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Former Team GB Star Edwards Primed For Explosive Pro Debut This Saturday.

Charlie Edwards with Brian O'Shaughnessy at the Champions TKO Boxing Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Charlie Edwards with Brian O’Shaughnessy at the Champions TKO Boxing Gym in London – Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Former Team GB Star Edwards Primed For Explosive Pro Debut This Saturday.

In just a few days time former Team GB amateur star Charlie Edwards is set to make his much anticipated transition to the professional ranks, when he faces Bentley, Yorkshire’s Craig Derbyshire on the Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport promoted CAPITAL PUNISHMENT event, at the O2 this coming Saturday, the 31st January.

Back in October, the former European Bronze Medallist announced his intention to move to the pro ranks. After a few weeks of discussions with his team and various promoters Charlie eventually made the decision to sign with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport organisation, a very savvy move indeed as not only are they the UK’s #1 promotional outfit, but more importantly all their events are broadcast live on Sky Sports, therefore ensuring excellent exposure for seriously talented multi-ABA Champion.

Charlie’s transition to the pro ranks has probably been a little smoother than for most young amateur stars these days, mainly because for the past year or so Charlie, as well as his younger brother Sunny, have been travelling to the famous TKO Gym in East London, the home to many of the UK’s top professional stars, both past and present, to be coached by Brian O’Shaughnessy.

As such the youngster enjoyed the best of both worlds, as Brian was a highly respected amateur coach, with a history of developing amateur champions, before applying for his pro license. Another bonus for Charlie being based at the TKO was the regular full on sparring sessions with many of the top prospects based there.

Following one of these sparring sessions, with Champions TKO gym mate Michael O’Rourke, both Charlie and Brian took some time out to speak about the youngsters upcoming professional debut, first up Charlie.

“I’m feeling great, my training’s gone really well and I’m in the best shape of my career so far.

I’ve been preparing at the Champions TKO with Brian (O’Shaughnessy) and my dad, I’ve got a strength and conditioning coach now, covering all angles to make sure I’m totally ready for my pro debut.

The hard work is really paying off, great shape, weight’s perfect, it’s been perfect for the past two or three weeks, so I am definitely in the best shape of my life and just can’t wait to get in there and prove that all the hype about me, because I know there’s a lot of hype about me and I have got a bit of pressure on my shoulders, with people expecting me to perform, so I’m going to go out there and box clever and make sure I perform.

I done virtually everything you can as an amateur, Olympic qualifiers, Commonwealth Games and I won seven National titles, ABA titles and GB titles, European Bronze medallist, European Gold medallist as a schoolboy, so have won a lot of titles.

I’ve had a look at my opponent, he’s on YouTube, he’s had two fights and lost two, he’s from Leeds or somewhere up in Yorkshire (sic – Bentley, Yorkshire) and his name is Craig Derbyshire.

 

He’s done cage fighting, he’s done a lot of Kick Boxing and that, he comes from a fighting background.

 

I know what he’s going to do, he’s going to come fighting right from the opening bell. The only thing is he comes flying in with his head so I’ve got to be clever and stay out of the way f his head and he’ll be there to be hit, I don’t need go looking, he’s going to come to me and I’m going to make him pay, that’s the way it’s going to go.

 

It’s another day at the office, I know it’s pro and everyone says it’s a big step up and it’s a different game, I’ve been winning titles without a headguard for about a year and half now, so it’s no biggy to me, it means I take my top off, which is better, I know when I take my top off in training I feel great, so yeah no big deal for me, I’m raring to go, I’ve fought in front of twenty thousand people up in Scotland, against a home fighter, so that’s the biggest thing I’m going to experience with everyone against me and on my back, so for me I get that extra buzz boxing in front of a big crowd, you can’t get batter.

 

I’m expecting nothing else, but victory all the way, like I said he’s going to come to fight, I’m not looking for no stoppage or anything, but I know in the way I am hitting, if he walks on to one, especially how open he is, I’m going to hurt him, so it may not go the distance.

 

I’m going in there prepared to go the distance, been doing a lot of sparring, eight threes, six threes, I mean I’ve just been sparring Mickey O’Rourke and he’s a sixty four kilo fighter and I’m not going to have anyone up against me like him, so I’m prepared a hundred percent, I’m leaving no stone unturned and really want to get in there and do the business.

 

I want to say thanks for all the support, it means so much when I put up stuff on Facebook and Twitter and get so much positive messages from so many people wishing me luck, I do that to show them I’ve been training, what I’m putting myself through so I can be successful, everyone is reacting so positively and showing that they are supporting me, I’m really grateful and going to really put a show on for every single one of my supporters.”

 

Then it was the turn of Charlie’s coach, the affable Brian O’Shaughnessy to talk about his young charge.

 

“Yeah, the 31st, not long to go now, just a few days.

 

It’s all looking good, Charlie’s been working hard, his transitioning himself for the pro ranks and it’s going really well.

 

Charlie first came to work with me at the TKO about a year ago, he says he’d been wanting to work with me for a few years, he’d seen me on the amateur circuit and liked the way I worked, so we got together last year and it’s all good.

 

I first see him when he was just a kid, you could see then he was going to be something special, so I was really pleased when he asked if I could start working with him.

 

Personally, I don’t see anyone in his weight division in this country, or Europe come to that, that would bother him, there’s not a lot of fighters in his category anyway and even the best ones we had seen as they progressed from the amateurs and they’re not a patch on Charlie.

 

The person he’s got on the 31st is a seasoned amateur, as well as has a Kick Boxing background, so we’ve always got to expect the unexpected, but we’re ready for that anyway, so expect a good, tidy win from Charlie.”

 

www.tkoboxinggym.com

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Busy Month Ahead For TKO & Johnny Eames – New Gym, New Signings & Fights Galore

Johnny Eames flanked by new signings Michael O'Rourke (L) and Danny Arnold (R) at the new Champions TKO Gym

Johnny Eames flanked by new signings Michael O’Rourke (L) and Danny Arnold (R) at the new Champions TKO Gym

Busy Month Ahead For TKO & Johnny Eames – New Gym, New Signings & Fights Galore

It’s been a rather busy start to the New Year for the ever hardworking Johnny Eames and his entire TKO crew, whilst most of us took time off to enjoy the Christmas and New Year festivities, not so for Team TKO, who were busy at work, either with the rebranding and a move to new facilities for the famous TKO gym, or preparing for upcoming fights.

The gym, which had been based in Canning Town for the past eight years, has now relocated to Hackney and has been rebranded as the Champions TKO Boxing Gym.

 

With such a major project to undertake over the holiday season you would expect that some other elements of the multi-disciplined TKO would be put on the back burner, but no, Johnny has been as active as ever in signing new boxers, as well as burning the midnight oil getting fights for his stable of boxers, or negotiating Championship fights for the senior prospects in the squad.

 

When he finally found a spare few minutes, in between the seemingly never ending stream of phone calls, the affable Mr. Eames spoke briefly about the major changes, his exciting new signings, as well as the upcoming fights for his charges.

 

“Exciting times, it’s been hard work, but I’m sure it will all be worth it.

 

There’s still a lot of work to do with the gym, at the moment we’re only using half the floor space available, so we’re only training the pros there until we get to knock through to the other unit, then and only then when the gym’s completely finished will we start operating it full time.

 

The change of location has done us a big favour, we’ve got rid of a lot of the dead wood we had around us, now we have a really good strong team here, there’s myself, Rio (Gianluca Di Caro) and Mehmet Aba on the I suppose management side, if you can call it that as it’s the running and marketing of everything.

 

On the coaching team side, we have Brian O’Shaughnessy, Mo Hussein, Brian Lawrence, Mark Lowe, Mark Reefer, Larry Edwards, Dave Butcher, Mehmet Aba and of course myself.

 

As I’m going to concentrate mainly on boxers management and coaching, if any fighters out there are looking for management or coaching, they should give me a call.

 

Talking about management, we’ve just had two first class young former amateur stars sign with us, the first is Mickey O’Rourke, who used to box for Dale Youth, he’s a very good fighter and I really do think this kid is going to go all the way, he’ll cause a few upsets along the way.

 

The other is young Danny Arnold, he’s nineteen years of age and has won everything there is to win in the juniors and I mean everything.

 

He’s an absolute natural talent, I put him right up there with the natural abilities of our Kevin Lear.

 

Only his application is all wrong at the moment, he’s going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to the challenge and if I can make this kid train right we’ve got a Champion for definite.

 

Fighters wise, we have seven out in quick succession, it all kicks off this week with four of the TKO boys out at York Hall on Friday, the 30th January.

 

From the gym itself, we have Onder and Siar Ozgul, they’re both good boys, Siar steps up for his first six rounder and Onder remains on a four for this fight.

 

They’re always crowd pleasing boys, always bring a good crowd to the table and I’m sure it will be a good night for the boys.

 

Also on this show is Antonio Counihan, who is probably the jewel in the crown of the TKO fighters, this kid is outstanding, he’s not trained by us here at the TKO, but he’s managed by myself and is probably the jewel in the crown as I said.

 

He’s got everything, absolutely everything, what’s more he’s got a great team around him in his dad and Jon Pegg.

 

He always brings a big crowd down with him and always puts on a great performance.

 

After this fight we’ll probably have him fight for a title, probably MBC International or similar, so let’s see how it goes, either way I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Also on this show Tasif Khan will be making his maiden outing under the TKO banner, he’s totally new to us, I haven’t seen him fight yet, he’s been out of the game for a couple of years, but he’s got a decent record and if enthusiasm wins titles then this kid’s already a Champion, because he drives me mad on the phone wanting to know everything, which is good, I like that in a fighter.

 

He’s seven and one, but as I say I’ve never seen him fight so can’t judge him on ability, but what I can comment on is if he fights as good as his enthusiasm then he’s a very good fighter and with seven good wins under his belt already am sure he is.

 

Tickets for the 30th January York Hall show are available on our Box Office, so if anyone fancies a real good night out on Friday, go to the TKO gym website www.tkoboxinggym.com or the TKO Box Office website www.tkoboxoffice.com

 

Next up we have Tommy Martin, who has an English title fight against Ricky Boylan coming up on the big Matchroom show at the O2.

 

It’s a tough 50/50 fight, it’s a fight I believe Tommy can win, otherwise I wouldn’t have put him in it.

 

I have a lot of respect for Ricky, as he was once a TKO fighter, you don’t expect easy fights when you’re at this level, so obviously it is going to be a tough fight, but I’m pretty sure Tommy will come through the winner.

 

Also on the 02 show on the 31st is Charlie Edwards, who will be making his highly anticipated debut.

 

Big things are expected from this kid, it’s our job at the TKO to keep this kids feet firmly on the ground and make sure he does his job right.

 

If training wins titles, then this kid is a World champion already, he just doesn’t stop training, he totally lives and loves the game.

 

He’s got a great trainer in Brian O’Shaughnessy, he’s doing a fantastic job with him and from my side it’s an honour to be part of young Charlie’s journey.

 

Next up on the 7th February, is our debutant, Mickey O’Rourke, who will be fighting on the Mickey Helliet show at the Camden Centre.

 

I’m really, really excited about signing Mickey, I’ve not been that excited about a new kid’s debut since Kevin Lear days, I really do rate this kid, I really do believe this kid is going to go a long, long way, in the boxing game and I’m certain he’s going to be a big ticket seller, he has a big family and I’m looking forward to meeting them all.

 

We’ve also got a few boys out in March, Freddie Turner, Joel McIntyre as well as some of the boys I’ve already mentioned, I won’t say too much yet as I’m sure Rio will be putting out interviews and releases on these nearer the time, but will say I’m really excited about the coming year, we’ve got some big plans, as well as big fights for our boys, and girl, this year, can’t wait.”

 

For further information on Champions TKO Boxing Gym and their stable of boxers, please see the website www.tkoboxinggym.com also please follow on Facebook and on twitter @ChampionsTKO.