Pierce O’Leary faces Siar Ozgul on this month’s MTK Fight Night

Undefeated sensation Pierce O’Leary will take on former Southern Area champion Siar Ozgul when #MTKFightNight returns to York Hall in London on October 29.

This month’s action-packed card will be broadcast live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV, and is headlined by a WBO Global super-featherweight title fight between Archie Sharp (20-0, 9 KOs) and Alexis Boureima Kabore (28-4, 7 KOs).

O’Leary (7-0, 3 KOs) was last in action in June, where he produced a Knockout of the Year contender by viciously stopping Jan Marsalek in round two of their bout.

The 21-year-old Dubliner now squares off with Ozgul (15-6, 3 KOs), who is looking to replicate the form that saw him win the Southern Area super-lightweight title back in 2017, while he has also gone the distance with the likes of Viktor Postol, Anthony Yigit, Sean McComb and Samuel Antwi.

Welsh star Sean McGoldrick (10-1, 3 KOs) will also make his highly-anticipated return to the ring, as he is back in action for the first time in over 18 months when he faces Stephen Jackson.

McGoldrick won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, along with a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and has his sights set on soon winning the first title of his professional career.

The planned fight between Shabaz Masoud and James Beech Jnr has unfortunately been called off, after Beech tested positive for COVID-19.

Elsewhere on this month’s bill, Kazakh sensation Tursynbay Kulakhmet (4-0, 3 KOs) makes another defence of his WBC International super-welterweight title, taking on knockout specialist Juan Carlos Abreu (23-6-1, 21 KOs).

Undefeated fighters collide in a great domestic battle, as Jordan Reynolds (2-0) meets Randal Barlow (2-0), while former Southern Area champion Sam Gilley (11-1, 5 KOs) squares off with Daniel Lartey (14-4-1, 12 KOs).

Hard-hitting cruiserweight Will Hamilton (2-0, 1 KO) takes on Ivo Zednicek, plus three exciting debutants will enter the professional ranks on the card too, with ‘Sugar Shy’ Shiloh Defreitas facing Fonz Alexander, plus Joe Giles and Lerone Harrison will each compete, with opponents for those two announced shortly.

Further news on the MTK Fight Night event on October 29 will be announced over the coming days and weeks.

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ARTHUR v YARDE 2 SET FOR DECEMBER 4

THE BLOCKBUSTER REMATCH between Lyndon Arthur and Anthony Yarde will take place at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday December 4, live on BT Sport.
 
The showdown between the two top light heavyweights falls a year on from the pair’s close-fought Battle of Westminster at Church House, where Arthur prevailed on the cards of two of the three judges and retained his Commonwealth title, while adding the vacant WBO Intercontinental belt to his collection.
 
More importantly, Arthur’s victory saw him steal a march on his rival and become the No.1 ranked contender for the WBO world title currently held by the American Joe Smith jr.
 
Yarde (21-2), who dropped down to 12, is desperate to avenge his loss and leapfrog Arthur (19-0) and return to the top of the rankings ahead of a mandatory challenge being assigned to Smith jr.
 
Arthur maintained his unbeaten record as a professional and added a 13th KO to his tally with victory over the Italian Davide Faraci at the Royal Albert Hall in July, with Yarde returning to winning ways with a quickfire stoppage of Alex Theran in Birmingham at the end of August.
 
Now Yarde and Arthur will again trade bombs with each other once again, this time in front of fans at the atmospheric Copper Box on the edge of the Olympic Park.
 
Promoter Frank Warren said: “This is a fight that needs an audience roaring them both on. It was a decent fight last time but there was something big missing and that was the fighters being inspired by fans in the arena.
 
“I believe the fans at the Copper Box will make a huge difference and we will get something very special from Lyndon and Anthony.
 
“We had tried to get the Arena in Manchester but venue availability was a struggle. That said, I have absolute faith that the London audience will get behind the fight and roar them both on.
 
“Lyndon and Anthony are both world class, explosive light heavyweights and putting them together again makes for a huge domestic occasion.
 
“The stakes are very high. The winner will sit in the No.1 spot with the WBO and be firmly in place for a world title shot in 2022.
 
“We are in for a great night on December 4 and we will be making further announcements on what will be a bumper card in due course.”

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Tickets for Arthur v Yarde 2, live from the Copper Box Arena on Saturday December 4, will be available tomorrow (Thursday 14th October) from 10am here

FLOOR SEAT – £330.00
FLOOR SEAT – £275.00
FLOOR SEAT – £165.00
FLOOR SEAT – £110.00
FLOOR SEAT – £77.00
LOWER BOWL SEAT – £82.50
LOWER BOWL SEAT – £55.00

 
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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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ZACH PARKER FACES BRITISH RIVAL MORRISON ON NOVEMBER 6

ZACH PARKER will defend his WBO International Super-Middleweight title against Marcus Morrison at Utilita Arena, Birmingham on Saturday November 6, live on BT Sport.

The champion won’t just be risking his crown, but also his status as number one contender in the rankings for the WBO World title held by Canelo Alvarez when he faces Manchester’s Morrison.

Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren is predicting fireworks when the pair clash in the Midlands on Bonfire weekend.

He said: “It’s a fight I am delighted to have made and it’s a contest that should bring out the best in both guys“Zach is a Queensberry fighter and I believe he wins, but he needs to fight solid opponents like Marcus while he waits for his World title shot.

“Marcus knows this is another great chance.  Zach knows that he will bring his best on fight night.

“Zach is one of the avoided men in the division, but the moment Marcus and his team knew there was interest on our side they moved quickly. They believe they can spring an upset.

“I believe fans in the arena and BT Sport viewers will see a fight between two guys who have ability and ambition.”

Parker (21-0, 15 KOs) will be making the second defence of the title he won with an impressive stoppage of American Vaughn Alexander in march.

The Neil Marsh managed boxer made it five wins on the spin in July when he knocked out Sherzod Khusanov in the first round.

Former Manchester City player Morrison (24-4, 16 KOs) has seen his career kick on since July 2019 when he travelled to Italy and upset former European champion and World title challenger Emanuele Blandamura in nine rounds.

In May he took on Chris Eubank Jr and pushed him all the way before going down on points after ten rounds.

Massive Stoke-on-Trent ticket seller Nathan Heaney (13-0, 5 KOs) will meet Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sladan Janjanin (30-8, 23 KOs) for the vacant IBF Intercontinental Middleweight title.

British and Commonwealth Super-Middleweight champion Lennox Clarke (20-1-1, 8 KOs) has his first fight since his title winning upset win against Willy Hutchinson.

Scotland’s former World Youth amateur champion Hutchinson (13-1, 9 KOs) has his first fight since losing his unbeaten record against Clarke and faces Westbury’s Anthony Fox (8-13-4).

High Wycombe Lightweight Henry Turner (5-0), Northampton Super-Lightweight Eithan James (6-0) and Dublin’s Willo Hayden (1-0) all box six rounders.

Atherstone Super-Lightweight hope George Bance (2-0) and Telford Bantamweight debutant Raheem Muhammed are in four round action.

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LEWIS RITSON SIGNS PROMOTIONAL DEAL WITH PROBELLUM

Probellum is proud to announce a promotional deal with former British and WBA Intercontinental champion Lewis Ritson.

Newcastle superstar Ritson (21-2, 12 knockouts) is known for his all-action, relentless style, having been involved in some of the most exciting fights in the UK in recent years, such as his October 2019 win over Robbie Davies Jnr.

His vicious power has also been on display during his career, as seen in his quick-fire stoppage victories over Paul Hyland Jnr, Scott Cardle and Joe Murray, with those three fights lasting less than four rounds combined.

Ritson’s first bout since signing with Probellum will come on Saturday, when he competes against Hank Lundy on the BOXXER event at the Newcastle Arena – live on Sky Sports Boxing.

Probellum will guide the career of Ritson moving forward, as their expert team look to use their vast knowledge to help navigate the 28-year-old back towards world title contention.

It is the latest major statement of intent from Probellum, following on from their signings of Regis Prograis, Nonito Donaire, Badou Jack, Eimantas Stanionis, Arthur Biyarslanov, Taras Shelestyuk, Ricky Burns, Eduardo Hernandez and Brandon Moore.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Probellum team,” said Ritson“Over the last few weeks they have made some huge signings and I’m happy we’ve got the deal over the line and I’ve signed with them.”

“It’s great to welcome someone of Lewis’ high standard to the team,” said Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum“He’s always in entertaining fights and is one of the most popular fighters in the entire UK.

“He’s been on the cusp of a world title shot before, and Probellum will now be on hand to steer him back towards that level as we help him achieve his dream of one day becoming world champion.”

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

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SMITH VS. FOWLER PLUS UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
 
“This is a great place, a great city, but especially when you’ve got a great fight. I think everybody here knows their boxing; everybody here knows we’ve got an unbelievable main event, but everyone knows we’ve got an incredible card from top to bottom. This Saturday, live and exclusive on DAZN around the world.
 
“The main event headlined by Liam Smith vs. Anthony Fowler, it’s a breath-taking matchup but what an undercard we have as well. So many great fighters and fights, talk about 50/50’s from the opening bell of the show on Saturday. We could have sold this arena out two or three times, there’s something very special about a sold-out arena in Liverpool and we cannot wait.” 

Liam Smith:
 
“I feel good, the way the fighter should feel in fight week. We’re here, if I’m not ready now I’ll never be, so I’m just looking forward to Saturday and being back. I had a long time out, 17 months, I got the cobwebs off in Russia and you’ll see a better Liam Smith.
 
“He [Anthony] talks about desire and that, you’re obsessed with it and the stuff he posts out. Desire, I’ve lived in a house with three brothers where boxing’s been our life, we’ve got to have desire to do stuff we’ve done, it’s not like I’ve won British Titles and that. We’ve all got desire, we can all push to that, we’ll see Saturday.
 
“I still think it’s a step too far for him, you can twelve rounds in the gym with as many sparring partners as you want but it’s different under the lights with ten-ounce gloves on and when you’ve got adrenaline inside of you. Shane can help as much as he wants but when the bell goes it’s only me and Anthony in there.
 
“Let’s not beat around the bush, you [Eddie] made this, Anthony didn’t call you for me you did. 
 
“You put a fight to me, and I’ll take it, I’ll think right okay what’s the pro and cons to it I’ll take it. I said to my manager let me know if the Fowler fight is the route we’re going, because if that’s the route we’re going then so be it. Obviously in hindsight I wasn’t really looking at Anthony as an opponent, he should be fighting for the British Title which I had a long time. He’s humped past that, he’s in a fight now and we’re three days away – we’ll see.
 
“Of course, I do, I’ve got things in my own career and my own pride I want to keep. I’ve never lost to a domestic fighter, and I fully intend of keeping that on Saturday night. As a family we’ve never lost a scouse derby and I fully intend of keeping that. My own aspirations for challenging for a World Title again, if I lose to Anthony Fowler I’ve got no chance of doing that so I’ve got a lot at stake for myself and that’s why I’ve knuckled down that way I have.”  

Joe McNally, trainer of Liam Smith:
 
“Thanks to everybody for coming, we really appreciate it. Liam is one of a kind in my opinion, I think this is a jump too far for Anthony Fowler. You’ve got Kieran Conway, JJ Metcalf, Troy Williamson, Sergio Garcia, European Champion. It’s the equivalent of being at the chippy getting your chips and Anthony’s jumped the queue – get to the back. He really should have earned his way, waited in the queue to get a shot at this man and it’ll tell on Saturday night.
 
“We’re under no illusion that Anthony Fowler is a quality fighter, good amateur background that I believe was a little bit too long. A lot of wear and tear in that game which is telling in the pro ranks. Shane’s done a good job in finely adjusting to use his reach and height which is working with the type of fighters he’s been fighting. Liam has left no stone unturned, and it will tell Saturday night, definitely.
 
“Liam is a professional, he’s not one minute late and you don’t ask him to do anything twice, it gets done, it’s actually holding Liam Smith back in the gym which is the hard part. Let’s not beat around the bush, if Magomed Kurbanov hadn’t shit his kegs to come here and fight Liam, Fowler wouldn’t be fighting – it should’ve been Kurbanov. You [Eddie] called this fight, you and Shane, Anthony didn’t want it and Liam called your bluff. Now it’s happened hasn’t it, otherwise it wasn’t happening.
 
“Liam will win in style, whether it’s a KO or a punch victory. Liam has left no stone unturned, and he will win, I truly believe it’s not what Fowler does, it’s what Liam Smith turns up. It’s as simple as that.” 

Anthony Fowler:
 
“I’m grateful for the opportunity, I’m here because I want to be here and win, I want to fight. We don’t call bluffs; we take fights that we believe we can win. I’ve had the best camp of my life, I’m at the best possible version of myself, I’ve had a full camp with no injuries at all, I’m at my physical peak. I’m coming off four straight knockout wins, I’ve been very active, so let’s have it.
 
“He’s been to the top, he’s been World Champion, I haven’t. I’ve had that mad desire since I was 11, it’s all I’ve ever wanted my whole life. I’ve given my whole life to boxing, it’s all paid off luckily enough, but it means nothing without the win, I’m not here to make up the numbers.
 
“I’m fully prepared for it, I’ve been visualising it every day, day in, day out, for weeks and weeks. I couldn’t be in a better place, mentally, my weight, my strength, my sparring, I’ve had some tough, tough sparring. I did twelve rounds, and I was fresh as a daisy, I’m in unreal shape because I haven’t been getting tired, just training, and thinking about this fight – I haven’t stopped. I’m just in a great place.

“We’ve both got two arms, two legs, it’s as simple as that – we’re both men. I’ve been active over the last two years, Liam’s had one fight in two years, that bound to play a part. Being inactive and I feel the time is right for me, I feel like this is my time.”

Shane McGuigan, trainer of Anthony Fowler:
 
“We’ve just been going on as normal, obviously Anthony likes to promote himself and I think he understands he doesn’t have to go out there and shout about this fight, it sold out quickly and the hype is there. He’s knuckled down and stuck to his training, we’rel quietly confident about this fight.
 
“It’s not like there’s no pressure on Anthony, there’s heaps of pressure on him, we believe that this isn’t the ceiling for Anthony Fowler, but we want to win a World Title. We’ve taken this in our stride, but I believe he’s ready for it, he’s 30 years of age, had the experience in the amateurs, he hasn’t had the acid tests but I’m very confident and believe there’s only one winner on Saturday night.
 
“Look at Liam Smith, he shells up well and has got a very good defence, he doesn’t rush into his attacks, he’s intelligent behind his pressure. He’s a very good, intelligent pressure fighter. We’ve had unbelievable sparring for this camp and that’s why I believe Anthony has raised the bar and I’m excited for Saturday night. It’s the biggest test for his career by a mile but I believe it’s one he’s going to overcome.
 
“Anthony’s not one to be in boring fights but neither is Liam Smith. We’ve got a game plan, I know, and Anthony knows what he’s got to do, we’ve drilled it in the gym day in, day out. I just don’t believe Liam is going to be able to bring something new to the table. We know what he does but I believe Anthony is going to win regardless.
 
“We’re going to get the win; I believe both the stoppage and points win are possible.”

Shannon Courtenay:
 
“It’s going to be a tough fight; she’s coming here with the fire exactly like I did when I won the World Championship, so understand – I’ve already been there. I am World Champion and there’s nothing that she can bring on Saturday night that’s going to take that belt away from me. I’ve worked my arse off to get here and I’m not going nowhere.
 
“I don’t think she [Jamie] has ever gone ten rounds before, I have, I’ve got that experience in the bag. I can stand and go toe-to-toe, or I can box, I can bring both styles. Whatever she comes with I will adapt, I think I’ll drag her into deep waters where she’s never been before and she’s in for a rude awakening.
 
“I’m so excited to actually be here in Liverpool, everyone’s welcomed me beautifully, I actually had an option to either fight on the Joshua card or here and I wanted to fight in Liverpool. I’m buzzing to put on a good show for everyone here and make sure I come home Saturday with that belt.” 
 
Jamie Mitchell:
 
“It’s an awesome opportunity, I’m so happy to be here and put on my performance for you guys and let everyone see my talents and skills.
 
“I haven’t had it easy in life, I came up in foster care systems, so this is a great opportunity for me because it mimics my past and having it hard – I’m used to hard times. I’m going to make it really easy for myself on Saturday night.”

Ted Cheeseman:
 
“Obviously Troy Williamson is unbeaten, he doesn’t want to lose his unbeaten record he’s going to try his hardest not to do that. I just believe that the experience I’ve picked up, the way I’ve been matured, the way I’ve been becoming an all-round fight, I believe I’m a level above. I’ll have to prove that and put in a good performance on Saturday night.
 
“I’m a veteran on the twelve rounds now, even in the gym in the last few weeks doing the twelve rounds in sparring it’s different to when I’ve done them before. The engine is there now, I know how to train and push myself hard. I’ve done it a lot, for Troy it’s his first time and he’s going to have to have that gut check.
 
“He keeps saying about his power but no disrespect to Troy, he hasn’t been hit yet, I have. That’s the difference, he’s got to worry about what power I hit him with not what power he can hit me with. Everyone can see I’ve got a great chin but how good is his chin.” 
 
Troy Williamson:
 
“I think that Ted and I are the two best Super-Welterweights in the division and we’re going to put it all on the line on Saturday night.
 
“I know how tough and fit I am, obviously I haven’t had the opportunity to show I can do twelve rounds because I’ve never needed to. I’m an explosive puncher and I get rid of people; I know deep down that I can do the distance. I’m very fit and very tough, it’s going to be a great fight.
 
“No doubt at all, the hard work has been done. I’ve done the rounds in the gym and it’ll show on Saturday night.” 

Kieron Conway:
 
“This is a must win fight for me, but the experience out in Texas in and out of the ring was invaluable for me. I think I learnt a lot; I’ve been working on a hell of a lot of stuff in training, things are coming off nicely, I’m in the best shape and form I’ve ever been in. I don’t see a home advantage for James because I think I’m going to come here and make this look easy.
 
“I need to make a statement, if the opportunity comes to get him out of there, I’m going for it. I believe that I can take it as well, I don’t see this fight going 10 rounds, the form that I’m in, I think I’m a different level now. My last performance should kick me up the arse, I’ve got things in gear now, I’m ready to show everyone what I’m about.” 
 
James Metcalf:
 
“I’m definitely ready to go. You know you’re saying you didn’t know if I was going to turn up, if I agree to something I’m going to do it, I’m going to be there on the night and I’m going to win as well.
 
“I haven’t in a big city in front of a big crowd like this in a while, I’m really looking forward to that. I just can’t wait now.”
 
Solomon Dacres:
 
“He [Kamil] said it himself, he’ll fight anybody. He’s a tough guy but I’ve got the same mindset. No disrespect to journeymen but I’ll fight anybody. I put the hard work in the gym to show the level I can get to.
 
“I don’t want to have fights that don’t mean anything, I want to gain something from the fight. Kamil has tested good prospects before, and he’s pushed them to the limits – it’s something I need if I want to become World Champion. I need tough tests that are going to prepare me to go onto better things. I’m looking for better fights and going on to even better things hopefully.”

Kamil Sokolowski:
 
“This is my first fight with Matchroom, my record might not look so good but I’m a very good boxer. I’ve come here and I’m looking forward to Saturday, I will check the ability of the young prospect Solomon Dacres. I can fight with anyone, I don’t mind, just let me know and I’ll fight.” 

Luke Willis:
 
“I’m looking forward to Saturday and putting on a masterclass in front of my own city. I’m looking forward to sitting back after and watching the rest of the bill, it’s a great card.
 
“He [Rylan] does what he says on the tin, he comes forward and he swings bombs. I’m not saying he’s the worst boxer in the world but all he’s got on me in power. I think he’s underestimating my power and he’ll find out on Saturday. I do carry power, he’s saying he’s going to come to my city and knock me out, he’ll find out on Saturday what I’m about.
 
“8-ounce gloves on I can hit. On Saturday you’ll see.” 
 
Rylan Charlton:
 
“I’ve always been a 135-pound fighter, we just had the opportunities at Welterweight and it was great because I got my name out there. Now it’s time to show everyone what I can really do and show how effective my power is at Lightweight.
 
“Everyone’s got their styles, you’ve back foot fighters which he is, you’ve got come forward fighters, and it’s whoever is going toe execute their game plan better on the night.” 

Pete McGrail”
 
“Big thank you to you Eddie, Matchroom and DAZN in giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills on the biggest platform. I’m just looking forward to putting a show on for the crowd, it’s been a long time coming to box on a big stage in front of my friends and family – my city. I’m just looking forward to it now.
 
“I’ve been training alongside Fowler for years with Team GB and Beefy has always wished me well over the years if I’ve ever needed any advice. I wish them both a very good fight and may the best man win.
 
“I’ll be bringing World Titles back to the city of Liverpool, I’ve always managed to perform well on the amateur stage, and I’ve always been at a high level. For me, this next year or two I’m looking to be as busy as possible, box as many stars and gain as much experience as possible – we’ll go from there.” 
 
Blane Hyland:
 
“I’m looking forward to getting out there on Saturday, really excited, if the ring was set up outside, I’d be waiting for Saturday night. I want to thank Matchroom for getting me on this bill and I’m looking forward to putting on a show in front of my own crowd.” 
 
Rhiannon Dixon:
 
“I was out for a long time, around two years because of the pandemic, obviously with my day job that took precedent. I’m just excited to get my career off again and trying to keep as active as possible.
 
“I haven’t come from the conventional route, but I’ve had a crash course in boxing now, I’m learning from the best in Joe, sparring Natasha (Jonas), Anthony (Crolla) has taken me under his wing, he’s a World Champion and knows what he’s doing. I can’t wait to show everyone what I’m about and what I’ve been doing.”
SMITH VS. FOWLER + UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
 
“This is a great place, a great city, but especially when you’ve got a great fight. I think everybody here knows their boxing; everybody here knows we’ve got an unbelievable main event, but everyone knows we’ve got an incredible card from top to bottom. This Saturday, live and exclusive on DAZN around the world.
 
“The main event headlined by Liam Smith vs. Anthony Fowler, it’s a breath-taking matchup but what an undercard we have as well. So many great fighters and fights, talk about 50/50’s from the opening bell of the show on Saturday. We could have sold this arena out two or three times, there’s something very special about a sold-out arena in Liverpool and we cannot wait.” 

Liam Smith:
 
“I feel good, the way the fighter should feel in fight week. We’re here, if I’m not ready now I’ll never be, so I’m just looking forward to Saturday and being back. I had a long time out, 17 months, I got the cobwebs off in Russia and you’ll see a better Liam Smith.
 
“He [Anthony] talks about desire and that, you’re obsessed with it and the stuff he posts out. Desire, I’ve lived in a house with three brothers where boxing’s been our life, we’ve got to have desire to do stuff we’ve done, it’s not like I’ve won British Titles and that. We’ve all got desire, we can all push to that, we’ll see Saturday.
 
“I still think it’s a step too far for him, you can twelve rounds in the gym with as many sparring partners as you want but it’s different under the lights with ten-ounce gloves on and when you’ve got adrenaline inside of you. Shane can help as much as he wants but when the bell goes it’s only me and Anthony in there.
 
“Let’s not beat around the bush, you [Eddie] made this, Anthony didn’t call you for me you did. 
 
“You put a fight to me, and I’ll take it, I’ll think right okay what’s the pro and cons to it I’ll take it. I said to my manager let me know if the Fowler fight is the route we’re going, because if that’s the route we’re going then so be it. Obviously in hindsight I wasn’t really looking at Anthony as an opponent, he should be fighting for the British Title which I had a long time. He’s humped past that, he’s in a fight now and we’re three days away – we’ll see.
 
“Of course, I do, I’ve got things in my own career and my own pride I want to keep. I’ve never lost to a domestic fighter, and I fully intend of keeping that on Saturday night. As a family we’ve never lost a scouse derby and I fully intend of keeping that. My own aspirations for challenging for a World Title again, if I lose to Anthony Fowler I’ve got no chance of doing that so I’ve got a lot at stake for myself and that’s why I’ve knuckled down that way I have.”  

Joe McNally, trainer of Liam Smith:
 
“Thanks to everybody for coming, we really appreciate it. Liam is one of a kind in my opinion, I think this is a jump too far for Anthony Fowler. You’ve got Kieran Conway, JJ Metcalf, Troy Williamson, Sergio Garcia, European Champion. It’s the equivalent of being at the chippy getting your chips and Anthony’s jumped the queue – get to the back. He really should have earned his way, waited in the queue to get a shot at this man and it’ll tell on Saturday night.
 
“We’re under no illusion that Anthony Fowler is a quality fighter, good amateur background that I believe was a little bit too long. A lot of wear and tear in that game which is telling in the pro ranks. Shane’s done a good job in finely adjusting to use his reach and height which is working with the type of fighters he’s been fighting. Liam has left no stone unturned, and it will tell Saturday night, definitely.
 
“Liam is a professional, he’s not one minute late and you don’t ask him to do anything twice, it gets done, it’s actually holding Liam Smith back in the gym which is the hard part. Let’s not beat around the bush, if Magomed Kurbanov hadn’t shit his kegs to come here and fight Liam, Fowler wouldn’t be fighting – it should’ve been Kurbanov. You [Eddie] called this fight, you and Shane, Anthony didn’t want it and Liam called your bluff. Now it’s happened hasn’t it, otherwise it wasn’t happening.
 
“Liam will win in style, whether it’s a KO or a punch victory. Liam has left no stone unturned, and he will win, I truly believe it’s not what Fowler does, it’s what Liam Smith turns up. It’s as simple as that.” 

Anthony Fowler:
 
“I’m grateful for the opportunity, I’m here because I want to be here and win, I want to fight. We don’t call bluffs; we take fights that we believe we can win. I’ve had the best camp of my life, I’m at the best possible version of myself, I’ve had a full camp with no injuries at all, I’m at my physical peak. I’m coming off four straight knockout wins, I’ve been very active, so let’s have it.
 
“He’s been to the top, he’s been World Champion, I haven’t. I’ve had that mad desire since I was 11, it’s all I’ve ever wanted my whole life. I’ve given my whole life to boxing, it’s all paid off luckily enough, but it means nothing without the win, I’m not here to make up the numbers.
 
“I’m fully prepared for it, I’ve been visualising it every day, day in, day out, for weeks and weeks. I couldn’t be in a better place, mentally, my weight, my strength, my sparring, I’ve had some tough, tough sparring. I did twelve rounds, and I was fresh as a daisy, I’m in unreal shape because I haven’t been getting tired, just training, and thinking about this fight – I haven’t stopped. I’m just in a great place.

“We’ve both got two arms, two legs, it’s as simple as that – we’re both men. I’ve been active over the last two years, Liam’s had one fight in two years, that bound to play a part. Being inactive and I feel the time is right for me, I feel like this is my time.”

Shane McGuigan, trainer of Anthony Fowler:
 
“We’ve just been going on as normal, obviously Anthony likes to promote himself and I think he understands he doesn’t have to go out there and shout about this fight, it sold out quickly and the hype is there. He’s knuckled down and stuck to his training, we’rel quietly confident about this fight.
 
“It’s not like there’s no pressure on Anthony, there’s heaps of pressure on him, we believe that this isn’t the ceiling for Anthony Fowler, but we want to win a World Title. We’ve taken this in our stride, but I believe he’s ready for it, he’s 30 years of age, had the experience in the amateurs, he hasn’t had the acid tests but I’m very confident and believe there’s only one winner on Saturday night.
 
“Look at Liam Smith, he shells up well and has got a very good defence, he doesn’t rush into his attacks, he’s intelligent behind his pressure. He’s a very good, intelligent pressure fighter. We’ve had unbelievable sparring for this camp and that’s why I believe Anthony has raised the bar and I’m excited for Saturday night. It’s the biggest test for his career by a mile but I believe it’s one he’s going to overcome.
 
“Anthony’s not one to be in boring fights but neither is Liam Smith. We’ve got a game plan, I know, and Anthony knows what he’s got to do, we’ve drilled it in the gym day in, day out. I just don’t believe Liam is going to be able to bring something new to the table. We know what he does but I believe Anthony is going to win regardless.
 
“We’re going to get the win; I believe both the stoppage and points win are possible.”

Shannon Courtenay:
 
“It’s going to be a tough fight; she’s coming here with the fire exactly like I did when I won the World Championship, so understand – I’ve already been there. I am World Champion and there’s nothing that she can bring on Saturday night that’s going to take that belt away from me. I’ve worked my arse off to get here and I’m not going nowhere.
 
“I don’t think she [Jamie] has ever gone ten rounds before, I have, I’ve got that experience in the bag. I can stand and go toe-to-toe, or I can box, I can bring both styles. Whatever she comes with I will adapt, I think I’ll drag her into deep waters where she’s never been before and she’s in for a rude awakening.
 
“I’m so excited to actually be here in Liverpool, everyone’s welcomed me beautifully, I actually had an option to either fight on the Joshua card or here and I wanted to fight in Liverpool. I’m buzzing to put on a good show for everyone here and make sure I come home Saturday with that belt.” 
 
Jamie Mitchell:
 
“It’s an awesome opportunity, I’m so happy to be here and put on my performance for you guys and let everyone see my talents and skills.
 
“I haven’t had it easy in life, I came up in foster care systems, so this is a great opportunity for me because it mimics my past and having it hard – I’m used to hard times. I’m going to make it really easy for myself on Saturday night.”

Ted Cheeseman:
 
“Obviously Troy Williamson is unbeaten, he doesn’t want to lose his unbeaten record he’s going to try his hardest not to do that. I just believe that the experience I’ve picked up, the way I’ve been matured, the way I’ve been becoming an all-round fight, I believe I’m a level above. I’ll have to prove that and put in a good performance on Saturday night.
 
“I’m a veteran on the twelve rounds now, even in the gym in the last few weeks doing the twelve rounds in sparring it’s different to when I’ve done them before. The engine is there now, I know how to train and push myself hard. I’ve done it a lot, for Troy it’s his first time and he’s going to have to have that gut check.
 
“He keeps saying about his power but no disrespect to Troy, he hasn’t been hit yet, I have. That’s the difference, he’s got to worry about what power I hit him with not what power he can hit me with. Everyone can see I’ve got a great chin but how good is his chin.” 
 
Troy Williamson:
 
“I think that Ted and I are the two best Super-Welterweights in the division and we’re going to put it all on the line on Saturday night.
 
“I know how tough and fit I am, obviously I haven’t had the opportunity to show I can do twelve rounds because I’ve never needed to. I’m an explosive puncher and I get rid of people; I know deep down that I can do the distance. I’m very fit and very tough, it’s going to be a great fight.
 
“No doubt at all, the hard work has been done. I’ve done the rounds in the gym and it’ll show on Saturday night.” 

Kieron Conway:
 
“This is a must win fight for me, but the experience out in Texas in and out of the ring was invaluable for me. I think I learnt a lot; I’ve been working on a hell of a lot of stuff in training, things are coming off nicely, I’m in the best shape and form I’ve ever been in. I don’t see a home advantage for James because I think I’m going to come here and make this look easy.
 
“I need to make a statement, if the opportunity comes to get him out of there, I’m going for it. I believe that I can take it as well, I don’t see this fight going 10 rounds, the form that I’m in, I think I’m a different level now. My last performance should kick me up the arse, I’ve got things in gear now, I’m ready to show everyone what I’m about.” 
 
James Metcalf:
 
“I’m definitely ready to go. You know you’re saying you didn’t know if I was going to turn up, if I agree to something I’m going to do it, I’m going to be there on the night and I’m going to win as well.
 
“I haven’t in a big city in front of a big crowd like this in a while, I’m really looking forward to that. I just can’t wait now.”
 
Solomon Dacres:
 
“He [Kamil] said it himself, he’ll fight anybody. He’s a tough guy but I’ve got the same mindset. No disrespect to journeymen but I’ll fight anybody. I put the hard work in the gym to show the level I can get to.
 
“I don’t want to have fights that don’t mean anything, I want to gain something from the fight. Kamil has tested good prospects before, and he’s pushed them to the limits – it’s something I need if I want to become World Champion. I need tough tests that are going to prepare me to go onto better things. I’m looking for better fights and going on to even better things hopefully.”

Kamil Sokolowski:
 
“This is my first fight with Matchroom, my record might not look so good but I’m a very good boxer. I’ve come here and I’m looking forward to Saturday, I will check the ability of the young prospect Solomon Dacres. I can fight with anyone, I don’t mind, just let me know and I’ll fight.” 

Luke Willis:
 
“I’m looking forward to Saturday and putting on a masterclass in front of my own city. I’m looking forward to sitting back after and watching the rest of the bill, it’s a great card.
 
“He [Rylan] does what he says on the tin, he comes forward and he swings bombs. I’m not saying he’s the worst boxer in the world but all he’s got on me in power. I think he’s underestimating my power and he’ll find out on Saturday. I do carry power, he’s saying he’s going to come to my city and knock me out, he’ll find out on Saturday what I’m about.
 
“8-ounce gloves on I can hit. On Saturday you’ll see.” 
 
Rylan Charlton:
 
“I’ve always been a 135-pound fighter, we just had the opportunities at Welterweight and it was great because I got my name out there. Now it’s time to show everyone what I can really do and show how effective my power is at Lightweight.
 
“Everyone’s got their styles, you’ve back foot fighters which he is, you’ve got come forward fighters, and it’s whoever is going toe execute their game plan better on the night.” 

Pete McGrail”
 
“Big thank you to you Eddie, Matchroom and DAZN in giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills on the biggest platform. I’m just looking forward to putting a show on for the crowd, it’s been a long time coming to box on a big stage in front of my friends and family – my city. I’m just looking forward to it now.
 
“I’ve been training alongside Fowler for years with Team GB and Beefy has always wished me well over the years if I’ve ever needed any advice. I wish them both a very good fight and may the best man win.
 
“I’ll be bringing World Titles back to the city of Liverpool, I’ve always managed to perform well on the amateur stage, and I’ve always been at a high level. For me, this next year or two I’m looking to be as busy as possible, box as many stars and gain as much experience as possible – we’ll go from there.” 
 
Blane Hyland:
 
“I’m looking forward to getting out there on Saturday, really excited, if the ring was set up outside, I’d be waiting for Saturday night. I want to thank Matchroom for getting me on this bill and I’m looking forward to putting on a show in front of my own crowd.” 
 
Rhiannon Dixon:
 
“I was out for a long time, around two years because of the pandemic, obviously with my day job that took precedent. I’m just excited to get my career off again and trying to keep as active as possible.
 
“I haven’t come from the conventional route, but I’ve had a crash course in boxing now, I’m learning from the best in Joe, sparring Natasha (Jonas), Anthony (Crolla) has taken me under his wing, he’s a World Champion and knows what he’s doing. I can’t wait to show everyone what I’m about and what I’ve been doing.”
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I’LL BE GOING HOME WITH THE BRITISH TITLE SAYS WILLIAMSON

Trojan’ primed for Cheeseman test
Troy Williamson is determined to prove that he is the number one 154lbs fighter in the country when he takes on two-time British Super-Welterweight Champion Ted Cheeseman for the Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool this Saturday October 9, live worldwide on DAZN

‘Trojan’ (16-0-1, 12 KOs) landed his shot at the famous belt by stopping Scotland’s Kieran Smith in six rounds of their Final Eliminator at York Hall earlier this year, and the chiselled 30-year-old from Darlington believes that a win over Cheeseman will place him at the top the stacked 154lbs division. 

Williamson, who spent two years with the Team GB set up in Sheffield during his amateur days, concedes that Cheeseman has the upper hand in terms of the level or previous opponents faced, but insists that this won’t matter when the bell rings and he takes on his toughest challenge to date.

“I’ve been saying for years that I deserve the chance to be involved in these big fights,” said Williamson. “I’ve told everyone that I’m good enough and this is my chance to prove it. I believe that I’m the best 154lbs fighter in the division. 

“I’ve been offered some big fights in the past and I’ve accepted them all. It’s just unfortunate that some of them never happened for whatever reason. As soon as the Ted Cheeseman fight got mentioned I accepted it because he’s a warrior. 

“This Saturday we’re getting down to business. Ted is a great two-time British Champion. That says it all. He’s the number one fighter in the division. You can’t deny that. I just know what I possess and what I’m going to bring on the night. I’ll be going home with the British Title. 

“We’ve had a similar number of fights; I think he’s had one or two more fights than me. I’ve not had it the easy way. I’ve had it tough when I had to sell tickets myself on these small hall shows. I’ve not had no bums just to knock over. I’ve come through the hard way and it will show on the night that experience won’t matter.

“You’re going to see the best of me on Saturday. The better the opponent, the better version of Troy Williamson you’ll see. Ted Cheeseman is the biggest fight of my career and he’s probably the best fighter I’ve boxed in my career. It’s going to be a cracker, there’s going to be fireworks. 
 
“I carry power in both hands. If I hit anyone on the chin at 11st in 10oz gloves I’m going to hurt them. If the stoppage comes it comes. We both like to have a tear up, we’re both fit and both very tough. I’m not one to backdown from a fight. When the big fights come I’ll always take them and so will Ted.”

Cheeseman vs. Williamson 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, WBA Bantamweight World Champion Shannon Courtenay (7-1, 3 KOs) defends her crown for the first time against the USA’s Jamie Mitchell (6-0-2, 4 KOs), 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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I CAN SEE A STOPPAGE AROUND MIDWAY SAYS CONWAY

‘Too Class’ faces Metcalf in must-win Liverpool showdown
Kieron Conway says he will be too big and too strong for James Metcalf when they clash in a must-win Super-Welterweight showdown this Saturday October 9 at the sold-out M&S Bank Arena Liverpool, live worldwide on DAZN.

Both men will be hoping to return to winning ways after suffering losses in their last fights – Conway at the hands of Frenchman Souleymane Cissokho on the huge Canelo vs. Saunders card in Texas and Metcalf at the hands of Ted Cheeseman in a brilliant British Title clash in Gibraltar. 

‘Too Class’ (16-2-1, 3 KOs), who fought to a draw with Cheeseman when they met at Bethnal Green’s York Hall back in June 2019, wasn’t overawed when he stepped out to box in front of 70,000 fans at the AT&T Stadium and is relishing facing Liverpudlian Metcalf on away territory. 

“He likes to move his feet in and out and side to side,” said Conway. “He’ll try to make it hard for me. Those things aren’t going to matter. We’ve all been hit hard, and I’ve been hit harder than James Metcalf can hit. I’m going to be ready for anything that he throws at me.

“I’m a big guy for the weight and he’s a small guy. He should be a weight below. Physical attributes are going to play a big part in this fight from the get-go. My boxing skills, knowledge and experience is going to come in to play as the fight goes on. 

“I can see a stoppage happening around midway. I’m going to hit him a lot of times. I see me taking centre of the ring and him trying to push me back. I’ll do whatever I’ve got to do, not necessarily pushing him back, but I’ll take the centre of the ring and I’ll keep it. 

“He’ll try and rough up, make it a mess, swing and try to knock me out. At the end of the day, his only chance is to knock me out. JJ’s fight with Ted Cheeseman was an outstanding fight, but you don’t need to be in those fights, especially when you’re getting on a bit in your career. 

“I’m not sure who has more pressure on their shoulders. I do know that there’s pressure on me to win this fight. It’s not affecting me, because what will be will be. What will be is a Kieron Conway win. British level isn’t all that Conway will be, and I’m ready to prove that now.”

Conway vs. Metcalf 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, WBA Bantamweight World Champion Shannon Courtenay (7-1, 3 KOs) defends her crown for the first time against the USA’s Jamie Mitchell (6-0-2, 4 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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ANTHONY JOSHUA AND MATCHROOM SIGN NEW CAREER-LONG PROMOTIONAL DEAL

Unified Heavyweight World Champion defends crowns against Usyk this Saturday
Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua OBE has signed a new career-long promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. 
 
The IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO ruler puts his crowns on the line against former Undisputed Cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London this Saturday September 25.
 
‘AJ’ turned professional with Matchroom Boxing in October 2013 after memorably capturing gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Super-Heavyweight category and becoming an instant star in the UK. 
 
Quickly establishing himself as one of the most devastating punchers in the Heavyweight division with a series of brutal KO’s, Joshua picked up the vacant Commonwealth crown with another huge stoppage win over Gary Cornish in Greenwich. 
 
The O2 became a home fortress for Joshua and his next assignment came against old amateur foe Dillian Whyte in December 2015. The pair were involved in a heated build-up before AJ made it 15 KOs in a row against ‘The Body Snatcher’, claiming the prestigious British Title in the process. 
 
Joshua climbed the ranks until he was in a position to fight for his first World Title in April 2016 against IBF titleholder Charles Martin, who he quickly destroyed inside five minutes before making short work of American opponents Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina in his first two title defences.
 
Joshua’s breakthrough victory came when he produced the performance of a lifetime to claim the WBA Title against modern legend Wladimir Klitschko in an unforgettable battle in front of a post war record crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.
 
He went on to sell-out the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales twice, defending his belts against the tough Cameroonian Carlos Takam in October 2017 before unifying the division by taking Joseph Parker’s WBO belt in March 2018.
 
Joshua defended his World Titles with a devastating knockout of dangerous Russian Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium in September 2018 in what was the Olympic Champion’s fourth straight stadium fight in front of over 80,000 fans. 
 
In his quest for global domination, the British sensation signed to defend his World Titles against Brooklyn’s Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York on June 1 2019, but the Brooklyn native failed a series of drug tests leaving Joshua’s team searching for a replacement opponent for his big American debut.
 
Joshua’s quest to become the Undisputed Heavyweight king was temporarily halted in its tracks as late stand in opponent Andy Ruiz Jr floored him four times on route to a monumental seventh round stoppage win that shocked the world. 
 
After tasting defeat for the first time in his professional career, Joshua jumped into an immediate rematch with Ruiz Jr on neutral ground to reclaim his position at the number one Heavyweight on the planet. 

Ruiz and Joshua met again in a colossal ‘Clash on the Dunes’ in the historical town of Diriyah in Saudi Arabia, with the Watford man putting on a brilliant display of boxing to widely outpoint the Mexican to become a two-time Heavyweight World Champion.
 
Joshua returned home to take on his IBF Mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at The SSE Arena, Wembley a year later in December 2020 after their June meeting at the home of Tottenham Hotspur was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
In the first fight attended by a British crowd since the global pandemic began, Joshua dominated and then floored Pulev to score a brutal ninth-round knockout. The Bulgarian was down on three occasions, twice in the final round, before ‘AJ’ ended the fight with a vicious right hand. 
 
“We’ve built some great foundations over the years and I appreciate Matchroom – the company, the team, the family business,” said Joshua. “That’s kind of what drew me towards you guys as well, the integrity that the Hearns have when it comes to boxing and business. 
 
“I’ve felt comfortable during my years as a boxer and I always felt that the business outside of sport is harder than the actual fighting due to the history and some of the problems that some fighters have had. So, to be with Matchroom Sport has been a blessing for myself, my family and my team. 
 
“Outside of that, what Matchroom Sport have done is created an environment for boxing fans. The shows that we have managed to put on have been phenomenal. When I walk out to fight, I look around and I’m like, ‘mate, this is unbelievable’. 
 
“From where we began, to the middle of the journey, the foundations we have created are phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. In my humble opinion, what better place to be than Matchroom Boxing? I have heard that my signature was hot property. I’m happy where I am. A handshake is good enough for me, but the signature solidifies it and I’m happy where my signature is. 
 
“Thank you to Eddie Hearn, Barry Hearn and the family, Frank Smith and all of the Matchroom staff, as well as Freddie Cunningham and the team at 258MGT.”

 “When AJ and I met in the Matchroom HQ 8 years ago, we had a vision and a dream that we shared together,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “There is something quite special about sharing a journey together from the professional debut to the day the gloves are hung up, but it takes a huge amount of belief and an unwavering loyalty. Over those 8 years, AJ has been the face of British boxing, inspiring a new generation and audience to the sport we love.

“This is the fourth and final promotional agreement we have signed together, and I am honoured that AJ has confirmed his future with Matchroom. Just like we did from the debut, myself and the great team at Matchroom will continue to work relentlessly for Anthony in the many chapters that remain. I also want to thank Frank Smith and the whole team at Matchroom along with Freddie Cunningham and 258 who we have had a seamless partnership with. Here is to an amazing night this Saturday and many more for us all to savour.”
 
“The partnership between Matchroom, Anthony and 258MGT has been fantastic since day one,” said 258MGT Managing Director Freddie Cunningham. “Together we have all worked hand in hand to break records and sell out iconic venues all over the world. Matchroom have been a key component in helping give Anthony the platform to hit the pinnacle of his sport and we are excited to embark on the next part of the journey and make more history together. The deal has been a while in the making so we are really pleased to have it signed and sealed before another huge fight on Saturday night.”
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EGGINGTON WINS EPIC WAR AGAINST JKITOU

On a busy night of boxing shows that were all left in the shade, Hennessy Sports promoted a sensational event featuring the Fight of the Year between proud warriors Sam Eggington and Bilel Jkitou at the Coventry Skydome Arena last night with the Savage coming out the winner by split decision in a tremendous all-action battle that left fans’ breathless. 

Eggington put his WBC Silver Middleweight title on the line for the first time, whilst Frenchman Jkitou bravely risked his 15 fight unbeaten record to come to England and face Eggington, but has now seen his stock rise considerably after last night and present himself as a new star.

The humble yet consummate pro Eggington is now on the cusp of challenging for a World title and with that epic performance he has left some so called PPV stars to shame.

Jkitou started the aggressor taking the fight to Sam in the opening early session of the first, with the Birmingham man looking to feel his way in but he quickly stamped his own brutal brand by going toe-to-toe.

Sticking close to each other and planting their feet, the pair traded big hooks, uppercuts and ripping in body shots with each other as neither man wanted to give way.  Jkitou was cheered on by a large group of loud supporters who had made the journey to England and Eggington had his own band of loyal followers making their noise.

With the intense action going back and forth in the early rounds and both men having their moments of success, in the fourth Bilel landed a good left hook with Eggington feeling it, but coming straight back with his own punches.

Eggington looked the busier man with his straight-punching and landed the more decisive and heavier shots.  His eyes started to swell midway in the fight and his right eye picked up some small cuts with their heads rubbing closely, but expert cuts man Kerry Kayes in the corner worked his magic which did not affect Eggington’s vision in the fight.

Still just 27, Eggington, Britain’s most exciting fighter, looked to be getting ahead from sixth round landing more shots and bringing in his extensive championship title experience but Jkitou was still dangerous getting success with his own punches.

At the start of the eighth, Eggington looked to use some distance and box, but Jkitou unleashed some big shots starting with a big left hook and unloading with Eggington on the ropes.  Sam quickly firing back and later in the round landed his own perfect five-punch combo close up.

With the crowd on their feet, the final three rounds were fought at a ferocious pace just like the opening rounds with broadcaster Channel 5 having Eggington three rounds up going into the ninth.  With pride now on the line and neither man willing to relent, they dug deep and carried on their fierce exchanges until the final bell.

It went to the judges scorecards and they were split, with one scoring it 116-112 for Jkitou, but the other two both had it 117-112 in favour of Eggington.

Eggington, who wears his heart on sleeve every time and often doesn’t receive the recognition he deserves, said modestly afterwards, “I was fit and ready but I made harder work of it than I should have.  I should have boxed a bit more early on in the fight and I gave him ground a bit and I enjoy it most of the time, but when you do that it’s hard to get out of it so I slipped into trying to box and reverted back into going in and having a war.  He caught me in the eye with jabs a few times and a lot of heads, I thought the split was a bit harsh.  I thought he won a few rounds, more rounds than he should have done, than [the judges] should have given him.  But it is what it is, it’s tough, he’s 15-0 and he can dig and he caught me a few times so it is what it is and I should have made easier work of it, but I got the win.”

The live opener on Channel 5 saw Irish dynamo Stevie ‘The Hitman’ McKenna extended for the first time in his career as he won every round against tough Moussa Gary and took his record to unbeaten in nine.  McKenna looked to blow away Frenchman Gary with his big and heavy shots, but Gary, a quality operator with a granite chin, was an awkward customer and the Country Monaghan ace couldn’t nail him, but going the extra rounds at full pace would have given him vital career experience. 

Also on the card: Birmingham Welterweight Kaisee Benjamin KO’d Jarkko Putkonen in the third round (1:09); Coventry Middleweight star River Wilson-Bent outpointed Gabor Gorbics over 10 rounds (100-90); Birmingham’s Former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Shakan Pitters beat Farouk Daku over eight (80-70); Brighton heavyweight Tommy Welch won every round against Alvaro Terrero (40-36); Brixton light-heavyweight Isaac Chamberlain won by RTD1 against Ben Thomas; Sevenoaks Michael Hennessy Jr. won by first round KO (2:15) against Maksims Dembovskis; County Monaghan middleweight Aaron McKenna outpointed Ivica Gogosevic over six rounds (60-52) and finally show opener County Donegal super-welterweight Brett McGintywon by third round KO (1:17) against Teodor Nikolov.

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