Showdown Nears For Woolcombe vs. Rhodes

With only a few days to go before popular south Londoner Gary Woolcombe's first British light middleweight title defense against former champion Ryan "Spice Boy" Rhodes, the spiritual home of English boxing, York Hall, looks set for another thriller this Friday, April 18, 2008. This highly anticipated light middleweight clash is the classic contrast of youth against experience..

A number of observers have claimed that Woolcombe is one of the most fortunate champions of Britain, but the 25 year old titlist sees this as an opportunity to prove his critics wrong.

"People can say what they like, but I've served my apprenticeship and I've won my title in the ring when given the opportunity," said Woolcombe.

"On that night in December when I won the British title, I would have fought anyone, including Jamie Moore. There's no way I'm letting Ryan Rhodes come into my backyard and take the title I've worked so hard to earn. I've gone from topping small hall shows to topping major cards on television and I like that life. I don't want to go back to eight round experience building fights again."

With journalists and fans very evenly split on this contest, the boxing fraternity in Britain await the outcome of this April 18 clash between Woolcombe, 25-1 (10), and Rhodes, 38-4 (26), with great interest.

Supporting the main event is an intriguing heavyweight contest for the vacant English title between John McDermott, 24-3 (15), who has resurrected his career under the guidance of promoter Frank Maloney, and Pele Reid, 19-4-2 (17), another heavyweight looking to get back into the top class.

Both of these fighters have previously failed at British title level but McDermott believes that his chance came too early last time and due to a number of personal problems, should not have been in the ring.

Since that title loss to Matt Skelton and a long rest, McDermott has not looked back and intends to add the British title to his resume.

Another bout that will catch the public's imagination on this first class undercard is a super featherweight bout between Henry Castle, 16-4 (8), and Ryan Barrett, 15-4-1 (3).

Both men have had mixed fortunes in the past but believe that they are capable of winning the British title, although they are aware that only one fighter can go forward. The winner of this fight can expect a date on the June 13 Tony Oakey vs. Dean Francis card in Portsmouth.

Frank Maloney Promotions presents "Divine Retribution", Gary Woolcombe vs. Ryan Rhodes for the British light middleweight championship at York Hall, London, England with chief support featuring heavyweights John McDermott and Pele Reid clashing for the vacant English crown on Friday, April 18, 2008.

Tickets are priced at 80 and 40 and are available by logging onto or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508. Sky Sports televises live on SS1 beginning at 10PM.

Friday, May 2, 2008 features "Two-Tone" with European super bantamweight champion Rendall Munroe defending against European Union titlist Salem Bouaita at the Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre in Nottingham, England. Chief support is provided by British bantamweight champion Ian Napa defending against Irish titlist Colin Moffett of Belfast.

Tickets are priced at 75 and 35 and are available by logging onto or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508. Sky Sports televises live on SS1 starting at 9:30PM

Saturday, May 24, 2008 will feature the biggest selling fight in the history of British boxing, IBO light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton vs. Juan Lazcano, in front of 55,000 fans at City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England on a shared production with Punch Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions.

Chief support features IBF light welter champion Paulie Malignaggi vs. former titlist Lovemore N'dou and Commonwealth welterweight champion Craig Watson defending against Matthew Hatton.

Any remaining tickets to Hatton v.s Lazcano can be purchased on , , and . Sky Box Office will televise live commencing at 10PM.

Friday, June 13, 2008 sees a highly anticipated light heavyweight bout between British champion Tony Oakey vs. Commonwealth champion Dean Francis at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, England. Ticket information and Sky Sports broadcast schedule will be announced when available.

For any further information or press credential requests to any Frank Maloney promotion, please send inquiries to

Article posted on 14.04.2008

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