Woolcombe Meets Rhodes In Dangerous Title Defense

The 18th of April sees South London golden boy Gary Woolcombe make the first defense of his newly minted British light middleweight title when he faces the one-time star of the division, Ryan Rhodes, formerly known as "Spice Boy", at Bethnal Green's historic hotspot of boxing, York Hall, in London, England..

This is an intriguing fight which sees Rhodes, 38-4 (26), in a role reversal as he was the up and coming star in the late 1990's, taking on the more established senior fighters. The youngest British champion in 57 years at age 20 in 1996, the Sheffield southpaw now finds himself taking on Woolcombe in an attempt to regain past glories.

While Rhodes never lived up to his true potential, failing twice to win the WBO middleweight crown, the big punching 31 year old has since come back a more seasoned operator. 11 years after giving up the British title, Rhodes will be looking to take young Gary Woolcombe to school.

Just 25 years of age, Woolcombe, 25-1 (10), is already a solid professional and isn't the least bit unsettled about facing Rhodes. "People tell me that this is going to be my hardest fight to date, but every fight is hard," said Woolcombe.

"There's no such thing as an easy fight. It's far easier to win a title than to keep it, as many champions have found out. I don't intend to lose it at my first first defense as it's always been my dream and ambition to be a champion. Now that I have the British belt, I want to go onto getting more titles, but the fight I'm looking for is a match with former undefeated British light middleweight champion Jamie Moore.

"If Rhodes thinks he just has to turn up in order to take my title, he has another thing coming."

Woolcombe's clash with Rhodes is a unique bout that could either be a classic matchup or a clash of styles, but it just may be the fitter fighter that comes through as the winner.

Chief support for the bill sees an interesting fight between former title challenger John McDermott, 24-3 (15), in a final eliminator for the British heavyweight crown against another ex-title challenger, the heavy-handed Pele Reid, 19-4-2 (17).

Only one of these heavies can go forward to fight for the British title while the loser may find himself on the journeyman circuit. Since losing a title challenge to Matt Skelton and joining Frank Maloney Promotions, McDermott has developed a nice and steady winning run and has improved greatly with a new training team.

British Light Middleweight Champion Gary Woolcombe's maiden title defense, billed as "Divine Retribution", takes place against challenger Ryan Rhodes on Friday, April 18, 2008 at York Hall in London, England.

The bill also features John McDermott vs. Pele Reid in an eliminator for the British Heavyweight title along with full undercard support. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 0871 2261508. Sky Sports will televise live on SS1 starting at 10:00PM.

Frank Maloney Promotions also presents "Northern Rock", featuring Chris Edwards vs. Andy Bell for the Super Flyweight Championship of Britain along with full undercard support at the Metrodome in Barnsley, England on Friday, March 28, 2008. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 0871 2261508. Sky Sports will televise live on SS1 starting at 9:30PM.

Article posted on 17.03.2008

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