Benn and Collins complete Prizefighter draw

boxingNigel Benn and Steve Collins performed the Prizefighter Super Middleweights draw at the Covent Garden Hotel in London ahead of the June 30 event on Sky Sports.

Patrick Mendy makes Prizefighter history as the youngest boxer to take part in the show, and he kicks-off the night against Dudley’s Sam Horton, a fighter full of confidence after a positive showing against James DeGale for the WBA International super middleweight title.

The winner of that fight will face a semi-final against either Waltham Abbey’s Daniel Cadman and Birmingham’s Eddie McIntosh in the second quarter-final.

The third quarter-final pits unbeaten Welshman Jeff Evans against Sheffield’s Peter Fedorenko, fighting for just the second time since almost a decade out of the ring. The winner of that fight faces the victor of the final quarter-final, where public vote winner Tony Salam from Stoke Newington takes on English super middleweight champion Paul David from Northampton..

The legendary duo, whom both held the world super middleweight title in their illustrious careers and locked horns in two colossal title fights in the mid-90s, and both men were full of praise for Barry Hearn’s eight-man, one night tournament.

“It's a terrific format and it's breathed new life into boxing,” said Benn. “Three threes? That would've been great for me, get it over quickly – that’s right up my street, you don't want to be holding anything back it's guns blazing from the beginning to the end. You can't leave anything in the tank.”

Irishman Collins echoed Benn’s sentiments and was in no doubt as to the importance of the event in British boxing today.

“It springboards them into stardom,” said the Irishman. “It's a lot of risk but it's a shortcut to fame. It's a great concept; the whole idea is terrific with fans watching eight contenders put it all on the line to become a champion in the space of a couple of hours. The winner then becomes a recognised name, his career goes up and he gets new people coming to his fights. There is nothing about it that's negative – the whole thing is a positive for boxing and it would've been great had it been around when I was fighting as there were a lot of good boxers who never got the chance to show what they can do.

“It's a lot of pressure all on one night - you make one mistake and you are out,” said Collins. “People say it's like an amateur fight but it's not at all, you have to squeeze an awful lot into those three round and in the professional game over 10-12 rounds you have time to make mistakes and you can still come back from behind.

“When I fought I knew the fighter I was up against” said Collins. “If he was a tall guy, I'd have sparring partners who were tall and so on, but on one night you can have a southpaw, a short guy, a fast guy, a tall guy, the only way to prepare for this is to get as much unorthodox and unpredictable sparring as you can and try to squeeze as many different things into your preparation as possible. Me? I'd have won it! You cannot anticipate what is coming your way, so you have to get fit and expect the unexpected.”


Quarter-final one – Patrick Mendy v Sam Horton

Quarter-final two – Daniel Cadman v Eddie McIntosh

Quarter-final three – Jeff Evans v Peter Fedorenko

Quarter-final four – Tony Salam v Paul David

Tickets for Prizefighter Super Middleweights are available now at £35 (unreserved), £60 (ringside) and £100 (VIP) – call Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.

Article posted on 25.06.2010

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