UK Boxing: Matthew Macklin; Paul Appleby; Callum Johnson

Birmingham star Matthew Macklin says he will give Sebastian Sylvester a fair tougher test than he faced last Saturday night. The German world champion successfully defended his IBF World Middleweight title against Mahir Oral. But after watching the fight, Macklin has been left unimpressed. "Sylvester's promoter has been going on about how good he was, but let's be honest, his opponent wasn't up to much," said Macklin. "If he wants a real fight then he should look no further than me."

The Knife defends his European title in Liverpool on December 11 on Frank Warren's huge multi-title 30th anniversary show..

And he believes a solid win over challenger Ruben Varon could lead to a world title opportunity.

"I've been saying for a while that I feel I'm ready to make the step up," said Macklin.

"I'll take a fight against Sylvester any day of the week.

"He's already lost to a guy (Amin Asikainen) who I knocked out in a round.

"I just hope that doesn't mean he'll run a mile if he gets offered the chance of a defence against me.

"I'll even go to Germany to fight him if it means getting it on.

"British boxers have a pretty good record against Germans in recent years.

"I can take heart from the performances of Nathan Cleverly and Joe Calzaghe against Karo Murat and Mario Veit, and believe me, it will be the same kind of result if I boxed Sylvester."

Tickets for the Return of the Magnificent Seven, priced at £40, £50, £100, £150 and £250, are available from:

The Liverpool Echo Arena
0844 800 0400

0844 844 0444

See Tickets
0871 220 0260


Scottish ace Paul Appleby will get the chance to break into the world rankings when he fights on December 4 at the Braehead Arena.

The former British featherweight champion will box for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental title at 9'4, joining Ricky Burns as chief support on the card, live on Sky Sports 1HD.

If Appleby wins his 12 round fight, he is likely to break into the WBO's top 15.

The title has previously been held by the likes of Alex Arthur and Roman Martinez, both of whom graduated to world title honours.

"I thought I was having a non-title fight on December 4, so this is a nice surprise," said the 23-year-old.

"It will do my ranking with the WBO some good and we will see where we go from there.

"My dream has always been to be a world champion, and if I had the opportunity to fight for a world title, I would definitely take it.

"I'm just concentrating on my fight on December 4, and making sure I am in the best possible shape.

"But I've felt great these last few months, and things just keep better and better."

Tickets for Monarch of the Glen, priced at £50, £75 and £100, are available from:

Braehead Arena
0844 499 1700

Ticket Master
0844 844 0444

See Tickets
0871 620 7054


Frank Warren has signed amateur star Callum Johnson - the 2010 Commonwealth Games Champion.

The 25-year-old light-heavyweight, who trains out of Lincoln, will make his big professional debut on December 4 at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow.

Ricky Burns headlines the card against Andreas Evensen in the first defence of his WBO World Super-Featherweight title, live on Sky Sports 1HD.

Johnson struck gold in Delhi last month, impressing in boxing for Scotland, qualifying through his grandmother's heritage.

And after the tournament he was quick to agree terms with top promoter Warren, despite the lure of the 2010 Olympics.

"It's fantastic to turn professional under Frank Warren who is the man to guide me to achieve my dream - to become world champion." said Johnson.

"When I was a kid, Naz, Nigel Benn, then Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton were the big stars and Frank promoted all those guys,"

"I have the talent and he has the promotional knowledge and skills and together we will make a knockout team,"

"It's every boxers dream to turn professional and become a world champion, so I jumped at the chance to turn over,"

"I'm training hard for my debut and I'm looking to make an immediate impression so people sit up and take notice."

Johnson will be managed by former world champion Naseem Hamed, so won't be short of advice when it comes to the pro ranks.

Hamed said, "I'm really really excited with Callum and I'm looking forward to help guide his career alongside Frank Warren. Callum really is a very special talent as we saw when he won the Commonwealth Games, and I believe he has the potential to win a world title. It's going to be an exciting journey and I'm with him all the way."

A multi-capped international, Johnson joins a host of other Commonwealth Games gold medallists in Warren's stable.

Alex Arthur took the prize as long ago as 1998, while more recently Don Broadhurst, Stephen Smith and Jamie Cox have taken gold at the games.

"Callum's a talented guy and I'm delighted to have signed him," said Warren.

"I've always made it my policy to pick up the best amateurs out there, and Callum will fit in nicely with the talent I've already got on my books.

"Light-heavyweight and super-middleweight are hot divisions right now both
domestically and internationally, and Callum's got a great chance of making a name for himself."

Tickets for Monarch of the Glen, priced at £50, £75 and £100, are available from:

Braehead Arena
0844 499 1700

Ticket Master
0844 844 0444

See Tickets
0871 620 7054

Article posted on 06.11.2010

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