McCloskey-Diaz on May 5th

Paul McCloskey, Martin Lindsay and the line-up for the Betfair Prizefighter all-Irish Middleweights are ready for their huge night at the King’s Hall in Belfast on May 5 – and promoter Eddie Hearn said it’s the first of three big nights of boxing in Belfast for Matchroom Sport in 2012.

McCloskey headlines the bumper night of action live on Sky Sports against two-time World champion Julio Diaz and the former unbeaten European light welterweight king is gunning for a second World title shot this year after his promoter Eddie Hearn told Thursday’s press conference that this triple header with Lindsay and the Betfair Prizefighter will be the first of three huge nights in the capital.

“It’s a massive night for Belfast and one I’m proud to be involved in,” said McCloskey. “I want to be fighting for World titles because I belong at World level, but I am not going to sit around and sulk – I need to be fighting and banging on the door of the World champions until they step up and face me, so battling the likes of a former two-time World champion in Julio Diaz keeps me right in the mix.

“The atmosphere on May 5 will be something very special – every fighter will have their own fans and it’s going to be totally unique. I cannot remember the last time there was a buzz like this here for a big fight night.”

McCloskey bounced back from his disappointment against Amir Khan with a gutsy win over Khan-nemesis Breidis Prescott in Belfast in September, and Hearn said the 31 year-old will be out again in the autumn after Commonwealth super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton gets a big summer date in his hometown.

“I am thrilled to be putting on this great night of boxing for the Belfast fans,” said Hearn. “This is a great boxing city and the passion they have for the sport is one of the main reasons we are putting on this unique night with Paul, Martin and the Betfair Prizefighter. It's all about providing value for fight fans and by combining all three in one night we are delivering a huge night for Irish fight fans.”

“In the summer, Carl Frampton will have a big show in Belfast and we are looking at the likes of Scott Quigg, Rendall Munroe and Kiko Martinez for that one. Then in September, Paul will be out again and I am working tooth and nail to get him another World title shot.

“I have to give great credit to Paul – I gave him over 20 possible names to fight on May 5 and he said yes to every one of them. It has been frustrating for the team but as Paul said, all he can keep doing is winning exciting fights and packing out venues and I know his shot will come.”

Hearn also confirmed that former British champion Martin Lindsay will feature on all three cards as he makes his return to the ring from 15 months out in London on March 23 before kicking off the May 5 Belfast blockbuster.

“It’s great to be back in the fold,” said Lindsay. “I have been in training since December and I feel fantastic so I am confident I will hit the ground running. My absence from boxing has been because fights have fallen through, nothing more than that, so there’s no reason why I cannot be in the mix for a British, Commonwealth or European title later in the year.”

Tickets priced at £30 (unreserved), £40 (reserved balcony or unreserved floor), £60 (outer-ringside) and £100 (ringside) are available from Ticketmaster on 0844 277 4455 – UK/Northern Ireland customers, 0818 719 300 – Republic of Ireland customers and at

VIP packages priced £150 are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at

Paul McCloskey’s fans can also buy their tickets at the prices above from Eurospar Dungiven and any EuroXchange outlet.

Outside The Ropes With Up-And-Coming Light Middleweight Prospect Bobby Bryant

Boxing became a way of life for light middleweight Bobby “The Prodigy” Bryant at an early age, and since the love for the sport has coursed through the 19-year-old’s blood.

Turning pro at the age of 17, Bryant has been active within the squared circle and has put together an unblemished record of 13-0 with 9 KO’s. His heavy hands paired with his ability to put on a show have led him to fighting in the featured bout on the James Toney/Bobby Gunn IBA Heavyweight Title fight.

On April 7 at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS, Bobby Bryant will go to battle with Justin Flanagan (9-2, 5 KO), in what may be Bryant’s toughest test to date.

Bryant attributes his success to his extensive amateur experience and training regime. Ending his amateur career with an impressive record of 112-17, Bryant took gold in the 2007 National Jr. Golden Gloves Championship and silver in 2008.

“All of the amateur fights made me ready and gave me an edge when I turned pro,” said Bryant. “I love being in the ring; and every chance I get to run or train, I take advantage of it. I have been lucky to have such a great training camp and I take every opportunity to train with different camps. Right now I am in the best shape of my life; I’ve been able to go 10-12 rounds of sparring for my 8 round fight. This is my first time being on TV and it’s an honor to be on Fox Sports for the James Toney and Bobby Gunn card. It shows me that I’ve been coming along great in my career.”

From the first day Bobby Bryant wrapped up and put the gloves on, his father John Bryant was in his corner. Under his father and coach’s tutelage, Bobby Bryant stood out as an amateur and has quickly risen through the pro ranks.

Often in boxing you see relatives working in each other’s corners, and unfortunately more often than not you read about the fallouts between them, which typically have a negative effect on a fighter’s career.

Having talked to John and Bobby, it was clear they have established not only a very functional but also a very successful relationship in and out of the ring.

“I’m very proud of him; you see a lot of kids that are great boxers in the amateurs, and they lose their drive and passion and fade out,” said John Bryant. “But Bobby always stayed dedicated and taken it a step further, turning pro and working as hard as he does. It’s been a long road to this point, with all of the traveling through the amateurs, but after all of the years of money and time, it’s all coming back and paying off. When he’s not training he attends college. I always tell him education comes first, and then boxing. He is diligent with everything he does; so many father and son’s in boxing have fall outs, but with us it’s been great all along.”

Although both John and Bobby spoke with utter humility, their determination and drive to win a world title was evident in their voice.

In regards to having his father in his corner, Bobby shared, “Sometimes it’s kind of frustrating. I mean, he always tells me how it is, and if you don’t do it right, you’re going to get bumped on the head. It’s different from having a coach; he’s a father inside and outside of the ring, and he has always pushes me to my most potential.”

The father and son combination has proven to be successful in Bobby’s early career, and in coming weeks “The Prodigy” will look to extend his undefeated win streak.

In his young career Bryant has remained active, fighting consistently each year. “Right now we have three upcoming fights lined up; everything’s looking great. I am hoping to get on a few Showtime or ESPN cards later this year. Whatever comes my way, I am ready for it.”

If Bryant continues to walk through his opponents, he will find himself nearing the top 10 ranks by the end of the year.

When asked if he thinks if he will be fighting for a title by year end, Bryant responded, “I wouldn’t say the end of 2012. Maybe in 2013. We are picking it up, but my career is still young. I know I have a bright future ahead, so why rush it?”

Through his first 13 professional fights Bryant is yet to show any signs of complacency and continues to grow as a fighter.

“My experience as a fighter continues to get better with each round and each fight,” said Bryant. “Each fight the opponent gets harder; my conditioning is great right now, and that makes a huge difference. There is a much different adrenaline level from amateur to pro, and that can wear a guy out. I think I have gotten smarter as a fighter. I’ve learned that it is not necessarily about who the tougher fighter is, but who is more intelligent during the fight.”

The boxing line in the Bryant family doesn’t end with Bobby.

Also appearing on the Toney/Gunn undercard is Bobby’s 17-year-old brother Joey. The Bryant brothers are two of the most successful amateur boxers in the Mid-South. Joey ended his amateur career with a record of 214-16, and was the 2007 95 lb. National Jr. Golden Gloves Champion and 2008 100 lb. National Silver Gloves Champion.

About watching his brother progress in his career, Bobby Bryant said, “Working with my brother and father is a great opportunity. It gives me a chance to spend more time with them, and makes us closer as a family. Most people don’t have that kind of chance to spend with their brother and father, and I love it.”

Bobby Bryant is a young, skilled pugilist with the experience and boxing knowledge of an elder fighter. Inside the ring he is a technical and sound boxer with devastating punching power, while outside he is a humble, respectful and well-spoken teenager working towards a better life

“Lastly I’d like to thank my dad, John Bryant…I really appreciate everything he’s done and doing for me, and my mom Lisa Bryant. I thank them both for everything they’ve done for me.”

Tickets to Bobby Bryant’s April 7 fight at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS can be purchased at The Landers Center Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or by visiting Ticketmaster on line at


ATLANTA, GA. Sports Fan Properties & Shea Bailey Promotions’ Georgia Boxing Championship is proud to announce a partnership with the 2012 Georgia Golden Gloves Championship. This year’s Georgia Golden Gloves Championship will be held on at the Summit at All-Tournament Players Park in Marietta, GA on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th.

Article posted on 09.03.2012

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