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UK Boxing: Perfect Birthday Present For Gethin; Areti Mastrodouka Aims High

By Daniel Mole – Martin Gethin today received the perfect birthday present – a shot at the British lightweight title.

The IBF International lightweight champion, who turns 29 today, looks set to face Ben Murphy for the lightweight crown in the New Year following the relinquishment of the belt by Gavin Rees.

Gethin was made mandatory challenger to Rees by the British Boxing Board of Control with purse bids for that fight due by tomorrow. However, Rees has since given up the belt to take on former WBA and WBO World title contender, John Murray, in December instead.

As a result, Gethin (23-3-1) looks set to battle it out with current Southern Area Lightweight Champion Murphy (9-5-1) for the now vacant belt.

“It’s the perfect birthday present,” Gethin told uko-boxing.com. “To have this news on my birthday has made it a day to remember. I definitely won’t be having any cake now though!

“When my trainer, Errol Johnson, told me, I was made up. It’s a great opportunity for me and I think it’s a great fight for the fans too.

“When he comes, he comes to fight and anyone who knows me, knows what I’m all about too.

“Obviously it’s early days and we’re just waiting to confirm dates and venues but one thing I do know is that it’s going to be some fight.”

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Areti Mastrodouka Aims High – Gets Her First Title Shot This Sunday

Former World Kickboxing Champion and World Number 2 Amateur Boxer, Areti Mastrouka is used to sporting success, but even she couldn’t have imagined that she would be challenging for her first title, on just her fourth outing, and just eight months since her transition to the pro boxing ranks.

But she is and this coming Sunday Greek born Areti will face tough Welsh lass Lana Cooper, for the vacant International Masters Super Featherweight title, on the Miranda Carter’s Left Jab Boxing promoted ‘Matinee Idols’ event at York Hall in Bethnal Green.

With just three, albeit excellent, wins – two by early stoppage finish – under her belt Areti’s manager, TRAD TKO supremo Johnny Eames, explained why he had decided to move forward her first title challenge, planned for April 2013 when she is due to face Kristine Shergold at the WBF Women’s World Boxing Championships, to this coming week.

“Areti’s fighting Sunday for her first ladies title, TRAD TKO Gym’s first ladies title, which I’m pretty certain that she’s going to win.

People may ask why we’re putting her in for a title on just her fourth fight, the bottom line is she had a fantastic pedigree, both as an amateur boxer and as a kickboxer.

It’s an amazing feat to be number two in the World as a boxer and number one in the World as a kickboxer at the same time, I think that must be some kind of record, I’m not too certain but either way it’s still some achievement.

It’s a tough eight rounder on Sunday, but I’m pretty certain she’ll win the title and as well I’m pretty certain in two or three fights time she’ll be ready to go for a World title.

Most people know my feelings on Women’s Boxing and she’s certainly changed my feelings a little bit.

Normally I have no interest in watching Women fight, but I helped Alec (coach Alec Wilkey) in her corner, and quite enjoyed being there, because the girl can fight, there’s no two ways about it.

So we’re looking forward to her having her arm raised on Sunday and Areti becoming the TRAD TKO’s first lady Champion.”

Anyone that has seen Areti in action will surely agree with Johnny’s comment ‘the girl can fight’, the 36 year old from Athens made an instant impact on her first outing, where she battled, and beat, former World title challenger Kristine Shergold in the ‘Fight of the Night’ at Miranda Carter’s March show.

Areti simply said of the fight, ”It was good fight, it was good start.”

Her second outing, again at York Hall in May see Areti stop Latvian Julija Cvetkova after just one minute and twenty five seconds of the second round.

Areti’s comments on this fight were even briefer, “It was OK, I stopped her early.”

Areti went one better in her most recent fight, stopping Hungarian number 2 Gabriella Vicze after just one minute and thirty one seconds of the first round.

Areti’s disappointment at this fight ending so soon was clear as she said, “It was first round, not even two rounds.”

Whilst Areti may be short on word’s she sure isn’t on talent, so just what can we expect to see from her on Sunday.

Well, first off all Lana Cooper is one tough cookie, she’s fought the best on the domestic circuit, Kristine Shergold, Suzanne Hemsley, Lyndsey Scragg, Angel McKenzie, Laura Saperstein etc, she’s gone the distance with them all, except her last fight against Laura, where she dislocated her shoulder in the second round.

Lana likes to come forward, when she gets inside she likes to let rip with hard rights to the body or big looping rights, nice simple game plan, although one containing one major flaw, she likes to keep a high guard as she marches forward, which is going to suit the slick southpaw style of Areti.

As such Areti is likely to dance around the Welsh lass, picking her off with long right handed jabs and sharp lefts to the body.

Saying that Lana is highly resilient and a heavy handed puncher, and even though Areti is a highly experienced, albeit as an amateur, and stylish boxer, don’t necessarily expect an early finish, this could easily go the distance and once again could prove to be another ‘Fight of the Night’ for the girls, due to the radically different styles.

Final word has to go to Areti’s coach Alec Wilkey. “Johnny’s already said that we have big plans for her, he’s trying to sort out further title fights in the near future.

She’s training really well, trains hard, she’s so dedicated and she listens to everything you say.

Without doubt we’re going to get big things out of her, she’s a good little fighter, she works to the body well and she’s a stiff, stiff puncher, yeah we’re hoping for big things for her.

We’re looking forward to her getting her arm raised on Sunday as this girl’s going to the top.”

Areti Mastrodouka versus Lana Cooper, for the vacant International Masters Super Featherweight Championship takes place on the Miranda Carter Left Jab Boxing promoted ‘Matinee Idols’ at York Hall, Bethnal Green in London this coming Sunday 18th November, doors open at 2pm and boxing starts at 3pm.

Tickets, priced £35 (Unreserved floor) or £45 (Balcony) will be available on the door from 2pm on Sunday.