MURRAY: I DON’T WANT THIS TO END


MARTIN MURRAY RELUCTANTLY concedes that it is a case of win or bust for him when he defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against the dangerous Hassan N’Dam on Saturday.

In what should be a compelling contest at the Manchester Arena, the 36-year-old four-time world title challenger bids to extend his winning run to five against former WBA Regular champion N’Dam and place himself in pole position for a fifth strike at world honours.

Should it not go his way against the 36-3 Frenchman, the final bell will likely call time on the career of the 37-4-1 stalwart from St Helens, who doesn’t see himself embarking on another lengthy rebuild when he has a young family to consider.

“It is the rebuild, working your way all the way back up again,” reasoned the 6ft middleweight. “I’ve got too much going on for that and my family is my main priority.

“I don’t hold it against boxing because the life we have got is because of boxing – my whole family know it. It does at some stage affect my family life and I won’t let it go on forever.

“So that is why I won’t rebuild again,” he confirmed, before relaying a tale of how a Christmas voyage on the high seas hit some turbulence due to fight scheduling.

“We booked a holiday 18 months ago – a cruise around Asia – and we go on December 20. I am now fighting on the 22nd, so now my wife, my kids, my mum fly over on the 20th, then I’ll fight and fly on the 23rd with my dad. We get to Vietnam on the 24th, but they will be at sea and don’t dock until the 25th so I am not going to see my kids until Christmas Day.

“They are the sacrifices I am making and, what I am saying is, with a loss for me I would not rebuild and do it all again.

“Some people are lucky to get one shot and I’ve had four. I believe that if I fight for another world title, no other British fighter will have done it. Frank Bruno and George Groves won it at four and nobody else has won it after five times.

“I know there will definitely not be a sixth and all I want to do is become world champion. I do really feel it is my destiny.”

Knowing that the book will be closed on his career should his arm not be raised aloft after his fight on BT Sport Box Office on Saturday night, Murray confesses is something that drives him harder in training to delay the reading of the final chapter.

“Of course it does, it helps with momentum and keeping young. I love going to the gym and the crack we have there. I love it when I feel fit and when I’ve got a big fight announced. I love everything about it – apart from the last two weeks when the dieting gets hard.

“I don’t want this to end, so it is keeping me focussed, although it (retirement) is there and I know it is going to happen. I don’t want it to end so I am training as hard as I can and as smart as I can as well.”

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). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Razvan Cojanu, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Billy Joe Saunders makes his return to the ring and Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

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

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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COJANU STEPS IN TO FIGHT GORMAN IN MANCHESTER

COJANU STEPS IN TO FIGHT GORMAN IN MANCHESTER
Razvan Cojanu will step in to take on Ricky Hatton-trained heavyweight prospect Nathan Gorman on December 22nd after the late pull-out of Gorman’s original opponent, Alex Leapai.

Romanian-born Cojanu was scheduled to fight Britain’s other big heavyweight prospect, Daniel Dubois this Saturday at the Brentwood Centre but due to illness, Dubois was forced to withdraw from the bout.

But fortunately for both fighters, Cojanu will now make his way up north next week and challenge Gorman at the Manchester Arena on December 22nd, live on BT Sport Box Office.

“I’m disappointed Leapai didn’t get on the plane. He’s given it some bad mouth which isn’t really my style, but in my world, if you are going to do that then you come and have a fight. Words are cheap, maybe he regretted his words knowing what was coming?” said Gorman.

He continued: “I thought it was going to be a big let down trying to get an opponent this late but at the very last minute, Daniel’s bad luck has proved well for me; that’s ironic really.

“I get to fight a guy who fought for a world title just last year and took Joseph Parker the distance, so he is a better opponent in many respects.

“He is here, he is in the country and I’m looking forward to putting on a show again at the Manchester Arena.”

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). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Razvan Cojanu, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Billy Joe Saunders makes his return to the ring and Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

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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BILLY JOE BACK ON HUGE WARRINGTON-FRAMPTON CARD


Billy Joe Saunders makes his long-awaited return to the ring next weekend (Dec 22) at the Manchester Arena after being added to the blockbuster bill topped by Josh Warrington defending his IBF world featherweight title against two-weight world champion Carl Frampton.

The year of 2018 has represented a period of enforced inactivity and injury frustration for the former WBO world middleweight champion, who relinquished the belt following the failure of the Massachusetts Commission to issue him a licence for his mandatory defence against Demetrius Andrade in Boston back in October.

Two scheduled defences against Martin Murray were both aborted due to injuries suffered by the champion, resulting in Saunders not building on the momentum of a hugely positive and busy end to 2017.

His last fight and perhaps his career-best performance to date came nearly a year ago when he travelled to Canada to put his title on the line against the big-hitting David Lemieux.

The Canadian was hardly given a look-in against Saunders at his slickest and a shutout scoreline was recorded on the card of one judge. Three months previously at the Copper Box, the Hatfield man – who trains in Sheffield under Dominic Ingle – widely outpointed Willie Monroe jr, who is set to fight Jermall Charlo for the WBC Interim world middleweight title on the same night as Saunders’ own return.

There is a strong middleweight theme running through the Manchester card, with a barnstorming clash scheduled between Mark Heffron and Liam Williams for the vacant British title, while Martin Murray, who is bidding to put himself firmly in the world title picture, takes on a tough assignment against Hassan N’Dam.

Now Saunders is added to the mix, where he will take on the experienced Hungarian Zoltan Sera in a bid to extend his perfect professional record of 26-0. Sera, 33, who has fought at light heavyweight in his last two fights, has recorded 22KOs from his 32 wins.

Despite his hopes of making a lucrative defence in Boston being dashed, Saunders has remained in training and will be looking to reclaim his world title property in 2019 after sharpening his highly-skilled tools against Sera in Manchester.
 
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). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

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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MOORE: BEATING SELBY WAS JOSH’S BIG NIGHT


JAMIE MOORE says that Josh Warrington will struggle to replicate his stunning performance when he took Lee Selby’s IBF World Featherweight title in May.Warrington (27-0) upset the Welshman and he is now the underdog again ahead of his first defence against Frampton (26-1) on Saturday December 22, live on BT Sport Box Office.

Frampton’s trainer Moore believes that was a once in a lifetime performance from Warrington in front of 25,000 fans at Elland Road, home of his beloved Leeds United.

“I think Lee Selby was probably his big night – I’ve got to be honest,” said Moore.

“Was Lee dead at the weight? No.  Absolutely not, because he wouldn’t have made it through 12 rounds. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like.

“Was he tight at the weight? Yes. But, a lot of fighters are tight at the weight. I don’t think you can take away from Josh’s performance by saying Lee was dead at the weight.

“I think Josh raised his game. That was the night he looked for in the whole of his boxing life. From being a kid he would have wanted to win a world title and hopefully had it at Elland Road.

“You can understand how he performed like that. But, Carl Frampton is a different level. To me, he is an elite level fighter.”

Moore is an admirer of Warrington, but when he breaks down their clash that many believe will be Fight of the Year he insists there is only one winner and doesn’t expect a 12 round distance contest.He added:

“Josh brings pace and work rate so we know Carl has to be on his game physically and he is on track.

“His jab, his judgement of range and distance. You can’t just go in there and out work someone who has got the skill set of Carl.

“It takes a lot more than that. You have to set those sort of things up and Carl is very good at stopping an opponent in their tracks or anticipating what they’re gonna do.

“His feet are nice. He has got an unorthodox defence so he’s not a typical hands up, fast feet boxer. He dips, rolls and slides and has an odd rhythm.

“Even though I know it will be competitive in fights like this where the styles are going to gel well, the better fighter with the skill set usually wins.

“Josh will be surprised how hard Carl hits. Since Carl moved up to featherweight people think he is not a puncher, but going in with the opponents he has been in with you can understand why he goes the distance.

“I am not giving away clues for the game plan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Carl gets him out of there.

“It won’t be early because I think Josh has got a good set of whiskers, but I think it will be a case of  breaking him down slowly and later on Carl will get to him.

“The way Carl’s performing, the mindset he’s in, the form he’s in – I can’t see anything but a big Carl Frampton win.”

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). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai, while Martin Murray defends his WBC Silver middleweight title against Hassan N’Dam. Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

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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MURRAY: “I THINK PEOPLE WANT TO SEE ME RETIRE MORE THAN I DO! I AM A SURVIVOR!”


THE WELL USED label of ‘crossroads fight’ is one that is familiar to Martin Murray, more than most.

The particular piece of boxing terminology was again being bandied about in his direction when his potential barnstormer against Hassan N’Dam was announced for the Manchester Arena on December 22 in support of his stablemate, Carl Frampton, challenging for the IBF world featherweight title held by Josh Warrington.

Middleweight Murray now uses the mere mention of retirement as motivation to keep on winning. He is not having one last one for the road because the 36-year-old still firmly believes he has got a world title win in him.

However, if he were to lose another fight, he will call it quits and that has been the case since he suffered a points reverse to George Groves in June 2016.

“I know how important it is to win anyway, but I think people want to see me retire!” quipped the four-time world title challenger.

“The stakes are high and I think people do want to see me retire more than I do because it gets thrown in my face all the time.

“I’m a survivor. I’ve just been surviving and surviving and it always seems to be one loss and I will be retired. I’ve had that, well, since the Groves fight and I’ve not lost since.”

Despite being one loss away from collecting his punching pension, the force of Murray is showing no signs of diminishing and he demonstrated that he remains in the belt collecting business with the hard-fought victory over Roberto Garcia for the WBC Silver title last time out in June.

“I’m feeling great, you know, really good. I am one loss away from retirement, although I don’t want to retire, I know it is one loss away. So I am focusing, training hard and really enjoying the work at the minute.

“I keep getting the crossroads fight thing thrown at me by people. A really good mate of mine, a couple of months ago, said to me that after the Groves loss he never thought I would still be here.
“Everybody wrote me off after Groves, but I have just survived, scrapped and scraped – and I am still here.

“I am in a tough fight now, a meaningful fight and I am just focused on getting a win against a good live opponent.”
 
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). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai. Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy Fury also makes his professional debut.

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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WARRINGTON: THE TIME IS RIGHT


Josh Warrington believes boxers have an obligation to boxing fans to make the right fights at the right time, which is why he is readying himself to take on Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena on December 22.

The Leeds Warrior points out that some fights have been left in the file marked ‘pending’ for too long and can lose their appeal as a result of the delay.

There is no danger of Warrington falling into that trap, what with signing up to face two-weight world champion Frampton for a first defence of IBF world featherweight title he won in May from Lee Selby.

“Even when the fight was first talked about a couple of my pals said I should just have a steady defence,” recalled the unbeaten Warrington, who swiftly rejected the suggestion. “The way I responded was to say there isn’t an easy defence at world level and if you think there is you are maybe taking your eye off the ball.

“Secondly, I want these fights to happen because I want to prove I am the best and I want to be No.1 – I am ranked No.2 behind Carl and I want to be first because this is my year.

“Frank (Warren) said this fight should happen this year, but we weren’t under pressure to do so. The fight could’ve happened next year in a big stadium showdown, but there is the risk of a fighter getting injured and prolonging that or the dates not matching, or a fighter getting beaten.

“We are at a high level and one punch can change a fight, so get the fights going now because it is what the boxing public want to see.

“That is why the sport it booming again because fights are getting made that people want to see. When fighters dig their heels in, like Kell Brook and Amir Khan, a fight loses its gloss.

“A few years ago that would have been exciting, but not so much now. People might still want to see it, but is it going to be the same fight?

“Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather boxed a few years too late, but we are both in our prime now, so why not get the fight happening and we are doing so now.

“We want to prove who is the best and I think that is how it should be.”

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). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai.

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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HEFFRON SPARRING LIAM SMITH, GETTING INSIDE TRACK ON LIAM WILLIAMS


MARK HEFFRON HAS locked horns in training with an informative ally as he prepares to challenge for the vacant British middleweight title against Liam Williams at the Manchester Arena on December 22.

Heffron, 21-0, last week received the welcome news that he would still be competing for the coveted Lonsdale belt against Williams, who is jumping up to 160lbs for a fight that has caused a big stir in the boxing fraternity and one of many that could potentially steal the show on the epic Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton card, live on BT Box Office.

The knockout artist from Oldham – also known as ‘Kid Dynamite’ – is now in possession of some useful inside knowledge on the workings of his opponent, otherwise known as ‘The Machine’.

Because, he shared a ring on Monday with none other than Williams’ nemesis Liam Smith, who has experienced two ultimately successful encounters with the Welshman.

“It was good, man, and I got a good solid eight rounds in with Liam where my fitness was mint,” reported the 27-year-old. “I would say I am ahead of where I thought I would be at this point.

“Yeah he has been telling me loads of things, Liam, just loads. I’ve been taking it all in when he is telling me what Liam Williams is good and bad at.

“I won’t say what, but I have picked up loads of little things myself from watching him too. So with Liam Smith telling me lots of points too I would say everything is going to plan up to now.

“I am looking forward to it,” added the WBC International title holder, who is happy that the British title remains on the line for a fight he considers to be of far greater magnitude than the one he was originally mandated for.

“I’m buzzing, Liam Williams is a big light middleweight anyway and it is a big name for me when I beat him.

“I am still getting to fight for the British and at this level I will beat them all.

“I am even more happy that it is against Liam because he is a massive name for me, much more so than Jason Welborn, and he will bring the best out in me.

“It is a much bigger fight.”
 
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). At heavyweight, Nathan Gorman takes a step up in class against former world title challenger Alex Leapai.

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 feature.


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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MURRAY-N’DAM ADDED TO MASSIVE MANCHESTER CARD


Martin Murray will face former world champion Hassan N’Dam as part of a massive night of boxing at the Manchester Arena on December 22, headlined by Josh Warrington defending his IBF world featherweight title against two-weight world champion Carl Frampton.

Murray, 37-4-1, is building towards another world title challenge, with his only career reverses having come in three previous bids – with one drawn – and against former WBA world champion George Groves.

The St Helens warrior put himself firmly in position for a tilt at the WBC title with the winning of the governing body’s Silver middleweight belt in June by defeating the champion Roberto Garcia via a unanimous decision over 12 rounds at the 02 Arena.

He is now up against a dangerous opponent in N’Dam, 36-3, who has operated at world level since winning the WBA Interim world title with a points victory over Avtandil Khurtsidze in 2010.

His winning streak continued with wins over Giovanni Lorenzo and Max Bursak – before he lost on points to Peter Quillin in 2012 with the WBO world middleweight title at stake.

The Frenchman rebuilt with four victories across 2013-14, with the fourth being a landslide points win over Curtis Stevens that qualified him for a shot at the IBF world title. A thrilling encounter with David Lemieux followed with the Canadian prevailing via the scorecards, with N’Dam showing huge bravery after being put to the canvas on four occasions by the heavy-hitting Lemieux.

A further four wins followed for the now 34-year-old before he headed to Japan in May 2017 to face London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Ryōta Murata for the vacant WBA regular world title, which he won via a controversial split decision.

The pair rematched five months later, again on Japanese soil, where N’Dam was forced into retirement in the seventh round.

“He is obviously a good opponent and I have known about him for a while,” reacted Murray to the news of a tough night’s work being booked for him at the Manchester Arena. “He is a former world champion and a good fighter.
“It’s a good fight for me, one where I need to be on top of my game because he can box, he can move and he can fight as well. I am happy with it.

“I don’t want to be fighting in six or eight rounders against opponents who I am going to get out in two or three rounds. I need proper live opponents and this guy is one – and he will be coming to win.

“It is just the sort of fight I need.

“I am creeping my way back up there. It has been a slow rebuilding process from the Groves loss for me, but I am keeping myself afloat now and a win against this guy will keep me in the mix.”

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). In a step up, Nathan Gorman puts his undefeated record and WBC International Silver Heavyweight Title on the line against former World Title challenger Alex Leapai.

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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