RENDALL MUNROE has hailed his former amateur trainers who stopped him from walking away from boxing when he was a teenager. Leicester’s boxing binman listened and is on the verge of a world title challenge provided he successfully defends his European super-bantamweight championship against old rival Kiko Martinez (20-1) at Barnsley Metrodome on Friday. Promoter Frank Maloney hopes to set up a clash against the winner of next month’s WBA title fight between Ricardo Cordoba and Bernard Dunne if Munroe (17-1) overcomes the Spaniard he claimed the crown from last year..
Thanks to his coaches at Old Robin Hood ABC, John Whike and former professional Dave ‘Sticky’ Pratt, who is also Rendall’s uncle he decided to box on after becoming disillusioned.
Munroe, 28, recalled: “I couldn’t get any fights. I kept turning up to box and then discovering that my opponent hadn’t turned up.
“That’s hard to take when you’ve been training for weeks and I started to lose interest in boxing.
“‘Sticky’ and John told me it would be a waste if I decided to give up. They said I had a talent and should think about turning professional.
“I thought about it, spoke to my dad and decided that was the best thing for me to do.
Also on the bill Derby’s Scott Haywood (19-2) challenges WBC ranked number six light welterweight Ajose Olusegun (25-0) for the Commonwealth title.
The show also marks the professional debut of Olympic bronze medallist Tony Jeffries who boxes Belarusian Aliaksandr Vayavoda (5-12) in a light-heavyweight four rounder.
There are a few tickets still on sale priced £35 and £75 from www.frankmaloney.com and 0871 226 1508.
FERNANDO BELTRAN JR. VS. ALDO VALTIERRA HEADLINES CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT CARD ON MARCH 20 IN LAREDO, TEXAS; TELEVISED LIVE ON ESPN
Promoters Arthur Pelullo/Banner Promotions and Rodney Berman/Golden Gloves will present a sensational championship fight card on Friday, March 20, 2009, at the Laredo Entertainment Center, located at 6700 Arena Boulevard in Laredo, Texas. The main event and other selected fights will be televised live on ESPN2, ESPN Desportes, their Spanish-Language Network, and ESPN 360.com. It will be the first championship fight card at the LEC since 2005 and the first time that ESPN has televised a fight card from the arena.
Roy Medina, Interim General Manager at LEC, said, “The Laredo Entertainment Center, SMG, and the City of Laredo are proud to work with Banner Promotions and ESPN to bring championship boxing back to Laredo, Texas. This is guaranteed to be an exciting night of boxing action, and with ticket prices starting at just $7, plus facility fee, everyone can afford to attend this spectacular event.”
Doug Loughrey, Director of ESPN Programming and Acquisitions, said, “We are very pleased to bring ESPN’s Friday Night Fights to Laredo, Texas, and serve a passionate audience of boxing fans. We expect to bring our viewers an energetic and electrified arena with this solid night of boxing simulcast on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com.”
Arthur Pelullo said, “We think this is going to be a terrific show for the fans in attendance and those watching on ESPN. In addition to a well-matched, competitive main event that features two Mexican warriors, the fans will get a good look at up-and-coming Russian prospect Ruslan Provodnikov and of course, 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade, who many of us feel is one of the top young prospects in the ring today.”
In the main event scheduled for 12 rounds, Fernando Beltran Jr., 31-3-1 with 18 knockouts, of Culiacan, Mexico, will battle Aldo Valtierra, 25-10 with 13 knockouts, of Mexico City, Mexico, for the vacant IBF Latino featherweight title.
Beltran, a 27 year-old lefthander who currently holds the IBO featherweight title, won that vacant title with a 12 round split decision against Takalani Ndlovu of South Africa in his last fight in August, 2008. It was a fast-paced, exciting fight and the momentum shifted back and forth. After six rounds, the fight was scored 58-56 Beltran, 57-57, 57-57, but Fernando rallied in the late rounds and finished the fight strongly. He swept the last three rounds on all three scorecards, although he was penalized one point for low blows in the tenth, and won by scores of 115-112, 115-112 Beltran, 114-113 Ndlovu.
Valtierra, a 38 year-old former WBC Central American super featherweight champion, has been in several exciting fights in recent years, and is coming off an impressive win in his last fight: in December, 2008, he won a 10 round majority decision against previously undefeated New York prospect Jorge Teron (22-0-1 at the time) on Teron’s home turf in New York City. Teron, at six-feet tall, had a five inch height advantage, but Aldo came on strongly in the late rounds to get the win.
In the co-featured bout scheduled for eight rounds, hard-hitting Russian jr. welterweight prospect Ruslan Provodnikov, 11-0 with 7 knockouts, of Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, will face an opponent to be announced.
2008 U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade, 2-0 with 2 knockouts, of Providence, Rhode Island, will also be featured on the card in a four-round jr. middleweight bout. Andrade is co-promoted by Joe DeGuardia/Star Boxing and Art Pelullo/Banner Promotions, and is considered by most observers to be the top prospect from the 2008 U.S. Olympic team.
More exciting preliminary fights will complete the card.
All bouts subject to change without notice.
Doors open at: 6:30 P.M. (Central Time)
First fight at: 8:00 P.M.
Tickets prices: $7, $27, $57, $82.
Tickets available at: Laredo Entertainment Center Box Office, and TicketMaster.com.
Matthew up for Barney with McIntosh
Matthew Barney admits he’s drinking in the last chance saloon this weekend when he challenges Danny McIntosh for the English Light Heavyweight title at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich.
Saturday nights intriguing clash on the Hennessy Sports show will be broadcast live on ITV4 and provides the chief support to Jon Thaxton’s first defence of his European Lightweight title.
Local favourite McIntosh won the title in a thrilling derby with Steve Spartacus at the same venue last October but Barney says this is a fight he cannot afford to lose.
“I’m 34 now and I know this is probably my last chance to get back into the title picture,” admitted Barney. “I’ve been training very hard for this, sparring has gone well and I’m putting everything in to this fight. When, and I stress when I beat McIntosh I want a crack at either the British or Commonwealth title. Dean Francis has the British title and I’ve already beaten him so maybe we can get that on again.”
Barney believes the title fight experience accumulated in his 32 fight pro career will prove the difference against McIntosh who is unbeaten in 9 pro fights. “I think McIntosh is biting off a bit more than he can chew with me. He’s not a bad fighter but he’s very inexperienced and I’ve seen enough of him to be very confident going into this fight.”
Barney says he has no concerns about going into the lion’s den to face McIntosh who will enjoy raucous home support in Norwich.
“I’d go anywhere for a fight so that’s not a problem for me. I’ve no problem taking on anyone in their backyard. I fought Carl Froch in Nottingham for the British title and I went to Germany to challenge Thomas Ulrich for the European title. I beat Tony Oakey in Portsmouth so going to Norwich won’t bother me in the slightest.”
McIntosh has branded Barney an “awkward, negative” fighter but the 34-year-old from Southampton bristled at that suggestion. “I think that’s unfair, generally the only people that call me awkward are the people who have real problems with me. I’m a clever boxer and I use my head in there but if some people want to call that awkward or negative then that’s their problem not mine.”
Barney also dismissed any suggestions that McIntosh’s power punching would be a factor in the fight. “I’ve boxed lots of people who are supposed to be big punchers and they haven’t bothered me so I’m certainly not worried about McIntosh’s power.
“I’ll be giving him plenty to worry about myself. Like I say he’s a good fighter but he’s not anywhere near the level of some of the guys I’ve been in with before. I think I’ll just know too much for him.”
Barney’s clash with McIntosh for the English Light Heavyweight title is the chief support to Jon Thaxton’s first defence of his European Lightweight title against French Champion Anthony Mezzache.
The exciting undercard also features heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury alongside Matthew Thirlwall, Steve O’Meara, Lee Purdy and Earl Ling. A special attraction sees the pro debut of 2008 ABA Champion Bradley Evans. The Royston featherweight came away from last years ABA’s with the best boxer of the night trophy. Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.