GORMAN LEAPS UP IN LEVELS TO FACE ALEX LEAPAI

Nathan Gorman will defend his WBC International Silver heavyweight title against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai on the bumper Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton card at the Manchester Arena on December 22.

The unbeaten Gorman is causing quite a stir in heavyweight circles, with the Ricky Hatton-trained 22-year-old having now clocked up 14 fights, with 11 wins coming via stoppage.

The Nantwich-born former Team GB member won his WBC belt in late 2017 when he took on the also then unbeaten Mohamed Soltby at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, stopping the German after five bruising rounds.

He has since kept busy with three fights already across 2018, with the pick of the wins coming against the rated Irishman, Sean ‘Big Sexy’ Turner at the Manchester Arena, where he turned up the heat and ended the resistance of Turner inside of three rounds.

Gorman appears to be on a longer-term collision course with UK rival Daniel Dubois, but his next opponent hails from the Southern Hemisphere, with Leapai based in Queensland, Australia but originally from Samoa.

The 39-year-old holds a record of 32-7-4 across a career spanning 18 years. His professional exploits earned him a shot at the unified world titles in 2014, taking on the long-term champion Wladimir Klitschko in Oberhausen, but his world title adventure was aborted in the fifth round against the then dominant Ukrainian.

He subsequently demonstrated his durability the full ten rounds against Malik Scott and Manuel Charr before getting back amongst the wins over 2017-18 with victories in his homeland over Thomas Peato and Roger Izonritei.

Gorman believes he will have to be on top of his game to see off the challenge of such a seasoned opponent.

“Obviously he is a very experienced opponent who has fought for world titles. He is a dangerous opponent, but also a good one for me, if that makes sense.

“He will be a good name on my record if I beat him and beat him in style, which I believe I can do. I will have to be on my As and Bs because he is a dangerous fella with such experience. Some people say heavyweights are in their prime when they reach their late thirties.”

Gorman added that, while his own objectives will always remain first and foremost in his thinking, securing a slot on such a massive BT Box Office card is a big attraction.

“Definitely, it is a very big bill to be a part of and obviously I have got a good fight against Alex Leapai that has got me on the show.”

Leapai himself firmly believes Gorman is jumping the gun by signing up for such a test at this stage of his career, considering this country’s bright young heavies to be over-hyped and untested at a higher level.

“A lot of these British heavyweights are over-hyped without really beating anyone,” said the confident Aussie. “I’m coming over to burst the bubble of the latest hype job.

“I’ve had more knockouts than Nathan has had fights. This is way too soon for Nathan.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. Mark Heffron and Liam Williams contest the vacant British middleweight title and Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5).

Elsewhere on the bill. world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0) return to action. Manchester’s 12-0 Light Heavyweight Lyndon Arthur and 7-0 Darlington middleweight Troy Williamson also return.


Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester Arena.

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FRAMPTON EYES HALL OF FAME, BELIEVES WARRINGTON IS MADE FOR HIM


CARL FRAMPTON believes unifying the World Featherweight title could make him Ireland’s greatest ever fighter and on course to fulfil his Hall of Fame dream.

The two weight world champion will take a step in that direction is he takes the IBF World Featherweight crown from Josh Warrington (27-0) at Manchester Arena on Saturday December 22, live on BT Sport Box Office.

The winner is likely to line up a unification fight against WBO title holder Oscar Valdez next spring or early summer.Frampton (26-1) has already unified world titles at Super-Bantamweight when he defeated Scott Quigg in February 2016 becoming IBF and WBA champion at 122lb.

He said: “If I unify at featherweight I will have done it in two divisions and I would be in the argument for Ireland’s greatest fighter.

“I want to do that and define my legacy.

“I would like to have a go at Super-Featherweight. I haven’t got the dimensions to go too many divisions up, but I can maybe tackle Super-Featherweight.

“Myself and Steve Collins are Ireland’s only two-weight World champions. If you become a champion in a third weight division, that is Hall of Fame stuff.

“I’d love to be in the Hall of Fame. I’m still a bit off, but I would love to win a few more big fights and get a call one day saying; ‘You’ve been inducted.’”

Making history and securing family future are Frampton’s motivation, but he is also fired up by Warrington’s comments that he has seen better days as a boxer.

“I believe I’m in my peak years. Josh thinks I’m probably over the hill and on the way down, but he has got it wrong definitely,” snapped the 31-year-old Belfast man.

“My family is one motivation because I want security for me, my wife and the kids. Legacies are another and the third is people saying I’m over the hill – that is a big motivating factor.

“I use all these things to my advantage and I think I will. I’ll do it on the night. I promise I’ll win. Josh is made for me and I will prove I’m a better fighter.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office.

Mark Heffron will now fight WBO Interim world title challenger Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) will take on former commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5) along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0) also featuring. 

In another middleweight addition, 7-0-1 Darlington Middleweight Troy ‘Trojan’ Williamson has also been added to the show after his thrilling draw with Jack Flatley earlier this year.

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester-Arena.com

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WARRINGTON: I’LL BE CHRISTMAS NO.1


JOSH WARRINGTON INSISTS that nobody should be fooled by the pleasantries exchanged by himself and Carl Frampton on the recent media tour because he is fully prepared to break the pain barrier in order to defend his world title and become No.1 at Christmas.

The three-city whistle-stop promotional trip to highlight the IBF world featherweight title defence between holder Warrington and two-weight world champion Frampton was notable for the respectful rhetoric between the two fighters.

The build-up to Warrington’s title winning encounter against then champion Lee Selby in May was a spikey affair as a result of a feud that had developed between the pair from when a fight was originally mooted.

The just turned 28-year-old Leeds man states that the niceties will not stand the test of time when the two reach the business end of their association.

“Listen, don’t get it twisted, we are going in there to hurt each other and I am willing to die to defend my belt because it means that much to me,” said the 27-0 champion, who went on to outline his intentions post-Frampton.

“I want to give it all to take it home with me again and that is what I’m going to do.

“This is why we have taken the fight so soon, because we beat Carl and I want to go on and unify the division.
“I intend to spend Christmas at the top of the rankings, the No.1 featherweight in the country. It will be a nice little Christmas present.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. Mark Heffron will now fight WBO Interim world title challenger Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) will take on former commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-5) along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0) also featuring.  In another middleweight addition, 7-0-1 Darlington Middleweight Troy ‘Trojan’ Williamson has also been added to the show after his thrilling draw with Jack Flatley earlier this year. Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available. Tickets available via Manchester-Arena.com

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CUNNINGHAM TEST FOR CONLAN IN MANCHESTER


Michael Conlan will face former Commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham when he fights in England for the first time as a professional at the Manchester Arena on the massive Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton card on December 22.
 
Featherweight Conlan joins his Belfast band of brothers, Frampton, Paddy Barnes and Steven Ward on the BT Box Office blockbuster (ESPN+ in the United States) and in Cunningham he faces his first British opposition since entering the paid code in March of last year.
 
The experienced Doncaster 29-year-old holds a record of 24-5 and has won the Commonwealth title at two different weights – bantam and featherweight – while he has previously challenged for the British title at super flyweight. He is also a two-time winner of the English bantamweight title.
 
Last time out in June, Cunningham won the Central Area super bantamweight title via a points victory over Paul Economides.
 
He is now up against blue chip prospect Conlan, the former world amateur champion who will have his tenth professional fight in Manchester.
 
In his hugely successful amateur career, Conlan was ranked No.1 in the AIBA world rankings at bantamweight with a medal haul that included an Olympic bronze medal (London 2012), Commonwealth Games gold (Glasgow 2014), European Championships gold (Samokov, Bulgaria 2015) and a World Championships gold (Doha 2015). He achieved superstar status in his homeland as one of Ireland’s most decorated amateur fighters of all time.
 
“He is a good, experienced fighter who has been in with some top guys and I am looking forward to facing this challenge head on in only my 10th fight,” said the 26-year-old Conlan on his latest assignment.
 
“It is something I am excited about and something where I believe I can show the best Michael Conlan.
 
“This is maybe the first time I will be facing someone who can speak proper English! The fans will know him and I rate Jason Cunningham, but I believe come fight night I will show my class and how good I actually am.
 
“I have been calling for stiffer opposition for a while now, although I know my fight in Belfast was a tough test (against Adeilson Dos Santos), but I quite easily outboxed that dude.
 
“The fact that Jason is known for giving it a go and not backing down – and with it being an opponent who will bring a fanbase with him – it will be a first for me. It is something I need to experience.
 
“There is no doubt in my mind that I will prepare strenuously because this dude will provide a tough challenge in a fight that he will believe he can win.”
 
Since turning professional in the wake of a controversial exit from the 2016 Rio Olympics, Conlan has clocked up nine straight wins, with six of them coming inside the distance.
 
The younger brother of Jamie Conlan made his debut as the headliner at the Madison Square Garden Theater where, after being walked to the ring by Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor, he outclassed Tim Ibarra to get his pro journey underway.
 
He has since boxed in Chicago, Brisbane, Tucson and twice more at the MSG Theater before getting to perform in the main arena at the Garden against Ibon Larrinaga in May.
 
The following month he enjoyed a homecoming fight and a significant step up in class against Adeilson Dos Santos at the SSE Arena in Belfast, where he was victorious over the eight-round distance.
 
Most recently in October, Conlan got to experience the Las Vegas fight scene where he overcame the resistance of Nicola Cipolletta and forced a seventh round stoppage at the Park Theater in his Las Vegas debut.
 
IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. Mark Heffron will now fight WBO Interim world title challenger Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former Commonwealth Champion Jason Cunningham (24-5) on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0).
 
In another middleweight addition, 7-0-1 Darlington Middleweight Troy ‘Trojan’ Williamson has also been added to the show after his thrilling draw with Jack Flatley earlier this year.
 
Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.
 
Tickets available via Manchester-Arena.com

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DANIEL DUBOIS AND SAM BOWEN HEADLINE DECEMBER 15TH BRENTWOOD SHOW LIVE ON BT SPORT


Daniel Dubois will return to the ring on December 15 on a night of top championship boxing at the Brentwood Centre, live on BT Sport, that also features British super featherweight champion Sam Bowen making a first defence of his title against Ronnie Clark.

The 21-year-old Dubois will be entering into his tenth professional contest against a soon to be revealed opponent and will be looking to finish the year with a bang, having already defeated D.L Jones (TKO 3), Tom Little (TKO 5) and Kevin Johnson (PTS) in 2018.

Explosive super featherweight Bowen, 14-0, gets back to domestic business after winning the WBO Intercontinental title last time out with a brutal fourth round stoppage of the tough Argentinean Horacio Alfredo Cabral.

He won the Lonsdale belt with a defeat of Maxi Hughes and now moves onto a hazardous defence against Clark, who won the IBF European title in February via a shock defeat of the previously unbeaten Zelfa Barrett at York Hall.

‘The Shark’, 21-4-2, from Dundee now gets the opportunity to prove the upset was no fluke against the leader of the current British super featherweight contenders.

Sunny Edwards is rewarded for his scintillating display last month against Ryan Farrag with a further defence of his WBO European super flyweight title on a BT Sport televised card.

The 22-year-old from Croydon will hit double figures on the night as he seeks to go 10-0 in the professional ranks.

Former British champion Bradley Skeete got back into winning ways at the same Brentwood venue in October with a savage third round stoppage of Fernando Valencia and now seeks to restore his name in the world rankings.

Also showcasing their talents in Brentwood will be exciting super featherweight Ryan Garner (7-0), super welterweight Hamza Sheeraz (5-0), former Team GB flyweight Harvey Horn (3-0), unbeaten welterweight Sanjeev Sahota (16-0), bantamweight Jake Pettitt (3-0), middleweight Caoimhin Agyarko (1-0). Portsmouth lightweight Mark Chamberlain will make his professional debut.
 
TICKET PRICES
£150 – Hospitality
£100 – Floor
£50 – Bleachers unreserved
Doors Open: 4pm

Tickets available via Ticketmaster

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WILLIAMS STEPS IN AND STEPS UP TO FACE HEFFRON IN THRILLER ON WARRINGTON-FRAMPTON CARD

THE THRILLING PROSPECT of Mark Heffron taking on Liam Williams is to become a reality at the Manchester Arena on December 22, live on BT Sport Box Office.

Heffron, 21-0 (17KOs) and Williams, 18-2-1 (13KOs), collide on the undercard of Josh Warrington defending his IBF world featherweight title against Carl Frampton in what is certain to be an absolute barnstormer of a fight.

The match-up between the WBC International middleweight champion – and mandatory challenger for the British title – and the former British and WBO European super welterweight champion has come about due to the withdrawal of the originally scheduled opponents.

Heffron was due to challenge the British champion Jason Welborn, who subsequently vacated the title, while Williams was due to fight JJ Metcalf for the WBC International belt. Metcalf has pulled out of the fight due to injury.

There was no willingness amongst middleweight rivals to replace Welborn and oppose Heffron for the Lonsdale belt, but Williams has no issues over trying his hand at the higher weight against such a dangerous operator.

There is a history behind the match, with Heffron’s brother Ronnie suffering his only career defeat to Williams back in July 2014. The former standout amateur and highly-rated prospect was retired in the sixth round with a severe cut to the head and has not fought since.

“It is going to be some fight for me now on December 22 and it is one I am looking forward to as well,” said Heffron of the explosive match-up. “It is definitely a bigger fight than I had lined up before and it is one that will move me onto massive titles afterwards.

“Credit to Williams for stepping up when nobody else wanted to and he is also coming up from light middleweight. Give him his due for that.

“He is a big light middle though with a big back and very strong, so there shouldn’t be much between us when it comes to size.

“It is a fight that has got thriller written all over it and the idea of hitting and not getting hit will go out of the window fairly quickly.

“Of course I am looking to put it right for Ronnie – there is nothing wrong with a bit of revenge!”

Like Heffron, Williams believes he now faces a greater challenge than he was previously anticipating.

“One hundred per cent it is a bigger fight than I had lined up before – it is a cracking fight,” said the Welshman known as the ‘Machine’.

“What can I say other than it excites me. It gives me the chance to prove myself at the weight above as well and I should say that I am not being forced to move up because I can make light middle and will still make it.

“It is just an opportunity that has come to me because that bottle-job Metcalf pulled out again.

“Listen, I respect Mark Heffron, he is a quality fighter who can punch and box. I believe I can beat him and if I didn’t I wouldn’t have taken this fight and moved up a weight to take it.

“It will be a war and an incredible punch-up.”
 
IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. Mark Heffron will now fight WBO Interim world title challenger Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) will also feature on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

In another middleweight addition, 7-0-1 Darlington Middleweight Troy ‘Trojan’ Williamson has also been added to the show after his thrilling draw with Jack Flatley earlier this year.


Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester-Arena.com

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WARRINGTON SEES WEAKNESSES IN VALDEZ


JOSH WARRINGTON is dreaming of hitting the boxing jackpot in Las Vegas so his friends can have a week of partying.

The Leeds hero defends his IBF World Featherweight title against Belfast’s Carl Frampton (26-1) at Manchester Arena on December 22.

Promoter Frank Warren is lining up a unification fight next year against WBO champion Oscar Valdez for the winner.

If Warrington wins his first defence next month he wants it to take place in America. Warrington (27-0) is a huge ticket seller and would take thousands of fans if he boxed in the world’s boxing capital.

He said: “I would like to go to the United States – that gets me excited!

“It is for all my fans. After I beat Lee Selby, they were all asking me; ‘When is Las Vegas happening?’ They want an away day and an excuse to take a holiday..

“My boxing bucket list is unifying the division and to box there like a lot of the great fighters have.

“When I went to watch Carl fight Leo Santa Cruz in their Las Vegas rematch I made it my intention then that I wanted to fight there.”

Valdez says he wants the Warrington/Frampton winner and his promoter Bob Arum has discussed the clash with Warren, who promotes both boxers.

Warrington, 27, added: “Valdez is very exciting, a helluva talent, likes a scrap, known how to get guys out when they’re hurt but at the same time I have seen weaknesses.

“He gets caught pretty clean and sometimes uses his chin as his defence. He has beaten good names though and I wouldn’t take any credit away from him.

“Right now all I’m thinking of is Carl, and I’m sure he is thinking of me more than Valdez or any boxer.”

Warrington is still young enough to take his time in cleaning up the Featherweight division, but is in a rush to secure his legacy.

“When there is a chance to fight another champion you are going to grab that opportunity with both hands,”

he explained. “I am reaching my peak years. I’m fresh, I’m hungry, I’m determined. When you have momentum and confidence in yourself go for the big ones.

“Some fighters look at it like they have a chance to pad out their record and get some paydays under their belt.

“It is a short career and I don’t want to be boxing forever. If I can get the big fights one after the other I will take them.

“In my mid-career I was headlining Leeds Arena and I wasn’t fighting big names, but I was building myself up.

“Now it is the time to get big fights and all I want to do is be involved in them.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office.

JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.Tickets available via Manchester-Arena.com

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CONLAN EYES FUTURE WARRINGTON CLASH


MICHAEL CONLAN has two jobs in one night next month – making it a perfect ten as a professional and gathering some intelligence on possible future opponent, Josh Warrington.Conlan (9-0) boxes on the undercard when Warrington (27-0) risks his IBF Featherweight crown against Carl Frampton (26-1) at Manchester Arena on December 22.

Belfast’s Conlan is widely expected to fight for a world title inside 18 months, but it won’t be against Frampton because they are close friends.

Warrington is in his firing line.Conlan said: “A fight against Josh is something I can see happening and it is going to be some fight between him and Carl.

“Another reason that I’m intrigued in the fight is that it’s a scouting mission for me.

“Win or lose, I would love to face Josh Warrington in the future. Carl and myself are friends so that won’t happen, but I am definitely keeping an eye on Josh.

“If Josh loses he is still going to come again because he is young enough, hungry, determined, fit and would have the ability to become world champion again if he loses.”

Conlan’s promoters Top Rank are steadily moving him up in class and by this time next year he’s likely to be fighting top operators like Warrington.
The 2015 world amateur champion added: “I would feel confident even though I rate Josh as a fighter. His style is one I love to face and one that brings out the best in my style of boxing.

“He is the same age range as me, has the ability to win more world titles and someone I watch.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office.

JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.Tickets available via Manchester-Arena.com

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HEFFRON: COME FIGHT WITH ME!


MARK HEFFRON ADMITS to being a little bemused over the apparent lack of enthusiasm amongst his middleweight rivals to step up and contest the British title against him.

The unbeaten knockout artist worked his way into mandatory position for a shot at the belt with a string of impressive victories and he was all set to take on the champion, Jason Welborn, who was fresh of a double over Tommy Langford.

The Manchester match-up was then aborted after purse bids had been won for Heffron to challenge for the title on the big Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton card on December 22.

It transpired that Welborn had understandably accepted a world title opportunity on December 1 against Jarrett Hurd on the undercard of Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury, but the development was still a blow to the ambitious Heffron.

“I was pretty gutted that Welborn vacated the title, but obviously he has got a big opportunity,” said the 21-0 man known as ‘Kid Dynamite’. “I knew straight away that he had vacated to fight for the world title because my manager rang me, but I was still gutted although I understand it.

“I’m not really bothered that I won’t be fighting a champion, I just want to fight for the British and it doesn’t matter who I am fighting – as long as I win!”

Heffron will still fight for the coveted Lonsdale belt at the Manchester Arena if a contender steps up to the plate and accepts the challenge. However, at the moment, willing volunteers are not queuing up around the corner.

“We’ve had a few names thrown at us to fight for the vacant title and every name we have said yes to, but the people it has been offered to have come back and said they don’t want the fight, so it is a bit hard work at the minute.

“I can’t understand it, can I ‘eck, because if someone offered me the chance to fight for the British title I would grab it with both hands, which I obviously have done anyway.

“Reece Cartwright got offered it and then came back not wanting it, but I don’t know for what reason, while I think Tommy Langford was asked and he is moving up a weight.

“It has now got back to me about Conrad Cummings as well and he has not taken it either. I think he has got something else going on.

“I just need somebody to come forward and take the fight now.

“After that, Elliott Matthews is fighting for the Commonwealth soon, so if he wins that and I win the British then we can get it on next for both.”
 
IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office. JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester-Arena.com

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CONLAN FEARS FOR BOXING’S OLYMPIC FUTURE


MICHAEL CONLAN has spoken of his concern for the future of amateur boxing if the sport is expelled from the 2020 Olympics.The Belfast Featherweight prospect was involved in one of Olympic boxing’s biggest ever controversies at the 2016 Rio Games.

He was tipped to win 56kg gold, but was the victim of a points defeat against Russian Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-finals when he looked a clear winner.

Conlan famously gave a middle finger salute to AIBA judges officiating and then turned pro with American powerhouse promoters Top Rank.Conlan (9-0) is on a collision course to face Nikitin next year, but is in action at Manchester Arena on December 22 when his friend Carl Frampton challenges IBF Featherweight champion Josh Warrington, live on BT Sport Box Office.

A row has broken out over the governance of the amateur sport putting its Olympic future under threat and fears have risen after Gafur Rakhimov was elected AIBA President.Conlan, 26, said: “Boxing is en-route to being kicked out of the Olympics which is very, very unfortunate and something I would not like to see.

“I think Olympic boxing is the main reason so many boxers stay amateur. The only reason I stayed amateur for so long is because I wanted to be an Olympic champion.

“If boxing get kicked out it will be really unfortunate and you will see a lot of young amateurs turn professional.

“The only people I am sorry for is the boxers who are going to miss out on a chance to become an Olympic champion and experience that.

“I feel bad for them because they have the Olympic dream and want to be successful.

“If they can’t get a chance of going to the Olympics there is no point in staying amateur in my opinion.

”Boxing has taken place at every Olympics since 1904, apart from Stockholm eight years later because boxing was banned in Sweden.Conlan is still clinging to feint hope, adding:

“I know it doesn’t look like there will be Olympic boxing, but for some reason I think it will stay.”

IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington takes on former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd live on BT Sport Box Office.

JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). Tickets are priced at £50 Upper Tier, £80 Tier, £100 Tier, £150 Tier, £200 Floor/Tier, £300 Floor, £400 Floor, £600 Inner Ring VIP Hospitality and are available.

Tickets available via Manchester-Arena.com

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