Frank Smith: “It’s great to be back here in Cardiff for another fantastic evening of boxing at the Ice Arena Wales. We have hosted two massive nights here recently topped by Heavyweight king Anthony Joshua and now it’s time for the youngsters to make their mark. British boxing is in such a good place at the moment and the JD NXTGEN series is a fantastic way to showcase some of the best up and coming talent in the UK. There’s a huge array of talent featuring on Saturday’s show and I’m looking forward to an exciting night.”
Kody Davies: “I want to thank everyone involved in getting me on this show. Joe and Sean are old Team GB team mates of mine and it’s good to be fighting on their undercard. Me and Gavin have been putting in some serious hours in the gym and it’s going to show on Saturday night. I can’t wait for you all to see what I’m capable of.”
Daniyar Yeleussinov: “I feel good and I’m very happy to be here in the beautiful city of Cardiff. I’m looking to put on an exciting performance and make some new fans so make sure you come and see me fight.”
Dylan McDonagh: “I’m excited to be here in Cardiff. Thanks to Matchroom for getting me on this brilliant show. This is my moment and I’m ready to seize my opportunity. I’m not scared of anyone and don’t care who they put in front of me. I believe that I’ll do a job on Sean on Saturday so make sure that you tune in.”
Sean McGoldrick: “I’ve recently changed trainers. Everything has been great with Gavin. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life and I can’t wait to fight in Wales for the first time in my pro career. I’m ready to put on a big performance for everyone.”
Natasha Jonas: “Boxing has taken me all around the World but never to Wales so it’s nice to be here in Cardiff. My opponent is a durable opponent, she went the distance with Katie Taylor. I want to showcase my talent. I just need to tick another box off and show what I can do.”
Sean Dodd: “I’m looking forward to getting back to winning ways and getting my hands back on the Commonwealth title. I’m ready to make a big change and put in a good performance. I can see that Joe has a great family backing him so it’s just like being back at home for me, it’s nice to see. I wish the very best for the both of us. I need to stick to my game plan, work hard and get the win. This is a massive test for me and I’m really looking forward to getting in there and seeing what happens. I’m up against it but in life you get nowhere without taking risks. I’m ready for this.”
Joe Cordina: “I won my first professional title here in Cardiff on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s win over Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium and it’s good to be making the first defence of it here as well. I’m in a proper fight now. Sean is great fighter, he’s got a lot of heart and he’s got a great fanbase that will be making a lot of noise on Saturday. It’s going to be a hell of a fight. This will be my hardest fight in the professionals to date. There’s going to be fireworks. I’m going to give it everything I have to come away with the Commonwealth title. I’m fighting for my kids and there’s no way that I’m wasting this opportunity.”
Main event at the Ice Arena Wales sees Joe Cordina and Sean Dodd clash for the Vacant Commonwealth and WBA International Lightweight titles, Welsh Commonwealth Gold Medal man Sean McGoldrick fights on home soil for the first time in the paid ranks against unbeaten Irishman Dylan McDonagh, Natasha Jonas steps up her hunt for World honours with a first defence of her WBA Super-Featherweight Inter-Continental title against Viviane Obenauf, Rio Olympic Gold Medal stand-out Daniyar Yeleussinov fights for the third time in the pros, unbeaten Featherweight talent Jordan Gill continues his journey to more titles and Light-Heavyweight talent Anthony Sims Jr. makes his debut under new promoter Eddie Hearn with action elsewhere from Birmingham Super-Bantamweight Gamal Yafai, Lytham Lightweight Scott Cardle, Newport Super-Middleweight Daniel Barton, Cardiff Light-Heavyweight Nathan Thorley, Gloucester Welterweight Akeem Ennis Brown and Pontilanfraith Light-Heavyweight Kody Davies.
Very limited remaining tickets are on sale at www.stubhub.co.uk priced at £40 (unreserved) £70 (reserved floor seats) and £150 (ringside VIP).
Heavyweight sensation Joe Joyce maintained his undefeated record with a first round knockout of late replacement Ivica Bacurin last night at London’s home of boxing The York Hall, Bethnal Green, promoted by Hayemaker Ringstar.
In front of a packed house with an electric atmosphere, Joyce, the Commonwealth Champion, made it his third first round stoppage as he halted Croatia’s Bacurin at just 1:54 of the opening round.
Bacurin had taken British heavyweights Dillian Whyte to six rounds and Tony Bellew to ten rounds on his previous visits to these shores, but he was up against the imposing presence of the 6ft 6in ‘Juggernaught” and quickly realised he was out of his depth.
From the opening bell Bacurin went on the back foot, with Joyce moving well and getting his distance right with his heavy jab. Joyce looked very relaxed as he utilised improved head and body movement and cutting the ring off with some great footwork. A solid right hand from Joyce hurt Bacurin as he was going back towards the ropes and then moments later Joyce landed a left hook to the top of Bacurin’s head that dropped him.
With Jeff Hinds waving it off, Joyce celebrated his victory and showed off his amazing athletic agility for his 17st 13lb frame with his trademark capoeira flip.
Rivals and potential next opponents Hughie Fury, the newly crowned British Champion, and Derek Chisora were both at York Hall, witnessing the power of ‘The Juggernaut’ from ringside as Joyce took his record to 5-0. Keen to keep fighting regularly, he now looks at who will be willing to step in the ring with him next despite establishing himself as one of the most avoided heavyweight in the division.
Joyce, who based his training camp in Kazakhstan for the fight, said afterwards. “It was good in there. Despite the early finish, I showed that I’m improving all the time with my footwork, head and body movement with my trainer Ismael Salas. I know that the power is there, that will always be there. I just want to fight regularly, keep improving and I can’t wait to get in the ring again. Fury and Chisora were both here tonight, I’d love to put my Commonwealth title up against Fury’s British belt and the best man will win. Chisora knows it will be career ending if he fights me so he’s a wise man to keep dodging me. Either way, my promoters David Haye and Richard Schaefer will have plenty of exciting options for me so we’ll just keep moving forward.”
Haye added, “He knocked out Lenroy Thomas with that short left hook. Joyce doesn’t look like there’s much power there but believe me I’ve seen him knock so many people out in the gym with his short crisp punches , he’s so heavy handed. Bacurin went six rounds with Whyte and ten with Bellew and Joe dispatched him with a short left hook in the first. It’s testament to his punch power and it’s another win.”
An action packed card saw Hayemaker Ringstar’s exciting young talents all in action and continuing to develop into top prospects.
Bellator (MMA) super-star star Michael “Venom” Page demolished Michael Ciash 18 seconds into the second round with Ciash unable to deal with MVP’s unorthodox style and power, his boxing record moves to 2-0.
Welsh super-middleweight ace Kody Davies had a bright start against Eric Mokonzo and floored him the second round, but Mokonzo fought back and pushed Davies to the end of an entertaining fight. Davies won 40-37 on points and took his record to 5-0.
The chief supporting contest saw history being made as the first ever women’s Commonwealth title fight in the UK between Sam Smith and Anisha Basheel for the Vacant Lightweight Championship. Hard-hitting Basheel stopped Smith at 1:08 of the first round to claim the title.
All featuring on the undercard was Britain’s first ever female World Amateur Champion and double Olympian Savannah Marshall who celebrated her second second round stoppage in a row when she halted brave Mexican Alejandra Ayala at super-middleweight.
Top unbeaten middleweight prospect Linus Udofia and the most recent signing for Hayemaker Ringstar was involved in a terrific all-action contest against Eric Nwanko with a possibility of an upset in the opening round with Udofia hurt. Udofia came back and stepped up the pace making Nwanko take a knee in the third. In the fifth Udofia landed and a cracking combination to floor Nwanko and end the fight.
Watched at ringside by Chisora, heavyweight debutant George Fox – son of top London trainer Don Charles – opened his professional career with a 40-37 points win over fellow debutant Phil Williams.
Completing the card, featherweight Fuad Huseen won 40-36 against Edward Bjorklund; super-middleweight Chris Davies won 40-37 against Callum Ice; super-featherweight Brandon Ball won 40-37 against Luke Fash; lastly welterweight Tom Ansall won 40-35 against Fonz Alexander.
Here are the results from the official weigh-in ahead of tomorrow night’s Hayemaker Ringstar event at the York Hall, Bethnal Green.
Joe Joyce will now face late replacement Ivica Bacurin, who replaces Richard Lartey.
Joe Joyce v Ivica Bacurin
Joe Joyce – 17st 13lbs
Ivica Bacurin – 14st 10lbs
Michael Page v Michal Ciach
Michael Page – 12st 9lbs 7oz
Michal Ciach – 12st 10lbs 7oz
Kody Davies v Eric Mokonzo
Kody Davies – 12st 3lbs
Eric Mokonzo – 12st 3lbs 2oz
Ruqsana Begum v Danielle Hodges
Ruqsana Begum – 8st 1lb
Danielle Hodges – 7st 10lbs
Linus Udofia v Eric Nwankwo
Linus Udofia – 11st 9lbs 8oz
Eric Nwankwo – 11st 10lbs 5oz
Sam Smith v Anisha Basheel
Sam Smith – 9st 7lbs 3oz
Anisha Basheel – 9st 8lbs 1oz
Savannah Marshall v Alejandra Ayala
Savannah Marshall – 11st 11lbs
Alejandra Ayala – 11st 10lbs 1oz