Lee Selby vs. John Simpson preview

By Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro: New kids on the block, Francis and George Warren, have pulled out all the stops to ensure that their 14th December Queensberry promotions event, at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London - and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform ch. 456) - is a fitting finale to a rather excellent year of Boxing in the Capital.

Headlining the event Francis and George have Lee Selby defending his British and Commonwealth Featherweight titles for the first time against former champ John Simpson, who has held both straps at various times throughout his illustrious career.

Selby sensationally stopped Liverpool’s previously unbeaten Stephen Smith to lift the belts on only his eleventh pro outing back in September.

Selby, 24, was unfancied against the champion, especially as the fight was on Smith’s home turf, however the young Welshman dominated the centre of the ring throughout. Selby decisively secured victory on the two minute mark of the eighth round, after letting rip with a left-handed counter to send Smith crashing to the canvas and out cold.

The aforementioned Stephen Smith is a common denominator in this intriguing match-up, as it was the Liverpudlian that took, on separate occasions, both the British and Commonwealth straps from Simpson.

Simpson’s first encounter, in September 2010, with the younger brother of then British Super Middleweight Champion Paul Smith see him relinquish his Commonwealth belt after a storming twelve round war.

Three months later Simpson beat Martin Lindsay to lift the Lonsdale belt, which ultimately set up a return match with Smith in April this year. Yet another close all out war ensued, after which Simpson was again relieved of his coveted belt by the Liverpudlian

Even with Smith out of the equation this time you can bet that just as Simpson will be going all out to regain the British and Commonwealth straps, young Selby will be equally determined to hold on to the hard earned titles.

It’s fairly hard fight to call and has all the makings of a classic. My feelings are the early rounds will be a bit of a chess match, with Simpson keeping it long and working behind his excellent jab, whilst Selby will be looking to counter at every opportunity. As the fight progresses it is likely to liven right up, Simpson will be looking to box and Selby countering in fine style before letting off big bombs at every opportunity.

I’m not going to give any predictions on who is likely to take the belts home, but will say that the more I size this fight up the more I am convinced that it’s not going to go the distance.

Heading up the support the Warren boys have Steve O’Meara defending his recently won Southern Area Light Middleweight title, against upcoming TRAD TKO star ‘Sugar’ Nathan Weise

Back in September O’Meara sensationally knocked out defending champ, and local rival, Ryan Toms with a stunning pin point accurate left hook to the chin in the dying seconds of the first round.

Whilst not known as a concussive puncher O’Meara sure made a point with that stunning shot. As such Weise will need to ensure that his defense is up to scratch, something I’m sure trainer Mark Tibbs and manager Johnny Eames are already working on.

Weise is a stylish purist, right out of the ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard mould, his sublime movement and fluid combinations make him a joy to watch and a real handful for any opponent.

In his last bout Weise had a six round war with former Champ Toms and if it wasn’t for a visit the canvas, in the third, he was on course for another fairly comfortable win, however due to having to take the count instead he had to settle 57-57 draw.

The clash of styles, between O’Meara and Weise, makes this a very interesting match up, one that is going to be an all action thriller. As with Selby-Simpson this is another tight one to call, saying that I have a sneaky feeling that the supremely talented Weise is likely to be just too slick and elusive for O’Meara.

In addition to O’Meara-Weise Francis and George Warren have put together an excellent undercard, featuring undefeated young prospects such as Slough teen sensation George Michael Carman, Cranham’s Lee Markham as well as a pair of Nathan Weise’s TRAD TKO gym mates, Canning Town’s Freddie Turner and Dagenham’s Ediz Hussein.

Francis and George Warren’s Queensberry promotions event, headlined by the British and Commonwealth Featherweight title clash between Lee Selby and John Simpson. takes place at the York hall in Bethnal Green, and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky Platform Ch. 456), on Wednesday the 14th December 2011.

Tickets, priced £60 (Ringside) and £40 (Standard Seated), are available now on-line at or from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA.

McArthur gets late call to hit the Big Time

Former Undefeated British Masters Champion Gary “The Clydebank Blitz” McArthur accepted a late call to box former top Professional Footballer Curtis Woodhouse in Rotherham on Saturday night. McArthur comes in as a late substitute for Welshman Jason Cook.

Gary says “This is a great opportunity for me to get in the mix for the British Light-Welterweight Title. Curtis is quality as he showed in his recent fight with Frankie Gavin but I have just come off a win at the St Andrew’s Sporting Club and went straight back into the Gym. I am fit and raring to go and I hope this will give me a quick shot up the ratings”

McArthurs Manager Tommy Gilmour backed up Garys statement saying “Gary could be Woodhouses worst nightmare with his style. It may be a late fight but the opportunity was too much to miss”


Ken Egan will get Ireland's campaign at the Olympic Test Event underway with a quarter-final meeting against China in London this evening.

The Dublin southpaw, who has dropped back down to light-heavyweight from heavyweight, will meet Xuan Bao at the ExCel, the venue for boxing at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Ireland are using a six-man squad at the Test.

Declan Geraghty and David Oliver Joyce will be involved in quarter-final duels on Friday, versus Thai flyweight Norapoj Tetchkoom and Italian lightweight Donato Consenza.

Belfast's Conrad Cummings and Tommy McCarthy and Con Sheehan have received byes into Saturday's semi-finals.

Cummings will meet Brazilian middleweight Esquiva Florentino and McCarthy faces experienced Kazakh heavyweight Vassily Levit.

Tipperary super-heavyweight Sheehan will trade leather with Morocco's Muhammad Arjaoui for a place in the 91Kg+ final.

All the Irish squad will be boxing in the afternoon/evening sessions which begin at 5pm each day at the ExCel.

Ireland's Michael Conlan, John Joe Nevin and Darren O'Neill have already qualified for the 2012 Olympics.

There will be one final Olympic qualifier for European male boxers next April.

The May 2012 AIBA World Women's Championships in China will act as the only Olympic qualifier for female boxers.

92 boxers, 69 Men and 23 Women, will take part in the Olympic Test Event in London.

The countries competing are; Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, China, France, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, USA, Uzbekistan, Sweden and Thailand.

Olympic Test Event ExCel London

Novermber 24th Quarter-finals
81Kg: Ken Egan (Ireland) v Xuan Bao (China)

November 25th Quarter-finals
51Kg: Declan Geraghty (Ireland) v Norapoj Tetchkoom (Thailand)
60Kg: David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) v Donato Consenza (Italy)

November 26th Semi-Finals
75Kg: Conred Cummings (Ireland) v Esquiva Florentino (Brazil)
91Kg: Tommy McCarthy (Ireland) v Vassily Levit (Kazakhstan)
91Kg+: Con Sheehan (Ireland) v Mohammad Arjaoui (Morrocco)

Irish squad

56Kg: Declan Geraghty (Crumlin)
60Kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael's Athy)
75Kg: Conrad Cummings (Holy Trinity)
81Kg; Ken Egan (Neilstown)
91Kg: Tommy McCarthy (Oliver Plunkett)
91+Kg: Con Sheehan (Clonmel)

Team manager: Des Donnelly
Coaches: Billy Walsh & Zuar Antia
Physio: Conor McCarthy

Article posted on 23.11.2011

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