|FRANK WARREN has delivered a spectacular undercard to support Joe Joyce’s big Heavyweight clash against Carlos Takam at SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday July 24, live on BT.|
Beside’s Joyce’s WBO International, WBC Silver and Commonwealth Heavyweight championships being on the line, the Hall of Fame promoter has added three further title clashes.
There will be plenty of attention on Hamzah Sheeraz after former two-weight World champion Carl Frampton branded him Britain’s best prospect and added: “If he doesn’t go on and win a world title, I’ll eat my hat.”
Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KOs) makes the third defence of his WBO European title against Spaniard Ezequiel Gurria (15-1, 3 KOs).
Ilford’s Sheeraz, who is highly rated in the WBO rankings for Brian Castano’s World title, will be bidding for a seventh consecutive inside-the-distance win.
He won his title stopping Ryan Kelly in November 2019 and followed that up with impressive defences against Paul Kean and Guido Nicolas Pitto.
Swansea’s Chris Jenkins (22-3-3, 8 KOs) will finally defend his British and Commonwealth Welterweight titles against Nottingham’s Ekow Essuman (14-0, 5 KOs) after recovering from injury.
They were due to meet back in March, but Jenkins who hasn’t boxed since a technical draw against Liam Taylor in November 2019 pulled out because of a perforated eardrum.
Essuman last fought in September 2020 when he outpointed Cedrick Peynaud to claim the IBF European crown.
In a well matched fourth title fight, Peacock gym ace Chris Bourke (9-0, 6 KOs) defends his WBC International Super-Bantamweight title against Bloxwich’s James Beech Jnr (12-1, 2 KOs).
Streatham’s Bourke has a reputation as a damaging puncher. His title winning performance when he hammered Michael Ramabeletsa inside two rounds last December is proof.
Beech isn’t an easy first defence. Beech Jnr pushed Brad Foster all the way in a British and Commonwealth title challenge 12 months ago before losing on points.
Warren said: “I am delighted with the undercard. All of the boys have a chance to make statements that show they are headline acts of the future.
“Hamzah is now training in California and from what I am told he is impressing everyone out there. He is a real sleeper in the Super-Welterweight division, and I am with Carl Frampton in believing he reaches the very top.
“Chris Bourke is a threat to any of the domestic Super-Bantamweights and I’m sure he would like to do better than Brad Foster did against James.
“I am relieved that Chris Jenkins will finally get another defence after a long layoff, and am delighted to get Ekow Essuman out again. Whoever wins this fight, be it Chris or Ekow, will be well placed to kick on and start looking at World level fights.
“It is a 50-50 fight and few will tip either with great conviction.”
There is also Heavyweight action featuring David Adeleye (6-0, 5 KOs), who’s opponent is TBC.
Elsewhere on the card, Mill Hill’s George Fox (3-0) will make his Queensberry debut, whilst Reading Super-Featherweight hope Charles Frankham (2-0, 1 KO) has also been added to the stacked bill.
‘The Gent’ Micky Burke Jr (4-0, 1 KO) also returns after his first stoppage victory in November last year.
Tickets are available NOW from AXS.com. Click here to buy tickets.
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Pierce O’Leary is promising his best performance to date when he goes up against knockout artist Jan Marsalek on Friday’s star-studded #MTKFightNight.
The huge card takes place at the University of Bolton Stadium this week, and will be broadcast live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.
Marsalek (8-3, 7 KOs) is known for his big power, famously dropping Kelvin Davis in the final round of their bout on the Canelo vs. Billy Joe Saunders undercard last month, whilst also holding wins over Fatih Duebues and Christian Schemrbi.
It means that O’Leary (6-0, 2 KOs) is set for the toughest test of his career so far, but the unbeaten Dublin sensation is relishing the challenge.
O’Leary said:“I’m so excited to be getting back out again. I’ve been living away from family and my nine-month-old daughter for the past three months to keep learning and developing into the pro ranks with my coach.
“I don’t know much about my opponent other then he’s got eight wins and seven of those by knockout, but for me nothing changes. I’m just going out looking to put on my best performance to date. If I do that, it will be a really tough night for him and I possibly could get the stoppage.
“It has been great to keep the momentum going during the pandemic, but camps have been a lot longer with this circumstances as it’s hard to nail down a specific date, but June 25 has been nailed down a while now so I’m buzzing to return.
“Camp has been good. I’ve been giving it 120% and been fully focused on my training, plus I’ve been getting top sparring from highly ranked contenders and working solid in my strength and conditioning too.
“Jordan Reynolds has joined our gym too and is a fantastic talent and a true character. His buzz in the gym is phenomenal and it looks like he has gelled in really well with the coach & boys. Us being on the same show is nice because it means it’s business for us two and we’ll both get the win.
“I’m really happy for fans being back too, it’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to hear the crowd roar. Hopefully we can get some more of my fans back in soon after the pandemic eases a lot more too.
“Once I get the victory here I’m looking to step the rounds up after this one and keep ranking up the wins, while still learning the trade to the fullest.”
Elsewhere on Friday’s action-packed card, Jay Harris takes on Ricardo Sandoval in a final eliminator for the IBF flyweight title, Paul Butler meets Joseph Agbeko for the vacant WBO International bantamweight title, Hosea Burton and Liam Conroy collide in a final eliminator for the British light-heavyweight title, Gary Cully fights Viorel Simion, Jordan Reynolds faces Jan Ardon, Tyrone McCullagh goes up against Brett Fidoe, Blane Hyland squares off with Reiss Taylor, and Inder Bassi returns against Chris Adaway.
|JULY 24 can’t come fast enough for ‘Juggernaut’ Joe Joyce, who wants to ‘run over’ Carlos Takam before taking the chance to ‘punch up’ Anthony Joshua for the WBO title.|
Joyce made clear he’d fight any of the big names but did express a preference for fighting a former Team GB colleague and sparring partner – WBO, WBA and IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua.
Speaking to Dev Sahni at yesterday’s press conference, Joyce said: “We’ve had lots of good, competitive rounds in the ring. It’s a good fight, a 50-50 fight.”
Asked what attributes he thinks he’d bring to the bout that could see him better the 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Joe added: “My footwork, punch variety, punch durability. Also I’ve got punch power as well so I can trouble him.
“Credit to Joshua though, he’s a great fighter. He’s got a good defence, has high punch output and he puts them together well. He’s got good uppercuts. He’s a strong guy, so it’ll be a tough fight.”
Though, despite the respect he clearly has for AJ’s ability, he left no doubt about his prediction should the pair meet in a competitive setting: “I look forward to the opportunity to punch him up”, he joked.
Joe, a 2016 Olympic Silver medalist in his own right, has forged a path of destruction through the Heavyweight division and, at just 12-0, already has notable scalps on his record including Bermane Stiverne, Bryant Jennings and, most recently, Daniel Dubois.
Losing is not something Joyce understands in the professional game, with his most notable loss coming in the amateurs when, as consensus would tell you, he was robbed of a Gold medal in the Olympic final in Rio against Tony Yoka.
The judging at that tournament in 2016 is now under investigation, though Joe wouldn’t be drawn on the potential for him being retroactively awarded his Gold medal. He did however pour cold water on the suggestion he could rematch Yoka in the pro’s.
“He had his two-year ban” said Joe, “but he did look quite good in his last fight, he looked strong. I don’t think he’s quite earned his place to fight me yet.
“He needs a few more fights yet and hopefully by then I’ll be World Champion and maybe I’ll give him a defence.”
Talks of Joshua or Yoka are questions for the future and the Juggernaut’s immediate concern is a tricky scrap with Carlos Takam on July 24th.
“(Takam) is coming to throw a spanner in the works but I’m not going to let that happen. It’s going to be a tough fight but I think it’s something I can overcome. It’s exciting and this is why I’m in boxing.
“I’m going to deal with Takam and then go on to win a world title and become a World Champion. That’s what I’m aiming for.
“First I’ve got him in my way and I’m going to have to take care of business on July 24th.”
|Chapter III: Undefeated Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury Meets Former Champion Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas For Epic Summer Showdown|
Saturday, July 24 at T-Mobile Arena
Live on Pay-Per-View
Fury vs. Wilder III Tickets Go on Sale TODAY, June 15 at 12 p.m. PT!
LAS VEGAS (June 15, 2021) — Two heavyweight kings are set for a third world title showdown as undefeated WBC world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Furyputs his title on the line against former longtime heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder Saturday, July 24 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets go on sale TODAY, June 15 at 12 p.m. PT and can be purchased at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com. The event is promoted by Top Rank, BombZquad Promotions, TGB Promotions and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. A Premier Boxing Champions presentation.
“I’m excited to once again be fighting in Las Vegas, the home of The Gypsy King,” Fury said. “For the last 18 months, I’ve been living rent free in Wilder’s head. He got smashed to pieces in our last fight, and for some reason, he wants it again. Let’s go. The Big Dosser is getting knocked spark out.”
Wilder said, “Nothing has changed. It’s still one face, one name, one champion – Deontay Wilder. I’m in the best shape of my life. July 24, I’m going to show the people why I’m still the baddest man on the planet.”
Hall-Of-Fame Promoter Frank Warren said: “I’m delighted to see Tyson Fury have an opportunity to defend his prestigious WBC Heavyweight Championship of the world. Since making his comeback with Queensberry in 2018, Tyson has showed the remarkable character he has and cemented himself as the best heavyweight of his generation.
“Make no mistake though, this is no easy fight. Deontay Wilder is an incredibly dangerous puncher and clearly has tremendous self-belief for invoking this rematch.
“I’m sure this will be another absolute classic and I remain confident Tyson will prevail again and we can hopefully look forward to an Undisputed fight in the future.”
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), from Manchester, England, has held the lineal heavyweight crown since dethroning Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015. His comeback from substance abuse and mental health issues inspired millions, and it was the two fights against Wilder that propelled him back to the top of the heavyweight heap. Their December 2018 draw — with Fury rising off the deck in the climactic 12th round — elevated both men to the forefront of the boxing world. Fury knocked out Wilder in the seventh round of their one-sided February 2020 rematch; however, Wilder wanted an immediate third crack at his 6’9, 270-pound adversary.
Wilder (42-1, 41 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, won the heavyweight title in January 2015 and re-energized the heavyweight division, captivating fans with his electrifying power and charisma. Wilder held the WBC heavyweight world title for more than five years, notching 10 consecutive successful defenses, more than all-time greats Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier and Lennox Lewis, while earning a reputation as one of the most devastating punchers in boxing history. Nine of his 10 title defenses ended via knockout, including a pair of come-from-behind victories over Cuban star Luis Ortiz and a one-punch, first-round demolition over 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic Breazeale. Wilder’s knockout ratio of more than 93 percent still stands as the highest for any heavyweight champion, past or present.
|HALL OF FAME promoter Frank Warren today announced that Joe Joyce will face former World title challenger Carlos Takam at SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday July 24, live on BT.|
Joyce will be risking a guaranteed World title challenge when he tackles French star Takam (39-5-1, 28 KOs), who went ten rounds with Anthony Joshua in an IBF and WBA championship challenge in October 2017.
Destructive Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs) is back in action for the first time since his win against Daniel Dubois last November when he captured the vacant European title and relieved Dubois of his British and Commonwealth titles.
Putney’s Joyce is currently ranked number two by the WBO, but will move into their mandatory position after September’s proposed Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk clash.
The Queensberry card is billed ‘A Heavy Night’ with Joyce v Takam taking place a few hours before Tyson Fury defends his WBC World Heavyweight crown against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas.
Here are a selection of quotes from today’s press conference.
Joe has been very patient by waiting seven months for a fight and that isn’t down to us. The fact is negotiations went on for ages and came to nothing between Tyson Fury and AJ. We had to preserve Joe’s position at number two with the WBO because had that fight taken place, Joe would have fought Usyk. Everyone knows who Takam is and he can’t afford to slip up. Hopefully AJ gets his fight sorted with Usyk. Once he does, Joe will be installed as the mandatory challenger. Joe has got his seat at the table and has to do the business on the night. He has kept in great shape since beating Daniel and been chomping at the bit. The moment has come and now he has to do the business. I don’t think he will get his shot this year, but if he keeps winning he gets that WBO World title fight. In fairness to Joe and his team they didn’t want an easy fight. They wanted someone the public know and who will come to fight. Within the next year he will be challenging for a World title.
When I thought I might fight Usyk, I just went to the gym, practised some southpaw techniques, but boxing is unpredictable and you never really know what is going to happen. I kept myself ready, stayed off the doughnuts and the beers so I’m in good shape. I was training like I was going to fight Usyk, but now I am totally focused on Takam. He’s not a southpaw, he’s orthodox and I am confident of my ability in this fight. I am within touching distance of a World title fight and let them know I’m ready to fight whoever has the belts. I have accepted the fight with Takam because he is a good name, an experienced fighter, he’s strong and always comes to win. It’s going to be a great fight. He is a short fighter in stature so will want to get in range, throw those big dangerous hooks and get under my jab. It’s going to be a difficult fight. I just need to increase my sparring and I’m ready to go. There are a few fights to be sorted out, but I can fight any of the big names for a World title. That is what I’m in the sport for. I said I was going to win all the belts, win a World title and I am right there. I am going to get to my destination. I want Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury when I fight for a World title. I always seem to be the underdog who pulls through. It’s less pressure on myself and I make sure I do the work in the gym. It will be so much better with fans back and I can pick up their energy. I’m gonna beat up Takam, won’t be able to sleep and I will watch Tyson against Deontay.
Wilder has a new trainer in Malik Scott, but is he going to be able to change enough to do much different? He has that equaliser, but Fury took it and got back up in their first fight. Fury’s skills are so much better and it looks a formality for him but is still exciting because Wilder is dangerous. I will win by stoppage or KO but wont round predict a round.
We told Frank that we didn’t want to go backwards. We wanted to go forward. Joe wanted a tough challenge. He could have had a much easier fight, but Joe wanted Takam and that is a testament to him. Joe gets written off and people say he is slow and ponderous, but every Heavyweight that has been in there with Joe will tell you he is a whole different proposition when you have a 19 stone man coming at you constantly. He is like a wasp, a big one and will not leave you alone. Takam has muscles growing from his arm pits, is always game and gives everyone tough fights. He has been at World level and in good fights. Joe has to perform and keep his position with the WBO. This is no easy fight, but we’re confident he will do a number. Tyson Fury is a genius of fighter, but Joe on his day will beat any man. Hopefully Tyson and AJ will get it on later this year and then Joe can fight the winner.
|12 x 3 mins IBF Super-Lightweight World Title Final Eliminator|
LEWIS RITSON v JEREMIAS PONCE WTKO10 (1:24)
(Forest Hall, England) (Buenos Aires, Argentina)Lewis Ritson’s World Title hopes were wrecked by a punishing 10th-round stoppage loss to Jeremias Ponce at the Vertu Motors Arena, Newcastle, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the US and more than 200 countries and territories.Ritson was floored on three occasions by the relentless Argentine, who became the IBF Mandatory Challenger for Scotland’s Undisputed World Super-Lightweight Champion Josh Taylor.”Thanks very much for wishing me well after my fight,” Ponce told Chris Lloyd. “It was a very tough fight, a lot tougher than I expected it to be. I expected a war with Ritson and he’s a tough fighter – tougher than I expected.
“Yes I did think it was over in the first round – it was a great body shot that I hit him with. Any other boxer would have gone down.I hit him right on the button and it would have hurt him. He showed his toughness that he was able to recover from that.
“It was a bit confusing when we were in the ring because I thought the fight was over as soon as I saw the towel come in. Then I saw the ref throw it out – to be honest it was a bit of a shock. He’s probably hurt in the rib area now and he wouldn’t have been if he stopped the fight when we saw the towel come in.
“It’s one step closer to my dream. It’s the dream that you always have as a fighter. I’m one step away from that now. Thank you very much, I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as your expected, but thank you very much.”
10 x 3 mins International Featherweight contest
THOMAS PATRICK WARD WUD10 (97-93, 98-92, 98-92) v EDY VALENCIA MERCADO
(West Rainton, England) (Culiacan, Mexico)Thomas Patrick Ward picked up the 30th win of his professional career, thanks to a stylish unanimous decision victory over Edy Valencia Mercado.Ward (30-0-1, 4 KOs) came out on top thanks to scorecards of 98-92, 98-92 and 97-93, seeing him get back in the win column following his technical draw with Thomas Essomba last October.“I hadn’t boxed for nearly a year before Essomba,” Ward told Sky Sports. “It was a bad year, and that wasn’t me on that night. We’re only humans and not machines, but tonight was a better night. It was a great fight for the fans, and I’m so happy to have them back. I really enjoyed it in there.“At Super-Bantamweight I had a great ranking with the WBO, IBF and WBC. This fight was at 128lbs, but I’ve been chasing Emanuel Navarrete for a while. “He’s a great fighter, and I got close to fighting him at Super-Bantamweight and thought I would have got my shot. We have both moved up now, and I want to fight him.”
6 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
ALEN BABIC WTKO3 (1:30) v DAMIAM CHAMBERS
(Zagreb, Croatia) (Dukinfield, England)Alen Babic blasted aside Damian Chambers with a huge left hook as the Croatian Heavyweight contender added another knockout to his destructive record.’The Savage’ Babic produced a dramatic one-punch knockout of Chambers, sealing his seventh straight stoppage, as he returned to the ring following shoulder surgery.“The third time I’ve gone into the third round, but it’s good it’s only another half a minute probably,” Babic told Matchroom. “All kudos to Damian Chambers, I love him, he’s a very tough guy. I have the power to knock guys out who are 130 kilos, he was like 89 and took those shots. I thought, ‘what is this guy made of?’. I love Damian Chambers.
“That’s why I didn’t do any trash talk, the guy took a fight on six days’ notice against ‘The Savage’ and he saw my knockouts. I have nothing but respect for the guy, I’ll never disrespect guys like that.
“I saw the whole arena, they’re on my side, my heart is so full, I love Newcastle. I’m going to come back and drink brown ale tonight. I just feel so blessed to be here, I sense the synergy between Newcastle and me since day one. I’m so grateful.
“I want to involve the fans as much as I can in my fights, that’s why I do these kinds of things so they can participate.
“Yesterday I wrote a post on Facebook saying, I’m just waiting for a dream, this is all a big dream, seeing myself on big billboards, trending on Twitter. I can’t believe it, I’m a simple and humble guy so this is all just a pure blessing to me – every day and every minute.
“This fight gets me closer to that, when I get Matchroom in Croatia that is my goal. I’d give all my money from the tickets to the children so they can see the real sportsmanship. I really want that, and this is just one step closer to fulfilling my dream which is to involve people in boxing. I can’t just hold it to myself, that’s selfish.
“We were supposed to announce that fight (Nick Webb) for Fight Camp but of course we won’t do that people he b*tched out, he’s just a little b*tch. I have no respect for him no more, he avoided Fabio Wardley for three years, me for two, it’s getting silly – I must move on to bigger and better guys.
“Okolie is a great guy, a great champion, he’s done a lot more than I have. Don’t get me wrong, I’m never going to disrespect guys like that, he is my friend. I want to fight him. Of course, I do, for the title, he’s a f****ng beast. I would fight him and all of the Bridgerweights, Rivas, Hooker.
“I don’t care about belts; I just want a good fight for the fans. I want to bring stadiums to life, I want to bring energy, that’s my goal. Just give me whoever you want, don’t tell me who it is, I don’t care.”
6 x 3 mins International Super-Welterweight contest
CYRUS PATTINSON WKO2 (1:47) v YONCHO MARKOV
(Alnwick, England) (Sofia, Bulgaria)
Cyrus Pattinson shined on his highly-anticipated professional debut – stopping Bulgaria’s Yoncho Markov in two rounds.
The former Team GB talent dropped Markov to the canvas twice before referee Victor Loughlin waved off the contest.
“I was really happy with my performance, it was a bit cagey early on, we knew he was eager – he’s been game as a badger all week,” Pattinson told Matchroom. “It was a bit unorthodox, stepping through his shots sometimes, couldn’t judge the distance but after the first round I started settling down. I told Graham in the corner that this was only going to go one way from there.
“I put my shots together well, I know that I dug them in – head and body. I was really happy with where we went in the second round.
“This was better than I ever could have imagined it, the support I got tonight was overwhelming, I didn’t realise it was going to be like that. I’ve always said that the atmosphere in Newcastle is second to none so what a way to start your debut.
“Last year we were lining up for the show and everything happened, so it got put on the back burner. A couple dates come up, they were elsewhere but we couldn’t get the medicals or licences through on time, when everything came together it was Newcastle and spectators were back – it was like someone was looking out for me.
“I want to be tested, I don’t want to be taking any backwards steps, I’m taking each fight as they come. I’m enjoying the ride and soaking it up because it’s soon over and you wish you were back in the moment.
“In the tunnel when everyone was chanting and my ring walk kicked in, I started getting hairs up on the back of my neck. I just remember Graham telling me to be calm, calculated and stay sharp. That got a bit cloudy first round, which it does, but take a bit from it – I’m happy.
“I feel like I’m a lot more suited for the professionals, certain shot selections are hard to get off in the amateurs – a lot of people are flighty and don’t hold their feet as much. I’m definitely more suited for this game.
“I’ve been over the moon for them (Team GB), I’ve been supporting them all last week and this week, I’ve been sharing all their stuff, messaging them, watching them, I’m just really happy – I know how hard they’ve worked. Especially the big man Frazer Clarke, he’s waited a long time, 11 years, I was really happy for him”.
6 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
SOLOMON DACRES WTKO4 (1:36) v ALVARO TERRERO
(Birmingham, England) (Cadiz, Spain)
Former Team GB standout Solomon Dacres took Alvaro Terrero out in four rounds to earn his first stoppage win in the pros and progress to 2-0.
‘The Real Deal’ was taken the distance in his pro debut against Mladen Manev at Manchester Arena last month and was keen to earn his first win inside the distance in Newcastle.
“I took my time the first couple of rounds, I got a few clean shots off but when I stepped up in the fourth and the ref jumped in it was fair because I was starting to land clean on him then,” Dacres told Matchroom.
“As a Heavyweight you want to get the knockouts, that’s getting my first one out the way and now hopefully many more to come.
“When you’re starting off in the game you need to keep yourself active and keep your face in the game as well – build your profile and all the other stuff that happens behind the fight.
“It was a mini three-week training camp from the last one but yeah at times I did sit down on a few instead of 4’s and 5’s. I was putting 2’s and 3’s together and trying to put a bit more venom behind them.
“They’ve (GB Boxing) had great success in the qualifiers, 11 boxers through, going to the games they’ve got a great chance of getting a whole heap of medals out there – they’ve got some quality boxers in the squad that I was a part of.
“I’ve got the platform, I’ve got Matchroom behind me and everything that comes with that. I’m putting the extremely hard graft in the gym so hopefully I keep my head down, keep progressing and get to where we want to get to.
“Getting a Heavyweight Champion from Birmingham would be absolutely huge, we’re a huge city and hopefully we can get a huge following behind myself and build my profile. Build myself in Birmingham, get the shows in Brum and get some great nights there.
“I say I’ll fight anybody and they [Solomon’s team] say okay we’ll just take it steady, that’s their job in the management. I’m just going to be there to fight anybody, put the work in and get ready.
“That sort of sparring [Joy Joyce] where the guys I’m sparring are ahead of the level of the competitors in the ring is important to keep improving, otherwise I wouldn’t get a taste of that higher level of boxing – that sparring is crucial.
“We’ll be looking to get a British Title, something along those lines, to kick start things and more to come.”
4 x 2 mins International Super-Welterweight contest
APRIL HUNTER WPTS4 (40-37) v KLAUDIA VIGH
(Wallsend, England) (Budapest, Hungary)
April Hunter progressed to 4-0 with a comfortable points win over Hungary’s Klaudia Vigh in the first televised fight of the evening.
The 26-year-old from Wallsend was bumped up to the televised segment of the show after Ellie Scotney’s opponent Vanesa Caballero test positive for COVID-19 – resulting in their fight being cancelled.
‘The Hunter’ was fighting in her home city for the second time as a professional following a hard-fought win against Elsa Hemat in Barcelona – and sent her fans home happy with a 40-37 decision.
“I’m leaving feeling happy, the support is amazing,” Hunter told Matchroom. “I’m never going to be too happy; I’ll always be critiquing myself because I’m a baby in the game. 15 fights, that’s my fourth professional fight – I’m just learning the job. I think I dropped the ball a bit in the first round, she came swinging, I was just getting into it in the fourth and I think if I had six rounds, I would have stopped her.
“She [Savannah Marshall] was bang on, she told me she’d come for the first twenty seconds, and she did. 1000 fans, I haven’t boxed in front of fans for ages. My ring walk was electric, and I was all hyped up. My experience and all this stuff comes, staying calm and collected, couldn’t really hear my coaches voice through his mask – it was just one of them.
“Really proud moment for me, I don’t know what come over me, I wasn’t planning on coming out and singing like that, but I just felt it and went with it. None of that was planned.
“I’m sparring Savannah every Wednesday and Thursday, I’m learning every week, she can see the improvements and if she can see them then everybody can. I’m learning on the job, every single time.
“The fight game is all about taking it from the gym and putting it in the ring, it was little things in there tonight that I did wrong, probably lots, but there’s also things that we’ve worked on that I got off. I do believe if I had the six it would be a different story, but you live and you learn.
“Perfect time, women’s boxing is booming. Like you say, Savannah Marshall vs. Clarissa Shields is the biggest fight in women’s boxing if you ask me, after that fight the opportunities are going to be endless.”
6 x 3 mins Welterweight contest
JOE LAWS WPTS6 (60-54) v CHRIS ADAWAY
(Benwell, England) (Plymouth, England)
‘The Benwell Bomber’ Joe Laws put the disappointment of his first defeat in the pro ranks behind him by widely outpointing Plymouth’s Chris Adaway 60-54 in the opening bout of the night at the Vertu Arena, Newcastle.
Laws was sent crashing to the canvas three times in a third-round knockout loss at the hands of Rylan Charlton last October – but the 26-year-old Geordie favourite was in complete control as he made a winning return in front of his local support – taking every round on the referee’s scorecard.
“I can see he hasn’t been stopped much, he’s tough,” Laws told Matchroom. “I’m glad to be back, knock the ring rust off. At times it felt good, at times it felt bad but I’ve been trying a lot since Christmas.
“I was 26 years of age, 9 fights, 9 wins, 5 knockouts, the best thing that could have happened to me is getting knocked out. I’ve signed with MTK, I’m rebuilding again, I’m starting from fresh. I’m never going to be a world beater, but I’ve got a big set of balls, a good heart, I train hard, and I know there’s good fights out there where I can pack arenas out and win belts.
“It felt great, I was never going to be at my peak, I got too heavy at Christmas but now I can build on this. I’ve signed with MTK and I’m starting afresh again. I’m young enough and I’ve got the best sponsors in the world who are going to support us, I’m not going to start calling out stupid names.
“I’ve got loads to learn, I learnt loads in the ring tonight but I’m willing to put in the hard work in through the years to get to where I want to be.
“Hopefully I can get 2/3 more fights, 2/3 more wins, step up the rounds to 8 and keep learning and improving.”
|18:15 (BST) LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK|
6 x 3 mins Welterweight contest
JOE LAWS 10st 9lbs 3oz v CHRIS ADAWAY 10st 6lbs 0oz
(Benwell, England) (Plymouth, England)
19:00 (BST) LIVE ON SKY SPORTS/DAZN
4 x 2 mins International Super-Welterweight contest
APRIL HUNTER 10st 12lbs 4oz v KLAUDIA VIGH 10st 9lbs 5oz
(Wallsend, England) (Budapest, Hungary)
6 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
SOLOMON DACRES 16st 1lb 8oz v ALVARO TERRERO 15st 5lbs 10oz
(Birmingham, England) (Cadiz, Spain)
6 x 3 mins International Super-Welterweight contest
CYRUS PATTINSON 10st 11lbs 5oz v YONCHO MARKOV 10st 12lbs 11oz
(Alnwick, England) (Sofia, Bulgaria)
6 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
ALEN BABIC 14st 13lbs 0oz v DAMIAM CHAMBERS 14st 2lbs 12oz
(Zagreb, Croatia) (Dukinfield, England)
10 x 3 mins International Featherweight contest
THOMAS PATRICK WARD 9st 2lbs 12oz v EDY VALENCIA MERCADO 9st 0lbs 13oz
(West Rainton, England) (Culiacan, Mexico)
12 x 3 mins IBF Super-Lightweight World Title Final Eliminator
LEWIS RITSON 9st 13lbs 13oz v JEREMIAS PONCE 9st 13lbs 11oz
(Forest Hall, England) (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
|Eddie Hearn, Chairman of Matchroom Sport:|
“We’re back in Newcastle and what a place to return with fans. Although we only have 1,000 people in there on Saturday it will feel like the normal eight, nine or ten thousand we have up here. A massive moment in the career of Lewis Ritson against Jeremias Ponce in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Lightweight World Title which will of course lead to a shot at the Undisputed Lightweight World Championship against Josh Taylor. This is a fight to position themselves as Mandatory to that belt. Live on Sky Sports and live on DAZN around the world. It’s a big card in Newcastle.”
Lewis Ritson – Forest Hall, England – 21-1, 12 KOs – fighting Jeremias Ponce in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Lightweight World Title:
“Getting past Ponce is what every kid dreams of, I feel nice and relaxed and I can’t wat for Saturday in front of 1000 fans.
“I think being back with the fans we’ll see the best of Lewis Ritson, it’s the best and most relaxed I’ve felt for a good while. No fans in the bubble is a bit flat, but we’re expecting an explosive performance on Saturday.
“I’ve had about 11/12 fights for Matchroom, I feel like a bit of veteran, I’m already 27, but still young and fresh and not took much punishment. Now the time the apprenticeship is over, we’re ready for the big fights.
“I don’t think we’re going to have go looking for each other, I think it’s going to be a very hard fight – a tough night on Saturday night. But one I think we can get through.
Jeremias Ponce – Buenos Aires, Argentina – 27-0, 17 KOs – fighting Lewis Ritson in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Super-Lightweight World Title:
“Without doubt this is the biggest fight of my life.
“It’s going to be very entertaining fight; I’m going looking for the knockout. If that doesn’t happen so be it, but that’s the aim.
“It’ll be a dream for me personally, in Argentina we don’t have many champions, but it’ll be huge to get a shot at the World Title.”
Thomas Patrick Ward – West Rainton, England – 29-0-1, 4 KOs – fighting Edy Valencia Mecado in a ten round Featherweight clash:
“Last time out wasn’t my best performance but this Saturday night you’re going to see a different Thomas Ward. It was a bad cut, but we got it stitched up, it healed up and we’re ready to go.
“Edy’s a good fighter, the Mexican’s come and give it all they’ve got. I’m definitely looking to put on a good show, a good statement, move forward and smash up some of these World Champions that don’t want to fight.
“I’m not looking past Saturday night; I’ve got a tough opponent in front of me who’s going to be coming and giving it his all. I’ve been rated quite highly for quite some time; I’m pushing on for those World Title fights. I want to fight them; do they want to fight me? Let’s see, let’s get it on.”
Edy Valencia Mecado – Culiacan, Mexico – 17-5-6, 5 KOs – fighting Thomas Patrick Ward in a ten round Featherweight clash:
“It’s a very proud moment for me to be coming here and I really do want to add to that list of Mexican’s that have caused an upset here. It’s a proud moment to be alongside you Eddie and my rival. I think for the fight I have the tools and mentality to be able to make this work, I think the only winner in this fight are the people watching.
“Hopefully, finally everyone can enjoy a good show. Mexican fighters come on the front foot and trade. I’ll wait to see what happens in the fight, I’m able to adapt my style, I have many different styles I can accommodate. Hopefully we can look forward to a great fight on Saturday night.”
Alen Babic – Zagreb, Croatia – 6-0, 6 KOs – fighting Damian Chambers in a six round Heavyweight contest:
“I feel blessed every time I’m here. The surgery was bad, I didn’t want to say it to myself, but I knew it was going to go down because that shoulder had been bad for the whole of the last year. I was talking to my inner self just hold on for a few more fights. I’ve done that now and my hand is feeling stronger than ever, I’m finally 150% back.
“I did some things with the recovery which were different, I’ve been sending savage to my shoulder to recover it. I’ve been doing things differently, they told me I’d be out for ten months, and I was back in two months. I’m so much better than before and I’m going to show it.
“I want to be a fighter in three weights, Cruiserweight, Bridgerweight and Heavyweight. I don’t care about the weight, that doesn’t been I don’t want to fight other weights, it means I don’t care where I’m fighting. My heart will always be in Heavyweight, but I can fight Light-Heavyweight if you make me angry enough. I don’t care about weights; I want to fight.
“They offered me so many tournaments and I said no I don’t want someone who’s going to fall because they know they can’t beat me. This is a guy [Chambers] who has a lot of knockouts, 11-1, he’s a very good guy. It’s going to be tremendous battle and I think it’s going to over inside 1-2. He’s a puncher but not much of a mover, this guy may be faster or stronger, I don’t know but we’re going to find out.”
Damian Chambers – Dukinfield, England – 11-1, 7 KOs – fighting Alen Babic in a six round Heavyweight contest:
“I know it’s going to be a tough night’s work; I’ve watched him before on shows and he is a tough fighter, he comes forward just throwing punches. We got the call on Sunday, by coach said we’ve got a fight do you want to take it it’s against Babic, he’s a tough guy I’ve watched before. He’s a Heavweight and I’m usually at Cruiserweight, he’s got the advantage but straight away I said I think it’s a good opportunity for me to showcase my skills.
“I can’t wait, I’ve been in the gym anyway training, over the last six days I’ve been in the gym training – sparring Monday and Tuesday. I had a tough session yesterday, we had a fight coming up anyway at the end of July, I’ve not fought in 16 months so we might as well take the fight. It’s not an easy fight, he’s a tough man, I’m going to have to be on my A game and make no mistakes.”
Cyrus Pattinson – Alnwick, England – Professional Debut – fighting Yoncho Markov in a six round Super-Welterweight contest:
“It’s an amazing feeling, we’re finally here, we’ve been waiting for a year now with the COVID situation. I was devastated with COVID kicked in because that opportunity to make my debut in Newcastle last time out was taken away. It feels like the stars have aligned and we’re back here in Newcastle and the debut is still on.
“The experience is second to none, all those times turning up to competitions and fighting these world ranked opponents and Olympic medallists. You can’t get that experience elsewhere in the world, obviously the training camps you’ve got to factor in as well. Going to Kazakhstan and sparring six rounds with fresh opponents, it’s matures you as a person and excels you experience as well.
“It’s something that we’ve both discussed before the debut came about, we didn’t really want to take the four round fights which a lot of boxers usually take, usually with an opponent with a losing record. Instead, we wanted someone over six rounds, winning record, who’s going to bring the fight to us – that’s something I’m used to. I think that’s going to show the best out of me. I’m a humble person, I think that people can expect a good night and a good performance.”
Solomon Dacres – Birmingham, England – 1-0 – fighting Alvaro Terrero in a six round Heavyweight contest:
“I hadn’t even got my clothes off from the last one and you [Eddie] were asking me for the next one. I took it, I’m ready and it’s good to get out pretty quickly again.
“That’s what boxing is about, I’m looking to progress to the highest level of the game, so I don’t want any easy touches. I want to be proven and having good fights I can learn from.
“I’ve said in the next twelve to eighteen months I want to be looking at British Title level and then pushing on. It’s a quick projection but I feel like I’m there technically and boxing wise – I just need the experience. All I need to do is get the fights under my belt and I’ll be ready to go at the higher levels. But on Saturday I’ve got to get through Alvaro.”
Alvaro Terrero – Cadiz, Spain – 5-11-2, 3 KOs – fighting Solomon Dacres in a six round Heavyweight contest:
“I’m delighted to be here.”
“Yes, I see him [Solomon] as a great opponent.”
Joe Laws – Benwell, England – 9-1, 5 KOs – fighting Chris Adaway in a six round Welterweight contest:
“I cannot wait. Chris Adaway, I know him personally, I’ve seen fight loads and he’s a game competitor. He’s as game as they come, he never gets soft, he goes in there and gives all his prospects one hell of a go. I’m feeling good myself, I’m back in the best city in the world, I can’t wait to go out there, put a show on and get back to winning ways.
“I’ve learnt not to block shots with my forehead. No, what I’ve learnt is that I do want to box. Last Christmas I asked myself questions of do I want this, but I do. Here I am, come Saturday night I can’t wait to go out there. I might be nervous, but the crowds are back, but that nervous energy is what feeds me.
“I got some stick about losing, but that’s just social media. It was a low point at Christmas but I’m a man, I picked myself up and I’m back. Mentally and physically, I feel great, I’m 26-years-old. I’m a young pup in this sport. The past 18 months have been hard for boxing but come Saturday it’ll be a clip of what’s to come. The show will be electric.”
April Hunter – Wallsend, England – 3-0 – fighting Klaudia Vigh in a four round Welterweight contest:
“I’m thrilled to be back, I’m home with my people, my city. I can’t wait to have a great performance Saturday night.
“Strictly boxing Saturday night, I’m not going to get carried away. I’m going to show my skill, we’ll see Saturday night.
“I think the pool of boxing is going to keep expanded. The next 18 months is pivotal for me, I’ve had Rick Ramos calling fights out that I’m interested in. I’ve got my eye more on Jessica, but if that’s the fight I’ve got to go through to get to her then I’ll be happy to do it.”
Klaudia Vigh – Budapest, Hungary – 32-27-1, 2 KOs – fighting April Hunter in a four round Welterweight contest:
“It’s a big chance and I’m very motivated. I like to box in the UK every time, it’s not my first time here. I’m waiting for Saturday night.”
MTK Fight Night will make its triumphant return later this month with a sensational event – featuring two title fights, three final eliminators, and some of the best fighters from the UK and Ireland.
The action-packed card will be held at the University of Bolton Stadium on Friday 25 June, and will be broadcast live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank in the US, and worldwide on IFL TV.
Discussions are currently ongoing regarding having fans in attendance for the show, with an update expected early next week.
In the main event, Welsh hero Jay Harris (18-1, 9 KOs) will look to earn another crack at world honours when he goes up against hard-hitting Ricardo Sandoval (18-1, 13 KOs) in a 12-round final eliminator for the IBF flyweight title, currently held by Sunny Edwards.
The bill also sees two former world champions collide as Paul Butler (32-2 15 KOs) meets Joseph Agbeko (38-5, 28 KOs) over 10 rounds for the vacant WBO International bantamweight title, with the fight serving as a final eliminator for the WBO bantamweight title too.
A superb domestic battle takes place as Hosea Burton (25-2, 11 KOs) and Liam Conroy (18-6-1, 9 KOs) square off in a final eliminator for the British light-heavyweight title, plus undefeated Irish star Gary Cully (12-0, 6 KOs) will defend his WBO European lightweight title.
Elsewhere at the event, Dublin sensation Pierce O’Leary (6-0, 2 KOs) returns, Jordan Reynolds (1-0) takes part in his second professional contest, and Tyrone McCullagh (14-1, 6 KOs) makes his long-awaited comeback after 16 months out of the ring.
Rounding up the card, Liverpool’s Blane Hyland (3-1) collides with Reiss Taylor over four rounds at flyweight, and Inder Bassi (2-1) faces MJ Hall in a four-round welterweight contest.
MTK Global Promoter Lee Eaton said:“We are delighted to be back with a tremendous card later this month which is full of competitive 50-50 fights.
“Jay Harris has been desperate for this fight with Ricardo Sandoval for a while so we are thrilled to be working with Golden Boy so that it is finally here. It is certain to be non-stop action from start to finish and we’re hopeful that Jay can get the win and move a step closer to another world title shot.
“The same can be said for Paul Butler. He is on the cusp of another world title shot but knows he can’t look past Joseph Agbeko, who has shared the ring with Guillermo Rigondeaux and Abner Mares in his career, and heads into this fight on the back of nine straight victories.
“The fantastic fight between Hosea Burton and Liam Conroy could steal the show, and it’s great to see Gary Cully back defending his title after his blistering stoppage win last time out.
“We have some of the best rising stars in action too with Pierce O’Leary and Jordan Reynolds both on the card, plus extremely talented fighters like Tyrone McCullagh, Blane Hyland and Inder Bassi, so it’s certain to be a brilliant event on June 25.”
Further news on the upcoming MTK Fight Night on June 25 will be released in due course.
|Jeremias Ponce says he will look to secure a “dream” World Title fight with Undisputed Super-Lightweight king Josh Taylor but knocking out Geordie favourite Lewis Ritson in front of his home crowd at the Vertu Motors Arena, Newcastle this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the US and more than 200 countries and territories.|
‘Jere’ arrives in the UK for the first time sporting an impressive record of 27 wins and no losses – with 17 of those win coming by way of knockout – and has two notable wins ‘on the road’ against Rico Mueller for the IBO World Title in Germany and Francesco Lomasto for the IBF Intercontinental Title in Italy.
The undefeated 24-year-old from from Buenos Aires, Argentina says the return of Ritson’s fanatical Newcastle support will only serve to spur him on as he looks to become the latest South American to spring an upset against a Brit.
“I go all out for the win,” said Ponce. “I try and leave nothing to chance. I always look for the knockout. This is a huge opportunity for me, if not the biggest in my career. I’ve trained with that mindset, thinking about this being the biggest moment in my career.
“I think it’s a dream for any boxer to go on and win a World Title, and to face a fighter like Josh Taylor would be a dream come true. I’m 100% confident that I can add myself to the list of South Americans that have caused upsets in the UK. I’m going to go all out to win.
“I think Lewis Ritson is a very good boxer. He’s very quick and he has a very high output. We’ve worked hard looking for ways to counter that. I think we’ll be able to do that. Both styles will definitely clash which will mean it will be a great fight.
“I think the Miguel Vazquez fight was just a really bad night for him. I have also had bad nights before. I don’t think it takes anything away from him. I think he’s still a really good boxer and it will be a very tough night for the both of us.
“Having a crowd in the arena will motivate me even more. I’m used to these types of fights and being the away fighter. I’ve been the away fighter in Germany when the whole of the crowd was against me. I was the away fighter in Naples, Italy when all the fans were against me. I’m used to that and it really will spur me on even more.”
Ritson vs. Ponce tops a big night of action in Newcastle as fans return in the North East, West Rainton’s Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0-1, 4 KOs) takes on Mexico’s Edy Valencia Mercado (17-5-6, 5 KOs) in a ten round Featherweight clash, Former Team GB standout Cyrus Pattinson makes his professional debut in a six round Super-Welterweight clash with Bulgaria’s Yoncho Markov (4-2, 2 KOs), Croatian Heavyweight sensation Alen Babic (6-0, 6 KOs) returns to action against Damian Chambers (11-1, 7 KOs) following a shoulder injury, Catford Super-Bantamweight Ellie Scotney (2-0) meets Spain’s Vanesa Caballero (4-9-3) over eight rounds, Birmingham Heavyweight Solomon Dacres (1-0) clashes with Spain’s Alvaro Terrero (5-11-2, 3 KOs) over six rounds, Benwell Welterweight Joe Laws (9-1, 5 KOs) fights Chris Adaway (10-69-4, 1 KO) over six rounds and Wallsend Welterweight April Hunter (3-0) meets Hungary’s Klaudia Vigh (3-27-1, 2 KOs).