Brook-N'dou, Macklin-Sturm on Saturday; Earl comments on Earl-Katsidis II shelving

Kell Brook’s hometown show completely sold-out Full house to see Brook take on Lovemore N’dou on Saturday. No. 2 ranked World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight contender Kell Brook will face former International Boxing Federation (IBF) light welterweight champion Lovemore N’dou in front of a packed crowd at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre on Saturday (June 25) with promoters Matchroom Sport confirming the show is a sell-out.

The Steel City show makes it back-to-back sell outs for Matchroom Boxing after the Prizefighter Welterweights II event at York Hall in east London was a full-house hit.

Brook fights in his home town for the first time in five years live on Sky Sports 2 and HD2 from 8.30pm and the unbeaten Welterweight star admitted there will be some nerves when he tackles the experienced 39 year-old Australian-based South African, who has yet to be stopped in 62 pro fights.

“I'm a professional so I hope I'll be calm and do the job in a professional manner,” said Brook. “But with a sell-out crowd in to see me, with all my family there, it's going to be so a great occasion.

“My Granddad is going to be coming which I'm so happy about. He's getting on a bit now so he doesn't like to travel too much, but he'll be ringside and he's a Sheffield man who's loved his boxing forever, all the British greats like Henry Cooper and John Conteh, so for him to be there is something very special.

“There's not going to be a single face in the place that I don't know! I'm down the road from my house, I'm in a hard fight, and I've got all these people coming down to see what I can do, asking ‘can he dance like he says he can dance?’ Well, the time will come on Saturday to show people what I can do.”

Brook – whose new official website is now live – says he knows N’dou will provide him with the toughest test of his career so far, but he feels he’s ready to impress with a move to new promoters giving him a real boost.

“Since joining Matchroom everything has changed,” said Brook. “The relationship I've got with Eddie Hearn and with Sky Sports is amazing, and I've been everywhere, interviews on Ringside, commentating on Prizefighter - I couldn't wish for anything better and I'm in a really good place now.

“I've done all the interviews and there's a lot of people talking about me – but no-one has seen me fight for a while so it's time to show them what Kell Brook can do and prove I can live up to the hype.”

Macklin challenges Sturm on Saturday

Matthew Macklin's trainer Joe Gallagher wants his charge to go from double M to triple M over the remainder of this week as Saturday nights World title showdown with Felix Sturm in Germany's draws ever closer. Gallagher want's Macklin to adopt Marvelous Marvin Hagler's mantra of "Mean, Moody, Magnificent" as he bids to upset long reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Sturm at a sold out Lanxess Arena in Cologne on Saturday.

Macklin touched down in Germany on Sunday to fulfill a week of media obligations ahead of a fight which is being broadcast live in the UK and Ireland, Germany and the U.S. with an TV audience of almost 10 million expected in Germany alone while the fight is also being shown live on the jumbotron in Times Square, New York.

Macklin continued his charm offensive in Germany yesterday by once again addressing the media in German but with the final press conference now out of the way Gallagher wants Macklin to turn to former undisputed Middleweight champ Hagler for inspiration.

"Hagler used to enter the ring with that mantra of 'Mean, Moody and Magnificent' and I want Matthew to adopt the same attitude," revealed Gallagher. "Matthew has watched tapes of Hagler when he came to London to rip the World title from Alan Minter in 3 rounds back in 1980 and were looking for a similar type of performance on Saturday night.

"Hagler earned his chance at the World title the hard way and Matthew's the same, he's won the Irish, British and European titles and is rated by all the sanctioning bodies in the top ten so we're not here to make up the numbers. We have a lot of respect for Felix and his achievements but everyone's time at the top comes to an end sometime and I believe there will be a changing of the guard in the middleweight division this weekend.

"I've heard Felix say that he has had a great camp and feels better than ever. I'm happy to hear that because then there will be no excuses on Sunday morning. I know that Matthew is in the shape of his life and Felix says he is too so it promises to be a great fight."

Macklin believes the fight could prove a fight of the year contender, "I think it has all the makings of a thrilling fight," said the 29-year-old challenger. "Felix says he's going to start fast and if he does then I'm happy to meet fire with fire and it could be a classic. Obviously I'm the challenger, the away fighter and the underdog so my backs against the wall but that's when I'm at my best. I've waited so long and worked so hard for this chance and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will be leaving the ring with that World title belt on Saturday night."

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Graham Earl Statement: The BBBofC Were Wrong To Stop Earl-Katsidis II

Over the past few days there have been some highly misleading statements circulating in the media regarding the reason why the planned August 13th rematch between Graham Earl and Michael Katsidis was shelved.

Notable scribes around the world have been attributing the failure of Earl-Katsidis II to materialize being either Graham Earl pulling out or the failure of both camps to agree terms.

However neither statement is correct, the reason the highly anticipated rematch is not to go ahead lies purely at the feet of the British Boxing Board of Control, following their decision not to grant Graham permission to fight, even though his license is in date and he has passed all medical requirements.

Graham is naturally confused why the BBBofC has refused to allow him to fight Michael Katsidis in Australia, especially as they failed to give any valid reason for their decision, other than give the meaningless statement ‘the Board do not feel it is in the best interests to yourself or to the sport in general’.

Earlier today Graham made the following statement, “I just want to say that I am totally gutted as I believe there is no real reason for not giving me approval to go to Australia and fight.

The Boxing Board have been happy to accept my boxing license renewal every year, at no time have I been suspended or told I cannot box any more.

I would have understood if I had failed my medical, but I haven’t so do not understand why they say it is not in my best interests or that of the sport.

The Board are letting people come back after years out of the sport, sometimes when they are aged 42 or 43 and still allows them to fight.

I’m 32, for the past two years I’ve been in training all the time, even though not actually fighting, and my last fight had a win. So there cannot be any excuse not to allow me to fight.

When you pay for your license and they accept the payment that means you are licensed to box, so what valid reason could they have for stopping me boxing after accepting my license renewal each year.

Since I started professional boxing my license has always been paid on time. My license was valid to August this year, when I knew the fight with Michael Katsidis was to go ahead I paid for my license renewal early and all next year is already paid for.

Boxing is my life, I am a boxer this is what I do for a living. They should at least give me a valid reason for their actions rather than just saying it is not in my best interests or that of the sport.”

Graham is currently taking legal advice and is hopeful that this situation will be resolved and the agreed Graham Earl versus Michael Katsidis rematch will take place in the near future.

Article posted on 21.06.2011

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