Paul Smith says moving to super-middleweight has been the best decision he’s ever made – and is promising the best performance of his career on October 30. Smith will challenge Tony Quigley at the Liverpool Echo Arena for the British title in a mouth-watering all-Merseyside affair. Joint top of the bill will see Kell Brook defend his British welterweight title against Michael Jennings in a another cracking domestic showdown. Smith, 26, has built up a 27-1 (15) record as a professional, and believes a victory against Quigley will show more of the potential which swept him to a silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester..
But he says switching to 12 stone has worked wonders, and he’s now ready to deliver in style against his red rival.
“I feel really sharp at the weight after struggling for so long at middleweight, and my power is coming through because I’m much stronger” said Smith.
“I’ve always said that given the right opponent and the right fight, then it will bring out the best in me and this fight is right up my street,”
“Believe me, Quigley is just that kind of opponent, and everyone is going to see just what I can do on October 30 because this is easily the biggest fight of my career.
“Not only is the British title on the line, local pride is at stake, and that’s a huge motivation going into this one.
“I feel like the loser won’t be able to show his face in Liverpool, and that makes me even more determined that it won’t be me.
“The whole city is buzzing about this one, and it’s a very exciting fight for Liverpool.
“Ever since I turned professional, people have been saying that they will come out in force when I fight for a big title at the Echo Arena, and now that moment has come.”
Tickets priced at £30 (Tier), £40 (Tier), £50 (Tier), £100 (Floor), £150 (Floor) and £200 (Ringside) are available from:
Frank Warren Promotions
01992 550 888
JEFFRIES HAS A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB
TONY JEFFRIES will whip himself into shape for his next fight in the sunnier climbs of Portugal.
The Olympic bronze medallist jets off to the Algarve today with fellow Sunderland fighter Dave Ferguson and Blackpool’s unbeaten light-middleweight Brian Rose.
Jeffries, 24, and his FTM stablemates will spend a week working on his fitness where his programme will include gruelling mountain runs.
The trio will be accompanied by Maloney who has taken several fighters in the past for fitness training including former British champions Tony Oakey and Carl Johanneson
Maloney explained: “This is a strategy I picked up when I managed Lennox Lewis.
“For many of his big fights, Lennox would go to camp two weeks before most of his team and work on fitness and do very little boxing training.
“It is based on getting to the right fitness levels before you start the serious training and sparring in the gym.
“The running the boys will be doing is high up in the mountains and they will all benefit from this before returning home.
“It is hard work and I reckon they will hate me at the end of it. It worked for Carl and Tony, as they won big title clashes soon after.”
‘The Might Mackem’ who last month trained alongside Floyd Mayweather Jnr in Las Vegas last month bids for his fourth straight win when he boxes in his home city at the Seaburn Centre on October 16.
Heavyweight Ferguson (9-2) who recently signed a promotional deal with Maloney appears on the same bill.
Rose, 24, (13-0-1) bids to extend his excellent record at Bolton Arena on October 23 on the undercard of Jamie Moore’s European light-middleweight title defence against Ryan Rhodes.
Tickets for both shows are available from www.frankmaloney.com and 0871 226 1508. Tickets for Sunderland only can also be purchased from Phil Jeffries on 0191 564 0202.
Ingle backing Little and Large Sheffield duo for Stardom
Brendan Ingle may be one of boxing’s most feted trainers but for many of the young boxers he’s put through his hands the Sheffield based Dubliner has played a dual role of social worker and boxing trainer. Despite an involvement in the sport that stretches back almost 60 years and has included guiding the likes of Naseem Hamed, Junior Witter, Johnny Nelson and Herol Graham to the top of the sport the veteran trainer is still producing feel good stories from the famous Wincobank gym in the Steel City.
The latest two prospects to roll off the production line will feature at the Watford Colosseum on September 5th when they take to the ring on the undercard of Commonwealth Welterweight champ John O’Donnell’s clash with upset specialist Tom Glover. The Hennessy Sports event is live on ITV4 and Ingle’s latest protégé’s will be looking to make their presence felt on the undercard.
6 foot 8 inch heavyweight giant Richard Towers and Yemeni bantamweight Abdul Barry Awad (AKA Kid Galahad) are at opposite ends of the scale in terms of size but they both owe Ingle a huge debt for the part he has played in turning their lives around.
Towers and Awad were troubled youths who both ended up on the wrong side of the tracks. Towers activities outside the gym would eventually see him behind bars for over 6 years while Awad freely admits that boxing and the intervention of Ingle has saved him from the same fate.
Towers first came to the Ingle gym as a teenager and showed plenty of promise before suddenly disappearing without trace. Ingle picks up the story, “Richard came into the gym as a kid and I was very impressed with him but after a few months he disappeared.
“He just vanished all of a sudden. I made some enquiries but nobody seemed to know where he had gone. That was the last I heard of him until he walked into the gym a year and a half ago and told me that he had just served a 6 and a half year prison sentence.
“He asked if he could come back and I had no problem with that. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance in life. He just got in with the wrong crowd and that can happen to people. He’s done the crime but now he’s done the time. He’s sorted himself out now and he wants to make something of his life and we’re there to help him get on with that.”
Despite limited amateur experience Towers turned professional in June and has already notched up two straight wins. Ingle sees enough potential in Towers to believe that he can become a major force on the heavyweight scene.
“He’s a rough diamond but I think he can go all the way,” said Ingle. “He’s a big, big man but he can move as well as guys half his size. He’s a very accurate puncher but above all his attitude is right. For my money there’s nothing to stop him becoming British, European and Commonwealth Champion.”
Towers says he has put his dark past behind him and he now wants to get his name in the papers for all the right reasons.
“When I was sentenced I knew that I had to face up and take responsibility for what I had done and accept the consequences of my actions,” revealed Towers. “I’ve put that life behind me now and I want to concentrate on having a successful boxing career.
“I have done some bad things to some bad people in my life but I have turned away from all that. I want to help young kids realise that the life I got involved in is a painful and empty one and it all starts with disrespect at school and at home.
“This might sound odd to some people but even when I was involved in all that I never felt good about it. I always thought that it wasn’t the right thing to be doing but once you are on that slope it becomes a way of life that’s hard to get out of. Now that’s all behind me, I have paid my debt and I want to help other kids stay away from that kind of life.”
These days Towers is happy to dish his punishment out between the ropes and he says his time at the Ingle gym has taught him that even as a 6 foot 8 inch heavyweight boxing is not all about brute force.
“Brendan has taught me that boxing is not all about raw power,” said Towers. “Movement and footwork is really a huge part of boxing and that’s something that’s been instilled into me from day one.”
While Towers has already sampled life as a pro boxer September 5th will be a whole new experience for Abdul Barry Awad as he makes his pro debut. The self styled “Kid Galahad” shares more than a Yemeni background and small stature with Sheffield boxing legend “Prince” Nasem Hamed.
“I’m a better boxer than Naz and I’m better looking too!,” boasted Awad. “Naz used to be my hero in a boxing sense but I know I’m going to end up better than him. I want to become a three weight World Champ. That was his plan originally but he spoiled it for himself and wasted his talent.
“I think the money went to his head and he got distracted by his own fame. People were telling him that he was invincible and he forgot the basics and the hard work that got him there in the first place. I won’t fall into the same trap.”
Like Towers Kid Galahad had his own problems outside the ring but he credits Brendan Ingle’s intervention with keeping him out of jail.
“I used to get in fights all the time at school,” admitted Awad. “I ended up getting a reputation as a trouble maker and I was banned from pretty much everywhere in Sheffield. I started boxing at 14 and everything changed for me then. Some of the kids that I used to hang around with are in prison now so I’m glad I turned things around because who knows where I would have ended up.”
Ingle believes his latest protégé will have boxing fans sitting up and taking notice right from his pro debut. “He’s very clever and impossible to hit. He can make good fighters look ordinary. I think he is going to be outstanding, he could finish up winning everything. Getting him to change his attitude was the biggest thing. Now he can be what he wants to be.”
John O’Donnell’s clash with Tom Glover tops the bill at the Watford Colosseum while the chief support bout sees Lee Purdy and Peter McDonagh clash for the vacant Southern Area Welterweight title in a repeat of their first thrilling encounter last December. On that occasion McDonagh emerged victorious on a narrow points decision but Purdy will be determined to even the score this time around.
The undercard also features unbeaten prospects Steve O’Meara, Bradley Evans and Bobby “Boogaloo” Ward alongside exciting puncher Yassine “The Showman” El Maachi. Tickets priced £35, £40 and £75