Category Archives: Press

November 16, 2017
November 16, 2017
John Joe Nevin

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UNBEATEN Irish star John Joe Nevin can’t wait to return to the ring on Friday November 24 and kick-start his career as aims to make 2018 his year.

The 2012 Olympic Silver medallist has his first fight in Britain as a professional at the Tolworth Recreation Centre on the undercard of Pink Tyson, alongside Lenny Daws, hot prospect Yusuf Safa and many more.

Nevin is heralded as one of the most decorated amateur boxers ever with an illustrious record that reads: Double Olympian, 2012 Olympic Silver, two-time World Bronze, European and European Union champion, 15 times All Ireland champion; a staggering 255 amateur contests – of which 210 were Internationals – with just 15 losses.

The Mullingar ace has had various problems from physical, personal and promotional issues since turning professional, but the 29-year-old has put together a solid eight-fight unbeaten record that has seen him campaign in American and Ireland.

His last fight was on August 26 2016 at the Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia when he defeated Jesus Lule, winning every round in the six-round contest.  He was scheduled to fight in September this year, but medical licensing and opponent issues meant that that it had to be postponed.

However, Nevin is now thrilled to return to London where he celebrated the pinnacle of his amateur career by winning Olympic Silver alongside a standout Irish team that included Michael Conlan, Katie Taylor and Paddy Barnes.

“It’s fantastic to return to London where I’ve had so many amateur fights and great memories, but of course the highlight was lifting silver for myself and the Irish team, that is something I will never ever forget,” said Nevin.

“The Irish team was packed with so many talented fighters like Michael, Katie and Paddy and they’re all doing amazing in the pros. I’ve had my troubles, but through all of that I’m proud to hold an undefeated record and there is so much ahead of me now.

“I feel that in a way, the rest has made me stronger and maybe that is for the best. Remember, I had 255 amateur fights with almost all of those at a high level over 20 years and I’ve had no real breaks, so now I feel strong again and I just can’t wait.”

Nevin will step up to super-lightweight and take on Killamarsh’s Lee Connelly over six-rounds at the Tolworth Recreations Centre and then look for some big fights next year.

He added, “I wanted a heavier opponent and to get some more rounds in and I didn’t want someone who was going to tumble over so boxing at super-lightweight is where I see myself being most effective from now on.

“I’m in the gym every day with my trainer Jim McDonnell, he’s a tremendous coach and along with his sons they form a top team and now it is up to me to become a champion.

“For now I’m focusing on November 24 and then looking at a big 2018 when I know some exciting opportunities are going to come my way. Long term the aim is to become a world champion and I believe I can do that.”

John Joe Nevin

Pink Tyson, real name Kallia Kourouni, from Sparta, Greece, headlines the show, promoted by Hennessy Sports in association with Joey Pyle and John Edwards.

Morden’s favourite fighting son, “Lightning” Lenny Daws makes his long awaited return to the ring.  Daws looks to return to winning ways as he targets a third shot at the European super-lightweight crown and win it for a third time following his close attempt in February this year against Anthony Yigit.

Undefeated Bexleyheath Super-Featherweight prospect Yusuf Safa returns to action following his win on the Hughie Fury-Joseph Parker undercard and aims to target his first professional title shortly.

Two-time Olympian John Joe Nevin from Mullingar, Ireland, has his first in Britain as the supremely talented 28-year-old continues to build on his unbeaten record.

Heading up an exciting undercard will be: Iver Heavyweight Naylor Ball; Mitcham super-lightweight Cheznie Hawkins; Farnborough’s George Lamport, Camberley lightweight Jonny Phillips; Chertsey Lightweight Tony Vincent makes his highly-anticipated professional debut and Mitcham super-lightweight Zahayr Al Quahtani.

November 16, 2017
November 16, 2017
Boxing - Ryan Burnett vs Zhanat Zhakiyanov - IBF & WBA Super World Bantamweight Titles - SSE Arena, Belfast, Britain - October 21, 2017   Boxer Paddy Barnes before the fight   REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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PADDY BARNES believes his elite amateur experience will be key when he takes to the ring on Saturday night at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

Belfast native Barnes features on a stacked undercard in support of his friend Carl Frampton, who returns to the ring in a headline featherweight bout against Mexico’s Horacio Garcia, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Barnes had hoped to defend his WBO European Flyweight title for the first time on the bill, but complications surrounding potential opponents has led to a change of plan and the three-time Olympian will instead fight for the WBO Intercontinental strap over 10 rounds as he bids to boost his World ranking.

Experienced Nicaraguan Eliecer Quezada (21-6-3) will be the man in the opposite corner and Barnes admits that he faces a tough test in only his fifth professional bout since turning over to the paid game last year.

“I’ve had a look at him [Quezada] and he’s very, very good,” said Barnes. “My original opponent fell through, so that’s changed everything. I was training for a small come-forward fighter and now I’m fighting a taller opponent, so that’s changed a lot.”

Paddy Barnes

Quezada twice defeated compatriot Yader Cardoza, who pushed Jamie Conlan to a split decision last March. That marked Conlan’s last ring outing ahead of his first world-title shot against Filipino IBF Super-Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas on Saturday night.

However, the 30-year-old Barnes – a two-time Olympic medallist and European amateur champion – insists that his amateur pedigree will stand to him this weekend.

“But in the amateurs you’re fighting different styles every day at major tournaments so I’m used to it. I haven’t thought too much about it, I don’t really mind, I’m just looking forward to the fight. I can’t wait, I’m very excited and I’m flying fit, so it should be a good night.”

Barnes is back in action just a few weeks after recording his fourth pro win in Edinburgh when he claimed a six-round points victory over Peruvian Juan Hinostroza.

“That helped me shake off the ring rust coming into this fight,” explained Barnes. “That’ll stand to me. It’s still a bit of a struggle to get the weight down, but I’ve been on a strict diet and I feel sharp and strong and fit.”

November 15, 2017
November 15, 2017
Canelo

Tom Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will be cheering for a shock upset on Saturday night as the Mexican superstar will be ringside in Belfast to support fellow Guadalajara native Horacio Garcia against hometown hero Carl Frampton.

‘The Jackal’ tops a massive ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight bill this weekend in what will be his first home bout in over two-and-a-half years, live on BT Sport and BoxNation, at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

Garcia is a big underdog ahead of his 10-round featherweight bout against Belfast’s two-weight world champion, but he is set to have a famous fan behind him as Mexican sensation ‘Canelo’ will be at the Odyssey to support his Golden Boy Promotions stablemate.

Meanwhile, Frampton is looking forward to his ring return after suffering a first pro defeat to Mexican-American Leo Santa Cruz last January. ‘The Jackal’ fights for the first time since signing a promotional deal with Frank Warren and an advisory agreement with MTK Global.

And the 30-year-old Irishman is keen to ensure that his plans for a Windsor Park world-title showdown next summer are not derailed by the 27-year-old visitor or his superstar supporter.

“It’s great that ‘Canelo’ will be ringside – it will add even more of a buzz to what’s already one of Belfast’s biggest ever fight bills,” said Frampton. “But as much as I respect ‘Canelo’, he won’t have much to cheer about. Garcia is a good fighter and I’m not taking him lightly, but I have to beat him and I won’t be distracted from the task at hand.”

“If anything, this might put a bit of pressure on Garcia since he has Mexico’s most famous boxer and one of the sport’s biggest superstars is there to support him. It will surely weigh on his mind that he doesn’t want to get a beating in front of ‘Canelo’, but I plan on putting on a show for the Belfast public.

“Garcia might have one big name cheering him on, but I have a whole city behind me. My fans have waited a long time for me to come back for a homecoming fight and I don’t want to disappoint them after all the support they’ve given me.”

Canelo

A stacked bill also features Jamie Conlan challenging for his first world title as the Belfast super-flyweight takes on IBF world champion Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines.

Dubbed ‘The Mexican’ due to the dramatic all-action nature of his previous fights, Conlan is delighted that one of boxing’s superstars will be present on his big night.

“I was a bit shocked when I heard ‘Canelo’ will be there – it’s really exciting,” said Conlan. “I’ll have to wear the sombrero into the ring now!”

“I’m fully focused on my job, though. I won’t be getting into another war for the sake of it, but I still want the fans to be entertained and I’m ready for a tough fight.”

Three-time Olympian Paddy Barnes also features on the card as he fights for the vacant WBO inter-continental flyweight title.

The Belfast native plans on delivering an exciting performance to make sure he isn’t upstaged by the famous redhead at ringside.

“I’m not happy at all about it to be honest,” laughed Barnes. “I’m meant to be the most famous ginger at this show! ‘Canelo’ better be cheering on one of his own when I’m fighting.”

Tickets for Frampton Reborn are on sale via the SSE Arena Belfast Box Office, www.ssearenabelfast.com.

November 15, 2017
November 15, 2017
Gilberto Ramirez

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

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TOP RANK on ESPN will kick off its 2018 season with a sensational Super Bowl weekend world championship event. Gilberto Ramirez, Mexico’s super-middleweight champion with the matinee idol looks, defending his world title.  Ramírez (36-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlan, Mexico, will make his third defence of his WBO super-middleweight title against  world-rated contender Habib Ahmed (22-0, 17 KOs) from Accra, Ghana.  The fight will take place on Saturday, February 3, at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX, and will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. EST on  ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zapari Boxing Promotions, tickets to the Ramírez-Ahmed world championship event will go on sale this Thursday, November 16at 10 a.m. CST– the perfect fistivus holiday gift for your favorite boxing fan!  Priced at $152, $102, $62, $42, and $27, including facility fees, tickets may be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, at the American Bank Center Box Office, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

“Gilberto Ramirez has proven that he is the best of the super middleweights  All you have to do is look at his world championship victories against Arthur Abraham and Jesse Hart,” said promoter Bob Arum.  “Gilberto has quickly become the face of boxing on both sides of the border.

“Habib Ahmed is an undefeated fighter with a good knockout record.  He is fighting outside of his home country for the first time and that makes him a very dangerous fighter,’ said Ramírez.  “He knows that he has a great opportunity in front of him. I’m going to train even harder than for my last title defence. I think this will be a very good fight. My world title and our undefeated records will be on the line.  I’m very motivated and focused on defending and retaining my title for the third time against a good opponent.  I want to show the world why I’m the champion in the super-middleweight division.”

“I have an important message for Gilberto Ramirez,” said Ahmed.  “I am coming to America to take your title. I am going for the knockout. All of Ghana and all of my fans are going to be so proud, so happy. This is the opportunity I always wanted. I am taking Ramirez’s title with me to my homeland.”

Ramírez, a two-fisted super-middleweight wrecking machine, made history in the co-main event to the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley welterweight pay-per-view on April 9, 2016, when he became México’s first fighter to win a super-middleweight world title.  Entering the fight as the top world-rated contender, Ramirez gave a virtuoso performance over the defending WBO champion Arthur Abraham, a-three-time world champion in his own right..  All three judges scored it as a 120-108 blitzkrieg.  “I took him to Méxican boxing school,” a jubilant Ramírez boasted as he put on the world championship belt .  A sensational young champion, Ramírez had been scheduled to make his first title defence in July 2016, but a training camp injury to his right hand followed by surgery and rest sidelined him for the remainder of the year.  He returned to the ring on April 22, winning a unanimous decision over Top-10 contender and one-time world title challenger Max “Tiger” Bursak and followed that up with another impressive unanimous decision victory, this time over undefeated No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Jesse “Hard Work” Hart on September 22.

Gilberto Ramirez

A former Ghanaian super-middleweight champion, Ahmed has won eight of his last nine fights by knockout, including the six-bout victory-by-knockout streak he is currently enjoying.  In his most recent fight, on March 17, Ahmed stopped Philip Kotey in the 11th round to capture the vacant WBO Africa super-middleweight title.  This will not only be Ahmed’s U.S. debut, it will be his first professional fight outside his native Ghana.

November 14, 2017
November 14, 2017
Lee Selby

Action Images/Matthew Childs

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JAMES DEGALE MBE will make the fourth defence of his IBF super-middleweight world championship against Caleb Truax at London’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday December 9. On the same evening, Welshman Lee Selby will make the fourth defence of his IBF Featherweight World Championship against undefeated Mexican Eduardo Ramirez, both fights will be shown live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

“Chunky” has been out of the ring since January 2017, when his unification fight with WBC super-middleweight Champion Badou Jack ended in a majority draw. Jack was knocked down in the first round but ended strongly flooring the gutsy DeGale in the last round in New York.

DeGale underwent surgery on his right shoulder in June to repair a 180-degree tear, a rota-cuff tear and an ACJ stabilisation, an injury that had been troubling him for around two years, and is now fit and ready to defend his World Title on home soil for the first time.

Truax, a native of Osseo, Minnesota, has mixed it with world class operators such as former WBC super-middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell and former WBA Middleweight Champion Danny Jacobs.

“Golden” got his first shot at a world title when he faced 160-pound champion Jacobs in Chicago in April 2015. He gave Jacobs all he could handle before being stopped in the 12th round.

Since his loss to Direll in April 2016, Truax (28-3-2 18 KOs) has bounced back with consecutive KO wins and is determined to upset the odds when he fights in the UK for the first time next month.

Undefeated Selby knows that a win on December 9 will set-up a blockbuster showdown with long-term rival and mandatory challenger Josh Warrington in 2018. Since winning his IBF crown against Evgeny Gradovich in May 2015 he has made three successful defences and is aiming to steal the show next month.

Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KOs) is a 24-year-old southpaw from Los Mochis, Sinola, Mexico with fast hands and a solid defence. He is managed and trained by Montiel Jr., brother of the five-time World Champion and former Selby challenger Fernando Montiel.

“Truax is a good solid fighter with a top pedigree,” said DeGale. “He’s been in with some quality opponents like Daniel Jacobs, Jermain Taylor and Anthony Dirrell.

“He’ll be fighting away from home so he’s going to bring it on and try to take my world title, but I’m the best super-middleweight in the world and I’m going into the ring full of confidence and 100 percent fit.

“I’ve not boxed in London for a few years so I can’t wait to make my return to the ring and soak up the atmosphere from the crowd and put on great show.”

“Ramirez is a very good unbeaten fighter and he comes from a good stable,” said Selby. “He’s trained by Fernando Montiel’s brother, Fernando was a former challenger of mine and his brother is a very experienced coach.

“He has a decent ranking with the IBF and you don’t get there by accident, he’s worked his way into the mix and he’s going to give me a tough test. He’s a southpaw which is another challenge for myself.

“There’s a lot of pressure on this fight, one loss will mess up my whole career. There’s massive fights to be made against Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton next year so it’s vital that I come through this fight.

Lee Selby

“This show has everything, you have two of the best technical boxers in the country in myself and DeGale, and then you have two of the best prospects in the country in [Anthony] Yarde and [Daniel] Dubois. I’m proud and honoured to be a part of this bill.”

November 14, 2017
November 14, 2017
Katie Taylor

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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KATIE TAYLOR will defend her WBA World Lightweight title against Jessica McCaskill at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Wednesday December 13, live on Sky Sports.

Taylor landed the crown in at Principality Stadium in Cardiff to add her first major pro strap to a glittering amateur career.

The Bray star puts that title on the line for the first time in the famous east London venue against Chicago’s McCaskill. The 33 year old boxes outside of the States for the first time in her career – and Taylor wants to silence ‘CasKILLA’ who has been calling the champion out.

“If she’s as relentless in the ring as she is on social media it should be a great fight,” said Taylor. “I’m more than happy to give her the opportunity and I certainly won’t be avoiding anyone as a champion.

“I truly believe that this is only the start of things for me. I want all the belts and the biggest possible fights over the next few years.

“It’s been a great first year for me as a professional and this really sets me up for a great finish to it. Headlining on Sky Sports is another first for the sport and I’m so grateful to Eddie Hearn and Sky for the opportunity.

Trash talking’s not really my thing but she seems to be happy to talk enough for the both of us anyway! Maybe it’s something she feels she has to do for her own confidence but none of that stuff matters once the first bell rings. I’m happy to let my boxing do the talking then and that’s definitely where I express myself best.”

“I have a lot of respect for this sport and for Katie Taylor, but I will be bringing that belt and respect back with me,” said McCaskill. “I want to be known as the number one in America and of course the world title is definitely the goal.”

katie taylor

A stacked undercard of talent Brits are set to support Taylor’s defence with unbeaten super-featherweight talent Martin J. Ward can add another title to his impressive collection as he faces former champion Juli Giner for the vacant European title.

Light-Heavyweights Jake Ball and Miles Shinkwin to meet in a tasty contest, Birmingham’s unbeaten super-bantamweight talent Gamal Yafai, future cruiserweight rivals Lawrence Okolie and Isaac Chamberlain look to further stoke the fire for a 2018 clash, Team GB Rio Olympian Joe Cordina in action for the sixth time in the paid ranks and more Matchroom Boxing stars to be added.

November 10, 2017
November 10, 2017
Josh Taylor

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SCOTLAND’S highly-rated super-lightweight contender Josh Taylor (10-0-0) will headline against Mexico’s former long-reigning world champion Miguel Vazquez (39-5-0) tomorrow night, after both men made weight before a packed crowd at the Prestonpans Community Centre. Hundreds of fans turned out to support local lad Taylor, who faces the toughest test of his career against the vastly-experienced Vazquez, live on Channel 5.

Vazquez weighed in at 9st 12lbs 2oz, before WBC Silver champion Taylor tipped the scales at 9st 13lbs 2oz. Both men looked composed as they then faced off before an electric crowd, with the scene now set for a big night of boxing tomorrow night.

Edinburgh’s IBO Super Lightweight Inter-Continental champion Jason Easton (10-0-0) faces Czech title holder Josef Zahradnik (9-0-0) as chief support. The undefeated pair both made the 10 stone limit, with Easton weighing 9st 13lbs 2oz, and challenger Zahradnik weighing 9st 13lbs 2oz.

Northampton’s explosive talent Chantelle Cameron (3-0-0) challenges for her first pro strap against Mexico’s teak-tough Edith Ramos (6-1-1), as they square off for the IBO Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title. Both challengers came in under the 130lbs limit, with Chantelle Cameron weighing 9st 3lbs 2oz, and Edith Ramos also tipping the scales at 9st 3lbs 2oz.

Also fighting for a title on the card is highly-rated Heavyweight Martin Bakole (9-0-0), who faces the undefeated Ali Baghouz (10-0-1) for the IBO Continental title. ‘Big Martin’ weighed in at 17st 9lbs 3oz, whilst Baghouz weighed 17st 1lb 3oz.