RIAKPORHE VS. MASSEY WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER

17:00 DOORS 
17:15 FIRST BELL

 
4 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight
IBRAHIM NADIM 8st 10lbs 15oz v MISAEL ZELEDON 9st 2lbs 2oz
(Keighley)                                         (Spain)
 
4 x 3 mins Heavyweight
FRANKLIN IGNATIUS 16st 1lbs 3oz v HRVOJE BOZINOVIC 15st 2lbs 12oz
(London)                                                (Croatia)
 
18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK
 
4 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight contest
MALIK KAREEM 12st 2lbs 3oz v BEN THOMAS 12st 1lb 13oz
(London)                                        (Bolton)
 
6 x 2 mins Bantamweight contest
SHANNON COURTENAY 8st 11lbs 8oz v BUCHRA EL QUAISSI 8st 7lbs 4oz
(Watford)                                                       (Spain)
 
19:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
 
10 x 3 mins WBO Global Welterweight Title
LUTHER CLAY 10st 6lbs 10oz v FREDDY KIWITT 10st 6lbs 13oz
(Bracknell)                                    (London)
 
10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest
KIERON CONWAY 11st 2lbs v CRAIG O’BRIEN 11st 4oz
(Northampton)                         (Dublin)
 
8 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight contest
CRAIG RICHARDS 12st 6lbs 2oz v CHAD SUGDEN 12st 6lbs 9oz
(Crystal Palace)                               (Newark)
 
12 x 3 mins vacant British Cruiserweight Title
RICHARD RIAKPORHE 14st 2lbs 13oz v JACK MASSEY 14st 1lbs 12oz
(Walworth)                                                   (Derbyshire)
 
FLOAT
 
4 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
DONTE DIXON 9st 4lbs 12oz v VLADISLAVS DAVIDAITIS 9st 5lbs 14oz
(Sheffield)                                   (Latvia)

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RIAKPORHE VS. MASSEY PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Richard Riakporhe and Jack Massey Final Press Conference ahead of their fight for the Vacant British Cruiserweight title on 19th December. 17th December 2019 Picture By Mark Robinson.

Frank Smith, CEO of Matchroom Boxing:

“Thank you everyone for joining us here in London ahead of Thursday night’s huge JD NXTGEN show at York Hall. It has been an unbelievable year and what better way to finish, this and Friday night in Phoenix, Arizona. We start with the JD NXTGEN card with this whole host of talent. 

“38 shows promoted already this year with 350 fights, 38 World Title fights and for a lot of these guys and girls here today, that’s where they want to be in a few years, big World Title fights. These fighters are the future of the big cards we have coming up. 

“It has been an exciting year and we look forward to finishing it at York Hall. It’s a stacked card from top to bottom and we’ll start off by speaking with some of the debutants looking to take their first steps in the pro game.”

Richard Riakporhe – Walworth, London – 10-0, 8 KO’s – fighting Jack Massey for the vacant British Cruiserweight title:

“I’m feeling good. I’m happy with the opportunities that I’ve received this year, stepping up to the plate. I fought Tommy McCarthy back in March, got the win, I fought Chris Billam-Smith not too long ago and got the win as well. What would end the year perfectly for me would be getting the win over Jack Massey with the British title as well. What more could I want?

“There’s a lot of big fights out there for me in 2020 but we’re not going to overlook Jack Massey. We’ve prepared for him like he’s a true veteran and we’re ready to take the win and get on with it. I don’t see the fight going longer than six rounds. I don’t see it going past six rounds but I’ve trained for fifteen rounds.

“We’re ready for whatever. If Jack wants to box I can box, if he wants to fight I can fight. I believe that I can beat him in every single department. If he wants to have a cookout and see who’s the best chef, then I’ll beat him in a Sunday roast cookout. If I lose in that, I’ll put him in the oven. 

“I’m looking forward to it. I respect Jack Massey as a fighter, I respect him for taking the fight. I’m just ready to showcase my skills.”

Jack Massey – Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire – 10-0, 8 KO’s – fighting Richard Riakporhe for the vacant British Cruiserweight title:

“We had a long camp for the Okolie fight. We trained for 12 rounds so it’s put me in good stead for this. The recovery time for the injury wasn’t long so I was back punching six weeks after the injury so it’s time to go. 

“It’s a massive year after this. I don’t see it going more than six rounds either. He’s confident, get ready for a boxing match.”

Craig Richards – Crystal Palace, London – 15-1, 8 KO’s – fighting Chad Sugden in an 8 round Light-Heavyweight contest:

“Good afternoon everyone. I’m just looking forward to getting out on Thursday night. It’s been a while since I’ve been back out. I’m just focused on this Thursday. I think a few months ago Chad tagged me in a post calling me out. I know that he’s going to come and bring it, he’s willing for the big opportunity and I’m not going to take him lightly. 

“I’m looking forward to going out on Thursday night and making a statement and then going on after that and god willing cleaning up the rest of the division. I’m just focused on Thursday night. What I’m focused on next year is the titles. I want to go out and get that British title after Thursday and have a big year. It’s about ticking them all off. I’m looking forward to going out there and putting on a performance.”

Chad Sugden – Newark, Nottinghamshire – 11-1, 4 KO’s – fighting Craig Richards in an 8 round Light-Heavyweight contest:

“For sure, I wouldn’t be here for any other reason. I believe I can beat Craig, I’ve got all of the tools to beat him. I’ve just got to put it all into place on Thursday night. He’s number 4 in the UK on BoxRec and he’s got a world ranking with the WBA. It’s a massive fight for me but it’s a fight that I took for one reason only and that’s to come and win.”

Luther Clay – Bracknell, Berkshire – 12-1, 5 KO’s – defending his WBO Global Welterweight title against Freddy Kiwitt:

“I’m feeling good and ready to go. I’m ready to fight, I’m ready to defend my title. The guy I won my title off didn’t want to fight Freddy. He said ‘I’ll fight Luther it’s an easier fight’, then he got touched up and now I’m coming for Freddy. I ain’t looking past Freddy, Freddy is a very good fighter. His fight where he won the European title was against Paddy Gallagher who’s a very good fighter. I can’t afford to look past him but I am going to go through him.” 

Freddy Kiwitt – London – 17-2, 10 KO’s – challenging Luther Clay for the WBO Global Welterweight title:

“No I don’t think it’s too early, I think it has come at exactly the right time. It’s god’s timing. I had a great year and this my fourth fight in the third country, and my third title fight as well. I’m really looking forward to this fight.

“I won the WBO European belt at the beginning of the year so this will just add another one to the collection and I just need to win this fight. This is my purpose. He’s just on the way to where I want to be. This is my time now.”

Kieron Conway – Northampton, Northamptonshire – fighting Craig O’Brien in an 10 round Super-Welterweight contest: 

“I’m excited to be back at York Hall and feel really good coming into this one. I am not overlooking Craig O’Brien but I want to get the job done and take one step closer to that British title.”

Shannon Courtenay – Watford, Hertfordshire – 4-0, 1 KO – fighting Buchra El Quaissi in a 6 round Super-Bantamweight contest: 

“It has been a perfect first year as a professional, four wins. My last fight was definitely a learning curve, she came out flying but we got the job done. I got my first stoppage at York Hall so I’m hoping to return there and getting another win.

“Next year will be a massive year, I am looking forward to it but firstly I am just totally focused on this fight.”

Donte Dixon – Sheffield, Yorkshire – 1-0 – fighting Vladislavs Davidaits in a 4 round Super-Featherweight contest:

“This is my second fight and I am looking forward to it, I’m looking forward to putting on a very good performance. Billy Joe Saunders is a big name who has a lot of connections so I’ll be up there soon.”

Franklin Ignatius – Dagenham, London – making his professional debut in a 4 round Heavyweight contest against Michal Banbula: 

“I’m definitely excited and I’m ready. I am enjoying the occasion, my amateur experience has helped but the most important thing for me is continuing to learn. It’s been a lightning period but I’m enjoying it but I’m ready to show what I’ve got!”

Malik Kareem – Finchley – making his professional debut in a 4 round Super-Middleweight contest against Ben Thomas: 

“It’s been a long camp, I’ve had good sparring and I am just ready to go now. From day one when I started boxing at Finchley, Anthony Joshua has been there for whatever I needed and as a role model. Him getting the straps back has helped me be in a good mood ahead of my pro debut.”

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MASSEY QUESTIONS OKOLIE’S HUNGER AHEAD OF JULY 6 SHOWDOWN

‘One Smack’ vows to dethrone British and Commonwealth champ in Manchester
Jack Massey has questioned Lawrence Okolie’s hunger ahead of their British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight title showdown at Manchester Arena on Saturday July 6, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

Okolie had previously admitted that his heart was telling him to take a leap up in levels to fight WBA World Champion Dennis Lebedev in his next fight, but talk of the shock World title fight fell away after the Hackney man teamed up with new trainer Shane McGuigan. 

Massey has been vocal in his pursuit of 2016 Olympian Okolie and the undefeated 26-year-old from Chapel-en-le-Frith is promising to shine after finally landing his first major title opportunity on the big stage. A win over Okolie would propel him to the top of the domestic Cruiserweight pile and ‘One Smack’ believes his title shot has come at the perfect time.
 
“We’ve wanted this fight for a long time so when I got my opportunity, I grabbed it with both f****** hands,” said Massey. “I’ve seen a few people knocking me for getting a shot at the belts but it’s time to let everyone know who I am. If they don’t know who I am now, then they definitely will after this fight. This is my time to shine. 
 
“I’ve been in the gym since my last fight in March so we’ve had great preparation for this. I’m always in the gym grinding away, you’ve got to be ready for these opportunities when they present themselves. You never know what’s going to come up and I’ve got my chance on July 6. 
 
“There’s no doubt that he’s had better opposition than me. This is a big step up for me but I’m ready for it. We’ve had a bit of back and forth on social media but it’s just banter isn’t it. He says that I’ve been giving him sh*t on Twitter but it’s important to remember he was the first one to do it. He was calling me out after his third fight.
 
“I’ve got it all to gain here. To me, it seems like he doesn’t like getting hit and he won’t like it when I connect with him. I don’t think he’s ever has been hit as hard as I hit in a fight. They’re looking past me a bit definitely. I’m hungry and I’m on my way up. He’s had the big fights and got a bit of money in his pocket and I’m still driving a Fiat Punto about. He had his eyes on other fights but I’m hungry for this and I’m ready to go.
 
“I’ve only gone eight rounds once and that’s it. I’ve done six rounds a few times. I don’t think it’s going to go the distance though. I’m looking to put it on him. I think I’ll be too explosive for him when I let them hands go. There’ll be punches in bunches and I’ll let them hands fly. I’m going to be smart about it and take my time to find those little pockets and openings. As the rounds go by I’ll get on the inside and work him.”

Okolie vs. Massey is part of a huge night of boxing in Manchester where 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, Felix Cash (11-0, 7 KOs) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight crown against Bolton’s Jack Cullen (16-1, 7 KOs) and Anthony Fowler (9-1, 8 KOs) returns after his first pro defeat and Sheffield amateur star Dalton Smith looks to improve to 2-0 , 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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OKOLIE AND MASSEY CLASH FOR BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH CROWNS IN MANCHESTER

Fitzgerald and Rose meet in Lancashire derby on July 6
Lawrence Okolie will defend his British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight titles against Jack Massey on the same night that Scott Fitzgerald defends his WBA International Super-Welterweight title against Brian Rose in a huge Preston vs. Blackpool derby at Manchester Arena on Saturday July 6, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

Full details of the bumper summer bill in the North West, including main event confirmation and ticket details, will be formally announced next week. 
 
Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) added the Commonwealth title to his British belt with a fourth-round TKO of London rival Wadi Camacho at the Copper Box Arena last time out in March and the Rio 2016 Olympian puts both belts on the line once more against unbeaten Chapel-en-le-Frith man Massey.
 
‘One Smack’ (16-0, 8 KOs) has been chasing a fight with Hackney banger Okolie for the past year and the 26-year-old juggernaut says he is ready to propel his name to the top of the domestic 200lbs division in his first major title opportunity. 
 
“Jack Massey is a fighter with pedigree,” said Okolie. “He has a lot of strength, a lot of ability and a lot of hunger. I’m going to enjoy beating him in front of all of his fans. He’s another undefeated fighter that I will inflict a first career defeat on.
 
“He has criticised me publicly and openly and I want to use my frustration to beat him in the most convincing way possible.”
 
“I’m over the moon to be getting this shot at the British and Commonwealth titles,” said Massey. “I have been waiting for my chance to test myself and I cannot wait until July 6th.
 
“I have the utmost respect for Lawrence Okolie, he boxed in the Olympics, won the British in just his 10th fight and is ranked in the top 10 by the WBA. I know it’s a huge step up for me but I’m ready.
 
“I’ll be bringing a big crowd on the night and promise to put on a show. I have heard some of the other fights that will be on the night and it’s going to be an amazing show to be on.”
 
Fitzgerald (13-0, 9 KOs) secured a thrilling victory over bitter rival Anthony Fowler to land the WBA ranking title at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool in March, settling their feud after dropping his former Great Britain teammate in the final round to claim a split decision win and hand Fowler a first defeat in the pros.
 
The ‘Mad Man’ puts his belt on the line for the first time against former World title challenger Rose (35-1-1, 8 KOs) in a massive Lancashire showdown that will see the former British champion move back down to 154lbs in an attempt to fire his name back into to the mix in the latter stages of his career.
 
“It’s going to be a mad atmosphere with all of the Preston and Blackpool fans packed into Manchester Arena,” said Fitzgerald. “I’m confident of doing a good job on him. I’ll outjab him all night and get the win. This could be his last night in the sport so he’ll want to go out with a bang.
 
“He’s number two at Middleweight at the moment on BoxRec. He’s a good opponent. He’s a little older than me but experience is on his side. Before I ever even had an amateur fight, I knew who he was. He was the top boy around Lancashire, where we’re from. It’s a fight that I thought about before I even turned pro and now it’s happening.
 
“I wanted to fight Ted Cheeseman for the British title but this one was next on my list. It’s a big local rivalry and one that all of the Preston lads will get behind massively. The Cheeseman fight will still be there after I beat Rose, I want to take that belt off a champion.
 
“I made my debut at Manchester Arena. Preston is about the same distance from Liverpool as it is Manchester so there’ll be a lot in there again, probably more this time because there’s a lot of people buzzing off me right around Britain.”
 
“I’ve worked really hard at getting a big fight again so I’m made up that we’ve got this fight live on Sky Sports and DAZN,” said Rose. “I’ve had two wins since coming back and I’ve felt really good, so I can’t wait to step into the ring with Fitzgerald.
 
“I have a lot of respect for Fitzgerald for giving me the opportunity, and I don’t think people realise how big this fight for Blackpool and Preston. This is a huge fight for Lancashire and it’s going to be a great night for the fans, so may the best man win. 
 
“I’ve worked really hard getting back to where I am and by moving back down to Super-Welterweight, which is where I achieved everything, I’m giving myself the best chance of making an impact. I won the British title and challenged for a World title at that weight, so I’ve already done what Fitzgerald is hoping to achieve in his career. 
 
“It was only up at Middleweight where I came unstuck, but at this weight I know what I’m capable of, so this fight makes so much sense. It’s going to be a great fight, and I promise that I’ll be the best I’ve ever been. When I win this fight I can hopefully get a top ten ranking and then who knows what can happen.”
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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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