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UK Boxing News: Phil Sutcliffe Jr; Sean McComb; Mike Altamura

Phil Sutcliffe Jr has warned Tyrone McKenna he’ll be unable to live with the weight of punches coming his way in Belfast on June 30.

Injury forced Dublin’s Sutcliffe Jr (14-2-KO9) to pull out of a previous meeting with McKenna (16-0-1-KO6) but the pair will finally collide on the undercard of Michael Conlan’s homecoming at The SSE Arena – live on BT Sport.

Sutcliffe Jr said: “It’s been very frustrating as I’ve been out since Christmas but I don’t lose discipline and take my frustration out on opponents.


“That being said, everyone knows how hard I hit. Tyrone himself knows how hard I hit. We fought as amateurs and have sparred as professionals. He knows what’s coming.

“If he wants to stand and trade, even better. If he wants to run, I’ll find him. If he wants to come forward, even better.

“It really doesn’t matter which Tyrone shows up and what tactics he deploys. He’s not in my class and I’m going to expose him on the night.”

A stacked undercard on the night also sees Jono Carroll’s long-awaited rematch with Declan Geraghty and Tyrone McCullagh face fellow unbeaten star Joe Ham plus Johnny Coyle v Lewis Benson and Paddy Gallagher v Gary Corcoran.

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MTK Global International Consultant Mike Altamura believes the advent of MTK Accra will play a significant role in a “golden age” for Ghanaian boxing.

Altamura is part of the team surrounding Ghana’s unbeaten world champion Isaac Dogboe and added Dogboe’s compatriot George Ashie to the MTK Global roster on May 21.

Just days later, news broke that work is beginning on an MTK Global gym in Ghana’s capital as part of a project involving John Manfo and Ellis Quashigah – two of Altamura’s Team Dogboe colleagues.

Altamura said: “In my opinion, I feel that in Ghana in particular, the will and ferocity is there but the standards of facilities and training environments are very primitive. If you see a lot of the gyms, there’s no ring. Kids are sparring on concrete.

“Hopefully, through having a world-class gym, it’ll help phase in a new era for boxing in west Africa. With the MTK Global link, we’ll establish connections so we can take hopefuls straight from the amateurs to offering them experiences all around the world.

“I think it’s an unbelievable step in the right direction. The wonderful part is that John Manfo has spent lots of time in the UK and Ellis Quashigah has spent lots of time in the US and gathered information and experience there.

“They’ve travelled the world with boxing and are part of Isaac Dogboe’s team. They know what’s required and what needs to be in place in order to give the athletes the best chance to excel.

“There’s so much scope for inter-club competitions now. One day, in due course, we hope to see MTK Accra amateurs take on MTK Manchester amateurs etc. It’s such a positive step moving forward.”

Ghana has a rich history in boxing with the likes of Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey having one world titles and most are optimistic Dogboe’s astonishing rise to the summit can inspire a new generation.

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ELITE AMATEUR McCOMB TURNS PRO WITH MTK GLOBAL

MTK Global has landed the signature of elite Irish amateur Sean McComb as he officially turns professional.

McComb won bronze at the European Championships and went on to captain the Northern Irish team at this year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Although he (along with anyone who’s seen him box) feels his talent should have yielded a larger medal haul in the unpaid ranks, the 25-year-old from Belfast is driven to seize every opportunity as a professional.

McComb said: “I’ve had a good amateur career and I believe I’ve underachieved. I’ve been an elite fighter and I narrowly missed out on the Olympics. Everyone thought I was nailed on to win at the Commonwealth Games too. It was just one of those things.

“I think the pro game will suit me. You need to ask other people about my power. I believe I’ve a good snap in my punch and if you look back, there’ve been a few saying I was the hardest puncher they faced.

“I’ve close friends like Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan who are signed to MTK Global and they trust them completely. I trust my friends so I believe by association, it’s the place for me.

“Trust is the main thing but then there’s the huge success too. MTK Global has completely taken over in Europe already. They have a fighter on every major show in the UK. When you see that, it’s something else.

“I want to be fighting for titles in 2019. I don’t want a long, dragged out career. I want to fight for titles as quickly as I can. I believe MTK Global are the team to make it happen. I’m capable of competing with anyone in Britain immediately.

“I believe I’m capable of making lightweight and that’s where I want to win my first title. I’m capable of moving to heavyweight too because I’m 6ft tall! Realistically, it’ll be middleweight that’s my final destination.”