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Archive for October, 2011

Fight Report: Choi Wins Prizefighter On Second Attempt And A New Star is Born.

by on Oct.30, 2011, under Fight Reports

Fight Report: Choi Wins Prizefighter On Second Attempt And A New Star is Born.

Report and Photos Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Last night at the York Hall in Bethnal Green 40 year old ‘Mongolian Warrior’ Choi Tseveenpurev won the excellent Matchroom Sport promoted Prizefighter tournament on his second attempt, having failed last year in the Super Featherweights.

Choi may have been the ‘big name’ in this the 22nd edition of Prizefighter but the real star of the show was someone half his age, 20 year old ‘Saint’ George Jupp who was unlucky not to be facing Rhys Roberts in the final. I say unlucky but that really is not a the right word as in my opinion, and the majority of the York Hall crowd, Jupp was robbed of a certain final round appearance by some dubious judging. More on that later.

The evening of sumptuous pugilistic fare started with the Prizefighter Prospects featuring Light Heavyweights Andreas Evangelou and Matt Inman.

Whilst not the most thrilling of bouts, Evangelou and Inman both worked their socks in equal measure. There were no highlights as such and I feel that a draw would have been a fair result, but the man that counts, referee Terry O’Connor, see it as 39-37 for Evangelou.

Now onto the tournament itself, which was a real cracker.

The first quarterfinal see Choi up against previously unbeaten Lee Glover. First round was a close fought affair, Glover used his jab to good effect, to slow the hard charging Mongolian, for the early part of the round, however late on Choi caught an off balance Glover with a solid right to send the youngster to the canvas. Glover protested it was a slip, but to no avail and a standing count ensued. As soon as referee Victor Loughlin waved them back in battle Choi went on all out attack until the bell.

The second round started where the first left off, Choi smelled blood and was going in for the kill. Around the one minute round Choi let rip with a big right to send Glover to the canvas for a second time. Glover appeared dazed as he rose to his feet and just wandered off, on unsteady legs, towards his corner which lead to referee Victor Loughlin waving the fight off.

The second quarterfinal see Belvedere’s George Jupp against Liverpudlian Lee Jennings.

Jennings started strong but the South Londoner kept his cool and used his jab to seriously good effect to turn the round his way. With his confidence growing Jupp started digging into his well stocked arsenal and put together a cracking left hook, right uppercut combination that rocked Jennings to the core.

Jupp motored on at the start of the second and was really getting down to business, throwing a variety of heavy right hands, one of which opened a cut in the corner of Jennings’ left eye. Jennings turned up the wick in an attempt to keep Jupp at bay but the cut had worsened and on the one minute fifty five second mark causing the referee stopped the fight.

Next up was Jupp’s TRAD TKO team mate Ian Bailey against future finalist Rhys Roberts.

Bailey, who’s really a Super Bantam, struggled to control the slick Mancunian throughout the bout. Bailey showed heart and determination, as he tried to get himself back into the fight, but to no avail as Roberts confidence had grown to such a level that the Slough man was struggling to land a punch at times and being picked off with ease.

No surprise then that all three judges score cards read a shutout 30-27 in favour of Roberts.

The final quarterfinal pitched Troy James against Barrington Brown.

Nottingham’s Brown was out of the corner like a rocket and looked set to provide the third stoppage of the night, but he didn’t as James is made of sterner stuff. Brown kept up the major assault for a good part of the first round but from then on it was all James, who worked his heart out to overcome his much taller opponent and earn a semifinal place by 30-28 and 29-28 (twice) points margin.

Choi and George Jupp squared up in the first semifinal, and what a cracker it was. Throughout the first round Choi was frustrated by the youngsters mature ringcraft, Jupp kept the charging bull that is Choi at bay with superb crisp jabs. Whenever Choi did manage to bully his way through and land a blow, Jupp responded in kind, landing an equally heavy glove on the Mongolian, before reverting to his jab.

More of the same in the second, even after Choi had wrestled the youngster to the canvas – and following through with a punch to the back of the head when Jupp was down, which should have been punished by a point deduction according to the tournament rules – Jupp remained calm and let his boxing skills do the talking.

Choi, clearly aware that he was two rounds down and needing a stoppage to progress to the final, started the third stanza like a man possessed. The Mongolian threw bomb after bomb but the resilient youngster wasn’t overawed one iota and just returned exocets of his own.

When the final bell rang Jupp’s team celebrated certain in the knowledge their man was through to the final. These celebrations were bought to an abrupt halt though when the judges scorecards were read out – 27-30 and 28-29 (twice) in favour of Choi.

As Choi’s large contingent of fans celebrated the majority of the York Hall crowd showed their disapproval.

George Jupp may have been denied his rightful place in the final, but he sure won a lot of new fans on Saturday so hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of this talented youngster in the future.

The second semifinal see Rhys Roberts grow in stature, against Troy James, from the off the Mancunian took control, Rocking James with a huge left hook early on. James responded in true pit bull style, coming forward and letting rip with flurries of shots. Unfortunately whilst throwing plenty of punches James barely slowed the slick Roberts who seemed to be able to pick him off at will.

Throughout the three action packed rounds Roberts was in full control and cruised into the final by 30-28 and 29-28 (twice) points margin.

Not surprisingly the final started out as quite a cagey affair, with Choi landing the only meaningful punch, a huge left hook that shook Roberts to the core, following a lot of scrappy exchanges.

Roberts confidence took another massive blow in the second, when Choi landed a peach of an overhand right. From then on the Mancunian was on survival mode and relied a little too much on his sharp counter punching to keep the marauding Mongolian at bay. Choi’s savvy at the best of times so it was no surprise that Choi was able to undo Roberts’ game plan, landing further big shots in-between roughing the Mancunian up on the inside.

The final round was a bit of an anti climax, instead of the barnstorming finale the early rounds promised instead there as almost three minutes of nonstop mauling and arm locking interspersed with the occasional flurry of hard action.

Even before the scorecards were read Choi’s corner and fans were celebrating, quite rightly so as Choi had easily won every round by a shutout 30-27 margin.

Once again Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport team have produced another superb night of tournament boxing – Roll on the 23rd Prizefighter edition, if it’s half as good as the 22nd it’ll be brilliant.

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Prizefighter Dilemma For Johnny Eames.

by on Oct.27, 2011, under Boxing News

George Jupp, Johnny Eames and Ian Bailey at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Prizefighter Dilemma For Johnny Eames.

One of Great Britain’s best known coaches, Johnny Eames, and his fighters never seem to be out of the sports pages or off the TV screens these days. Just last Friday Johnny guided Leon ‘Solid’ Williams to victory, over Rob Norton, to become the new British Cruiserweight Champion. So no surprise then that two more of his charges, ‘Saint’ George Jupp and Ian Bailey, are in action at the York Hall in Bethnal Green this Saturday.

OK, not that unusual for a coach to have a pair of fighters in action on the same show, but when that particular event happens to be the hugely popular Matchroom Sports Prizefighter tournament it’s kind of different.

In any normal event there would never be the possibility of two boxers from the same stable fighting each other in competition, but the Prizefighter tournament is another thing altogether and there is a very high chance Johnny’s boys will face each other, which has created a real dilemma for the erudite Mr. Eames, as became clear when Johnny spoke about the upcoming tournament earlier today, “Prizefighter is a great boost for anyone’s career, whether it’s that they’re career is flagging or if they are trying to get their career to take off.

I have two boys in Prizefighter on Saturday night, both capable of winning it. It’ll cause me a real dilemma if they meet early.

If it’s in the final if that they meet, then I’ll be real happy with that.

Yeah it’s a dilemma that might and could happen and hopefully will happen, that is as I just said as long as it’s not until the final.

Who do I think will win if they meet is something I’ll keep to myself. All I know is they both deserve to win it, they both work very hard and are both totally committed.

As fighters they are very different, Georgie Jupp is a Super Featherweight coming down to Featherweight and Ian Bailey is a Super Bantamweight going up to Featherweight.

Ian’s probably got the harder side of it, being the smaller guy coming up. But he always gives his all against anybody and everybody. I’m sure that whoever he fights is going to know, if he doesn’t win which I’m pretty certain he has a good chance of winning, but if he doesn’t I’m sure that whoever he fights will know they have been in a war.

Georgie’s style is a little different, he’s a boxing type. I spoke about it already but I’m sure there is nobody in the tournament he can’t out point on the night.

It’s just a matter of how the draw goes so we’ll have to wait and see.”

After Johnny had spoken it was the turn of his charges to give their opinion, 20 year old George Jupp was the first to speak, “It’s not the best situation but being in this Prizefighter is something we both want.

In an ideal world we wouldn’t meet until the final, but if we meet earlier there’s nothing we can do about it. If it happens, it happens.

We’re both gym friends and have sparred untold rounds together, so we know each other really well.

If we have to fight each other on the night we’ll just shake hands and get on with it. It’s something we have to do to further our careers”

Ian Bailey, who had sat nodding in agreement at as Johnny and George spoke, then added, “Obviously we’re mates, it wouldn’t be nice for either of us to knock the other guy out of the tournament.

But like Johnny said, hopefully we’ll meet in the final rather than early on. But if we meet early on that’s OK. We don’t hold back in sparring, we’ve beaten the sh*t out of each other in sparring before so it’ll be the same on the night and we’ll shake hands afterwards.”

Ian Bailey and ‘Saint’ George Jupp will be joining two time World Champ Choi Tseveenpurev, Irish Champ Mickey Coveney, Lee Glover, Troy James, Rhys Roberts and Lee Jennings in Prizefighter – Featherweights, which takes place at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 29th October 2011 and will also be broadcast live on Skysports.

Tickets, priced £35 (standard seated) and £60 (ringside), for Prizefighter – Featherweights are available now, either on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA – for further information call 07960 850645.

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Victorious Return For New British Champ Leon ‘Solid’ Williams

by on Oct.27, 2011, under Buzz

Leon Williams with the coveted Lonsdale Belt - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Victorious Return For New British Champ Leon ‘Solid’ Williams

On Wednesday British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams returned to the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, in Canning Town, for the first time since defeating long time Champ Rob Norton and winning the coveted Lonsdale Belt.

Williams – who made the early return to undertake an interview with Sky Sports’ Ed Robinson, which will be aired on the Sky Sports Ringside Show this evening at 6pm – bought the Championship belt with him to show to his gym mates.

Following the interview Williams spent about an hour chatting about the fight with gym mates and being photographed with everyone in the gym at the time.

Just before leaving to go back home for a well deserved break Williams took a few minutes to talk about the fight and his future plans, “Not best pleased with the overall performance, Rob Norton’s very awkward and cagey opponent. He’s very, very experienced.

But at the end of the day we got the win and that’s all that matters.

I’m not really fussed who I’m going to fight next, I’m British Champion and I’ll defend it to the best of my ability.

(Front L-R) Brett O’Callaghan, Alec Wilkey, George Jupp, Leon Williams, Juris Varuskins and Danny Connor - (Back) Charlie Hoy and Billy Morgan - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

I’m not letting that belt go, it’s across my shoulder right now and it’s going to stay there, yeah it’s just gonna stay there.

There’s no one I’m scared of, or intimidated by in this weight category, domestically any way. No one is great they’re just normal and can be beaten, they can all be dominated by me.

I’d even fight Rob Norton again, yeah I’d take that. It wouldn’t be the prettiest fight again but the tactics would change I’d meet him early instead of later on and I don’t think he’d be able to withstand that.

Rob was a good Champion, awkward, cagey, done his thing right, but the better man won on the twenty first.

I want to dominate the Cruiserweight division domestically, look good for television and my supporters and make my name, then we’ll move on to conquer Europe. Yeah it’s onwards and upwards for Team Solid

Team Solid (L-R) Johnny Eames, Leon Williams, Jimmy Tibbs and Barry Smith - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

I’d like to say a big thanks to Johnny Eames, Barry Smith, Rio (Gianluca Di Caro) and Jimmy Tibbs from my gym, the brilliant TRAD TKO, as well as Ken and Dougie from my sponsor BoxFit, Dave from my sponsor Ringside and my other sponsors Radio King and South West Cars, RIP Danny Easam and all my supporters.

If it wasn’t for my supporters I wouldn’t be here now. They’ve all supported me on the small hall shows and they’ve stuck by me even when my fights were getting canceled and they were losing money, but they’re still here, so a big thank you to all those guys and girls, loads of girls.”

Ed Robinson’s interview with Leon ‘Solid’ Williams will be aired on the Ringside Show on Sky Sports 1 at 6pm on Thursday 27th October and will be repeated at 00.30am, 4am on Sky Sports 1 and again at 10am on Sky Sports 2 on Friday 28th October.

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Big Fight Preview – Katsidis-Burns, Groves-Smith, Boulden-Saunders

by on Oct.26, 2011, under Articles

Ricky Burns with coach Billy Nelson at the TRAD TKO Gym in London earlier this year - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Big Fight Preview – Katsidis-Burns, Groves-Smith, Boulden-Saunders

By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

I’m sure promoter Frank Warren must have been chanting ‘Remember, Remember the Fifth of November’ as he was planning his upcoming triple Championship headed ‘Gladiators’ show, which will take place at Wembley Arena on Guy Fawkes Night and shown live on BoxNation (Sky platform 456).

The pugilistic pyrotechnics on display will culminate in an explosive finale as former WBO Super Featherweight World Champion Ricky Burns and the Brit Bashing Aussie Michael Katsidis lock horns for the interim WBO Lightweight World title.

Katsidis is no stranger to battling it out on British shores, having stopped both Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell in spectacular fashion, so will feel quite at home when he faces Coatbridge’s former Super Featherweight supremo Ricky Burns.

It bodes well that Burns has been stating that he feels stronger, since vacating the WBO title and moving up to the Lightweight division, as his good pal Kevin Mitchell can attest Katsidis is one seriously tough cookie.

Since beating our Kev, Katsidis has been in three seriously tough fights, the first against World #1 Juan Manuel Marquez, who he sent to the canvas prior to being stopped himself, then he took World #2 ranked Robert Guerrero the full distance. In his last fight Katsidis came back, from those two back to back losses, to KO Mexico’s Michael Lozada.

Burns on the other hand is unbeaten since 2007 and defended his World Crown three times, since beating Roman Martinez to lift the coveted title in September 2010.

It’s going to be a great fight but unfortunately I have to say that I think Katsidis, who’s a big Lightweight, is the stronger of the two and has to be the bookies favourite to win the triple crown by adding Burns to his list of British victims.

Heading up the explosive undercard sees George Groves defend his British and Commonwealth Super Middleweight titles against former British Champ Paul Smith.

Groves is riding high after his magnificent victory over James DeGale, but can’t afford to be too complacent against former champ Smith.

Yes I know, Smith lost his crown to DeGale and Groves then went and took it from DeGale, but believe me this is no easy fight for Groves.

Smith is not going to make the same mistakes, tactically, as he did against DeGale and as such is likely to revert to his normal style and bring the fight to Groves.

Both Groves and Smith fought different fights to how expected when they faced DeGale so any comparisons to those fights is right out of the window. I feel that this fight we’re likely to see them playing their normal game and as such are likely to see Smith coming forward with Groves boxing of the back foot for the first three or four rounds, then the more it goes on the real fireworks are likely to start as they go head to head.

The third championship bout on the card sees undefeated Middleweight sensation Billy Joe Saunders challenge Gary Boulden for his BBBofC Southern Area belt.

Saunders, a former Olympian, is without doubt one of the most exciting young fighters around today and to be honest I can see this fight, against the defending Champion, ending very much the same way as his past four bouts.

Boulden is a great Southern Area level Champion, but BJ is way above regional level or come to that domestic level. In his last four fights he barely broke into a sweat before dispatching his opponents, all in under 6 minutes.

Also on the card is ‘Del Boy’ Dereck Chisora, making his welcome return to the ring, since losing his British and Commonwealth Heavyweight straps to Tyson Fury back in July. On November 5th ‘Del Boy’ will be facing fellow Londoner Larry Olubamiwo.

As with Boulden-Saunders I can’t see this lasting very long at all as big Larry O isn’t in the same class as Del Boy, by a country mile, and I reckon Olubamiwo will be seeing stars before the end of the first round.

Also on the excellent card are ‘Super’ Bradley Skeete, Darren Cordona, George Michael Carmen as well as Billy Joe Saunders are fellow Jimmy and Mark Tibbs trained/TRAD TKO gym mates Frankie Buglioni and Gary Corcoran.

Frank Warren Promotions ‘Gladiators’ headlined by the interim WBO Lightweight title clash between Ricky Burns and Michael Katsidis will take place at Wembley Arena, and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch. 456), on Saturday the 5th November 2011.

Tickets, priced £150 (Ringside), £100 (Floor), £75 (Floor), £50 (Tier) and £40 (Tier), are available now on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA

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Ian Bailey – Quietly Confident Of Prizefighter Success This Saturday

by on Oct.25, 2011, under Boxing News

Ian Bailey in action against Pavels Senkovs earlier this year - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Ian Bailey – Quietly Confident Of Prizefighter Success This Saturday

One of the most underrated boxers in the lower weight divisions, Ian Bailey, believes that this coming weekend he’ll finally get the opportunity to show boxing fans ‘what he’s made of’, when he takes part in the hugely popular Matchroom Sport promoted Prizefighter series, which showcases the Featherweight division for the first time, at York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday, 29th October.

Since turning pro three years ago 27 year old Bailey has earned a reputation of willingness to fight anyone, no matter how short the notice, and as such has fought some of the divisions biggest names, such as British and Commonwealth Champ Lee Selby, Scottish Area Champ Kris Matthew Hughes, English Champ Ryan Walsh, Commonwealth Champ Carl Frampton, Kid Galahad and Michael Walsh.

It’s this experience, aswell as his total willingness to face ‘all comers’, that is likely to stand Bailey in good stead in this edition of Prizefighter, as mixing it up with the likes of two time World Champ Choi Tseveenpurev, Irish Champ Mickey Coveney, the undefeated pairing of Lee Glover and Troy James, or come to that experienced fighters like Rhys Roberts and Lee Jennings, is unlikely to faze him one iota.

Following a tough sparring session with Ben Murphy, at the TRAD TKO gym in Canning Town, Bailey spoke briefly on his upcoming appearance, “I was delighted when Johnny (Eames) told me. It’s a really good opportunity for me , it’s a fair crack at a leading competition so hopefully I can prove how good I am.

I’m not worried about it being televised at all, I’ve had a couple of my bouts shown on telly before. I think I’ve had one win on telly and two losses, but they’ve normally been short notice jobs.

The Boxing public have not got to see me at my best, I mean the Prizefighter is something I have had time to prepare for, unlike those fights, so they’re going to see me at my best, that’s important to me.

I need to get the first fight out of the way and then I’ll win it, it’s a mental thing I need to stay cool and calm, it doesn’t matter who I get in the first fight as long as I can stay relaxed, which I’m gonna do, win the first fight then I can win the whole thing. ”

Bailey then turned his attention to his TRAD TKO team mate ‘Saint’ George Jupp, who will also be taking part in the tournament, “I have mixed feelings about George also being on the show, I mean I’ve sparred god knows how many rounds with George, right since I turned professional three, three and half years ago, so obviously I know him inside and out, but he can say the same about me.

It would be a shame if we met each other early on in the competition, ideally it would be great to fight each other in the final, doubt that’s gonna happen though. We’ll probably end up getting drawn first.

He knows me as well as I know him so if we fought each other it would be a good fight for the crowd, but wouldn’t be great for us, or the TRAD TKO gym, but we’ll get the job done and then shake hands afterwards.”

Prizefighter – Featherweights takes place at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 29th October 2011 and will also be broadcast live on Skysports.

Tickets, priced £35 (standard seated) and £60 (ringside), for Prizefighter – Featherweights are available now, either on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA – for further information call 07960 850645.

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Queensberry Promotions Claim a British Title in Second Ever Show

by on Oct.24, 2011, under Buzz

Queensberry promoted Leon Williams shows off his newly aquired Lonsdale belt - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Queensberry Promotions Claim a British Title in Second Ever Show

George and Francis Warren’s Queensberry Promotions has its first ever British Champion following Leon Williams’ split decision victory over long time title holder Rob Norton. This marks an excellent start for the brothers who in their first promotion also showcased a fight which many have labelled fight of the year when Paul Appleby met Liam Walsh in October.

Williams claimed the victory to grab the British title from Norton in a close fought bout, which now opens up a wealth of possible title match-ups in a division that many had thought had become inactive and tired. Francis Warren said of this, “It’s great that there are now a host of competitive title match-ups to contest the Lonsdale belt. I’m also delighted with the start Queensberry Promotions has made, both events have been in front of a packed, deafening York Hall crowd and I’m delighted at how everyone from the fans to boxing industry insiders have got behind us.”

Williams’ victory also meant that the brothers have managed to gain a British title earlier in their promoting career than their boxing hall of fame promoter father, Frank. But with Frank’s 30 years in the business and history of working with some of the best world champions over the last 3 decades, George and Francis have some big shoes to fill, but are confident they can carve a long a successful career in the sport. George said, “Both Francis and I have had boxing around us our whole lives, it’s in our blood and we’ve always been huge fans of the sport. With Queensberry Promotions we’re aiming to creating a brand that will have some real longevity and that can become one of the major players in boxing. It was fantastic to help Leon, one of our own fighters realise his dream to capture the British title and we hope to make him part of a whole host of champions in our stable. The long term goal is to build a cutting edge brand and a stable of world class fighters, and one day get to the stage where we are enough of a force in the sport that we can showcase the very biggest world championship bouts.”

The next show from Queensberry is sure to continue to excite the fight fans by showcasing Lee Selby’s British and Commonwealth Featherweight Title defence against John Simpson at York Hall on 18th November. Once again the show will be live and exclusive on the UK’s new home of boxing BoxNation (Sky Platform 456)

Tickets are priced at £40 and £60 are available from the Queensberry Promotions Box Office on 01992 550 888 or www.frankwarren.tv

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Fight Report: Williams Topples Norton, Walsh Dominates Richards and Skeete impresses

by on Oct.23, 2011, under Buzz

Team Solid Celebrate: L-R Jimmy Tibbs, Johnny Eames, Leon Williams, Francis Warren and Barry Smith - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Fight Report: Williams Topples Norton, Walsh Dominates Richards and Skeete impresses

Report and Photos Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

On Friday night, at the excellent Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions event at York Hall in Bethnal Green, the pack house were treated to a great night of pugilistic action. The slickly produced show had it all, world class boxing, a knockout, oodles of drama and the dethroning of the Cruiserweight King, as Leon ‘Solid’ Williams achieved what many thought would be impossible, when he snatched the Lonsdale belt from long time holder Rob Norton’s iron grip.

Williams-Norton wasn’t a classic fight by a long way, Norton’s awkward southpaw counter punching style ensured that, but it was an intriguing, and at times highly exciting, bout.

Right from the off it was clear that Williams plan was to to play the long game, out of the window had gone the ‘devil may care’ I’m gonna knock him out or get knocked out mindset, instead the 27 year old from Streatham took a much calmer, slow approach.

The early rounds were edgy, to put it mildly, it was like a poker game with neither man willing to show his hand too early. There was some good action but each time it looked like a proper battle was set to erupt Norton’s ring savvy would come into play, at times he’d just paw away at fresh air to keep Williams at bay, but should the youngster get through the wily old fox from Stourbridge would just grab hold until referee Terry O’Connor pulled them apart.

Both Williams’ co-trainers, Johnny Eames and Barry Smith, were clearly getting exasperated, as were the crowd and the referee, as each time their young charge instigated an exchange he was thwarted by Norton’s persistent clinching.

Just prior to the start of the fourth Johnny Eames could be heard instructing Williams to up the pace and keep the pressure on Norton. With the instructions fresh in his mind Williams shot from the corner the instant the bell rang, closed down his target and let rip, landing a cracking right hand. The crowd jumped to their feet screaming ‘Solid, Solid, Solid, in unison.

Williams responded, in kind, but the action was short lived as Norton just tied him up again to slow the fight back to his pace.

Throughout the middle rounds each time Williams tried to lift the pace the same would happen, Norton would either use his superior reach advantage, pawing, to keep Williams at bay or just grab hold and walk Williams back onto the ropes.

Williams again kicked up the pace in the sixth and seventh, receiving intermittent success letting off some neat combinations before Norton would resort to spoiling tactics again.

My thoughts at the time was that this was the real turning point, it seemed Norton’s age was coming into play and Williams, some twelve years younger, was seemingly in the ascension.

More of the same in rounds eight and nine and Norton was beginning to look uncomfortable as each ‘Solid’ attack started to take it’s toll. I couldn’t help but think that this was the beginning of the end of Norton’s title reign.

Then again maybe not, as in round ten Norton changed tactics, allowing Williams to back him on the ropes and let rip with powerful flurries of shots, most of which Norton would just dip and dive to avoid. Each time Williams would step back Norton showboated by either calling him back in or leaning back in the corner with his arms spread across the ropes.

Now into the Championship rounds. Round eleven was quite a lively affair at times, but yet again anytime Williams tried to instigate any meaningful attacks Norton would stifle him. This lead to Williams trying to pick his shots before moving out of range, but each time he came forward their was a big glove waving in front of him.

Williams’ corner, and promoter Francis Warren, told Leon to throw caution to the wind for the final round, it was close and a good final round was likely to clinch the bout in his favour. Not needing to be told a second time Williams went for it, but so did Norton. The final three minutes were probably the best of the whole fight, it definitely had the most action.

When the final bell rang both protagonists threw their arms in the air before turning to hug each other. The wait for the judges scorecards to be read seemed endless but eventually MC Mike Goodall spoke, declaring the match a split decision in favour of Williams by 116-114 (Richie Davies), 114-115 (John Keane) and 116-113 (Ian John-Lewis).

Prior to Williams-Norton the vacant English Super Bantamweight title was contested by Cromer’s Ryan Walsh and Melksham’s Liam Richards.

In total contrast to the headliner Walsh-Richards was nonstop scintillating back and forth action for the full 30 minutes. I’m not joking every single round was a cracker as these two warriors came prepared for war.

At the end of the ten hard fought rounds Walsh was declared the new English Champion, by a huge margin 100-90 (Richie Davies) 99-91 (Ian John-Lewis) and 100-90 (Terry O’Connor) but that doesn’t give a one hundred percent accurate picture of the fight by a long shot, I’m not arguing the judges score, as yes Walsh won every round, as he boxed superbly, in my book too, but it was far from one way traffic.

They say it takes two to Tango well it also takes two to make a great fight and as such Richards deserves to be praised for his part in this sensational battle. On Friday night we see there’s the heart of a Lion beating inside that tiny frame.

Preceding the excellent Walsh-Richardson see Ireland’s Dean ‘Irish Lightning’ Byrne, in his first outing on British soil, against Edmonton’s Michael Frontin.

Byrne has an excellent pedigree, unbeaten in fourteen and became the New South Wales State Light Welterweight Champion on only his fourth fight. So when I see this match up I have to admit I thought the fight wouldn’t go past three rounds – well I was wrong.

It was a bit of an edgy start but it didn’t take Byrne long to show his class and easily took the early rounds, although he didn’t have it all his way. Frontin showed heart and often took the fight to Byrne.

Byrne boxed beautifully throughout but never really seemed to get a handle on the tough London based Mauritian. Frontin grew in stature as the bout progressed and was holding his own whenever the battle intensified, in fact not just holding his own, as at times he rattled the Irishman with big looping rights at least once each round.

No surprise that at the end of the eight hard fought rounds referee Ian John-Lewis declared Byrne the winner, or that it was by a 78-74 points margin.

On the off-TV section Penge’s ‘Super’ Bradley Skeete got to strut his stuff against Scunthorpe’s Steve Spence in a four rounder.

What a cracking fight, right from the off Spence went for centre ground but novice Skeete, in only his fourth pro bout, wasn’t willing to concede a single millimeter to the more experienced man.

Skeete boxed beautifully throughout and just plain outclassed Spence to earn a much deserved 40-36 points decision.

A rematch, between Liam Shinkwin and ‘Rockin’ Robin Deakin preceded the cracking Skeete-Spence battle.

Last time out Shinkwin won by a shutout 40-36 margin, so really no one was surprised that again Shinkwin dominated proceedings a second time. Saying that Deakin was seeking redemption, by whatever means possible, but no matter how wily the Crawley man is he was still no match for the youngster from Bushey Heath. After four highly entertaining rounds referee Ian John-Lewis raised Shinkwin’s hand and declared him victor by a 40-36 points margin yet again.

The opening bout of the night featured Croydon novice Danny Davis against Tottenham’s Mark McKray.

A rather edgy start, but it didn’t take that long to liven up as McKray tried to rough up the youngster from Surrey. Davis used his jab to good effect to keep the ever forward coming McKray at bay.

More of the same in the second, but in the third McKray was starting to get some real success and around midway of the round clearly hurt Davis with a wicked body shot.

It was close going into the fourth so there was no surprise that Davis stepped things up a bit and around the one minute mark let rip with a massive right cross to send McKray crashing to the canvas.

The celebrating Davis support quickly fell silent as Initial concerns see the paramedics enter the ring to administer oxygen to the prone McKray. After a few tense minutes McKray sat up and after a round of applause Davis and his fans restarted their celebrations.

Following the main event were two floater bouts, which I have to admit I didn’t get to see. – the first see Cranham’s Lee Markham beat Westury’s Aaron Fox by a 40-36 margin. The second see Peckham’s Johnny Garton get his maiden victory over Tooting’s Danny Dontchev also by a 40-36 points margin.

Francis and George Warren did it again it was a truly superb, slick event, OK their dad is the King of British Boxing Frank Warren so they have had a great teacher, but you can’t take it away from these two it was their show and they did it their way and it was brilliant, and I for one can’t wait for the next Queensberry Promotions show.

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Purdy to defend British title against Lynes on November 9

by on Oct.22, 2011, under Buzz

Purdy to defend British title against Lynes on November 9

Ashley Sexton defends his English title on York Hall undercard

Lee ‘Lights Out’ Purdy will defend his British Welterweight title against Colin Lynes at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Wednesday 9 November, live on Sky Sports.

Colchester man Purdy claimed the title with a stunning fifth round stoppage over Craig Watson at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester in April and repeated that triumph in his first defence, a rematch against Watson in July in the Oldham man’s backyard, again in the fifth round.

Purdy’s second defence is an all-Essex affair against Hornchurch’s Lynes in east London, with the former British and European Light Welterweight champion from Hornchurch having a settle to score with the famous venue where he was on the receiving end of a controversial split decision in the semi-final of Prizefighter in June against eventual winner Yassine El Maachi.

“Fighting Colin is a great test for my second defence,” said Purdy. “I feel like I am ready to move up to European level and to prove that I need to win fights like this one, against good fighters who have had success in the places that I want to go to.”

“Lee is the man in charge of that British belt and I’m confident I can take it off him,” said Lynes. “Whatever happens it will be a cracking fight because we both like to throw shots and leave everything in the ring.”

Ashley Sexton will provide the chief support, defending his English Flyweight belt. Cheshunt’s Sexton won the title with the first round knockout of Usman Ahmed that has been a YouTube hit with over five million views. Sexton’s opponent will be named soon, and the winner will be hoping for a crack at the British belt in 2012.

Also featuring on the bill are a talented group of unbeaten youngsters; Islington’s Tyler Goodjohn, Ely’s John Ryder, Wood Green’s Chris Evangelou and Upminster’s Ryan Taylor, with north London’s 7-1 light heavyweight Erick Ochieng also on the card.

“This promises to be a great night of boxing in east London with a lot of local boys strutting their stuff,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Purdy versus Lynes is a potential classic while Sexton is an exciting fighter to watch – the undercard is stacked with unbeaten ticket-selling talent and it’s sure to be another Matchroom sell out.”

Tickets for the ‘Battle of Essex’ between Purdy and Lynes plus the full championship undercard led by Sexton’s title defence are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 priced at £35 unreserved, £60 ringside and £100 VIP.
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Purdy to defend British title against Lynes on November 9

by on Oct.22, 2011, under Buzz

Purdy to defend British title against Lynes on November 9

Ashley Sexton defends his English title on York Hall undercard

Lee ‘Lights Out’ Purdy will defend his British Welterweight title against Colin Lynes at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Wednesday 9 November, live on Sky Sports.

Colchester man Purdy claimed the title with a stunning fifth round stoppage over Craig Watson at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester in April and repeated that triumph in his first defence, a rematch against Watson in July in the Oldham man’s backyard, again in the fifth round.

Purdy’s second defence is an all-Essex affair against Hornchurch’s Lynes in east London, with the former British and European Light Welterweight champion from Hornchurch having a settle to score with the famous venue where he was on the receiving end of a controversial split decision in the semi-final of Prizefighter in June against eventual winner Yassine El Maachi.

“Fighting Colin is a great test for my second defence,” said Purdy. “I feel like I am ready to move up to European level and to prove that I need to win fights like this one, against good fighters who have had success in the places that I want to go to.”

“Lee is the man in charge of that British belt and I’m confident I can take it off him,” said Lynes. “Whatever happens it will be a cracking fight because we both like to throw shots and leave everything in the ring.”

Ashley Sexton will provide the chief support, defending his English Flyweight belt. Cheshunt’s Sexton won the title with the first round knockout of Usman Ahmed that has been a YouTube hit with over five million views. Sexton’s opponent will be named soon, and the winner will be hoping for a crack at the British belt in 2012.

Also featuring on the bill are a talented group of unbeaten youngsters; Islington’s Tyler Goodjohn, Ely’s John Ryder, Wood Green’s Chris Evangelou and Upminster’s Ryan Taylor, with north London’s 7-1 light heavyweight Erick Ochieng also on the card.

“This promises to be a great night of boxing in east London with a lot of local boys strutting their stuff,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Purdy versus Lynes is a potential classic while Sexton is an exciting fighter to watch – the undercard is stacked with unbeaten ticket-selling talent and it’s sure to be another Matchroom sell out.”

Tickets for the ‘Battle of Essex’ between Purdy and Lynes plus the full championship undercard led by Sexton’s title defence are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 priced at £35 unreserved, £60 ringside and £100 VIP.
2 Attached files| 1.5MB

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Big Fight Weekend: Williams-Norton, Huck-Rossi Live On Sports Tonight (Freeview)

by on Oct.21, 2011, under Buzz

Big Fight Weekend: Williams-Norton, Huck-Rossi Live On Sports Tonight (Freeview)

Armchair boxing fans are in for a big treat this weekend as both the British Cruiserweight title fight, between Leon ‘Solid’ Williams and Rob Norton, and the WBO World Cruiserweight title bout, between Marco Huck and Rogelio Omar Rossi are to be broadcast live on Sports Tonight (Freeview HD – Channel 112).

On Friday the evening of domestic pugilistic action starts at 7pm, when presenter Dominic McGuiness will be joined in the studio by former WBU Light Middleweight World Champion Wayne Alexander and Fighting Fit Magazine’s Danny Flexen, as well as joined on the phone by WBA International Super Bantamweight Champion Rendall Munroe, former WBU Lightweight World Champion Graham Earl and Leon Williams’ TRAD TKO Gym mate and regular sparring partner Mitchell Balker for the Big Fight Preview show.

Immediately following the preview show the real action begins with ‘Irish Lightning’ Dean Byrne facing Michael Frontin in an eight round Light-Welterweight contest.

The first of the evenings title fights, featuring Ryan Walsh versus Liam Richards for the vacant English Super Bantamweight title, is next on the bill.

Then it’s the one of the biggest domestic battle of the year, as Streatham’s Leon ‘Solid’ Williams challenges long time British Cruiserweight King Rob Norton for his throne.

Now if that isn’t enough on Saturday presenter Rhodri Williams will be joined in the studio, from 7pm, by WBO Intercontinental Welterweight Champion Frankie Gavin and live from the USA the only man to beat Marco Huck, two time IBF Cruiserweight Champion of the World Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham.

Also joining this illustrious lineup, on the phone, will be Leon ‘Solid’ Williams and his manager/co trainer Johnny Eames to take a look back at Friday’s defining domestic title battle as well as give their views on Huck-Rossi, which will be shown live from Germany from 8pm.

If you would like to give your views on either Williams-Norton or Huck Rossi e.mail martin.hines@sportstonightlive.com or via Skype: Sports Tonight Live.

The Sports Tonight Preview show starts at 7pm on both Friday and Saturday and is available on Freeview Channel 112 as well as on-line at www.sportstonightlive.com

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