April 23, 2017
April 23, 2017
anthony joshua

Action Images/Lee Smith

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THE rude health of the British boxing scene has convinced heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua he does not have to go Stateside to increase his global profile.

Joshua is less than a week away from the biggest fight of his career against Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in front of a post-war British record crowd of 90,000.

It will be the 19th bout the 27-year-old has entered since the former Olympic gold medallist turned professional and every one has been staged on British soil.

He has become a world champion far away from the sport’s epicentre of Las Vegas and his forthcoming fight will be broadcast on the two major American networks HBO and Showtime, which has only previously happened on two occasions when Lennox Lewis fought Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather faced Manny Pacquiao.

Joshua believes the status quo of boxers needing to head to America to earn their stripes is no longer the case and that his reputation can be enhanced in his own backyard.

“Vegas used to be on my tick list, but it’s not any more; it’s good here,” Joshua said.

“I think it’s more of a point that Britain’s always overlooked. It’s like you have to go to America to get respected – no, not any more. Come here. Come and fight us.

“That’s what I like at the minute, it’s amazing how the tables have turned.

“Look at the deal they managed to pull off in America with HBO and Showtime. I haven’t had to have a fight in America yet. I don’t think it’s important to go to America to make it bigger than what it is already.”

That is not to say that Joshua is merely focused on a career in the confines of these borders, with the financial lure of America, and the personal pull of a bout in Africa, where his parents were born, both possibilities.

“If I was to go to America, we all know the history of the sport with judging and home fighters,” Joshua explained.

“It has to be well worth it and that’s where it comes back to finances because you have to make it worth your while.

“I’d love to fight in Africa like (Muhammad) Ali did with (George) Foreman. That would be amazing. I’d love to fight in Vegas but I think that being a home fighter is the main thing.

“I don’t want to be accused of staying in my own backyard. It is good to get on the road to defend your title.”

While there are a raft of British world champions, Joshua, in the sport’s most premier division, has the highest profile, even if he has no desire to hog the limelight.

“It’s the era of UK boxing, I’m not holding onto it myself, I want everyone to shine,” he said.

April 23, 2017
April 23, 2017
Gabriel Rosado

Action Images/John Clifton

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THE clash between St. Helens’ Martin Murray and Gabriel Rosado finished in angry scenes as the American berated the judges and almost turned on Murray.

Two had fought hard over the course of 12 rounds at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday (April 22). One judge ruled the contest a 114-114 draw but Murray won a majority decision, 116-112 and 119-109 on the remaining two cards.

That left Rosado apoplectic with rage, frustrated by the wide score against him in particular, and Murray in turn got increasingly irate over his opponent’s reaction.

“119-109, that’s crazy,” roared Rosado.

“He got schooled it’s a simple as that,” Murray declared. “I was a level above him, I was a step ahead of him.”

On the undercard Rocky Fielding pipped John Ryder to win the vacant British super-middleweight on a split decision.

Sean Dodd took a unanimous 12 round decision over Lee Appleyard to win the vacant Commonwealth title.

European amateur gold medallist and 2016 Olympic Joe Cordina made his professional debut, halting Jose Aguilar.

April 23, 2017
April 23, 2017
Tommy Langford

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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GEORGIA’S Avtandil Khurtsidze knocked out Tommy Langford to win an Interim title from the WBO on Saturday (April 22) in Leicester. The Russian dropped and halted Langford 27 seconds into the fifth round.

This victory makes Khurtsidze the mandatory challenger for Billy Joe Saunders, the WBO world titlist, who had been closing in on a mooted showdown with Gennady Golovkin, pencilled in for June. That fight isn’t in Billy Joe’s near future. First he will have to fight Khurtsidze and that will take place on July 8, most likely in London.

Saunders was not impressed by Khurtsidze’s demonstration of power tonight and said that Langford “should have got on his feet and made him miss and made him pay.”

He continued, “No disrespect to him but I will show you what he is when I fight him. All he is to me is a puffed up Danny De Vito coming forward throwing punches.

“He will never beat me ever and I will make him look stupid.”

Saunders still wants the high-profile fight against a big name like Golovkin. But to get there, he’ll have to get through the threat of Avtandil Khurtsidez first.

April 22, 2017
April 22, 2017
Darryll Williams

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“FEROCIOUS” Darryll Williams and Jahmaine Smyle fought a tremendous battle for the English super-middleweight title. Williams, a Londoner, travelled to Leicester to take on Smyle and dragged him into a thrilling confrontation, seizing the belt and a split decision victory.  Phil Edwards scored 97-93 for Williams, Shaun Messer 96-95 for Smyle and Dave Parris 98-93 for Williams.

On the same bill at the Leicester Arena, Tyrone Nurse retained his British super-lightweight title but only after Joe Hughes held him to a majority draw.

Looking dangerous Anthony Yarde unloaded a fearsome combination and a sickening body shot in the first round to drop Darren Snow heavily to the canvas. Snow clambered to his feet only to slump back into a corner.

Heavyweight Daniel Dubois had his second professional contest. He struck in good quality shots against Blaise Mendouo, a former Olympian. Early in the second round a big right cross and heavy left hook dropped Mendouo in the ropes to earn Dubois an impressive knockout win.

April 22, 2017
April 22, 2017
Tony Bellew

Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

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TONY BELLEW will not retire.

The Liverpudlian took an unlikely and highly dangerous step up to heavyweight to fight David Haye in March. The gamble paid off for him as he won an astonishing upset once Haye’s leg gave way.

That catapulted Bellew to a new level of fame but left him with an interesting question to ponder. What should he do next? He could retire at the top, as his own trainer Dave Coldwell suggested, move back down to cruiserweight or continue to campaign at heavyweight where both the big money and the greater risk lies.

After speaking to his promoter Eddie Hearn, Tony Bellew has ruled out retirement. “I have agreed to fight on,” he told Sky Sports. “I just believe I’ve got more left in the tank. In all honesty I love the sound of heavyweight champion of the world. I really, really do. It’s a big goal, it’s a big ask but if the truth be known I’m only getting better.

“I’m at the stage now, how far can I go? Because I never expected to be where I’m at now. You know what, I’m just a lad from Liverpool giving it a go and let’s see where I end up. Heavyweight champion of the world is a realistic possibility now.”

April 22, 2017
April 22, 2017
Jamie Cox

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JAMIE COX has signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing.

The Commonwealth Games winner and former Commonwealth Light-Middleweight champion is gunning for major titles and the 30 year old penned the deal in Liverpool at the Echo Arena where he’s a keen ringside observer tonight.

The unbeaten Swindon banger is mandatory challenger for the winner of the clash between Rocky Fielding and John Ryder for the vacant British Super-Middleweight title, and Cox is relishing a clash with the winner as he begins a new chapter in his career.

“I’m excited to be working with Eddie Hearn and boxing on Sky Sports,” said Cox. “It’s a massive platform for me to showcase my skills. Eddie is putting the biggest shows on, especially at Wembley next week, and I want to be part of these huge nights.

“I’ll be boxing in the Super-Middleweight division, I feel strong, fit and explosive at that weight – I’m ready to rip my way through the 168lbers out there. I want to fight a big profile name ASAP, so the public can see what I’m all about. We will then push towards that World title shot in the next year to 18 months.

“I love training. We work under the butchers shop and I go up to the lab with Des Witter in Birmingham, I’m sure that if I play my part right and work hard, I will fulfil my potential with Eddie and Matchroom.

“I’ve been made mandatory to fight the winner of the British Super-Middleweight title fight between John Ryder and Rocky Fielding. I will fight anyone and of course that would be an honour to win that belt. I just can’t wait to get going and get back in the ring doing what I do best!”

“I’m delighted to welcome Jamie to the team and I’m very excited about his future,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Jamie is one of the hardest hitting 168-pounders in World boxing and is ready to go in all the big fights.

“He is mandatory for the winner of Fielding vs. Ryder tonight but we are also looking at some major names moving forward. He is brilliant to watch and Sky Sports fans are going to enjoy following his journey over the coming years.”

April 22, 2017
April 22, 2017
joshua vs klitschko

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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AHEAD of the highly anticipated Joshua vs Klitschko showdown, the two fighters will perform public work-outs at Wembley Arena on Wednesday evening (April 26) to kick-off fight week ahead of their blockbuster clash for the IBF, WBA and IBO World Heavyweight titles at Wembley Stadium Connected by EE in London on Saturday April 29, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

Fight fans can watch IBF king Anthony Joshua and former World ruler Wladimir Klitschko go through their training routines ahead of their battle at the national stadium as well as fighters on the bumper undercard.

Three Team GB Rio Olympians kick-off the work out from 6pm as Lawrence Okolie, Joe Cordina and Josh Kelly land on the biggest stage early in the pro careers, while Irish Olympic gold medal hero Katie Taylor is gunning for her first pro title when she faces Nina Meinke in an eliminator for the WBA World Lightweight crown with the Inter-Continental strap on the line.

Luke Campbell MBE is the fourth Olympic gold medallist on the bill and he faces his toughest night in the paid ranks to date when he meets former World champion Darleys Perez in an eliminator for the number one spot in the WBA at Lightweight, while Scott Quigg fights under new trainer Freddie Roach for the first time against Viorel Simion in an eliminator for the IBF Featherweight crown.