Battle Lines – Undercard Review

Saturday night marks the eagerly awaited return of local favourite Josh Warrington, who meets little known Italian Davide Dieli for the vacant EBU Featherweight title at the impressive First Direct Arena in the heart of his beloved Leeds.

Eddie Hearn and Matchroom have taken the opportunity of what promises to be a raucous occasion to assemble a deep card, packed with notable names from their growing stable.

Returning to action in the chief supporting bout, this time at Light Welterweight is former two-weight World Champion Ricky Burns. The Scotsman contests what appears to be a routine 8-rounder against Frenchman Alexandre Lepelly (17-1-1 3KO’s). Burns (36-4-1 11KO’s) now under the tutelage of Tony Sims, comes into the fight on the back of 3 straight defeats (If you correctly count the Raymundo Beltran debacle as a defeat) and will take the opportunity to feel his way into a new weight class, against a fighter not renowned for his punching ability.

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Abraham vs Smith: ‘That’s What Happens In Germany’

Abraham vs. Smith, Arthur Abraham, Paul Smith - Boxing News

First of all, congratulations to Paul Smith who delivered a career best performance, which he promised, on the night when it mattered the most. A monumental effort behind enemy lines, which was appreciated by every set of fully functioning eyeballs which had the joy of tuning in for what was a tremendous fight.

Isn’t it such a shame that we find ourselves on familiar ground once again, marveling at inconceivable ineptitude that points to the darker side of boxing, which has soiled its name for far too long.

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Abraham vs Smith: Smith’s Crowning Moment?

Abraham vs. Smith, Arthur Abraham, Paul Smith - Boxing News

On the morning of the Merseyside Derby, you would be forgiven for the thinking that an Everton away victory would be the rarest of occurrences, having not won since 1999, in this sports crazy city.

You’d be wrong.

Not since Paul Hodgkinson’s reign as WBC Featherweight Champion, between 1991-1993, has Liverpool been the home to a legitimate world champion. So, when Paul Smith faces Arthur Abraham (40-4 28KO’s) for the WBO Super-Middleweight World Title in Kiel, Germany this evening, he will aim to redress the balance and return with a title this city has been missing for far too long.

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The Return of the Saint

Christopher Rebrasse, George Groves - Boxing News

George Groves has been blessed with what would appear, to this writer at least, to be a special kind of self-confidence, an inner belief that sets him apart and will be lead him to World Title in the not too distant future. This assertion typified by his immediate return to the scene of what was the most harrowing night of his boxing career.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Wembley Arena was chosen for the second fight under the Sauerland banner. The decision to meet his demons head on, one typical of George Groves, who for my money, still believes completely that he’s got Froch’s number. That might sound deluded to some and for what it’s worth I make him wrong, but it’s this very mentality that can propel ‘The Saint’ to the top.

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Quigg and Crolla: Manchester’s Finest

This Saturday, Manchester’s ‘Phones 4 U’ Arena (Formerly the MEN), plays host to the return of two of the most likable fighters on the British scene. Both Scott Quigg and Anthony Crolla will once again bask in the famed Manchester support as they attempt to further ignite two careers, which have the potential to really take off.

It would be fair to say that Quigg (28-0-2 21KO’s) has had a strange year to say the least, since announcing himself on the world scene with a destructive performance when halting former world title challenger and everyone’s favourite bin man, Rendall Munroe, in 6. After which, Quigg was handed the WBA Super Bantamweight World Title, when 8st 10lbs ruler Guillermo Rigondeaux was announced ‘Super’ Champion.

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Frampton vs Martinez This Saturday

There is not an opinion in the world of boxing I value more than that of Barry McGuigan. I feel that’s an opinion shared by most, if not all boxing fans the world over. And, when it comes to Carl Frampton the legendary Clones Cyclone is convinced.

Of course McGuigan is entrenched in the Frampton camp, with managerial and promotional responsibilities, alongside his mentoring capacity. So, it would be easy, or lazy, to deduce that McGuigan is biased and more likely to push the credentials of a fighter, whom he would use for financial gain. You know, like a normal manager or promoter?

But, I think that’s what makes Frampton and his team special, this is not a financial endeavour, this is much, much more than that. This is about McGuigan and his son Shane, Frampton’s excellent trainer, facilitating a special individual in his attempts to replicate and even surpass his exploits and bring genuine big time boxing back to Ireland and with it, a unity not seen since the heyday of you know who.

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Kell Brook: Patience is a Virtue

Kell Brook - Boxing News

Flash back to mid-April 2013, when Kell Brook was cruelly forced to withdraw from his IBF World Welterweight title clash with then ruler Devon Alexander in Atlantic City with a stress fracture to the foot, you couldn’t help but think that sadly that might have been it for the unbeaten Sheffield stylist. At that stage 29-0, Brook was forced to watch on from home as Golden Boy looked elsewhere, with no room for further postponements, with the fight being rescheduled twice already due to injuries on both sides. The game but ultimately outclassed Lee Purdy stepped in to fill the void, while Brook found himself seemingly at the back of the queue in what is widely understood as boxing’s hottest division.

Only Brook and those close to him will know just how dark it got over those next couple of months, as everything he had worked so hard to achieve began to crumble around him. Not long after in a candid interview with former stable mate Johnny Nelson, Brook confided that at one stage he consider his future in the game. Thankfully, this never materialised, due to a mixture of family, friend and promotional support, but most of all due to a personal fortitude that would serve him so well in the future.

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