweight contest:

“I can’t wait to get out there now, it’s been a long training camp. I’m starting to finally feel myself in the pro game. Before I turned pro I had a good year and a half off with injuries and sorting a promotional deal out but now I’m in the best place in the World at Matchroom Boxing. I feel amazing, it’s a little step up against Jay Carney this weekend and I’m looking forward to showing what I’m made of. 

“I’m ready to step up, I’ve taken my time so far. I’m ready to step up slowly and next year hopefully get a few titles around my waist as well.”

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ZERAFA: BROOK IS UNDERESTIMATING ME

Aussie vows to shock The Special One
Michael Zerafa has accused Kell Brook of overlooking him and says he’ll thrive off the underdog status when they clash at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

Zerafa, 26, is a former Commonwealth Super-Welterweight Champion and has secured 14 of his 25 wins via knockout. He has lost just two of his 27 professional fights, including a stoppage loss to former WBO Middleweight ruler Peter Quillin in 2015.

The Melbourne fighter admits that former IBF World Champion Brook is another step up in class but says he is ready for whatever the Sheffield star throws at him.

“I’m really up for this fight, I’m in the best condition of my life,” said Zerafa. “Halfway through the first round Brook and his team will realise they’ve underestimated me.

“I’ve got two losses on my record but that was years ago. I was a kid back then and very inexperienced. Now I’m a more complete fighter, more power, more speed & more boxing IQ.

“I respect Kell Brook, he’s a great fighter and he’s been at a higher level than me for longer, but that’s exactly why he’s looking past me. I’m going to make a lot of people eat their words. 

“This is the biggest opportunity of my career, I’m taking it with both hands and I’m definitely going to put on a show in Sheffield. I’m going into this fight with absolutely nothing to lose.”

Brook’s clash with Zerafa tops a huge night of boxing in the Steel City.

Unbeaten Irish star Jono Carroll faces French former European Champion Guillaume Frenois in a final eliminator to become mandatory challenger to IBF Super-Featherweight World Champion Tevin Farmer. 

Rising Welterweight star Josh Kelly steps up in class as he takes on former WBA World Champion David Avanesyan in his ninth professional contest. 

Explosive Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler is in title action as he targets a showdown with newly-crowned British Champion Ted Cheeseman in 2019 and IBF no.1 Featherweight contender Kid Galahad stays busy with an eye on the winner of Josh Warrington vs. Carl Frampton.

Sheffield is well represented on the undercard with Welterweight Anthony Tomlinson, Super-Middleweight Callum Hancock and Middleweight Shakiel Thompson all in action, while Leeds Super-Bantamweight Qais Ashfaq and Denaby Lightweight Terri Harper also feature. 

Tickets for Brook vs. Zerafa priced at £40, £60, £100 and £200 (Inner Ring VIP) are available to purchase via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) FlyDSA Arena (www.flydsaarena.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)

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