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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WARRINGTON SEES WEAKNESSES IN VALDEZ


JOSH WARRINGTON is dreaming of hitting the boxing jackpot in Las Vegas so his friends can have a week of partying.

The Leeds hero defends his IBF World Featherweight title against Belfast’s Carl Frampton (26-1) at Manchester Arena on December 22.

Promoter Frank Warren is lining up a unification fight next year against WBO champion Oscar Valdez for the winner.

If Warrington wins his first defence next month he wants it to take place in America. Warrington (27-0) is a huge ticket seller and would take thousands of fans if he boxed in the world’s boxing capital.

He said: “I would like to go to the United States – that gets me excited!

“It is for all my fans. After I beat Lee Selby, they were all asking me; ‘When is Las Vegas happening?’ They want an away day and an excuse to take a holiday..

“My boxing bucket list is unifying the division and to box there like a lot of the great fighters have.

“When I went to watch Carl fight Leo Santa Cruz in their Las Vegas rematch I made it my intention then that I wanted to fight there.”

Valdez says he wants the Warrington/Frampton winner and his promoter Bob Arum has discussed the clash with Warren, who promotes both boxers.

Warrington, 27, added: “Valdez is very exciting, a helluva talent, likes a scrap, known how to get guys out when they’re hurt but at the same time I have seen weaknesses.

“He gets caught pretty clean and sometimes uses his chin as his defence. He has beaten good names though and I wouldn’t take any credit away from him.

“Right now all I’m thinking of is Carl, and I’m sure he is thinking of me more than Valdez or any boxer.”

Warrington is still young enough to take his time in cleaning up the Featherweight division, but is in a rush to secure his legacy.

“When there is a chance to fight another champion you are going to grab that opportunity with both hands,”

he explained. “I am reaching my peak years. I’m fresh, I’m hungry, I’m determined. When you have momentum and confidence in yourself go for the big ones.

“Some fighters look at it like they have a chance to pad out their record and get some paydays under their belt.

“It is a short career and I don’t want to be boxing forever. If I can get the big fights one after the other I will take them.

“In my mid-career I was headlining Leeds Arena and I wasn’t fighting big names, but I was building myself up.

“Now it is the time to get big fights and all I want to do is be involved in them.”

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.

JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

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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CONLAN EYES FUTURE WARRINGTON CLASH


MICHAEL CONLAN has two jobs in one night next month – making it a perfect ten as a professional and gathering some intelligence on possible future opponent, Josh Warrington.Conlan (9-0) boxes on the undercard when Warrington (27-0) risks his IBF Featherweight crown against Carl Frampton (26-1) at Manchester Arena on December 22.

Belfast’s Conlan is widely expected to fight for a world title inside 18 months, but it won’t be against Frampton because they are close friends.

Warrington is in his firing line.Conlan said: “A fight against Josh is something I can see happening and it is going to be some fight between him and Carl.

“Another reason that I’m intrigued in the fight is that it’s a scouting mission for me.

“Win or lose, I would love to face Josh Warrington in the future. Carl and myself are friends so that won’t happen, but I am definitely keeping an eye on Josh.

“If Josh loses he is still going to come again because he is young enough, hungry, determined, fit and would have the ability to become world champion again if he loses.”

Conlan’s promoters Top Rank are steadily moving him up in class and by this time next year he’s likely to be fighting top operators like Warrington.
The 2015 world amateur champion added: “I would feel confident even though I rate Josh as a fighter. His style is one I love to face and one that brings out the best in my style of boxing.

“He is the same age range as me, has the ability to win more world titles and someone I watch.”

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.

JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

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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HEFFRON: COME FIGHT WITH ME!


MARK HEFFRON ADMITS to being a little bemused over the apparent lack of enthusiasm amongst his middleweight rivals to step up and contest the British title against him.

The unbeaten knockout artist worked his way into mandatory position for a shot at the belt with a string of impressive victories and he was all set to take on the champion, Jason Welborn, who was fresh of a double over Tommy Langford.

The Manchester match-up was then aborted after purse bids had been won for Heffron to challenge for the title on the big Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton card on December 22.

It transpired that Welborn had understandably accepted a world title opportunity on December 1 against Jarrett Hurd on the undercard of Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury, but the development was still a blow to the ambitious Heffron.

“I was pretty gutted that Welborn vacated the title, but obviously he has got a big opportunity,” said the 21-0 man known as ‘Kid Dynamite’. “I knew straight away that he had vacated to fight for the world title because my manager rang me, but I was still gutted although I understand it.

“I’m not really bothered that I won’t be fighting a champion, I just want to fight for the British and it doesn’t matter who I am fighting – as long as I win!”

Heffron will still fight for the coveted Lonsdale belt at the Manchester Arena if a contender steps up to the plate and accepts the challenge. However, at the moment, willing volunteers are not queuing up around the corner.

“We’ve had a few names thrown at us to fight for the vacant title and every name we have said yes to, but the people it has been offered to have come back and said they don’t want the fight, so it is a bit hard work at the minute.

“I can’t understand it, can I ‘eck, because if someone offered me the chance to fight for the British title I would grab it with both hands, which I obviously have done anyway.

“Reece Cartwright got offered it and then came back not wanting it, but I don’t know for what reason, while I think Tommy Langford was asked and he is moving up a weight.

“It has now got back to me about Conrad Cummings as well and he has not taken it either. I think he has got something else going on.

“I just need somebody to come forward and take the fight now.

“After that, Elliott Matthews is fighting for the Commonwealth soon, so if he wins that and I win the British then we can get it on next for both.”
 
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. JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

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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CONLAN FEARS FOR BOXING’S OLYMPIC FUTURE


MICHAEL CONLAN has spoken of his concern for the future of amateur boxing if the sport is expelled from the 2020 Olympics.The Belfast Featherweight prospect was involved in one of Olympic boxing’s biggest ever controversies at the 2016 Rio Games.

He was tipped to win 56kg gold, but was the victim of a points defeat against Russian Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-finals when he looked a clear winner.

Conlan famously gave a middle finger salute to AIBA judges officiating and then turned pro with American powerhouse promoters Top Rank.Conlan (9-0) is on a collision course to face Nikitin next year, but is in action at Manchester Arena on December 22 when his friend Carl Frampton challenges IBF Featherweight champion Josh Warrington, live on BT Sport Box Office.

A row has broken out over the governance of the amateur sport putting its Olympic future under threat and fears have risen after Gafur Rakhimov was elected AIBA President.Conlan, 26, said: “Boxing is en-route to being kicked out of the Olympics which is very, very unfortunate and something I would not like to see.

“I think Olympic boxing is the main reason so many boxers stay amateur. The only reason I stayed amateur for so long is because I wanted to be an Olympic champion.

“If boxing get kicked out it will be really unfortunate and you will see a lot of young amateurs turn professional.

“The only people I am sorry for is the boxers who are going to miss out on a chance to become an Olympic champion and experience that.

“I feel bad for them because they have the Olympic dream and want to be successful.

“If they can’t get a chance of going to the Olympics there is no point in staying amateur in my opinion.

”Boxing has taken place at every Olympics since 1904, apart from Stockholm eight years later because boxing was banned in Sweden.Conlan is still clinging to feint hope, adding:

“I know it doesn’t look like there will be Olympic boxing, but for some reason I think it will stay.”

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.

JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 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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WARRINGTON: “THERE ARE NOT MANY FIGHTERS WHO GO STRAIGHT FROM ONE BIG NAME TO ANOTHER!”

THE KUDOS OF adding both Lee Selby and Carl Frampton to his win column in 2018 was the key attraction for Josh Warrington in putting his IBF world featherweight title at such significant risk in the first defence of his belt.

Respected champion Selby successfully defended his title five times after winning it with the impressive stoppage of the previously unbeaten Evgeny Gradovich in May 2015. He came unstuck against a rampant Warrington at Elland Road in May and many in the business anticipated the Leeds man taking on a more routine assignment on home turf next time out.

Instead he will venture across to the Manchester Arena on December 22 to tackle two-weight world champion – and current WBO Interim world title holder – Carl Frampton in a BT Sport Box Office spectacular.

If he can add the name of the decorated Frampton to that of Selby it will make for quite a year for the 27-year-old, but he points out that it is about more than just impressive entries on his CV. Warrington wants to prove that he is the best about at the weight in Britain at the moment.

“That is what I’ve been saying to folk, there are not many people that do that,” he stated on his bid for a big win-double.

“There are not many fighters who go straight from one big name to another.

“Obviously it is a massive opportunity for Carl and, as I have said before, we didn’t have to take this fight but I want to prove that I am the best featherweight in the UK. I believe I am and the best way to show it is to fight.

“Carl is also signed up with Frank (Warren) so the fight was easy enough to make and, as Frank says, ‘it’s on!’.”
 
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. JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

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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ARUM EXCITED FOR WARRINGTON V FRAMPTON “BARNBURNER”


LEGENDARY fight promoter Bob Arum believes Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton’s blockbuster battle will live up to expectations.Warrington’s first defence of his IBF featherweight title at Manchester Arena on December 22 is tipped by many experts to be a classic battle.

Arum has a huge interest in the fight and is in talks with his friend and fellow promoter Frank Warren to match the winner against his WBO champion, Oscar Valdez next year in a unification.

Two-weight world champion Frampton (26-1) has been in brilliant form this year thrashing Nonito Donaire on points and stopping Luke Jackson.

Warrington (27-0) caused one of the biggest upsets of 2018 when he snatched his world crown from Lee Selby in May, in front of 25,000  hometown fans in Leeds.

So it’s easy to see why Arum expects the BT Sport Box Office clash to deliver for the expected 20,000 fans packed into the arena and armchair viewers.

Arum said: “We are looking forward to the Frampton-Warrington fight, which should be a real barnburner.

“Hopefully, we can match the winner with WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez in the spring or summer of 2019.”

Arum is expected to be ringside sitting alongside Warren in Manchester to see his unbeaten featherweight prospect Michael Conlan box.

Conlan (9-0) is a close to his fellow Belfast boxer, Frampton and the pair insist they will never fight each other, but he is a possible future rival for Warrington.

Arum added: ”The addition of Mick Conlan to the card makes it a very attractive presentation on ESPN+ here in the States.”

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.

JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

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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WARRINGTON TO PUSH FOR FRAMPTON STOPPAGE, REGRETS NOT STOPPING SELBY

WARRINGTON TO PUSH FOR FRAMPTON STOPPAGE, REGRETS NOT STOPPING SELBY

IT IS HARD to imagine Josh Warrington having any regrets from his epic world title-winning encounter with Lee Selby in May.

It was a night when everything clicked perfectly into place for the Leeds Warrior. From the fight being staged inside his footballing place of worship at Elland Road, to the Kaiser Chiefs playing him into the ring in front of a buoyant bumper crowd, to a dominant display that unseated a long-standing world champion.His regrets are not a few – just one – in that he didn’t go for the jugular when he had Selby on the ropes to force a stoppage.

Now the IBF world featherweight champion states that he won’t afford Carl Frampton similar leeway when the pair get it on at the Manchester Arena on December 22 in first defence of his title, live on BT Sport Box Office.

“It is going to be high octane with plenty of energy in there with two fantastic styles,” considered the 27-year-old champion, talking to BT Sport.

“I think the fight might change patterns in terms of feeling each other out and being edgy, then busy in spells, but I can see nothing else than me taking over from the second half.

“I don’t like making predictions and I see a Josh Warrington win, but I am going to go for a stoppage this time. If I see it I am going to go for it.

“Coming out of the Selby fight, if I was going to criticise myself or kick myself, I wish I had just pressed on. This time around, if I see the opportunity I am just going to go for it.”

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.

JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

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 Eventim.

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WARRINGTON: “IN MY HEAD, I’VE GOT NOTHING TO LOSE!”

WARRINGTON: “IN MY HEAD, I’VE GOT NOTHING TO LOSE!”
JOSH WARRINGTON BELIEVES Carl Frampton might just be underestimating the size of the task ahead in attempting to prize him from his IBF world featherweight title at the Manchester Arena on December 22.

Frampton, a two-weight world champion himself, publicly declared his prediction that he felt Lee Selby was a shoe-in to retain his belt before he took on mandatory challenger Warrington at Elland Road in May.

The Belfast man made no secret of the fact he expected to be facing Selby in his attempt to add another world title belt to his collection.

Warrington spectacularly upset the odds in Leeds and again finds himself ranked second in the betting ahead of his first title defence that will be shown live on BT Sport Box Office.

The 27-year-old is aiming to ensure that history repeats itself and he confounds the odds against an opponent who might just consider the spoils are there for the taking.

“Possibly he does,” the 27-0 champion told BT Sport. “In his head he thought he would be fighting Selby in his next fight and he never thought he would be fighting me. I think that kind of makes me a bit of a wildcard because nobody expected me to bring that performance – so what am I going to bring against Carl?

“He will still have a few questions. He doesn’t know how good I am, no-one does. Obviously it is in my head what I am capable of doing and I think being tested against these boys is when I show what I can do.

“Up until then I was always just going about business and beat who was put in front of me. Now it is to show what I am really capable of.

“In my head I have got nothing to lose because I am still written off. Once again the bookies have got him as favourite and I am the champion.

“He is a massive favourite and that just gives me a greater desire and more fire in the belly.”
 
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. JJ Metcalf will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron will challenge for the British middleweight title.

Belfast’s blue chip featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (9-0) also features on the bill along with world flyweight title challenger Paddy Barnes (5-1) and unbeaten Light Heavyweight contender Steven Ward (9-0). 

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 Eventim.

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