News: Nappa vs Ballone, Thaxton vs Melero, Radisson Rumble

London's York Hall has long been recognized as the spiritual home of British boxing and the historic venue also draws some of the most ferociously partisan fans to be found anywhere. It is into this cauldron that European bantamweight champion Carmelo "The Belgian Butcher" Ballone will place himself on Friday, October 17, 2008 when he faces local hero and British champion, Ian Napa..

But the seasoned 32 year old Continental rides a massive wave of confidence having knocked out six straight victims and Team Ballone has left no stone unturned in it's quest to prepare their man for this most difficult assignment, as the champion has been sparring the best fighters that neighboring France has to offer.

Ballone has fought the toughest bouts of his career on foreign soil and his manager Toni Buscemi has no illusions of just what dangers lie await in London.

"On October 17, Carmelo will be confronted with his clone," Buscemi told Belgian newspaper Lanouvelle Gazette. "The Englishman Ian Napa is what I describe as a joker; the king of feints and evasion who can conceal his shots until the last moment.

"My only fear of fighting Napa is losing a decision. The venue will be red-hot but I hope the judges will succeed in keeping cool heads but of course, ideally Carmelo finishes the fight without having it go to a points decision."

Ballone, 21-2-1 (10), will be making the second defense of the European title won by stopping previously undefeated Eugen Sorin Tanasie last December and has vowed to follow in the footsteps of fellow Belgian and European bantamweight champion Jean Pierre Cossemyns, who defeated future world featherweight champion Hogan "Kid" Bassey in his first trip to the UK in the autumn of 1952.

Napa, 17-6 (1), has won four straight, including three defenses of the British bantamweight title, since dropping a close contest of previous European kingpin Simone Maludrottu last March and the 30 year old Hackney man is banking on a world title shot should he succeed in ripping the belt from Ballone.

Frank Maloney Promotions presents "Dapa Napa", Ian Napa vs. Carmelo Ballone for the Bantamweight Championship of Europe at York Hall, London, England on Friday, October 17, 2008.

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

Jon Thaxton "Lets Be Having You"

Jon Thaxton is confident that sparring with former world champion Junior Witter will ensure he is crowned European lightweight champion on Saturday.

Thaxton goes for glory at the Norfolk Showground which will be televised live on ITV4 “Big Fight Live” show as part of a new deal with Hennessy Sports.

Thaxton faces Spaniard Juan Carlos Diaz Melero for the vacant European Lightweight Title after being stopped on a cut by world class Russian Yuri Romanov in April for the same title.

To get ready for Melero, Thaxton has been sparring with Yorkshire man Witter, the former WBC, European and British light-welterweight champion.

"This will be a lot different from the last fight against Romanov and no stone has been left unturned to make sure I am the new European lightweight champion on Saturday," said Thaxton.

"Forget about my last fight – I know I started slow. My team were right in stopping the Romanov fight when they did in the sixth, but I felt I was coming on towards the end of it.

"Melero had Romanov down before Romanov came back to stop him, but Romanov never put me down. I know Melero is a very capable boxer and he’s adaptable, but we’ve prepared for every situation.

"I’ve been sparring with Junior Witter and if I can handle him, a former world and European champion, I can handle anything. Junior pushes me and we have prepared for anything Melero is going to throw at me.

"There’s going to be a big audience on ITV4 and to be fighting in Norwich is such a big boost for me. Both those factors will give me an edge, but I will block out all the fans and the cameras on the night."

Thaxton's fellow Norwich boxer Danny McIntosh is also involved in a big fight on the same show.

Unbeaten McIntosh takes on Ipswich's Steve Spartacus in an East Anglia derby for the English Light-Heavyweight Title.

"I want to show the Norwich fans and a big TV audience on ITV4 what I can do," said McIntosh.

"The last Norwich show was a while back and I’ve improved since then, and I want to show the Norwich fans that."

Stylish London-Irish welterweight John O'Donnell, 22, prepares for an upcoming British Title Eliminator with Young Mutley in an eight-round bout with Frenchman Mihaita Mutu, who extended former British light-welterweight champion Lenny Daws to points in June and also has a win over former British champion Barry Morrison.

Langel's Pizza To Host "Radisson Rumble" Weigh-Ins Open To The Public

October 1 (Merrillville, IN) - This Thursday, Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana fight fans are invited to Langel's Pizza 2833 Highway Ave., Highland, IN for the official weigh-ins for Octavius James One In A Million Inc.'s "Radisson Rumble". Beginning at 6:00 p.m., fans will have the opportunity to meet all of the fighters on the seven-bout card that will be held the following night, Friday, October 3rd at the Radisson Hotel @ Star Plaza Merrillville, IN. "This is going to be a fun night." said Langel Pizza's owner Rodney Langel. "I am excited to have the Official Weigh-Ins back at Langel's for this event. After a great turnout for the Round Card Girl Contest we held here last week I know the fans are eager to see the fighters for the event as well. I invite everyone to come join us Thursday Night and enjoy the Weigh-Ins."

In the Main Event Chicago's Own Michael "Midnight Stalker" Walker (18-1, 12 KO's) looks to return to the win column in his rematch from the Main Event of ESPN 2 facing Antwun Echols (31-8, 27 KO's).

In the Co-Main Event Derrick "Superman" Findley (12-2, 7KOs) who is coming off a devastating second round TKO win over Andrezj Fonfara on ESPN 2 seeks to continue in his ascension up the middleweight ladder against an opponent to be announced.

Plus in a special attraction Juan "Mexican Connection" Aguilar (6-1, 3 KOs) takes on Orphius Waite (2-0, 2 KOs). Waite has started his career with a bang running through his first two opponents and will be looking to do the same against Aguilar. Aguilar on the other hand has other plans on his mind, as he will be looking to stop the undefeated Waite right in his tracks.

Also being featured are Heavyweight Michael "Quiet Assassin" Parker (6-0, 5KOs), Welterweight sensation Ed Ochoa (5-0, 5KOs), and middleweight Josh Crouch (1-0, 1KO). With a combined 12 knockouts in 13 bouts this trio of power punchers looks to bring some big punching excitement to the show.

Rounding out the card, Chicago's Own Boxing Promoter Middleweight Sammy Merza (14-1, 11 KO's) returns inside the ring for his first bout in over three years.

Official "Radisson Rumble" Weigh-Ins
Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 6PM
Langel's Pizza - 2833 Highway Ave., Highland, IN - (219) 923-4900

Radisson Hotel @ Star Plaza is conveniently located at I-65 & US 30 in Merrillville, IN.

Ticket prices are $100 VIP $75 VIP ringside $50 ringside $30 general admission.

Tickets for the "Radisson Rumble" can be purchased online at any Ticket Master location or by calling 219-791-1234, 312-559-1212, or 866-438-7372

Article posted on 01.10.2008

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