UK Boxing: Murray, Thaxton ready to get it on; Warren wins Smith/Quigley purse bid

John Murray will get an opportunity to win back the British Lightweight title he lost outside the ring when he meets Jon Thaxton in Altrincham, Greater Manchester on October 3rd. The mouth watering domestic dust up will hand Murray the chance to regain the title he surrendered on the weighing scales in June when he failed to make the 9 stone 9 pound lightweight limit by just 2 ounces ahead of a planned defence against English champ Scott Lawton..

The fight went ahead but without the Lonsdale belt on the line and Murray scored an impressive sixth round stoppage win over Lawton. Now the two best Lightweights in Britain will square off with former British and European Champ Jon Thaxton contesting the vacant title with Murray on a Hennessy Sports event at the Altrincham Leisure Centre on October 3rd.

The news comes during a week in which Murray was also named as the mandatory challenger for Anthony Mezaache’s European title. Mezaache took the title from Thaxton courtesy of a controversial points win in February and a surprise defeat by Tom Glover up at Welterweight in Thaxton’s last outing has seen Murray overtake his domestic rival in the European ratings.

Promoter Mick Hennessy has now handed them the opportunity to decide once and for all who is the best Lightweight in Britain. “This is one of those domestic fights that will have people on the edge of their seats,” said Hennessy.

“They are two of the most exciting fighters in British boxing and this really is going to be a thriller. John Murray is one of the most exciting talents to emerge in British boxing in years and he’s on the verge of very big things on the European and World stage.

“You write Jon Thaxton off at your peril though. His defeat to Tom Glover last time out was up at Welterweight, two weights out of his natural weight division and the Mezaache fight was a controversial decision. Jon’s a huge puncher and people have been writing him off for years and he keeps coming back to rip up the script and usually in spectacular style.

“Jon is only one win away from winning a Lonsdale belt for keeps and I know that’s a real driving force for him in this fight so there is so much on the line for these two guys.”


Promoter Frank Warren today won the purse bids for the highly anticipated Merseyside derby between Paul Smith and Tony Quigley for the British Super-Middleweight Championship.

Smith, who is promoted by Warren, and Quigley - the reigning British champion - are fierce rivals and their showdown is the biggest fight to be held in the city in recent years.

Warren intends to stage the mouthwatering clash in late October.

Smith v Quigley is the latest blockbuster to be added to the autumn schedule along with Martin Rogan's rematch against Sam Sexton at Belfast's Odyssey Arena on October 9, and Kell Brook's British Welterweight title defence against Michael Jennings.

"I'm delighted to have won the purse bids for what I believe will be a fantastic fight between Smith and Quigley," Said Warren.

"Liverpool has a history steeped with great boxers and fights and I'm sure that this fight will be a classic that people will talk about for years to come,"

"It's a throwback fight and has all the ingredients for an explosive encounter,"

He added, "We have some cracking fights coming up in the next few months and there's more to come."

Smith, a silver medallist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and current WBA International Champion, said, "I can't tell you how relieved I am that this fight is finally on,"

"It's the only fight that anybody is talking about in Liverpool. You can forget Miguel Cotto versus Manny Pacquiao because that doesn't mean a thing here, all that matters is Smith v Quigley,"

"We've got business to settle and it will be settled on the night and I will emerge victorious with the British title."

Smith was only in action last month when he beat Czech Michael Bilak on points over eight rounds at the M.E.N Arena.

Quigley was involved in a thriller against local rival Tony Dodson in March who he stopped in the 12th round that was heralded as one of the best staged in Liverpool.

Smith v Quigley will be better.

Article posted on 13.08.2009

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