UK News: Maloney Goes Massive With Big London Show, Classic East Anglia Derby

Frank Maloney returns to the capital city in a big way when the South London based promoter puts on a thrilling fight card at historic York Hall in Bethnal Green, headlined by Ian Napa's exciting challenge of European bantamweight champion Carmelo Ballone on Friday, October 17, 2008. The UK's most skillful boxer, Napa, 17-6 (1), won the British title last year and his three scintillating defenses of the domestic crown have led the 5'1 dynamo to a second crack at the European trophy but in order to claim Continental glory, the flashy 30 year old must surmount a difficult opponent..

After cleaning out the bantamweight division in his native Belgium, 32 year old Ballone, 21-2 (10), proved his pugilistic acumen on a wider playing field by capturing the European Union belt against Spanish bomb thrower Ivan Pozo in 2003, which led to a close and controversial split decision loss to European kingpin Simone Maludrottu in the champion's home country of Italy two years later.

Ballone got another opportunity at European honors and made the best of it by stopping Romanian spoiler Eugen Sorin Tanasie in 2007 to claim the vacant title. In May, Ballone crushed the challenge of Valery Yanchy, extinguishing the Belarus titlist in the tenth round.

Can Ballone enter the lion's den of York Hall and emerge still in possession of the European bantamweight title? Ian Napa and a packed house of rabid supporters say not and have thrown forth the challenge to the hard as nails Belgian in what could turn out to be the fight of the year in England.

Maloney has stacked the undercard with typically competitive matchmaking and chief support on October 17 will be provided by the do or die battle of former British and Commonwealth lightweight champion Graham Earl, 25-3 (12), against ruthlessly efficient contender Henry Castle, 18-4 (10), who has stopped five of his last seven victims and has vowed to end the career of Earl as part of his quest to rule over the United Kingdom's lightweight scene.

One of the top light welterweights on the planet, Commonwealth champion Ajose Olusegun, 24-0 (12), will also feature on the card as the Londoner stays busy in hopes of turning his #3 WBC position into a world title shot.

Red-hot undefeated featherweight prospect Akaash Bhatia, 12-0 (3), makes an appearance on the bill as does bruising welterweight Mark Thompson, 16-1 (10), and outstanding light middle hopeful Sam Webb, 11-1-1 (3), will meet former Commonwealth welter title challenger Gilbert Eastman, 20-6 (13).

A handful of Maloney's top prospects round out the lineup as lightweight Liam Shinkwin, 1-0 (0), joins heavyweights Tom Dallas, 1-0 (0), and Larry "War Machine" Olubamiwo, who makes his professional debut.

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Tickets to "Dapa Napa", Ian Napa vs. Carmelo Ballone for the Bantamweight Championship of Europe at York Hall, London, England on Friday, October 17, 2008 are priced at 75 and 35 and are available by logging onto or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508.

Sky Sports will televise the action live on SS1 starting at 9:30pm.

Classic East Anglia derby

Steve Spartacus and Danny McIntosh will dispute the vacant English Light-Heavyweight Title in what promises to be a classic East Anglia derby at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich on Saturday, 4th October.

Ipswich warrior Spartacus will be trying to regain the English Title he won five years ago, while Norwich hero McIntosh has built up a seven-fight unbeaten record.

The pair will be chief support on the 'Let's Be Having You' Hennessy Sports promotion which will be shown live on ITV4 at 8.45pm with top of the bill being Norwich's Jon Thaxton against Spain's Juan Carlos Diaz Melero for the vacant European Lightweight Title.

Promoter Mick Hennessy is expecting McIntosh and Spartacus to produce a thriller with local pride and the national title at stake.

"After losing an epic battle for the British Title last year, this is a great chance for Spartacus to get his career back on top," said Hennessy.

"Steve is usually in great fights and this is a great one for boxing in East Anglia. It's going to be experience against youth and most people are split as to who they think will win.

"Danny has compiled an impressive record and he looked good when he stepped up to beat Joey Vegas and then stopped Nick Okoth earlier this year.

"This is Danny's chance to prove he can do things in the sport, but he's up against an absolute warrior in Steve."

Article posted on 24.09.2008

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