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Amateur Star Charlie Hoy Ready For Pro Debut On January 13th

by on Jan.05, 2012, under Buzz

Charlie Hoy with coach Mark Tibbs at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Amateur Star Charlie Hoy Ready For Pro Debut On January 13th

Former Repton Amateur star Charlie Hoy makes his professional debut, against Newport’s Darren Pryce, on the undercard of TRAD TKO Gym mate Leon ‘Solid’ Williams’ British Cruiserweight title defense at York Hall in London on Friday, 13th January, 2012.

Hoy, who is trained by Jimmy and Mark Tibbs at the famous Canning Town gym, had a stellar amateur record of 68 fights, of which he only lost 10, and won various national titles, including three schoolboy ABAs, three Four Nations, three ABCs and reached the finals of the Senior ABAs in 2011.

Speaking earlier, Hoy obviously feels he is well prepared for his maiden pro-outing as he said, “I’m really looking forward to it, I’m excited to be debuting at York Hall on the 13th.

I have two great trainers, Jimmy and Mark Tibbs, behind me, so my preparations have been first class, as has the sparring.

I’ve had the best sparring I could possibly get, the best Super Flyweight in the country Michael Maguire, English Flyweight Champion Ashley Sexton and former British Bantamweight Champion Martin Power, there’s nothing better than that really.

All the hard work’s been done in the gym so I’m just going to go out there and enjoy myself and hopefully get a good win on the 13th.”

Charlie Hoy, against Darren Pryce, features on the undercard of Leon ‘Solid’ Williams versus Shane McPhilbin for the British Cruiserweight title that headlines Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions first event of the New Year, which takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 13th January 2012 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform Channel 456 & Virgin 546)

Tickets, Standard Seated – £40 and Ringside SOLD OUT for Williams vs. McPhilbin are available now on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets are also available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

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New Year Outing For Prizefighter Star George Jupp, Faces Dan Naylor on the 13th Jan.

by on Jan.04, 2012, under Buzz

George Jupp in action against Choi in Prizefighter - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

New Year Outing For Prizefighter Star George Jupp, Faces Dan Naylor on the 13th Jan.

Choi Tseveenpurev may have won the Prizefighter-Featherweights tournament back in October, but it was without doubt his semifinal opponent, 20 year old ‘Saint’ George Jupp, that stole the limelight – and the plaudits, for his sensational performance against the twice his age two-time World Champion.

The Belvedere youngster showed a maturity that belied his tender years as he traded with the Mongolian Warrior, matching him punch for punch throughout, only to lose out on a place in the final by the slimmest of margins.

Jupp’s disappointment, of not making the final and potentially winning the £32K prize money, was short lived as within days Francis and George Warren signed him to a promotional contract with their Queensberry Promotions organisation.

To complete his joy, the Warren brothers have ‘Saint’ George making his maiden outing, under their promotional banner, on the undercard of fellow TRAD TKO Boxing Gym and Queensberry Promotions team mate Leon ‘Solid’ Williams’ first defense of his British Cruiserweight title, against Shane McPhilbin, at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, on Friday, 13th January.

Johnny Eames, George Jupp, Barry McGuigan and Carl Frampton at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Following a sparring session, with Super Bantamweight Commonwealth Champ Carl Frampton, yesterday Jupp spoke briefly about the Choi battle, “Yeah, it was a close fight, I couldn’t really scream about the decision as it could have gone either way.

If ten people watched it, five thought I won and five thought he won.

I thought it was a good fight and I take a lot of confidence from that, I mean he’s a two time World Champion and there’s no one at my level that’s going to have done that.”

before moving onto discuss the upcoming bout against Dan Naylor, “I’ve seen a few video’s of Dan, he’s quite a slick southpaw. I’m glad I’m fighting someone like him so I can show my skills to full effect.

He’s in your face, unlike some other opponents, which suits me and my style of fighting.

I keep doing what I’m doing, hopefully this six rounder goes OK and I get a few rounds under my belt.

It’s important to get a couple of six rounders under my belt as hopefully within the next twelve months or so I’ll then be able to get in position for a shot at the Southern Area title.

Saying that I’ll keep looking at each fight as gaining more experience, I will never look past any opponent as each fight is an important part of my learning curve.

It’s hard not to think of titles as we’re doing really well here at the TRAD TKO at the moment, we have had so many Champions over the past year, I think it’s five or six.

That’s why I’m really glad to be fighting on this show, as one of our British Champions, Leon Williams, is headlining.

I can’t wait, I’ve been training hard all over Christmas, been getting some good sparring with Michael Maguire, he’s lighter than me and he’s so good technically he’s hard work. If you can catch him with a clean punch you can catch anyone.

Also been sparring with Juris (Varuskins), he’s quite a tough kid, he pushes you for every round, and Danny (Connor), he’s a bit heavier than me, a bit of an awkward type and of course today was sparring Carl (Frampton), he’s already a champion so very much on top of his game. So I’m getting the best of all worlds, sparring like, with all the different styles.

I am really happy with the way the training and sparring has been going and I’m really looking forward to the 13th.”

‘Saint’ George Jupp, against Dan Naylor, features on the undercard of Leon ‘Solid’ Williams versus Shane McPhilbin for the British Cruiserweight title headlines Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions first event of the New Year, which takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 13th January 2012 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform Channel 456 & Virgin 546)

Tickets, Standard Seated – £40 and Ringside SOLD OUT for Williams vs. McPhilbin are available now on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets are also available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

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Williams Unfazed By Late Change, Says He’ll Crush McPhilbin On Jan 13th

by on Jan.03, 2012, under Boxing News

Leon Williams ready to crush Shane McPhilbin on Jan 13th - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Williams Unfazed By Late Change, Says He’ll Crush McPhilbin On Jan 13th

British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams is in bullish mood, following the news that he will now defend his coveted Lonsdale Belt against Bulwell, Nottinghamshire’s Shane McPhilbin on the 13th January at York Hall.

Just before Christmas William’s original opponent, Tony Conquest, was forced to withdraw due to illness, which opened the door for Midlands Area Champ McPhilbin to step up to the plate for a crack at the big one.

Speaking earlier today Williams clearly had long time friend Conquest’s plight in mind, as he said “First and foremost I hope Tony gets better soon, I was really looking forward to us fighting each other again, as I’m sure he was.” Before adding, “I’m sure he’ll get his chance again.”

The Streatham based Champion then changed tack and spoke briefly about his preparations, “I’m a hundred and ten percent ready for the 13th, it doesn’t matter to me who they put in front of me, Johnny (Eames) and Barry (Smith) have been pushing me, working me hard and honing my skills for any eventuality.

Had some great sparring over Christmas with Mitchell (Balker), Menay (Edwards) and my new gym mate Paul David (English Super Middleweight Champion).

Paul’s my new main sparring partner. He’s very awkward, very cagey. It would have been great to have had him here when I was preparing for Rob Norton.

As I said here at the TRAD TKO I have a great team around me, got plenty of great sparring partners and it’s all good, it’s almost perfect and the guy that’s fighting me now is gonna get crushed.

I know nothing about him, as far as I’m concerned he’s just an opponent for me to beat up, I’m the Champion and I’m gonna stay the Champion, I’m gonna look so good on TV as I beat him up, yeaaah.”

Leon ‘Solid’ Williams versus Shane McPhilbin, for the British Cruiserweight title, headlines Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions first event of the New Year, which takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 13th January 2012 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform Channel 456 & Virgin 546)

Tickets, Standard Seated – £40 and Ringside SOLD OUT for Williams vs. McPhilbin are available now on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets are also available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

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Michael Maguire: Christmas Canceled, Faces Najah Ali On 13th January

by on Dec.22, 2011, under Boxing News

Michael Maguire ready for New Year showdown with Najah Ali - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Michael Maguire: Christmas Canceled, Faces Najah Ali On 13th January

Super Flyweight sensation Michael Maguire’s much anticipated return to the ring earlier this month failed to materialise, following opponent Najah Ali’s having to withdraw the day before they were due to face each other on the undercard of the Lee Selby-John Simpson British and Commonwealth title clash.

Earlier today Francis and George Warren announced that the match up, between the former Junior European Champion Maguire and 2004 Olympian Ali, will now take place on the undercard of Maguire’s TRAD TKO team mate Leon ‘Solid’ Williams British Cruiserweight title defense, against Southern Area Champ Tony ‘The Conqueror’ Conquest, at York Hall in London on Friday 13th January 2012.

Following a full on sparring session with Super Featherweight George Jupp, who is also on the card on the 13th, former World under-nineteen #1 Maguire said, “Najah had the flu so obviously couldn’t fight me then, so we’ll fight on January 13th instead.

He’ll be fitter, he’ll be training hard to try and beat me, which he wont because I’m going all the way to the top.

I’ve started training hard so I’m ready for the new date. I’ve been sparring George Jupp, I really rate him, he’s really good. He’s two or three weights above me and I can stand and trade with him, which is good

Also been sparring with Martin (Power), he’s all right, you know what I mean, he’s strong on the inside but too easy to pick off.

I’m 22, I’ve always cheated myself in life yet still won my fights, now I’m doing everything right so I come back better and better.

It’s hard being away from my family over Christmas but I just have to knuckle down and do all the stuff that I hadn’t done before and it’ll pay off so it’s worth it. I’m taking this return serious, no messing I’m going all out to beat Najah on the 13th.”

Michael Maguire versus Najah Ali features on the undercard of Leon ‘Solid’ Williams British Cruiserweight title defense against Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest which headlines Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions first event of the New Year, which takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 13th January 2012 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform Channel 456 & Virgin 546)

Tickets, Standard Seated £40 and Ringside SOLD OUT for Williams vs. Conquest are available now on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets are also available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

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Warren Brothers Looking to the Next Level for Williams v. Conquest Winner

by on Dec.21, 2011, under Buzz

Warren Brothers Looking to the Next Level for Williams v. Conquest Winner

There will be added incentive for Queensberry Promotions’ two Cruiserweight champions, Leon Williams and Tony Conquest, when they go head to head in what is set to be an all-out war at York Hall on 13th January, with Francis and George Warren looking to get the winner in contention for a European title shot at some point down the line.

The contest will see British Champion Williams, defend his title against Southern Area champion Conquest, at the spiritual home of British boxing, in what is quickly turning into a huge grudge match. The fans at home will also get the chance to watch the showdown live and exclusive on the BoxNation(Sky 456, Virgin 546). Former friends ,Williams and Conquest, have fallen out in spectacular style in recent weeks following a string of stinging press statements directed towards each other, and neither will be willing to settle for a loss in the huge domestic contest. Whilst Francis Warren believes the winner of the contest will firmly put themselves in line to progress and start competing at European level.

He said, “Like any promoter, my brother and I are in the game to try and help create champions; British, European and it’s of course ultimately our intention to create World Champions. We’ve been fortunate enough to help Leon become a British champion in our only our second show, but the goal has to be always to develop and take the next step. So we’ve pitted our two champions against each other, not only to create a great competitive 50:50 match up for the fans, but also to see who’s ready to start looking at making a step up to European level at some point next year.”

Whilst George Warren mentioned, “It’s been a great start for us at Queensberry Promotions, but I’m particularly looking forward to the 13th January as it’s the first time we’ll be putting two of our own fighters in together to contest a British title; and after proudly watching them both capture titles in their last fights, we couldn’t ask for a more appropriate collision course for the two stable mates. It should be a real dust up in there, the two have apparently fallen out badly in recent weeks since we made the fight, so there won’t be any holding back when they step through the ropes at York Hall. I would never make a prediction as their both our fighters, but in all honesty I wouldn’t be able to make one anyway, as this is such a hard one to call and really could go either way. I really do wish both of them the best of luck as they have both been tremendous to work with and have already helped to breathe life into what had become a very tired looking domestic cruiserweight division.”

Queensberry Promotions also have an action packed undercard in store for the fans at York Hall and everyone watching at home on BoxNation; chief support sees Larry Olubamiwo take on Sam Sexton in a make or break clash for the two heavyweights. Both know that this is a huge chance for redemption to get themselves back into contention for domestic honours and will be no doubt putting it all on the line. Hot prospect Bradley Skeete also gets another outing as he looks to progress up the ranks whilst George Jupp, Daryl Williams, Charlie Hoy , John Wayne Hibbert and John Dignum also get the chance to impress the York Hall crowd.

Tickets, Standard Seated £40 and Ringside SOLD OUT for Williams vs. Conquest are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets are also available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

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Williams And Conquest Face To Face On The Fight Show This Thursday

by on Dec.07, 2011, under Buzz

Williams And Conquest Face To Face On The Fight Show This Thursday

This Thursday evening British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams and Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest, who will be challenging him for his crown at York Hall in London on the 13th January, will be taking a little time out from their big fight preparations to be studio guests on The Fight Show, presented by Dom McGuinness, on Sports Tonight (Freeview HD Channel 112 and available worldwide on-line at www.sportstonightlive.com) from 5.30pm (GMT)

Leon, Tony and Dom will be discussing all the latest boxing news, upcoming fights and of course the BIG ONE, the most defining British Cruiserweight battle in recent history, when the man himself, Leon Williams, defends his coveted Lonsdale belt against Tony Conquest in what can be best described as the ‘Battle of Britain’.

Between them Leon and Tony have breathed life into the often overlooked division, with their all action, yet highly contrasting, styles – Leon being a big punching close quarters battler, right out of the ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson mould, whilst Tony’s quick handed slick boxing style is more akin to that of two time Cruiserweight Champion of the World Steve ‘USS’ Cunningham – ensures a true Battle Royale come the 13th January.

There’s much more to this fight though, which has caused both Leon and Tony a bit of a dilemma, as after their first fight, back in their Amateur days, the pair became close friends and have remained so until this day.

On Thursday you can be sure that one of the topics being discussed is how they intend to go about separating their friendship from the serious business of big time Championship boxing.

The Fight Show, hosted by Dom McGuinness and featuring British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams and title challenger Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest, is broadcast live on Sports Tonight (Freeview HD Channel 112 and available worldwide on-line at www.sportstonightlive.com) from 5.30pm (GMT).

Leon ‘Solid’ Williams Versus Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest for the British Cruiserweight title headlines Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions first event of the New Year, which takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 13th January 2012 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform Channel 456 & Virgin 546)

Tickets, priced £40 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) for Williams vs. Conquest are available now on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets are also available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

ABOUT SPORTS TONIGHT LIVE – the home of sports opinion

Sports Tonight Live is Britain’s newest sports TV station broadcasting topical sports news, sports analysis, sports discussion and sports debate. Presented by Mike ‘Porky’ Parry, Chris Cohen and a host of guests and pundits, Sports Tonight is broadcast every night and throughout weekend afternoons. At other times, the latest programme is shown on a loop. Although focus is on football, other popular sports news are also covered, including The Fight Show on Thursday evenings.

Sports Tonight is the first OTT-delivered channel on the UK’s Freeview platform. It is a new kind of channel that delivers TV content exclusively via broadband to set-top boxes. Sports Tonight Live is available on Freeview HD channel 112 through internet connected TVs and set top boxes carrying the Freeview HD platform.

Sports Tonight can also be accessed from your PC, tablet or smartphone by going to www.sportstonightlive.com. Additional distribution is available on Facebook and YouTube for internet connected devices.

The format of Sports Tonight encourages live sports debate from viewers who contact the show via Skype video-call or Twitter. Producers of Sports Tonight can also poll the audience live for instant reaction to sporting events.

Sports Tonight thrives on audience participation, so if you have a sports opinion…GET IN TOUCH!

www.sportstonightlive.com

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Williams-Conquest January 13th British Title Clash – Tickets On Sale Today

by on Dec.02, 2011, under Events

Williams-Conquest January 13th British Title Clash – Tickets On Sale Today

Tickets for the highly anticipated British Cruiserweight title clash between Leon ‘Solid’ Williams and Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest, which takes place at York Hall in London on Friday 13th January 2012, and broadcast live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 456 & Virgin 546), go on sale today on the TKO Box Office website www.tkoboxoffice.com

Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions organisation really have pulled out all the stops to ensure their first event of 2012 is an explosive, all action, extravaganza.

The headlining Williams-Conquest perfectly sets the scene, these two are without doubt the two best, most exciting and all action Cruiserweights in the country today an the contrast in their styles guarantees a true Battle Royale on the 13th.

Streatham’s Williams, who will be making the first defense of the title he wrestled off long time British and Commonwealth Champion Rob Norton back in October, is a no nonsense come forward power puncher right out of the ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson mould, something Tony Conquest can readily attest to – Williams knocked him out in just 45 seconds when they fought previously as amateurs.

Williams bought that power and knockout reputation with him upon turning pro. His debut bout didn’t even go one round, as Williams dropped Bobby Scott with the very first punch he threw, a violent left hook!

Prior to the Norton title showdown Williams stopped both his previous opponents, on his defense of the Southern Area title, in May this year, Williams knocked Danny Couzens out cold after just thirty seconds of the fourth round. Williams followed that with a sensational fifth round stoppage of Battersea’s fighting fireman Nick ‘The Ox’ Okoth in September.

Conquest on the other hand is a fast handed stylish boxer whose fights normally go the distance. His only stoppage to date came in March this year, when he stopped Ghana’s Prince George Akrong in the first minute of the sixth round.

Conquest earned the right to challenge Williams for the coveted Lonsdale belt with a superb victory over Toks Owoh in November to lift the Southern Area strap Williams had vacated just a few weeks earlier.

Throughout the fight Conquest plain out boxed the former Super Middleweight supremo. Right from the opening bell and for ten rounds Conquest worked at a high pace, peppering Owoh non stop with shot after shot for every minute of every round to earn the win by a shut out 99-91 points margin.

The Warren brothers have put together a seriously top class support card for Williams-Conquest, headed by an almighty heavyweight clash between Larry ‘The War Machine’ Olabamiwo and former Commonwealth Champion Sam Sexton, which without doubt will be yet another highly volatile affair.

Also on the card are Williams’ TRAD TKO Gym mates ‘Saint’ George Jupp and Charlie Hoy as well as the highly popular Stetson wearing John Wayne Hibbert, sensational unbeaten Welterweight prospect ‘Super’ Bradley Skeete, Daryl Williams and John Dignam, all against yet to be named opponents.

Leon ‘Solid’ Williams Versus Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest for the British Cruiserweight title headlines Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions first event of the New Year, which takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 13th January 2012 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform Channel 456 & Virgin 546)

Tickets, priced £40 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) for Williams vs. Conquest are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets are also available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

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Williams Predicts Nightmares For Conquest On Jan 13th

by on Nov.25, 2011, under Buzz

Leon Williams ready for title showdown with Tony Conquest on January 13th - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Williams Predicts Nightmares For Conquest On Jan 13th

Earlier today Francis and George Warren officially announced that British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams will defend his newly acquired title, against Southern Area champion Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest, at York Hall in London on Friday 13th January 2012, and broadcast live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 456 & Virgin 546).

Williams, who relieved Rob Norton of the coveted Lonsdale belt back in October, spoke briefly on the upcoming showdown with his long time friend Tony Conquest,

“I’m excited, I’m already back in training preparing to crush him.

It’s going to be a nightmare for him, he wont be conquering me anyway, I’ll be conquering him.

Friendships done now it’s official, we’re not friends, he’s my enemy right now and I’m gonna crush him on the 13th January.

I’ve got a big following, which is good. I thank them all, because it is because of them that I am in the position I am now.

I’m gonna put on a great show for them and crush Tony and then we’ll celebrate all day, every day…yeaaahh.”

The Warren brothers have put together a top class support card for Williams-Conquest, headed by a heavyweight clash between Larry ‘The War Machine’ Olabamiwo and former Commonwealth Champion Sam Sexton.

Also on the card are ‘Super’ Bradley Skeete, Williams’ TRAD TKO Gym mate ‘Saint’ George Jupp, John Wayne Hibbert, Daryl Williams, Charlie Hit and John Dignam, all against yet to be named opponents.

Leon ‘Solid’ Williams Versus Tony ‘Conqueror’ Conquest for the British Cruiserweight title headlines Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry Promotions first event of the New Year, which takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday 13th January 2012 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform Channel 456 & Virgin 546)

Tickets, priced £40 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) for Williams vs. Conquest will be available shortly on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com. Tickets will also be available direct from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

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Prizefighter-Welterweights II Report – The King Is Dead, Long Live The King

by on Jun.08, 2011, under Fight Reports

Prizefighter-Welterweights II Report – The King Is Dead, Long Live The King

Photos and report by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Last night boxing fans from all over the country converged on York Hall for the season finale of the highly successful, Matchroom Sports promoted, Prizefighter series and boy were they treated to a show full of intrigue, drama, controversy and most importantly plenty of world class action.

The bookies had expected former World champions, and former foes, Junior Witter and Colin Lynes to meet in the final, well they were half right as Junior Witter made it all the way and faced London based Moroccan the Showman himself – Yassine El Maachi.

So the scene was set King of the ring Junior Witter against the man many thought of as a pretender to the throne Yassine El Maachi. Before we get to final here is a quick review of how they got there.

Quarter Final 1 – Kevin McIntyre Vs. John Wayne Hibbert

The opening bout of the night see former British Champion Kevin McIntyre against unbeaten prospect John Wayne Hibbert.

It started out as quite a scrappy affair, but settled down once Hibbert slowed his pace instead of rushing in wildly. McIntyre’s southpaw stance was causing the Essex youngster all kinds of problems, which see him easily picked off by the far more experienced Scot.

McIntyre championship stature really came to the fore, whereas Hibbert would rush in lunging, McIntyre stayed calm and collected and was taking the early rounds easily with his clean, crisp and accurate punching.

A great final round for Hibbert, who plain worked his socks off in an attempt to turn the tide in his favour. At one point he forced McIntyre back on to the ropes with a flurry of straight shots, he also landed a couple of excellent head shots and a cracking short hook to the body. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all one way traffic, anything but as McIntyre landed a series of punishing big scoring uppercuts and body shots.

The judges each scored the bout 29-28 in favour of Kevin McIntyre

Quarter Final 2 – Junior Witter Vs. Nathan Graham

Round one of the second quarter final starts with a short sharp exchange of jabs between the protagonists. As both settle down former World Champion Junior Witter starts to dictate the pace with razor sharp jabs and uppercuts, of which almost all catching the Graham as he closes in. Graham shows guts and determination but as most of the meaningful punches came from Witter I scored this round to the former World Champ.

Round two sees the patented Witter distraction strategy come into play, waving his leading hand Witter switches to southpaw briefly before lunging in with big shots to the body or double handed attacks. Witter toys with the less experienced Graham and picks him off regularly with vicious body shots. Another clear round for Witter.

Graham steps up the pressure in the third round but gets regularly caught by some powerful countering from Witter. Keeping up the pressure Graham lands some excellent straight rights, but Witter soon regains control and keeps Graham at distance and just picks him off at will. No surprise that Witter gets the nod from all three judges, by a 30-28 (twice) and 29-28 margin.

Quarter Final 3 – Colin Lynes Vs. Bobby Gladman

It was a real cagy start between the two TKO gym fighters in their quarter final meeting, most of the first round consisting of jabs with a couple of combinations thrown in for good measure. As the round progressed former World Champ Colin Lynes started to exert his authority, on his less experienced gym mate Bobby Gladman, with flurries of shots to the body and head. Gladman held his own and countered with stiff jabs and the occasional right. I see this as Lynes’ round but only by a very close margin.

A much brisker start to the second round which see Gladman in a much more fighty mode, letting rip with some neat combinations and stronger jabs. The only problem for Gladman was Lynes countered with crisper, sharper combinations. During one of the later exchanges Lynes visibly shakes the youngster with a vicious body shot and then a little later catches Gladman with a beautiful uppercut followed by a hook to the head. Easy round to call in favour of the former World Champ.

More of the same in the third round until Gladman catches Lynes on the chin with an uppercut. After a short clinch it was back to the boxing, with Lynes in full control. Gladman tried to give as good as he took but Lynes’ greater experience see him easily control the bout. The final bit of real action see Gladman on the receiving end of a punishing hook to the body followed by a hook, cross, hook to the head.

No one was surprised when the judges scorecards showed Colin Lynes the winner by a unanimous 30-27 points margin.

Quarter Final 4 – Yassine El Maachi vs. Peter McDonagh

In the build up to their match up there had been many verbal exchanges between Peter McDonagh and Yassine El Maachi, one thing was clear from this McDonagh was determined to rattle El Maachi as much as possible, so it came as no surprise that McDonagh takes the fight to El Maachi. Big mistake, El Maachi calmly picks McDonagh off each time he would charge forward.

As the round progressed El Maachi starts to take the ‘Connemara Kid’ apart with crunching upper cuts and hooks to the head. McDonagh lands a few shots but El Maachi just shakes them off and begins punishing him again. No doubt the first blood, sorry round, goes to the Moroccan.

More of the same in the second and third, about the only difference is McDonagh goes on the back foot as El Maachi chases him around the ring trying to finish the fight early. Whilst this may sound like it was all one way traffic it wasn’t McDonagh showed so much heart as he tried to wrestle control from El Maachi, just El Maachi was far too strong and savvy. Again no surprise El Maachi was declared the winner by 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 points margin.

Semi Final 1 – Junior Witter Vs. Kevin McIntyre

Witter starts strongly, using swift fluid motion culminating in some neat combinations and ‘Witter’ style jabbing until McIntyre catches him with a wicked cross. Witter does what Witter does, great movement and distraction tactics until the opportunity arrives for him to attack, fast and with punishing combustion lands a vicious hook to the body, McIntyre sinks to his knees and takes the count. For the rest of the round Witter targets the body, dishing as much punishment as possible. Each punch landed clearly hurts the tough Scot but doesn’t put him down for a second time. Easy round to call – Witter.

Starting off the second where the first finished Witter goes for the body without too much success so changes tack and starts letting rip with uppercuts and hooks to the head and body whenever the opportunity presents itself. It wasn’t all one way traffic, McIntyre catches Witter with a cracking left that drives the former champ back to the the ropes, before McIntyre can take full advantage Witter amazingly finds a little space, counters and moves out of harms way.

More of the same in the third, other than a change of stance and plenty of showboating it was business as usual for the former WBC champion. I personally see it as three clear rounds for Witter, one of the judges felt the same and scored it 30-27, whilst the other two see it 29-27 for Witter.

Semi Final 2 – Colin Lynes Vs. Yassine El Maachi

El Maachi starts the round aggressively and takes Lynes back to the ropes, but fails to capitalise. Lynes keeps his head and boxes in a neat and tidy way, picking off the rushing El Maachi with ease at times. As the round progress El Maachi starts to get a bit ragged and messy, between the clinching lets rip with wild rangy shots, of which very few actually make any contact. Lynes remains calm throughout . It was a hard round to call so I called it even, the judges could easily see it in favour of either of them.

Lynes changes tactics for the second instead of trying to box the highly unorthodox switch hitting El Maachi he turns the pressure up, forcing the Moroccan onto the back foot with flurries of punches and then grabbing hold before El Maachi can counter. Whilst this was the main feature of the round there were some excellent exchanges. The best of these was when Lynes landed a solid hook to the head of El Maachi and then followed up with a cracking body shot.

Round three see more of the same flurry-clinch tactics from Lynes dominate the round. Again there were some excellent exchanges , the best of these see El Maachi and Lynes simultaneously throw hooks. In another El Maachi powers to the body and in another Lynes forces El Maachi back onto the ropes with crunching combination to the body.

At the end of the bout my instant reaction was that Colin Lynes had won two rounds clear, with the first round so close it could go to either of them. I thought the tactics employed by Lynes’ coach Jimmy Tibbs were sublime and had surely earned Colin his second Prizefighter final place and a date with old foe Junior Witter. One judge agreed and scored the bout 30-28 to Lynes but the other two scored it 29-28 in favour of Yassine El Maachi.

Final – Junior Witter Vs. Yassine El Maachi

Due to Witter and El Maachi both having a similar style those in the know had predicted that the final would be horrible to watch, and to a degree they were right, but there was plenty of action and drama to make up for some of the messier and plain boring times.

First round was an untidy affair, plenty of posturing and wrestling interspersed with a little boxing. Most of the good work and meaningful punches came from El Maachi, including a flurry of punches that culminated in a shot to the head that sent Witter to the canvas, only to be waved off by the referee as a slip. Not to be deterred El Maachi just got back to business and again catches Witter with a solid hook to the temple as the Bradford man rushes in.

The best way to describe the second round is an untidy brawl, it was a mess. Both fighters spent the majority of the round holding and shoving. It was a hard round to score as neither had done anything worth scoring!

El Maachi get his shots under control again in the third and catches Witter with a sharp cross hook. During one of the increasingly frequent wrestling sessions Witter receives a cut over the right eye and then shortly after during yet another wrestling session Witter flips the Moroccan over his hip and to the canvas. El Maachi’s responds with some wild and erratic shots that fail to make any contact, but soon calms down and attempts to take some control of the round by gesturing to Witter to come in.

The next bit of real action causes huge concern to many present, during a rushed attack El Maachi sidesteps and Witter is sent of balance and through the ropes, where he crashes into a Sky cameraman before hitting the floor. Witter is straight up and back into the ring to everyone’s relief.

Normal service resumes with minimal action between the ubiquitous wrestling, during one exchange El Maachi catches Witter flush on the chin and in another Witter is sent to the canvas, again it was a punch that sent him down, albeit on the back of the head this time so quite rightly waved off. Both resumed where they left off until the final bell.

After a short delay MC John McDonald reads the scorecards out, one judge sees the bout as a 29-29 draw and both the other judges called it 29-28 in favour of Yassine El Maachi.

So there we have it, it may not have been a classic encounter but either way former ring King Junior Witter is deposed and a new King has been crowned – Long live King Yassine El Maachi.

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Junior Witter Interview – Junior Talks Prizefighter, Lynes, El Maachi Plus More

by on Jun.06, 2011, under Interviews

Junior Witter Interview – Junior Talks Prizefighter, Lynes, El Maachi Plus More

Interview and Photos by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Last week I was fortunate enough to catch up with one of the UK’s most decorated Champions – former multi British, Commonwealth, European Union, European, WBF, WBU and WBC Light Welterweight Champion – Junior Witter at the Prizefighter-Welterweights II promo shoot at the Sky Television Studios in Osterley.

This Tuesday night Junior will be back in action at the aforementioned Prizefighter – Welterweights II along with former foe, European and IBO World Champion Colin Lynes, former British Champion Kevin McIntyre, current International Master Champion Yassine El Maachi, former European title challenger Peter McDonagh, former British Masters title challenger Nathan Graham and unbeaten prospects John Wayne Hibbert and Bobby Gladman.

I’m sure that Junior doesn’t need any introduction to any boxing fan anywhere in the World, as he’s fought nearly every big name out there at Light Welter, but here is his brief(ish) championship bio.

His first title came on his thirteenth professional outing, unlike most it wasn’t a domestic area title, no not Junior he went straight in for a World title, the WBF version, and won it. His victim, sorry his opponent, nah I was right the first time, was former British and Commonwealth title challenger Malcolm Melvin. The fight lasted just four minutes and thirty three seconds before Junior knocked out Melvin to claim his first pro championship title.

Just over a year later Junior stepped up to the plate and challenged Zab ‘Super’ Judah for his IBF title, on the undercard of Mike Tyson versus Lou Savarese.

Junior received the call, to face Judah, with just nine days notice but still took the fight. It was a cracking fight but Junior’s lack of time to prepare came into play and after twelve hard fought rounds all the judges cards read in favour of the Champion.

This, his first loss, caused Junior to take a long hard look at his future, in doing so Junior and his team decided to to change tack and target another World title shot, but via the more traditional route, via Domestic and European titles.

Six fights after the loss to Zab Judah see Junior make his first challenge for a domestic title, the vacant British Light Welterweight belt against Alan Bosworth. Having enough time to prepare for the fight showed as Junior cruised to an early victory, having stopped Bosworth in the forty fifth second of the third round.

Junior’s very next fight see him add the Commonwealth belt to his collection, following the second round stoppage of Ghanaian Champion Laatekwei Hammond.

Two second round stoppages followed, the first over Lucky Sambo in a non-championship bout and then over Giuseppe Lauri in a WBO title eliminator, before Junior challenged, and beat, Juergen Haeck for the European Union crown.

Another couple of non-championship fights followed, against Fred Kinuthia and Oscar Hall – both wins for Junior by stoppage finishes, before Junior challenged Salvatore Battaglia for the vacant European title. No surprise here Junior lifted the belt with a second round stoppage finish.

Yet another second round stoppage victory, over Krzysztof Bienas, followed on Junior’s first defense of the European title.

Junior’s first fight of 2005 see him not only successfully defend his Commonwealth title, against Lovemore N’dou, but in doing s also win the WBC World Light Welterweight Title eliminator.

His second fight of the year see him successfully defend his European crown against Andriy Kotelnik. Which set him up nicely for his final fight of the year against fellow Prizefighter – Welterweights II competitor Colin Lynes.

Domestically this was a massive fight with Junior’s British, Commonwealth and European titles all on the line. Junior came through in flying colours to retain the titles by unanimous points decision – 117-112, 116-112 and 115-114.

It was almost a year before Junior was back in action, and having cleaned up the domestic scene his eyes were firmly on a major World title. On the 15th September 2006 at Alexandra Palace in London Junior took on Washington DC’s former WBO Light Welterweight World Champion DeMarcus Corley for the vacant WBC World title.

Junior plain bedazzled and frustrated Corley throughout twelve tension filled rounds, after which the judges scorecards read 118-112, 117-111 and 116-114 all in favour of the British star.

2007 see Junior convincingly defend his crown twice, the first time against WBO Inter-Continental champion Arturo Morua ended with a ninth round stoppage. Hs second defense see him finish former WBA World champion Vivian Harris with a spectacular seventh round knockout.

For his third defense Junior came face to face with the formidable Timothy Bradley – the current unified WBC & WBO Champion. Junior fought with the heart of a Tiger but Bradley proved too good for him. Junior survived a scare in the sixth round, after a massive overhand right sent him to the canvas, to lose by a close 112-115, 114-113 and 115-113 split decision.

Six months later Junior was in action at York Hall, where he will be again on Tuesday night for Prizefighter – Welterweights II, for a non-championship ten rounder against former Argentinean Champion Victor Hugo Castro. Yet another early short day in the office for Junior as after just one minute and ten seconds into the third round he sent Castro to the canvas for the second and final time.

Nine months later Junior was back on the Championship trail, this time it was Saint Louis, USA’s then unbeaten star Devon Alexander in the opposing corner. It was a seriously tough test, but one Junior was more than capable of undertaking. Unfortunately the fight was cut short when Junior was forced to retire on the stall at the end of the eighth due to a serious injury to his left hand.

It would be eighteen long months before Junior returned to the ring, and his final title challenge to date. In February this year Junior winged his way across the Atlantic to face Canadian Champion Victor Lupo Puiu, for the WBC International Silver Welterweight Title, at the Hershey Centre in Ontario, Canada.

Witter’s Welterweight debut didn’t quite go to plan, as at the end of the ten round championship bout the judges scorecards read 95-94, 97-91 and 96-93 in favour of the Romanian born Canadian.

So there you have it, we’re bang up to date, well sort of. Junior has been drawn to face Nathan Graham in the first round of Prizefighter – Welterweights II on Tuesday night. OK so now we are up to date, so without further ado I am proud to present a Prizefighter Q&A with Junior Witter.

Rio – Thank you for talking with me today. My first question is what are your thoughts on the Prizefighter series?

Junior – It’s an interesting idea, it’s good, tests you. It’s a completely different game to a normal boxing title fight.

It brings the less talented on to a more level playing field with the talented, especially when you are talking about fighters like me who use skill, timing., accuracy, that sort of boxer, it takes it away from them and gives it to the less skillful fighters.

At the same time if you are quick, accurate, sharp and powerful you’ve got that power to make it all good.

Rio – The Prizefighter format is a maximum of three three round fights in quick succession, six of your last seven fights were twelve round World title fights and fifteen of your last seventeen fights were title fights, a mix of commonwealth, European and World titles. How do you see yourself making the transition to three rounders?

Junior – It’s not going to be a problem, because the way I’ve trained for it. With sparring the way Dom (Dominic Ingle) pushed me. Sparring I’ve had Kell Brook, Kid Gallahad, all the other names. It works, we’ve done short, sharp, fast and they’ve hammered me.

It’s just the way I train in the gym, hammer people and they hammer you. The idea is not to get beat so with that I’ll be OK, it’ll all be good.

Rio – You’re still right up there at the top and used to competing for titles. It seems that the winner Prizefighter gets a title shot shortly after, did that influence your decision to take part?

Junior – I wanted to do it anyway. I’ve always wanted to do it since I first heard about it because I like fighting, I like boxing, I like the action and it’s three fights in one night.

I can remember back in the amateurs fighting two fights in one night. Yeah it’s hard work and it’s pressure. I enjoy that and that’s what it’s going to do for me so yeah I wanted it.

I’ll get another title fight after this one, most definitely.

Rio – OK, now onto your thoughts on the other fighters in the competition, firstly an old foe Colin Lynes.

Junior – He’s done well for himself, been up, been down. He’s a good fighter, he’s a little bit awkward but on a bad night myself he couldn’t beat me in a twelve rounder but in three rounds, well.

I’ve got no worries about him myself, I’m not worried about any of the fighters because you can’t concentrate on any particular fight because you don’t know who you are going to get. Up to now all I’ve done is concentrate on myself, which is what I like doing anyway.

Rio – Another former Champion is next, Kevin McIntyre, what’s your thoughts on him?

Junior – He was British Champion, out of all them the last fighter I see was Kevin McIntyre and that was against Kell Brook and he struggled with the power and you all know how hard I can hit, I’ve got no worries.

Rio – OK, we’ll move onto Yassine El Maachi then.

Junior – What, he’s got a big mouth. He has he’s got a big mouth, he thinks he’s the bee’s knees. I mean the difference is I know what I know, I’m not thinking, I’m not saying one day I’m going to be there, I am there, been there and I’ll be back on top again so who you name out of all of them I’m not bothered, I’m not worried about any of them.

Rio – Next up is someone you know well, Nathan Graham, what’s your thoughts on him?

Junior – That’s right. He looks in good shape, he boxed one of my friends, he beat him.

He’s awkward but he’s a completely different fighter to me so him beating him didn’t mean anything. If I get him I’ll just take it as it comes.

Rio – OK, your thoughts on Peter McDonagh?

Junior – He’s been around, he’s been out speeded before. He’s a good fighter but he hasn’t boxed anyone with my speed, my size and my accuracy.

Forget the power yeah he’d been outworked before because they were to fast for him. I’m faster.

Rio – John Wayne Hibbert’s next, your thoughts on him?

Junior – Decent enough fighter but he’s never really been tested.

Rio – Last but not least your thoughts on Bobby Gladman

Junior – I don’t know much about him other than he’s unbeaten.

Rio – Thank you so much for talking to me today, is there anything else you would like to add.

Junior – I’m not disrespecting anybody in it because everyone that’s in it it is in it because they’ve done something and it’s giving them a chance.

Everybody has a chance but I know what I’ve got, the best chance and all I’m going to do is concentrate on being the best I can and win on the night.

Prizefighter – Welterweights II, featuring Junior Witter, Yassine El Maachi, Colin Lynes, Kevin McIntyre, John Wayne Hibbert, Bobby Gladman, Nathan Graham and Peter McDonagh, takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green in London on Tuesday 7th June 2011.

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