The Contender: Small Riles Yank

22.03.07 - A war of words erupted today ahead of next Friday's Contender's show when team USA were ambushed by one of their UK counterparts. Mouthy Londoner Anthony Small, a member of the eight-man UK side to be captained by Barry McGuigain, gave the yanks an ear-bashing when they arrived in Newcastle - and promised they would be returning to America empty handed. As well as national pride being at stake, the teams are competing for the Sugar Ray Leonard Cup - and Small says that the trophy will be staying in Britain..

"I've seen videos of the American team on and they look pretty confident," he said.

"Anyway, I'm on a 'Spank-A-Yank' tour and there is no way I'm losing to my opponent Walter Wright."

"We've got a huge Geordie crowd behind us and fighting on home turf, so the American's won't be smiling come Saturday morning.

"Ray Leonard might be their team manager, but even if they had Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran on the coaching staff, there will only be one team winning next Friday!

"I've been speaking to the rest of the UK team over the last few weeks, and we are so up for this it is untrue.

"Usually the professional side of things is a pretty selfish sport, but there is a togetherness that reminds me of my old amateur days.

"By next Friday we'll be buzzing, and I can't wait to meet up with the rest of the lads next week when we will have some team training sessions and be coached to by Barry McGuigan." However a spokesman for the USA team laughed off the incident.

"As a team, the American boys are very tight-knit, and this has only served to fire them up even more," he said.

"I don't think they are at all worried about coming to Newcastle to fight, or their UK opponents.

"What people have to remember is that these guys have come through a red-hot Contender series in the States, so taking on some greenhorn Brits isn't going to worry them."

The USA team arrived in Newcastle after spending a few days filming in London, and will take part in a number of media events over the coming week. Stay tuned to for more news.

Article posted on 22.03.2007

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