Birmingham star Shakan Pitters will be walked into the ring by none other than Grime sensation Jaykae, next Saturday.
Pitters headlines the Hennessy Sports multi-title show at the Coventry Skydome Arena on November 13, when he faces Leeds puncher Reece Cartwright, for the Vacant WBC International Light-Heavyweight title, live and free on Channel 5.
Also in title action will be Coventry sensation River Wilson-Bent’s when he challenges for the Vacant English Middleweight title against Rowley Regis rival Tyler Denny in a fiery Midlands derby and undefeated Irish Middleweight ace Aaron McKenna challenging for his first title.
‘Big Shak’ knows a win will smash him into the top 15 in the world and with the renowned Jaykae recently collaborating with Ed Sheeran, the long-time Birmingham friends are ready to put on another special show.
“We grew up in more or less the same area, Small Heath, so we’ve basically seen each other grow up,” said Pitters, the former British and Commonwealth champion.
“He’s doing his music, I’m doing my boxing and it’s obviously brought us even closer together. It was always going to happen, it was just getting the timing right. This is it.
“Jaykae is a massive star that represents Birmingham. Everyone knows who he is and just how good he is. The ring walk and my fight are going to be great for all the fans, not just those in the Skydome, but everyone watching it live on Channel 5.
“He will get them going and electrify the crowd, then it will be over to me to put on an electric performance. It will be explosive.
“Jaykae will drop a banger, then I will drop and bang out Reece Cartwright.”
Jaykae, whose real name is Janum Khan, has been blowing up the scene for a while now and has played at all the country’s leading festivals like Glastonbury, Reading and Creamfields, and has appeared on stage with Drake and supported Stormzy and Skepta.
He is about to team up again with Mick Skinner and The Streets, the ground-breaking hip-hop group from Birmingham and was one of the local stars that performed alongside the likes of AJ Tracey, Lady Leshurr and Aitch at the BBC 1Xtra show at the Arena Birmingham in 2019.
Pitters was in the crowd that night and not only hopes to have Jaykae walk him into the ring again once he has taken care of Cartwright next Saturday but would love to see more grime stars from the second city get involved.
“I hope this is the start of something,” he said.
“I like to support my city and behind the scenes I do a lot with the schools in Birmingham and a few charities as well, so I would love to work more with the brilliant music stars we’ve got.
“I’d love to do it again with Jaykae, maybe Mista, maybe M1llionz… There are so many. The best artists in Birmingham walking in with me would be brilliant.”
Pitters is never short of a few words in the build-up to his fights but has confirmed he will not be joining Jaykae on the mic.
They are “still discussing” which one of the star’s biggest songs will see him in, but the big punching light-heavyweight is happy to let his friend get the Skydome rocking.
“I’ve tried a bit of freestyle rapping when I’ve been on holiday with my mates, but I am not really about that,” he said.
“Jaykae always sends out a positive message for Birmingham so I will leave the words to him. I’ll just let my fists do the talking.”
Shakan Pitters: “I’d Beat Bolt…but Running Backwards!”
Former British Light-Heavyweight Champion Shakan Pitters reckons he could beat Usain Bolt running backwards… over 800m!
The Birmingham star headlines at the Coventry Skydome Arena on Saturday, November 13, when he takes on the Leeds puncher Reece Cartwright, for the Vacant WBC International Light-Heavyweight Championship, live and free on Channel 5.
Slick-hitter Pitters can’t wait to run rings round Cartwright with a victory putting him back on course towards World title contention.
Pitters’ mother was born and raised in Trelawny, Jamaica, close to Sherwood Content where the legendary Bolt grew up, and he still has relatives there.
Highly talented ‘Big Shak’, who was also a football apprentice at West Bromwich Albion, also showed some early promise on the athletics track when he held the 800m record at his secondary school and believes he would have given Bolt a run for his money.
The 6ft 6in Pitters said: “I had the record at my secondary school (George Dixon International School, Birmingham) for the 800m for a while. I was quite fast when I was younger, but was definitely more middle-distance.”
“I certainly wasn’t Usain Bolt when it came to short distances, but over 800m I’d have given him a good go. It would have to running backwards though!”
“I get all that explosive speed but with me, when people put their bodies through all that pain, I love it. It’s crazy but I love to push through it.
“That is why I was a middle-distance runner as a kid because I just knew how to adapt and stay calm under pressure. Would Usain be able to catch me over 800m? With my daddy long legs? No chance!”
“My promoter Mick Hennessy does a great job promoting fights maybe he could promote a race? I am all up for that if it makes sense and we are making good money. Bolt probably doesn’t need the money, so we’ll settle for 60%. He can get 40!”
In the ring, Pitters would be delighted to follow in Bolt’s global footsteps. Beating Cartwright will move him into the WBC top 15 world rankings, putting him back in the mix alongside the likes of British rivals Callum Smith, Josh Buatsi, Anthony Yarde and Lyndon Arthur on the light-heavyweight blocks.
And forget his 800m exploits when that opening bell sounds. Pitters doesn’t plan on letting Cartwright go the distance.
He said: “I will be going in there to take him out. There’s no great gameplan, it’s just plain and simple, I want to get him out of there. That’s just how I fight.”
Shakan Pitters v Reece Cartwright for the Vacant WBC International Light-Heavyweight Championship headlines the triple-title card that includes a fiery midlands derby between Coventry hot-shot River Wilson-Bent against Rowley Regis rival Tyler Denny for the Vacant English Middleweight Championship. Red hot Irish middleweight sensation Aaron ‘The Silencer’ McKenna will challenge for his first championship title. Aaron’s joins older brother Stevie ‘The Hitman’ McKenna who is lighting up the welterweight division with his dynamic and KO performances. The rest of the Hennessy All Stars team will be out in full force starting with Brixton cruiserweight ace Isaac Chamberlain, welterweight ace Kaisee Benjamin, Birmingham super-middleweight Idris Virgo; Sevenoaks highly talented super-welterweight Michael Hennessy Jr.; undefeated County Donegal middleweight starlet Brett McGinty and unbeaten Brighton heavyweight destroyer Tommy Welch.
Presented by Hennessy Sports in association with William Hill, Infinitum, Numan and Everlast, tickets are priced at £45, £55, £90 and £120 and are available from https://iceaccount.co.uk/wbc-championship-boxing-info