UK Boxing News: Martin Gethin; Matthew Macklin; James DeGale

Walsall lightweight Martin Gethin admits he’s both surprised and delighted Liverpool’s John Watson has decided to go up against him in a British title eliminator on March 28. Believing the fight may have come a little too early in his opponent’s fledgling career, Gethin is looking to take advantage of Watson’s ambition at Liverpool’s Echo Arena. “It should be an interesting fight,” says Gethin, 15-1-1 (7 KO) in his pro career. “John’s an up and coming boxer with lots of talent, but he’s definitely not as experienced as me. That’s where I’ll have the edge..

“He’s a good lad, but he’s not really been pushed yet. I’m surprised they’ve taken this fight so early in his career. He’s only had nine fights and now he’s involved in a British title eliminator. They must have a lot of faith in him as it’s a big step up.”

As well as only boasting nine pro bouts to his name, Watson, a former Senior ABA champion, has yet to go beyond four rounds. On March 28 the undefeated Watson will be up against a man in Gethin who has gone 10 rounds once, and beyond six many times.

“I can do 10 rounds fairly easy,” admits Gethin, who has snapped the unbeaten records of prospects John Fewkes and Nadeem Siddique in his 17-bout pro career.

“It’s a really big jump in rounds for Watson. I suppose he’s just trying to get to that British title shot as quickly as possible and sees me as his route there. I’m up there already, but I haven’t got my shot yet. This is my big chance, as well as his big chance.

“I’m hoping to get the British title shot after beating Watson. It’s always been my dream to fight for that Lonsdale belt and I’ve built my career up the right way. I’ve gone through six, eight and ten rounders and am now there or thereabouts.”

Should Gethin shatter the title hopes of Watson on March 28, the Walsall man can look forward to a shot at champion John Murray’s British title. First, though, he must put behind him the disappointment of a cuts defeat to Scott Lawton last time out.

“In the last fight (against Lawton) I went in with a cold and still did the nine rounds fine,” recalls Gethin, a former English and Midlands Area lightweight champion. “My nose was bunged up the whole fight and I just had no energy or snap in my work.

“I just didn’t feel as quick or as strong as I normally do. You can’t take it away from Lawton – he’s a very good boxer – but I wasn’t up to it on the night. The ref said I was losing by a point, but I still felt I was getting to him in the later rounds.

“I could have been winning the fight and then got stopped on a cut, though. That would have been really gutting. Fair play to him, Lawton was slightly ahead at the time. You can either get upset about these things or you can come back stronger. I’ll do that on March 28.”

Admitting he knows little of Watson’s style, Gethin is prepared to overcome anyone in pursuit of his dream British title shot.

“I haven’t seen Watson fight yet,” admits Gethin. “I tried looking for a couple of fights, but I haven’t managed to get any.

“I picture him as one of those long-range, hit-and-move boxers who uses his reach a lot. He’s quite tall and rangy. Whatever way he fights, I expect to be the one coming forward and making the fight. I’ve been working on cutting down the ring, getting inside and moving my head more.

“To be honest, I prefer fighting taller boxers because I find it easier to get inside on them. Siddique was a lot taller than me and tried to box me from range. Eventually, though, I worked my way inside and broke him down.

“It’s going to be a tough fight on March 28, but I’ll get through it in the end. I always find a way to win.”

*** 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.

Macklin shrugs off Lynch comments ahead of Elcock showdown

Matthew Macklin insists that he won’t be drawn into a war of words with ex trainer Paddy Lynch ahead of his British title challenge next month. Macklin will go head to head with reigning middleweight champ Wayne Elcock in an all Birmingham clash, which is being billed as “The Battle of Brum”. The mouth watering bout headlines a Hennessy Sports show at the Aston Arena in the city on March 14th and will be live on ITV4.

Lynch trained Macklin for the early part of his pro career but he will be in Elcock’s corner next month. Earlier this week Lynch blasted the challenger with a series of stinging comments but Macklin is adamant that he won’t take the bait.

“I’m not going to lose any sleep over what Paddy’s had to say,” claimed Macklin. “I think all he’s done is put pressure on his own fighter. According to him Wayne doesn’t have anything to worry about. Apparently I’ve been rubbish for my last few fights, haven’t improved since I turned pro and my best performance was when I got knocked out so the fight should be a walk in the park for Wayne if that’s the case!”

Macklin also rejected claims that he was “gobbing off” in the media about the fight. “I’m not sure where that came from because I’ve only ever done one interview about the fight since it was announced. All I said was that I was confident and feel I can beat Wayne inside the distance and I haven’t changed my mind on that.”

Macklin admits that he felt “flat” in his last fight, a points win over Geard Ajetovic in October but says that he will have no problems motivating himself for Elcock. “My last performance certainly wasn’t anywhere near what I’m capable of. I felt flat on the night but Geard is a dangerous guy. There aren’t too many other British fighters queuing up to fight him and I still beat him quite comfortably.

“I found it hard to get up for that fight and I was going through the motions a bit but I’ll have no problems getting up for Elcock. This is a massive chance for me and I’m not going to let it pass me by.

“I’ve got on well with Wayne in the past and I’m sure we’ll get on well together again after the fight but business is business and I want that British title. I feel I’ve been made to wait because I had to become the mandatory challenger before they’d take the fight. Had the shoe been on the other foot I’d have given Wayne first crack at the title because it’s such a massive fight for Birmingham but they’ve kept me waiting.”

An exciting undercard features the chief support 10 round battle between English Welterweight Champion Adnan Amar and Southern Area Welterweight Champion Tom Glover, also featuring new Heavyweight Sensation Tyson Fury alongside Eddie O’Rourke, Sid Razak, Callum Archer, Chris Male, Quinton Hillocks and Joel Walton

Tickets for Elcock – Macklin: The Battle of Brum at the Aston Arena, Birmingham on March 14th available from the Ticketline box office on 0871 424 4444 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.

TCHILAIA WARNS DeGALE

Georgian hard man Vepkhia Tchilaia has promised to ruin James DeGale’s professional career in his very first fight.

The 21-year-old, from Tbilisi, Georgia, meets the 2008 Olympic gold medallist at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on February 28.

And he says he will knockout the flash North Londoner in spectacular style.

“Of course I’ve seen DeGale boxing in the Olympics but I am not worried about him at all,” said Tchilaia.

“He is very classy to win the Olympics but the professionals are totally different and next week he is going to get a bad start in his new career.

“He lacks any power and I don’t think he can take a punch too well. I think I will win by knockout, maybe even early.

“I love a good fight – but I don’t know if DeGale does.

“He spent most of the Olympic final running from that Cuban.

“If he runs from me it might make it a longer fight but I’ll catch up with him in the end and put him on his backside.”

Tickets, priced at £30, £50, £100 and £150, are available from: Ticket Factory 0844 338 8000
www.theticketfactory.com

***FIGHT CARD***

FRANK WARREN PROUDLY PRESENTS
CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2009
THE NATIONAL INDOOR ARENA, BIRMINGHAM

THE COMMONWEALTH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
12 X 3 Minutes Rounds
MATT SKELTON (Bedford, England) vs. MARTIN ROGAN (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

THE COMMONWEALTH SUPER-FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
12 X 3 Minute Rounds at 8st 3lb (115lb)
DON BROADHURST (Birmingham, England) vs. ISSAC OWUSU (Accra, Ghana)

THE MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF ENGLAND
10 X 3 Minute Rounds at 11st 6lb (160lb)
STEVE BENDALL (Coventry, England) vs. DARREN McDERMOTT (Dudley, England)

4 X 3 Minute Rounds Middleweight Contest
JAMES DeGALE (Harlesden, London, England) vs. VEPKHIA TCHILAIA (Tblisi, Georgia)

4 X 3 Minute Rounds Welterweight Contest
FRANKIE GAVIN (Birmingham, England) vs. GEORGE KADARIA (Tblisi, Georgia)

4 X 3 Minute Rounds Light-Welterweight Contest
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS (Hatfield, England) vs. ATTILA MOLNAR (Hungary)

4 X 3 Minute Rounds Featherweight Contest
STEVEN SMITH (Liverpool, England) vs. TBA

8 X 3 Minute Rounds Welterweight Contest
MARK LLOYD (Wolverhampton, England) vs. TBA

4 X 3 Minute Rounds Light-Middleweight Contest
THOMAS COSTELLO (Birmingham, England) vs. MATT SCRIVEN (Nottingham, England)

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Boxing News UK Boxing News: Martin Gethin; Matthew Macklin; James DeGale