Former British and European Bantamweight Champion Ian ‘Dappa’ Napa may have retired from competitive action back in 2011, but the Hackney based battler can still be found in the gym on most days.
Ian dominated the domestic Bantamweight division throughout 2007/08, winning the Lonsdale belt outright before moving onto the European scene, where he beat Carmelo Ballone to capture the European crown in October 2008.
Losing the European title on his first defense, against Malik Bouziane, Ian went straight back into British title action, once again securing the Lonsdale belt with a majority points win over Gary Davies.
In 2010 Ian defended the newly won British crown, as well as challenging for the vacant Commonwealth title, against Jamie McDonnell.
After twelve sensational rounds once again Ian found himself without a title, due to a controversial split decision – Judge Richard James Davies scored the bout 115-114 for Ian, Judge Ian John-Lewis scored it 114-115 for McDonnell and surprisingly judge Dave Parris scored the bout 116-112 also for McDonnell.
Five months later Ian found himself challenging Stuey Hall for the newly vacated title, however Ian struggled with the weight and was forced to retire in the eighth round.
Ian moved up to Super Bantamweight, but after losing his one and only bout in the division, against Martin Ward, Ian decided to call it a day.
Even though he had retired from the ring, Ian continues to train regularly and has always been willing to pass on his hard earned knowledge, to other upcoming young boxers.
A few months ago, whilst training at the TRAD TKO Gym in Canning Town, Ian agreed to help Marianne Marston, who had been struggling to get quality sparring for an upcoming bout, Ian heard of the problems encountered by Marianne and stepped up to the plate.
Marianne won her fight, with a sixty seven second first round stoppage of Katalena Lazar, after doing so praised Ian for his exceptional sparring and help in her preparation.
When it was announced that Marianne would be fighting for the WBU Europe title on November 30th, Ian once again stepped in to be Marianne’s main sparring partner, much to Marianne’s delight.
Following their most recent sparring session, at the TRAD TKO, Ian spoke briefly about the sparring sessions.
“Yeah, Marianne’s been sparring really well, I sparred her for the fight before and the little things I told her then, she’s worked on them.
Improvements have been made there, so it’s about getting the game plan set now, besides that I think she’s ready, she’s got good power, good movement and is flowing.
I don’t know the girl Marianne is fighting, but she’s going to have her hands full.
Marianne’s got even better since last time I sparred her, she’s much more unpredictable.
From my experience, having fought at that level, it’s about applying yourself on the day, you know you can do it all in training, but it’s how you fight on the day, as long as Marianne is like she is in the gym, I don’t see any reason for her not to win the title.”
Marianne Marston versus Galina Gumliiska, for the vacant WBU Europe Super Bantamweight title, co-headlines the Dave Murphy Acourtier Events promoted WARZONE show at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 30th November 2013.
Tickets, priced £35 (Standard Seated) and £60 (Ringside) are available on-line at www.acourtier.com and www.tkoboxoffice.com alternatively in person from the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town or Ringtone Gym in Euston.
For further information call – 07960 850645, 07809 499896 or 07557 641597
Go online to www.Acourtier.com for additional information on the WARZONE event or the Acourtier stable of boxers. Follow Acourtier Events on Twitter @AcourtierEvents – friend us at www.Facebook.com/AcourtierEvents
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