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Tag: Mitchell Balker

Shamrock Showdown II – Choi Headlines, Lindsay Returns and Fearon Showcases New Signings

by on Mar.21, 2012, under Boxing News

Spencer Fearon with Dutch Cruiserweight sensation Mitchell Balker at the TRAD TKO Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Shamrock Showdown II – Choi Headlines, Lindsay Returns and Fearon Showcases New Signings

They don’t call promoter Spencer Fearon ‘Mr Boxing’ for nothing, the man who boxed under the name ‘The Spirit’ has turned the London Boxing scene on it’s head, since making the move to promoting, and in the process his Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions organisation has rightfully earned the reputation of putting on the best shows in the Capital, bar none.

Why you may ask? Well the answer is simple, the fans are treated to genuine 50/50 fights between the most heavily avoided fighters in the land, and beyond. The result is virtually every fight on every show becomes an instant all ‘Fight of the Year’ contender.

Take his last show, at the York Hall in Bethnal Green back in October last year, there were five barn storming fights, in fact every fight was top class so it really is hard to know which fight to highlight.

It could so easily be Choi Tseveenpurev out and out war with Janis Puksins, mind you it only took Choi four minutes and forty six seconds to dispatch the young upstart, or it could be the feisty all action British Masters title rematch between Darren Hamilton and Dave Ryan. Then again Nathan Graham’s firestorm win over Aleksandrs Radjuks was something special as was Kreshnik Qato’s bruising battle with Terry Carruthers but for this I’ve decided to go with the sensational Simon O’Donnell versus Ty Mitchell bout.

The fight started out with Derby’s Mitchell taking the fight to the ultra slick O’Donnell, pitter-pattering his way in with his superb jab before unloading big right hands with great effect, so much so that O’Donnell was sent to the canvas midway through the first round.

Round two see the pair go on full out attack, Mitchell dropping his hands in an attempt to out speed the super fast forward coming O’Donnell. Round three was more of the same but the turning point came about midway through the third, when O’Donnell landed a pair of massive right hands, the last sending Mitchell’s gumshield into orbit.

That was it then, O’Donnell had the mark of his man and he wasn’t going to let him off lightly, constantly letting rip with big rights and vicious left hooks at every opportunity in the fourth and fifth rounds.

Whilst still looking to land the big shots in the sixth, O’Donnell turned to his slick jabbing until the opening came and he fired off a massive right hand left hook combination that sent the Midlander crashing down and out to the canvas, Mitchell did get to his feet but was clearly in no state to continue.

Spencer’s next offering, Shamrock Showdown II, at The Troxy in Limehouse, London this coming Friday (23rd March), is clearly going to offer those lucky enough to score a ticket more of the same fare.

For a start Simon O’Donnell will be back in action, as will Hard Knocks stalwarts Darren Hamilton and Nathan Graham.

Heading up the show will see the Mongolian Warrior himself, ‘Choi’, taking on Bastien Rozeaux for the WBC International Silver title. Choi is a supreme knockout artist, but in Rozeaux he may have met his equal, as the Frenchman has an eighty percent knockout record, so expect an all out war with an early finish.

For ‘SHAMROCK SHOWDOWN II’ Spencer will be showcasing three of his latest signings. First up is the former IBF Youth and British Featherweight Champion Martin Lindsay.

Lindsay, whose record stands at 17-1, has been out of the ring since losing his British title, to John Simpson back in December 2010, and will surely be looking to impress in order to get back into Championship contention once again.

SHAMROCK SHOWDOWN II also features the debut of Spencer’s protégé Larry ‘The Natural’ Ekundayo, whom Mr Boxing describes as ‘seriously special’, so read that as this kid is exceptional and a star of the future.

The final new signing on the show is TRAD TKO Boxing Gym’s Dutch Cruiserweight sensation Mitchell Balker, who takes on unbeaten Leed’s hardman Phil ‘China’ Clarke.

Now those of you who do not know Balker are in for a treat. As an amateur this kid traveled to New York on his own to take part in, and win, the prestigious Golden Gloves at the famous Madison Square Gardens.

After winning his first three pro bout Balker then relocated to London to be managed and trained by the esteemed Johnny Eames. In his first UK fight he took on top British cruiserweight Matty Askin, which he lost in a rather controversial manner, after the referee stepped in to stop the fight midway through an exchange that clearly hurt Hatton’s prospect and give the decision in favour of Askin.

Balker bounced straight back with a great shutout victory over Nick Okoth before facing world ranked knockout artist Richard Turba on yet another Hatton show, this time Balker made sure that Turba wouldn’t get any home advantage, even after visiting the canvas in the second, by dominating every single round in magnificent style to take a close 57-56 points victory.

That was a seriously big win, one which rocketed the Dutchman into the World top fifty, however it also sent him the top of the domestic ‘Fighter’s to Avoid’ list and it became almost impossible to get him any more fights in the UK, that is until Spencer took him into the Hard Knocks fold.

“he’s a good fighter, he has the potential to be a great fighter if he’s given the opportunity. He’s an exciting fighter and this will be a highly exciting fight over six rounds.

He’s sold a lot of tickets, which is surprising as he’s from the Netherlands, so he’s going to come out and impress his supporters.

He’s gonna do his job and he’s in for a good fight, this other kid’s a good fighter, fair play to Mark Gateson, he brings his boys together and they come to win, they don’t come to make up the numbers and Phil Clarke’s got a good pedigree, he’s unbeaten in seven.

Mitchell’s in great, great shape and It’s going to be a great, great fight, I’m looking forward to it.

Anyone that comes to the show or subscribe to Premier Sports are set for a fantastic evening of Boxing.

I put on proper fights, our shows are full of exciting fights and this one is no different, it don’t matter if our fighters win or not I just want the best fights and that means ones that are evenly matched and either fighter can win.

Get there, get there, just go to the TKO website and buy tickets and get ready for the best show in town, it’ll be incredible – I’m living the dream, Hard Knocks for life.”

Mitchell Balker versus China Clarke will feature on the support card of Choi Tseveenpurev’s challenge for the vacant WBC Silver International Featherweight title at Spencer Fearon’s Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘Shamrock Showdown II’ event at the Troxy in Limehouse, London on Friday 23rd March and broadcast live on Premier Sports (Sky platform Ch 433)

Limited amount of tickets still available, priced £35 on-line at or in person at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA

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Spencer Fearon Announces Barn Burning Lineup For Shamrock Showdown II

by on Mar.19, 2012, under Events

Spencer 'Mr Boxing' Fearon ready for next big Hard Knocks show - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Spencer Fearon Announces Barn Burning Lineup For Shamrock Showdown II

Promoter Spencer Fearon today announced the impressive lineup for his upcoming Premier Sports (Sky platform Ch 433) broadcast mega event ‘Shamrock Showdown II’ which takes place at the Troxy in Limehouse, London on Friday 23rd March.

Never shy about beating his own drum – rightly so since he gives the fans exactly what they want, a night of scintillating evenly matched bouts featuring the Nation’s most exciting young warriors, as well as an old war horse in the form of the magnificent former two time World Champion Choi Tseveenpurev – Spencer has come up trumps with yet another World Class headliner, when Choi takes on French hardman Bastien Rozeaux for the vacant WBC International Silver Featherweight Title.

Following watching a bruising sparring session, between one of his current star prospects Mitchell Balker and former British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams at the legendary TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, the boxer formerly known as ‘The Spirit’, now simply known as ‘Mr Boxing’ enthused profusely about his upcoming Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions show.

“This show is gonna be everything that Hard Knocks is all about, we’ve some great fights on there.

We’ve got Nathan Graham versus Robert Lloyd Taylor, that’s gonna be an incredible barn burner over six rounds.

We’ve got Phil ‘China’ Clarke versus our guy Mitchell Balker from right here at the TRAD TKO Gym, that’s gonna be something incredible.

Mitchell can’t get a fight, Phil Clarke has always been complaining that he can’t get a fight, so it’s simple he can’t get a fight and Mitchell can’t get a fight so we match them together, that’s what Hard Knocks is all about – genuine 50/50 fights.

Darren Hamilton’s back and strutting his stuff, we’ve got Simon O’Donnell the Irish Middleweight – he’s in the Prizefighter as well.

Massive big up to Eddie Hearn for putting Simon in Prizefighter. It took just one phone call to Eddie where I said you’ve got to put this guy in it. I sent him over a DVD of Simon’s last fight, against Ty Mitchell, which was a real barn burner, it was an incredible fight.

Of course we’ve got Choi doing his stuff against Bastien Rozeaux. This guy’s got an eighty percent knockout ration, so he’s no bum. This is for the WBC International Silver title.

People forget that Choi is fourty one next birthday and it’s hard to get credible opponents for him. You get people who say ‘Yes we’ll fight him’ and then they check him out and the money goes sky high because these people don’t want to mix it with him.

The reason we’ve got Martin Lindsay on the show is because potentially we would like to match him against Choi, we want to make this happen, we can make it on Premier Sports or we can make it on Sky Sports or even make it on World of Sport, but that fight has got to happen.

We wanted Choi-Lindsay for this show but his Lindsay’s people said no as they wanted a couple of warm up fights first, which I understand, but I want to make that fight happen, it’s a huge fight and the fans deserve to see a fight of this magnitude, that’s a great, great fight. I’m all about the fans so I will make this happen.

Larry Ekundayo, don’t forget this kid, he’s a Welterweight prospect who has a fantastic story. It’s taken three years of legal wrangling to get his stay in the country, he’s now been granted his stay and he’s got his license from the British Boxing Board of Control, so now Larry’s going out to do his stuff now.

Larry ‘The Natural’ Ekundayo is going to be something special and he’s going live on Premier Sports as well.

I’ve got to thank Premier Sports for giving me that platform of going out and giving people good fights, ya know that’s what it’s all about Hard Knocks for life, Spencer Fearon for life, Ciaran Baynes for life, we’re just doing our stuff man.”

Choi Tseveenpurev vs Bastien Rozeaux for the vacant WBC International Silver Featherweight title headlines Spencer Fearon’s Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘Shamrock Showdown II’ event at the Troxy in Limehouse, London on Friday 23rd March and broadcast live on Premier Sports (Sky platform Ch 433)

Tickets, priced £35 are available on-line now at or in person at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA

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Balker-Clarke Added To Spencer Fearon’s ‘Shamrock Showdown II’ On 23rd March

by on Mar.01, 2012, under Boxing News

Balker-Clarke Added To Spencer Fearon’s ‘Shamrock Showdown II’ On 23rd March

After six months without a fight, London based Dutch Cruiserweight Mitchell Balker finally gets the chance to return to the fray at Spencer Fearon’s Hard Knocks Promotions first event of the year, Shamrock Showdown II, at The Troxy in Limehouse, London on the 23rd March.

Ever since Balker relocated to the UK, to train at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, his manager Johnny Eames has found it hard to secure his talented charge any bouts, especially after word got out that prior to turning pro that Balker had traveled to America to take part in, and win, the prestigious New York Golden Gloves tournament at the famous Madison Square Gardens.

However finding fights for the Dutch #1 here in the UK was made virtually impossible following a sensation against the odds victory over World ranked Blackpool based Slovakian knockout maestro Richard Turba back in August last year, which unsurprisingly rocketed Balker to the top of the domestic Cruiserweights ‘Fighters to Avoid’ list.

Things now look set to change for Balker though, as the aforementioned Spencer Fearon was so impressed by the Dutchman’s never say die attitude, as well as the victory over Turba, that he decided to add him to upcoming Premier Sports (Sky platform Ch 433) televised show, and true to form matched him in a genuine 50/50 fight against unbeaten Leeds hardman China Clarke.

Following yet another sparring war, with former British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams and Caine Brodie, a jubilant Balker said, “I feel very good and very excited about it, you know I’m always ready, so let’s do it.

I know nothing about my opponent, Spencer (Promoter Spencer Fearon) told me there is an opponent, China Clarke, so there is an opponent so we are going to have a fight and we’re going to make a special fight for the fans, and the TV, as they haven’t seen me fight for so long.

Even when there was no fight coming up I still stay in the gym, training and sparring, so I am always ready, my manager Johnny (Eames) and trainer Barry (Smith) make sure of that.

I have been sparring Leon (Williams) Caine (Brodie) and Paul (David) a lot, it’s the best preparation I could hope for, Leon was British Champion, Paul is the English Champion and Caine is a tough competitor at any time, so it’s good hard sparring with three of the best fighters in the UK.

Knowing Spencer it will be a hard fight, a 50-50 fight, but to me It’s a very special fight, my first with Hard Knocks and Premier Sports, so I will be really up for it and looking to win big.”

Mitchell Balker versus China Clarke will feature on the support card of Choi Tseveenpurev’s challenge for the vacant WBC Silver International Featherweight title at Spencer Fearon’s Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘Shamrock Showdown II’ event at the Troxy in Limehouse, London on Friday 23rd March and broadcast live on Premier Sports (Sky platform Ch 433)

Tickets, priced £35 are available on-line now at or in person at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA

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Weights And Quotes From London – Darren Hamilton Vs Dave Ryan II

by on Oct.06, 2011, under Boxing News

Weights And Quotes From London – Darren Hamilton Vs Dave Ryan II

The weigh in for Spencer Fearon and Ciaran Baynes Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ event event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday 7th October 2011 and broadcast live on Premier Sports (Sky channel 433) took place at The Boxers Bar, 9 Christopher Street, Shoreditch, London, earlier today.

British Masters Light Welterweight Title







Darren Hamilton – 63.3kg

“I’m optimistic and happy that I’ve got the chance of the rematch. I’m ready to go”







Dave Ryan – 63.4kg

“I see it all my way again, as long as he doesn’t headbutt again, Let’s have it.”

Darren Hamilton versus Dave Ryan, for the British Masters Light Welterweight title, headlines the Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday 7th October 2011 and broadcast live on Premier Sports (Sky channel 433).

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Darren Hamilton: I’m Fighting For Redemption, Not The Money.

by on Sep.28, 2011, under Boxing News

Darren Hamilton is seeking redemption on October 7th - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Darren Hamilton: I’m Fighting For Redemption, Not The Money.

With all the controversy surrounding the recent Victor Ortiz – Floyd Mayweather jnr. fight many London fans may be a little confused to why Ortiz only received the penalty of a single point deduction – and a dubious sucker punch KO for his efforts – whilst back at York Hall in June Darren Hamilton was not just disqualified, but also fined and suspended, for an almost identical action against Dave Ryan.

Like Ortiz, Hamilton accepted the result without argument. In fact the likable Bristol born fighter, now residing in London, has spent a lot of time soul searching and bridge mending, as he is keen to make amends before the pair once again face each other, for The British Master Light Welterweight title, a second time on the Spencer Fearon Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘This is Hard Knocks’ show at York Hall in London on Friday, 7th October.

Hamilton’s determination to make amends, for that red mist moment, became clear when he spoke earlier today, “I’m fighting for redemption, not the money, he’s fighting for the money.

Basically Dave Ryan has asked for more money to fight me again, myself personally I’m completely not interested in the money.

You wouldn’t believe what I actually went through. On the night I didn’t realise the seriousness of what I did.

Afterwards I soon found out. Not only couldn’t I box for twenty eight days, because the British Boxing Board of Control suspended me, but I also had to pay a fine to the BBBofC.

I was getting abuse from his fans. My girlfriend, who was at the fight at the time, she was getting abuse as well from his fans. Some of it I heard, it was racial abuse.

Since then I’ve also been getting abuse on the internet from his fans, which I may not like but do understand.

I let Spencer (promoter Spencer Fearon) down, I let the fans down and I let myself down, something I am really sorry for.

It’s put me in a position, like where I was before, where I have to prove myself again like I did against Ideh Ochuku, after being knocked out by Daryl Setterfield, and the time they said I didn’t have a chance against Peter McDonagh, where I was the complete underdog.

I’ve gone right back to that hunger again, this is it again right now. I am completely solemn and completely dedicated to winning this fight. My head is completely on it, it’s all I’ve been thinking about, you know.”

Darren Hamilton versus Dave Ryan, for the British Masters Light Welterweight title, will take place at the Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ event, which will be headlined by Choi Tseveenpürev, at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday 7th October 2011 and broadcast live on Premier Sports (Sky channel 433).

Tickets for ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ – priced £35 (Unreserved) and £60 (Ringside), are available now on-line at or in person at The TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA. For further information please call 07960 850645.

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Proud ‘Hammer’ Mitchell Balker Ready For Proper East End Tear Up On Oct 7th

by on Sep.21, 2011, under Boxing News

Mitchell Balker ready to hammer Hari Miles on October 7th - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Proud ‘Hammer’ Mitchell Balker Ready For Proper East End Tear Up On Oct 7th

London boxing fans will get the chance to see their newest all conquering hero, Plaistow Cruiserweight sensation Mitchell Balker, in action right on their doorstep, as Spencer Fearon has signed him up to face Welsh hardman Hari Miles at his upcoming Hard knocks Boxing Promotions ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ event at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday, 7th October.

West Ham fanatic Balker shot up the rankings, to #4 in Britain and #83 in the World, after hammering then World #45 ranked Richard Turba in Blackpool last month.

It was this sensational win that prompted Spencer Fearon to pick up the phone and call Balker’s manager, Johnny Eames, to get him on the Premier Sports (Sky channel 433) televised show.

Earlier today Spencer explained his reasons for asking Balker to fight on his flagship TV show, “Why because Mitchell epitomizes what Hard Knocks is all about.

I mean look at that guy, Mitchell, he took up the challenge and got a fantastic win over Richard Turba. Nobody, but nobody, wanted to fight Richard Turba, but he fights him and gets a great win.

Now hear what I’m saying, no padded records, he wins fights, lost a fight by stoppage, comes back and beats a guy who’s a fearful puncher, who’s a demon kind of guy that nobody wants to fight, but he does and beats him.

That’s why Mitchell has to be on the next Hard Knocks show on October 7th.”

Balker, who last year relocated from Amsterdam to Plaistow so that he could be as close as possible to his beloved Upton Park and Johnny Eames’ TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, then added, “I’m really proud that Spencer Fearon wants me to fight on his big show.

I always said I will fight anyone, I came to England to fight, so when they ask me to fight Richard Turba I said yes, I did and I won.

Now Spencer wants me to fight Hari Miles, I said yes, please I want the fight. I’m really looking forward to fighting Hari Miles on October 7th, I’m ready for it.

Training is going really well, I get such good sparring at the TRAD TKO and perfect training from Barry (Smith) and Johnny (Eames), perfect preparations.

I’m really looking forward to the fight, I’m looking forward to fighting Hari Miles especially as it will be right in my own back garden as such. York Hall is so close to here.

When I moved to London I wanted to live near to Upton Park and the TRAD TKO Gym. It’s good for me here as Johnny (Eames), Kevin (Mitchell) and lots of the fighters at the gym are West Ham fans.

When I was in Holland I always watched West Ham matches when I could, I always enjoyed watching them. I’m very proud to live close to the ground, now I get to watch them at Upton Park

I’m very proud to live here and fight in the East End of London, it’s now my home, I’m very proud have the chance to fight in front of East End fans.”

Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ event, which will be headlined by Choi Tseveenpürev, takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday 7th October 2011 and broadcast live on Premier Sports (Sky channel 433).

Tickets for ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ – priced £35 (Unreserved) and £60 (Ringside), are available now on-line at or in person at The TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA. For further information please call 07960 850645.

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Two Time World Champ Choi Headlines ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ On October 7th

by on Sep.08, 2011, under Boxing News

Choi celebrates victory over Jackson Asiku - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Two Time World Champ Choi Headlines ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ On October 7th

Two time World Featherweight Champion Choi Tseveenpürev is set to headline Spencer Fearon’s Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions latest offering ‘This is Hard Knocks’, which takes place at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Friday 7th October 2011 and broadcast live on Premier Sports.

Choi won his first World Crown, the vacant WBF version, in 2006, with a spectacular third round stoppage of Kenyan WBF International Champion David Kiilu at the Tara Leisure Centre in Shaw, Lancashire and successfully defended the title twice in 2007.

He vacated the WBF title a year later, in order to challenge Liverpool’s ‘Dirty’ Derry Matthews for his WBU crown. On the fifth of April 2011, at the Bolton Arena in Bolton.

Choi won his second World crown in spectacular fashion, for five scintillating rounds Choi battered Matthews, sending him to the canvas no less than five times, three times in the third and twice in fifth.

Choi, who never got the chance to defend the WBU crown, has longed for another title shot and following his sensational ‘Fight of the Year’ nominated victory over former IBO World Champion Jackson Asiku in June this year looks set to have his dream come true in the very near future.

On making the event announcement an elated Spencer Fearon said, “Yeah, Choi Tseveenpürev, we’re looking at two opponents.

We had him originally for the WBA Pan Asian title, but you know, everyone is frightened of Choi.

When we did the last show and Gary Logan, the former British title challenger, who was doing the commentary said Choi’s retained his title, and I said what title is that and he said the Champion of the nobody wants to fight club.

He’s right nobody wants to fight Choi, as soon as you get a phone call you see some astronomical money asked for. You know what I mean, guys that would be willing to fight Choi are asking me to pay 90% more than they usually get on TV shows. That’s crazy but Choi’s coming back and he’s gonna do his thing. It’ll be another fight of the year for sure.”

The main support for Choi, against whichever big name Spencer can get to put their record on the line, is a rematch, or is that grudge match, between Southern Area Light Welterweight Champion Darren ‘Mr R&B’ Hamilton and Midlands Area Light Welterweight Champion Dave Ryan.

Back in June, when the pair first faced each other, their fight came to a very premature end, after just one minute and forty two seconds of the first round. Hamilton, who had been controlling the first round easily, backed Ryan to the ropes and as the red mist descended lunged forward, head first. The referee, Ken Curtis, instantly stopped the bout and disqualified Hamilton for head butting.

Hamilton has vowed that this time he will not let Ryan’s constant head butting make him respond in kind, this time he’s going to punish any indiscretion by boxing his head off instead.

To add even more international flavour to ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ Spencer was quick to sign high flying London based Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell Balker for the show, following Balker’s sensation victory over World #45 ranked Richard Turba a few ago.

The TRAD TKO Boxing Gym fighter will face another super tough opponent, and another member of the ‘no one wants to fight club’, Wales’ Hari Miles.

Hard Knocks/The Real Fight Club unbeaten rising star Joe Catchpole will take on Balker’s TRAD TKO team mate Daryl Setterfield in a Light Middleweight contest.

Young Joe will have his hands full, as Redhill’s Setterfield is a renowned battler with a big right hand, as Catchpole’s team mate Darren Hamilton can attest, as Setterfield knocked him out cold when they went to war back in March last year.

Aylesbury Welterweight Nathan Graham will also be back in action, against Hayes, Middlesex’s Robert Lloyd Taylor. Graham will be looking to get back to winning ways, after the close loss to former World Champ Junior Witter at Prizefighter – Welterweights in June and his prior loss to Adil Anwar, when they fought for the International Masters Welterweight title in March.

Also making his return to York Hall on the 7th October is exciting young Croydon Light Welterweight Danny Davis, who made his debut at the Hard Knocks ‘Shamrock Showdown’ back in March.

Finally Spencer’s prodigy James Wallace will be making his debut at ‘This Is Hard Knocks’.

Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ event, which will be headlined by Choi Tseveenpürev, takes place at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday 7th October 2011 and broadcast live on Premier Sports.

Tickets for ‘This Is Hard Knocks’ – priced £35 (Unreserved) and £60 (Ringside), are available now on-line at or in person at The TRAD TKO Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA. For further information please call 07960 850645.

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Balker Gatecrashes Top 100 With Big Win Over Turba

by on Aug.24, 2011, under Boxing News

Johnny Eames jokingly lectures ‘eager beaver’ Mitchell Balker for returning to the gym too soon - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Balker Gatecrashes Top 100 With Big Win Over Turba

Following his sensational defeat of World #45 ranked Richard Turba last Friday, London based Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell Balker has rocketed into the top one hundred in the World Cruiserweight rankings, moving up from his previous #220 spot to #86.

Mitchell, who one year ago relocated to London to be managed and co-trained by Johnny Eames at his famed TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, controlled the bout virtually from start to finish, saying that he did have to survive a second round visit to the canvas after Turba landed a sharp left uppercut followed by a left hook. After the knockdown Mitchell stayed calm and closed up shop until the end of the round.

Throughout rounds three to six Mitchell was barely troubled by Turba, even though the tough Blackpool based Slovakian was constantly letting rip with wild right hands, and controlled the proceedings with his superb jab and crisp clean combinations to pick up his fifth win, in six outings, by a 57-56 points margin.

On returning to the TRAD TKO Gym earlier today a relaxed Mitchell said, “It was a good fight, I just came in and I was really relaxed. focused, when I walked to the ring.

We had a perfect game plan, me, Johnny (Eames), Leon Williams worked on it. We had a perfect game plan to do it, I just had to keep focused and that’s just what I did and it worked perfect.

The second round, he caught me with a shot, I’ll have to watch the tape to see what went wrong and how he caught me with the shot.

After that everything went OK, he caught me with the shot and after that I was very focused and had my hands up and thought to myself stay calm and stick to the game plan.

After that I didn’t get caught with shots, I was moving around using the ring. He wasn’t using his jab that’s why I got mine in first.

I feel very good, very good, to be in top one hundred. I’m very excited as that means if I keep winning fights bigger fights will come up. I’m very excited.

At the end of this month I will have been at the TRAD TKO gym for one year and I feel perfect, I have a good team and a good manager, good people around me in the gym. I’m very blessed with all the people around me. It seems like family, you know, in the gym. You work hard and you can trust everybody and that’s why things go well.”

Mitchell’s next outing will be against Welsh banger Hari Miles on Spencer Fearon’s Hard Knocks Boxing Promotions event at York Hall in London on the 7th October 2011.

Tickets for Mitchell Balker versus Hari Miles will be available on-line at or in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing gym, Gillian House, Canning Town, London E16 4SA early in September.

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Balker Ready For Turba Showdown This Friday

by on Aug.17, 2011, under Boxing News

Mitchell Balker in relaxed mood ahead of Firday's showdown with Richard Turba - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Balker Ready For Turba Showdown This Friday

London based Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell Balker is back in action this coming Friday, when he faces tough Blackpool based Slovakian Richard Turba at the Robert Waterman Promotions event at the Tower Circus in Blackpool.

Balker will be looking to put on a top class performance, against Turba, in preparation for his upcoming challenge for the Netherlands Cruiserweight title, on October 4th in Amsterdam, and his participating in the inaugural Maltese professional boxing event ten days later on October 14th.

Following a training session, at the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, on Monday Balker spoke briefly on the upcoming clash with Turba, as well as his upcoming international bouts, “I think it’s going to be a very exciting fight for the public.

It’s going to be a good fight, definitely a very good fight, I’m looking forward to it.

I’m just going to do my job, win the fight and it’s definitely going to be a good win for the TRAD TKO gym, definitely.

I’m looking forward to the fight in Malta, it’s already on BoxRec. It’s going to be another very good fight because it will get me ready for the big fights and of course looking forward to the Amsterdam fight, my first title fight.

That’s going to be three fights already, that’s very good, that’s what I’m here for, that’s why I stay in shape, for this kind of times. I’m looking forward to it.”

Mitchell Balker versus Richard Turba will be supporting Matthew Hatton versus Andrei Abramenka for the vacant IBF International Welterweight title at the Robert Waterman Promotions event at the Tower Circus, Blackpool, on Friday 19th August 2011.

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Fight Report: Search And Destroy, York Hall June 4th

by on Jun.06, 2011, under Fight Reports

Fight Report: Search And Destroy, York Hall June 4th

Report, Photos and Interviews by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Saturday’s Search & Destroy was set to be an historic occasion right from the off, as the event was being promoted by the youngest professional boxing promoter ever, twenty year old Olivia Goodwin.

Considering her tender years Olivia put on one heluva show, initially the event was planned as a sixteen bout double title show but as is the professional game there were a few dropouts, including the planned British Masters title fight between Toks Owoh and Tony Conquest. On the night ended up as still with a whooping thirteen fight card crammed to the gills with quality, closely matched bouts and all the razzmatazz you would expect from a major Championship event.

Headlining the show see Thamesmead’s Ryan ‘Mr Attitude’ Barrett making his first defense of the International Masters Lightweight title he won in spectacular style, stopping Mark Alexander in just 96 seconds, back in September.

Barrett’s opponent was the former Kenyan Champion Geoffrey ‘The Tiger’ Munika, a dangerous opponent who had held British Welterweight Champion Lee Purdy to a draw previously.

The first round started quite slow, after about a minute or so Barrett was the first to dip his toes in the water, letting rip with a solid jab quickly followed by a solid left hook. Munika tried to respond but before he could Barrett let rip with a double handed attack ending with a massive overhand left that shook the Kenyan to the core. How Munika stayed on his feet God only knows, but he did and managed to stay out of too much trouble to see out the round. Easy round to score as Ryan was on top most of the round.

The knock down may not have come in the first round but it sure did in the second, and it came fast. Barrett was out of the blocks in a flash, Munika had barely got three foot from his corner before the first of Barrett’s exocets hit the target. The Kenyan dipped and swayed in an attempt to avoid the wave after wave of big lefts and rights raining down on him, then just as he tried to respond with a jab he got caught by a massive left that sent him back towards the ropes and crashing to the canvas.

The shot was massive and no one really expected Munika to recover, but he did. As soon as Munika was on his feet Barrett went back on the attack and an early finish looked on the cards. Wrong, Munika decided to stand and trade before turning to more savvy defensive tactics to see the round out. 10-8 round to Barrett.

The third, fourth and fifth rounds the pace slowed, as Barrett had switched to long game tactics, and some nice tidy boxing came from both men. In all rounds the most most work and meaningful shots were all from Barrett, earning him the rounds easily.

Going into the sixth Barrett was already five rounds and a knockdown up and looked to be cruising to an easy victory, that is until the unthinkable happened. Early on in the sixth both started mixing it up on the inside, Barrett looked comfortably in control but in a flash things would change.

The crowd jumped to their feet in unison as the Londoner collapsed onto to all fours, following receiving a short, sharp left to the body. Barrett was clearly in a lot of discomfort, the paramedics and doctor rushed into the ring as referee Ken Curtis waved the fight off.

Following receiving the International Master Lightweight belt, from the Masters Organisation’s supremo Bruce Baker, Geoffrey Munika said, “Ryan Barrett is a good fighter, he handled me well today but I got him with a lucky punch. He’s a good fighter.

Now I’m talking with Danny and my other trainer and I want the Commonwealth title now. I’ve been in this boxing business four years now so I would like to fight someone like Derry Matthews, yeah I want the Commonwealth title.”

The main support for the title fights was due to pit the talented London based Dutch Cruiserweight Mitchell Balker against equally tough Hari ‘H Bomb’ Miles. However due to spraining his ankle on Thursday the bout was called off.

In place of this highly anticipated Balker-Miles bout the main support instead see Dunstable’s Mark ‘Pee Wee’ Adams take on Guildford’s Louis Byrne.

Adams has the reputation of being something of a knockout artist, having won seven of his ten wins on the unlicensed circuit by KO. However Byrne is as savvy as they come and knows how to stay out of trouble when needs be.

All four rounds were closely contested, so close that I personally scored two of the rounds even. The action was nonstop both protagonists taking turns to attack. There were no real outstanding exchanges, just first class boxing from the pair, much to the crowds delight. At the end of the bout the referee raised Adam’s hand in victory. I’m not sure of the margin as Adam’s huge support were so loud I couldn’t hear the result!

As I have previously stated Olivia had put together a stacked card featuring the cream of London and Home Counties fighters. There were some seriously great fights, like Weise-Fox, Adams-Ziausys and Woodgate-Monteith, that really deserve a much more in-depth report than I can give due to space constraints, I only hope that my short reports below get across just how good these fights were, as were every other bout on the night, just those three, and Billy Cayzer’s performance, really were exceptional.


Fox was originally due to fight Weise’s TKO Gym mate Sam Standing, but due to him coming in a whooping fifteen pounds over the weight limit some quick switching of opponents came into to play.

Weise made his welcome return, after eighteen months out due to a near career ending shoulder injury, to the ring in some style.

Weise took the fight to Fox right from the opening bell, he danced around Fox picking him off with beautiful crisp jabs. Fox would respond, but more often than not without much effect as Weise would have moved out of range.

Both the first and second rounds were more or less a pure boxing exhibition by Weise, with Fox have limited success in return. Round three see Weise step up a gear, utilising his packed arsenal punches to full effect.

For the final round Weise really went to town and a stoppage win looked on the cards. About midway through the round Fox found himself corralled against the ropes. Weise clinically took him apart, landing massive double handed shots to the body and head. The combinations thrown were crisp and effective. Fox was in serious trouble and Weise looked formidable.

Surprisingly Weise never went in for the kill instead he played with Fox like a cat with a mouse until the final bell and secure a tidy 40-36 points victory.

On any other show this would easily be the Fight of the Night, but there was one that just pipped it.


Both the first rounds see Luton’s Michael ‘The Real Chunky’ Devine out class Trowbridge’s ‘Dirty’ Dan Carr. Throughout the rounds Devine was divine (I know I used this in a previous report on him, but he was). He picked his shots and executed them perfectly, even when Carr would use his patented bullying tactics. Devine easily controlled the often wild and erratic Carr with ease to take both rounds.

Round three was another cracking round in similar ilk to the previous two, marred only by ‘Dirty’ Dan’s deciding to let rip with one more shot well after the final bell.

After receiving a good talking to from the referee Carr went on the attack big time. Devine kept his cool utilising his jab to keep the ever advancing Carr at arms length, before stepping forward to let rip with yet another heavy hook or straight right.

Midway through Devine had had enough and instead stood his ground and slugged it out toe to toe before lithely stepping back and letting rip with a massive overhand right whistled by Carr’s ear. If that had landed it would surely have been lights out for Carr. Devine returned to his previous tactics to see the fight out. No surprise when the score card was read out, 40-37 in favour of Michael Devine.


The replacement opponent for Plumstead’s Sam Standing, with Aaron Fox being pulled for being fifteen pounds over the weight limit, was West Ham’s Johnny Greaves.

Greaves must have been mightily peeved at being called in at late notice as he went for it hammer and tongs right from the start. Standing kept a cool head to outbox the ever charging Greaves at bay.

Throughout the bout Greaves would try to bully and push his younger opponent, but Standing stuck to his game plan and boxed beautifully to take the victory by a tidy 40-37 points.


Prior to the start of the bout there was a minute’s silence in remembrance to Ali Adams’ Father who passed away last month. After which London based Iraqi Adams said he was dedicating the fight to his late Father.

Adams, who was a previous quarter finalist in Prizefighter – Heavyweights, rocketed from his corner as the bell rang and landed a massive right that sent the Lithuanian reeling back to the ropes. Adams stepped forward and continued the assault. Ziausys returned some heavy shots of his own in a vein attempt to stop the ever forward rolling Adams juggernaut.

For the full four rounds Ziausys attempted to stand his ground as Adams showcased his fully loaded Arsenal of punches. So often the crowd jumped to their feet shouting Ali, Ali, Ali, as Adams set about the Lithuanian, you could have been forgiven in thinking that you were at a Muhammad Ali fight in the sixties. Mind you Adams’ performance was not that different to one of those by ‘The Greatest’ himself.

No surprise then that Adams takes the win by a shutout 40-36 points victory or that this fight gets my award as the Fight of the Night.


Another Fight of the Night contender featured Minster, Kent’s Dan ‘Woody’ Woodgate against the very, very tough battler Sabie Monteith.

After a fairly slow start the fight soon turned into outright war, after Monteith made his intentions crystal clear late in the first round by letting rip with a huge roundhouse, which if it landed had that much force it would have been lights out for Woodgate for sure.

Woodgate made a mental note and then proceeded to punish Monteith fully, for the rest of the first round and the following three Woodgate. The punishment was dealt out in formidable style. As the rounds progressed it was clear these two just didn’t like each other and in the fourth and final round, which has to be Round of the Night, was plain mayhem – think Gatti-Ward and you’ll have an idea just how good this round was. I loved it.

At the end of four bloody, for Moneith who had been cut in the third round by a vicious right hand, rounds Woody was rewarded by a much deserved shutout 40-36 points victory.

Prior to the Woodgate-Monteith bout promoter Olivia Goodwin was joined in the ring by ‘Magnificent’ Kevin Mitchell, outstanding Light Middleweight prospect Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng and cancer sufferer Jamie Woods.

Erick spoke briefly about his upcoming English title challenge whilst Kevin spoke about his date with destiny against John Murray on July 9th as well as of his friend Jamie who is battling cancer. After which Jamie received a standing ovation from the assembled crowd.

Erick and Kevin were not the only local stars in the audience, so were former European Bantamweight Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa, Scott and Vinny Woolford, Southern Area Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams, undisputed (WBA,IBF, WBC) Welterweight Champion Lloyd Honeyghan, Featherweight prospect ‘Saint’ George Jupp and many many more.


OK, now back to the action.


Tooting’s Danny Dontchev was really fired up for the bout against Mitcham’s Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor, no testing the waters in this one, Dontchev went straight on the attack. However Connor wasn’t fazed one iota and stuck to his game plan and boxed his way out of trouble.

Connor, who recently got his first pro-win over Duane Grimes, has really come on a pace and endeavoured to control the hard charging Dontchev with crisp sharp jabs and superior movement.

As the rounds went on Dontchev became increasingly frustrated at being so easily picked off, by the relatively inexperienced Connor, and started to let rip with massive bombs. The only problem was most didn’t reach the target, Connor would move fluidly around him and pick him off with either sharp jabs or a double handed flurry.

Saying that I found it hard to score most of the rounds as they were just too close to call and I wasn’t too surprised when the score was read out as 40-38 in favour of Connor, but Dontchev clearly was as he raised his arms to mock the decision and then proceeded to parade around the ring to receive the plaudits of the crowd.


Chelsea’s excellent Kris Agyei-Dua got his third pro outing off to a cracking start.and dominated Treharris’ Luke Osman throughout the first round. in the second round Osman took the fight to Agyei-Dua, which suited him just fine. The pair often just stood toe to toe slugging in out much to the crowd’s delight.

The third and fourth rounds was more of the same, with control passing back and forth. Osman would push forward, occasionally backing Agyei-Dua on to the ropes, before letting rip with double handed exocets. Problem for Osman was that Agyei-Dua would duck and weave before letting rip with solid right hand counter punches.

It was a cracking fight that came so close to be included in my Fight of the Night shortlist and I have to admit I wasn’t surprised that it was a closely scored bout, 39-38 in favour of Agyei-Dua, as it was a fairly evenly fought bout.


Stoppage of the Night award has to go to debuting Billy Cayzer, for his magnificent performance and exceptional finishing, over Tamworth’s Matt Seawright,

There’s not much to say on this, except to praise the eighteen year old for his mature performance and clinical punching. For two minutes and fifty nine seconds young Cayzer dealt with the hard charging veteran with ease and the finish, well what can I say but it was the most vicious left hook to the body, and it was no surprise that the referee instantly waved the fight off as it was clear Seawright was in no condition to continue.


In his short career nineteen year old Brett O’Callaghan doesn’t seem to get many breaks, on his debut back in December he had a last minute switch of opponent and got the highly experienced Billy Smith, on Saturday he got yet another seasoned pro to contend with in Nottingham’s Matt Scriven.

The Scriv was in no mood to give the youngster from Holloway an easy night and went to work hard and fast. O’Callaghan though is as savvy as they come and played the long game with neat jabs and clever footwork.

O’Callaghan remained cool, calm and collected throughout, The Scriv just couldn’t wind him up, and into a slugging match, no matter how hard he tried, O’Callaghan just stuck to his game plan and his boxing was pure artistry. No surprise that the referee scored this one as a shutout 40-36 points win for young Brett O’Callaghan.

I have to make a quick comment as the report just doesn’t get across just how good young Brett O’Callaghan is. In my between rounds notes I praised him so highly for his exceptional boxing, and rightly so.

I have to say I believe that I am lucky enough to be watching a young man who is going to become one of the biggest stars in the sport in a few years. I really feel this kid can go all the way to the top, he has it all plus he has the world class team of Alec Wilkey and Johnny Eames guiding him.


Yet another fight that on any other night would be right up there on my Fight of the Night contenders list. Mind you every fight I’ve seen Woolwich’s Eder Kurti in is a real cracker. On Saturday Kurti had Scuntrhorpe’s Jody Meikle to contend with, no easy fight this for sure.

The first round was a closely fought affair, neither really going to town as both protagonists were clearly sizing the other up.

Round two and three were something else altogether though as they both really livened up. They went at each other hammer and tongs, Meikle turned up the wick first, and promptly must have regretted it as Kurti doesn’t mess around. A full scale war ensued which produced some of the best exchanges of the night, as well as some of the scrappiest.

The final round was all Kurti for me, don’t get me wrong Meikle was in there just Kurti was magnificent. He was picking his punches and landing them at will. He pulled out every weapon from his extensive Arsenal and used them to maximum effect. Body shots, hooks, uppercuts and some sensational combinations. I was surprised that this fight went the distance as Kurti landed a couple of massive left hands that would have stopped most, just Meikle one tough cookie.

No surprise again with the scoring – 39-37 in favour of Eder Kurti.


The opening bout of the night see Peckham’s Diego Burton debut against Brighton’s Iain Jackson.

Not surprisingly the first round see both lads sizing each other up, some nice work from both but I couldn’t really split them so scored the round a draw.

After taking instruction from James Cook Burton came out in the second fired-up and proceeded to exert his authority with some cracking body shots. Jackson learns quickly and resorted to his jab to keep Burton at bay, but in my view too late to prevent Burton taking the round.

The tables turned in round three as Jackson turned up the pressure on the new boy to easily take the round.

A lot of back and forth action took place in the fourth and final round, personally I thought Burton had just done enough to take the round but as the referee scored the bout a draw I assume he didn’t.

All in all it was excellent night of boxing, jam packed with drama, excitement and top class boxing. Olivia may only be twenty years old but this girl really knows how to put a show on.

Afterwards I managed to catch up with Olivia Goodwin, who said, “To be honest I thought it was a cracking night, we ended up with thirteen bouts instead of the planned sixteen bouts, so we only lost three bouts which I think was absolutely tremendous because you normally lose a lot more than that.

Everything went to plan, every bout was absolutely brilliant and exciting. Their was not a down point except in the last fight with Ryan Barrett, which was very sad and obviously didn’t go to plan as we wanted. It seemed that Ryan had the upper hand but obviously things can change in a second in boxing. Unfortunately he went down and couldn’t get up. But other than that it had been absolutely electric.

The support that the boys bought with them tonight has been out of this world, I’d like to thank them all for bringing their fans and selling the tickets to make this night such a special one.

I am off to such an amazing start and all I want to do is improve and improve and get my shows bigger and bigger, and I want all my boys to come with me.”

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