Fitzy’ returns on Chisora vs. Parker undercard

Scott Fitzgerald says he has put his out of the ring problems behind him as he focuses on getting back to the top of a thriving domestic Super-Welterweight division in 2021 that includes former opponents Ted Cheeseman and Anthony Fowler.

The unbeaten Preston fighter (14-0, 9 KOs) was last seen in action outpointing Cheeseman at the Newcastle Arena back in October 2019 to capture the British Super-Welterweight Title, and makes his ring return a year and a half later against Gregory Trenel on the Derek Chisora vs. Joseph Parker undercard this Saturday May 1 at the AO Arena, Manchester.

‘Fitzy’ handed Liverpool’s Fowler a first defeat in the pros when he dropped and outscored ‘The Machine’ at the M&S Bank Arena in March 2019. Whilst both Cheeseman and Fowler have kicked on since their losses to Fitzgerald, the 29-year-old is confident he is still the number one 154lbs fighter in Britain and is open to rematches with either to prove it.

“I’m feeling really good,” said Fitzgerald. “I’ve been training solidly for all of this year and I’m just looking forward to getting back in there and getting back on track with my career. Last year was a really bad one and I’m embarrassed by some of my actions and the way I behaved. It’s in the past and I’ve got to look forward and move on. I’m 29 so I’m not that young of a man now. It’s gone quick. I was 21 two minutes ago. Next thing you know you’re nearly 30 aren’t you.

“You’ve got to learn from the mistakes and make sure they don’t happen again. These last two years have gone so fast it’s scary. It will be nearly a year and a half since I last boxed. In over two years I’ve only boxed twice. It’s time to put my foot down and make sure I make the most of my last years in the game. I have two children now and it gives me extra motivation to go and create a nice life for them. It’s not about me, I’ve got to do it for them. I’ll keep my head down, work hard and provide a nice life for them.

“I saw the Cheeseman vs. Metcalf fight the other week and that was a really good fight. It was a great win and a great performance from Ted. He looks like he’s got himself in a good place. I’ve sort of let them get above me, so I’ve got to fight my way back. Hopefully the Ted or Fowler rematch can happen before the year is up. I’ve got to make sure I win against whoever they put in front of me.

“It’s gone fast since the Cheeseman win. A lot of that time was just a blur. My dream was to win that British Title and I won it. I didn’t get right back in the gym like I should have. By the time I did get back to it COVID had kicked in. I kept saying to my dad, ‘I’m just going to chill until this COVID is done and then we’ll get back on it’.

“Not fighting in 18 months, right now I want a few fights, one or two fights, and then trying to get my British Title back would be a nice move for me. Get that back and maybe win it outright or just move on from there to European and world level. There are good fights for me for that British Title. There’s Cheeseman who’s just looked good winning it back. There’s Fowler, he’s looked good in some performances. They might fight each other for it in the meantime. I beat both of them. Whichever one of them is holding it – if they want to get their revenge, they can give me that fight can’t they. Get one or two fights in and I’m ready for either one of them.

“Fowler especially. I’d like to go back and do an even better job and move on from there. I saw bits of his fight with Fortea the other week and he looked decent. He’s not. He’s changed a few things, but he’ll still always be the same. I’m confident I can beat him again and do a better job on him. I have to make sure I’m on it. No slip-ups. Get the win this weekend and I can move onto these bigger ones then.”

Fitzgerald vs. Trenel is part of an unmissable night of action in Manchester, Derek Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) and Joseph Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) collide in a huge 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), 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 and Lightweight prospect Campbell Hatton (1-0) fights in his home city for the first time as a pro.

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SUNNY EDWARDS BIDS for world title glory on Friday night at York Hall when he takes on the formidable IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane, live on BT Sport 1 from 7pm.

The challenger faced the media today, along with Michael Conlan and Ionut Baluta who make up the bantamweight chief support.

Below is a selection of quotes from the preview event.

Sunny Edwards, 15-0-0 (4)

I don’t think anyone has ever come to a press conference and said they have been really struggling or a camp has been hard. Every camp is hard, but it went as well as it could have gone. I want to thank Frank, MTK and BT. I have had a lot of notice for this fight and people inside the offices know I have taken short-notice fights, hard title fights at four and a half weeks notice and less than that.

For this one I have had 13 weeks where I have known the opponent, the scale of the fight and the event for a very, very long time. I have had the time to prepare meticulously, my trainer Grant has done a great job, as always, and the team is very strong. I am just looking forward to welcoming myself to the world scene on Friday night.

I need to look like myself on the poster! They must have great photoshop skills or must have foreseen the future with me being in great shape. I have always known what to do and how to get there, but with using my talent I have allowed myself to cut corners when I shouldn’t have. I’ve always trained hard and I am very fit, I am always in the gym and love training. I don’t do anything else, if i don’t go to the gym I am pretty much sitting around the house all day. Apart from my sons, there is not much more to me than boxing, if I am honest.

It has been easy to make the adjustments and my strength and conditioning coach has been cooking for me the last 13 weeks. Together with my food sponsor, the food has been put on a plate for me and I haven’t had to think about what times I am eating. It has been a good run-up, I have dedicated and committed myself to it and I am hoping those efforts will show on Friday.

Having kids has really made me appreciate what I had growing up, the opportunities I had. One thing I can say about my dad is there was never a lack of effort that went into me or my brother. He was 100 per cent full tilt from early on and we used to run something like 36 miles a week, much more than I do now!

You’ve got to enjoy the journey. Too many people focus on the destination to make them happy, but if you enjoy the day to day, whether it is camp or dieting, these are the best times of my life and a lot of boxers forget that. I am enjoying every second of it, enjoying walking in and seeing big posters of myself next to a good friend in Michael Conlan, who was a hero of mine.

It is good to be recognised as part of the top tier by just challenging for a world title and I will make my claim on Friday to join the handful of British world champions and one of the two Frank Warren promoted ones next to big Tyson. I will be where I feel I have deserved to be for a long, long time.

I don’t really know my optimum weight because I have never before applied myself like I have this time. I am eating four meals a day, two steaks yesterday and a steak and two eggs already today, with two more meals to come. I have never been like this on fight week and normally I look at food and see weight. I’ve done it properly and jumped off the scales at 51.8 yesterday, which is under the super fly limit and normally with the cut I do you would see me very drawn and my eyes a bit poppy. I look different this time and probably could drop down to light flyweight. If I lose I will just blame the weight and move down!

One realism when I first called for this fight was that he was the only MTK-signed champ. I have seen him spar up close and logged enough upstairs to think when the time comes I would be able to take him. That is no slight on him because he is a great, great world champion. I don’t need to sell him anymore than the media team has been selling him, other than to let everyone know he is a proper world champion.

I just wanted the best and he has been ranked No.1 by Ring Magazine for a little bit now. That is what I want, although I am not quite sure how the Ring rankings work, but surely if you beat the man you become the man. I am trying to be the best at the weight and, from being No.1, I can then start looking down and pick off the other champions.

I want to be at the top of the tree and recognised as such. I want to test myself and be known as one of those fighters who takes the best/hardest fights, the biggest fights that my name and platform will allow me to have.

I’ve got a ‘no quit regardless’ mentality and I think I will learn more from the 12 rounds on Friday night than I have in a large proportion of the rest of my career, which is why I am looking forward to it.


It has been an up and down 12 months. The things that have happened are part of life and everything happens for a reason. Before my injury my performance last August (Sofiane Takoucht) was my best as a professional and I believe I am now continuing on from that. I have had injuries, we have had a pandemic, but it is what it is. I was devastated when I did my ankle, but it happened for a reason and now I am back, fully recovered and looking forward to Baluta on Friday. I was already planning to move down to Super-Bantamweight before my injury in December. The pandemic showed me how easy it was to drop down. I am making 122lb very comfortably. I actually make 122lb easier than I was 126lb and that’s nice. I am looking forward to going in and putting a performance on. This is the weight where you will see the best performances from me and that is what I am looking forward to. This fight cements my mandatory position with the WBO and hopefully I will fight for the belt this year. I am very confident of that happening. First, I have to get rid of Ionut and I believe I will do it in good fashion. I don’t need to ask anything about his win against David Oliver Joyce. I look at him and I see what I have to see.  Ionut has pulled off two very wins recently and he is a very good fighter. He is a very dangerous fighter. He has beaten two Irish guys (TJ Doheny and David Oliver Joyce) in a row and his confidence is sky high. I believe that I will put on a performance and shut that completely down.

IONUT BALATA 14-2-0 (3)

This is a great opportunity to fight Michael and I am hopeful that he will be the third Irish fighter I beat. I will be doing the best I can. I respect Michael as a fighter. He is a very good fighter, but we are about to find out who is the best between us. I am very focused on winning this and wont think about the future. This fight is very important as regards getting a World title fight in the future.

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‘Miss GB’ out to avenge Olympics loss
Tasha Jonas says she has “unfinished business” with former amateur foe Katie Taylor and has promised to settle the score when she faces the Irish star for the Undisputed Lightweight World Titles at the AO Arena, Manchester on 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.

‘Miss GB’ came agonisingly close to winning her first World Title at the age of 36 last summer when she battled to a thrilling draw with WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight Champion Terri Harper at Matchroom Fight Camp. It was the first time that two British women had competed against each other for a Word Title, and the all-action fight more than lived up to the occasion. 

The Liverpudlian met Taylor in the quarter-final stages of the London 2012 Olympic Games, losing out on points to the eventual winner of the tournament. The pair meet again nearly ten years down the line this weekend, and Jonas is confident of avenging her loss and handing a first defeat to the icon of women’s boxing. 

“I’ve finally established myself at world level which is where I always wanted to be,” said Jonas. “I think I was a bit unlucky that night. I’ve always said I’m not going to keep banging on the door of Terri Harper. I’ve put myself in mandatory positions and I’ll make the fight have to happen again, but I’m not going to wait around and I haven’t done that. Other opportunities have come forward and they’re the ones that I have taken. 

“Ever since I turned pro that’s always been the fight that everybody has wanted to see. There was 12,000 people in the arena at the time and we got the loudest crowd participation – that was the Irish and the Scousers going at it! It was brilliant. My amateur coach had been all around watching boxing, some of the biggest fights, and he said he’d never heard an atmosphere like it. It’s a little bit sad that fans won’t be there this time, but it was a spectacle and that’s what we hope to do again. 

“All eyes will be on us again and I think both of us will step up to the plate. I know I have to be better than I was last time. Without disrespecting anyone, she’s in a different league to any other opponents before. I’ve fought her before, and I’ll be ready. I’ve always wanted to be a World Champion, one fight could give me that, and everything else. It’s a huge moment for me and my career. I have to be better than I was before, which I’m prepared to do. 

“People say you have these turning points in life. As successful as my amateur career was, I didn’t achieve things that I wanted to. That was the whole point of me coming back and being a pro. There was unfinished business. Katie Taylor has been the unfinished business since 2012. To come back and not only beat her and win her Titles, to become Undisputed – what more could you ask for as a professional boxer? That’s everything. You’ve done it all within one fight. 

“Even throughout her amateur career she’s always set the bar really high and we’ve always had to catch her up. She presents herself well. She’s very positive. She’s been a great role model. That’s carried on into the professionals. When we step into the ring on fight night, she’s going to have to earn that respect. I’ve got all of the admiration and respect for her outside of the ring, but in the ring, you have to earn it. That’s what I’ll do.

“I don’t visualise anything if I’m honest. I prepare myself for every eventuality. That’s what I did with Terri and that’s probably the only time we’ve done that. That’s probably what I’ll do this time. Whatever Terri came with, I had an answer for. I think I’ll do the same with Katie. I’ll prepare for every best version of Katie. Any way that she can come at me, I’ll have an answer for it. The best version of me is a tough fight for anyone, Katie included.”

Taylor vs. Jonas is part of an unmissable night of action in Manchester, Derek Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) and Joseph Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) collide in a huge Heavyweight clash, 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. 
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SUNNY EDWARDS HAS vowed to make sure 2021 is another big year for the underdogs by following in the 2020 footsteps of Teofimo Lopez, Dillian Whyte and Jeison Rosario by shocking the boxing world when he takes on IBF Flyweight World Champion Moruti Mthalane.

Last year saw the bookies – along with a good few pundits – rocked by a series of high profile fistic upsets, and 2021 has started in a similar fashion with Mauricio Lara and Lennox Clarke recording stunning victories over higher ranked opponents.

Upsetting the odds is what Edwards will need to do if he wants to take possession of the IBF belt held by the battle-hardened champion on April 30, live on BT Sport.

This particular betting underdog is a dedicated lover of our canine friends and will need to summon up the bulldog spirit of his beloved hounds against the 39-2 ruler of the division, with 26 KOs to his name.

Edwards is the proud owner of two American Bullys – Duchess and Kilo – who he insists are not quite as fierce as they look. He knows it is up to him to prove once more that underdogs can snap and bite with the best of the pedigree champions.

“I am pretty happy to be considered the underdog,” confirmed the 25-year-old. “They have been on a great run recently and especially since boxing went behind closed doors.

“It is a trend I am confident of continuing and when I get the belt it will be in safe keeping with Kilo and Duchess protecting the crown jewels! I might have to ask the IBF about sanctioning some world champion dog collars if it all goes my way.

“And I know my dogs look quite mean, but they are big teddy bears!”

Edwards goes into battle admitting that he might be minus the supposed menaces of his four-legged family and will need to assess what he is up against in the opening couple of rounds.

“I think I will have to move around and have a look for the whole 12 rounds, to be honest. You don’t go head on against an immovable object, I’ve got to try and work around it for as long as I can.

“This is definitely a 12-round fight and I have trained for 15. All I know is, I wouldn’t try and beat him in an arm wrestle, so I am not going to try and beat him in a fight!”

Edwards is both familiar and friendly with the 38-year-old, known as ‘Babyface’, since spending time together over in Ukraine at a training camp.

“It is a friendly one since we were together in Ukraine and we have got each other on social media, so it has always been a ‘good luck’ or ‘well done’ before and after fights. He is top of the division, top of the tree and he is where everybody else wants to be.

“He is heavily avoided, we know that. I think he’s had like 10 world title fights and nobody has ever given him a unification shot. He has proved time and time again he will be the away fighter, even as a world champion.

“I think you have to understand the beast I am getting in the ring with, to be honest. I do.

“When I got out of the ring in Ukraine he said I would 100 per cent be a world champion, when I asked him for a picture. Hopefully that 100 per cent will be on April 30 and against him, but he is such a nice man and a great champion.

“I do genuinely feel honoured to be sharing a ring with him, but all the friendliness will fall by the wayside when that first bell goes. I just need to win and having that world title would mean the absolute world to me and it would put me up there with the top British fighters right now.”
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