UK News: Ellis Ready For Fury; Sir Henry Cooper a Tyson Fury Fan; More

“Magic” Matthew Ellis believes that heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury is biting off more than he can chew by tackling the experienced Blackpool man in just his fifth pro fight in London this weekend. The two men clash at the York Hall on Saturday night live on ITV4 on a Hennessy Sports event as part of the undercard to the John O’Donnell – Craig Watson Commonwealth title fight..

Ellis who turns 35 on Sunday plans to give himself an early birthday present by derailing Fury’s career and setting himself on course for a British title shot. He certainly holds all the aces when it comes to experience over the 20-year-old Fury having had 27 pro fights with 20 wins (9 KO’s), 6 defeats and a draw.

“I know Fury is a good, big kid with a lot of ability but he’s too inexperienced and the step up in levels is going to be too much for him. He hasn’t really fought anyone yet and they’ve definitely bitten off more than they can chew here. He’s still just a novice and I’m levels above anyone he’s fought to date. He’s been calling out all the British heavyweights to step up and fight him and I’m only too happy to take him up on that challenge.”

Ellis like Fury is a former ABA champion and he sees clear parallels between the early part of his own pro career and Fury’s. “When I turned pro it was a lot like what Fury is getting now in terms of the hype. I was a good amateur and when I turned pro there were big plans for me, my fights were on ITV and I was getting all the publicity but you start to believe in your own hype and you start listening to the wrong people.

“I fought in the U.S. and sparred the top guys like Evander Holyfield but all the back slappers get in your ear and tell you how good you are. You start to believe your own hype and you start cutting corners in training and eventually you get found out.

“It sounds to me like Fury could be going down the same road and if that’s the case he’s going to come unstuck on Saturday night. He’s a big lad but I’ve fought bigger guys in the past so that won’t be a problem for me. In fact I think Fury still had a bit of toning up to do and he’ll need to mature because at 20 he’s only a baby by heavyweight standards.”

Ellis own career has failed to live up to his own expectations but he believes a win over Fury could set him on course for a British title shot. “I’ve had problems with inactivity over the last few years, mainly down to managerial problems where I’ve had to sit out contracts but I put that time out of the ring to good use and set up a business for myself so it’s not about the money for me anymore.

“I got fed up with the politics of the sport but the dream of winning a title keeps me going and I still have that desire. I believe I can win at least a British title and in heavyweight boxing all you need is one big win to reignite your career and I’m getting that opportunity to do that live on TV on Saturday.

Ellis last outing was a defeat at the hands of former World Champ, Enzo Maccarinelli and he’s determined to make amends for that result on Saturday. “That wasn’t me in there, I had some personal problems around that time and I took the fight on less than 24 hours notice so I didn’t do myself any justice.

“I did think about hanging up the gloves after that but I knew I didn’t want to go out like that and the desire is definitely still there. I’ve been training hard in the gym and really enjoying my training again and I’m looking to surprise a few people on Saturday night.”

Fury’s clash with Ellis is part of an exciting undercard at the York Hall that also features an English Light Welterweight title showdown between Lenny Daws and Peter McDonagh while hot prospect Bradley Evans, Wembley’s Steve O’Meara and Irish Welterweight champ, Stephen Haughian are also in action. Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via

The weigh in for Saturday’s event takes place on Friday (April 10th) from 12.30pm for a 1pm start at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London.

Sir Henry Cooper a Tyson Fury Fan

Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper is predicting that heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury could have a big future ahead of him. Fury has his fifth pro fight in London on Saturday night when he takes on “Magic” Matthew Ellis live on ITV4 (from 7:45pm).

The fight is part of a Hennessy Sports event which is headlined by the eagerly anticipated Commonwealth Welterweight title clash between Craig Watson and John O’Donnell.

Ellis is promising to expose Fury as a pretender rather than a contender but Cooper who famously dumped Muhammad Ali on the canvas in 1963 told today’s Daily Express that he’s a fan of the 6 foot 8 and a half inch Fury.

“Everyone seems to be going potty about Tyson Fury,” he said. “From what I’ve been told, he sounds like he could be a quality fighter and may go a long way. It isn’t often you hear so many people saying good things about one fighter, so he is definitely someone to watch and he has got a great name.”

Fury says that Cooper’s words have given him an extra incentive to impress ahead of Saturday’s clash with Ellis. “To have a boxing legend like Sir Henry Cooper speak so highly of me is a huge compliment. He’s a sporting icon and it’s great to think that he is already taking an interest in my career.”

Cooper enjoyed a long and distinguished career that saw him win the British, European and Commonwealth Heavyweight titles and included a second encounter with Ali for the World Heavyweight title in 1965. As in their first meeting his susceptibility to cuts proved to be his undoing against his old rival.

Cooper remains the only British boxer to win three Lonsdale Belts outright and he is one of only three people to have won the BBC Sports Personality of the year award on two occasions.

“When you look at what Sir Henry achieved in his career and the titles he won it would be an honour to follow in his footsteps and fight for the British, Commonwealth, European and World titles,” said Fury.

“First though I need to take care of business on Saturday night against Ellis. It’s my first pro fight in London so I’ll be looking to impress the fight fans at the York Hall.”

Fury’s clash with Ellis is part of an exciting undercard at the York Hall that also features an English Light Welterweight title showdown between Lenny Daws and Peter McDonagh while hot prospect Bradley Evans, Wembley’s Steve O’Meara and Irish Welterweight champ, Stephen Haughian are also in action. Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via

The weigh in for Saturday’s event takes place on Friday (April 10th) from 12.30pm for a 1pm start at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London.

Britain’s Marianne ‘Golden Girl’ Marston Knocked Out ...By The American Embassy In London!

English Super Bantamweight boxer, Marianne 'Golden Girl' Marston, who is due to be on the under card of Brian Cohen's WBC Americas Title Fight in South Philadelphia on 9th May, suffered a further setback in her professional boxing career when the American Embassy in London refused her visa application.

After regularly traveling back and forth to America to train for over two years, on the visa waiver system, with no problems as well as having contacted the London Consular by email to verify which visa she should apply for, Marianne had expected her visa application to be a formality.

Marianne is expecting further repercussions from her failure to secure a visa, as her contract with sports clothing and equipment manufacturer, Pugilist Urban Garments, is reliant on her being in America as part of the promotion of their P.U.G. Athletic brand into the $50 Billion American Sporting goods market in 2009.

Both Marianne's contracts with Team 'USS'Cunningham, who represent and train her in America, and the May 9th event promoters, ABBCorp, Inc. and Bionic Bull Enterprises, are also on the basis of her securing the visa. Her not being able to make the 9th May fight is particularly worrying for Marianne as Donna Cohen, of ABBCorp, Inc. and Bionic Bull Enterprises, had made an offer of a twelve fight contract between May 2009 and Dec 2010.

Marianne, a protégé of legendary Heavyweight boxing champion of the World Smokin' Joe Frazier and former IBF Cruiserweight World Champion, Steve 'USS' Cunningham, spoke of her feelings during her daily training session at Gleason's Gym near Tower Bridge in London. "I can't believe that they refused my visa again. I originally applied in March so I could return to Philadelphia to resume training with Steve ('USS' Cunningham) and Shar'ron (Baker) in preparation for my anticipated pro-debut.

The guy that interviewed me at the Embassy in March said he was refusing my application because I don't have adequate socioeconomic ties with the UK, not much family here or a job, and as such doesn't feel I would return here. He also said my boxing is just a "hobby". I found that unbelievably insulting. I'm English born and bred, London is my home and always will be. It's not my fault I only have two close family members still living and Boxing is my job, I can get plenty of fights in America. I am aware that the chances of getting many fights here in the UK is very slim as there just aren't many female pro-fighters here.

As for my not returning to the UK, I have been going to America for the past couple of years to train, firstly at Joe's (Smokin' Joe Frazier) and then at Shuler's (The James Shuler Memorial Gym) on the visa waiver system, I've never abused it, I always returned within the 90 days. If I was going to stay illegally surely I would have done it then, not after going to the trouble of applying for a visa.

Yes, I accept I'm an amateur by definition as I have yet to have my pro-debut fight, but I am a professional in reality. Boxing is my life and now it is the way I make a living. They don't realise how hard I train. It's not a hobby, I run between 3 and 17 miles in the morning, then spend between 4 and 5 hours in the afternoon training at the gym.

I reapplied for my visa after P.U.G. renewed my sponsorship and I had been e.mailed the contract to fight on May 9th. These were already being discussed, but had not been sorted, before my first application so I didn't mention them. I supplied the contracts from P.U.G. and the promoter but the guy who interviewed me the second time said I have just changed my story and the refusal still stands. It makes me wonder if they don't believe that a woman could make a career of being a professional boxer.

I'm flabbergasted, I have been waiting so long for my professional debut, I was supposed to debut last May but Frazier's closed down and I was left without a gym, trainers or management. Then in August, as I was preparing for a fight in New Jersey, I burst my Achilles tendon. I was on the Casino Battle Royale card for January this year, I'd even made my appointment for a visa interview back then, but as the whole event got canceled I put the interview back to March so I could get back in time for Steve's fight (Steve 'USS' Cunningham - Tomasz Adamek's IBF Cruiserweight World Championship bout on December 11th '08), now this happens. It feels like I'll never actually get to fight.

I'm not going to give up though, I'm still training hard just in case we can get this sorted and I can get to fight. "

Marianne's professional debut was due to be on the under card of Philadelphia's Brian Cohen WBC Americas Light Heavyweight title fight on May 9th 2009 at the South Philadelphia High School. Marianne's bout would have been one of three female bouts on the ten fight card. Promoter Donna Cohen is a big supporter of Women's boxing and every event she promotes includes at least one female match-up.

Article posted on 08.04.2009

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