Category Archives: Press

October 24, 2014
October 24, 2014
MartinMurray1

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St. Helens middleweight Martin Murray knows victory on Saturday night (October 25) against Italian Domencio Spada could set him up for a February date with WBA world middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin.

He is reminded of this in every interview and conversation and will be reminded further when the fearsome Golovkin takes his seat at ringside in Monte Carlo and watches Murray and Spada do battle for the WBC Silver middleweight title.

“It’s been a motivation thing for me,” said Murray, 28-1-1 (12 KOs). “People talk about Golovkin and you’ve got to answer questions about it, but the more people I get asking me about it, the more I get motivated to do a proper job on Spada this Saturday night.

“I knew I had a world title shot against Sergio Martinez back in 2013, but I still had to go out there and beat Jorge Navarro to get it. It’s the same tomorrow. If I don’t beat Spada, there’s no world title fight.

“For that reason, I’m completely focused on Spada and am not thinking about Golovkin one bit. In fact, I didn’t even watch his fight against Marco Antonio Rubio at the weekend. I just completely ignored it. Instead, I stuck on a DVD of Spada that morning to keep me focused.

“I want the Golovkin fight and it’s one I’ve always wanted. It’s one I look forward to. But, in order to get the fight I want, I have to beat Spada on Saturday night.”

Since losing a contentious decision in Argentina to then WBC world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, Murray has gone from strength to strength, beating the likes of Max Bursak and Sergey Khomitsky in distance fights and picking up the WBC Silver title.

Spada, his first challenger, hails from Roma and is a former WBC International champion and European title challenger. Now 34, Spada, 39-5 (19 KOs), remains robust and durable at a world-class level.

“He’s experienced,” said Murray. “His style is horrible and awkward but it works for him. You look at videos of him and think he looks very beatable. He looks like he’s got nothing about him. But then you look at his record and look at the people he has fought and beat and you start to realise that he makes his style work for him.

“He’s got a good record. He pushed Darren Barker close and then Darren went on to win a world middleweight title.

“His style isn’t the prettiest and he can be quite dirty at times, but that’s not to say he isn’t dangerous. If you overlook someone like Spada, he’ll make you regret it.”

The 32-year-old continued: “I think he’s going to come out fast. He’s smaller than me in height and in build and he’ll probably look to get inside on me early. I’m expecting him to start fast and look to work me over with big shots. He’ll try to rough me up. He’ll be physical.

“But we’ve worked on picking clean shots as he’s coming in – working shots around the sides and bringing them up through the middle. I’ll be landing on him whenever he opens up and slowing him down. I want to control the first half of the fight and then completely take over in the second. I want to get the stoppage if I can.

“First and foremost, though, I have to just get the job done. I need to go in there and execute the game plan. But, of course, we’ve been working on finishing shots and I’m looking to take him out when the opportunity comes. I want to go in there and make a statement.”

Murray’s scheduled 12-rounder with Spada will be televised on Channel 5 this Saturday night (October 25) alongside the vacant IBF world bantamweight title fight between Darlington’s Stuart Hall and the unbeaten American Randy Caballero.

The action gets underway at 8.30pm and continues right on through to 11pm, meaning fight fans will be treated to some two-and-a-half hours of world-class boxing. Murray couldn’t be happier.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable to be fighting on Channel 5,” he said. “It’s brilliant for me and my team and it’s brilliant for everyone at home. I get some great exposure out of it and all my friends and family at home can watch me on terrestrial television. That’s priceless for a boxer.

“Since the Felix Sturm fight (in December 2011), I’ve suffered from inactivity and have been in the shadows a little bit. My profile then dipped after the Martinez fight and not a lot of people have been able to see me fight recently. This changes everything, though. It feels like everything I had to put up with in the past has now been worth it.”

October 23, 2014
October 23, 2014
George Groves

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George Groves (20-2, 15 KOs) is back in action on November 22 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. The ‘Saint’ will defend his WBC Silver title against American Denis Douglin (17-3, 10 KOs) on a bumper bill topped by the domestic grudge match between Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Groves returns following a unanimous points victory over Christopher Rebrasse at the Wembley Arena in September, in which the Hammersmith boxer claimed the European and WBC Silver Super Middleweight titles, and became mandatory challenger for Anthony Dirrell’s WBC World title.

‘’I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring,’’ said Groves. ‘’This is a chance for me to impress on a big card. I plan to steal the show! It’s a calculated risk, lose this fight and I lose my shot at Dirrell. But I want to stay active, I want to box as regularly as possible and I’m confident I can get the job done.

‘’I’ve good memories of fighting at the Echo Arena. It’s been a happy hunting ground for me in the past. I fought my third professional fight there against Paul Samuels and I picked up a lot of fans in Liverpool that night. They’re a lively bunch and I hope to bump into a few of them when I’m back in November.’’

‘’This is a big opportunity for me,’’ said Douglin. ‘’Win this fight and I’m a step closer to realising my dream of becoming world champion. Groves is a great boxer, it will be a tough fight but I’m ready to cause an upset. I’m coming to fight my fight and to beat Groves on his home turf.’’

‘’We’re pleased to get George out on another big UK show,’’ said promoter Nisse Sauerland. ‘’He will face a tough test against Douglin and cannot afford to look past him. George will need to approach this as if it were a world title fight or could risk losing the WBC mandatory position.’’

“I’m delighted to add George to a huge night of British boxing on November 22 in Liverpool,’’ said Eddie Hearn. ‘’You have three great super-middleweights in action in George, James DeGale and Callum Smith who are all in big fights – there will be plenty of drama on fight night and in the build up. We have had a run of great nights recently working together with Team Sauerland and we look forward to many more in the future.’’

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October 23, 2014
October 23, 2014
ThomasStalker

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LIVERPOOL light-welterweight Thomas Stalker was once the world’s top ranked amateur lightweight but knows, at 30, there’s little margin for error if he’s to repeat the trick as a professional.

The 2012 Team GB Olympic skipper – who struck gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and also medalled at both the European and World Senior meets – jettisoned a British title eliminator in favour of an audacious attempt to crash the world rankings.

This Saturday at the Echo Arena in his home city, ‘The Captain’ collides with fast rising Chorley tyro Jack Catterall for the vacant WBO European crown. Both are unbeaten in nine pro fights and the trade is evenly split as to who shall triumph in what is sure to be a compelling boxer versus puncher duel.   

The ever accommodating Scouser took time out to analyse the fight with boxing writer Glynn Evans. 

Thus far you’ve had nine fights, nine wins, two stoppages. How do you assess your pro career to date?

It’s a very tough way to make your living. In the amateurs you just throw punches at a high pace for three rounds. And for three rounds, I was very good. My work rate was generally too much for the opposition.

I’m a realist. I know that I might not yet have made the impact expected of a former world amateur number one or the impact of my fellow Olympians such as Anthony Joshua or Luke Campbell. But I’m pretty pleased. I’ve been a pro for just 20 months and, though I was out injured for eight of those, I’m already up at 10-round level. In nine fights, I’ve only had three rounds taken off me on the official cards.

I’m never going to be a one punch take out merchant but Paulie Malignaggi won several world titles without a dig. I may lack power but I gain in speed and fitness. I’ve trained very hard to do the longer rounds and I’ve developed my style to get the best use out of what I’ve got.

Okay, a few have dragged me into a fight and the reviews haven’t always been great but, even then, I’ve been able to show how tough I am, how good my chin is. Lately, I’ve been working on trading when I want to trade, not when they want to trade.

But I’ve done all that’s been asked of me, had me hand raised every time. I’m a winner. By foul means or fair, I’ll get the job done. I’ve got the tools and I’m a very, very determined person.

This’ll be your first start above eight rounds. How have you prepared for the extra demands? 

Whether it’s 10 rounds or 12, it’s all in the head. Obviously I’ve done longer sparring sessions. For a three-round amateur bout you can pretty much go on auto pilot but a professional title fight requires a lot more thought and concentration.

I’ve had an eight-week camp. I had 10 weeks for my fight before but probably over did it. I’ve been fortunate to have sparred 30 rounds in Birmingham with (British welterweight champion) Frankie Gavin, one of the best southpaws out there. Terry Needham, who knocked out Brett Beadon recently, is another southpaw who’s been putting it on me and I’ve also sparred Dec Geraghty, a top Irish kid. Prep has gone great and it’ll all come right on the 25th.

Your 21-year-old opponent Jack Catterall is also undefeated in nine and coming off a vicious one shot knockout over ex World Junior medallist Nathan Brough. What’s your take on him?

I’ve done my prep on him and he’s a very good kid; great power and timing. He also appears a nice lad. He took my mate Nathan out with one left hook last time and Nathan has a good chin so Jack can certainly bang. I know Catterall’s camp think they’ll catch up with me late but I don’t think his big punch alone will be enough to beat me.

Jack’s certainly looked very impressive as a pro but I’d not have taken it if I didn’t think I’d win. It should be a great fight for the fans.

Catterall looked savage dispatching Brough. What makes you so sure that you can stand up to his power?

Despite fighting at the very highest level, I wasn’t stopped once as an amateur. In fact, in the only fight that I was dropped, I got up to beat my German opponent and win gold at the European Unions. I know I can really dig in from first round to last. I’m a very tough person.

You were initially matched with Swansea’s Chris Jenkins in a British eliminator on this bill. Why did you opt to veto that in favour of the Catterall clash?

Both Catterall and Jenkins are both very good fighters so it isn’t a case of ducking anyone.

It’s just the Jenkins fight was only an eliminator, not a final eliminator and I’d probably have had to wait at least another six months for a crack at the title. The Catterall fight will catapult me up the (WBO) world rankings when I win. My team decided it also made better business sense. The reward was better.

Catterall is a massive step up for me as a pro and I refuse to look past him. I know several people view me as the underdog going in but I know what I can do. I could take the Chris Eubank Jnr route and stop a load of Latvians but I sell a lot of tickets and, at the end of the day, the fans want to see great fights.

Unlike yourself, Catterall doesn’t have the experience of fighting before big, hostile crowds and you also have home court. How crucial might that become?

I’ve sold over 100 ringside seats which is fabulous but it doesn’t really matter who’s sitting outside the ring. Sometimes that just leads to you getting carried away.

I’d fight and beat Jack Catterall anywhere in the world. I’ll only be listening to Seamus (Macklin, his coach).  Jack also has a very experienced and well respected coach in Lee Beard to steer him through. Location won’t be the deciding factor.

Finally, why do you believe that your hand will be raised when the fighting is done?

Because I live the life and I’m always giving 100 per cent in the gym. I’m not bad mouthing anyone and I’m sure we’ll put on a great fight on a great show.

Fight or box, Saturday night, I’ll be the one controlling. I’ll box my fight and try to win every single round.  Even his trainer Lee Beard concedes that I’d probably beat him ten bouts out of ten in the amateurs. I’m far sharper and have the better boxing brain.

Watch Stalker v Catterall on the massive ‘Magnificent Seven’ card – which also features world rated super-flyweight Paul Butler, Liam Smith takes on Zoltan Sera for the Vacant WBA Continental Lightweight Championship, Kevin Satchell’s challenge for the European flyweight crown, the hugely anticipated domestic showdown between Derry Mathews and Adam Dingsdale, plus Chris Eubank Jnr.

Remaining tickets priced at £40, £50, £75, £100 and £150 are available from the Liverpool Echo Arena Box Office on 0844 8000 400 or www.echoarena.com

Watch live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 525).  Join at www.boxnation.com

October 22, 2014
October 22, 2014
Scott Quigg

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Scott Quigg will defend his WBA World Super Bantamweight title against Japan’s Hidenori Otake at the sold-out Echo Arena in Liverpool on November 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Quigg defends his title for the fifth time against Otake, ranked at number three with the IBF and coming to England off the back of four successful defences of the Japanese title he claimed in August 2012.

The Bury star saw off the spirited challenge of Belgium’s Stephane Jamoye with a trademark body shot in the third round of their clash in Manchester in September, and the 26 year old is looking for another explosive performance to close a great year in the ring.

“I can’t wait to defend my World title in Liverpool on November 22 on a huge night for British boxing,” said Quigg. “Otake represents the toughest fight of my career and I’m working hard to put in a scintillating performance. He is highly ranked and highly respected with an exciting style – I’m on a big run of KO’s and I don’t intend on stopping.”

Quigg’s clash with Otake is part of a sensational line-up of Britain’s biggest stars in Liverpool, topped by the rematch between bitter rivals Cleverly and Bellew, with promoter Eddie Hearn set to announce a huge addition to the bill on Thursday.

James DeGale faces Marco Antonio Periban over 12 rounds as he hunts down a World title shot in the Super Middleweight division, which is where unbeaten Liverpool sensation Callum Smith meets Nikola Sjekloca in a WBC World title eliminator, with his brother Stephen Smith in action in the Super Featherweight division.

Jamie McDonnell defends his WBA World Bantamweight title against Walberto Ramos and Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua MBE defends his WBC International title against Michael Sprott in an eliminator for the British title.

October 21, 2014
October 21, 2014
Liam-Smith

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Having already asserted hegemony over the domestic light-middleweight crop, reigning British champion Liam Smith is now keen to conquer the world.

The stone-faced 26 year old – third eldest of the four fighting brothers – presently holds top 12 world rankings with both the IBF and WBO and he’ll be hoping to make inroads into the WBA’s listings this weekend when he confront’s Hungary’s Zoltan Gera for that body’s Continental title at the Echo Arena in his native Liverpool on Saturday.

On Saturday afternoon boxing writer Glynn Evans spoke with the box-fighter they call ‘Beefy’ about his intentions.

What was your evaluation of your last performance, an impressive sixth round stoppage of Jason Welborn in defence of your British title? 

I was pretty pleased overall with the performance. I achieved what I set out to do by getting Welborn out of there inside six rounds.

I could probably have made it a lot easier for myself by using my skills to give him a boxing lesson but a few things were said in the build up so I wanted to have a fight with him, wanted to hurt him.

His camp were going on about how tough and strong he was but I wanted to impose my strength on him, show I wasn’t just superior technically but that I was better in every department. Once I’d proved to him I was stronger, he knew there was nothing he could do and it proved an easy night for me.

After a chain of points victories early in your career, it was your second successive quick win against a credible domestic title challenger. How do you account for that?

Probably a number of factors. I’ve become more powerful physically over the last year and now I believe I’m a big, strong light-middleweight. There’s also been technical improvements from working in the gym with Joe (Gallagher, his trainer)and I’ve definitely developed a more spiteful mindset.

But possibly the main thing is that, during my ring apprenticeship, I fought all the top British journeyman.

You need just one more British title win to own Lonsdale Belt. Welshman Liam Williams, your mandatory challenger, has started to mention your name. How important is it for you to claim the belt outright before advancing to the big international belts?

I’d really love one. As soon as Saturday is out of the way, I’ll fancy finalising it. Liam Williams is mandated as my next challenger but his manager Gary Lockett is a very smart guy and I think he knows that Williams is a few fights away from being ready for me.

Sure Liam looked good stopping Ronnie Heffron but that’s just one win. I’d be very confident but I’m vacating the Commonwealth soon and I feel Gary Lockett will want to take Williams a different route.

You return to your native Liverpool on Saturday. What are your memories of growing up in this great fight city?

There’s always been a great buzz up here surrounding the boxing but, to be honest, unlike me brothers, I wasn’t really a great fan of boxing growing up. I was just a mad kid who liked messing around on the green with me mates. I was far more into me football. I went to the odd pro show at the Everton Park Triangle but didn’t really have any local heroes.

I weren’t really a full lover of boxing when the likes of Shea Neary and Andy Holligan were doing their thing in a tent in Stanley Park. My first boxing heroes were Americans like Sugar Ray Leonard. Now I’m a real student of it. I follow all the fighters. Boxing mad!

We’ve probably got a better crop of fighters now than we’ve ever had in the past. Today, the recent successes are a big plus with guys like Pricey (David Price), my brothers, Butler from Ellesmere Port, and loads of others all doing well. All the fighters, regardless of their promotional camp, get along pretty well and all bounce off one another.  There’s a real positive vibe.

And since they built the Echo Arena a few years back, we’ve now got a great venue. The tiering is far different to the MEN in Manchester, making it more compact. All fans get a great view. Again, I’ve sold over a hundred tickets for Saturday, despite all the disruptions. I love fighting there.

You meet Hungary’s 16-2 Zoltan Sera over 12 rounds for the vacant WBA Continental title.  Is it less stressful preparing for an international contest than defending your domestic belts? 

I saw Sera when he fought Joey Selkirk, his style is made for me, I’ll do a great job on him. He swings wild and walks onto everything. Joey says he’s got a head like a brick but he took him out with body shots. I’ve always been a very good body puncher.

Hopefully, I can deliver another good performance to keep the good vibe going and get the fans talking my name again. I’ll be looking for another stoppage inside six rounds.

You’re already rated in the top 12 by both the IBF and WBO. An impressive win on Saturday will see you crash the WBA rankings. Which world champion are you targeting?

First choice would have to be (IBF king Cornelius) Bundrage.Last Sunday, immediately after I saw he’d regained the title, I texted Frank Warren and told him I’d travel to the US to challenge him. My style beats his every day of the week. He’d provide a good gauge for where I’m at. I’d happily fight him next.

Watch Smith on the massive ‘Magnificent Seven’ card – which also features world rated super-flyweight Paul Butler, Kevin Satchell’s challenge for the European flyweight strap plus the hugely anticipated domestic showdowns between Derry Mathews and Adam Dingsdale and Thomas Stalker against Jack Catterall, plus Chris Eubank Jnr.

Remaining tickets priced at £40, £50, £75, £100 and £150 are available from the Liverpool Echo Arena Box Office on 0844 8000 400 or www.echoarena.com

Watch live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 525).  Join at www.boxnation.com

October 20, 2014
October 20, 2014
LukeCampbell

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LUKE CAMPBELL and Tommy Coyle say that the pressure is on them to claim big wins at the Ice Arena in Hull on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports – so they can set up a huge clash in the city next summer.

The Lightweight duo face big step-up fights on Saturday night, with Coyle meeting former World champion Michael Katsidis and Campbell facing Argentine Daniel Brizuela, who shared a rollercoaster war with Coyle in February.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has made no secret that a clash between the two at Hull City’s KC Stadium next summer would be a huge event for the city and for British boxing, and both men believe that if they keep winning, a fight is inevitable, and Campbell would love to box outside in his hometown for the second time having made his professional debut last July at Hull KR’s Craven Park.

“We both have tough fights on Saturday but if we keep winning then we can be looking at a massive outdoor show at the KC Stadium, which will be great for boxing fans and for the people of Hull,” said Campbell. “Tommy and I have been friends for a long time, we’ve known each other for over a decade, we trained together as kids, but this is the sport we’re in, it’s the entertainment business and we can put our friendship to one side for a night to put on a great show for the fans. I am going to stay unbeaten, that’s for sure, so if Tommy can do the same we’ll be ready for a big one.”

Coyle appeared on Campbell’s debut card and suffered a heart-breaking KO loss to Derry Mathews having dominated the fight. The 25 year old credits Campbell’s Olympic gold medal heroics with bringing boxing to their hometown, but says he’d have no qualms in facing the unbeaten star and believes he’d beat him.

“Luke winning the gold started it all off, I have so much respect for Luke and if it hadn’t had been for that then we wouldn’t be having these big shows in Hull,” said Coyle. “The fans here are fantastic, some of the best in the land. They will be out in force this weekend and if we keep winning then we’ll be getting more and more shows here. We’re pals and we’ve travelled the world together as amateurs but I am not daft, Eddie promotes us both and it makes sense to put us in the ring together.

“First and foremost, it’s Katsidis. The fight with Luke excites me very, very much. Luke is a good friend of mine, I have a lot of respect for him and his success in the Olympics is the main reason why I got my shot on a big Matchroom bill against Derry last summer.

“I’d be confident of beating him, he’s not been in there with someone like me but it would be a very good fight, and we both have hard fights to take care of this weekend first.”

Campbell and Coyle face their acid tests on a great night of boxing in Hull, with Gavin McDonnell looking to step into the international mix against former World title challenger Vusi Malinga.

Samir Mouniemne continues on the path back to title contention and the show also sees a showcase of local talent with Nathon Smith, Tom Knight, Charlie Payton and Connor Seymour plus Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jnr.

October 17, 2014
October 17, 2014
AndyLeeJohnJackson

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Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, junior middleweight dynamo John “Dah Rock” Jackson (18-2, 15 KOs) will return to action on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at the Quorum Córdoba Hotel in Cordoba, Argentina, against hometown veteran Carlos Adan “El Malevo” Jerez (40-17-3, 18 KOs).

Presented by Sampson Boxing, Maravillabox, Tello-Box and J.E.B. Boxing, Jackson vs. Jerez will serve as one of the main supporting bouts for a night of boxing headlined by Carolina Marcela Gutierrez (22-4-1, 13 KOs) taking on Yulihan Luna Avila (11-2, 1 KO) for the vacant IBF World female super bantamweight title.

25-year-old Jackson says his fight against Jerez will serve two purposes: First, Jerez was the first fighter to pin a loss on his cousin, Samuel Rogers and so some family-style revenge is on the menu.

Secondly, this will be Jackson’s first fight since his shock KO loss to Ireland’s Andy Lee last June at Madison Square Garden. Fighting on the PPV-broadcast undercard of Martinez vs. Cotto, Jackson dominated every minute of the first four rounds against the highly rated Lee before running into perfectly timed right hand at 1:07 of round five. Jackson had put Lee down in round one and battered him around the ring non-stop, but got careless against the dangerous puncher as he was moving in for the kill.

“John knows he got careless against Lee,” said Jackson’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz. “He knows what he did wrong and paid a heavy price for it. He was beating Andy Lee all over the ring and forgot about his defense. It’s something that will never happen again.”

Lewkowicz says Jackson is still young and will be able to recover from the surprise loss quickly.

“He’s a very strong, good young fighter and he learned a very important lesson against a fighter with a lot more experience. But before the lucky punch, it was apparent that John Jackson is a top fighter who can handle other highly rated contenders in his division very well. Once he gets his revenge for his cousin Samuel against Jerez, he will continue to rebuild by taking on tough foes to regain his position in the rankings. This is far from the last of John Jackson. It was just a learning experience on his way to the championship.”