|JASON CUNNINGHAM DID not have to ponder too long and hard over the question of at what point did he realise that he had morphed from being considered a high level opponent to someone with fighting for a world title towards the forefront of his mind.|
Despite enjoying much notable success over the years, Cunningham has effectively turned his career on its head and is now preparing to top the bill in Telford with a second defence of his European super bantamweight title.
The Doncaster man goes up against the unbeaten 16-0 Terry Le Couviour at the Telford International Centre on April 16, live on BT Sport.
The turning point, Cunningham reports, came off the back of a defeat, the sixth and last of his 36-fight career to date.
In December 2018 he was drafted in to provide stubborn opposition for Belfast’s amateur superstar Michael Conlan who was, at the time, entering into double figures as a pro and was adding additional Irish flavour to the Warrington-Frampton card at the Manchester Arena.
Cunningham, typically, was nobody’s fall guy and put on a solid performance in losing on the cards. It was a display that triggered a surge of confidence in the boxer known as ‘The Iceman’ and one that he identifies as the keynote moment in his resurgence.
“It is the best way it has been put across to me, to be fair,” said the 32-year-old, who is now signed up by Frank Warren and Queensberry following his first European defence against Brad Foster in October of last year. “It was definitely after the Conlan fight where I gave a very, very good account of myself on the night. This obviously boosts your confidence, it was also up at featherweight, which was never really my division.
“I just got opportunities there because I won the Commonwealth title at that weight. That was an opportunity given at short notice and then you end up campaigning in that division.
“Super bantamweight has always been my division and I am undefeated at that weight as well.
“So after the Conlan fight, my next few performances put me in good shape and then it is all down to experience really.
“It has been a long road from the small hall stuff as well. I’ve been matched hard and have been in the away corner many, many times against good names. It has put me in good stead, I don’t take anything back, any of the defeats because it is all knowledge and experience and has made me the fighter I am today.
“I would say after the Conlan fight that I was coming into my prime. I had a few tickover fights and everything just started coming together. I felt I was coming into my best years and then, obviously, we stumbled into the Covid era, which put things at a standstill.
“So I ended up taking my opportunities at short notice again with Gamal Yafai (who he claimed the title from in May 2021) and kind of went from there. But I would say after the Conlan fight I could feel myself growing in confidence and took it from there.
“I knew it was all coming together,” continued Cunningham, who now possesses the inner belief that he is ready to take on anybody at the right weight.
“Yes, against anyone, and I do truly believe that. It is all step by step and I am confident of competing at world level. I believe I am big enough, strong enough at the weight and my boxing ability is at a high level as I also have a good pedigree from my amateur days as well.
“Confidence is a big thing and I am just ready to test myself and see how far we can go. Whether or not I get to my ultimate goal of being a world champion, I will certainly give it my best shot either way.
“Obviously I have now got Frank behind me, so everything is with me to give it my best.”Tickets for Jason Cunningham vs Terry Le Couviour for the EBU super bantamweight title at the Telford International Centre on Saturday, April 16 are on sale now available exclusively from Ticketmaster here.
Jason Cunningham defends his European super bantamweight title against Terry Le Couviour at the Telford International Centre on April 16, live on BT Sport. Also on the bill, Stoke favourite Nathan Heaney defends his IBO International middleweight crown against Diego Ramirez from Argentina and Liverpool super bantamweight Andrew Cain fights for the vacant WBC International Silver title against the Nicaraguan Martin Diaz.
Northampton super lightweight Eithan James, Liverpool super bantamweight Brad Strand and Worcester welterweight Owen Cooper also feature on the card, alongside York’s George Davey and Atherstone’s George Bance, who are both in action at welterweight.
Telford pair, super lightweight Macaulay Owen (2-0, 1 KO) and flyweight Bradley Thompson (3-0) complete the card.
|WBO INTERNATIONAL SUPER middleweight champion Zach Parker, along with his promoter Frank Warren and manager Neil Marsh, convened at the BT Sport Studios for the opening press conference ahead of his challenge for the WBO Interim world title against the unbeaten two-weight world champion Demetrius Andrade on May 21.|
Pride Park Stadium, the home of Derby County Football Club will play host to the spectacular event.
Andrade, who is awaiting a passport renewal, joined proceedings over Zoom and below is a selection of key quotes from the media gathering.
Photos from the press conference can be downloaded here.
“On a number of fronts it was important to win the purse bid for this fight. It is for the Interim title so for the winner there is Canelo – who is the current champion – fighting next at light heavyweight. Is he going to stay at that weight where the winner of this will get a shot at him because the mandatory will be due. If he gives up the title the winner of this Interim title will be installed as champion.
“From the perspective of Zach I was determined to win the purse bid and give him every opportunity I can because he is with us and is a joy to work with. He has been No.1 with the WBO for quite a while now and is only 27 years of age. He is not only fighting in his hometown, he is fighting at Pride Park, home of his local football club. The reason we are putting it on there is because I want the fans in Derby to get behind him and I am a big believer in trying to get every advantage you can for your fighter.
“Demetrius is a two-weight, three-time world champion who is moving up to super middleweight, while I feel Zach is bordering on being a light heavyweight. He is very underestimated in my opinion as a boxer. We know he can punch and I hope the advantages we have secured will translate to a win for him on the night against a real good quality fighter in Demetrius, who we all respect.”
“This is the biggest fight of my career and I am going to take it with both hands. He is a two-weight world champion but he is getting on a bit now and I just think it is my time because I am up and coming.
“I want to say thanks to Frank Warren and all my team for getting behind me and getting this in Derby, especially at my football club at Pride Park. I am just looking forward to the fight now.
“I think everything is going in my favour, Obviously I am young, it is happening in my backyard and the reaction from the crowd has been huge. It will favour me and I will show it on fight night.
“He is coming up a weight and I just think I am too big and too strong. You’ve seen in other fights he’s been hurt. When I land I won’t let up and I will get him out of there.”
“I can’t wait to get over to England and I believe Frank Warren is going to do a great job getting the Derby fans and my fans as well into the stadium. It will be a great fight, I can’t wait to showcase my skills and talent and put on a great performance.
“I am excited to be coming over because I am a world champ who has travelled all over the world and been in the lion’s den plenty of times. Who am I to say I am the best if I can’t go to someone’s back yard and give him an arse-whooping. That is just how it is. Anybody else who lost a purse bid might have pulled out and gone a different route, but that is not me and Zach is going to get the opportunity to have the biggest fight of his life.
“It is a great opportunity for him, for me, and the best will move on and forward. This is the fight game so anyone I get in the ring with I am going to lay hands on and bash up. I look at Zach as a young kid trying to make a name for himself and he is going to bring his A-game and the best performance of his life against me.
“Hopefully he brings out the best in me and we have a great performance.”
“Me and Zach have been together for six years now and it has been tough getting here. He’d be a much bigger name now if the previous people had promoted him correctly and 14-15 months ago we were looking for a promoter who could take us all the way to the top. We didn’t speak to any other promoter because it was Frank Warren who we wanted to lead us into this next chapter.
“You only need to look at Frank’s history to know why we signed with him. He honoured his word and got us the development fights and collectively as a team we believe Zach is ready to go. We are not underestimating Demetrius, who is avoided in the US and I think people could have done a better job for him, hence why he has entered into this agreement with Zach Parker.
“Boxing is about timing and this kid here deserves every bit of spotlight he is going to get. The kid is a beast and, because people haven’t seen him on the big stage enough, there is a question mark over him. Let’s be honest, Demetrius’ passport has expired because he didn’t expect to be coming to England. No disrespect, but I think he has got greedy and they are all thinking about Canelo money.
“He is going to come to Derby and meet Zach Parker, who is not Liam Williams or Brian Rose. This is a real ding-dong of a fight and my man is going to come out on top.”Tickets for Parker v Andrade start from £55 and are available exclusively from dcfc.co.uk with £10 from every ticket sold going to DCFC to help the club through the current financial hardship.Secure your place to support Zach and the club on a not-to-be-missed night at the Pride Park Stadium!
A full undercard will be announced in due course.
Please Note: This event is subject to contract and licence approval.
United Kingdom’s teen sensation HOLLIE TOWL, Professional Boxing’s youngest reigning World Champion of either gender, is set to defend her coveted Womens International Boxing Association (WIBA) World Featherweight Crown as well as challenge for the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Intercontinental Featherweight Championship against Nicaragua’s JAMILETH VALLEJOS at the Shirebrook Leisure Centre in Mansfield, United Kingdom on Saturday 26th March 2022 and Broadcast Globally LIVE and FREE TO VIEW on FYTEHUB
The support card features:
ALVIS BERZINS (UK) VS. ISHMAEL NETTEY (GHANA)
Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver Cruiserweight Championship
ELEANOR COULSON (UK) VS. BORISLAVA GORANOVA (BULGARIA)
Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Intercontinental Super Middleweight Championship
LUKE WHITE (UK) VS. AKASHDEEP SINGH (INDIA)
Super Middleweight Contest
ROWAN GREGORY (UK) VS. MICHAEL BASSETT (UK)
WATCH LIVE FOR FREE ON FYTEHUB from 6:30pm (GMT)
|17:30 GMT LIVE ON BEFORE THE BELL|
6 x 3 mins International Super-Lightweight contest
CALUM FRENCH 137lbs 8oz v ANGELO TURCO 140lbs 2oz
(Gateshead, England) (Quaregnon, Belgium)
4 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight contest
MALI WRIGHT 186lbs 4oz v LUIS PALMER 186lbs
(Leeds, England) (Huddersfield, England)
6 x 3 mins International Lightweight contest
CORY O’REGAN 137lbs 7oz v JAKUB LASKOWSKI 137lbs 6oz
(Heckmondwike, England) (Siemianowice, Poland)
19:00 GMT LIVE ON DAZN
6 x 2 mins International Featherweight contest
SKYE NICOLSON 127lbs 3oz v BEC CONNOLLY 127lbs
(Queensland, Australia) (Swindon, England)
10 x 3 mins vacant WBC International Silver Super-Lightweight Title
DALTON SMITH 139lbs 4oz v RAY MOYLETTE 139lbs 3oz
(Sheffield, England) (Islandeady, Ireland)
12 x 3 mins IBO Lightweight World Title
MAXI HUGHES 133lbs 8oz v Ryan Walsh 134lbs 6oz
(Rossington, England) (Cromer, England)
10 x 2 mins IBF Bantamweight World Title
MARIA CECILIA ROMAN 116lbs 7oz v EBANIE BRIDGES 117lbs 5oz
(San Juan, Argentina) (New South Wales, Australia)
12 x 3 mins IBF Featherweight World Title
KIKO MARTINEZ 125lbs 4oz v JOSH WARRINGTON 125lbs 7oz
(Alicante, Spain) (Leeds, England)
“I’m confident because as I said last time, I was going to become World Champion and I did it. I said I was going to beat Kid Galahad within the distance, and I did. The same will happen on Saturday, I will beat Josh Warrington within the distance. Maybe he’s too confident and doesn’t understand he’s facing Kiko Martinez.
“Josh is a great boxer, he’s won some fantastic fights in his career, beating Frampton, Selby, Galahad and many more. He’s still a big name in boxing, I think he was doing well in the Lara fight until the accidental clash of heads. He’s still got credibility in the world of boxing, and I want to go on and beat him, knowing last time it wasn’t just luck when I won the world title against Kid Galahad.
“I’m confident because I’ve visualised this in training, I’ve visualised knocking Josh Warrington out. When I say something, I’ll do it, so you can’t just believe it and not follow through and do it. When I say things, I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it on Saturday night.”
“I’m very excited, I’ve had a few sunbeds and my hair is looking on point, suit on. It’s a good occasion, the sun’s out, it kind of reminds me of four years ago when I first become World Champion – same kind of energy. I feel like the city is excited for Saturday night because they know what’s to come, World Championship will be staying in Leeds. I’m very grateful to Kiko for giving me this opportunity but the belt is staying here on Saturday night.
“I must have upset him in some way because he’s demanded this fight. I’ve said it in many interviews, it’s how this sport work, it goes in circles. We were meant to be sparring partners for the Lara rematch, it’s funny he’s gone on to win a World Title and his first defence is against me. He’s confident and I’m sure he would have trained hard, but I’ll be ready for everything he brings on Saturday night.
“I’ve trained for a hard twelve round fight, 5 years ago we shared some hard rounds but those five years ago my stock has risen since then. I’ve only gotten better and better, I’ve had some slip-ups in the last year but it’s time to get back on top.
“I only focus on winning; I know Kiko’s mentioned himself win or retire and putting himself under that pressure. I’m just focused on winning and having that hand raised, that’s how I see myself, being in that arena. And the new.
“My book has gone from potentially being in the bargain aisle of Asda to a best-seller, what a chapter this is. It’s all in my hands, I’ve got to do the business, it’s funny how this sport works. I’ve got to make sure my stars have aligned for a reason and go out there on Saturday night and do what I’ve done all camp. I’m trained hard, I’ve worked hard and I’m ready for anything.”
Maria Cecilia Roman:
“First and foremost, thank you to all the people who have made this possible. It’s a big night for me on Saturday, in my boxing career I’ve always set myself objectives and I’ve always managed to achieve those objectives – it comes from working hard. Now my ambition is to be the best in my division and Saturday will be another step to go on, my plan is going on and win other titles. This is going to be another objective I’m going to achieve on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a total war on Saturday, I think it’ll be great for all boxing fans and in particular female boxing fans. It’s going to be another successful defence for me on Saturday night.”
“It’s absolutely unreal, to be a co-main event fighting in Leeds for a World Title, I just feel so grateful. Cecilia coming over here to fight me, I’m just so excited about this fight, I’ve been excited about having this for before it was even happening.
“I wanted this fight because I knew it was going to be a great fight, as in a fan-favourite kind of fight. Having the World Title on the line just makes everything even more exciting for me.
“Moving over here and doing my camp here with Mark [Tibbs] has been amazing, we’ve definitely gelled well, and I think I’ve definitely changed his opinion – how women train and our mindsets. I’m really excited to be Mark Tibbs and the whole families first female World Champion.
“This fight and becoming a champion is the exclamation mark on this part of my story, having the belt around my waist and proving you can really do things if you set your mind to it. Everything that I stand for, having that belt, for me is the final point of it.
“Without being a World Champion it’s a great story but being a World Champion means everything to me, it means a lot for the women out there. Being a World Champion would change my life and I’m really excited for that.
“I’m always ready, I’ve come through a lot of adversity in all of my fights, I don’t see me losing this fight. I’m literally going for it all and I believe it’s my time to win this fight.”
“We wanted this and not someone to come in and lay down, the last fight I was a massive underdog, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In my mind it’s the same again, I like that he’s here talking, it takes words like that for the bookies to think he’s the favourite.
“I’m glad he’s up for it because I’ve had this fire in my belly for a while, but this fight in particular gives me this bit between my teeth. I’m glad it’s like this.
“One thing of how I approach every fight, I haven’t got that mindset or that chip on my shoulder. I’m the champion and he’s got to come and take my belt, although I’m the owner of this belt it can just be vacant, I’ve got to go and prove I’m worthy and that I deserve it. I’ve got to show I’m worthy to be the owner of that belt, it’s great being full-time but I haven’t taken it for granted because it’s taken me such a long time to be full-time.
“I know what it’s like going to work, getting up in the morning in shit weather and having to squeeze training in, a run here and there. I’m doing it properly now and I appreciate it, I’m not taking it for granted. I know how much it means and I’m not letting it slip. I’m not here enjoying it as a fan to enjoy the fight, this is how the rest of my career is going.
“Ryan’s cast his net out there but I’m not taking the bait. It doesn’t matter however the fight goes, I’ll do what necessary to win, however it comes. I’m fully prepared for whatever it is, just expect me to win.”
“I’m really enjoying not being hungry, thirsty, and just the usual stuff I think all my counterparts are feeling. It’s very alien to me.
“I do call to Maxi, you showed it when you caught Saffron that you’ve got that in you. It’s not a natural thing for you, you’re a southpaw. I’m calling that upon you, I’m beckoning you, I’ll stand in the middle of the ring, let’s adhere to the warrior god.
“No one’s fought me yet and not for a sustained period, even the two that beat me, that haven’t fought me. You want to fight Maxi, you want to inspire everyone else, I was inspired by Conlan and Wood.
“I haven’t had a fight of the year; I haven’t even been close and you [Maxi] have just been nominated for one of the boxers of the year. Let’s do it, why not, we’ve got twelve rounds which is a long time, and a fight will break out. When it does, I don’t want you to run away, let’s entertain the people.
“It’s a good story but let’s have it right, Liam won that fight against Maxi. As far as ending Liam’s career, he was sparring me at the start of this. I think Maxi should have a lot to thank Liam for because without COVID, he can’t be British Champion, he can’t IBO Champion because he was there. It’s my duty to step it, Maxi’s story doesn’t happen if Liam doesn’t get it.
“I haven’t even thought about defeat, I’ve never gone into a fight ever believing that the man can beat me. I’ve been told and I’ve got really honest brothers, when I fought Lee Selby, my brother didn’t want that fight. When we fought, I wasn’t good enough and was beat by experience, beat by the better man but he understood that I did have the style to beat that man, but I wasn’t good enough that night. I’ve made mistakes in the sport, but I won’t be making those mistakes against Maxi.”
“My last couple of fights now have been step ups and these are the fights we have been asking for for the more titles. The fight that was originally scheduled got removed so we looked to Ray Moylette and thought he was the perfect opponent for my next fight.
“I know what Ray’s about and he knows what I’m about.
“We [Ray and Dalton] haven’t achieved what we have achieved by just playing around.
“There’s obviously going to be pressure on the ones who are coming up but I am confident in my abilities. I know the level where I am going to get at and this is just a stepping stone for me.
“Ray is no easy opponent. It’s a tough challenge, what I’ve got on Saturday night. I’ve got to bring something more than what I have in my previous 9 fights as a professional. And you’re going to see that.”
“I’ve been reaching out to Matchroom for a long time because Matchroom is the benchmark for boxing especially in England and Ireland. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity and I’m excited to take it, so I’m ready for it.
“We all started boxing years ago and it’s always the dream to fight on the big shows and the big cards and thankfully now I have the opportunity to do that. I’ve been on the count for the last three years and then I can was sidelined for other boxers. I didn’t have the backend. But thankfully I kept myself in shape, ready, and in the position that when the opportunity came – I knew you’d come calling at some stage, but I didn’t think it would take three years to get on a card. – thankfully it did and I’m ready for it.
“I’m here as an opponent for Dalton on paper but in reality when I heard I got the opportunity to fight him, I was expecting a much harder fight on one of your shows.
“I’m coming off the couch and I’m ready to fight. I’d be daft not to take this fight that I know I can win.”
“I’m very excited. I promised the fans that I was going to be active and I’m definitely living up to that 3 weeks out and I’m back in.
“I have confidence in my ability, and I know what I’m capable of. I want to test myself against the best so I’m going to keep putting my hand up to fight the best girls.
“I’m expecting a tough fight and I know that Bec comes fighting. She’s no pushover so I’m just focusing on having a good performance and showing everyone a side of me that they haven’t seen yet.”
“There wasn’t a role for me, as far as I know, I went out and got what I wanted and created my own role for myself because I was never going to be a walkover. I’m not the elite but we know if you want to get to the top, you’ve got to get through the gatekeeper.
“I’ve trained anyway, even if I wasn’t boxing, I love training. I have taken quite a few fights on a day’s notice because I do stay ready, and I do love what I do. Some things have gotten in the way and I’ve made some mistakes with opportunities that I’ve had but I’m not going to let that stop me. I’ll keep the smile on my face and keep trying until the day that I retire.”
“Obviously, this stage is a big stage so I want to put on a big performance in front of my home crowd.
“The preparation for this one has been ideal really.
“Looking forward to watching some really good boxing from not just Josh but everyone on this card.”
“Yeah 100%, I’m ready for this one.
“I’m going to put on a spectacular performance. Not sure how many rounds we are doing this time, 4 or 6, doesn’t make much of a difference.
“No slip-ups. You’ll see what I am about this time around.
“I’ve been traveling, sparring, getting in more rounds and I’m putting in the right work with the team in the gym.”
“Thank you, Eddie, Matchroom and DAZN for getting me on a massive card. These are the cards you dream of being on when coming through the amateurs.
“It was a good debut. I was pretty good with it. … I’m looking to be as active as possible this year. I want to push on a get as much as experience as I can.
“I honestly don’t know why I need to be held back at all at the moment. I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m looking past the old ones especially on Saturday night.
“Matchroom need a few North East stars especially up in Newcastle and I believe I am the one for the job.”
Ritson headlines the big night of boxing at the Utilita Arena, which also sees stand-out amateur Pat McCormack make his highly anticipated professional debut, and the atmosphere as the local hero hit the scales was a taste of what is to come on Friday.
McCormack, who faces a late change of opponent, features as the co-main event with Troy Williamson defending his British super-welterweight title on a packed card.
UK fight fans can watch the action live on Eurosport’s linear channels, discovery+ and Eurosport App, with the fights also being shown around the world.
The broadcast is due to start at 9pm local time.
10 Rounds Super-lightweight contest
Lewis Ritson (22-2) 10st
Dejan Zlaticanin (24-3) 9st 13lbs
6 Rounds Welterweight contest
Pat McCormack (debut) (weighs in tomorrow)
Justin Menzie (5-5-1) (weighs in tomorrow)
BRITISH SUPER-WELTERWEIGHT TITLE – 12 Rounds
Troy Williamson (17-0-1) 11st
Mason Cartwright (17-2-1) 10st 13lbs 12oz
6 Rounds Super-middleweight contest
Mark Dickinson (2-0) 11st 8lbs
Peter Kramer (11-4-3) 11st 6lbs
10 Rounds Featherweight contest
Thomas Patrick Ward (31-0-1) 9st 3lbs
Alexis Boureima Kabore (28-5) 8st 13lbs
6 Rounds Light-heavyweight contest
Ben Rees (debut) (weighs in tomorrow)
Greg O’Neill (6-6) (weighs in tomorrow)
6 Rounds Welterweight contest
Joe Laws (12-1) 11st 11lbs
Alexey Tukhtarov (4-27-6) 10st 13lbs
6 Rounds Cruisweight contest
Robert Ismay (10-0) (weighs in tomorrow)
Christian Adjoufack (0-7) (weighs in tomorrow)
6 Rounds Super-flyweight contest
Joe Maphosa (11-1) 8st 5lbs
Santiago el Eusibio (3-3-2) 8st 4lbs
4 Rounds Cruiserweight
Stephen Sayer (debut) 13st 8lbs
Daryl Sharp (6-85-1) 13st 12lbs
4 Rounds Super-welterweight contest
Alex Farrell (6-0) (weighs in tomorrow)
Konstantin Alexandrov (10-53-4) (weighs in tomorrow)
4 Rounds Lightweight contest
Adam Cope (3-0) (weighs in tomorrow)
Jonny Phillips (5-9) (weighs in tomorrow)
LONDON, MARCH 23 – Former flyweight king Charlie Edwards wants to make British boxing history by joining his brother Sunny as a reigning world champion.
The 29-year-old has today signed a promotional deal with Probellum, the fastest growing brand in boxing, and firmly set his sights on winning a world crown at a new weight.
The former WBC flyweight champion is aiming to become a two-weight title holder this year and sit with his brother Sunny, who brilliantly defended his IBF flyweight belt at Probellum Evolution in Dubai on Saturday, at the top of the sport.
The dream for Charlie is that he and Sunny could fight for world titles on the same card and with Probellum’s backing, the Surrey-born stylist knows it will become a reality.
“I’ve been a world champion but now I am focused on creating history and leaving a legacy in this sport,”said Edwards (17-1 , 7KO)
“I want titles at super-flyweight and to move through the weight divisions, it is my intention to go down as one of the greatest fighters in British boxing history and I know Probellum share my vision.
“I have no doubt that they can help Sunny and I realise our dream of winning world titles on the same card to create a landmark moment for boxing in this country.
“I have seen first-hand the work Probellum have done with Sunny and how they are superbly promoting the smaller weights because they know we always deliver, pound-for-pound, some of the best fights in the sport.”
Speaking about the announcement, Probellum President, Richard Schaefer added:“We are delighted to have secured the signing of Charlie Edwards, already a world class fighter who has big plans to become a multi-weight world champion.
“Charlie’s attitude and mindset fits perfectly with Probellum’s whole outlook for boxing and we are going to do everything in our power to help deliver those world title shots for him.
“Probellum is all about breaking new ground in boxing and having Charlie and Sunny fighting for world titles on the same card is exactly the type of historic promotion that we are focused on delivering.”
Edwards won the flyweight title in 2018 when he out-pointed Nicaraguan Cristofer Rosales before making a successful defence of the WBC belt the following year against Spain’s Angel Moreno.
The former Great Britain amateur star decided to vacate his belt in late 2019 but after fighting only twice since 2020, Edwards is ready to kick-start his career under the Probellum banner this year.
|Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:|
“Welcome to London, a huge press conference for a fantastic fight. I say Domestic fight, but also a fight that has such huge ramifications for the world 175lbs scene.
“Joshua Buatsi, Olympic bronze medallist against Craig Richards, a man who’s won British Titles, challenged for the World Title as well. This is a kind of fight that gets me excited, this is the kind of fight that seems so obvious. Two brilliant Domestic fighters but also two world class fighters as well.
“A World Title challenger in Craig Richards and a man that many believe is destined for greatness at 175lbs. I want to thank to teams of both fighters; you need to understand these guys know each other. One from Croydon and one from Crystal Palace, a stone’s throw from each other and they’ve known each other for many years.
“Sometimes in boxing they don’t want to make these fights, trainers, managers, advisors, fighters – ‘we’ll wait for our World Title shot’. You need to stop waiting, fighters out there that are queuing up for a World Title shot that is not imminent, don’t stall your career when you could be involved in brilliant fights, fights that could take your career to another level. That’s what we’ve got May 21 in London.”
“A few months ago, I sat in your [Eddie’s] office and said get me these fights, there’s good Light-Heavyweights in the country so it’s good to mix it with one of them. As fighters you go to shows and watch, when there’s a main event with a buzz you think I wish I was in there. I’ve got mine now, for me it’s’ now just preparing for May 21, Spider will bring his A game but I’m ready.
“I wouldn’t dub it as the hardest test, for me, it’s just the most important fight in my career right now. It’s the next fight, the fight I must win, last time with Bolotniks but this time it’s Spider. I’ll prepared as diligently as I do, come May 21 I’ll be ready.
“I have to thank Matchroom and Spider’s team, also my team, for making this fight happen. Fighters can tend to wait for the opportunity, for me currently it’s looking a bit tricky, but I’ve got a good fight and that’s what I’m concentrating on.
“I think that [Canelo] makes this a big fight for me, makes it even more important. I know what is at stake, what the reward is and that’s what I said when I was in Arizona. I’ll fight these guys as long as I know what’s next. This may lead to a World Title fight next so for me, I’m easy, no matter who it is I’m prepared.
“I’m at the point where I want to fight these guys, I want to get into these big fights. May 21 is the first stop and when we handle that, we deal with whoever is next.”
“This is nothing new, outside I’m cool and calm probably like a lot of boxers but when I’m in that ring I know what time it is. I know what I need to do, and the situation is, nice guys come last and that’s what it is in the ring. Outside the ring be how you want to be, but in that ring, I know what I have to do. In May I’ll be ready.”
“I think this was a fight that was always going to be in the pipeline, I believed I was going to get to world level, I believed he [Buatsi] was obviously destined for world level as well so we knew our paths would cross at some point. It’s a good clash.
“For myself, I want to get back into the mix, challenge and win a World Title. I think this is the bridge to cross to make that happen today.
“Obviously I’ve been thrown in the deep end a few times and I’ve just been swimming and swimming. I have no regrets because that’s what has put me in this position today, I’ve had a lot of domestic clashes, grudge matches and cross path fights. That’s all built my experience and ability to be confident enough to go in to win and win on May 21.
“I believe if I didn’t have those fights, it would be a harder fight, if this fight was scheduled without the experience. I’m ready to go, that’s what’s made me confident, I’m seeing the growth in myself every fight and every week, every day in gym. I’m just looking forward to going out and perform, showing that experience of the hard route.
“If you look at the titles I’ve won at Light-Heavyweight, I think three of the fights I was the underdog in those. When I beat Jake Ball, I was a massive underdog, they wrote me off and I went out there, delivered and got the knockout. My last title fight I was the favourite, but it didn’t mean anything different, I went out and delivered. If the bookies want to sleep on me that’s up to them. The same person is in front of me, I’m not interested in the bookies or what people say, I’ve got a job to do, and I’ll deliver.
“Josh is going to the gym to iron out all of his flaws fight by fight, what I have seen is that he showed heart and grit. I know he’s got the will to win, and he will come to win. Like the other unbeaten fighters I’ve faced, more importantly, they’ve more will to win. I know he isn’t going to come out and lie down, that’s for me to go and prepare to make sure I get the task done.
“He’s not a stupid guy, he’s very intelligent, he’s not silly enough to just gas himself up saying yeah, I’m going to walk over Richards. I know he’s going to be preparing very hard, he’s going to invest in his camp and preparing diligently for me.
“I’m not going to be looking at him thinking this is a walk over, I’ll be preparing just as hard if not harder for him. We both know we’re in for a solid fight May 21 and I don’t anyone’s sleeping in each other. I believe we’ll both be well prepared and bringing out A games May 21.
“I think I’ve got the capabilities to win in any way, the most important thing is to prepare all-round the board. I’ve got to be prepared for everything, at this level you can’t just say I’m going to win it by a jab or closing him down. You’ve got prepare for Plan A, B, C or D, you might have to get rough and ready or box and be clever. It all depends on the night, you’ve just got to make sure you’ve prepared, have all your game plans and be fit, ready and strong. On the night just make it happen, listen to your team most importantly and execute what you need to win the fight.”
|South London rivals meet on May 21|
|Joshua Buatsi will face former World Title challenger Craig Richards in a huge all London Light-Heavyweight clash on Saturday May 21, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).|
Croydon’s Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs) scored his tenth knockout in a row when he stopped Latvia’s Ricards Bolotniks in the eleventh round of their WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title Eliminator on the third and final week of Matchroom Fight Camp in August.
The 29-year-old was set to face Russia’s former World Title challenger Maxim Vlasov on the undercard of Joseph Parker’s rematch with Derek Chisora at the AO Arena in Manchester in December before suffering a hand injury.
Crystal Palace’s former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Richards (17-2-1, 10 KOs) put in a spirited display as he pushed WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol all the way in his first World Title attempt in May 2021.
‘Spider’ returned to winning ways at The O2 last October on the Cameron vs. McGee undercard, impressively stopping Poland’s Marek Matyja in six rounds to earn the vacant WBA International Light-Heavyweight Title.
“Two London boys coming together, it’s going to be a huge night,” said Buatsi. “The Light-Heavyweight scene in this country is thriving and I’m glad that we are able to get one of the biggest fights made. The crowd are going to be in for a treat. I am coming to win and nothing else, I am sure Richards is doing the same. He had a close fight with Bivol so will want to make things straight, but I have other plans. Win well and then push onto the World Title by any means necessary.”
“We’re two top tier fighters from the UK,” said Richards. “This is one of the biggest London domestic clashes for a long time. This is a very exciting fight for us both, but also one the fans will enjoy. Buatsi has got his plans and I’m sure he be well prepared, but nobody is going to stop me from fulfilling my destiny of becoming a World Champion! He is a solid competitor and will be coming to win, but I am confident and believe I have the tools to get the job done. I proved myself at world level and I’m eager to prove that’s where I belong.”
“A big well done and thank you to Joshua and Craig for taking this fight, it’s exactly the kind of fight boxing should be making,” said Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman. “Two domestic Light-Heavyweights on the verge of a World Title shot decide to put it on the line rather than wait in a queue, giving us a fantastic battle of London that can only be a thriller.”
“Who doesn’t love a big domestic dust up? And this certainly fits that description, what a fantastic fight this is set to be,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “With an electric Light-Heavyweight scene in the UK, Joshua Buatsi will face a big test on May 21 against former World Title challenger Craig Richards. This will be all out action from start to finish, all live and exclusively on DAZN.”
*Venue to be confirmed tomorrow at launch press conference
|Pride Park Stadium, home of Derby County Football Club, will stage the WBO Interim Super Middleweight world title clash between Zach Parker and the unbeaten two-weight world champion Demetrius Andrade on Saturday, 21st May 2022, live on BT Sport.|
In what will be a huge occasion for knockout artist Parker 22-0 (16 KOs) and the city of Derby, the lifelong fan of the Rams will get to live out his dream of fighting on the pitch of his local football club.
With the clubs financial struggles this season being well known, Queensberry Promotions knew there was a responsibility to help, so £10 from each ticket sold goes directly back to the club to support the future of DCFC.
Since teaming up with Frank Warren and Queensberry, the 27-year-old has clocked up three spectacular and emphatic wins to reinforce his position as No.1 contender in the WBO rankings.
Parker wowed BT Sport viewers with brutal knockouts of Vaughn Alexander, Sherzod Khusanov and Marcus Morrison. None of the three men had previously been stopped.
“This is a dream come true,” said Parker. “As a fighter you have various hopes when you start out in the sport. I think every one of us dreams of headlining a show at the football team you support, I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet to be honest.
“It will be incredible to walk-out and see the stadium packed with fans, I can’t wait. Demetrius is a great champion and props to him for coming over here but I know I have the beating of him, I’m too big for him. We’ll see on the 21st, but someone’s ‘0’ has got to go!”
Andrade, 34, widely known as Boo Boo, began his world championship reign at super welterweight with victory over Vanes Martirosyan in 2013. The WBO title was defended on four occasions, including a stoppage victory over Britain’s Brian Rose in 2014.
His middleweight crusade began in 2018 when he won the vacant WBO title by virtue of a points verdict over Walter Kautondokwa. His title at 160lbs has been defended five times and the super-slick southpaw remains champion at the weight. Notable wins at middleweight have come over Liam Williams and the Irishmen Luke Keeler and Jason Quigley.
“There can be no questioning the pedigree of Demetrius Andrade,” said promoter Frank Warren. “It is why we went above and beyond to win the purse bid to give our man every crucial advantage.
“It is going to be such a special night on 21st May and I feel sure the Derby public will come out in force to roar Zach on in the biggest fight of his career.
“When we teamed up with Zach he revealed his dream of fighting at Pride Park – where he is a dedicated supporter of his home team – and we set about making his dream become a reality. Added to that, the £10 going to the club is something I hope inspires the fans to come and support Zach and DCFC in even larger numbers than we predict.
“We have done this before in recent years for Josh Warrington in Leeds and Carl Frampton in Belfast and both were successful on magical nights. I see no reason at all why Zach cannot experience similar joy.
“Andrade is top-drawer and we know this, but he is moving up a weight to super middle, which is natural territory for Zach and he is a monster at the weight. Other British and Irish fighters have struggled to fathom out Andrade, but Zach is the complete package. Not only does he carry a huge punch, but he is also tall and technical with an excellent boxing brain.
“It all adds up to a cracking fight and a huge night for Derby. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone at the club who have helped to make this happen.”
Tickets for Zach Parker vs Demetrius Andrade at Pride Park on Saturday, 21st May go on sale at 11am on Thursday, 31st March.
Fans are advised to sign-up for Ticket Alerts at frankwarren.com to receive the ticket link directly to their inboxes.
A full undercard will be announced in due course.
Please Note: This event is subject to contract and licence approval.