FOX BELIEVES HE’S NO CHRISTMAS TURKEY AS HE VOWS TO “KNOCK THE STUFFING” OUT OF LIAM WILLIAMS

ALANTEZ FOX has warned Middleweight banger Liam Williams that the “doctor is going to have to save him from himself” come December 21st.

The American boxer, ranked #1 by the WBO, was responding to a wild interview by Williams where he referred to Fox as a “skinny little rat” and predicted he’d bank an “easy victory” for British boxing.

The pair do battle on Queensberry Promotions’ ‘The Fight Before Christmas’ card at the Copper Box Arena, which will see Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois headline against Kyotaro Fujimoto.

But the fight with the most immediate World Title permutations is the one between Williams and Fox, with the winner perfectly poised to challenge Demetrius Andrade.

Asked about his championship ambitions Fox said: “I don’t know if Liam is world level but I know he won’t be the man to stop my rise to a world title.”

Williams raised eyebrows earlier this week when it was revealed he had brought in the giant 6’6” Light Heavyweight Shakan Pitters to mimic the equally lofty Fox in sparring.

His opponent, though, doesn’t believe there is anything the Welshman can do to improve his chances come fight night.

“I know what he is going to do and I know what I am going to do… you will find out on fight night!”

When questioned as to what sort of sparring partners he’d brought in to prepare for the December 21st bout, Fox simply said: “Better, sharper fighters than Liam Williams.”

Fans’ mouths were watering already at the idea of the two squaring off but the anticipation has reached new heights since Williams’ began branding ‘lanky’ Alantez a “skinny little rat”.

Fox, however, thinks this is just a trick Liam is using to psyche himself up for war. 

“I think he needs to not like me in order to talk himself into this fight” he said, before joking “I told him to call me Master Splinter, I am the sharpest rat he has ever seen!”

Fighting for the first time in the UK can be intimidating for any fighter, with British fans famed for creating a raucous atmosphere, but Fox insists he’s up to the task.

“I’m very excited to travel to the UK.  UK fans are amazing and incredibly supportive of their fighters.  I am looking forward to putting on a great show and not only beating Liam Williams but taking all his fans as well.”

And when asked for a prediction of his own he was quick to channel his inner Brit.

“I believe his coaches, doctor or the ref are going to have to save him from himself because as you Brits say, I’m going to beat the stuffing out of him.”

Having lost only one fight in his professional career, Fox has every reason to feel confident and his manager, Mike Borao, believes his man is going to bring a few surprises to East London too.

He said: “I think Williams is going to be shocked and overwhelmed by the fighter he is facing on the 21st.  On the night, Alantez Fox will show why he is the WBOs number one ranked middleweight contender.”

With the WBO Champion Andrade waiting just around the corner for the victor, both men are adamant they are the one to step up and wrest the title from his control.

And if Fox is right, Williams may yet need to be saved from himself but the fans can certainly be safe in the knowledge they’re guaranteed a Christmas cracker of a fight come December 21st.

———————————

ALSO ON THE SHOWUnbeaten Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois (13-0) looks to continue his path of destruction against Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1). The WBC Silver Heavyweight championship and the WBO International Heavyweight belts will be on the line.Sunny Edwards (13-0) fights for the vacant British super flyweight title against former amateur teammate Marcel Braithwaite (9-1), with Light Heavyweight prospect and Love Island star Tommy Fury (2-0) making his long awaited return to the boxing ring after winning the hearts of the nation on the popular ITV reality television show over the summer. Tickets from £40 are now on sale via Seetickets and via Ticketmaster

Ticket prices:

£250 – Hospitality
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor
£75 – Floor
£50 – Lower Tier
£40 – Upper Tier  

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LIAM WILLIAMS BRANDS FOX A “SKINNY LITTLE RAT” AND ANDRADE “BORING” AS HE SPARS GIANT SHAKAN PITTERS

PREPARATIONS HAVE BEGUN in earnest for Liam Williams’ December 21st eliminator against 6’5” Alantez Fox as pictures emerged of him sparring with Light Heavyweight Shakan Pitters.

Explaining the decision to seek out the 6’6” Brummie, Williams said: “He’s two weights above me, a good two stone heavier than me and he’s taller than my opponent.”He added: “You’ve got to train for worse than what you’re going to get, it makes it easier on fight night.”

Asked how he found sparring someone so much bigger, he confidently declared himself “comfortable with it”.

“It can be difficult,” he admitted, “you can think you’re out of range and then get pinged with silly shots but for my first spar with a guy that size? It went very well!”

The bout with the WBOs #1 ranked Middleweight Fox was only announced yesterday and already the war of words between the two world class fighters has begun.

When questioned as to why he had referred to Fox as a ‘rat’ on social media, the Welsh banger quipped: “he’s just a skinny little rat, isn’t he?”

“When I say things I mean business. I’m willing to back it up. He’s just one of those who chats sh*t to build buzz for a fight. When I say I’m going to smash him up I really mean it.”

Liam, 21-2-1 with 16 KO’s, is on a five fight finishing spree and is convinced that he can add another knockout to his record come December 21st.

“All he has is height and reach. It’ll be a difficult fight but as long as I come fully prepared, and stick to my game plan, I believe I’ll walk away with an easy victory.”

And his prediction for how it’ll end?

“I always enter the ring with bad intentions. I want to stop him inside the distance.”

With a #1 ranking with the WBO up for grabs it’s difficult not to ask ‘The Machine’ his thoughts about a potential 2020 battle with World Champion Demetrius Andrade.

Williams is a fan of the champs skill in the ring, saying: “He’s very good – He’s an awkward, tall southpaw.”

Never failing to get a dig in on his next opponent, though, he’s quick to point out that he believes Andrade “brings a lot more to the table than Fox” and is a “two weight world champion for a reason.”

But Williams also sees holes in Andrade’s game that he believes will give him a chance when they finally meet: “He usually looks good for the first couple of rounds, but then he goes to sleep for a bit.”

“At times it’s like watching paint dry” he added. “It’s boring!”

Before he can tackle the “boring” Demetrius Andrade and reach his goal of being World Champion, however, he must first tackle the tall order that is Alantez Fox.

And with tough sparring in the shape of 6’6” Light Heavyweights like Shakan Pitters on-hand, Williams and his team are confident he won’t fall short come December 21st.——–

 ALSO ON THE SHOW

Unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois (13-0) looks to continue his path of destruction against Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1). The WBC Silver Heavyweight championship and the WBO International Heavyweight belts will be on the line.
Sunny Edwards (13-0) fights for the vacant British super flyweight title against former amateur teammate Marcel Braithwaite (9-1), with Light Heavyweight prospect and Love Island star Tommy Fury (2-0) making his long awaited return to the boxing ring after winning the hearts of the nation on the popular ITV reality television show over the summer. 

Tickets from £40 are now on sale via Seetickets and will be available via Ticketmaster shortly

Ticket prices:

£250 – Hospitality
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor
£75 – Floor
£50 – Lower Tier
£40 – Upper Tier  

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NEWS: WILLIAMS ONE STEP FROM WORLD GLORY

LIAM WILLIAMS WILL fight in a shootout to determine No.1 spot in the WBO world middleweight rankings against the American Alantez Fox at the Copper Box Arena on ‘The Fight Before Christmas’ card on December 21.
 
Two-weight British champion Williams against the 26-1-1 Maryland man joins Daniel Dubois-Kyotaro Fujimoto for the WBC Silver and WBO International heavyweight titles and Sunny Edwards-Marcel Braithwaite for the British super flyweight title, along with light heavyweight and Love Island star Tommy Fury making his return to the ring.
 
Welshman Williams is on a blistering run of form since stepping up to middleweight and winning a second Lonsdale belt via a 10th round stoppage of the then unbeaten banger Mark Heffron. He followed this up with a first defence demolition of Joe Mullender inside two rounds, before taking only seconds longer to pummel the previously not-stopped Frenchman Karim Achour.
 
His exploits have been recognised and he gets the opportunity to take on the once-beaten 27-year-old, whose only reverse came on the cards when he took on the current WBO champion Demetrius Andrade in October 2017.
 
Williams and Fox are now effectively fighting for the right to challenge Andrade for his WBO world title.
 
“It is a decider for the WBO title so it is exciting stuff,” said Williams, also 27 with a record of 21-2-1. “I feel like I have been knocking on the door for a little while and I am just so happy to get this opportunity.
 
“I know he is very, very big at about 6ft 5”, also thin and rangy. He is what he is and that is good. When comes to shove though he is going to smashed the same as the rest of them.
 
“He has only lost to Andrade on points and it will be a good name to have on my record. I believe I am going to smash him and stop him. I need to get my head on the game now and put on a good show.
 
“It is a very, very nice Christmas present and after it I will get to go home to my family in good spirits and look forward to next year.”
 
Promoter Frank Warren added: “I am delighted to deliver this opportunity for Liam and it is one we had to work very hard on for him. It is also a fantastic addition to an already great show just before Christmas.
 
“Liam is on a terrific run and fighting at middleweight seems to have brought the best out of him because he is ferocious at the weight. He is up against a tricky customer now in Fox who is also used to winning, with the prize ultimately being a shot at the WBO world title held by Demetrius Andrade next year.
 
“We believe Liam has got what it takes to operate at the highest level, which is why we had no hesitation in pushing for this important fight.”
 
The WBO world middleweight title eliminator between Liam Williams and Alantez Fox is added to Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions bumper night of boxing at the Copper Box Arena on December 21st.
Unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois (13-0) looks to continue his path of destruction against Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1). The WBC Silver Heavyweight championship and the WBO International Heavyweight belts will be on the line.
Sunny Edwards (13-0) fights for the vacant British super flyweight title against former amateur teammate Marcel Braithwaite (9-1), with Light Heavyweight prospect and Love Island star Tommy Fury (2-0) making his long awaited return to the boxing ring after winning the hearts of the nation on the popular ITV reality television show over the summer. 

Tickets from £40 are now on sale via Seetickets and will be available via Ticketmaster shortly

Ticket prices:

£250 – Hospitality
£150 – Floor
£100 – Floor
£75 – Floor
£50 – Lower Tier
£40 – Upper Tier  

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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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