Rising talents Kelly, Cordina and Benn star on April 20 card
Dave Allen faces the biggest night of his career when he takes on former WBA World Champion Lucas Browne on a huge evening of Heavyweight action at The O2 in London on April 20, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US, that sees Finchley bad boy Derek Chisora return to the ring against Senad Gashi after his FOTY contender with Dillian Whyte in December.
‘White Rhino’ is in the form of his life after notching successive stoppage wins over Nick Webb, Samir Nebo and Ariel Esteban Bracamonte in the second half of 2018. The Doncaster fans’ favourite rich vein of form began with a “life-changing” fourth round knockout win against Webb at The O2 in July and he hopes to make it three KO’s from three fights at the Greenwich venue next month.
Browne returns to the scene of his sole career loss to Dillian Whyte determined to redeem himself with a big knockout win over cult hero Allen. Since that loss the 28-1 Australian, who’s career-best win came against Ruslan Chagaev in 2016, has bounced back with three wins and he believes another victory on April 20 will fire his name back into the World mix.
“I have never trained so hard in my life,” said Allen. “I’m going to knock Browne spark out, I hit too hard for him. Even though there’s no animosity in the build-up, I want to punch him all over The O2 in to row Z.
“Lucas Browne isn’t the Lucas Browne who beat Chagaev, he’s a faded force. That being said he’s still very dangerous, he does have that power, but this fight is perfect for me. He’s a former World Heavyweight Champion. A win here puts me on the big stage, not the highest level, but within touching distance of a fight that would then put me there.
“To be at the top of the bill at The O2 means loads, the support is something special. I’m unbeaten at The O2 with two huge knockouts and I’m very confident in making it a treble.”
“I’m eager to redeem myself at The O2 and will be coming for a knockout,” said Browne. “I’m a fan of Dave, I have nothing bad to say about him and I’m looking forward to a good old-fashioned brawl on April 20. This is the fight for me to showcase who and what I am to the masses. It’s a blockbuster fight and I know Dave is a big crowd favourite but that will drive me on to silence the fans.
“I’m at the stage in my career where I need to be 100% serious, I’m getting too old to play around. The loss to Whyte was the kick in the butt that I needed and since then I’ve changed my promoter, team, training and general approach to boxing.”
Former World title challenger Chisora came sensationally close to beating Whyte in December. Going into the eleventh round of an exhilarating and brutal fight, Chisora was ahead on two of the judges’ scorecards only to be caught by a devastating left hook.
Having recently teamed up with highly-respected trainer Dave Coldwell, Chisora is feeling refreshed, revitalised and ready to take on any challenges in 2019.
“Six weeks ‘til I go back to WAR and boy I can’t wait!” said Chisora. “On Saturday 20th April I will be stepping into the ring at The O2 with fire in my soul, I have a point to prove and mission to continue!
“Parker b*tched out, he must have taken too many laxatives and sh*t himself. He wasn’t ready for the battle, he reckons he needed more time. Gashi has shown he is a true fighter, he is always ready to go to war when called. He showed this in December when he stepped in the ring with Takam on just one week’s notice and gave him a real fight. I’m not stupid, I know with six weeks’ notice in April Gashi will be a different animal.
“He is a wild horse, a loose cannon, he is coming to win but trust me, he won’t hear the final bell. I’m ready, we’ve stepped things up a gear working hard with Dave Coldwell. April 20th WAR Chisora will be back in London to show the Heavyweight division exactly why retirement wasn’t an option.”
Some of the best up-and-coming talent Britain has to offer get the chance to showcase their skills to the masses once again as Sunderland’s ‘Pretty Boy’ Josh Kelly takes on the toughest opponent of his career to date in the form of unbeaten 17-0 Pole Przemyslaw Runowski.
Cardiff’s ‘Welsh Wizard’ Joe Cordina picked up the Commonwealth Lightweight crown in his last outing against Sean Dodd and he steps up again on April 20 to take on Barnsley ‘KO Kid’ Andy Townend for the vacant Lord Lonsdale belt.
Ilford Welterweight Conor Benn makes his long-awaited return to the ring following a hand injury that kept him out of action since his first title win over Cedrick Peynaud in July, and ‘The Destroyer’ in promising another explosive performance as he looks to pick up where he left off.
“Runowski’s a solid opponent, unbeaten for a reason,” said Kelly. “They breed them tough in Eastern Europe but I’m ready to dismantle him and put on a show for everyone in the crowd and watching at home. It excites me every time I step through the ropes. This year is going to be massive if everything goes to plan. I’ve got to keep my feet firmly on the ground, continue to work and get the results.”
“I’m excited to be back at The O2 for this big Heavyweight double-header,” said Eddie Hearn. “Dave Allen has become a cult hero over the last year but this time he is in deep against former WBA World Champion Lucas Browne. Browne, who lost to Dillian Whyte at the same venue just under a year ago, has bounced back with three wins since and is looking for a shot at one of the big boys. For Dave, this is a dream chance to catapult himself into the big time in a vibrant Heavyweight market.
“Chisora returns after his FOTY contender with Dillian Whyte in December against the tough Senad Gashi. Gashi went to war with Takam in December on less than a week’s notice and this time he will be fully prepared in what I believe will be a very tough fight. One of the world’s biggest young talents Josh Kelly defends his WBA title against unbeaten Pole Przemyslaw Runowski and fellow Olympian Joe Cordina will challenge Andy Townend for the vacant British Lightweight title. Unbeaten 147lb star Conor Benn also returns to action following a hand injury as he hunts major domestic titles in 2019.”
David Haye of Hayemaker Promotions said: “On Saturday 20th April Hayemaker Promotions are excited to be back at The O2, the home of British Boxing. Once again working in partnership with Matchroom Boxing, we are looking forward to bringing fight fans an electric night of boxing with showreel knockout endings!
“Derek ‘WAR’ Chisora will be back, on a mission to show the fans exactly what he has in his armoury under new Head Trainer Dave Coldwell. Former WBA World Champion Lucas Browne is set to go toe-to-toe with Dave ‘White Rhino’ Allen and future World Welterweight Champion Josh Kelly is also ready to set the ring alight.”
Eddie Hearn: “Dillian Whyte’s career is on a ferocious upward curve right now, and the ‘Body Snatcher’ has grasped the chance to fight former World champion Joseph Parker with both hands.
“Dillian could easily have sat back and waited for his shot at WBC king Deontay Wilder, but the Brixton man is not one to wait patiently in line. Behind Wilder and Anthony Joshua, Dillian is the biggest name in the division and he’s top of the ‘who needs him’ club at Heavyweight as a dangerous customer that can beat anyone on his day.
“Joseph is a softly spoken and likeable man – but make no mistake that in the ring, he’s all business and has bad intentions for Dillian – this is a real 50-50 contest and I’ve no doubt that the winner will be in World title action very soon.”
Dillian Whyte: “Joseph is a fighting man, that’s his heritage, but he’s short of options. He could have gone to USA to fight Bryant Jennings for a small purse and no attention or come to the UK in front of a sell-out crowd and get better pay and a more prestigious fight.
“He’s motivated – he knows beating me gets him close to another shot at AJ, so that’s what makes him dangerous: “if I do Dillian, I’m back in the big time again” – but he’s got to get past me first.
“For me, it’s progressing my career. You have to have consistency and be active, keep fighting, go through training camps. It doesn’t matter how small the progress is, as long as you keep progressing then you will improve and grow. I’m getting better, stronger, smarter… I’m like a fine wine in the cellar, ageing, maturing and tasting sweeter.
Joseph Parker: “We had options on the table and Dillian had a fight with Pulev lined up. Credit to David Higgins and Eddie Hearn, they did a tremendous job in locking the fight in really fast. When you have two fighters that want to fight each other that makes it easier for the business men.
“David is a great promoter and he looks after me, he’s done a tremendous job getting me yet another great fight. It was important to get back in the ring in another big fight straight away.
Dillian is on the cusp of fighting for a World title and beating him would put me right back at that top table.
“I haven’t seen the best of me yet, there’s a lot more to come. It’s a case of getting more experience, learning in the gym and working on my craft, making improvements gradually.
“There won’t be any excuses from me. I’m here to do damage and I’m here to punch with bad intentions. I’m going to break him down and he’s going to take a lot of punches. He’s been talking a lot of smack in the build up and I believe that is a sign of self doubt. I hope he’s ready to take a lot of punches because I’m going to give it to him real bad. He thinks I can’t go to war, lets wait and see.”
Katie Taylor: “Kimberly is my mandatory challenger and I cannot wait to get in there and showcase my skills again, hopefully with an impressive performance.
“I have big dreams and big goals. I would love to become the undisputed champion. There’s two more belts to go and I’m very, very hungry for them.
“I have the WBA and IBF belt but that’s only the start for me. I hope to be the undisputed champion soon and the next few months are going to be really exciting for me.”
Kimberly Connor: “This is a whole new World for me coming over here and being involved in such a huge show. Katie has accomplished a lot and I have huge respect for her. I’m really looking forward to fighting her. I’m the massive underdog in this fight and I’m coming to take those belts home with me.”
Carlos Takam: “I’m very glad to be back here in the UK. When I was offered the fight against Dereck I immediately accepted it. Dereck is as tough as they come and I’m prepared for a tough night.”
Dereck Chisora: “Carlos took AJ rounds, he’s a tough guy so this is no walk in the park – it’s a marathon. He goes rounds with good fighters so I know that I’ve got 12 rounds ahead of me. They asked for this at the beginning of the year but there was no right slot for it at that time.
“I know it’s going to be a long night, there’s no two ways about it. I didn’t learn anything from his AJ fight as he was fighting a different game than he’ll bring tonight, I just want him to be in front of me so we can have a good time.
Nick Webb: “I’m really excited about this weekend and doing the job. It’s a great opportunity for me to progress towards the British title. I’m going to break him down and finish him.
“Everyone knows Dave and everyone loves him, I like him too, but this is business and I’m going to show him what I’m all about.
“We are competitors and I’m there to take him out. The fight has come out of nowhere a bit but I’ve always wanted the fight. We’ve always traded words over social media so it’s good to finally get him in the ring.”
Dave Allen: “Eddie offered Joe Joyce to fight Nick. Then my name was mentioned in an interview if that was off so I sent Eddie a message straight away.
“Who wouldn’t want to be part of another big PPV show? I’ve been involved in a few now and I couldn’t say no when I knew there was an option to fight on this card.
“Win, lose or draw this is going to be my last fight for a while. People might say that’s not the best thing to say before a big fight, but it’ll help drive that extra 10 per cent out of me. I’ve been in some good, hard fights in recent years and I think it’s time to rest up and revitalise myself.
Conor Benn: “I’m ready for this fight. This is almost like a hindrance on my career, I know I’ll beat him on my worst day. Nothing was right for me that night or lead up to that first fight.
“I was jetlagged coming back from New York. I didn’t think I was going to fight when I come back – I thought the year was done so my weight wasn’t too great and my face suffered an allergic reaction out there as well.
“I need to prove that I’m a level above my opponent here. I’m ready to box. I know I can box and I’m ready to have it and entertain the British public.”
Anthony Fowler: “I’m the hungriest that I’ve ever been. I’m fighting an ambitious 8-0 prospect in Craig O’Brien who won’t want to lose his unbeaten record. These are the kind of fights that I want to be involved in at this stage of my career. This is the fight where everyone is going to see what I’m really about.
“It’s great to be fighting on another Dillian Whyte undercard. I put on a good show last time out at The O2 and I’ll be looking to do the same tonight. This is the biggest test of my pro career to date and I’m ready to go to war if I have to.
“The plan is to keep on winning and to fight for a belt towards the end of the year. I haven’t got a specific title in mind, I just want a belt wrapped around my waist by the end of 2018.”
Joshua Buatsi: “I’m excited to be fighting for my first pro title. Knowing that a belt is on the line has helped fuel the hours and hours of hard work that I have been putting in to my training.
“I really thrive when I fight at The O2 and I’m looking to turn it into my Lion’s Den. I love fighting here and I’m going to put on a memorable performance for all of my fans.
“My team have the experience and the knowledge to guide my career and to make the correct decisions which allows me to prepare and continue to improve.”
Nick Webb has accused his old amateur rival Joe Joyce of ‘bottling’ the chance to face him on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s Heavyweight clash with Joseph Parker at The O2 in London this Saturday.
Promoter Eddie Hearn had planned on setting up a Commonwealth Heavyweight title fight between Champion Joyce and unbeaten challenger Webb but the Olympic Super-Heavyweight silver medallist took to his Twitter account last week to explain that he would not be fighting on the July 28 show.
Webb, 30, immediately accepted the opportunity to fight for his first pro title but was left bitterly disappointed by the ‘Juggernaut’s’ statement. The Chertsey man is hopeful that the fight can be made in September if he comes through his British title eliminator with Dave Allen.
“Joe has been very vocal in calling out the likes of Jarrell Miller and Bryant Jennings but he bottled it when he was offered the fight with me,” said Webb. “If you want to be mentioned with the top Heavyweights in the division then you can’t be turning down fights against little old me.
“He said that he’ll fight any Heavyweight in the World, ‘let alone Nick Webb’, but that clearly isn’t true. Yes, he is in the process of changing trainers but if he is as good as he tells everyone he is then he should be able to get past me without one in his corner.
“Joe beat me in the amateurs and I’d love an opportunity to get my payback. All of my focus in on Dave Allen this Saturday but when I get through him hopefully me and Joe can get it on in September on the Joshua vs. Povetkin undercard at Wembley, that would be amazing.
“I’ve come a long way since my amateur days and I’d prove that by becoming the first man to beat Joe in his pro career and taking his Commonwealth belt home with me before marching on to the British title.”
Webb vs. Allen is part of a huge night of boxing at The O2 topped by the crunch Heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and former WBO ruler Joseph Parker, former Heavyweight World title challengers Dereck Chisora and Carlos Takam square-off for the WBA International title in a must-win match up, Katie Taylor continues her quest to unify the Lightweight division when she defends her WBA and IBF titles against mandatory challenger Kimberly Connor, Joshua Buatsi goes for his first pro title when he fights Andrejs Pokumeiko for the WBA International Light-Heavyweight crown, Conor Benn fights for his first pro title in the WBA Continental Welterweight strap when he rematches Frenchman Cedrick Peynaud after their epic first encounter at York Hall and unbeaten Super-Welterweights Anthony Fowler and Craig O’Brien put their 0’s on the line.
The blockbuster Heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker has now officially sold out after final production holds were released this week.
Whyte and Parker collide for the WBC Silver and WBO International Heavyweight crowns this Saturday at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
‘The Body Snatcher’ is on the cusp of World title action after destroying Lucas Browne with a devastating sixth round KO in London in March to defend the WBC Silver title and number one ranking he’d landed by beating Robert Helenius in Cardiff in October.
Parker is back in the UK after fighting in the Welsh capital in an historic unification battle with Anthony Joshua in March, with Whyte’s old foe handing a first career defeat for the New Zealand star on points.
A stacked undercard features former Heavyweight World title challengers Dereck Chisora and Carlos Takam squaring-off for the WBA International title in a must-win match up. Katie Taylor, the biggest name in women’s boxing, continues her quest to unify the Lightweight division when she defends her WBA and IBF titles against mandatory challenger Kimberly Connor.
Undefeated Heavyweight Nick Webb puts it all on the line when he takes on popular Doncaster man Dave Allen in an Eliminator for the British title and Joshua Buatsi goes for his first pro title when he fights Andrejs Pokumeiko for the WBA International Light-Heavyweight strap.
Conor Benn fights for his first pro title in the WBA Continental Welterweight strap when he rematches Frenchman Cedrick Peynaud after their epic first encounter at York Hall and unbeaten Super-Welterweights Anthony Fowler and Craig O’Brien put their 0’s on the line.
“This is a hugely important clash for the Heavyweight division that has captured the imagination of the public,” said Promoter Eddie Hearn. “Dillian Whyte’s career is on a ferocious upward curve right now and his popularity is continuing to grow.
“Dillian’s brutal KO of Australian Lucas Browne at The O2 in March underlined that prowess at the top level and now another visitor from down under is here to try to halt Dillian’s rise to the top.
“Joseph Parker is a softly spoken and likeable man – but make no mistake that in the ring, he’s all business and has bad intentions for Dillian – this is a real 50-50 contest and I’ve no doubt that the winner will be in World title action very soon.”
Conor Benn will fight for his first pro title when he takes on Cedrick Peynaud for the Vacant WBA Continental Welterweight Championship this Saturday (July 28) at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Benn has vowed to take out the Frenchman in style as the rivals meet in an eagerly-anticipated rematch after their epic first encounter.
‘The Destroyer’ and Peynaud clashed at York Hall in December, and their six-round tear-up was one of the fights of the year to heat up the famous east end home of boxing.
He has moved to 12-0 since that clash, making Chris Truman his ninth victim to fall inside the distance, and he wants to make Peynaud number 10 as he aims to close this chapter of his career in emphatic fashion.
“I’m ready for this fight,” said Benn. “This is almost like a hindrance on my career, I know I’ll beat him on my worst day. Nothing was right for me that night or lead up to that first fight.
“The doors are opening, it’s been a long journey but we’re moving forward. I have visualised this fight every single day since the first. My Dad’s coming back over for this – forget the relationship, he’s a living boxing legend. To have that in my corner is a huge help.
“There’s some big fights out there for me including various potential opponents also on the Matchroom stable. The British public would love to see these come off, I’m not scared of anyone.
“You’ll have noticed I am not on social media as much these days. It’s time to get serious. One things for sure, no one has ever seen a boring Conor Benn fight. I thrive off the fight night and love to entertain the fans.
“It’s going to be another destructive knockout on the Frenchman. We’re back at The O2, which has been a happy hunting ground for me. Then it’s onwards and upwards.”
Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker tops a huge night of action at The O2 – Whyte takes on the former WBO ruler for the WBC Silver and Vacant WBO International Heavyweight crowns, former Heavyweight World title challengers Dereck Chisora and Carlos Takam clash for the WBA International Heavyweight belt in a must-win match up, undefeated Heavyweight Nick Webb squares off with Dave Allen in an Eliminator for the British title, Joshua Buatsi goes for his first pro title when he fights Andrejs Pokumeiko for the Vacant WBA International Light-Heavyweight strap, Katie Taylor defends her WBA and IBF World Lightweight titles against Kimberly Connor and unbeaten Super-Welterweights Anthony Fowler and Craig O’Brien meet over eight rounds
Face value tickets for July 28 are available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.
Undefeated Heavyweight Nick Webb will take on Dave Allen in an Eliminator for the British Heavyweight Championship at The O2 in London this Saturday (July 28), live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Webb was last in action in February and the hard-hitting Surrey man, with ten stoppages from 12 wins, is raring to get back under the lights and begin his raid on the stacked domestic Heavyweight scene by taking out Doncaster’s Allen.
“As soon as I saw Dave calling me out on Twitter I told my manager to get the fight made,” said Webb. “It has been made at short notice but I’m always in the gym and I’m always ready to fight. I’ve been out of the ring for a while now and I’m promising a big performance on Saturday.
“Dave is a fighting man and always takes it to his opponents so I’m expecting a war on Saturday. He’s as tough as they come but if I connect cleanly with anyone, it’s lights out for them. A win on such a huge platform against a popular fighter like Allen will really catapult my name to the top of the Heavyweight mix.
“Everyone knows Dave and everyone loves him, I like him too, but this is business and on Saturday I’ll show him what I’m all about. We are competitors and I’m there to take him out.”
Allen travelled to Paris to take on Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka in his most recent fight in June, ultimately coming up short after being stopped in the 10th and final round. The fan favourite has proved that he will take on anyone anywhere and is looking to halt Webb’s promising career in its tracks.
“I saw Eddie offered Joe Joyce to fight Nick Webb, then my name was mentioned in an interview if that was off so I sent Eddie a message straight away,” said Allen. “Who wouldn’t want to be part of another big PPV show? I’ve been involved in a few now and I couldn’t say no when I knew there was an option to fight on this card.
“He’s a big strong man who can punch with a good amateur pedigree. He seems a nice guy, this is nothing personal it’s just another big fight. He’ll be looking at this to kickstart his career on to the big scene. It’s an evenly matched fight but one I know I can win.
“Webb’s always in training, I follow him on social media so we’re on a level playing field with the short notice. If it comes down to who wants it more, there’s only one winner and that’s me. It’ll come down to a battle of strength, toughness and who takes the better shot and I think that’s me. I’ve got the experience going in to these big nights and that’ll make up for some of the attributes I may be lacking in.
“Win, lose or draw this is going to be my last fight for a while. People might say that’s not the best thing to say before a big fight, but it’ll help drive that extra 10% out of me. I’ve been in some good, hard fights in recent years and I think it’s time to rest up and revitalise myself.”
Webb vs. Allen replaces Eggington vs. Cook after the Englishman suffered an injury in sparring.
Webb vs. Allen lands on the undercard of the highly-anticipated Heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and former WBO ruler Joseph Parker – with the WBC Silver and vacant WBO International belts on the line, former Heavyweight World title challengers Dereck Chisora and Carlos Takam clash for the WBA International Heavyweight belt in a must-win match up, Joshua Buatsi goes for his first pro title when he fights for the WBC International Light-Heavyweight crown, Katie Taylor defends her WBA and IBF World Lightweight titles against Kimberly Connor, Conor Benn and Cedric Peynaud rematch after their fight of the year brawl in 2017 and unbeaten Super-Welterweights Anthony Fowler and Craig O’Brien meet over eight rounds
Face value tickets for July 28 are available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ . StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.