News: Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7; Derry Mathews; Elcock-Macklin

NEW YORK, March 10, 2009 – HBO Sports’ groundbreaking reality franchise “24/7,” which captured three Sports Emmy® Awards for its first season and produced two acclaimed editions in year two, will return with PACQUIAO/HATTON 24/7, an all-new four-episode, all-access series, it was announced today by Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports. Debuting SATURDAY, APRIL 11 (9:30-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), the series spotlights two of boxing’s most intriguing superstars – Manny Pacquiao, the sport’s reigning pound-for-pound king, and Ricky Hatton, his fiery opponent from across the pond – as they prepare for their May 2 junior welterweight pay-per-view showdown in Las Vegas..

Noted Greenburg, “This latest edition of ‘24/7’ features two of the most talented and personable fighters in boxing today, and we look forward to bringing their compelling storylines and personalities to our subscribers in what promises to be engaging television. The trainers Floyd Sr. and Freddie Roach will likely add fireworks to the series. This fight is sure to generate a lot of excitement and energy worldwide, and we hope to capture those dramatic moments.”

Episodes two and three of PACQUIAO/HATTON 24/7 debut on subsequent Saturdays – APRIL 18 (10:00-10:30 p.m.) and 25 (9:35-10:00 p.m.) – while the finale debuts FRIDAY, MAY 1 (9:30-10:00 p.m.), the night before the fight. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand.

PACQUIAO/HATTON 24/7 will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews, as these determined warriors, both making their second “24/7” appearance, prepare for the first mega-fight of 2009. A hero in his native Philippines, the 30-year-old Pacquiao (48-3-2, 36 KOs) is regarded by most boxing observers as the sport’s unofficial pound-for-pound king. Demonstrating knockout power in five weight classes, his recent victory over his boxing idol, ring legend Oscar de la Hoya, was cause for national celebration in his homeland. Amid growing worldwide celebrity, he returns to the 140-pound division to take on the hard-hitting Hatton.

Hailing from the streets of Manchester, England, Ricky Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) has a tenacious fighting style and a devout following. The 30-year-old suffered his only professional loss in December 2007 when he battled future Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather Jr. as a welterweight. Now back in the junior welterweight ranks, he wants to prove himself the most formidable fighter in the division.

Storylines for this fast-paced series will include the interaction between Pacquiao and his trusted trainer and friend Freddie Roach, as well as the fascinating alliance of Hatton and outspoken trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr.

PACQUIAO/HATTON 24/7 is the latest installment of the widely acclaimed “24/7” franchise that began on HBO in 2007 with “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7” and “Mayweather/Hatton 24/7.” The series returned in 2008 with “Calzaghe/Jones 24/7” and “De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7.”

Newsweek described the first installment of “24/7” as “an engrossing look at both a boxing match and a personal circus, and fans of human drama will want to have a ringside seat.” ESPN The Magazine proclaimed the series “a masterfully entertaining reality show,” while the New York Daily News called it “compelling television.”

On Saturday, May 2 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (PT), HBO Pay-Per-View presents “Pacquiao vs. Hatton,” live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The launch of PACQUIAO/HATTON 24/7 is part of a compelling night of boxing programming that also includes the debut of the documentary “Thrilla in Manila” and an intriguing battle between two of the sport’s most formidable competitors. Debuting at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/10:00 p.m. (PT), “Thrilla in Manila” tells the story of the final fight between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, whose epic three-bout series from 1971 to 1975 transcended the sport. The 12-round “World Championship Boxing” middleweight bout between Winky Wright and Paul Williams will be seen live from Las Vegas at 10:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (PT).

At the 2008 Sports Emmy® Awards, “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7” was honored in the category of Outstanding Edited Sports Special, while “Mayweather/Hatton 24/7” was honored in the categories of Outstanding Camera Work and Outstanding Writing.

The executive producers of PACQUIAO/HATTON 24/7 are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; coordinating producer, Dave Harmon; producers, Scott Boggins and Bentley Weiner. Liev Schreiber narrates. Aaron Cohen is the writer.

Four pounds better off, Mathews targets Lindsay

Tall, angular and possessing the wingspan of a middleweight, Derry Mathews has confounded most in campaigning as a featherweight for over five years. Despite struggling to make the nine stone featherweight limit, Liverpool’s Mathews believed the pain would all be worthwhile.

Following last September’s crushing defeat to Martin Lindsay in a British title eliminator, it appears logic has now prevailed. On March 28 at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, Mathews will make his debut as a title-chasing super-featherweight.

“I was at a point where I’d get to 9st 3lbs or 9st 4lbs and it would kill me to get those last few pounds off and hit 9st (featherweight limit),” explains Mathews, 21-2 (11 KO) as a pro. “I’ll make super-featherweight easy – 9st 4lbs won’t be a problem. I’ll be eating regularly and feeling a lot more comfortable at the weight.”

With the featherweight division a thing of the past, Mathews can now look forward to a title surge four pounds up. Nevertheless, one man remains on his radar.

”Hopefully Martin (Lindsay) goes on to win the British title now,” says Mathews. “You never know, Hayemaker might put me against Lindsay in a catchweight bout at some point in the future. I badly want to fight Lindsay again. He knows I was winning our fight – I think everyone knows that – before he caught me with a stupid shot.

“Take nothing away from Martin, though. He caught me with a cracking punch and he’s a great fighter. I hope he goes on to win the British title from (Paul) Appleby, because he’s a good lad inside and outside of the ring. I think he stops Appleby.”

Last September Mathews and Lindsay waged a give-and-take war in Sheffield, which saw the lanky Liverpudlian floor his Belfast rival in the second round. Battling back and attempting to solve the Mathews puzzle, Lindsay uncorked a Hail Mary left-hook in the ninth round to defeat Derry.

Though crestfallen at the time, Mathews is now thankful for the loss.

“That knockout defeat has just given me the kick up the backside I needed,” admits Mathews. “I now know I’ve got to stay fully focused for 10 or 12 rounds. You can’t switch off for one second.

“I’m not taking chances anymore. I’m not going to let opponents off the hook and just box them. If my opponent is there for the taking, I’m going in to finish them off.”

Rather than working with a gas tank ticking on empty, the super-featherweight Mathews may find more juice with the added four pounds.

“I think I’ll have more speed, more power and more energy,” he says. “When I hurt opponents, I’ll be able to finish them off quickly. I won’t have to maintain my energy and just box my way to the final bell. I’ll be able to let it all hang out now.

“I know that when I box with someone and keep it long, there’s not a featherweight or super-featherweight in the country who can beat me.”

Now part of a stacked division domestically, Mathews holds no fear. After all, though only 25 years of age, Mathews has already beaten Stephen Foster, Jr., John Simpson and Matthew Marsh as a featherweight.

“I’m aiming for the British title shot,” says Derry. “I want that British title by the end of 2009.

“There’s also the Commonwealth champion Ricky Burns, who I’d love to get a shot at. He’s boxing Michael Gomez next. Can you imagine a fight between me and Gomez in Liverpool or Manchester? It would be brilliant for the fans.”

Mathews’ dress rehearsal for a British title tilt takes place on March 28 at the Echo Arena, where he faces Harry Ramogoadi over eight rounds. He can’t think of a better venue to launch his super-featherweight run.

“It doesn’t get much better than fighting at the Echo Arena,” admits Mathews. “Whether you’re boxing first or last, you know you’re going to have the whole of Liverpool behind you. All the Liverpool fighters on this show can’t wait for it.

“One day I’d love to win the British title in Liverpool at the Echo Arena.”

*** Derry Mathews faces Harry Ramogoadi in his super-featherweight debut at HAYEMAKER 6: ‘The Mersey Beatdown’. Setanta Sports will screen the Echo Arena bill live on Saturday March 28.

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

McCracken and Woodhall can’t split Birmingham rivals

Midlands boxing legends Robert McCracken and Richie Woodhall admit that they can’t pick a winner ahead of this weekends “Battle of Brum” as local rivals Wayne Elcock and Matthew Macklin go head to head in a mouth watering British title showdown.

The middleweight clash takes place at the Aston Arena in Birmingham on Saturday night with the Hennessy Sports show also live on ITV4. The eagerly awaited dustup promises to be the biggest midlands boxing derby in years and while neither McCracken or Woodhall can pick a winner they are both predicting a fight to remember.

Both men have been drafted in by the ABA to lend their considerable expertise to Team GB’s boxers ahead of the 2012 Olympics and having once been proud custodians of the Lonsdale belt themselves they know exactly what’s at stake for Elcock and Macklin this weekend.

“It’s a fantastic fight and I think it’s a fight the city needs,” said McCracken. “You have two of the best middleweights in the country going at it in their hometown and I think their styles will gel to make it a great fight. As a boxing fan you couldn’t wish for a better match up so I’m really looking forward to it. As regards picking a winner I think it’s just too close to call really so may the best man win.”

Woodhall is just as divided on the outcome of the fight. “I can’t split them and to be honest I don’t want to as I consider them both friends. It’s a cracking fight for the City and it’s a great time for boxing in Birmingham these days because you have so many good kids coming through.

“Boxing really is booming here at the minute and to have an all Birmingham clash of this quality speaks volume for the strength of boxing in the region. It’s a must win fight for both of them so I think it’s going to be a cracker but it’s impossible to pick a winner.”

“Champion Elcock and challenger Macklin will come face to face this Thursday for a press conference at the Sports Cafe in Birmingham from 12pm ahead of the bout with the war of words between both camps likely to re-ignite ahead of this weekend’s explosive showdown.

The “Battle of Brum” undercard also features undefeated heavyweight sensation, Tyson Fury who takes on experienced Lee Swaby in his fourth pro fight while Adnan Amar defends his English Welterweight title against Southern Area champ, Tom Glover in the chief support bout. Local prospects Chris Male, Quinton Hillocks and Callum Archer also feature. Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via

Article posted on 10.03.2009

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