RENDALL MUNROE has promised to deliver a knockout performance when he defends his European super-bantamweight title against old rival Kiko Martinez at Barnsley Metrodome on Friday 27th February. Munroe (17-1) caused one of the biggest ring upsets of 2008 last March when he outpointed the heavy handed Spaniard to claim the Euro crown. And the Leicester binman has catapulted into the world rankings with three successful defences since his epic win over Martinez (20-1)..
Southpaw Munroe, 28, said: “I am going to show everyone how much I have learned in this rematch.
“The only way to better what I did last time is to stop him and I think I can do that. If I get the chance, I will go for the knock-out.
“I know I surprised a lot of people when I outpointed him and now I’m planning to knock him out.”
Martinez, 22, has 12 wins inside three rounds on his record but Munroe is prepared for the challenger’s whirlwind start.
He added: “I know people think I’m a slow starter and Martinez has got a lot of quick knock-outs, so he’s going to come out with all guns blazing.
“He’s going to come out throwing bombs. He is a puncher..”
A special attraction on the show being televised by Sky Sports is the professional debut of Olympic light-heavyweight bronze medallist Tony Jeffries.
Also on the bill Munroe’s stable mate Derby’s Scott Haywood (19-2) challenges WBC ranked number three light welterweight Ajose Olusegun (25-0) for the Commonwealth light-welterweight title.
Tickets priced £35 and £75 are selling fast. You can order from www.frankmaloney.com and 0871 226 1508.
Watson prepares for war with Gethin on March 28
Liverpool lightweight John Watson will move one step closer to a British title shot on March 28 at the Echo Arena when he battles Martin Gethin over 10 rounds at HAYEMAKER 6: ‘The Mersey Beatdown’.
An intriguing mix of pressure fighters, Watson and Gethin will meet in a British lightweight title eliminator. The moment can’t come soon enough for the ambitious Watson.
“I was told about the fight on the morning of our Liverpool press conference and, without even having to think about it, knew it was the right fight to take,” enthuses Watson.
“I want to go places in this sport and make a name for myself, and this is the kind of fight I need to start doing that.”
Currently 9-0 (4 KO), Watson – a former Senior ABA champion – has barely dropped a round, let alone fight in his two-year pro career. Boasting a relentless style and punishing body attack, the 25-year-old has already been earmarked as one of Liverpool’s best British title hopes.
On March 28, Watson will discover if his title ambitions are to become a reality or remain a mere pipe dream. In jumping from four-rounders to a potentially gruelling 10-rounder, Watson is eager to discover what’s ahead.
“In the past I’ve had four-rounders and people have always told me afterwards that they wanted to see more of me,” says Watson.
“Against Gethin I’ll probably just have to adapt from being a four-round fighter – which requires a really fast pace – and just settle down over the distance. It will be like going from a sprint to a marathon. I don’t want to do anything stupid and burn myself out in the first few rounds. I’ve got to be clever, take my time and not rush my work.
“This is now my chance to show just what I can do over 10 rounds. With it being an eliminator, I have even more incentive to put on a good show. I want a British title shot this year.”
Standing in the way of Watson’s British title plan is Walsall punch machine Gethin. A former English champion, Gethin can already claim the unbeaten scalps of John Fewkes and Nadeem Siddique on his 15-1-1 (7 KO) record. Never in a bad fight, Gethin could bring out the best in Watson.
“He’s all-action, has got a good work rate and obviously comes to fight,” assesses Watson. “It will make for a great fight for the Liverpool audience and all the people watching on Setanta Sports.
“There are a load of good fights on this card, but I think me and Gethin guarantees a good fight just based on our styles. You know what you’re going to get in this fight, whereas a fight like Ryan Rhodes against Anthony Small is a little harder to predict.”
Ultimately, Watson’s banker war with Gethin could provide the ideal dress rehearsal for bigger nights up ahead.
“It’s a good fight for me because Gethin’s a pressure fighter and so is John Murray, the British champion. So long as I come through Gethin, it will provide good preparation for the Murray fight down the road.
“I believe that if you’re good enough you’re ready enough. I feel good enough to box for the British title right now. I’m confident in my own ability and feel that, although the fight has come early in my career, it’s come at a time when I feel more than ready for it.”
With so much at stake on March 28, Watson is adamant he wants to do far more than just win. He wants to make a statement.
“I see myself outboxing Gethin, but also fighting him and beating him on the inside – at his game,” says Watson. “I want to beat him in every possible area. I don’t just want to go out there and beat him with a jab and movement. I want to dominate him and beat him for strength, power, speed and stamina. I want to look great over the 10 rounds.”
*** John Watson’s British title eliminator with Martin Gethin forms part of the undercard to HAYEMAKER 6: ‘The Mersey Beatdown’ on March 28 at the Echo Arena. Headlining the show will be local lad Tony Dodson’s attempt to win back his old British title from Brian Magee, as well as Ryan Rhodes’ British title defence against Anthony Small.
*** To purchase tickets to HAYEMAKER 6: ‘The Mersey Beatdown’ visit www.accliverpool.com or call 0844 8000 400.
Cecilia Braekhus preparing for first World Title fight
The First Lady of the Sauerland-Team, Cecilia Braekhus, will take her first tilt at the World Title on March 14 in Kiel. The Berlin-based fighter challenges Denmark’s Vinni Skovgaard for the WBA and WBC belts. “This is a huge opportunity and I am really looking forward to it,” enthused Braekhus, who is unbeaten in ten fights since turning professional. “Thanks must go to my management: I never expected to get a crack at the World Title so soon,” she added.
The Norwegian shooting star signed a contract with Sauerland at the start of 2008, becoming the first female boxer in the 30-year history of the renowned boxing promoters. Her nickname The First Lady not only signals her intentions, but it also reflects her status at Sauerland.
“With Cecilia, we have not only finally got a talented female boxer under contract, but we have signed a future World Champion,” claimed general manager Christian Meyer. “Cecilia’s big successes and her popularity in Norway have convinced us.”
In January 2007, the 27-year-old beauty from Bergen made her professional debut. In Basle, she defeated Ksenija Koprek on a unanimous points decision. Since then, Ulli Wegner has been monitoring her progress closely. After three more triumphs, the decision was made to take a gamble on the Norwegian talent. Wegner said: “I am delighted to be able to train a woman for the first time. The lads can learn a lot from her. She has what it takes to become World Champion.”
At the age of 14, Braekhus moved into top performance sport. She became World and European champion in kick-boxing before she turned to boxing at the age of 22. She made a seamless transition to the new sport, continuing to be successful: In 80 fights, she has won over 70 and tasted success at World and European championships. Now the Colombia-born Braekhus, who was adopted by her Norwegian parents at the age of three, is making waves on the professional scene. In Norway, she has long since been a TV and media icon and is regularly invited as a special, star guest to top TV shows.
Cecilia Braekhus now feels the need to pay back the faith placed in her with victories. “For me it is an honour to be the first woman at such a renowned boxing promoter. And now I would really like to become the first female World Champion in our team!”
To enable her to train even harder, the welterweight has set up home in Berlin. And to improve communication with her trainer, she has been learning German for several months. She already speaks Norwegian and English fluently. “My German is not yet good enough for TV interviews, but it is improving by the day,” she admitted.
In June 2008, the First Lady gave her much-anticipated debut on the undercard at the King Artur Abraham fight against Edison Miranda in the USA. Against the strong local favourite Nicole Woods, she won a unanimous points decision and was revered by the American fans in Hollywood.
And when the exotic boxer with her attractive style gets into the ring, her little mascot is always sitting in the corner. The Super Moose, a small Elk wearing a Superman costume, has been a lucky charm for Cecilia so far and is even building up its own reputation on TV. “The Super Moose is a gift from Mrs. Wegner, my trainer’s wife,” explained the lady from the land of Elks. “He is so sweet. I always carry him with me, especially into the boxing ring,” added Braekhus.