|Conor Benn:“People aren’t giving van Heerden a chance here which surprises me. For people to be saying, ‘why’s he fighting van Heerden?’, that’s a backhanded compliment really. They are trying not to show me respect but really they are because you wouldn’t have put me in this position two years ago, three years ago, four years ago. So, it doesn’t really matter what people think at the end of the day because progression is real. “I love challenges. I thrive off of challenges, so do all fighters. We are all competitive and we love to compete and this is a challenge. This is a different type of challenge that I am prepared and will overcome with flying passing colours. “I’m going to go in if I see an opportunity. I’ll take it. “I knocked out Algieri out like no one else has. I’m going to knock Van Heerden out like no one else has. I believe that passion and hard work can get you anywhere. “It’s not emotion, I just fight with passion. I work extremely hard and it ain’t just me working hard. It’s six years of sacrifice to let a moment like this slip between my fingers.”|
Chris van Heerden:“All respect for Conor for giving me this opportunity. I have nothing but respect for him. I am ready for this. I have visualised this moment… I was supposed to fight in the UK a couple of times… It was always a dream and a vision. I have what it takes to be in that top 10. I see it. I didn’t come here for paycheck. I didn’t come here to get a fight. I came here for my career. I came here to win and get my career back on track and get back in that top 10. I do believe in myself, and I do believe that I have everything it takes to get right back up there.
“I respect Conor Benn and I believe he is right up there with the best and that is why I took this fight. I want to be competitive and if you talk about boxing, I do believe I am a better boxer than Conor, all around better boxer. He’s an angry, aggressive fighter. He’s a fighter. I’m a boxer. And I do believe that I have the skill to show that I am a better boxer than Conor.
“I was offered a bunch of other fights, way easier fights. But I believe that Conor is right up there, and I am there to test him and see if he’s really, really legit.
“I just wish my dad was here because we spoke about this moment for a long time. I left him for eight years, every birthday, every Christmas, chasing this dream. And then my dad was brutally murdered three years ago. But we did it and we are here. So, I feel it. This is it.”
Chris Billam-Smith:“It was a good fight last time but for me this is giving me the opportunity to put this to bed and prove my performance can be so much better than it was last time. And, I have proved that in camp. I will put on a superb performance on Saturday night. “Now I know the ways to get around him and get the knockout.”
Tommy McCarthy:“The last fight was so close and I’m so happy to get the rematch so we can set the record straight and get the win again… He may have to cancel Bournemouth because I am winning this on Saturday night. “As long as I win on Saturday night, that is all that I’m focused on. It is a must win. And I have to stay concentrated on it. I am fully focused. “He did it the gentlemanly way and gave me a shot (of rematch) when he didn’t have to give me one. There was so much controversy with the first one. The respect is earned and I don’t have any ill feelings especially because the fight we had was one of the fights of the year. “As long as we are in the ring throwing shots, I need to be switched on.”
Alycia Baumgardner: “I’m more than ready. As you know, I love to fight. I stayed in the gym to stay ready. What builds a fighter are these experienced fighters. I know she’s a fighter and she’s well-seasoned. It tells me that she’s never been stopped before, so I know what’s important and I know what I need to do come Saturday night. “You will see a dominating performance even if it goes the distance, you will see a seasoned fighter – you know just a different calibre of who I am. We want the knockout, and the power is real.”I will be undisputed at 130 pounds. I believe it and I’ve received it. I understand who I am as a fighter. That fight with Mayer is a big fight for women’s boxing and as we continue to grow the sport, we will continue to build in the sport.”
Edith Soledad Matthysse:“I’ve accumulated a lot of experience and it’s very important in my game. I’ve come here to win and I’m hoping to clock up a win on Saturday not only for me but also for my country, Argentina. “Saturday, I hope to be leaving here victorious.”
Jack Cullen:“Last fight was in the bag, but it was what it was. I’ve shook it off. I’ve gotten over it through Christmas and I’m back training hard. He wants to knock me out so it’s going to be a belting fight. “The game plan is to box and do what I do best. We will get through this, flying colours and hopefully see a rematch once we get past this, no injuries.”
Vladimir Belujsky:“I’ve been watching Jack for the last two or three years and I’ve always fancied his fights. I was hoping to get this fight. “I know the plan on Saturday night and I’m looking forward to it. “All that’s on my mind right now is to knock him out. There’s nothing else I’m going into the ring with. Just to knock him out and get him out of there.”Campbell Hatton:“This weekend is my opportunity to box in front of my friends and family. Since I started the sport, people have been desperate to get behind me and now is the time. “We went away to Spain and there was no pressure on me at all. It was about going in there and concentrating on the job, relaxing and settling down.”
Jordan Thompson:“I think he (Gudino) is going to pose a few different looks… I think I’ve just got to go out there and enjoy myself. And again, I’ll put on another display or artistic violence. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and putting on a show for the fans. “I believe in myself. I know what I’m capable of. Those who know me know what I’m capable of. For me, it’s about when the opportunity comes, you’ve got to be ready for it and take it. Which I’m sure I will be and when the time comes, I’m sure it will be special.”
Mario Angel Gudino:“I’ve been taking up experiences around Europe. I’ve been in Belgium and Norway on my journey here. Come Saturday, it’s a great opportunity for me to extend that experience and hopefully take away a victory.”
Cyrus Pattinson:“I know he’s very durable. I’ve not really stopped since April last year, no longer than a week off from the gym. It’s about building up momentum, getting through every fight. And I think that’s when you’ll see the best Cyrus Pattinson. “It’s all about getting the rounds in. Going from three rounds straight in Essex, it’s a big jump going to eight… I obviously want to get to that level to start competing for titles.”
Thomas Whittaker-Hart:“I’m happy that I’m out again and I can build on the momentum. I just want to keep busy and keep fighting… I can push on and keep looking for a title. I want to keep fighting and keep progressing to different levels. I am happy. “I’m coming to win. I’ve had a lot of experience in the amateur game. I’m used to people commenting on it. You will see more skills. I’m happy about it and I’m looking forward to the fight and putting on a great performance.”
Luke Evans:“I’m absolutely buzzing to be here… Manchester Arena, it’s what every kid dreams of when you come from Manchester. I’m just from down the road in Salford. Done a lot of tickets like you said. It’s just a very proud moment for myself coming from the small hall scene. This is my opportunity to take on the big stage and I have to take advantage of that. “This is what dreams are made of. This is my opportunity and I’ve got to seize the moment. Most importantly, I’ve just got to enjoy it. “In boxing, it’s a funny old game. You never know where you’re going to be or where you’re going to end up. So, I’ve got to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
James Metcalf:“It’ll be good to get out again ahead of the big one in Spain next month.”The best James Metcalf can win this fight, definitely.”
A former European champion stands in Jazza Dickens’ way as he sets out on the road to a second shot at the world featherweight title.
Dickens faces Andoni Gago over 10 rounds at Probellum Liverpool at the M&S Bank Arena on April 22, on a huge night of world championship boxing in the city.
The 33-year-old will be fighting in his hometown for the first time in almost three years and fully intends on making the most of being back on his old stomping ground.
Dickens, who now trains under Peter Taylor in Dublin, returns to action after losing last summer’s IBF world title fight with Kid Galahad and knows facing Gago is a tough way to start off on the comeback trail.
“I am back in front of my home fans for the first time in almost three years and I am so determined to make this moment count,” Dickens said.
“I have been working extremely hard for the past half a year and given I am fighting in Liverpool I would be crazy not to soak it all up.
“The way my career has gone, I don’t know when I will be fighting at home again, so I plan on making the most of this opportunity in front of my fans as I rebuild towards a world title fight.”
Spain’s Gago held the European title at 126lbs between 2019-2021 and Dickens is under no illusions as to what faces him later this month in Liverpool.
“Gago is a really good opponent for me at this point,” Dickens, who has sparred Tyrone McKenna in the build-up, said.
“Given his record and what he has achieved in boxing, I know this will be a tough night and a very good challenge.
“But I am feeling no pressure, only excitement about being back in Liverpool.”
Dickens’ eagerly anticipated return forms part of a card which sees a world title double header later this month.
Local hero Paul Butler challenges John Riel Casimero for the WBO bantamweight title, while Sam Maxwell – a former amateur club mate of Dickens’ – goes for the IBO super-lightweight crown on a ‘life changing’ night.
A packed bill also features the latest professional contests for Peter McGrail, Rocky Fielding and the debut of stand-out amateur Luke McCormack.
Ritson headlines the big night of boxing at the Utilita Arena, which also sees stand-out amateur Pat McCormack make his highly anticipated professional debut, and the atmosphere as the local hero hit the scales was a taste of what is to come on Friday.
McCormack, who faces a late change of opponent, features as the co-main event with Troy Williamson defending his British super-welterweight title on a packed card.
UK fight fans can watch the action live on Eurosport’s linear channels, discovery+ and Eurosport App, with the fights also being shown around the world.
The broadcast is due to start at 9pm local time.
10 Rounds Super-lightweight contest
Lewis Ritson (22-2) 10st
Dejan Zlaticanin (24-3) 9st 13lbs
6 Rounds Welterweight contest
Pat McCormack (debut) (weighs in tomorrow)
Justin Menzie (5-5-1) (weighs in tomorrow)
BRITISH SUPER-WELTERWEIGHT TITLE – 12 Rounds
Troy Williamson (17-0-1) 11st
Mason Cartwright (17-2-1) 10st 13lbs 12oz
6 Rounds Super-middleweight contest
Mark Dickinson (2-0) 11st 8lbs
Peter Kramer (11-4-3) 11st 6lbs
10 Rounds Featherweight contest
Thomas Patrick Ward (31-0-1) 9st 3lbs
Alexis Boureima Kabore (28-5) 8st 13lbs
6 Rounds Light-heavyweight contest
Ben Rees (debut) (weighs in tomorrow)
Greg O’Neill (6-6) (weighs in tomorrow)
6 Rounds Welterweight contest
Joe Laws (12-1) 11st 11lbs
Alexey Tukhtarov (4-27-6) 10st 13lbs
6 Rounds Cruisweight contest
Robert Ismay (10-0) (weighs in tomorrow)
Christian Adjoufack (0-7) (weighs in tomorrow)
6 Rounds Super-flyweight contest
Joe Maphosa (11-1) 8st 5lbs
Santiago el Eusibio (3-3-2) 8st 4lbs
4 Rounds Cruiserweight
Stephen Sayer (debut) 13st 8lbs
Daryl Sharp (6-85-1) 13st 12lbs
4 Rounds Super-welterweight contest
Alex Farrell (6-0) (weighs in tomorrow)
Konstantin Alexandrov (10-53-4) (weighs in tomorrow)
4 Rounds Lightweight contest
Adam Cope (3-0) (weighs in tomorrow)
Jonny Phillips (5-9) (weighs in tomorrow)
LONDON, MARCH 23 – Former flyweight king Charlie Edwards wants to make British boxing history by joining his brother Sunny as a reigning world champion.
The 29-year-old has today signed a promotional deal with Probellum, the fastest growing brand in boxing, and firmly set his sights on winning a world crown at a new weight.
The former WBC flyweight champion is aiming to become a two-weight title holder this year and sit with his brother Sunny, who brilliantly defended his IBF flyweight belt at Probellum Evolution in Dubai on Saturday, at the top of the sport.
The dream for Charlie is that he and Sunny could fight for world titles on the same card and with Probellum’s backing, the Surrey-born stylist knows it will become a reality.
“I’ve been a world champion but now I am focused on creating history and leaving a legacy in this sport,”said Edwards (17-1 , 7KO)
“I want titles at super-flyweight and to move through the weight divisions, it is my intention to go down as one of the greatest fighters in British boxing history and I know Probellum share my vision.
“I have no doubt that they can help Sunny and I realise our dream of winning world titles on the same card to create a landmark moment for boxing in this country.
“I have seen first-hand the work Probellum have done with Sunny and how they are superbly promoting the smaller weights because they know we always deliver, pound-for-pound, some of the best fights in the sport.”
Speaking about the announcement, Probellum President, Richard Schaefer added:“We are delighted to have secured the signing of Charlie Edwards, already a world class fighter who has big plans to become a multi-weight world champion.
“Charlie’s attitude and mindset fits perfectly with Probellum’s whole outlook for boxing and we are going to do everything in our power to help deliver those world title shots for him.
“Probellum is all about breaking new ground in boxing and having Charlie and Sunny fighting for world titles on the same card is exactly the type of historic promotion that we are focused on delivering.”
Edwards won the flyweight title in 2018 when he out-pointed Nicaraguan Cristofer Rosales before making a successful defence of the WBC belt the following year against Spain’s Angel Moreno.
The former Great Britain amateur star decided to vacate his belt in late 2019 but after fighting only twice since 2020, Edwards is ready to kick-start his career under the Probellum banner this year.
|Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:|
“Welcome to London, a huge press conference for a fantastic fight. I say Domestic fight, but also a fight that has such huge ramifications for the world 175lbs scene.
“Joshua Buatsi, Olympic bronze medallist against Craig Richards, a man who’s won British Titles, challenged for the World Title as well. This is a kind of fight that gets me excited, this is the kind of fight that seems so obvious. Two brilliant Domestic fighters but also two world class fighters as well.
“A World Title challenger in Craig Richards and a man that many believe is destined for greatness at 175lbs. I want to thank to teams of both fighters; you need to understand these guys know each other. One from Croydon and one from Crystal Palace, a stone’s throw from each other and they’ve known each other for many years.
“Sometimes in boxing they don’t want to make these fights, trainers, managers, advisors, fighters – ‘we’ll wait for our World Title shot’. You need to stop waiting, fighters out there that are queuing up for a World Title shot that is not imminent, don’t stall your career when you could be involved in brilliant fights, fights that could take your career to another level. That’s what we’ve got May 21 in London.”
“A few months ago, I sat in your [Eddie’s] office and said get me these fights, there’s good Light-Heavyweights in the country so it’s good to mix it with one of them. As fighters you go to shows and watch, when there’s a main event with a buzz you think I wish I was in there. I’ve got mine now, for me it’s’ now just preparing for May 21, Spider will bring his A game but I’m ready.
“I wouldn’t dub it as the hardest test, for me, it’s just the most important fight in my career right now. It’s the next fight, the fight I must win, last time with Bolotniks but this time it’s Spider. I’ll prepared as diligently as I do, come May 21 I’ll be ready.
“I have to thank Matchroom and Spider’s team, also my team, for making this fight happen. Fighters can tend to wait for the opportunity, for me currently it’s looking a bit tricky, but I’ve got a good fight and that’s what I’m concentrating on.
“I think that [Canelo] makes this a big fight for me, makes it even more important. I know what is at stake, what the reward is and that’s what I said when I was in Arizona. I’ll fight these guys as long as I know what’s next. This may lead to a World Title fight next so for me, I’m easy, no matter who it is I’m prepared.
“I’m at the point where I want to fight these guys, I want to get into these big fights. May 21 is the first stop and when we handle that, we deal with whoever is next.”
“This is nothing new, outside I’m cool and calm probably like a lot of boxers but when I’m in that ring I know what time it is. I know what I need to do, and the situation is, nice guys come last and that’s what it is in the ring. Outside the ring be how you want to be, but in that ring, I know what I have to do. In May I’ll be ready.”
“I think this was a fight that was always going to be in the pipeline, I believed I was going to get to world level, I believed he [Buatsi] was obviously destined for world level as well so we knew our paths would cross at some point. It’s a good clash.
“For myself, I want to get back into the mix, challenge and win a World Title. I think this is the bridge to cross to make that happen today.
“Obviously I’ve been thrown in the deep end a few times and I’ve just been swimming and swimming. I have no regrets because that’s what has put me in this position today, I’ve had a lot of domestic clashes, grudge matches and cross path fights. That’s all built my experience and ability to be confident enough to go in to win and win on May 21.
“I believe if I didn’t have those fights, it would be a harder fight, if this fight was scheduled without the experience. I’m ready to go, that’s what’s made me confident, I’m seeing the growth in myself every fight and every week, every day in gym. I’m just looking forward to going out and perform, showing that experience of the hard route.
“If you look at the titles I’ve won at Light-Heavyweight, I think three of the fights I was the underdog in those. When I beat Jake Ball, I was a massive underdog, they wrote me off and I went out there, delivered and got the knockout. My last title fight I was the favourite, but it didn’t mean anything different, I went out and delivered. If the bookies want to sleep on me that’s up to them. The same person is in front of me, I’m not interested in the bookies or what people say, I’ve got a job to do, and I’ll deliver.
“Josh is going to the gym to iron out all of his flaws fight by fight, what I have seen is that he showed heart and grit. I know he’s got the will to win, and he will come to win. Like the other unbeaten fighters I’ve faced, more importantly, they’ve more will to win. I know he isn’t going to come out and lie down, that’s for me to go and prepare to make sure I get the task done.
“He’s not a stupid guy, he’s very intelligent, he’s not silly enough to just gas himself up saying yeah, I’m going to walk over Richards. I know he’s going to be preparing very hard, he’s going to invest in his camp and preparing diligently for me.
“I’m not going to be looking at him thinking this is a walk over, I’ll be preparing just as hard if not harder for him. We both know we’re in for a solid fight May 21 and I don’t anyone’s sleeping in each other. I believe we’ll both be well prepared and bringing out A games May 21.
“I think I’ve got the capabilities to win in any way, the most important thing is to prepare all-round the board. I’ve got to be prepared for everything, at this level you can’t just say I’m going to win it by a jab or closing him down. You’ve got prepare for Plan A, B, C or D, you might have to get rough and ready or box and be clever. It all depends on the night, you’ve just got to make sure you’ve prepared, have all your game plans and be fit, ready and strong. On the night just make it happen, listen to your team most importantly and execute what you need to win the fight.”
|South London rivals meet on May 21|
|Joshua Buatsi will face former World Title challenger Craig Richards in a huge all London Light-Heavyweight clash on Saturday May 21, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).|
Croydon’s Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs) scored his tenth knockout in a row when he stopped Latvia’s Ricards Bolotniks in the eleventh round of their WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title Eliminator on the third and final week of Matchroom Fight Camp in August.
The 29-year-old was set to face Russia’s former World Title challenger Maxim Vlasov on the undercard of Joseph Parker’s rematch with Derek Chisora at the AO Arena in Manchester in December before suffering a hand injury.
Crystal Palace’s former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Richards (17-2-1, 10 KOs) put in a spirited display as he pushed WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol all the way in his first World Title attempt in May 2021.
‘Spider’ returned to winning ways at The O2 last October on the Cameron vs. McGee undercard, impressively stopping Poland’s Marek Matyja in six rounds to earn the vacant WBA International Light-Heavyweight Title.
“Two London boys coming together, it’s going to be a huge night,” said Buatsi. “The Light-Heavyweight scene in this country is thriving and I’m glad that we are able to get one of the biggest fights made. The crowd are going to be in for a treat. I am coming to win and nothing else, I am sure Richards is doing the same. He had a close fight with Bivol so will want to make things straight, but I have other plans. Win well and then push onto the World Title by any means necessary.”
“We’re two top tier fighters from the UK,” said Richards. “This is one of the biggest London domestic clashes for a long time. This is a very exciting fight for us both, but also one the fans will enjoy. Buatsi has got his plans and I’m sure he be well prepared, but nobody is going to stop me from fulfilling my destiny of becoming a World Champion! He is a solid competitor and will be coming to win, but I am confident and believe I have the tools to get the job done. I proved myself at world level and I’m eager to prove that’s where I belong.”
“A big well done and thank you to Joshua and Craig for taking this fight, it’s exactly the kind of fight boxing should be making,” said Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman. “Two domestic Light-Heavyweights on the verge of a World Title shot decide to put it on the line rather than wait in a queue, giving us a fantastic battle of London that can only be a thriller.”
“Who doesn’t love a big domestic dust up? And this certainly fits that description, what a fantastic fight this is set to be,” said Ed Breeze, EVP Rights at DAZN. “With an electric Light-Heavyweight scene in the UK, Joshua Buatsi will face a big test on May 21 against former World Title challenger Craig Richards. This will be all out action from start to finish, all live and exclusively on DAZN.”
*Venue to be confirmed tomorrow at launch press conference
Probellum is today delighted to announce the landmark promotional signing of super-lightweight superstar Jack Catterall – the signature that everyone in boxing wanted.
Catterall is currently ranked number one in the world by ESPN after controversially being denied the chance of taking undisputed champion Josh Taylor’s crown last month in Glasgow after two of the ringside judges inexplicably ruled against him in a decision that shocked the boxing world.
The sport was united in its outrage against the major injustice but Catterall’s masterclass performance did not go unnoticed and British boxing authorities were quick to urge the world sanctioning bodies to install the 28-year-old as mandatory challenger for each of their titles.
To build on that endorsement, he was flown to Dubai to announce his new promotional deal with
Probellum, the global boxing promotion and fastest-growing brand in the sport, ringside as French Olympic gold medallist Estelle Mossley made history in becoming the first female to headline a boxing event in the Middle East at Probellum Evolution on March 18.
Catterall will also have his eyes firmly focused on tomorrow’s WBC final eliminator between Regis Prograis and Tyrone McKenna, and believes that joining Probellum will play a key role in getting him a well-deserved second shot at world glory.
“Everyone in boxing knows that I won the fight with Taylor and that I should be standing here with all four of the super-lightweight belts as the undisputed champion of the world,” said Jack Catterall, nicknamed ‘El Gato’.
“I showed the world that at I am the best man in the 140lbs division and signing with Probellum will provide me with the opportunities to claim the belts that are rightfully mine.
“I will be ringside again on Saturday night here in Dubai, to watch Prograis against McKenna very closely and I really fancy a fight with the winner. I just can’t wait to get back in the ring and fighting again.”
“This is another huge moment for the Probellum business. Jack is the hottest signature in boxing right now and everyone was making moves to sign him,” commented Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum.
“He decided to join us because he buys into the Probellum mission to change boxing and knows we are the right promoter to fulfil his clear ambition to become the undisputed world champion.
“I was absolutely stunned about what happened in Glasgow and there is no doubt in my mind that Jack should be walking around as the undisputed super-lightweight champion of the world right now.
“We feel his pain and Probellum will leave no stone unturned to make sure Jack quickly gets the chance to fight for the world titles that should already be his.”
Catterall becomes the latest big name to join Probellum alongside Nonito Donaire, Regis Prograis, Estelle Mossely, Lee McGregor, Donnie Nietes, Dina Thorslund and Muhammad Waseem.
The company has also recruited the next generation of stars with Peter and Joe McGrail, Mark Dickinson, Pat and Luke McCormack and Shabaz Masoud among the young talents under the Probellum umbrella.
Chris Bourke – 121lb 5oz
Marc Leach – 121lb 4oz
Frank Arnold – 131lb 9oz
Paul Holt – 131lb 5oz
Karol Ituama – 176lb 3oz
Jiri Kroupa – 173lb 9oz
Jake Henty – 149lb
Henrich Herak – 150lb 2oz
Joshua Frankham – 150lb 2oz
Dario Borosa – 151lb 3oz
Willo Hayden – 138lb 3oz
Michael Walton – 140lb
Aloys ‘Junior’ Youmbi – 199lb 5oz
Tayar Medmed – 201lb
Arnold Obodai – 205lb 1oz
Hassan Oseni – 200lb 3oz
Jamie Chamberlain & Constantin Radoi to weigh-in tomorrow.
Crowd pleasing super-featherweight Alex Dilmaghani has signed a promotional deal with Probellum in a bid to revive his world title dream.
The 29-year-old was involved in back-to-back Fight of the Year contenders and is ready to use Probellum’s global backing to showcase his all-action style to the biggest audience possible.
Dilmaghani drew a thrilling IBO world title fight with Francisco Fonseca in 2019 before being stopped in the final round of a humdinger for the European title the following year against Samir Ziani.
Now the Surrey-born southpaw is itching to return to action and is eyeing three bouts under the Probellum banner in 2022 to help push him back towards world title contention.
“I am very pleased to sign with Probellum, they are a massive player already and are only going to get bigger,” said Alex Dilmaghani, who holds a 19-2-1, 8K0.
“With the amount of shows and co-promoters that they have worldwide, I am thrilled to be able to showcase my style to the widest possible audience.
“Together I am confident that we can achieve my goal of becoming world champion.”
Surrey-born Dilmaghani has been a boxing globe trotter having lived and fought in Canada and Mexico for spells during his career, but the 5’8” puncher is currently training in Manchester under the watchful eye of former lightweight champion Anthony Crolla.
“Alex is another great addition to the Probellum stable,” said Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum.
“We have seen in his two most recent fights that he has a fan-friendly style and we are determined to get him the big fights in front of the biggest audience possible, so he can do what he does best and put on a real show.”
“I’m really pleased to get a deal over the line for Alex, he is an exceptional talent who we really believe can go on and win major titles with Probellum backing him,” added manager Lee Eaton.
“Activity is key for Alex and that’s what he is going to get partnering with Probellum. These are exciting times for him and we look forward to seeing his career continue to succeed.”
|‘The Thrill’ challenges Guerfi at The O2|
|Jordan Gill is hoping to put a frustrating 2021 behind him when he clashes with European Featherweight Champion Karim Guerfi on the undercard of Lawrence Okolie’s WBO Cruiserweight World Title defence against Michael Cieslak at The O2 in London this Sunday February 27, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding New Zealand and Australia).|
‘The Thrill’ (26-1-1, 7 KOs) was originally scheduled to face Frenchman Guerfi on the undercard of Conor Benn vs. Chris Algieri at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool on December 11, but the two-weight European Champion was forced to withdraw from their Merseyside showdown due to an illness.
Gill suffered a horrific cut in the third round of his eight rounder with late stand in opponent Alan Luques Castillo – the 27-year-old was forced to accept a technical draw after the gruesome head clash. The Chatteris man is aiming to kickstart his World Title push by dethroning 34-year-old Guerfi in his first fight for 2022.
“I remember laying on the bed and getting stitches afterwards,” said Gill. “It was one of those things that could have happened to anyone at any time. It’s unfortunate that it happened to me. It was a nasty head clash – there was no way the fight was going to continue. When they stitched my head up, they stitched around the artery – it was that deep! It’s lucky that it was on my head and not my face, otherwise it would have been a plastic surgery job. It’s good in one way, bad in another.
“I had a week off and then I was straight back in the gym, keeping fit and keeping my mind active. I knew I was always going to be Mandatory for the European Title. It wasn’t a fight lost because of the technical draw. All in all it was a frustrating 2021 but that’s behind us now and we look forward. 2022 is our year, I’m looking forward to this fight and pushing on to bigger and better things.
“He’s a very good fighter, you can’t take that away from him. I fully respect him – he’s the champion. He did it against the odds, he’s been to the champion’s backyard and won the Title. He’s very experienced and he’s coming to the latter stages of his career. He’s had some big fights, I think he’s a four or five time European Champion. He’s established and he’s a very good pro. I’m looking forward to mixing it with him.
“As the fight gets nearer, I’m thinking of new ways to beat him. I’m thinking of new things to add to my game. We’re not so much preparing for Guerfi, but we’re preparing myself for the best that I can be. I’m looking forward to the fight. I feel like it has been a long time coming. This is my life. I dedicate my life to boxing. I take myself away from my family. I’m here in Rotherham, working every day. This European Title fight means everything to me, my family and the area that I’m representing.
“I think I’m going to put on an absolute masterclass and stop Guerfi mid to late rounds and I’m going to push on, beat up that dosser Isaac Lowe and get a World Title shot. Guerfi is ranked 10th or 11th with the WBC. We’ve just got a new WBC Featherweight Champion. I know he’s got to fight his Mandatory for his first defence but after that I can get the winner.”
Gill vs. Guerfi is part of a huge night of Title action, Hackney’s WBO Cruiserweight World Champion Lawrence Okolie (17-0, 14 KOs) makes the second defence of his crown against Poland’s former World Title challenge Michal Cieslak (21-1, 15 KOs), Tokyo Olympic Champion Galal Yafai makes his highly anticipated professional debut in a ten round fight for the vacant WBC International Flyweight Title against Mexico’s Carlos Vado Bautista (10-4-1, 3 KOs) Liverpool Middleweight Anthony Fowler (15-2, 12 KOs) faces Poland’s Lukasz Maciec (27-3-1, 5 KOs) over ten rounds, unbeaten Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (12-0, 11 KOs) takes on the USA’s Daniel Martz (20-9-1, 17 KOs) over ten rounds, Tokyo Olympian Cheavon Clarke makes his professional debut at Cruiserweight against Croatia’s Toni Visic (20-29-2, 5 KOs), Lightweight prospect Campbell Hatton (5-0, 1 KO) clashes with Joe Ducker (9-8-2, 2 KOs) over six rounds, Takeley Light-Heavyweight John Hedges (4-0) meets Aleksander Nagolski (2-1, 1 KO) over six rounds and Australian Heavyweight contender Demsey McKean (20-0, 13 KOs) takes on Argentina’s Ariel Esteban Bracamonte (11-6, 6 KOs) over eight rounds.