UK News: Barrera-Khan; Moore vs Piccirillo; Small vs Rhodes

HOBOKEN, N.J. (March 2, 2009) – The 12-round main event March 14th between 22-year-old lightweight prospect Amir Khan and Hall of Fame bound multiple world champion, “The Baby Faced Assassin” Marco Antonio Barrera, shapes up as a potential classic at The M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom. Khan (19-1, 15 KOs), 2004 Olympic silver medallist, defends his WBA International lightweight crown against Barrera (65-6, 43 KOs) in a 12-round bout..

Barrera, rated No. 1 by the WBO, has already captured the WBO super bantamweight (three times), WBC and IBO featherweight, WBC and IBF super featherweight titles. The Mexican icon has defeated a Who’s Who of contemporary world champions and/or challengers during his sensational 19-year pro career such as Erik Morales (twice), Paulie Ayala, Prince Naseem Hamed, Kevin Kelly, Johnny Tapia, Robbie Peden, Mzonke Fana, and Rocky Juarez (twice).

“The reason I took this fight is because a win here puts me in line to realize my top remaining goal to become the first Mexican-born fighter to win world championships in four separate weight divisions,” Barrera said. “I’ve been world champion in three weight divisions (122, 126 and 130) and my goal is to win a world championship in the lightweight division. I don’t want to wait. I want to get there as fast as I can. A win over Khan puts me right where I want to be.

“I will beat Khan because I have more experience than him and I’m still a much better fighter than he is. Khan is tall and has a good jab and hand speed. He is a good young fighter but there’s nothing he can do between now and March 14 to surpass my skills and experience. Jose Luis Balbuena and Kennedy McKinney are two fighters I successfully defended my WBO super bantamweight titles that I can compare to Khan. They were both good fighters with good hand speed that I was able to defeat. McKinney won an Olympic gold medal. Don’t forget what I did to Prince Naseem Hamed, too, another highly-touted guy with fast hands.”

Integrated Sports is distributing three 12-round championship bouts featured on the “Khan-Barrera” pay-per-view card, presented by Frank Warren, in North America for live viewing at 4 PM/ET – 1 PM/PT on cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, TVN, DirecTV and Dish Network in the United States, as well as Viewer’s Choice and Bell TV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. Veteran blow-by-blow announcer Ian Darke and color analyst, former WBC lightweight champion Jim Watt, will be calling the action from ringside for Sky Box Office and Integrated Sports PPV.

In addition to Khan-Barrera, two other fights will be broadcast on PPV: former WBO cruiserweight title-holder Enzo Maccarinelli (29-2, 22 KOs), the No. 1 contender, battles No. 2 rated and NABO champ Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi (13-1-3, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBO cruiserweight championship; WBO super middleweight champion Nicky “Cookie” Cook (29-1, 16 KOs) defends his title belt against undefeated No. 1 contender Roman “Rocky” Martinez (21-0-1, 12 KOs).

The Ring No. 6 rated Maccarinelli beat Mohamed Azzaoui, Wayne Braithwaite, Bobby Gunn, Marcelo Fabian Dominguez and Mark Hobson (twice) during his WBO title reign (2006-2008). London-born Afolabi, now living in California, captured the NABO crown last April with a 10th round TKO of previously unbeaten Eric Fields.

Former European champion Cook, rated No. 6 by The Ring, won the WBO super featherweight title via a 12-round unanimous decision in his last fight against Alex Arthur (26-1). NABO super featherweight title-holder Martinez, fighting out of his native Puerto Rico, is rankd WBA No. 9 by The Ring.

Moore Ready For European Title Shot Against Piccirillo

One of Great Britain's most accomplished fighters gets the long awaited chance to step out of the domestic scene and into a hotly anticipated European title shot as light middleweight Jamie Moore meets highly seasoned Italian Michele Piccirillo on Friday, March 6 at Robin Park Arena in Wigan, England.

For 30 year old Moore, 30-3 (21), it's the opportunity to put nearly two years of aborted challenges to former champion Zaurkbek Baysangurov in the past and thrust himself onto the world stage with a victory for the vacant Continental crown.

But the English southpaw isn't being given an easy task by any means as Piccirillo, 50-4 (29), is one of the most experienced boxers on the planet at 154 pounds, having held the IBF title at welterweight and the European belt in two weight classes.

The still sharp 39 year old Italian has constructed a highly decorated resume since turning pro in 1992, racking up wins over the likes of Cory Spinks, Juan Martin Coggi, Frankie Randall, Rafael Pineda and Alessandro Duran while only losing over the last 13 years to Spinks, Ricardo Mayorga and Vernon Forrest in world title fights.

The man from Mudugno in southern Italy brings the advantage of having participated in nine world and European title clashes while Moore will be making his maiden voyage onto the European scene.

Moore clambered to the top of the UK light middleweights with stirring victories over Michael Jones, Gary Logan, David Walker, Andrew Facey and in particular, a shattering come from behind destruction of Matthew Macklin in 2006 for what could turn out to be the British Fight of the Decade.

The first Lonsdale Belt winner from Salford in over 100 years also proved his meddle over international competition with a dominating twelve round points verdict over two-time world welterweight title challenger Sebastian Andres Lujan in 2007 and added the Irish title to the British and Commonwealth belts already in the trophy cabinet with a third round stoppage of Ciaran Healy in Dublin last July.

Like Mayorga and Forrest, Moore is an aggressive, come forward fighter and must follow their lead in keeping Piccirillo on the defensive through constant attacks but only the best in the business have been able to pull that off against the iron-chinned Italian and this bout represents a chance for Moore to prove he belongs in their rarefied company.

Frank Maloney Promotions in association with VIP Promotions presents Jamie Moore vs. Michele Piccirillo for the Light Middleweight Championship of Europe with full supporting undercard including Irish sensation and 2008 Olympic Bronze Medallist Darren Sutherland at Robin Park Arena in Wigan, England on Friday, March 6, 2009.

Tickets, priced at £90 for VIP Ringside, £80 for Ringside and £35 General Admission are available by logging onto or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508.

Sky Sports will televise the action live on SS2 starting at 10PM.

Small: ‘Rhodes is just a stepping stone to world titles’

As brash as he is slick, Deptford’s Anthony Small has warned British light-middleweight champion Ryan Rhodes that he’s nothing but a stepping-stone en route to bigger honours for the switch-hitting Londoner.

Set to challenge Rhodes on March 28 at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, Small believes it is a fight Rhodes could have done without.

“He’s been shamed into taken this fight,” says Small, 21-1 (15 KO). “He clearly didn’t want to take this fight to begin with and now I’ve forced his hand and he’s walking into a beating.

“I don’t blame him for ducking me. I don’t blame anyone. I’m awkward, I’m fast, I’m hard-hitting and I have fun in there.”

With Rhodes agreeing to defend his belt against Small, the man nicknamed ‘Sugar Ray Clay Jones Junior’ can look forward to the most important night of his boxing life.

“This is definitely the biggest fight of my career,” admits Small, who also holds the WBA International belt. “It’s a fight for the British title against a good name in Ryan Rhodes.

“This is a real stepping stone fight for me. I believe that whatever you do in life you should aspire to be the best at it. If you want to be a road sweeper, be the best road sweeper in the world. I didn’t become a boxer to just become a British champion. Beating Rhodes on March 28 is just the start of my career.”

To get to the next step on his road to world titles, Small must first overcome the seasoned and skilful Rhodes in Liverpool. It’s a stumbling block that doesn’t fluster Small in the slightest.

“I don’t really worry about what my opponent brings to the table,” says Small. “Rhodes could come out fast and take it to me, or he could try and play the game of hit and not getting hit. It doesn’t matter – I’ll have an answer for it. I’m going to be like water. I’m going to have everything covered. All Rhodes’ boxes will be ticked by my left and right hands.

“All my opponents have the choice whether to get knocked out quick by taking it to me or receiving a sustained beating by running away. Rhodes can have it either way.”

Though similar in style and swagger, Small believes Rhodes’ superior experience will ultimately work against him on March 28.

“I’ve got youth on my side,” adds Small. “Rhodes has already been here before. He fought for the WBC International belt in his last fight. He’s been around for years. It’s not as easy to get motivated for a British title fight when you’ve been in and around that level for over a decade.

“I’m new to this. This is my big night. Rhodes is my stepping-stone to bigger things. I haven’t been in tear-ups like he has. I haven’t been knocked out a few times like he has. I haven’t got the wear and tear that he has.”

Nevertheless, Small is looking for excitement, and a bit of a tear-up, on March 28.

“I can mix it up and blend styles,” he continues. “I can win by any means necessary. You can tell me a way to fight and a way to win a fight and I’ll do it.

“Not only that, I can also mix it up much better than Rhodes. I won’t run in this fight. I’ll stand there and have it out with him if he wants it. If Rhodes wants to stand and go toe-to-toe, I’m there ready to bang with him. If he wants to run, I’ll chase him and break him down. I can beat him in a lot of different ways.

“The thing is, right now I actually want to be involved in tear-ups. I don’t want to stand off and box with someone. I want to get in with Rhodes and get dirty. Aside from all the talking, all the dancing and the showboating, I just love to fight.”

*** Anthony Small’s British title showdown with champion Ryan Rhodes is the co-main event at HAYEMAKER 6: ‘The Mersey Beatdown’ at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, on March 28. Also featured on the stacked card is local lad Tony Dodson’s British title challenge against champion Brian Magee, as well as the English title clash between Tony Quigley and Paul David and the British title eliminator between John Watson and Martin Gethin.

*** To purchase tickets to HAYEMAKER 6: ‘The Mersey Beatdown’ visit or call 0844 8000 400.

Article posted on 03.03.2009

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