UK Boxing News Roundup

Cyclone Promotions and Matchroom Boxing are delighted to confirm the first two Ireland vs. England battles on the undercard of Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg’s World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena on February 27, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on SHOWTIME in the US.

Belfast’s Marco McCullough and Morecambe’s Isaac Lowe clash for the vacant Commonwealth Featherweight title while unbeaten former Team GB star Charlie Edwards tackles Belfast’s Luke Wilton in a final eliminator for the British Flyweight title at the sold-out arena.

McCullough will be full of confidence ahead of his first action of 2016 having finished a challenging year with wins over Sergejs Logins and Sergio Prado – and the 26 year old expects to have too much for the local man in Manchester.

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“I’m delighted to be part of this massive show,” said McCullough. “To be boxing on Sky Sports Box Office on the undercard of my Cyclone stablemate Carl Frampton is a huge moment in my career.

“Isaac is a talented lad but I have boxed at a higher level and I’m one hundred percent confident that I will be walking away with that Commonwealth belt on February 27. My uncle Tommy Waite won the Commonwealth Bantamweight title in Manchester sixteen years ago and I can’t wait to emulate him.

“I have boxed in front of massive crowds before against former World Champions, Isaac hasn’t, and it’s this experience that will prove the difference on the night. I will have the bigger support in Manchester and I’m going to do them proud and win this fight in style.”

English champion Lowe turns 22 this week and the ‘Westgate Warrior’ believes he’ll KO his Belfast rival and notch a second major title in his blossoming career.

“It’s great to get the opportunity to box on such a big show,” said Lowe. “To fight on Sky Sports Box Office is a dream come true so early in my career – I’m so excited.

“Marco has had a good career, he’s a strong puncher – but he’s hittable and beatable. He’s been knocked out twice and on my day I beat him all day long. He is my toughest test so far, but as we’ve seen with my past two fights – the better opposition, the better I perform.

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“I’m expecting him to give everything he’s got – but I’m confident I will weather the storm and emerge victorious. If the Irish boo me, so be it. I will feed off that and perform even better. Remember, there will be 10,000 screaming fans from North West, so we will do our best to drown them out. I want to prove to everyone in Britain that I am World class.”

Surrey starlet Edwards landed the English Flyweight title in his fifth fight and defended it in style in November at the Manchester Arena with a sixth round stoppage of Phil Smith to end his debut year on a high. The 22 year old says he wants to hit the ground running in 2016 by landing a British title shot with a big win over the experienced Wilton.

“It’s great to be on such a huge bill in my first fight in 2016,” said Edwards. “Last year was amazing, starting in January with my pro debut before ending the year in Manchester with a first defence of my English title, I couldn’t have asked for more.

“Luke has been around for a while and has had a lot more fights than I have, so I am expecting a tough night, but I am on a roll and I feel unstoppable, and I fully expect to put in a great performance in Manchester.”

Cyclone and Matchroom will be announcing further championship fights on the undercard later this week.

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RYDER: KHOMITSKY CARRIES THE ‘FEAR FACTOR’

John Ryder says he has the ‘fear factor’ ahead of his WBA International Middleweight title clash with ‘Brit Basher’ Sergey Khomitsky at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on January 30, live on Sky Sports.

Ryder is looking to kick 2016 with a big win over the Belarussian banger but the Islington man is fully aware of the threat he carries.

Khomitsky’s last outing in the UK saw him poleaxe talented Sheffield starlet Adam Etches with a brutal one-punch KO in March, and the Copper Box was the scene of his clinical assault on popular Londoner Frank Buglioni in April 2014.

Islington man Ryder is gunning to get back into the exciting mix of young Middleweight stars in the UK, but he knows he has to be on his guard against Khomitsky.

“There’s a fear factor for me in this fight, 100 per cent,” said Ryder. “I’m doing things majorly differently to how I’ve approached fights before and that element of fear is in me as I know what Khomitsky is capable of. Take no notice of his age, the last thing to go in a fighter is their power, he’ll have that until the end, so I know that this is a dangerous fight.

“He’s showed power at Super-Middleweight and then shown that he can make Middleweight and keep that power. He takes his opportunities where he can, whether they are at 168lbs or 160lbs, but he’s had plenty of time to prepare for this fight so I expect him to be at his best.

“It was over a year since we were meant to fight and it didn’t happen for one reason or another. But looking back at the mistakes I’ve made since then, and you think if that fight had happened a year ago, it could’ve been a bad night for me, but now I feel that it is a fight that I will definitely win.

“My diet and training has changed a lot since losing to Nick Blackwell. The most important thing in a loss is to learn from it. I don’t want to lose any more fights and I know that I have put in hard work and the right type of work to get the win.”

Ryder’s clash with Khomitsky is part of a huge night of action in east London as Super-Middleweight star George Groves takes on Italian Andrea Di Luisa for the vacant WBC International title.

John Wayne Hibbert defends his Commonwealth and WBC International Super Lightweight titles against Tommy Martin and Martin J. Ward defends his WBC International Super-Featherweight strap against Italian Mario Pisanti.

Former football star Leon McKenzie continues his charge towards titles in the ring in a final eliminator for the English Super-Middleweight title against Kelvin Young and Brentwood’s Kris Agyei-Dua defends his Southern Area Super-Welterweight title against Chadwell Heath’s Ben Hall.

There’s a host of young talents on the bill with Watford Featherweight Reece Bellotti tasting eight-round action for the first time in the paid ranks, action for Brixton’s Lightweight banger Ohara Davies, Bermondsey Welterweight Ted Cheeseman, Crystal Palace Super-Middleweight Craig Richards, West Ham Super-Bantamweight Lucien Reid, Wimbledon Welterweight Louis Adolphe and Rainham Light Heavyweight Charlie Duffield.

Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 & £100 available from www.seetickets.com by calling 08712307148 (Calls cost 10ppm plus your network access charge)

£200 VIP tickets are available exclusively from www.matchroomboxing.com

Tickets for January 30 are also available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ – StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua MBE.

HIBBERT: IF MARTIN THINKS SPARS WERE ‘WARS’ – HE’S IN FOR A SHOCK

John Wayne Hibbert has laughed of Tommy Martin’s claims that their sparring sessions were ‘wars’ – and said he cannot wait to silence the young pretender at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on January 30, live on Sky Sports.

Hibbert defends his Commonwealth and WBC International Super-Lightweight titles against Martin, his friend and sparring partner for the fight of the year battles with Dave Ryan last year for the belts he defends in east London.

Essex man Hibbert is aware that Martin, ten years his junior, has the backing of the bookmakers and fans in the fight, but warned the 21 year old that he will not be taking his titles away and that he is in for a rude awakening if he thinks their sparring sessions were tough.

“I read the other day that Tommy said our sparring sessions were ‘wars’ – I’ve got news for you pal, they weren’t wars!” said Hibbert. “If you think they were wars then come January 30, you are in for a massive shock.

“We had good sparring sessions and they were competitive but whatever he brings to the table I have the answer for. He has said that he is expecting us to have a war – I think that will be mistake as it will be a short night.

“If Tommy wants a tear-up, we can do that, if he wants to box – we can box, I’m not fussed.

“The bookies and many on social media have Tommy as the favourite going in to this fight – maybe the feel he is too young and too fresh but they will be losing a few quid on fight night.”

Hibbert landed the belts in a rematch with Ryan at The O2 in September after their epic battle for the same straps in May, having come out on top in a tussle with Tyler Goodjohn earlier in the year – big fights that has put Hibbert at the top end of the Super-Lightweight division and in line for more major title shots, if he sees off the challenge of Martin.

“It’s the second consecutive year I’ve missed Christmas as it’s be slap-bang in the middle of camp,” said Hibbert. “I had a busy 2015 with the Tyler fight and then the two wars with Dave.

“The May fight with Dave was an absolute classic. I dropped him twice and he won in the ninth – fair play to him. The recent one in September I’ve had some stick off his fans for on social media – yes, he was injured, but even the referee said he was completely gone and it was the right decision to stop the fight.

“Some might argue if the shoe was on the other foot – would he have reacted differently? We will never know. You can never say never when it comes to myself versus Dave – who knows what the future holds.

“Tommy has my undivided attention though – some people believe I may be overlooking him and assuming he is just young, but that is not the case – I’ve grafted hard and ready to do a number on him.”

Hibbert’s clash with Martin is part of a huge night of action in east London as Super-Middleweight star George Groves takes on Italian Andrea Di Luisa for the vacant WBC International title.

Islington Middleweight John Ryder is in a make-or-break clash with ‘Brit Basher’ Sergey Khomitsky for the vacant WBA International title and his Tony Sims’ gym-mate Martin J. Ward defends his WBC International Super-Featherweight strap against Italian Mario Pisanti.

Former football star Leon McKenzie continues his charge towards titles in the ring in a final eliminator for the English Super-Middleweight title against Kelvin Young and Brentwood’s Kris Agyei-Dua defends his Southern Area Super-Welterweight title against Chadwell Heath’s Ben Hall.

There’s a host of young talents on the bill with Watford Featherweight Reece Bellotti tasting eight-round action for the first time in the paid ranks, action for Brixton’s Lightweight banger Ohara Davies, Bermondsey Welterweight Ted Cheeseman, Crystal Palace Super-Middleweight Craig Richards, West Ham Super-Bantamweight Lucien Reid, Wimbledon Welterweight Louis Adolphe and Rainham Light Heavyweight Charlie Duffield.

Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 & £100 available from www.seetickets.com by calling 08712307148 (Calls cost 10ppm plus your network access charge)

£200 VIP tickets are available exclusively from www.matchroomboxing.com

Tickets for January 30 are also available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ – StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua MBE.

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