Category Archives: Press

August 13, 2018
August 13, 2018
Amir Khan Samuel Vargas

Action Images/Craig Brough

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AMIR KHAN is promising to deliver another explosive performance when he takes on Samuel Vargas at Arena Birmingham on September 8, live on Sky Sports.

Khan is back in action following his blistering return to the ring in April in Liverpool where he destroyed Phil Lo Greco in just 39 seconds after nearly two year out of action.

Speaking from his Los Angeles training camp, the former unified super-lightweight ruler insisted he will need to beat Canadian based Columbian Vargas in style if he is to secure a shot at welterweight world honours later this year.

“Fans will see another explosive performance on September 8,” said Khan. “I didn’t get a chance to show everyone what I had been working on during my time out against Lo Greco. But you saw the punch power, accuracy, speed and timing and you’ll see it again against Vargas. I always make it exciting, it’s going to be another big bang.

“Vargas is another step and move in the right direction. This will take me on to the bigger and better fights and that’s with no disrespect to Sammy. He’s going to come to win, he knows by beating me it propels him on to a whole new level. It’s one of them fights I have to be very smart in. I need to win and also look good doing so. There’s big fights in the pipeline but I can’t afford to look that far ahead, Vargas has my full attention.

“Vargas is a tough and well-schooled fighter but if he wants to fight on the inside I’ll be more than ready for it. He has shared the ring with some top welterweights including Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr. We’re going to be prepared for whatever he brings. I’m a totally different fighter now to the old Amir Khan.”

Amir Khan

Khan is approaching his second fight under vastly experienced trainer Joe Goossen and is confident that the extra time he has spent in the gym with Goossen will benefit him greatly come fight night on September 8.

“The bond is growing with Joe, we’ve had much more time to work on things in this camp. We’ve been improving what Joe sees as my strengths and also the mistakes I can make in a fight so we’re building to become the full package. Last time we just really set the game plan given the short notice we had together but for this one we’ve had the full camp behind us,” Khan said.

“Camp has been very hard. It’s so hot out here so making weight is not a problem. But training in this temperature is difficult. We spar 10-12 rounds with 30 second breaks with high intensity training around it so come fight night, I’ll be more than ready.”

Khan’s clash with Vargas tops a packed card in the second city, as Jason Welborn defends his British middleweight title in a rematch with Tommy Langford, whom he snatched the title from in May via split decision in Walsall.

Ryan Kelly defends the Midlands Area super-welterweight title he won in May via stoppage at Villa park against unbeaten Dordon man Kelcie Ball, Stourbridge banger Sam Eggington appears on the bill with super-bantamweight star Gamal Yafai, while Geordie Lightweight ace Lewis Ritson keeps busy ahead of his return to the Metro Radio Arena on October 13.

Preston super-welterweight Scott Fitzgerald takes on Ludlow’s Craig Morris over ten, Leeds super-bantamweight Qais Ashfaq faces Southampton’s Ricky Little, with action elsewhere from Northampton middleweight Keiron Conway, Bolton super-bantamweight Osman Aslam, Birmingham cruiserweight Shakan Pitters and Birmingham super-welterweight Mussab Abubaker.

August 13, 2018
August 13, 2018
Carl Frampton

Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

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CARL FRAMPTON insists Luke Jackson will regret his trash talk when they finally meet in the ring in Belfast on Saturday August 18.

The Australian (16-0) has blasted Frampton in the build up ahead of their interim WBO featherweight title clash at Windsor Park.

Jackson has claimed Frampton is past his best, looking heavy in the gym and been critical of the Belfast man’s amateur pedigree.

“He can say what he wants, but he has never boxed at the level I have boxed at,” snapped Frampton (25-1).

“We talk about levels in this game and there are different levels. I have boxed at a very high level for a long time.

“This is the first time he has mixed it at a high level and he is not going to be able to cope, especially coming to Belfast.

“I don’t read into odds, but I imagine I am a strong favourite. The bookies haven’t got it wrong because basically I want to do a number on this guy.

“He has been slightly disrespectful with the things he has said. He has tried to backtrack, but the bottom line is that he has said these things.

“He has made his bed and he has to lay in it. He is getting it – he really is.”

It will be Frampton’s third fight under trainer Jamie Moore and insists he has never been happier as a boxer.

His gym-mates include Jack Catterall, Martin Murray, new regular WBA world champ Rocky Fielding and close friends Conrad Cummings and Steven Ward who box on the Belfast bill.

He added: “The fight is very soon, but this camp has absolutely flown by. It doesn’t seem that long ago when we were in Tenerife and that was a couple of months ago.

“It’s probably something to do with how much I am enjoying my boxing right now.

“ I’m enjoying myself as a boxer and it is a good craic in the gym. There has been some great wins like Rocky and Martin recently.

“There are good quality lads in the gym. We all train hard, but nobody takes themselves too seriously away from the boxing and that is the environment I like to be in.

“We’re serious when we have to be, but there is a lot of light hearted stuff that goes on when it’s down time.

“I met these boys a year ago, but we’re friends for life.”

Carl Frampton

Also on the BT Sport televised bill lineal heavyweight king Tyson Fury faces a step up when he tackles two-time world title challenger Francesco Pianeta.

In only his sixth professional fight, Frampton’s great friend Paddy Barnes challenges WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales.

The bill also includes a light-heavyweight clash between Belfast’s Ward and Dubliner Steve Collins Jr. Also in action is WBO European middleweight champion Luke Keeler, Cummings, KO king Lewis Crocker, Marco McCullough, Sean McComb and Steven Donnelly.

August 11, 2018
August 11, 2018
Carl Frampton

Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

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LUKE JACKSON has made a drastic error of judgment in bad-mouthing Carl Frampton ahead of their Windsor Park collision, according to the Belfast hero’s trainer Jamie Moore.

The unbeaten Jackson has branded two-weight world champion ‘The Jackal’ “heavy” and “sluggish” – comments that the home fighter admits left him “annoyed.”

On August 18 – live on BT Sport, Moore is sure Frampton (25-1-KO14) will make his Australian guest pay dearly.

Moore said: “Carl didn’t need any more motivation because it’s Windsor Park – a dream he’s had all his life.

“Luke Jackson hasn’t made it any better for himself by antagonising Carl in little ways. Even though Jackson might be thinking he can antagonise him to the point Carl will lose his head, you’ve never met a more mentally stronger fighter than Carl Frampton.

“Carl might be throwing out little comments about Jackson saying: ‘Luke Jackson is talking rubbish.’

“On the night, once the ringwalks are done and the reality hits Luke Jackson, he’s going to realise that he’s made a big mistake.”

Carl Frampton

Frampton v Jackson spearheads a phenomenal night of boxing with Tyson Fury v Pianeta, Paddy Barnes’ world title shot against Cristofer Rosales, Steven Ward v Steve Collins Jr for the Celtic title and many more featuring.

August 11, 2018
August 11, 2018
Lewis Ritson

Action Images/Craig Brough

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LEWIS RITSON will return to the Metro Radio Arena Newcastle on October 13, live on Sky Sports.

The Geordie ace is feeling unstoppable after producing another stunning display of brutal power to destroy Paul Hyland Jnr in one round to take home the British lightweight title for keeps in June.

The ‘Sandman’ put the unbeaten Belfast man away in a similar fashion to the devastating defences against Manchester’s Joe Murray (first round) and Lytham St Anne’s Scotty Cardle (second round).

Ritson’s fanatical support blew the roof off the Tyneside arena in June and the Forest Hall fighter is promising another unforgettable performance in October as he sets his sights on European honours and beyond.

“The atmosphere inside the Metro Radio Arena was unreal in June and I can’t wait to get back in there on October 13,” said Ritson. “It’s been a rapid rise and I can’t wait to headline on the big stage again live on Sky Sports.

“The most important thing for me right now is keeping busy and I’m delighted to be fighting in an eight rounder on the Khan vs. Vargas undercard in September as well. I’m focused on winning and improving with every fight.

“It’s been a fantastic year for me and I want to continue to build in September and October. I’ve got a brilliant team around me that I trust and I’m confident they can guide me towards more major titles.”

Lewis Ritson

Rising light-heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi features as he takes part in his eighth professional fight after landing his first title at The O2. He picked up the WBA International title with a stunning first round win over Andrejs Pokumeiko and will be looking to push on again on October 13.

Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jnr faces Sunderland’s Glenn Foot for the British and Commonwealth super-lightweight titles.

Foot puts his Commonwealth title on the line for the first time after securing it with an 11th round stoppage win over Scotland’s Jason Easton in Glasgow in March. Davies Jnr dropped Michal Syrowatka three times on his way to avenging his sole career loss and winning back his WBA Continental strap last time out.

David Allen also returns after his ‘life-changing’ win over Nick Webb on the Whyte vs. Parker undercard at The O2 last month. The Doncaster fan favourite produced the moment of his career, sensationally stopping Webb with a devastating right hand in their British heavyweight title eliminator.

“I’ll be honest I’m counting down the days til we are back in Newcastle,” said Eddie Hearn. “Last time out was something very special and October 13 will be even bigger. Lewis Ritson is a star with a city behind him and now we are on the world title march. His fight and the full undercard will be announced at a press conference soon, fans can expect a packed night with Joshua Buatsi, Dave Allen and a brilliant clash between Glen Foot and Robbie Davies Jnr.”

Full details of the October 13 card will be announced at a press conference in Newcastle later this month.

August 10, 2018
August 10, 2018
Number 1

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SCRAPPERS BOXING GYM & COMMUNITY FITNESS CENTRE is holding its second Inclusive Boxing Showcase Event on Saturday August 11, 2017 from 12pm – 2pm at Scrappers Gym to showcase the skills of people with disabilities that participate in the project. There will be refreshments provided on the day and we would like to invite people to come along and support the project and see what great work we are doing in the community.

The Scrappers Gym Agility & Fitness for All project provides regular weekly boxing skills sessions for people with disabilities; sessions run every Friday from 10am – 11am. We have an average of 30-35 people attend the sessions each week and we are holding the Inclusive Boxing Showcase Event (Round 2) to give the people that take part in the sessions the opportunity to showcase what they have learnt and to promote this fantastic project.

Many of our service-users would never have the opportunity to take part in a boxing event in a mainstream setting due to learning and physical disabilities. We are therefore putting on an event where they can experience this in a controlled sparring environment. The participants have been working extremely hard towards their second show, this is a great opportunity for them.

The first Inclusive Showcase event was held in July 2017 and was a fantastic success with over 150 people attending, everyone had a great time and it was lovely to see the positive impact it has on the lives of those who took part.

We aim to ensure that nobody is denied the opportunity to better themselves, the project provides social and personal benefits and improves health and wellbeing. The project ensures that everybody benefits from each session, no matter what their physical disabilities.

The Swindon Children’s Scrapstore secured a funding grant in January 2017 from the Big Lottery Fund to provide the FREE boxing skills and fitness sessions for people with disabilities, offering more choice and opportunities to enjoy the benefits of accessible physical activity and increasing participation amongst disabled people. We secured additional funding at the end of 2017 from Zurich Community Trust enabling us to continue running the sessions in 2018.

In January 2017, the Scrappers Gym project won a grant of £23,000 through the Aviva Community Fund Competition. An overwhelming 8,100 people voted for the gym to make the final eight after wowing judges in the Inclusivity Category of the competition. 274 groups nationally entered the competition and around 25 local charities entered but the Swindon Children’s Scrapstore’s Scrappers Gym project was the only Swindon-based organisation to win funding. For Swindon being a small town in comparison to Bristol and other areas this was a massive achievement.

The grant has enabled us to employ a part-time gym manager and install disabled toilets and showers in the gym. The money is making a big difference not only to the project but for all our service-users. It is an enormous boost because the gym is run mainly by volunteers and people who want to donate their time to help others.

Scrappers Boxing Gym & Community Fitness Centre is a project set up and managed by the registered charity ‘Swindon Children’s Scrapstore’. The gym was set up in 2011 to provide a low-cost alternative to expensive commercial fitness centres to enable access to fitness activities for all. The project has enabled more people, especially young people and those on low incomes, to improve their health and fitness.

There are over 10,000 disabled people in Swindon, including 3,000 with a severe disability, and many find it difficult to access commercial gyms due to cost and lack of available support, according to Swindon’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (www.swindonjsna.co.uk). Disabled people are a large part of the community and traditionally they have been unable to access commercial gyms and leisure facilities.

Our amazing team of boxing and fitness coaches are fully qualified and experienced in working directly with young people and adults with a wide range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, severe mobility issues and wheelchair-users. Many of the participants have severe mobility issues and found that the exercise helped their mobility improve. This shows everyone with disabilities that there is nothing stopping them getting involved in sport.

Charlie Dawson is one of our disabled volunteer boxing coaches. Charlie, who is one of only a handful of people in the world with a muscular condition called paroxysmal non-kinetogenic choreoathetosis, also suffers from dystonia ataxia. This is controlled by a neurostimulator implant without which Charlie would endure constant fits. Despite the obstacles Charlie faces every day, he puts his energy into helping other people improve their skills.

Paul Rogers, Scrappers Gym Head Boxing Coach, said: “The gym is open to everyone but it is marginalised young people, those from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities or learning difficulties, who have benefited the most. It has tackled isolation and improved health. People seem to think it is just about punching bags, but when you start putting combinations of punches together you realise that thought has to be in there as well as the co-ordination of the body.”

Olivia McCann, Scrapstore Project Manager, said: “This community project is the only one in Swindon which provides access to boxing and fitness for people with disabilities and proves that disability poses no limits to success. We aim to provide an affordable, safe, supportive and welcoming environment at Scrappers Gym, helping to reduce isolation and increase participation.”

Scrappers Boxing Gym & Community Fitness Centre is located at the back of the 24HR Gym, Langley Road, Hillmead Industrial Estate, Swindon, SN5 5WB.

For more information about Swindon Children’s Scrapstore and the projects run by the Scrapstore, visit: www.scrapstore.co.uk or www.scrappersgym.co.uk

August 10, 2018
August 10, 2018
Carl Frampton

Action Images/Jason Cairnduff

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CARL FRAMPTON insists he will be ready for IBF world champion Josh Warrington after achieving his dream of fighting at Windsor Park.

Frampton is the star turn at Belfast’s famous football stadium when he defends his interim WBO featherweight title against Luke Jackson (16-0) on Saturday August 18.

If he comes through against the unbeaten Aussie on the card that is close to a sell-out, an opportunity to win a fourth world title will be delivered by promoter Frank Warren.

Frampton (25-1) has previously held the IBF and WBA super-bantamweight crowns and the WBA featherweight title.

Although Frampton is also eyeing WBO king Oscar Valdez who is currently sidelined by injury, English rival Warrington is also promoted by Warren and a fight that could happen in the autumn.

Frampton, 31, said, “The plan after Jackson is Oscar Valdez or Josh Warrington, which would be the easier to make because we are both promoted by Frank Warren.

“Warrington and myself is more appealing to British sports fans, but It doesn’t matter who I face.

You could flip a coin to decide whether it is Warrington or Valdez.”

Frampton’s eventual target is a rubber clash against Leo Santa Cruz who he defeated two years ago, but lost against on points in a rematch six months later.

Santa Cruz has been reluctant to face ‘The Jackal’ for the third time, but Frampton says:

“If I beat Jackson, then Warrington or Valdez I will have a title and that puts me in a stronger position, and ready to tackle Santa Cruz.

“That might make him want to come to the table, negotiate and talk about the fight again. That is the fight that appeals to me more than any other.”

Carl Frampton

Also on the BT Sport televised bill former heavyweight king Tyson Fury faces a step up when he tackles Francesco Pianeta.

In only his sixth professional fight, Frampton’s great friend Paddy Barnes challenges WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales.

The bill also includes a light-heavyweight clash between Belfast’s Steven Ward and Dubliner Steve Collins Jr. Also in action is WBO European middleweight champion Luke Keeler, Conrad Cummings, KO king Lewis Crocker, Marco McCullough, Sean McComb and Steven Donnelly.

August 9, 2018
August 9, 2018
Jose Pedraza

Peter Amador/Top Rank

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JOSE PEDRAZA already knows how it feels to have a world title in his hands. Now, the former world champion guarantees he will experience that sensation again on August 25 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

On that night, Pedraza (24-1, 12 KOs) will challenge WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs) in the main event of an ESPN-televised card.

Pedraza, who will depart for Las Vegas on Saturday to finish training camp, worked out for the Puerto Rican media Wednesday afternoon. This is what he had to say.

About his world title fight,  he said, “I feel very motivated, and I know I will have a great fight against Ray Beltran. He is a strong fighter who always leaves everything in the ring and battled for a long time until becoming a world champion. I know that this will be a classic war between Mexico and Puerto Rico.”

On what fans can expect from him on August 25, he said, “Fans can expect great boxing skills and a great victory from myself. I am focused on my career and on this fight. On Aug. 25, Puerto Rico will have a new world champion.”