UK News: Billy Joe Saunders; Steven Ward; Nathaniel May

Following reports of an adverse analytical finding in a test carried out by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (“VADA”) on WBO World Middleweight Champion, Billy Joe Saunders, we can confirm that the product concerned is permitted to be used ‘Out of Competition’ by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (“UKAD”) in line with the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”).

For the avoidance of doubt, the product in question was a common decongestant nasal spray.

The British Boxing Board of Control (“BBBofC”) under whose jurisdiction Billy Joe Saunders is licensed are affiliated only to UKAD/WADA.

Today the BBBofC have confirmed that Mr Saunders is not in breach of BBBofC or UKAD anti doping regulations and is therefore in good standing and is licensed to box and defend his World Title on October 20th.

Mr. Saunders has been tested a number of times in 2018, all negative, his last out of competition test by UKAD was on 24th September 2018.

Ward to wow Belfast and rubbish ‘boring’ tag

Steven Ward accepts he “might not be the life and soul of the party” but is planning to serve up some serious entertainment when he steps in against Mexican champion Rolando Paredes in Belfast on October 5.

The unbeaten Celtic light-heavyweight king (8-0-KO3) moves up to 10 rounds in front of his home crowd at the Titanic Exhibition Centre – live on BoxNation – and is sure Paredes’ aggressive style will contribute towards an exciting fight.

Ward said: “This is a step up. He’s stopped 11 out of his 15 wins and you don’t get many easy Mexicans. I expect him to bring the best out of me.

“We prepared for a come-forward fighter last time out and although we didn’t get that when we stepped in the ring, it’s a case of more of the same in preparation. I’m excited to get back in there.

“Boxing in Belfast is just massive at the moment. I fell on my feet with the timing of turning professional and I’m lucky to be a part of it. I’m grateful to MTK Global for having me active all the time.”

The towering Ward has been peppered by gym-mates Carl Frampton and Conrad Cummings with the nickname ‘Boring’ of late – but raised eyebrows during a recent BBC documentary on Frampton with a cutting jibe at Frampton’s height.

Addressing his character, Ward said: “I might not be the life and soul of the party but I’ve got the odd one-liner every now and then. What makes it funny is nobody expects it.

“The boys take the ‘mickey’ out of me saying I’m boring but I’m just happy in my own skin. I’m happy enough to sit in the background and be the ‘grey man’ as they say.

“I don’t have to be the front-facing face of everything but every so often, someone puts a pound in me and I chirp up with a cracker.”

Ward takes on Paredes at #DANGERATTHEDOCKS on a card headlined by Tyrone McCullagh’s European title clash with Josh Kennedy and also featuring Paddy Gallagher vs. Jay Byrne, Marco McCullough vs. Ruddy Encarnacion, Conrad Cummings, Nathaniel May, Gary Cully, Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Padraig McCrory and Sean McGlinchey.

World-ranked May reveals Belfast roots ahead of showcase

World-ranked featherweight Nathaniel May is preparing to announce himself to Belfast fans in style on Friday – and has more in common with them than you might think.

The Australian (19-1-KO11) has ancestors from the famous fight city and is looking forward to a boisterous atmosphere when he takes to the ring on a stacked card at the Titanic Exhibition Centre – live on BoxNation.

‘Cheeky’ said: “My great-grandfather was from Belfast and in the early 1900s he moved from Belfast over to Australia and married my great-grandmother.

“I don’t really know a great deal about my Belfast roots yet but I’m looking forward to finding out more and fighting in front of the fans there, who I hear are some of the best in the world.

“I was talking to my gym-mate Scott Quigg in Los Angeles about the atmosphere that awaits on Friday and he said the Belfast crowd are always nice and lively so I can’t wait to put on a show for them.

“I have big plans for the next 12 months. I’m ranked highly by the IBF and obviously you have Carl Frampton challenging Josh Warrington for that belt in December so I’ll be paying close attention to that.

“Whatever happens, I want my shot within a year and if it’s the winner of Warrington vs. Frampton, that’d be great.”

Headlining a busy night of Belfast boxing is Tyrone McCullagh vs. Josh Kennedy for the WBO European super-bantamweight title, with Paddy Gallagher vs. Jay Byrne for the Celtic crown, Steven Ward vs. Rolando Paredes, Marco McCullough vs. Ruddy Encarnacion, Conrad Cummings, Gary Cully, Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Padraig McCrory and Sean McGlinchey also starring.