UK Boxing News: James DeGale; Brian Magee; Darren Sunderland

Olympic gold medallist James DeGale today teamed up with other celebrities in an initiative against knife crime. "No to Knives" - which also has the backing of Prime Minister Gordon Brown - is aims to reduce knife crime across the UK. Today DeGale, who the Olympic middleweight champion, was on hand at Coin St Community Centre in south east London to help launch the campaign, with a number of other celebrities, including John Terry, Ashley Cole, Denise Lewis, Brooke Kinsella, Austin Healey and MC Bashy..

Its steering committed includes Asda UK, Bebo, BRIT Trust, Rio Ferdinand, The Football Foundation, Simon Fuller, Brooke Kinsella, MOBO Awards, The Peace Alliance, Premier League, Damilola Taylor Trust, Ashley Tabor and Ashley Thomas.

"I've been asked to do all kinds of campaigns since I came back from the Olympics, but this is closest to my heart," said DeGale.

"It's fantastic to get involved, especially as I'm a from north west London where we have had a problem with knife crime in recent years.

"People carry a knife around because they think they need to protect themselves or because it makes them feel like a man, but the message we have to get over is a simple one: Leave them at home.

"If I can only stop one or two people carrying knives, then my involvement will have been a success."

DeGale, 22, also believes that boxing, as well as other community based schemes, can play a part in tackling what is a growing problem.

"In the end, it's all about respect, and if you're doing something constructive that makes you feel good then you will start respecting yourself, and other people.

"Boxing is my thing, my way of respecting myself and other people, but if people do it in a rugby club or a computer club or whatever kind of club, then it doesn't matter."


Brian Magee is looking to revive his career by making sure Irish eyes are smiling at the end of his British Super-Middleweight Title showdown against Stevie McGuire at the Brentwood Centre on Saturday, 13th December 2008.

The Belfast boxer has his third crack at becoming British champion after losing to newly crowned WBC world champion Carl Froch in 2006 and then being held to a controversial draw with Tony Oakey last year.

The draw with Oakey was for the British Light-Heavyweight Title but Magee has returned to his natural super-middleweight division and feels better for it.

The former IBO champion hopes to end the 15-fight unbeaten record of McGuire (Glenrothes, Scotland) on the Hennessy Sports show that is being shown live on ITV4 at 8.40pm.

Froch (Nottingham, England) beat Jean Pascal (Quebec, Canada) for the vacant WBC world title on Saturday and Magee is confident he will follow 'The Cobra' to world title level.

First Magee must beat McGuire and set up a possible shot at the European title next year.

"Itís hard to argue against Carl Froch being the best super-middleweight in the world after Saturdayís performance, so Iíve taken confidence from the fact that I pushed him close to the wire when we fought," said Magee.

"Carl stopped me in the 11th round but two judges had me just one point behind at that stage and that was the first time I had been knocked out in my career.

"Carl is superb and won the world title last weekend and I believe I can win titles beyond domestic level.

"I should have got the decision in Germany when I fought Vitali Tsypko and heís waiting for a world title shot now.

"Iím concentrating full on this fight but Iím also looking ahead to where I want to go, which is where Carl Froch is.

"Iíve had to come down a level to get fights and I even had an attempt at the light-heavyweight title, but I was never happy at that weight. I didnít feel myself in that fight, even though it was a controversial decision.

"McGuire is going to be ready for the fight of his life so Iíve got to be on top of my game to get myself up there for bigger things which I believe Iím capable of."

"I think Brian looked really good in his last fight; he looked in excellent condition and looked sharp. I was at ringside when he fought for the European title a couple years ago in Germany and I thought he clearly won the fight and he should have been crowned European Champion that night," said promoter Mick Hennessy.

"If he can win the British title this Saturday, then heís got a great chance of fighting for the European title next year."

Also on the bill, Darren Barker (Barnet, England) defends his Commonwealth Middleweight Title against Jason McKay (Banbridge, Northern Ireland).

The 1 Night, 2 Titles official weigh in will be held at the Baytree Shopping Centre, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4BX on Friday 12th December at 1pm

Tickets are available from the Brentwood Centre Box Office on 01277 262616 or via the web

Frank Maloney relieved

DARREN SUTHERLAND'S promoter Frank Maloney was a relieved man when the Dubliner's first professional training camp ended last night

The Olympic bronze medallist makes his long awaited professional debut against Bulgarian Georgi Iliev at Dublin City University on Thursday December 18.

Maloney and trainer Brian Lawrence have been amazed at the way 'Dazzler' handled a procession of sparring partners at their London training base.

Maloney said: "Darren has worked his way through nine sparring partners inside the last month.

"I am not going to name any of them because they didn't moan and got on with the job.

"Most of them were on the floor and if they weren't going over they were on receiving end, but they were true professionals and never complained.

"I am just relieved it is all over because I have been on the phone non-stop getting lads in."

Maloney fears that he will now have to import sparring partners or take Darren around Britain to gain gym experience.

He added: "I have a good overseas network so it will not be a problem bringing sparring over, but I like the idea of Darren using gyms in Britain.

"I have been offered some facilities in Manchester by one of my associates where he says there will be good sparring and that is a possibility.

"We have to get the Iliev fight out of the way first. Then Darren can enjoy the holidays with his family before he knuckles down again.

"It has been a whirlwind few weeks for him and I dare say he can't wait to see his family and get some rest."

Iliev knocked out Castlebar's Keith Cresham on a previous visit to Ireland in a six-round super-middleweight bout.

Maloney quipped: "He could have knocked out King Kong for all I care. He won't be repeating that performance."

Rendall Munroe's European super-bantamweight title defence against Fabrizio Trotta tops the DCU bill which will be televised live in Britain and Ireland by Sky Sports.

Dublin prospect Paul Hyland (12-1) faces Eugene Heagney (7-1) in a local battle where the winner could be lined up to face European bantamweight champion Ian Napa.

Kiko Martinez (19-1), who knocked out Bernard Dunne in seconds, boxes a six rounder on the undercard.

London based Irishman Martin Power (19-3); the former British bantamweight champion faces a tough test against Gary Davies (7-2-1).

Manchester's Craig Watson (13-2) defends his Commonwealth welterweight title against Adnan Amar (22-1), a protťgť of Dubliner Brendan Ingle.

A third title bout on the bill sees Jason Booth (30-5) risks his Commonwealth bantamweight crown against Sean Hughes (15-7-1).

Tickets for the big Dublin bill cost 100 Euros and 50 Euros and are available from, To order from Ireland by phone call 08 18 719300, and from UK 0871 226 1508.

Article posted on 10.12.2008

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