GALAHAD AND HARPER TOP NOVEMBER 13 WORLD TITLE DOUBLE-HEADER IN SHEFFIELD

IBF Featherweight ruler meets Martinez whilst ‘Belter’ defends WBC & IBO straps against Baumgardner
Kid Galahad will make the maiden defence of his IBF Featherweight World Title against former World Champion Kiko Martinez on the same night that WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight ruler Terri Harper returns to put her belts on the line against the USA’s Alycia Baumgardner, exclusively on DAZN worldwide – excluding Australia and New Zealand.
 
The World Title double-header lands at the Utilita Arena Sheffield on Saturday November 13 and is supported by a stellar undercard that features Chris Billam-Smith (13-1, 10 KOs) making the first defence of his European Cruiserweight Title, Leeds Super-Bantamweight talent Hopey Price (6-0, 2 KOs), James Flint (9-0-1, 2 KOs) battling Dom Hunt (7-0, 1 KO) for the Central Area Welterweight Title, Donte Dixon (5-0, 3 KO) squaring off with Jordan McCorry (19-7-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round Super-Featherweight contest, Raven Chapman (1-0, 1 KO), Sheffield Light-Heavyweight Khalid Ayub (1-0) and Oldham debutant William Cawley.
 
Sheffield’s Galahad (28-1, 17 KOs) turned in a superb performance as he clinically stopped Liverpool’s Jazza Dickens in eleven rounds to claim the vacant IBF crown at Matchroom HQ in Brentwood, Essex back in August – fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming a World Champion.
 
The Dominic Ingle-trained 31-year-old is targeting supremacy at 126lbs, and has already called for unification fights with the likes of WBC ruler Gary Russell Jr. and WBO Champion Emanuel Navarrete, but must first get past former IBF Super-Bantamweight Champion Martinez (42-10-2, 29 KOs).
 
Spain’s Martinez is relishing the opportunity to become a two-weight World Champion after suffering a controversial loss at the hands of Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett at The SSE Arena, Wembley earlier this year, and the 35-year-old is well known on these shores having shared the ring with multiple World Champions.
 
Harper (11-0-1, 6 KOs) looked sensational as she stopped Norway’s Katharina Thanderz in nine rounds to retain her WBC and IBO 130lbs crowns last time out in November 2020 on the undercard of Katie Taylor’s win over Miriam Gutierrez in London. 
 
The Denaby favourite was set to defend her World Titles in a unification clash with South Korea’s undefeated WBA World Champion Hyun-Mi Choi in May before sustaining a hand injury that has kept her side-lined for a number of months, but will now look to get her career back on track against Baumgardner (10-1, 6 KOs)in Sheffield.
 
“I am beyond excited for this,” said Galahad. “It will give me a great sense of pride to be making my first World Title defence right here in Sheffield, the city where my boxing journey began with the legend Brendan Ingle. 
 
“Brendan told me way back when I was 14 years old that if I stuck with it, I would be a World Champion one day – so this will be a special moment for me, and it will be dedicated to Brendan and Alma Ingle. To make my maiden World Title defence right here in front of the incredible people of Sheffield, my family and my fans will be a very special moment. 
 
“Kiko is a former World Champion and has been in with multiple other World Champions so he has a huge amount of experience. He is a very tough man and never shy’s away during a fight. You’re always going to be in for a hard night’s work with Kiko who will be pushing, pressuring and punching all night long.
 
“We saw how sharp and hungry he looked against Zelfa Barrett recently so with this being his chance to become World Champion again, I’m expecting an even hungrier and sharper version and I will be preparing for exactly that, with no stones left unturned!”

“The UK is like my second home, I felt robbed against Zelfa Barrett, but all the fans know who the real winner was,” said Martinez. “I hope that this time the judges will be fair with me. Galahad is a very good boxer and I respect him, but I am very confident in my abilities. I am excited with this opportunity. To become a World Champion in a second weight division is my goal.”
 
“I am very excited to be back out on November 13 and continuing the journey,” said Harper. “It has been a tough year out with the injury, but we have been constantly working in the gym and I feel so much more focused mentally. I couldn’t think of a better return than at Sheffield Arena back in front of the home crowd where I last boxed before lockdown.”

“I hope Terri Harper understands that when you step in the ring with me, I’m throwing bombs,” said Baumgardner. “Terri will feel every punch I throw. My punches are thrown with evil intent and I intend to hurt her, and to become ‘The New’. My time is now, and everyone will know who ‘The Bomb’ is. Don’t let a pretty face fool you. On November 13 I can’t wait to show the world that god has blessed me with talent and I intend to show what happens when talent meets opportunity and my fist meets Terri Harper’s face.”

“After a fantastic performance at Fight Camp, Kid Galahad is back defending his IBF Featherweight World Title for the first time,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “It doesn’t get much better than a maiden title defence in your hometown, against a former World Champion in Kiko Martinez. Terri Harper also returns to the ring after a year out, putting her WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight Titles on the line. This is certainly not one to miss, live on DAZN around the world.”

Tickets are priced £40, £60, £100 and £200 (VIP).

Fight Pass members can purchase tickets now via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk). General Sale tickets are available from midday on Thursday October 14 via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) and the Utilita Arena Sheffield (www.utilitaarenasheffield.co.uk).
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THAT WORLD TITLE IS STAYING IN ENGLAND SAYS COURTENAY

‘The Baby Face Assassin’ defends WBA crown against Mitchell
Shannon Courtenay has dreams of unifying the Bantamweight division but must first navigate a tricky maiden WBA World Title defence against undefeated American Jamie Mitchell on the undercard of Liam Smith vs. Anthony Fowlerat the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool this Saturday October 9, live worldwide on DAZN

‘The Baby Face Assassin’ (7-1, 3 KOs), who is set to fight in Liverpool for the first time as a professional this weekend, picked up the black and gold belt after defeating Australia’s Ebanie Bridges on points following a punishing battle at the Copper Box Arena in April.

The 28-year-old from Watford isn’t taking ‘The Miracle’ Mitchell lightly and is relishing pitting herself against the former amateur standout who trains at the famous Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas under the tutelage of former professional boxer Dewey Cooper.

“To be honest with you, after Rachel Ball pulled out we could have taken a nice easy defence,” said Courtenay. “We picked someone who was ranked number one in America. I’m not here to play games. I want good defences because I know it’s only going to get harder. Mark my words, that World Title is staying in England.

“She’s from the Mayweather Gym so she has that nice slick defensive movement about her. She’s got a lovely jab. She had a good amateur career. She’s a big name in America. Her name carries a bit of weight. She starts sharp and has good torso and head movement. Physically she has the same structure as me. It’s going to be a good fight. We both hit quite hard.

“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, but I’d be lying if I said I was content, because I’m not content. I thought I would wake up after winning the World Title feeling content, but I didn’t. I want more now; I want more titles and I want to go on and unify the division. I’m happy and I’m proud but I’m not content – I want more!

“You’ve seen the power that I have, I can cause concussive one-punch knockouts, which not many women can do. Of course I believe I can do that to anyone in the division. And still! That belt is coming home with me. Nobody is taking it off me. I respect any fighter, especially someone that can get ranked in America. You know that they’re going to bring fire, so I’m just prepared for a good fight.”

Courtenay vs. Mitchell is part of a stacked night of action in Liverpool, former WBO Super-Welterweight Word Champion Liam Smith (29-3-1, 16 KOs) meets 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Rio 2016 Olympian Anthony Fowler (15-1, 12 KOs) in a massive all-Liverpool clash for local bragging rights, Ted Cheeseman (17-2-1, 10 KOs) puts his British Super-Welterweight Title on the line against Troy Williamson (16-0-1, 12 KOs) following his brilliant stoppage win over James Metcalf in Gibraltar, Northampton’s Kieron Conway (16-2-1, 3 KOs) looks to bounce back from his loss to Souleymane Cissokho on the Canelo vs. Saunders undercard when he meets James Metcalf (21-1, 13 KOs), decorated amateur star Peter McGrail makes his highly anticipated professional debut against Ed Harrison (2-8), Tony Bellew-managed Lightweight Luke Willis (10-0, 1 KO) clashes with Norwich’s Rylan Charlton (6-1-1, 3 KOs), two-time World Title challenger Natasha Jonas (9-2-1, 7 KOs) returns after her thrilling fight with Katie Taylor in May, Birmingham Heavyweight hope Solomon Dacres (2-0, 1 KO) steps up against the experienced Kamil Sokolowski (10-22-2, 4 KOs) in just his third fight, Wigan Lightweight Rhiannon Dixon (3-0) fights for the second time this year and Blane Hyland (4-1) meets Santiago San Eusebio (3-1-2, 2 KOs) in a four round Super-Flyweight contest. 
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MITCHELL SENDS BRUTAL WARNING TO COURTENAY

‘The Miracle’ promises “dark and devastating” night
Jamie Mitchell has vowed to make her Saturday October 9 WBA Bantamweight World Title showdown a “dark and devastating” experience for reigning champion Shannon Courtenay at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. 

The pair were originally set to clash on the third and final instalment of Matchroom Fight Camp on August 14 before Watford’s Courtenay withdrew after sustaining an injury, but will now lock horns on the huge Liam Smith vs. Anthony Fowler card next week, live worldwide on DAZN.

Mitchell (6-0-2, 4 KOs), who is trained by former pro Dewey Cooper in Nevada, was ranked at No.1 in the USA at Super-Bantamweight in 2016 before turning professional a year later with a points win over another accomplished amateur Dalia Gomez at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. 

‘The Miracle’ has remained undefeated in her seven fights since, picking up stoppage wins over Letrail Solomon, Claudia Vargas Ramirez, Ana Karen Compean and Noemi Bosques, and the 36-year-old heads into her first title fight brimming with confidence.

“I’m called ‘The Miracle’ because I have endured so much in my life that others would never survive,” said Mitchell. “On October 9 there is nothing that Shannon Courtney can do to me that I haven’t already experienced. I plan to take all of my anger, all of my frustration and all of my ill will out on her body.

“I go to the gym every day to train my body. I go to the gym every day because the voices in my head tell me to. I go to the gym to hurt people and I go to the gym to take out my frustration. I fully believe that my work ethic is unmatched and I have full belief that my team and the voices will guide me to victory.

“I have learnt many things in my years of boxing and I feel that my toolbox is a lot bigger than Shannon’s, and if for some unforeseen reason it’s not, I will take that toolbox and use it on her too! With my God-given talent and the voices and in my head, Shannon Courtney is going to need a miracle to escape this fight without choking on her own blood.

“I plan on making it a dark and devastating night for her. Halloween is 22 days after my fight so I’m going to make sure Shannon doesn’t need any makeup! My message to Shannon is that the voices in my head are telling me you have something I want. What I want is that shiny new black and gold WBA belt. That’s what’s going to make us happy and that’s what is going to happen on October 9. I guarantee it!”

Courtenay vs. Mitchell is part of a stacked night of action in Liverpool, former WBO Super-Welterweight Word Champion Liam Smith (29-3-1, 16 KOs) meets 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Rio 2016 Olympian Anthony Fowler (15-1, 12 KOs) in a massive all-Liverpool clash for local bragging rights, Ted Cheeseman (17-2-1, 10 KOs) puts his British Super-Welterweight Title on the line against Troy Williamson (16-0-1, 12 KOs) following his brilliant stoppage win over James Metcalf in Gibraltar, Northampton’s Kieron Conway (16-2-1, 3 KOs) looks to bounce back from his loss to Souleymane Cissokho on the Canelo vs. Saunders undercard when he meets James Metcalf (21-1, 13 KOs), decorated amateur star Peter McGrail makes his highly anticipated professional debut, Tony Bellew-managed Lightweight Luke Willis (10-0, 1 KO) clashes with Norwich’s Rylan Charlton (6-1-1, 3 KOs), two-time World Title challenger Natasha Jonas (9-2-1, 7 KOs) returns after her thrilling fight with Katie Taylor in May, Birmingham Heavyweight hope Solomon Dacres (2-0, 1 KO) steps up against the experienced Kamil Sokolowski (10-22-2, 4 KOs) in just his third fight, Wigan Lightweight Rhiannon Dixon (3-0) takes on Anaelle Angerville (1-1-1) over four rounds and Blane Hyland (4-1) meets Santiago San Eusebio (3-1-2, 2 KOs) in a four round Super-Flyweight contest. 
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THE ROAD TO UNDISPUTED: WOMEN’S 140LBS CROWN UP FOR GRABS IN FOUR WAY SHOWDOWN

Chantelle Cameron will fight Mary McGee for the IBF, WBC and Ring Magazine World Titles
Kali Reis will fight Jessica Camara for the WBA, WBO and IBO World Titles
Matchroom Boxing, in partnership with DiBella Entertainment, announce today that the Undisputed Super-Lightweight crown will be put on the line as Chantelle CameronMary McGeeKali Reis and Jessica Camara fight it out for 140lbs supremacy, live on DAZN around the world.
 
Cameron (14-0, 8 KOs) displayed an impressive performance last time out in her maiden WBC World Title defence, beating former champion Melissa Hernández by TKO in the fifth round to retain the green and gold strap and continue her flawless record since turning professional in 2017.
 
Mary ‘Merciless’ McGree (27-3, 15 KOs) comes into the fight with increased momentum, notching seven straight wins since her World Title loss in 2013 and picking up the IBF Super-Lightweight Title on the way. The American’s last win came via a ninth round TKO against Deanha Hobbs to retain her crown. 
 
American two-weight World Champion Kali Reis (18-7-1, 5 KOs) retained her WBA World Title and won the vacant IBO Super-Lightweight belt in August 2021 in a convincing unanimous decision against Australian challenger Diana Prazak at Sycuan Casino, California. 
 
‘The Cobra’ Jessica Camara (8-2) beat former World Champion Heather Hardy impressively last time out, scoring a unanimous decision to hand the Hardy her second career loss and dramatically boost the Canadian’s ranking in the 140lbs division.
 
“I’m delighted to have this opportunity to show that I’m the number one fighter in the world at 140lbs,” said Cameron. “All I’ve wanted since I started in boxing is to become Undisputed, and now I have a fantastic chance to achieve that.
 
“These tough fights against the other champions are what motivates me and pushes me in the gym, and you’re going to see the very best Chantelle Cameron.
 
“They are all great champions, and first things first I have Mary McGee to take care of, and then once I come through that I’ll be ready to make history against the winner of Kali Reiss and Jessica Camara.”

“This is an exciting time for women’s boxing,” said Camara

“I’m honoured to be a part of an event of this magnitude that will help to bring a lot of exposure to the ladies. Kali, Mary and Chantelle are all great fighters, and I know these fights will bring out the best in me. Thank you to Lou DiBella and Eddie Hearn for coming together to make this possible and for providing a platform for me to show the world what I am capable of.” 

“If we can work together to find one champion for every division then it would be a massive moment for the sport and we have a great opportunity to do that in the 140lbs division,” said Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman.

“Women’s boxing is red hot at the moment and huge credit to these 4 champions for putting it on the line in the road to Undisputed on DAZN. Lou and I have been heavily committed to women’s boxing for a number of years now and it’s great to see them finally getting the plaudits and the rewards they deserve.”
 
“Both DiBella Entertainment and Matchroom have been leaders in advancing women’s boxing and elevating the great female fighters in our sport,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “I’m happy that Eddie and I were able to arrange these historic fights and I’m grateful to my friends at DAZN, who will be streaming it. Chantelle, Mary, Kali and Jessica are four elite 140-pound athletes, deserving of this incredible opportunity. After two terrific semi-finals, a queen will be crowned at Super-Lightweight.”

“What a way to crown the true 140lbs champion. We’re thrilled to feature on DAZN these two hugely competitive match-ups with four fearless fighters ready to leave it all in the ring for the undisputed crown,” said Joseph Markowski, EVP of DAZN. “We’re committed to growing women’s sport around the world and this elite four-way showdown will undoubtedly showcase to fans worldwide that women’s boxing is sensational as ever.”
 
Dates and venues for Cameron vs. McGee and Reis vs. Camara will be announced in due course.
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I’M READY TO GO ALL THE WAY SAYS RYAN

Former amateur star set for pro debut at Fight Camp
Former amateur star Sandy Ryan is promising to make a big statement on her introduction to the paid ranks this Saturday at Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex by becoming the first person to stop Kirstie Bavington, live on Before The Bell. 
 
The 27-year-old Derby boxer, who claimed gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and silver at the 2014 World Championships, had been one of Team GB’s leading medal hopes for the rescheduled Tokyo Games before deciding to turn professional with STN Sports in March. 
 
Following a glittering amateur career, Ryan will start life in the pro ranks campaigning at Super-Lightweight with trainer Clifton Mitchell, and the Midlands talent is ready to target World Titles with an ultimate ambition of fighting at the home of her beloved Derby County Football Club.
 
“To be successful and one of the best female fighters in the world is my goal,” said Ryan. “I’ve got the right team around me and I believe I can achieve that. I was going to turn pro after the Olympics but when they were postponed, I took the decision to turn over. I feel like it’s the right time and I’m ready to go all the way. 
 
“I was on the GB squad for nine years. I went to every major tournament besides the Olympic Games. I went to the World Championships and won a silver medal, European bronze, European Games bronze and Commonwealth Games gold medal. All this experience will help me massively in the pro game. 
 
“Each day that passes I get more and more excited. I can’t wait for my debut, every day I visualise my ring walk, getting in the ring and smoking the girl.
 
“I said to my manager, ‘I don’t want a walkover, get me a good opponent’, and they delivered with Kirstie. I looked on YouTube and watched a few of her fights, she seems game and she’s coming to win which is exactly what I want. I didn’t want to do a four rounder in my first fight so I’m going straight into six rounds.
 
“I’ve done this for many years, but the pro game is very different. Every fight and camp I will learn and develop, and the journey is only just beginning. I want to be up there, in years to come when people talk about women’s boxing, I want my name in the same bracket as Katie Taylor.
 
“I have massive dreams to fight for a World Title at Pride Park, the home of Derby County FC. First things first I want to make a big statement at Fight Camp. The girl has never been stopped before so let’s see!”
 
Ryan vs. Bavington is part of a huge night of action as Fight Camp returns with a bang, rising Welterweight star Conor Benn (18-0, 12 KOs) puts his WBA Continental Title on the line against Adrian Grandos (21-8-3, 15 KOs), WBA Featherweight World Champion Xu Can (18-2, 3 KOs) defends his Title against Nottingham’s Leigh Wood (24-2, 14 KOs), Tommy McCarthy (18-2, 9 KOs) and Chris Billam-Smith (12-1, 10 KOs) collide in a massive showdown for the European, British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight Titles, former World Title challenger Avni Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs) aims to bounce back from his loss to pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez when he takes on ‘Little Lever’s Meat Cleaver’ Jack Cullen (19-2-1, 9 KOs), Liverpool Super-Welterweight Anthony Fowler (14-1, 11 KOs) promises to build on his huge third-round knockout win over Jorge Fortea when he takes on Rico Mueller (28-3-1, 19 KOs) and Manchester Lightweight Campbell Hatton (2-0) continues his young journey in the pro ranks against Jakub Laskowski (4-4-1, 2 KOs).
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Teen Sensation Hollie Towl Challenges For WIBA Youth World Championship Honours Sept 4th.

Towl versus Obisanya WIBA Youth World Championship showdown co-headlines Historic Professional Boxing Event in Brighton 

Exactly one year to the day from her 2020 Professional Boxing Debut, former Five-Time, Three Division English Amateur National Champion Hollie Towl is set to compete for her first Pro Boxing Championship Accolade, when she faces Nigeria’s unbeaten 19 year old Abosede Obisanya for the Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) Featherweight Youth World Title at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Saturday 4th September 2021.

On September 4th Towl will officially become the United Kingdom’s youngest person to compete for professional boxing Championship honours, and should she be successful in her quest she will be in prime position to equal or even better the modern era’s current youngest World Champion Devin Haney’s incredible championship achievements.

Haney won the World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth World Championship, with a TKO victory over Mexico’s Maximino Toala in March 2017, when he was 18 years old, and then at the age of just 20 years, 11 months and six days went on to become the youngest person in modern times to win the full World title. 

Co-Headlining the event, titled ‘Battles At The Beach’, is Towl’s equally talented Boyle’s XBox Gym mate 19 year old Eleanor Coulson, who faces a yet to be announced opponent for the Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) Middleweight Youth World Championship. 

Coulson was the reigning National Amateur Champion when she made her professional debut in September last year and, like Towl, is unbeaten in the professional ranks and is also on track to be eligible to compete for full World Championship honours before her twentieth birthday.

The stacked support card is headed by a further Championship battle, when Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Super Flyweight Champion Nicola Hopewell goes toe to toe with Spain based Vanessa Taborda for the World Boxing League (WBL) European Super Flyweight Crown.

Unbeaten Lewis Mulberry is set to face Nicaragua’s Christian Narvaez in a four round contest, as a warm up ahead of his highly anticipated PBC British Title fight against Denny’s Kevin Traynor later in the year.

Former Amateur standouts Angelica Finch and Kirsty Biswas are set for their second pro outings, against Czech Republic’s Nicola Hubalkova and Serbia’s Marijana Dosovic respectively.

Rochester’s Jay Jackson has a tough fight on his hands when he faces Nicaragua’s Jose Aguilar in a four round Super Featherweight contest. Also facing tough South American opposition is Nottingham’s Martin Reffell, who is pitted against Frederick Castro.

Colchester’s Calvin Carruthers makes his fourth pro outing against Nottingham’s Garfield Mushore in a four round Super Featherweight contest.

Ashford, Kent’s Jack Way makes his pro debut against fellow debutant Tyler Smith in a four round Light Heavyweight contest, similarly pro debutants Connor Brazil and Callan Harley will face each other in a four round Welterweight contest.

Alvis Berzins makes his pro debut against Southend’s Dan Ballard in a four round Cruiserweight contest, also competing in the Cruiserweight division is Richard Herrick, against a yet to be announced opponent.

Towl versus Obisanya, for the WIBA Featherweight Youth World Championship and Coulson versus TBA for the WIBA Middleweight Youth World Championship co-headline the Sportanarium Events and Assassin Promotions & Management co-promoted BATTLES AT THE BEACH, in association with Visit Brighton, Scope Eyecare, KC Sofas, Hilton Brighton Metropole, Sportanarium Radio, Race Nation and Go Sports & Entertainment, that takes place at the Brighton Hilton Metropole on Saturday 4th September 2021.

Tickets available NOW at www.sportanarium.com 

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CAMERON: I’LL TURN SAVAGE ON HYPE JOB HERNANDEZ

WBC Super-Lightweight ruler wants to punish challenger in Vegas
Chantelle Cameron plans to shine in Las Vegas and punish trash-talking challenger Melissa Hernandez when she defends her WBC World Super-Lightweight title on Saturday May 29 at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay, live worldwide on DAZN.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FROM AXS.COM

 Cameron (13-0 7 KOs) makes the first defense of the title that she won in October in a clash that was due to take place in March, but the Briton suffered whiplash from a car accident during training camp and the fight had to be pushed back.
 
Cameron says Hernandez (23-7-2 7 KOs) doubted that the injury was legitimate, which has lit a fire inside the champion, who wants to put the Puerto Rican away in style – but she won’t get reckless as the Northampton, England ace wants to cement her place at the top table before targeting her domestic rivals in huge dust-ups back home.
 
“She’s just a hype job, she chat’s shit saying I pulled out because I wasn’t ready and the injury was a lie,” said Cameron. “Listen, if I wasn’t ready and was making excuses, I could have just said I had COVID instead of a car crash. Who lies about having a car crash? That’s just stupid.
 
“That has put a bit of fire in me and I’m glad, because it’s given me an extra hunger and I will make her eat her words because she’s nothing to be scared of. She’s a trash talker, I’m not, I do my business in the ring. Let her do her thing and I’ll do mine, but as soon as that bell goes, I’ll turn savage.
 
“It’d be lovely to stop her, and if I do that, I want it to be a proper stoppage, not the referee stepping in, I want to stop her on her feet. But I’m not looking for it, Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis have been amazing with my tactics, so I am not going to go in there and ruin my plan. She’s a tricky opponent, she’s slippery, smart, experienced, and if I go in there looking for a KO she could nick it on points, and that’s not happening, that belt is coming back home with me.
 
“We don’t overlook anyone, I’m not disrespectful and I’m zoned in on her. I have to get through Melissa, she’s tough, but I feel my journey isn’t stopping here, it’s going forward. I refuse to lose. Whatever it takes, I will do it to win, because I know what the future can hold for me if I perform well and win.

“Lose, I go back to the drawing-board, and I can’t think about that. I want to be in the big fights, Katie Taylor, Natasha Jonas, Terri Harper, Shannon Courtenay, Ebanie Bridges, all those fights, because I don’t feel like I have had my moments yet.”

Cameron faces Hernandez on a stacked card in Las Vegas, topped by unbeaten WBC World Lightweight champion Devin Haney (25-0 15 KOs) defending his title against former World ruler Jorge Linares (47-5 29 KOs).
 
There’s a fascinating battle between two Golden Boy Promotions stablemates as Jason Quigley (18-1 14 KOs) and Shane Mosley Jr (17-3 10 KOs) go toe-to-toe for the WBO NABO Middleweight title and it’s a huge night for Martin J. Ward (24-1-2 11 KOs) as he faces Azinga Fuzile (14-1 8 KOs) in a final eliminator for the IBF World Super-Featherweight title.
 
There’s a professional debut on the card for Eddie Hearn’s latest American signing, Khalil CoeReshat Mati (9-0 7 KOs) enters double figures in the pro game on the night, Ramla Ali (2-0) has been impressive in her two fights since turning pro in October and the first pro female fighter from Somalia gets an introduction to American fight fans on the bill, a card that is rounded off by Devin Haney Promotions’ Amari Jones (1-0 1 KO) fighting in the paid ranks for the second time after his debut in April.
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I LIKE HAVING A TARGET ON MY BACK SAYS CAMERON

WBC ruler believes World title status will bring the spotlight fights she wants
Chantelle Cameron is itching to make the first defense of her WBC World Light-Welterweight title against Michelle Hernandez – and wants to show she will relish being a World ruler on Saturday May 29 at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, live worldwide on DAZN.

  TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW AT AXS.COM 

Cameron (13-0 7 KOs) landed the vacant WBC strap with a shut-out win over Ariana dos Santos Araujo in Milton Keynes, England in October, but her first defense against Hernandez (23-7-3 7 KOs) proposed for March had to be postponed through an injury to the Briton.
 
The pair now get it on in front of fans in Las Vegas, and that’s exactly the type of stage that the 30 year old wants to be spotlighted on, and for Cameron, holding the green and gold belt means other fighters are calling her out – and that’s a position she’s delighted to be in.
 
“I feel good being the target,” said Cameron. “It’s better than doing the chasing, that’s frustrating, you are just trying to get the fights and a title shot, so now I know I am going to get fights because people want my belt.
 
“Being World champion has not really sunk in yet, and nothing has changed because it’s been so long since I won the fight, and I haven’t been able to defend it yet. So, I don’t think it’ll really feel it will sink in until I win more belts, but I still feel the same, still have the same drive, the same hunger, and now I am a target. I used to have to chase people for fights but now I have the green and gold belt, I am the target.
 
“The best of me is yet to come, the fight hasn’t come where I get to show that. I boxed to my game plan to win the belt and did what I had to do and what my coaches told me. She is a big puncher so I knew I didn’t want to be taking risks and getting involved with someone that could put me on my backside. When I do get the fight that shows what I can really do, I think people will acknowledge me more.
 
“Everyone is so desperate to stay undefeated, but this is a sport, we all have to climb the ladder and if you are that good, then boxing anyone – that’s my mentality. If I become undisputed and someone is calling me out and they’ve proved themselves, let’s take the fight.”
 
Cameron’s clash with Hernandez is part of a huge night of action in Sin City, topped by unbeaten WBC World Lightweight champion Devin Haney (25-0 15 KOs) defending his title against former World ruler Jorge Linares (47-5 29 KOs).
 
There’s a fascinating battle between two Golden Boy Promotions stablemates as Jason Quigley (18-1 14 KOs) and Shane Mosley Jr (17-3 10 KOs) go toe-to-toe for the WBO NABO Middleweight title and it’s a huge night for Martin J. Ward (24-1-2 11 KOs) as he faces Azinga Fuzile (14-1 8 KOs) in a final eliminator for the IBF World Super-Featherweight title.
 
There’s a professional debut on the card for Eddie Hearn’s latest American signing, Khalil CoeReshat Mati (9-0 7 KOs) enters double figures in the pro game on the night, Ramla Ali (2-0) has been impressive in her two fights since turning pro in October and the first pro female fighter from Somalia gets an introduction to American fight fans on the bill, a card that is rounded off by Devin Haney Promotions’ Darren Cunningham (13-0 7 KOs) continuing his pro rise.
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FORMER AMATEUR STANDOUT HOPKINS PRO DEBUTS IN MANCHESTER MAY 15

Former amateur standout lands spot on Buatsi undercard
Ellis Hopkins is set to make history at the AO Arena, Manchester this Saturday May 15 after landing a last minute spot on the Joshua Buatsi vs. Daniel Blenda Dos Santos undercard. 

The former amateur standout from Coalville in Leicestershire will become the first woman from the traveller community to make the move from amateur to professional boxing when she clashes with Borislava Goranova on her highly-anticipated pro debut.

Hopkins represented England for a number of years and won numerous accolades such as the Youth National Championship and a Tri Nations Silver medal in 2017, and is now delighted to be making her pro debut on such a big stage.

“I’m really excited to make my professional debut,” said Hopkins. “It’s been a long time coming with delays due to COVID, but it’s been worth the wait as I now get to make my debut on a Matchroom show and you can’t really get any better than that, so a huge thanks to Matchroom and MTK Global for allowing it to happen.

“The last year has been so hard to keep focused, especially when I’ve had four or five fight dates that all got cancelled due to COVID, so now I can’t wait to get in the ring and get started.

“When I first started boxing, women’s boxing wasn’t really a thing. There weren’t any girls in the gym and now nearly every card has a women’s bout on. The women’s fights are usually more exciting than the men’s fights, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

“It’s a very proud achievement to be the first woman from the travelling community to turn professional. When you compare it to the amateurs, there isn’t a lot of traveller boys that turn over, so to be the first ever girl to do it is a massive thing for our community, and I hope more travelling girls can follow in my footsteps.

“I’d like to say I have an exciting style as I can box and I can fight too. Things move fast with female boxing so I want to be busy this year, and hopefully next year I’ll be boxing for titles.”

Hopkins vs. Goranova tops a huge night of boxing in Manchester, Joshua Buatsi (13-0, 11 KOs) fights under Virgil Hunter for the first time against unbeaten Frenchman Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (15-0, 8 KOs)three European Title fights feature on the bill with Gamal Yafai (18-1, 10 KOs) defending his Super-Bantamweight Title for the first time against Jason Cunningham (28-6, 6 KOs), Tommy McCarthy (17-2, 18 KOs) defending his Cruiserweight crown against Romania’s Alexandru Jur (19-4, 7 KOs) and Lerrone Richards (14-0, 3 KOs) taking on Italy’s Giovanni De Carolis (28-9-1, 13 KOs) for the vacant Super-Middleweight strap, Dalton Smith (7-0, 6 KOs) takes on Lee Appleyard (16-5-1, 5 KOs) for the vacant English Super-Lightweight Title after their February clash fell through at short notice and Birmingham Heavyweight Solomon Dacres makes his professional debut.
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Rising Stars Scott, Towl and Hopewell Impressive on Saturday’s Historic First UK All Female Pro Boxing Event.

 

Review by Gianluca Di Caro

Photographs courtesy of Alistair Campbell.

On Saturday 24th April History was made when six time, five division World Champion and Promoter Lee Mcallister promoted the first ever all female professional boxing event, titled LET BATTLE COMMENCE – THE LIONESSES, to take place in the United Kingdom. The event, which took place behind closed doors at the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen and was broadcast live and free to view on FITE TV as well as globally on numerous linear and digital channels.

Back in September last year, when McAllister originally announced the history making event, which then was due to be co-headlined by WIBA Minimum Weight World Champion Denise Castle and returning MBC International Champion Marianne Marston it went viral, female fighters and boxing fans around the world retweeting and sharing the social media posts. 

However within weeks of making the announcement fate dealt the Aberdeen Assassin a massive blow, as both the British and Scottish Government announced that the countries would go into full lockdown for the entire month of November.

McAllister set a new date was for January 2021 but just three weeks prior to the new date the UK once again went into lockdown. Frustratingly McAllister had to reschedule the date once more, this time to the 24th April 2021.

Early in April it looked like the event may have to be rescheduled again, as it was clear that, due to the pandemic, travel restrictions were introduced, a number of the overseas boxers contracted to fight would not be able to travel to the UK. 

It wasn’t just ‘away’ fighters affected, such as the proposed opponents of the co-headline fighters Castle and Marston, but also Ellie Coulson, Hollie Towl, Sophie Varley and Jaime Bates’ opponents Ester Konecna, Angela Cannizzaro, Ivette Garcia and Jane Kavulani respectively, but also ‘home’ fighter Swiss based World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai World Champion Natacha De Almeida, who was due to make her Professional Boxing Debut was unable to travel due to local restrictions.

Undaunted McAllister decided to continue with a reduced card of just six fights featuring UK based fighters only, well that was until just a week before showtime, when Manchester based Sophie Varley and Nicola Hopewell’s opponent Juliette Winter, who had been preparing for the fight in France, both had to pull out.

If that wasn’t enough for McAllister to contend with, just the day before the event Ellie Coulson’s replacement opponent Sarah Smith pulled out. 

Frantic phone calls by McAllister and others already in Aberdeen including matchmaker Giles Carter, eventually paid off and a new opponent secured for the highly talented Coulson, but the new line-up was dramatically different from the original one planned for last year, as now the event featured only five fights and no big names or title fights to head up the card.

As Tasha Boyes’ original fight against Sophie Varley was off and Juliette Winter couldn’t get back from France McAllister decided that the planned future rematch between Hopewell (2-0-0) and Boyes (0-2-0) would be bought forward and headline, Coulson (1-0-0) would now face pro boxing debutante Becky Jameson, a Glasgow based pro BKB fighter. Hollie Towl would face Belfast’s Cara MacLochlainn, a former Kick Boxing star and Irish Amateur Champion making her pro boxing debut, debuting Angelica Finch would now face Jaime Bates (1-3-0) and the original match-up between two former elite Amateur stars Estelle Scott and Kirsty Biswas remained the same.

The aforementioned former amateur stars Scott and Biswas was the opening fight of the night, and boy oh boy was it a close fought all action affair.

Right from the off both protagonists went at it hammer and tongs, letting rip with big shots to body and head throughout, the round reminded me of the wickedly intense first round war between Graham Earl and Michael Katsidis back in 2007.

As with the first stanza both returned to Gladiatorial ways and continued to battle at close range in both the second and third rounds and whilst the action slowed a little in the fourth the action was just as intense, just now the big bombs were flying.

The pace of the action clearly affected Biswas more than Scott, as the Middlesbrough based warrior slowed considerably, which opened the door for South Shields based Scott to take control and dominate the proceedings in style, backing Biswas up on occasions and letting rip with big flurries of shots.

At the end of the fifth Biswas looked very drained, so much so that on returning to the corner her coach voiced his concerns and following a short discussion with Biswas summoned referee Carla Fox and retired his charge in the corner.

Wow, that was one helluva battle, the battling Scott and Biswas threw down the gauntlet to the others competing on the night, and sure as eggs is eggs they did.

Next up see Worksop’s Ellie Coulson (1-0-0) face very, very late replacement Becky Jameson. 

Coulson, a three time national finalist and England amateur boxing national youth middleweight champion, wasn’t fazed one iota facing a bigger fighter from a different pro discipline, she calmly picked her shots each time Jameson came into range. 

Jameson is a plucky as they come, clearly outclassed by the elite former Amateur star she kept coming forward wanting to make a fight of it, but at a cost, Jameson was sent down just under a minute into the fight and after that Coulson’s class shone through. 

The Worksop lass landing big shots to Jameson’s head each time she came forward, when I say big shots I mean seriously solid straight rights that sent Jameson’s head back. As the fight went past the ninety second point Coulson landed yet another Exocet that rocked the Glaswegian to the core, Referee Carla Fox was clearly concerned at the amount of powerful shots Jameson had taken in the first ninety seconds or so and stepped in and waived the fight off on the one minute and forty two second mark.

Jameson was game taking the fight at such late notice, no question about that, she came to fight BUT Coulson is a seriously class act, personally think even after only two pro fights she’s definitely one of the best Female fighters in the Super Welterweight/Middleweight divisions worldwide and it’s just a matter of time before everyone in the division will begin avoiding her.

Third fight of the night pitted the sensational teenage former five time National Amateur Champion Hollie Towl (1-0-0) against the seriously tough former Kick Boxing star and Irish Amateur Champion from Belfast Cara MacLochlainn, who was making her professional boxing debut.

Initially both protagonists began cautiously feeling out the other and then the fight just exploded into action and when I say action, wow what a round, these two Warriors exchanged blow after blow. it was pure poetry in motion. As the round progressed Towl’s class began to shine through, as she started creating openings before firing scintillatingly fast and hard body shots at the torso of her Irish opponent.

Round two started similarly to the first, however Towl shifted up a gear and started targeting the body of the ‘Belfast Bomber’ and landing wickedly vicious shots MacLochlainn is one talented and tough cookie as not only did she just shake off the shots but would fire her own Exocets in return.

Round three was a WAR, both Warriors went in hard and fast, once again Towl shifted up another gear and began landing massive bodyshops, this time though MacLochlainn appeared to be struggling coping with the onslaught, at around midway through the second half of the round Towl landed a massive shot that sent the MacLochlainn reeling across the ring, I honestly thought the fight was over as it seemed her legs had gone, but somehow the tough Irishwoman managed to make it to the end of the round.

MacLochlainn looked drained when she came out for the fourth, which only encouraged Towl to come in hard and fast and land even more body shots, seemingly at will.

After such a hard round I was surprised when MacLochlainn came out looking ready to go to war again in the fifth, she put up a good fight but again Towl landed some incredible shots throughout the round. 

The sixth and final round mirrored the second to a degree, without doubt Towl won the round with her incredible skill, but MacLochlainn kept the teenager honest and made a great fight of it.

No surprise that referee Carla Fox’s scorecard showed Towl as victor, by a 59-55 points margin, but plaudits to MacLochlainn she went the distance, a big surprise considering the amount of vicious body-shots she absorbed in the fight.

Quite rightly Towl-MacLochlainn was declared Fight of the Night and Hollie Towl the Fighter of the Night. The quietly spoken Towl seemed surprised when Sportanarium Radio’s Trevor Lake announced the accolade before presenting her with the Sportanarium ‘Fighter of the Night’ Belt. 

Next up was Boston, Lincolnshire’s former three time ABA Champion Angelica Finch, who was making her Professional debut, against York’s former PBC international Champion Jaime Bates (1-3-0).

This was looking to be a sensational match-up in the first minute or so as both protagonists approach virtually mirrored the other, literally as Finch was fighting in a southpaw stance and Bates boxes orthodox. 

Just as the action was really warming up, Referee Carla Fox signalled Finch into the neutral corner where the doctor awaited to check a bad cut sustained shortly before. 

The doctor advised the contest be waived off and as such the result was declared as Referee Stops Contest (RSC) on the one minute and forty two second mark of the first round.

Following the result Finch’s corner requested a review of the result, as they believe the cut came from an accidental clash of heads just before the final exchanges of the shortened contest. Their request has been submitted to the British & Irish Boxing Authority competition panel to review and ascertain if the result should stand as is.

Regardless of the result of the review, Finch vs Bates II is being discussed between the teams and promoter with the anticipated rematch coming in the very near future – I for one can’t wait for that as this fight had all the hallmarks of being a classic Battle Royale.

Time for the main event – Nicola Hopewell versus Tasha Boyes II.

Back in September last year Hopewell vs Boyes took place on LET BATTLE COMMENCE II – here’s my write-up on the first meeting between them.

OK, now were onto the fight I was really waiting for, Worksop’s Professional Boxing Council (PBC) International Silver Champion Nicola Hopewell versus York’s Tasha Boyes

I’ve been particularly looking forward to this contest since hearing about Tasha Boyes performance against Maria Cecchi in Italy a few weeks ago, which had earned high praise from the Italian media and I know just how good Nicola is, as was lucky enough to be ringside when she beat Ghana’s Anita Addy to lift the PBC crown back on March 7th. 

This fight had all the makings of being a classic, and the way it started out it surely would have been, Hopewell came out hard and fast and let rip with fast double handed combinations, which coincidently is how I had anticipated Boyes would approach things!

Boyes is as savvy as they come and soon began to use her height and reach advantage to get back in contention, but Hopewell’s magnificent ringcraft and oodles of talent soon put an end to that and as the round was heading to its conclusion backed Boyes up and began letting rip with a barrage of shots, somehow Boyes managed to find a way out but only a temporary respite as Hopewell went in for the kill and let rip once more to send Boyes to the canvas. 

Boyes must have landed awkwardly on her arm and aggravated the training injury she sustained in the week, as when she rose to her feet she was holding her arm and clearly in a lot of pain, her coach Giles Carter was so concerned he summoned Referee Graeme Beauly and retired her in the corner at the end of the round.

Have to admit that was a disappointing end to the highly anticipated contest, but there is some good news for Boyes as Hopewell has agreed to a rematch, I for one am really looking forward to that.

OK, the scene is set so now let’s get to Saturday night’s Hopewell-Boyes II showdown.

Right from the opening bell both fighters moved to centre ring, initially just feeling out the other but seconds later Boyes moved in and let rip with a straight left followed by a left-right combination, Hopewell responds with a big right to kick off the proceedings. What an absolutely fantastic highly technical, all action first round.

Thoroughly enjoyed the first stanza, however the second was even better as Hopewell shifted up a gear and used her fantastic ring craft to circumnavigate Boyes’ superior reach to land some seriously awesome shots.

Don’t get me wrong Boyes landed some first class shots too but Hopewell’s class and experience really shone through, especially in the second half of the round, culminating in a scintillating powerful body-shot that sent Boyes to the canvas. Boyes surprisingly raised to her feet before the count reached its conclusion, but clearly was still in a lot of distress, so much so that Referee Carla Fox didn’t hesitate to waive the fight off on the one minute forty two second mark of the second round.

Some nine years after amateur Female boxing hit the headlines at the London 2012 Olympics, finally the first female professional event took place in the UK, interestingly LET BATTLE COMMENCE – LIONESSES was not only the first all female pro boxing event in the UK, but I believe is also the first event to be officiated by female official in the main roles – these were; Supervisor/Official Recorder Alejandra Ramirez, Referee Carla Fox and Chief inspector Jennie Boyle.

The entire event is still available free to view on FITE.TV (go to replays)

My final words on this historic event is that it was a great show, one that goes to prove you really don’t always need big names or Championship fights, even for a televised event, especially when the fights are as good as these were.

#LetBattleCommence

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