Category Archives: Press

March 22, 2017
March 22, 2017
kell brook

Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

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Kell Brook will defend his IBF World Welterweight title against US star Errol Spence at Bramall Lane in Sheffield on Saturday May 27, live on Sky Sports Box Office and on Showtime in the US.

Brook makes the fourth defence of his beloved IBF strap he landed in the States in August 2014 with a career-best win over Shawn Porter, and blitzed Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin and Kevin Bizier before stepping up to Middleweight to face fearsome Kazakh Gennady Golovkin at The O2 in September – and now the Sheffield star welcomes another unbeaten superstar into the ring.

Undefeated Spence became the mandatory challenger for Brook’s belt when he blasted Leonard Bundu inside six rounds in August, the eighth straight stoppage win for the Texas-based New Yorker who went into the fight after destroying Chris Algieri inside four rounds two months earlier.

Brook and Spence now clash in the biggest fight in the 147lbs division, and the elite pairing are promising to deliver an electric night at the home of Sheffield United FC.

“I’m so excited about this fight and also about making history in my city,” said Brook. “It’s long been a dream of mine to fight outdoors at Bramall Lane and I’m pleased to do that in the biggest fight in the Welterweight division. I saw many people talk about how I avoid Errol Spence – they don’t know me, they don’t know what I’m about. All I’ve ever wanted to do is to give the fans the fights they want and they have it right here on May 27 – I’m going to show the world that I’m the best Welterweight on the planet and I’m going to do it right before my people’s eyes.”

“I’m happy I’m finally getting an opportunity to accomplish a lifelong dream of becoming a World champion,” said Spence. “I feel that this is one of the best and biggest fights in world boxing and I am 100 per cent focused and determined to bring the belt back home to the USA – on May 27 I will be more than ready.”

“This is one of the best fights in world boxing,” said Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Many believed that Kell Brook would look to avoid Errol Spence but he is a proud man who never ducks a challenge. Coming off the fight with GGG this is an extremely tough fight to come back to but I believe Kell Brook is the best Welterweight in the world and he will have the chance to prove it in front of everyone’s eyes on May 27. It’s ‘The Special One’ vs ‘The Truth’, a historic event at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane – we are planning an unforgettable event.”

Brook and Spence come face-to-face at a press conference this week where Hearn will announce the ticket details for the event.

March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017
liam williams

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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Welsh warlord Liam Williams scoffs at recent insinuations from Liam Smith that he cowers whenever the pair come together, writes Glynn Evans.

The rivals collide at Manchester Arena on April 8th in a salivating Anglo-Welsh clash to determine Britain’s best at 154lbs with BT Sport and BoxNation screen live.

While Rhondda rucker Williams is conscious to avoid the pre-fight bickering that compromised his performance against Gary Corcoran last summer (wrsf11), the Gary Lockett trained British and Commonwealth king warns ex WBO king Smith that he’ll be doing the bullying when they finally come to rumble between the ropes.

‘While I’ve been away I’ve seen Smith has been posting videos suggesting that I’m frightened in his company, passive when Gary ’s not with me but I just don’t give it the time of day,’  insists the 24 year old from Clydach Vale who is unbeaten in 17 with 11 stoppage wins.

‘He keeps trying to imply that I’m like some young boy who needs protecting but anybody who knows me, knows I’m not remotely scared of Liam Smith or anyone else for that matter. He really doesn’t understand what I’m about, where I was raised, what I come from.

‘Smith likes to play psychological games and thinks he’s above everyone he fights. He’s going to be in for a rude awakening. Sure, we expect him to turn the hostility up in fight week, at the final presser and weigh-in. I’ll not be backing down but I’ll not be losing my cool either. I fell for that before in my British title defence against Corcoran and, though I won the fight, it worked against me. I’ve learnt that lesson.

‘So forget all the mind games. I don’t want to disclose too much about our plans other than I believe I’ve a more well rounded game. I’m slightly bigger, I’m stronger and I punch harder. That’s all I’m going to need.’

Smith vs. Williams is part of an unmissable evening of action on April 8th; local hero Terry Flanagan makes the fifth defence of his WBO World Lightweight crown against dangerous Russian Petr Petrov; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut.

March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017
kubrat_pulev

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Kubrat Pulev (24-1, 13 KOs) will defend his WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship against former World title challenger Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson (30-7-1, 14 KOs) on Friday, April 28 at the Arena Armeec in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Pulev made a triumphant homecoming on December 3, 2016, fighting for the first time in his home country, and forcing former WBC World Champion Samuel Peter to retire after three rounds in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000 Bulgarian fans.

‘’It was an overwhelming experience for me to receive so much support from the crowd. I could feel the energy surging around the arena, and that gave me the power to win by stoppage,’’ said ‘The Cobra’, who is now looking forward to a second fight on home soil as he aims to secure a second shot at World honours.

‘’My number one goal is to fight for the World title, and on April 28, I will take another step towards achieving this goal. I’m already training hard to prove I am worthy to fight again for the heavyweight crown.

‘’Johnson is a tough opponent. You must only look at his resume to tell this will be a real challenge. He has shared the ring with many World-class fighters like Vitali Klitschko and Anthony Joshua.

‘’I know I will need to be at my best to beat him, but with the help of my coach Ulli Wegner and the support of the Bulgarian people, I’m confident my hand will be raised, and we will be able to celebrate another great night for Bulgarian boxing and another step towards me fulfilling my dream of becoming the Heavyweight Champion of the World.’’

‘’We’re delighted to be returning to the Arena Armeec for what promises to be another great night of boxing on April 28,’’ said promoter Kalle Sauerland. ‘’We have promoted shows all over the World, and I must say, the atmosphere in Sofia was second to none. The support that Kubrat receives from the Bulgarian people is special, and this will help him to reach the top.

‘’He faces a tough test against Kevin Johnson, who having fought many of the biggest names in the heavyweight division, has only been stopped once. Kubrat must prove himself once again, and show that he is ready for a World title challenge.’’

March 20, 2017
March 20, 2017
terry flanagan

Action Images/Ed Sykes

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MAN CITY fanatic Terry Flanagan wants to emulate his boyhood hero Ricky Hatton by fighting at the home of the Manchester giants. Undefeated Turbo tops an unmissable evening of action when he defends his crown against Petr Petrov at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 8th April, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

WBO Lightweight boss Flanagan, 32-0-0 13 KO’s, was a special guest at the Etihad yesterday, addressing the 54,000 strong crowd before City battled to an entertaining 1-1 draw with Premier League rivals Liverpool.

The 27-year-old from Ancoats became Manchester’s first World Champion since Hatton with his third-round TKO victory over Jose Zepeda back in 2015 and knows he must get past the dangerous Petrov if he is to secure huge unification showdowns with the likes of WBA Champion Jorge Linares and WBC kingpin Mikey Garcia.

“Fighting at the Etihad would be a dream come true,” said Flanagan. “I grew up as a huge Ricky Hatton fan and there was always a special atmosphere at his fights. The Manchester public bring that special atmosphere and I want those big nights that he had.

“Every time I’ve boxed in Manchester I’ve got a knockout win and I’m aiming to carry that on next month. It’s going to be a big test but one that I’m going to step-up to and deal with. If I’m not on my game he’s a potential banana skin. I have to win this if I want those big unification fights later in the year

“Having thousands of fans cheering me on gives me and real boost and I hope you can all turn out and get behind me on April 8th. I’m looking to make a big statement and I want as many of my fans in there to see it as possible.”

Flanagan vs. Petrov tops a mouth-watering night of action at the Manchester Arena; Super-Welterweight rivals Liam Smith and Liam Williams clash in one of the most anticipated domestic dust-ups in recent times; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut.

March 17, 2017
March 17, 2017
Liam Smith

Action Images/Lee Smith

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Former WBO Super-Welterweight boss Liam Smith says his mouth-watering matchup with undefeated British Champion Liam Williams is far from a 50-50 fight. Smith and Williams lock horns at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 8th April, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

The bookmakers are struggling to split the pair. Most bookies price ‘Beefy’ as the 5/6 favourite, with Williams only marginally longer at even-money. The shortest odds available on Smith are 8/11, with 11/10 on offer for a Williams win, a price that will surely tempt plenty of the Clydach Vale faithful.

Scouse warrior Smith is determined to prove his doubters wrong.

“A lot of people are going to look silly when this fight is over,” said Smith. “I’m confident on my behalf that this is not a 50-50 fight.

“I’m doing everything that I have always done – I haven’t changed a thing. Liam and his team have changed everything. Everything they are doing is new to them, don’t be surprised if they leave it all in the gym.

“I think they are panicking because they know they are in a fight. They are trying to cover everything. I saw he was doing 18 rounds over two days around six or seven weeks out from the fight. That isn’t what Liam and Gary Lockett are usually like.

“After the fight everyone will see why I should have been the clear favourite. Believe me, I’m going to beat Liam Williams.”

Smith vs. Williams is part of an unmissable evening of action on April 8th; local hero Terry Flanagan makes the fifth defence of his WBO World Lightweight crown against dangerous Russian Petr Petrov; double Olympic Gold Medallist and women’s boxing icon Nicola Adams OBE fights for the first time as a professional and former Team GB Heavyweight monster Daniel Dubois makes his highly-anticipated professional debut.

March 16, 2017
March 16, 2017
Kal Yafai

Action Images

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Kal Yafai will defend his WBA world super-flyweight title against Suguru Muranaka at the Barclaycard Arena on May 13, live on Sky Sports – where Sam Eggington also challenges Cerefino Rodriguez for the European welterweight title on a stacked bill.

Yafai became Birmingham’s first World champion when he landed the crown with a clinical showing against Luis Concepcion in Manchester in December.

The unbeaten 27-year-old will defend on home soil against Japan’s Muranaka, the 32 year old former Japanese flyweight champion who boxes outside of Tokyo for the first time in his 13 year career.

Yafai extended his unbeaten record in the pro game to 21-0 when he landed the title – but now believes he’s starting a new career as a world champion, with a target on his back from his first defence as he targets unification bouts down the line.

“It’s a tough first defence and that’s what I need,” said Yafai. “I want hard fights that are going to help me when I face unification fights.

“This is what I started boxing for. I wanted massive nights in Birmingham and it doesn’t get better for me. It’s been amazing since winning the title. Every time I’m walking around the city I get stopped for photos and for autographs – but I know that it’s harder to keep a title than it is to win it, so the real work is only just beginning.”

Chief support comes from Eggington’s European title crack at Rodriguez, the Spaniard that landed the vacant title in December. Eggington is full of confidence heading into the bout having stopped former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi at The O2, and the hard-hitting 23 year old wants to build on his wins over Malignaggi and Frankie Gavin with another prize scalp.

“I have real hunger back after losing to Bradley Skeete and this is massive for me as I never thought I’d reach this level,” said Eggington.

“I had to learn a lot after Skeete. I have grown up and come back strong with wins over Frankie and Paulie. If I can add a win over Rodriguez to those two names and then defend the title well, people will start talking about World titles and I think that I’ve earned the right to be in the conversation for them.”

Gavin returns to action following his fight of the year battle with Eggington and ‘Funtime’ is taking the first steps to move down to fight at super-lightweight by taking on Derby’s Dave Ryan in a crunch clash made at 145lbs, while Yafai’s younger brother Gamal takes on WBC International Super-Bantamweight champion Sean Davis.

Unbeaten talents Ryan Kelly and Adam Harper clash for the Midlands Area middleweight title and there’s more local interest with Lennox Clarke, Jordan Clayton, Charlie Williams and Cori Gibbs in action.

March 16, 2017
March 16, 2017
Muhammad Ali

Greg Woodward/GB Boxing

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RIO Olympians Pat McCormack and Muhammad Ali have been named in a strong British Lionhearts team to face Italia Thunder in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) on Thursday 23 March 2017 at York Hall in London.

The pair will be joined by WSB debutant Calum French, and experienced super-heavyweight, Frazer Clarke, who will be looking to extend his unbeaten record in the competition.

Overseas selection, Radoslav Pantaleev of Bulgaria, completes a formidable Lionhearts line-up at light-heavyweight.

Tickets for are on sale at www.theticketfactory.com/default/online/tickets/sport/world-series-boxing.

The match will be live on BoxNation from 8.00pm.

The Lionhearts currently sit top of Group B following a 5-0 demolition of the Morocco Atlas Lions at York Hall and a 3-2 away win against the France Fighting Roosters in Paris.

They will be looking to avenge their only defeat of 2017 which came when Italia Thunder edged a 3-2 win in this season’s opening fixture in Rome.

The Lionhearts team contains three boxers with an unbeaten record in WSB in super-heavyweight, Clarke (6-0), welterweight, McCormack (3-0), and light-heavyweight, Pantaleev (3-0).

Clarke said: “I am very excited to be boxing at York Hall again.  When you’re at home you don’t just want to win, you want to look good as well. It is important to get the win but in front of your home crowd you also like to impress and showcase your talent.  I have boxed my opponent before and beat him in a very close bout, so I think the fans can expect another exciting contest.”

Flyweight, Ali, won his last WSB bout, away in France to take his record in the competition to 3-1.

He said: “Being part of the GB Boxing squad, I don’t get the chance to box in England very much so it will be good to be back at home for a change and boxing in front of my home fans as I don’t get the chance to do it very often.   It’s great having my family in the crowd as they cheer me on and bring out the best in me when I’m in the ring.”

Talented newcomer, French, is coming off-the-back of a gold-medal-winning performance in The Strandja tournament in Bulgaria.

The Birtley ABC lightweight said: “I can’t wait for next week, I’ve never boxed at York Hall before and I’ve heard from all of the lads what a great venue it is. I am really looking forward to boxing their especially with it being my WSB debut.

“I have just come back from The Strandja where I won gold and had five hard fights. It definitely made me sharper and has helped prepare me for next week.  In the gym it’s been the same preparation as always, I’ve done a few more rounds of sparring to help get me more used to the five round format and have been working on slowing down the pace a bit, rather than boxing at the AOB three-round pace.

“I feel confident and just want to give a good account of myself with it being my debut. Also they did beat us away so it would be good to get the win at home for the team.”