News: Arthur Abraham; Sykes vs. Johnson; Hayemaker 7

Ulli Wegner is convinced that Arthur Abraham will be the undisputed middleweight king by the end of the year. The undefeated 28-year-old takes on Lajuan Simon on March 14 in what will be the ninth defense of the IBF title he won in December 2005. After WBA champion Felix Sturm avoided an all-German showdown with the hard-hitting crowd favourite, King Arthur has now set his sights on Kelly Pavlik´s belts. “Arthur has worked very hard in training. He has high goals for 2009,” Wegner lauded. “I am sure he will be the super-champion before the end of the year.” However, the coaching legend warned his fighter to take one step at a time..

“We are not thinking too far ahead,” Wegner added. “Our full focus is on Simon now. He has not lost any of his 24 fights so we expect a hard battle. Arthur needs to be in top shape to defeat him.”

Wegner and Abraham paid a visit to Kiel yesterday where they staged a press conference alongside First Lady Cecilia Braekhus, who will fight Denmark´s Vinni Skovgaard for the world title. “It is good to be back in Kiel,” King Arthur said. “My knock-out victory against Elvin Ayala certainly was one to remember. The crowd support was fantastic. I am looking forward to returning. I will not allow Simon to destroy my big plans for 2009.”

Sykes vs. Johnson Added To Barnsley Bill

An important matchup of British prospects has been added to the Frank Maloney promoted card featuring European super bantamweight champion Rendall Munroe’s rematch against deadly Spaniard Kiko Martinez on Friday, February 27, 2009 at the Metrodome in Barnsley, England.

Gary “Five Star” Sykes will put his undefeated record on the line when he meets spoiler Craig Johnson in a scheduled six rounder at super featherweight.

24 year old Sykes, 10-0 (4), has been busy pounding his way up the ranks since turning professional three years ago and the former ABA champion from Dewsbury in Yorkshire sports the division’s fastest hands on the domestic scene.

It was that blinding speed which earned him the honor of sparring with Commonwealth lightweight kingpin Amir Khan last year, but it was the superb all-around skill of Sykes that allowed him to go even up with the more experienced Bolton wonder.

Sykes has barely lost a round in his ten bouts to date but will pit his busy style against the more direct approach favored by his opponent on February 27, Craig Johnson, who has faced the tougher opposition.

Johnson, 9-3 (0), an iron-chinned 28 year old from Clay Cross, Derbyshire, saw a three year, six bout win streak fall in a Midlands Area lightweight title scrap with future English champ Martin Gethin during a very close contest in September, 2007.

Two bouts later, Johnson came up short by a small margin to undefeated Scottish lightweight titlist Charlie Paul King but showed improvement as he roared back in his most recent bout to put the first loss on the record of highly touted Manchester area prospect Jonathan Kays last November.

With a British title eliminator looming on the horizon for Sykes, “The Dewsbury Demon” cannot afford anything less than a picture perfect performance if he is to get past this difficult challenge posed by the tenacious Johnson.

Frank Maloney Promotions presents Rendall Munroe vs. Kiko Martinez for the Super Bantamweight Championship of Europe with full supporting undercard at the Metrodome in Barnsley, England on Friday, February 27, 2009.

Tickets are priced at £75 and £35 and are available by logging onto www.frankmaloney.com or by calling the Box Office at 0871 226 1508.

Sky Sports will televise the action live on SS1 starting at 10PM.

Woodhouse, Wale and Maxwell appear on HAYEMAKER 7: ‘Pain at the Lane’

Boxing and football join hands on Sunday, March 29, when Hayemaker triple threat Curtis Woodhouse, Patrick Maxwell and Josh ‘The Outlaw’ Wale invade Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane.

Appearing at Sheffield United’s Platinum Suite, Woodhouse and fellow punch machines Wale and Maxwell look to maintain their reputations as exciting, hard-hitting prospects.

The occasion will, of course, be extra special for former United player and pro footballer Woodhouse, now 9-0 in a promising boxing career. The 28-year-old welterweight made over 100 appearances for Sheffield United before being transferred to Birmingham City for £1 million.

Now looking to fulfil a lifelong passion as a boxer, Woodhouse returns to Bramall Lane on March 29 to display just what he’s picked up along the way in a six-round bout.

Also out to prove a point will be thrilling punchers Wale and Maxwell, both gunning for domestic belts in 2009.

Fresh off a ferocious war with veteran puncher Paul Samuels, the 29-year-old Maxwell looks to build on momentum and start taking domestic names. A big puncher with a desire to trade bombs, it’s advised to never blink when Maxwell is in the ring.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Barnsley prodigy Wale is eager to get his career back on track following an unfortunate injury defeat last time out against Harry Ramagoadi. Renowned as one of the most continuously exciting fighters in Britain, super-bantamweight Wale will exhibit his relentless style March 29.

Trainer and manager Dave Coldwell is pleased to be back at the Lane.

“This will be the second show I’ve put on at the Platinum Suite, and the third show I’ve put on at Sheffield United,” says Coldwell.

“It’s always a pleasure going back there and the crowd really get behind the lads – especially Curtis, who is still something of a hero up there.

“Curtis will be doing six three-minute rounds for the first time in his career, and we’ll be looking to increase the level of his competition in 2009. We’re very confident he can handle it.

“Wale and Maxwell are both value for money kids, with lots of explosive power and energy. You’d never watch either and ask for your money back at the end of the night. In fact, all three guys on the show are massively entertaining.”

*** Tickets for HAYEMAKER 7: ‘Pain at the Lane’ are priced at £26 and can be purchased via the Sheffield United events office on 08716 632 448. For more information, email events@sufc.co.uk or visit www.sufc.co.uk and www.sheffieldconference.com.

*** HAYEMAKER 7: ‘Pain at the Lane’ takes place on Sunday, March 29 at Sheffield United’s Platinum Suite. Doors open at 4pm and boxing commences at 5pm.

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Boxing News News: Arthur Abraham; Sykes vs. Johnson; Hayemaker 7