Hennessy Sports kick off 2007 @ Ally Pally

15.01.07 - On September 15th 2006 Sky Sports kicked off their coverage of this latest boxing season with a Hennessy Sports event at the Alexandra Palace headlined by Junior Witter in a challenge for the prestigious WBC light welterweight championship. This Saturday, their coverage of boxing in 2007 begins with another Hennessy Sports promotion at the historic venue.Fittingly, Witter returns to the scene of his under-rated triumph over DeMarcus Corley to make the ‘First Defence’ of the title he claimed by dominating the former world champion..

He meets Mexico’s Arturo Morua in the headline fight of the UK portion of a Sky Sports Pay Per View Event that also features his long-term rival Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas.

“It’s good to be heading back to the Palace,” said Witter. “I’m Bradford born and bred and obviously my training base is in Sheffield, (with the Ingles), so we did look at venues in both but there were a few problems.

“I’m more than happy coming to London anyway. WBC fights are big affairs so they seem at home in the Capital, especially at somewhere like Alexandra Palace. I got a great reception there last time. The place was packed; I think there were over 2000 in there. I’m hoping for the same this time.

“Fighting away from home isn’t a problem for me – I also hope to get out to America later this year - although I do look forward to fighting in Bradford or Sheffield as a world champion.”

Witter’s Hennessy Sports teammate and fellow light welterweight Lenny Daws does box on home territory on Saturday night, in the chief support contest. The increasingly popular South Londoner – renowned for his exciting all-action style, high work-rate and outstanding stamina - makes the ‘First Defence’ of the British title he won in May by impressively dominating Nigel Wright.

The 29-year-old from Morden meets Barry Morrison in a contest that was originally scheduled for October, but his mandatory contender withdrew citing health problems.

“My lot have been waiting for this one,” explained Daws, who will be roared on by his ever-loyal ‘Morden Massive’. “I had sold a lot of tickets for the fight in October so when Morrison pulled out at the last minute a lot of people were disappointed, but it hasn’t put them off.

“They understand that it happens in boxing sometimes and have all come back for tickets time round. Since I won the British Title the interest has really taken off and they know this a big fight for me. Morrison is my mandatory contender and this is a step towards winning the title outright. The fact that Witter is on the bill has added a lot of extra interest.”

A former Witter opponent and possible future challenger for Daws also appears on the show. Northampton Warrior Alan Bosworth, a former English champion, meets Ashley Theophane from nearby Paddington in an eliminator for Daw’s domestic title.

Two other London fighters appear. Light Middleweight George Hillyard, from Canning Town, boxes over 6 whilst Hennessy Sports team member Matthew Thirlwall goes over the same distance at middleweight. The well-supported Bermondsey boy, a former ABA champion, intends to make 2007 the year in which he takes fulfilling the potential he showed as an amateur to the next level.

Three others are coming from slightly further afield. Esham Pickering travels down from Newark for his first fight since taking on Bernard Dunne for his old European super bantamweight title, whilst Manchester’s history making WBC Youth Lightweight Champion and Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year John Murray appears in a contest to be announced shortly. A raft of opponents have been given the opportunity to take on the 22-year-old, who given his reputation is becoming increasingly difficult to match.

Making the longest trip, however, will be Canada’s Troy Ross - a six-times senior national champion and two-times Olympian.

Since turning professional in 2001, Troy has won 13 of his 14 contests, knocked out 9 of his opponents and captured the Canadian Cruiserweight Championship, stopping tough and determined Claudio Rasco via 8th round K.O in May 2005.

After becoming Canadian Champ, Troy took a short break from boxing to appear in several boxing movies, including “Cinderella Man” in which he played John Henry Lewis. Lewis met James Braddock in Braddock’s penultimate fight before becoming world champion. More recently he has filmed ‘Resurrecting the Champ’ with Samuel L. Jackson.

Ross returns to the ring proper in an 8 rounder against former Commonwealth title challenger Hastings Rasani, a Zimbabwean who now boxes out of Birmingham.

Hennessy Sports Proudly Present

First Defence

@ Alexandra Palace
Saturday 20th January

Tickets priced £40, £80 and £200 on 0870 060 1795.

12 x 3 WBC Light Welterweight Championship
Junior Witter vs. Arturo Morua
(Bradford) (Mexico)

12 x 3 British Light Welterweight Championship
Lenny Daws vs. Barry Morrison
(Morden) (Motherwell)

10 x 3 British Light Welterweight Championship Eliminator
Alan Bosworth vs. Ashley Theophane
(Northampton) (Paddington)

8 x 3 Lightweight
John Murray vs. TBA
(Manchester) ()

8 x 3 Cruiserweight
Troy Ross vs. Hastings Rasani
(Toronto) (Birmingham)

6 x 3 Super Bantamweight
Esham Pickering vs. TBA
(Newark) ()

6 x 3 Middleweight
Matthew Thirlwall vs. TBA
(Bermondsey) ()

6 x 3 Light Middleweight
George Hillyard vs. Tony Rendall
(Canning Town) (Birmingham)

Article posted on 15.01.2007

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