BENTLEY vs CASH PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES AND PHOTOS

HALL OF FAME PROMOTER Frank Warren today hosted the final head-to-head press conference between British Middleweight champion Denzel Bentley (14-0-1, 12 KOs) and Commonwealth title holder Felix Cash (13-0, 9 KOs).

Both titles will be on the line when the bitter rivals meet on Saturday (April 24) live on BT Sport.

Here is a selection of quotes from today’s presser.

FRANK WARREN

This fight came about because the British Boxing Board of Control ordered it. Denzel and Felix didn’t want to withdraw from it. It went out to purse bids which we (Queensberry) won and it’s on.

I don’t think it gets any better than this. Both guys are undefeated, they have similar records and I think you are going to see something a little bit special. I understand there is no love lost from sparring, and was there unofficial sparring out of the ring? 

This has got the hallmarks of a classic fight in a division that Britain has always flown the flag in. You can go back over the years and look at some of the great British and Commonwealth Middleweight title fights. This, definitely has a great chance of being up there as far as quality and action are concerned. As a boxing fan I’m looking forward to it. 

There was a lot of talk, that Tony Sims (Felix’s trainer) said he was considering not taking the fight and moving on, but hats off to them. 

We won the purse bids and they are having the fight. From the fans point of view it doesn’t get any better than this. The one who has the skills and wants it the most will come through. 

I have an opinion about the fight and that is why we got behind Denzel in the purse bids. We believe in him. If Denzel comes through this as we expect him to then he will move on and into a position where he gets a world title fight. 

Denzel hasn’t come through the easy way. It has been tough. I lost a main event on a televised dinner show on the day. 

Denzel had been sparring ten rounds, but he jumped at a fight that night and stopped Serge Ambomo. That tells me a lot about him. It shows me a guy who believes in himself. He has looked better and better. He is a credit to himself and his trainer Martin Bowers. 

If good guys win he comes through this weekend. Fans are going to see something special between two talented fighters. There is competition between them, their promoters. The whole thing smacks of electricity. It will be exciting while it lasts.

DENZEL BENTLEYI am very proud to be British Middleweight champion. I have been everywhere with the belt. I’ve shown it off to let everyone know about my achievements. I am proud. I think Felix will regret taking this fight. 

Felix believes he is world level, but go through his opponents and there is nothing to suggest he is at that level, but every fighter needs to believe they are. I believe I am world level and he believes I’m not, so we will see. 

There is the sparring story with Felix. We both did four rounds sparring then jumped back in with each other. We were going at it and he started hitting low and behind the head – all the little dirty tricks he likes to do. Then it got heated, he got upset and it turned into a little scrap but it’s in the past. He says I was clinging on for dear life – well we will see on Saturday.

I do everything better than Felix. Is he gonna turn up with his dirty tricks? He is a dirty fighter. Everyone has seen it in his fights before. He does it well and gets away with it a lot, but it’s not going to bother me. I reckon I am going to stop him even if he doesn’t have chinks in his armour.

FELIX CASH

Every British fighter wants to win the British title and that is what I want to do. Denzel is in my way so let’s get it on. I cannot wait to get my hands on the British belt. 

There were other options on the table, but we sat down and spoke as a team. We had a look at Denzel and just said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ 

I would have preferred it was on a Matchroom show, but it doesn’t make any difference to me, a ring is a ring and the best man will win on the night. I believe I am world level and I don’t believe that Denzel is. 

He is a decent domestic fighter. I believe I am a level above him and I will show him on Saturday night. Styles make fights. I believe I am better and I will prove that. We will sort it out man to man and the best man will win. I believe that man is going to be me. 

He has been doing a world tour with that belt. I hope he has enjoyed it because it is leaving him on Saturday night. 

I am going to be in front of him and he will have to deal with it. Am I a dirty fighter? I am what I am. I am a very good fighter and I am going to show Denzel. I will win the fight by stoppage. Let’s just put on a good fight for the fans.

Also on the bill, former British Light-Heavyweight champion and world title challenger Callum Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs) challenges Bosnia’s Emil Markic (32-2, 24 KOs) for the vacant WBO Global title.Some of the best prospects in the Queensberry stable are also on show including London Heavyweight banger David Adeleye (5-0, 5 KOs) who boxes a six rounder.Also in six round action, York Super-Welterweight George Davey (3-0) who meets Jamie Stewart (2-1-1) and Super-Lightweight Henry Turner (4-0). In four rounders are Liverpool Middleweight James Heneghan (4-0) and Chatham Light-Heavyweight Karol Itauma (1-0) a Youth Olympic Gold Medallist.

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Danny Dignum retains WBO European title after draw with Andrey Sirotkin – MTK Fight Night Results and Reaction

Danny Dignum retained his WBO European middleweight title as he drew with Andrey Sirotkin after 10 rounds of fantastic action on Saturday’s #MTKFightNight.

The event was taking place at the University of Bolton Stadium and broadcast live on IFL TV, with fans treated to yet another action-packed event.

Both Dignum and Sirotkin gave it their absolute all, but they couldn’t be split after 30 minutes of action, with the judges scoring it a split draw.

Elsewhere on the card, Dan Azeez retained his English light-heavyweight title with a points win over Ricky Summers, Jack Bateson defeated Joe Ham, Lewie Edmondson beat Luke Blackledge, Carl Fail stopped Kristaps Zulgis, Paul Ryan beat Kyle Hughes, and Paul McCullagh overcame Paul Woolery.

Here’s everything you need to know from a brilliant night of action…

WBO European middleweight title

DANNY DIGNUM drew with ANDREY SIROTKIN after 10 rounds (96-95, 94-96, 95-95)

Danny Dignum kept hold of his unbeaten record and retained his WBO European middleweight title as he drew with Andrey Sirotkin.

Every round was extremely competitive, with Dignum (13-0-1, 7 KOs) and Sirotkin (19-1-1, 7 KOs) each having success and giving their absolute all throughout all 10 rounds.

It looked like the fight could be anybody’s as the bell tolled to signal the end of the fight, and that proved to be the case, with the judges scoring it 96-95 Dignum, 96-94 Sirotkin, and 95-95, making it a split draw.

Dignum said: “He was very tricky. I thought I nicked the fight and I felt fit in there and felt good. He was an awkward customer, but I thought that I did enough to win it.

“It is what it is, that’s boxing. Fair play to Sirotkin, he came over and put up a good fight. I’m not bitter, I thought I won but a draw is a draw. I’ll be back fitter and stronger and it’s all part of the experience.

“I don’t feel like a loser, I’ve just got to go back and learn. I got a bad cut and I couldn’t see out of my left eye, but I’ll recover and get back in the gym. I probably learned more in that fight than all of my others.”

English light-heavyweight title

DAN AZEEZ def. RICKY SUMMERS via split decision after 10 rounds (97-93, 96-94, 95-97)

Dan Azeez retained his English light-heavyweight title as he earned a split decision win over Ricky Summers after 10 fantastic rounds of action.

It was a brilliant fight from start to finish, with both men landing with huge shots at stages during the fight, but Azeez appeared to be getting the better of the action.

It looked as if Azeez (13-0, 8 KOs) was close to getting the stoppage in the closing stages, but Summers (17-3-1, 6 KOs) was able to hold on and last the duration. In the end the judges had it closer than many others who had Azeez winning comfortably, with the defending champion getting the nod via split decision.

Azeez said: “I think my hunger was the difference. Ricky was a good operator and was tough. I hit him with some good shots and he gritted his team and called me on.

“That is a fight that I need. I am calling out all these guys at the top, and that fight with Ricky is the kind that I need to let me know who is up there in my division. I’ve had the learning fights and I’m ready to step it up now.

“Hopefully MTK Global can push me in the right direction. I’m a champion and a fighter, it’s in my blood, and I want to be in the mix at the top.”


JACK BATESON def. JOE HAM 78-75 on points after 8 rounds

Jack Bateson extended his unbeaten record to 13-0 as he came out on top in a brilliant super-bantamweight battle against Joe Ham.

The fight served as the toughest test of Bateson’s (13-0, 3 KOs) career so far, going up against former Scottish champion Ham (16-3, 6 KOs), and it was a clash that was fought at a very fast pace.

Both men had success during portions of the fight, but it was Bateson who was edging the majority of the rounds, and the referee saw it the same way as he handed the Leeds fighter a well-earned 78-75 points win against a very game Ham.

Bateson said: “Joe is a great lad and a good friend of mine, but it is boxing at the end of the day and we had a good fight with each other.

“I started as a southpaw and probably was for the majority of the fight, and I think that threw him. Those little things worked and helped me get the win. I was the best I ever felt on the scales and I was a different animal today once I fuelled up.

“I learned a lot in that fight, and in the next one I’ll make sure I make even less mistakes. Anybody who knows me knows what I put into this sport, and hopefully it will pay off for me in the end.”


LEWIE EDMONDSON def. LUKE BLACKLEDGE via RTD at 3:00 of round 3

Rising star Lewie Edmondson picked up yet another big win as he claimed a stoppage victory over former Commonwealth super-middleweight champion Luke Blackledge.

Edmondson (5-0, 2 KOs) was coming off the back of a superb stoppage victory over John Telford in December, and he picked up right where he left off, using his switch-hitting to perfection and landing at will over Blackledge (26-10-2, 9 KOs).

The punishment became too much at the end of round three, with Blackledge’s corner deciding to pull him out, giving Edmondson another stylish win.

Edmondson said: “I really enjoyed it in there. I could see after a couple of rounds that I was starting to get to him. I stepped on it and then he retired after three rounds, so I’m very happy.

“I was switch-hitting in there but I don’t think about it too much, it’s pretty natural to me, so I just see what is working. I’m 5-0 now and that’s two opponents that have come to win, and you don’t see that often.

“I see that Charlie Schofield and Mickey Ellison are meant to be fighting for the English title in June, and I want the winner of that. I want to be fast-tracked. Billy Joe Saunders and MTK Global don’t want me to be held back, they want me to make statements.”


CARL FAIL def. KRISTAPS ZULGIS via TKO at 2:55 of round 2

Carl Fail picked up his second win in the space of five weeks as he earned a dominant second round stoppage victory over Kristaps Zulgis.

Fail (2-0, 1 KO) made his professional debut last month, but wasted no time getting back in the ring, getting off to a fast start against Zulgis before dropping his opponent in round two.

Zulgis was able to get back to his feet, but another knockdown came later in the round which Zulgis couldn’t recover from, handing Fail a fantastic stoppage win.

Fail said: “Five weeks ago I had my debut and then I had the chance to jump in and take this fight, and it feels great to get the victory. I learnt so much from my debut and I took that experience into my second fight and it showed.

“I’m learning in the gym all the time. There are still bits I need to work on, but we’ll keep developing and getting better and better. I watched my brother’s professional debut and got a lot of experience from that too.

“We’re a tight team, and having them here with me is great. I’m ready to grab any opportunity that comes my way, so I hope to be out again soon.”


PAUL RYAN def. KYLE HUGHES on points after 4 rounds (39-38)

Dublin’s Paul Ryan got his professional career off to a winning start, as he picked up a four rounds points win over Kyle Hughes.

Ryan (1-0) got off to a good start in the bout, but Hughes (2-3) came back strong to ensure it wouldn’t be all plain-sailing for the debutant.

Despite the fightback from Hughes, Ryan was able to maintain his composure and display some great boxing skills, and in the end was able to get the ball rolling in the paid ranks with a hard-fought 39-38 points win after four competitive rounds.

Ryan said: “It wasn’t my best performance but I did what I had to do. I’ve waited a long time for my debut but it’s bigger and better from here.

“I got back into the amateur habits a bit by going onto the back foot, and in the professional game you can’t do that. It’s something to learn from and we’ll move forward.

“It’s all been an experience compared to what it was like in the amateurs. I would like to be out five times this year if possible as we’re picking up for lost time.”


PAUL MCCULLAGH def. ANTONY WOOLERY on points after 4 rounds (40-36)

Paul McCullagh made it back to back win in the paid ranks as he picked up a one-sided four rounds points win against Antony Woolery.

McCullagh (2-0, 1 KO) dictated proceedings from the first bell to the last, with Woolery (2-4) unable to deal with the man known as ‘The Irish Drago.’

While McCullagh was dominating the action, Woolery did manage to go the distance, with the referee scoring it 40-36 to McCullagh to come away with a brilliant win.

Stay up to date at mtkglobal.com and on social media @mtkglobal

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RUNNING ORDER, WEIGHTS AND IMAGES FROM DEMETRIUS ANDRADE VS. LIAM WILLIAMS WEIGH-IN IN FLORIDA

1.45pm ET
 
4 x 3 mins Super-Lightweight contest
 
Aaron Aponte 140lbs  vs.        Javier Martinez 138lbs 4oz
Hialeah, Fl.                                Austin, TX
 
Followed by
 
8 x 3 mins Lightweight contest
 
Otha Jones III 134lbs 8oz        vs.        Jorge Castaneda 135lbs
Toledo, OH                                              Laredo, TX
 
LIVE ON DAZN FROM 3PM ET/ 8PM UK
 
8 x 3 mins Lightweight contest
 
Arthur Biyarslanov 136lbs 8oz            vs.   Israel Mercado 136lbs 12oz
Toronto, Canada                                             Pomona, CA
 
Followed by
 
10 x 3 Heavyweight contest
 
Mahammadrasul Majidov 232lbs       vs.     Andrey Fedosov 224lbs 8oz
Azerbaijan                                                       Russia
 
Followed by
 
12 x 3 mins IBO World Super-Middleweight title
 
Carlos Gongora 167lbs 12oz   vs.        Christopher Pearson 167lbs 8oz
Ecuador                                                   Dayton, OH
 
Followed by
 
12 x 3 mins WBO World Middleweight title
 
Demetrius Andrade 159lbs 8oz vs.     Liam Williams 160lbs
Providence, RI                                       Wales
 
FLOAT
 
6 x 3 mins Super-Middleweight contest
 
Alexis Espino 166lbs 4oz         vs.        Ty McLeod 164lbs 4oz
Las Vegas, NV                                      Bradenton, FL
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MTK Fight Night Dignum vs. Sirotkin – Weights & Running Order

Please find below the weights and running order for Saturday’s action-packed #MTKFightNight – as Danny Dignum defends his WBO European middleweight title against Andrey Sirotkin at the University of Bolton Stadium, live on IFL TV.

IFL TV BROADCAST BEGINS 6:30PM BST

Light-Heavyweight, 4 Rounds
PAUL MCCULLAGH (177.1lbs) vs. ANTONY WOOLERY (179.1lbs)

ESPN+ BROADCAST BEGINS 7:00PM BST / 2:00PM ET / 11:00AM PT

Middleweight, 4 Rounds
PAUL RYAN (157.14lbs) vs. KYLE HUGHES (159.5lbs)

Super-Welterweight, 6 Rounds
CARL FAIL (156.10lbs) vs. KRISTAPS ZULGIS (156lbs)

Super-Middleweight, 6 Rounds
LEWIE EDMONDSON (171.4lbs) vs. LUKE BLACKLEDGE (171.7lbs)

Super-Bantamweight, 8 Rounds
JOE HAM (124.13lbs) vs. JACK BATESON (123.9lbs)

English Light-Heavyweight Title, 10 Rounds
DAN AZEEZ (174.8lbs) vs. RICKY SUMMERS (174.2lbs)

WBO European Middleweight Title, 10 Rounds
DANNY DIGNUM (158.3lbs) vs. ANDREY SIROTKIN (159.8lbs)

Stay up to date at mtkglobal.com and on social media @mtkglobal

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TENNYSON FACES STRAFFON FOR IBO LIGHTWEIGHT WORLD TITLE

‘The Assassin’ fights for world honours on Chisora-Parker undercard
James Tennyson will face Jovanni Straffon for the vacant IBO Lightweight World Title on the undercard of Derek Chisora vs. Joseph Parker in 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.
 
The hard-hitting Belfast man further enhanced his reputation as one of the most exciting contenders in the red hot 135lbs division by taking out Canada’s Josh O’Reilly in one round last time out on the Saunders vs. Murray undercard in December. 
 
‘The Assassin’, 27, produced a ferocious display before the WBA World Title Eliminator was stopped by referee Marcus McDonnell after two minutes and 14 seconds – Tennyson’s sixth straight stoppage win since moving up to Lightweight
 
Mexico’s Straffon (23-3-1, 16 KOs) has notched 23 wins since turning professional in December 2010, with 16 of those wins coming inside the distance for the 27-year-old southpaw from Torreon. ‘Impacto’ has lost just three times in 27 fights and has never been stopped. 
 
“Winning the IBO World Title will be a dream come true for me,” said Tennyson. “I have worked my whole life for this moment. This is my big opportunity to complete my collection of belts. I’ve won British, Commonwealth, European and two WBA Titles. All that’s missing is a World Title. 
 
“The other guys holding belts at Lightweight haven’t been putting their belts on the line against each other. Winning the IBO will hopefully dangle a carrot in front of the other World Champions and entice them into a big unification fight. I’m expecting a tough fight, Mexican’s are well known for their toughness. I’ll have to bring my A game.”
 
“I’ve been working hard for many years to get a fight like this,” said Straffon. “I will not waste it. I will go up in the ring thinking about my two little daughters and how I need to win this for them. Maybe if I win, Eddie Hearn will want to work with me and my team in the future.”
 
“I am delighted for James Tennyson to be given this World Title opportunity by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom,” said Mark Dunlop, Manager of Tennyson. “James is a role model to not only his community but every up and coming young boxer who has the same dream. His dedication to myself, his coach and Eddie Hearn is a lesson to all in the sport of professional boxing and he has been rewarded for that time and time again. He is fully aware Straffon is a dangerous opponent who is coming to take his shot at glory. This fight is only going to end in a shootout.”
 
“I’m very thankful to Eddie Hearn for giving us this opportunity and I’m delighted to be working with Mark Dunlop,” said Manuel Garrido, promoter of Straffon. “It is a very exciting fight, Straffon will go out there to give the fight of his life because this is the biggest opportunity he has been given in his career.”
 
Tennyson vs. Straffon is part of a huge night of action in Manchester, Derek Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) and Joseph Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) collide in a 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) and Chris Eubank Jr (29-2, 22 KOs) returns against Marcus Morrison (23-3, 16 KOs).
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Mwakinyo Vs Denes WBC/ABU Africa Title Fight Headlines Rumble in Dar Second Edition on May 28th.

Rumble In Dar series co-promoters The Jackson Group, Global Boxing Stars and Epic Sports and Entertainment, today announced that the Second Edition of the series will take place at the Next Door Arena in Dar es Salaam on Friday the 28th May 2021 and will be broadcast live across Sub-Saharan Africa exclusively by Plus TV, which is available exclusively on DSTV channel number 294 in more than 30 African countries as well as syndicated globally to linear and digital channels (check local channel listings) and on-line at FITE TV. 

Back in January boxing fans around the world were enthralled by an incredible evening of boxing featuring world stars such as Bulgaria’s Tervel Pulev and American Shawn Miller amongst others, that concluded with Tanzania’s very own Ibrahim Class securing the World Boxing Federation (WBF) intercontinental championship after a 12 round Battle Royale with seriously tough South Africa based Malawian Dennis Mwale.

The second edition of the Rumble in Dar series, as with the first, has a closely matched international card that features two World Boxing Council African Boxing Union (WBC-ABU) Championship contests;

The headline fight on the second edition of the Rumble in Dar series sees Tanzania’s Hassan Mwakinyo (18-2-0) in action against Zimbabwean Brendon Denes of Zimbabwe (8-0-0) for the vacant WBC Africa (WBC-ABU) Super Welterweight Championship.

The co-main event pits Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodora (34-0-8) against Tanzania’s Shaban Jongo (8-1-2) for the WBC Africa (WBC-ABU) championship.

The stellar undercard features closely matched international fights:

8 Round Heavyweight Contest:  Switzerland based Kenyan Collins Omondi (5-0-0) versus Zimbabwe’s Elvis Moyo (9-6-2)

6 Round Heavyweight Contest: Ukraine’s Ihor Shavadzutskyi (5-0-0) versus Uganda’s Shafik Kiwanuka (3-0-0)

8 Round Lightweight Contest: Tanzania’s Ibrahim Class (25-6-0) versus TBA

8 Round Super Welterweight Contest: Bulgaria’s Yosif Panov (18-3-0) versus Tanzania’s Nicolaus Mdoe (10-5-1)

4 Round Heavyweight Contest: Bulgaria’s Pencho Tsevtkov (4-0-0) versus Zimbabwe’s Simon Madhanire (1-2-1)

8 Round Super Welterweight Contest: Zambia’s Lolita Muzeya (16-0-0) versus TBA

4 Round Lightweight Contest: Bulgaria’s Joana Nwamerue (3-0-0) versus Zimbabwe’s Netsai Vaina Bondayi (2-3-1)

6 Round Heavyweight Contest: South Africa’s Ardi Ndembo (2-0-0) versus Malawi’s Alick Gogodo (4-5-0)

The second edition of the Rumble in Dar series, in association with the Tanzania Tourist Board #VisitTanzania, KCB Bank, Onomo Hotels, Urban Soul Apparel (Botswana) and M Bet, will be broadcast live across Sub-Saharan Africa exclusively by Plus TV, which is available exclusively on DSTV channel number 294 in more than 30 African countries as well as syndicated globally to linear and digital channels (check local channel listings) and on-line at FITE TV.

#RumbleInDar #VisitTanzania

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BRUTAL BENN BLITZES VARGAS IN ONE ROUND

‘The Destroyer’ calls out Amir Khan after emphatic win
12 x 3 mins WBA Continental Welterweight Title
CONOR BENN WTKO1 (1:20) v SAMUEL VARGAS
(Essex, England)                        (Bogota, Colombia)

Conor Benn wiped out Samuel Vargas inside the opening round to retain his WBA Continental Welterweight Title at the Copper Box Arena in London, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.

‘The Destroyer’ lived up to his name as he took just 1 minute and 20 seconds to progress to 18-0 with twelve knockouts, sending out a brutal warning to his Welterweight rivals. 

The unbeaten 24-year-old unloaded a torrent of spiteful shots that left Vargas reeling on the ropes, prompting the referee to swiftly wave it off, and Benn quickly expressed his desire for a big domestic clash with Khan.

“I train hard for it,” said Benn. “Again, you’re talking levels. It shows the level I’m at. Errol Spence, Danny Garcia, Vergil Ortiz, Amir Khan – nobody banged him out like that. First round, first round! He came and he was game. He took my belt off me in the week and I had a little stare down with him.

“He was telling me he was ready to fight, and he was talking a good game. He said I had no power. It’s irrelevant because a lot of people can talk. My shots were landing flush. You could tell they were hurting him. When I first hit him it landed swiftly and I thought, ‘right, this is going to be a much quicker night than I thought’.

“I’ve been working on my power with my strength and conditioning coach Dan Lawrence. We’ve been working with Tony, endless hours. First to arrive last to leave. He’s always pushing me. I told you lot I’d knock him out in the first round. I was cool, calm and collected. I work so hard. 
 
“Give me Amir Khan. I know he’s too busy on reality TV. If he wants it, he can have it. I can deal with pressure. I can cope with it. I can live with it, no problem. I’m ready for the top dogs – Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner? Forget the word prospect, I ain’t a prospect no more.”

10 x 2 mins WBO Middleweight World Title
SAVANNAH MARSHALL WKO3 (1:11) v MARIA LINDBERG
(Hartlepool, England)                               (Malmo, Sweden)

Savannah Marshall became the first woman to stop Maria Lindberg in 29 fights as she retained her WBO Middleweight World Title with a third round KO. 

The defending champion was far too powerful for her Swedish challenger, who stepped in as a late replacement for Femke Hermans.

A powerful right hand dumped Lindberg heavily to the canvas in the second round, with the bell preventing Marshall from finishing the fight.

It was a brief reprieve as Marshall’s stinging right toppled Lindberg again and she wisely stayed down for the count in the third.

“To be honest, I really didn’t think it would pan out like that,” said Marshall. “Maria is one tough woman. She keeps herself in shape all year round. She’d never been stopped in 27-fights. I thought I was in for a bit of a tough night’s work.

“Once I started finding my range with the jab then the backhand just found its way home and I don’t think she could handle the power. She just said there she’s never been dropped in 23 years! I’m quite proud of that.

“On Sunday, I didn’t even think I was going to fight, and then they brought Maria in. It kind of rocked the boat a bit. A quick change of tactics and we got the job done. She’s been in with some good girls, Christina Hammer, she’s boxed for numerous World Titles. She wanted mine, but she’s not getting it. I’m truly grateful to Maria for stepping up. Big thanks to her.

“I’ve heard whispers we’re going back to Newcastle in July, hopefully with crowds. I’d love to box for the IBF Title which is vacant. I feel good at this weight, I’m a big Middleweight. Me against Shields is the only fight at the bigger weights. It has to happen really. There’s nowhere else for her to go. She needs me just as much as I need her.”

10 x 2 mins vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title 
SHANNON COURTENAY WUD10 (97-94, 98-92, 98-92) v EBANIE BRIDGES 
(Watford, England)                                                              (New South Wales, Australia)

Shannon Courtenay was crowned the new WBA Bantamweight World Champion after defeating Australia’s Ebanie Bridges on points following a punishing battle.

The pair were embroiled in a heated build-up but it was the Watford fighter who had the final word, becoming Britain’s latest World Champion by securing a unanimous decision with scores of 97-94, 98-92 and 98-92.

“Amazing. I don’t want to cry. Amazing,” said Courtenay. “I feel like my jab won me the fight to be honest. My conditioning, my attrition, all of the hard work. My two coaches Charlie and H kill me on a daily basis. They kill me in the gym. I hate them for it, but it bloody paid off. My nice jab, my fitness and my conditioning won me that fight.

“I have to give credit to her because that was a bloody good fight. She was tougher than I thought she’d be. I knew if I stuck to my boxing I’d win. I had to keep listening to Charlie – he kept saying, ‘box, box, box’. When I was getting into a war it was stupid of me. The jab won me the fight.

“There was respect before I got in the ring because anybody that gets in the ring deserves respect. I now have more respect for her. When it was a shootout that was my own stupidity. I’ve come a long way. I’ve said it all week. Tonight is proof that anyone can turn their life around.

“I’m a different person to who I was back then. I’m a World Champion baby! I’m wearing this belt everywhere. This is such a proud moment for me. This is such a good example to young girls that you can turn your life around. I can’t put it into words.”

10 x 3 mins WBC International Silver Bantamweight Title
ALEXANDER ESPINOZA v KASH FAROOQ WUD10 (97-93, 97-95, 97-94)
(Managua, Nicaragua)        (Glasgow, Scotland)

Glasgow talent Kash Farooq completed a stylish points victory over Nicaragua’sAlexander Espinoza to secure the WBC International Silver Bantamweight Title.

‘The Untouchable’ displayed his superior ring skills against the tough 28-year-old, receiving a unanimous decision with scores of 97-93, 97-95 and 97-94.

“I’m over the moon with the performance,” Farooq told Sky Sports. “I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I came as an underdog, he was the champion. He took some really heavy shots and he kept coming and coming. 

“When you’re a champion you don’t want to give your belt up. He just wanted to win. That’s why he came here. I wasn’t going to be denied. It’s a lot of hard work in the gym. Practice, practice and practice. It’s second nature because I’ve been working on this for such a long time. I can see the punches coming.”

6 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
NICK CAMPBELL WTKO2 (0:41) v PETR FROHLICH
(Glasgow, Scotland)                        (Most, Czech Republic)

Rugby player turned Heavyweight boxer Nick Campbell got his professional career off to a flyer by taking out Petr Frohlich in two rounds. 

The 31-year-old from Glasgow displayed his strength and power as he unloaded a succession of thudding body shots in the opening round.

Frohlich crumpled to the canvas after clubbing shots at the start of the second and referee Robert Williams mercifully waved it off following another flurry of punches from ‘The Glasgow Warrior’.

“I like to try and stay humble, I expected to get rid of that guy to be honest with you,” said Campbell. “I know he’s not been knocked out many times in his losses and he’s tough. He took some shots there. I’m pleased with how it went. I put him down once and then the referee jumped in and stopped it.

“In my opinion it was the dream debut. Making my debut on a stage like that after everything that happened in the past year is something that I’d have never of dreamed of. I’m just buzzing to be here and to be talking to you. I’m happy with my performance. I went in there and I had a high work rate. I was just trying to display the things we’d been working on in the gym.

“I can’t thank my team enough for all of the hard work they’ve put into me. They’re the best team around in my opinion. All of the people that have been singing my praises, that was for you, so thank you. I’m a bit older than most people that make their debut, but I feel young. Every fight that I have is a step further than people thought I could go. I’m just here to prove people wrong and work hard.”

4 x 3 mins International Light-Heavyweight contest
JOHN HEDGES WPTS4 (40-36) v STANKO JERMELIC
(Takeley, England)                         (Split, Croatia)

John Hedges moved to 2-0 with a shutout points win over Croatia’s Stanko Jermelic in the opening bout of the night. 

In his first fight at Light-Heavyweight, the 18-year-old from Takeley put a difficult professional debut behind him with a calm and collected performance. 

“I’m so happy,” said Hedges. “I needed that after the start I had. I’m with a new team now and it just shows what we’ve been working on in the gym. I’d like to thank my team for helping me to get that win. I feel really good.

“After that debut I didn’t feel like I deserved to be on TV this time. This is what I needed to move forward. People must look at me and think I’m a bit of a fleshy Light-Heavyweight. That’s just the body type I have. I feel so much better at this weight. I feel strong and I’m only going to get better as the journey continues.

“That still wasn’t my best, but it was an improvement from last time. I’ll be ready to go again next time with an even better performance. Nobody is going to remember these first few fights. I’m hoping to be like Conor Benn and headlining my own shows in the future.”
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MARSHALL – THIS IS A TOUGHER FIGHT THAN HERMANS

‘Silent Assassin’ faces former four-time World Title challenger
Savannah Marshall believes her late stand-in opponent Maria Lindberg will prove to be a tougher assignment than her original opponent Femke Hermans when they meet for the WBO Middleweight World Title tomorrow night, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.

Marshall (9-0, 7 KOs) stopped Hannah Rankin in seven rounds to win the vacant WBO crown last October, the former amateur World Champion was a class above her Scottish rival from the opening bell and managed to go one better than her old foe Claressa Shields by ending the fight inside the distance.
 
The Hartlepool fighter was due to face Belgium’s Hermans in her maiden defence until the European Champion was forced to pull out of their contest just days ago due to two positive Coronavirus tests in her camp. 
 
Sweden’s Lindberg, a former four-time World Title challenger, has shared the ring with the likes of Christina Hammer, Ema Kozin and Marie Eve Dicaire, and Marshall says she is prepared for a hard night’s work in her first fight of 2021.
 
“If anything, this is a tougher fight than the original fight we had,” said Marhsall. “Maria is very experienced, tough and been in with some of the best in the world – Christina Hammer twice. I’m expecting a tough fight come Saturday.
 
“I’ve had a twelve-week camp, so I’ve prepared for everything. Whatever Maria brings I’m more than confident I’ve got the answer for. I found out about Femke Hermans being off on Saturday and I thought there was no way they’d get me a replacement opponent at such short notice. 

 “Luckily Matchroom pulled it out of the bag and got me an opponent. She’s had three times as many fights as me so I’m sure she knows all of the little tricks of the trade. She’ll probably never get a chance like this again so really it’s the last roll of the dice for her. She’s definitely going to come all guns blazing.”
 
Marshall vs. Lindberg is part of a big night of action, rising Welterweight star Conor Benn (17-0, 11 KOs) defends his WBA Continental Title against Samuel Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) in the main event, Watford’s Shannon Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) faces Australia’s Ebanie Bridges  (5-0, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title, Glasgow Bantamweight Kash Farooq (14-1, 6 KOs) challenges Alexander Espinoza (20-2-2) for the WBC International Silver Title, Glasgow Heavyweight Nick Campbell makes his professional debut and Takeley prospect John ‘The Gentleman’ Hedges (1-0) looks to build on his pro debut win last October.
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CANELO-SAUNDERS ON GENERAL SALE TODAY AFTER SMASHING PRE-SALE RECORD

Super-Middleweight unification clash on Cinco De Mayo weekend at AT&T Stadium
All remaining tickets go on general sale today for the blockbuster unification showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday May 8 at AT&T stadium in Arlington, TX, live worldwide on DAZN, after the event broke SeatGeek.com’s pre-sale record.
 TICKETS GO ON GENERAL SALE AT 10AM CT TODAY (MARCH 26) AT SEATGEEK.COM 
Over 40,000 tickets were sold in the pre-sale period, smashing the previous record for the best performing pre-sale sales for the mobile ticket platform, and the scramble for the remaining tickets will begin at 10am CT today (11am ET) when the rest of the tickets are released on general sale.
 
Canelo fights at the home of the Dallas Cowboys for the second time in his career and returns to his traditional Cinco De Mayo weekend date after COVID robbed him of that in 2020.
 
The Mexican superstar is aiming to take a massive step to becoming the first 168lb undisputed champion from his homeland and the stakes couldn’t be higher, as if he hands Saunders a first career defeat and takes his WBO crown, just one piece of the puzzle will remain.
 
Saunders, who will be completing his training camp in Las Vegas, will be looking to stop the rot for British fighters facing Canelo and grab the biggest win of his career to date against the 30 year old – and promoter Eddie Hearn says the pre-sale success reflects the appetite for fight fans to see Canelo and Saunders tangle on Cinco De Mayo weekend.
 
“The pre-sale numbers were fantastic, and I am sure that on Cinco de Mayo weekend, we’re going to have a full house to watch this massive unification fight,” said Hearn.
 
“It’s great to be able to stage a fight of such huge global significance to the home of the Dallas Cowboys and fill that wonderful stadium with fans. We’re going to be putting on a night that those lucky enough to be in there will never forget.”
 
About AT&T Stadium:
AT&T Stadium is one of the largest, most technologically advanced entertainment venues in the world.  Designed by HKS and built by Manhattan Construction, the $1.2 billion stadium features two monumental arches, the world’s largest HDTV video board cluster, an expansive retractable roof and the largest retractable end zone doors in the world.  Features of the stadium include seating for 80,000 and expandability for up to 100,000, over 300 luxury suites, club seating on multiple levels and the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, open to the public year-round.  The stadium is also home to a world-class collection of contemporary art, made up of over 50 pieces from an international array of curated artists displayed on the walls and in the grand public spaces of the venue.  In addition to being the Home of the Dallas Cowboys since opening in 2009, the stadium has hosted Super Bowl XLV, the 2010 NBA All Star Game, the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game and the annual Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The venue has also played host to high school and college football, concerts, championship fights, international soccer matches, and other special events.  For more information, go to www.attstadium.com.
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POVETKIN VS. WHYTE II WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER

UK TIMINGS

16:55 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK


10 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
YOUSSEF KHOUMARI 9st 4lbs 0oz v KANE BAKER 9st 2lbs 8oz
(Wembley, England)                              (Birmingham, England)

followed by

18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS BOX OFFICE & DAZN10 x 3 mins vacant IBO International Heavyweight Title
ERIK PFEIFER 17st 8lbs 2oz v NICK WEBB 18st 10lbs 0oz
(Germany)                                    (Surrey, England)

followed by

10 x 3 mins WBO Global Welterweight Title
CHRIS KONGO 10st 6lbs 12oz v MICHAEL MCKINSON 10st 6lbs 2oz
(Bermondsey, England)              (Portsmouth, England)

followed by4 x 3 mins International Lightweight contest
CAMPBELL HATTON 9st 10lbs 13oz v JESUS RUIZ 9st 10lbs 6oz
(Manchester, England)                            (Spain)

followed by12 x 3 mins vacant British Super-Welterweight Title 
TED CHEESEMAN 10st 13lbs 10oz v JAMES METCALF 10st 13lbs 13oz
(Bermondsey, England)                       (Liverpool, England)

followed by10 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
FABIO WARDLEY 16st 8lbs 6oz v ERIC MOLINA 17st 13lbs 5oz
(Ipswich, England)                         (USA)

followed by12 x 3 mins Interim WBC Heavyweight World Title
ALEXANDER POVETKIN 16st 4lbs 4oz v DILLIAN WHYTE 17st 9lbs 3oz                  
(Russia)                                                       (Brixton, England)
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