News: James DeGale; Joey Spina; Danny McIntosh

James DeGale will be fighting fit for his professional debut - and so will health conscious members of the public he is working with. The Olympic gold medallist will have his first fight under promoter Frank Warren on February 28 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. He's been training hard under taskmaster Jim McDonnell, ensuring that he is in the best shape possible for his big night..

And now DeGale is poised to pass on some of McDonnell's secrets after signing up for The Feelgood Factor for ITV1, a major new initiative to encourage the nation to get fit and lose weight.

The high-profile campaign, supported by ITV's most popular shows and their stars, will see three groups of viewers with bad eating habits and poor exercise regimes attempt to get fitter with celebrity mentors.

Eamonn Holmes and Mylenne Klass will host the show.

DeGale will take training sessions with one of the groups, and is delighted to be involved.

"Healthy living is really important and it will be great to pass on a few tips," said DeGale.

"And I'll be able to sympathise because when I was I kid I was called 'Chunky' because I was a bit over weight.

"But although I'll push my group hard, I won't be as tough with them as Jim McDonnell is with me - it wouldn't be fair!

"I don't think I've ever worked as much as have done in the last few weeks, and Jimmy is leaving no stone unturned to get me in the best possible shape for my debut.

"Things have been going fantastic in the gym - and I could have my first pro fight tomorrow I feel so good.

"I can't wait to find out who I will be fighting and to get in the ring on February 28 and get my career started with a bang."

Tickets for the Olympian show, priced at £30, £50, £100 and £150, are available from: Ticket Factory 0844 338 8000

Spina rededicates himself for loyal fans

“February Frenzy,” Feb. 6 at Twin River Event Center, RI

PROVIDENCE (January 28, 2009) – World rated light heavyweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina, former USNBC and IBF Intercontinental champion, has rededicated himself for his loyal fans as he prepares for his next fight February 6 at Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Spina (23-1-1, 16 KOs), rated No. 14 by the WBO and No. 15 by the WBC, takes on Kansas veteran Matt Gockel (12-9, 7 KOs) in the 8-round main event. Spina, who holds victories against former world champion Carl Daniels and super middleweight contender Jesse Brinkley, has had a somewhat sputtering pro career that he’s vowed to turn around starting Feb. 6.

“I’ve been like the weather – sometimes hot, sometimes cold, dedicated and not so focused at times,” he explained. “I’m 31 with a 23-1-1 record and I don’t plan on fighting until I’m 40. I’m ready to do what I’m capable of doing in the ring. I’m going to bust my butt this year, fighting better and better fighters, and then get in position to fight for a title next year. I want a chance to fight for a world title and be considered a real contender. That’s my goal. Fans either love or hate Joey Spina, either way they love to watch me fight. I want to thank my loyal fans for supporting the ‘KO Kid’ for the past 10 years. Hearing their yells is inspiring.

“I’m sharper than I’ve ever been. I’ve been working on my balance, shifting my hips, and pressing forward with my hands up. I’m going to wear down opponents. I already have seen a difference. Throw in a slip, force my opponent to go backwards, and then put them to sleep. Gockel is coming down from cruiserweight to fight at light heavyweight; I’m going back up because I can fluctuate between 168 and 175. I’m strong at either weight. He’s not going to be able to stand in front of me. The “KO Kid” is back!

Providence favorite Bobo “The Bull” Starnino (9-4-2, 2 KOs) faces “Irish” Joey McCreedy (9-2-1, 5 KOs), of Lowell (MA), again in a rematch of a draw they fought to last year, for the vacant Eastern Boxing Association (EBA) super middleweight title in the 8-round co-feature.

Former 4-time U.S. national amateur champion Bobby Harris will be inducted into the prestigious CES Ring of Honor during a special “February Frenzy” card ceremony. Burchfield established the CES Ring of Honor in 2005 in order to pay respect to inductees for their special achievements and contributions to New England boxing. CES Ring of Honor inductees include Rocky Marciano, Vinny Paz, Micky Ward, Marlon Starling, Jose Antonio Rivera, John Scully Ray Oliveira, Gary Balletto and Demetrius Andrade. Harris reached the 1992 U.S. Olympic Box-Offs and captured a gold medal at the 1993 National Golden Gloves Tournament. The Worcester (MA) resident went on to a 20-2-1 (13) pro record as a heavyweight and last fought in 1999.

Harris will be in the corner of his younger brother, unbeaten Worcester cruiserweight Adam “The Hitman” Harris (10-0, 7 KOs), who will fight Philadelphia boxer David Williams (5-2-1, 2 KOs) in a 6-round bout.

Undefeated Pawtucket fighter Eddie “The Puerto Rican Sensation” Soto (10-0, 4 KOs) meets another Lowell native, Sean Eklund (6-2, 1 KO), who will have his uncle and head trainer, “Irish” Micky Ward, in his corner for their 6-round bout for the EBA New England lightweight belt.

Also on the undercard in 4-round bouts are U. of Connecticut graduate Brian Macy (5-0, 2 KOs) vs. Anthony Pietrantonio (4-2, 3 KOs); Providence junior welterweight Jesus Caro (3-0, 3 KOs) vs. Olade “One Shot” Thomas (1-3, 0 KOs); W. Warwick (RI) super middleweight Keith Kozlin (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Daren Graham (1-4, 1 KO); Worcester heavyweight Rashad Minor (1-0, 1 KO) in his CES debut vs. Shawn McLean (2-4, 1 KO); Providence cruiserweight Jay Holland making his pro debut vs. Kevin Varnadore (0-4); Providence junior welterweight “Steamin’” Josh Beeman (4-2-2, 2 KOs) vs. Jamar Saunders (2-1, 1 KO).

Tickets for “February Frenzy” are priced at limited $25.00 SRO, $35.00, $45.00 (Bronze), $65.00 (Silver), $100.00 (Gold) and limited $150.00 (Jimmy’s Platinum Club) and are available to purchase by calling CES (401.724.2253/2254), going on line at or, at Twin River’s Players Club booth at Twin River, or any TicketMaster location.

Contact CES (401.724.2253/2254/ or Twin River Event Center (877.82.RIVER/ for more information. Doors open at 5::30 PM/ET, first bout at 6:30 PM/ET.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “February Frenzy.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by an adult and they must enter through the West entrance.)

McIntosh up for Barney

There must be something in the water in Norwich with English Light Heavyweight champ, Danny McIntosh joining a long line of big punchers from the area including former WBO heavyweight champ, Herbie Hide and reigning European Lightweight champ Jon Thaxton. There’s only one problem – McIntosh wishes he didn’t punch so hard!

The undefeated 28-year-old is looking to defend his title (subject to Board approval) against Matthew Barney at the Norfolk Showground in his hometown on February 28th live on ITV4 and he’s hoping to get some rounds under his belt against seasoned campaigner Barney.

McIntosh raised some eyebrows last time out with a stunning one punch KO of Rod Anderton on the Carl Froch – Jean Pascal undercard in December but he says it was a result that brought mixed feelings.

“I’m just as happy to get the rounds in to be honest”, said McIntosh. “I knew as soon as I hit Anderton that he was gone and it was ‘fight over’ but I’d prefer to go a few rounds and get the experience under my belt. I suppose the KO’s are pretty exciting for the crowd and that last one was pretty spectacular but I was actually hoping it would have gone a bit longer!

“Nobody thought of me as a puncher earlier on in my career but the truth is I’d rather do the rounds and get the experience under my belt. I’ve still only had 9 fights so I like to get as much ring time as possible. On the plus side my last couple of wins have been on ITV so it’s great to get that kind of coverage on big bills because it gets people talking about you.”

Prior to his quick fire win in Nottingham McIntosh had claimed the English title stopping local rival Steve Spartacus in a real thriller at the Norfolk Showgrounds. McIntosh is looking forward to his return there next month when he provides the chief support to Jon Thaxton’s first defence of his European title.

“It’s always nice to fight in Norwich and having all your own supporters there does give you that extra boost. It’s great that there are big shows back in Norwich. I’ve had a lot of advice from Jon down through the years and he’s someone I’ve always looked up to.

“In fact it was Jon who inspired me to go to Sheffield to train with the Ingles. He did the same thing and of course it’s a sacrifice with the travel and everything but it’s too easy to stay at home and have the home comforts. There’s a lot of good boxers here in Norwich so I felt that to break out of the pack I’d have to link up with the Ingles.”

McIntosh knows he can make a real statement if he can impress against Matthew Barney. The Southampton man is on an impressive run of wins following his last defeat, a point’s loss to Carl Froch for the British Super Middleweight title in 2005.

“Barney’s a good fighter, very elusive and awkward and he’s fought at top level,” said McIntosh. “In my opinion he was robbed in a European title in Germany a few years back and he’s on a good run lately so he will fancy the job. I think a good win over Barney can make a bit of a statement and catapult me to the top of the British ratings but it will be my hardest challenge yet. There aren’t too many guys queuing up to fight him.”

McIntosh says he doesn’t fear any of his domestic rivalries and feels he will be ready for any of them in another couple of fights. “Tony Oakey’s a good pro but he’s not a natural light heavy and I don’t think Nathan Cleverly’s as good as is made out either. I think the biggest threat out there is still Dean Francis, He’s a top notch fighter but I believe I’m as good as any of them and if I can just get a little bit more experience I believe I can go on to win the British and Commonwealth titles and who knows after that. We already have one European Champ in Norwich, who’s to say we couldn’t have another one.”

Tickets for the English Light Heavyweight title clash between McIntosh and Barney and Jon Thaxton’s first European title defence at the Norfolk Showground, Norwich on the 28th February are available from the Ticketline box office on 0871 424 4444 or via

Article posted on 28.01.2009

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