|17:00 LIVE ON MATCHROOM BOXING YOUTUBE|
8 x 3 mins International Super-Middleweight contest
SCOTT FITZGERALD 12st 1lbs 4oz v GREGORY TRENEL 11st 12lbs 2oz
(Preston, England) (Dainville, France)
18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS BOX OFFICE/DAZN
12 x 3 mins vacant IBO Lightweight World Title
JAMES TENNYSON 9st 8lbs 7oz v JOVANNI STRAFFON 9st 7lbs 2oz
(Belfast, Northern Ireland) (Mexico City, Mexico)
4 x 3 mins Heavyweight contest
JOHNNY FISHER 17st 7lbs 4oz v PHIL WILLIAMS 19st 2lbs 7oz
(Romford, England) (Swindon, England)
12 x 3 mins WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title
DMITRY BIVOL 12st 6lbs 2oz v CRAIG RICHARDS 12st 6lbs 6oz
(Saint Petersburg, Russia) (Crystal Palace, England)
10 x 3 mins Middleweight contest
CHRIS EUBANK JR 11st 7lbs 9oz v MARCUS MORRISON 11st 7lbs 8oz
(Brighton, England) (Hattersley, England)
4 x 3 mins Lightweight contest
CAMPBELL HATTON 9st 9lbs 9oz v LEVI DUNN 9st 8lbs 5oz
(Manchester, England) (Prestwich, England)
10 x 2 mins Undisputed Lightweight World Titles
KATIE TAYLOR 9st 8lbs 8oz v NATASHA JONAS 9st 8lbs 7oz
(Bray, Ireland) (Liverpool, England)
12 x 3 mins vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title
DEREK CHISORA 17st 12lbs 8oz v JOSEPH PARKER 17st 3lbs 2oz
(Finchley, England) (Auckland, New Zealand)
Former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Shakan Pitters will be backing old foe Craig Richards in his WBA World title challenge against Dmitry Bivol tomorrow night.
Pitters lost his British title to Richards last December when ahead on the judges’ scorecards he was stopped in the ninth round by the hard-hitting Londoner, but he wants to see his rival win the title which could set up future rematch between the pair.
‘Big Shak’ begins his comeback on Saturday 22nd May at the Coventry Skydome Arena, exclusively live and free on Channel 5, when he takes on Bradford’s Jermaine Springer in an eight-rounder on the undercard of the big showdown between Sam Eggington and Carlos Molina for the WBC Silver Middleweight Championship.
He said, “Anything can happen in boxing and he’s got a good chance tomorrow night. He’s stepped up to face Bivol who’s unbeaten and won the world title in just his seventh fight and he can punch. I’ve spoken to Richards since our fight and we’re cool, I wished him all the best and it’s great for British boxing if he wins.”
The 31-year-old from Birmingham is hungry to return to the ring and do a good job on Springer and then push his case for a championship title opportunity.
He added, “I’d like the rematch with Richards, but I’m not going to chase it, I’m going to focus on my own career and keep winning and get the belts coming in and then in time I’m sure we’ll meet again.”
“I’ve been working hard in the gym since the Richards fight with my trainer Jon Pegg and we’ve been focusing on ring generalship and aggression so you’ll be seeing a more attacking Shakan Pitters on his return,”
“I’m looking for a more clinical performance and do what I do best and show the skills and make a real statement.”
Presented by Hennessy Sports in association with William Hill, Infinitum, Numan, Everlast and King Carlos Promotions, Eggington v Molina will headline the exciting nine-fight card exclusively live and free-to-air across the UK and Ireland on Channel 5.
Main event features Birmingham warrior Sam Eggington (29-7-0, 17 KO’s) against Mexico’s hard-as-nails Carlos Molina (37-11-2, 12 KO’s) for the Vacant WBC Silver Middleweight Championship. Chief support features a cracking showdown between Birmingham’s Kaisee Benjamin (11-1-1, 2 KO’s) and Dumbarton’s Martin Harkin (13-1-0, 5 KO’s) in an Eliminator for the British Welterweight Championship (Subject to BBBofC approval).
Also on the card, Coventry sensation River Wilson-Bent (8-0-0, 4 KO’s) makes the first defence of his Midlands Area Middleweight title against Derby’s George Farrell (5-0-0, 1 KO). Former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Shakan Pitters (14-1-0, 4 KO’s) has his first back against Bradford’s Jermaine Springer (7-2-0, 1 KO) in an eight-rounder since losing his title to Craig Richards last December. County Monaghan super-lightweight dynamo Stephen ‘The Hitman’ McKenna (7-0-0, 7 KO’s) features in a six-rounder, but the undefeated red-hot 24-year-old prospect has not needed to go the distance yet with all his fights ending inside. Birmingham middleweight bombshell Idris ‘The Bodybreaker’ Virgo (9-0-1, 1 KO) goes in over six-rounds. Sevenoaks all-action super-welterweight Michael Hennessy Jr. (5-1-1) is in a six-rounder against Warminster’s Paul Cummings. Irish super-welterweight ace Brett McGinty (1-0) follows up his thrilling pro debut last December when he features in a four-rounder against Birmingham’s Josh Hodgins. Brighton heavyweight talent Tommy Welch (1-0-0, 1 KO), son of the former British, Commonwealth and World Heavyweight title challenger Scott, follow’s up his explosive debut last December when he stopped Matt Gordon in the second round and features in a four-round contest.
|Former WBO King meets ‘WAR’ Chisora in Manchester|
|Joseph Parker hopes that a win over Derek Chisora at the AO Arena, Manchester this Saturday May 1, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in all markets excluding the UK, Ireland, China, New Zealand and Samoa, will kickstart his route back to the top of the Heavyweight division. |
Former WBO World Champion Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) is fresh off a hard-fought 12-round decision over long-time amateur nemesis Junior Fa at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand that settled an 11-year old rivalry with his compatriot.
Ranked at No.3 with the WBO, Parker recently teamed up with former Middleweight World Champion Andy Lee, and the 29-year-old knows an impressive stoppage of the teak-tough Chisora would propel him closer to his ambition of becoming a two-time World Champion.
“I’m very prepared for this fight, I’ve had a great training camp with Andy in Ireland, then we moved over to Morecambe and got some great sparring under our belt, great pad work, bag, everything,” said Parker. “I feel like with this fight, physically and mentally, I’m in a great place – probably the best I’ve been in a while.
“You will see some good changes. I’ll be sharper, with better movement and better footwork. I’ll be focused for the whole fight. If I execute the game-plan that Andy has put in place, it should be a good night for Team Parker. I expect Derek to be Derek – to apply pressure from the beginning, throwing punches and bombs.
“Two totally different styles, Junior Fa’s style was move and hug, punch every now and then. With Derek it’s no secret, he’s going to come forward and apply the pressure, throw punches everywhere. My hands are going to have to be up, down and all around.
“I’ve been a World Champion before and I want to be World champion again. In order to achieve that goal I have to get Derek out of the way first. Then set up the other fights that are out there. We’ve done everything we can to prepare for whatever he brings.
“I think this is the perfect fight at the right time. We’re right there, get a good victory and there’s many other great fights out there to be made and to position yourself when the titles are free to fight for. This is a big card, not only the main event but the undercard fights are very exciting, I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Chisora vs. Parker tops a huge night of action in Manchester, Irish star Katie Taylor (17-0, 6 KOs) defends her Undisputed Lightweight crown against former amateur rival Natasha Jonas (9-1-1, 7 KOs), undefeated WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) puts his Title on the line against Craig Richards (16-1-1, 9 KOs), Chris Eubank Jr (29-2, 22 KOs) returns against Marcus Morrison (23-3, 16 KOs), Belfast’s James Tennyson (28-3, 24 KOs) faces Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon (23-3-1, 16 KOs) for the IBO Lightweight World Title, Preston’s Scott Fitzgerald (14-0, 9 KOs) makes his long awaited return against Gregory Trenel (13-6-2, 3 KOs) and Lightweight prospect Campbell Hatton (1-0) fights in his home city for the first time as a pro against Levi Dunn (0-4).
|Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport:|
“What a delight to be here in Manchester ahead of a huge night of boxing this Saturday from the AO Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN around the world. This is the card of the year so far. There’s so much to talk about here today from the big Heavyweight main event to the Undisputed World Championship, to the World Light-Heavyweight Championship and much more.”
Derek Chisora – Finchley, London – 32-10, 23 KO’s – fighting Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title:
“I love fighting, throwing yourself in the World Title shot is okay. Dillian Whyte has been in the World Title shot for the last five years, he hasn’t gone anywhere. I don’t to put myself in those positions, I want to put myself in positions where I get to fight good fights. This is right, I’m fighting Joseph Parker and after that we’ll see what happens.
“I want to do what I do best, come forward, fight, chuck hell and do what I do every day. Roll the dice and rock and roll – go at it. I’ll come out of the gates and just go.
“The guy has a spider bite, we can’t deny it, we don’t know if it’s true or not, but he had it and now he’s here – we’re not going to cry over spilled milk. David did a good impression wearing the spiderman suit early on the morning, it was okay. The fight is here now so we’re not going to talk about history anymore, that’s why it’s called history.
“It’s going to be a great night; good things are happening. It’s a big card, but we don’t have that little edge on with the fans, it’s depressing but what can we say.
“The king is back, long live the king – I’m back. I’m buzzing, to all those fans at home, I’m going to bring smoke and I know my opponent is going to bring something which is going to be on his bike – but it’s going to be okay. He’s going to be cycling back to Australia but it’s all good. I know right now I’m still laughing and joking but when I come tomorrow, you’re going to know what time it is.”
David Haye, Hayemaker Promotions:
“Derek wants the biggest fights; he wants to leave a legacy and wants to go out there for people to know Derek Chisora means war and destruction. We pushed it to the wire with Usyk last time out, someone who’s ranked number one in the world, I thought he won the fight. It was a close fight, two judges only had it by two points, this time round he’s not going to leave it to the judges. No mind set to try and win this fight on points.
“Joseph Parker, we know is an excellent boxer, one of the best jabs in the business. Ask Andy Ruiz, Carlos Takam, it’s a killer. So, it’s a simple solution, we’re not having a boxing match with Parker it must be a fight. I can guarantee a knockout in this fight, this is not going the distance. This is about how much Joseph Parker can take.
“He’s got a great chin, he went twelve rounds with AJ, twelve rounds with Dillian Whyte who hit him on the button many times. Derek’s going to have to do something very special on Saturday night and he’s brought in the big guns – Buddy McGirt Hall of Fame trainer. We’re adding whatever we can to give Derek what’s needed to do the impossible.
“A lot of people are not giving Derek a shot in this fight, but when you see how Derek comes across the ring in the first round, I think you’ll understand where this fight is going and going in a very destructive manner. It’s going to be all out explosion from the first round and get your popcorn and don’t go to the toilet.
“Anybody who watches Derek Chisora will want to keep him on the outside, because once Derek’s on the inside – ask David Price who said when Derek was inside, he didn’t know where the punches were coming from. When you’re inside with those little gloves, a big Heavyweight with short cuffing shots. He’s been practicing this stuff; his inside game is very destructive.
“Joseph Parker is going to be in a situation he hasn’t been in before, he’s fought come forward fighters before, but he’s been able to keep them at arm’s length. Derek must do his work in the inside, drag him into the deep end from round one. It’s going to have to be brutality from round one and I’m excited.”
Buddy McGirt, trainer of Derek Chisora:
“It’s been interesting, but it’s been great – I have no complaints. Derek, David and the team have made me feel at home, welcomed me well so I really can’t complain.
“I expect Parker to do both, Andy Lee has got an old way of thinking. I think they’re going to box, but also try to fight on the inside when they want to fight on the inside – they want to dictate it. That I know, because they’re not going to try and box all night, I know guys like Andy and how he thinks. Sometimes you’ve got to try and beat a guy at his own game a little while, we’ve got to get down and dirty.
“We’ve got to drag it down like that, it’s no secret. He’s got to be Derek, just smooth the rough edges. They’re going to try and box, yeah, but I also know in the later rounds they’re going to fight him in the inside and break our man down – we’re prepared for that.”
Joseph Parker – Auckland, New Zealand – 28-2, 21 KOs – fighting Derek Chisora for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title:
“I’m very prepared for this fight, I’ve had a great training camp with Andy in Ireland, then we moved over to Morecambe and got some great sparring under our belt, great pad work, bag, everything. I feel like with this fight, physically and mentally, I’m in a great place – probably the best I’ve been in a while.
“Two totally different styles, Junior Fa’s style was move and hug, punch every now and then. With Derek it’s no secret, he’s going to come forward and apply the pressure, throw punches everywhere. My hands are going to have to be up, down and all around.
“I think this is the perfect fight at the right time. We’re right there, get a good victory and there’s many other great fights out there to be made and to position yourself when the titles are free to fight for. This is a big card, not only the main event but the undercard fights are very exciting, I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Andy Lee, trainer of Joseph Parker:
“I can only see the fight playing out one way, with Derek coming forward and bringing war which he has done over numerous fights in recent years. I see Joseph boxing a smart fight, if he can put in the practice what we’ve been rehearsing in training the I can Joseph winning by late stoppage. We don’t want to leave anything to the judges, the only way to guarantee victory in this game is by getting a knockout, as much as they’re going for it, we’ll be going for it as well.
“We might surprise you, we surprised everybody with Tyson Fury against Wilder, we just might do the same, but you’ll have to wait and see.”
Katie Taylor – Bray, Ireland – 17-0, 6 KOs – defending her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles against Natasha Jonas:
“This is why we’re taking the fight; we don’t take any easy fights. I’m in this sport to fight the best, in terms of training camps every one’s the same, we train for every single fight as if it’s going to be my hardest. My mind set and mentality doesn’t change fight to fight so I’m looking forward to a great fight on Saturday.
“The fight was nine years ago, we were both very different fighters to what we are now. I think we’ve both developed and matured into great pro fighters. The fight is going to be completely different Saturday night then it was in the London Olympics. What works in the pro game doesn’t work in the amateur game – this is a completely different fight.
“I think my last few performances have shown I’m at my peak, I’ve shown my best in the last few performances. My last three fights were probably my best performances as a pro, so I feel like I’m definitely improving and getting better each time.”
Ross Enamait, trainer of Katie Taylor:
“We’re here to win the fight, we train hard for every fight. This is Katie Taylor’s twelfth World Title fight; this is there twelfth fight period. Every fight is a big fight, we’re coming to win and we’re here to win on Saturday.
“She’s going to be as sharp as ever, we looked great the last fight, we beat Persoon clear in the second fight regardless and what he’s [Joe Gallagher] saying over here. The fight before that we looked great, there’s no slide, you’re going to see the best Katie on Saturday.”
Natasha Jonas – Liverpool, England – 9-1-1, 7 KOs – challenging Katie Taylor for her WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles:
“Every time I’m asked to step up, I do, and I perform. Being the underdog for me is no different, I’m always the underdog on the big night. The more you tell me I can’t do it, the more I’ll prove you that I can.
“You’ve got to remember that going into the Harper fight we’d just come off a lockdown, financially I didn’t know when I was going to box again, I had the baby 24/7 because the schools were shut, and I was in a bit of pickle of where I was going to go or where my opportunity was going to arise.
“Obviously we got that opportunity, and the baby came along to all the sessions, she was a big part of that camp. It was great to be back, and I was starting from down the mountain mentally, physically, emotionally. Now I’m not there, after the Harper fight, I’m at the top of the mountain. I’m starting at the Harper fight and building up from that. Everything says that I’m much better than from the Harper camp and I know I had to be there.
“I think in boxing one punch changes everything. I do believe I have power; I don’t want to make prediction or disrespect anybody by saying that. After the traumatic experience of round 8 against Harper, I promised myself that they are learning curves and that will never happen again. If I get that opportunity, it’ll be the end of the fight.”
Joe Gallagher, trainer of Natasha Jonas:
“It’s good to see the bookies are giving Natasha a better chance against Katie then they did against Terri Harper, that’s good for a start. Its friends reunited, Katie Taylor – what can you not say about her. What she’s achieved, she’s a national hero back in Ireland, what she’s done for female boxing across the world, nothing but respect for her.
“This is the fight business; come Saturday night this is strictly business. Katie Taylor, she’s the media darling, Natasha Jonas is going into the fight after a great career performance. She won the WBC Super-Featherweight title, only two people in the world didn’t think she got it, but apart from that she’s a World Champion in my eyes.
“Natasha Jonas now moving up to Lightweight, here she is now taking on what people describe as the greatest all time female fighter. This is a fight that if there was to be three-minute rounds for women’s boxing, this would be it. If you go back and watch their London 2012 Olympic fight, it was brilliant. But to show how much both have improved since then, it would be better in 12 x 2 or 10 x 3 contest.
“We’ve got a ten round sprint here; we’re seeing that with Natasha fight of the year with Teri Harper. We’re going into this fight with the bookies siding with Natasha more, the judges are to come and do what they need to do, not to be here in awe of Katie or Matchroom. They come here and score what happens, Sky have got to commentate on punches landed, not where they’re from or what’s going round.
“Natasha is a strong live underdog, I’m telling you now Katie Taylor, whether she wants to say it or not, this will be the hardest and most disciplined training camp she’s ever had for any of her fights. She knows the serious threat Natasha Jones brings. They know the threat, what we want in this fight is fairness by the judges and the commentary to score on what’s seen. If everyone does their job, including me and Natasha, we’re going to have a new Undisputed World Champion come Sunday morning.
“Sit back, enjoy your popcorn and enjoy what it is – it’s the biggest female fight the UK and Ireland has ever seen. We’re privileged to be part of it and see this event. We’ll roll onto Saturday night.”
Dmitry Bivol – Saint Petersburg, Russia – 17-0, 11 KOs – defending his WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title against Craig Richards:
“I missed fighting, I’m really looking forward to getting in the ring and making a great fight for all of the boxing fans. I have a dream to be the Undisputed Champion, I have goals to fight in Saint Petersburg, to fight in the America, to fight in England. Now I’ve accomplished one of my goals.
“I just believe in my skills; I believe I can beat him and move forward again. Of course, I think about my life, I’m living until May 1st then we’ll see what will happen. I believe, I trained all my life, I’ve boxed since I can remember, and I have to be the winner.”
Vadim Kornilov, World of Boxing:
“It’s been frustrating for everybody with COVID and everything going on, there are a couple of opportunities but I’m really excited for Dmitry to have his first debut in the UK. The fans here are great, we’ve had a lot of success with Povetkin, getting a lot of attention.
“This is important for him and his career, I can see the ambition on the other side, I can see the professional team, that will make the fight even more exciting. Both guys are coming to win and both guys have a lot of confidence. We feel very excited, and we look forward to Saturday.”
Craig Richards – Crystal Palace, England – 16-1-1, 9 KOs – challenging Dmitry Bivol for the WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title:
“I believe that I can become the next champion. I’ve come off a good win for the British Title, it’s not like I was in dark place in my career, and this was the only opportunity. I’ve got momentum in my career; I only took the fight because I believe I can win, and I want more momentum.”
“People talk about me stepping up from the British scene and moving on. My careers been a bit backwards, although it looks like I’ve just won the British and moved on I’ve been beating unbeaten guys early on my career.
“If you look at all the other Brits that have pushed on, they’ve had one domestic dust up and then moved on to the world scene. I’ve had loads of experience, when’s the time to move on – I can’t keep fighting domestically, it’s time to push on I’ve got enough experience. I’m ready to go.
“I think he’s [Bivol] one of the greatest fighters in the Light-Heavyweight division. This is why he’s perfect for the job. People mentioned the other Light-Heavyweights, sometimes I wasn’t getting mentioned, but I believe I was getting overlooked. Beating someone like Dmitry Bivol, who’s one of the best out there, I’ll get the credit I deserve.”
Peter Sims, trainer of Craig Richards:
“We had a conversation before the Shakan Pitters fight and I said to him, it’s not about if you win this fight, it’s how you win this fight – this will define whether you’ll step up or stay at the British level for a little while. The way he dismantled Shakan Pitters was a sign for him to step up.
“He’s fifth in the WBO rankings, he’s 3rd or 4th in the British rankings. I believe he’s the best British Light-Heavyweight at the moment.”
“Boxing is made of upsets, if we go back to Nigel Benn vs. Gerald McClellan fight, or recently Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua, conspiring to upset the boat and beat Dmitry Bivol – I think he can.
“You can’t deny that Dmitry Bivol is a class fighter, his amateur pedigree is absolutely spot on. We’re going into the fight with total 100 respect for Bivol. He’s the WBA Super Light-Heavyweight World Champion for a reason.
“His speed is good, he’s got great feet, he’s got the whole package, but we believe with the assets Craig’s got and what he’s developed and how he’s progressed in the gym, he can do the job and upset the boat.”
Campbell Hatton – Manchester, England – 1-0 – fighting Levi Dunn in a four round Lightweight contest:
“I learnt a lot; the whole week was a great experience for me – I enjoyed every minute. I learnt just how hard a game it is, the opponent I faced was a tough, durable lad. I got the 8-ounce gloves on and thought he’s not going to last two rounds with these on. They are tough blokes; you don’t just knock them over. Now I know to keep calm and not try and force things.
“I’ve known Levi, I’ve sparred him and know what to expect. It’s a good thing at this stage in my career to put a bit of a game plan together which you don’t normally get. That’s going to help me stay calm as well, I know the specific things I need to do. The United top makes things a lot better.
“I think in my first fight I showed little glimpses of what I can do. I set high pace that I could fight, but I didn’t show my boxing brain and the classy work I can do. This time I do want to show that patience and put in a more classy performance.”
Levi Dunn – Prestwich, England – 0-4 – fighting Campbell Hatton in a four round Lightweight contest:
“I only started boxing when I was 17, from when I started, I always saw myself on Sky and Matchroom. I didn’t think it would happen this fast but now I’m here.
“I’m just blessed to be here in the first place, with this pandemic I didn’t think it was going to happen like this. The only fights have been hard fight out there, but I’ve got to win and try my best. Each fight I know I’m improving a hell of a lot, it’s only a matter of time before I feel like I’ll be able to beat everyone in my weight class.
“Since we sparred, I’ve had 3 pro fights since then and sparred a lot of top kids so I feel like I’ve improved a hell of a lot since then.”
Chris Eubank Jr – Brighton, England – 29-2, 22 KOs – fighting Marcus Morrison in a ten round Middleweight contest:
“That’s what this fight is about, to see if that sauce is still there. I haven’t fought a ten-round fight in a long time, I’ve been out of the ring for a long time. My last fight was in New York end of 2019 and lasted two rounds, so the last real fight was February 2019. So this is my opportunity to get back in the ring and showcase everything me and Roy have been working on over the last year and a half.
“We’ve done a lot of work, I have been inactive in terms of not being in the ring fighting, but in terms of what I’ve bene doing with Roy at his gym, super active – everyday week in week out. Learning, improving, I’m one of the only fighters in the game that can say during COVID I improved as a fighter, I think I’ve ascended so it’s just up for me now to go out there and show off the skills.
“What I was doing worked for me for a long time, but I got to a point where I realised that once you reach a certain level you need as much support as you can get, as many eyes on you as possible. Going into the gym on your own schedule, doing what you want, controlling the gym, it’s not necessarily the best way to do things – especially if there’s somebody that can guide you better than you can guide yourself.
“I had a very hard time finding that in a trainer, which is why I chose not to have one for so long. In meeting Roy, I found someone I fully trust, when he tells me to do something I can second guess it. It’s been a very eye-opening experience. Everything happens for a reason and I think this is the perfect time we met, during COVID, I’m very happy.”
Kalle Sauerland, promoter of Chris Eubank Jr:
“That’s what boxing’s about, it’s about opportunities. But you know it’s exciting to be working with Roy, what a legend and one of my all-time favourite fighters. Roy came in as a bonus, we were talking with Jr before, and we weren’t sure the relationship with Roy and Chris because everybody was in lockdown and working behind closed doors.
“Chris is one of those talents and personalities that only come around so often, and he reminds me of a throwback to the days of the UK where his dad performed. He’s a combination, he’s throwback fighter, he’s got the charisma and warrior like approach of his father, he’s got the bang of Benn, he’s got the speed of Naseem, he’s got the set on him like Collins.
“You’ve got everything you need in a fighter and now he’s got Roy in the corner. He’s got Wasserman Boxing in his corner, a powerhouse, no disrespect to the other side but we are here to take over and Saturday in the first step of a massive year.”
Roy Jones Jr, trainer of Chris Eubank Jr:
“I really love the atmosphere, really loved being here. For me and Joe outside the ring we’ve got to play mental chess as well. We’re here to give our athletes the best opportunities to go out and showcase what they are. This kid has the ability to be anything he wants to be in boxing, I’m sure his kid feels the same.
“When you get a horse that can win the Kentucky Derby, you’ve just got to get him with the right trainer and situation, and the sky’s the limit. That’s what’s happened with Chris, he’s been doing so much on his own and got so far on his own, you’ve got to take your hat off to it. Now the fact he came to my gym and he stayed there, shows me he wants to get better; he wants to the top of the heat, he wants to win the triple crown.
“I’m so glad to him get this opportunity, so glad to see Marcus get this opportunity, I’m looking forward to being a part of this.
“You never know what God has in store for you, you never say never because you never know. Because we didn’t become rivals [Chris Eubank Sr] or enemies, I’m able to help his son.”
Marcus Morrison – Hattersely, England – 23-3, 16 KOs – fighting Chris Eubank Jr in a ten round Middleweight contest:
“This is a massive fight for me and I’m well aware this is levels above what I have previously been in with before. When I got the phone call, there was no way I was turning it down, this is a great fight and I think it’s going to be full of excitement come Saturday.
“I don’t think being inactive is going to play a massive part in this fight. If you’re a true athlete and professional, you’ll stay in the gym. Even if you’ve not got a fight you’ll stay in and work on your craft. Both of us are that type of fighter, I believe Chris has stayed in the gym and stayed busy, it’s the same with me. I can’t wait and the fans are in for a treat.”
Joe Gallagher, trainer of Marcus Morrison:
“It’s a huge opportunity, in my opinion it will be a rough, tough, rugged type of fight – all action. Obviously, you’ve got Roy Jones Jr, what a legend of a fighter but also a gentleman outside the sport. It’s fantastic to have him here in Manchester, he’s always gracious, kind and has time for people. Having him involved has added that little bit of spice.
“Macus has been at this arena 8 or 9 times now. We’ve pushed him once before with Welborn, it was man against boy at the time. Welborn then went on to win a British Title. Marcus then had a win in Italy, showed he had power late.
“It’s hard this fight, I’m a huge fan – I like the kid, he reminds me of Callum Johnson last week. He’s coming for it; he’s having a straightener with you whether you like it or not it’s a fight. That’s what we like, and I think that’s what boxing is missing nowadays, fighters that want to fight – this kid wants to fight.
“Marcus Morrison, he likes to fight as well, this is going to be a good one. Marcus carries power in both hands, we know he’s an underdog but when anybody in a fight can punch you’ve got to be wary and respectful of that. Marcus on Saturday night will be going in there hoping to land, if he lands it’ll be what happens next. Can he finish? We don’t know. Can Chris survive? We don’t know. We will have a moment in this fight, how the fight plays out after that remains to be seen.
“We had Marcus going over some of Chris’ old fights early one, very sharp. We’ve had Chris in the gym before, I know him and I can’t talk bad of him, he’s a good fighter. He carries himself well and is a personality in boxing. When the bell goes it’s down to both Marcus and Chris, Chris is going to try to implement things Roy has taught him. I’m not going to say they’ve overlooked Marcus but if eh they have, they could come unstuck Saturday night.”
James Tennyson – Belfast, Northern Ireland – 28-3, 24 KOs – fighting Jovanni Straffon for the vacant IBO Lightweight World Title:
“It’s a huge opportunity for me to put myself up there and earn some fights with the top Lightweights in the world.
“This is it; this is the belt that I need to get me up there. This is going to put me in a great position, like you said the other belts are taken and I want a piece of the action.
“I’m looking forward to a good fight, these Mexicans have got a reputation for their toughness and durability – they bring it every time. I’m excited, I love these kinds of fights this is what I’m up for.
“This has got the makings to be a very exciting fight. I’m praying, ready and very confident – I’m looking forward to it.”
Jovanni Straffon – Mexico City, Mexico – 23-3-1, 16 KOs – fighting James Tennyson for the vacant IBO Lightweight World Title:
“I come here for the upset, I come here for the win and I want all the people in the UK and world to watch me fight.
“He [Tennyson] might fight as a Mexican but he’s never faced a Mexican so he can expect a war.”
Scott Fitzgerald – Preston, England – 14-0, 9 KOs – fighting Gregory Trenel in an eight round Super-Middleweight contest:
“I’m buzzing to be back. It’s been a long time, 18 months, this is all new to me. That’s how long it’s been. I’m looking forward to getting in there Saturday, do a job and get myself back in the mix.
“At one point I wasn’t sure if I was going to be back in the ring. I’ve been working hard and I’m happy to be back here and about to get back in the ring. I’ll do a job Saturday night and I look forward for what’s to come.
“I know that a lot of people want to see that fight again [Fowler]. I think I can do a better job on it as well. I’d like to get this fight out the way, you’ve mentioned another fight in July, look for one of those big fights whether it’s the Fowler rematch of whatever – for October time.
“Sometimes things aren’t going great, but it’s not going to be like that for the rest of your life. You just get up and keep trying, you’ll get back.”
Gregory Trenel – Dainville, France – 13-6-2, 3 KOs – fighting Scott Fitzgerald in an eight round Super-Middleweight contest:
“This is the perfect moment for me against a beautiful opposition. I am dangerous for Scott because I’m crazy.”
Boxing is back live on BT Sport for a second consecutive week, this time boasting a World Title fight. The action kicks off tomorrow night, live on BT Sport 1 HD at 7pm.
In the main event, brilliant South African Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26 KOs) defends his IBF World Flyweight championship against Croydon’s Sunny Edwards (15-0, 4 KOs).
In a ten rounder Belfast’s WBO number one ranked Super-Bantamweight Michael Conlan (14-0, 8 KOs) faces dangerous Romanian Ionut Balata (14-2, 3 KOs).
Big punching Southampton Super-Featherweight Ryan Garner (9-0, 6 KOs) and Reading Super-Welterweight Joshua Frankham (2-0) are also in action.
Joshua’s cousin, Levi Frankham is one of two debutants alongside Finchley Super-Welterweight Jonathan Kumuteo.
Weigh-in results below:
Sunny Edwards 111lbs 5oz
Moruti Mthalane 111lbs 14oz
Michael Conlan 121lbs 15oz
Ionut Baluta 122lbs
Troy Williamson 153lbs
Kieran Smith 153lbs 7oz
Jordan Ellison 141lbs
Ryan Garner 136lbs 12oz
Naheem Ali 156lbs 3oz
Joshua Frankham 152lbs 15oz
Paul Cummings 155lbs 11oz
Levi Frankham 158lbs 4oz
Dale Arrowsmith 159lbs 10oz
Jonathan Kumuteo 158lbs 5oz
Stephen Jackson 119lbs 12oz
Andrew Cain 121lbs 10oz
Mexican warrior predicts stoppage of Birmingham ace to claim World title shot
Former World Champion ‘King’ Carlos Molina has fired a warning to rival Sam Eggington that he’ll have to be at his best or he’ll be knocked out by the Mexican warrior in their Vacant WBC Silver Middleweight Championship clash on Saturday 22nd May at the Coventry Skydome Arena, live and free in the UK on Channel 5.
In an interview with Hennessy Sports’ YouTube channel, Molina said “I feel like I’m entering my prime. I feel good physically, I can work out, I can run. I feel like I’m smarter now as far as my training and that has benefited me a lot with my experience and I feel like that’s what I’m using more. I feel like they haven’t seen the best Carlos Molina yet, this fight is going to be the perfect fight for me to show the best King Carlos Molina that has ever fought.”
He continued, “I want to do this for my promotional company, also it’s a great opportunity to showcase my company in England in a big fight. The reason why I started this promotional company was for my career to get a world title and that’s my goal. I feel like I want to be the best, I want be the best at boxing and want to be the best at promoting, I want to be the best at everything that I do. And that’s how I’m coming into this fight, I’m coming in in excellent shape. I’ve been busy, I’ve been training all the time, I love to train, I love to box, I love to run, I’m always in top shape. I’m looking forward to this fight because he (Sam) always comes in in shape and I feel it’s a great match up. I’m not thinking at this just as a fighter, but as a promoter also. It’s a great match up and it’s so good that I wanted to get the best view in the ring.”
Knowing that a victory over Eggington and landing the WBC Silver crown could put him within touching distance of a World title shot, Molina is under no illusion and realises he will have to defeat Eggington and leave England with the belt.
He added, “I’m focused and I need to to win this fight, there’s no other way around it. He’s going to see the best King Carlos Molina that has ever fought so I’m ready,”“I like it that he’s confident, I want my opponent confident so when they can’t hit you they can’t do what they want to do then that’s when they lose all that confidence. I feel like I’m going to win this fight no matter what. I have to win this fight either by twelve round decision or late rounds stoppage.”
Main event on the Hennessy Sports action-packed card features Birmingham warrior Sam Eggington (29-7-0, 17 KO’s) against Mexico’s hard-as-nails Carlos Molina (37-11-2, 12 KO’s) for the Vacant WBC Silver Middleweight Championship. Chief support features a cracking showdown between Birmingham’s Kaisee Benjamin (11-1-1, 2 KO’s) and Dumbarton’s Martin Harkin (13-1-0, 5 KO’s) in an Eliminator for the British Welterweight Championship.
Also on the card Coventry sensation River Wilson-Bent (8-0-0, 4 KO’s) makes the first defence of his Midlands Area Middleweight title against Derby’s George Farrell (5-0-0, 1 KO). Former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Shakan Pitters (14-1-0, 4 KO’s) has his first back against Bradford’s Jermaine Springer (7-2-0, 1 KO)in an eight-rounder since losing his title to Craig Richards last December. County Monaghan super-lightweight dynamo Stephen ‘The Hitman’ McKenna (7-0-0, 7 KO’s) features in a six-rounder, but the undefeated red-hot 24-year-old prospect has not needed to go the distance yet with all his fights ending inside. Birmingham middleweight bombshell Idris ‘The Bodybreaker’ Virgo (9-0-1, 1 KO) goes in over six-rounds. Sevenoaks all-action super-welterweight Michael Hennessy Jr. (5-1-1) is in a six-rounder against Warminster’s Paul Cummings. Irish super-welterweight ace Brett McGinty (1-0) follows up his thrilling pro debut last December when he features in a four-rounder against Birmingham’s Josh Hodgins. Brighton heavyweight talent Tommy Welch (1-0-0, 1 KO), son of the former British, Commonwealth and World Heavyweight title challenger Scott, will follow up his explosive debut last December when he stopped Matt Gordon in the second round and features in a four-round contest.
Review by Gianluca Di Caro
Photographs courtesy of Alistair Campbell.
On Saturday 24th April History was made when six time, five division World Champion and Promoter Lee Mcallister promoted the first ever all female professional boxing event, titled LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, to take place in the United Kingdom. The event, which took place behind closed doors at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen and was broadcast live and free to view on FITE TV as well as globally on numerous linear and digital channels.
Back in September last year, when McAllister originally announced the history making event, which then was due to be co-headlined by WIBA Minimum Weight World Champion Denise Castle and returning MBC International Champion Marianne Marston it went viral, female fighters and boxing fans around the world retweeting and sharing the social media posts.
However within weeks of making the announcement fate dealt the Aberdeen Assassin a massive blow, as both the British and Scottish Government announced that the countries would go into full lockdown for the entire month of November.
McAllister set a new date was for January 2021 but just three weeks prior to the new date the UK once again went into lockdown. Frustratingly McAllister had to reschedule the date once more, this time to the 24th April 2021.
Early in April it looked like the event may have to be rescheduled again, as it was clear that, due to the pandemic, travel restrictions were introduced, a number of the overseas boxers contracted to fight would not be able to travel to the UK.
It wasn’t just ‘away’ fighters affected, such as the proposed opponents of the co-headline fighters Castle and Marston, but also Ellie Coulson, Hollie Towl, Sophie Varley and Jaime Bates’ opponents Ester Konecna, Angela Cannizzaro, Ivette Garcia and Jane Kavulani respectively, but also ‘home’ fighter Swiss based World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai World Champion Natacha De Almeida, who was due to make her Professional Boxing Debut was unable to travel due to local restrictions.
Undaunted McAllister decided to continue with a reduced card of just six fights featuring UK based fighters only, well that was until just a week before showtime, when Manchester based Sophie Varley and Nicola Hopewell’s opponent Juliette Winter, who had been preparing for the fight in France, both had to pull out.
If that wasn’t enough for McAllister to contend with, just the day before the event Ellie Coulson’s replacement opponent Sarah Smith pulled out.
Frantic phone calls by McAllister and others already in Aberdeen including matchmaker Giles Carter, eventually paid off and a new opponent secured for the highly talented Coulson, but the new line-up was dramatically different from the original one planned for last year, as now the event featured only five fights and no big names or title fights to head up the card.
As Tasha Boyes’ original fight against Sophie Varley was off and Juliette Winter couldn’t get back from France McAllister decided that the planned future rematch between Hopewell (2-0-0) and Boyes (0-2-0) would be bought forward and headline, Coulson (1-0-0) would now face pro boxing debutante Becky Jameson, a Glasgow based pro BKB fighter. Hollie Towl would face Belfast’s Cara MacLochlainn, a former Kick Boxing star and Irish Amateur Champion making her pro boxing debut, debuting Angelica Finch would now face Jaime Bates (1-3-0) and the original match-up between two former elite Amateur stars Estelle Scott and Kirsty Biswas remained the same.
The aforementioned former amateur stars Scott and Biswas was the opening fight of the night, and boy oh boy was it a close fought all action affair.
Right from the off both protagonists went at it hammer and tongs, letting rip with big shots to body and head throughout, the round reminded me of the wickedly intense first round war between Graham Earl and Michael Katsidis back in 2007.
As with the first stanza both returned to Gladiatorial ways and continued to battle at close range in both the second and third rounds and whilst the action slowed a little in the fourth the action was just as intense, just now the big bombs were flying.
The pace of the action clearly affected Biswas more than Scott, as the Middlesbrough based warrior slowed considerably, which opened the door for South Shields based Scott to take control and dominate the proceedings in style, backing Biswas up on occasions and letting rip with big flurries of shots.
At the end of the fifth Biswas looked very drained, so much so that on returning to the corner her coach voiced his concerns and following a short discussion with Biswas summoned referee Carla Fox and retired his charge in the corner.
Wow, that was one helluva battle, the battling Scott and Biswas threw down the gauntlet to the others competing on the night, and sure as eggs is eggs they did.
Next up see Worksop’s Ellie Coulson (1-0-0) face very, very late replacement Becky Jameson.
Coulson, a three time national finalist and England amateur boxing national youth middleweight champion, wasn’t fazed one iota facing a bigger fighter from a different pro discipline, she calmly picked her shots each time Jameson came into range.
Jameson is a plucky as they come, clearly outclassed by the elite former Amateur star she kept coming forward wanting to make a fight of it, but at a cost, Jameson was sent down just under a minute into the fight and after that Coulson’s class shone through.
The Worksop lass landing big shots to Jameson’s head each time she came forward, when I say big shots I mean seriously solid straight rights that sent Jameson’s head back. As the fight went past the ninety second point Coulson landed yet another Exocet that rocked the Glaswegian to the core, Referee Carla Fox was clearly concerned at the amount of powerful shots Jameson had taken in the first ninety seconds or so and stepped in and waived the fight off on the one minute and forty two second mark.
Jameson was game taking the fight at such late notice, no question about that, she came to fight BUT Coulson is a seriously class act, personally think even after only two pro fights she’s definitely one of the best Female fighters in the Super Welterweight/Middleweight divisions worldwide and it’s just a matter of time before everyone in the division will begin avoiding her.
Third fight of the night pitted the sensational teenage former five time National Amateur Champion Hollie Towl (1-0-0) against the seriously tough former Kick Boxing star and Irish Amateur Champion from Belfast Cara MacLochlainn, who was making her professional boxing debut.
Initially both protagonists began cautiously feeling out the other and then the fight just exploded into action and when I say action, wow what a round, these two Warriors exchanged blow after blow. it was pure poetry in motion. As the round progressed Towl’s class began to shine through, as she started creating openings before firing scintillatingly fast and hard body shots at the torso of her Irish opponent.
Round two started similarly to the first, however Towl shifted up a gear and started targeting the body of the ‘Belfast Bomber’ and landing wickedly vicious shots MacLochlainn is one talented and tough cookie as not only did she just shake off the shots but would fire her own Exocets in return.
Round three was a WAR, both Warriors went in hard and fast, once again Towl shifted up another gear and began landing massive bodyshops, this time though MacLochlainn appeared to be struggling coping with the onslaught, at around midway through the second half of the round Towl landed a massive shot that sent the MacLochlainn reeling across the ring, I honestly thought the fight was over as it seemed her legs had gone, but somehow the tough Irishwoman managed to make it to the end of the round.
MacLochlainn looked drained when she came out for the fourth, which only encouraged Towl to come in hard and fast and land even more body shots, seemingly at will.
After such a hard round I was surprised when MacLochlainn came out looking ready to go to war again in the fifth, she put up a good fight but again Towl landed some incredible shots throughout the round.
The sixth and final round mirrored the second to a degree, without doubt Towl won the round with her incredible skill, but MacLochlainn kept the teenager honest and made a great fight of it.
No surprise that referee Carla Fox’s scorecard showed Towl as victor, by a 59-55 points margin, but plaudits to MacLochlainn she went the distance, a big surprise considering the amount of vicious body-shots she absorbed in the fight.
Quite rightly Towl-MacLochlainn was declared Fight of the Night and Hollie Towl the Fighter of the Night. The quietly spoken Towl seemed surprised when Sportanarium Radio’s Trevor Lake announced the accolade before presenting her with the Sportanarium ‘Fighter of the Night’ Belt.
Next up was Boston, Lincolnshire’s former three time ABA Champion Angelica Finch, who was making her Professional debut, against York’s former PBC international Champion Jaime Bates (1-3-0).
This was looking to be a sensational match-up in the first minute or so as both protagonists approach virtually mirrored the other, literally as Finch was fighting in a southpaw stance and Bates boxes orthodox.
Just as the action was really warming up, Referee Carla Fox signalled Finch into the neutral corner where the doctor awaited to check a bad cut sustained shortly before.
The doctor advised the contest be waived off and as such the result was declared as Referee Stops Contest (RSC) on the one minute and forty two second mark of the first round.
Following the result Finch’s corner requested a review of the result, as they believe the cut came from an accidental clash of heads just before the final exchanges of the shortened contest. Their request has been submitted to the British & Irish Boxing Authority competition panel to review and ascertain if the result should stand as is.
Regardless of the result of the review, Finch vs Bates II is being discussed between the teams and promoter with the anticipated rematch coming in the very near future – I for one can’t wait for that as this fight had all the hallmarks of being a classic Battle Royale.
Time for the main event – Nicola Hopewell versus Tasha Boyes II.
Back in September last year Hopewell vs Boyes took place on LET BATTLE COMMENCE II – here’s my write-up on the first meeting between them.
OK, now were onto the fight I was really waiting for, Worksop’s Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Champion Nicola Hopewell versus York’s Tasha Boyes.
I’ve been particularly looking forward to this contest since hearing about Tasha Boyes performance against Maria Cecchi in Italy a few weeks ago, which had earned high praise from the Italian media and I know just how good Nicola is, as was lucky enough to be ringside when she beat Ghana’s Anita Addy to lift the PBC crown back on March 7th.
This fight had all the makings of being a classic, and the way it started out it surely would have been, Hopewell came out hard and fast and let rip with fast double handed combinations, which coincidently is how I had anticipated Boyes would approach things!
Boyes is as savvy as they come and soon began to use her height and reach advantage to get back in contention, but Hopewell’s magnificent ringcraft and oodles of talent soon put an end to that and as the round was heading to its conclusion backed Boyes up and began letting rip with a barrage of shots, somehow Boyes managed to find a way out but only a temporary respite as Hopewell went in for the kill and let rip once more to send Boyes to the canvas.
Boyes must have landed awkwardly on her arm and aggravated the training injury she sustained in the week, as when she rose to her feet she was holding her arm and clearly in a lot of pain, her coach Giles Carter was so concerned he summoned Referee Graeme Beauly and retired her in the corner at the end of the round.
Have to admit that was a disappointing end to the highly anticipated contest, but there is some good news for Boyes as Hopewell has agreed to a rematch, I for one am really looking forward to that.
OK, the scene is set so now let’s get to Saturday night’s Hopewell-Boyes II showdown.
Right from the opening bell both fighters moved to centre ring, initially just feeling out the other but seconds later Boyes moved in and let rip with a straight left followed by a left-right combination, Hopewell responds with a big right to kick off the proceedings. What an absolutely fantastic highly technical, all action first round.
Thoroughly enjoyed the first stanza, however the second was even better as Hopewell shifted up a gear and used her fantastic ring craft to circumnavigate Boyes’ superior reach to land some seriously awesome shots.
Don’t get me wrong Boyes landed some first class shots too but Hopewell’s class and experience really shone through, especially in the second half of the round, culminating in a scintillating powerful body-shot that sent Boyes to the canvas. Boyes surprisingly raised to her feet before the count reached its conclusion, but clearly was still in a lot of distress, so much so that Referee Carla Fox didn’t hesitate to waive the fight off on the one minute forty two second mark of the second round.
Some nine years after amateur Female boxing hit the headlines at the London 2012 Olympics, finally the first female professional event took place in the UK, interestingly LET BATTLE COMMENCE – LIONESSES was not only the first all female pro boxing event in the UK, but I believe is also the first event to be officiated by female official in the main roles – these were; Supervisor/Official Recorder Alejandra Ramirez, Referee Carla Fox and Chief inspector Jennie Boyle.
The entire event is still available free to view on FITE.TV (go to replays)
My final words on this historic event is that it was a great show, one that goes to prove you really don’t always need big names or Championship fights, even for a televised event, especially when the fights are as good as these were.
|Brighton star targets World Titles after Jones Jr link-up|
|Chris Eubank Jr has his sights firmly set on IBF Middleweight World Champion Gennady Golovkin and believes 2021 could be the year that he finally gets to lock horns with the big-punching pound-for-pound star from Kazakhstan. |
The Brighton powerhouse returns to fight in the UK for the first time in over two years this Saturday May 1 when he takes on British rival Marcus Morrison at the AO Arena, Manchester, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all markets excluding the UK, Ireland, China, New Zealand and Samoa.
Having previously campaigned at Super-Middleweight, Eubank Jr (29-2, 22 KOs) returned to the Middleweight division to claim the WBA Interim Middleweight World Title for the second time with a TKO win over former World Title challenger Matvey Korobov in December 2019, while making his US debut at the Barclays Centre in New York.
Eubank Jr was in talks to fight Golovkin in 2016 but the opportunity instead went to Sheffield’s Kell Brook. The only blemishes on Golovkin’s fearsome record is a draw and a defeat in two fights with Canelo Alvarez, but Eubank Jr is confident he could become the first man to stop ‘GGG’.
“Getting past Marcus Morrison sets me up for some big fights in the summer and winter of this year,” said Eubank Jr. “There’s a lot of interesting fights out there and a lot of big names in the Middleweight division, a lot of World Champions that fans want to see me go up against.
“There’s even fighters that aren’t World Champions that could happen for me. You’ve got Kell Brook talking it up a lot and I know Eddie Hearn wants to make that fight, so that’s something that could possibly happen in the summer.
“The end goal is to get Golovkin. The other World Champions in the Middleweight division, Ryota Murata is definitely up on my list. He has the full WBA World Title, I’m the Interim World Champion right now. There are some big names out there and some big fights.
“I’ve wanted to fight Golovkin for years. I believe this is the year that I’m going to get him. I’m coming for all of the belts. That’s what I’m in the sport to do. It’s not that I have to look good in this fight to get to that stage. You’ve got to look good in every fight, and I do look good in every fight.
“I really and truly believe I would stop him. My engine and his fight style? He doesn’t back down and goes to war regardless. An immovable force against an unstoppable object. When two warriors collide who put it all on the line, it would be an amazing fight. I don’t believe he could out-punch or out-perform me.
“Win or lose I put it all on the line. That’s why I have a lot of fans. I don’t coast, I don’t quit, and I don’t give up. I don’t slack, I’m on it 100% of the time. This is my life, and once I get past Marcus Morrison the World Champions are in some serious trouble.”This weekend’s clash with Morrison will be Eubank Jr’s first fight since linking up with boxing legend Roy Jones Jr, who was once a rival of his father’s, and the 31-year-old believes Jones Jr will be a valuable addition to his team as he targets World Titles “COVID messed up a lot of plans for my career in 2020. I went away and I used that time to the best I could and that was training with Roy Jones Jr. Learning from him, as much as I could, perfecting the craft. Learning the teachings of Roy and trying to implement them as much as I could through sparring and training. I feel like I’m a better fighter for it.
“I’ve looked up to Roy since I was a kid. He was one of my favourite fighters. To actually be able to spend the amount of time that I have with him and pick his brains and hear everything he has to say on the sport and how I should approach it has been a dream come true.”
Eubank Jr vs. Morrison is part of a huge night of action in Manchester, Derek Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) and Joseph Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) collide in a crunch Heavyweight clash, Irish star Katie Taylor (17-0, 6 KOs) defends her Undisputed Lightweight crown against former amateur rival Natasha Jonas (9-1-1, 7 KOs), undefeated WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) puts his Title on the line against Craig Richards (16-1-1, 9 KOs), Belfast’s James Tennyson (28-3, 24 KOs) faces Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon (23-3-1, 16 KOs) for the IBO Lightweight World Title, Preston Super-Welterweight Scott Fitzgerald (14-0, 9 KOs) makes his long awaited return and Lightweight prospect Campbell Hatton (1-0) fights in his home city for the first time as a pro.
Hailing from London, Jumah (13-0, 7 KOs) is the reigning English cruiserweight champion, and the current mandatory challenger for the British cruiserweight title.
The 31-year-old was involved in a 2020 Fight of the Year contender in his last contest when he defeated Sam Hyde, while he also holds stoppage wins in title fights against Wadi Camacho and Ossie Jervier.
He will now take the next step in his career under the guidance of MTK Global, and the man known as ‘The Ghost’ is excited to get going.
Jumah said: “I’m delighted to be joining MTK Global. It was time to take my career to new heights and I’ve had some some great discussions with both Lee Eaton and Adam Hart and we are all on exactly the same wavelength.
“MTK Global has the experience and success at top level, and that’s a level I’ll be performing at very soon. I’m glad to be on the journey with such a strong team behind me.
“I’ve done the best I can with what I’ve had. I’m definitely proud of how far I’ve come, but this is just the beginning for me. I want world titles.
“The British belt is an important one for me, and it’s important for any fighter. The timing of joining MTK couldn’t have been more perfect. I’m levelling up in every aspect of my career.
“The cruiserweight division is certainly an exciting one. The top five fighters make for some great matchups. Matchups that I’ll be a part of this year. I believe I’m the best of the lot and I can’t wait to prove it.
“Over the next 12 months the aim is to win the British title, a European title and earn a solid world ranking!”
MTK Global Promoter Lee Eaton said:“We’re thrilled to welcome Deion Jumah to the team. The next couple of years are going to be massive for him and we’re proud to now be giving him our backing.
“We’ve seen the cruiserweight division go from strength to strength in recent years, and Deion is going to be a key part of that moving forward. He’s the mandatory challenger for the British title, and once he wins that belt, the future will be very bright.”
News on when Jumah will have his first bout as an MTK Global fighter will be announced in due course.
|Heavyweights clash in Manchester this Saturday|
|Derek Chisora believes he puts “the fear in god” in Joseph Parker and says he expects the former WBO Heavyweight World Champion to run when they clash over 12 rounds at the AO Arena, Manchester this Saturday May 1, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on DAZN in all markets excluding the UK, Ireland, China, New Zealand and Samoa.|
Former World Title challenger Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) was last seen pushing Ukraine’s pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk all of the way in their 12-round battle for the WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title at The SSE Arena, Wembley last October, and the fan favourite is chomping at the bit for his next challenge.
A meeting between the pair scheduled for October 2019 fell through at three-and-a-half weeks’ notice when Parker’s team revealed he was suffering from the aftereffects of a spider bite. Chisora, who was unconvinced with Team Parker’s reasons for pulling out in 2019, has labelled Parker a ‘chicken’ during the fight build-up and says he has unfinished business with the Heavyweight contender.
“I think he pulled out because he had problems for himself in America, and in New Zealand and Australia, so that’s why he pulled out,” said Chisora. “I don’t blame him. Things happen, people pull out of fights. But you have to have a good excuse. Him saying he had a spider bite was shambles of an excuse to be honest with you. But it happens, what can I say? I’m going to punch him up. I’m expecting Joseph to run away. That is 100%. I know for a fact he’s going to run away.
“Great for him he’s looking to become a World Champion, but it doesn’t mean nothing to me. I’m just going to pound on him when I see him. What can I do better than Joseph Parker? That’s a good question. Everything. The fight is going to be a great fight, we’re going to push on it, train hard and go crazy about it. You know the routine man – WAR. Expect what I always deliver. Beat the guy and pound on the guy. Destroy that guy. Confidence. I put the fear of god him in. I am bringing pain and war.
“Time is the most important thing, you know, and I don’t have much time in boxing, so anytime I go I’ll just take any fights I want to have because time is running out. Most people don’t want to fight me because I’m a headache. I bring it. I love fighting. I want the people at home to pay their money to watch me do what I need to do. I’m taking this fight because I want to win it.
“The way I look at it in boxing is, if you can bring numbers to the gate, bums on seats, you’re in a great position. If you don’t, you’re not. So when people say you’re in great position for fighting for Titles and stuff like that, I don’t believe so. I just look at it like, I’ve got a fight here and this is how many people are going to be watching my fight and I’m excited about that. You know, being mandatory and in eliminators, it’s a headache bro. I’m happy, I’m happy to fight. I’m happy to bring entertainment to people’s houses through television and stuff like that so I’m just excited and ready to go.”
Chisora vs. Parker tops a huge night of action in Manchester, Irish star Katie Taylor (17-0, 6 KOs) defends her Undisputed Lightweight crown against former amateur rival Natasha Jonas (9-1-1, 7 KOs), undefeated WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) puts his Title on the line against Craig Richards (16-1-1, 9 KOs), Chris Eubank Jr (29-2, 22 KOs) returns against Marcus Morrison (23-3, 16 KOs), Belfast’s James Tennyson (28-3, 24 KOs) faces Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon (23-3-1, 16 KOs) for the IBO Lightweight World Title, Preston Super-Welterweight Scott Fitzgerald (14-0, 9 KOs) makes his long awaited return and Lightweight prospect Campbell Hatton (1-0) fights in his home city for the first time as a pro.