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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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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MASSEY BIDDING FOR CRUISE CONTROL – EYES OKOLIE CLASH

MASSEY BIDDING FOR CRUISE CONTROL – EYES OKOLIE CLASH
JACK MASSEY BELIEVES that a couple of recent high profile fights in his weight division have potentially given the cruiserweights a bad name.

The 14-0 Massey, who goes by the name of ‘One Smack’, is keen to propel himself into the thick of things and returns to action on the mammoth Manchester Arena card on December 22 as one of the support acts to Josh Warrington defending his IBF world featherweight title against two-weight world champion Carl Frampton.

Fights that have been given the big build up, such as Lawrence Okolie-Isaac Chamberlain and Matty Askin-Okolie, have failed to live up to their billing and Massey fears the boxing public could be turned off from the 200 pounders.

“Yeah, a little bit, I definitely think so myself,” considered the 25-year-old. “You don’t want people to watch fights like that and think it is what boxing is about. Matty Askin is a talent, so is Chamberlain, but Okolie is just awkward and holds a lot.

“He made them look mediocre as well as himself,” added Jack, who says the hype around these fights was not justified in the ring.

“No, not really, but there is a lot of talent in the cruiserweight division at the moment with a lot of good up and coming young fighters.

“If you saw the Okolie-Askin fight it was a bit of a stinker and you don’t want people to watch that and think that is what the cruiserweights are about. You want people to be interested in the cruiserweight division and see some good fights.”

Massey views himself as the man to restore the sparkle to the division and would willingly put himself forward to challenge Okolie. However, he suspects he is not viewed as an ideal candidate for a voluntary defence of a title and he will have to force the issue by earning mandatory status.

“I definitely think it is time to step up and obviously fight for some titles – we need a big title fight now. I feel like I am ready for that.

“My last fight – against Ian Tims – was a bit of a step up and, from what I am hearing from my management, a lot of people don’t want to fight me now and are ducking and diving a little bit.

“It seems like it will be harder to get a title shot unless I get into a mandatory position. So I just need to crack on and get some good fights, starting on December 22. I need to get cracking up the rankings then see what we can get.

“It is a great show to be on with some top fights on it and I think my tickets are going to fly out for it.

“We’d like the Okolie fight and he’s now got the target on his back, hasn’t he? Obviously styles make fights and it would be an awkward fight, but we have had a look at him and seen a few things.

“He has won the British and Commonwealth so he is the one you are going to target and we would like that fight. If not, we will go back to the drawing board and see what is best for us in getting up the rankings.

“It doesn’t sound like Okolie will take the fight so I can’t see it happening any time soon.”
 
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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SAM MAXWELL – “I AM READY NOW.”

SAM MAXWELL – “I AM READY NOW.”
SAM MAXWELL insists that he is ready to step up and face Britain’s best Super-Lightweights.Maxwell (9-0) aims to make it a perfect ten as a professional when he boxes on the undercard of Josh Warrington’s IBF World Featherweight title defence against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on December 22.

Despite his lack of professional experience Maxwell mixed with greats like Vasyl Lomachenko in the WSB lasting the five round distance in both contests against the brilliant Ukrainian.

So boxing the Best of British in the ten stone division holds no fears for the Liverpool boxer who trains in Glasgow under Danny Vaughan.

Maxwell said: “I see myself getting up there with boxers like Josh Taylor, Jack Catterall, Terry Flanagan and the rest of the division very soon.

“I’m ready now. I was 30 years-old last week and if I’m not ready now I will never be ready. I will fight anyone. The better the opponent, the better I will perform and prove how good I am.

“There are so many good British boxers at ten stone, but without doubt the toughest one to face would be Taylor.

“He is world class and definitely the top one. Flanagan is also at world level.

“People are writing him off, but I think he is very good and last weekend he just ran into a quality operator, Regis Prograis.

“There are a lot of good names, but there are different standards among them. Ohara Davies for example is decent, but didn’t look as good against Jack Catterall.

“Jack is one of those fighters who always finds a way to win. He looks special at times and then looks to just win which he does and did so comfortably against Ohara.

“I am looking to breakthrough onto that scene as early as possible next year.

“There has been some top domestic fight at Super-Lightweight recently like Jack v Ohara and Glenn Foot v Robbie Davies.

“I watched those fights and thought, ‘I’m not far off them’. It has got me and Danny excited.

“I have got the talent. All I am missing is the experience in the rounds, but I feel I am ready to step up. I am looking forward to the challenge and a big year next year.”

Maxwell is excited to be ending 2018 on a stunning BT Sport pay-per-view bill that also includes his close friend JJ Metcalf defending his WBC International Super Welterweight Title against Liam Williams.

He added: “I am going with Frampton, but I wrote Warrington off against Lee Selby, but he put on a masterclass. You can never write him off.

“The fight I’m really looking forward to on the bill is JJ against Liam.

“JJ is an old stablemate of mine and I really hope he can pull through. It is a massive fight and massive ask, but if anyone can do it he can.

“His character and willpower means it will take something special to beat him.”

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 (18-0) will defend his WBC International super-welterweight title against Liam Williams (18-2-1) in support of the main event, while Mark Heffron (21-0) 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). Merseyside will be represented as Liverpool Welterweight prospect Sam Maxwell (9-0) returns to action on the show along with Formby’s Heavyweight Alex Dickinson (6-0). Derbyshire’s highly touted Cruiserweight Jack ‘One Smack’ Massey (14-0) will 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 Eventim.

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UNDERDOG BARNES: “WHAT DO THE BOOKIES KNOW? THEY HAD ME DOWN TO WIN THE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL!”

 

Already Ireland’s most decorated amateur boxer ever, on Saturday mighty atom Paddy Barnes begins his quest to become the finest prizefighter in the Emerald Isle’s rich pugilistic history.
 
At Windsor Park soccer stadium in his home city of Belfast, the former European and two-time Commonwealth Games champion, who also twice made the podium at the Olympic Games, rolls the dice against Nicaragua’s formidable WBC champion Cristofer Rosales….. with just 32 pro rounds showing on his slate!
 
Despite his unquestionable pedigree and home court, it is a task that odds setters believe is beyond ‘Paddy Power’ and they enlist the tricky and tenacious battler as a 17-10 outsider against a lethal Latino whose resume shows 25 more pro fights.
 
‘Rosales is a very good champion but I’m a 31 year old triple Olympian who’s been boxing for 20 years. If I’m not ready now, when will I be ready?’ asks the Danny Vaughan coached contender whose 21 month pro career includes just five gigs and no 12 round experience.
 
‘People have to remember that I also had eight ‘five-round’ fights with small gloves and no vest or headguard in the WSB where I’d be fighting the national champion every time.
 
‘Let’s be truthful, there’s no such thing as ‘amateur boxing’ at elite level, any more. The Olympics and WSB involve full-time paid professional athletes and the standard is extremely high. Some of the cream from the old communist countries will never go professional but they were fully matured men; among the very best fighters for their weight on the planet.’
 
The father of two daughters has had ample time to whip both body and mind into pristine fighting condition ahead of this unexpected voluntary challenge.
 
‘Basically, I’ve been in camp since January because I was scheduled to have fights in March, then June,’ states Barnes who persevered with the sport after losing his first 15 amateur contests!
 
‘I’ve been solid on this for 10 weeks, spending time at gyms in Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham, Dubai as well as Belfast. And I have the luxury of training alongside some of my very best friends such as Tyrone McKenna and Sean McComb which makes prepping really enjoyable. Everything has good extremely well.’
 
And Cliftonville FC diehard Paddy has no qualms about pursuing his world title dream in the den of NIFL Premiership arch rivals Linfield!
 
‘This’ll not be the first time a Cliftonville boy has won a fight over at Windsor Park!’ quips the engaging Barnes who was awarded an MBE for services to boxing and the community in 2015.
 
‘Home advantage is a big bonus. A sell-out is expected and I’ve personally sold over 800 tickets. There’s no home crowd like a Belfast home crowd but I’ll keep a lid on it. Having boxed in huge, often hostile arenas around the world, I’m far too experienced and well-schooled to lose focus. Besides, I’m acutely aware what Rosales is capable of doing to me if my concentration wonders.
 
‘But I hold the advantage here. I’ve competed on much bigger platforms and, the bigger the stage, the better performance I produce. I’m very conscious of giving the paying fans their money’s worth and partaking in a great fight.’
 
The one they call ‘The Leprechaun’ is not only eight years senior but, having conducted his stellar amateur innings in the 49kg light-flyweight class, will concede almost three inches in height, seven inches in reach to stick of dynamite Rosales.
 
‘Flyweight is my optimal division now and I’m very, very strong at 8st,’ insists Barnes.
 
‘Taller opponents are generally better for me because there’s no one my size in Ireland or the UK suitable to spar with so it’s the norm to spar taller, heavier men. That said, Rosales doesn’t really capitalise on his height. He’s right in your face.’
 
The explosive 23 year old champion has left 18 of his 27 victims staring up at the lights and commandeered his crown by clattering feared 15-0 (15) Tokyo terror Daigo Higa in nine over in Yokohama. But two of his three losses were inflicted by Brits Kal Yafai (pts8) and Andrew Selby (pts 12) and the Ulsterman is intent on completing the hat-trick.
 
‘Rosales is very tough and relentless,’ acknowledges Barnes.
 
‘You can’t take too much from his loss to Selby because Andrew has his own unique style. I took far more from his upset victory over Higa because I’ve a very similar style to Higa but I’m a bit more active.
 
‘Higa, a huge, huge puncher, was unable to hurt Rosales so I’m expecting a hard 12 rounder. Everyone warns Cristofer’s got 18 knockouts but I could fight 18 bums and get 18 kayos. That won’t be an issue. I was never dropped or stopped in over 300 amateur fights.
 
‘I know I’m the underdog but what do the bookies know? They had me down to win the Olympic gold medal!
 
‘I win because my skills and knowledge are superior to Rosales. He may be more experienced but I’m the better fighter. I intend to steal the show. I’m Paddy Barnes and I always win!’

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FRAMPTON V JACKSON/ROSALES V BARNES FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

 

ON Saturday night Carl Frampton defends his ‘interim’ WBO featherweight title against Australian Luke Jackson at Belfast’s Windsor Park live on BT Sport from 7.45pm.
 
Frampton’s great friend Paddy Barnes challenges WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales on the biggest show ever held in Belfast and reckons his clash will steal the show in front of 25,000 fans.
 
Here are a selection of quotes from today’s final press conference.
 
FRANK WARREN (Promoter)
 
“It is going to be a fantastic occasion. We have Ireland’s best in action.
 
“Carl is a tremendous professional, fantastic to work with and the reason we are here. He knows what is at stake and wants to put himself in line for a full world title fight.
 
“He is not fazed and just wants the best. He wanted to fight at Windsor Park and we have delivered.
 
“After this he will be in a major, major fight which fans will love, but Jackson is here to win and upsets happen. This is Carl’s dream and I don’t want it turning into a nightmare.
 
“Paddy is really stepping up to the plate after five professional fights and if gameness wins world titles he wins this weekend.
 
“I am looking for history being made and I believe Paddy can do it in his sixth fight.”
 
CARL FRAMPTON
 
“It has been a dream to box at Windsor Park and is about to become a reality. To have friends on the bill like Paddy Barnes, Conrad Cummings and Steven Ward makes it more special.
 
“I have seen a few things Luke has said, but from start to finish I have trained very hard and it’s about more than Luke. It’s Windsor Park.
 
“The last year everything has flipped. I’m in my prime and about to deliver big performances. In the past I was getting big wins, but I wasn’t a happy fighter.
 
“I know a fair bit about Luke and he is highly ranked for a reason. He is a good fighter, but I am at another level.
 
“It will also mean the world to me for Paddy to win a world title on this bill and I think his fight will steal the show.
 
“He is always the joker, but he is serious this time and if I had my last pound I would back him.”
 
JAMIE MOORE (Frampton’s trainer)
 
“Carl is a consummate professional. We wanted one of the top two or three guys in the world, but it wasn’t possible. Windsor Park is the dream he has always wanted though.
 
“I understand why Luke’s camp say Carl has overlooked him, but that is to give them confidence. Statistics have shown he is 10 per-cent fitter than the Donaire fight.
 
“I think Carl is in his prime. Boxing isn’t about fitness and technique but also mental. It is about getting everything right.
 
“Carl is still improving and that is scary. He does things you cannot teach.”
 
LUKE JACKSON
 
“I thought Carl was overlooking me but he knows what is at stake. If Carl loses to me his career is over. I have got to fight the perfect fight and I believe I can do it.
 
“It’s a real life Rocky story if I win. I have come from nothing. I have gone through a lot to get here and if I spoke about that I’d be here all day.
 
“My father has left Australia for the first time ever to be here and it makes me so proud. A 67-year-old man has travelled halfway around the world for me.
 
“I have tried to prepare mentally for all the things that can happen and we have to see if it works.”
 
BILLY HUSSEIN (Jackson’s trainer)
 
“Luke is an ultimate professional and I have had to slow him down. I believe Carl is overlooking us and thinking of the Warrington fight.”
 
CRISTOFER ROSALES
 
“I am used to fighting away and I have no bother fighting in front of this big crowd. I know enough to realise I am going to win on Saturday.
 
“I don’t want Paddy to go running like a chicken. I will let him dictate and then I will catch him.”
 
PADDY BARNES
 
“It is going to be a great fight. Cristofer is relentless and it’s going to be fight of the night.
 
“To become a world champion especially in my home city will be the best thing ever. If I dictate the pace, I can control the distance and will win.”
 
DANNY VAUGHAN (Barnes trainer)
 
“The camp has been unbelievable and Paddy has given his heart and soul in camp and we just can’t wait.
 
“We have been to spar with Kal Yafai who beat Rosales and that was fantastic.”
 
Also on the bill Tyson Fury fights Francesco Pianeta and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will be ringside. A big win and Fury could face Wilder later this year.
 
There is a star studded undercard and just a handful of tickets remain from www.ticketmaster.ie.

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Paddy Barnes World Title Fight to open BT Broadcast


 
Paddy Barnes will start televised proceedings on Saturday August 18th when he challenges WBC World Flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales for his world championship in front of a home crowd in Belfast at the city’s national stadium, Windsor Park.
 
Televised coverage of the big night of boxing will begin straight after the huge Premier League local derby between Chelsea and Arsenal live on BT Sport 1. Coverage of the big fight night will begin at 7:45pm.
 
“This is a massive bonus for Paddy fighting straight after the Arsenal-Chelsea match, it means there will be an even bigger audience tuning in to watch him for his big world title fight.” said boxing promotor Frank Warren; who also had a message for the fans heading to Windsor Park on August 18th:
 
“Get yourself in the stadium nice and early, grab a drink and enjoy an excellent night of world class boxing. Let’s hope it will stay nice and dry for everyone!”.
 
Amateur stand-out Barnes has two Olympic bronze and two Commonwealth Gold medals to his name and will be looking to add a professional world title to that collection on August 18th.
 
This will only be Barnes’ sixth outing as a professional after being fast-tracked to world title contention. In his most recent fight Barnes impressed by stopping tough Nicaraguan, Eliecer Quezada in the sixth round; a fighter who narrowly lost to upcoming opponent Rosales with a split decision just seven months before.
 
The WBC Flyweight king, Cristofer Rosales will be making his maiden title defence in Belfast after stopping the unbeaten Japanese fighter, Daigo Higa in Japan in which was a major upset.
 
The 23-year-old Nicaraguan already has thirty fights as a professional but has previously lost to two undefeated Brits in Andrew Selby and Kal Yafai. Rosales will be fighting to make it third time lucky against British opposition when he faces Barnes, along with retaining his WBC strap.
 
Fellow Belfast native and good friend of Barnes, Carl Frampton will be headlining the Windsor Park event when he defends his interim WBO World Featherweight title against Australia’s Luke Jackson.
 
Also on the BT Sport televised bill Lineal heavyweight king Tyson Fury faces a step up when he tackles two-time world title challenger Francesco Pianeta.
 
The bill also includes a light-heavyweight clash between Belfast’s Ward and Dubliner Steve Collins Jr. Also in action is WBO European middleweight champion Luke Keeler, Cummings, KO king Lewis Crocker, Marco McCullough, Sean McComb and Steven Donnelly.

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