GALAHAD CAMP CLAIM WARRINGTON RIVALS FRAMPTON AND SELBY WERE PAST IT

DOMINIC INGLE has accused Josh Warrington of beating Carl Frampton and Lee Selby when the pair were on the slide.

Warrington (28-0, 6KOs) took the IBF featherweight title from Selby in a huge upset 12 months ago and surprised Frampton in December in his first defence.

Next up is Ingle trained mandatory challenger, Kid Galahad (26-0, 15KOs) at First Direct Arena, Leeds on Saturday June 15.

Warrington is the favourite to retain his crown in his backyard, but Ingle insists that the champion will be shocked by his Sheffield rival.

Ingle said: “Warrington has had success with Frampton and Selby by jumping on them full steam ahead and they have been unable to keep him off.
“Maybe that is down to Selby and Frampton being past the sell-by date.

“I think Galahad has got more ambition than Selby and Frampton. Those results complimented Warrington.

“What he has with Galahad is a kid who is unbeaten, fresh, and fought himself into the mandatory position by going over to Boston and beating Toka Kahn Clary.

“Josh beat up a washed up Dennis Ceylan in his final eliminator, we went into someone’s back yard and won it.

“Galahad is very controlled and precise. The accuracy will keep Warrington off. He can’t keep walking into those type of shots and that is basically what Warrington is going to do.

“He is going to box the same way he has always had success at and hope for the best.“But, for once he is getting someone who is fitter than him, fresher than him who can box and slow that pace down.”

Josh Warrington tops the bill at First Direct Arena, Leeds when he defends his IBF featherweight championship against Kid Galahad on Saturday June 15.

Leading super featherweights Zelfa Barrett and Lyon Woodstock meet in a hotly anticipated clash for the Commonwealth title, with Jason Welborn and JJ Metcalf also vying for the vacant Commonwealth super welterweight championship.

Other fighters confirmed in action on the bill so far include Lyndon Arthur, Alex Dickinson, Tommy Fury, Mark Heffron, Jack McGann and Troy Williamson.

Tickets for Warrington v Galahad are available via Ticketmaster and are priced as below:

£450 – Hospitality
£300 – Floor
£200 – Floor
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor/Tier
£75 – Tier
£50 – Tier
£40 – Tier

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GALAHAD STICKS THE BOOT IN – TAUNTS WARRINGTON OVER LEEDS UNITED PLAY-OFF MISERY

KID GALAHAD has taken to social media to taunt his rival Josh Warrington after Warrington’s beloved Leeds United were defeated by Derby County last night in the Play-Off semi final. 

Leeds were a goal to the good after the first leg of the Play-Off semi-final but succumbed to a devastating 4-2 home defeat and have now missed out on a place among English Football’s elite in the Premier League.

Galahad, 26-0, posted a picture on his official twitter page of LUFC star Stuart Dallas laying on the ground in disappointment after losing the game and captioned it with a ‘look’ emoji, highlighting the heartbreaking loss for Leeds United and no doubt for Josh Warrington.

Sheffield’s Galahad will be looking to inflict another upset defeat for Leeds fans on June 15 at the First Direct Arena when he attempts to dethrone local hero Josh Warrington and become the IBF World Featherweight Champion.

Warrington had earlier predicted a Leeds United win and will not have taken kindly to Galahad’s online taunts. 

It’s been a spicy build up to one of the most anticipated fights of 2019 and this latest development will only add more fuel to the fire.

Josh Warrington tops the bill at First Direct Arena, Leeds when he defends his IBF featherweight championship against Kid Galahad on Saturday June 15.

Leading super featherweights Zelfa Barrett and Lyon Woodstock meet in a hotly anticipated clash for the Commonwealth title, with Jason Welborn and JJ Metcalf also vying for the vacant Commonwealth super welterweight championship.

Other fighters confirmed in action on the bill so far include Lyndon Arthur, Alex Dickinson, Tommy Fury, Mark Heffron, Jack McGann and Troy Williamson.

Tickets for Warrington v Galahad are available via Ticketmaster and are priced as below:

£450 – Hospitality
£300 – Floor
£200 – Floor
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor/Tier
£75 – Tier
£50 – Tier
£40 – Tier

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NEWS: JOSH PREDICTS LEEDS DOUBLE

JOSH WARRINGTON IS backing his beloved Leeds United to book a trip to Wembley and ultimately make a long-awaited return to the Premier League.

Leeds are a goal to the good against Derby County after the first leg of the Play-Off semi-final and will be bidding to take the next step tonight towards a Championship final against Aston Villa on May 27, Bank Holiday Monday.

Whether Warrington himself will be heading down Wembley Way remains to be seen, with the big match falling just a couple of weeks before his big fight against Kid Galahad at the FD Arena in Leeds on June 15, where he will be making a second defence of his IBF world featherweight title against his mandatory challenger from Sheffield.

“We gonna do it and we’ll do it the hard way, that is what Leeds do,” said the local hero known as the ‘Leeds Warrior’. “People will think that the wheels have fallen off and will write us off but we’re gonna do it. Believe, believe.

“It will be us and Villa in the final and it will all be sorted on Play-Off day at Wembley, where it will be 3-1 to Leeds. You heard it here first.”

Warrington is convinced the city are in for a double celebration after he gets to grips with Galahad and retains his cherished title that he won in the middle of the pitch at Elland Road with his dismantling of former champion Lee Selby.

“Me and the players will be on the p*ss after! There will be some celebrations after we both get a convincing win.”

Josh Warrington tops the bill at First Direct Arena, Leeds when he defends his IBF featherweight championship against Kid Galahad on Saturday June 15.

Leading super featherweights Zelfa Barrett and Lyon Woodstock meet in a hotly anticipated clash for the Commonwealth title, with Jason Welborn and JJ Metcalf also vying for the vacant Commonwealth super welterweight championship.

Other fighters confirmed in action on the bill so far include Lyndon Arthur, Alex Dickinson, Tommy Fury, Mark Heffron, Jack McGann and Troy Williamson.

Tickets for Warrington v Galahad are available via Ticketmaster and are priced as below:

£450 – Hospitality
£300 – Floor
£200 – Floor
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor/Tier
£75 – Tier
£50 – Tier
£40 – Tier

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GALAHAD KNOWS HE WON’T GET ANOTHER WORLD TITLE SHOT SAYS DOMINIC INGLE

KID GALAHAD enters his world title challenge against Josh Warrington knowing it will be his one and only shot at becoming one of boxing’s elite, according to trainer Dominic Ingle.

The Sheffield slickster challenges for Yorkshire rival Warrington’s IBF featherweight championship at First Direct Arena Leeds on Saturday June 15.Warrington (28-0, 6 KOs) will be making the second defence of his crown. 
He won his treasured belt against Lee Selby last May and then came through a war against Carl Frampton.Galahad (26-0, 15 KOs) has struggled to get big fights and had to become mandatory contender for Warrington’s title to get his crack at the big prize.

Ingle knows his man is avoided and says: “Kid Galahad is never gonna get another chance. He has got to capitalise. It is a do or death situation for Kid Galahad.

“He is never going to get the breaks, he has never had a promoter behind him and still managed to get into the mandatory position.

“That says something about his ability and focus, determination and relentlessness. He has got the same mental make-up as Johnny Nelson.

“He has never had it easy and got in this position himself. Others we had in the gym have fallen by the wayside but he has learnt from them.

“We have had fighters who shone for a period of time like Naseem Hamed, Ryan Rhodes and to a lesser degree Junior Witter.

“They have got into the position of being a world champion, but it’s whether you can maintain it once you’re there.

“The thing with Galahad is that he has no responsibilities – he isn’t married, no children and no safety net.

“If he loses he has nowhere to go on the Sunday morning after the fight. Josh can go home have a cuddle from his wife, see his kids and think; ‘I’ve had a good run and got a few quid’. He can console himself with that.

“There will be no consolation for Kid Galahad. The only consolation for him will be waking up on Sunday morning with the belt. That is where the determination comes in.

“Everything to him is boxing he has nothing else. It is his life.”

Josh Warrington tops the bill at First Direct Arena, Leeds when he defends his IBF featherweight championship against Kid Galahad on Saturday June 15.

Jason Welborn and JJ Metcalf meet for the vacant Commonwealth super-welterweight championship.

Other fighters confirmed in action on the bill so far include Lyndon Arthur, Zelfa Barrett, Alex Dickinson, Tommy Fury, Mark Heffron, Jack McGann and Troy Williamson.

Tickets for Warrington v Galahad are available via Ticketmaster and are priced as below:
£450 – Hospitality
£300 – Floor 
£200 – Floor
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor/Tier
£75 – Tier
£50 – Tier
£40 – Tier

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QUOTES FROM WARRINGTON V GALAHAD LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE

Boxing – Josh Warrington & Kid Galahad Press conference – Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds, Britain – March 19, 2019 Josh Warrington and Kid Galahad head to head during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
JOSH WARRINGTON AND Kid Galahad came face to face in Leeds today to formally announce their IBF world featherweight title clash, set to take place on June 15 at the FD Arena in the champion’s home city.

Frank Warren

Josh has beaten real good quality, top line fighters and done it in style. There is no doubt in my mind after beating Carl Frampton and Lee Selby that he is the best.

Santa Cruz and Valdez are the fights that he wanted, then this fight was ordered by the IBF and Kid Galahad got there obviously by his winning record and winning an eliminator that gave him mandatory position and I’m sure he is going to give all he can to take that title back to Sheffield, but I just feel that in fighting Josh he needs to step up quite a few bars to get to his level.

When Josh fought Selby, many journalists were calling Selby the best fighter in Britain and his last fight against Carl was the best fight I have seen in a British ring for a long, long time. Josh has got this engine that is unbelievable, with the amount of punches he throws and his tremendous fitness levels.

He has come through in style and not just nicked fights, he has won the fights emphatically. Josh was probably the unfancied guy in the division and his dad has done a great job in bringing him through and deserves all the accolades. Everybody in the trade knows that and the job Sean has done is a brilliant one.

Everybody has got respect for Dominic Ingle and he is a fantastic trainer who has done tremendously well and looks after a few fighters I promote. But, he will have to pull every stop out to get Kid here over the line. He is going to have to be something very special to beat this guy, because he is a special fighter.
 
Dominic Ingle

Naz (Naseem Hamed) had left the gym and we weren’t on particularly good terms with Naz, but he said to Barry that the only place to go if he wanted to become world champion was the Brendan Ingle gym in Sheffield – and that is where he ended up.

This fight on June 15 is going to represent 14 years of hard work we have put into it. Naz has been in to see Barry and made comments on Josh that I am not going to tell you, but he said some nice words to Barry and said to make sure he looks after his old belt when he gets it. I think Naz is going to be there on the night and it will be great if he is.

Did Sheffield United beat Leeds the other day? So it is one down, two to go – hopefully Leeds has got an ice hockey team we can beat.

We haven’t complained about the six week delay and we know he ain’t hurt his hand, but we don’t want to be beating a kid who is not fully prepared. He’s got an extra six weeks just to make sure he can get in shape. No excuses, no complaints, we want the best Josh Warrington on the night, that is what we want.

He’s got a good 12 weeks now and we know he’s been out and had a bit of a party and eaten a bit too much.

Kid Galahad

I met Naz in a local mosque and he said to become world champion I need to go and find the Ingle gym. It has been 14-15 years since then, training every day and being hard at it. We are finally here.

I knew the IBF are very strict so I knew this fight would be on. Frank said I was right at the bottom of the list, but look where I am now at the top of the list. There were a lot of complaints from his team about things and complaining about the 35 per cent split.

It doesn’t matter, does it? It is my destiny and I am here now and I am gonna rip that title from them in his home town. All the noise just comes with the territory. If you want to be a champion, this is what you’ve got to do.

Sean O’Hagan

I like him and I’ve known Barry a long time. We’ve crossed paths before and quite rightly because he is a professional but, to be fair, he should have stayed as an amateur. And I say that with the greatest of respect, I just think this is too big a step for him, I really do.

Saying that doesn’t mean we’ll be taking this lightly because we’ll be training like we are the challenger, like we always do. So we won’t hold anything back, we won’t be taking it lightly, we’ll just prepare as we always do and that is one hundred per cent focused and switched on. Then coming away: ‘And still’.

I promise you I will be bringing the very best Josh Warrington on that day.

Josh Warrington

We had some year last year, didn’t we, with two massive fights and two massive occasions. You’ve got to give it to Barry and how daft he is. B*ll*cks to his destiny. You make your bed and lie in it and you’re gonna get it on the night, simple as that.

I wanted to carry on with the journey and carry on winning belts and world titles by fighting the best in the division. Last year we had LEE SELBY and CARL FRAMPTON! Now we’ve got F**king Barry from Sheffield… You know what I mean. It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

I want to go on and unify the division, I believe I am the best featherweight in the world and if you offered me Santa Cruz tomorrow I would take it, but as champion this is what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to defend your belt against all challengers and on June 15 Barry is in the way.

When you look at it and break it down, he is not as awkward as people make out, only if you give him the time. Look as his level of opposition – he is stepping up a level here and I won’t find him awkward.

Tickets for Warrington v Galahad go on sale via firstdirectarena.com at 12pm on Friday 22nd March and are priced as below:
 
£450 – Hospitality
£300 – Floor
£200 – Floor
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor/Tier
£70 – Tier
£50 – Tier
£40 – Tier

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WARRINGTON – GALAHAD CONFIRMED FOR JUNE 15TH


JOSH WARRINGTON will make the second defence of his IBF world featherweight title against mandatory challenger Kid Galahad at the Leeds Arena on June 15th.
 
It will be a hometown return for Warrington in the all Yorkshire grudge match against his old amateur rival.
 
Warrington, 28, caused a big upset when he outpointed defending champion Lee Selby in front of 25,000 fans at Elland Road, home of his beloved Leeds United last May.
 
In December, he cemented his status as one of the boxing stars of 2018 with a thrilling points win against two weight world champion, Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena in his maiden defence.
 
Warrington (28-0) had being eyeing a unification clash against WBO champion, Oscar Valdez but the IBF ordered him to face Galahad and purses bids were won by the champion’s promoter, Frank Warren.
 
Galahad (26-0) was born in Qatar but lived in Sheffield for much of his life and learnt his skills under the tutelage of the late Brendan Ingle. He is now trained by Brendan’s son Dominic.
 
He became Warrington’s number one contender in October when he outpointed Toka Kahn Clary on his American debut in Boston in an IBF final eliminator.
 
Galahad, whose is also known as Barry Awad last boxed in December, easily outpointing Brayan Mairena over eight rounds.
 
Warrington, a former English, British, Commonwealth, European and WBC international champion boxed Galahad twice when they were amateurs winning both contests on points.
 
He said: “All of sudden people are saying I am capable of beating every featherweight in the world and with that comes expectation.
 
“I will go into this fight as the bookies’ favourite, but I will be 100 per-cent focused and looking to do a job.
 
“I knew Barry when we were amateurs and he was always a decent guy, but over the last few years he seems to have changed and put on some persona to blag fans, opponents or himself.
 
“He did well at super-bantamweight, but he has beaten nobody as a featherweight and he has lost respect from me for some of his antics.
 
“I want to be Ring Magazine champion, own all the belts and they are in touching distance. I can beat all the featherweights.
 
“I am concentrating purely on Barry, but after this I want one of the other world champions. I want champion after champion.”
 
Galahad won British, European, Commonwealth and international titles at super-bantamweight, and an IBF Intercontinental featherweight belt.
 
Galahad, 28, said: “Josh’s biggest asset is that people underestimate him and he is a lot better than what he looks.
 
“He’s strong, tough, durable and mentally strong, but I have the skill, will and mental toughness to beat him.
 
“He beat me fair and square when we were amateurs, but down the line I knew I would always fight him again. This is professional boxing, different game.
 
“Why am I the man to beat him? I know mentally that I am on a different level and I have the best team in British boxing.
 
“He is going to walk onto a shot, he is going to get hurt very badly and his dad who trains him will stop the fight because he will make an emotional decision and throw in the towel around round six, seven or eight.”
 
Warrington snapped back: “That prediction makes me giggle. It is funny how these scenarios get drawn up. He isn’t in touch with reality and talking daft. It is playground stuff.
 
“He can spout off what he likes, but when the first bell goes it will be me against him and we will see how special he and his team are then.”
 
BT Sport have the live and exclusive TV rights for Warrington v Galahad in the UK.

Tickets for Warrington v Galahad go on sale via firstdirectarena.com at 12pm on Friday 22nd March and are priced as below:
 
£450 – Hospitality
£300 – Floor
£200 – Floor
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor/Tier
£70 – Tier
£50 – Tier
£40 – Tier
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WARRINGTON V FRAMPTON – FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES


The final press conference took place today ahead of Josh Warrington’s (27-0) IBF world featherweight title defence against Carl Frampton (26-1) at Manchester Arena on Saturday night (22nd December) live on BT Sport Box Office.
Also on the bill Mark Heffron (21-0) and Liam Williams (18-2-1) meet for the vacant British middleweight crown, Martin Murray risks his WBC silver middleweight title against former WBA champion Hassan N’Dam, unbeaten heavyweight Nathan Gorman (14-0) defends his WBC international silver belt against Razvan Cojanu (16-4) and Belfast’s Michael Conlan (9-0) fights in England in the first time and meets Jason Cunningham (24-5) Making his debut on the bill will be the younger brother of Tyson Fury, a 19-year-old light-heavyweight.

Here are a selection of quotes from today’s conference.

FRANCIS WARREN “Josh v Carl is the best fight boxing has at the minute and this is the card of the year. It feels like we have been waiting forever since we announced it, but this potential fight of the year is here. Few can pick a winner and I can’t pick a winner. It is a great fight for a reason. Everyone is excited and it will be a fantastic night.”

JOSH WARRINGTON “Carl has seen his a*se a bit with some stuff I have read but there are tensions when the fight gets close. I have been preparing for Carl at his prime and that excites me to graft my backside off. I have gained confidence and momentum from beating Lee Selby and I will find new levels this weekend. People say I should have had a steady defence, but I want the best and after this I’ll go to the States and fight Oscar Valdez.

CARL FRAMPTON “I’m excited, relaxed and looking forward to a good tough fight. My nature is laid back and I will be until the ring walk. There is an edge and tension as it gets closer, but there is respect between us. I got a text message from a good friend and he said’ ‘total respect, but no fear’ and that is what this is. I believe I am better than ever because I was beating Leo Santa Cruz and Scott Quigg when I wasn’t enjoying boxing. I believe he is a very good fighter, but I beat any featherweight in the world on my day. The ambition is there more than ever because I have been written off. The fire is burning in me and people will see in a dog fight that I am not over the hill.

LIAM WILLIAMS “I am a lot happier in myself and comfortable. There is no stone unturned and that is why I am happier. I am going to be British champion again on Saturday night. I was offered this fight and took it in one second. I am a lot more confident in my ability and can win a world title. I can fight and box. I have better all round ability. Mark is knocking people out but they have been crap opponents and just wanted the money. I am coming to win and can see fear in his eyes. Heffron is a bully.”

MARK HEFFRON “He is talking crap and I am gonna knock him out. I am 100 per-cent the better all round fighter. Other than Liam Smith, who has he fought? He is gonna get his head punched in. I learnt from his Smith fights that he is a sh*tbag and a quitter. I’m gonna smash his nose all over his face. It’s a step up, but one of the easiest fights of my career.”

MARTIN MURRAY “I know I am in the latter stages of my career but I have that buzz back and feel the best I have ever been. N’Dam is a tough fighter, fought world class fighters and will bring it on Saturday. It has taken me two and a half years to get back to a fight like this and I want to win in style. I’m one loss from retirement so I need to keep winning, but these fights I treat like a world title.”  

HASSAN N’DAM “We are not here to trash talk because boxing is a sport. I am working hard to take his belt and I will work hard to keep it. Martin is tough, world class and this is a hard fight, but I am going to enjoy it. I haven’t boxed in more than a year, but it was my decision not to fight because I wanted a new team and direction. I want go to super-middleweight and fight Chris Eubank Jr.”

 NATHAN GORMAN “Razvan is very tough, fought at a big level and I will need my A game. I was due to fight Alex Leapai and Razvan is a lot different. He is a lot better than Leapai. I am well prepared.”  

RAZVAN COJANU “Nathan is a different style to Daniel Dubois who I was due to fight last week. I have advantages over Nathan like my reach. I was a big fan of Nathan’s trainer Ricky Hatton so I better watch for the body shots. If I do what we’ve been doing in the gym we’ll be flying.   

MICHAEL CONLAN “Jason is tough, had experience, won two Commonwealth titles, but it is nothing I haven’t seen before. I have faced plenty of southpaws, know how to face them and I haven’t taken him lightly. I would love him to take me to the trenches and if he does, game over.  

JASON CUNNINGHAM “I am excited by this opportunity and I didn’t think twice to take this fight. I respect Michael’s amateur achievements and if he is the real deal we’ll take him to the trenches. There is no pressure and I am just enjoying the moment.  

TOMMY FURY “I am blessed to be in this position and know I wouldn’t be here without Tyson, but these opportunities I have to take with both hands. Tyson has been to the pit of hell and come back to the top of the hill. The world knows he is the real WBC world heavyweight champion. I have the Fury name, and that brings pressure but I have learned to live with it. I’m trying to do my own thing. If I achieve half of what Tyson has done I’ll be pleased because he is the greatest fighting man I’ve ever seen.

Josh Warrington defends his IBF World Featherweight title against Carl Frampton exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, Saturday 22 December. Watch for just £19.95, for more info visit www.bt.com/sportboxoffice

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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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