UK Boxing News: Kell Brook; James DeGale; Chris Edwards

The world famous Ingle camp in Sheffield are backing welterweight hot shot Kell Brook to match the achievements of the gym's other world champions, Naseem Hamed, Johnny Nelson and Junior Witter. Brook, still only 22, makes the second defence of his British title on January 30 at Bethnal Green's York Hall against Stuart Elwell..

And trainer Dominic Ingle - who shares corner duties with his father Brendan and brother John - is expecting big things from "The Kid".

"It will be a travesty if Kell doesn't become a world champion with the talent that he has," said Ingle.

"In fact, our biggest problem at the moment is getting him opponents who will test him, because the only danger that I can see is complacency.

"I'd like to see him challenging for European honours by the end of the year and working on his world rankings because he's a world class fighter and needs to be pushed all the time.

"He's still young, but fighters like Naz were challenging for world titles at a similar kind of age."

Brook had a memorable 2008, capturing the British title against Barrie Jones at York Hall, then knocking out former champion Kevin McIntyre in the first round in Glasgow.

Both victories saw Brook display plenty of power against opponents who have troubled other fighters.

"Against Jones, people said that Kell was gifted the title, but a couple of months later Jones gave Souleymane M'Baye a tough fight and should have got the decision," said Ingle.

"And McIntyre was being tipped for victory before Kell did a job on him. Those Kell's two toughest fights, and he gave his best two performances as a professional."

Meanwhile Brook, unbeaten in 18 fights with 11 stoppages, has trained throughout Christmas and the New Year.

"The gym is very competitive, and no one does you any favours," said Ingle. "Kell knows that he has to be in shape and not cut corners because otherwise he'll get found out.

"But his attitude is fantastic and he's working so hard. He put in 14 weeks before he fought McIntyre, and he's had another great camp ahead of this fight, so we are expecting another explosive performance."

DeGale tops list with Obama!

Boxing sensation James DeGale has been backed as one to watch in 2009 - alongside US President elect Barack Obama.

The Olympic middleweight gold medallist has been picked by Britain's longest running Afro-Caribbean newspaper The Voice as one of the faces of the New Year.

And he features alongside other movers and shakers in the worlds of sport, politics, show-business and finance, including Obama, Usain Bolt, Lewis Hamilton and X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke.

"Barack Obama is such an inspirational figure and to be mentioned in the same context as him is fantastic," said DeGale, who will make his professional debut later this year.

"He'll become the most powerful man on the planet when he takes office - and I'm aiming to become the most powerful boxer in the world!

"Seriously, it's great to get this kind of recognition, and I'm determined to prove a point when I make my debut and show everyone what I can do.

"It's not long now until I turn professional, and I'm counting down the days until I finally step through the ropes.

"I trained over Christmas and the New Year, and I'm raring to go."


CHRIS EDWARDS has been given a double boost at the expense of unlucky Ian Napa.

Stoke-on-Trent warrior Chris, 32, will now top the bill in his hometown at Fenton Manor Sports Complex on Friday January 23 when he challenges Wayne Bloy (5-3-1) for the vacant British flyweight championship.

Their exciting match-up will now be a double title battle with the vacant Commonwealth crown also on the line.

Londoner Napa was meant to headline the Potteries card, but went down with a severe bout of flu over Christmas and has been forced to withdraw from his European bantamweight title defence.

Promoter Frank Maloney: "My partners on the show from Impact Boxing tell me Stoke is sleeping giant for boxing.

"Here is the perfect opportunity for them to get behind their man and roar him to a famous victory.

"No domestic flyweight has dominated at home for years and Chris (11-13-3) has the perfect chance here.

"If he wins impressively and the locals get behind him we can build boxing in the area around him. It is a chance he must grab with both hands.

"The way Staffordshire people have got behind the Stoke City this season shows how passionate the people are. The fans at the Britannia Stadium are like an extra player."

With Napa injured Maloney and Impact Boxing have added a magnificent final eliminator for the Commonwealth welterweight title to the bill.

Manchester's wildly exciting Mark Thompson (18-1) will face Ghanaian southpaw Philip Kotey (19-4). Current welterweight champion Craig Watson must face the winner by June 30 or be stripped.

Maloney added: Mark's manager and co-promoter Steve Wood keeps telling me his man deserves a fight with Watson. He is now one win away."

Another great fight on the bill sees the show's co-promoter Scott Lawton (25-4-1) make the first defence of his English lightweight title against Salisbury's Henry Castle (19-4).

Tickets for 'Stoking the Fire' are priced 35 and 70. They can be obtained from or 0871 226 1508

Article posted on 06.01.2009

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