Category Archives: Press

January 21, 2018
January 21, 2018
Errol Spence

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

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UNDEFEATED IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. retained his IBF title with an impressive stoppage of former two-division champion Lamont Peterson in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday night from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.

In his first defense since dethroning Kell Brook on SHOWTIME last May, Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) out boxed a tough Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) from start to finish, showcasing a wide array of skills, speed and power. The fight was stopped prior to the start of the eighth round after Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, called for the stoppage.

The fight played out similar to how both fighters predicted, starting in a cagey tactical affair before it turned into an aggressive fight in the middle rounds. Two minutes into round five, Spence used a blistering left hook to send Peterson to the canvas. The Washington, D.C. native returned to his feet and continued to battle, but Spence proved to be too much. The 2012 U.S. Olympian out landed Peterson 161-45, while connecting on 49 percent of his power punches to just 31 percent for Peterson.

After the fight Spence spoke to SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray and was quick to give credit to his opponent. “I want to thank Lamont,” he said. “A lot of guys turned down the fight and he took it like a real warrior and I commend him for that. He’s a tough fighter.  He’s willing to die in there.”

Despite earning the win in commanding fashion, Spence still believes he has room to improve. “I still can improve a lot on my defence,” said the unbeaten world champion. “I just have to keep perfecting my skills and keep progressing. You’re going to see a better Errol Spence next time I get in the ring.”

“Everybody knows I’ve been waiting on “Some Time” Thurman,” said Spence, looking ahead to a possible unification match with WBC and WBA Welterweight world champion Keith Thurman. “Since I was 15-0 I’ve been calling this guy out and he keeps making excuses.  Let’s get it on. He has two of the belts and we both have big names. It’s an easy fight to make and I want it.”

Peterson, who fought valiantly against the younger Spence, respected the decision of his trainer to stop the fight, “If he asks me to fight a million people, I will. If he asks me to stop. I will stop. I will never question his decision. I know he has my best interests at heart.”

“It was really hard, but if you know Lamont, you know he was not going to give up,” said trainer Barry Hunter. “I had to stop it. At the end of the day, this is my son right here. There’s nothing more valuable than his well-being. If it comes to him or winning, I pick him. I care about him.”

Errol Spence

Undefeated 135-pound world champion Robert Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) earned a split decision victory over former world champion Javier Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs) in the co-main event of the SHOWTIME telecast. The judges scored the bout 114-113, 113-114 and 115-112.

The back-and-forth bout saw two skilled fighters stay in the pocket and look to do damage from the inside. A second round point deduction from Fortuna proved costly when the Dominican was warned and then penalized for hitting Easter behind the head. Without the one point deduction, the fight would have been scored a draw. While Easter Jr. was slightly busier, Fortuna landed the more powerful punches. Easter Jr., who held a significant height advantage, out landed Fortuna, connecting on 120 of 383 (31 percent) power punches while Fortuna connected on 113 of 441 (26 percent).

“It was a tough fight, he’s a former world champion for a reason,” Easter told Gray. “We made it tough trying to counter punch. He wasn’t throwing much and it made it difficult for me to chase this guy around.

“I couldn’t get the knockout but we got the win and that’s all that matters. I knew he was going to run once he felt my power. He just wanted to grab and hold the whole fight.”

Looking ahead, Easter made his intentions clear as he seeks unification bouts in the near future, “I want to fight the champions and unify these belts. Fights like these aren’t in my game plan. I’m ready for Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares to sign the contract.”

A disgruntled Fortuna also spoke to Gray, “The public knows what happened here. They booed because they know that I won this fight.”

“If he’s a man let’s fight again at 135-pounds,” said Fortuna, who failed to make weight on two attempts Friday, which meant that Easter’s belt would not be on the line. “I will definitely make the weight. I didn’t give myself enough time to train.”

Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne (21-0, 16 KOs) made quick work of Francy Ntetu (17-2, 4 KOs) in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING PRELIMS action, as he dropped and battered his opponent early to force referee Arthur Mercante to stop the bout at just 2-15 of the first round. Fighting for his 12th time at the Barclays Center, the 27 year-old Staten Island native kept his unblemished record intact by utilizing his powerful left hand on the overmatched Ntetu.

Browne established his dominance from the start, landing a clean overhand left that dropped Ntetu halfway through the round. The Montreal, Québec native was never able to regain his feet and found himself cornered against the ropes just thirty seconds later. A barrage of powerful combinations landed on the defenseless Ntetu left the referee with little option but to stop the fight with 45 seconds remaining in round number one.

“We worked for this win. He walked into a sure shot and I made him pay,” said Browne. “The overhand left caught him and that was the beginning of the end for him. I knew he was hurt.

“I need a world title shot. I’m ready to take on any of the champions. I don’t have any preferences. I’m glad I put together another great performance here at Barclays Center. I’m going to keep improving until I really become Mr. Barclays Center.”

Ntetu, who moved up to the light heavyweight division for this fight, had a hard time dealing with Browne’s combination of speed and power on his way to the second loss of his pro career.

“[Browne] is very explosive, congrats to him,” said Ntetu. “He’s fast, he’s smart and I did not expect him to be that explosive. He got me with his right hook and a straight left.

“I was in enough shape to fight for 10 rounds. This is not my weight class, but I don’t want to make excuses.”

In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING PRELIMS, undefeated Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) delivered a brutal knockout of Iago Kiladze (26-2, 18 KOs) at 2:08 of the sixth round of their heavyweight matchup. Kownacki, born in Lomza, Poland but fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, enjoyed the support of his hometown crowd as he steadily wore Kiladze down.

Kownacki was the more aggressive and accurate of the two fighters, landing 43 percent of his power punches and 35 percent of his total punches, compared to just 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for Kiladze. Despite a bloody nose that Kownacki suffered in the first round, the Polish heavyweight began to pour it on and tire Kiladze with a series of uppercuts and one-two combinations in the fourth round. The action-packed bout came to an end when Kownacki connected on a combination of two uppercuts and a right hand that sent Kiladze on his back in the final minute of the sixth round. After a stunned Kiladze returned to his feet, referee Shada Murdaugh called the fight at the suggestion of the ringside doctor.

“I’m so thankful to all my Polish fans who come out and give me that extra support”, said Kownacki, who fought in front of hundreds of his compatriots. “I’m going to keep fighting for the fans and give everyone a great show.

“I think I made the fight a lot harder than I should have. It’s another learning experience and I got the win. That’s all that matters.”

The Republic of Georgia-born Kiladze, who fights out of Los Angeles, was unable to speak to media as he was taken to NYU Lutheran Hospital for precautionary reasons.

January 20, 2018
January 20, 2018
Mikey Garcia

Esther Lin/Showtime

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THE highly anticipated showdown between undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia and IBF 140-pound champion Sergey Lipinets has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 10. The Premier Boxing Champions event was set to take place on February 10th, but Garcia’s quest for a fourth world title had to be rescheduled following a training injury to Lipinets’ hand. The fight will be live on SHOWTIME and will remain in San Antonio but move to the Freeman Coliseum.

Ticket information will be released early next week.  Those holding tickets for the original date at the Alamodome will receive priority on seat exchange for the new venue. Tickets are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20 and will be available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 210 556-6390. The event is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, in association with Leija-Battah Promotions.

The remainder of the card will remain the same including the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, which will see two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a rematch of their thrilling fight last May, this time for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title. The doubleheader of title bouts in the wide-open 140-pound division sets the stage for a potential unification match.

The 29-year-old Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), emphatically returned to pound-for-pound lists in 2017 by scoring a highlight reel knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin to win the WBC Lightweight World Championship in January and then dominating four-division champion Adrien Broner on his way to a unanimous decision in July. Garcia is a member of a renowned boxing family, and is noted for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia.

Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat by stopping former champion Elio Rojas. Garcia, who has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, has stopped 19 of his last 22 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Salido.

With a win, Garcia would become only the third fighter in modern history to become champion at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds, joining future Hall of Famers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao*.

Mikey Garcia

The unbeaten Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) captured a super lightweight world title in just his 13th pro fight by defeating Akihiro Kondo via a unanimous decision on November 4 on SHOWTIME. He is originally from Kazakhstan but moved to Russia when he was six years old. He currently lives in Beverly Hills, California, Lipinets and is trained by Buddy McGirt.

The 28-year-old moved up the 140-pound rankings with victories over then unbeaten Haskell Rhodes, Levan Ghvamichava and Walter Castillo before knocking out Leonardo Zappavigna in a world title eliminator last December. Lipinets will look to stamp his place as an elite fighter when he takes on the accomplished and dangerous Garcia on March 10.

*Pacquiao won lineal championships at 126 and 140-pounds, although he did not win alphabet titles.

January 19, 2018
January 19, 2018
Billy Joe Saunders

Action Images/Reuters/Adam Holt

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HALL of Fame Promoter Frank Warren will stage a double world title card on Saturday April 14 featuring Billy Joe Saunders’ defence of his WBO world middleweight championship against domestic rival Martin Murray, alongside Terry Flanagan’s challenge for the vacant WBO world super-lightweight title against unbeaten American Maurice Hooker. The card will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Saunders, fresh from a 12 round masterclass against David Lemieux in the Canadian’s home town, returns to the UK to face long-time rival Martin Murray. Saunders’ career best performance in Canada has seen him risen to be considered by many the top active boxer in the UK and the Hatfield man is looking for 2018 to be the biggest year of his career.

Murray is the final hurdle for Saunders in obtaining a complete domestic whitewash of British and Irish middleweights that already includes Andy Lee, Chris Eubank Jnr, Spike O’Sullivan, John Ryder and Nick Blackwell.  Should Saunders overcome Murray on the April 14 it is likely to clear the path for a blockbuster showdown for all the world middleweight titles against the winner of the highly anticipated rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.

Saunders said: “Martin Murray is a good fighter and I have got the greatest of respect for him. But he’s in the way of what I’m aiming for this year and that is to become undisputed middleweight world champion. He’s coming try and win my world title and I’m sure it’s going to be a good fight.”

Murray who many felt did enough to become a middleweight world champion against both Sergio Martinez and Felix Sturm, only to be undone by the judges’ scorecards, is coming off a big win against Gabriel Rosado and will be out looking to scupper Saunders’ plans of facing Golovkin or Canelo and grab that blockbuster undisputed world title showdown for himself.

The St. Helens man said, “I rate Billy Joe as a fighter, he’s one of slickest out there and he is coming off of a great win and will be very confident. But I’m very confident, this is my time to become World Champion, as it’s the only thing I have left to do.

“I’ve fought everyone and in my opinion at middleweight I have only one genuine loss which is against Gennady Golovkin who is the best out there.

“I don’t count Martinez or Sturm as genuine losses because of the scorecards. But this time around, in my first world title fight at home, as we are both British fighters fighting on home soil, I know the best man on the night will get the win and leave the arena as world champion.”

Billy Joe Saunders

In the other world title clash on the card, unbeaten former WBO world lightweight champion Terry Flanagan faces unbeaten American Maurice Hooker for the WBO World super-lightweight championship, in his first contest at the weight. Flanagan had defended his 135lbs world title five times before relinquishing the belt to move to super-lightweight, a more comfortable weight class for his stature.

Flanagan said: “Hooker is a very good unbeaten fighter, he fights on the back foot and looks to catch you from distance. However I’m very confident I’ll be able to deal with anything he throws at me to become a two-weight world champion. Winning this fight will prove I’m a legitimate 140lbs fighter I’ll be looking to unify the belts later in the year.”

Whilst undefeated American Maurice Hooker said, “I’m looking forward to coming to the UK to fight Flanagan and to become World Champion.  We are both undefeated fighters and I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic fight.”

Details of the venue that will stage the event, the full announcement press conference and ticket information will all follow next week.

January 19, 2018
January 19, 2018
Tyson Fury

Action Images/Lee Smith

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FORMER world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has had the ban on his boxing license lifted, with Shannon Briggs the instant frontrunner to face the ‘Gypsy King’ in his return to the ring. And the odds of a 2018 clash with Anthony Joshua have been slashed by bookmakers.

Paddy Power have priced a potential fight with Briggs at 2/1, ahead of David Price (5/1) and Dominic Breazeale (8/1).

With anticipation building for a clash between Fury and Joshua, fans will be excited to hear that the IBF, WBA and IBO world champion is 10/1 to fight Fury by the end of this year and 2/1 to face him in 2019.

However, he’s a 33/1 shot to make AJ his first opponent when he returns to boxing.

That fight could see Fury become world champion and punters can get odds of 10/1 that he wins a global title in 2018 and 6/4 for it to happen next year.

Other potential contenders for the first fight with Fury include the other two current heavyweight champions, Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder, and fellow Brits David Haye (all 33/1).

Haye’s opponent in May, Tony Bellew, is a 50/1 chance to be Fury’s first competitor.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power said: “From turning up to a press conference dressed as Batman to smashing a watermelon with his head, Fury is one of boxing’s more entertaining characters, so we’re looking forward to his return.

Tyson Fury

“Ultimately, a fight with AJ is what we’re all after – anything other than this would make fans fury-ous.”

TYSON FURY NEXT OPPONENT:

Shannon Briggs 2/1

David Price 5/1

Dominic Breazeale 8/1

Agit Kabayel 8/1

Lucas Browne 10/1

Charles Martin 10/1

Tomasz Adamek 10/1

Erkan Teper 12/1

Eric Molina 12/1

Bermane Stiverne 12/1

Dereck Chisora 14/1

Mariusz Wach 14/1

Bryant Jennings 14/1

Jarrell Miller 16/1

Dillian Whyte 16/1

Gerarld Washington 16/1

Alexander Povetkin 20/1

Kubrat Pulev 20/1

Luis Ortiz 25/1

David Haye 33/1

Joseph Parker 33/1

Deontay Wilder 33/1

Anthony Joshua 33/1

Tony Bellew 50/1

January 18, 2018
January 18, 2018
Carl Frampton

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CARL FRAMPTON believes he may have to produce a career-best performance to overcome Nonito Donaire in their April 21 blockbuster bout in Belfast.

Two-weight world champion Frampton (24-1, 14KOs) came face to face with four-weight champion Donaire (38-4, 24KOs) at a press conference at the Europa Hotel today (Wednesday) ahead of their SSE Arena Featherweight showdown, which will be screened live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

With Frampton aiming to book a world title stadium date at Windsor Park this summer, ‘The Jackal’ has insisted that he considers his Frank Warren-promoted clash against ‘Filipino Flash’ to be a high-risk/high-reward opportunity.

“I need to make sure that I’m going to put in the performance of my career, which it might take to win this fight,” said Frampton.

“I just take it one fight at a time. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but I’m going to do everything I can in training camp and in my preparation for this fight to make sure that I’m ready,” added the Belfast native, who is eyeing a future date against the winner of the upcoming Lee Selby-Josh Warrington IBF World Title fight or whoever emerges from a bout between his old rival Scott Quigg and WBO World Champion Oscar Valdez.

“There’s a lot on the line,” admitted Frampton “But these are all things that are in the future and there’s only one fight that I’m focused on at the minute.

Nonito Donaire is a future Hall of Famer, a fantastic fighter… I need fights like this to get up for and I need big names.

“Nonito’s an amazing talent, a four-weight world champion. He can punch and he doesn’t just knock people over, he’s put guys to sleep before. But that gives me wee bit of a fear factor and I think that’s when I’m going to be at my best.”

The April 21 bout will be a significant occasion for Irish boxing as two elite fighters go toe to toe.

Carl Frampton

Both men were previously recognised as Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers’ Association of America, with Frampton awarded that honour for 2016 while Donaire picked up the same gongs in 2012.

Forty-two-fight veteran Donaire, now 35, remains determined to reclaim world honours and he echoed his opponent’s comments when insisting that Frampton will bring out the best in him.

“We need an opponent we can truly respect and at the same time you have that voice behind you that says, ‘this guy is tough, this guy is good and anything can happen’,” said Donaire.

“It allows the warrior within us to come out and that’s something that we’ll show on April 21 that we do have it.

“One thing’s for sure, and I can see it from looking into Carl’s eyes, we’re both warriors and we’re willing to give it everything we’ve got for this fight. At the moment age is only a number for me because I’m very inspired to be here.”

While Frampton struggled at times during his most recent 10-round points win over Mexican Horacio Garcia last November – in a bout that marked the end of a 10-month lay-off following a number of changes to his team – the Irishman believes that victory will stand to him ahead of his April outing.

“Considering the year I’ve had, looking back on it, it wasn’t a bad performance,” said MTK Global-backed Frampton.

“I think that last fight is going to be a blessing in disguise for me,” added the Belfast man, who explained that Donaire was his No 1 choice as an opponent, despite the fact that the Filipino poses a real threat to his summer fight plans.

“Credit to the teams for working together – Richard Schafer [Ringstar Sports], MTK and Frank Warren – and for bringing a name like Nonito to Belfast,” said Frampton. “My objective is to win a world title, I’m hoping to fight for a World Title in the summer and what better opponent to get you ready for that other than Nonito Donaire?

“What would be the point in fighting a knock-over job? I don’t think that would be good for me or for boxing, so it’s just great to be involved on these big occasions.”

January 17, 2018
January 17, 2018
Errol Spence Jr

Stacey Verbeek

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BOXNATION is set to get 2018 off to a bang this weekend when undefeated IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr makes the first defence of his title against former two-division world champion Lamont Peterson.

‘The Channel of Champions’ will air the mouth-watering clash exclusively live in the UK and Ireland this Saturday night from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

In a talent-stacked division 28-year-old Spence is regarded by many as the number one fighter at welterweight and will be looking to prove that unequivocally this year but must first get past a formidable challenger in Peterson.

The Washington DC native Peterson is known for his aggressive and come-forward approach in the ring, collecting world titles at 140 and 147 pounds while facing some of the biggest names in the sport, including Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley.

This Saturday night’s clash, exclusively live on BoxNation, is sure to have fans on the edge of their seats with the exciting Spence coming-off a dominant 11th round win over Kell Brook last summer in which he claimed the IBF welterweight world title.

Unbeaten Spence, who has 19 KOs in his 22 wins, is aiming to carry on where he left off but 33-year-old Peterson is also in good form having returned to the ring last year to claim the 35th win of his career over tough Russian David Avanesyan.

“My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook,” said Spence. “I sparred him in the amateurs and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals and that is what I plan on doing on Saturday night.”

Errol Spence

Peterson too is in an upbeat mood going into the fight and is ready for the challenge ahead.

“First off, I’m happy to be getting back in the ring,” said Peterson. “I’ve stayed in the gym and I’m ready to go. This is a fight I wanted and as I said before when I became a welterweight, I want to fight the best and make the fights that people want to see. I’m ready to give it my all and give the fans a great show.”

Jim McMunn, BoxNation Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to get 2018 off to a fantastic start with this special fight on Saturday night. Errol Spence Jr is one of the most gifted fighters in this sport and perhaps the very best at welterweight. He will be looking to prove that he is the undisputed number one at 147-pounds and that starts this Saturday night exclusively live on BoxNation when he takes on a former two-division world champion in Lamont Peterson. This fight has all the ingredients for an enthralling toe-to-toe matchup that BoxNation subscribers will not want to miss.”

January 16, 2018
January 16, 2018
Zolani Tete

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A calf injury has forced Zolani Tete to postpone his WBO World Bantamweight title defence against Omar Narvaez.

Tete, 29, was due to defend his crown at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday February 10, but will now make his mandatory defence against the Argentinian at a later date in 2018.

“I’m hugely disappointed to have to postpone my fight with Omar Narvaez,” said Tete. “Unfortunately I picked up a calf injury that has severely hindered my training and the only option was to postpone the fight.

“I train as hard as I fight so there is always a risk of picking up injuries. World championship defences are incredibly tough and it is unsafe fighting when you are not fit. Narvaez is a two-weight world champion so it is vital that I am fully prepared for him.

“I am determined to put on another explosive performance for my UK fans when I face Narvaez. After I beat him the plan is to unify the bantamweight division against Ryan Burnett. It is a fight that the boxing world wants to see and I am hopeful that it will happen in 2018.”

Zolani Tete

Frank Warren’s bumper ‘Untouchables’ show still features some of the best British talent around, with Bradley Skeete, Anthony Yarde, Daniel Dubois and Zelfa Barrett all looking to make statements to kick-off a huge 2018.

British welterweight champion Bradley ‘Super’ Skeete (27-1, 12 KO’s) faces IBF Inter-Continental welterweight champion Laszlo Toth (25-3-1, 17 KO’s) for the vacant WBC International belt. Skeete is ready to prove his world class credentials and knows that a win on February 10 will take him a step closer to a dream world title shot.

“This is an opportunity to add another belt to my collection,” said Skeete. “Toth has won the IBF European and Inter-Continental titles and should provide a good test for me. I have strong ratings with the WBO and IBF, winning this title will push me up the WBC rankings as well.

“2018 is the year that I will prove I’m a world class fighter. I know that my style would give anyone trouble, it’s why I’ve been avoided. I’m ready and waiting to prove what I can do against the best!”

Ilford light-heavyweight Anthony Yarde (14-0, 13 KO’s) defends his WBO Inter-Continental and European light-heavyweight titles against Frenchman Tony Averlant (26-9-2, 5 KO’s). ‘The Beast’ is determined to pick up from where he left off in 2017 after becoming the first man to stop Nikola Sjekloca with a heavy-handed display which last less than four rounds.

“I enjoyed a successful 2017, winning three belts and stopping all five of my opponents,” said Yarde. “2018 is going to be an even bigger year but whatever is meant to happen will happen, I’m not in any rush. My job is to keep my head down, work hard and enjoy the journey.

“I’m hoping that Averlant is a durable opponent, he’s only been stopped twice and one of those stoppages was against former WBA light-heavyweight world champion Juergen Braeher. I’m looking to gain some crucial extra minutes in the ring.”

Heavyweight sensation Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois (6-0, 6 KO’s) defends his Southern Area belt against Kent’s DL Jones (8-0-1). The Peacock Gym powerhouse claimed the title after knocking AJ Carter out cold in the opening round with a massive right hand at the Copper Box Arena back in September and is promising to start 2018 with another explosive KO.

“I’m ready to start 2018 with a bang,” said Dubois. “I’m working hard to be the best that I can possibly be and I’m feeling good. Everything is going great, I’m just staying in the gym, staying focused, and staying dedicated to it.

“I’m looking forward to being back at the Copper Box Arena, it’s starting to feel like a home venue for me and I always get a great reception from the fans. I’ll be looking to send them home happy on February 10.”