Ted Cheeseman clashes with undefeated Spaniard Sergio Garcia for the EBU European Super-Welterweight crown at The O2 in London on February 2, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
‘The Big Cheese’ gets his European title shot after outpointing Asinia Byfield in an all-action battle for the Lonsdale belt at the Copper Box Arena in October, and the Bermondsey favourite knows a win over Garcia could secure a mouth-watering fight with Liverpool’s Anthony Fowler.
Bitter Light-Heavyweight rivals Jake Ball and Craig Richards finally get in on after Ball pulled out of their October meeting at short notice due to injury, and there is no love lost between the pair who have been trading insults over Twitter ever since.
Felix Cash won his first professional title in October and now he gets the chance to add a second when he takes on Nigeria’s Abolaji Rasheed for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight title, with the Wokingham man determined to make up for lost time.
Undefeated British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion Lawrence Okolie returns to action after wrestling the Lonsdale belt from Matty Askin at Wembley Stadium, and the Hackney powerhouse is aiming to add more belts to his collection in 2019.
Craig Richards is desperate to get one over on Jake Ball when the Light-Heavyweight rivals clash for the WBA Continental title in next month’s rearranged grudge fight.
The South Londoner finally locks horns with Ball at The O2 in London on February 2, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US, after his opponent pulled out of their scheduled fight in October at late notice.
‘Spider’ accepted Ball’s verbal challenge but was left frustrated when the Dominic Ingle-trained fighter took to social media to post pictures of his injured hand on the week of the fight and has questioned whether the Surrey man genuinely wanted to share the ring with him in October.
“I’ve lost a lot of respect for Jake,” said Richards. “The whole saga has been very frustrating. I just want to get the win and move on with my career. This has been dragging on for several months now and it’s time to put an end to it on February 2nd.
“All of his silly excuses, all of the delays and rearranged dates – it’s become a hindrance on my career and he’s wasting my time. We’ve become a bit of a comedy act and it’s something that I need to get away from. I’m desperate to beat him and look forward to a big 2019.
“He’s been holding me up for too long now. We tried to reschedule it for December 22nd but it never happened because Dominic Ingle couldn’t be in his corner as he was already busy. There’s been a lot of excuses but there won’t be anywhere to hide next month.
“For me, I’m on a mission, I’m hungry and I want to progress. I’m not sure if Jake shares the same passion and hunger as me. Maybe that’s why he’s messed me around for so long. It’s important for me to channel this frustration properly in the gym and on the night.”
The 28-year-old believes a win over Ball will earn him more title opportunities in the Light-Heavyweight division and says he is feeling the benefits of moving up to the 175lbs limit.
“I’m ready to make my mark in 2019,” said Richards. “This year it’s all about big competitive fights and pushing myself to challenge for more titles. Everything has started to come together nicely and the time for me is now.
“I’m back at my natural weight and it’s showing in all aspects of my game. I’m punching with a lot more power in sparring and I’m much more energetic outside of the gym. I’ve got a spring in my step and I’m excited about boxing again.”
Ball vs. Richards is part of a huge night of action in London.
Bermondsey star Ted Cheeseman steps up again when he challenges undefeated Spaniard Sergio Garcia for the European Super-Welterweight crown.
Undefeated British Cruiserweight Champion Lawrence Okolie returns to action after his win over Matty Askin at Wembley Stadium in September.
Rising Wokingham Middleweight talent Felix Cash fights for his second professional title when he takes on Nigeria’s Abolaji Rasheed for the vacant Commonwealth strap, with more fights to be announced soon.
Tickets for February 2 priced at £30, £50, £80 and £150 are (VIP) available to purchase from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
Frank Smith, the Chief Executive of Matchroom Boxing, has been appointed to the main board of the group’s parent company, Matchroom Sport.
Smith, 26, first worked within Matchroom as a 14-year-old on work experience, and started full time in September 2008 after he left school.
Having worked across many of the sports that Matchroom promote, Smith joined the Boxing department full-time in 2011 and worked his way through the ranks to assume the post of CEO in April this year.
“Frank has proven himself to be a top-class operator over the past decade, and thoroughly deserves this appointment, said Barry Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Sport.
“He cut his teeth working across many different events but has established himself within the boxing world where he is respected and liked by all.
“He has a bright future ahead of him he is a major asset to our group.”
Smith joins the board of directors which as well as Barry Hearn (Chairman), also includes Eddie Hearn (Group Managing Director), Katie Hearn (Head of Television), Steve Dawson (CEO, Matchroom Sport and World Snooker) and Matthew Porter (CEO, Professional Darts Corporation).
Matchroom Sport is the world’s leading independent promoter of professional sports events and as well as Matchroom Boxing, World Snooker and the Professional Darts Corporation also owns the PGA EuroPro Tour and promotes events in gymnastics, basketball, netball, 9-ball pool, fishing, tenpin and ping-pong.
In 2018 it was named in 60th place in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 ranking of Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales.