UK Boxing News: Smith vs Quigley; Nathan Cleverly; John Thaxton

British super-middleweight title challenger Paul Smith has given up a lucrative career as a club DJ - and will instead concentrate on sending opponents rather than discs spinning. The 26-year-old challenges rival Liverpudlian Tony Quigley on October 30 for the Lonsdale belt in the biggest boxing derby to hit the fight city in decades. The fight takes place at the Liverpool Echo Arena on a blockbuster card that also features Kell Brook's British welterweight title defence against Michael Jennings. And Smith says that boxing is now his only priority after sidelining his ambitions as a DJ..

The Scouser was the resident DJ at the 'Society' nightclub in Liverpool, and co-wrote the Ultrabeat song "Better Than Life", with Mike Di Scala and has remixed the song "Falling Stars (Waiting For A Star To Fall)" by Sunset Strippers, also with Di Scala.

Both were UK top 40 hits, with Falling Stars peaking at number three.

"I've given up being a DJ to concentrate full time on boxing," revealed Smith.

"All the late nights were getting too much for me.

"It's hard to train when you're not in until five in the morning - that's the time most boxers are out doing their road-work!

"I can be a DJ any time I want, but I've got a limited life as a boxer and that's my number one priority.

"This fight against Quigley is a massive one for me because there is so much riding on it.

"It's the kind of fight that the loser won't want to be showing their face in Liverpool. It means everything to me and I'm going to win it in style."

Tickets priced at £30 (Tier), £40 (Tier), £50 (Tier), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor) and £200 (Ringside) are available from:

Liverpool Echo Arena 0844 8000 400

Nathan Cleverly Looking Forward To London Show

Welsh star Nathan Cleverly says there's no place like home - or his second home, Bethnal Green's York Hall, to be precise. Cleverly will defend his British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles at the home of boxing on October 9 against Courtney Fry. It's Cleverly's sixth championship fight in the last 12 months, and the first defence of his British title. The 22-year-old will return to York Hall for a third consecutive time after stopping Danny McIntosh and Billy Boyle at the famous venue earlier this year.

The Welshman's last six fights have been on the road, but he is relishing the prospect of another outing away from home after developing a rapport with the York Hall crowd.

In addition, brainbox Cleverly starts the final year of his Maths degree at Cardiff University on the Monday of fight week.

"They really know their boxing at York Hall and I was buzzing when I was told that I was going to fight Fry there," said Cleverly, who has won all 17 of his professional fights.

"It's every young boxer's dream to headline a show at York Hall, and to do it three times in a row is something special.

"When I beat Billy Boyle, I got a good reception, but I think the crowd were still working out if I was any good or not.

"But when I went back and stopped Danny McIntosh, they were really behind me because it was a thrilling fight and I was well on top.

"I don't think anyone will go home disappointed on October 9 because I'm planning another knockout display against Fry.

"He might originally be from London, but I think the crowd will be backing me.

"After McIntosh and Tony Oakey (who Cleverly has already beaten) he's the best out there, so no one can say that I'm ducking people.

"He's going to give me a really good test, but I'm going in there all guns blazing and looking for another quick win."

"It's going to be a tough week starting Uni again for the last last year of my Maths degree, so I'm in lectures on the Monday bashing numbers around and at the end of the week I'll be in the ring knocking Fry about!"

Tickets, priced at £40 and £50, are available from Frank Warren Promotions on 01992 550 888.

Thaxton looking to prove Father Time wrong

Former British and European Lightweight Champion Jon Thaxton believes he can prove the boxing world and his own father wrong by regaining his British title when he clashes with leading domestic rival John Murray next month.

A win for Thaxton would see him win a Lonsdale belt for keeps while Murray will be looking to regain the title he lost on the scales earlier this year. The mouth watering domestic dustup takes places at the Altrincham Leisure Centre on October 3rd with the Hennessy Sports event live on ITV4.

Thaxtonís disappointing form in 2009 has seen him installed as a 5/1 outsider ahead of the clash but the Norwich veteran says heís determined to prove the bookies and his own father wrong

ďEven my Dadís writing me off for this one,Ē admitted Thaxton. ďAfter I lost my last fight to Tom Glover he asked me to retire. He said, ĎLook son, youíve enjoyed a fantastic career but youíve had your day in the sun maybe itís time to quití.

ďWhen I told him that I wanted to carry on he shook his head and said, ĎMurrayís going to knock you outí so even my own father doesnít think I can pull this one off. Of course I respect his opinion, Iím a father myself and I know that 9 out of 10 times a father is right but I believe heís got it wrong this time.Ē

Thaxton insists that heís happy to be cast in the role of underdog against the unbeaten Murray who has won all 27 of his bouts in the pro ranks. ďIíve had a bad year,Ē said the 35-year-old southpaw. ďIíve lost my last two fights when on paper I should have won them. I consider myself to be the ultimate professional but maybe subconsciously I underestimated both those guys and while I might have been physically fit for those fights maybe mentally I wasnít where I should have been. That wonít be the case this time because I know that to win this fight Iím going to have to go to hell and back.

ďIn my mind Iím fighting a monster, Iím overestimating what John Murray is capable of, as far as Iím concerned Iím fighting King Kong but mentally thatís the challenge I need, thatís what will bring the best out of me.

ďIím preparing for war. Heís a hungry, young fighter and a top prospect. Iím actually a big fan of his and I love his exciting style. Itís going to be a great fight for the fans so as a boxing fan Iím really looking forward to the fight.Ē

Thaxton has gone back to basics for this fight and has left the home comforts of Norwich to base himself at the Ingleís Gym in Sheffield. ďIíve already been in Sheffield for the last 7 weeks. Iíve cut myself off from my family and kids for this one and itís been very, very hard but I know that the sacrifices will be worth it. Dominic Ingle has been pushing me so hard in the gym and heís studied Murray to ensure that we have a plan A, B and C

ďThis fight reminds me of when I knocked out Paul ĎScrap Ironí Ryan back in 1996. He was the big unbeaten, up and comer at the time and I was a massive underdog but I prevailed that night and I believe I can do it again.Ē

Thaxton believes all the sacrifices will be worth it come October 3rd. ďIím thriving on this. Of course the sacrifices are very hard but thatís the way itís supposed to be. All Iím thinking about is getting my hands on that Lonsdale belt and winning it for keeps. Thatís the one thing Iíve always wanted in my career and the only man standing in the way of me doing that now is John Murray.Ē

Tickets for the bout priced £30 and £70 are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via

Article posted on 24.09.2009

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