UK Boxing: Herbie Hide vs Kosobokovs, Thaxton vs Melero on Saturday, Henry Castle

Herbie Hide will have his first fight in Britain for four years in a non-title eight round bout at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich on Saturday, 4th October. The former world heavyweight champion boxes in an eight-round bout against Aleksejs Kosobokovs (Latvia), who has won two of his last three fights by first round stoppage and went the distance with Willi Fischer (Germany) last year..

Hide's comeback is part of the Hennessy Sports bill which includes Jon Thaxton's (Norwich) European Lightweight Title challenge against Juan Carlos Diaz Melero (Spain) as top of the bill and Danny McIntosh (Norwich) versus Steve Spartacus (Ipswich) for the English Light-Heavyweight Title. ITV4 ‘Big Fight Live’ will televise from 8.45pm.

Hide suffered a nasty cut in his last fight in Britain, causing the bout against Mindaugas Kulikauskas (Lithuania) to be stopped.

Since then, Hide has been based in Germany and dropped down a division to cruiserweight where he has won nine fights back-to-back and claimed the WBC International Title.

Hide, 37, is ranked at No 5 by the WBC and is closing in on a shot at the prestigious world title.

As he prepares for his big chance to become a two-weight world champion, Hide returns to action in Norwich where he has moved back to.

Promoter Mick Hennessy believes Hide can be a force to be reckoned with in the cruiserweight division.

"Last time Herbie appeared over here was four years ago on a Hennessy Sports show and he has returned over here on a Hennessy Sports show as I've got an agreement to work on his career going forward with Ahmet Oener off Arena box," said Hennessy.

"Herbie is No 5 with the WBC and that rating should improve soon. We are looking to get him a final eliminator for the prestigious WBC world title early next year.

"I think he's capable of beating any cruiserweight in the world even at this stage of his career and he is capable of becoming world champion again.

"Herbie has done very well in Germany. He has been very dedicated and changed his life around. Arena Box have done a great job with him.

"Last time he fought here he was unfortunate because his career was picking up and he got a nasty cut which set him back a bit.

"He is back living in England now and this fight is just to reintroduce him to the UK market. It will also keep him busy because he is in an excellent position to fight for a world title again.

"He is back living in Norwich and he can see the venue from his house so he is going to walk there on the night. He is very proud to come from Norwich and is very excited to be on this show."

European Lightweight Title Fight

Jon Thaxton believes victory over Juan Carlos Diaz Melero on Saturday will put him in contention for the World Lightweight Title.

Norwich’s former British champion faces Juan Carlos Diaz Melero (Spain) for the vacant European Lightweight Title at the Norfolk Showground as top of the bill on the Hennessy Sport’s show live on ITV4 ‘Big Fight Live.

Jono was stopped halfway through his fight with Yuri Romanov (Russia), which was also for the European Lightweight Title, in April but promoter Mick Hennessy has secured a second opportunity for him.

Thaxton says victory over former European champion Melero will propel him towards a world title shot.

“I want to be a world champion, or at least fight for a world title, and still believe I can do it,” he said.

“I always believe I can win a fight, whether it’s fighting Melero, Amir Khan or even Romanov again.

“Winning this title could launch me on to the world title scene. I have been a pro 16 years and I deserve a lucky break and I could get a world title being European champion.

“I’m 34 – only just – and you have got the likes of Nate Campbell, Joel Casamayor and Juan Manuel Marquez who are all older than me and at the top of my division.

“Campbell is the world champion with three world titles and he is 37. Casamayor is also 37 and he has just been beaten by Marquez, who seems to be getting better and he is 35.

“So when I see them doing it I think to myself why I can’t do the same. I’ve been a pro a long time and have got a lot of experience and ring knowledge.

“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.

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

King Henry Added To October 17 York Hall Show

Rugged spoiler "King" Henry Castle has torn through four opponents over the past year, turning his career around on the strength of solid performances to earn a shot at one of the top lightweights in the UK.

The 29 year old former amateur standout meets Graham Earl in a crucial crossroads battle at London's York Hall on Friday, October 17, providing chief support to British champion Ian Napa's challenge of European bantamweight ruler Carmelo Ballone on a Frank Maloney promotion.

30 year old Earl, 25-3 (12), rose to the British and Commonwealth lightweight titles under Maloney's guidance and was on the verge of a European title shot when he jumped ship to a rival promoter and was gunned down in consecutive bouts, first in a slugfest by world rated contender Michael Katsidis and then Amir Khan, who's fast hands swept Earl under the rug in just one round.

The big hearted Luton grafter has returned to the Maloney fold but will have to claw his way back up the mountain if he is to once again compete for title belts and standing in the way of that ambition is the determined Castle.

Castle, 18-4 (10), has his own checkered past, losing early to underrated Ugandan hard man John Mackay in 2003 and then suffering a cuts stoppage to the unheralded Jus Wallie in the next bout. Losses to undefeated prospects Gareth Couch and Ian Wilson in 2005 and 2007, respectively, put the Sherfield resident in a corner that he literally had to fight has way out of.

And he did exactly that, outpointing Belfast stylist Kevin O'Hara before mounting a torrid 2008 campaign that saw Castle win every round against durable Frenchman Frederic Gossett and then stop both experienced Ryan Barrett and promising prospect Lee Cook, all before the end of June.

When the bell sounds to begin their clash on October 17, Castle and Earl will share a very real sense of desperation as both men realize that a loss will put an end to any meaningful career advancement and one of the most compelling clashes to take place this year in a British ring should happen before a packed York Hall audience.

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.

Herbie Hide back in action in England

The “Dancing Destroyer” faces Aleksejs Kosobokovs in Norwich

Tomorrow (Saturday) “Dancing Destroyer” Herbie Hide will be back in action in his home town Norwich, Norfolk. It will be Herbie’s first appearance in England since 2004 when he lost to Mindaugas Kulikauskas from Lithuania.

“That was the darkest moment of my career”, states Hide. “But now I’m back at the top. I am ready to dance and destroy in front of my home crowd.”

Hide will face Aleksejs Kosobokovs from Latvia at the Norwich Showground. The show will be promoted by Mick Hennessy and Hennessy Sports.

“It is good and important for Herbie to fight in the UK again”, says promoter Ahmet Öner. “We are glad that we found a great co-promoter in Micky Hennessy. Besides Germany the UK is the most important boxing market in Europe so it is good for ARENA to show presence in England.”

Article posted on 03.10.2008

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