Category Archives: Press

May 31, 2015
May 31, 2015

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KELL BROOK recorded a six round stoppage of Frankie Gavin in the second defence of his IBF World Welterweight title at The O2.

Brook looked every inch a world ruler as he bossed his Birmingham foe from the off, and while the former World Amateur king gamely stuck with the Sheffield star, but in the sixth round the champion quickly ended matters with a brutal and sustained attack on the ropes.

Gavin actually landed a crisp shot of his own but Brook’s riposte shook Gavin to the core and the champion did not let him off the hook – not letting the 29 year old get out of his range and referee Steve Gray halted the contest with nine seconds of the sixth round to go with Gavin slumped on the ropes.

Brook took his unbeaten record to 35-0 and said that the best is yet to come as promoter Eddie Hearn revealed a late-August date for his third defence.

“There are many more things to come from me,” said Brook. “In the dressing room the adrenaline wasn’t running and I was excited. But it is a big show and I knew I had to go out and perform. I want big, big fights now

“You’ll have to speak to Eddie. It is getting boring now, me and Amir Khan. He doesn’t want to hear it. I have the title so why not come and fight me. Frankie had the cojones to get in a fight with me so I take my hat off to him.


“Frankie is very crafty and they smart in the ring so I knew he would be tricky for a few rounds but I knew it would be a matter of time until I nailed him.

“I know he won the worlds in the amateurs so I was texting my skills against him. He is a very talented boxer and I have just told him that.

“We were just about to put the foot down on the gas. We could see Frankie was tiring with some of the shots we were catching him with and I came up with a good shot and capitalised on it.”

Frankie Gavin added: “I am alright. I know what the ‘chocolate brownie right hand’ is all about now. He is strong, he is very good. I wasn’t going to go down easy and he caught me with a good two shots in the second round.

“I would have carried on then. He is a fantastic fighter but I will be back; I am really enjoying my boxing. I have lived the live this year better than I have ever lived it and nothing is going to change now. I will come back stronger.

“I have no regrets, not at all. I fought for a World title and didn’t disgrace myself, I did as well as I could. I will be back and hopefully I will have another shot soon.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn: “Frankie stepped up to fight one of the best Welterweights in the world and deserves a lot of credit. He has the European title to deal with as well. This is the stage he belongs but he came up against a very, very strong, powerful Welterweight in Kell Brook. He took shot at that is what this is about.

“It is deja vu, we did this in Sheffield nine weeks ago. Everybody wants Brook against Khan but what can you do? He is waiting for Floyd Mayweather but that fight isn’t happening in September. Apparently he thinks it could happen next May.

“It is a waiting game and it is disappointing for the British public because Kell Brook wants to fight Amir Khan. We get excited about it but lose the excitement when you can’t see it happening. We look on, we look at the likes of Brandon Rios, Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao. August 29 was pencilled in before Gavin, potentially at Bramall Lane in Sheffield – he needs those big fights and those big names from America to come over. At the end of august or beginning of early September in Sheffield we need to bring him a big name now.”


May 31, 2015
May 31, 2015

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PHOTO: Lawrence Lustig

ANTHONY JOSHUA became the first fighter to stop Kevin Johnson inside two rounds in an awesome display of power at The O2.

Joshua blasted away at the American from the off, hurting Johnson immediately and then flooring him late in the round. Johnson was down once again at the end of the session but gallantly came out for the second stanza –  he only managed 80 seconds of the round before referee Ian John-Lewis spared the American – from further punishment.

The 24-year-old Londoner made it 13-0 and 13 KOs in the paid ranks inside three rounds – and Joshua said he will be back in the venue in the autumn to cause more havoc in the heavyweight scene.

“I come out here and perform in front of everyone who comes to support me,” said Joshua. “This is what it is about.

“I have travelled about so many places with Matchroom but The O2 is my home and it is filling up more and more every time.

“This is what I am here to do. My coach really drills me in the gym n it is only right the hard work pays off. I want to dedicate that to Mitchell and John Ryder. We all share a changing room. It is an individual sport but they are my stable mates. They will bounce back.

“People say that guy will test me, this guy will test me. It is only going to get tough and I will fight tougher opponents, the game doesn’t stop.”


Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “That was devastating. We witnessed the future Heavyweight champion of the world. We have to do things right and we will progress him at the right pace. “He will be out in July in Manchester and you will love the fight we have here for September 12. He is a great fighter and he is Great British. We have a few names there but we will fill this place again. This guy is going to beat every single Heavyweight in the world. We have a chance for a heavyweight to fly the flag for Great Britain and let’s all enjoy the journey of Anthony Joshua.”

Johnson, who had never been stopped before, announced his retirement after the contest.


May 31, 2015
May 31, 2015

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Photo: Lawrence Lustig

JORGE LINARES successfully defended his WBC lightweight title in a helter-skelter clash with Kevin Mitchell at The O2 in London..

The three-weight world champion was defending his belt for the first time but Mitchell – boxing sharply and confidently – looked set to take it from him, dropping the champion in the fifth. Linares was dazed and took his time regaining his feet, but by the end of the session he appeared to have recovered and was firing back.

Terrible damage to Mitchell’s left eye hampered his attempts to win a world title at the third attempt, and when Linares dropped him in the 10th, referee Victor Loughlin stopped the contest with just three seconds left in the round – with Mitchell ahead on two cards and level on another.

The stoppage, though, was fair. Mitchell could hardly see and the grotesque swelling above his eye was ripping his cut face wide open. A truly spellbinding fight.


May 31, 2015
May 31, 2015
Lee Selby

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LEE SELBY ripped the IBF World Featherweight title from Evgeny Gradovich with a stunning display at The O2 in London.

Selby ran rings around the Russian champion from the off, peppering him with classy shots from all angles, picking off the relentless come-forward visitor at will and making him miss on his rare attacks.

Gradovich – defending his crown for the fifth time and coming into the fight as the IBF boxer of the year – sustained a bad cut by his right eye from an accidental head-clash and Selby’s constant heavy blows made that gash worse and worse by the round, with the referee halting the contest in the eighth round.

The fight went to the judges but the dominance of Selby was clear, and the judges agreed with cards of 79-73, 80-72, 79-73 naming Selby as the new World champion.

“I can’t explain how I feel,” said Selby. “I have been working for this for so long. I started boxing 20 years ago and had my first amateur fight 18 years ago. It means so much and I would like to dedicate this to my brother Michael who is always looking over me.


“When I go into a fight I go it to adapt. In for the first round I go behind the jab, see what they come with and I have that style where I can adapt. If I have to go forward I go forward or I can box on the back foot. I see what they come with, I listen to my corner and I box to my instructions

“I caught him and I wobbled him. I didn’t bother following up, I was going to break him down. He is a similar fighter to my last opponent Joel Brunker so I was planning on breaking him down but we had two accidental clashes of heads and that stopped the fight.”


May 29, 2015
May 29, 2015

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FORMER four-division world champion and Mexican boxing icon Erik “El Terrible” Morales is the new trainer for undefeated Jessie Vargas.  Morales, who received the call a few days ago, is already in Vargas’ Las Vegas-based training camp preparing him for the biggest fight of his professional career, against former two-division world champion Timothy Bradley. Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs), a native of Los Angeles who now lives in Las Vegas, and Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs), from Palm Springs, California, will go mano a mano for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight world title Saturday June 27 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

These two gladiators boast a combined record of 57-1-1 (21 KOs) — a winning percentage of 97%.

“I am very religious so I began to pray for the right person to train me,” said Vargas.  “Instantly, the name of Erik Morales came to me. I was able to track him down and he came right to our training camp in Las Vegas.  I watched practically of all Erik’s big fights – the wars with Marco Antonio Barrera, the fights against Manny Pacquiao.  Erik always fought hard and with all his heart. That’s who I want in my corner, someone who will give me everything they have to beat Bradley.”

“I’ve trained many fighters in Mexico.  But Jessie is the best fighter I will be working with and this is the biggest fight, against Bradley,” said Morales. “We will win this fight. Jessie will put on pressure with intelligence and mix it up, using counter-punching. Bradley likes to go into his comfort zone in the ring. We will attack there too.”



May 27, 2015
May 27, 2015

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NATHAN CLEVERLY returns to action at light-heavyweight on Saturday night – with the Welshman looking to get back on the World title trail at The O2, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Cleverly is back down to 175lbs after tackling bitter rival Tony Bellew up at Cruiserweight in November, and the former World champion is eyeing a clash with Juergen Brahmer in the autumn.

The 28 year old held the WBO World Light Heavyweight crown for three years and will be looking to rip the WBA belt from the German who defended it for the fourth time in March against their common foe Robin Krasniqi.

“I am looking forward to my return at Light Heavyweight,” said Cleverly, who meets Thomas Man over eight rounds in Greenwich. “It is all about making sure I am feeling good back at that weight and doing the weight properly.

“I feel good in training at the weight and am making the weight comfortably. It has been six months since I was last in the ring so I am looking forward to getting back in there and getting some cobwebs off. Hopefully after Saturday night I will have something big to concentrate on – which I hope will be the Brahmer fight.

“I understand it has been provisionally agreed and a date has been provisionally agreed, it is just a matter of me coming through Saturday and we can make an announcement then.

“I think going over there will be quite an enjoyable adventure. There will be no pressure of your home crowd, you can concentrate on going over there and your mind is 100 per cent on the fight. Sometimes being the home fighter, with the big build up, the pressure and the added media hype can be a bit distracting.

“Going over there will be an enjoyable experience. It is a little bit out of my comfort zone but sometimes that can be more of an adventure and it will be great to rip the title away from the champion in his hometown.

“He is good fighter, strong and technically good, nothing sensational but he does the basics well. He has a solid left hand and is a good power puncher. He is a good champion, he has been around a long time and has a good amateur pedigree but it is certainly a fight that has been on my radar for a long time.

“We have a lot of history, me and Brahmer. It would be nice if we could finally get this fight on because it has been meaning to happen for a long, long time. Let’s just both get in the ring and settle it once and for all. I have to respect his power but I feel I have too much for Juergen Brahmer.

“I think the difference between then and now, I had great momentum. I was on a great winning streak, a lot of KO and TKO victories, and my confidence was super high whereas Brahmer was having a flat spell. He was suffering mentally, he was a little bit flat. But now Brahmer is flourishing and I have gone off the boil and lost a bit of momentum. You could say I have lost a touch of confidence but that is something that will develop through training and performances.

“I want to get this fight done on Saturday and then going into the Brahmer fight, yes there will be question marks because I won’t have the momentum like I did a few years back, but I believe I am more mature mentally and physically. I believe that combined with speed and my combinations will overcome Brahmer.

“I rate my chances very, very highly. I am a big Light Heavyweight and I have campaigned at Cruiserweight so I have experience of fighting bigger buys. Going into the fight I believe I might be the slight favourite. Brahmer is 36, he is coming off a good few wins and it will be in Germany, I think being the younger fighter and back at Light Heavyweight, probably my true division. I could be the favourite. But he is the champion and it will be for me to rip that title from Brahmer.”

Cleverly’s return to action is part of a massive night of action at The O2, topped by three World title fights.

Sheffield’s Kell Brook defends his IBF World Welterweight title against Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin, Londoner Kevin Mitchell challenges Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight belt and Welsh stylist Lee Selby attempts to take the IBF Featherweight crown from Evgeny Gradovich.

Anthony Joshua MBE steps-up in class against Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson and there are three great domestic title bouts on the undercard with John Ryder tackling Nick Blackwell for the vacant British Middleweight strap, Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans tussle for the vacant British Lightweight belt and Dave Ryan defends his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title against John Wayne Hibbert. Former World champion Nathan Cleverly is in action and Lucien Reid makes his pro debut.

May 25, 2015
May 25, 2015

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KEVIN ‘KINGPIN’ JOHNSON has branded Anthony Joshua as a ‘hype job’ ahead of their clash on a bumper night of action The O2 on Saturday May 30, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Johnson wants to make it an unlucky 13 for the Olympic gold medal hero who has blasted away all of his first 12 opponents inside three rounds since his debut at the Greenwich venue in October 2013.

‘Kingpin’ has never been stopped in his career and took Vitali Klitschko the distance in their world title fight in 2009 and went the full 12 with Joshua’s domestic rivals Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora – and the Georgia man says he is in the best shape of his career and will expose the London fans’ favourite.

“He is a media hype job and let me tell you this, once this dude is out the way I’m going to show you that the future of the heavyweight division is right here,” said Johnson. “I’ve said it before, I’ve got the antidote for this guy. It’s something all of these amateur Olympic guys have in them, you’ll see come Saturday – that’s all I’m going to say on that.

“I’ve been here for two months now and not remotely homesick – I’m hungry for something, and I know what I’m about to get.

“My training has been in a highly classified location, we been keeping everything under wraps and under the hat, so nobody know about that. We don’t want to be scaring people off.

“I’ve been ready for two weeks. Let me tell you this – I’ve been a pro since 2003, this is the best shape and condition I’ve ever been in during my whole career

“For the last two years I didn’t even train and I didn’t even care. The days of hurting my career are over. I blew it by not training and just turning up – but not for this, not for this right here!

“I’m going to give the fans exactly what they deserve, something I’ve had deep down inside of me. It’s taken for someone over here in the UK to bring that out of me. I’m not going to complain.

“Let me tell you how real it is – this preparation tops Vitali Klitschko preparation – that guy was then the biggest in the world. That was supposed to be your biggest preparation right there. For Vitali I was 60 per cent, this I’m 100 per cent so I don’t know what else to say. I’m really afraid of myself to be at this point right here, I’m going to be explosive.”

Johnson’s meeting with Joshua is part of a massive night of action in London with three World title fights at the top of the bill.

Sheffield’s Kell Brook defends his IBF World Welterweight title against Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin, Londoner Kevin Mitchell challenges Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight belt and Welsh stylist Lee Selby attempts to take the IBF Featherweight crown from Evgeny Gradovich.

There are three great domestic title bouts on the undercard with John Ryder tackling Nick Blackwell for the vacant British middleweight strap, Scotty Cardle and Craig Evans tussle for the vacant British Lightweight belt and Dave Ryan defends his Commonwealth light-welterweight title against John Wayne Hibbert. Former world champion Nathan Cleverly is in action and Lucien Reid makes his pro debut.