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Interview With Kevin Mitchell

by on Feb.22, 2011, under Buzz, Interviews

Mark Tibbs, Kevin Mitchell and Jimmy Tibbs at the Ultrachem TKO Boxing GYm in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Interview With Kevin Mitchell
By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

15th May 2010 is a date etched deep in the memory of the tens of thousands of Dagenham’s Kevin Mitchell’s supporters. On that fateful night over twenty four thousand of those partisan fans packed in to Upton Park to watch their all conquering hero, who was firm favourite to clinch the interim WBO Lightweight title and to be just one step from achieving his goal of a full blown World title shot.

However it was not to be, as Kevin succumbed to the antipodean upsetter Michael ‘The Great’ Katsides and in doing so not only lost his coveted ‘O’ but also a World title shot in just three short rounds.

I caught up with Kevin at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town and got to ask him about the Katsides fight, the on-off-on-off proposed April clash with John Murray and his future championship aspirations amongst other things.

Before we get onto the interview I have to say I was surprised that so many people were quick to write Kevin off, as a genuine contender, following the loss to Katsides and as such feel that it is appropriate to have a quick review of his excellent championship record.

Kevin’s first championship bout, against France’s Mohammed Medjadji for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title, was on the undercard of the Audley Harrison-Danny Williams Commonwealth title clash at the ExCel Arena in Docklands on the 10th December 2005.

Kevin, whose record stood at 16 (11 KO)-0, was on top form, he was quick, skillful and powerful. Throughout Kevin showed his superior boxing skills, but the tough Frenchman showed his durability by withstanding Kevin’s constant onslaughts.

In the sixth Kevin really stepped things up, bombarding Medjadji with vicious body shots that were clearly taking there toll on the Frenchman, so much so that with under a minute of the round to go referee Ian John Lewis had no option but to step in and stop the bout as Medjadji had stopped responding with punches of his own.

Just over two months later, on the 25th February 2006, Kevin was back at the ExCel to defend his newly won crown against, another French challenger, Youssouf Djibaba on the undercard of Danny Williams defense of his Commonwealth crown against Matt Skelton.

As before Kevin dominated the proceedings with his superior boxing skills, although Djibaba proved a harder opponent to finish than Medjadji. At the end of twelve hard fought rounds the judges cards read 118-108 and 119-109 (twice) in favour of Kevin.

Kevin’s second defense, and first bout as headliner, came just three months later, on the 13th May 2006 at York Hall in Bethnal Green. Kevin’s Bulgarian opponent Kirkor Kirkorov was a late replacement and had a reputation of being a bit of a spoiler.

Kevin came out fast and went straight to work on the body. Kirkorov defense was strong but Kevin persevered trying to work a breakthrough.

In the second round that breakthrough came, a wicked multi punch combo had Kirkor reeling, Kevin followed up with a vicious left hook to the body and Kirkorov dropped to one knee. Kirkorov survived the round but failed to show for the third.

Kevin had a ‘keep busy’ fight in July against Imad Ben Khalifa which lasted just 214 second, which set him up nicely for his third defense against Belarus’ Andrei Isaeu at the Grosvenor House in Mayfair, London on the 8th September 2006. The fight was stopped after 1:37 of the eleven round due to cuts.

Just over a month later Kevin was back in action again, this time against Ghana’s George ‘Red Tiger’ Ashie for the vacant Commonwealth title. The fight went the full distance and see Kevin add the Commonwealth belt to his collection after the judges scorecards showed 116-113 (Twice) and 116-112 in his favour.

It was March 2007 before Kevin reentered the fray to defend his newly won Commonwealth crown against the tough South African Harry Ramogoadi.

Kevin gave Ramogoadi a pure boxing master class before finally finished him off in round six. Ramogoadi was sent to the canvas following his walking into a solid right hand. Referee Terry O’Connor wisely dispensed with the count.

On the 14th July 2007 Kevin defended his IBF title for the fourth time, as well as challenging for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super featherweight title, against Russian Alexander Khrulev at the O2 Arena in Greenwich. It was another very short fight as Kevin knocked out Khrulev after less than a minute of the second round.

Another non-championship ‘filler fight’ with Edison Torres was Kevin’s first outing in 2008, a quick finish was the order of the day as Kevin stopped Torres early in the third round.

On the 8th March 2008 Kevin put his Commonwealth title on the line when he challenged Carl Johanneson for his British title.

Kevin started like a runaway train, taking the fight to Johanneson for the first few rounds. Mid way through the fight Johanneson started to turn the fight round but Kevin dug in and eventually stop Johanneson in the ninth to add the Lonsdale Belt to his growing collection.

Three months later Kevin winged his way across the Atlantic to defend his WBO Inter-Continental Super Featherweight title, against Miami based Colombian Walter Estrada at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

I was living in Philadelphia at the time so this was one of the few of Kevin’s championship fights around this time that I actually got to see live.

Kevin seemed to struggle at times against the southpaw stance of Estrada, who wobbled Kevin badly as early as the second round. More trouble for Kevin in the fourth when a large swelling and a small cut appeared under his left eye.

After getting caught yet again by more head shots, Kevin responded with two good right hands to the head of Estrada. With just seconds to the bell to end the fifth, Estrada was sent to the canvas after Kevin let rip with a lightning fast right to the body. Estrada did beat the count but the referee Lindsey Page stepped in to stop the fight.

Another couple of non-championship bouts followed in 2009, the first against Lanquaye Wilson and then Ruddy Encarnacion. Kevin stopped them both.

Next up was Kevin’s first championship bout at Lightweight, and if that wasn’t enough his opponent, for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight title, was none other than Colombia’s Breidis Prescott -the man that KO’d Amir Khan in less than a minute just fifteen months earlier.

Mitchell was savvy and refused to be drawn into a war, instead he relied on his superior skills to frustrate and out box Prescott. Throughout the bout Kevin remained patient, picking his shots with care to totally dominate and win the bout by wide margins on all three judges’ scorecards, 119-110, 118-111, 117-111.

Just a couple of months later, on the 13th February 2010 at the Wembley Arena, Kevin defended the WBO Inter-Continental belt against yet another Colombian Ignacio Mendoza.

Another short fight followed as Kevin knocked out Mendoza, with a peach of a right hand to the head, in just one-minute and 24-seconds of the second round.

Which brings us back to where we started, Kevin’s first career loss when he faced Michael Katsides at Upton Park back in May 2010. The fight has been well covered so I don’t feel the need to say any more – I’ll leave that to Kevin.

Rio - Hi Kevin, thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. Before I get on to boxing related questions I have a more personal one. Last year there was sad news that your five year old Cousin Mitchell Huth had been diagnosed with cancer, I wondered just how young Mitchell is doing these days?

Kevin Mitchell - He’s really well now, he popped round my mum’s house the other day, it was the first time I’d seen him in a while. He’s in a happy state, a good frame of mind. We’re gutted for him but he’s a fighter, his fighting the cancer so good on him.

Rio – Your planned fight with John Murray is up in the air at this point. Do you think there is still a chance it will go ahead or is it completely off the board?

Kevin – I don’t think it’s completely off the board, I think it’s still there. I’m in the gym getting ready for it.

I’m just waiting for a better offer of money for it. It’s all negotiable, Frank (Warren) has always done good by me, Frank’s always looked after me and I think he always will do, so just waiting for me and Frank sitting down and negotiating.

Rio – How did it feel coming out at Upton Park to the tens of thousands of fans, and knowing that they were there supporting you?

Kevin – It’s a crazy feeling, twenty-twenty two thousand standing in front of you, twenty four thousand or whatever was there. It was a mad feeling really. It was something else standing there and an even greater feeling to walk out and seeing all those people there. It made me feel really proud, you know I was really proud to be there.

With losing that though I felt I had let everyone down. Obviously I had done things wrong and want to put things right and make sure I make all the West Ham fans proud again. “

Rio – I know your fight with Michael Katsides has been well and truly covered but what was your view of the fight?

Kevin – I think I knew in the dressing room I wasn’t right, not due to the weight, I’d cut corners because the way my life was at the time. I knew in the dressing room I wasn’t right, I think when you know in the dressing room you’re not right you know you’ve cut corners, you’ve missed out on runs and I was missing out on gym sessions down here, that’s not like me. I like to train everyday, be in the gym every day, train in the gym two or three times a day.

Afterwards I was just gutted that I got beat. If ever I get beat by a better man when I am on top form I’ll hold my hands up. I don’t mind that. But when you get beat due to yourself not being right. But down to not preparing yourself properly, with yourself messing around, you kick yourself in the backside. It’s give me a major lift as well to push myself harder and harder as I’m working now.

Rio – So does that mean you want a rematch with Michael Katsides?

Kevin – Most definitely yeah. I want the fight against John Murray. Get it on with him, show Britain who is the best on the domestic scene, I know it’s me. Beat John Murray, show them I’m back, and then Katsides and then a World title fight.

Rio – You’ve held all the main domestic titles, but you very first title wasn’t domestic it was the IBF Inter-Continental. What made you decide to go straight for an International title?

Kevin – Well that was down to Frank Warren, Frank’s a brilliant promoter he’s the best at his game without a doubt. he said it gives you more of a lift than the Commonwealth title, It puts you in the World rankings.

He put me in there straight away, put me in with good fighters, good opponents. They were learning fights, I was doing twelve rounds. For me it was a good way to learn doing twelve rounds. I was just twenty one when I started fighting twelve rounders, it shows you don’t it.

Rio – You’ve had some great battles over your career, which holds the fondest memories or means the most to you?

Kevin – The most memorable was most definitely the British title fight against Carl Johanneson. I came out for the first four rounds steaming. Thought in a few rounds I was going to blow him out. I was completely wrong, I came unstuck in the sixth, I took the most punches I ever did in my whole career, I was out of it most of the sixth, I took a few big bombs. Without realising It, I was gone. I went back at him legless and caught hold of him again and got him out of there in the ninth.

Being in there in a fight like that is something I am likely to be again someday. Being in fights like that makes me proud and proves that I can get through hard times.

Rio – You’re trained by Jimmy and Mark Tibbs at the Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym – Jimmy’s a legend in the sport and Mark is getting a reputation as a chip of the old block, so just how is having them co-training you going?

Kevin – Working with Jimmy and Mark is brilliant. They’re so much a like. You’ve got Mark bringing in new things and you’ve got Jimmy who is old school. It’s brilliant

I’m really happy here, It’s great being up here at the TKO Gym with all Jimmy and Johnny’s (Eames) fighters and that. One minute you’ve got David Haye, the next minute you have a kid in here or a cabbie in here. It’s a real happy gym. I’m really happy here, everyone’s here to work, whether it’s a cabbie or a World Champion like David Haye training and sparring in here.

Everyone that’s in here is here to work and train hard, there’s no spectators or nothing like that. The only people that will be watching are either a boxer, a trainer, a pad man or someone involved in the boxing. It’s a brilliant place. What they do here is brilliant.

Rio – I was here at the TKO Gym when you sparred Colin Lynes a couple of weeks ago – that was awesome to watch – does it help having such good sparring in-house?

Kevin – Yes most definitely, sparring with Colin Lynes, an ex world champion and a weight or so above me now, you can’t get better than being around guys like that. You’ve got Michael Grant and guys like that around to spar all the time.

You’ve got Nathan Weise in here. The quality fighters that come out of this gym is brilliant. One minute you’ll be sparring so so and the next time it’s someone different. You get to spar with guys with different styles it’s brilliant. It works sparring all the different styles.

I was speaking with Steve Bunce the other day and he said the gym’s always buzzing and there’s plenty of quality sparring. It is and that’s what you want in a gym.

Rio – I know the fight with John Murray is still in negotiations, if it doesn’t go ahead who would you be looking to fight next?

Kevin – As in names it doesn’t bother me, although I want to fight Miguel Vazquez, the IBF Champion, I’ve been watching him, watching what he does, I’d love to have a little do with him.

I want to fight first and then a World title. Either Katsides and then a World title fight or John Murray then Katsides and then a World title fight.

I’m looking to be IBF World Champion.

Rio – You more or less covered my next question with that answer – What does the future hold for Kevin Mitchell?

Kevin – Yeah, what the future holds for me in boxing is, and the fight fans is, a big title in the World of Boxing. I definitely want to fight in Vegas in the future. I really fancy topping some big bills in Vegas, and yeah being World Champion and making lots of money.

Rio – Thank you so much for talking with me today, I wish you nothing but success and hope that you get the title shot you deserve.

Kevin – Thank you, and thanks to all the Boxing fans out there.

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Interview With Former World Champion Colin Lynes

by on Feb.09, 2011, under Buzz, Interviews

Colin Lynes with his IBO World and European Championship belts - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Interview With Former World Champion Colin Lynes
by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

London – 9th February 2011

Former IBO Light Welterweight Champion of the World Colin Lynes is set to make his welcome return to the ring this coming Saturday, the 12th February, against Bradley Pryce at the Matchroom Sports promoted John Watson versus Anthony Crolla vacant British Lightweight Title clash at Olympia, Liverpool.

What may surprise a few people is that Colin, a career long Light Welterweight, will now be campaigning in the Welterweight division.

To aid him with the transition Colin has enlisted father and son team Jimmy and Mark Tibbs as well as switching his training base to Johnny Eames’ excellent Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town.

It’s at the TKO that I managed to not only watch Colin train and spar over the past couple of months, but also managed to get to chat with him on various occasions. The last in an official capacity which enabled me to get an insight into why he has chosen to change division, coaching team and training base after all this time. The full interview follows but first a brief history of Colin Lynes’ championship career.

Colin, who began his pro career with 1st round knockout of Lee Frost in June 1988. After compiling a perfect record of 20 wins and 0 losses Colin successfully challenged Richard Kiley for the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title in December 2002. His reign as champion was short lived as just three months later, on his first defense at York Hall on 8th March 2003, he was stopped in the eighth round by South African Samuel Malinga.

Undeterred by his first career loss Colin put together a three win run, beating Brian Coleman, Fabrice Colombel and Cesar Alberto Leiva, to earn the right to make a full scale challenge against Argentinian Pablo Daniel Sarmiento for his IBO World Title at Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham on the 8th May 2004.

Following an exceptional hard fought battle Colin lifted the coveted belt, albeit with a little controversy, as when the judges score cards were read out two showed 117-111 and 116-112 in favour of Colin and with the other judge seeing it 114-115 in favour of Sarmiento.

Colin successfully defended his title in February 2005 against Oakland, California’s Juaquin Gallardo. Again it was another very close fight, Colin had the better of the early rounds with Gallardo coming on stronger in the later part of the contest. This time two of the judges see it in favour of Colin with 116-113 and 117-113 scores and judge Artur Ellensohn see the bout dead even at 114-114.

On the 21st October 2005 Colin unsuccessfully challenged Junior Witter for his European, British and Commonwealth titles. A few months later, on the 20th January 2006 Colin and Lenny Daws clashed, in a British title eliminator, for the Southern Area title. After nine grueling rounds Colin hopes of challenging for the British title again faded as the fight was waved off as he sat in his corner.

Never one to be dejected Colin secured two nice wins, against Janos Petrovics (6th round stoppage), and Arek Malek (2nd round retirement due to hand injury) before successfully challenging Barry Morrison for his British title in his own back yard on the 8th June 2007 at Motherwell Civic Centre.

Just over a month later, on the 20th July, Colin defended his newly won British crown and at the same time challenged Young Mutley for his European title, again in his opponents home town.

Colin was oozing confidence, and it showed in his performance. Mutley was outclassed on the night, constantly getting caught by stiff jabs and bruising left jabs from the Hornchurch man. By round eight Mutley began looking dejected and it came as no surprise to the watching crowd when Colin sends Mutley to one knee with a solid left. Mutley gets up and accepts the count.

The moment the referee, Richie Davies, finishes counting Colin is all over Mutley like a rash, throwing big left and rights that send his crashing back to the canvas. Richie Davies instantly jumped in to end the contest. Colin is elated to have added the European Light Welterweight Belt to his collection.

Colin successfully defended his European crown against Finland’s Juho Tolppola on the 25th January 2008 by a convincing 120-108 (twice) and 119-109 points margin.

Four months later, in Torino, Italy, Colin’s European reign came to an end following an incredibly close fight against Gianluca Branco. At the end of twelve hard fought rounds two judges scored it 113-114 for Branco and judge Predrag Aleksic scored it 115-113 in favour of Colin.

Two championship losses followed in quick succession, the first against Paul McCloskey for the British title on the 5th December 2008 see Colin retire in the ninth round. The second, for the now vacant European belt, against France’s Souleymane M’baye went the full distance and see Colin again on the wrong side of a contentious split decision verdict.

Colin’s next outing was competing in the hugely successful Matchroom Sports promoted Prizefighter series. In the first round Colin secured a split decision victory over David Barnes and then see off Young Mutley with yet another split decision. On the other side of the draw Gavin Rees was storming through to the final.

The final was all out war, neither protagonist gave or expected any quarter. But in the end there is only one winner and this was Rees’ time.

Colin’s final fight as a Light Welterweight came just four months later, when Colin challenged Nigerian Ajose Olusegun for his Commonwealth title. Colin’s challenge came to an abrupt end, just one minute and twenty three seconds into the eighth round, after Olusegun landed a massive body shot that left Colin retching.

This coming weekend Colin Lynes – The Welterweight – makes his new division debut against Bradley Pryce at the Matchroom Sports promoted John Watson versus Anthony Crolla vacant British Lightweight Title clash at Olympia. Liverpool.

Jimmy Tibbs unwraps Colin Lynes’ hand after sparring at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Following one of his training sessions, with Jimmy and Mark Tibbs at the Ultrachem TKO Gym, I asked Colin why he has decided to campaign at Welterweight amongst other things.

Rio – After almost a year out of the ring you’re back again, this time as a Welterweight. What made you decide to move from Light Welter?

Colin Lynes – I was winning fights but I wasn’t feeling great about it, you know. I remember beating a Finnish guy Juho Tolppola. I won every round hands down and even after that fight I didn’t feel great in myself. I went home and spoke with my trainer and it was down to championship fighting.

I was fine in the gym sparring at ten-ten and then coming down to sort of ten-four the week of the fight. Obviously you don’t spar any more and it was only when it came down to getting in the ring for real that my body was slowing down. I think I was tiring after eight or nine rounds initially, then it started coming down to six rounds and then the last fight was just the last one and I didn’t even go in there feeling good.

Rio – Your first title was an International, not a domestic title. What made you decide to go this route?

Colin – Situation was you got Junior Witter, Ricky Hatton, Eamon McGee all active and champions and it was like a closed shop. The only sort of entry for me was to go the IBO inter-continental route and then win a full world title, which is what I did. You know, I didn’t look back after that.

Rio – You’ve had some fantastic fights during your career and lifted virtually every domestic title there is and of course the World crown. Which fight holds the fondest memories for you?

Colin – I think it was winning the British title in Scotland. I was up against it, it was in Barry Morrison’s home town. He had done a really good number on Lenny Daws, who had defeated me in a bad way for me.

Again another night when I wasn’t too well. My dad was ill at the same time so I was really up against it and to go in there and box as well as I did, again I don’t think I lost a round.

You know to pick the British title up and then four weeks later to then get the opportunity to fight for the European when the European fight between Mutley and Bami fell through I happily stepped in. I stayed in the gym and I won in emphatic style in Wolverhampton, again on away soil. It was a really good summer for me.

L-R Jimmy Tibbs Colin Lynes, Kevin Mitchell and Mark Tibbs - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Rio – You recently switched trainers and are now with Jimmy and Mark Tibbs

Colin – I had to change, I had to change what I was doing. I had to take on board new information and I just had to change the whole preparation.

I was too stuck in a rut with the way I was getting trained for fights. You know I just needed to change what I was doing, take on board some new information, if it was out there – and I found that with Jimmy – and to go with my body.

That meant coming away from everything that I did do. New Gym, new me, new body and new information.

I didn’t realise when I joined the Tibbs camp it was Jimmy and his son Mark. I mean I’m really, really chuffed, when I started working with the pair of them the work that they put into you combined, with Jimmy being the mentor and Mark being conditioning and putting all the nice tuning into your body.

I’m not used to that and really enjoy that. My body at my age is getting proper stretching, getting into the niggles and piggles and all the pains that get into your legs it’s brilliant. They’re a fantastic team it’s really, really good. I’m really looking forward to this year

Jimmy Tibbs looks on as Colin Lynes and Kevin Mitchell spar at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Rio – So it really is out with the old and in with new and that includes a new gym, so how is that working out for you?

Colin – It’s great here at the TKO gym. I moved here to be in a busy gym, to have fighters from all different promotions, all different weights, walks and sizes and shapes and you get that here.

I enjoy the buzz, if it’s a day time or an evening session, don’t matter what time of day if you come in this gym there’s something happening, there’s a buzz.

At my age you need the youngsters to get you buzzing and get you feeling like your young, and that is how I’m feeling.

Rio – I was here when you sparred Kevin Mitchell the other day, It was an awesome session. I suppose it helps having quality sparring like that in-house?

Colin – Yeah you’ve got the likes of Kevin Mitchell but you’ve also got some new guys coming through that keep you on your toes.

They are raw talent. They know who you are but you don’t know who they are. They always up their game and you sometimes show respect, but you’ve got to be careful and don’t get caught out because you’re being too lacksy-daisycall.

Ricky Boylan, Chris Evangelou and Colin Lynes after sparring - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

I’ve been sparring two young guys, Chris Evangelou and Ricky Boylan, both novices but really fancy the job, which is great for me and great for them, and I get rounds done.

As we touched on I’ve been sparring Kevin. We’ve know each other from old, we’ve been in the same gym before and we both know each other and know our flaws so we both know that if you lose that concentration for any second of any round you’re gonna get found out and caught. So it keeps us on our toes, both sharp and that’s without us going toe to toe really.

If I was helping him with a title fight or vice versa we’d have to up our game again and that’s nice to know that we can go to another level as well even though that was serious sparring.

Rio – OK, you’re fighting on Saturday – again it’s away turf being in Liverpool, how do you feel about that?

Colin – Yeah, it’s never fazed me, sometimes it’s nice to get away from your area. My family come with me but it’s nice to get away for your little bubble you’ve been used to and just get to the hotel and think about the task ahead. I enjoy it, I like it like that.

Rio – So now you’re at a new weight what are your championship plans?

Colin – The British ranking system has carried me over, without me having this fight this weekend, they’ve accepted that now I’m a Welterweight and they’ve ranked me # 5.

Get this weekend, get a good win, out of the way and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be in for a title shot. I thought it would be two or three fights to make a point but people seem to listening to the feedback they get from what I’ve been doing in here and you boys. I’m quite pleased that after this weekend there’s no reason why I can’t get a challenge in.

Matthew Hatton’s looking for an opponent for his European, Denton Vassell is looking for an opponent for his Commonwealth and I’m always up for the Southern Area or British title so it’s all there.

Rio – talking about titles, Jimmy Tibbs recently went on record saying you could go for another world title shot. Now we all know Jimmy doesn’t do B.S.- so is that also on the cards?

Colin – I’m really, really chuffed about that. I don’t let anything get to my head but Jimmy’s been there, done it. Not just once but two or three times over and to hear that from Jimmy, that’s the belief, that’s one of the reasons I joined Jimmy and that to see it myself and if Jimmy believes it and I believe it there’s no reason why I can’t win another world title.

Rio – Colin, thank you so much, and good luck this Saturday.

Colin – Thank you and thanks to boxing fans everywhere.

Colin Lynes, against Bradley Pryce, will feature on the undercard of the Matchroom Sports promoted John Watson versus Anthony Crolla vacant British Lightweight Title clash at Olympia. Liverpool, on Saturday 12th February 2011.

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Erick Ochieng – Easy Win Over Noble Leads To Title Shot.

by on Feb.08, 2011, under Buzz

Erick Ochieng at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Erick Ochieng – Easy Win Over Noble Leads To Title Shot.

On Saturday night Stoke Newington’s exceptional Light Middleweight prospect Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng easily secured his sixth win, albeit not in his usual all action style.

Ochieng’s opponent, the reigning British Masters Light Middleweight Champion Lee ‘Lightning’ Noble, clearly didn’t come to fight, instead he just closed up shop and pulled down the shutters, in a similar way that he did against Ochieng’s Ultrachem TKO Gym mate ‘Phat’ Pat McAleese back in September.

‘The Eagle’ had been ringside when Noble knocked out a tiring McAleese – who had thrown a hundred plus punches for over eight rounds – in the ninth with more or less his first real punch of the fight.

On Saturday Ochieng showed a maturity that belied his tender years, by choosing a more patient route than McAleese, by using his jab to good effect and waiting for the opportunity to open up Noble’s fortress like defense.

After six rounds no real opportunity had arisen and judge Ken Curtis rightfully declared the fight a shutout 60-54 points victory to ‘The Eagle’.

Earlier today Ochieng popped into the Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town, whilst there he gave his view of the fight as well as announced the exciting news regarding his next fight. “I thank God for the victory man. Lee was quite heavy, he was eleven-eight and I was eleven-three.

First round I just kept showing him my jab. He was covering up a lot so all I could do was hit him with the jab. Eventually he come forward a bit so I’d hit him with my jab. He was eating my Jab all the time. There wasn’t much I could do he just wasn’t throwing, so I kept jabbing.

That’s all he did was cover up and sometimes used his jab. He’s quite strong but he didn’t want to give me any openings or make a fight of it.

I was in great shape and was ready for any opportunities. He should have opened up and come to fight. I came to fight but he didn’t want to know, he just covered up and stayed out of trouble.

At the end of the six rounds I won, I still won. I feel good, that’s six in a row. Yeah and now my next fight will be for the Southern Area title.

I have such great fans, they were standing shouting ‘Eagle, Eagle, Eagle’ throughout. I was disappointed for them that he didn’t want to make a fight of it. They still kept chanting though.

I have such great fans and can’t thank them enough for the great support. Thanks, you guys are the best fans in the world.”

It is expected that an announcement will be made soon on the date and opponent for Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng’s challenge for the Southern Area Light Middleweight title – Watch this space.

www.tkoboxinggym.com

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McAleese Backs Ochieng To Beat Noble This Saturday

by on Feb.03, 2011, under Buzz

‘Phat’ Pat McAleese and Erick Ochieng with Erick’s manager-coach Brian Lawrence behind - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

McAleese Backs Ochieng To Beat Noble This Saturday

Light Middleweight prospect ‘Phat’ Pat McAleese today gave his full support to Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng by stating that his Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym mate will easily defeat Lee ‘Lightning’ Noble this Saturday at the Frank Maloney promoted Jamie Arthur vs Jason Booth Commonwealth Super Bantamweight title clash at the Brentwood Leisure Centre, Brentwood, Essex.

The only blemishes on McAleese’s otherwise immaculate record have come courtesy of Noble. The first, at Goresbrook Leisure Centre in March last year, was declared a draw by referee Richard James Davis even though McAleese had a superior work rate and had landed the more meaningful shots throughout.

The rematch, at Steve Goodwin’s excellent ‘It’ Personal’ event in September, had far more at stake, being it was for the vacant British Masters Light Middleweight title.

For almost nine rounds McAleese not just outworked Noble, he plain dominated him. Noble’s work rate was exceptionally poor, he seemed content to cover up and absorb the constant barrage of punches, only occasionally responding with the odd jab or flurry here and there.

In the dying seconds of the ninth round Noble let rip with a peach of a right uppercut. It was a near perfect shot and dropped McAleese on the spot.

On learning that Ultrachem TKO gym mate Ochieng’s replacement opponent for Saturday’s Sky Sports televised event was to be Noble, Newmarket’s McAleese was quick to show his support by saying, “I don’t think Erick will have too much trouble, he hits hard, he’s got a fast jab. When I fought him (Lee Noble) I was eight rounds up going into the ninth round but just got caught by a lucky shot.

I think Erick’s a little bit more cagey, I think he’ll pick Noble off and out work him. Noble’ll find it hard because he’ll be hitting down a lot, being taller and Erick gets really low. I think he’ll find it really hard to fight Erick.

Erick will come through with flying colours.”

Switching tack McAleese spoke a little about his last bout as well as his upcoming fight on March 19th and the possibility of a second rematch between himself and Noble, “Trilogy, I’d like to fight him again. I’m fighting on the 19th March and then I’ve got a show on the 30th April, which is in Newmarket where I live.

I’ve boxed him (Noble) twice. The first one I thought I’d won hands down but they gave a draw. The last time I was eight rounds up going into the ninth and got caught by a lucky shot.

I think a third time I’ll want to just put my mind to rest. Neither of them should have been negatives on my record, I just want to set the record straight.

I’ve been working well with Johnny Eames and Brian O’Shaughnessy, who’s my new co-trainer. Doing loads and loads of new things. Come 19th March I’m going to come out a much improved fighter.

Hopefully I’ll get the win and then look for a rematch with Noble.”

‘Phat’ Pat McAleese will next be in action at the Steve Goodwin promoted ‘Essex Eruption’ event, headlined by Tony Conquest and Yassine El Maachi, at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham, Essex, on Saturday 19th March 2011.

Tickets for ‘Essex Eruption’ at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, Essex on Saturday 19th March 2011 are on sale now – priced £35 (Unreserved) or £60 (Ringside).

For tickets call: 07960 850645, book on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com or in person at The Ultrachem TKO Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

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Jimmy Tibbs: ‘Colin Lynes Could Fight For Another World Title’

by on Jan.31, 2011, under Buzz

Jimmy Tibbs, Colin Lynes and Mark Tibbs at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

When Jimmy Tibbs says that former IBO Light Welterweight World Champion Colin Lynes, whose next fight is on Saturday 12th February 2011 at Olympia in Liverpool, could campaign for a second world crown, this time at Welterweight, only a boxing philistine could possibly doubt the man’s words.

Jimmy has spent more than 50 years in boxing, he was a top-class amateur and professional boxer and has also been a manager and a promoter. However as a trainer Jimmy earned the reputation of being one of, if not, Britain’s finest.

Over the years Jimmy has prepared and guided such British Boxing luminaries as Nigel Benn, Chris Pyatt, Charlie Magri, Barry McGuigan, Steve Collins, Dennis Andries, Wayne Alexander, Lloyd Honeyghan, Alex Arthur and Frank Bruno to World Championship success, and many more to British, Commonwealth and European honours.

Currently Jimmy is coaching, in addition to the aforementioned Colin Lynes, some of the brightest upcoming young British fighters such as the Mitchell brothers, Kevin and Vinny, former Olympian Billy Joe Saunders, Freddie Turner, Akaash Bhatia and Billy Morgan at the Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, London.

Jimmy Tibbs, Colin Lynes and Mark Tibbs at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

It was following a sparring session between Colin and Michael Grant at the TKO gym that Jimmy spoke about the future prospects of the former Light Welterweight World Champion, “Colin Lynes is fighting on the 12th February. He’s been with us for about six months now.

He’s the former British, European and IBO Light Welterweight World Champion. Because of weight problems he’s suffered a bit, so he’s decided to move up to Welterweight.

We’ve had him moving about with some good Middleweights, Light Middleweights and he’s as strong as an Ox.

Give him a couple of warm up fights and he’ll end up fighting for a Welterweight title, whether that’s the British title, Commonwealth title or European title, and he will win it because of the life he lives and the way he looks after himself. He’s always in condition, and that doesn’t mean to say that he’s training every day.

He looks after his body when he’s not training, and that’s what a lot of youngsters should learn in this game today.

They have one fight, two fights, they go away and come back rolypolys and all they’re doing is not training to get fight fit, they’re training to get the weight off. I’ve got a couple of fighters that should go to a clinic and see a doctor because they’re going to be in serious trouble in years to come.

Whereas Colin Lynes is 33 years of age, he’s had 41 fights and he’s not got a mark on him. He’s got the rhythm of a twenty year old because he looks after his body in and out the ring.

He’s got a spring in his step, he’s still got that, he makes people work, in and out, in and out all the time, he makes them move their body about. That’s because he looks after himself when he’s not boxing.

In my opinion Colin could still fight for another World title.”

Colin Lynes, against a yet to be named opponent, will be on the undercard of the Matchroom Sports promoted John Watson versus Anthony Crolla, for the vacant British Lightweight title, on Saturday 12th February 2011 at Olympia in Liverpool.

www.tkoboxinggym.com

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Dutch Cruiser Mitchell Balker Beats Nick Okoth In London, Looks For Next UK Fight.

by on Jan.24, 2011, under Buzz

Mitchell Balker following his defeat of Nick Okoth at York Hall - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Dutch Cruiser Mitchell Balker Beats Nick Okoth In London, Looks For Next UK Fight.

On Saturday night London based Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell Balker got the first UK win under his belt, after beating Battersea’s fighting fireman Nick ‘The Ox’ Okoth, at the Graham Earl promoted ‘Capital Punishment’ event at York Hall in Bethnal Green.

Balker, who relocated to London in September last year to train with Johnny Eames at his Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, put the disappointment of losing his unbeaten record, when he faced #8 ranked Matty Askin on his British debut back in November last year, behind him and put on a dominating performance against the very tough Okoth.

Right from the opening bell Balker controlled the fight utilising crisp solid jabs to keep Okoth on the defensive, before swiftly moving in to land solid jabs and big right hands.

Round two see Okoth charge from his corner to take the fight to the Dutchman. Balker kept calm and stayed out of trouble by moving out of range and occasionally letting rip with accurate lefts and rights, to both head and body, that slowed the advancing Okoth considerably.

Round three see Balker shift up a gear and just plain out box Okoth by utilising crisp jabs and powerful combinations. Okoth pressured Balker onto the ropes, but the savvy Dutchman would just step around Okoth and launch controlled attacks of his own. Often just jabbing to the head but occasionally with a venomous three punch combination that ended with a solid left to the body.

Round four was more of the same and it was no surprise that come the final bell the referee declared Balker the winner by a clear 40-36 points margin.

Following the fight Balker said, “I got my win, my first in UK. I feel really good, my performance was good, I just got in the ring and did my thing. It’s good to win all four rounds. I felt strong and was totally in control and I pushed him. It went OK.

The body shots we worked on in the gym worked good. I went to Nick Okoth in the changing rooms after the fight and he told me like ‘if you had hit me two, three more times there I would go down, if you hit me more with the body shots I would go down’.

It was good performance but I could do more. I felt little bit slow but it was still good.

I want another fight soon, build on the win and show what I can do.”

Balker’s manager/co-trainer Johnny Eames added, “I thought that Mitchell performed really well. It’s his first outing since Matty Askin, and he was fighting Nick Okoth, who really is a very, very brave man and gave a very good performance.

Mitchell boxed extremely well, boxed to orders and did what he was asked to do. It’s a shame he had a little bit of a cold, otherwise he may have had a stoppage, mind you I wouldn’t wish that on anyone really, especially Nick as he’s a lovely kid. But I think Mitchell would have definitely got the stoppage win.

Mitchell is a work in progress and we’re looking to get him out again soon, he’ll be available here for any fights against anyone outside the top ten.”

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Bruce ‘Lionheart’ Scott Shows His Support For Mitchell Balker

by on Jan.21, 2011, under Buzz

MItchell Balker and Bruce ‘Lionheart’ Scott - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Former British, Commonwealth and WBU International Cruiserweight Champion Bruce ‘Lionheart’ Scott popped into the Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town to wish Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell Balker success in his first London fight, against Nick ‘The Ox’ Okoth at the Graham Earl promoted ‘Capital Punishment’ at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London this Saturday.

During his magnificent career Bruce has won the British Southern Area title, twice held both the BBBofC British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight belts, winning the coveted Lonsdale belt outright. On the World scene Bruce won the WBU International Cruiserweight title and challenged for a World crown no less than three times.

Still a keen supporter of the Cruiserweight division Bruce took the opportunity to meet with Mitchell at the Paul Morby and Daniel Cadman weigh-in, after which he said. “It’s great to have new blood in the division. Mitchell looks strong and with Johnny (Eames) training him will do good.

I wish Mitchell the best of luck tomorrow. Nick (Okoth) is a tough fighter but I think Mitchell will have the edge.”

Mitchell Balker versus Nick ‘The Ox’ Okoth will be on the undercard of Paul Morby vs. Daniel ‘The Slick’ Cadman BBBofC Southern Area Super Middleweight title showdown at the Graham Earl promoted ‘Capital Punishment’ event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 22nd January 2011.

Another exciting young fighter from the Ultrachem TKO stable, Welterweight Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor, also has a tough challenge when he faces Graham Earl’s nineteen year old protégé Terry Holmes.

British Masters Light Welterweight Champion Jay ‘The Isle Of Wight Assassin’ Morris, will be taking on another of the Ultrachem TKO team, ‘Dynamo’ Daryl Setterfield, in a non-championship bout.

Hove’s unbeaten Light Heavyweight Navid Iran also has a challenging bout as he faces the very tough Mansfield, Notts, based Latvian Alex ‘Pit Bull’ Spitko.

Don’t blink or you might just miss Joe ‘The Belfast Banger’ Hillerby take on Ryan Clarke. In his last fight Joe stopped Gavin Putney in just 43 seconds! But saying that you can’t write off Ryan easily, as he is also known as a super tough big puncher.

Tickets, priced £35 (unreserved) and £50 (ringside) are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com – or for further information call 07960 850645.

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Eames And Earl Reunite – Four TKO Fighters On Earl’s York Hall Show This Saturday

by on Jan.18, 2011, under Buzz

Graham Earl and Johnny Eames reunited - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Former WBU World Champion, turned boxing promoter, Graham Earl and his former coach Johnny Eames have rekindled a working partnership, which spanned more than six years as fighter-trainer team, and as a result there are no less than four of Johnny’s Ultrachem TKO Gym trained fighters appearing at Graham’s upcoming ‘Capital Punishment’ event this coming Saturday at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London.

During their time together Johnny guided Graham to virtually every domestic title – Southern Area, British and Commonwealth – as well as the WBU World Lightweight Crown. Now with Graham as a promoter, Johnny is looking forward to working with Graham again, albeit in the revised roles of promoter-manager.

On Saturday night Johnny will have four of his youngsters supporting the headliner, the Southern Area Super Middleweight title clash between Portsmouth’s Paul Morby and Essex’s Daniel ‘The Slick’ Cadman.

Amongst these will be the exciting Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell Balker, who will be having his London debut, as will Ultrachem TKO’s latest addition, Dollis Hill based American Super Middleweight Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Oshunrinde. Whilst the Surrey based duo Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor and ‘Dynamo’ Daryl Setterfield will be getting their first outing of 2011.

Johnny took a little time off, between training his current crop of prospects, to talk about Graham and the Ultrachem TKO fighters who will be appearing this Saturday at ‘Capital Punishment’.

“It’s a pleasure to be working with Graham Earl, said the no nonsense Johnny Eames, “we worked together for a lot of years in the pros, six and half in fact and had some great years as a fighter/trainer and hopefully we’ll have a lot of good years together with him working as a promoter and us supplying some of the fighters.

It’s good to have new promoters on the block for people like myself who’s got a busy gym and a lot of the fighters are not with the big promoters. So people like Graham coming along is a breath of fresh air for the sport.”

Johnny then turned his attention to the four TKO trained boxers on Graham’s show, “With the help of our TKO Box Office website, which Rio (Publicist Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro) and myself put together some months ago, we are able to get people like Mitchell Balker, who’s a raw talent and coming along really nicely, enables us the chance to get them on as house fighters instead of being an opponent all the time.

He deserves his chance of being a house fighter. he’s a very dedicated boy, he never misses training and even when he has been ill I have had to make him take time off out of the gym to prepare himself properly. The kid deserves success and hopefully our TKO Box Office website will help the kid to get that success.

This is his first opportunity of being the house fighter going in against ‘The Ox’, Nick Okoth, and I’m pretty certain, as certain as I can be, that Mitchell will get his first win on British soil.

Moving on to Daryl Setterfield, who is taking on Jay Morris. Jay is a win some, lose some type of fighter like Daryl, and is expected to win. I’m 99% certain that if Daryl boxes to his capabilities he can upset the apple cart.

Onto young Danny (Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor), Danny’s boxing one of Graham Earl’s favourite boys, Terry Holmes, who’s had one and won it, beat Johnny Greaves. Again Danny’s got all the capabilities to beat young Terry.

I’m pretty certain it will be an entertaining fight for the crowd with a come forward fighter against a back foot boxer. Who knows anything can happen and I wouldn’t be surprised if Danny picks up his first win, although It’ll be a very, very tight one if he does.

Then we’ve got Manny (Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Oshunrinde), he’s not actually managed by the TKO, he’s managed by Graham Earl and is trained by Barry Smith at our gym. Graham asked Barry to train Manny for him. Barry has only had him for two weeks and hasn’t really been able to do a lot with him.

The benefit that Manny has had since he’s been coming to the TKO gym is he’s sparred every day whereas in the past he’s really had no sparring at all. Hopefully we’ll see a vast improvement from his first fight. Apparently he was winning until he ran out of steam. While Barry’s two weeks haven’t been able to have done much, we’ll see if the two weeks has improved him in that sense.

We’re all looking forward to a good night and wish Graham all the success.”

Tickets for the Graham Earl promoted CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, headlined by Paul Morby versus Daniel ‘The Slick’ Cadman Southern Area Super Middleweight title clash at York Hall, Bethnal Green in London on Saturday 22nd January 2011 are priced £35 (unreserved) and £50 (ringside) and are available on-line at www.tkoboxoffice.com – or for further information call 07960 850645

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Oshinronde Set To Face ‘Mr KO’ Smyle At York Hall, 22nd Jan

by on Jan.17, 2011, under Buzz

Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Oshinronde - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Dollis Hill based American boxer Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Oshinronde is set for his second UK fight this coming Saturday, the 22nd January, at the Graham Earl promoted ‘Capital Punishment’ event at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, which is headlined by the BBBofC Southern Area Super Middleweight title clash between Portsmouth’s Paul Morby and Essex’s Daniel ‘The Slick’ Cadman.

29 year old Manny will be facing a tough challenge, on the 22nd, as he will be up against Leicester knockout artist Jahmaine ‘Smasher’ Smyle. Without doubt Manny will have to be on his best form as Jahmaine, who has a 3 win and 1 loss record, has stopped all but one of his previous opponents.

Manny, from Miami in Florida, originally came to Europe in 2007 as he had a professional Basketball contract to play in Italy. Manny spent a season and half playing in Italy but due to a long running knee injury problem, that affected the high level performance he was accustomed to, decided to retire from Basketball in 2009 and move to England and return to his first sporting love, Boxing.

Following a training session, under the watchful eyes of upcoming young coach Barry Smith at Johnny Eames’ Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town, London, Manny spoke of the upcoming showdown with Jahmaine Smyle, “I’m looking very much to the fight because hopefully it’ll be my first win.

My last fight was quite disappointing because I lost, but I really should have won. I had the guy down in the second round but he was saved by the bell.

Manny Oshinronde sparring Mitchell Balker at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

That’s the problem if you don’t put your guy away, he’ll come back and beat ya. I think I took the guy a little bit too lightly and he crept up and bit me in the butt.

Plus I had a lot of injuries but don’t feel I can make too many excuses though, when you’re up in the ring you have to be ready.

This fight, hopefully, will go the way I want it to go, which is win by knockout. So I’m really looking forward to my first win in the UK.

Sparring’s been going pretty good. I’ve been sparring Mitchell (Balker) from the TKO Gym. I’ve sparred him a couple of times. He’s a big, strong Cruiserweight. I’ve also sparred a couple of guys at Clinton McKenzie’s gym in South London. Pretty good Super Middleweights and Light Heavyweights.”

Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Oshinronde versus Jahmaine ‘Smasher’ Smyle will be on the undercard of Paul Morby vs. Daniel ‘The Slick’ Cadman BBBofC Southern Area Super Middleweight title showdown at the Graham Earl promoted ‘Capital Punishment’ event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 22nd January 2011.

Graham Earl has put together a top class support card for the Morby vs Cadman title fight that includes the first London outing for Ultrachem TKO’s highly exciting Dutch Cruiserweight prospect Mitchell Balker, who is set for a baptism of fire when he faces Battersea’s super tough Fighting Fireman Nick ‘The Ox’ Okoth, who was runner up at the exceptional Sky televised Prizefighter – Cruiserweights II back in April last year.

Another exciting young fighter from the Ultrachem TKO stable, Welterweight Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor, also has a tough challenge when he faces Graham Earl’s nineteen year old protégé Terry Holmes.

British Masters Light Welterweight Champion Jay ‘The Isle Of Wight Assassin’ Morris, will be taking on another of the Ultrachem TKO team, ‘Dynamo’ Daryl Setterfield, in a non-championship bout.

Hove’s unbeaten Light Heavyweight Navid Iran also has a challenging bout as he faces the very tough Mansfield, Notts, based Latvian Alex ‘Pit Bull’ Spitko.

Don’t blink or you might just miss Joe ‘The Belfast Banger’ Hillerby take on Ryan Clarke. In his last fight Joe stopped Gavin Putney in just 43 seconds! But saying that you can’t write off Ryan easily, as he is also known as a super tough big puncher.

New Milton’s ‘Dangerous’ Danny Goode will be looking to turn around his losing streak when he faces Chris Agyia-Dua. Danny had built up an impressive unbeaten in twelve fight record, that was until he met Jay Morris in December 2007. Since then Danny has lost seven in a row.

Also on the show will be Danny Brown against a yet to be named opponent.

Tickets for the Graham Earl promoted CAPITAL PUNISHMENT at York Hall, Bethnal Green in London on Saturday 22nd January 2011 are priced £35 (unreserved) and £50 (ringside) and are available on-line now at www.tkoboxoffice.com – or for further information call 07960 850645

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Dutch Cruiser Balker’s Ready For London Showdown With Okoth On 22nd Jan

by on Jan.11, 2011, under Boxing News

Dutch Cruiserweight Mitchell Balker - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Exciting London based Dutch Cruiserweight Mitchell Balker is set for his second British outing, since signing with Johnny Eames’ Ultrachem TKO Boxing Gym team last year, when he comes face to face with Battersea’s super tough ‘Fighting Fireman’ Nick ‘The Ox’ Okoth at the Graham Earl promoted ‘CAPITAL PUNISHMENT’ event at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 22nd January 2011.

Balker, who prior to moving to London had an unbeaten three fight record, will be looking to put the disappointment of losing to British championship prospect Matty Askin, when the fight was controversially stopped during a wild exchange that see Balker visibly shake Askin, on his maiden UK outing in November.

However Balker’s opponent on the 22nd January is no walk over, as the ever popular former Commonwealth and IBO Inter-Continental Champion Darren ‘Raging Bull’ Corbett can attest. Back in April last year Okoth shot to fame following his gritty all action performance to overcome Corbett at the Sky televised Prizefighter – Cruiserweights 2 to rightfully earn a showdown with eventual tournament winner Jon Lewis Dickinson in the final.

Mitchell Balker sparring with Leon ‘Solid’ Williams at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in London - Photo Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro

Following a sparring session with Southern Area Cruiserweight champ Leon ‘Solid’ Williams, at the Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town, Balker spoke briefly about his preparations for his upcoming fight with Okoth. “I don’t know not too much about Nick. He fought Ali (TKO gym mate Ali Adams) not long ago, but other than that not know much about him.

Training going very good. After my first fight in the UK I was straight in the gym so I’m in shape like always.

I’ve been sparring Leon (Williams). Sparring has been going really, really well. I’m in great shape. Tip top condition so sparring going very well.

I feel really strong, very confident. I can’t wait. It’s going to be a great fight”

Mitchell Balker versus Nick ‘The Ox’ Okoth will be on the undercard of Paul Morby vs. Daniel ‘The Slick’ Cadman BBBofC Southern Area Super Middleweight title showdown at the Graham Earl promoted ‘Capital Punishment’ event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 22nd January 2011.

Graham Earl has put together a top class support card for the Morby vs Cadman title fight that includes the third outing for Ultrachem TKO’s exciting Welterweight Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor, who is set to face Graham Earl’s nineteen year old protégé Terry Holmes.

Also on the card are British Masters Light Welterweight Champion Jay ‘The Isle Of Wight Assassin’ Morris, Hove’s unbeaten Light Heavyweight Navid Iran, unbeaten Middleweight Joe ‘The Belfast Banger’ Hillerby, Leicester’s Super Middleweight Jahmaine ‘ Smasher’ Smyle, Balker’s Ultrachem TKO gym mate Daryl Setterfield and Miami, Florida exile, now living in Luton, Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Oshinronde all against yet to be named opponents.

Tickets, priced £35 (unreserved) and £50 (ringside) are available on-line now at www.tkoboxoffice.com – or for further information call 07960 850645.

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