WILLIAMS RECKONS MULLENDER IS AN AVERAGE JOE

LIAM WILLIAMS has ripped into big fight rival Joe Mullender telling him: “You can’t punch and you’ve got no skills.”Williams makes the first defence of his British Middleweight crown against the Essex man at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Friday March 8.

Mullender has earned a reputation as one of boxing’s tough men, but the Welshman who beat Mark Heffron in December to become British champion roared: “That’s not enough.

“He has fought no one, he can’t punch, he has got no skill. He is just very fit and tough.

“I am going to beat him. It’s not going to be pretty. He is going to come for a rough and tough fight. I don’t think it is going to work well for him.”

Mullender believes aggression that has served him well in his career will be a shock to the system for Williams, and the key to causing a big upset in the BT Sport televised fight.

Williams added: “Joe is a pressure fighter, but I don’t think he will be so keen on that once I start landing.

“Maybe he is as tough as he says and can keep going forward. Boxing isn’t just about going forward and taking three shots to land one.

“If he was a massive puncher, then yeah you can try that, but he isn’t a big puncher.He isn’t going to see the final bell.

“He is daring me to try and stop him. He can say what he wants, but he is kidding himself.“I am just going to keep putting pressure on him and break him down. He is trying to convince himself.”

Williams is now settled at his Sheffield training base under Dominic Ingle where he trains alongside Nicola Adams, Willy Hutchinson, Billy Joe Saunders and Kid Galahad who is soon to challenge IBF Featherweight champion Josh Warrington on a Frank Warren bill.

He is close to all his gym-mates, particularly Hutchinson who he shares a flat with in the Steel City.

Williams says: “I spend a bit of time with Billy Joe and Kid Galahad. Recently Willy moved into a flat with me.

“Willy is a bit messy and leaves plates so I have to tidy up, but he is only 20.

“I am like the Dad of the house. I’m usually the child when I’m back home because my Mum does everything for me, but it is me running round after Willy here.

“Life is really good. I’m just plugging away, working hard and making sure I am bang on. I’m just counting down the days to the fight.”

Elsewhere on the show, Anthony Yarde will defend his WBO Intercontinental title against Baltimore’s Travis Reeves. Daniel Dubois follows in the footsteps of British heavyweight greats to fight at the historic venue and takes on Razvan Cojanu in his tenth fight. 

Johnny Garton makes the first defence of his British Welterweight title against Chris Jenkins. Lucien Reid will fight Indi Sangha in what will be his toughest test to date, while Flyweight Harvey Horn, Middleweight puncher Denzel Bentley and Cruiserweight talent James Branch feature.Tickets are priced from £40 and are available to buy via RoyalAlbertHall.com

TICKETS START FROM £40
GRAND TIER: £100
LOGGIA: £100
SECOND TIER: £75

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MULLENDER: COME ON THEN, STOP ME!

JOE MULLENDER WAS given prior notice that his name was firmly in the frame for a shot at the British title, but being tipped the wink did not prompt a scouting mission to assess the strengths of a potential opponent.

Mullender challenges Liam Williams for the British middleweight title at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday March 8 and the basher from Brentwood, known as Smokin Joe, had knowledge of the prospect before the Welshman claimed the title with an emphatic stoppage of the previously unbeaten Mark Heffron at the Manchester Arena in December.

“I was at one of the award do’s with my manager Andy (Ayling) and Francis (Warren) and they just said to me ‘do you want to fight the winner?’. I said ‘how much?’ Done!” stated the 32-year-old with a record of 11-2.

A pre-Christmas jaunt to Manchester was never on the cards though, according to the former English champion.

“No, I’m not bothered, it really doesn’t bother me,” insisted Mullender. “I could have gone there and sat ringside peeping through the ropes. What difference is that going to make?

“I can’t judge a fight and sit there wondering if I could exploit this or that. Listen, he’s gonna punch my head in and I’m gonna punch his head in. Game plans go out of the window so it is irrelevant to me who won because at this level everyone is a good fighter.

“I know what I am good at and I know what I have to do. What he’s good at, he’ll do, so there is nothing special to it in my opinion.

“I don’t feel like I had to sit there and watch it and I haven’t looked at it since either. I don’t need to, Liam is a good fighter and I am not one to sit and study and opponent.

“Who is he? Lovely, see you then.”

Williams is a world level operator who has previously challenged for an Interim title at super welterweight, as well as a final eliminator for a world title. Mullender, by contrast, admits his style is of a more basic nature and could be described as up close and personal.

“Yeah and it is made for fighters like Liam, but my tactics are not going to change. I’m not going ‘I’m going to shock the world’ and then go on the back foot. I’m telling him in the press conference that I am coming to ‘ave it with him.

“So he either irons me out or we are having a fight. It is as simple as that.
“I don’t pretend to be something I’m not, but everyone can come and watch me or fighters of my style and think they will pick them apart.

“Well, who has?

“I don’t know what he will do, but he can make it a very simple fight for himself by running, staying on the back foot and jabbing my head off. That is probably what Dom Ingle is saying to him, that I am basic and if I take too many he will stop me.

“Come on then, stop me!

“It is one thing looking at it from the outside and saying I am going to do this or that. When I am on your chest, try and stop me then. If you ain’t, I am gonna tickle your ribs and I am gonna beat you up.

“Otherwise, you’ve got to beat me up. It isn’t hard to work out.”
 
Tickets are priced from £40 and are available to buy via RoyalAlbertHall.com
TICKETS START FROM £40
GRAND TIER: £100
LOGGIA: £100
SECOND TIER: £75
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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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CUNNINGHAM TEST FOR CONLAN IN MANCHESTER


Michael Conlan will face former Commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham when he fights in England for the first time as a professional at the Manchester Arena on the massive Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton card on December 22.
 
Featherweight Conlan joins his Belfast band of brothers, Frampton, Paddy Barnes and Steven Ward on the BT Box Office blockbuster (ESPN+ in the United States) and in Cunningham he faces his first British opposition since entering the paid code in March of last year.
 
The experienced Doncaster 29-year-old holds a record of 24-5 and has won the Commonwealth title at two different weights – bantam and featherweight – while he has previously challenged for the British title at super flyweight. He is also a two-time winner of the English bantamweight title.
 
Last time out in June, Cunningham won the Central Area super bantamweight title via a points victory over Paul Economides.
 
He is now up against blue chip prospect Conlan, the former world amateur champion who will have his tenth professional fight in Manchester.
 
In his hugely successful amateur career, Conlan was ranked No.1 in the AIBA world rankings at bantamweight with a medal haul that included an Olympic bronze medal (London 2012), Commonwealth Games gold (Glasgow 2014), European Championships gold (Samokov, Bulgaria 2015) and a World Championships gold (Doha 2015). He achieved superstar status in his homeland as one of Ireland’s most decorated amateur fighters of all time.
 
“He is a good, experienced fighter who has been in with some top guys and I am looking forward to facing this challenge head on in only my 10th fight,” said the 26-year-old Conlan on his latest assignment.
 
“It is something I am excited about and something where I believe I can show the best Michael Conlan.
 
“This is maybe the first time I will be facing someone who can speak proper English! The fans will know him and I rate Jason Cunningham, but I believe come fight night I will show my class and how good I actually am.
 
“I have been calling for stiffer opposition for a while now, although I know my fight in Belfast was a tough test (against Adeilson Dos Santos), but I quite easily outboxed that dude.
 
“The fact that Jason is known for giving it a go and not backing down – and with it being an opponent who will bring a fanbase with him – it will be a first for me. It is something I need to experience.
 
“There is no doubt in my mind that I will prepare strenuously because this dude will provide a tough challenge in a fight that he will believe he can win.”
 
Since turning professional in the wake of a controversial exit from the 2016 Rio Olympics, Conlan has clocked up nine straight wins, with six of them coming inside the distance.
 
The younger brother of Jamie Conlan made his debut as the headliner at the Madison Square Garden Theater where, after being walked to the ring by Irish MMA superstar Conor McGregor, he outclassed Tim Ibarra to get his pro journey underway.
 
He has since boxed in Chicago, Brisbane, Tucson and twice more at the MSG Theater before getting to perform in the main arena at the Garden against Ibon Larrinaga in May.
 
The following month he enjoyed a homecoming fight and a significant step up in class against Adeilson Dos Santos at the SSE Arena in Belfast, where he was victorious over the eight-round distance.
 
Most recently in October, Conlan got to experience the Las Vegas fight scene where he overcame the resistance of Nicola Cipolletta and forced a seventh round stoppage at the Park Theater in his Las Vegas debut.
 
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 will now fight WBO Interim world title challenger Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) takes on former Commonwealth Champion Jason Cunningham (24-5) on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0).
 
In another middleweight addition, 7-0-1 Darlington Middleweight Troy ‘Trojan’ Williamson has also been added to the show after his thrilling draw with Jack Flatley earlier this year.
 
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.com

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WILLIAMS STEPS IN AND STEPS UP TO FACE HEFFRON IN THRILLER ON WARRINGTON-FRAMPTON CARD

THE THRILLING PROSPECT of Mark Heffron taking on Liam Williams is to become a reality at the Manchester Arena on December 22, live on BT Sport Box Office.

Heffron, 21-0 (17KOs) and Williams, 18-2-1 (13KOs), collide on the undercard of Josh Warrington defending his IBF world featherweight title against Carl Frampton in what is certain to be an absolute barnstormer of a fight.

The match-up between the WBC International middleweight champion – and mandatory challenger for the British title – and the former British and WBO European super welterweight champion has come about due to the withdrawal of the originally scheduled opponents.

Heffron was due to challenge the British champion Jason Welborn, who subsequently vacated the title, while Williams was due to fight JJ Metcalf for the WBC International belt. Metcalf has pulled out of the fight due to injury.

There was no willingness amongst middleweight rivals to replace Welborn and oppose Heffron for the Lonsdale belt, but Williams has no issues over trying his hand at the higher weight against such a dangerous operator.

There is a history behind the match, with Heffron’s brother Ronnie suffering his only career defeat to Williams back in July 2014. The former standout amateur and highly-rated prospect was retired in the sixth round with a severe cut to the head and has not fought since.

“It is going to be some fight for me now on December 22 and it is one I am looking forward to as well,” said Heffron of the explosive match-up. “It is definitely a bigger fight than I had lined up before and it is one that will move me onto massive titles afterwards.

“Credit to Williams for stepping up when nobody else wanted to and he is also coming up from light middleweight. Give him his due for that.

“He is a big light middle though with a big back and very strong, so there shouldn’t be much between us when it comes to size.

“It is a fight that has got thriller written all over it and the idea of hitting and not getting hit will go out of the window fairly quickly.

“Of course I am looking to put it right for Ronnie – there is nothing wrong with a bit of revenge!”

Like Heffron, Williams believes he now faces a greater challenge than he was previously anticipating.

“One hundred per cent it is a bigger fight than I had lined up before – it is a cracking fight,” said the Welshman known as the ‘Machine’.

“What can I say other than it excites me. It gives me the chance to prove myself at the weight above as well and I should say that I am not being forced to move up because I can make light middle and will still make it.

“It is just an opportunity that has come to me because that bottle-job Metcalf pulled out again.

“Listen, I respect Mark Heffron, he is a quality fighter who can punch and box. I believe I can beat him and if I didn’t I wouldn’t have taken this fight and moved up a weight to take it.

“It will be a war and an incredible punch-up.”
 
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 will now fight WBO Interim world title challenger Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) will also feature on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

In another middleweight addition, 7-0-1 Darlington Middleweight Troy ‘Trojan’ Williamson has also been added to the show after his thrilling draw with Jack Flatley earlier this year.


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.com

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