UK Boxing News: Mark Thompson; Darren Sutherland

FRANK MALONEY is backing Heywood powerhouse Mark Thompson to settle the promoter's row with estranged fighter Craig Watson. KO artist Thompson (18-1) boxes Ghanaian Philip Kotey (19-4) in a final eliminator for Watson's Commonwealth welterweight championship at Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke on Friday 23rd January. Watson who quit Maloney's successful stable last month will have to defend against the winner by June 30..

Maloney said: "Mark's manager Steve Wood has been nagging me like the wife to get his man in with Watson.

"Right now I would say that Mark is one of the Britain's most concussive punchers and I believe he will walk through Watson.

"In fact I think the African is a tougher test than what Watson will ever be."

Watson was handled expertly by Maloney for more than three years before he showed no loyalty and jumped ship.

Maloney added: "I am very upset with Craig and a fight against Mark has become personal for me because he walked out after I built his career.

"He listened to hot air spoken by somebody else and decided he would be better off elsewhere.

"Like other fighters who have returned to me over the last year he will find out the grass isn't greener on the other side.

"Other fighters I took back, but Watson is one boxer who will discover there is no room at the inn if he wants a stable to return to."

Top of the bill on the biggest night of professional boxing in The Potteries for years is local boy Chris Edwards (11-13-3) showdown with Wayne Bloy (5-3-1) for the vacant British and Commonwealth flyweight title.

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


IRISH Olympic hero Darren Sutherland returned to the gym today (MON) to continue his assault on the world super-middleweight title.

Sutherland, 26, has his second professional at Robin Park Arena, Wigan on Friday March 6 when he faces a selected opponent over six rounds.

The Dubliner who stopped Georgi Iliev on his debut last month, returned to London last night after a three week break with his family.

Dazzler spent Christmas and New Year at home and then took parents Linda and Tony, and 17-year-old sister Shaneika on a seven day break to Tenerife.

And Sutherland who lives, eats and sleeps boxing revealed he was desperate to get back to trainer Brian Lawrence during his first family holiday for several years.

The most exciting prospect in world boxing said: "It was the longest period I have spent with my parents for years and we reflected on my success.

"I ran every day while I was in Tenerife xcept one. I needed routine because the only thing to do was eat and sunbathe.

"I was itching to get back to the gym by the start of the New Year and I'm glad I listened to my advisors and booked the trip or else I would not have gone.

"I would have headed back to London and started training for my next fight. I can't wait to get back in the gym, even though I'll be up at 5am Monday morning."

The mega card in Wigan will be topped by Salford southpaw Jamie Moore who challenges Italy's former world champ Michele Piccirillo for the vacant European light middleweight title.

Also on the bill is middleweight Prizefighter winner Martin Murray, who is arguably Britain's most exciting fighter.

Tickets for this big night of action priced 90 (VIP Ringside), 80 and 35 are available from and 0871 226 1508

Article posted on 10.01.2009

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