NEWS: DUBAI TO HOST PROBELLUM DOUBLE-HEADER FEATURING WORLD TITLE FIGHTS IN MARCH


Probellum returns to Dubai in March for an action-packed weekend of elite-level boxing staged over two consecutive nights with an incredible card featuring a combination of current and former world champions, Olympic medalists and hugely talented young fighters.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, located at The Irish Village, in association with Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, will host Probellum’s first shows of the year – and one of the UAE’s biggest-ever boxing showcases – on March 18 and 19.

The main and co-main event for night one will be announced this week, while two fantastic bouts top the bill on the second night, with IBF flyweight champion Sunny Edwards (17-0, 4 knockouts), from the UK, defending his title against Muhammad Waseem (12-1, 8 knockouts), one of Pakistan’s biggest boxing stars, in the headline contest.

That will be preceded by an intriguing clash between Ireland’s WBO intercontinental super-lightweight champion Tyrone McKenna (22-2-1, 6 knockouts) and Regis Prograis (26-1, 22 knockouts), the American former super-lightweight world champion who signed to Probellum in October.

Probellum heads back to Dubai following its hugely successful inaugural event, which took place at the Coca-Cola Arena in December, hosted by legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer.

“We are absolutely delighted to be returning to Dubai for our first event of 2022,” said Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum.

“Probellum has made a huge impact in the boxing world in a short period and we have some major plans for this year, starting with these two history-making shows in Dubai.

“There was a fantastic response to our first-ever event, which took place in Dubai at the end of last year, and we know there is a big appetite for boxing in the city.

“These two shows will feature many top-quality fighters from around the world, including Sunny Edwards, Muhammad Waseem, Tyrone McKenna, and Regis Prograis. We would encourage fans to secure tickets early in order to ensure they don’t miss out on what will undoubtedly be another fantastic event.”

With the shows taking place over St Patrick’s Day weekend, there will be an Irish theme to proceedings and more of the country’s most impressive boxers, in addition to McKenna, are set to be confirmed for the event over the coming weeks.

In the lead-up to the event there will be a week-long programme of entertainment including public workouts, press conferences and weigh-ins, along with a series of activations, while The Irish Village will be introducing special offers for those fans who purchase tickets for Fight Night.

Ticket prices start from 50 AED and are available to purchase from Friday, 28th January via Platinum List or in-person at The Irish Village, Al Garhoud and Studio City.


For live news and updates, be sure to follow Probellum on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

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BOURKE LANDS BRITISH TITLE SHOT VS LEACH

CHRIS BOURKE will challenge Marc Leach for the vacant British Super-Bantamweight championship at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Friday March 11, live on BT Sport.

Streatham’s Bourke (10-0, 6 KOs) gets his big opportunity after Queensberry stablemate Jason Cunningham relinquished his domestic crown in pursuit of world honours.

He said: “Fighting for the British title in the main event on BT Sport is something I am looking forward to.

“I have been calling for the British title for a while now and I am just grateful I have got the opportunity.”

Tickets are available now directly from the fighters or at: Eventbrite.co.uk

Bourke, 27, won the WBC International title in December 2020 with a second round stoppage of Michael Ramabeletsa. In his only defence last July, the South Londoner thrashed James Beech on points over ten rounds.

The Martin Bowers trained boxer also won the Southern Area crown in July 2020 with a points win against unbeaten Ramez Mahmood.

If Chris defeats fellow southpaw Leach it could lead to big clashes against the likes of Cunningham, Brad Foster and fellow big puncher Andrew Cain.

Salford’s Leach (17-1, 4 KOs) leapt from obscurity in October 2020 when he upset 2016 Olympian Qais Ashfaq on points in a British Featherweight title eliminator.

He dropped back to Super-Bantamweight last summer for another British championship eliminator and confirmed his mandatory status with a narrow, but unanimous points win over Thomas Essomba.

Leach, 27, last boxed in December when he knocked out Stefan Nicolae after just 26 seconds of the opening round.

Bourke added: “Ashfaq is a good win and I think Marc put him down a few times. Essomba is always tricky, he takes good fighters the distance and they struggle with him.

“Marc has earned his shot and I feel I have earned mine. From the little clips I have seen he does seem awkward and technically a very good fighter.

“People in boxing will know this is a massive fight and I think people will be looking forward to it.”

Promoter Frank Warren added: “The Super-Bantamweight division is stacked and I now believe it is time for Chris to make his move.

“Marc is tricky, slippery and come through eliminators to get a deserved shot. I think Chris wins in the power department and that might be the difference.

“It’s a great way to start Queensberry’s 2022 calendar with a 50-50 British title fight and prospect stacked card at the spiritual home of British boxing.”

Also on the show, Hackney Super-Featherweight Frank ‘The Tank’ Arnold  (8-0-1, 2 KOs) will make the leap to ten rounds in a non-title contest.

British boxing’s latest Light-Heavyweight hopeful Karol Itauma (5-0, 3 KOs), an eight-time National amateur champion boxes a six rounder.

In four round action is Conor McGregor’s Super-Lightweight training partner Willo Hayden (2-0), Reading Super-Welterweight Joshua Frankham (4-0,1 KO), Portsmouth Super-Featherweight Jamie Chamberlain (3-0), Welling Super-Welterweight Jake Henty (1-0), and exciting teenage Cruiserweight Aloys Youmbi (0-1).

The quality card also features the debut of another top London Cruiserweight prospect, Arnold Obodai, a former Repton ABC boxer who won two National championships.

Tickets are available now directly from the fighters or at: Eventbrite.co.uk
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OKOLIE VS. CIESLAK LANDS AT THE O2

Tickets for WBO Cruiserweight World Title clash go on sale this week!
Lawrence Okolie will make the second defence of his WBO Cruiserweight World Title against former World Title challenger Michal Cieslak at The O2 in London on Sunday February 27, shown live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).

Hackney’s Okolie (17-0, 14 KOs) crushed Krzysztof Glowacki in six rounds to be crowned the new WBO Cruiserweight World Champion in just his sixteenth fight at The SSE Arena, Wembley in March last year.

The 29-year-old then made short work of Montenegro’s Dilan Prasovic in the first defence of his World Title on the blockbuster Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk card at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September, taking out his mandatory challenger in just three rounds. 

Poland’s Cieslak (21-1, 15 KOs) suffered the one and only loss of his professional career when he took WBC Cruiserweight World Champion Ilunga Junior Makabu the distance in the Democratic Republic Of The Congo in January 2020. 

“Thank you to Cieslak for accepting the fight,” said Okolie. “I’m sure he is coming to get revenge for Glowacki! He is a good, strong campaigner who should be one of my toughest tests to date.”

On the undercard, France’s Karim Guerfi (30-5, 9 KOs) makes the first defence of his EBU European Featherweight Title against ‘The Thrill’ Jordan Gill (26-1-1, 7 KOs), with more exciting additions to be confirmed this week. 

Tickets for Okolie vs. Cieslak are priced £40, £60, £100, £150 and £250 (VIP).

Presale tickets are available to purchase for O2 Priority Members NOW via The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk)

Matchroom Fight Pass members will be able to purchase tickets from midday on Tuesday January 25. Priority ticket info has been emailed directly to eligible members.

General Sale tickets can be purchased via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.ukfrom midday on Wednesday January 26.
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PARKER VS. CHISORA 2 WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER

16:30 GMT LIVE ON BEFORE THE BELL

6 x 2 mins International Lightweight contest

RHIANNON DIXON 135.8 lbs v VAIDA MASIOKAITE 137.8 lbs
(Wigan, England)                        (Panevezys, Lithuania)

followed by

6 x 3 mins International Cruiserweight contest
JORDAN THOMPSON 199.8lbs v PIOTR BUDZISZEWSKI 200lbs  
(Manchester, England)                   (Warsaw, Poland)

followed by

8 x 2 mins International Super-Lightweight contest
SANDY RYAN 143lbs v MARIA SOLEDAD CAPRIOLO 143lbs
(Derby, England)           (Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina)

followed by

18:00 GMT LIVE ON DAZN

4 x 3 mins International Cruiserweight contest
DAVID NYIKA 199.3lbs v ANTHONY CARPIN 203lbs
(Hamilton, New Zealand) (Argenteuil, France)

followed by

8 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
ALEN BABIC 216lbs v DAVID SPILMONT 252lbs       
(Zagreb, Croatia)          (Saint-Michel, France)

followed by

12 x 3 mins IBO Super-Middleweight World Title 
CARLOS CONGORA 168lbs v LERRONE RICHARDS 167.2lbs      
(Esmeraldas, Ecuador)            (New Malden, England)

 followed by

12 x 3 mins IBF Super-Featherweight World Title Eliminator
ZELFA BARRETT 129.8lbs v BRUNO TARIMO 128.8lbs       
(Manchester, England)           (Southport, Australia)

 followed by

12 x 3 mins vacant European Super-Middleweight Title
JACK CULLEN 167.8lbs v KEVIN LELESADJO 167.8lbs         
(Little Lever, England)        (Saint-Maur, France)
 
followed by
 
12 x 3 mins WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title
JOSEPH PARKER 251lbs v DEREK CHISORA 248.8lbs           
(Auckland, New Zealand)     (Finchley, England)
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PARKER VS. CHISORA 2 PLUS UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
 
“Thank you to everyone in attendance today here in Manchester ahead of a huge night of boxing this Saturday, live and exclusively on DAZN all around the world from the Manchester Arena.
 
“A huge crowd is expected as we wrap up what has been a sensational year against all odds. Tomorrow night we have our 43rd show of the year in Uzbekistan, Saturday night we have our 44th show of the year in Manchester and I think it’s one of the best shows we’ve put on so far this year.
 
“Of course, the main event a Heavyweight blockbuster, the rematch between Joseph Parker and Derek Chisora. One of four brilliant 50/50 championship fights on this card, littered with great young talent and fighters emerging on the World Championship stage.” 
 
David Higgins, Founder and Director of Duco Events:
 
“It’s a pandemic and a crazy world. The fact Matchroom are still making events happen is fantastic. It’s a risky business, I think sometimes in boxing it’s fashionable to hate successful people, but I think everyone in the sport should be grateful Matchroom are keeping these shows going and providing the opportunities.
 
“We’re grateful for sure, and to Derek Chisora for always bringing a fight. Someone asked me today saying he’s going to come swinging trying to take Joseph’s head off does that worry you. I said no it doesn’t I’m sure we’ve prepared for that, but I’ve seen Joseph sometimes at his best in those types of situations. I’m sure Joseph is going to be cool and stick to the plan but if Derek wants to swing Joseph is ready for that too.”
 
Joseph Parker:
 
“It’s great to be back in Manchester with the team. We’ve had a tremendous camp; this fight will be different from the first for sure.
 
“Not having a crowd made a big difference, I think Derek feeds off the crowd, I feed off of them too. A lot of fighters feed off the crowd and just having no noise and hearing specific voices it’s pretty weird.
 
“The World Title, my eyes are just purely on this weekend and Derek Chisora. I want to probably knock him out between round six and ten.”
 
Andy Lee, trainer of Joseph Parker:
 
“I know how much Chisora would have improved with Dave because when I won the World Title, in my corner assisting Adam Booth was Dave Coldwell – I know all about him. I know how he will help Chisora improve.
 
“After the first fight when the bell rang, I thought they were going to give the decision to Derek Chisora, I said it to him in the ring. We got the decision and when I watched it back, I thought Joe won the fight. We won’t be negative, Joe’s going to be a lot more positive, he’ll stand a lot more, fight a lot more and be more consistent with his attack. It should make for an excellent fight.
 
“If anything, the crowd in there will be a benefit to Chisora more than Parker because he’ll feed of that and the energy, he’s a big favourite. He’s now the hero, people love him and his fight style, he’s given us great fights over the years. We’re here to do business, when Joseph gets in the ring, he’ll be different in terms of the spite he has, mentally and physically.” 
 
Derek Chisora:
 
Chose not to speak.
 
Dave Coldwell, trainer of Derek Chisora:        
 
“I think as a fighter gets more experience under their belt, they get wiser and realise certain mistakes that they made earlier on in their career they can’t afford to make as they go on. They just learn and get smarter.
 
“Derek when he linked up with David Haye, changed the way he lived nutrition-wise, looking after his body and keeping it maintained even between fights. Even though he’s getting older, that takes it’s time to really bed in and with consistency you get better results in how you perform.
 
“Right now, Derek is performing really well, I’m happy with the work he’s done in the gym, his commitment, his sparring sessions have been great. He’s in a good place and you’ll see on Saturday.
 
“I don’t expect it to go the distance. I think Parker’s link up with Andy Lee, he’s a very smart man when it comes to boxing, he’s worked with two of the best in business and to sprinkle a bit of Andy Lee’s knowledge in there you’re going to get results. I’m expecting a better, more aggressive and positive Joseph Parker, but in the same vein I’m seeing a better Derek Chisora.
 
“People have underestimated what a difference having a crowd makes to these guys, Derek loves the crowds singing his name and getting behind him. Certain fighters it doesn’t affect, your cool calculated boxing skillsters who’ll think their way through everything. Fighters like Derek and Joseph, they get that vibe, and it adds an extra few per cent. When you’re talking about performance levels in these kinds of fights, those little per cents add up.”
 
Jack Cullen:
 
“I’ve sold near enough 1,000 tickets, and I’ve promised everyone I’m winning the European Title, that’s my early Christmas present. I’m taking it with both hands and I’m going for it, I’ve had the European Title in my head for a long while and come 18th December it’ll be a victory and a dream come true.
 
“You win a European Title and you’re right up there in all the rankings, anything can happen after this. I’ve just got to get past Sadjo on the 18thand we’re ready for next year.
 
“I’ve just got to stick to my game plan, if I stick to it then it should be a good night for me.” 
 
Kevin Lele Sadjo:
 
“I did accept the challenge very quickly and thanks for the invitation. I am in form, my camp has had me training ready for a fight, when the opportunity arises to feature on a Chisora card it’s something you can’t miss. Without even watching Jack Cullen we were ready to sign up quickly and I’m hoping to return to France with the European Title.
 
“It’s funny you should choose the word war; the war is not in the crowd but in the ring. The war is where I position myself as a boxer, it’s not just the crowd for Jack Cullen, my crowd is watching me at home on DAZN. I think it’s going to be a superb encounter and the war is all about heart and I’ve brought my heart.” 
 
Zelfa Barrett:
 
“Bruno Tarimo, I’ve studied him, watched him, I know he’s a solid fighter. He throws the kitchen sink and has a bit of brains about him, but this is my World Title fight. I’m not thinking about anything else, he’s my target and I respect him and the struggles he’s had. This is boxing, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you’ve done, it’s all about what happens in the ring. I’m excited and more than ready for this.
 
“I’m doing this for my mum, it’s been a hard year but tough times, tough people. This is boxing and I can express how I feel in the ring, come Saturday night I’ll be victorious.”  
 
Bruno Tarimo:
 
“Firstly, I want to thank God for bringing me here safe, this is my first time in Manchester for a big show. Thanks to Matchroom for bringing me onto the show, I appreciate it. Thanks for the support of my team in Australia and Tanzania – for my country.
 
“I come from nothing, I can fight Super-Bantam but I have opportunity in Australia, it helps me but it doesn’t have the small weight. I have to take the big fight with big people to be World Champion and help my family.
 
“Zelfa Barrett is a good fighter, he’s smart and my team and I back in Australia were watching him. Every fighter is different, all the fighters in Australia know and support me, it’s going to be a good show on Saturday night.” 
 
Lerrone Richards:
 
“This is a world level fight, a real-world level fight, a fight that I relish, and I know I can win – win in great fashion.
 
“The winner of this fight, which will be me, can push on to world level. I’m excited about this fight, it’s an opportunity for me to showcase my skills at the higher level and shut the doubters up. Once I win this fight, the future is bright.” 
 
David Nyika:
 
“I feel very lucky to be here, thank you for having me on the card. I have the opportunity now to let people know who David Nyika is, I’m here to stay in the UK and ready to make my mark. I feel totally blessed to be part of such a big camp.
 
“I didn’t come away with a gold medal, so I technically didn’t achieve my ultimate dream of getting a gold. Onwards and upwards, this is an opportunity for me to make a living and continue down a path that I’ve dreamed of as a kid.” 
 
 
Sandy Ryan:
 
“We’re also looking to make a statement, my trainer Clifton Mitchell is holding me back a little bit, he wants me to start strong, sharp and box. When we see an opening, we’re going to take her out.
 
“Don’t worry, the knockout is going to happen, we’re going to show a little boxing first. It isn’t going eight rounds.” 
 
Jordan Thompson:
 
“It’s a pleasure to be back out, especially in my hometown, I’m looking to go out there and put on another explosive performance. Like I always say, artistic violence, that’s one thing you can expect with me.
 
“The Cruiserweight scene domestically is buzzing right now; I definitely see myself getting amongst that and coming out top of the crop. Like I said, I’ve got an amazing team in place, I’m looking forward to what next year brings. Definitely titles on the horizon no doubt about it.”
 
Cyrus Pattinson:
 
“I think activity is one of the most important things to be out on a regular basis. I know I’ve got a durable opponent for the weekend; he’s been with some of the domestic fighters I’ve been fighting for British and European Titles so I’m looking to make a statement on Saturday and do things other Welterweights haven’t been able to do.”  
 
Rhiannon Dixon:
 
“It was a bit frustrating hearing my opponent potentially pulled out again and all the mix up of this week. I’m just excited to get there on Saturday. I’m just looking to make my mark on 2022 and I just can’t wait for it.” 
 
Alen Babic:
 
“Two weeks ago, you [Eddie] slid into my DM’s and asked if I wanted to fight, I said yeah let’s go. People have routine victories, I have routine knockouts, I think Saturday is going to be another routine knockout. I’m going to operate like John Wick.
 
“I like this, I like this living. I give it all to boxing and for the next five to six years I just want to box – I don’t want to do anything else.
 
“Let’s go, like I said I have a brilliant team, we are going for the Bridgerweight Title. I’m really into it and let’s go, I’m going to give my whole life to it and I’m sure we’re going to get it.”
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I’M BRINGING THE PAIN! SAYS CHISORA

Del Boy questions Parker’s decision to take rematch 
Derek Chisora has promised to exact revenge on Joseph Parker when they rematch for the WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight Title at the AO Arena in Manchester this Saturday December 18, live worldwide on DAZN (with the exception of New Zealand and Samoa).

Chisora (32-11, 23 KOs) was left angered by what he felt was more rough treatment by boxing judges following his split decision points loss to former WBO World Champion Parker earlier this year – the eleventh loss of his illustrious 43-fight career in boxing’s glamour division. 

The 37-year-old knocked Parker down inside 10 seconds of their first meeting and applied plenty of pressure and punishing body shots during a busy first half of the fight, but it wasn’t enough as the New Zealand star responded well in the second half of the fight, sealing a close win with two cards of 116-111 and 115-113.

Fed up go being on the wrong end of what he believes to be harsh decisions against him, ‘WAR’ Chisora insists he will take this weekend’s highly anticipated clash out of the judges’ hands by delivering an emphatic knockout win to end the year with a bang. 

“I don’t think that they wanted to give me the rematch really,” said Chisora. “And if I was him, I wouldn’t take the rematch, I would have moved on – but I was 100 per cent sure that I wanted the fight. Different judges score fights in different ways. What are we scoring now? For the pressure fighter and making the fight happen? Because if I don’t go forward, we can just stand there and look at each other. 

“I caught him off-balance maybe because it wasn’t a powerful knockdown and when he got up he was fine. He’s got good hands. You can tell he’s bulked up a bit, he’s packed more strength on since the first fight so you can see he’s coming with more power punches.

“If you look at his record from when he won the WBO title, he boxed Andy Ruiz in his hometown and he didn’t KO him, he played it safe, he defended it here against Hughie Fury and played it safe and then he boxed AJ and he froze and played it safe. So, you can tell a fighter, the guys that really want to fight, he might tell himself he wants to fight but really and truly, he doesn’t want to be there.

“It’s been two years since I’ve boxed in front of a crowd, it’s going to be amazing, and I hope I don’t freeze! I enjoy it, how could you not? I think if you sell thousands of tickets, you enjoy it. AJ, Canelo, Dillian, me – we all sell out arenas and we love it. You know people are coming to watch you fight and you want to give them a good night. It’s a show, you must give them a show from the walkout to the last bell.

“I don’t cry over spilt milk, I never have. I don’t moan, I move on. Everyone’s plan is to take it out of the judges’ hands, I am just going to go in and put on a great fight. I love Manchester – Manchester always comes out. I’m bringing the pain; it’s going to be sick. I just want to give the fans what they want, and they want to see war. Joseph is going to try to ride the storm early, and come on in the second half, but there is nowhere to hide.”

Parker vs. Chisora 2 tops a huge night of action in Manchester, ‘Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver’ Jack Cullen (20-2-1, 9 KOs) returns to the scene of his Fight of the Year contender with Felix Cash back in 2019 as he clashes with Kevin Lele Sadjo (16-0, 14 KOs) for the vacant EBU European Super-Middleweight crown following his win over Avni Yildirim in July, Manchester Super-Featherweight contender Zelfa Barrett (26-1, 16 KOs) hopes to make it three wins from three fights in 2021 as he meets Australia’s Bruno ‘The Terminator’ Tarimo (26-2-2, 5 KOs) in an Eliminator for the IBF World Title, undefeated New Malden Super-Middleweight talent Lerrone Richards (15-0, 3 KOs) looks to build on his impressive EBU European Title win against Giovanni De Carolis in May when he takes on unbeaten IBO 168lbs World Champion Carlos Gongora (20-0, 15 KOs), Croatian Heavyweight knockout artist Alen ‘The Savage’ Babic (9-0, 9 KOs) looks to make it ten knockouts from ten fights, New Zealand Cruiserweight David Nyika (1-0, 1 KO) fights in the UK for the first time against Anthony Carpin (5-6-2, 2 KOs), Derby Super-Lightweight prospect Sandy Ryan (2-0, 1 KO) is out to impress against Maria Soledad Caprialo (7-13-4) after her vicious body shot knockout win over Aleksandra Vujovic in Italy, unbeaten Cruiserweight Jordan ‘Troublesome’ Thompson (11-0, 9 KOs) meets Clement Oppenot (5-1, 3 KOs) over six rounds, former Team GB standout Cyrus Pattinson (2-0, 1 KO) takes on Evgenii Vazem (9-21, 4 KOs) over six rounds at Welterweight and Anthony Crolla-trained Lightweight Rhiannon Dixon (3-0) fights Paola Pamela Benavidez (8-5-3) over six rounds.

Limited remaining tickets are available to purchase via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk)
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BENN VS. ALGIERI WEIGHTS AND RUNNING ORDER

16:00 GMT LIVE ON BEFORE THE BELL

4 x 3 mins International Super-Bantamweight contest

JOE MCGRAIL 121lbs 4oz v FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ 117lbs 11oz   
(Liverpool, England)             (Alfacar, Spain)

followed by

6 x 3 mins International Super-Lightweight contest
CALUM FRENCH 10st 6oz v RUSTEM FATKHULLIN 10st 12oz
(Gateshead, England)            (Ufa, Russia)

followed by

8 x 3 mins International Featherweight contest
JORDAN GILL 128lbs 10oz v ALAN ISAIAS LUQUES CASTILLO 127lbs     
(Chatteris, England)               (Cordoba, Argentina)

followed by

4 x 3 mins International Super-Welterweight contest
PADDY LACEY 11st 3lbs 2oz v VASIF MAMEDOV 11st 6lbs 5oz      
(Chester, England)                     (Perm, Russia)

followed by

19:00 GMT LIVE ON DAZN

10 x 3 mins vacant WBA International Middleweight Title
CAOIMHIN AGYARKO 159lbs 5oz v NOE LARIOS JR 160lbs
(Belfast, Northern Ireland)                (California, USA)

followed by

6 x 3 mins International Super-Bantamweight contest
PETER MCGRAIL 123lbs 4oz v ENGEL GOMEZ 124lbs 12oz                
(Liverpool, England)                  (Chinandega, Nicaragua)

followed by

10 x 3 mins vacant WBA Continental Super-Featherweight Title 
JOE CORDINA 129lbs 15oz v MIKO KHATCHATRYAN 129lbs 12oz          
(Cardiff, Wales)                        (Liege, Belgium)

 followed by

10 x 3 mins vacant WBA Continental Super-Lightweight Title
ROBBIE DAVIES JR 139lbs 2oz v HENRY LUNDY 141lbs 4oz             
(Liverpool, England)                      (Philadelphia, USA)

 followed by

10 x 2 mins Undisputed Lightweight World Titles
KATIE TAYLOR 134lbs 11oz v FIRUZ SHARIPOVA 143lbs 4oz              
(Bray, Ireland)                           (Taraz, Kazakhstan)
 
followed by
 
12 x 3 mins WBA Continental Welterweight Title
CONOR BENN 146lbs 8oz v CHRIS ALGIERI 146lbs             
(Brentwood, England)            (New York, USA)
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BENN VS. ALGIERI PLUS UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:

“It’s a bit chilly here compared to Las Vegas, we’re on one hell of a run, of course in Madison Square Garden just a couple of weeks ago – we saw a fight of the year contender between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jr. Last week we were at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for another great fight between Devin Haney and JoJo Diaz Jr.
 
“We’re in Liverpool for a tremendous fight card, a double header with Conor Benn and Katie Taylor. We’re expecting around 7,000 at the M&S Bank Arena, a great city and we can’t wait to be back on Saturday night.”

Conor Benn:
 
“I know Algieri’s a test, he’s a step up, he said I haven’t been tested but it’s getting a bit boring saying I haven’t been tested. Every fight moving forward for me is potentially going to be a test, Formella said exactly the same thing, so did Vargas. You don’t get ranked top five in the WBC, WBA, ranked in the IBF and WBO for nothing. I plan on passing these tests with flying colours and that’s exactly what I do.
 
“I know Algieri’s going to come in there to win, I’ll exploit his mistakes as well because I see holes in his armour. I’m just ready to fight man, I always get like this during fight week, get intense and animated – ready to go. I want to get in there Saturday night and iron someone out.
 
“Algieri is a better version of all my last opponents, and he beats everything they do in my opinion in terms of boxing IQ, cuteness, knowing his way around the ring. People say he can’t punch but anyone with 8oz gloves can punch. I’m well prepared, I’m not concerned about what he brings to the table because I know what I can do.
 
“Algieri is going to come, he’s going to throw and try to win, which him and his team believe he can. I’ll exploit holes in his armour, he’s up against a young lion, up against someone who’s on the come up. Every single camp I go in to I give it 100%, I level up every single time and can only beat who you put in front of me, and I will deal with them. Not only do I beat them, but I learn, school’s never out.
 
“I had to show a lot of grit and determination of overlooking an opponent early on in my career, I know now never to do that. When someone asks me about other fights, I don’t entertain the thought, at the end of the day none of them materialise if I don’t get through Algieri. Once I get through him, and I believe I will, then the doors can open.”

Chris Algieri:

“Training camp has gone great, I feel great and got in here early, we’ve all adjusted very well to the time zone. We’re happy to be here, I know a lot of European fighters are enamoured in fighting in the States, but a lot of us are enamoured about fighting here because of the fan base here in Europe and in the UK – the UK fans are some of the best in the world. The opportunity to be here and fight in front of those crowds is a big feather in the cap for me in my career.
 
“I’m excited for fight night, it’s going to be electric, I think we have the opportunity to put on a fantastic fight. You [Eddie] mentioned Lopez vs. Kambosos as potential fight of the year, I think this fight will potentially be a rival to that in terms of a style match-up and what I bring to the table. I think this is going to be a fantastic fight and everybody should tune in.
 
“I’ve been around this game a long time and I’ve been in with the elite of the elite, I’ve been on both sides of the table. At the end of the day, skills pay the bills and experience kills, so we’re coming in here with our experience, our skills, and we’re going to utilise that plan to find a victory.
 
“I’m in fantastic shape, fight week is a lot longer when you don’t have to worry about the weight. I’m just raring to go, I just can’t wait for fight night, I still feel like it’s far away. The weight has been a bit of a blessing.”

Katie Taylor:

“I’m very aware of the challenge on Saturday night, I haven’t overlooked Sharipova at all, I know what she brings, and I’m prepared for whatever comes my way Saturday night. I’m also aware that there’s so many big fights out there for me, the bigger names that could possibly happen next year, so I’ve got to get through Saturday night first and focus on the bigger fights ahead.
 
“You’ve seen so many upsets so far this year in the boxing world when people have maybe gone into the ring underprepared or overlooking certain opponents. I know that obviously can’t happen, I’ve made that mistake before as an amateur fighter where I have overlooked opponents – being beaten and learning the hard way. I’m 100% prepared and focused coming into the fight, I’m ready to put on a big performance.
 
“I can’t wait, this is such an amazing card with so many packed fights, it’s going to be an amazing atmosphere and an amazing night – full of so many Irish people travelling over for the fight. It’s going to be a loud arena so I can’t wait to get in there and perform.”

Firuza Sharipova:

“I feel very confident and welcomed here in this city, I have a great respect for Katie Taylor. She’s been my idol all the time but I’m coming here to win.
 
“I was preparing well, thanks to my team for their support and I’m ready for the fight on Saturday night.”

Robbie Davies Jr:

“It’s a great fight for me to come back to definitely, Hank’s been in with some of the top names in the division. In Liverpool fighting is embedded in us so I won’t be shying away from anything he brings to the table. I’ve been working hard in the gym and I’m ready to go on Saturday night.
 
“There’s definitely a big team bonding in the gym, Shane has had a lot of belief in me since I started, picking out a few things we need to change. Each step forward now we’ll showcase a little bit more of what we’re working on in the gym with Shane – Saturday night is going to be the start of it, and we’ll push on for a big 2022.
 
“This is a must win for me, the Lewis Ritson defeat didn’t go my way, it was a bit disappointing. When I fought the Mexican kid, everyone watching seen what went on, but I’m a much better fighter since being with Shane. It’s given me a belief back in myself and I’ll show that Saturday night.”

Henry Lundy:

“We’ve been training hard, preparing for this fight, we’re ready to get this title.
 
“After that fight fell out, we went back home and stayed in the gym, stayed ready. We always stay ready to fight man, you show up and be prepared and ready to fight – that’s what we do.
 
“This is going to be a great fight; it’s going to be war. I will be victorious.”

Joe Cordina:

“I can never overlook anybody, I’ve got Miko on Saturday so he’s my focus at the minute. I’ve never been shy to make clear that being a World Champion is what I want and that’s where I want to be. First thing’s first, I’ve got Saturday to deal with.
 
“My performance wasn’t the best at Fight Camp, I felt comfortable and didn’t get out of second gear and I still got the win. I was out for eighteen months and when I got back in the gym I worked on a lot of things and took it into the fight. All I want to do this fight is building on my last camp, building on that performance, and getting a similar result.”

Miko Khatchatryan:

“This is a great opportunity for me, it’s a last-minute fight but I’m in great shape and ready to make a good fight on Saturday night.”

Peter McGrail:

“It’s good times, obviously fight number one was a belter, belter card in Liverpool. You’ve [Eddie] brought another belter card to Liverpool, got me and Joe on it, I’ve trained alongside French and Cordina, I know Robbie Davies, watching Benn and Taylor for years. Boxing on a card alongside these is a privilege and I’m looking forward to Saturday.
 
“The experience of the first fight will be with me for life, probably won’t get anything like that until I’m fighting for titles. It’s good to get that on my debut, I’ve got that under my belt, a good six rounds and the first of my professional career. I’m looking forward to performing on Saturday, keep the ball rolling and pushing on for a big 2022.” 

Caoimhin Agyarko:

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase myself on this platform and what an honour it is to fight on Katie Taylor and Conor Benn’s undercard. I’ve had the privilege of being in training camps with Katie so fighting on her card means so much to me. I’ve got 150 crazy Irish fans coming over for Saturday night so it’ll feel like, I can’t wait to get in there and put on an explosive performance.
 
“I want to be in the best fights possible and in the past, it has been hard to match me. I’ve got an unbeaten fighter in front of me on Saturday night, so I look forward to getting past that test, being in some fights next year and going back to Belfast and headlining a show there – putting my name in the Middleweight division.” 
 
Noe Larios Jr:

“I’m happy to be here, I feel blessed, I’m super stoked to have this opportunity. I’m just here to do my job on Saturday and get the job done. I’m happy to be part of this undercard.
 
“I think at some point there’s a time you have to fight the bigger guys and bigger opponents. This is that time and we’re ready for it on Saturday.” 

Paddy Lacey:

“I’m lucky to be here and to be in this situation. Five years ago, I was playing professional football looking upwards of getting to the Premier League and then some. If you’ve followed me recently, you’ll see what the story is and the what the journey has been.”
 
“I’ve got quite a big following, I think it’s relatable to loads of people in Liverpool, we’ve all made mistakes and I’m just trying to build myself back up – not in football anymore but in boxing. Hopefully the support continues, and I can climb up these rankings and do something in boxing.
 
“People used to snigger when I was boxing and playing football but in my 17 amateur fights I snoozed half of them – I was knocking out everybody in the amateurs. If people will comment and look down, they’ll find out when they fight me.”

Jordan Gill:

“I’m glad to be still fighting, thanks for having me on the card, I was absolutely gutted when Guerfi pulled out, I thought this was going to be the weekend I won that European Title and push on. This is boxing and these things happen, it’s been delayed, and I look forward to a good fight on Saturday.
 
“I was miserable for about an hour, horrible to be around and upset, but you have to get out of bed in the morning and push on. I’ve stayed in the gym all year, I feel like I’ve been mandatory for this title for ages so I’m looking forward to getting the win on Saturday night, looking good for the fans who have travelled and pushing on for the European Title. 
 
“It’s a great division and I’m glad to be a part of it, I feel like getting Saturday out of the way, win a European Title and my name’s well and truly in the mix. If I get a final eliminator or a defence of the title, maybe even a straight World Title shot next year, let’s go for it and push on – I want these big fights.” 
 
Calum French:

“I’ve been boxing in these sports halls, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, all over the world over the past five years, it’s going to be nice to come out and box in front of all my friends and family in a big stadium like the M&S Bank Arena.
 
“Hopefully I can take that amateur experience into the pro game, I had a few WSB fights for the five rounds distance so I can hopefully take that experience into the professional ranks and be Matchroom’s next star.” 

Joe McGrail:

 “It’s a brilliant card to be making my debut on, it’s special for me to be on the card with my brother Peter – I’m happy.
 
“My older brother, he’s like my best mate but I also look up to him. He’s a role model to me.”
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Noakes Faces Cooper for WBC Silver Honours this Saturday

THE TOWN OF Maidstone in Kent will see a significant decrease in population numbers on Saturday evening when young resident Sam Noakes gets to challenge for a first title in just his eighth fight as a pro.

The 24-year-old lightweight will compete for the WBC International Silver title against Shaun Cooper (11-2) at the Copper Box Arena in Stratford, live on BT Sport.

He will be far from alone in East London because he has personally sold over 450 tickets for the event headed up by the blockbuster rematch between Lyndon Arthur and Anthony Yarde. The Maidstone contingent will be swelled even further by the considerable support attracted by fellow Kent folk Dennis McCann and Karol Itauma, who also feature on the card.

“The Maidstone Massive will be out in force,” said Noakes at an undercard media event staged at the old Peacock Gym in Canning Town. “I can’t wait to get in there and I’m very excited.”

Noakes admits that a title being on the line has raised the stakes and also upped his game during preparations at the Queensberry iBox Gym in Bromley.

“It’s different and you are more focused on it, you train that little bit harder and your focus is definitely better.

“What I do know is that I get a nice little green belt at the end of it.

“He (Cooper) is tough and I don’t think I will have to go looking for him, which is unusual for me, so it will be nice to be honest. It is going to be a brilliant fight,” he added, before stating his devout intention to keep his run of stoppage finishes moving towards 10 out of 10..

“If I can stop him in under eight, that would be nice. It would make it eight in eight for me and I want that 10. I’ve got a longer time to do it with 10 rounds.”

In other news, Noakes on Monday signed a new contract to extend his promotional agreement with Queensberry, as well as his management association with Francis Warren.

“I am very happy with the way my career has been dealt with so far,” he explained. “I’ve got a good connection with Francis and I am happy where I am. If it isn’t broken don’t fix it and we will keep doing what we’re doing.

“I have been told I will be back out again in February and that is all I know really. Tell me when and I will fight and train, that is all I do really, just keep it simple.

“It has all been sweet for me, seven KOs and getting a little title fight before the end of the year!”
 
 

In the bill topper Manchester’s Lyndon Arthur (19-0, 13 KOs) defends his Commonwealth and WBO International Light-Heavyweight title against Ilford’s Anthony Yarde (21-2, 20 KOs) in a rematch of last December’s controversial clash that he won on points. 

 Ilford’s Hamzah Sheeraz (13-0, 9 KOs) puts his WBO European Super-Welterweight title on the line against Penge’s former British champion Bradley Skeete (29-3, 14 KOs).

In a third title fight the vacant WBC International Silver Lightweight crown is up for grabs when Maidstone puncher Sam Noakes (7-0, 7 KOs) meets Willenhall’s Shaun Cooper (11-2).

Exciting Super-Bantamweight prospect Dennis McCann (10-0, 6 KOs) is in eight round action.

Mill Hill Heavyweight George Fox (4-0) faces a tough eight rounder against Pole Kamil Sokolowki (10-23-2, 4 KOs).

Chatham Light-Heavyweight Karol Itauma (4-0, 2 KOs), Reading Super-Featherweight Charles Frankham (3-0, 1 KO) and Islington Super-Featherweight Masood Abdullah (2-0, 2 KOs) are in six rounders.

Two four rounders complete the bill and feature Ilford Super-Bantamweight Umar Khan (2-0) and Upminster’s Super-Welterweight debutant Sonny Liston Ali.

Tickets for the event can be purchased here

Upper Bowl Seat – £77
Lower Bowl Seat – £55

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I WOULD LOVE THE SUNNY EDWARDS FIGHT SAYS MARTINEZ AHEAD OF ARROYO SHOWDOWN

WBC Flyweight king aiming for unifications – but knows Arroyo is toughest test yet
Julio Cesar Martinez says he would love to fight IBF champion Sunny Edwards – but admits that tomorrow night’s WBC World Flyweight title defense against McWilliams Arroyo is his toughest fight yet as they clash at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, live worldwide on DAZN.

 TICKETS START AT $30 (PLUS FEES) AND ARE ON SALE NOW FROM TICKETMASTER.COM 

Martinez (18-1 14 KOs) puts his belt on the line for the fourth time in a hotly anticipated bout with Arroyo that’s been postponed twice. The Mexico vs. Puerto Rico battle could steal the show on a night with four huge World title fight, with interim champion Arroyo (21-4 16 KOs) bullish in his belief that he will rip the belt from ‘El Rey’.
 
The 26 year old is confident that he’ll retain the belt though and predicts a war with the challenger, and is targeting his fellow belt holders next year as he looks to follow in his idol Canelo Alvarez’s footsteps and become undisputed before moving up.
 
A fight with Briton Edwards appeals the most to Martinez, with the Mexican having traveled to the UK to face his brother Charlie in August 2019, and the fight ending in a no-contest after Martinez landed a shot with Edwards on a knee having been floored by the all-action star. That’s a chapter that the champion would like to close, but he knows he has serious business to take care of first in the shape of Arroyo.
 
“I’m excited, I’m happy and I’m very motivated because as they say, there’s no date that doesn’t come and no commitment that doesn’t get completed, so I am very ready to face this challenge,” said Martinez.
 
“We’re getting to know new territories and we’re excited to be able to come to new cities and meet new fans, and I hope that they are happy with my performance.
 
“I am in a great place physically and mentally, we’ve taken care of every single aspect in the preparation to come in 1000 per cent ready, I am really anxious to get back in the ring. I know he is coming here to win, to take my belt, and we are prepared for that. I can win on points or by KO, it’s the win that’s the most important thing.
 
“The fight has fallen through twice and we know that, so it’s a fight that has been highly anticipated. We want to win this fight well and then look to face the other champions and unify the division, to show who is the king.
 
“We can brawl, or we can move around and box, so we will see who has the most sensitive chin on the night. He said that he’s going to bring everything he’s got, and I hope he does, because that will mean the fight will not go the distance – we come with everything but fear.
 
“We want all the belts, so Sunny Edwards, Artem Dalakian and Junto Nakatani – that’s the goal.  But if it can’t happen in the next year, we would have to move up to Super-Flyweight where we can have fights with Juan Francisco Estrada, Chocolatito and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
 
“It would be an honor to fight Sunny, a great opportunity and to put behind what happened in the fight with his brother Charlie. He has a belt, and we want to unify, so gladly we’d go to England for the fight.”
 
Martinez’s clash with Arroyo is part of a huge quadruple header of World title action in New Hampshire, led by Demetrius Andrade (30-0 18 KOs) defending his WBO Middleweight title against Ireland’s Jason Quigley (19-1 14 KOs).

Murodjon Akhmadaliev (9-0 7 KOs) defending his WBA and IBF World Super-Bantamweight titles against José Velásquez (26-9-2 19 KOs) and the second step on the path to crowning an undisputed women’s champion at 140lbs sees Kali Reis (18-7-1 5 KOs) takes on Jessica Camara (8-2) for the WBA, IBO and vacant WBO straps.
 
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